Photo of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with blue sky and 2 shadows on the ground

So long 2017!

I feel really glad to be seeing the back of this year.

This post started life a bit differently. 2017 hasn’t been my best year. But it hasn’t been my worst. When I first started planning this post I was very much of the “2017 can f**k off” thinking. In fact at some point during November I was literally wishing away the days until the end of the year. I’m not sure why though, why does the start of a new year make you think all your s**t will go away?!

I voiced this to my Mum during a (slightly) teary phone call one night. And, as Mums generally do, she put things into perspective for me. Has 2017 really been that bad? Worse than two years ago when I called off a wedding, ended a relationship that had lasted (almost) nine years, had to move back home and then deal with the stress of being bought out of a mortgage? Well Mum, when you put it like that, not really.

So I gave myself a good shake. This has not been my finest year, and not the year I’d hoped it would be. But, I’ve still had fun during the year. I’ve learned some pretty good lessons. And there have definitely been highlights. Here’s a wee round-up of my 2017, and I guess a reminder that even when things seem bleak, and you feel pretty close to rock bottom there is (almost) always good in your life.


Went to my first rugby game. And my second.

After Mark going to a game with one of his friends earlier this year, we had a conversation about how I’d never been to one. Mark bought us tickets for the Scotland v Italy game in March, and it was great fun. Despite me not having a clue what was going on I loved it! The atmosphere was great, Mark didn’t get annoyed at me asking lots of questions about what was happening. And you’re allowed to drink in the stand. The game was an early kick-off so we went for more drinks and dinner in Edinburgh after. A fun, and slightly drunken, day.

We went to Scotland v New Zealand in November and got to see the Haka which was pretty cool to experience.

Was on the radio to talk about blogging and the Edinburgh Blogger Conference.

This was a really surreal experience. While planning the first Edinburgh Blogger Conference we were contacted in May through our Facebook page by Black Diamond Radio. They wanted one of us to be on their daytime show to talk about blogging. I was the only one available so volunteered, and then got the fear! What if I made a total arse of myself?! What if I got asked something I hadn’t prepared for?! Mark listened and assured me I sounded good, not like an idiot, and it was nice to chat blogging with someone. This was a MASSIVE out my comfort zone moment, but something I’m glad I did. Plus it was a nice bit of promotion for our first event.

Realised that I need to learn to trust my gut!

I got offered a job I hadn’t applied for in April this year. I guess you would say headhunted…? The job was Sales and Marketing Manager, and to be honest, from my first interview I never felt like it would be right for me. But, I needed a job. Badly! And the fact it was related to marketing swayed me to take the job despite alarm bells going off. I didn’t actually start the job until June, and by the second week in July I had decided I wouldn’t be staying after the two month trial period. Again, despite my gut telling me to run, I continued working with the company on a freelance basis. This did not work out, and I knew it wouldn’t. So 2017 taught me to trust my instincts and if something feels wrong for me, it probably is.

Planned two events as part of the Edinburgh Blogger Conference team.

Just after I found out I was getting made redundant last year, I took a chance on an opportunity to plan a blogging conference. Our original team of six reduced down to three and along with Jadine (The Punk Rock Princess) and Taryn (She Hangs Brightly) we planned an amazing conference in June. A day-long event with panels of speakers, workshops, brands and networking. Oh, and we had Nando’s too! The conference was a great success and we really made it our own, fun and relaxed while still educational. It was such a success we were pretty quick at putting plans in motion for our next one which was in December. As well as this opportunity giving me some great experience I gained new friends, something which doesn’t always seem so easy as you get older.

Did my first Tough Mudder.

Straight after the blogger conference in June, I was on my way down to Dumfries to do Tough Mudder. Although this seemed like a great idea at the start of the year when I signed up, I didn’t feel so great when I was on my way down. But it was great, the most fun I’ve ever had while caked head to toe in mud. Was it tough? Yes. It’s called Tough Mudder for a reason! Twelve miles of obstacles and running (sometimes wading) through mud. A lot of the obstacles were fun. The Mud Mile and Shawshanked were not! My body has never wanted to do anything less than dropping out of the tube on Shawshanked into the water below! The girl beside me felt the same, our mutual fear helped. We went on the count of three. If you’ve been thinking about it, do it! So. Much. Fun!

We went to Berlin!

2017 was meant to be a year of trips. After Amsterdam last year, I realised how much I wish I’d seen more places in my twenties. Obviously, the lack of job meant the plans we had didn’t quite happen. But in July we decided f**k it and started planning a trip. One of the good things about neither of us doing much travelling before now is that most of the places we go neither of us will have been before. Berlin is somewhere both of us were keen on and it was a really fun trip. You can read about it here, and here.

I turned 30.

