Looking back on 2016

2016 has been a year full of highs and lows for most of us, and for me it was a year where I learnt and realised a lot of things I’d tried to deny in the past. I had a bad ending to 2015 which lead into 2016 after my best friend passed away, however I did have a boyfriend to help me through it once he grew the balls to ask me out. Either way here are some of my highlights and life lessons from 2016.

The first highlight started bang on New Years when my now boyfriend announced he was going to kiss me at midnight, leading to us getting together after knowing each other for two years. Since then I’ve had so many new experiences that he has brought me, for example going to Italy, somewhere I’ve been wanting to go for years, for a holiday in the summer, as well as helping me learn that its okay to trust people and tell them how you feel as well as letting them see you at your weakest sometimes. My boyfriend has been behind a big confidence increase in me this year and I can’t thank him enough for that.

I also learnt this year that things never go as planned and thats okay. I planned this year that I was going to save lots of money which went straight down the drain when work cut my hours before announcing they only wanted full timers. This lead to me finding another job last minute and having to go with the fewer hours they have. But from this I learnt that sometimes things go wrong for a reason, I’ve learnt how to pace my money through out the month when living month to month and not being able to save anything.

One of the biggest things I learnt this year was that I am important. I’ve always struggled with the idea that I’m important and that I matter. I’ve forever been told by some family members that I was never good enough and would never be good enough, leading to me having a lot of confidence issues and feeling as if things are my fault, that I’m not trying hard enough or I’m not good enough. Thats all changed now and I’ve finally accepted that I matter, and if people don’t respect that then they aren’t people who I need in my life. I stopped chasing people who were only ever interested in talking to me when it benefited them and distanced myself from family members that I don’t get on that well with, only seeing them at special occasions. I’ve also reached the stage where I know my thoughts matter and will tell people if I feel their treating my unfairly or if they have upset me.

Another highlight that happened a few weeks ago now, was getting my brown belt in karate. Life got a bit hectic with hospital appointments, college projects, training and races which lead to a messy session the session before my grading where I blanked everything and ended up having a mini panic attack and feeling like I wasn’t good enough to do my grading, and with my fear of failure, the worst thing I could think of doing was going for it and failing it. I overcame this working my arse off for four days, doing my grading and passing. I really feel as if I proved to myself and my instructors that I am good enough and that I can achieve things if I want it.

A slight downside but also upside was discovering that I have a heart defect and finally sorting out my stomach condition. My stomach condition was an attributing factor to my confidence issues because when I would eat even the smallest thing, I would bloat out badly and sometimes get stomach pains so bad I wouldn’t be able to move. I was also constantly tired and sleeping. Now this has been sorted I’m a lot more confident in what I wear as well as in myself. My new found heart defect taught me that no matter what life throws at you, you can work through it and still achieve what you want.

I’m hoping 2017 is going to be a better year and my boyfriend and I are looking forward to starting another year together. Comment below what your highlights of 2016 have been!

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Looking back on 2016

Top 5 Christmas Films

With Christmas is just under two weeks time theres no reason not to watch Christmas films to get into the festive spirit. I usually watch maybe the same two films over again but this year I branched out a bit, so here are my recommended top five films to watch this year!

The first is Home Alone and Home Alone 2. These are classics that never get old, with a funny plot and amazing actors as well as touching moments, its perfect for Christmas and really captures that Christmas is all about family. Its a tie for me if I prefer the first or second film but this is one film that I watch every year!

The second is Elf. Now I dont think that this is the best Christmas film ever, the story plot is good, I just think Will Ferrell isn’t a strong main character, he’s better at playing supporting roles I personally feel. But at the same time, I can’t help but laugh when he launches himself at the Christmas tree when decorating the apartment, his innocence and love for Santa, again really makes the film for me.

The third is All I Want for Christmas, this is such a funny film in so many ways, and Hallie is by far my favourite character. It really showed how siblings will look out for each other as well as the typical boy meet girl and falls in love with the older brother and how the youngest is so innocent, asking Santa for the impossible, having her divorced parents back together, whilst forming a plan to get rid of her mums fiancé.

The fourth is Love Actually, this is one of my favourites because theres so many different stories all intertwining together and all will a different touching idea. My favourite character is the young boy in love with the American singer he’s playing the drums for, with the most memorable scene being him running through the airport to say goodbye to her. This is most definitely a must watch for anyone this Christmas.

