My Year in Review: 2018, the Second Quarter

An Ethereal Vintage Evening Dress for the UK Blog Awards: Ivory 70s chiffon dress with balloon sleeves, rhinestones on the bodice and a high neck with pussy bow | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog

We’re halfway through the year already and I can’t quite believe it – nor can I believe some of the things that have happened (or not happened) in the last three months…!

As I type we’re in the middle of England doing well in the World Cup and we actually won a penalty shoot-out (which is totally unheard of).

We’re experiencing yet another hot, sunny day… the weather is unreal right now in the UK.

We still haven’t moved house and I’m now at the “getting pi$$ed off with everyone involved” stage.

I honestly think I’ve been transported to some strange place and time because three months ago this is NOT what I thought would be happening in my life at the beginning of July…!

I may have spoken too soon about the World Cup – by late Saturday afternoon we’ll know if England have beaten Sweden to get to the semi-finals, so I may well be back in the real world of being English and disappointed by football within 24 short hours of this post getting published (I can be hopeful but I’ve had this feeling every four years for the last 28 years). And who knows, maybe the countless phone calls and messages left for our property lawyers where the house is concerned means we’ll have a moving date by that time too? I’m not holding my breath – I think we have more chance of winning the World Cup to be honest… 😉

This month sees my birthday and 7th blogiversary on the 23rd – I always write a blogiversary post on the day musing about something to do with blogging. This year I can promise another good one worth a read (should be good for a laugh), don’t miss it!

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So without further ado, here’s what happened (or DIDN’T happen but should have) during April, May and June…

 

My year in review so far: Life

Let’s get the most grrrrr thing (that should have happened but hasn’t) out of the way, shall we?

The house move

As I’ve already mentioned WE HAVEN’T MOVED YET. (Can you hear my teeth grinding?!) If I described all the errors and slackness (my word) from solicitors, brokers and lenders that have taken place you just wouldn’t believe me – or maybe you would if you’ve moved house recently! We wanted to move before the end of June, that came and went with more delays cropping up. Two weeks ago just one more bit of admin had to be sorted – it was a simple matter which could have been sorted with a FAX of all things, but one fortnight and many, many left messages later for all concerned (basically I’m doing our solicitor’s work for them) and we’ve still not been given a moving date.

I think I’ve aged about 10 years in the last three months.

Onto more positive things where the house is concerned: the response to my question about doing interiors posts once we’ve moved was a resounding ‘yes’ I’m really pleased to say. So I’ll be starting to document the house and the way we decorate and furnish it on my Stories and then hopefully continue it with perhaps one blog post a month about what we’ve been doing to make it our home. I’m still looking forward to moving, but good GOD the services involved are making me grind my teeth down to nothing 🙁

The other thing I’ll be able to do in the new house is vlogs/video tutorials. The new house is open plan and has much more space, so leaving a tripod out with background and lights too won’t be as much of a problem as it is in our terraced cottage!

The weather

When you’re British, the weather deserves a header all of its own. Especially as we went from snow around Eastertime to a heatwave within three weeks. We’re still enjoying gorgeous weather now, with only a handful of slightly cold or rainy days since the end of April. It’s been a truly glorious summer so far. It’ll be one of the ones that we wistfully talk about in future years, Do you remember the Summer of 2018…?! Our new house has a large lawn which we want to landscape over the summer – I hope the weather lasts long enough for us to do that (it’s a new build all painted white so we won’t need to decorate).

Leisure time

In May we went to the Blade Runner Secret Cinema in London and had the MOST amazing time.

Futuristic 1940s Style Outfit for the Blade Runner Secret Cinema: striped shirt dress with pillbox hat and birdcage veil, clear raincoat (cosplay \ fancy dress \ costume) | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style blog

You don’t get to dress up dystopian-rainy-LA-in-the-future style (with a touch of the 1940s) every day – we loved it. I’m up for fancy dress anytime, and this was the ultimate.

Last month was also when I discovered the TV series Outlander – HOW had I not watched this before?? I happened to catch the first ever episode on a rerun on More4 and decided to carry on watching it on Prime… I have now finished all three seasons (I binge-watched them all whilst packing boxes) and am now totally addicted. Season 4 comes out at the end of the year and I cannot wait: I now know what is known as “Droughtlander”!

