Thoughts | 2016 Bucket List

Hello one and all and welcome to the end of the grand old year that has been 2015! I hope you have an ever so lovely start to the brand new year and I do hope 2016 is kind to every single one of you. 

Regular readers will already be aware that I am in the process of completing a 101 in 1001 challenge and - whilst I can assure you that this is still a work in process, I thought it would be a good idea to choose a number of those goals for completion of the next year. I have all my fingers and toes crossed that I will indeed manage to complete even more of the noted tasks and trials than I have scheduled for this particular year, but for now I feel like this is a good goal. And any excuse for another good tick list hey?
1. See more of the UK
2. Spend a Weekend Away with Friends
3. Go to Clothes Show Live
4. See a Comedy Show
5. Visit The Warner Brothers Studio Tour
6. Watch Les Miserables in the West End
7. Attend a Blogging Event
8. Go on the Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
9. Read all of the books on my To-Read in 2016 List
10. Complete more Pinterest-inspired DIY Projects
11. Watch 50 new films
12. Refurbish a Car Boot Sale Find
13. Try Zumba
14. Take Vitamins Religiously
15. Complete a Juice Cleanse
16. Do the Race for Life
17. Pass my A-Levels
18. Learn to Drive
19. Complete a Wreck This Journal
20. Have A Harry Potter Movie Marathon
 What are you hoping to achieve in the grand old year that is 2016?

Books | To Read in 2016

It's completely fair to say that my 'To Read in 2015' challenge failed with a capital and a cherry on the top. I aspired to read a collection of 60 titles, predominantly from the Young Adult genre, but actually managed a grand total of 5 of the books from that specified selection. Of course I did manage to get my nose into a fair few more books over the course of the year, but in regards to my specifically chosen list I did absolutely appallingly. I'm the kind of person to walk into a charity shop or a book shop and come out with an arm full of new books to add to my already out of control to-read pile, so I simply didn't get round to ordering these specific titles.
So I've decided to get myself the challenge again. To make it ever so slightly easier I'm going to cut the total number of titles down to 52; that's one book a week for the entirety of twenty-sixteen. A fair few of the 55 books that were carelessly abandoned during last years challenge will be making a reappearance alongside a handful of new beauties that have caught my eye in recent months.

I aim to review as many of these little beauties as possible as and when I get my nose in them when the new year comes round. If any of these titles particularly takes your fancy, let me know and I'll make sure that it makes the cut.

Have you planned your reading list for the new year?

Lifestyle | Five Happy Things #1

In an attempt to encourage a more positive outlook on life, I've decided to start my own little Five Happy Things Project, to share with you, every so often, what things are keeping my spirits up as of late. And what better time to start than when festive cheer is rife?

Here's what has made me happy recently:

1. Catching Up With A Good Book
For me the winter months are when my inner bookworm truly comes out to play and I've been thoroughly enjoying getting my nose into more titles. I've had a rather extensive list of books I aimed to get my hands on over the past year but sadly this list has had to be pushed forward to 2016 as I've been well and truly lacking in reading time recently (ever so slightly off topic but you will be able to have a peek at my "To Read in 2016" list at some point in the coming weeks; keep your eyes peeled). I made my first library trip of the past few months earlier in the week and picked up a range of books that I've been obsessing over so far, so expect a review or two in the not so distant future.

2. Surprise Texts
It's always nice when someone takes time out of their day to send you a little text to let you know they're thinking about you. Recently I was lucky enough to have a lovely individual send me an impromptu message just to check how I was following a rather tough day and it really made me smile knowing that someone cared enough to ask, particularly someone who I wouldn't expect to.

3. Pyjamas
I'm a little embarrassed to admit just how much time I have spent in my pyjamas this past week. Primark do some wonderful little bedtime beauties; enough said.

4. The Michalak Family Vlogs
Oh how I do love this little family. Their weekly vlogs are normally the highlight of my Sunday evenings (they make the perfect partner to a warm mug of hot chocolate following a long shift at work) and now I'm really rather loving watching their Vlogmas videos. I really struggle to understand how they do not have a billion and one more subscribers; their videos are the definition of perfection (although I do have to admit that watching their adorable son Grayson grow up is making me ever so slightly broody - but let's just keep that between us).

