28/12/2015

This Week On Instagram

I'm hooked on Instagram right now; the only accounts I seem to follow are fitness accounts, my fellow Tone It Up girls and planner decorating. If you don't follow me already, come and be my friend!
Christmas week in my planners!
My love of dance and the reality of dance in one picture.
Dressed up for a Christmas meal with one of my besties.
My dream coat at only £24.
I do the occasional workout.
A night of goal planning and watching She's The Man.
New Christmas pyjamas!
Merry Christmas!
I do love a statement necklace.
Princess Sian me!
My #2015bestnine
Productive day calls for an all black ensemble.
Quotes ahoy!

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27/12/2015

A Sunday Well Spent

Sunday nights are my favourite. There was a time when I just chilled out after work and did absolutely nothing. Now, I've realised that if I get organised as soon as I get in from work, I can then chill out and not stress out on a Monday morning! Here are my top tips to having a productive Sunday in order to have a stress-free Monday!

1. Set yourself some goals for the week. For me, it tends to be related to revision, exercise and food. If you write them down, you'll be more likely to achieve them too!

2. Plan, plan, plan! I use my Sunday nights to decorate my planner and make to-do lists. Plan out what you want to do on every day (revision, work, exercise, sleep, date nights, family time, nights out, whatever is good for you) and make sure you make time for yourself. Sunday afternoons after work are my own time.

3. Plan your blogging routine too. I like to write down what posts I'm going to do that week even if I'm not going to write them there and then. Use any spare time to take photos while there is some sunlight.

4. Treat yourself to a pamper night. I shower, put on a face mask and paint my nails on a Sunday night. For me, that's my relaxation time. For you, you may prefer to watch a movie or a TV box set or read a book.

5. Check your emails and respond. I often find during the week that I read emails, delete the ones I don't want and just leave the others sat in my inbox all week long. If you go over your inbox on a Sunday night and reply then, the recipient will have you near the top of their inbox.

6. Tidy up your desktop. Whilst you're at your emails, have a look through your photos and documents to see if you can clear any of them. Then empty your recycling bin!

7. Have a tidy around your room. Put all your laundry away, vacuum your floor, have a sort through your paperwork. Tidy room= tidy mind! I always find that the top drawer in my bedside table is an absolute mess so that is a must to sort out!

8. Pack your bag for school/work. For me, I have a suitcase to pack too so it requires a bit more time! Less rushing on a Monday morning, people!

9. Outfit plan. Once you've tidied your wardrobe, plan out your outfits for the next week. I plan out my college outfit as well as my workout gear so I'm ready to go on Monday morning!

10. Reflect on the past week. Keep a journal or ring up your best friend for a chat. I'm not a very open person with my feelings so I prefer to write in a journal just to clear out my mind.

I do note that this Sunday is very different as I've been at a family gathering plus it's Christmas! This is my usual routine when I'm at college!


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25/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 25: My Christmas Day

For the first time ever, we had a very quiet Christmas Day. Instead of visiting my extended family like usual, my parents and I spent the day at home eating and watching TV. It made such a nice change instead of rushing about from house to house dropping off presents and making small talk with every family member going.

I'm very fortunate to have such amazing parents that I got a lot of incredible presents this year. I won't say what I got because it is the thought that counts the most. I much prefer getting lots of smaller, cheaper gifts than getting a couple of larger items such as a phone or a designer handbag.

For me, this Christmas Day has been amazing to just sit back and relax. It's also made me realise how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do have. My parents, my other family and my best friends mean the whole world to me and I am so incredibly grateful that I am able to share my time with them.

I'm so excited to settle back with a nice cup of hot chocolate and watch the last ever Downton Abbey episode! I'm also excited for the next year and for the next few days of 2015. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
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24/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 24: Things I'm Grateful For

Christmas and New Year will forever be the time of year that I use to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next year. I'm a sucker for making resolutions and to-do lists (if you follow me on Instagram, you'll know what I'm like with my planner!)

Myself with my best friends Amy (left) and Ellie (right)
1. My friends and family. This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster and I'm thankful that my two best friends and my parents have supported through everything.

2. The new friends I've made. The girls at work and everyone on my college course, we all have such a close bond. With my college friends, I see them more than my own family so I'm glad that we're a tight-knit group!

