Better late than never?

Happy New Year everybody! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

It’s been absolutely ages since I sat down to write a blog post, so I thought I’d put a bit of effort in to making sure that something goes up today.

By way of an update:

  • My Christmas was chaotic but on the whole pretty good. I got some absolutely beautiful gifts from my family and friends and had such a wonderful period of celebration. It was very busy and I didn’t really get a chance to sit down. Now that it’s  over, it feels like it was ages ago. I kind of miss it and I’m secretly looking forward to Christmas 2017.
  • I spent New Year at Ben’s parents’ house in Aylesbury. Unfortunately, I was pretty ill for the entire time I was there.
  • I went back to work last week and since I’ve been back there’s been lots going on. It’s nice to have a lot to do. I like keeping busy.
  • I got a brand new book shelf, and I’m really tempted to do a sort of book shelf tour so you can see all that I’ve got. Might be quite a good way of logging what I haven’t read and what I haven’t got yet, as well.

All in all, this busy spell has been a bit of a whirlwind, and I’ve made some pretty big decisions over the past few weeks which I’ll share with you in the future, perhaps.

For now, my only piece of advice is this: make 2017 your year.

That’s what I’m doing.

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Decorating!

This weekend, Ben and I spent a lot of time preparing my parents’ house for Christmas. Wandering around Fenwick, Paperchase and Wilko, we managed to pick up a gorgeous range of baubles. From bargain pieces to slightly more expensive gems, I was thrilled with everything we picked up.

Given that Christmas is my favourite holiday, and given that it’s less than 20 days away, today I thought I’d share a few pictures that we took over the weekend.

And yes… I am wearing a dragon onesie.

20 years old

On the 25th November, I celebrated my 20th birthday. I took some time off work and spend Thursday evening – Tuesday morning in the company of my significant other. It was a complete delight.

On Thursday evening, Ben and I tucked into a nice curry from a local Indian with my parents, before I opened my gifts from them. I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful planner from Kikki.K and a jacket from asos.com, as well as a huge stuffed dog – I love them all dearly.

Ben and I stayed up until midnight watching Frozen, and when the clock struck 12 I opened my presents from the man himself. I got a variety of gifts from him, all of which I love. I was a particular fan of some Disney postcards that he’d bought me, with stills from the films as well as some of the drawings pre-final edit. It was amazing to see the work that had gone into the films, and also the skill of the artists that work on them. This went along nicely with the Disney book he bought me as well.

Among other presents, Ben had also bought me Disney Pictopia (which I thoroughly recommend if you love Disney!) and the most adorable little toy armadillo.

On Friday morning, Ben and I had pain au chocolat and spent the majority of our time wrapping Christmas gifts for friends and family. Just before midday, my friend Amy quickly popped over for a gift, and then Ben and I headed to Nando’s for a rather large (but very delicious) lunch!

In the evening, we headed back to Ben’s and watched Papertowns, which he’d bought me on DVD for my birthday, while eating ‘party food’, and many episodes of Skins, a TV show that I’ve seen at least twice through but love lots.

On Saturday evening, Ben had arranged a surprise meet-up with some friends of mine, who I wish I could see more regularly. It was an awesome surprise that ended up with us spending some time at a pub before moving on to Pizza Hut. Delicious!

Sunday was definitely the busiest day of the entire weekend. We picked my sister and her boyfriend up from the station and drove to my grandparents house. My Nan and Grandad had arranged for us all (mum, dad, Kat, Mat, Ben and I) to go out for a roast lunch at a local pub, before heading back to their’s for a game of Rummikub. I love spending time with my family, and I think every involved had a pretty good day. Nan even surprised me with a birthday cake!

In the evening, we returned to Ben’s where we watched Me Before You, another DVD that Ben had bought me and one that I have wanted to watch for ages. The book was beautiful and I was so pleased that the film lived up to expectations. And yes, I did cry.

Originally I had planned to spend Monday chilling and relaxing in time to return to work, but when it came down to it, Ben and I decided to pop to Bluewater and do some shopping. I went into the Kikki.K store and Paperchase and picked up some lovely new stationery bits, and also bought myself a new rucksack from Topshop which is definitely one of my favourite things and something I shall inevitably use for a long time.

We had a lovely lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen which I have recently become a fan of – particularly the skinny fries!

All in all, my birthday weekend was fantastic.

Changes

For the observant among you, you may have noticed an aesthetic change to the blog. For the even more observant, you may have also noticed a slight alteration to my URL. I’ve switched from Blogger to WordPress and I couldn’t be happier. To me, this feels like the right direction for me to go with my little space of the internet. I hope that’s okay with you all.

There has been a lot of changes in my life over the past few months, but the key thing is my change of job role at work. I’ve gone from being an unqualified PR Apprentice to becoming a fully qualified PR Account Executive. The change hasn’t been massive in terms of the work that I’m undertaking, but I do feel a much greater sense of responsibility in my job right now.

I wrote a post on our company blog about my experience as an apprentice. You can read that here if you wish. I’m a real advocate of apprenticeships having been through one myself and seen the positive impact that it can have. I hope that I’ll have plenty more opportunities to talk outwardly about my apprenticeship experience on here in the future as I really do believe it’s helped to shape me as a person in some ways. I’m over the moon to have completed and passed, and I’m so glad that I have been offered a full time permanent position at Quantum.

