Lifestyle · Uncategorized

25 Things Before I’m 25

One thing I am continually told is how aspirational I am, there is so much I want to achieve and experience over the coming years. I am currently sat writing this aged 18 (and 5 months) – those 5 months make all the difference, promise, with my whole life ahead of me. Turning 18 means that I am now an actual adult (how was that allowed to happen), but it also means that a whole new world of opportunities have been opened up for me. I no longer need permission to do anything, no longer need to travel with an adult, because I apparently I am one, I can do it all by myself, how exciting yet absolutely terrifying – I can literally do whatever I want, within reason of course.

That being said, I thought it would be a good idea for me to make a list of all the things I want to achieve and experience before I turn 25. I hope I am sat reading this in 7 years time having done everything on this list. So hola there future Han, I hope you’ve had the most amazing 7 years packed with exciting trips, experiences, embarrassing moments, laughs, and not too many tears (incase you had forgotten, 18 year old you shed too many tears and you vowed to not get upset over people that weren’t worth it).

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 11.59.42

1) Girls Holidays 

Something that I think everyone should do at some point in their lives is a girls (or boys) holiday. I want to make sure I go on multiple girls holidays, try at least one a year, that may be  a bit optimistic, but its worth a shot.

2) Festivals 

love festivals, the best weekends of my life have been weekends spent drinking in fields listening to my favourite bands. I want to make sure that I go to at least 1 weekend festival every year too, even if they are the smaller ones, sometimes they’re the best ones.

3) Edinburgh Christmas Markets 

This may potentially seem like a really weird one, but I am a sucker for a good christmas market, nothing like sipping hot chocolate (or mulled wine if your tastebuds are sophisticated enough for that, mine definitely aren’t), while wandering around christmassy stalls. I’ve always seen so many pictures of Edinburgh at Christmas and it looks so festive, so thats somewhere on my list of places to visit.

4) Zip World Penrhyn Quarry 

Although I’m not a fan of heights, I really really really want to do the fastest Zip wire in the world, I recon it would be a pretty amazing experience.

5) Learn to Say No 

I’m the worst person when it comes to saying no to things that I don’t want to do, its almost like I don’t even know how to say the word. Hopefully by 25 I would have learnt that it’s okay to say no if I don’t want to do something and I shouldn’t feel bad for that.

6) Be More Spontaneous 

I’m not great at this, I normally like to have a complete plan when it comes to going out and doing things, I’d like to let get out of this comfort zone and do things without always thinking too much into it, planning it too much.

7) Go to America 

I’ve wanted to go to America for as long as I can remember, I’ve always said I’ve wanted to live there, but with there political system in absolute shambles, I don’t think that will be happening any time soon. But I definitely want to visit it, preferably either LA or New York.

8) Have a Weekend in Venice 

Ideally spent with my other half (any volunteers, hola me). Venice is another place I’ve always wanted to visit, I think its one of those places that I would only like to spend a weekend in though.

9) New York, Paris & Milan Fashion Week 

I studied Fashion and Textiles at college and am now specialising in Textile design, so I am a bit of a fashion hoe. Year on year I sit watching all the fashion weeks wishing I was there, so by the time I’m 25 I want to have been to these at least once.

10) Sign Up to a Gym

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my heart will forever lie in running, but I’ve also wanted to start weight lifting for a while now. I mean with a dodgy back and knees it probably isn’t my best move, but I want to give it a go for sure.

11) Have Ran a Half and Be Training for a Full

That’s in regards to a marathon, incase you were wondering. While I’m young I want to focus on getting fast and hitting new PBs, but by 25 I want to be getting in the longer distances and by then my body should be ready for a full marathon, something I have always wanted to do.

12) Host My Own Dinner Party 

All of my friends will vouch for me when I say this, but I am utterly obsessed with Come Dine With Me and I’ve always wanted to host my own dinner party like Come Dine With Me, I mean I don’t know how well it would end, because I’m not a great cook, but I think it will be a laugh.

13) Try Being a Veggie 

Countless times have I said I am going to go vegetarian and countless times have I let myself down and not done it, don’t know what it is but I just can’t stick to it. Despite this, I want to give it a proper shot at some point.

