New Year’s Resolutions & What I Want to Achieve in 2019 | #ThisGirlEats

Plenty of people hate this “New Year” stuff, especially the sudden proclamations to change just because the last number on our calendars flips over. People roll their eyes at resolutions but, I’m sorry, I LOVE New Year’s – and everything that goes with it!

So what if people choose to plan their goals now? And who cares if they give up before January is even out?! I’m in no position to look down on people who want to make positive changes.

It helps me feel optimistic about what’s to come, and having defined goals in a clear timeframe motivates me. Maybe it’s not for everyone, and that’s fine, but it works for me. So here’s what I’d like to achieve in 2019!

HOME. Moving out last year was huge for me. I don’t regret it one teeny, tiny bit but, of course, it’s expensive and time-consuming. I love our flat but there are so many things I’d change! A definite goal for next year is to make some serious home improvements. I’m hoping to make our home a cleaner, tidier space with much more personality and a few extra homely touches. I want it to really feel like somewhere we can de-clutter, de-stress and soak up those happy vibes.


BLOG. Blogging is my only creative outlet and I really love it. This year, the intention was to grow the blog, turn it into something I could envision making an actual living from one day… but that hasn’t happened. It’s totally my fault! But I’d like 2019 to see more engagement, bigger numbers, real progress and a fresh coat of paint, so to speak.

WORK. This time last year I’d just started a new job and felt like I’d really made a positive career move. That’s still true, but I’ve been doing the same thing for a year now and, honestly, I’d just like to change things up a bit. I don’t mean finding a new job; I’d just like to change up my daily routine. New responsibilities, different tasks, maybe even a change in department – basically, I don’t want to be doing exactly the same thing this time next year.


BODY. I’ve not looked after myself this year. I’ve gained loads of weight and really felt the impact of not living a healthier lifestyle. I mean, I wasn’t happy with my body before, so I’m having a bloody nightmare now! I’m still fighting the uphill battle to love myself, but I think regular exercise and healthier eating, consistently, would be super positive for me. I’ve made no secret that I struggle with that, but it’s playing havoc with my mental health now, so things need to change.

MONEY. Money isn’t everything, that’s why it’s at the bottom of my list. There’s food on the table and a roof over my head, I’m grateful for that. But it’s also pretty hard living entirely out of my overdraft; I honestly can’t remember when my bank balance didn’t start with a minus. I’ve dipped into savings, nest eggs and rainy day funds, I’ve taken out loans, I’ve borrowed from family and friends… Honestly, it’s exhausting. Getting out of my overdraft would lift a bloody huge weight off my shoulders and make a massive difference.


Underestimating the Value of Being Productive, Proactive and Preoccupied | #ThisGirlEats

This time last year, I made absolutely no secret of the fact that I hated working in retail. I mean, who wouldn’t?!

retail gif

I hated the hours, working weekends and bank holidays. I hated the work around Christmas. I hated being on my feet all day. I hated the busy days. I hated the rude customers. I hated the random shift patterns, sometimes working until 9, 10, 11 o’clock at night.

In December last year, I found an office job that fixed pretty much all of those problems and, most importantly, took me away from retail hell. Nice, normal shifts, a comfy office chair, only having to talk to customers over the phone where you can eye roll to your heart’s content… I also had plenty of time on my desk computer to write, research, keep up with social media, etc.. Living the dream, right?


Well, now it’s nearly a year on and I’m starting to think that perhaps having such a chilled out job isn’t all that good for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like where I work for a whole bunch of reasons, and all the benefits that lured me to the job in the first place are still true. But at the same time, it’s left me at a bit of a loss.

My old job wasn’t exactly fulfilling but it kept me busy, there’s no doubt about that. I was always rushing here, there and everywhere, and I had responsibility on my shoulders; if I wasn’t there, certain jobs wouldn’t get done. I’d walk into work with a to-do list and, at the end of the day, I’d ticked it all off. I never quite realised the value of doing a productive days’ work, thinking on your feet and having a shed-load to do, and what it was worth to my mental health.

Now I’m in very much a re-active job role; I wait for people to come to me with their problems and I help solve them. There’s not a whole lot else to do in between.


