Sunday, 9 April 2017

20 Facts About Me

I've been tagged in this pay it forward thing a few times on Instagram over the last few weeks, so I decided that rather than go through it on there, I might turn it into a post and maybe even elaborate on a few of the facts. It also means that unless you really wanted to read them, you won't be able to without clicking through, so I won't be clogging up people's timelines with my ramblings!

I've a feeling that this is going to be a lot harder than I'm currently hoping it won't be, but I'll give it a bash anyway.

1. I'm 30 years old, turned 30 in the September of last year (only had the tiniest of meltdowns and there's a five / six year gap between my husband and myself - depending on the time of year it is. This has always been a bone of contention between us, as I'm the older one in the relationship. He told me the first time I met him he was actually three years older than me, giving himself a very generous extra nine years there. Interestingly, everyone always thinks he's older as he just acts so much more mature than me.

{apart from in this picture!}

2. I told Shane within a month of meeting him that I was going to be married before I was thirty (I was 24 at the time) and I told him that he could jump ship early on if he didn't see it happening. He said that it sounded good to him, and that he'd stick it out for a while - I ended up marrying him at the age of 29 last year, so he made good on that plan.

3. I'm a primary school teacher, currently working in Learning Support for this year. I never wanted to be a teacher, I wanted to be an optomitrst (super exciting child!) but didn't get the points in my Leaving Cert that would have allowed me to study it. I can't imagine doing anything else now, mainly because I'm not sure I'd be able to do anything else.

4. I can speed read. I absolutely love reading, but go through books way too quickly. People don't believe that I can read as fast as I can, but when they question me on what I've read it changes their mind pretty fast. When we were renting, we didn't have any storage in our tiny apartment so I gave a lot of my books away to charity, and it still upsets me now as I've had to start my collection again, and some of the books I haven't been able to find.

5. I used to work in a video store in college, and for a while after. It was the most favourite job I've ever had, and is the reason why I love watching films and movies so much. I currently have over a thousand dvds in our attic, and I'm just waiting for Shane to build me some storage in our sitting room for them to go into. I actually truly wanted to work there for the rest of my life, until my mum rang me and gave out to me one day and told me I was wasting my degree. Luckily, I listened to her as the entire chain closed down two years ago.

6. I lost weight for my wedding to Shane and for my 30th birthday last year - 11 stone 8 pounds to be exact. People don't really believe me when I say that I've lost that much weight, but it's only because I've been very lucky and haven't been left with much excess skin. I did it through using Slimming World, and be changing up the different ways I was eating. I gained the weight when I was sick - copious amounts of steroids and terrible eating habits will do that to you.

{My before picture - what a stunner!!}

7. I needed another (!) challenge after losing the weight, so I decided to also stop smoking. I'd been smoking over ten years, and knew I needed to stop, so I did. Both of us decided to stop, cold turkey, and nearly nine months later,  we're still managing it. I still want one from time to time, but I'm just trying my best with it.

8. I was the representative for Ireland for the Woman of The Year Awards with Slimming World last year. Despite having the biggest weightloss on the stage (by one pound) I didn't win the competition. I know everyone talks about the job of been nominated, but let's be real for a minute, when you know you've got the most weightloss of everyone on the stage you start to feel a bit confident, and it doesn't help when the person who wins has lost over three stone less than you. I'm still following the slimming world plan, but I'm definitely moving away from the corporate machine that the company itself is.

{My after picture}

9. I've discovered a love for cooking I never had before in the last few years. We used to be big advocates of ready meals and deep fat fryers, but now I actually get very little greater pleasure than when I try a new recipe for the first time, and it works out. I've started collecting cookbooks, and I love looking through them to see what I can try to make next - so far, I've been concentrating on sweet treats and cakes, so may have to balance it out, and try my hand at some savory dishes soon.

10. I hate our house. Well, that's not strictly true - I hate the amount of work that we have had to do to get our house halfway up to scratch, and the amount of work that's left to do with it on both the inside and the outside. I'm starting to like parts of it, and I definitely have favourite rooms, but on the other side of it, I still have rooms that I actually loathe.

11. I have become a little bit obsessed with decorating and renovating our house - I'm sure anyone who knows me is sick to death of hearing about it at this point. The reason we've become so into it is because we had to - prices are very high where we live, and unfortunately, the only place we could afford had to be a fixer upper. This is also one of the reasons I've gotten into upcycling as much as I have - it's miles cheaper, and it means that when you've finished with a piece, it almost feels like you've put a bit of you into it - there's such a sense of pride when it turns out the way you envisaged it. We both knew that in order to live in the countryside where we're based we wouldn't be able to walk into a ready made house, and I know that in years to come, we're going to be so grateful that we didn't cave and buy a ready made house in a town.

