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My Plans For The Year 2020 And A Look Back At 2019

I don't like to set strict goals of stuff I feel I have to achieve by a certain time frame.  I think I know more than most that some things take more time and everyone's timescales are different.  Rather, I like to set goals of things I want to make more of an effort with and work towards or progress at.

This year I would like to be more sustainable which I think it an important one that a lot of people are making more of an effort with.  I aim to do this by being more conscious and mindful about what I'm consuming.  I want to reduce the amount of plastic I use.  Although I don't eat meat I want to reduce the amount of dairy I eat.

I want to take time for more self care this year.  I think this is another important goal that I would encourage everyone to set.  It doesn't mean you have to be selfish or indulgent but just once a month take the time to do something for yourself.  I always treat myself to a facial each month but I want to incorporate more massages as I think this is good for detoxing.  I also want to start mindfulness classes.

The last thing I would like to do more of this year is spend time with my family.  This is a goal that seems to reoccur each year because I get so busy with life that I sadly don't always see those closest to me.  I am religious about seeing my grandparents once a month and will continue with that but I really should see my parents and sister more, especially now I am going to be an aunt!

Now to reflect on 2019, it was actually a really really good year.  2018 definitely had its ups and downs but 2019 was pretty much all ups!  We have created this beautiful home that continues to get better and better, we got engaged, I got a big promotion at work and then I found out my sister is having a baby in May of this year so I will be an aunt for the first time!

I'm so excited for 2020, I think it's going to be another great year.  We are already planning trips to Sweden, India, Scotland, Canada and Austria.  We have a wedding to plan, more home improvements and a little niece or nephew coming!

I wish you all the best for 2020.  Please share some of your goals below!

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

San Francisco

Last month we took a trip to San Francisco.  My cousin moved there last December so we'd talked about visiting later this year depending on whether we could afford it and still had enough annual leave after Mexico.

We booked the flights about 3 months in advance and paid around £300 each with Virgin.  We thought this was a pretty good deal and it was, the only catch being we still had to add luggage on (£45 per bag each way) and could only select our seats 24 hours in advance of each flight.  This is the economy light option they now offer and if you don't mind taking the risk it's a pretty good option especially if you only plan to take one suitcase between you like we did.

The accommodation, however, was a bit more expensive for what we got and worked out around £900 for a week in a 3 star hotel in the centre.  It was basic but a really convenient location so I would happily recommend it on that basis.  It was called the Herbert Hotel on Powell Street.

San Francisco is a pretty busy city with lots to see and do so we knew we had to be super planned and organised in order to fit everything in.  I wrote an itinerary in advance to make sure we did everything we went to and attach it below.

Day 1

3.45pm – land in San Francisco

4.45pm – take BART yellow Antioch to Powell St station

5.15pm – check in to hotel

6.15pm -  head out to dinner

Day 2

Explore Nob Hill and Mission.

Day 3


Day 4

10am – take cable car to Ferry Terminal Building

10.30 – get breakfast from Farmer’s Market

11am – walk to Pier 33

12pm – take ferry to Alcatraz

2.30pm – take ferry back to Pier 33 and walk to Pier 39

3.30pm – walk to Fisherman’s Wharf

5pm – take cable car back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

Day 5

10am – breakfast in Union Square

11am – walk to Civic Centre

12pm – climb Fulton St towards Alamo Square to see Painted Ladies

1pm – lunch

3.30pm – climb Folsom to Bernal Heights Park

5pm – take the BART back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

Day 6

10am – go for breakfast

11.30am – take BART blue to Dublin/Pleasanton from Powell St

12pm – take bus 14 to Jack London outlets from E.BART

4.30pm – head back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

 Day 7

10am – take cable car to Lombard St

10.30am – walk to Hyde St, hire bikes (Blazing Saddles)

11am – cycle along water towards Fort Mason, down to Marina Boulevard

11.30am – stop at Palace of Fine Arts

12pm – continue along San Francisco Bay trail

1pm – grab lunch near Crissy Field

2pm – cycle across the bridge to Sausalito

3pm – park bikes near Marina and explore

4pm – catch ferry back to city

4.30pm – return bikes and head back to hotel

7pm – go for dinner/drinks

9pm – comedy

Day 8

11am – check out of hotel, get brunch

1pm – head to airport

5pm – fly back to London

We also visited some really lovely brunch places so I have listed these below too in case you ever visit:

Lapisara Eatery
Taylor Street Coffee Shop
Boudin Bakery
Dottie's True Blue Cafe
Gott's Roadside

One thing I feel like I do need to point out about San Francisco is the huge homeless problem they have but not just homeless people sleeping rough but mentally ill people on the streets.  It's so sad and quite shocking.  I did really love this city though, it has a really cool vibe.

Have you ever been?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren

Things I've Learnt Since Being Engaged

If you read my Mexico blog (here) or follow me on Instagram (here) you will know I got engaged earlier this year and am slooooowllllly planning my wedding.  So I just wanted to point out a few little things I've noticed in the last 6 months of being engaged.

People Will Want All the Details

Not just the details of the engagement although I have told that story so many times now (and it's not a complaint) but all the details of the wedding too.  I'm not a super secretive person and am happy to share my plans if people ask but I do also want there to be an element of surprise for my guests.  I think nearer the time when the details are more finalised I will tell people they just have to wait and see!

Be Organised

We got engaged 6 months ago and I'm not planning to get married for another 2 and a half years.  I want to be super organised, take my time over things and really just enjoy being engaged.  One of my friends actually pointed out to me that being engaged and being a fiance/having a fiance is only ever temporary so we really should enjoy it whilst it lasts.

Don't Invite People Too Early

The downside of having a long engagement is that there will be people in 3 years time that we are no longer in contact with, there will also probably be new people in our lives that we will want at our wedding.  So, don't send your invites out too early.  It's fine to create a guest list well in advance (we've already done that) but we don't plan to send our invites out until 6 months before the big day.

Dress Shopping is Exciting

I thought it would be stressful because I'm so fussy when it comes to clothes and every finer detail but it's actually super fun.  I kind of already know the style of dress I want but I think I will make appointments at all the big designer dress shops anyway just to have a fun girly day playing dress up with my mum and sister.

Will I Change My Name?

For me it's a yes.  I know not everyone wants to change their name these days and some men even take the women's name now but you just have to do what's right for you.  I'm quite traditional so I think I will change my name and I've also never been that keen on my maiden name!  However, professionally I will keep my maiden name as my reputation is connected to that name so I don't want to lose that.

What did you learn after getting engaged?

Lauren xx

Follow me here @wonky_lauren