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Lifestyle, My Life

Reflections on 2016.

December 29, 2016

It’s been a funny old year hasn’t it? Social media has been full of negativity for 2016 and mostly because a few famous died rather than the actual atrocities that have been occurring through out the world. Globally, it’s been the year of the unexpected, whether we should have seen some events coming or not. Personally, 2016 has been a really good year. Last year was a bit all over place, trying to settle back in Bristol after a year travelling but this year has been a year of putting down roots.

Easter Weekend was spent with my Dad and Stepmum in London being tourists. We saw a play, visited a museum and experienced the London Dungeons. Nothing like being a tourist in your own country!

Back in April , Stu and I had an offer accepted on a house and we picked up the keys in July. I’m really proud of us for saving a house deposit in just over a year and I can’t thank our family and friends enough for all the help they’ve given us since we moved in. We’ve got a lot more work to do on the house so I think 2017 will be the year of DIY!

August saw a promotion at work and the realisation that I’m incredibly lucky to be in a job I enjoy. After being in a job that I hated, it’s really made me appreciate working with a supportive team who want you to succeed.

October was a month of travel. I loved discovering Amsterdam with Stu. It’s a beautiful city full of surprises and it was amazing to travel with Stu again. That was our first trip since Paris in January 2015 and we promised we wouldn’t leave it so long again. Later on in October was a surprise trip to Dublin for Stu’s Dad’s 60th. This was a jam packed 5 days full of quality family time.

To finish off the year I was nominated in two categories at the UK Blog Awards! This blog has always been a bit of fun for me, something I sometimes have loads of enthusiasm for and sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about. I was amazed to be nominated and very grateful for everyone who voted for me.

I hope 2017 is filled with just as many good times, there’s already a fair few events in the calendar so I think it’s going to be a busy one. Who needs a decorated living room anyway?

 

Lifestyle, My Life

Christmas Planning

December 1, 2016

How is it December? How are we in the last month of 2016?! I can’t believe that another year is coming to an end. I seem to say that every year but I love December so much. December means lots of birthday celebrations for Stu and his family, getting ready for Christmas and then celebrating on New Years Eve. It’s a hectic month but I love that everyone wants to get together at this time of year. It’s a month full of food, drink and celebrations. Without getting all soppy and sentimental, Christmas really is about spending time with friends and family so there can never be too many events in my diary.

Christmas Day itself can be a logistical nightmare. It’s hard to please everyone and even harder trying to figure out how to get to each location. Everyone conveniently forgets who the driver was last year in hope that they’re allowed to keep the alcohol flowing again. Stu and I spent Christmas together last year with my family and it was a brilliant day. Everyone stayed together for the whole day so there were no comings and goings, just fun and plenty of food and drink! This year will be a little different as we’re in Bristol where we both have family and friends. It’s also the first Christmas in our own house so making a plan of where to go seemed like it was going to be a tough one.

Luckily for us we came to a decision quite easily and everyone is going to be happy (I hope!). We’re going to wake up in our house and then visit family later on. We haven’t decided on the driving situation yet though so there might be an argument on the horizon! I’ve heard of couples who really struggle to decide where to have Christmas Dinner. Everyone thinks that their family does the best Christmas and find someone else’s really weird. Every family has their own little traditions, it’s what makes them special. It may be strange spending Christmas Day with other people but if you go into the day with an open mind then you’ll probably find that you really enjoy it. Different is good!

How do you decide the plans for Christmas Day?

My Life

New Beginnings.

October 15, 2016

Welcome to the new look francescaandrews.com!

I’ve been dissatisfied with my blog for months and months which has led to a lack of content and even when I’ve put content out, I haven’t been 100% happy with it so I’ve become even more dissatisfied. It’s a vicious circle people! To get myself out of this rut, I’ve had a long think about where I want this blog to go and how I’ve changed as a person since I started this blog.