12. I love flowers, and by flowers I don't mean ones you have to grow - I mean ones that you buy, from a florist or a shop. Shane totally helped cultivate this habit of buying flowers by buying them for me randomly. I've since had to put him on a ban for doing that as, as much as they're pretty and I love having them around the house, they were starting to cost us a solid fortune. I've since purchased some high quality faux flowers, and you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference (and that's coming from a flower fanatic!)

13. My first ever concert I went to on my own. I was meant to go with my sister, and we didn't realise it was an over 18's gig, so when we turned up she wasn't allowed in. It was for Jason Mraz, who we both loved (although I may have loved him a little bit more) and as she was going to be seeing him at a festival later that year, she told me to go in without her, and she went to my Aunt's house instead. It was the wierdest experience being there on my own, but also best - I would have really regretted not getting to see him if I hadn't gone in. I still have the poster that I bought from the gig hanging up in our house - it's currently in my bathroom.

{check the date - exactly eight years ago today!}

14. The best gig I've ever been to was an Ed Sheeran one. Shane had found this random singer on Youtube back in 2011, whose music he liked, and he found out he was playing in Dublin. Tickets were E17.50 (!!!)  so we said we may as well go and have a night out anyway. It was THE most amazing gig I've ever been at - two / three hundred people, a three hour long playlist and bragging rights for the rest of our lives that we got to see Ed Sheeran before people even knew who he was.

15. When I was 22 I went travelling around Europe with a travel group. I went on my own from Ireland as nobody else wanted to do it, and I wanted to tick as many places off my list as quick as I could over the Summer break. I joined a group of about 50 people, most of them from Australia and New Zealand and over three weeks, and long bus rides we visited 10 different countries around Europe. Most memorable highlights were losing my purse and all my cards in Rome, getting lost (whilst drunk on absinsth) in Prague and dancing on tables in Switzerland. One of the most rewarding experiences I've had - got to meet some really lovely people, but most importantly I proved to myself that I didn't need anyone to hold my hand - I could do it on my own.

16. We haven't had a honeymoon yet. We've had a mini moon where we went over to London for a few days after the wedding to relax, and just take in the time to realise we had got married. We put off going on a honeymoon as ultimately we had to make the decision between working on our house or going abroad to the sun for a week or two, and we made the sacrifice knowing that although we could go away whenever we wanted we'd still have to return to the house every day. We've booked our honeymoon for this Summer instead, nearly a year and a half after the wedding, and I'm so excited that not only are we going to the place I always wanted to honeymoon in, I'm not going to be as depressed coming home after it because we'll be coming home to a house that's nearly finished.

17. I'm terrified of dogs. As in, I have a genuine fear of them - it doesn't matter how small or how big they are, I can't be around them. It does make life a little bit harder as I can't even go for a walk or a jog near where we live as I know our neighbours have dogs that are off their leases in their gardens, Nothing makes me angrier than when an owner tells me "they're so gentle, they wouldn't hurt a fly". I don't think any owner can guarantee that - just because your pet who loves you, who you feed, who you take care hasn't bit you doesn't mean that they're not going to be gentle with everyone.

18. One of the best things that Shane has ever done for me was to bring home our cat, Rumple. Shane actually named it after one of our favourite characters from a show that we watch, and it couldn't be a more suitable name as he's such a complete messer. He's such good company when I'm on my own and Shane's at work, and when he's relaxed and not jumping all around the place like a maniac he really does give the best cuddles. I'm in love.

19. I don't have a lot of very close friends. I have a lot of friends, and people I'm friendly with and acquaintances but very few people who I'd be able to tell whatever I wanted to. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, I just find that as I've got older, I've realised that sometimes the people who are listening to your worries and your problems aren't listening out of the good of their hearts, but rather are listening because of alternative motives. There's nothing wrong with talking to people, but I've come to the realisation that it doesn't mean you've got to tell them everything. I become so much better at being my own company, but it took me a long time to get here.

20. I set up this website for me. I wanted to be able to document the work that we've had to go through working on our house. I feel like with the likes of Instagram, everything always looks so pretty and polished, and that's not always the case. There's always the work that has gone into making everything look as good as it does. I wanted to have all my pretty pictures ready to share, but also show the makings of what went on behind the scenes to get it there. With the weightloss, I also had a few people asking about food that I had been eating, and I thought that writing down and documenting my food might also be a good idea. The last thing I wanted to do is just document our lives. Shane has one of the worst memories going, and I'm not too great either. Documenting what we're doing week to week for one year I thought would show just exactly what we've got up to, and maybe even help us try and do some more fun things and not just get bogged down in our renovations. It's been tough remembering to update it every week, but it also has brought me out of my comfort zone - I'm so aware that I want to have something to write about at the end of a week, that it makes me get up, get out and do things I wouldn't have dreamed of before.

That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I may have stopped a few times to make some food, change my clothes, give Rumple cuddles - all the usual methods of procrastination that I normally do, but I made it. Twenty facts all about me - done.


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