Wahey, it's Thursday! A day I personally love.
Ideally the week before has been a productive one filled with creativity and love and the weekend is finally in sight with a gin & tonic in it's hand!
I thought on the final fine Thursday before October (what the heck) I'd recap on the summer and more specifically those goals I set myself when summer began, catch up on that right here.
This summer has been a weird one.
It's been wonderful for the most part. The weather has been pretty good by British standards and it's been filled with tonnes of fun.
However, this summer I feel that something changed a little.
Summer has always been about fun with friends, holidays and some time off from work.
However, this summer has been quite the opposite. It's probably been the busiest summer of my entire life when it comes to work. I've not taken any time off, which in itself is an exhausting thought and I've been here there and everywhere and thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Whilst i've enjoyed working as much as I possibly can, have visited some awesome destinations and met some extraordinary people, I feel like this summer was the summer I grew up.
Summer wasn't about going to as many festivals as possible (I visited one... For a day) spending sun soaked days in the park with friends or holidaying with my other half; Summer was about working harder than ever before and being busier than I ever thought possible.
Don't get me wrong, I totally and whole heartedly LOVE my job and everything that is possible to do with it, however, I feel somewhat cheated out of a summer break, something I most definitely will be rectifying come summer 2018.
It's been a completely fulfilling summer but unlike a summer I've ever had before. So with that recap, let's discuss what I planned to achieve and whether it was possible for me to tick them off the list.
Holidaying A Little Differently
As always, the first goal on my list was based upon travel. I adore travelling and seeing as much of this world as possible. It gives me such joy to visit a new town, city or country and to be able to tick it off my travel list.
And whilst I haven't had much time off at all this summer, I was able to achieve quite a few things from my travel hit list.
I wanted to visit Italy again, a country that is my absolute favourite place in all the world. There is something oh so charming about Italy, from the architecture, the weather, the locals and of course the food, it is a country I feel really at home in and a country that means a lot to me and my family alike.
You might remember that at the beginning of the summer, George and I gatecrashed my parents week long holiday for two days in the beautiful town of Positano (read more on that here) and it is by far one of the most exquisite places I've ever laid eyes on. We had a wonderful time with my beautiful parents and I'm absolutely itching to get back for more than just two days. I also had a weekend away in Milan with my favourite ladies, my mum and sister Faye. It was a glorious weekend filled with Aperol Spritz and pizza making memories that we will never forget.
George and I were also able to holiday a little differently, something else that I wanted to achieve this summer; by attending Yacht Week with InStyle magazine. A trip of a lifetime by all accounts, an intense week of working, gathering content for both my channels and the InStyle team, all whilst onboard a yacht in the wonderful Sicilian sunshine. It was a tough yet wonderful week (read why here) and one I will never ever forget. A week of firsts and something I feel really lucky to have experienced with George by my side.
America was left untouched this summer, which is a huge shame as I simply adore the US and would still love to visit San Francisco, Chicago and New Orleans, but there's still time for that.
Along with visiting Italy, I was lucky enough to head to Lisbon, Paris, Tenerife and Rioja all with work which is a surreal pinch me moment for sure.
As always, I suspect you will find travel ranking high on my winter goals list too, but more on that in another post.
Raise £1,000 For Charity
Back in June I held my very first charity clothes sale to raise money for the We Heart Manchester Emergency Fund, set up after the horrific bomb attacks on the Manchester Arena on May 22nd 2017.
I've wanted to host a charity sale for some time now, so when this tragedy happened to my beloved city, it was a no brainer that this was the time. I worked for two weeks straight pricing and packing up my ENTIRE wardrobe ready for the Sunday sale.
I discussed in my Summer Goals Post that I was extremely nervous, heck I was! More nervous than I have been before; worried that nobody would turn up, that I'd have to cart everything back to my wardrobe (not keen!) and anxious that the whole thing would be a flop and that we wouldn't raise a penny for such a worthy cause.
On the day, I cried approximately 4 times.
The first when I saw people queueing outside from 12pm (the sale wasn't set to start until 1pm), I was just so shocked that people had taken their Sunday out to come to the sale, to find a bargain and to raise money for the emergency fund, it was mind blowing to me.
