My Hopes For 2020

We’ve done it. It’s the last day of 2019 and we’re about to go into a new decade. The 2010s were full of growing and change, I left school, I left college, got my degree, started my career. The 2020s are also going to be full of change, I’ll be getting married in 2021, this will be the decade I hopefully have children, maybe put a deposit down on a house. It’s a lot.

So, what do I hope for the first year of this new decade? I just want a steady year. Is that mad? I don’t need massive changes and fireworks – 2019 had that for me. I would love to be able to get on with my current plans, pay off the wedding and count down – work on some projects that are interesting. See friends and family and that, to put it simply, is enough for me.

I know that 2021 is going to be incredible and fast paced and brilliant but for 2020? A chilled year would suit me just fine.

What do you hope for in 2020?

Blogmas 2019 Merry Christmas

Blogmas 2019: Merry Christmas

I have no idea if anyone will be reading blogs on Christmas day. For some of my regular readers the day will be super busy with family and friends. I also know people who won’t be celebrating for a variety of reasons.

For those who are I wish you a very Merry Christmas. For those who don’t I’ll be back with another blog tomorrow!

Lots of love,

Chloe

Hogwarts In The Snow At The Harry Potter Studio Tour!

Blogmas 2019: Hogwarts In The Snow At The Harry Potter Studio Tour!

It’s Christmas Eve and a time to chill out, so tonight I wanted to share with you some of the pictures from my visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford this month. Warning, you might get some serious magical envy from this little glimpse!

Had to catch my train first of course! Here I am about to run through to Platform 9 and 3/4! And yes this is all over my social media at the moment…you’re welcome.

You can go on the train guys. YOU CAN GO ON THE TRAIN! It was pretty awesome, obviously a little busy but what can you do.

You can also pop into the Dursley’s and see where Harry attempted to get his letter (tip Harry, it’s on the floor).

Hopping on the Knight Bus!

After a Butterbeer ice cream as well, it might have been freezing cold but it was yummy af.

But how beautiful is this piece from the Yule Ball? This was definitely my favourite part of the tour – so, so beautiful and detailed.

Or maybe it was seeing Hogwarts – but I didn’t cry this time!

Blogmas 2019: 20 Songs I Could Not Stop Listening To In 2019

Blogmas 2019: 20 Songs I Could Not Stop Listening To In 2019

Music makes the world go around. I really believe that and it’s one of my favourite things in the world, so I decided to scroll through my phone to see what I’ve been listening to a lot this year. Here’s some of my favourites!

Thank U, Next (whole album) – Ariana Grande

Truth Hurts – Lizzo

In The Middle – Dodie

Secret For The Mad – Dodie

Wasabi – Little Mix (actually the whole of the LM5 album has been on repeat)

Good As Hell – Lizzo ft Ariana Grande

Feeling Myself – Nicki Minaj feat. Beyonce

Voldemort – With Confidence

Lover (the whole album) – Taylor Swift

I Like Boys – Todrick Hall

I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber

Old Town Road – Lil Nas and Billy Ray Cyrus

Bad Guy – Billie Eilish

You Should See Me In A Crown – Billie Eilish

Nightmare – Halsey

Sorry – Beyoncé

Six Inch Heels – Beyoncé

Monopoly – Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét

Dead Girl Walking – performed by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Catch You – Dashboard Confessional

Please Me – Cardi B and Bruno Mars

A lot of kick ass women, a lot of great songs. Next year I want to get back to some good old pop punk too! Can you recommend me any albums? Let me know below. 👇

Book Review: Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kay

“With twenty-five tales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents, the British public will finally appreciate the sacrifices made and the challenges faced by the unsung heroes of the NHS.”

As we head back to the hospital wards with Kay we’re thrown back into the chaos and you will laugh so much in a short span of pages. I’ll be honest I wanted more! I absolutely loved this and it was a perfect follow up to This Is Going To Hurt.

I will warn you, and so does Kay, that there is one point in the book that describes a medical procedure that is hard to read. There is a description of a termination which is not pleasant but I did read it and I’m please I did especially in regards to the circumstances that lead to it. This is clearly marked and you can skip it if you wish. It is so important even if it is a tough read.

Aside from that, the rest of the book does have a lot of laughs, a lot of face palming at the stupidity of people and also a whole lot of heart – just was we found in the first book. Once again, Kay has produced a perfect mix of education, humour, kindness and moments that have you wondering just how some people are functioning human beings.

If anything, this is a stark reminder of the work the NHS does, the reason that we need to try our hardest to protect and to only use the right services. Your GP doesn’t need to know about your cold. You can use online services! You only need to call an ambulance in an incredibly serious situation! I know the majority of my readers know this but the point still stands we need to try to help the NHS and those who work in it in any way that we can.