14) Take a City Break Alone 

Take some time for myself, visit a city that I have always wanted too and explore it all on my own.

15) Stop Letting People Walk All Over Me 

I’m writing this as I have just been made a mug of once again (by ‘friends’), I refuse to let it keep happening, so by the time I hit 25 I refuse to let anyone walk all over me, and take me for a complete mug. It isn’t fair and I’m worth more than that.

16) Watch More Movies 

I always dread conversations when they turn to movie talk, because I have barely seen any movies ever and people always seem to judge me hard for that. So I’m going to at least try to watch some movies that I’m pretty sure I definitely should have seen by now.

17) Read More Books 

It calms your anxiety, will broaden your knowledge and writing skills, do I need any more reasons to do more of it? No, I think not.

18) Get My Dream Job

Still not entirely sure what that is yet, but by 25 I want to be well on my way to either having or getting my dream job within the Textiles Industry.

19) Teach Myself a New Language 

I’ve also said this for the longest time, I need to stop just saying it and actually do it. Not entirely sure what language I want to learn yet, but I think being able to speak another language is so cool and always an interesting talking point.

20) Dinner In The Sky

I think this will be a really cool date idea (any volunteers, swing my way), but dinner in the sky looks like the most amazing experience, not if you’re terrified of heights though, you probably wouldn’t like it.

21) Have My Own House or Flat 

Depending on where I’m living at 25 will depend on whether I have a house or flat, but by this age I want to have my own place that I can call mine. This may be hard work, but I’m willing to give it a go.

22) Learn to Surf 

I have wanted to learn to surf since I was about 10, so I think its about time I gave it a go, I know I’ll love it, I’ve just never got round to doing it before.

23) Try 10 New Restaurants I’ve Always Wanted to Go To 

Note to self, they aren’t allowed to be Italian. I love my Italian food, when I go out to eat, 9 times out of 10 it will be Italian food, so I need to get out and try new restaurants, places that I’ve always wanted to go to.

24) Teach Myself Photography (again)

I started to teach myself photography at about 13, but then for some reason got out of the habit of it, I recently picked it up again and had forgotten how much I love it. Don’t give it up this time.

25) Start Earning From Tattoo Design 

I’ve been tattoo designing for about a year now, but I am far to scared to start earning commission from them incase people don’t like them. I’ve so far stamped 4 people with my creations. So I want to get the confidence to start earning from my designs, because they are good enough.

Wow thats a lot for me to achieve over the next 7 years, best get going.

What are your goals for the coming years?

Han xx

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Sticking To New Year Goals

OrganisationBlog

So the festive season is well and truly over, the sequin dresses and festive decorations have all been packed away for another year. All thats to show for it is the left over glitter which we will probably still be clearing up well into February, saying we’re never using anything glittery again, but come December this is completely forgotten and out the glitter comes, once more! The New Year, for a lot of people marks a completely clean slate, I’m not a fan of the whole “New Year new me” outlook, but if thats your cup of tea then I am by no means judging you for it.

Despite this I do jump on the band wagon of New Years resolutions, or goals, as I like to call them. I feel like goals sounds better if I don’t stick to them. Judging by my recent twitter feed, most of the people on there are already struggling with sticking to their goals – admittedly I am too, hence why I am writing this, something for me to look back on. So how do we become that person that casually manages to stick to all their goals with no struggle at all?

Be Realistic

I think most people, including myself, always make the first mistake of setting unrealistic goals. Expecting to achieve everything I want all in the first week of January, eat healthy lose weight, love myself more, all of that crap, all while still scoffing leftover christmas chocolates and shortbread wondering why I don’t look like a Victoria Secret model yet. Setting realistic goals and realistic time frames will make obtaining your resolutions approximately 173563 times easier.

Be Specific 

Be more specific you are with what you want to achieve and exactly when you want to achieve it by. I find having time frames so helpful, mainly because I work harder for my goals when I have a particular time to reach it by. I’ll also feel disappointed if I don’t do what I want by the time I’ve set myself, so I guess thats another incentive.