If you have never been blessed with the viewing of one of their vlogs, you can find them here. Enjoy.

5. Movie Nights
When it's rather freezing outside there truly is nothing better than watching a good film on Netflix (particularly something festive at this time of year; Love Actually I'm looking at you) whilst all snuggled up in bed with a pair of cosy pyjamas and a hot chocolate in hand.

And to spread some joy I thought it would be a lovely idea to share with you a handful of the posts by fellow bloggers that have taken my liking recently:

1. "My 2015 in Theatre" by Ellie at Little Ellie Mae

2. "Why It's Okay To Unfollow" by Megan at Lazy Thoughts

3. "2016 Travel Bucket List" by Hannah at Hannah Heartss

4. "How To Survive Christmas Without Getting Stressed" by Asia at Asia Jade

5. "Inspirational Living: Random Acts of Kindness" by Della at Della Loves Nutella
What has made you happy recently?

Blogmas | Festive Teen Bloggers Meet Up

After opening the thirteenth door of my advent calender, I hopped on a train down to London for a festive teen bloggers shindig. There really is nothing I love more than catching up with the blogging girlies for a natter, a shop and a bite to eat, so the meet up was the perfect way to wrap up the year in style.

Although our numbers decreased on the day due to that pesky winter cough and cold stealing all the bloggers away, I couldn't have asked for a lovelier bunch of girls to spend the day with. It was a lovely blend of old chums and new faces, but soon enough we were all chatting like we'd known each other forever.

The festive celebrations began at 12:30 when we met at Starbucks in Covent Garden. Our plan was to sit down and have a nice cuppa (or a hot chocolate in the case of us non tea drinkers) and a natter but we didn't really factor in just how busy London can get, so it was virtually impossible to find enough chairs to cater for us all, so we ended up starting our shopping earlier. After spending far too much time and money in the likes of Boots, The Body Shop and MAC, we headed on over to our lunch location Zizzi's.

Zizzi's is one of my favourite restaurants to go to for a bite to eat, and there really is something for everybody on the menu. I had the lasagna and shared a side with one or two of the girls, followed by a 'Chocolate Melt' dessert which was simply heavenly. During our lunch we played a festive game of pass the parcel of sorts, and took part in a secret santa  box swap. I recieved a lovely selection of bits and pieces from Asia, all of which I will be featuring on here at some point.

After the meal, Tori, Becca and I had a mooch around some of the other shops Covent Garden has on offer, admiring (and photographing) all the stunning festive window displays on the way. Expect a post in the not so distant future dedicated to just how beautiful London is at Christmas.

I was oh so lucky to be able to work with a selection of lovely beauty brands to put together a festive goodie bag for each attendee. It was my little christmas gift to them, as they all deserve a special something for working so hard on their blogs this year (of course, all of the other bloggers in the land deserve something too but I don't have the magical present-delivering powers Santa has, so I was only able to treat those who were there on the day). I'm going to be dedicating a post to the goodie bags (with a full review of each product coming in due course) so keep your eyes peeled over the next few days.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to attend the meet up. It was lovely to see you all, and I really hope I'll be able to see you very soon.


What christmas adventures have you been having?

P.S: I'm considering hosting a third teen bloggers meet up sometime around easter (late march/early april) time, so if you'd be interested in attending, let me know so I can have an idea of how many people would be up for it. x

December | Festive Pins Of Interest

My oh my, hasn't it been a fair while since I've done a Pins of Interest post? Despite the halt in posts, I can assure you there has been no halt in my pinterest activities. Pinterest is still my one true love in the app world and I can easily spend hours on end scrolling through my feed and repinning anything and everything that takes my fancy. Today I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you a little glimpse into some of the things that have caught my eye over the last month whilst I've been pinning away.

