Blogmas 2017: Day #0

Hello wonderful people of the internet! Today I come bearing the news that this year I’ll be participating in Blogmas (yay!). 

The basic idea of Blogmas is to post a Christmas-themed post everyday in the lead up to Christmas day – like a blogging advent calendar. However, like the busy students we are, the amazing L from Consider Yourself Warned and I decided to team up and share the Blogmas load. So, we’ll be posting our Christmassy posts on alternate days – L on the odd numbered days and me on the even numbered days. 

The process of planning Blogmas was (painstakingly) long – but definitely very fun – so hopefully we’ve come up with some interesting post ideas that you’ll enjoy!

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for our festive updates through the next few weeks! 🎄

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18 memories from 18 years!

 

Yellow graphic reading "18 and awesome"
Well the awesome part is debatable but I most certainly am 18! Source

Hello! Today I bring you the news that I – yes, le Em de la Lost – have been living on this lump of rock for a grand total of 18 years! (In English, it’s my 18th birthday today)!

I wanted to do something a bit different, and share 18 of my favourite memories from the past 18 years (although most will be from more recent years as my memory of being tiny Em isn’t too clear). As for my real life birthday celebrations, I have to go to college today (cry), but tomorrow my friends are coming over to celebrate so that should be good!

1. Going to Austria

I could include going to Marseille and Berlin too as they were amazing trips, but Austria was the first time I went abroad so it’s a very special memory. I went for 11 days (I think??) with my scout group and we did all sorts of activities from canyoning to white water rafting to visiting castles. I absolutely loved it and since then I’ve had the travel bug. I was only 11 at the time, so it was quite scary to be abroad without my parents, but I had great friends in scouts and my sister was there too. I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about it!

2. My crazy geography friends

I don’t know fit his counts as a memory, but I just love my “geography group” as I call them, hey are some of the best friends I’ve ever had – and to think we only became friends almost a year ago when we went on a geography field trip and spent all day bonding over measuring beaches and interviewing pigeons in Wales. The day we became frineds was honestly one of the best days ever, and I love them to pieces.

3. Applying to study French (and politics) at uni

This is a more recent memory, and although the university applications have been causing me SO. MUCH. STRESS. I’m actually really, really proud of myself for having the courage to pursue what I love. When I started college last year, I wouldn’t have even dared think about taking French at uni, because I am a naturally shy and not-very-confident person, so I thought I’d never be able to do a language degree where I would be constantly out of my comfort zone having to talk another language. But over the paast year, French A Level has helped my confidence to improve so much and I’m so glad I had that moment of realisaiton that I could do French at uni just as much as the next baguette-eating person!

4. My sister going to uni

This is another of my faovurite memories, not that it realtes to me but I was and am honestly so proud of my sister for getting into uni and making it through the first year, even though she found it tough. She constantly inspires me to work hard and perservere and I’m so proud of everything she’s doing.

5. Getting my Hogwarts letter!!

(Spoilers: I still haven’t got my Hogwarts letter)

But seriously, when me and my sister were little, we used to love Harry Potter (I mean nothing’s changed, I’m sat here typing in a Hogwarts jumper) and my parents decided to surprise us by sending us a parcel through the poast containg a letter from Hogwarts and two witches hats. Back then, I probably believed it was real and I love looking back at the photos of us dressing up as witches.

6. Prom

A bit cliche, but year 11 prom really was amazing. My friends and I had such a great time dancing and singing along to the music until we lost our voices, it was magical!

7. Family camping trips!

My family is quite outdoors-y, so every year we go camping in the summer and honestly our camping trips are one of my favourite things – it’s so nice to be surrounded by nature, no technology and have a laugh playing card games and just generally messing around.

8. Starting a blog!

Blogging is one of my favourite things to do and I love all the people I’ve met here, so obviously starting a blog is one of my favourite memories.

9. Watching War Horse the stage show

When I was younger, I used to love Michael Morpurgo’s books, and having an interest in history too, War Horse was always one of my favourites. A few years ago I was lucky enough to go and see the stage show and it was absolutely incredible.

10. Getting the scout of the year award

This is something I’m really proud of because scouting was a big part of my life for a long time so I’m really glad to have gained an award for it!