Focus On Progress

This has been something I have lived by for a while now. No one and I mean no one will ever reach all of their goals right away, not even the people that look like they do – it’s just for show. It’s important to focus on how your progressing and not getting too hung up on the end goal – this will come in time. When I took up running I quickly learnt this, I wanted to be as fast as I could right away; pretty sharpish I realised that that would take work and time, which is exactly when I started to focus on my progress.

Make Your Goals Known

I’ve never really been one to tell people what I want to achieve throughout the course of the year, primarily out of fear of not achieving them – which is exactly why this year I have written and entire blog post on them. Now everyone knows what I want to do, so I’ll be much more likely to reach them and not let myself down.

Be Personal 

Think about what is important to you and why you want to get it done. For example one of my goals for this year is to run a sub 46 minute 10K, a personal one to me, because I have been training so hard lately, it will feel amazing if all the hard work pays off. Everyones personal goals are different, it helps if you don’t follow the generic lose weight and eat healthy resolution, because chances are you’ll be craving chocolate cake 2 days in, and lets face it, you don’t really want to deprive yourself like that.

We’re 2 weeks down, with another 50 to go, who knows whether or not I’ll reach all my goals, only time will tell!

What are your New Year goals?!

Han xx

Beauty · Uncategorized

The Body Shop – Japanese Cherry Blossom Review

Well it has been a hot minute since I have done a product review – having been at university, leaving me a with a tragic student budget, I’ve not really been able to treat myself to some new products to test. For Christmas I always tend to receive some new smellies (something I’ll never get bored of) and this year was no exception.

BodyShop1

I have grown up using Body Shop products, they were and still are the brand that I forever swear by when it comes to skincare and smellies. Growing up, as a child I suffered with quite bad eczema, which luckily isn’t so bad now that I am slightly older, but when I was younger my skin reacted to almost every product under the sun, apart from Body Shop products – I’m still unsure why this is, its probably primarily down to the natural ingredients that the company use, either way I’ve used a whole range of their products ever since I can remember.

BodyShop3

One of my all time favourite body care ranges from The Body Shop, is their Japanese Cherry Blossom range, which when my Mum worked for them I had a constant supply of, but ever since she changed companies, I’ve not been so fortunate. This is one of them smells that I smell and it instantly reminds me of my child hood and happy memories, I think this might be why I love it so much – also why I was so pleased to open the Japanese Cherry Blossom gift set on Christmas Day this year. Having not had it for a few years, I opened it and was so ecstatic, my Mum remembered how much I loved this scent, also how much it means to me – so many memories came flooding back when I smelt it again.

BodyShop2

We’ll start with the packaging. Body Shop always have the most beautiful packaging and product designs. Their ranges are always so simply designed, but the designs are always so effective. The Japanese Cherry Blossom range is pink and white, nothing screams my name more. With a lovely floral pattern, on the packaging also, so pretty and simply designed. I think that often companies can think too far into packaging and as much as I am always interested in new, innovative and interesting packaging designs, its often quite nice to keep it fairly simple and clean.

Then the product scent itself, I could go on about for days, its a smell that I will never get bored of and if Body Shop would like to give me a never ending supply of the stuff I would be forever grateful. Now I am the worst at smelling scents, I mean I’ll give it a go, but I may butcher it and put you off it forever. Its a very clean, floral, smell with a subtle musky hint to it – thats as good as the scent describing is going to go, I suggest when you next past a Body Shop store you give it a smell – thank me later.

BodyShop4

The Body Shop are against animal testing and also a vegetarian friendly brand and something that I want to work on throughout 2018 is using more cruelty free beauty products. They also have a great policy/manifesto named ‘Enrich Not Exploit’, which if you want to read more on you can do so here So not only do The Body Shop produce my favourite scent of all time and a whole range of products that don’t irritate my sensitive skin, but they also have good values, what more could you want from a company!

Han xx

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

2018 Goals

So that’s it, 2017 is over. The year that I have simultaneously been living my best and worst life and its all been a very odd sensation – if you want to read more about the shenanigans that 20017 held for me, take a look at this post HERE. I’m never really one to make New Years resolutions as such, because like 99% of the population, I won’t stick to them, at least I’ll admit that. Saying this, I do have a few goals for 2018, whether I’ll achieve them or not is a different question, but lets start how we mean to go on, right?!

unnamed

PICK UP MY CAMERA MORE

I used to be very much into my photography and I actually got pretty good at it, then life just sort of got in the way and my camera got neglected a little bit. I’m hoping that my blog will be a good incentive for upping my photography, because I then have an aim in mind of where my pictures are going – also knowing that other people are going to see them will make me, make more of an effort, or at least I hope so.

