Today is my twenty-fourth birthday! I am officially in my mid-twenties, and surprisingly I’m feeling rather excited about it. Growing up I always used to think being 24 meant you were bordering on needing a walking stick, which of course isn’t true, and I now feel like 23 was the year that I found my feet, and 24 will be the age I really embrace and enjoy it.
I know that I natter on about how much has changed for me in the last twelve months in pretty much every blog post, but it’s absolutely insane to think that on my twenty-third birthday I woke up in a hostel bed in West London, having a week’s worth of work left in my temporary job and no idea what the future would hold. Today I woke up next to my boyfriend in my cosy flat in Cardiff, having booked a day off work ready to spend it at a luxurious spa with my mum.
The past 365 days have been spent learning, working hard and forging a future for myself. I kissed goodbye to over 18 years of eduction and started taking my first steps along my chosen career path. I moved into my own flat and have learned that you really can survive on a healthy diet of oven food and micro meals. I finally settled living in a city away from home and made fantastic new friends and memories along the way.
It’s all been rather exciting so for today’s post, instead of looking back at the last year as I did when I turned 23, I’ve decided to look ahead to the next 12 months and what I’d like to do and achieve. Here are the 24 things I’d like to do in 24th year on this planet…
1. See more of the world: I explored the length and breadth of the UK in my 23rd year with my work as a runner, and I loved it. I got to visit Northern Ireland, Edinburgh, York and so many beautiful little towns and cities I would never have gone to. Now it’s time to broaden my horizons, starting with a trip to Paris with Dan next weekend! Spending a weekend with my favourite person exploring new places, learning about different cultures and people, and taking all of the Instagram snaps is my most favourite thing.
2. Start saving: I would absolutely love to put a deposit down on a house this year, so I’m setting up a direct debit into my saving account to get the ball rolling. Plus, I’ve reduced the amount I dine out and am taking my own lunch to work every day in a bid to save a few pennies.
3. Buy a cook book (and use it!): My culinary skills have come on in leaps and bounds since my first year of uni when I asked my friend to help me cook chicken nuggets (for reals), so this is the next step in my pledge to becoming a domestic goddess.
4. Go to London for a weekend of fun: As happy as I am to be back living in Cardiff, I do often crave a little trip to the big city and now I’m just a two hour train ride away! A weekend of shopping, sightseeing and eating sounds amazing, and I’d love to see Dream Girls in the West End too.
5. Brave a festival: I love music, I love live gigs, I bloody love going out and just enjoying with the sun shining overhead and a drink in hand. BUT the thought of camping at a muddy festival fills me with dread (the thought of actually having to use a portaloo that’s 3 days deep in
shit makes me feel even worse!). I’ve decided this year is the year where I give it a go as I miss out on so many awesome experiences because I can’t bear the thought of not washing my hair for more than 2 days, though it may be for just one night…
6. Watch Dirty Dancing: Yep, never watched it, even though my boyfriend apparently looks like Patrick Swayze.
7. Nail the art of outfit pictures: I always get my mum or boyfriend to snap an outfit pic for the blog before I head out, but I generally feel so nervous doing it and I get them to quickly take it before anyone else sees. Definitely want to improve on this this year! Who really gives a shit what others think anyway?
8. Buy a decent waterproof coat: Does this come under general life admin? Living in Wales and venturing out in my faux fur coats means I often look like a drowned rat. It’s time to change.
9. Meet with my uni girls: It’s been 3 years since I graduated and I’ve not managed to squeeze in a uni reunion just yet. My uni bestie Hazel is coming down to go to a house music night as a belated birthday celebration in February, but I definitely want to pencil a reunion with everyone in the diary.
10. Go to an event where I have to wear a fascinator: There are no weddings on the horizon this year, but I think a day at the races where I get to dress up all glam and wear a fancy hat is definitely on the cards.
11. Donate to charity more regularly: Working for the BBC means I donated a lot to Children In Need last year, but I’d definitely like to start donating more to a range of charities. I’m hoping to raise some money for charity when Dan and I (eventually) sign up to do a half marathon this year.
12. Keep my houseplant alive for another year: My 90 pence plant from Aldi that Dan bought me back in 2015 is still going strong, despite it nearly dying on several occasions, either due to drowning or lack of water. I just can’t get that balance right…
13. Go out for Sunday dinner with my nan and grandad to our favourite pub in Pembrokeshire: We had a little tradition when I was growing up to go to this pub for pumpkin soup and a roast every year around Halloween before exploring the surrounding countryside, but I haven’t been able to go with them for a few years due to uni/work commitments. I’d love to do that again this year, as spending time with my grandparents is one of my favourite things.
14. Arrange a girls’ trip with my fave gals: I missed out on a little girls’ trip when I was 23 due to getting mumps that made me look like a permanent Instagram filter, so I definitely would love to go away with my ladies at some point this year to dance, drink and take all of the Instagram pics.
15. Get a puppy: Okay this is a long shot and probably won’t happen, but Dan and I have been on about getting a puppy since we first got together over 5 years ago. We’ve even named it and I’ve bought Dan a dog training book in preparation! Could this year be the year?!
16. Help Dan tick some things off his travel bucket list: I’m thinking a weekend away zip-lining in Snowdonia, North Wales, should definitely be on the list somewhere, or maybe even further afield? Paris has always been on my travel bucket list so it would be rude not to return the favour!
17. Run 10k without stopping: I can just about run it now, but that’s with a little break here and there, and a few minute strolls in between. This year will be the year that I compete one without stopping, as it’s also the year that I want to run a half marathon. (God help me.)
18. Upcycle an old piece of furniture: I’ve wanted to try my hand at this for some time, and have even got some old brown wood furniture in my shed back home ready for renovation. I’d love to take something old and make it into my own new piece, plus I’m kind of obsessed with interiors since moving into my own flat.
19. Spend a sunny day hiking along the Wales Coastal Path: My mum is a keen rambler, so I’d love to join her and get to explore more of the pretty places on my doorstep along the way. I love the coast too, and we’ll definitely end the stroll with a good pub meal.
20. Join a new fitness class/club: This is such a great way to socialise, and I always think it’s nice to have a group of people who you can identify your fitness goals with. It’s a great form of motivation!
21. Expand my skills in work: I’m finding my feet in my first researcher job and have my first shoot as a researcher on the weekend which is really exciting. It’s been great seeing everything coming together and I loved delving deep into stories, and learning about people and places. As I settle into the role a little more I want to really expand my skills and training. I’m looking forward to pushing myself with my career goals this year!
22. Make spa days a regular thing: Yes, yes, yes!! I spent today relaxing in a beautiful spa overlooking Cardiff Bay and I definitely think they need to become a part of my regular routine. I mean, I feel so good right now. I’m refreshed, I’m happy; my skin feels great, my hair, mind and body too. Of course, they’re rather pricey but I think even scheduling one in for every few months is a must.
23. Stick to eating as well as possible: My clean eating regime fluctuated last year, and I really want to stick with it in my 24th year. For me, when I’ve eaten well I feel so much happier in myself. I’m less sluggish and bloated, I’m generally more energetic and upbeat, and I just look and feel so much better.
24. Be positive, happy and true to myself: A huge lesson I learned last year was the power of saying no to plans in order to look after yourself when it’s really needed. I always feel this overwhelming need to be busy and to please everyone, squeezing as much as possible into each and every week. Sometimes you just need a night in with a ready meal and trashy TV to make you happy! I definitely want to exercise more of this this year; your health always has to come first.
Happy birthday to me!
Lots of love. xoxo