Everything I got up to in 2018: Monthly Review

I wanted to follow up ‘I failed my 2018 goals‘ with a more accurate review of my year. If you give it a read, you will find I bombed my goals but that doesn’t mean 2018 was a flop.

In fact it was the opposite. I had an incredibly exciting year full of life achievements, theatre trips and travel plans. So here’s a quick month by month account of 2018.

Amsterdam Guide


The opening month was a busy one as I returned to Amsterdam to celebrate a family birthday. It was FREEZING but my excitement to avoid the tourist attractions we saw first time around was enough to keep me going. Check out my top 10 places to visit in the city. I also saw five shows, yes FIVE. Elf the Musical, Five Encounters, Shrek, Toy Boy and Hamlet. It was entertaining, but exhausting and I’ll chill out next January.


You’ll never guess, but I actually visited Amsterdam AGAIN. I know, I know. But an opportunity came my way I couldn’t refuse. The wonderful woman that is Jennie invited me on her press trip with Bonkers Bingo P&O cruises.

I attended the Giff Gaff blogger day, my first influencer event since moving to Manchester, and met a friend in Donna. I also caught four shows, Strangers on a train, Flashdance, Winter Solstice and Almighty Sometimes, the latter making my top 2018 theatre list.

Gin Festival


This was a big month as Rob and I had an offer accepted on a flat. We officially started on the journey to becoming home owners! What’s that ladder everyone talks about? We were on that. Are we adults now?

I popped along to the Gin festival at Victoria Baths with my fabulous friend Michelle. The venue is stunning and the gins were juicy. I also somehow made time for another four shows: Extraordinary Rendition, Fat Friends, Miss Saigon and Hairspray.

culturebean solo travel


This month I had a blast exploring the Amalfi Coast in Italy. We stopped in Sorrento and took trips to Capri and Positano. I always love visiting Italy and this coastline is a picturesque as people say. Watch my vlogs of Capri, Amalfi and Pompeii

Donna and I were also invited on press trip, Glamping in South Wales! Now, I am not a camper but glamping seemed way more up my street. We had a jam packed itinerary and properly enjoyed the high quality accommodation. It was far from rough and ready. See what we got up to in my vlog. Such fun.


Secret Cinema kicked off the first weekend, my second time visiting but this time a very different film, Bladerunner. Dressed up in our boiler suits, ready for some sci-fi, it was the most immersive evening ever. Here’s what I thought about Secret Cinema: Dirty Dancing

I saw Titanic the Musical as a treat for my mum’s birthday as well as Blood Brothers and had a Eurovision sleepover at Jennie’s. I also joined a netball team this month. Can I sleep now?

cyprus culturebean


I had my first relaxing holiday in a very long time this month as we spent a week in Cyprus with Rob’s family. It was hot hot hot. We took a few trips out but tried our best to chill. Crazy city breaks are our calling so this was surprisingly difficult.

Back home, we took a sunny seaside day trip to Llandudno in Wales to celebrate my dad’s birthday and I also caught Legally Blonde and A Play Goes Wrong on stage, two hilarious productions.

culturebean birthday


My birthday month! Kept it low key with a family meal at Alberts Schloss and enjoyed Mamma Mia with my mama. Do you remember I joined that netball team? Well we won the league and I earned a medal. Unfortunately I can’t continue due to health but they say leave at the top of your game right?


Friends Fest with my twin was nostalgia at it’s best. We recreated all of the most famous scenes and relived the best TV show of all time. I also met up with Michelle for some dino golf. Yes you heard me. And enjoyed yet another year at the Pride Parade. Have a look at my 2017 parade vlog.

matilda muscal


Matilda the Musical finally arrived in Manchester and blew me away with its magic and creativity. Miss Trunchbull stole the show. I also met up with Donna for a trip to the Peak District made up of charity shopping and cake eating. A quieter month overall as work got real busy and serves as a good reminder that this is a hobby. I have a full time job to prioritise.

light night leeds 2018


I attended my sixth Leeds Light Night, which is a city wide take over full of light installations and performances. My vlog from 2017 will give you a flavour. And only one theatre trip this month with a Halloween (trick or) treat to Seance. An immersive audio experience. We also completed our sale so officially became home owners. Hello mortgage, goodbye rent!


Ok, we’re ramping it back up this month as I took Rob to Switzerland for his 30th birthday. We interrailed from Geneva to Montreux, Interlaken and back, with a few more stops in between, in only four days. It was intense but incredible. My favourite European trip of all time actually. I posted a twitter thread and will soon have blogs and vlogs.

Kinky Boots strutted its way to Manchester for the first time and slayed. I organised a blogger brunch with my favourite Leeds ladies and felt super christmassy at Dunham Massey Light Trail. I saw Jessie J in concert, caught the Drag Race tour, laughed my head off at Ross Noble and even had a weekend hen do. Phew! And breathe.


I turned Ozian for the third time with Wicked the Musical, found the funny in Cinderella the Panto and saw Robs favourite Christmas movie of all time, Die Hard, at an immersive screening. Also took my family’s annual Christmas trip, which was in Dublin this year, where we had 36 hours to see the city. I didn’t fall in love but I did enjoy exploring. I’m sure I’ll pull out a blog post soon.

So yeah. 2018 was pretty bluddy fantastic and 2019 has a lot to live up to. Cheers to a healthy, happy and adventurous year. Well life. What were your highlights of 2018? Let me know below.



  1. Laura Lovette
    February 3, 2019 / 4:55 AM

    Oh wow, you had such a busy year! I loved Matilda too, I watched in London a year ago. One of the first theatre shows I had seen in years, I was blown away. Hope you have a lovely 2019 too 🙂 xx.

    • Gina
      February 3, 2019 / 7:38 AM

      I couldn’t believe how much I managed in only 12 months. I expect 2019 to be back to normal pace.

    • Gina
      February 3, 2019 / 7:40 AM

      Oops. Pressed send too soon. Matilda is fantastic isn’t it! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Xx

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