Some of my workout pictures from this year!
3. My health. I've taken more of an interest in health, fitness and just generally looking after myself more this year so next year I will be improving this even more.

4. That 2015 has seen the rise of Girl Power once again! Thank you to all the musicians, actresses, models, authors and any other female who has spoken out about the gender pay gap, equal rights and every female issue that we've all thought about. I applaud you for coming forward when others shy away.

5. This blog. I've recently found my mojo for blogging once again and hope 2016 will motivate me to continue to grow my blog so I hope you'll all join me for the ride!
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#Blogmas Day 23: Blogmas Recap

Yesterday I was at work all day long and it was such a rubbish day that I just wanted to come home and do nothing all night. Because of that I thought I'd do a recap and put all the links to my posts for Blogmas so far in one place!

Day 1: December Goals
Day 2: Secret Santa Gift Ideas
Day 3: Christmas Shopping Tips
Day 4: Christmas Tag 2015
Day 5: My Christmas Wishlist
Day 6: My Week In Pictures
Day 7: Festive Fitness
Day 8: Forgotten Christmas Songs
 Day 9: Why I Love Christmas
Day 10: Christmas On A Budget
Day 11: Things I Don't Like About Christmas
Day 12: The Happiness Tag
Day 13: Dear Taylor
Day 14: My Week In Pictures
Day 15: December Goals So Far
Day 16: Christmas TV
Day 17: How To Study Over Christmas
Day 18: The Winter Tag
Day 19: What's In My Bag Winter Edition
Day 20: My Week In Pictures
Day 21: Avoiding Stress At Christmas
Day 22: Girl Crushes of 2015

There'll be a new post at 7pm like usual. (Well most of the time anyway!) See you at 7pm!
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22/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 22: Girl Crushes of 2015

1. Nikki and Brie Bella


The Bella Twins are my number one fitspo. These women are strong and beautiful. They take pride in their bodies and are fantastic role models. They inspire me to keep pushing to reach my goals because being a female in the sports industry is tough (they wrestle and I want to be a sports journalist). I do love Nikki slightly more (sorry Brie) just because of her relationship with John Cena and her killer dress sense. Mostly I love that how they're twins but completely different but still amazing!

2. Misty Copeland


Ballet was my first real love and this woman has helped me rediscover that. After reading about her in Teen Vogue one time, I bought her autobiography and cried at several points when reading it. This woman is an inspiration; even if you're not a ballerina, you;ll be able to relate to at least one struggle in her life. She does not have the usual physique of a ballerina but that's what makes her special. Unfortunately, the colour of her skin matters when it shouldn't and this year she became the first African American to be a principal at the American Ballet Theatre, which is a huge achievement, not only for ballet but for the human race in general.

3. Taylor Swift


This woman can do no wrong in my eyes. I've loved her from the very beginning; I kind of miss her country roots but nevertheless, she has grown into a bona fide pop princess. My favourite thing about her is her kindness; she will always stop to sign autographs, she constantly talks to fans online and never has a bad thing to say about anyone. Yes, she writes songs about those who've treated her badly but that's one of her gifts.

4. Selena Gomez


Selena has had a revival this year; she's back with a brand new album and look and she looks fantastic. She's become more confident in herself now and it shows in her music and style. She's grown up in the public eye and has managed to stay clear of trouble (apart from the Biebs) and is full of poise and grace. I love her friendship with Taylor Swift too!

5. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders


Making the Team is my favourite TV show of this year. These women are a huge inspiration to me right now because I so want to become a DCC! Every single one of them is gorgeous, intelligent, hard-working and dedicated. They train 5 nights a week and work full-time or study in order to pay their ways. They are all talented performers and are so tight as a group but have their own individual style too.
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21/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 21: Avoiding Stress At Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year. So why is this time of year so stressful? We've got parties to go to, work shifts to do, presents to wrap, some of us even have revision or assignments to complete! Along the way, we seem to forget that Christmas is meant to be fun! Here are my top tips to keeping a cool head over the holidays:

1. Plan your time wisely. Figure out which events you need to go to, any parties you'll be attending, work shifts you have, anything that will require a significant amount of time. This will show you how much spare time you have to get all of those Christmas tasks done!