Once 1pm came around, I cried once more due to the sheer mass of people queueing around the block for a piece of the action, I honestly still cannot get over just how many people were there and if you were one of them, THANK YOU!
It was a crazy day and one that filled me with such joy and such pride as we were doing such a wonderful thing, all of us together, I only wish I'd have known just how many of you were to show up, I would have got a bigger space!
The final set of tears came once the last item had been sold, the raffle winners had been drawn and three special ladies, my mum, Georges mum and my beautiful manager Alex, counted up the days money. We managed to raise a staggering £5,600 for the We Heart Manchester Emergency Fund and I simply could not believe it. I sobbed like a little baby, I was completely and utterly gobsmacked! If you remember my last goals post, I mentioned how I'd wanted to raise £1,000 for the fund, so the final amount raised came as one almighty shock!
I am so proud of everything we achieved together that day and still cannot thank you guys enough for coming along and donating. I truly hope you're still wearing and loving all the bits you picked up.
Share The Books I'm Loving
So the next goal was to read more which I've definitely ticked off the list. I've read around 5 books this summer and loved each and every one of them SO SO much! I really wanted to be able to share them with you in a book club style post, something I mentioned in my last goals post, but unfortunately I am yet to do this.
Sophie and I shot the imagery for the post back in Tenerife so as SOON as I have them back I promise a book club/book review post will be with y'all.
Grow Baby Grow
Not as it seems (ha)
This is referring to my beautiful Monstera deliciosa aka my Swiss Cheese Plant Kevin.
I was gifted Kevin by my parents for Christmas and have since watched him flourish in our beautiful city centre flat. Whilst we don't have much natural light up in here, he's doing pretty well indeed and my goal for summer was to nourish him enough that the seven new little sprouts would open up to be big, beautiful and oh so healthy leaves. Whilst some have done just that, others aren't quite there yet and are still little baby buds, however, despite a case of over-watering (oops) they seem to be coming along just fine and I'm sure we'll have plenty new leaves come it's first birthday on the 25th December, YAY!
I've also got a little cocky and added three new plants to our home, all of which I selected based upon the fact they don't need much sunlight. Because of this, they're bloody thriving and I'm loving our little jungle living room SO much.
Hit 50,000 YouTube Subscribers
I can officially say that we achieved this and then some! We're well on our way to 60k subs now and I cannot thank you enough for supporting me on there. It was a HUGE step getting into YouTube 18 months ago now and I'm SO thrilled with the journey it's taken us on together. I feel like I've finally found my stride with video creating and I know what you guys want to see, which is such a beautiful thing.
Next stop 100k? HA!
Speak To Large Crowds Of People
We all know that I have low self confidence when it comes to large groups of people. So at the beginning of summer I wanted to work towards feeling more comfortable with large crowds and actually talking to an audience of people. I mentioned it briefly in my latest Issues With Confidence Post (read it here) about how I was able to speak on a fashion panel at the British Style Collective, something I was ever so proud about and how I pushed myself to have public speaking lessons to nip this in the bud once and for all.
And whilst all of this has certainly helped, I still feel I have a little further to go in the confidence stakes. I'm much better than I was at the start of the year so that in itself is a huge achievement.
Get On That Sodding Property Ladder
Ahhh property. What a minefield.
When we last spoke I was determined not to leave the city centre of Manchester, however, that has changed again. I crave space, I crave an outdoor area, a puppy and peace and quiet, all of which I can't have in a city centre flat.
So with that we're looking to the suburbs some more. Things are looking very exciting indeed but I don't want to jinx anything just yet.
I'll hopefully be back by the end of the year with some good news. Cross your fingers for me!
So hey, it's been a crazy summer full of ups and oh so horrendous downs.
I've loved, lost, travelled, learnt, cried, laughed and grew up.
It wasn't the summer of a lifetime but it was a summer I will look back on one day, knowing that this was the summer I became a woman. I grew up, I learnt a lot and I worked damn hard.
I am so proud of what I've achieved this summer and feel so completely lucky to have you wonderful lot by my side every step of the way. Thanks for always commenting, for always making me smile and for being my online friends. I'll be back in a week or two (I hope) with some new colder month targets and goals, but until then let me know some of yours, perhaps they'll inspire mine.