January - A Look Back at 2022, What's to come and dates for the diary.
I say this every year but I honestly can not believe how quick 2022 has been and gone. We entered 2022 not really knowing what was going to happen after lockdown and fearing another lockdown at the start of 2022, thankfully that didn't happen and everyone tried to get back to there normal lives resulting in literally everyone we know catching Covid and every other bug going.
We are going to take a look back through 2022 and recap then I am going to talk about what we have planned for a brand spanking new year. I hope you enjoy reading and I would love to hear what you all have planned.
We have had quite a busy year actually, we holidayed in Scotland, London and had quite a few days out which we really enjoyed. We didn't holiday abroad because there was just so much uncertainty still surrounding Covid and so many different rules. 2022 saw us say goodbye to our camper Brenda as she just needed too much work doing to her and instead we went electric which has been great.
Our adventures in 2022 included a trip with Caledonian Travel to London which was ok. We did the coach tour taking in the sights and then had a wander around London on our first day and our second day we went to Harry Potter world which was over hyped, too expensive and too busy. We are Harry Potter fans but not over the top so it was a bit boring. If you do go I would suggest taking your own food You can read about our trip HERE.
We stayed in Dumfries for a week and had a great time. Craig and I stayed in Weardale for a few days whilst the boys went away with Scouts for a few days which was total bliss it was a gorgeous little hut.
Day trips included
Castle Howard - Christmas which was just breath-taking and we do recommend a visit.
Beamish - We visit throughout the year using our annual friends of Beamish pass we loved the elf trail for Christmas.
Theatre shows - Highlight was definitely Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks at Sunderland Empire
Northumberland Country Zoo - Our first visit since the boys were tiny and we really enjoyed it.
Fountains Abbey was a fantastic day out, the place is massive and we really enjoyed exploring.
Explored Ripon - We love Yorkshire but had never really explored Ripon, I'm so glad we did we love the place.
Alton Towers - We visited for the first time using our Merlin Passes, to be brutal it was disappointing and totally over hyped in my opinion.
Blackpool - We visit Blackpool a few times every year, we made use of our Merlin passes on our last visit and visited Sealife, Tower, Madame Tussauds . The highlight was The Tower we really enjoyed it. The other two places not so much.
Nightfall - We managed to get to Nightfall this year and it is so worth it if you can get tickets.
National Trust - We love our passes and use them regularly so we visited all of our favourites more than once.
Alpaca Walking in Yorkshire with Butterwick Alpacas. The whole experience was fantastic.
Pumpkin Picking - We did visit our usual in Pickering but we did visit a brand new patch not far from our house.
Sunflower picking - We visited East Durham Grange to see what all the hype was about. It was a great experience but it is basically walking around in a field picking sunflowers there's not much else to do.
NYMR Light show - This was without a doubt one of the best things we did in 2022 it was fantastic and will be a regular event in our diary.
Horse Riding - The boys went Horse Riding for the first time and loved it.
Floors Castle - Even though we lived 5 minutes from the Castle we visited for the first time last year for my birthday. Such a good day out.
Reopening of crook hall - It was great to see National Trust reopen Crook Hall. Find something else to do in the area though as its not a full day out.
and I am sure there's lots lots more I have missed off.
We all had Covid in 2022 at different times which was just strange, Elliot was ill with it at Easter and then everyone else had it in July. (I think it was a gift brought back from London) Then In December we had whatever the Bacterial Bronchitis thing that was all about. We were ill at the same time with this, thanks to quick (ish) action from our GP with Antibiotics and rest we were ok for Christmas.
Fingers crossed for a better year health wise.
As you all know if you follow us on social media, for Christmas we try to do a mix of gifts, and then the rest of the gifts are experiences to use throughout the year. We did this one year when we moved back from Scotland just before Christmas and we had little money so we looked for ways to make Christmas a bit different and then we ended up doing experiences which the boys loved and preferred.
What else happened in 2022?
Adam Started full time college and got himself a part time job which was different, Toby started college 2 days a week to start his GCSEs leaving us with Just Elliot 2 days a week which was just strange at first but we have now got a good routine set. We still Home educate and continue to do so.