Recently I've been pinning a lot of lovely and festive images, to help me get into the Christmas spirit and to provide me with a bit of inspiration for snaps to take over the season. This year more than ever I've been loving a good festive wrapping picture, as I truly do love taking the time and effort to get everything all wrapped up and looking lovely. I've also been a massive fan of Christmassy home pins that can provide me with a little bit of inspiration for getting my bedroom ready for the festive season.

Are you a fellow pinterest geek? Make sure to leave me your details so I can have a nosey.

Currently | December

I thought it would be ever so nice to start my own little version of the 'Currently' series that the blogging world seems to have fallen in love with. So without further ado, here's what's been happening in my life as of late:
 My current bedside read is The End Of Everything by Megan Abbott. So far I'm struggling ever so slightly to get into it but I'm sure a couple more cosy nights in with a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and a book in the other will leave me madly in love with the tale.
I'll have to admit, I'm pretty devastated good ol' I'm A Celebrity is all done and dusted for the year. But wasn't it good? My current one true love in the TV world is, and has been for a while, Impractical Jokers. I constantly find myself watching re-runs and clips online and I've been rather loving watching the new series of a Monday night.
In the film world I'm continuing the challenge (as set in my 101 in 1001 post) to watch 100 new films. So far Netflix has shared four new movie beauties with me (The Rebound has been my definite favourite so far) and I must say I am rather loving having an extra excuse to have a cosy night in.
It's December... it's Christmas music time. I'll be honest, my Christmas playlist never leaves my Spotify account but now that the world's getting a bit more christmassy I feel like it's completely ok to be open about my festive listening.
I seem to be living in my pajamas at the moment. Primark and Misguided are doing themselves proud at the moment in the nightwear department at the moment and that's making me ever so happy.
The good TV that we seem to have been blessed with recently. I know not everyone's going to be a fan but this time of year welcomes some of my favourite shows (for example; I'm a Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice) alongside some new little beauties (namely Cuffs).
This is going to be a random one but I'm madly in love with the cereal Krave at the moment. Krave is something that I've been a fan of since it first hit the shelves way back when, but for some reason at the moment I'm finding myself enjoying it for practically every meal.
If you haven't tried the Costa 'Caramel Fudge' Hot Chocolate from their wonderful festive menu, you're missing out; enough said.
Every so Christmassy. Lots of Christmas shopping and talks of great Christmas do's with some of my favourite people have left me feeling ever so festive.
Needing To
Finish buying all of my Christmas presents. I sadly think I've splashed more cash on fancy festive wrapping bits and pieces than I have presents at the moment!
Looking Forward To
The festive period of course.
I was lucky enough to nab a rather nice pay packet last month as a result of rather a lot of overtime and I've definitely treated myself to a nice little gift or two. I definitely enjoyed the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and managed to get my hands on many a bargain.
A chilled out festive period. The past few months haven't been the nicest for me so I'm craving some "me time" and time spent relaxing with my loved ones.
For a white Christmas? A girl can dream can't she. I'd mention a good ol' kiss under the mistletoe but let's be realistic.

How's your December going for you?

Nails | KIKO Nail Polish "Beige Chrome"

Before a little venture into their Covent Garden store with the girls from the winter #tbloggers meet up, I was a KIKO virgin. But boy was I missing out.
As soon as I entered the store my eyes were drawn to their many many beautiful nail polishes. For me Sunday night is manicure night and I wanted to gift myself a new little polish (or two) that I could treat my nails to when that time of the week came around again.

Now that we're well and truly into the festive period I wanted to go for something fairly Christmassy, without going for a stereotypical red shade (as I own far too many of them already). I ended up peering at the more nude shades and as soon as I clapped eyes on "Beige Chrome" it was love.
"Beige Chrome" is a stunning sparkling champagne shade that is just perfect if you want a more discreet yet beautiful shade for Christmas. It would also be ever so lovely for New Years Eve, mind you.
Considering the ever so cheap price of this polish (I only had to part with a mere £2.50 to get my hands on it) I wasn't expecting it to be up to much standard-wise. But I was pleasantly surprised, I must admit. It applied ever so smoothly and didn't take that long at all to dry. Although I must note that I did also use my current beauty-obsession the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat just to speed up the drying process of the last coat. Back to this particular polish, it survived completely chip free for about five days, followed by a further two or three once I'd done a few touch-ups here and there. What more could you ask for?
(P.S: It's Henna on my fingers, just in case you were wondering)
I would like to say that I'm really not a fan of the name KIKO have given to this little beauty. A name such as "beige chrome" really doesn't paint this polish in the beautiful light that it deserves. Take notes KIKO bosses.
This polish retails at £3.90, although it is currently on offer for £2.50, and can be found online here.

