2016.  What a messed up year.  We lost so many greats- Bowie, Wood, even Wogan.  It was also the year of Brexit and all that came with that, oh and of course not to mention Trump.

On a personal level 2016 was the year of heartbreak, frustration, and incredibly poor timing. Even Brad and Angelina didn’t make it…

The year started out happy, promising and with a man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with.  Somehow along the way that all turned to shit and I went from practically killing myself on a horse to one of the worst years as a family since Mum died.

I remember last year writing a post about how I wasn’t going to make any new year’s resolutions and I’m kinda glad I did- failing at impossible goals was the last thing I needed in 2016.  Let’s face it- we all promise ourselves in December that next year will be ‘our year’, we’ll climb a mountain, or live entirely off green vegetables.  Nothing like the cold reality of disappointment when you realise it’s not your year, you can’t even climb the stairs without tripping up, and McDonalds know you so well they offer your ‘usual’ as soon as you walk in…

Of course we all go into a new year with the best intentions but if I’m totally honest 2016 for me, and many of my chums, was a pretty turbulent year filled with inopportune events. This included my horrendous riding accident in February, the day before I was going on a course I’d been waiting AGES to get a place on, work frustrations and just generally terribly poor timing on a number of things.  I even found an amazing personal trainer and after only a few sessions she told me she’s off to a new job.  Sucks.  To be fair we’ll stay mates but she’s a bloody beast in the gym and I’m going to miss her and that peachy butt sooo much!

This year I think the only resolution I want to make (and it’s not really a resolution) is to continue exercising as much as I can.  Exercise is an escape. It provides time to get lost in your thoughts, or just lose your thoughts to pushing yourself, and you feel so good afterwards it’s a no brainer for me.   I think to be honest this is more a continuation of a lifestyle than a resolution and if you look at something like that it’s not something you’ll easily break.

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Gemma to the power of two = double trouble…

Anyone that knows me knows that I like to be in another country for New Year’s Eve, and this year is no exception.  I’m dashing off for Christmas too this time- today I’m flying to Australia for almost four weeks armed with a year’s supply of freelance savings, a couple of new bikinis and my oldest friend in the world.

I’ve known Gemma since she was born (just under a year after me) and her Mum was BFF’s with mine. We grew up together and had the cutest childhood.  I think one of the reasons we’re such close friends is we’ve got that much dirt on each other it would be lethal not to stay that way!  This girl has been through SO much this year and come out stronger and happier than ever and I’m so proud of her and everything she does.  I am privileged to have so many good friends in my life- they are, after all, the family we choose.  She’s more of a sister to me, and what this girl doesn’t know about me isn’t worth knowing.  This year we’ve got each other through what we now refer to as  ‘Black Sunday’, ‘dark August’ and all the other utter rubbish times this year- from not being able to walk, to ALL the boy dramas, and from work issues to family chaos.

You know when you have that friend that you don’t even need to say anything to and you know exactly what the other person is thinking.  This is Gemma.  We just get each other.


Heartbreak was everywhere this year.  Couples that I literally thought would be together for the long haul seemed to fall apart left, right and centre.  I started the year with a man I genuinely thought I’d be with until I was grey and seriously wrinkly; it’s crazy how so much can change.  Not just within a year but within a matter of hours!  Maybe my Disney- fuelled childhood provided me with unrealistic expectations of love and romance, and a fairy tale ending is purely that- fictional.  Gin and Prosecco profits will definitely be on the rise thanks to me and my pals…

To anyone I hurt or upset in 2016 I am truly sorry.  To anyone who hurt me- I hope you are too.  What a fucking roller coaster.

It’s not just been a year of heartbreak in terms of relationships but also in terms of my family situation too.  It’s so bloody fragile and it rips me to pieces on a daily basis.  I think when things are good in a family you take it for granted.  I would do anything to have my normal family life back but right now that seems like a distant dream, maybe an impossible reality.  I literally cannot wait to get away from it all and discover new places I’ve never been and run straight into the sea.  It’s a big world out there- adventure is waiting…

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    ‘All I’m after is a lifetime of laughter’  

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s that you have to surround yourself with people that lift you up.  Equally you have to lift your friends up too.  I’ve been pretty slack with a couple of friends this year and that’s something that definitely needs to change.  It’s ok to expect your friends to be there when you’re down but I also need them to know they can rely on me too.  It’s so important.

In a year when hate and anger won votes and elections it’s easy to focus on the negative but there’s actually a whole heap of things to be positive about and I have so much to be grateful for!

I just want to smile my way through 2017. Laughing is my favourite things in the world and if you are surrounded by people that can make you laugh so hard it hurts, well then life is just SO much more enjoyable.


My beautiful BFF Becky and I at the festival of dreams…

So here’s to 2017- let’s hope it’s better for all involved! You never know who you’ll meet on that spur-of-the-moment night out, or what’s waiting for you just around the corner, and don’t forget- Prince Charming comes in many different guises…Exciting times indeed!

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog, supported me and helped in any little way.  I love you all and I wish you all a Merry messy Christmas and a Bonza New Year!  I’ll see you on the other side.  Now where’s my passport…


Jem xx



I’m trying to avoid New Year resolutions this year.  I normally make a whole heap of unattainable goals for the forthcoming year.  They start off with a determined confidence­­­­­­­­ that I’ll see them through right to the end of the year then they fizzle out like a tired sparkler by about March.  Instead I’ve decided that to make some more achievable goals for 2016 that are less chore-like and more about loving life!  Making the mother of all lists of things you want to change is never going to be productive.  It’ll just get you down thinking of all the negative things.  Change rarely happens overnight so there’s no point trying to become a professional scuba diver, learn to drive a tank, lose a stone, quit eating crisps, stop biting your nails, and have an allotment all in one go. It’ll just blow your mind and you’ll feel like a failure when it doesn’t

Wanting to make your life better, happier, fuller, easier and more enjoyable can only be a good thing but just little steps towards each goal can make such a difference.