2. Write lists. Write a to-do list at the start of every day and write a list of tasks you need to do in the run-up to the festive period. There's nothing more satisfying than ticking off a task once you've completed it!

3. Dedicate one afternoon to wrapping everything. I feel bad saying this but my mum does most of the wrapping in our house. She enjoys it and it keeps her occupied for a couple of hours every night! My dad and I wrap my mum's presents on Christmas Eve.

4. Don't forget about yourself. Christmas is all about giving to others but you need to treat yourself too! Paint your nails, get a luxurious bath, spend the evening reading or watching your favourite film, go on a date, whatever helps you to relax!

5. Even out the workload at home. Make sure everyone in the house helps out; like I said, Mum wraps presents, my dad and I cook Christmas dinner, We all keep the house clean and tidy though!

6. Remember that it's Christmas. Christmas, for me, is for family and being happy and relaxed.

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20/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 20: My Week In Pictures

This week was my last week at college before the Christmas break and crazy stressful. I got a break on Tuesday night when the guy that I'm seeing came to visit me in Sheffield which was such a treat! We had a lovely evening stuffing our faces with Indian food and watching The Holiday back at the hotel. 

Sunday's Dear Taylor posts and a throwback to when I saw her live!

Last week's planner spread, getting into the Christmas mood early.

This workout is perfect for the hotel: requires little space and no equipment!

A reindeer in chocolate sprinkles!

Goodbye Sheffield for two weeks!

Black Friday delivery of bookmarks and stickers.

I'm a sucker for a motivational quote.

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#Blogmas Day 19: What's In My Bag Winter Edition

Winter is my favourite season by far. Warm clothing, Christmas, my birthday, hot chocolate but with the added cold, it means a change in what you keep in your handbag. Out go the sunglasses, in go the gloves! I love reading these sorts of posts on other people's blogs so I thought I'd give you all an insight into what I carry around with me on a daily basis. This is the bag I would take to work and shopping. (not college because I take far too many notebooks and textbooks there and they are all a bit boring!)



  1. My planner. This goes everywhere with me. I write everything down as soon as I know about it and plan out my to-do lists in here. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see how obsessed I am with my planner!
  2. Pens and stickers. To go with my planner, I carry around coloured pens and stickers for my planner. I want it to look as pretty as possible!
  3. A reading book. I get bored very easily so make sure I always have something to read with me instead of constantly being on social media!
  4. Purse and discount cards. I always have my driving licence, NUS card and a million discount cards with me, just in case I need anything whilst I'm out and about!
  5. Snacks and bottled water. I always carry around a small bar of chocolate and a bottle of still water in case I get peckish or hydrated. I try to drink at least 2 litres of water a day!
  6. Gloves. It's not massively cold in the UK right now but I always make sure I have a pair with me just in case the temperature drops!
  7. Toiletry bag. In here, I have a compact mirror, tissues, Vaseline, lip balm, lipstick, ibuprofen, anti-bacterial hand wash, hand cream and a Victoria's Secret body mist.
  8. Keys. Car keys and house keys are always a must!
  9. iPod and headphones. Just in case I go for a wander around, I must have my headphones with me!
  10. iPhone. I'm attached to it! 
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19/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 18: The Winter Tag

Yesterday was just so busy with Christmas shopping that I didn't get home until 8pm so didn't really feel like blogging! Today will have another post coming at 7pm to make up for missing a day!

If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I love a tag. They're simple posts but I think they give you an insight behind the mind of the blog.


What’s your favourite thing about Winter?
Getting to wrap up warm. I'm always cold so getting to wear extra layers is perfect for me!

Scarves or beanies?
I tend to wear scarves more but I do like a beanie.

Favourite holiday movie?
The Muppets' Christmas Carol.

Favourite winter nail polish?
Red, always.

Favourite holiday drink?
Hot chocolate and if I'm feeling fat, whipped cream, marshmallows, sprinkles and a flake.

Top 3 winter essentials?
A thick woolly coat, thick cosy socks and a fluffy blanket.

What’s 1 item on my Christmas list?
I've asked for a Polar fitness watch this year so I can keep better track of how effective my workouts are.

