I've been pretty quiet the last few weeks but there's a good reason for that.
Well, I've ticked two things off my 2018 goals list this week (8 more to go). The first being booking Amsterdam in just three weeks time with my youngest sister! We will be spending 4 days in the city and I'll be taking plenty of photos to feature on here. The second is the most exciting, as I am moving home to save for buying my very own house, I decided I wanted to get a dog. My mum and dad got on board (eventually) and my sister thought it would be great to get her puppy Hunter a little brother or sister. I'll be picking him up this week and I couldn't be happier.
Here he is, say hello to CHEWIE! (After Chewbacca of course, because he looks a little like a Wookie).
I'm a huge animal lover (always have been), my boyfriend Danny has a labrador and she is just the cutest, and since losing our 11 year old Shitzu, Miley, it just felt like the right time. He isn't a replacement but something I've been wanting to do for ages. I would have gotten a dog when I first moved out had my flat been more spacious. It required getting permission and with all the hours I work it wouldn't have been fair. I still plan on travelling this year (at least a couple of times), but now I can rely on my family and Danny to take care of him when I can't be. This way 'Chewie' will get plenty of love and attention from my family and I don't have to worry about him being lonely. Don't get me wrong I think it'll make going away harder! However, I had a little maternal instinct in me and a fur baby was exactly what I needed (I have no plans for any other type of baby anytime soon thanks).
The next few years (all going to plan) will be busy, but Chewie will help keep me grounded with a routine and responsibility. Plus he will be a good housemate when I finally move out permanently next year. I picked out his collar and got a tag engraved, bought way too many toys and plenty for him to snuggle into. I haven't forgotten the important stuff too though, like food, flea treatment, pet insurance and booking him in for his second lot of injections. He's going to be a big part of my life and I actually can't wait to bring him home and write more about raising a puppy. For now follow @chewie_the_woofie on instagram to check out more pictures!
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Hello 2018, so I managed to make it through last year and it was 90% awesome, 10% crappy. Mostly it was a pretty incredible, with a lot of firsts (house, solo trek, website and so on). However, just after christmas we had to put our beloved 11 year old Shitzu Miley to sleep and I don't think I've ever cried so much about anyone before. It reminded me that you don't know whats around the corner and so I decided to set myself a list of 10 things I want to do this year. They're not exactly goals or challenges and some are just places I want to visit. It's not New Year, New Me - I'm still the same but I'm hoping for a New Year, Happier Me.
1. A trip to Amsterdam with my sister (we are booking this for February, the funds are ready to go just a matter of picking our hotel and confirming the dates).
2. A two week trip to Australia (hopefully seeing Perth and Adelaide to catch up with the girls from last years Trek America, again I have the dates set in April and plan to book flights after January payday).
3. My very first puppy (after losing Miley our other dog, 1 year old Hunter, is a little lost. Plus I planned on getting a dog for moving into my first home, so this way I could get him all settled with the family first and a friend to play with while i'm working).
4. Moving Home / Saving Up to Buy my First House (renting has been fun, I've loved being independent these last 12 months, but long term I'd like to have a place to call my own. For the next 12 months I'm going to be saving up enough for a deposit as I have proven to myself, I have the money and can manage my finances to rent, so why not buy).
5. Complete Tough Mudder Twice (I have no problem with the course now and so plan to collect two headbands this year, by taking two trips around the North West obstacles).
6. Go on my first holiday with Danny (I'm thinking Croatia, he likes warm weather and it would mean we can do Game of Thrones tours around the Kings Landing locations).
7. Grow this blog, my youtube channel and invest in some better kit (building my brand ideally, it's still only a hobby but I'd like to really create some engaging content this year).
8. Create more artwork (I've started a little freelancing but I would love to put some more time into it, the content could even feature on here. Plus it just makes me happy when I'm doing what I love).
9. Complete the 3 peaks challenge (Climbing 8 mountains total next year I think is doable, not all the same ones as last year. There's a lot more of Scotland to see as well as Wales and the Lake District).
10. Another Trek America would be pretty epic way to end 2018 (I've had my eye on the Canada ones or even the Deep South BLT and with the extra shifts, plus what I will save moving home, there's no reason not to).