The last film is Jingle All The Way and is about a dad trying to do his best for his son, but unwilling messing it up, the ending is totally hilarious and really touching with the young son finally realising how awesome his dad is, despite his mess ups along the way.

Comment below what your favourite Christmas films are!

Top 5 Christmas Films

Herne Hill Velodrome Crowd Funder

I dont usually like doing posts like this, but I’m classing this as an exception. As you may know I do competitive cycling, riding Cyclocross & MTB. I’ve done a bit of track but didn’t have time to do it as much as I’d of liked to this year (one of my new years resolutions, to get down the track more). However my cycling club is based at Herne Hill Velodrome which is one of the oldest cycling tracks in the world and was built in 1891 and hosted the 1948 Summer Olympic Track Cycling events. This track has a lot of history and is used pretty much everyday through out the week for cycling be it recreational riding, race events or school activities.

The Save The Velodrome campaign started in 2010 and lead to the redevelopment of Herne Hill Velodrome, starting with re-surfacing the track with all weather tarmac that finished in 2012, improving the facilities with out door lighting, an inner track and a multi-use games area that was finished in 2014. The last phase is building and fitting a new pavilion complete with club room, offices, changing rooms & toilets, medical room and more. The building is now nearly completed and they need to raise money to furnish the inside of the pavilion, including rebuilding the old grandstand.

If you’re a keen cyclist or just want to help out, then please donate to this amazing cause! They need to raise £75,000 and are currently on £32,830 and even its only £10, you can get rewards depending on how much you donate, from a cycling hat (£20) or t-shirt (£30) all the way to a limited edition FHHV navy track bike with track time and your own coach as well as a limited edition jersey (£1,500). Please take the time to have a quick look and read and donate if you can!

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thebigfinish

Thank you!

Herne Hill Velodrome Crowd Funder

Christmas Lush Haul

What would Christmas be with out Lush? It seems to be mandatory for bloggers and YouTubers to do a Lush haul, so not only am I doing a Lush haul, but I found another bath bomb brand that is less well known and will being doing a haul & review on their products soon. Either way lets get on with the Lush products that I did buy, I didn’t get that many, I only got four, but I have more coming from the other company.

The first one I got way the Father Christmas bath bomb. I’ve seen this one be reviewed so much that I thought I’d give it a go and see what I think. I really like the scent, its sweet but not in a sickly way. I find that some scents are too sickly but I think that once this is in the bath it will smell amazing! Its one that will definitely fill the bathroom and really get you into a cosy mood where you get into bed right after and watch a film or read a book.

The second one I got was the Santasaurus reusable bubble bar. I love the look of this one because I love dinosaurs, I don’t know why but anything with a dinosaur on is a must for me to buy, so when I saw this I knew I had to get it. I’ve never used a reusable bubble bar so I’m not too sure if I’m going to like it, but we will find out. I really like the smell of this one, its not a sweet scent and I dont know the official word for it but it smells deeper/darker like its not a sweet scent, its almost muskier?? I’m not really sure but it smells soooo good!

The third one I brought was the Snowie bubble bar. When it turned up it was a little chipped and missing an eye, but its no biggie cos I’m gonna crush it anyway. I like the faint glitter/shine in it, I’m really excited to use this bubble bar and may use it tonight then review it for you guys tomorrow, but either way its really cute and is again one of my favourite scents, its muskier (again not sure if that the right word but we’re gonna go with it) and looks really cute, even missing an eye.

The last one I got was the Christmas Penguin bubble bar, again totally excited to use this and purely because it was a penguin, I felt the need to buy it. Its really cute and I like how it’s in a cone shape, its kinda cute… I’m not too sure on the scent but I’m hoping its one of those that smells a thousand times better in the bath.

Sorry blogmas kinda failed straight away, but I’ve been mega busy and haven’t had much time to plan them that well, but I’m still gonna try and do it!

Christmas Lush Haul

Winter Essentials

With winter already hitting hard here with ice everywhere and freezing cold winds, theres a few essentials that everyone should have on them in these colder months.

