My Top 10 Highlights of 2018

My Top 10 Highlights of 2018

We made it to the end of 2018 – wooooooo! It’s been a weird year of up and downs, but I’ve learnt a lot from it. I wanted to share with you just 10 of my highlights from 2018, it was hard to whittle them down! If you’re looking for my bookish favourites of the year you can find those here.

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Paramore

We kicked off the New Year with another trip to see Paramore, our 4th time together. As you can see Ali still doesn’t want to smile for pictures. Despite how it looks we had a great time!

Becoming A Published Poet

Finding out I was being published and then recieving the final product! I’m a published writer!!! I wonder what I can publish in 2019…

London Book Fair 2018

Visiting the London Book Fair

I was invited to attend the London Book Fair as a blogger with my Mum. It was something I wanted to do for a while and it was an interesting day, even if I did feel a little like a deer in headlights.

Hammies

One became…three. I said no more and then Ali and I went to Pets at Home and we saw our little guys BB & Artoo. I’m now a hamster Mum x3 and I absolutely love my little buddies. They really keep me company when Ali’s away.

YALC

I got to go to YALC! A whole day of being around book people, buying books and it was magical. I also got a pretty impressive book haul, which I’m still making my way through. Hopefully I can finish tme all before next year!

Going freelance & starting my business!

I’d been toying with the idea of going freelance for a few months but thought it was something I would never be able to do, until I had to! I’m now living life as a freelancer and absolutely LOVING it!

Six The Musical

Musicals!

I saw not one but two new musicals this year which I didn’t realise how much I missed! When I was younger I was a total musical nut, I even wanted to be a musical theatre actress when I grew up (more on that in another blog).

I loved Heathers enough to see it twice and I’d happily see Six again when it moves back to London. I’m looking forward to getting more shows in 2019!

10 year anniversary

We made it to 10 years! I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past decade with this wonderful human. He’s pretty great.

Disneyland!

I got to go to Disneyland!!! DISNEYLAND. I loved it so much I wrote not one but two blogs. You can read the first one here and the second here.

I Read 115 Books!

After setting my Goodreads goal at 50 so that I didn’t feel any pressure, I managed to double it and then added some! I read some really amazing books (and some not so amazing books).

There are more things and people that I haven’t had a chance to add but here’s to hoping I have an even better 2019!

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September Favourites!

September favourites, already? Yep, we’re now in the last quarter of the year! No, I don’t know how it happened either. September was a funny old month, there were some excellent parts, and some not so excellent. That said, let’s get cracking with my September favourites.

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Disney

Just in case you missed it, I got to go to Disneyland in September. DISNEY LAND. I had the best time with my Mum and my sister and I won’t gush too much here – so here’s a part 1 AND part 2. You are welcome!

Books 

I didn’t get too much reading done in September but some of them I really did enjoy. I managed to finish an early release copy of Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Ligh (review to come) about a shooting in a women’s health centre. Different to her other novels in the way it was written, but a good read.

I also read Ask Me His Name, which is an important and heartbreaking read about a mother who doesn’t get to bring her son home after his death at 3 days old. My final favourite for the month is Disconnected, a breathtaking collection of short stories and poems. This was amazing and I can’t wait to share my review with you.!

Things to do

I went out a fair bit this month, I went out with some friends for my birthday (absolutely in love with that skirt!). I also met up with my friend Lucy, the first time we’ve hung out without any little ones in 5 years! And last, but not least, I saw the incredible Sarah Millican at one of our local theatres. My face hurt at the end because I was laughing so hard.

Harry Potter 

I spent most of this month building some kind of Lego or other. As I type, Ali has ordered me the Great Hall set for me to carry on with for his final few weeks of the tour. I also picked up this adorable candle from Primark, I wish I had smell-o-vision because it’s so gorgeous.

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Birthday! 

I spent my birthday wrapped up in blankets with the worst cold ever. So, not exactly how I planned it. I did get some absolutely lovely presents. They’re all really grown up as you can see.

