Lifestyle | 101 in 1001

It has recently dawned on me that I turn twenty in just over six months. I'm gearing up for the end of my teenage years. Sure, I may have almost a decade before I plan on even considering 'settling down' with a family etc. but there are so many amazing things that I'd love to achieve and experience before that day comes.

I'm all about planning ahead. My head is a constant array of lists of things that I want to see; places I want to go; people I want to spend my days with. The concept of my life truly being whatever I make it to be really fascinates me and I know I owe it to myself to make it an incredible one. Sadly, my constant focus on what lies ahead does sometime hinder my ability to live in the moment and seize the day, but that is why I love concepts such as bucket lists and the 101 in 1001 project.

One of my September goals was to really seize the day and enjoy new opportunities, and I feel like starting a 101 in 1001 project is a great way to do this. When this project finishes I will be twenty two and graduating from university - what a scary thought!

The 101 in 1001 project was created by the Day Zero Project and is rather brilliant, if you ask me. Tens of thousands of people have given themselves the challenge of creating and completing a list of realistic yet stretching tasks that interest and excite them. The 1001 day time period provides the key to beating procrastination whilst still making it achievable.

I've tried to make sure that every single one of the things on this little list of mine are realistic in the space of time that I have to work with and - fingers crossed - they all will be. I'm looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone and finally getting around to do so many of the things I've been aspiring to for years. I've also tried to include many ideas that can be done within a group (whether it be friends or family) because life's better when you've got someone to enjoy it with, isn't it?

Start Date: 6th September 2017
End Date: 3rd June 2020

In Progress

1. Go on a road trip around the UK
2. Visit Disneyland
3. See the Sun rise over Stonehenge
4. See more of Europe
5. Visit the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
6. Travel first class
7. See the Northern Lights
8. Take my sister away for the weekend
9. Go glamping
10. Visit Paris
11. See Giant's Causeway
12. Stay in the Hard Days Night Hotel, Liverpool (again)
13.Visit Italy
14. Go on a mother-daughter trip
15. See more of the UK
16. Go on a spontaneous trip
17. Visit a Christmas market abroad
18. Stay in Portmeirion (again)
19. Visit Madam Tussauds
20. Visit the Lavender Fields, Banstead, England

Events and Attractions
21. Go to a drive-in movie
22. Attend a fashion show
23.Go to Clothes Show Live
24. Watch a movie at the hot tub cinema
25. Attend a music festival
26. Throw a surprise party
27. Go to IMATS
28. Watch five new-to-me musicals in the West End
29. Attend the filming of a TV show
30. See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the theatre
31. Try an escape room
32. Try 10 new restaurants 
33. Attend a murder mystery dinner
34. Watch Les Miserables in the West End
35. Attend a blogging event
36. Visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour again (especially at Christmas) 
37. Attend a vintage fair
38. Go to a concert 
39. Attend the first screening of a new film
40. Throw a dinner party
41. Attend a film festival
42. Visit a book market
43. See a traditional Christmas pantomime
44. Go on the Jack The Ripper Walking Tour, London
45. Plan a surprise day out for someone

46. Read 100 new books
47. Learn to cook a signature dish
48. Begin to learn a new language
49. Complete 10 DIY projects (Pinterest sourced; most likely)
50. Improve my photography skills
51. Take a cocktail making class
52. Start dancing again
53. Put together a scrapbook
54. Refurbish a Car Boot Sale find
55. Learn basic sign language
56. Go to a book signing
57. Ask 20 friends for a book recommendation and read them all.

Health, Beauty and Fitness
58. Go to the gym 3 times a week for a month
59. Try a new sport
60. Try Zumba
61. Take part in the Moonwalk in London
62. Complete the Couch to 5K Challenge
63. Try pole fitness
64. Take part in a fun run
65. Take vitamins religiously
66. Complete a Juice Cleanse
67. Try a Barre Class
68. Be able to do the splits
69. Do the Race for Life
70. Eat no fast food for a month
71. Drink 2 litres of water a day for a month
72. Answer the '50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind'
73. Go hiking
74. Experience a floatation tank

Education and Work
75. Graduate from University
76. Secure a graduate job
77. Volunteer for a cause I'm passionate about
78. Work at a Summer Camp
79. Complete an advanced first aid course
80. Take 10 classes/workshops to learn new skills
81. Create the perfect workspace/desk

82. Reach 1000 blog followers
83. Blog everyday for a month
84. Have professional photos taken
85. Send more handwritten notes and cards
86. Ride a Segway
87. Write a letter to my future self
88. Ride a Quad Bike
89. Complete a colouring book
 90. Adopt an endangered animal
91. Wake up early to watch the sunrise
92. Learn to drive
93. Ride in a hot air balloon
94. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon
95. Go indoor rock-climbing
96. Buy a lottery ticket
97. Order room service
98. Leave an inspirational message in a public place
99. Learn self defence
100. Put a secret in a balloon and let it fly away
101. Do something I'm afraid of

I plan on documenting most - if not all - of these things here on my blog so you can join me on my little adventure. To be honest I think the potential for some rather wonderful blog and Instagram posts will further motivate me to really get my derriere in gear and get cracking on the list.