Must have winter lip product?
Vaseline! That or a deep red lipstick.

What’s your Christmas day outfit?
Usually I go out to visit family but this year, my parents and I are spending the day at home together so probably pyjamas and a lovely fluffy dressing gown!
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17/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 17: How To Study Over Christmas

Christmas: the time of year to relax. Wrong! I've not had a year out of education yet so Christmas time for me is revision time for January exams! I do try to balance fun and festivities with work. Because I've been doing this for years, I think I've gotten into a routine before I start any studying so I thought I would share my words of wisdom with you all!


1. Get a diary before you do anything else. Before you start your revision, buy a diary and write everything you plan on doing over Christmas. Jot down any birthdays, parties, work shifts, family gatherings, days out, literally anything you have already planned. This will show you how much free time you have and how much time you will spend revising. Don't forget to schedule in some personal time every day, whether you spend a whole night watching films or just a spare half an hour to put on a face mask or paint your nails.


2. Write down every topic you need to study. If you have a bunch of exams, write down every subject as a heading and then jot down every module within it. For me I have 5 exams over the course of two weeks but only two have a lot of Powerpoints to go back over. If you list them, you can figure out how many topics you need to cover every day to make you get it all done!

3. Get essays done first before starting exam revision. If you get assignments written up first, you don't have to worry about them for the entire Christmas break! It's less painful is you just get it done asap!

4. When you're travelling, do some revision then! As long as you're not driving, trains are the perfect commute to get work done on. Flashcards are great for train journeys because they don't take up much room in your bag either or you could catch up on any reading you might have.

5. Don't study one subject all day long. Switch it up so you don't get bored! Try revising one subject in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you have quite a lot of exams, try revising an hour on each.

6. If you're at uni and have tonnes of work still to do, go back early! Make use of the library before the majority of students get back: it will be empty, quiet and you'll manage to get plenty of desk space or a computer! When I was at uni, I lived in the library during holidays such as Christmas and Easter so I didn't get distracted at home!

7. Take regular breaks. Don't revise for hours on end; you'll get bored and lose focus. I find that revising in 50 minute blocks and then taking a 10 minute break, either to text a phone, grab a snack or stretch my legs, keeps me awake and alert.

8. Take proper care of yourself. It's easy to forget about your health when you're so focused on work and revision. Drink plenty of water, fit in a workout (I do a workout before lunch when I'm revising or after tea) and make sure you get a sleeping pattern sorted. (6-8 hours people!) Don't stay up for an all-nighter because t's just not effective!

9. Choose a study spot that works for you. For me, I like being at home at my desk but I do love mixing it up and going to a coffee shop in town for a treat. When I was at uni, going to the library kept me focused on my revision and not watching TV!

10. Make it as fun as possible. I love to make flashcards with coloured pens or create mind maps on coloured paper. Colour-coordinating certain words actually helps me to remember key facts!


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16/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 16: Christmas TV

Along with our Christmas dinner and present giving/receiving, Christmas telly is a tradition for most of us. For me, I try not to watch too much TV over Christmas because I spend a lot of time throughout the year watching TV so I like to take a break! However, there are a few shows and films that I tune into every year.


The Sound of Music is one of my favourite musicals as well as one of my favourite films. I watch this every year on TV when it's on even though I have the DVD! It's such an amazing film and I love a good singalong!


This year, we're copying America (they did a live broadcast starring Carrie Underwood) and doing a live version with Kara Tointon as Maria. I'm skeptical about this but will tune in anyway!


Strictly is my favourite TV show during the winter. It's my dream to become famous enough to be on it although with my dance background, I'd be cheating slightly! This year I'm excited to see Harry Judd especially in the Christmas special!


As a rugby league fan, this is the biggest year for us ever as we have our first nominee in Kevin Sinfield! I'm trying to persuade all rugby league fans, despite who they support, to vote for Sir Kev on the night! I love watching all the highlights from the year too and seeing all the sportsmen in their suits. Here's looking at you Greg Rutherford!


I'm so sad that this Christmas will see the last ever Downton Abbey. I will miss the amazing story-lines and extravagant costumes. I really hope Lady Edith will get her happily ever after because Lady Mary should not get it all her way! 