Thoughts | A Winter Update

Boy it's been a little while hasn't it? The first sixth months of my eighteenth year of life (since I turned the ripe old age of seventeen for all of those among us who aren't particularly keen mathematicians) have been a rather hectic bunch to say the least, so sadly my little blog has been left to gather dust in the corner. 

Before I proceed to get my blogging backside into gear and return to my regular little rambles, I thought it would be a jolly nice idea to sit down together and have a bit of a catch up. I must admit, one of the things that fuels my passion for blogging is my inner nosiness; I'm a sucker for a good in-depth life lately ramble so that is exactly what I've got up my sleeve today.

Looking back at the horror that is the sure lack of posts on this little blog over the past few months, I noticed that my last good ol' catch up post dates back to around May 2015. Not wanting to miss a single instagrammed piece of cake or shopping trip splurge, I think I'll start all the way back then. However as I'm sure you have far too many advent calendars to be eating and Christmas carols to be singing (it is now December after all) I'll try and keep it short and sweet.

Being seventeen, my life revolves around the joy that is school. I sat my AS Levels in May and achieved results that I was (mostly) thoroughly surprised, yet pleased about. Not achieving complete-failure allowed me to pass through the gates into year thirteen; something I've definitely been having a love/hate relationship with so far. I study English Literature, Religious Studies and Sociology, three subjects that - for the most part - I completely adore. The workload has indeed been tremendous and the pressure rocketing sky-high but I dare say I'm slowly but surely getting it under my belt. I'm now thinking ahead to my desired location come September 2016 and have battled the terror that is UCAS to apply to a university, or five. My plan for next year is not 100% set in stone yet but I'm simply trying to live in the present, keeping my options open and preparing to cross that decision-making bridge as and when I reach it.

Since we last spoke I also feel like I've come on leaps and bounds working part-time. I'm going to be honest, for the best part of twenty-fifteen my job has been an extra source of anxiety, as a result of my desire to constantly achieve perfection and keep everybody (customers and colleagues alike) as happy as possible. I feel like in the last few months I've learnt how to enjoy my job. That may sound silly, but I genuinely love going to work now. I adore the people I work with and love interacting with the customers (for the most part that is, there's always going to be a couple that aren't your cup of tea and leave you smiling through gritted teeth). Finding a job that you genuinely love, particularly when you're working part-time as a student, is a rarity it seems so I couldn't be happier.

(I have just realised how so incredibly soppy that previous paragraph sounds so, if you come across me in a work environment as a customer or colleague please don't judge me too much.)

  A further new entry to my life is a level of self-confidence. Whilst I've always on the whole been a fairly confident person (or so I like to make out to those around me), I definitely have some insecurities; particularly in regards to my appearance. Don't get me wrong, these insecurities have by no means disappeared and there is still many a day where I stand by my mirror wishing that my skin was clearer or x part of my body looked different. But in general, I've become much more accepting of the way I look. Such an idea is well represented by the ever increasing number of photos featuring my face on social media. Whilst a solo selfie may still be a rarity in my life, I'm slowly but surely getting into a position of enjoying being the one in front of the lens as opposed to behind it, as a result of my increased acceptance of myself.

So that's us well and truly re-acquainted, don't you think? I'm going to try my upmost hardest to get my blogging schedule back up to scratch over the month of December, I promise. Whilst I don't think Blogmas is an at all attainable goal, perhaps a target of at least three posts a week will suit me nicely?

I hope you're having a truly lovely start to December, wherever in the world your feet currently tred.