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!

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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!

Sunday Seven: Reasons having a hamster is the best

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If you follow me on any social media you will know that I LOVE hamsters. I’ve had 3 dwarf hamsters and 1 Syrian in my life. I just find them to be loving, adorable and ah I can’t get enough of hamsters. So, here’s some reasons why hamsters are the best.

1. They’re adorable

Just look at them!

2. Each and every one has their own personality 

For such tiny creatures, they all have their own personalities that are so different. I’ve not had two hamsters the same and I doubt I ever will.

3. They’re pretty low maintenance as pets 

Food, Water, Sawdust and a reasonable cage and you’re ready to go. Exercise is also pretty easy, a wheel and an exercise ball is plenty!

 

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4. Watching a hamster eat something bigger than them is hilarious 

Seriously, just google.

5. Playtime is so much fun

Watching a hamster run around in their ball or on a wheel is fun! They get so excited by the simplest things.

6. They’re very affectionate 

All of my hamsters have had their own way of being affectionate from curling up in your hair, on your shoulders, dragging your hand to make a slide, or playing hide and seek.

7. There’s unconditional love

Like with most pets, they won’t judge just love and sometimes that’s all you need.

Sunday Seven: 22 and a half

This week I hit 22 and a half, I know most adults don’t count their half birthdays, but firstly I don’t see myself as an adult and secondly I like using this as a benchmark to take stock of what I’ve done in half a year. I mentioned way back in January that I don’t like making New Years Resolutions, instead, I like to use my year birthday to birthday to see how things I have been going. So let’s take a look back and see what I’ve learnt in the past 6 months.

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You don’t need loads of friends to be happy 

Now I’m back in Basingstoke we don’t have as many friends around, but that really doesn’t matter. I still talk to Joe all the time, although it sucks I can’t just pop and see him. I also have Abbie and Ben on the other side of town. I have a lot smaller group of people that I’m in contact with but it’s really about the quality rather than the quantity.

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The pain of losing someone you love never goes away, you learn how to deal with it

A few weeks after my birthday I lost one of my hamsters. Although, to me they are my babies. Noodle passed away and it broke my heart, I still miss her each and every day and that never stops.

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I want to write, so I’ll goddam write 

Enough messing around, it was time to get serious, get planning and get on with it. We’ll see what happens…

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Having your own space is key to happiness 

We finally moved home! Having our own space has made it much easier for me to relax and have time to myself and Ali.

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It’s ok not to be ok. 

I have a problem with wanting to be perfect. I always have. In the last few months when things have gotten tricky I’ve had to remind myself that I’m allowed to feel tired or overwhelmed, that I’m human. So, I did what I always do and I wrote about it and it made me feel a lot better.

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Leaving a job that isn’t right for you doesn’t make you a failure

Back in November I left my first full-time job for a variety of reasons. I wasn’t happy there and didn’t feel like it was right. When I left, even though I had another job lined up, I felt like a failure because I hadn’t been there long. That said it lead on to bigger and better things and just because it didn’t work out didn’t mean I was a failure.

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Grades aren’t everything. 

For a good few months, I hid my degree certificate. I didn’t want people to know that I wasn’t perfect and didn’t get the first I’d been dreaming about. I hated mentioning it and whenever I did I’d follow up with ‘but I was only 3% off of a first!’ as if getting a 2:1 in literature was something to be ashamed of. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t hurt but at the same time my life was a mess in third year, to come out at all with a degree is fine with me. It now happily sits on my desk while I write.

9 Animals, 9 Lots of Love.

I’ve always been around animals. Throughout my entire life I’ve had animals around me and not having any in my first year of university drove me insane. Sometimes animals are better company than people, they might be dependant but they’ll love you unconditionally. Today we had a little bit of a scare with Noodle, she has a little bit of swelling above her eye and so after her first trip to the vets and some (very expensive) medicine the swelling is starting to go down, thank goodness. While I was waiting and worrying I thought of all the animals currently in my life and how much I love them. They don’t last forever so we have to love them as much as possible while we care for them, so here are 9 of my loves (not in order).  IMG_8041

Suki 

Suk’s is the Miller’s cat, she was one when she was first brought home and has been here ever since. She likes climbing on my laptop, sitting on my feed and pretending she’s starving. IMG_7425

Ed and Lottie 

My big fur babies! Lot’s has been with us since she was a puppy and Ed since he was a tiny kitten. They’re both now 9 and 9 months and I couldn’t think of life without them. Lottie has been my constant companion through some really tough parts of my life, she even guards me when I’m sick.