General 

And just a few little things that I really loved. Walking in the Autumn sunshine with my lovely Lottie. Also, the cheeky tub of Ben and Jerry’s because I haven’t had any in SO LONG and it was on sale. Just a reminder if you want the Ice Cream, eat the damn stuff because life is too short.

Posts

You Matter  – A post for suicide awareness

18 Good Things That Happened At 23 – Looking back at 23!

Book Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here

10 Reasons Autumn Is My Favourite Season

What were your favourites in September? Let me know in the comments below!

Disneyland Part 2

Disneyland Paris – Part 2

As promised, you don’t just get 1 blog on Disneyland Paris, you get 2! Yay!!! If you haven’t read yesterday’s post on part 1 it’s a cracker so many sure to go and check that out. We were in Paris for 4 days in total, on to Part 2!

Day 3 

For our 3rd day, we went back to Disneyland to finish up on some rides (getting there early and heading straight to them was brilliant). We walked on to the Tea Cups without queueing, quickly got on to Dumbo and a few others. We were ON IT. They also made me go on It’s A Small World…

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After spending the morning in Disneyland we’d decided to do some shopping then go back to the hotel to pack (Mum and Sums) and nap (me).

After grabbing some food, back to the park for Fireworks!! Now, you all know there is NOTHING better than Disney Fireworks.

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Day 4 

Our final day was definitely interesting. After dropping our bags we headed back to the Studios. The aim? Get on the Turtle ride, get on the Toy Story rides. And we managed! Just. It was very hot and very busy. One of the rides broke down, all fun and games.

The rest of the day was a mix of Disneyland, shopping and sitting and waiting for our (very delayed train.

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The trip was so much fun and I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am that my Mum took us both and treated us. I don’t get to spend time alone with my Mum and Sister very often and it was a lovely break. Am I going back to Disney? Of course. It’s 100% made me want to save up and go to Orlando too!

I will say though, this is how I’m currently feeling – in need of a good sleep!

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Disneyland Part 1

Disneyland Paris – Part 1

It happened! I went back to Disneyland Paris for the first time since 1999. Yep. The last time I went to Disneyland I was 5 years old and things have changed a little bit! This time I went with my Mum and sister and OH MY GOD DISNEY. So, because there is so much to cover so as requested on Twitter I’ve split it into 2 posts. So get ready, here we gooooooo!

 

Day 1 

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I had a 4.00am alarm. 4am. To get a lift to the station (thanks Dad!) in London. From there, things got a little manic we got there when we were told but hardly had time to get a cup of tea before rushing off.

We then took a train to Lille, where we changed. Then, after an hours wait, we got onto another train (this time a double decker…apparently that’s a thing?) to get to Disney. The station is right next to the Park, thankfully and we’d already booked for our bags to be taken to the hotel.

By the time we’d arrived we’d been awake for a damn long time, I’d had limited caffeine and was starting to flag. So, we took a look around the shops before taking a peek at Hollywood Studios, which I’d never been to in Paris! We even went in the Slinky Dog ride but, we were absolutely exhausted so went to our hotel to finally check in.

We stayed at the Newport Bay Club which was BEAUTIFUL! I mean c’mon look at that bed. The whole hotel was sea themed, we ever had little porthole designs with the characters in them in our room. The end of day 1 was an early one, with dinner in the hotel. The food was good with options but the best part were the desserts. Tiny, perfect desserts. I went to bed with a happy tummy indeed.

 

Day 2

Our second day had a really early start but it was okay because we were off to character breakfast in the park! My Mum booked this as a treat for my sister and I. It was so worth it. We met 6 characters and while I still wish I’d seen Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy too we had fun! Here are some pictures of me and my sister that Mum took during the breakfast. And yes, yes I am wearing rainbow ears.