WORK ON MY MENTAL HEALTH

Although 2017 marked the start of me mentally getting better, I’m hoping to continue this throughout 2018, because my mental health is still miles away from where I would like it to be. At the start of 2017 I would only leave my house for college and work, but I ended the year having the best social life and having moved out, so thats just proof that I can get better and I am, I just need a bit more work on it.

RUNNING GOALS

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know that I’m a runner, throughout 2018 there are a few running goals that I’m hoping to achieve. The first one to be run my first 10K race in sub 47 minutes, I’ve already ran it in 46 minutes, but that was just in training and not a race, so this year I want to run it in a race so it official. Not only this, but I’m going to run my first half marathon. Notice how I said going and not hoping to. This has been something that I’ve wanted to do since I started running 2 years ago, so now I’m old enough, it’s going to happen this year.

STOP CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

One of my worst traits is that I am always so ridiculously paranoid about what other people think of me, also that they are always thinking the worst of me. In reality why should I give a fuck about what someone else thinks of me, as long as I’m happy, then lets face it, other peoples opinions really are irrelevant.

SEIZE EVERY OPPORTUNITY

Over the past couple of years, where I’ve been suffering with my mental health, I’ve turned down so many opportunities, the majority of them social events and 2018 is going to be the year that I make up for this. I want to vow to myself that I’m going to take every opportunity that comes my way, whether that be social or not, take it and roll with it, start living.

LEARN TO COOK BETTER

Funnily enough I’m actually a really good cook, but ever since I moved out to university, I would be lying if I told you the majority of my diet wasn’t just pasta and green tea. It’s surprising I’m yet to turn into a fusilli twist if I’m completely honest. This year I’m going to make sure I start to cook myself actual dinners that aren’t just pasta with alternating sauces. Although I’m sure pesto pasta will still be a weekly occurrence, I’m not ready to give that one up just yet.

BLOG AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK

When I moved out in September and started university, my blog very much got neglected as I simply just couldn’t balance it. But this year I want to try my best to balance it, and blog at least once a week if not more. I think once a week is a reasonable goal that I can achieve, it also means I’m not putting myself under too much pressure with blogging, because when that happens I sort of lose my love for it, which I don’t want to happen.

PUT MYSELF FIRST

I have a real tendency to always put other peoples happiness before my own, which I mean isn’t always a bad thing, but I think it has sometimes been detrimental to my own happiness. This year I want to make sure that I’m happy, to do more of what makes me happy and to take time for myself. I think this is something I was terrible at throughout last year, I thought I constantly had to be  a busy little bee, leading to me rarely taking time out for myself and my metal wellbeing. This year I need to do more of this, have at least one evening a week to myself, off social media – doing things that make me happy.

FINISH 1ST YEAR WITH AT LEAST A 2:1

My goal has always been to graduate my 3 years of university with a First Class degree, so if I can finish of my first year with a 2:1 that will mean I am on the right track and I will be immensely happy with this.

 

GET MYSELF DOWN TO THE GYM

This isn’t really one at the forefront of my mind because its not like I’m doing it to lose weight, more so to just try something new. My heart lies in running and probably always will do, but theres no harm in giving the gym a go too and seeing whether it takes my fancy as much as running does.

MAYBE LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

I say maybe because if I’m entirely honest the chances of this happening are fairly slim, but its a goal of mine, so why not chuck it on here too. For the longest time now I’ve said I’ve wanted to learn Mandarin, don’t ask why, I’ve just really wanted too. Saying this, I’ve always loved the sound of Spanish and Italian, so we’ll see what takes my fancy, I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress with this one.

So thats my goals for 2018, like I say whether I actually achieve them is anyones guess, but I’m quite a determined and head strong person, so I’d like to think I will achieve them, I’ll be sure to keep you in the know about it all. I’ll probably do a post at the end of the year reflecting on whether I’ve actually completed them all or not, but thats far too far in the future for me to think about.