Have you started a 101 in 1001 challenge of you own? I'd love to know what you're planning on doing. Also, if any of you have done any of the items featured on my list and can provide any fancy tips and tricks then I'll honestly love you forever.

Thoughts | September Goals

Hello again September, boy have you come around quickly. 2017 seems to have flashed before my eyes.

This month is going to be a busy one. I'm moving to a new city and starting university - eek. It's the start of a new chapter of my life, a chapter I'm determined is going to be amazing. I thought it fitting to create some goals summarising some of the little changes I want to make to my life, in line with the new start. 

1. Step out of my Comfort Zone
I'll be honest, just moving to Sheffield full stop is me stepping out of my comfort zone. For the first time in my life I won't have my family or my boyfriend there to hold my hand and I'll have to stand on my own two feet. Surprisingly though, I'm feeling very positive about the whole thing. I know uni will require me to step out of my comfort zone in a number of ways, for example; going on nights out (which is a rarity for me, I'll be honest) but I'm welcoming the challenge with open arms.

2. Seize the Day
September marks the start of a new life in a new city for me and I can't wait. I want to make the most of my three years at university; do new things (no matter how scary), meet a tonne of new people and just live life to the fullest. I want to seize every day, every opportunity and fully enjoy it, documenting my adventures along the way.

(Cheesy goal or what?)

3. Read More
September is going to be a busy busy month but I'm hoping to find the time to get a bit more reading done. I've always adored reading but life has taken over recently and I have struggled to dedicate  time to getting my nose in a good book. My plan is to hit the charity shops to treat myself to some new paperbacks and then get into a routine of reading every night before bed.

4. Get Active Again
Due to ill health all fitness-related activity had to be put on the back-burner a few months back. I'm hoping that if I take it steady I can get back into it. My uni accommodation has an onsite gym which I'm hoping will motivate me. I'm also hoping to try some new sports/ways of keeping fit in the new term.

5. Commit to Blogging
I had to slip a little blogging goal in there didn't I? August marked my return to the world of blogging and I want to continue working hard and staying committed in September. Regular posts, taking part in twitter chats, creating content I'm proud of etc. I have lots of blog post ideas in this noggin of mine and I can't wait to get writing in September.

Have you made any goals for the month ahead?

Theatre | Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre

There really is nothing like the feeling you get when the curtain goes up at the start of a theatre performance. Your heart races and your body tingles as the first notes of the music reaches your ears.

Last week I made another trip into London's west end, and took my seat at the Savoy Theatre, to witness the magic of Casey Nicholaw’s - 5 times Olivier nominated - production of the musical Dreamgirls.

Dreamgirls is a captivating story set in the 60s and 70s. It follows The Dreamettes, a young female singing group, through a revolutionary time in American music history. Aside from focusing on the music business, Dreamgirls looks into the lives of the women off-stage and encompasses the themes of love, rejection, friendship and staying true to yourself. It was made into a film in 2006 staring gems such as BeyoncĂ© and Jennifer Hudson, and opened in the west end in Autumn 2016.

Amber Riley, best known for playing Mercedes Jones in Glee, was sheer perfection in the role of Effie White. She won the Olivier Award for 'Best Actress in a Musical' this year, and rightfully so. Not only does she have the best vocals I've ever seen live by a mile, but she is also an incredible actress with impeccable comedic timing.

Riley was joined on stage by a five star cast, with standout performances from Adam J. Bernard, as the hilariously charismatic diva Jimmy Early, and Jocasta Almgill who understudied the role of Deena so perfectly you would have never known she normally plays an ensemble role. 

The entire audience was just captivated by the talent of the cast, as proven by the way we found ourselves giving a standing ovation mid-way through some of the numbers. Credit is due to the casting directors of  this show as they have really managed to secure a cast who are worth their weight in gold.

Dreamgirls is staged using a very simplistic set, which is enhanced using gorgeous lighting that really emphasises the glistening diva costumes. 

Whilst the staging and costumes were incredible, it is really the soulful music which is the defining point of the show. I was unfamiliar with most of the music from the show - aside from the theatre classics such as 'And I Am Telling You', 'Listen' and 'One Night Only' - but I fell in love with it. 'Steppin' to the Badside' was a particular favourite of mine, and the strong vocals of Joe Aaron Reid (as Curtis Taylor Jr) and the rest of the male cast were paired with slick dance moves.

The rendition of 'Listen' by Amber Riley and Jocasta Almgill was flawless, (dare I say it) blowing BeyoncĂ©'s version out of the water. And as an audience we spent most of the interval picking our jaws up off the floor following Amber Riley's mesmerising performance of 'And I Am Telling You'. Boy did that woman sing the roof of the theatre.

I must also comment on the sheer dedication to her fans that Amber Riley displayed that night. Following the curtain call, she came out of stage door and signed the programs of every single person waiting there for her. I'd made my way to stage door in the hope I could simply catch a glimpse of her, so for her to take the time to talk to me and sign my program (alongside the programs of a few dozen other theatre geeks) was incredible.

Dreamgirls is a must-see show. Prepare to have your breath taken away as you witness the power vocals of the cast and the emotion of the captivating production. 

Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre is now booking until February 2018.