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The rest of the day was full Disneyland! We all wore matching shirts and matching ears because, you know, my Mum is adorable like that. So after you’ve just eaten breakfast what’s the first thing you do? Go on Buzz Lightyear shootout of course. I LOVE this ride. Next up I decided I’d give Hyperspace Mountain a go. Stupid me. I didn’t realise it was in the dark, nor that it went upside down. I did it but I was slightly traumatised after.

Through the day we took pictures in front of the castle (obvs), sheltered from the pouring rain before having to shade ourselves later in the day because it was boiling. We went on rides like Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan and Pinnochio – thank god for access fast passes!  Mum also treated us to so many snacks and treats…I kinda forgot how much she likes to feed us.

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I met my fave, Woody. I LOVE Toy Story and he was just wondering around and so we had to get pictures (which Mum didn’t want to be in because apparently, his head is too big?!) We also waited and watched the parade which was super fun. I haven’t watched a parade in SO LONG. And it really, really is magic and was worth the hour and a half we spent reserving our spaces.

And that’s just the first part of the trip!! Make sure to pop back tomorrow for the second half and even more Disney magic! But, before you go – who’s your favourite Disney character? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: My Favourite Disney/ Pixar Movies

I spent the majority of my childhood watching Disney films. I can still remember the exact covers of the VHS tapes as I rewound them and watched again and again. It’s something that hasn’t changed as I’ve grown up, I’ve fallen in love with some of the newest films too. There are SO many that I love, choosing just 7 was so hard but these are films that I ever watched constantly as a child or that I’ve found as an adult and LOVED.

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Zootopia

Let’s start with the newest of the bunch. I was well into trying to adult when this film came out and I fell in LOVE with it. I loved Judy and Nick, the way that it actually represents bigger issues in the world. Judy is definitely in my to-cosplay list too!

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Tangled 

The music, the kick ass princess, the animals. What is not to LOVE about Tangled? I thought it was absolutely incredible and she’s one of my favourite Disney Princesses of all time just because she’s not a made and ready princess she has to learn.

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Peter Pan 

You can fly, you can fly, you can flyyyyyyy! I loved this movie so, so much. Once it was announced our school play was Peter Pan I was on it. I did manage to bag the part of Wendy and it was amazing. I knew all of the songs, loved the story as well as Tinkerbell being her sassy self.

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The Little Mermaid 

So my nickname growing up was The Little Mermaid. I loved this film and just sang part of your world constantly, even now I’ll have a sing song to myself. Ariel was just such a cool princess she kicked ass, had a cool voice and I think she was the start of my love for red hair too. I also loved the second movie, and the third. Just anything mermaid related was fine with me.

 

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The Jungle Book

Between the ages of 6 months and 2 and a half I had to watch this of 101 Dalmations every night. Every single damn night so I’d eat my dinner. My poor Mum and Grandparents know them both word for word. But didn’t we all love Baloo? Wasn’t he just the best?!

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101 Dalmatians 

As I said above. That and I love dogs, I have to stop for every dog I see and I definitely think that was the start of it. They’re just all so adorable and I’m totally in love with the new Cath Kidston Disney range too.

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Toy Story 2 

Ok, ok hold fire I know that this is a sequel but hear me out. I went to see this in the cinema just before my 5th birthday and I thought Jessie was amazing. I loved her, she was fun and while I’d already loved Toy Story the second one made me so happy to have a real COWGIRL. I had the outfit for my fifth birthday…

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What are your favourite Disney movies? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Sunday Seven: Places you should visit!

Is it summer time yet? No? I can hear the collective groan as so many of us have to wait for the summer to roll around so we can go away and have a little break. I’m very lucky that my family liked to travel when I was growing up, I’ve seen some beautiful countries and hope to add to the ever growing list. This week I wanted to share with you seven places I loved and that you should visit!