Happy New Year,

Han xxx

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

A Look Back at 2017

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 13.00.22

2017 started off for me, cuddled up on the sofa with my dog – having turned down all New Years Eve social shenanigans because of my anxiety, and well I could think of a million other ways that I would have rather it started. Had you had told me back then, that 12 months down the line I would have moved out, started university, conquered some of my biggest anxieties, learnt to deal with various mental health issues, and run 10k in 47 minutes, I never would have believed you, yet here I am doing all these things.

The end of 2016 was when I finally opened up to my Dad about my mental health, which marked the start of me getting help, so the start of 2017, began with my mental health possibly the worst its ever been, and various different doctors appointments that confirmed what I already knew. Although these appointments, to me were a waste of time because, I didn’t want counseling (I don’t open up to anyone), and I also didn’t want to go on medication, as Dad and I had agreed this definitely wasn’t the right path for me.

I spent the first 4 months completely shutting myself of from most things, and just immersing myself in my college studies, which granted paid off, but it wasn’t healthy. I only saw my best friend Soph and would more thank likely turn down most social outings, so essentially I missed out on a lot at the start of the year. It wasn’t until April that something finally clicked and I decided I needed to get sorted, the way I was living was no fun, I was in a constant state of anxiety, and this mixed with depressive thoughts was no life to lead.

2 years ago I started up running, to begin with it was to help me let out my anger as to something that had happened a few months prior, but I quickly learnt that this helped my mental health massively, so I upped my training greatly, and pushed myself to lengths I never thought I would be able to, and this made me feel amazing. It’s a big statement to make but running essentially saved me and kept me sane.

Where I had upped my training, started to eat better, and began to notice a difference both physically, and mentally, this was when my year did a complete 360. I figured that if I could push myself to new extremes with training, then I could challenge my anxiety too. Slowly but surely I started to gain back my social life, immerse myself in college work in a much healthier and less obsessive way, and basically say a big fuck you to anxiety.

I started up my blog, another way for me to vent, and also calm me when I am anxious, attended festivals and gigs, ran some of my best PBs and left college with full marks and a distinction. August quickly rolled round, I turned 18, got my first tattoo, and had the most amazing night out with all of my friends, stumbling in at 3AM to drunkenly make toast and tell my dog how much I loved her – something I never would have dreamed of doing at the beginning of the year.

Then I guess what I would class as my biggest achievement so far; I moved out (3 hours from home) and started university, something that at the beginning of the year, I couldn’t see myself doing. Don’t get me wrong, I still get my fair share of rough days, and I am by no means completely cured, but I’m a hell of a lot better than what I was, I’ve also found ways in which I can help my mental health on the not so good days. Since September I have been introduced to some of the most amazing people, and have had the time of my life.

And that brings us to now. So what started off as a fairly dire year, ended on a much higher note, with less anxiety, less depression and much more happiness. I’m a completely different person to what I was 12 months ago, (get ready for the cringe) but in a way I have my mental health to thank for getting me to where I am today.

Here’s to 2018,

Han xx

 

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

An Open Letter to my Future Self

Dear future Han, (written from 2017 Han),

2017 has been the year that shaped you into the best possible person you could be, it put you through some of the worst days, yet you also experienced some of the most incredible days too. I guess that’s the first lesson that 2017 taught you, that on the worst days, you always need to remember there are better ones to come. This is an open letter you, about all the shenanigans that 2017 had in store for you, how the year changed you and something to look back on in years to come.

BLOGPIC3

We’ll start with one of the most important things in your life, running. 2017 was the year you properly got your ass into gear, upped your training and ran faster than ever. This was the year you ran your first 10K race alone, without Dad, and completed it 48 minutes, your current race PB. Joined a running club, took part in training sessions that sometimes left you in tears, but it was all worth it, remember that. I hope your reading this years down the line, still a runner, never forget how much you love it.

Moving onto the music scene for 2017, the big artists of the year (that you had no interest in) consisted of people like Ed Sheeran, Drake, Post Malone (who?) and Sam Smith. None of these took your fancy, this was the year you started to develop your music taste, your favorite bands of the year were Blossoms and Viola Beach, you also took a liking to Liam Gallagher’s new album, you have Elliot to thank for that. Your soft spot for rap still never left though, you still waited up late to be the first to hear the new Eminem album.

