for the new year

2014, Blogging, December, Inspiration, Travel

last year i talked about having more faith in 2014. and i’m still working on it.

2014 has been a year of ups and downs, but it’s also been a steady wave. does that even make sense?

it’s been a year of transitioning and learning and i don’t think this transitioning is over. to be honest i don’t think i’m ever going to get off the transitioning train!

because life is a constant transition.

“look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”
― tom stoppard, rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead

what have i learned in 2014?

that i can’t control everything. but also that the act of letting go requires some kind of stability.

a sense stability in a state of instability.

“i’ve always believed there are moments in our lives which can be defined as a transition between the before and after, between the cause and the effect.”
― benjamin x. wretlind, castles: a fictional memoir of a girl with scissors

i learnt that laughter has great healing power.

and forgiveness is strength.

i learnt that i love frosty mornings and crunchy leaves as much as i love lazy afternoons on a humid july day.

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i realised that it is never too late. and giving things a second go can be all the more worth it.

for 2015 i promise to wear even more lipstick. choose laughter over anger (counting to 10 helps right?). travel…

…wait no. what i really mean is explore. text less, call more. spend time. take risks. take photos. i need to take more photos.

“life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
confucius

i promise to unplug more often.

here’s to a happier, transitional, gorgeous 2015.

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thirty things before THREE-0 *** plus a life update

2014, Blogging, Career, December, Inspiration, Travel

hiiii there.

i managed 6 days of the 12 days of christmas. i know that every time i do a blog-every-day style series i usually pre-write the posts because i know life can sometimes get crazy busy. and with christmas it sure did! with prepping for christmas day, family, and work (oh boy work……sooooooo busy) i barely had a moment to breath.

so with that i apologise.

christmas was good. quiet this year. but i definitely can’t complain when i got (amongst other things) harry potter books 1-7 (the bookworm in me seriously did the electric slide), a fabulous new (and much needed) handbag & gorgeous shoes from the bf….and a spongbob squarepants onesie from my brother — A SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS ONSIE PEOPLE.

30 things before 30

i also wanted to give you a quick update on my 30 things before 30 list. remember when i gave you the list this past july? well you can check out it here. i did say that wouldn’t update/change the list but let’s face it. i like to be able to actually tick things off a list and with 6 months to go till the big three-o (6 MONTHS!!!!!) – i thought i could change the list a little to include things that i have already achieved (that i think are 30-things-before-30 list worthy).

so here we go, my updated 30 things before 30 list:

  1. visit paris
  2. three courses, three countries: breakfast in london, lunch in paris, dinner in brussels
  3. eat at a mitchelin starred restaurant in london
  4. try something i wouldn’t normally eat
  5. start a small business
  6. run a 5k (this one scares me to death)
  7. unplug for a full day (or maybe a week!): no phone, social media, tv etc.
  8. kiss someone on nye at midnight
  9. live abroad for at least a year
  10. buy a meal for a homeless person
  11. lose 2 stone / 12.7 kg / 28 lbs
  12. have a morning routine
  13. climb to the top of the eiffel tower
  14. go the cinema on my own
  15. see a play at shakespeare’s globe in london
  16. sort out a pension and life insurance (eek!)
  17. go to a music festival
  18. learn to speak conversational french
  19. do a “once-in-a-lifetime” thing
  20. splurge on an item i can’t afford  but that will last a life-time
  21. serve at a soup kitchen
  22. take a poetry class
  23. re-read all 7 harry potter books (hello christmas present)
  24. start a work-out routine
  25. write a short story
  26. go a on british countryside walk
  27. serve a full-time mission for the lds church
  28. re-watch fringe
  29. visit new york
  30. go hot-tubbing under the stars

that’s 10 things out of the 30 – yay! i’ve started to watch fringe again, love that show. the eating something i wouldn’t normally eat was escargot (aka snails) in paris – check it out here. i started an online shoe business in 2011 – neneh stiletto.

neneh stiletto

and check out an interview i did for the business here!

i lived in utah for 2 and a bit years.

and the once in a lifetime thing? being a participant in the 2014 miss africa utah pageant

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from twenty to thirty. it’s been phenomenal and not what i expected. a non-stop ride. and it’s not over yet!

here’s to making lists. being 30. and embracing and enjoying the ride.

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twelve days of christmas | day 6: let’s get comfy

December, Fashion
here are a few of my favourite christmas/winter comfies {disclaimer: comfies is not a real word}.
the christmas jumper

ONLY snowflake sweater
$34 – thehut.com

Mela Loves London shirts top
$39 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Christmas top
$27 – marksandspencer.com

Christmas top
amazon.com

can you tell i’m a little obssessed with polyvore right now?

also SANTA IS COMING!

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twelve days of christmas | day 4: winter date ideas

2014, December, Food, Love
all you need is love | winter date ideas
whether you want to brave the cold or snuggle up, winter is still great for dates! here are 10 date ideas for the winter season:
  • ice skating
  • serve at a soup kitchen
  • visit a winter wonderland
  • cut down/buy a real christmas tree together
  • visit santa’s grotto at your local mall
  • watch a classic film with blankets for a cosy night in
  • make each other a playlist of your favourite christmas music!
  • get a hot chocolate and go see all the christmas lights and festive window displays together
  • go watch a pantomime!

what are your favourite things to do with your significant other during the colder months?