We took advantage of our outdoor space and created a great wildlife haven with lots of lovely plants everywhere. Summer turned 9 Iris turned 3 last year. Summer is starting to slow down a bit now so we are just enjoying whatever time we do have left with her now as she is a large breed and will be 10 in August. Toby added two new pets with his Rats Eddie and Dustin.
The blog continued to grow in 2022 seeing the following shoot up which we are really please about, I have realised who can and can't be trusted in the blogging world with one standing out in particular taking it upon herself to bad mouth us when she doesn't even know me so I am looking forward to seeing how Karma handles that one. We have quite a few plans for the blog for the new year with a few new sections being added and lots more so do please keep an eye out.
The boys will be turning 17, 15 & 11, Nana will be 80 so we will be having a big celebration. Adam is planning driving lessons as we speak ready for when he turns 17. Toby will be starting police cadets whilst Adam enters year 3. All three will continue with Scouts.
We have been planning our holidays for 2023 and we are looking to at least book two abroad holidays for 2023 maybe Tunisia and Rome I'm not 100% Sure yet because Alaska is also on my radar as well as visiting my family in New Zealand. I will keep you all updated on what we decide though. We are planning on a Scotland, Cornwall, Wales and Yorkshire trip too. We have been talking about places we want to visit and we have quite an impressive list so far so you will have to keep an eye out on social media for updates.
I am planning on getting back into Fitness now that I know my limits with my knee. So we will be doing lots of walks, hunting for hidden gems and just exploring.
I really want to work on Instagram and continue to expand on Facebook. I have just bought a GoPro and we are planning to video some of our day trips I just need to build on my confidence first.
I never really do resolutions or say the usual 'new year new me' because no one ever sticks to any of it, there's no point, but I do have some things I want to get done in 2023. The only "resolution" I have for myself is to be kinder to myself
*January we always do a clear out of toys, clothing, books and like to start our year as clutter free as possible. I don't really buy myself that many things over the year anyway but for 2023 I would really like to try and get things preloved and reuse. I have never been a fan of buying new and throwing things away. Plus the planet could do with the extra help.
*Nature Journal - This was on my list last year but I didn't stick with it, however for 2023 one of the goals I have is to spend as much time outdoors. So look out for the updates who knows I may even publish the journal.
*In 2020 we challenged ourselves to do 30 nature reserves in 30 days for the wildlife trusts 30 days wild challenge. We almost managed it but Adam had a terrible accident whilst out on his bike and badly broke his arm so for that summer we had to rejig our plans so he could rest. We would love to give this another go this year. We are really going to be stepping up our conservation game for 2023 and want to help out in any way we can. I am passionate about reducing plastic use, tree preservation and local wildlife which has rubbed off on the boys.
*Weekends off. This is something I started doing last year and it was so good for my mental health. As a writer I literally spend every waking hour either online or writing, so the weekends off I allowed myself were so refreshing. I left my phone upstairs all day, laptop turned off and just enjoyed no tech. We watched movies with no interruptions or the temptation to just check my notifications, we went on walks and although I did have my phone for emergencies I took time to use my camera again. It was wonderful and I intend on doing it again for the foreseeable. Another thing I have started doing is down time from 9pm and I switch my phone to flight mode and that's it for the night. This has been helping as I sometimes suffer with Insomnia plus it gives Craig and I some time to just relax.
*As I said above I plan to expand the blog and basically keep doing what we have been doing. Producing good quality articles, working with fantastic businesses, and just enjoy the new year and see where it leads. I have set myself a new target of 30k on Facebook by next Christmas. Fingers crossed. I have stopped setting yearly targets on Instagram because it is just all over the place.
*Books - So in 2019 I set myself a goal of writing a children's book. I did that and for some silly reason I have not published it. So for 2023 I am going to publish my children's book and work on my cookery book that has been in the pipelines since forever. I do have a few other books which are a work in progress.
*Step up my photography, I have always loved Photography but I go through stages where I just fall out of love with it. I am really going to be focusing on this for 2023
For Dates in the diary Check out my Post HERE which is full of special dates, social media dates, new movies and more.
Thanks for all of the support throughout 2022 I hope you find inspiration and you continue on this journey with us for 2023.