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Betsy

Betsy is a new addition to the family. She’s my aunt’s Cockapoo puppy and Ali and I have fallen in love with her. It’s nice having a puppy around, she’s excited by EVERYTHING.

Millie, Monty and Max 

These are my MIL’s boyfriends dogs. They’re not the kind of dogs I’m used to BUT they are incredibly sweet and always want cuddles.

Hamski and Noodle

My babies, I picked them out and took them home. These are the first pet’s that are registered as mine that I chose ( I chose Lottie too but she lives with Mum and Dad) and are my responsibility. I can’t explain my love for my girls.

Update: There are two more animals that I adore but I didn’t have good pictures of them. Bob, my Cockatiel who lives with my Mum who sings beautifully and Fudge, my sister’s hamster who’s an absolute cutie.

How about you? Tell me about your pets and what they’re like in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: 7th Feb 2016

As promised I’m starting a new weekly post about my favourite 7 things of the week! Some weeks it might be themed, others it will just be my favourite 7 things of the week, like this week! If you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to see in Sunday Seven then let me know in the comments!

One – Having my face plastered across the Uni 

Last year I won an award for Overcoming Adversity and to promote this years award there has been a very embarrassing picture of me and the other winners  all over Facebook, Twitter, the student paper and all around the screens at the uni. I’m nominated for 3 awards this year too which is awesome, but doesn’t make this picture any less embarrassing.

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Two – My Hamsters 

Hamski and Noodle are my fur babies and have been really active this week. We’ve had a lot of hugs, some lessons in not biting (Noodle) and a few mini photo shoots. I’m completely besotted with them both.

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Three – Fresh Flowers 

I’m a sucker for fresh flowers. I just love the smell and the way they brighten up a room, even if it’s rainy and horrible outside. My grandparents got me these on Monday to say get well soon, because they’re adorable.
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Four – New Books! 

I had some books I needed to exchange this week and came home with three that I’ve been desperate to read. Sex Criminals is a graphic novel and nothing like the title suggests, well it is but not what you think a sex criminal would be, it’s volume 2 out of 3 and so far, so good. The next two books are by authors I adore and have reviewed  before, both are Young Adult fiction and look to be brilliant.

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Five – Primark’s Star Wars Game 

The Force is strong in Primark. I absolutely love anything Star Wars since watching the original trilogy over my birthday, then of course the new film was fantastic. I popped into primark and got a kick ass pair of shoes for a fiver (!!), R2-D2 cup for £3.50, Storm Trooper knickers for £2.50 and the socks for about £2. This badass stuff and the Harry Potter stuff they normally have is one of the reasons I only let myself in there sparingly. IMG_6340

Six – American Crime Story 

Now, I don’t normally watch a lot of TV. There are a lot of ‘cult’ shows that I’ve never watched or I have watched and haven’t seen the appeal, I’m much more of a book girl. That said, I watched the first episode of American Crime Story and I am hooked and can’t wait for the next episode on Tuesday. It’s also made me interested in the trial itself, meaning I have a lot of reading to do after pouring over documentarys last month.

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Seven – Harley Quinn 

All hail Harley Quinn! This is the graphic novel that started my obsession. I absolutely love the character of Harley and today picked up another novel, making it my third. There’s another two I need to buy and of course I’m excited about the new Suicide Squad movie. I have to admit so far I like this version of Harley better, but we shall see when the movie comes out in August. IMG_4616

I survived second year! – 10 best bits

I did it! I’ve reached the end of the second year of my blog and second year of university. As of tomorrow it will be September again and I’ll be heading back to uni at the end of the month to take on my third year!

This year has been pretty special I’ve learnt a lot and changed a lot. I’ve lived with Ali for over a year now, I was finally allowed to join full field English Literature, made more friends than I thought I possibly would, made a good dent in my mental health recovery, been generally happier, played a load of shows with the boys, took up a sport for the first time since I was 9, won a KU Talent Award, got another job that I love, travelled for uni and broken a part of my back. If that isn’t a crazy year I don’t know what is. I’ve absolutely loved second year. I’m not going to say there weren’t point when I really struggled, because I did but the difference is that I had more people to support me through this year than I have in a long time.

I could write so much about every aspect of second year because it’s been one of the greatest, no matter how it ended. I’ve made new friends and stayed in touch with some others and the thought that I’m going into my last year of undergrad is scary! So for you all tonight I’ve put 10 of my best bits of second year and I’ll remember it with warm memories for the rest of my life.

