New Years Eve – To Go Out Or Stay In!

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2015 is tomorrow – isn’t that a crazy thought! I can hear fireworks going off already and my sister getting ready to go out in the room next door. I am sat on my bed, wearing the comfiest sweater with Keeping Up The Kardashian’s set to buy on iTunes, debating whether to go out or stay in this very comfortable position.

While last year I was eating pizza in Paris around this time, I cant help but feel guilty for not feeling bad about not wanting to do anything this year to celebrate the year coming to an end. I mean, call me cynical, but January is just another month, right? I was invited to several parties in London and even one in Bournemouth. But I am not just being lazy. The drinks are far more expensive, the night ends shortly after midnight and then you start the first day of the year hungover and with no money (well that would be me anyway).

Having said this, I am also worried it will get to 10pm and I will be at home alone, wishing I was out with fun, optimistic people. After all, it is just another excuse for a party!!

I am the worst person to make decisions and may have to take to a flip of a coin to decide for me. Ekk New Year. Does anyone else feel the same as me? Or am I just cynical?!

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In 2014 I…

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2014 has been such a great year for me, and as I have previously stated, I don’t want it to end! I can only hope that in January, the loveliness and excitement of my life continues and nothing changes because quite frankly I want it to stay put! Here I am pictured above reflecting on my year!

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I started 2014 in Paris, where I went with my sister Alice and friend Heidi, from Finland (we met while au pairing in France and both decided to meet up for New Years. Paris hello). We had a great time and me and Alice took advantage of the free 24 hour metro service on New Years Eve and ended up at the Eiffel Tower at 12.50 exactly. It was wonderful. 2014 also saw me visit Barcelona, Copenhagen and many French villages, Swiss cities and Croatian islands with friends from Canada, Morocco, Denmark and Australia. It was a blast. Highlights from my trips and life in France include drinking Absinthe at 22nd birthday parties, getting lost and finding a vintage market in Barcelona, eating tapas and drinking wine in Annecy, going on a rather adventurous weekend trip to Chamonix, riding on a boat in Croatia, reuniting with friends from all over the world in Copenhagen, swimming in the lake Geneva and venturing out to Montreux Jazz Festival night after night because we simply couldn’t get enough of it.

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Boats to Yvoire, France from Nyon, Switzerland.

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Some of the au pairs, Geneva.

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Montreux Jazz Festival, with Birdie (Denmark) and Christine (Canada).

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By the old fountain, Geneva.

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Boat rides in Annecy.

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Barcelona.

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Barcelona.

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Snow in Chamonix.

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Croatia.

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Bain De Paquis, Geneva.

When I came back to England, I started an internship at Prima magazine that was extended from one month to three. I liked it a lot and got to go to lots of fun press events including a preview at Harry Potter World (where Kirsty Allsop, Mary Berry and Amanda Holden brushed past me). I also went to a Starbucks Christmas coffee tasting day, tried many a cocktails that both lit up and smoked, went ice skating at The National History Museum and drank champagne with Amy Childs. Thanks Prima! I also took the risk and cut my long hair into a bob, something I have been wanting to do for years! I attempted to cut it while in France but with terrible results and just as it was starting to grow again I listened to all my instincts and booked an appointment with a decent hairdressers and have been happy with the results ever since! I am a new woman! My year ended as nicely as it started, with December being packed with festive fun. My birthday and Christmas were a great success and I am just hoping that next year will be just as fun, happy and adventurous!

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More boat riding in Annecy.


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10291215_10152069762971569_5745715235734403325_nLadies night in Laussane, Switzerland. 


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Sister visiting me in Geneva.

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Finding a free bar in Bern, Switzerland (miracle)

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Couch surfing in Basel, Switzerland wearing white before a colour festival.

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23 Birthday on a still boat, Richmond.

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Christmas, Home.

I can only hope that another year older means another year better. I don’t want to age just yet thanks mother nature. So in 2015, I have many hopes some more ambitious than others. I would like to get an actual job (after my intern I have been temping in offices whilst freelancing here and there) and I would also like to live in New York for a few months. I would like to carry on learning Danish, polish up on my French and save enough money to move out at the end of the year. Failing the job and moving out aspects of my year, I would like to move to Denmark as I know I will be very happy there! Finally, I would like to build up my little tiny speck of cyber space dust – this lovely relaxing space online. I find it so nice posting about my day on here and even nicer than some of you even go and like my page. I hope to develop the content and make it as interesting and enjoyable as you readers will let me!

