Oh my, today I turn the grand old age of 30. Back in May 2013, I set myself a challenge to achieve 30 different ideas before I turned 30. So as of midnight, I’ve been 30 years old, but did I complete my challenge?!
In 2015, whilst training for my first marathon, I lost a stone! I mean, I’ve put it back on now, but I did lose it!
In September 2013, I went on a road trip and this included 5 places in the UK I’d never been to before; York, Lake District, Sheffield, Nottingham and Cambridge! I actually also visited Oxfordshire and Stamford too so that makes it 7 places I’d never been to before just on that road trip but since then I’ve been to Bishops Castle, Ludlow, Oswestry, Telford, Shrewsbury, Snowdonia, Hereford, Powys, Wrexham, Leeds, Manchester and so many many! I totally smashed this challenge!
I’d always seen cabaret shows advertised, so in 2014 I took a friend of mine to a Burlesque Cabaret which was bloody awesome.
When scrolling through Facebook, you see so many good recipes and one that caught my eye was Oreo Brownies. I then took it upon myself to bake batch after batch after batch to raise money for charity!
I went to a lovely bloggers meet up in September 2013 with some of the Essex ladies, and they were all so lovely! I then hosted the EsseXmasMeetUp in December 2013 and been to hundreds of blogger events since then. In fact, I’ve met my closest friends through blogging and blog events!
I love being a good host so since planning my 30 before 30, I’ve planned a few different parties and BBQs. Two of my favourites were a great BBQ at my parents complete with homemade Skittle Vodka and my 28th Birthday Party where Tesco kindly supplied the food. My 30th birthday party was pretty awesome too!
I set myself a very fun challenge of going to 12 gigs in 12 months and I managed to see City & Color, Funeral for a Friend twice, Enter Shikari, The Used twice, Justin Bieber, Simple Plan, The Cure, Simply Red, Placebo, Moose Blood, Bring Me The Horizon, Alamode and Black Foxxes so that’s actually 15 gigs!
The first 5k I ever ran was a Race for Life raising money for Cancer Research, but then I went on to run a lot of 5ks whether just for fun to keep fit or part of actual races.
In 2015, whilst training for my first marathon, I actually managed to lose a total of 2 stone! I mean, I’ve put it back on now, but I did lose it!
Ya girl got to Glastonbury back in 2016 and it was a whale of a time! We were knee-deep in mud, in fact, it was one of the muddiest on record but we still had fun. We saw lots of incredible bands, we skipped headliner Adele to explore the likes of Shangrila before it got too busy, we watched people get stuck in the mud, we helped people out of the mud, we ate a ton of Pringles and made some incredible memories.
Back in 2013, I had a little falling out with a friend but we reconciled after 7 or so months. Since then we’ve been to Marbella and Malta and I went to her Hen Do in Ibiza followed by her wedding!
I don’t run 10k very often, but I did achieve this a couple of times! It’s quite a nice distance to run so it’s something I plan on working back up to in the New Year.
This 2014, I raised £1,200 for Cancer Research asI took part in the Dryathlon, Race for Life and the Shine Half Marathon. In 2015, I raised £4,500 for Anthony Nolan and then in 2017, I raised another £2,500 for Anthony Nolan. I’ve also volunteered as a photographer for the Anthony Nolan Run Team at the London Marathon in 2018 and 2019, plus we’re signed up to do it again in 2020.
In 2015, I ran the Silverstone Half and got 3 miles into the Richmond Half but injury stopped me from continuing. In 2017, I ran the Hampton Court Half so it’s safe to say I can tick that one off my list.
When I planned this list, I was at a very different place in my life and when I left my ex-boyfriend I was unsure if I’d achieve this one as I was too scared to move alone! Enter Mike and his wonderful flat! After dating for 10 months, he asked me to move in with him as I was already there 5/6 nights a week already! I finally flew the nest at the age of 25 and have been there for over 4 years now!
So I managed to smash this one too! I managed to get to Germany twice, the Czech Republic, Scotland twice, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, and Denmark three times. I also headed back to Spain numerous times and France a few times too.