The only Christmas film that I like. The Muppets and Michael Caine together is a match-made in heaven. I watch this every year on Christmas Eve with my dad and we still never tire of seeing it!
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15/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 15: December Goals So Far

Source: http://kaysbestintentions.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/december-goals.html
I can't believe we're halfway through #Blogmas already! It's been amazing for me to motivate myself to get back into blogging and the added pressure of posting every day is paying off!

At the beginning of every month, I write down a few goals as to what I want to achieve in the upcoming once and at the start of Blogmas, I posted them on the blog. (you can see the post here) I thought it would be a nice idea to recap to see how close I am to achieving them!

1. Continue to use my hotel time usefully and productively. I'd like to say I'm doing this; I've been revising, blogging and working out but I know I could use even more time to do necessary tasks instead of just watching TV constantly! This is my last week in the hotel until January so I've got a bit of revision to do and then date night tomorrow!

2. Tidy my room in time for Christmas. This is still to be done. I had an exam last Wednesday so was using all of my free time at home to revise or pack. Seeing as I go home on the 17th, I will be having a major clearout over the weekend and then tidying my whole room in time for Christmas!

3. Work out at least 4 days a week. This isn't going so well. I think I've been planning too many workouts for every day. I also seem to start the week off well and then by Wednesday, I just give up. I just need to get my time organised more to fit it in!

4. Stay organised and write things down when I know about them. I have been doing this but I still think I could organise my time better. AM workouts would give me more time to revise or blog on a night; taking revision to do on my dinner break at college would give me a bit more free time at the hotel. I also need to start using my Fridays properly instead of just chilling out all day long!

5. Stick with #Blogmas. Apart from the one night where I forgot to blog (I did two posts the following day, one in the morning and one at 7pm as usual), I've managed to keep up so far!
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14/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 14: My Week In Pictures

This will normally be a Sunday tradition but yesterday's post was a must for me as a Taylor Swift fan! This week has been a bit rubbish to start with but it picked up by Thursday!
Monday's workout was very difficult but I love training abs.
Had a revision afternoon on Tuesday which resulted in me having too much water and peeing too much!
Wednesday's pre-exam treat of Chinese.
Never have I felt so pants about myself whilst watching this. All the Angels + Selena Gomez <3
Friday afternoon planning in Starbucks before my date!
Finally got my hair chopped! It's the shortest I've had it since I was about 13!

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13/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 13: Dear Taylor

Disclaimer: If you don't like Taylor Swift or personal posts, don't bother reading anymore!

In honour of Taylor Swift's 26th birthday today, I've decided to take a break from Christmas and write an open letter to Taylor thanking her for her existence. I'm a huge fan of hers and have been for many years but to me, she is more than her music.

From the Red tour, February 2014.

Dear Taylor,

I like to think of you as a friend. I know you're not and I long to be part of your so-called "girl squad" but I feel a connection with you.

Having listened to your music since I was 15 and followed your career avidly since then, I am most definitely a "Swifty". After hearing Love Story, I went back and bought your first album (which was hard to find here in the UK) and have bought every album since. Through your music, you have got me through some good times and bad times and taught me so many lessons. Your songs have made me reveal my emotions to myself and to others, they've given me hope when I've needed it, they've inspired me to strive to better myself, they've given me a self-confidence that I never knew I had but most of all, they've given me joy. It's rare that I find an artist that I think the world of and you might be the only one. I'm not embarrassed that I am a fan: you write incredible lyrics, you have catchy melodies, you have a gift. I will defend you endlessly to those who say bad about you, including several people who I know.

I admire your entrepreneurial skills and how you are able to treat yourself and your brand as a business, not just music. The way you stood up to Apple with regards to the streaming of your music for free, I could not have been more proud to be a fan of yours at that moment. The fact that you took a stand and publicly called them out when we all know many other musicians were thinking exactly the same, was incredibly brave. Also, the fact that you know your audience and what we love and how we work shows how much work you and your team must do in order to keep us happy. We appreciate everything that you do and that is why we love you. You treat us like we're your friends and it's like you can get inside our brains and tell us what we need to do at any specific time.