Is it any wonder that I gave this 5 stars? Adam Kay is a fantastic writer and I can’t wait to see what he does next. While this was short it was a perfect read in the run up to Christmas when we are all so busy. I’ve also been recommending it to EVERYONE. Go and pick it up, maybe with some Christmas money? 😉

Blogmas 2019: My Top 5 Posts Of 2019

Blogmas 2019: My Top 5 Posts Of 2019

I always try and look back to see what you guys have enjoyed reading on my blog to give me some ideas about what to write about and make sure I can get you to come back (your likes, comments and views mean the world to me!).

So, I decided to look back and see what I’ve written this year that you guys have enjoyed! I know this year I’ve been connecting with more of the Spoonie community and it shows! So, let’s get cracking.

What It’s Like To Use A Walking Stick In Your 20s

I was a little emotional about this being my top post I’ve written this year because I was nervous about it. I didn’t intend on having a walking stick in my 20s – I don’t think anyone does! I have to thank you guys with my whole, whole heart thank you so much for reading this.

You can read it here.

Life Update – I’m Getting Married!

I’m not surprised at all this is one of my top posts. I’m super excited and can’t wait to keep updating you all with wedding plans, the day itself and if anything changes during married life…

You can read it here.

Book Review: Louis and Louise – Julie Cohen

The only book review to make it into my top 5! Wells deserved though it was a great book.

You can read it here.

Real Talk: How I Felt After Getting Engaged

Getting engaged was the best part of this year, BUT, it was also super overwhelming so I decided to get honest about it.

You can read it here.

10 Things Not To Say To A Chronically Ill Person – And What To Say Instead

A little bit of information goes a long way – especially when it’s got helpful tips or tricks. The spoonie community really enjoyed this one.

You can read it here.

Thanks so much guys! Which ones were your favourites?

My A-Z of Christmas

Blogmas 2019: My A-Z Of Christmas!

We’re only a few days away from Christmas so I did a quickfire A-Z of Christmas. Warning there’s a fair bit of food on here…I was pretty hungry.

A – Advent Calendars

A little bit of chocolate every day, yes, yes, yes!

B – Bacon Sandwiches

A Christmas morning tradition in my family.

C – Christmas Tree

We got a new tree in our new flat and I am in loooooove.

D – Decorations

See above, we have Harry Potter, Star Wars, Colour and Woodland Creature. It’s wonderful.

E – Early start!

My sister will not let me sleep in…even though I now live across town.

F – Family

Whether it’s the ones you’re related to by blood or the families you create yourself it’s time to spend with those you love!

G – Gifts!

If you say that you’re not interested in the gifts at all you’re a bare-faced liar! Who doesn’t like opening a present!

H – Hot Chocolate

Regular, flavoured whatever it is, it has to have cream on the top.

I – Ice, lots of ice

So we don’t really get snow here on Christmas day but the ice can look really pretty early on Christmas morning. Apart from when you have to walk on it.

J – Jumpers of the Christmas variety

I currently have 4 or 5, I’m not sure but either way I’m a fan.

K – Kris Kringle

Had to have him in here somewhere, right?

L – Late Night Shopping

Also known as hell on earth.

M – Merry Christmas!

Pretty obvious.

N – Nuts

I don’t even eat them but I did say it was the first thing I thought of…

O – Oranges

Wether real or Chocolate, it’s all good.

P – Pigs In Blankets

As a meat eater these are top tier of food. Yum.

Q – Quality Street

Two words. Green. Triangle.

For my readers outside the UK they are big tin of sweets that come out around Christmas time.

R – Robins

I love seeing these little guys in the winter, particularly the one that will fly down and chill out with my Gramps in his garden waiting to be fed.

S – Secret Santa

Mine smashed it this year with a Victoria Schwab book and chocolate. Can it get any better? No, no it can’t.

T – TV

All the Christmas specials! Personally, I can’t wait for Gavin and Stacey and Big Fat Quiz of the Year.

U – Underwear

Is it even Christmas if you don’t receive at least one pair of knickers/pants?

V – Vienetta

I don’t care what anyone says it is a Christmas dessert. For my non-UK readers, it’s a block of ice cream and chocolate and is divine.

W – Wrapping paper…everywhere

So much wrapping I’m just pleased my presents all match this year. I’m a sucker for an aesthetic BUT next year I’ll be wrapping in brown paper to be more eco-friendly!

X – xxx kisses, anyone?

I’ll take any excuse to kiss my finacé!