Blink And Your Life Has Changed

A picture on my friend’s Instagram account of sushi bought on this rather random spout of nostalgia. It reminded me that this time a year ago, I was doing exactly as I am now (laying in bed watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians), except for the fact that I was in France. I could walk out and get sushi from the amazing take out restaurant two roads away from my room any time I wanted. Tesco shuts in two minutes here, and their sushi doesn’t taste half as fresh. Sigh.

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It makes me realise you have to live in the moment, enjoy every second of your day and make the most of it – because your life will have changed in some way come the new year. This might be as simple as you moving up a school year and changing friends, or in my case, moving back home and readapting to your old life. But who is to say this will last forever? Who knows what the next moment will bring. It is all very strange and exciting in equal measures, as well as a little bit scary too.

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It makes me not want to celebrate New Years Eve. I have had many options – albeit tricky to get home from, and it makes me just want to stay in, watch a film and forget that the year is ending. Because why celebrate something ending when you are enjoying it? Why not just live for the day, rather than the year – because who knows what the next year will bring!

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P.S photos are miscellaneous because I don’t really have anything to illustrate here – simply just enjoy what is in front of you, hover simple it might appear (as simple as sushi I should say).

Post Christmas Blues

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Christmas seems so long ago now, even though it was only really 4 days since the big day. The build up to Christmas has been getting bigger and lasting for longer every single year. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start counting down the days in August come 2015. This count down certainly makes me take Christmas for granted and I became quite cynical when I saw the lights in Oxford Street and decorations in Selfridges when it was only October. However, it also means that you get used to it. I will be missing seeing those lights when I go back to London.

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Christmas was such fun this year. It always is really, but some years I can’t help but wonder what all the hype is all about. Cynical I know. However, this year I was so nonchalant about it all, that the enjoyment was larger than life and I had a really great time. The flowing glasses of champagne and unlimited supply of chocolate also helped quite a lot!

On Christmas eve, we met up with our neighbours for what was supposed to be a drink. This ended up being about 10 or more and we all had a jolly old time. It was handy that on Christmas morning, it was socially acceptable to eat a lot of fried goods – or else I don’t know if I would have survived till the Eastenders dramatics in the evening.

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Because we had gone out later than expected to the pub, I had no choice but to throw myself into bed when we got back. This resulted in me forgetting to wrap my presents and them having to be wrapped in shopping bags early that morning. I tried my best to make them as appealing as possible. Thanks to Next for your silver bags this year – I couldn’t have done it without you!

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Our grandparents came around and we played lots of games, ate far more than usual and watched ALOT of TV. We hardly went on our phones all day and found out our grandparents knew quite a lot of famous people in their youth. It was so nice to have a day to just relax and forget about everything else. I think every day should be like Christmas!

What did you get up to at Christmas?!

23rd Birthday

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I am 23 arghh! I feel positively ancient, but I always do when I turn a new age. Age is such a weird thing don’t you think? I know people that are 5 years younger than me and look and act so much older, and vise versa. It really is true what they say, age is just a number.  I had such a nice birthday this year. I always do really, but this year I wasn’t looking forward to it, so it caught be by surprise. I went for drinks on a boat, then drinks in a bar with some friends the Saturday before my birthday (it was on a Monday so hardly a day to go out on) and then the day itself was spent going out for breakfast, a liquid lunch and dinner with a trip to winter wonderland and the theatre added in for good measure. It was safe to say it went faster than I could blink and was really quite lovely. I miss it already!

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My sister took me out for dinner as my birthday present. We went to a greek restaurant – The Real Greek that was really great if your a fan of greek food like me. Alice doesn’t even like it but that was part of her sacrifice on my birthday – the love! We were served our tapas like an afternoon tea and it was so cosy and festive inside.