11. Going to concerts

I’ve been to see The 1975 and Catfish and the Bottlemen as well as going to Leeds festival this year and they have all been amazing experiences

12. Volunteering at Cub Scouts

For two years I volunteered at my local cub scout group and it was such a rewarding experience to see the children having fun and trying new things and making lots of good memories, as I did when I was in cubs myself. I felt like I was actually doing something useful and worthwhile, which is always good!

13. Year 6 play

I don’t know if it’s a tradition all around the UK, but in my town each primary school would do a summer play where the year 6 students would perform to the rest of the school before going off to separate secondary schools. My play was about grandparents in the future reminiscing about their old school days, and I somehow managed to get the role of the grandma who was one of four main characters and had to stay on stage the whole time. I was really surprised as I was quite shy back then, but I’m glad I did it and it was a really fun experience!

14. Family Christmas’

When I was younger, all the family used to go up to my grandparents and celebrate Christmas together. It was so nice that we were all in one place as we are usually spread out all over the country!

15. Having my artwork displayed in the local museum

This is a bit sad, but 7 year old me was delighted to have her questionable drawings of dandelions displayed to the town (even if my school didn’t actually tell me my work was on display and I only found out because I went their with my family but OH WELL).

16. Going to London

When I smol we only went to London about twice I think ?? But we went on the train and it felt like a great adventure. In the past few years I’ve been to London a few times, and this summer me and my sister went there on our own for the first time and it was actually quite a successful trip. We went to the Natural History Museum and Hyde Park – you get such a sense of freedom from travelling without your parents and it’s definitely made me want to travel more with my sister, friends or just by myself because I really do love exploring.

17. The 2012 Olympics

I can’t believe it’s taken me this far through the post to remember that I went to the London 2012 Olympics. I watched the rowing and women’s football and it was such a unique experience, the atmosphere in the crowd was amazing and for once it actually made me love sport. Although, I have to say I enjoyed going to the World Para-Athletics Championships in London this year more as I was older so could take more of it in (and also it was in the Olympic Stadium which was SO COOL).

18. Argh it’s so hard to think of a last one, so here’s to all the (hopefully) many more happy memories to come!!

Well, there we go, a sort nonsensical summary of my past 18 years. It was actually a lot harder than I thought to pick out favourite memories (hence number 18) but I hope you enjoyed reading the ones I could think of! All that’s left to say is a massive thank you to the blogging community for having me for the best part of the last three years, I can’t express how much you all mean to me.

Bye for now 🙂

An update: responsibility and partying??

Hello! Today I wanted to talk about something a bit more positive than my last post. For a bit of background, since starting college/sixth form last year, I gave up explorer scouts and volunteering at cub scouts – which was one of my absolute favourite things to do – for various reasons which je n’ai pas avoir les temps d’expliquer. So since starting year 12, I haven’t really had any hobbies, other than blogging, that I do outside of studying. I don’t have a part time job either, not that I haven’t considered it but in all honesty I don’t think it would be great for my mental health (neither is panicking that if I don’t get a job now, I won’t have enough experience to get a job later in life, but that’s just irrationality ahh). So all I do is go to college, come home and study and occasionally blog. Which… isn’t great. I mean, it’s good to have time to focus on my studies but I really don’t think it helps with the loneliness I touched on in my last post as I don’t have anything to distract me from the stresses of life.

However, I have recently taken on some more responsibilities in college, to give me something extra to do and get a bit more involved in the college community. I was elected student representative for A Level French, which isn’t really an achievement when your class contains less than ten people and none of them wanted to do it 😂, but either way I’m kind of proud of myself for putting myself out there and having the confidence to do something I wouldn’t have been able to do this time last year. My role as student rep basically means I have to hold forums within my class and get my fellow students feedback on the lessons as well as wider topics such as the college learning environment. Then we have to attend a sixthform-wide forum with heads of faculty and feedback to them. So sort of like student council I guess but with fancy pin badges and free buffets (gotta love a buffet right).

I’ve met some of the other student reps in training sessions we had, and it’s such a refreshing experience to meet new people at college who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. 