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twelve days of christmas | day 3: ’tis the season to parTAY

2014, Blogging, December, Fashion
dresses, ties, glitter and suits.

not necessarily in that order. but christmas + NYE = party season.
the LBD

L K Bennett short dress
$265 – johnlewis.com

Kardashian kollection purse
$52 – theiconic.com.au

Diamond earrings
sothebys.com

Nars cosmetic
narscosmetics.com

Red nail polish
marcjacobs.com
suited and booted #christmas2014
let’s get glammed up!
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twelve days of christmas | day 2: gifts for him

2014, December

ok now I can say I am fully caught up. kind of….

whether it be your significant other, brother, father, uncle or grandpa, i sometimes find men hard to shop for! (especially when i want to steer clear of the typical socks / tie / shirt combos).

here are some gift ideas for the man (or men) in your life:

chocolate tools (how cool is this?!!! or maybe it’s just me)

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the boyfriend and i sampled some from shokolat this past weekend and they are yummy!

experience days

triple-supercar-blast-with-05155626

whether it’s a tour at his favourite football stadium, ice climbing or driving that slick sports car he’s dreaming of buying in his 50s, check out lastminute.com, redletterdays and virgin experiences for some great deals!

gaming
while i don’t like it i have to admit that both my brother and my boyfriend like to unwind by playing on the game console of some sort on an evening. this year i bought my brother football manager 2015 (don’t worry it’s what he asked for – though i still don’t understand the love for it – and i never will!). my boyfriend will also be getting something gaming related **sigh**

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whether it’s a game, controller or another gaming accessory your local gaming or electronic store will be fully stocked!

aftershave/cologne
because let’s face it, a man spritzed with aftershave is 10 times more attractive. {disclaimer: spritzed is not a real word, but just roll with me}.

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onesies for him

just because.

Onesies for him

check out a gift guide for him (way more sophisticated than mine) from one of my favourite bloggers lovetaza.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!

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twelve days of christmas | day 1: gifts for her

2014, December, Family and Friends

i should have posted this yesterday but i was still in the holiday mode {as in i just got back from poland on friday – i will be posting about that trip soon!}.

gift giving season can be tricky and i recently spent a good 4 weeks racking my brain about what to get my girlfriends for christmas this year. if you’re like me then you are someone who likes to make each gift special on some level, while also trying to be creative about it.

if you find yourself at a bit of a loss this year here are a few gift ideas for the woman {or women} in your life, whether that is a girlfriend, mum, sister, aunt, g-ma or wife!

the girl’s night in hamper
create something for a self-pampering girl’s night in (who doesn’t want that on a cold winter’s night?) – you could include the following:

  • hot chocolate (with mini marshmallows!)
  • dvd (chick flick or comedy)
  • nail varnish
  • bathing items (salts, bubble bath etc.)
  • fluffy socks or slippers
  • box of chocolates

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i found cute hamper baskets at wilkinson’s with ribbon and cellophane but there are plenty you can find on the world wide web such as this and this one too.

spa deals
i signed up to receive groupon emails – it’s fab! i get great offers on spa deals, massages, manicures + pedicures from local beauty spas and nail salons. definitely worth it! lastminute.com, timeout london and travelzoo also often have great spa deals.

perfume

ted baker

shopping gift card from her favourite store

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jewellery

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12 days of christmas pack
if you want to get creative (and have the time!) create a 12 days of christmas pack. this is something a friend did for me some time ago but i received 11 small packages and 1 larger to open in the build up to christmas – i thought it was ace! plus it made the build up to christmas that much more fun.

want some more ideas? check out some of my favourite bloggers and their gift guides:

IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS PEOPLE!

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its been a while | giving thanks

Blogging, December, Family and Friends, Inspiration

november went past all speedy gonzalez-like and everyday single day i thought i need to get a post up on the blog. 

alas. A LOT has happened in november, and biggest of all was moving out of my parents house. i have so much stuff btw. but i don’t want to bore you with the details (because i know you were all just dying to know).

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i’m a bit late on the thanksgiving celebrations, not that i really celebrated it here in england, nor do we have to wait till november to be thankful. but after having enjoyed two wonderful thanksgivings stateside i couldn’t leave it too long without showing some thanksgiving love.

i’m thankful for many things, but mostly for love, forgiveness (of others and of oneself). i’m thankful for hope, for sunrises and sunsets. i’m grateful for family, friends, food and of course ice cream.

i’m really grateful for crispy leaves.

i’m thankful that i live in a world where the world wide web makes our world a little smaller. and therefore a little easier for my little feet to get out and see the beauty that it is.

books. i’m thankful for books. and netflix. and coffee shops. and hot chocolate.

i’m grateful for hugs from the bf. he is a gentle soul and i’m grateful for that too.

this is my favourite thanksgiving video of all time.

here’s to the season of chocolates, golds and sunset yellows. as well as that white stuff we call snow.

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