Doing very little and getting paid for it is an absolute dream for some people. It is a pretty sweet deal and, as I said, I really do like where I work. But my mind is crying out for some stimulation. I need to be challenged. I need to feel useful. I need to use my initiative. I need to feel like I bring something to the table, like if I hadn’t been there things wouldn’t get done. Right now, I feel like a zombie.

I’m not saying I’d like to go back to retail – god no! But I really do miss feeling like I’ve done a productive days’ work, knowing I’ve been a proactive worker and being preoccupied for eight hours a day instead of wrapped up in my own head. I never appreciated it at the time, but I definitely miss it now.

Does Anyone Else Get “Sick Day Guilt”? | #ThisGirlEats

In lots of ways, I’m very lucky. I don’t have any ongoing conditions that keep me off work for extended periods of time, nor do I have to explain mental health days to people who don’t see past the stigma. On the whole, I’m pretty healthy (touch wood!) and very able to work.

But I do have a weak-ass immune system 🤒 I don’t know why – maybe I just need to eat more oranges or something! In the past year I’ve picked up colds, flus, sickness bugs and a viral infection and when I’m ill, of course, I call in sick. If I’m just a little under the weather I’ll go into work – it’s close to home and not a physically demanding role – but if I’m ill to the point where I know it’ll have an impact on my working day and make said day incredibly tough, I’ll call in sick and take the day to recover.

But I always feel bad. Even when I’m stuck indoors all day feeling really, truly awful, I still feel guilty about not going into work. It’s as though I’m just taking a day off, which isn’t the case – trust me, any girl will tell you being doubled over with period pains so bad that you can’t get out of bed is NO FREAKIN’ HOLIDAY!

baby box

It’s just an underlying sense of guilt which I think (or at least hope!) other people feel too. Of course I know it’s important to look after yourself and if you need to take a day to care for your own wellbeing, be it your physical or mental health, then you should definitely do it. People understand. Colleagues understand. Any good employer will understand.

I just get this horrible voice in my head asking “what if..?
“What if it gets busy and I’ve left my work friends in a sticky spot?”
“What if people think I’m faking it?”
“What if my boss is annoyed at me?” 
“What if I miss a day’s pay?”

I spend so much time worrying about things like this – and I’m sure I’m not the only one – that I forget about what’s really important: my health.

You can’t guarantee anything in life. You can’t guarantee your health will last forever. You never know when something might come along out of nowhere and destroy your happy, healthy life. We need to look after ourselves; yes, we want to work hard, do our bit, take responsibility, but we also need to make sure we’re in a good, fit, healthy place to do just that.


Stop Stressing About Your Job, You’ve Got So Much to Thank It For! | #ThisGirlEats

We’ve all had jobs we hate. God knows I grew so sick and tired of my last job that I took a temp position with LESS pay just to escape it!

You might be stuck in the job you hate right now, spending your working day desperate to get out or being filled with dread every Sunday night at the thought of starting all over again on Monday, and that’s a rubbish place to be.

When you don’t like where you work or what you do, it sucks. It’s the worst. We spend more time at work than anywhere else so if you don’t enjoy it, it can kind of consume you. You spend so much time wrapped up in all the bad things – crappy pay, bad managers, horrible co-workers, nasty customers, long-ass commute, boring tasks, awkward shift patterns… There’s a lot that can make you feel down about  work. So much so, we often forget about all the great things about work!

I’m not talking about perks of the job as such, but we all go to work for a reason, right? I was really down in the dumps at my last job, but in reality I had an awful lot to thank it for.

While I was working there, I moved out and rented my first flat 🏠 I took driving lessons, passed my test and bought my first car 🚗 I took holidays to Disneyland Paris, Edinburgh, Tenerife and Ibiza 🌴 I set up this blog, paid for the domain and bought all the foodie bits that have gone along with it 🍕 So many things have happened in my life that would never have even come about if that job hadn’t enabled them to.

Alright, so I’m skint right now, but I’m much happier doing what I do on a daily basis and, hey, my current job is helping me out with plenty too. It’s keeping that same rented roof over my head, it’s putting petrol in my car and feeding my recipe ideas, it’s buying festival tickets and saving up spending money for summer days out. It’s keeping me afloat, really.