I believe that you are a credit, not only to your craft and the music industry, but to the human race. Your humility and kindness speaks volumes of you and how you've been brought up in this world. Being nice will always sit well with me. It seems like everyone always wants you to fall flat on your face or do a Britney but why should we bring someone down just because they're nice? Nice doesn't make you boring, it makes you friendly and approachable and a true lady and a good role model. I know you don't make music to be a role model but being in the public eye makes you a target. However, you handle this with grace and present yourself as a class act. 

The accomplishments you have achieved are phenomenal but truly deserved. I love watching your reaction at award shows when you win because you still get genuinely excited that people recognise and appreciate your talent and hard work. I love how you really soak everything in too and actually enjoy attending them by dancing and singing along to all of the performances. You appreciate other artists so in turn, they respect you and your music.

There is not one song of yours that I dislike; yes I love some more than others (Haunted is a personal favourite) but every single one represents a moment in your life or a feeling that you've had and felt important enough to produce a song about. That is the side I love the most; you give us a glimpse into your mind and your life through your songwriting. I can relate to every song in one way or another and I've matched these songs up to moments in my life many times. Your lyrics speak to me on such a personal level and I've adopted many as my life mantras. I don't care who they're about, I think it's shameful that the media try to pinpoint who they're about. As an aspiring journalist myself, I find it embarrassing that the press speculate about your life and what you're doing. You should be able to live your life how you choose and you're doing a pretty good job of that to me!

To finish off, I would like to thank you for being so real. You speak from the heart, you're passionate about your music and you seem like a lovely person. I've read every interview, got every song, been to a concert and every time I hear any news or a new song, it makes me love you even more. It is on my bucket list to eventually meet you and tell you how much you inspire me. Either that or I would like to spend the day baking with you, Gigi, Selena and Karlie! I hope that you continue to grow as a musician, a songwriter and a person and I will support you every step of the way.

Long live Queen Taylor.

Love Sian x
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12/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 12: The Happiness Tag

I knew I wouldn't be able to do every single blog post about Christmas. Whilst checking Bloglovin this morning for inspiration, I stumbled across Bekka's post about the happiness tag. As you all know, I love a good tag and this was no exception.

SONGS:

I know everyone says this but I enjoy a wide range of music! I listen to a lot of country music and girl power anthems but I do love my indie and rock too. Anything by Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato makes me happy!

BOOKS:


I wish I could read as much as I used to as reading makes me happy. Reading textbooks does not make me happy! The 'I Heart' series by Lindsey Kelk is my favourite chick-lit but by far, the books that make me the happiest are the Harry Potter books!

FILMS:

Musicals, Disney, cheesy teen films. We're talking High School Musical, A Cinderella Story, She's The Man, Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging, Mean Girls. I rarely watch serious films so these are always guaranteed to make me happy even after the thousandth time of watching them!

FOODS:


Pizza (usually this one on a Saturday night after work!), Chinese, chocolate. That is my diet, especially over Christmas!

WORDS:

'Your wages have been paid' are my favourite words to hear. Or those little three words: 'I have food.'

SCENTS:

The smell of the turkey being cooked, fresh bread, petrol.

RANDOM THINGS:


Sleep, Pretty Little Liars, Victoria's Secret, cuddles, my blog numbers going up, decorating my planner, getting to finish college early for the day, Forever 21, the feeling after a workout, London, making to-do lists.



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#Blogmas Day 11: Things I Don't Like About Christmas

I apologise this post is late! I've done my exams for now (well, until mid January) so I've actually been enjoying myself for the past day!

As much as I do like the festive period, certain things about it really grind my guts. Also if you do not like rants, probably best to close the page now!:

1. It starts earlier every year. Having worked in a card shop, I should be used to this but I don't start thinking about Christmas until at least mid-November. Those who want to celebrate before then are crazy!

2. The adverts. I feel like we just get bombarded by them. The fact that some shops spend millions of pounds on their adverts just baffles me!

3. Pressure to enjoy Christmas as early as possible. Some people are obsessed with Christmas, others are not, like myself. Stop ridiculing me because I haven't started my shopping yet, I will start it when I have the time to.

4. Decorations. I like having the Christmas tree up (ours isn't even up yet) and I like the sparkly lights outside of the house which we don't do but those who use enough to rival the main lights switch on in the town or city centre, you must have a very large electricity bill come January.