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Paphos, Cyprus 

I’ve been to Cyprus a few times with my family and I absolutely love it. We’ve been going since I was quite young and my last visit was just before I started uni. We’ve stayed at the same hotel each time, but the town itself is constantly changing. There’s also a great waterpark, great excursions you can do and a lot of history around. One day I really want to take Ali and show him one of my favourite holiday destinations.

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Sorrento, Italy 

Ali and I first went away together with his family all the way back in 2009 to Sorrento. In the picture above (excusing my awful choice in ‘fashion’) we are standing at the top of Mount Vesuvius. We’d spent the day walking around Pompeii and looking at the history of it. Aside from that Sorrento is very tourist friendly, which means it can get busy but it’s also easy to get around. Also, the food? To die for, I loved it. You can also go over to the Island of Capri which oozes glamour. I want to go to different areas in Italy but Sorrento was a good place to start.

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London, UK 

I’ve been in love with London for as long as I can remember. I was taken to Oxford Street with my Mum and Nanna more times than I can count. London to me means excitement, it’s where I see shows, meet friends, go to events, explore the rich history of a wonderful city. London will always be special to me and I couldn’t just say one place, I love it all!

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Amsterdam

I went to Amsterdam just before my 21st birthday. While we stayed closer to the Red Light District, it was on the last day we found the real beauty of Amsterdam in Vondelpark, if I were to stay again I would definitely pay the extra to stay near the park, also their Hard Rock Cafe is incredible.

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Greece

I’ve been to Greece a lot. The first holiday I  went on with my parents was to the island of Crete, we went time and time again and I fell in love with it. I wanted to use a picture from then but couldn’t find any in digital. Fast forward about 18 years and I’d gone back to Greece, this time to Athens with Ali  for a week long class, and looked at the history of one of the greatest civilizations to have ever lived. Oh and for an Ouzo or two.

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Orlando, Florida 

Anyone who knows me, knows Florida was going to be on this list. My parents have taken me to Florida at least 3 if not 4 times. I was very lucky. I like going and acting like a kid, going to Disney, Universal, shopping in the outlet malls. I can’t see myself going for a while but damn right I’m going back.

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Harry Potter Studio Tour – Watford 

A must for ANY potterhead or anyone who just liked the films. Seeing everything up close, admiring the artistry and the detail on even the smallest things. I need to go again at some point, it’s only been a few years since I went but it’s already changed so much from pictures. It really is a must.

What are some of your favourite places to visit? Let me know in the comments below!

Halloween Memories.

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Happy Halloween! It’s already the end of October and a holiday that I absolutely LOVE. I have a love affair with Halloween but as I write this at 9 on a school night we’ve had no trick or treaters, sad times. I’m a giant kid on most holidays (I still don’t sleep on Christmas Eve, I still compete in the Easter Egg Hunt with my sister and I still count down to my birthday) and it was so hard not to go to work in full fancy dress today.

Some of my favourite memories from my childhood are from Halloween. When I was really small all my cousins and I would go trick or treating together covered in glitter and face paint. We’d visit all the neighbours that had known us since we were born and my grandparents would give us our pre-made bags, aunts, uncles and parents would give us special treats from Thorntons. Later my parents would throw Halloween parties (even though I felt a little old). The best times though were when I was in America for Halloween. The USA knows how to do Halloween properly. My parents took my sister and I in 2009 and then Ali too in 2010 to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. It’s absolutely amazing

The best times though were when I was in America for Halloween. The USA knows how to do Halloween properly. My parents took my sister and  then Ali too in 2010 to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. It’s absolutely amazing all the characters are dressed in costumes, there are shows and a parade and all the sweets you can eat. The park is open until around midnight and you come away with bags and bags of sweets (so many that I usually take a bag or two home to the UK). It’s also a fun atmosphere, I’m not into Halloween to get scared I’m in it to have fun!

 

The last few Halloweens have been very different, parties with friends or staying in eating sweets that trick or treaters didn’t come for (what a shame!). One day though I’m going to head back and party with Mickey Mouse, because that’s how it should be done.