This was one that I never thought I’d do as I kept bottling out whenever we went to a gig or a festival. That was until I went to see Funeral for a Friend play a one-off charity gig in Hammersmith in October 2019 and one of Mike’s friends, Owen, asked if I’ve done so. I was like ‘Nope, I get too scared but it’s one of the final things to do on my 30 before 30 list.’ The response I got was ‘What’s your favourite song?’ I told him. As we had checked the setlist, when the song before Juneau was halfway through Own appeared next to me and asked if I was ready to crowd surf. I put my bag around Mike’s neck, Owen grabbed my hand and as the crowd opened up we made a run for it toward the front so I didn’t have to go too far. As Juneau began, Owen and Mike sent me up and I crowd surfed my way to the front to my most favourite FFAF song; what a way to tick this one off my list!
With this one, I never expected to achieve so much! I got headhunted for a couple of jobs which was such an awesome feeling. I quit a job I hated to go at it alone and I’ve been freelance for over a year! I never thought I’d get the chance to be freelance but with lots of support from friends and family, I managed to sign a good few clients for SEO, Digital Marketing and Photography!
This was one I never thought I was going to achieve as I’m quite a slow coach but Mike suggested going for a run together and I managed to smash out a 33 minutes and 16 second 5k! Since then I ran a fair few more under 35 minutes too! Super proud of myself for this one!
When I wrote my list had been around 2 years since I last did a holiday abroad with friends, so since then, I’ve been to Berlin, Amsterdam (twice), Malta, Disneyland Paris, Marbella, Ibiza and a few staycations around the UK with friends!
I’ve listened to so much new music over the past new years but one that always sticks with me is Chillstep. Mike, back when he had the time, used to produce Chillstep songs in the 2nd bedroom and I used to listen to them on repeat at work when we first got together. Little did I know his Soundcloud could tell him all the increases in their plays was most certainly me lurking!!
I baked an ex-boyfriend a pretty epic red velvet birthday cake, so I think it’s fine to cross that one off!! I also nailed the Creme Egg Brownie for a few bake sales!
Another one I got done quite early on was trying food I had never tried before. I’m one of those people that has eaten a large variety of random things on my travels, but my newest was Biltong from South Africa! I tried about 5 different varieties and brought a bag of Ostrich home!
I was never sure if I was cut out for a group trip as I’m very much used to travelling with family, close friends and Mike who all know my weird and wonderful ways. After much deliberation, we booked onto the Atlantic BLT with Trek America and I had the time of my life! We all got on pretty well and two years later we are still in touch with some of the lovelies we met on the trip!
This was the last one on my list that I crossed off. In fact, we only went to this last week! We did have tickets to go in July but then Mike went on a stag do and I was offered press passes to a music festival as we postponed!
We were super lucky with this one as we teamed up with Benenox to knock something off my bucket list so we chose this one. We were treated to a meal in London and then to a Box at the Royal Albert Hall to see the Nutcracker! You can read more about that one here.
I love having travel challenges on lists like this as it gives me an excuse to travel. Thanks to our Trek America we got to visit New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Louisiana, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Washington DC. Ok, so I know that DC isn’t a state but it counts!
I’m sure everyone on the planet knows I’ve run the London Marathon. Ok, I’m playing it cool. I’ve actually run it twice for Anthony Nolan and it’s probably the most mentally and physically challenging things I’ve ever done. The first time it took me 6 hours and 15 minutes, and the second time was 5 hours and 58 minutes. I may be slow but these thick thighs save lives.
So this leads from running the Marathon; I said if I run it in under 6 hours I would treat myself to a tattoo that I had been thinking about for a while. I just about managed it, thanks to a text from my dad that popped up on my iWatch saying ‘If you run hard, you can do it in under 6 hours’ and from that moment I mustered up all the energy I had left and ran!
My tattoo in an anchor and ships wheel on the top of my thigh and it stands for my favourite quote ‘Be the one to guide me but never hold me down’ and I bloody love it.
My hobby at the time of crossing this off was writing to my collection of pen pals as I had them from all over the world which was really fun. But I would say running was a hobby that I took up and have continued on and off since 2015.
So YES, I bloody well smashed it!