I have a feeling that this is going to be a pretty long post so you might want to grab a cuppa. Things have been pretty quiet around these parts lately and I wanted to bring you all up to speed on what’s been going on.
This year has been really tough on me mentally. I’m not really sure why but I’ve spent most of 2016 so far feeling really down. Friends and family members alike commented that I didn’t seem happy and they were right. I don’t want to use the D word, I’ve never been diagnosed with depression and I wouldn’t want to minimise it by saying that I was suffering from it without getting a professional opinion but I definitely wasn’t myself.
After finding out I was being made redundant at the start of March things got steadily worse and with it so did my physical health. I have ulcerative colitis and it’s well known that stress can lead to a flare which, unfortunately, in my case it did.
Now I’m not the type of person to just sit around and let life get on top of them but for the last few months I’ve definitely had to slow down considerably which means I haven’t been up to as much exciting stuff as I usually would. (Although people still say to me that they don’t know how I can do so much all the time even when I feel like I’m doing next to nothing!) Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last couple of months.
I started off April with a fab bottomless brunch at The Hard Rock café with the utter babe that is Emma. I wasn’t 100% but the good food and better company kept me going and it was a super fun morning even if it was an earlier start than either of us would have liked!
We were also meant to film some collab videos for our YouTube channels but due to some technical difficulties weren’t able to. I haven’t posted on either of my channels since the beginning of April but I’m hoping to rectify this very soon and I’d love it if you’d subscribe! (Broke in the Big Smoke channel, Not a Beauty Expert channel)
I finally get round to selling a bunch of stuff on eBay to raise a bit of extra cash for the not quite shopping ban (I’ll write up an update on how this is going soon – probably just after the 25th June) which is even more important with a redundancy looming.
I then had a week and a half off from work so that my mum, niece and I could go on vacation to Tenerife! My mum hadn’t been abroad in 25 years so I was determined to make it the best holiday ever. Sadly, there were a few mishaps over the course of the holiday and although the sunshine helped loads I still wasn’t 100% – regardless I think everyone had a good time overall! Highlights included a whale and dolphin watching boat trip (where I got sea sick lol) and of course the incredible Siam Park. I might write more about the trip in another post sometime soon if you’re interested?
On my return I got to experience the magnificent Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On and was super sad that the show had already sold out as I really wanted to see it again! It’s the first time since a Punchdrunk production that I’ve felt completely immersed in the performance – more shows like this please!
— Leanne (@msleannefraser) 24 April 2016
I got to see the London marathon in person for the first time and cheered for Childline at mile 9. Despite the cold and my knees practically giving up on me it was so much fun. The atmosphere really is as amazing as they say and even though I sadly missed all of my friends who were running thanks to the app having a meltdown it was worth every minute! Really want to do it again next year if I’m still in the city.
26th April also saw my third year anniversary of moving to London and I wrote a lil update for you on that here.
The start of May saw my health deteriorate even more and me try to pretend that it wasn’t happening while also being exhausted practically all the time. I tried to schedule in at least one thing a week that involved leaving the house/not going straight home and getting in to bed.
I did make it out to a fab networking event with other UK money bloggers that was hosted by the PR company Lansons which really gave me ideas for the direction I would like this blog to go towards in the future. I also got to meet the lovely Adam whom I share a mutual friend with in Cait which given she lives in Canada is pretty damn cool! (Being recognised by him was also super weird, my blog isn’t big enough to be recognised by anyone lol)
— Leanne (@msleannefraser) 6 May 2016
I discovered the best flipping takeaway in East London. If, like me, you live too far east to be cool then check out Noodle Street who deliver incredible dim sum, make incredible salt & pepper prawns AND know how to crisp a duck. Between us my flatmates and I have ordered from then 5 times since I discovered them a month ago, oops!
On one of the sunniest days of the year Jen and I finally made it inside the Tower of London to actually see the Tower itself thanks to 365tickets. It was a wonderful day full of giggles, ice cream and history. I should have a both a blog post and YouTube video up for you by the end of this week!