Not really something I felt overly happy about at the time. But, I feel a lot better than I did turning 21 and I feel like my thirties are going to be a lot better than my twenties.

I got offered a job. A marketing job!

All hope of actually getting a job in marketing was pretty much gone, I thought that I wasn’t going to get to have the career change I’d wanted when I left HSBC. I had two interviews in a week in the middle of December and I got offered the one I thought I had less chance of getting! I start next month and I can’t wait!


So there you go, my 2017. There have definitely been points this year when I’ve struggled to focus on the good. Often when you feel crap the bad outweighs the good. But this year has been good overall. Yes, it’s been stressful. Yes, I’m glad it’s almost over. 2018 is already looking up and I’m looking forward to the start of a new year.

I’d love to hear about your 2017 highlights.


The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photograph taken by me.


Photo of band Idlewild on stage with blue, white and pink lighting

Music is a big part of my life.

So much so that when I started chatting with Mark, one of my first questions was about what music he liked. And as bad as this sounds if he had (in my opinion) pish taste in music we probably wouldn’t have got to a first date!

Luckily for me, and him, his taste in music is good. And very similar to mine. Which is great because it means we never argue over what to listen to in the car. And we love going to gigs together. This year we weren’t meant to go to many gigs. It’s a luxury that really only people with jobs should have, and since I’ve spent most of the year unemployed I didn’t think we would be going to any. However, it ended up that was not the case and we’ve been to our fair share.

Here’s a rundown of our 2017 gigs:

Deftones – SEC Glasgow

Photo of band Deftones on stage with blue/white lighting

Our first gig of the year and I was so hungover! We also had to wait in the longest queue to get in. I enjoyed this gig, but I think Mark enjoyed it more. For me, I was more focused on getting some hangover food after it…

Idlewild – Hidden Door Festival, Leith Theatre Edinburgh

The Hidden Door Festival happens every year in Edinburgh. It’s a non-profit art festival which brings forgotten, abandoned places to life with art and live performances. We got some really last minute tickets to go and see Idlewild. It’s the first time I’ve been to Hidden Door festival and it was also the first time I’d seen Idlewild. The venue really made the night for me, I LOVE abandoned buildings. And although money is being raised to restore Leith Theatre it was very much still a building that had been neglected. It was a great gig from Idlewild, along with performances from Loud Poets and lots of art to see. Hidden Door festival is set to return to Leith Theatre for 2018.

Paramore – Usher Hall Edinburgh

This was my first gig in the Usher Hall, I was surprised how small the venue was on the inside. But this made it really nice and felt like you were at a much more intimate gig than you were. We were stood near the back and I could still see the stage really well. It was also the first time I’ve seen Paramore and they did not disappoint. Plus to make things even better they had Lauren from Chvrches join them on stage. A really fun gig with lots of energy. A band I would love to see again.

Metallica – Hydro Glasgow

Photo of band Metallica on stage with red lighting, cubes hanging from the ceiling with tv screens on them

My ears were ringing for days after this gig! It was amazing. The stage was set in the middle of the floor so people could stand all the way around it. The screens hanging from the ceiling were used well and the gig wasn’t just about the music it was a great performance. Of course, we got beer thrown over us and Metallica broke their curfew but this just added to the experience. Well worth the super expensive tickets and us not getting back home to Fife until almost 1 am.

Brand New – O2 Academy Glasgow – CANCELLED

I was so excited for this gig! I missed seeing Brand New in 2015 and although we saw them last year supporting Biffy it’s not the same as seeing them doing their own gig. Plus with their new album out this year, it was going to be great. We had booked a hotel in Glasgow for the night so we didn’t have to drive home after it which we kept despite the gig not happening. Instead, we saw the Christmas lights being switched on at George Square, went for pizza and beer and the cinema. Still a fun night.

Queens of the Stone Age – Usher Hall Edinburgh

Standing tickets sold out really fast for this so we were sitting for this gig. Normally I would prefer to be standing at a gig but I was pleased to have somewhere to put the one million layers I had to wear because of the cold! Apparently not the first time I’ve seen QOTSA (a bit of a thing with me…!), this is the first time I can remember and it was a great gig. I didn’t have to worry about not being able to see the stage and as well as the entertainment the band provided we got to see some drama happening. Like the guy getting chucked out by bouncers, and the crowd surfers getting hauled over the barrier at the front.

Idlewild – O2 ABC Glasgow

Last gig of the year and it was a good one. More often than not we’re not too bothered about the support acts but when we heard Scott Hutchison was one of them we made sure we got there to see him. Along with Scott was poet Michael Pedersen who was actually hilarious! I wouldn’t say that I’m a big fan of poetry but I really like his. Being early meant that we got a space right at the front! The gig was for the 15th anniversary of The Remote Part so along with other songs the band played the full album.