1. Lip Balm

You’re going to need a lip balm to avoid horrible chapped lips that everyone gets in the winter time, I usually have two, one in my make up bag that I put on every morning & evening, as well as one in my handbag for on the go

2. Dark Lipstick

Lipstick is another must for me and at the moment I am loving matte colours, and I know this isn’t an extremely dark shade but its my favourite at the moment for every day use and its MACs Persistence

3. Thick Scarf

One of the things that keeps me going during the winter is a thick scarf. I personally really like the hoop ones that are a big circle you twist over your head (I’m not explaining this too well) but I find their perfect for burying my face and hands in when its pretty cold

4. Emergency Coffee Money

I try to make sure that there is at least a fiver in my bag at all times for emergency money incase I need food or to get the bus somewhere, but in the winter it turns into emergency coffee money for those times you walk past a coffee shop & just think how good a warm coffee would be right at that moment

5. Thick Winter Coats

Thick winter coats are a must everywhere, however this year I am loving the Duster coats that you can get in pretty much any clothing store. I feel they go so well with pretty much any outfit as well as being able to look casual as well as smart when needed

6. Turtle Neck

I love turtle necks and impulsively buy them whenever I see one, wether its a top, jumper, dress or body suit, I just love them. Their one of my fashion staples because you can match them with anything, skirts, jeans and for those lazy days, leggins. I have a big oversized knitted jumper thats turtle neck and its perfect for cold morning and early starts

7. Dark Nail Varnish

What is winter with out the dark nail varnish? Or even the bright red nail varnish when it gets closer to Christmas? I love how nail varnish can complete a look so I personally stick to black, burgundy, beige, greys and reds in the winter time because they go with pretty much any outfit

Comment below what your winter essentials are!

Winter Essentials

Favourite Christmas Book

So I haven’t started reading any Christmas books yet this year since its only the second day of December, however one of my absolute favourite books for the winter is Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. I love how you need to pay attention to notice when the stories intertwine and join. I think its so carefully written in such a warming way that you get drawn in to the story. Its totally one of those books for the days under the blanket with the heating on. The other thing that I really liked was the fact that all three authors used the same setting but with their own unique character and character storyline, slowly intertwining them into the same story. This is a story that is totally worth reading at Christmas!

Comment below your favourite Christmas book!

Favourite Christmas Book

Christmas Tag

So with today being the first of December, why not kick blogmas off with a Christmas tag?
1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
My favourite Christmas movie has to be Love Actually. I first saw this a few years ago and loved it! The stories and plot of the film was so touching and heart warming, how can it not be a Christmas favourite?! One of my other favourites is Home Alone, its a perfect Christmas comedy that never gets old.
2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
I always open half my presents on Christmas morning and the other half on Boxing day because we see one side of our family one day and the other on the other day, which we alternate each year who we see when.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
One of my favourite Christmas memories has to be from when I was around nine and my aunt gave me some kiddy make up, so eye shadow, blusher, lipsticks etc that came in this plastic box. I went on to put my make up on myself and thinking I looked amazing went to my grandparents house in my favourite outfit and this face full of make up. Needless to say I looked a mess and my make up skills have definitely improved!
4. Favourite festive food?
Mine totally has to be pigs in blankets. I have a small obsession with bacon so this is the single best food next to roast potatoes at Christmas.
5. Favourite Christmas gift?
I don’t really have a favourite because everything I got each year was equally as good as the previous and my parents were very strict about not spoiling me, so I’d say the one that stands out the most would be either my first mp3 player when I was 10 or my Nintendo DS when I was 8…
6. Favourite Christmas scent?
This is a hard one but I’d say the smell of the Christmas tree because it just makes it feel like Christmas when you have the scent of the tree filling the house.
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Not really… when I was little we would watch the count down of the top 100 Christmas songs before I would go to bed, and I would always leave a letter to Santa out with the milk and food and in the morning I would have a reply, or there would be evidence of Santa being in the house in some way, the most memorable being dirty food prints and bit of red cloth believed to be his trousers stuck in the loft hatch!

8. What tops your tree?

It was an old angel that my parents had had for years before it was replaced with a small one I made in school in year two until that one broke and we brought another angel.

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

Its a tie between a dog and a piano… I wanted them both equally and my parents were both equally adamant I wasn’t going to get one. I remember my dad telling me Santa can’t get a piano in his sleigh and me pointing out that Santa is magic and can do what he likes.
10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
I enjoy having the time off school and work and getting to spend time with my parents because during the year I’m so busy juggling school and work and my social life that I rarely get to see them that often, so getting to spend some days with them is a perk.
Christmas Tag