You didn’t attend as many gigs as you had hoped this year; this is something that you should try to do more of in 2018, because I know how much you love them, the smaller bands are always the best. You saw Craig David with Soph at the start of the year, you wont say it aloud but you loved every second. You also attend Victorious festival with your family, a yearly tradition and had the time of your life singing to 90s classics, while drinking cider in a field full of like minded people.

IMG_2354

You worked your ass like never before when it came to college, you barely left the Mac suit, and spending hours and hours print designing. All of the hard work paid off because you left college with full marks and a Distinction, the stress and tears were all worth it.

August 2017 was the month you finally turned 18, the last of your friends to do so; you’ve always been the baby of the bunch. You had the best night out with your friends, got very drunk and danced until the early hours of the morning. Your 18th also marked the day you got your first tattoo, something you had wanted for years. You spent so much timing drawing your tattoo making sure it was perfect and it looked gorgeous by the end of it. This is when your love for tattoos took a new turn and you wanted countless different designs done.

Something that you did a lot more of in 2017 is read and I’m proud of you for doing this. 2016 you didn’t really make time for it, but this year you made sure that each evening you took some time to yourself to read. This was a really good way for you to switch off in the evening and also worked well to calm your anxiety, try to carry this on in 2018.

BLOGPIC4

You finally watched Gavin and Stacy, the last of your family to do so. It was a program you loved and never wanted to end. You should try and watch more box sets, and DVDs for that matter in 2018, then people might not look at you so strangely when you tell them you’ve never seen a massive blockbuster.

University was a massive learning curve for you. Moving out in September for the first time was something that at the beginning of the year seemed impossible. The first term was over as quick as it started, with a few tears, countless sketchbooks, multiple samples, an abundance of presentation boards, and only 1 hangover, I’m still amazed at how you managed this. You made some fab friends in the first couple of weeks, ones that I want you to make sure you always stay in touch with; you’ll thank yourself for it. You also only nearly set the kitchen on fire twice, that’s pretty impressive, for you. It taught you how to fend for yourself, make your voice heard, and also shaped you into an actual adult, though I know you didn’t feel like it.

2017 marked the year you FINALLY learnt your self worth. After a long 18 years, you learnt how you should be treated and not to settle for anything less. You’re worth more than someone who just wants you when it’s convenient for them, always remember this, its important.

Your biggest achievement of this year was learning how to deal with your mental health. At the start of the year, you were a mess; lets not beat around the bush. But as the year progressed you found ways to handle your anxiety and depression. If you ever forget what they were, they consisted of drawing, running, listening to music, and reading and long walks. Alongside this you also conquered your fear of foods, at the start of the year you were scared of anything with fat or sugar in it, you religiously counted your calories, you weren’t so bad at the end of the year, but its still something that you need to work on in 2018. Learn to enjoy food and not feel guilty for eating it, remember you’re a runner and you need your food, you know what happens otherwise.

IMG_1460

And then I guess that leaves us with your little blog. This was the year you started your blog, being very consistent with it throughout the first few months. Although you did neglect it slightly in when you started university, you finally learnt to balance blogging and studying towards the end of the year. Keep it up in the New Year; try to blog at least once a week, if not more.

2017 threw a whole bunch of emotions and challenges your way, plenty of tears, balanced out with plenty of laughs. You got through some of the darkest days where you were convinced you didn’t even want to live anymore, this I am proud of you for, because it was hard. You’ve laughed until your stomach hurt, made a rash decision to chop all your hair off, lost weight and got into the best shape of your life, not only this but you finished the year in the best head space of your life.

I hope you read this in the future and realise how far you’ve come. Enjoy 2018, make it your year, make time for all the things you love, see all the people you love, and fill it with happy memories.

Lots of love,

2017 Han xx

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Christmas Day 2017

After successfully completing 12 consecutive days of blogging for Blogmas, I vowed to myself that I would take a bit of a break, but I’ve caught the bug – I’ve also got some lovely pictures from the big day that I was itching to post too.