It’s natural to complain about work, we’d all rather be somewhere else 99% of the time. But to keep it from dragging you down, think every now and again about what your job actually does for you, rather than just the negative. Ask yourself what would happen if you DIDN’T have your job. What would you do if you lost your job? I’m sure you’d appreciate what it does for you a hell of a lot more then.

be happy text

The Do’s + Don’t’s of Navigating Christmas Hangovers | #ThisGirlEats

With this time of year, hangovers are almost an inevitability. From my experience, these are some ultimate do’s and don’t’s when it comes to getting through a seriously bad Christmas hangover.


Keep a packet of paracetamol handy at ALL TIMES. No matter how many scrunched up half-packs you end up having littered between bags, when you wake up on your mate’s sofa in yesterday’s clothes barely able to crack open an eyelid thanks to last night’s mascara, you’ll be incredibly grateful for that scrunched up half-pack.

Gather your trashiest TV boxsets and go nuts. Desperate Housewives? Get stuck into suburbia. Glee? Sing your heart out, baby. Gossip Girl? xoxo. Whatever you like to indulge in when the world gets a bit tough, this is your moment. Binge to your heart’s content, because it’s probably the only thing that can take your mind off of how bloody gross you are.

Try to avoid, at all costs, any remnants of the night before. Just try to ignore it, let it all wash over you and do your best to pretend it’s not happening. None of it. Not the crumbled up pants you tossed aside before drunkenly crawling into bed. Not the ugly-ass photos that are starting to creep up on social media. Not even the unexpected person you may have found yourself with in the morning (now that’s a night out!). Just close your eyes and kid yourself into believing you’re a perfectly functioning human being.


Basically anything that I’ve done today, which includes…

Going to work the day after your Christmas party. Alright, we didn’t have a choice – they arranged the party on a Thursday for heaven’s sake. You can’t exactly call in sick pretending you’ve got the flu when the whole office knows the real reason for your sore throat is the lethal cocktail of singing and sambuca, which they all bore witness to. Be smart, plan ahead and never organise a night of Christmas drinking when you’ve got work the next day.

Watching Titanic. You might think, like me, that curling up in bed with one of your favourite movies, one that you haven’t watched for ages but you know will still make you feel all kind of feelings, is the perfect remedy for a hangover. And, like me, you’d be mistaken. My fragile state wasn’t prepared to watch Jack’s beautiful, frozen face disappear into ocean while Rose hogged that door all to herself. I felt even worse after all the emotional turmoil.

Overdoing the Chinese food for lunch when your stomach hasn’t quite decided if it can handle it yet. I work right next to a Chopstix, a Chinese fast food outlet I never knew existed until recently, and I carefully selected today – with my poor, weak, alcohol-infused body crying out for sustenance – to go for it. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong. But I really, really, really wish I’d waited for my tummy to settle down before I stuffed it to bursting point. Now I don’t know if I’m hungover or just greedy.

SERIES: My Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle #8 | #ThisGirlEats

11AM: Sometimes you just feel like you need a decent meal to see you through the day. When you know you’re going to be working until 9PM almost every night this week (yep, that’s right…) that sort of pushes you to feel like it’s one of those times. Because of that, I’ve opted to have my main meal of the day right now – a fry up. YUM. Meal of champions.

4:25PM: This wrap is gross. I don’t think that’s a sentence I’ve ever said before… 😦 To be fair, it wasn’t the delicious wholemeal tortilla’s fault – it’s because I tried to use up what was leftover in the fridge before it went off, and turns out that’s too much processed meat for one day. For me, anyways.


🥓 Cup of green tea

Pre-work meal
🥓 An (almost full) English breakfast – two slices of bacon (fat cut off), two pork and apple sausages, one fried egg, baked beans and wholemeal toast

🥓 Sausage, bacon and salad wholemeal wrap (not good, got thrown away)
🥓 Walkers Honey BBQ Sunbites
🥓 Fibre One brownie bite
🥓 Bottle of Diet Coke
🥓 850ml water
🥓 Dairy Milk bar

Late night snack
🥓 Cup of tea
🥓 Chocolate buttons