As well as being a student rep, I also worked as student ambassador last week at the college open day, which was actually quite fun. I only worked for half of the day, and I haven’t been paid (in chocolate) yet, but hopefully I’ll receive that this week. It was so interesting to meet year 11s who were thinking about studying the subjects I’m doing and to tell them a bit about the subjects (hopefully I didn’t scare them off!). Surprisingly a lot of the parents were interested in asking me about my plans for university which was…strange. Meeting the year 11s made me feel old though – I can remember going to open days at my college and thinking that the sixth formers seemed so grown up and wondering how I could ever seem as mature as them, and now it’s weird to think that I’ve changed so much since I was in year 11 trying to figure out what A Levels to pick.

The thing I love about volunteering is that it makes me discover more about myself. For example, I’ll quite often dismiss myself as being shy, awkward and un-confident, but helping out at the open day showed me that I can be confident when I need to be and that I actually enjoy meeting new people, like the various other student ambassadors I chatted to as we arrived early. Hopefully I’ll be able to carry on being a student ambassador and helping at further open days and events, because it did me good to do something different and give something back to the college who have been (mostly) supportive towards me.

And on the subject of discovering more about myself, I went to a party on Saturday for my friends 18th birthday that I was really dreading. I didn’t want to be pressured into drinking and I thought I’d feel out of place and not fit in with the people there, even though I was good friends with most of them, my brain has been telling me my friends hate me a lot lately so it’s fair to say I wasn’t feeling great about going. However, I did go and had a really good time. We had a rather competitive beer pong tournament and managed to break the wooden pole/stick thing before we broke the pinata (I mean, the pole ended up in several pieces – HOLD YOURSELF TOGETHER YOU BREAD STICK). I did end up having a couple of drinks, but not because I felt pressured to do so. I started out with the idea of only drinking if I felt comfortable, which worked well because I didn’t pressure myself into drinking or not drinking, if that makes sense, but I knew if I wanted to drink I could, but I wouldn’t force myself if I didn’t want to. I think I’ve learnt that I need to relax a bit more and not underestimate my ability to cope in social situations. Although it was a good night, I’ve been so tired today as I couldn’t sleep until 2am 😬 and then I’ve been feeling a bit lonely again, because I had such a good time surrounded by my friends that now I’ve been on my own all day it’s hard not win to wish I was still with them. But I’m sure I’ll get over it soon! I’m throwing my own party at the end of the month anyway for my birthday (I probably should start preparing that haha ha).

Anyway, that’s the end of this sort of ramble. I started off wanting to talk about responsibility and ended up talking about alcohol and parties but y’know tis life for you. (I really shouldn’t write when I’m tired, I’m even more strange than usual argh).

I don’t know what to call this

This is going to be a bit jumbled and probably won’t make much sense, but I’ve had a lot going on in my head lately and I need to lift the weight off my shoulders a bit by writing it out. I can’t really express how I’m feeling at the moment, my mood has been all over the place the past week and I’m sorry of stuck in this uncomfortable state of not feeling myself. I get frustrated when I try to get through the fog that’s cluttering my brain so I will take it slowly and try to explain things one step at a time. I’m not sure if it will really help – I’ve had awful writer’s block lately despite having the urge to blog but that’s part of the problem too I guess.

Recently I’ve been hit by a plague of loneliness – I can’t work out if I’m just coming to terms with these feelings and that they have been around for a while and I’ve just pushed them to the back of my mind. I don’t feel like I fit in, and I’ve felt this way many times before but this time it’s different because I have people around me who I know care about me and appreciate me yet my overthinking brain has started to pick apart and devalue my closest friendships, the people who make me happiest. There’s been a bit of drama in my friendship group that I don’t want to get into too much, and it has put a strain on the group but it’s a very complicated issue so it’s hard to explain. Yesterday for the first time in ages I felt truly appreciated and complete because I finally got to spend some time with my best friend which is rare because she is usually with her boyfriend. However it was a sort of bittersweet feeling because I knew it couldn’t last forever and today things went back to normal and I felt really disconnected from her again. It’s not quite as simple as that but yeah that’s the general gist. 

In typical me style I’ve been overthinking everything and feel awful because of it. Most of the time I can get by with not having people that I’m close to that I see often and having to bottle things up but it’s time like this when I realise that I feel so alone and disattached from everyone. The feeling that I’m always the “outsider looking in” within friendship groups emerges from the back of my mind and although this loneliness is something I experience from time to time, it doesn’t get any easier. Sometimes I feel so out of place – out of place amongst my friends, family, in my town and occasionally in my own body. I don’t feel comfortable with these thoughts, they don’t feel like part of me and I feel almost disattached from myself. 