Christmas2

Having grown up being the eldest of 3 siblings, I’ve always been woken up at approximately 5:30AM by my two very excitable brothers, though this year having all grown up a bit, they gave my parents and I the privilege of laying in until 7AM; still early, I know, but it made the world of difference. I’d also like to point out that my eldest younger brother (the middle sibling) normally stays in bed until around 11 and will only rise prior if he absolutely has too. So the fact he too was awake at 7 surprised us all, a christmas miracle I guess you could say.

Christmas3

I know some families wait until after they’ve eaten to open their gifts, but the unwrapping always happens before breakfast in our house, it always has done and probably always will. An hour of excitement and happy faces, lots of thank you’s and hugs, leave a hefty pile of crinkled wrapping paper in the middle of the floor, which my dog seems to be more interested in then her own edible gifts  – anyone else’s pets more interested in the wrapping paper than the actual gifts?

Christmas9

It has always been a tradition for my Dad to cook dinner and after every Christmas my Mum and him have the same conversation about how next year Mum should have a go, they agree for that to happen, but it never actually does, Dad will forever be head chef on Christmas day in this house. Having said that, this year he did enlist the help of me, the girl who nearly set her flat on fire through making pancakes? Yep thats right. I mean I was given the fairly simple jobs, but I’ve convinced myself that had my help not been enlisted, Christmas dinner would have gone to pot, and thats it, Christmas ruined.

Christmas-8Christmas10Christmas12Christmas15

I’ve had a very chilled day with just my little family, Mum and I walked the dog and got very windswept, getting a white Christmas was never going to happen, it’s the UK after all, its been grey and horrible all day, whats new. I’ve eaten SO much food, I am now sat writing this feeling like an actual pig in a blanket, I think its safe to say thats when you know you’ve done christmas right. Although I have no shame feeling like a little piggy because todays dinner was easily the best dinner I have EVER eaten, like ever.

The evening has been spent sat around the TV watching all the classics like Doctor Who and Bake Off. Complaining about how full we all feel and the dog looking mardy because she did’t get any Christmas dinner, it’s quite the sight. I say this every year, but this Christmas really has been lovely, over too quickly, but when isn’t it. My family have spoilt me rotten and I will be forever grateful for that. I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such a wonderful family throughout this time of year. Okay, cringe section over, I’ll get back to being a sarcy so and so now.

Christmas4Christmas6Christmas7Christmas11Christmas13Christmas14Chrsitmas1

Happy Christmas,

All my love, Han xxx

Food · Uncategorized

Chocolate Orange Millionaire Shortbread

One of my all time favourite sweet treats is millionaire shortbread and with it being the festive season I wanted to attempt to make one of my favourite snacks, into something a bit more christmas appropriate – which is where I came up with the idea of making the shortbread into a chocolate orange version; as chocolate orange had always been something I’ve associated with the christmas period.

Image2

Ingredients: 

  • 175g Unsalted butter
  • 225g Plain flour
  • 75g Caster sugar
  • Caramel
  • 2 Large bars of orange chocolate

Image4

Method: 

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 180 degrees and also lining a lose bottomed square tin.
  • Into a bowl, add the unsalted butter, plain flour, and caster sugar, and mix together until they resemble bread crumbs.
  • Once the mixture in the bowl resembles that of bread crumbs, pour into the tin and push down to compact it into the tin. Then put into the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, I usually find that 13 is perfect in my oven.
  • Once the shortbread has cooked, you then want to remove it from the oven and add the caramel on top, then place back into the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  • Take the shortbread mixture out of the oven and leave to cool. While this is cooling, melt both bars of chocolate over a pan of boiling water, making sure to keep it moving so it doesn’t burn.
  • Once melted pour over the shortbread, then leave to sit in the fridge until it sets.
  • When it comes to cutting the shortbread, I would suggest taking it out of the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before cutting, so that the chocolate isn’t too solid.

Image3

I’m a sucker for anything that involves chocolate orange, so I’m utterly obsessed with this shortbread, it is also so quick and easy to make, which is perfect for this time of year when everyone is pushed for time!