2015 was quite a year for me.  When people ask me what I’ve been up to I normally reply with ‘not much’ but when I think about it I have actually done loads this year.  I ran the London marathon, got a boyfriend, went travelling, swapped snowboarding for skiing for the first time, and my job moved to an entirely new city!  Life is for living and although I could do with winning the lottery to actually do everything and go to all the places I’d love to it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to feel like you’re actually living life to it’s fullest.

I don’t really want to make any resolutions, just build on the things that will bring happiness, health and fun into my life.


I have been loving writing my little blog for the past 18 months.  It’s a really fun hobby and because I’m such an independent person it gives me time to do something for myself where I get to be creative and actually take photos that aren’t work related.  It’s also made me look after my skin a bit more and the blogging community can be so supportive.  When you have a skin condition it can feel like you’re the only person in the world suffering with it and you feel self-conscious and like a bit of an outsider. I’ve met so many people through blogging who have similar problems with Eczema as me or just sensitive skin and it’s great to be able to talk to other people, discover new products and suggest ways other people can help themselves.  In 2016 I will make a massive effort with my blog, which leads me to my next aim…


My skin has been HORRIFIC recently.  I have yet ANOTHER dermatologist appointment in January which I doubt will make much difference.  Before Christmas I was really naughty and even though I knew what I was eating didn’t agree with me or my skin I ate it anyway.  WHY?!  It’s so stupid.   For a few minutes of taste satisfaction I’ve had weeks of skin misery.  Absolute chump.  I think half my problem has been not being prepared with meals so next year I’m going to make a conscious effort to eat more eczema-friendly foods, more organic food and try to work out exactly what it is I’m eating that’s upsetting my insides. I was diagnosed with IBS a few years ago and I know (sort of) the trigger foods for this and although it is really hard to avoid them it makes SUCH a difference.

I did a dairy exclusion diet about 6 years ago and the difference was unbelievable so I just need to be prepared with my food, take my own shizzle to work, and not get caught out with my pants down so to speak.  Preparation is key!  I can also use my blog as a sort of online diary to chart progress so that ties in my first goal of 2016 too.  Perfect Rodders!


Before Christmas I had a builder in to do some work to my bedroom and it forced me to have a bit of a clear out with some of the random crap that I’ve collected over the years. It made me realise how much stuff I have that I don’t use or that I could donate to someone who actually needs it so I think over 2016 I will be making a massive effort to move out the old stuff so there’s room for lots of new things.

This isn’t just what I need to do with all the clothes I no longer wear (the ones I keep ‘just in case’, because let’s face it- who knows when you’ll need that ten year old My Little Pony t-shirt…) but also with my life in general.  I’m so ridiculously busy all the time, work takes at least ten hours out of my day five days a week and although I love what I do most of the time it makes it so hard to see the people I love the most or do half the things I want to do or need to do.  I feel like I’ve neglected my family and old friends a lot this year and I need to make more room for them.  I think if I can try and catch up with people I haven’t seen last year at least once this year it’ll make a big difference.  Equally this means that
toxic friendships need to go too.  People change and move apart.  Just because I don’t call every week or text back straight away or tell people EVERY detail of my life doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. Everyone who knows me knows I’m late for everything, rubbish at texting when I’m busy, double book on a regular basis, and I pack WAY too much into a day.  Life gets in the way of relationships sometimes but the people that understand you the most and care about your friendship will be the ones you see once a year but when you do meet up it’s like nothing has changed.  I have a few friends in London who I haven’t been to visit at all in 2015 but I love them so much and they haven’t held this against me.

If there’s people in your life who make you feel bad about yourself and you just can’t seem to please maybe it’s time to just give them some space.  If you know you’re rubbish at keeping in touch aim to make one last effort and if it’s still not good
enough maybe there’s a reason you’re no longer close.  We can’t be BFFs with everyone and why spend time with people that make you feel worthless when you could be with people who make you feel amazing?!

If you have a busy life but it’s full of the things you love then who cares if you’re not always free. My weekends have been manic for the last few months but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love horse riding and I love being out and about.  As long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing it doesn’t matter if you occasionally miss out on other stuff.  Equally  I know I’m not perfect and I need to make more of an effort with my family and friends, I can’t expect them to be bothered if I’m not!


Running the London marathon was awesome last year. I got to do something in memory of my Mum, raise money for charity and get fit.  SOOOOO many positives from one goal.  I have really let my exercise slip since my job changed but I just need to get up earlier and move my exercise with me.  Running is free and can be done anywhere, and although nothing will compare to doing the marathon having a goal will give me something to aim towards and actually get me to move my butt!  If you feel like you’ve hit a bit of an exercise wall then maybe sign up to something with a friend or join a new club.  That way you have something to work towards or something social and fun to go to.  I have done pole dancing and yoga classes in the past and they were amazing.  Perhaps food for thought this year too.  I might try and book a yoga retreat with a chum- that way I’ll get to do something that’s good for me and be a good pal too!


I bloody love holidays! Next year I want to go to at least two countries I’ve never been before.  We’re so lucky in the UK that so many other European countries are on our doorstep, there’s also a tonne of places in the UK I’ve never been before!  This year was a good effort for someone with no time and on a budget- I managed to pack in six different countries over the year and I hope this continues into 2016.

Happy, healthy new year everyone!

J xxx

Ski-ya later 2015!!!