What gigs have you been to this year?


The name Kayleigh written in pink cursive font.

Photos taken by me and M Richardson


So no-one really likes January.

Christmas seems like a distant memory, pretty much everyone is suffering from chocolate withdrawl symptoms and most people’s bank balances are still recovering from the extra spending over the festive period. Basically January sucks!

Everyone needs a bit of a pick up during the month and as today is classed as Blue Monday what better day to share my tips for beating those blue feelings.

Have a movie day/night. Pick some of your favourite films and get together with your favourite person/people and get settled on the sofa. Add some popcorn (my choice would always be sweet and salty), chocolate or if you’re being healthy some fruit and yogurt. Don’t forget the blanket and you’re all set up for the perfect chilled out night.

Visit a Lush shop. All Lush shops smell amazing and the staff are always super friendly and helpful! I get complimented on my hair colour pretty much every time I visit a Lush shop which always leaves me feeling good and putting a smile on my face. As well as the fact you could leave with some delicious smelly shower gel or bubble bar the staff are always happy to give you samples of things you want to try.

Pamper yourself. This brings me nicely to my next point. Spend some time relaxing, however that works for you. Whether it is running a bath, putting on a face mask or painting your nails, something that makes you feel good. Everyone runs about and is so busy during the festive period that some downtime is a must during January. For me, the ultimate way to relax is a nice bath, with a Lush bubble bar and a good book.

Eat cake. I realise this may been seen as a bit of an odd suggestion for January when most people are watching what they’re eating and trying to be healthy but you still need to have a bit of a treat as totally depriving yourself will make you binge. For me, cake is the ultimate treat. I would pick cake over chocolate any day, just as long as it had butter cream icing and lemon sponge…yum!

Cute animals. I once read somewhere that looking at cute animals can improve your productivity at work (don’t quote me on that if you get caught Googling them at work!). It definitely makes me feel better and Instagram is full of accounts for cute pets. Search any animal related hashtag on Instagram and you’re bound to find something totally adorable.

Photo by me and image produced using Canva

I’m so glad it’s the start of another year.

2016 was not a good year in general for the world but upon reflection in comparison to 2015 for me it was pretty good.

In terms of the goals I set for myself at the start of 2016 I think I’ve achieved all of them – I did blog slightly more than in 2015 and I saw more places, and more in Scotland. Mark took me to Skye in February for Valentines and we had a really fun trip, plus I got to see the fairy pools, they were pretty cool! We spent five days in Amsterdam in May. I’ve wanted to visit for a long time and it’s like nowhere I have been before. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but the fact that you just walked into the Red Light district was unexpected! We walked a lot, we drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of pancakes and caramel waffles. I also moved in with Mark last year which was pretty cool, we spent a lot of time together anyway so this way just all my stuff is here with me.

My most important goal was to have more fun during 2016, and I definitely had fun during the last year. Mark and I went to lots of good gigs and had fun days out in Scotland. We spent a weekend in June glamping and climbed two Munros in one day, the first two Mark had climbed and four and five for me.

So, 2017 is going to a bit of a strange one for me. After eight and a half years of working for the same company I’m going to be getting made redundant at the end of February. While the thought of starting somewhere new is terrifying, I’m looking forward to it and seeing it as a really good opportunity to do something I’d like to do, hopefully something creative!

I’ve said before that I’m not one for resolutions but I like to set myself some goals for the year ahead, so here are my 2017 goals.

Eat more healthy. I consider myself to be fairly healthy to start with but I want to stop picking at food that is unhealthy and having wee slips that mean I over indulge. It seems that the key to achieving this is prep, prep, prep. Which probably means dedicating one of my weekend days to making food. I like cooking so I’m pretty sure this is doable.

Blog more often. I say this every year, but this year will be more about taking time to write and plan posts.

Stress less. I’m a worrier, and a pretty highly strung person. I can worry about the day that will never come. I also don’t really take a lot of time to relax. I feel a bit guilty about sitting doing nothing, however this year I’ll be doing more of this. I want to read more, take more baths and just spend some time relaxing. I’m also planning on having at least one night a week with no devices, I know I’ll not be the only person who’s capable of spending hours sitting on social media!

Get myself an awesome new job! Apart from the fact I’ll need to get a new job, I actually want one. I don’t really have plans to take any time off or be a lady of leisure for any length of time, I really think I would be bored if I didn’t work! My current job as a PA is good but I’m not looking to be a PA for someone else. For years I’ve been interested in web content/design and social media so I’m holding out for a job in that area. If anyone is recruiting…

There you have it, my totally achievable goals for this year. Have you set any resolutions or goals for this year? I’d love to hear them!

Photo by me