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!

Standard
culture, Photography

What a ‘cool’ way to celebrate…

Hi guys! Happy Easter (for those who celebrate!!) I have FINALLY broken up from school, well, on Thursday if you want to be completely accurate. Anyone else at school finish at the same time? I know my siblings and all my friends outside of school broke up way before me, not holding a grudge at all! ūüôā

On the 20th of March, one of my closest friends turned 16, and she had a party with 5 of her, well, I presume 5 of her closest friends. (Not putting words into your mouth Tish!!) To celebrate, her mum had completely organised the whole thing, even she had no idea what was happening. There was lots of guessing, highly inaccurate ones at that, I can tell you now. So straight after school, all 6 of us ran as fast as we could to the cars so we could race back to hers and, as girls say, beautify ourselves. For me, this meant putting on a black bodycon/shift dress with diamantes dotted all around the front, a hand-me down from my cousin, and a pair of black kitten heels, and to finish, threw on my signature leather jacket. (Kind of taking away from the formal outfit with the studded collar…) Plus obviously doing my hair and makeup. After numerous photos, group and singular with the birthday girl, we rushed out of her house, to get the tube into London.

We got off at Oxford Circus and walked down Regent Street, past Hamley’s, Liberty’s, even random shops that we thought we were going into every time we passed one. And just as we began to feel really anxious about where we were headed, we crossed the street and turned right down Heddon Street. Which just stumped us even more. Until we kept walking and her parents called us back, and we looked up in the awe at the sign that read: “Ice bar London”. I had never even heard of this place, but it is, in literal terms, a bar made completely of ice. The bar itself, the tables, the chairs… Even the glasses are made of ice!! To maintain all of the ice, it is kept at degrees Celsius, so you are allocated a 40 minute slot, and you have to wear special cloaks and gloves that they provide for you. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences (pun intended), and excuse the terrible photos! The lighting was definitely not camera friendly.

imageimage imageimageimageimageimage

image image image image image

image image

After this incredible start to the evening, we made our way down the remainder of Regent Street, towards Piccadilly Circus, taking in the bustling activity and beautiful night time in London, like tourists.

image image image image image image image image

image image image image

image image image image image

image image image image image

image

Finally we reached dinner, which was at the Criterion. This is right next to Piccadilly Circus, and the reason why we went here was because it was featured  in Downton Abbey. Yes, my friend is the biggest fan ever, as you can probably tell. This was such a fancy restaurant, and we were getting a table all to ourselves, (the girls, I mean), so I kind of felt sorry for anyone sitting near us. But it was incredible, and delicious of course, so I thought I would show you the beautiful décor, and most importantly, the food. Again, I apologise for the lighting, it really did hate me that evening.

image image image

image image image

image image

image

image

(We had starters, but I forgot to photograph, sorry!!)

Here are the mains: My delicious tomato pasta, honestly the best pasta I have ever had.

image

The biggest fishcake I have ever seen.

image

A huge chicken supreme.

Despite being completely full, and were even cradling our food babies, of course we had room for dessert (but we did share one between two.)

image

My decadent blood orange and chocolate cake, with blood orange sorbet, salted caramel and cookie crumble.

image

A deconstructed eton mess, with blackberries (not sure what else).

image

White chocolate and peanut butter mousse, honeycomb pieces and raspberry sorbet.

image image

And of course, for the birthday girl, with love from the Criterion. (And extra for the rest of us.)

So there we have it. One amazing evening, two awesome places, both of which I would highly recommend for anyone wanting to splash out a little on a trip out in London, or for a little treat. Word of advice: if you are planning a trip to the Ice Bar, don’t wear open shoes. ūüôā

Thanks for reading guys, and I hope you enjoyed looking at what I would regard as a posh night out in London!

Standard