5. The expense. As much as I try to cut down my spending over Christmas, it's impossible. I'm buying presents, going out for meals, buying food for home, every small amount soon adds up!

6. The songs. If it's one thing I really don't like about Christmas, it's the songs. The majority of them are poorly made and are terribly cheesy. Like I said before, when I worked in a card shop, they were on all day er'ryday. Try working a full day and then  you will hate them.
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10/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 10: Christmas On A Budget


1. Set a budget: If you know that you have a few people to buy for, set a budget for each person. Be it £5, £10 or £50 depending on who you're buying for, make sure that they know as well!

2. Make a list: Think of ideas for each person you want to buy for. This makes your Christmas shopping a whole lot easier and stress-free!

3. Shop in the sales and make use of any discount cards you have: All of the shops on the High street are having sales right now and have been for the past month. If you have in-store discount cards or are a student, make use of them now!

4. Regift items: I know this can be seen as a big cardinal sin but if you know you won't use something, give it to someone who will!

5. Do Secret Santa if you have a big group of friends: Put all of your names in a hat, set a budget and pick out a name! We do this at work every year but just buy a generic female present instead with a £10 budget but at college, we picked out a name and only have a £2 budget!

6. If not, agree with your friends not to do gifts and just go out for a nice meal: My best friend and I have agreed on that this year; we're both skint and have very little free time so we're going to go out after Christmas because it will be quieter and hopefully cheaper!

7. Make a Christmas food shop list: We never make a food shopping list apart from at Christmas; it ends up being easier to grab what we need, rather than wandering around aimlessly for hours and buying a load of stuff we probably won't even use!

8. Send Christmas cards early or just send an email: With my working in a Post Office, I recommend if you're sending your cards this year, get them sent as soon as possible. At Christmas time, the expected delivery times goes out of the window due to the higher volume of cards and parcels being sent! If you can, just send those you love an email or Skype them!

9. Cover up in jumpers and blankets to reduce your heating bills: I'm lucky that I own numerous jumpers and blankets which I'm sure my parents are thankful for because I'm always cold!

10. Don't buy fancy bows and wrapping paper: At the end of the day, we rip the paper off because the present is what we're really after! Yes, I know the presents look pretty but for people you buy a few items for, the costs soon add up!
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09/12/2015

#Blogmas Day 9: Why I Love Christmas

I feel like I've been a bit of a Bah Humbug this year, probably because I haven't had any time to get organised this year! My only exam before Christmas is today so I'm excited to start enjoying Christmas as of tomorrow! Here are my favourite things about Christmas:


1. Time off work: I love having some free time around Christmas. Because I always have exams after the holidays, I try to create a revision schedule which allows me to enjoy at least Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Boxing Day. This year, I have these three days off work too so I can relax and stuff my face with food!

2. Christmas dinner: Roast dinner is only good when my dad and I cook it together at Christmas. The Yorkshire puddings are the highlight for me always!

3. Decorating the tree: I wouldn't say I'm the biggest fan of the tree itself but I get complete control over the decorations every year.

4. Spending time with the family: Because my life is so hectic at the moment and I haven't seen my extended family since September, I'm excited for a catch-up with all of my cousins/aunties/uncles/grandparents. (Although I'll probably regret it when it actually happens because they're VERY loud!)


5. Christmas sales: The sales start before Christmas now but I love saving up my money from the holidays and spending it afterwards, just not on Boxing Day because I believe that all shops should be shut!

6. Wrapping up warm: I love winter because I get to live in jumpers, PJs, fluffy socks and my warm and cosy dressing gown.

7. Gift shopping: I actually enjoy buying presents but only when the shops are quiet because I hate queuing! That's why I shop online mostly nowadays!


8. Christmas TV: I love watching Downton Abbey (as if it's the last ever episode this year!), the Strictly Christmas special and all of the Christmas episodes of all the classic comedy shows!

9. Christmas Eve with my dad: We try to avoid leaving the house unless we get out really early. We wrap my mum's presents, watch The Muppets' Christmas Carol and bake.

10. Receiving all the chocolate: Every year I get tonnes of chocolate that usually lasts me until Easter but I love that it is acceptable to stuff your face and no-one can tell you off in doing so!
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