After months of missed connections Michael and I were finally able to meet up for a fantastic dinner at Chi Kitchen which you can read all about here. We also met the fab Pearl Mackie at the stagedoor of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime where she signed this amazing picture my friend Mike drew of her (in case you didn’t know she’s gonna be the next Doctor Who companion).
— Leanne (@msleannefraser) 10 May 2016
On the 12th May I super quietly turned 30 with an M&S picnic in the park and my London bestie Jen. It was a gorgeous day and it was nice to just do whatever I wanted to do without any pressure.
My favourite television show Castle was cancelled and you know what? I’m not mad. I love the show but the last couple of seasons weren’t the best and I would actually have preferred it to have finished with a happy ever after at the end of season 6. I would however be totally open to a spin off featuring the amazing Molly Quinn and Toks Olagundoye as private investigators. They’re both amazing actors and I think it could be such a fun show.
I snuck in cinema trips to see both a preview of Me Before you (which I adored and plan on seeing again) as well as Captain America 2 which I also enjoyed but wanted to punch the new SpiderMan in the face. Sorry, not sorry.
I had an absolutely amazing evening with the Bangarang girls at Emma’s house and even though I was super overwhelmed to start with (I’d literally only spent time with people one on one for weeks by this point) it was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. They are genuinely some of the most loving, inspirational, supportive ladies I’ve ever known – Charlie even skyped in from New Zealand! (If you’re not following her adventures then you really should be) Thank you all for being such babes xo
Unfortunately, all that fun left me with hardly any spoons and I paid for it the following day which meant I was a pretty shitty host to Victoria who had popped to London to hang out for the weekend. After a morning chilling out in the flat we (plus Jen) grabbed some nibbles from Rum & Sugar at West India Quay (review coming soon because damn that food was epic especially dessert!) before catching the latest X-Men moving at the cinema.
Now I’m a HUGE fan of the new X-Men franchise with X-Men: First Class being one of my favourite movies of all time but I wasn’t really feeling Apocalypse. I definitely dozed through the first 40 minutes or so and I didn’t feel like I even missed anything of importance to the plot during that time.
After the show Victoria and I headed in to central so we could have a go on the London Eye again courtesy of 365tickets. I’ve only done it once years ago before I actually moved to London so it was cool to have another nosy even if the weather wasn’t the nicest. Oh and getting evacuated from Waterloo station just as we arrived was also a bit of an experience lol
Sunday was brunch day (now a tradition whenever Victoria visits) and we were able to get a stonking good deal via Brunch.London for the Heliot Steak House (housed within the Hippodrome Casino near Leicester Square) where we could choose two items from their brunch menu paired with a cocktail for just £11.95! No that’s not a typo it was seriously that cheap. It was way too much food for me (my appetite has been really low recently – I miss enjoying food!) but I’ll fill you in on everything in another post though OK? And apologies Victoria for being such a horrible host that weekend – I’ll make it up to you next time!
I then deliberately had a VERY chill week as I knew the last weekend of the month was going to be hardcore with it being MCM Comic Con at the Excel and also having a ticket for Busted for the Saturday night. Comic Con was fun as always but also super overwhelming this year! As you probably know if you follow me on social media I’ve really become interested in YouTube this year and also gaming again so there was literally TOO much that I wanted to see and do while there that I didn’t even cosplay this time around. I wasn’t going to but I think I’ll write a whole post on the event as this one is already so damn long!
I do however want to say how freaking happy I am that I made the decision to go to see Busted on my own. I was in two minds about it as tickets were £55 and I’m not much of a music person but it was THE most incredible gig. I got to see one of my favourite YouTubers absolutely own an arena when the tech let her down, I was flooded with memories thanks to Wheatus and to top it all off Busted totally ROCKED. I have a very eclectic “taste” in music so I loved every second of it and I even treated myself to a ticket to see Wheatus headline their own gig at Brooklyn bowl but more of that later.
Oh and also just to finish off this post as I started – to top the month off I was able to secure a doctor’s appointment which has set the ball rolling on getting myself back to normal so hooray for that! I promise it won’t be so long until my next blog post guys – as you can see I have a lot to tell you about. And if you made it this far… *high five*