I started this blog in 2013 before Stu and I went travelling. I chose the blog title ‘Frankie goes to…’ so each new blog post could start with where I was at that time. I wasn’t that aware of other blogs at the time and considered mine more of a diary than anything else. Towards the end of our trip, I discovered this whole world of bloggers and wanted to take my blog to the next level. The only trouble was, I wasn’t travelling anymore. For over a year I’ve tried to stay in the travel blog niche but when you’re saving for a house deposit, travelling falls way down the list of priorities. Sure, we went on a few trips which I documented but since living permanently in the UK, there was so much more going on in my life which I wanted to talk about but felt that it didn’t fit in with my blog.

When I bought the domain name for this blog, I went for francescaandrews.com instead of frankiegoesto. This was mainly because I was scared some lawyers for Frankie Goes To Hollywood were going to sue me but also because I’ve always been aware that my blog will probably change direction in the future. The change in direction is way overdue but it’s finally here! I hope you enjoy reading about other aspects of my life and fingers crossed this gives me my blogging mojo back and there will be plenty more posts to read!

 

My Life

Turning 25.

August 30, 2016

I’ve never been bothered about turning a year older (before anyone says, I know 25 isn’t old!). I think that comes from being an August baby, I was one of the youngest in my school year so I’ve always watched my friends hit the age milestones before I did. I was the last to be able to learn how to drive and the last to be able to (legally) drink so I’ve always been excited for my birthday and never gave a second thought to what age I was turning.

However, there’s something about turning 25 that feels a bit more… momentous. Does that sound weird? Maybe it’s the whole quarter of a century thing but it feels like a real landmark. I feel like I’m entering a new period of my life. I’ve graduated from uni, been a backpacker, found a job I love and bought a house, all in the last 4 years. I’m immensely proud of all that I’ve achieved but I’ve always been one to think, ‘what next?’. I like having something to aim for. So, what is next?

To be honest, I don’t really know. There’s still plenty I want to achieve at work and there’s a hell of a lot of decorating to be done in my house but you never know what’s around the corner so I’m going to concentrate on enjoying being 25. Happy Birthday to me!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

My Life

Life Lately – We bought a house!

July 19, 2016

I started this blog back in 2013 before Stu and I went on our year of travels. We’ve now been home for over a year and we’re about to embark on our biggest adventure to date because as of last Friday, we are officially home owners! It sounds strange to say that but I’m so proud of how far we’ve come since we’ve returned home.

Coming home from long term travel is hard but having a house deposit as goal to focus on has helped massively. Sure, there were times when we thought about spending our savings on a big trip again but I know we’ve made the best decision for us by buying our home. We can still travel, it will just be a different kind of travel and that’s totally fine with us.

I’m now really excited to making this house our own. We’ve both been going crazy on Pinterest the last couple of months and are full of ideas of how we want to decorate. We’re going to be pretty busy for a long time but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully I can share a few photos on here as things start to take shape.

Here’s to a bright and happy future!


 

My Life

Making The Most Of Each Day

July 14, 2016

A lot of people talk about the importance of living each day as if it were your last but in all honestly, it’s pretty hard to do. How many of you are amazed at how quickly the days go? One minute you’re moaning on a Monday morning and then suddenly it’s the weekend again. I’m always saying that it’s scary how quickly time goes. I remember my mum saying that time goes even faster as you get older and it’s definitely true. So as a nation of procrastinators, how can we go about changing our mind set and actually making the most of each day?

I think a scare tactic works best. I recently watched this TED Talks video by Tim Urban and he talked about putting your life in to weekly squares. This is what your life (assuming you live until 90) looks like broken down into weeks.

life in week squares

 

I don’t know about you, but to me, that doesn’t look like very squares at all. And that’s even if you live until 90! Seeing how far into that chart I am, it made me think about what I want to achieve in life and how long I have to do it. I definitely work best with a deadline and essentially, life does have a deadline. Just not one that we know about. I like to look at that chart when I find myself wishing the weeks away until an event. I should appreciate every week and not think of them as weeks that need to hurry up until I do something fun.

I hope that chart has made you think twice about only ‘living for the weekend’ and that you can start to make small steps towards making the most of each day.

My Life

Reflections on 2015. 

December 28, 2015

Last year I posted my reflections on 2014 so I thought it was only right that I did the same this year.