A large part of me thinks that feeling lonely is absolutely ridiculous when I have some good friends who tell me they are there for me but when it comes to it I can’t reach out to them because in my mind they’ve always got something better to do and I am insignificant to them. Maybe my problem is that I am insignificant to myself, that I don’t take my own mental health seriously enough and spare the time to look after myself.

Another thing is that I have been rather stressed lately. Last year I think I handled my stress quite well. I didn’t have breakdowns every week, I didn’t feel like I was drowning in work and I physically I felt better. At the moment, I keep having nightmares or stress dreams where I dream about things that are happening in my life, like the other day I kept reciting lines from my university personal statement in my dream. I also feel exhausted a lot of the time and I’ve been feeling ill a lot too. It’s hard to describe – I don’t feel dizzy as such, it just sort of feels like my head is floating around and I lose my balance sometimes.

I don’t know how to tackle feeling stressed anymore. Everytime I scrape through a stressful day at college or a test I’ve been dreading, another thing gets added to the pile, and another then another. It feels like I’m running on a treadmill and it’s impossible to reach the other side, and just one slip up and I’ll be so behind in everything.

I’m struggling with my coursework for history and geography because I just don’t have the time or motivation to do it. I’ve had to rewrite my geography coursework hypothesises several times because I keep setting myself unrealistic goals and I’m fed up of trawling the internet for hours on end trying to find relevant research. I can’t even write the actual courseowkr because I overthink it so much my writing just waffles on and doesn’t make sense. I feel like because we are drilled to learn to write academically for exams, I can’t write simply or freely anymore and I need my parents to translate and decode what little I have done towards coursework into something that actually makes sense. My personal statement is done and sent off now thank goodness, but only after my dad and I spent four hours picking it apart and rewriting it on Tuesday because I just couldn’t do it myself.

The amount of times I’ve had to stop myself bursting into tears in college is racking up and now it feels as if my friends are walking on eggshells around me afternoon had a breakdown on the bus a few weeks ago. 

All this stress is probably contributing to my feelings of loneliness and I know I have to tackle one to beat the other. I don’t really know how I can do that but I hope I find the motivation to try. It’s my birthday in just over two weeks and I’m already getting anxious about having friends round. I really hope I’m not feeling like this then.

Like I said, this probably sounds really jumbled and I’m sorry for the negativity. If there’s one thing I love most about this community is that you don’t judge people for having bad days or for needing to let their feelings out – I really appreciate how supportive bloggers are. 

On a slightly different note, I do have some exciting blogging plans for the coming season…so stay tuned for that! 

//Some random thoughts + a playlist//

Today has been one of those days where you just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate for months until the warmer seasons bring an end to the constant bitterness of the outdoors and struggle to feel emotional warmth (is this a thing? Idk let’s just go with it). All the stress of college has hot me like a ton of bricks and I found myself already getting nervous about the mock French speaking exam I have on Wednesday. Even though they are a fortnightly occurance, I still can’t shift the nerves and fear of having a mind blank. I will forever be frustrated by my lack of ability to control my nerves during the exams, resulting in my awful consistency in performance – it really will be luck if I get the B grade I need to do French at uni.  

However, I found a way of taking my mind off of all of that by compiling a rather long playlist of all my favourite songs – you know the ones that uplift you and remind you of good times. I love that sort of nostalgic feeling when the lyrics to decades-old songs flow from you even though it’s been a long time since you listened to them. It’s sort of a mixture of old and new songs – artists that I’ve grown up listening to through my parents various CDs and vinyls as well as music I’ve discovered throughout my teenage years that has stuck with me. Listening to music is one of my favourite things to do this time of year, because sometimes it looks so bleak outside it’s hard to feel positive, but music has this strange sort of power of being able to strike a chord within me and make me have a better outlook on life.

I spent absolutely ages finding and typing up this list before realising I could just make a Spotify playlist, which would have been A LOT quicker, but I didn’t want to waste my efforts in typing it all up so I’ve left both below and you can have a listen if you’d like.

(Warning: it’s VERY long!).