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We went to go and see Miss Havisham, played by Linda Marlowe (Sylvie from Eastenders). It was really good and very theatrical if you like that kind of thing. At one point we were told to all hold hands, so a like of audience participation is a must. Me and Alice weren’t quite so keen on this idea, until the lady seated next to Alice grabbed her hand, shouting ‘come on’. This made us both laugh a little too uncontrollably. I would have liked to have gone and spoken to Linda afterwards, but felt she may have seen out outburst. Sorry Linda, we love you in Eastenders!

10857739_10205065224137920_6660863317583071642_nAfter the show I got ice cream before we hit the pub – simply because it was my birthday and I also had a sore throat. Who cares that it is December right!

Gingerbread House Fail

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In order to get into the festive spirit, me and my sister decided to create an even greater version of the above Gingerbread House on the box on Christmas Eve. It was going to be a masterpiece, complete with gingerbread men and women, Christmas trees and a wreath on the front door.

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It was simple enough to make, all we needed was some icing (check) and decorations (check check check – we had even sacrificed them from the Christmas cake).

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We were a little disappointed to discover that our icing was not the greatest at glueing and sticking, and so we even got out the apricot jam in a bid to help sturdy the walls. This was a tip from our mother, who had made the Christmas cake days earlier with the exact same sticking agent.

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The combination of the jam and icing proved to allow for at least the main walls to stick on top of each other and form this rather creative 2D construction, I can honestly say I had no input in this idea – it was all down to my sister and her imaginative initiative. Bravo, Alice.

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As you can see, we were close – but if anyone were to come over to visit the house, they wouldn’t be able to get past the front door. We can safely say though that it tasted very nice. After this 2D version never became 3D, I took to Instagram to ask how people managed to make their house a home. Royal Icing and melted sugar were the answers. So next year, prepare for a masterpiece – this was just the practice run!

It’s Christmas Eve!!

I can’t believe that Christmas is tomorrow. This year has probably gone by faster than ever before. Or maybe that’s simply because I am getting older.

I think I prefer Christmas eve to the day itself. It is normally so chilled, involves lots of stops to the pub, fish and chips and last minute wrapping to Maria Carey and Wizard.

It was definitely even more exciting when I was younger of course. Me and my sister would buy carrots and get oh so excited at the thought of a reindeer munching away on them while Santa took charge and delivered our presents, carefully chosen from the Argos catalogue.

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And 20 years ago – I was THIS excited!!

What do you do on Christmas eve?

Barcelona

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Back in March, I went to Barcelona with my Danish friend Mathilde. We had met as au pairs in France and bonded through my obsession with Denmark. Mathilde left France just before Christmas and so we had a good old reunion in Barcelona – pourquoi pas we thought.

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It was a brilliant trip, neither of us had been to Barcelona before but were told by many people that ‘you have to go there’. I can see why. We both loved getting lost in the Gothic area, wondering around little streets and discovering new places. On the first day we came across a flea market in a side street by the beach. There, I decided it was a good idea to buy a Japanese kimono? I’m still not quite sure why – even though they were in fashion a month later, I never actually wore it. It will be good for a dressing up party I suppose.

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We also enjoyed going to the main market and got that typical picture everyone seems to have of the different coloured juices. Colours, just look at those colours!

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I seem to love taking photos of streets in every city I visit, they are always so much more interesting than the ones back in England. I love all the colours and little shops that you find when you come across alleyways like this one, full of places only the locals know about. We really tried to be as ‘non tourist’ as possible too – there were no maps or tour buses throughout our visit – although this of course did mean we got lost on more than one occasion!

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This coffee shop, which we found on one of our many lost rambles through The Gothic Area was my favourite. It had so much going on, of course I was far more interested in taking a photo of our much needed coffees than the walls inside, but just take my word for it, Cafe del bages is worth going too – look how cute the flowers are. What I also really love about all european coffee shops and something I really miss now back in England is the free biscuit – this is something coffee shops should make a rule.

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Okay, so we were a bit touristy at times, passing this very important building made us stop and take a photo – was Mathilde said, we should look to be cultural sometimes!

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This is one of my favourite photos – nuns just chilling in The Gothic Area, they clearly have good taste like us, and just check out those sunglasses – she has style!!