Han xx

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

My Favourite Instagram Accounts of 2017

2017 seemed to be the year that every blogger across the world turned against Instagram, with the algorithm playing havoc with everyones posts, it seemed to be at the forefront of a lot of bloggers minds and also the stem cause for their anger. As a blogger I can see why this is disheartening for a lot of people, but often I think people need to remember why they are posting on the platform.

That being said Instagram is by far my favourite social media platform, and being a creative person, this also means I’m very visual so Instagram is a near perfect platform for me. I thought with it being christmas, I would share the love on some of my top favourite Instagram accounts of 2017.

You can find me over on Instagram HERE. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-17 at 16.32.50

Something that I love is when an Instagram has a set colour scheme, I’ve tried this countless times with my feed, but I just can’t seem to stick to it. So when I came across Samantha’s account I just had to follow it. It’s so pleasing to look at because every photo fits well together, something that I have always failed at!

IMG_0895.jpg

When I first began blogging back at the beginning of this year, one of the very first Instagram accounts that I came across was Rebecca’s and I am forever aspiring to have a feed like hers. We were both part of the same Instagram bloggers pod, and she was always very supportive of everyones posts, which was lovely to come across.

IMG_0896.jpg

As you will most probably know, in September I moved up to Leicester, which prior to doing so, I went on a little hunt to find some bloggers from that area and this is when I came across Maya’s account. Maya has been incredibly supportive of both my blog and other social medias right from the start, she also has one of the sweetest feeds, that anyone would be mad not to follow!

IMG_0897

There has always been something about bright white Instagram feeds that just draws me in, so when I came across Chloe’s account I just had to follow it, it’s an account that definitely deserves more recognition too! Not only does Chloe have a lovely feed, but also a lovely blog, possibly one of the dreamiest blog layouts I’ve come across!

IMG_0898

Lucy was another account that I came across from an Instagram pod and I absolutely live for her outfit posts. If you’re looking for some outfit inspiration, then Lucy’s account is the one for you. Alongside her gorgeous outfit shots, she also has some wonderful product photography on their as well!

IMG_0899

So that rounds of nicely my top 5 favourite Instagram accounts of the year that I definitely would recommend you check out also! Let me know some of your favourite Instagram accounts, so that I can discover some more!

Han xx

Food · Uncategorized

Favorite Winter Treats

December is the one month of the year where for once I’m not so strict on what I eat and I actually try to enjoy food. Previously this has been a very hard task for me, but this year I am determined to enjoy it and not feel guilty for doing so. I tend to eat quite clean throughout the majority of the year, so December is my month to indulge, its all about balance right?

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 08.38.19

Anyway I thought I would share with you some of the foods I most look forward to indulging in throughout the christmas period…

Hot Chocolate 

I normally steer clear of hot chocolate for the most part of the year, but theres nothing more christmassy then a Costa festive hot chocolate. I’ve taken a particular liking to their mint hot chocolate this year, whenever I go in there, it’s my go to drink! I’ve also found a good Tesco own brand low calorie, low fat, hot chocolate, which probably defeats the object of hot chocolate for most people, but I was very happy when I came across it.

IMG_0271

Cheese 

I get this from my Dad, but I am a sucker for a good cheese board, at any time of year come to think of it, but at christmas there will always be a good cheese board in the house, which I am very much looking forward to this year. I used to never really be a massive fan of the stuff, but as I’ve grown up its been something I’ve grown to love.

Alcohol

The only time I ever drink is when I am off out with my friends, although even then I do have to be careful, because I am possibly the biggest lightweight you will ever come across. But if  you can’t excessively drink at christmas with all your favourite people, when can you?!

Gingerbread 

I have such fond memories of being a young child and baking ginger biscuits with my Dad, they’re our favourite and they really remind me of christmas, I don’t know what it is, but theres something about ginger bread that screams christmas. It’s something I will always look forward to at this time of year.

Chocolate 

Over the past year I’ve sort of cut chocolate out of my diet, it’s a rare treat for me, even then I try to stick to dark chocolate. But during christmas this rule goes straight out of the window. In my house hold we will always have a constant supply of chocolate at christmas time, this year I intend to take full advantage of this.

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 08.38.55

I mean I could go on for hours about the foods that I love to indulge in throughout December, but you would soon get bored! Let me know what your favourite winter treat is!

Han xx