Saturday 30 December 2017

The Truth About 2017

Less than 48 hours left of 2017, when did that happen?!

I thought I'd finish off the year with a little reflection on the year and a round up of how I'm feeling going in to 2018.
I have to be completely honest about my year. I know a 'Year in Review' should be positive, but I'm not going to sugarcoat. This year has been a year of ups, downs and, in my opinion, not enough.

I will start with the 'downs and not enough' (let's get the bad stuff out the way, then onto the more positives baby!)

As we got towards the end of the year, at the start of November I was feeling pretty low and one Sunday morning I knew enough was enough and had a big scream-y, ugly cry. I opened up to Henry about feeling lost, uninspired, lazy and unproductive. Put simply, I panicked as I felt I hadn't achieved enough this year. I had such big ideas for my year when I look back at my resolutions, but post University life really isn't plain sailing. Afraid of what the big wide world has to offer me, I spent the year quietly sailing on through, hoping job opportunities might come up, hoping my dream job might just happen, being afraid to commit 'just in case', lacking confidence and at the same time wanting the freedom of my own life, my own home and my own money. No one needs to be told these things don't go hand in hand. 

Don't get me wrong, what I have achieved this year, I am really proud of. I didn't do nothing, I just didn't do enough. I'm simply disappointed in myself because I know I could have achieved more. 

BUT, onto the positives and how I'm moving forward and learning from a not-so-sweet year! 

This year I finally saved enough to buy my first DSLR camera I have wanted for longer than I can remember. I received my first payment from YouTube, a little reward for doing something you love is the best. I filmed my best wedding video yet for one happy happy couple! I uploaded 45 videos on to my YouTube channel and hit 45k views on one. I interned and got the job as a Social Media Assistant for a pretty cool company and learnt a lot. It came to an end through my own decision recently but gave me a confidence boost and knowledge to take into next year and new jobs. I filmed and edited my first ever music video. I had a busy Summer of singing, photography, videography, wedding work, being a receptionist and doing social media work. I spent quality time with my beautiful family. I realised the true importance of your girl-gang and having people you can trust with your deepest, darkest (and certainly most embarrassing) secrets. I celebrated four years with Henry, I don't know what I'd do without his endless support. He puts up with worrying, stress and tearful me a lot, but is always caring, honest and has my best interest at heart. 

Moving forward, I don't have any regrets about this year. I worry enough about the things that haven't happened, so there's definitely no point me worrying about what can't be undone. 
I'm learning from it. I'm turning negatives into positives and using it as a driving force for 2018. 

I'm feeling extremely motivated to learn, hone in on my skill sets and to push myself to think outside the box. I'm putting a little plan together for 2018 to go alongside my New Years Resolutions, just watch this space (and check out my first blog post in Jan)

So, that's a wrap on 2017. Whether you're getting glitzy and sipping many a prosecco or snuggling down in PJ's with pizza this evening, have a good one!

G x 

Wednesday 20 December 2017

3 Last Minute DIY Festive Gifts

Hopefully you've finished your Christmas shopping now and you're ready to put your feet up and wrap all your gifts on a no-stress cosy evening... 

Nope? okay, we're all in the same boat then! 

I love christmas shopping and I adore giving gifts, however, Christmas can get very expensive. Each year I have around twenty people to buy for and as you can imagine that really adds up. As I've always been into arts and crafts, each year I make a few DIY presents as I know some people will treasure them and it's fun to do something a little different!

Here are three very simple homemade gift you can do yourself, at very little cost and still in time for Christmas.

The Gift for your Girls

Constellation Trinket Dish 

I got the idea to make trinket dishes from this blog post, with these gorgeous palm leaves painted on. I had ordered some metallic sharpies and I'm a little obsessed with stars and constellations at the moment, so the two came together and this was the result. I am absolutely over the moon with how they came out and I can't wait to give them to the special ladies I've made them for. I made a lot of white ones, with my original plan to do the palm leaves, but I happened to have a black clay pack too, they actually turned out to be my favourites. The white ones require painting to keep them bright white, whereas the black stayed smooth and matte and I loved the finish - something I'll note for next time. 

You'll need :: 

Fimo Oven Bake Clay - in any colour you fancy.
Metallic Sharpies 

1. Split your square block of clay (if you're using the one linked above) in to two and roll it into a ball. 
2. Using a rolling pin, flatten out your ball into a disc shape. Try to keep it moving between rolls, so it doesn't stick to the surface and you won't change the shape too much when you pick it up. To create a 'dish' shape I then cupped it in my hands to push the sides up slightly. I tried a few methods and this worked best, so do what works best to achieve the shape you want. 
3. Once you're happy with the shape, pop it in the oven following the instructions on your clay packet. 
4. When you clay has hardened and cooled, it's time to get creative! Paint, draw, write, do whatever you fancy! I personally think the metallic sharpies were very effective and easy to use! I also used an alphabet stamp kit to print initials on the dish too. I have photoshopped this out (for present privacy!) but think it adds another personal touch. 
These were super easy to make and can be done in an afternoon!

