blogging, Year highlights

2015 in a nutshell…

I¬†am back. And this time I mean it. I know I have said “sorry for that absence” about 100 times this year, but this time I am going to stick with it. I think when I started this blog just over a year ago (which, wow), I thought it would be a lot easier to maintain. All these lifestyle bloggers that post once or twice a day while still doing so much in their life give a sense that they fit their blog into their life easily, and are still successful in every aspect. But while this may be the case for some people, I simply have not been able to crack it. Creating content, just thinking of what to write about, takes time, more than I thought. Time that I don’t necessarily have all year round, especially during term time. So, I’ve come up with a plan of action for this year. Instead of attempting (and failing) at what I initially thought I would do, daily(ish) blogging, I’m going to aim to post once a week, maybe twice if you’re lucky ūüôā

So its 2016 huh. Where did 2015 go?! It seemed like it was just yesterday I was doing this post last year. But lo and behold its the beginning of January 2016, so cue all the “New Year, New Me” posts and stuff with their new fitness routines attached or whatever. And while I applaud the 1% of people who actually stick to their goals for this year, to the 99% of us who unsurprisingly give up in the first month, it doesn’t matter. Just be you, and do what you want to do. Hopefully that is what will make you happy anyway.

In accordance with my apparently bitter view on new years resolutions, I want to use this post, not to look forward, but to reflect on the good things that happened in 2015. It wasn’t exactly the best year of my life, and I was also very inactive, so I would like to show you what I got up to last year. And in the light of “a picture speaks a thousand words”, my intentions for the rest of the post is for it to be mostly pictures, but we shall see. So in a final cheers, but good riddance to 2015, I would like to say bring on 2016!

So 2015 started with a trip to the Saatchi gallery, which was a great way to see my group of friends again, and just have a somewhat cultured and relaxing day out. Here’s a selection from the exhibits, and if you look closely you might be able to see me ūüôā

In February was my trip to Salamanca, in Spain as part of my Spanish GCSE course. It was the first time I had been to Spain, and as you can see from these pictures, it was beautiful and an amazing holiday.

Then in March was one of my closest friend’s 16th birthday, so we went into London for a surprise evening – first the Ice Bar

Followed by the Criterion, which was a delicious way to end a great night.

April was kicked off to a great start, when my friend and I went to see Emma Stevens perform for the 3rd time, this time at the Bush hall in Shepherds bush. Bonus: we also met her for the 3rd time that night!

Probably one of the most important things to happen in 2015 was in June, exactly a week before my birthday. I finished my GCSEs. As you can imagine, that afternoon and the week that followed I took advantage of my newfound freedom by going out with my friends A LOT.

Of course, that Friday, the 19th of June, was my birthday. Here’s two of my presents, and the cool lighting from the end of GCSEs party. Plus, some photos from my work experience in the fashion and beauty marketing department in John Lewis.

When school finally finished for the year, on the 1st of July I went and got a change: I dyed my hair pastel pink! I loved it so much, I wish it had stayed in longer though. I was aiming for the 1st picture (courtesy of pinterest, follow me!) and it took over 4 hours to go from picture 2 to picture 4, but I fell in love with the result. The day after I had a celebratory picnic with my friends, and we had a bit of a photoshoot to say the least. I still have the blonde on my ends, and this little taste of my first colouring experience has made me hungry for more. I now have official hair envy of any cool colour haired person I see anywhere. Watch this space for more hair changes in the (hopefully) near future!

After I got my hair done, it was pretty much time for me to pack up and on the Sunday I flew to Australia by myself, for the first time ever. I was nervous, and I think I had a bit of a panic in Westfield with my mum on the Friday, and I started to cry a little bit. But when I was actually at the airport and boarding the plane, it was quite exciting. For any first time solo flyers under 18, if you or your parents are nervous about it, try to see if you can get accompanied, especially if you are stopping on the way. My mum got it for me as¬†I was stopping in Singapore for 3 hours and she wanted to ensure I¬†got to my next plane, but it was actually great as¬†I was taken to a private¬†lounge and given a phone to call my parents. Don’t let flying alone discourage you from doing something you want to do, as it was a great life experience for me,¬†and I had the best time in Australia with all my family (my parents are Australian if you didn’t know.) That week I stayed at my grandma’s with my American cousins who I hardly see, so it was great to have some bonding time with them essentially, as well as see everyone else who I hadn’t seen in 2 years. (Also, the amazingly delicious food is from my uncle’s restaurant, Citron, in Brisbane.)