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The only downside was our hostel. Being very naive, we didn’t realise there was a huge difference when you don’t book specifically a YOUTH hostel. This meant that we had several old men in our room. 3 men from England (typical – Mathilde said she had never seen anyone like them in Denmark, ever). These men forgot that it wasn’t their private lads only room and had no shame in shouting abuse to each other throughout the night. They also drank in the tiny corridor between our bunk beds, threw up outside – way too near to my bed, and spoke out loud about  ‘those creatures of the night’. These creatures turned out to be myself and Mathilde as we had come in late the night before. Funny that they thought we couldn’t hear them. All I can say is that I feel I survived like a trooper and  I also hope they got some very bad karma.

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Every night we said ‘lets get tapas’ so we could experience traditional Spanish food. Alas, we always ended up in the same Lebanese restaurant. The food was so cheap and tasted amazing, plus the waiters gave us free desert and coffee – upgrading the size each time we came in. We were treated like royalty. Tapas will have to happen on our next visit.

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This was another market we took three hours to find after reading it was ‘the place to go’ in Barcelona. When we got there, we were sorely disappointed. Whether this was a result of finding such a good market on the first day I do not know, but all I can say is the cheap ‘CK’ jumpers behind Mathilde were probably the best things there… Alas the name of such market has been taken from my memory.

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The Importance Of A Diary

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Even though I enjoy blogging and I like how little effort and time it takes to press a few letters on the keyboard and create a sentence – like this, I realised recently how important it is to still write with a pen and create something on paper.

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There are two main reasons for me keeping a paper diary. The first is to simply have something that, unless I loose it myself, will never go away. This idea was spurred on last year, when my hard drive decided to suddenly descend down into the grave and loose all my photos and online diaries in the process.

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The second, is to simply keep something authentic from the time of writing. Something that allows me to look back on. When I was 13, I kept a scrap book with all my favourite TV shows, drawings, magazine cuttings and hand written diaries from random days and holidays that year. It even has messages from my sister who was 9 at the time, and my Grandma. I found it recently when I was clearing my room out, and everything from my handwriting to the celebrities I liked at the time reflects my age and that year. It is something that writing online can never really do.

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In the new year, I have a huge list of things I want to do. Included on this is to keep a hand written diary, similar to the one I made all those years ago. It is so important to keep notes on your life so you can remember everything you have done. Until I am brave enough to start a vlog, these written diaries are going to be the next best preservation of my life.

Christmas Special – Montreux, Zurich and Chamonix

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Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate being home in England this Christmas – there’s  Black Friday, the yearly Christmas TV dramas (who will die in Eastenders?) and I am a lot nearer to my family and friends. However, I can’t help but wish it looked just a bit more like Christmas here in London. Yes, there are the blinding light displays down every road that are certain to make sure Santa doesn’t miss anyone’s chimney, but there just seems to be something a bit more authentic about the way Europeans celebrate Christmas.

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Montreux Christmas Market 2013.

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Chamonix snow.

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Interlaken snow.

In the past few years I have been to Zurich and Montreux and Chamonix, three towns famous for their Christmas markets. As well as all the gluehwein, stolen and fondue available to grab and go in the real winter wonderland, there is such a nice, peaceful vibe as you walk around. This is something London lacks. The mad crowds never seem to take a moment to breath.

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Montreux Christmas Market.

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Montreux.

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Zurich Christmas Market. 
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Zurich.


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Montreux.

I also noticed that while living in France, there was a very small emphasis on gifts at Christmas. Of course, children were excited about receiving presents from Papa Noel, but the quantity was small and the emphasis was largely placed on simply having a nice meal. This might not be true everywhere, but was the general vibe I got from families in the area and from the lack of advertisements for Christmas gifts in the shops. I found this really interesting and as a result, everyone seemed less stressed and more relaxed.

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Zurich.

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Montreux.

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Chamonix – a snow covered Chanel still manages to look stylish.

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Zurich Christmas lights in the city.

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I got to taste fondue a lot of times while in France, but my favourite place had to be in Geneva, at Plainpalais. This was just along the lake and they had the nicest view, cheesiest food and plenty of beer to go around. Plainpalais transformed itself come summer time, and that same restaurant served salads and cold beer, while everyone swam and sunbathed as the snow covered floor transformed into a fake beach.

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We even got to make candles in Zurich. Unfortunately, mine wasn’t very good….

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These were what they were supposed to look like…


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Zurich – gluehwein.

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Chamonix.