2018 Goals – Twelve New Months for Success, Experiences and Growth

Hey Sweeties,

I don’t know about you, but I still haven’t really adjusted to it being a new year already, I’m still in conversation saying “next year” as opposed to “in a couple of months”, and I can’t really handle that 2017 is now “last year”. Mental!

If you cast your mind back to last summer and my post about my evening at the Deliciously Ella Supper Club, I stayed overnight locally at the Half Moon pub at Herne Hill. I didn’t get a good opportunity to share the photos from that stay so I thought I would include them in this post while I share my 2018 goals.

2018 Goals – Twelve New Months for Success and Experiences

2018 goals | The Half Moon Pub Herne Hill

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Going Vegan – What has Changed Two Years On?

Hey Sweeties,

In November 2015 I wrote a post about going vegan (here) and a couple of months later I documented my experience trying out Veganuary (week 1, week 2 & 3, and week 4) as I wanted to properly explore if going vegan was sustainable for me, and I thought it was worthwhile me writing an update post to let you know what -if anything- has changed two years on.

Going Vegan: An Update

This year I feel the Veganuary campaign has gained momentum with more people seeming to be taking part, whether it just be for the month, or to explore -like I did- if going vegan works for them long term.

Going vegan

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Reflections | Four Good Things That Happened in 2017

Hey Sweeties,

Well well well, hasn’t it just been forever since I last said “hey”?! We as people and bloggers need to not apologise for periods of absence because when it’s not your job, sometimes life gets in the way of hobbies and it’s just one of those things, but I am still sorry for my absence over the last couple of months.

Because it has been so long, I completely missed posting any Christmas content so if it’s okay with you, and because we are still within the twelve days of Christmas (albeit just), I am going to post some photos from my recent trip to London that I do every year in December, to see the festive lights and decorations around the city.

2017 was an odd year for me to be honest, and while overall I won’t particularly remember it as being a good year, good things did happen and it’s these four good things I would like to reflect on in this post today.

Reflections | Four Good Things That Happened in 2017

Five Good Things That Happened in 2017

1. I made a small amount of money from blogging

About this time last year, having just witnessed this blog turn three years old (it’s now four, a birthday I also missed owing to recent events), and I said to myself ClaireySweetie needed to start earning its keep. Blogging doesn’t have to cost money, but it does, certainly while you are getting yourself started because until you get on the radar of PRs, you create content and review products you purchase yourself. Of course this never stops because it’s important to not rely on being sent items to review, and the most genuine posts are the ones that are written (and inspired) by a person’s experience. Content aside, blogs also cost money because you need to ensure your domain remains yours; your site is properly hosted; you might want to take out some advertising on social media or fellow blogger’s sites; and it’s more than likely if you are serious about creating good content, you invest in photography equipment and possibly editing software. Hobbies cost money but how great is it if every once in a while somebody pays you to do what you love? This happened for me briefly in 2017 and it was amazing, and something I need to ensure I make happen again in 2018.

2. Earned my previous employer ‘Business of the Year’

This is possibly my best achievement as my career is important to me and through taking some initiative and identifying an opportunity to get my employer some PR in the local community, I entered them into the Maidenhead and Windsor Business Awards. In total I entered them into three categories and on the night we walked away winners as ‘Business of the Year’, and finalists in the two other categories. It was a really great way to end my time with them before I pursued new opportunities elsewhere.

Five Good Things That Happened in 2017

3. Hit my salary goal

When I started my career in marketing five years ago, I have had a salary goal I wanted to hit by the time I reach my thirties. Even though I was a couple of months into my thirties when it finally happened, it did happen and I felt really proud of myself. If you work your arse off and progress yourself, you’ll hit your own goals too!

Five Good Things That Happened in 2017

Five Good Things That Happened in 2017

Five Good Things That Happened in 2017

4. Turned thirty

Believe it or not, this was a good thing and I’m pleased I’m out of my twenties. I reflected on my twenties (here), and I also learned how to give zero fucks (here) since entering a new decade of life.

Five Good Things That Happened in 2017

Five Good Things That Happened in 2017

What four good things happened to you in 2017?

Here’s hoping to a successful, safe and happy 2018 Sweeties!

Until next time x

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Autumnal Sundays and Traditional Afternoon Tea at Stoke Place

Hey Sweeties,

On a recent idyllic autumnal Sunday, my husband, my in-laws and I went for afternoon tea at Stoke Place, a 17th-century country house venue located in Buckinghamshire. I had been lucky enough to win a voucher for afternoon tea at Stoke Place in a raffle and it was the perfect way to spend an autumnal Sunday.

Afternoon Tea at Stoke Place

Stoke Place

Afternoon tea Stoke Place

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Cosy Dining and Autumnal Vibes at Bill’s Bracknell

Hey Sweeties,

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out the newly opened Bill’s* restaurant in Bracknell’s new shopping complex, The Lexicon. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between, Bill’s has a wide range of seasonal fare on offer, including a brand new autumn menu.

Bill’s Bracknell

I have only been to Bill’s restaurant once or twice before (and I think both times in Windsor), as often trying to get in on a weekend has proved a bit of a mission sometimes, so I was excited to be invited to try out the new restaurant in Bracknell. Also, Bracknell as a place is somewhere I haven’t really had much of a chance to properly visit, so I was keen to see what The Lexicon shopping complex offered local residents and visitors from (slightly) further afield like me.

Bills Bracknell

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