The following week my family arrived in Brisbane and it was go-go-go basically. That weekend the whole family (minus 4 people) went to O’Reilly’s as an early 80th birthday present for my grandma, and it was so much fun with everyone in the same place. We went on the zipwire, with a (not quite) near-death experience for me when my attachment almost fell off the wire, and went for a walk through the hillsides that had paths that just seemed too treacherous for us to take. Bonus, all of our cabins had a hot tub, so at 11:00pm on the first night¬†3 cousins and I discovered that ‘waterproof’ playing cards were, in fact, not waterproof, after stupidly dipping them into the Jacuzzi. (The views were also beautiful, and yes that is a snake in¬†one of the last pictures.)

When we got back from O’Reilly’s, it was practically time for the American family to leave, which was sad. We¬†took them to airport, got coffee, and that was pretty much it. I hate saying goodbye. They left on my cousin’s birthday, so we had a dinner for him the night before. I wore my new boots (!!) and my staple ripped jeans, of course.

But then it was our turn to say goodbye, well temporarily. We went up to Hervey Bay, a four hour car journey from Brisbane, to visit my grandparents. They live on the beach, so most of these pictures will probably be beach sunsets. Enjoy!

Back in Brisbane, there was only a week and a half left, then we were flying home. This was the busiest time, trying to do everything we wanted to, like the Ekka (turns out I went 3 times this summer), go to the Gold Coast, as well as work experience at the Australian with my uncle for me. I am pleased to say, I have now got 2 published articles, one co-written in the Australian, and another I wrote for a local newspaper. It was an amazing experience, and interesting to see how everything, including the writing, works. But it was a challenge to say the least!

A few days after we got back to London, it was results day. If you want to see what that day was like for me, click here. But there wasn’t much time for celebration, as the next day we were at Kings Cross station meeting my friend and her family to go to Edinburgh.¬† We were performing Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’ in the Edinburgh fringe festival, and I am so glad I did. it was an amazing holiday, and¬†when we weren’t performing, we saw as many shows as possible. My favourites were 360 Allstars and, one I didn’t want to end, Dorian Gray.

After Edinburgh it was basically the end of my holidays. So I started sixth form, which is so much harder than I expected. One good thing to happen this term – the One Direction concert. I’ve written a post about it so I will just leave you to stare at their beautiful faces (my feelings were displayed clearly in the last picture.)

¬†During October half term, the whole first week I spent in bed watching various things, but my cousin arrived in the second week, forcing me out of bed. We went into London and did some touristy stuff, but one night we went to see Coasts, which was so much fun, and a great time out after my procedure on my knee the week before. I was then pressured into getting my ears pierced by my family (just kidding I wanted it done, I just hadn’t got round to it.)

A major part of this term was my role of deputy stage manager in my school play, ‘Oh what a lovely war!’ It took up a lot of my time, so I couldn’t do as much work as I wanted to and was very stressful, but for the most part it was really enjoyable. In the show I actually¬†operated the revolve, to add to the circus vibe, which I did not expect at all. It was my first show not acting, and I think I made the right choice. ¬†Finally though the show finished in mid-November, and the week later my friends and I went to see¬†Disclosure at Ally Pally, my first concert there and it was amazing.

So as some of you may know, I am a bit obsessed with One Direction. Because of this, and obviously as they are now currently on their break, their last performance was at the X factor final at Wembley Arena. My friends and I decided to go, as a way of saying goodbye before their break. I will do a post on the process of getting tickets later and of course the event, but I just want to say, no matter what anyone says about them, they are amazing to me.

And last but not least, Christmas day. This year it was just the 5 of us, which hasn’t happened for many years. New family favourite game – Ligretto. Go get it. seriously. You wont regret it. But apart from playing games and spending time with the family, I ate lots and lots of delicious food. (Some of it can be seen below)

So those were my highlights of 2015. Yes it was a good year, but I think school really took its toll on my emotions. I hope everyone had a great Christmas or holiday, and happy new year everyone! I hope 2016 is a great one!

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Summer 2015

Chapter two…

So ironically, chapter two of my summer comes two days after I started sixth form (I will do a post about that later today.)¬†¬†And yes, I know I promised to be more active buuuuut my last post was only 6 days ago, so let’s call that progress.