I also mentioned the World Cup already. I haven’t felt proud to be English (where football is concerned) for a very, very long time – I didn’t even support England during the last World Cup as they were such a shameful bunch of individuals, on AND off the pitch. This time the England team is young, fresh, hopeful and inexperienced. But they’ve been doing so well and as I type, Brazil have been beaten by Belgium. We actually have a chance of winning the World Cup. I cannot even FATHOM what it would be like to win, but I know it would be the best thing ever for the country. National feel-good factors are often thin on the ground and this would be one of them #Football’sComingHome

 

My year in review so far: Career

I’ve had a pretty good three months, with lots of interesting projects and lovely events to attend. I’ve been on a fantastic mini spa break in Bath, I went to a garden party in Richmond (trying on diamonds!) and I enjoyed some great press events. Lots of train travel – and regular work coming in I’m glad to say.

However, the major thing that happened was that I won at the UK Blog Awardsagain. I was blathering on beforehand about how there was no way I could possibly win for a second time (why would they choose the same winner two years in a row?), but somehow I did it. I couldn’t be more surprised, or more PROUD to represent the older blogger in the fashion category. It did wonders for my career over the last 12 months; although there’s no way to measure it, I’m sure the first win last year made my profile rise dramatically. So hopefully the rise in profile might continue again for the next year; I need to work my socks off and really earn that title.

Fashion & Beauty Winner at the UK Blog Awards 2018, Not Dressed As Lamb

Will I enter next year? I can say I will 100% definitely NOT be entering again. There’s a very, very good reason why I won’t (and can’t) enter again. I can’t tell you anything right now, but I will as soon as I’m able #cryptic 😉

Things always wind down over the summer where blogging is concerned, and the “summer blogging lull” usually starts around now. But although I may not be publishing new posts quite as often as I have always done (currently about one or two posts per week as opposed to three or four), but I intend for that to change once we move and are reasonably settled in. Moving house in the summer is quite handy where the quiet blogging period is concerned, but come September I’ll be firing on all cylinders.

 

My year in review so far: Health

After my operation in January my leg is slowly getting better – or rather, it’s sort of getting better. I had a follow-up MRI scan which showed that the cyst is still there, but that’s not necessarily bad news. Until we get the results of the next MRI (which I’ll have four months later) we won’t know how fast-growing it is.

Unfortunately despite getting slowly back into exercise I’ve put on a ton of weight (two stone/25lb/12kg) over the last two years and I HAVE to shift it to protect my health. I wrote the other week about how none of my summer clothes fit – even the bigger ones I bought last summer because I didn’t have anything that fitted even then – and I’ve had to buy practically a whole new summer wardrobe. I cannot fit into ANYTHING I already owned apart from some loose summery blouses and t-shirts. Dresses are my friend right now, so that explains why there are so many new ones in my outfit posts this summer.

Both Keith and I need to get fit, and we’re at that really hard stage: Starting. It has to happen because we’re not getting any younger and this is the point in our lives where too little exercise, a bad diet and too little sleep could have some SERIOUS repercussions on our health. I want us to make some major changes, so hopefully by the next installment of this series I’ll have some positive news where our fitness is concerned!

 

My year in review so far: Loved ones

Riley is doing well. He goes to the vet once a month for a check up on his tumour and to get another month’s dose of painkillers. He eats well, he’s endearingly clingy and really demands attention (which we’re happy to give in abundance). He loves walking. And walking, and walking and walking. We appreciate every moment we have with him and are so pleased that he’s had enough monthly check-ups for us to know that the tumour is very slow growing. Of course it could flare up at any time, but he’s doing so much better than we could have ever hoped.

We just can’t wait to move so that he gets to enjoy the big expanse of grass our new back garden has. If you’ve ever seen him on my Instagram Stories you’ll know how he loves rolling around on grass!

I’m so glad June is over because Keith has suffered terribly with hayfever all his life, and June is always his bad month. Due to the glorious summer his hayfever this year has probably been the worst it’s ever been due to the crazy-high pollen counts, but hopefully it will ease off very soon.

And finally: We had a family birthday party last weekend and thought it would be a good idea to have a tug of war. Word of warning: don’t use an old rope like we did. A few seconds into a VERY competitive tug of war (where we were all really, REALLY trying), the rope broke and we all fell backwards hard. Unfortunately in the tumble my sister broke her wrist – it was her 60th birthday that day. What a way to celebrate it, poor thing…! She lives in Australia and was due to fly back on Friday – she may not be able to fly back on that date depending on what the doctor says.