I've already got most of these underway and I think that if by the end of 2018 I've done even half the list I will be impressed. I'm not about setting goals of what I think I should do, but making plans to do, what I want to. I'm not guaranteed 2019 but I'm going to make damn sure this year I take advantage of the chances I do have. I think additionally I want to be a little kinder to myself, I'm often very critical of whether I'm working hard enough, my appearance and weight as well as my work. It's important to remember to appreciate how far you've come, so if I don't run 3 times a week because I'm working 60 hours, that's ok. If I don't finish my blog posts and post 4 all together after 2 weeks away, that's ok. These plans I am hoping come to life, if they don't there is always next year and I don't plan to stress over it. Who knows what 2018 will throw at me this year!
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We're officially over Christmas now. It's sad but I also like returning to some sort of a routine. My week has been hectic with working extra shifts to save up for two things this year, a puppy and a two week trip to Australia! More on that in later posts.
I'm here to talk about some of my favourite gifts this Christmas! The older you get the less you need, over the years I've collected plenty of gifts. Having a vinyl player means I often get vinyl albums just like a Pandora bracelet holder gets charms for every special occasion. However, I also appreciate the candles and the smellies more than ever, my mum bought me face wash and razors which I couldn't be more thankful for.
This year I got some rather unique and special gifts though, as well as stuff that you always need. So here is a little rundown of my favourite bits and bobs...
Silver Fox: Since bleaching my hair, I've become obsessed with haircare stuff! This year my stocking was stuffed with Silver Shampoo, Conditioner, a Tangle Teezer and other goodies. These are so appreciated because bleach can be damaging, so with me having very thick and long platinum hair the maintenance costs get a little pricey.
Top Shopping: I'm obsessed with Topshop, it's one of my favourite retailers (if not my favourite). This year my mum had vouchers for the Arcadia group. Which meant a whole load of goodies for me including the best dressing gown ever! A fluffy, super soft gown which will ensure I'm never cold again. I also got a new everyday handbag, a pink pom pom keyring (to replace the one my dog ripped apart), some pink tassle earrings (very in at the moment), as well as a couple of lace bras (I always buy these for myself) and finally a black flute sleeved top, that is very 60s and perfect for my next dinner date with Danny.
Hot Heels: I'm obsessed with shoes, I have in excess of 30 pairs not going to lie. From converse to heels but my all time favourite footwear has to be boots. Heeled ankle boots to be specific, I often have multiple pairs to wear around the office daily. My favourite black boots have been falling apart recently, so I have had to throw them away. Not to worry they've been replaced by a sexy velvet pair from River Island (and bonus they were only £25 on sale).
Accessories Galore: This year saw me get some original and beautiful pieces from friends and family. I'm not big on designer jewellery (unless it's Kate Spade, because her stuff is so original), I much prefer those pieces that are quirky. This year I got a a Kate Spade Bangle (engraved with stop and smell the roses), a Queen of Hearts Necklace by Little Moose (reminds me of Tatty Devine, the laser cut design is so cool) and finally a Posh Totty piece, I had one of these made myself a few months ago, but this one was engraved with 'Moon of my Life' (which is from Game of Thrones if you didn't know). I'm in love with them all so much!
Cute and Cuddly: This year also included Pop Vinyls in the shape of Hopper (Stranger Things) as well as another Groot (this time in plant pot). Danny is convinced I need all the versions of Groot so I expect to get more of these in the coming months. Following this nerdy theme, I got some Star Wars lego (now proudly displayed on my desk). I received some Stranger Things patches and pins from Punky Pins, which were perfect additions to a red corduroy jacket I've had for a while. I mentioned it in my Christmas Markets Post but I also received this huge Angel Teddy, because I love Lilo & Stitch and am a big kid at heart.
Fashion Forward: A few additional fashion pieces (not from topshop), these included a pink suede biker style jacket from Next. Absolutely in love with it because it's quite a statement piece and perfect for cold mornings on the commute to work. In the winter months my obsession switched from sunglasses to beanies and bobble hats. Dannys family got me the cutest black set of hat and gloves, with beaded bumble bees on them (not sure if thats because my name sounds like a-bee). The second beanie comes from Katie Abey with an embroidered donut and the phrase 'Donut Worry' it's sure to draw some attention. They'll be perfect for when I go hiking this year!
Music to my ears: Finally I received another soundtrack vinyl, last year was the coloured Stranger Things one. This time I got the Awesome Mix Volume 2 (as I already have Volume 1), I have yet to listen to it but plan to get it playing as soon as I get an evening to unwind.
So thats my christmas gift list summed up, got to say I'm so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. It's always surprising how well they know me, from my love of fashion to my geeky fangirl side. Can't believe we have to wait a whole 12 months for the next one, but there's plenty to do this year so I can't wait to get stuck in!
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Aby, 24. Northerner.