Hopefully, over the next few months, you’ll start to notice a content change as well. I want to talk more about the things that I feel most passionate about: equality for all and mental health awareness. I’m hoping to get some good conversations started and perhaps make even a small impact on some people’s perceptions of issues that I feel should be discussed more.

As always, I’ll still be posting the occasional life update. Lots more photos and lots more fun. That’s what I’m hoping for.

I’ve missed blogging. Blogging has been a huge part of my life for years now. I set out to document everything from the beginning and that’s what I’m going to do more of now. I’m feeling focussed and ready to go.

Getting back into blogging…

At a recent work appraisal, I was talking to my Managing Director about some of the things that I’d like to achieve within the next year, both in and outside of work. One point of focus in our chat was this little blog of mine.
It’s been a chaotic few months to say the least. Truth be told, I’ve been struggling. There’s been a lot of things going on in my mind and really, I haven’t been in the best of places. It’s been tough but I’m getting through it and I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received from those around me. I’ll probably write more on it in the future, but for now I want to keep this as lighthearted as possible.

Aside from some of the negative things I’ve been going through, there have been many good moments over the last few months that I’m sure I’ll get round to sharing with you at some stage. Not every day has been a good one, but the good ones have been incredible.

By way of a quick life update, I have been working my butt off to complete all my coursework for my apprenticeship, which will be submitted next week for marking a week after that. I’ve got my final meeting with my assessor on the 27th October, and on the 28th I will be an officially qualified PR practitioner. I was absolutely delighted to be offered a permanent position at my current place of employment when I complete my apprenticeship, so from the end of October, I will be an official, full time and permanent, PR Account Executive.

I’ll be back within the next couple of weeks to update you further on things. I hope that the posts will become more regular on completion of my apprenticeship coursework. I’ve missed these little ramblings and I thoroughly look forward to chatting with you all again soon.

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How time flies…

I cannot believe it’s been three months since I wrote this post in celebration of Ben and I being together for six months. It’s crazy that it’s been nine months since we became official partners in crime.
These past three months have been pretty tough. Ben’s been back at home in Aylesbury, as he’s been on summer holidays from uni (thank goodness he’s back next weekend!) and I’ve been getting by in Kent. I’ve spent lots of weekends visiting him which has been really fortunate – if a little tiring – for me. I love spending time with Ben, it is my favourite thing to do.
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1. We went on our first mini holiday together at the start of August with a couple of our friends and their son. It was beyond delightful and I think we all had a pretty great time. It was my first time properly camping and I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. The weather was beautiful, the vibe was super chill and honestly I wish I could have getaways like that every weekend. Positive days with positive people are the best thing for me. I got a little way too sunburnt and was in pain for several days afterwards, but it was so worth it. Note to self: take Ben’s advice and wear more suncream next time.
2. Over the bank holiday weekend, I was up in Aylesbury enjoying a lovely break from work with Ben’s family. My clear highlight was a beautiful day picnic-ing at Ashridge Monument. The weather was lovely, the food was fantastic and the company was, always, better than I could ever have hoped for.
3. Ben and I now have matching necklaces. They’re so beautiful and we’re so happy with them. His is black and silver and mine is a sort of rose gold colour and silver, and they’re engraved with the words “I will always be with you”. I wear it every single day and love it so much.
 Benjamin Warner, you are the love of my life and the light in my darkest days. I love you more than you could ever imagine, my hero.

The A-Z of me…

I saw something like this written by my lovely blogging buddy Tania and decided to give it a go myself.
The A-Z of me is exactly what it says on the tin – a way of helping you get to know me better, and a way of me killing some time while my family watch the England v Iceland match. The idea is simple: for every letter of the alphabet, think of a word that relates to you and your life.
Apprenticeship – something I decided to do rather than going to university, which has filled me with so much confidence and taught me so many lessons about myself.
Ben – my incredible better half. He makes me laugh daily and makes me feel like the most beautiful human being in the world. I’m very lucky to have him. I love him more than I can ever express.
Canterbury – one of my favourite places in the whole entire world. The place where I first met Ben. The place where I have some of the happiest memories.
Dance – something I used to a lot. Something I wish I’d never stopped doing.  
Ed Sheeran – my favourite musician.  
French bulldogs – I absolutely adore these creatures. Desperate to have one when I move out.
German – a language that I have a GCSE in, and a language that I’d love to learn again.  
Holidays – I haven’t been on many, but I’ll never forget the family trip to Malta.  
IPhone 6s – my current mobile phone.
Job – I’m a public relations account executive. 
Kent – where I have lived my whole life. A beautiful county in the south east of England.
Little Raj – where me and Ben went on our first proper date.  
Mental health – something I feel exceptionally passionate about, having struggled with anxiety over the passed few years. I’d love to do more to raise awareness and remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues around the world.
Notebooks – I have way too many of these. 
Orange – my favourite colour.  
Pasta – my favourite food!
Quantum PR – the company I work for.
Reading – one of my favourite things to do in my spare time. Currently reading the Harry Potter series.
Southern – my surname.  
Time – something I wish I had more of. 
Underwear – my favourite thing to buy.  
Vauxhall Corsa – my car. The most expensive thing I’ve ever owned. I love it dearly.  
Weekends – my favourite part of the week because I usually get to see Ben! 
Xmas – my favourite holiday season. Nothing beats the Christmas festivities.
YouTube – something I watch most mornings while I’m putting my makeup on before work.  
Zoella – my inspiration for starting my first blog.