So there’s my thought of the day: Don’t use an old rope for tug of war unless you want to end up in A&E on your birthday 🙁

ARE YOU WATCHING THE WORLD CUP? ARE YOU ALSO A MASSIVE OUTLANDER FAN? ARE YOU ALSO GETTING UNUSUALLY HOT WEATHER? TELL ME ALL IN THE COMMENTS!

Catherine

LIKE THIS POST? YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ…

My Year in Review: 2018, the First Quarter

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27 Comments

  1. Hayley Collins
    July 31, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    Stunning pictures! I like this round up. Your outfits are awesome. Take care!

  2. July 10, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    Wow! What a whirlwind few months you’ve had. I know I hear from you pretty much every day on our WhatsApp chat, so I know everything that’s been going on, but it’s really quite amazing when you see it all together in one post! So, congratulations on your UKBA win and on your career, which continues to go from strength to strength. Good luck with the move and…I can’t wait to read your birthday post. Lots of love my darling friend xxxx

  3. July 8, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    Great post. I’m very jealous about the Blade Runner secret cinema.

    Fingers crossed for your house move progress and I can completely symphathise about the dress size dilemma – me too.

    Sounds like you’ve had a wonderful, busy and colourful quarter.

    • catherine
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:22 pm

      Secret Cinema was so incredible Fi – I’m SO glad we got tickets and went!! Thank you my lovely x

  4. July 7, 2018 / 11:24 pm

    Oh darling, hope the move date is imminent, house moves are so stressful but you are nearly there. What an amazing year for you guys. Interesting re June with hayfever as the last two years I’ve suffered terribly in June. Taking antihistimine every day at mo but maybe now it’s July, I don’t need it. Such a pain as we want to be outside but so frustrating with streaming eyes etc. Lots of love x

    • catherine
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 3:56 pm

      Liz of What Lizzy Loves gave a great tip in her hayfever post, Vicki: use special hayfever drops for the eyes… Keith has hardly had to rub his eyes since he’s been using it, and normally they are really sore and always streaming! Hope your hayfever clears up soon – and thank you for the lovely comment X

  5. July 7, 2018 / 9:29 pm

    Wow, you have been a busy bee! It’s nice to look back though and see what you have accomplished. So good to hear that Riley is doing better. Goodluck with the house/move. Always a pain but once things settle down it will be better. Hang in there!

    Maureen

    • catherine
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 3:57 pm

      Thank you Maureen – I shall be so pleased when we are finally settled and Riley gets to enjoy the garden!

  6. July 7, 2018 / 8:36 pm

    How wonderful to come in from a day of “playing outside” in gorgeous Washington D.C. weather and have a newsy post from you! It’s a treat to keep up with you and your events. Congrats on the blog win, have faith in the house process and I’m sending you, Keith, and Riley healthy vibes! Now, if you have any spare motivation, please send it my way. I’ve been neglecting my blog for a few months but have been enjoying spring/summer so much, it’s been hard to focus. =) Cheers!

    • catherine
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      Blogging is definitely hard to commit to when the weather is glorious, MM! Thank you, and yes, if (or rather, WHEN) I get motivated and things start to shift on the dress size front I’ll share x

  7. July 7, 2018 / 8:36 pm

    How wonderful to come in from a day of “playing outside” in gorgeous Washington D.C. weather and have a newsy post from you! It’s a treat to keep up with you and your events. Congrats on the blog win, have faith in the house process and sending you, Keith, and Riley healthy vibes! Now, if you have any spare motivation, please send it my way. I’ve been neglecting my blog for a few months but have been enjoying spring/summer so much, it’s been hard to focus. =) Cheers!

  8. July 7, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    What a lovely busy year you’ve had so far! Nice to re-visit some of your career markings. thanks for hosting too. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • catherine
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:27 pm

      Aww thanks so much Jacqui! x

  9. July 7, 2018 / 6:34 pm

    Oh, I’m so glad to hear Riley is doing so well! Can’t wait to see pictures of him in his new yard (which WILL HAPPEN!). Sorry about all the moving nonsense. It *is* awful. And you will get through it and the pain will be forgotten as you fall in love with your new house (like labor pain!).

    Cryptic? CRUEL! Ha!

