I can’t believe we’re officially coming to the end of 2019. It only feels like yesterday I was writing my 2018 in Review post, which just so happened to be my first ever post on Sassy Cat Lady. It’s so cliche to say that the time has flown by, but it really has done this year. To be honest, it hasn’t even felt properly like Christmas either, the day came and went in a flash this year! Anyway, while we’re currently in that Christmas-New Year limbo phase, I thought now would be as good a time as any to put together my 2019 Review post. There have definitely been some memorable moments this year, good and bad! So, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first…
The Bad Stuff
I won’t lie, this time last year I was hoping I’d be writing my ‘End of 2019’ post in my brand new house. I think my exact wish was to be writing it on a brand new laptop in my brand new house. That was bollocks. It was back in February that things began to unravel with the magical dream house in Bath that we were buying. Ultimately, it all came to an end and you can read the full story here. It still stings quite a lot whenever we’re asked “have you found a house yet?” FOR CHRIST SAKE NO, WE HAVEN’T. Towards the end of the year we pretty much gave up the search for a bit as it appeared that with Brexit and the election, people appeared to be holding fire on putting their houses up for sale. Fingers crossed things pick up in the new year and something comes along. Oh the bright side though, I did get that new laptop so, swings and roundabouts.
I’ve referred to the whole thing as ‘butt stuff’ since the beginning, and until I find out what the hell is wrong with me, I’ll continue to do so. It’s much more pleasant than saying what’s actually been going on with my entire digestive system. This all started back in February with what seemed like just a major stress reaction from the above, but it carried on pretty much throughout the whole year, causing me even more anxiety than necessary.
After a good few weeks of convincing myself I was dying, I was referred in May to see a gastroenterologist, and when I eventually got seen in October, I was told that everything was likely to be IBS. No shit, Sherlock (no pun intended). However, because I have a family history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), they’re sending me for a colonoscopy just to be on the safe side. I was rather hoping to have had it all dealt with by now, especially considering that I was initially told the whole thing would be a 4-6 week wait. Unfortunately, that was not the case and I’m still eagerly awaiting my appointment along with a big bundle of laxatives to come through my letterbox. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.
This year marked 2 years since my discharge from the IAPT service, something which I never thought would seem possible. I was really pleased with my progress, but the issues with my stomach made sure that it was put to a stop for the time being. I think combined with stress over the house and with work, 2019 wasn’t exactly the best year for my mental health. However, it certainly wasn’t the worst either (shout out to 2014). I’m hoping once things on the medical front get sorted, maybe I can start working back up towards where I was.
I’m gutted that my fitness routine seems to have taken a massive hit towards the end of this year. I was doing so well and I was beginning to see a real difference in my shape and how I felt. Unfortunately, pairing a full time job, a slight decline in my mental health, and really wanting to put the effort into my blog, something was bound to take a hit. I was quite disappointed with myself, but I’m determined to work something out in the new year where I can fit it back into my schedule.
The Good Stuff
Going to Disneyland was my absolute number one highlight of the year. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do since I was little, and I had the most amazing time going as an adult (despite the fact that pretty much all the kids pissed me off in someway or another). Lillie and I had so many laughs and it was definitely my favourite adventure of ours that we’ve been on. Surprisingly, my anxiety also behaved for the whole time as well, which was an added bonus.
I was lucky enough to have two trips away this year. Before Disneyland, Liam and I had our annual summer holiday in June, and we went to Madeira. Despite a HORRENDOUS flight, the rest of the trip was lovely. Madeira is such a pretty place – my personal favourite was the Botanical Gardens, they were gorgeous! Plus, we even saw some cats chilling there too! While we weren’t quite as lucky with the weather as we had been in Gran Canaria for the last couple of years, it was still dry and warm enough for us to wander around. We had some amazing meals at a couple of different restaurants too, all of which were just minutes away from our hotel. I would definitely recommend it as a holiday destination!
FriendsFest was definitely one of my summer highlights – I would 100% recommend it for any Friends fan. There were so many great photo opportunities on the classic sets and combined with the gorgeous weather it was a brilliant day out.
I haven’t written about this one yet so I won’t go into too much detail (it’ll be coming up in my final quarterly review of the year – yes, I’m doing one of those as well, the thought of leaving them incomplete stresses me out too much). All I’ll say is that it’s a club night that plays literally nothing but Taylor Swift songs. I have many fond memories of me and Lillie hammered and dancing to Shake it Off, and this is definitely one of my favourites. I had a very sore throat for the next few days, but it was worth it.
Valentine’s Day this year marked mine and Liam’s 10 year anniversary! We officially got together when we were in sixth form after an awkward first date at a Valentine’s Ball and the rest is pretty much history. We also celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary this year too – it’s gone so quick!
I finally took the plunge this year and got my first tattoo. It was something I’d been wanting to do for years and this year I went for it. I now have three (technically four) of them and I’m not going to lie, I’d love to get more.
Mum and I went to DogFest last year and it was a great day out so we decided to go again this year. Despite unsuccessfully trying to meet Noel Fitzpatrick and my raging hangover after a heavy night of wine with the girls, it was a lovely day and I got to smooth so many dogs! Daisy enjoyed herself too of course.
I genuinely cannot believe that Sassy Cat Lady has been going for a whole year! I never thought it would be possible for me to keep blogging up for as long as I have and that I would genuinely have people reading my content, but it’s actually happened and I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me this year. Lillie actually got me a wonderful Christmas present that genuinely meant the world to me…the very first branded Sassy Cat Lady gin glass!