Spending a year at home after a year of seeing the world is hard on any backpacker. It’s the part that no one talks about. For me, 2015 was less about travelling and more about working, saving money and most importantly spending time with loved ones. I think Christmas always makes us appreciate the little things in life and this year it really hit home for me. There isn’t anything more important than your friends  and family. Enjoy every moment you spend in each others company and cherish every memory you make. You might not always get along but we should forgive easily and try and be the first to reach out to those who we have lost contact with. Lots of people make resolutions at this time of year but I don’t usually bother. Next year though, I aim to spend more quality time with my friends and family because no matter how busy life gets, we should always make time for others.

2015 also taught me to do more of what makes me happy. I thought this blog would fizzle out once I was home but I’ve kept it up and amazingly, I’ve now had travel companies ask to work with me. That’s not something I ever thought would happen when I started this before Stu and I went away. I want to keep writing, not because of the opportunities it can bring, but because I enjoy it and I know I’ll love looking back at this blog in years to come. I also started a new job because my previous one was making me unhappy. I was worried that it was too soon to leave but I knew that I shouldn’t force myself to do something that I hated. I definitely made the right decision and now I’m much happier.

I don’t know what 2016 will bring but I’m going in to it feeling positive about life and I can’t ask for much more than that!

Reflecting on 2015

 

My Life

Itchy Feet

September 22, 2015

Itchy Feet

This quote probably sums up how 99% of my travelling friends feel once they are home. Does this feeling ever go away?

Stu and I have been home now since January. After spending 2014 travelling from country to country, we have only had one long weekend in Paris and a weekend in Scotland so far in 2015. Working long hours and daily reminders from Timehop as to what I was up to last year mean that I miss travelling more and more each day. I sometimes see a picture and actually want to cry because I want to return so badly.

I don’t regret coming home when I did, I think that I would feel like this no matter how long I had been away. Don’t get me wrong I like being home. It’s good to be with friends and family but I crave the freedom of travelling. I loved that plans could change daily and you never knew where you were going next. I don’t necessarily want to be away for a year again, I just want to go explore somewhere new!

I miss travelling.

I think the only way to cure this feeling is to book another trip…

My Life

Sunday Musings

July 12, 2015


Saw this quote today and thought I would share it with everyone. I quite often compare myself to others when I know I shouldn’t. Everyone’s life is different and we all want different things. Life is not a competition. You don’t have to go to university at 18 or have kids by 30. You don’t have to do any of those things at all! Live your life at whatever pace you decide and don’t worry if you don’t hit certain milestones when you first imagined you would. It’s an old cliche but live every day like it was your last and don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring.

Happy Sunday!

This post Sunday Musings appeared first on Frankie Goes To…

My Life

The Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show

June 16, 2015

Last weekend, Stu and I were invited to the Bristol Classic Car Show by Footman James. Now I appreciate what I call a ‘nice’ car but I don’t really know anything about them so I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived.


The show was held at Bath and West showground in Shepton Mallett which has both outside and inside areas to display the car collections. And there were a lot of cars!

  
 The cars ranged from old police vehicles to VW campers to original Minis and everything in between. Some where in beautiful condition and really made you appreciate just how much love and attention went into that vehicle, my little Clio really does not compare!

  
 As well as the standard manufacturers, we saw makes and models that have long stopped being produced. Stu was glad to see a Triumph as his Grandad used to work there!

  

My favourite was this lilac Morris minor which was beautiful! I always wanted a VW Beetle when I was younger so I think I was reminded of that.

  

 Stu and I would love one of these campervans to continue our travels – they are the best form of transport for a backpacker. Nothing compares to that freedom!


As to be expected at a classic car show, you could buy every car part imaginable. What looks like junk to you and I, is a car enthusiast’s treasure!


Stu and I visited the show on Saturday but on the Sunday they were auctioning off some of the cars – I would have loved to have seen how much some of them went for, they must be worth so much!

  
 We both really enjoyed our day at the Bristol Classic car show, it was something different to do on a weekend and I would recommend going next year. Thank you very much for having us Footman James!

  
    

The post The Footman James Bristol Classic Car Show appeared first on Frankie Goes To…