Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Highlights of 2013

I always enjoy welcoming in the new year and getting excited about the fresh feeling it brings with it. Having said that, 2013 was a good year for me so I'm not hurriedly closing the door on it just yet. I thought I'd take the chance, before all the NYE madness begins, to have a little look back on what have been my highlights this year.


Seeing Wicked for mine and Mark's 2nd anniversary. And just feeling more 'established' in our relationship now.

Seeing Bastille and the 1975 at the iTunes festival.

Cornwall, particularly riding bikes along the Camel trail. Oh and riding ponies on Dartmoor and conquering tors together :)

Morocco and riding camels and looking out into the desert and feeling like you're the only person for miles.

Seeing the Lion King show - a little surprise from Mark.

Getting stuck in at work, getting comfortable here and getting a promotion :)

Seeing Mumford & Sons twice, but particularly the Summer Stampede which was amazing weather and such a lovely summer day with my two best friends.

Seeing the musical Matilda for my birthday, and the whole drawn-out birthday weekend which was surprisingly lovely.

Lots of lovely low-key dinners with friends, nights out with cocktails, trips to the pub with my boyfriend, all of which have very happy memories attached to them.

Going to Harry Potter world, after watching all 8 films in a week with Mark.

My friend Jenny who lives in the big USA coming home for Christmas and us all having lots of giggles and laughter. And meetin her lovely American man too.

Before midnight comes and the Prosecco has gone to my head I'll be raising a glass to all the fun I've had and my partners in crime, as well as the many more memories and moments that I hope to enjoy in the new year :)

So that's it then. Goodbye 2013 and hello twenty-fourteen.

Friday, 20 December 2013

It's Christmas

So with Christmas right around the corner I felt like it would be rude not to do a post on the festivities. I'm going to keep it short and short because I'm not that Christmas-crazy, but if the cheer really takes hold of me in a few days time then maybe I'll write another one.

Here are a couple of snaps of our tree. For the last couple of years we've had a real tree and this year I convinced Mum to go sans tinsel. I generally hate the stuff, but I know it's traditional. So instead we loaded up on hanging accessories and I think it looks pretty classy. Except for the fairy who looks like she's had one-too-many.

I couldn't convince my office to come round to the idea of a Christmas jumper day, but we did have our work Christmas lunch earlier this week which was nice. It involved an expectedly large amount of red wine and none of us felt too clever the next day (who's idea was it to do it on a Wednesday?!). Seeing as I booked and organised it, I'm glad it all came together. One word of advice: copious red wine and a raging cold do not mix.

My Christmassy nails for the occasion :) Will regret that one when it comes to removing the glitter...

My Christmas shopping is all done and dusted (as you'd probably imagine by now?!). I think I may have gone a little overboard but oh well, I think I've got everyone things they will really like so I don't mind :) I started much earlier this year than I have before and I'm going to try to continue that, as it really helped with ideas and with spreading the cost of it all. Although probably contributed to my over-spending, so maybe not so helpful!

Tomorrow morning I am aiming for an early dash into town to get giftbags and mouthwash (obviously not a gift...). That's it. I want to avoid the hoards and also manage to get a parking space, so fingers crossed the rest of the world doesn't have the same idea. It'll be the most focused shopping trip ever as I want to be back home and wrapping presents before the till-point madness really builds. I'm sure people in shops just seem to lose all notion of manners during December and I can't deal with it.

So that is all. My weekend will then consist of watching my favourite Christmas film Love Actually (I think I'm the only person in the world who hates the film Elf?) and wondering how little work 'working from home' will actually involve...

Monday, 2 December 2013

Hello December!

Here we go, what awaits me in December..

1. Having a little scented Yankee candle for every day of the month. That advent calendar was £20 well-spent. I have the obligatory chocolate one from Mumma-bear too though, obvs.

2. Wearing Christmas PJs that have been banished to the back of a drawer for a year. Oh and debuting that Christmas cardigan (in the photo) that my boyfriend's mum hand-knitted me. Amazing!

3. Seeing Russell Brand - we have tickets to his show one night after work later this week which makes a nice change from the normal routine. I have high hopes, so don't disappoint me Russell!

4. A few long weekends - I had some holiday days to take before the end of the year so decided that I would appreciate a few long weekends more than a whole week off work. Cue lots of relaxing, as well as organising and some final Christmas shopping (hoping to avoid weekend shopping completely as it's already chaos. I'm telling you, the aisles of Boots become a battle field from 1st December).

5. Visiting the Harry Potter studio tour! I cannot wait to do this and have been forcing Mark to watch all the films educating Mark in preparation. I have my heart set on buying a Ministry of Magic mug. And I might be persuaded by a cuddly Crookshanks too.

6. Gift giving - I love it when you know you've bought something that the person will just love.  I unintentionally started my shopping early doors this year, which has helped. Stressful boy present purchasing is always less fun though!

7. Playing family board games at Christmas. Not really a tradition that's taken hold in my family but I was bought Articulate last month and I WILL be forcing people to play with me.

8. Watching Love Actually, my favourite Christmas film which I watch every year. It just leave me with a warm glow :) Well, except for the Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson storyline which I have to glaze over. When I say 'favourite' Christmas film, I don't really like any other Christmas films. Except maybe The Holiday. Is that a Christmas film? No films with Santa or elves though please. Especially not Elf.

9. Going on some lovely crisp winter walks where the leaves are all falling off the trees and you have to wrap up warm in scarves and gloves. And then you can come home with pink noses, warm your hands up on the fire and cosy down with a nice cup of tea and a film :) Perfect.

I don't want to talk about Christmassy things too much here as I think I'll do a separate post for that a bit nearer the time. Christmas isn't my favourite time of the year though, but I am slowly easing myself in! Let's give it a couple of weeks eh?

I have also toyed with the idea of doing 'blogmas', but I'm not sure that a) posting every day isn't a bit annoying for readers and b) I'll be able to actually achieve it. If I do go ahead then there will be little mini-posts/thoughts interspersed with proper blog posts. Watch this space

The less fun things this month: will include working on all the days around Christmas (I have deadlines then so don't have much choice. I will be working from home but I find that can be quite stressful!). My wage also appears to have already disappeared into thin air, despite payday being less than a week ago. So careful planning of pennies will be necessary until my (post-Christmas day!!) December pay. Oh and my car insurance helpfully expires on 29th December. Whose idea was that?!

What are you looking forward to this December?
Any other recommendation for Christmas films that might win me round?