I’ll be honest, my music taste wasn’t all that varied this year, and I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you when Taylor Swift was my top artist of 2019 on Spotify, followed by Lady Gaga, the cast of Glee, Steps, and Lewis Capaldi.
Here’s the full breakdown of my top ten songs according to Spotify. It may not come as a surprise that 2019 was also the year that I discovered the soundtrack to A Star is Born.
- Always Remember Us This Way – Lady Gaga
- Shallow – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
- ME! – Taylor Swift & Brendan Urie
- Lover – Taylor Swift
- IDGAF – Dua Lipa
- You Need to Calm Down – Taylor Swift
- Cornelia Street – Taylor Swift
- London Boy – Taylor Swift
- The Archer – Taylor Swift
- Losing It – FISHER
2019 was the year that Swifties lost their shit (including myself) when Taylor announced that Lover was being released. I had already fallen in love with You Need to Calm Down and Me so I had nothing but high hopes for the whole album, and mate, it did not disappoint. I don’t care what anyone says about it, it’s a goddamn masterpiece. It’s packed with bangers, songs to belt out in the car, songs full of sass, and even songs that will have you emotional AF. To single out my favourite song on the whole album would not be possible at all, however, my top 5 songs are as follows:
- London Boy
- Paper Rings
- Cruel Summer
Believe me, that was bloody difficult. Although honourable mentions go to The Man, which is just a feminist bop, I Forgot That You Existed, which is packed with sass, and the utterly heartbreaking Soon You’ll Get Better, which Taylor wrote about her mother’s battle with cancer and had me crying in my car the first time I heard it. While I love all of Taylor’s albums, I think it goes without saying that Lover is my absolute favourite.
If you haven’t heard of Lewis Capaldi this year, where have you been? Someone You Loved was the absolutely heartbreaking song that dominated the charts during the early part of 2019, and his follow-up singles have all been fantastic, especially Before You Go which just breaks you once you know the story behind it and listen to the lyrics. Plus, his IG stories and Twitter comebacks are just hilarious.
A Star is Born Soundtrack
Yes, I know A Star is Born was actually a 2018 thing, but I didn’t actually see the movie until early this year. Of course the songs from the soundtrack were regularly played on the radio and spent loads of time in the charts, but it wasn’t until I’d actually seen the film that I fell in love with the songs properly. Shallow and Always Remember Us This Way were absolute belters and showed off just what an amazing voice Lady Gaga has, and I’ll Never Love Again just absolutely breaks me every time.
Honestly, I didn’t really watch that many movies in 2019, mainly because I’m often too stingy to go to the cinema. Plus, often the films I want to watch are Disney ones, meaning the cinema is crowded with kids 90% of the time, all of whom weren’t even born when the first Toy Story movie came out, so why the hell should they get to see the new one before I do?! Apologies, I got carried away there. Anyway, my movie highlights of 2019 were:
A Star is Born – As mentioned, I didn’t see it when it came out in 2018, so I had to rely on the DVD release. I don’t think I have ever been as emotionally destroyed as I was when I watched this.
Bohemian Rhapsody – Again, I know it came out in 2018, but I didn’t get to watch it until this year when my mother in law got me the DVD for my birthday. It’s bloody amazing – Remi Malek is incredible as Freddie Mercury, and the film has definitely got me listening to Queen more often. I also learned that Freddie was a huge cat lover too!
The Lion King – Okay so I broke my cinema rule for this one. I had to. I didn’t quite expect to cry during the opening credits – I have no idea why but at the time it was emotional AF. While this may be a controversial opinion, I really didn’t like Beyoncé in this. I thought the addition of that bloody annoying Spirit song was pointless and it was basically “well Beyoncé is in this, we HAVE to put one of her songs in as well.” However, I loved how they brought James Earl Jones back to voice Mufasa (I mean, who else could have done it?!) and Timon and Pumbaa were definitely the best part of the whole film. It will never be as good as the original, but all in all, I think they did a pretty good job.
Toy Story 4 – I got this on DVD for Christmas and we finally sat down to watch it last night. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. It had a sweet message, and Forky was adorable, but I still feel as though they should have left it at the third one.
We saw what felt like tons of comedy shows this year, and I’m going to write a full post on them soon, but my highlights came from the ones I least expected. My favourites out of all the acts we’d seen this year had to be Suzi Ruffell, Ed Gamble and Ellie Taylor, however the best of them all, hands down was James Acaster.
What I’m Looking Forward to in 2020
While we’re on the topic of comedy, we’ve already got quite a few booked in for 2020, including Russell Howard, Rachel Parris, Joel Dommet and Iain Stirling, and I’m sure there’ll be more to come. My Mum and I are also going to be seeing Michael Bublé in Bath in July and I can’t wait for that one! DogFest 2020 is also on the agenda for this summer too as it’s a lovely family day out for me, Mum and Daisy – hopefully I won’t be hungover this time. In terms of the personal stuff, I would love if 2020 is the year we get a house, but after this year, I don’t want to get my hopes up, so let’s put that one on the wish list rather than the goals one. I would however, love to take my blog to the next level. By that I mean maybe do a little paid stuff, some sponsored posts, even some work with brands. If anyone has any tips for reaching out to brands/starting out with paid posts please send them my way! And of course, I’m hoping we’ll finally get to the bottom (excuse the pun) of everything going on with my stomach!
What have been your highlights of 2019? What are you looking forward to in 2020?