The Quick Decoration 

Dried Oranges

 A very simple, but effective christmas decoration. I love these hanging on the tree, clipped into wreaths or placed in garlands. You could also pop them in a bowl and find a scented oil to spritz on them, like popouri. 

You'll need :: 

An Orange! 
Kitchen Towel
String (if you're hanging them as decoration)

1. Simply slice your orange into thin slices with a sharp knife.
2. Lay out a piece of kitchen towel and place your Orange slices on it, press another piece of kitchen towel on top so soak up any excess juice. 
3. Pop them on greaseproof paper on a baking tray and put them in the oven on a low heat at 80-100 degrees C for around 3 hours. I tend to do this by eye, if they still feel a bit tacky and need a bit longer I'll add more time on. 
4. Once they're ready, you can do whatever you'd like! 

The Family Present

Photo Memory Book

This year, I'm making a photo album/memory book for my grandparents, full of happy photos from their 60th Wedding Anniversary party earlier this year. You can be as creative or a minimalistic as you wish with this, so it's a great present idea. I love to get stickers, coloured paper and pens to make it a bit more special and interesting. You could buy a scrapbook and stick each photo in to be really artsy with it, but for ease I have opted for a self-adhesive photo album so I can place everything in and not have to faff about with glue. This present is a little more time consuming, but worthwhile for the end result and smiling faces when they flick through and have something to cherish forever. 

This album is from Boots (all photo albums half price at the moment!) and I use Snapfish to get my photos printed. 
I hope that's helped anyone who's in a pickle about pressies and wants to think outside the box! I'd love to know if you give any of these a go. 

Do you make homemade presents at Christmas? I'd love more ideas! 

Saturday 16 December 2017

The Christmas List

There's always so much to cram in during December. People to see, things to do, presents to buy, mulled wine to be sipped and mince pies to be eaten - it's all gotta be done, but with so little time! 

I've put together a list of things I'd like to do this Christmas, some I've done, some I'm yet to do, but for me, they're the things that really make it Christmas. 
I've also popped my first two vlogmas videos in, so it's a little round up post if you will! 

the to do list

decorate the tree
make homemade mince pies
get creative with diy presents
watch Love Actually 
drink hot and spicy mulled wine
have a 'friends' christmas
spend an evening at Winter Wonderland
write christmas cards
put together a banging christmas playlist 
build a gingerbread house
devour all the mince pies

what else can I add?

the vlogs

are you up to date on the vlogs? 

Friday 8 December 2017

Gift Guide Galore

It's that time again! The streets are packed with shoppers, rushing around the twinkling lights, to grab the perfect pressies for their nearest and dearest.

I've put together some Gift Guides for the girls, guys and home bodies in your life. I've tried to keep all prices below £60 (bar a couple that I couldn't resist!) but thought it could be a good starting point if you're still hunting for that perfect gift!

If you're more into homemade gifts, there'll be a blog post full of photos and ideas next week, so make sure you check back then.
(Toffee Vodka, Wild Cocktails - Amazon, Copper wire lights - Primark (only £2.50!), Pomegranate Noir perfume - Jo Malone,  Star Sign Trinket Dish - Anthropologie, Glossier products)

F O R   T H E   G I R L S 
F O R   T H E   B O Y S

F O R   T H E   H O M E - B O D Y 

Happy Shopping! 

*All photo links are affiliate links - it costs the buyer no more to buy from this link, it just helps a blogger out a little!

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Winter at Dalloway Terrace

Last week, I wined and dined in a Winter Wonderland. 

Alright, I actually sipped endless cups of tea, order a second round of savoury food and scoffed cakes in a Winter Wonderland, but you catch my drift! 

After spotting this London hot stop on The Londoner's blog last year, I knew I wanted to go there this year. It books up very quickly, but luckily Charlie and I managed to find day at the end of November to fit in an Afternoon Tea.

Dalloway Terrace is hidden away in the Bloomsbury hotel in the centre of London. A winter dream land where you can wrap up in blankets and cuddle a hot water bottle to your hearts content.

We had GBBO Bake Off Winner, Candice Brown's Afternoon Tea and it was divine. Interesting but delicious flavour combinations and they'll cater to any dietary requirements you have with no fuss at all. We had refills of both tea and the savoury selection at no extra cost too, which was a lovely touch to an afternoon with such a luxury vibe. 