    Bettye

  10. July 7, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    A wonderful round-up. You have had a busy first six months. Hopefully, you get to move soon. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

  11. July 7, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    You certainly had a whirlwind half year!!!! You and your husband are so adorable–might I suggest he put his hair up in a man bun? ( I say this because I am obsessed with man buns. I’m begging my sons to grow their hair long again–Im THAT mom!)
    Hope the remainder of the year brings more fabulousness for you!!!!

  12. July 7, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    You and hubby look so good Catherine!! I hope you move into the new house SOON!
    xx
    Joi|www.inmyjoi.blogspot.com

  13. July 7, 2018 / 4:00 pm

    Brilliant round up Catherine & wowzers what an awesome 6 months!
    Don’t get too caught up in the house move shenanigans mate, it’s the same for everyone in the UK. The system is diabolical & desperately needs sorting but until then what you’re experiencing is par for the course. I know you’ll be in that fabulous new house before too long then you can start living the life you’ve dreamed of for so long xx

  14. I’ve enjoyed your roundup Catherine! Sorry to hear you haven’t moved yet – all I can say is after a month of being in your new home the stress of moving will all be forgotten. Interested to hear why you aren’t entering for the blog awards. I’m a fellow Outlander fan – it’s so good. I’m worried it’ll be the last series – I mean where can it go from here..? xx

  15. July 7, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    Massive Outlander fan right here! They just wrapped Season 4 and I can’t wait!!!! Great roundup! Congrats on the second award. I hope things get better with your leg and health. I’m also on a mission to lose weight. Working part-time at a coffee shop whilst writing and blogging does not do wonders for your waistline. Hope the second half of the year is even better than the first half!

  16. Jodie
    July 7, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    It’s so fun to catch up wit life this way!!
    Isn’t Outlander the best?? The books were even better, so if you want to get away from the stress of the move (or non move yet as the case may be), you ought to check them out. I am so impressed with how well they brought the books to tv.
    XOXO
    Jodie

  17. Roswyn Glenny
    July 7, 2018 / 10:18 am

    Outlander is by far the best series to be on TV, the books are amazing and the series even more so. Diana Gabaldon’s writing is so real and wonderful, waiting impatiently for her next book and Season 4 later in the year, glad you have discovered it, enjoy.

  18. Jo Carver
    July 7, 2018 / 8:58 am

    Huge, massive, positively obsessed fan of Outlander. I have read the whole series of books more than twice (read the first novel over 20 years ago!). My three daughters are also obsessed – two 18 year olds and a 22 year old new Mum who has had plenty of time at odd hours of the day to binge watch the tv series!

    I also have an old fur baby (a tabby cat) who is suffering from a tumour of some sort so every day with her is a bonus. Last week I witnessed her having a fit which has rocked my world massively. The vets have been fantastic and while she is in no pain I’m hanging on to her….

    I recently discovered your blog and absolutely love it! You’ve made me look at my wardrobe in a different light and some old faithfuls have made a reappearance instead of being discarded in the charity bag! I loved the pink M&S skirt so much I bought one which then lead me to sewing a similar one with some lovely fabric – I haven’t sewn anything for myself for an age so thank you for getting me back to a hobby I’ve loved since sewing classes at school!

  19. Kareema
    July 7, 2018 / 8:37 am

    Hi Catherine, Great post. Huge congrats on your well deserved award. Bladerunner is one of my fave films….your both look fabulous in your outfits. So glad to hear gorgeous Riley is doing ok and that you are also recovering after your op. We have moved house a number of times and my daughter and her fiancé are currently purchasing their first home together…..it is the most frustrating process…our last house move reduced me to tears and I am not a crier! You will get there, keep pestering! Looking forward to seeing your lovely new home xxx

  20. July 7, 2018 / 8:07 am

    I hate cryptics! I am a curious person About sillicitors, can you believe their writing language!! My goodness. But be positieve, you WILL move! Happy weekend!

  21. July 7, 2018 / 12:35 am

    Congratulations on both the award AND your blogiversary! Praying that things shift quickly on the house for you…

  22. July 7, 2018 / 12:29 am

    Wow! What a great roundup, C. How busy have you been? Sorry to hear you’re not moved yet. It’s a PIA but you will forget very quickly once you are all safely ensconced.

    Loved your Bladerunner outing.

    Good to hear Riley is doing well .. you know how much I love to see him on your stories.

    Sorry I don’t comment much .. I read all your posts just my life is crazy busy with my new biz amongst other things.

    Really enjoyed reading this .. hope your ‘second half’ {see how I did that?} is as good if not better xoxo

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