Setting Goals

I feel like 2018 has been split into two parts for us. We went into the year knowing we would neglect other aspects of our lives with distractions of budgeting and planning. Saying that, I also found time to change jobs, which was a stress unto itself.

After our wedding at the start of May, we decided to have the month ‘off’. We ate want we wanted, binge-watched every show and shut away all resposibilities into a mental box labelled ‘open in June’.

Then June came. That first weekend, I made my husband sit down and we went through a list that we’d accumulated since we had got engaged a year ago. Things that we pushed aside and said ‘we’ll do it after the wedding, when we have time/money’. Well that time is now.

Our main priority for the next six months is bettering ourselves. It isn’t easy, but by setting goals and focusing on progress it can be done. We can also play to our strengths and motivate each other.

Our shared June goals were:

  • Set up a joint savings account – aim to put away £300 a month each
  • Research passive income streams to supplement our salaries and diversify our portfolios
  • Read at least one non-fiction book a month that teaches us something. Last month I read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad‘ which gave me a lot of food for thought.
  • Decide and book our honeymoon – which we did!
  • Brainstorm ideas for niche blogs.

My goals:

  • Be committed and consistent with my fitness. My stretch aim for this month is to do home workouts x3 a week (I’m trying insanity) and one session of weights. My husband is a gym nut who easily wakes up at 5:30am to work out. Although I will never reach that level of dedication, I’m happy to make baby steps on my own journey.
  • Write ‘morning pages’ as inspired by The Artist’s Way and recommended by a friend of mind to encourage creativity, routine and limit general word-vomit that I am prone to.
  • Attend a local Toast Masters speech club to improve my public speaking.
  • Write a blog to be published on my work internet page.

His goals:

  • Learn to code – this is a long-term goal which links in with an aspirational career change. He’s using codeacademy but any advice would be welcome. This is a major goal for him and one that I can tell he’s nervous to tackle. I’ll be there to support him and keep him on track in his low moments.
  • Read about investment opportunities e.g. stocks and shares.
  • Focus on marketing his app.
  • Practice intermittment fasting (8:16).

I feel like setting goals is the easy part, delivering on those promises may prove much harder. I’ll let you know how we get on!

Plan our Honeymoon (and avoid zika)

We decided quite early on that we were going to book our honeymoon after the wedding. We wanted to recover a bit (mentally and financially) from the wedding, and we had planned our mini-break to Marrakech to tide us over. Before we go married, we had our heart set on going to Bali. We had been planning it for 2 years, I had my itinerary set out and we were ready to go. Or so we thought. A couple of things happened which put the brakes on our trip (for now).

Firstly, I got a new job which left me with less annual leave than before. For my dream trip to Bali to work, we would need at least two weeks, whereas I could only take one. Two days alone would be spent travelling there and if we were going to go that far, I wanted to make the trip worth it.

The second thing was that we read up properly on the zika virus, and decided that we didn’t actually want to go anywhere that we could potentially be at risk. Unfortunately, that ruled most of the world. From information available online, it is recommended to avoid zika locations whilst pregnant or trying to conceive. Although we are not either yet, we will be on our honeymoon towards the end of the year and decided to play it safe. Even for men, zika is a big risk pre-conception, as the virus can stay in their system for six months and effect the fetus. Huge disclaimer here that I’m not a medical professional and respect everyone’s right to make their own decisions re travel and health!

So based on our judgements, I did some research and these were some of the potential zika-free locations we found:

  • Europe
  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Seychelles
  • Mauritius
  • Bermuda
  • Bora Bora
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Japan
  • Tahiti

Once we factored in cost, flight time and season, we decided on Mauritius as our new destination. We booked this week and we are SO excited!! Although the island is famous for it’s beaches and luxury, we hope to mix this in with excursions so that we have mini-adventures too.

We have booked the Lux Grand Gaube, which seems like the nicest place I will ever stay in my life. We also plan to climb Le Morne Bambrant and visit giant tortoises in the south of the island. Needless to say, we cannot wait and will definitely post after our travels!

The Ned’s Sunday Feast

Although I wasn’t too strict with my pre-wedding diet, I was certainly conscious of my upcoming nuptials with every bad meal I had. We wanted something to look forward to post-wedding and Sunday Feast at The Ned was something that had been on our list for a while. Spaces are limited and we had to book three months in advance to get the weekend after our wedding.

We were blown away by the choice when we got there. This was an all-your-can-eat buffet which included seafood (lobster, oysters), roast dinners with an assortment of meats and an array of salads. The selection was incredible and quality was out of this world. To top it off, they seemed to have every dessert imaginable. Another thing I must highlight is the service. A glass of champagne on arrival and prompt service with a smile. To add to the classy atmosphere, Millie’s Lounge has a live singer and band which adds perfectly to the experience.

In terms of dress code, as it was a beautiful summer’s day when we visited, we had a variety of styles – ranging from pretty summer dresses to more glam. If you plan to visit, wear whatever you’re comfortable in but don’t be afraid to dress up if you feel like.

At £45pp I would definitely recommend the Sunday Feast, especially for a special occasion, date night or just a treat. The amount and quality of food makes this great value. My only regret is that we couldn’t eat more as we were stuffed!

Explore Marrakech

Originally, a post-wedding getaway was not on the cards for us. When we were in wedding-planning mode we thought that the cost and time off work were just not worth it. We also knew we wanted a big trip later in the year which would be our honeymoon. Then a few weeks before the wedding, when we were at peak stress levels we decided we needed (and deserved!) a break after pouring our heart and soul into planning our Big Day.

Why Marrakech? Low cost flights (from the UK), short journey time, warm weather and delicious food. I had heard mixed reviews but something there was something exotic that drew us to the city. Most significantly, I thought there was something exciting and romantic about our first trip as a married couple being to a continent we had never visited before (Africa). Having separately travelled to various locations in Europe, Asia and America, it was meaningful to start our life of adventure together in unchartered territority.

Marrakech lived up to our expectations. Stunning architecture with maze-like souks to explore and amazingly relaxing hammams. We stayed at Pullman’s Marrakech Hotel which was a shuttle bus ride away from the main city. If we weren’t recovering from our wedding I would probably have preferred to stay in one of the beautiful local medinas, but felt it was right to be out of the hustle and bustle for this trip. The two stand-out meals we had were from Naranj (rooftop dining) and Roti D’or (delicious swarma, great value). After spending a few hours getting lost in the city we also visited the grounds of the stunning of La Mamounia hotel.

All in all, our first trip as husband and wife was a very memorable one and the first tick off our bucket list! Let us know where you think we should visit next!

Ensemble Artisanal
Koutoubia Mosque
La Mamounia
Stunning Interiors
Tiles & Arches
Swarma from Naranje