I'd definitely recommend for a festive and breathtakingly beautiful afternoon!

Friday 1 December 2017

10 Life Lessons From Being 22

This week, I turned  t w e n t y - t h r e e. 
HB to me!

Twenty-two was fun! I had some great time with friends and family, progressed in the 'job world', gaining more experience and getting some jobs under my belt. But, if I am completely honest, I feel like I should of achieved more in that year. I don't like to have regrets, so I don't regret anything I did or didn't do, but I do like to learn from my mistakes and move forward. 

I'm in a tricky part of life, post uni but not quite fully into adult life - still living at home, not earning enough to move out. Don't get me wrong, I love living with my mum but ultimately, my goal is to get a job and to earn enough to move out, like most people my age. This year I became self-employed, but that is HARD, seriously hard, which I most definitely underestimated. I'll most likely have some big decisions to make and paths to chose and I want twenty-three to be a year of progress and good choices. 
Here's some thing I've learnt in my year of being twenty-two. Things I want to work on next year, reminders of what cherish and some general life advice about drinking too many margaritas... 

Nothing is permanent
Things come to an end, both good and bad, which is always worth remembering. But I also need to remind myself that I have the ability to put a stop to things that aren't making me happy and that I am allowed to put myself first sometimes.

If I don't do it, no one else will do it for me
No one else will make that important phone call for me. No one else will apply for that job for me. I put 'scary tasks' off for as long as possible, which means they niggle at my brain for weeks on end. I'm well aware no one else is going to do it, so what am I waiting for? 

Weekends are Weekends
I feel a real guilt when I switch off at the weekends, but working for myself it's very important I do. I'm not working full-time so I also feel the guilt that I shouldn't be relaxing because I haven't worked a full week. This year has to be about focused weeks and fun weekends!

You should always listen to your Mum
When your mum tells you to wear a coat, wear a coat! When you don't tell your mum you're getting two piercings in your ear, but know she'd tell you not to, TELL HER and listen to her. Otherwise put up with ongoing ear piercing infections for a month, cry a lot, take a trip to minor injuries and eventually have to take one out anyway. (Oops. Soz Mumma)

The value of friendship
I've always loved my girlfriends and they have always been such supportive, fun and all round babes. But this year, my friends smushed (is that a word?) together - my childhood friend, my school friend, my sister from another Mr and I are one solid girl group and I can't even explain to you the happy feels it gives me. It can be hard having separate groups of friends - you want to be with all of them all the time - so when you smush them together and it works it is the best! My other bestie Luce also moved back from Manchester and it's so good to have her closer to home! Win win for friendships!

I have no idea what I'm doing, but I don't think anyone else does either. 
Reassure me on this one, does anyone actually know how to adult? Like, taxes what? Contracts, business, budgeting, making big decisions, anyone have a clue? With age comes experience, so I'm going with that and suppose I will learn as I go on!

Other peoples opinions don't matter
This, of course, is within reason. The opinions of your nearest and dearest are important to consider as they're likely to have your best interests at heart. But the opinion of random school friends your haven't seen for four years or Facebook friend you haven't spoken to for eight years not so much. I worry about the tiniest things, down to things as small as posting a photo 'ah, what if they think I've got a big ego?' 'is it vain to post a selfie?' 'what if I'm posting too much and it's annoying?' Ridiculous. If something is making you happy no one should have a problem with it. 
If they do, well... bye felicia. 

Put the phone down
A serious wake up call to iPhone addiction was downloading the app 'Moment'. It tracks the time you spend on your phone every day and what apps you're spending the most time on, it then gives you a daily report with a summary. It is absolutely shocking! I have to put my phone down and care less about what is happening online. It's there now and it will still be there in an hour.

Tidy Room. Tidy Mind.
Not exactly a news flash here, but the importance of a tidy desk space/office/room is insane! I can't focus properly unless everything's tidy, so it's the absolute worst for procrastination. 

Most Importantly...
A night of drinking Margaritas will be full of salsa dancing, hilarious boomerangs and cry laughing, but will leave you feeling like you have ERODED YOUR INSIDES AWAY AND HAVE NO TEETH LEFT the next morning. You'll text the girls and all agree to not drink them again for a while. Next month another Girl's Night rolls around and you'll hear the call of the marg and you'll make the same mistakes again.
So, here's to twenty-three! 
A year of caring less, working more and having fun.

And as my birthday card from my Mumma so aptly said... 

'A wise woman once said 'fuck this shit', and she lived happily ever after...'

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