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  1. I finally got my two little adorables this year, Noodle and Hamski. Even if they have had to be separated now I’m so in love with both of them ❤

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2. No People Club played a lot this year. We spent a lot of our weekends loading up my little car and driving to shows in London, Kingston, Basingstoke and Portsmouth. I’m gutted we had to take a break while my spine healed but we’ve got more stuff planned for the next year and it’s going to be awesome. We also have our awesome fan and sticker guy, one of my best friends Joe, who’s stuck around too.

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3. My second tattoo finally happened! When I found out I wouldn’t be going to Foo Fighters because they’d sold out of disabled tickets I was heartbroken so I got this tattoo instead. I’ve been very up and down this year and not as stable as I’d like but I’m assured that most people would have lows after a big break and spinal brace let alone someone with depression.

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4. I got to go to Athens. I was so, so thankful to be given the opportunity to go to Athens and not have to pay the Creative Writing course fee. Although I was supposed to be going on my own initially, Ali got to come with me because I was still using my wheelchair and not able to move as much. A fab first holiday and it got my creative brain going!

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5. I got my KU Talent award for Overcoming Adversity to Achieve, awarded to be by Sir Trevor McDonald who I actually had a great conversation with while we were sitting at the same table. I’m still gobsmacked I won as there were so many amazing people. I’m so proud that I now work for KU Talent and will get to attend this years awards too!

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6. I started Horse Riding! In October I had my first ride and I was hooked. I had a great 6 months before my fall, including meeting this cutie who really stole my heart. Even though I still have a long way to go in terms of recovery and I don’t know if I’ll go back to riding, but I’ve been voted to run the society this year so I’ll be around the horses anyway. I also made an amazing friend in Laura, who’s been with me every step of the way.

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7. I gave a speech about living with mental health for the university’s diversity conference. It was a great way to connect with people and share my experience and if you want to watch you can click here to watch.

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8. I finished second year with a 66% average, a 2:1. I’m slightly bummed out that I dropped a few percent from last year but I surprised myself with some assignments. It’s made me even more determined to get what I need to get a first this year.

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9. I had some absolutely amazing friends by my side through everything. Here’s a picture of me and the girls as Alissa’s birthday meal, my first outing in my wheelchair which they managed to make fun!

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10. I got to live with a boy, and I still kind of like him.

Oh and a sneaky 11, I’m still working and awesome job and I’ve got another one, always fun!

Little things to cheer me up

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I’ve been waiting to write this post all day, but at the same time not sure to write about. I’ve been feeling pretty low today, miserable from not really being able to do anything. As soon as I feel miserable though, I also feel guilty and remember how lucky I am, which makes me feel worse a horrible cycle. Ali’s been amazing, as usual and won’t let me lift a finger. He’s gotten very cautious about making sure that my back stays as strain free as possible.

Today’s revolved around my laptop, my bed, taking my medication and books to be precise finishing 2 books in 24 hours. If I do 2 books in a day, I’ll be burning through my bookcase by the time I get to fracture clinic! I just keep reading, writing and I’ll submit my final essay of the year once I can have a read and I’m not exhausted. Aside from all that I finally managed to convince Ali that I’d be ok on my own he’s gone to airsofting with the lads. I’d resigned to an evening on my own with a take away for one and a box of chocolates but Laura stepped in so I could go outside and get some chips 🙂

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Laura and I 

It’s nice to just have little trips out, even if I’m completely exhausted after. I need to get out occasionally because it can get a little disheartening just being stuck here and being in a lot of pain. I need to listen to the pain now and not just brush it off, which if I’m honest makes me really nervous. I know how serious this is now and how easily something could put me in a back brace.

I had another nice little surprise when I got home, my hamsters were awake. I tried to play with them, see what they wanted to do and something amazing happened.  They stayed calm and just let me stroke them, didn’t even try to move which means they really are getting used to me 🙂 It’s the little things that make me smile the most.

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Noodle (left) and Hamski (right) chilling together

What’s in store for tomorrow? Probably more sleeping because all my body seems to want to do is sleep. I’ll be reading more books, possibly writing some more, editing and I think I have a few uploads here to do as well. As well as that I’ll be submitting my FINAL ASSIGNMENT OF THE YEAR YIPPIE!!!! So it’s taking a while but hopefully my x-rays in 2 weeks will show an improvement 🙂