Y – Yule Ball!

Is it even Christmas if you don’t end up watching at least 1 Harry Potter film over Christmas? Bonus points for the Christmas scenes in Goblet of Fire for the Yule Ball…obviously.

Z – Zzzz

I’m looking forward to taking a good amount of naps after I’m finished in retail this Christmas.

Feel free to do this yourself and make sure to tag me so I can have a read.

Blogmas 2019 - Ranking Cadbury Heroes

Blogmas 2019: Ranking Cadbury Heroes Chocolates

We’ve made it, the last installment of ranking Christmas chocolates. It’s been long, it’s been opinionated but here we are. Now it’s Cadbury’s turn to be under the microscope.

Are you ready? Let’s do it.

9. Fudge

Ok, I confess I find these super bland and pretty tasteless compared to some of the other varieties of fudge in other boxes around Christmas. Always left as a last resort.

8. Dairy Milk Caramel

I’m not a fan of caramel and in these it’s too sickly sweet for my liking. and there’s never a good chocolate to caramel ratio. I’m very passionate about this.

7. Eclair

Similar to the toffee penny in Quality Street, this one can take a tooth out if you’re not careful, even though they are pretty yummy. It just takes a while to get through them.

6. Double Decker

They’re not the best but they’re definitely not the worst. I much prefer the bigger version of these but beggars can’t be choosers.

5. Wispa

Pretty standard but also pretty good also works super well if you dip it in hot chocolate – thank me later. 😉

4. Twirl

All hail the Twirl, one of my favourite Cadbury bars in tiny format – what’s there not to love?

3. Crunchie

The addition of the Crunchie was a bloody brilliant idea and they are so tasty, which is why they are secure in the spot of number 3 and not to be moved.

2. Classic Dairy Milk

You can’t beat a classic bit of Dairy Milk can you? It’s a staple of British chocolate and I don’t think you can go wrong with it.

1. Creme Egg Twisted

A little bite of Creme Egg at Christmas? Yes please. One of the best decisions the people at Cadbury made. I stand by it.

Where would you rank the Heroes? Let me know below! 👇

Blogmas 2019: My Christmas Playlist

We are SO CLOSE to Christmas now so I’m hoping you’re all ready to get super Christmassy with a playlist! These are some of my favourite tunes to get me in the mood. Here we go! 🎵

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

Santa Baby – Kylie Minogue

Last Christmas – Wham!

Merry Christmas Everyone – Slade

Step into Christmas – Elton John

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! – Dean Martin

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

Baby It’s Cold Outside – Tom Jones

Frosty the Snowman – Jackson 5

Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town – Jackson 5

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Ronettes

The Christmas Song – Nat ‘King’ Cole

Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness

Christmas Wrapping – The Spice Girls

All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonder

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Jingle Bell Rock  – Bobby Helms

Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson (new entry to my faves this year!)

Have I missed any off the list? Let me know below!

Blogmas: My 5 Favourite Audiobooks of 2019

I have listened to so many incredible books this year and choosing 5 was incredibly hard, but I managed it. Because of the way I’m working I don’t think I’m going to get through another audiobook in 2019 so I’m calling it here. But what made the list?

Over The Top – Jonathan Van Ness

Ok honey, make way for THE Jonathan released a book and it was fabulous. Now, I haven’t watched all of Queer Eye but what I’ve watched I’ve loved. Then I saw Jonathan talking about his life, his HIV diagnosis and life I had to get hold of this book and the audiobook was perfect. Jonathan reads it and I could not have loved it more.

It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue (And Other Lies) – Edited by Scarlett Curtis

At first I was trying to read my copy but decided to switch to the audiobook and it was a brilliant choice. A large number of contributors read their own pieces and it makes it easier to digest. As you can imagine, there are some heavy topics in here, but importants ones.

The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

I don’t usually listen to fiction but seeing as Carrie Hope Fletcher narrated it, I wanted to give it a go. I’m SO glad I did I absolutely loved it, a really heartwarming story and it might even end up as one of my favourite books of the year…

The Five: The Untold Lives Of The Women Killed By Jack The Ripper – Hallie Rubenhold

I heard about this on booktube and was interested and then it came up as a £2.99 deal (if you like audiobooks I’d definitely sign up to them I’ve got some crackers on there). This changes the narrative and instead of focusing on the killer, this looks at the women themselves their lives and families and dispels the myth that they were all prostitutes.

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book, the cast, the story. I could not stop listening to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – so much so my fiancé found me listening to it in the evenings as well as all day while working. It’s an incredible novel and I am kicking myself for getting to it so late!

What audiobooks should I check out in 2020? Let me know below!