The joint party I had was so much fun, as I mentioned before in my previous post which you can read here, and because we were cleaning up,¬†my mum and I¬†didn’t get home until almost 3 in the morning. Needless to say, I was exceptionally tired, but had to get up at 8:30 to go to my violin lesson. That was not fun.¬†As I couldn’t really celebrate with my family on my birthday, on the Saturday we decided to go out for dinner at a thai restaurant. My parents also gave me the last of my presents, which included a beautiful key charm for my charm bracelet from Links, and an even more beautiful and elegant silver heart necklace from Tiffany & Co.

IMG_4271IMG_4275IMG_4272¬†Even the packaging is flawless! This is one of my favourite necklaces, the chain is so fine and I think it’s just so classy. An amazing 16th birthday present that I will keep forever, and a huge surprise nonetheless!

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Another charm to add to my bracelet, I’m probably going to run out of space soon!

I had a great dinner with my family celebrating both the end of my GCSEs and my birthday, and of course I ate my current favourite meal: red thai curry. It is so good and just thinking about it is making me salivate! After dinner, I had to rush off to yet another party, this time it was for my whole year celebrating the end of our GCSEs together, and also a kind of goodbye to the people who were leaving. I had a great time, but I was already extremely tired from the night before, so I desperately needed a rest when I got home. But it was a very cool party as the lighting was pretty awesome, as you can see for yourself!

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After my somewhat (extremely) busy weekend, I had a week of work experience. As you guys may or may not know, I have wanted to be a journalist for about four years now, but even my uncle (who’s an Australian journalist) couldn’t get me into a newspaper here, as they mainly only accept people who are 21. Luckily I could get a day with the crime editor of the times, which you can read about in my previous post, but for this week my mum helped me¬†land a placement at John Lewis. For everybody out there who are looking to apply for some work experience,¬†make sure to use ALL of your contacts. I only got this because my mum asked one of the dads from my sister’s football team, who happened to be the head of marketing for John Lewis.

I was in fashion and beauty marketing, and it was honestly one of the best weeks ever work-wise. On my first day it took me just over an hour to get there, and as I sat nervously in the foyer of John Lewis’ main office in Victoria, I thought how far I had come in the past six months. And it’s true! Back in December¬†I¬†was doing my mock exams,¬†basically drowning in exams and stress, and now (June) all of that was gone, and there I was, on my first day of being a working girl (sort of).¬†Then I was collected and the day really began.

I won’t bore you with a day to day diary of what I did because I did a LOT, but¬†it was extremely exciting and very interesting, and I’ve come out of the experience knowing more about fashion brands than I could ever imagine. This was partly thanks to a job we had to do pretty much every day, packing! There was a special room on the buying floor (two floors below so there was a ton of stairs and using lifts involved) which was lined with clothes, and the floor covered with shoes and handbags. Our job was to pack the clothes, shoes and accessories needed for shoots, which was amazing because I got to see loads of products before they went into stores! Although it was a bit daunting, considering it was my first day and all, everyone was so nice and welcoming. In the afternoon I was taken by a lady from the home department to set up a stall in a design convention. I had no idea what I was going to be doing, but after the exciting task of unpacking the numerous amount of boxes, it was time for the fun part: designing our area. And I think it turned out pretty nicely ūüôā

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There’s a nice overview of all the beautiful products that we set up. The grey bean bags were so cool that I just had to mention them! ūüôā

On the Wednesday I had a special treat in¬†store for me after work. For my birthday and for her brother’s birthday as well, one of my closest friends had booked one of our favourite singers to come to her house, for a mini private concert!! For anyone who hasn’t heard of Emma Stevens, go look her up now. She is so talented and my friend and I have seen her in concert three times now over the course of a year and a half, and she is one of those people who goes to meet all her fans after every concert, and we love her so much. She is the nicest person, only proved in her private concert. It was so entertaining as we know pretty much all of the words to every one of her songs, and just a brilliant time. Emma also gave me a signed copy of each of her albums, which was so sweet and nice of her! Honestly, if you like kind of folky, soulful music, definitely go check her out.

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On the Friday, I went to a photoshoot. It was a photoshoot for the main feature of John Lewis’ magazine Edition, and I had no idea what to expect. What I didn’t expect was (seemingly) nothing happening for almost 2 hours before anything was shot. Obviously hair and makeup was being done, but we were just kind of sitting around. I learnt how to steam clothes in this time, which could prove to be very useful! Watching the shoot itself though was enlightening into how all adverts and things are shot, and how many things and people are needed for just one picture. It was such an exciting thing to be able to do and help out on,¬†so thank you so much¬†to everyone in the fashion and beauty marketing department, I had an amazing week and definitely food for thought on my future career.

So that’s it for chapter two! Look out for chapter three coming very soon! Have a great evening!

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