  1. September – Earth, Wind & Fire
  2. Take On Me, a-ha
  3. Gold – Spandau Ballet
  4. The Wire – HAIM
  5. Paris – The Chainsmokers
  6. Waste A Moment – Kings of Leon
  7. Tilted – Christine and the Queens
  8. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
  9. Night Fever – Bee Gees
  10. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  11. Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
  12. Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  13. The Sound – The 1975
  14. Polarize – Twenty One Pilots
  15. Good Grief – Bastille
  16. The Currents – Bastille
  17. Closer – The Chainsmokers, Halsey
  18. I’m On Your Side – Eliza and the Bear
  19. Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys
  20. Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots
  21. A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
  22. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  23. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
  24. You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
  25. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  26. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  27. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
  28. Bonfire Heart – James Blunt
  29. Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader
  30. Let The People Know – Toploader
  31. Let It Go – James Bay
  32. Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs
  33. Hold Back The River – James Bay
  34. I Predict A Riot – Kaiser Chiefs
  35. Riptide – Vance Joy
  36. Stolen Dance – Milky Chance
  37. Shut Up and Dance – WALK THE MOON
  38. Different Colours – WALK THE MOON
  39. Naive – The Kooks
  40. Pompeii – Bastille
  41. 7 – Catfish and the Bottlemen
  42. Soundcheck – Catfish and the Bottlemen
  43. Things We Lost In The Fire – Bastille
  44. Homesick – Catfish and the Bottlemen
  45. Friends – Eliza and the Bear
  46. Bad Blood – Bastille
  47. Of The Night – Bastille
  48. Fake It – Bastille
  49. You’ve Got The Love – Florence + The Machine
  50. Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine
  51. T-Shirt Weather – Circa Waves
  52. Fossils – Circa Waves
  53. Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  54. Cake By The Ocean – DNCE
  55. Fluorescent Adolescent – Arctic Monkeys
  56. Treat You Better – Shawn Mendes
  57. Stitches – Shawn Mendes
  58. Shine – Take That
  59. How Deep Is Your Love – Take That
  60. Wonderwall – Oasis
  61. Chocolate – The 1975
  62. Want You Back – HAIM
  63. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  64. Mamma Mia – ABBA
  65. Don’t Matter Now – George Ezra

You can find my playlist here on Spotify!

Thank you for reading, hope you’ve all had a good weekend!

//AW17 Primark wishlist//

Hello! I don’t know about you but I always love autumn/winter fashion and feel the urge to go ot on a huge spending spree and update my wardorbe. However as I need to save for a laptop, I decided I do a bit of online browsing instead and create a wishlist of Primark AW17 clothes and homeware for you!

(Obviously Primark can’t have all of their huge range of products up on their website so I have a limitted choice, but there’s bound to be more in store that I’d love to buy too haha).

Tops

1

Feather blouse – £7

I absolutely love this blouse and I think it looks very autumnal and can be worn casually or as smart ware, which is great!

2

Grey cardigan – £15

Primark really have gone to town with the cardigans this year. When I last went into a store, there were whole walls covered with them. I think they’d be so nice just to throw on when you’re having a lazy day. I’m not sure what colour I’d go for but I do quite like this grey one.

3

2 in 1 Jumper – £15

I really love this trend – maybe because I love shirts?? Either way I think these jumper/shirt combos look really cool and I’d love to own one.

Bottoms

4Bergundy cord skirt  -£8

Bergundy is definitely in this season and I’ve already jumped on the bandwagon and bought a bergundy skater skirt. However I really love this cord skirt but when I tried it on in store the shape didn’t really suit me, but I still like it so I thought I’d include it anyway.

5

Houndstooth wrap mini skirt – £10

Again I don’t know if I could pull off the shape, but the pattern is gorgeous and i’m really into monochrome prints at the moment!

Shoes

6Grey Chelsea Boot – £8

I saw these instore and they had a variety of different colours including these grey ones. I really liked the grey but they had a gorgeous olive green pair that I really liked! And they’re such good value too!

Homeware

7

Harry Potter Hedwig cushion – £8

I mean it’s Hedwig??? Enough said.

8

40 Firefly Copper Fairylights – £2.50

You can never have too many fairy lights, and they really do make your room 1000x cosier.

I’m sure there are about 50000 other things I could include on my AW17 Primark wishlist, but I’ll leave it there for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to head down there soon and maybe purchase a few of these items!

What fashion trends are you loving this season? Would you put any of these on your wishlist? Let me know below!