Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year - What I'm Looking Forward to in 2011

There are four things I'm looking forward to most in 2011

Number One: Final Teaching Placement
I have had a couple of weeks "preparation" time before Christmas to get ready for my final teaching placement... and now it's time for the hard bit to begin! I start teaching on Tuesday and the little reception class I've been working in is completely mine for two months... something that I'm totally excited and ready for, but also just a tad nervous about!

Number Two: The Gambia
In the summer I'm going to be going out to The Gambia to teach in a deprived area of the country and to help transform the school's classrooms. I will be painting the learning resources on the walls so that the children can learn despite the lack of money and books. I've got to do quite a bit of fundraising before I can go though... I need to raise £1000 to get myself out there, buy the paint and materials and donate to the charity (F.R.O.G.S - Friends of Gambian schools). I'm excited about broadening my horizons, experiencing a culture that is greatly different to my own and giving a little something back too.

Number Three: Graduating!
After what seems like three long years, I'm finally in my fourth and final year of university... with a few new and wonderful friends, some more life experience, stress, laughter, shopping, not to mention considerable debt, I am so excited about graduating. Fingers crossed I'll keep it all on track, (hopefully) I'll get a first, and come out of my final teaching placement with good grades. Which brings me to the next thing I'm looking forward to in 2011.......

Number Four: Getting My First Teaching Post
It's all starting to feel very real, very exciting... and very scary! I'm so very excited about getting my first job in teaching. I can't wait to have my very own class and get paid for doing something that I love. However, before all that can start, I've got to actually get a job first! Which means lots of application forms and, hopefully, interviews... eek... But it will all be worth it!

What are you looking forward to most in 2011????

Happy New Year - My Highlights of 2010!

I've been looking back through photos from 2010, and I cannot believe how fast this year has gone, it's absolutely flown by! I thought I'd mark the coming of the new year with a post looking back at my highlights of 2010...


Things seem to have come full circle this year, starting out with lots of snow and ending with lots of snow! This is me with some angry snowmen in Horsforth Park.

There were so many weddings this year! My friend Tilly kicked it all off in January with her beautiful winter wedding :)


I had a bit of a passion for long walks at the start of the year... There is some lovely countryside near my house in Leeds and one day I decided to go for a 10 mile round walk to a lovely farm in Yeadon - Emsley Farm.


Me and my sisters took my mum for a fun day out in London for Mother's Day, stopping off for an afternoon tea (above) followed by sorbet (below).


I spent most of my Easter holidays working at Hastings Castle. I loved it - soaking up the history and the sunshine!

Another highlight of April was my Research Placement at London Aquarium. I met some great people there, had a wonderful time, completed my research project, and watched and fed some pretty cool fish along the way.

Whilst on placement I stayed with my Sister Jenny in London, we got up to lots of fun things, including my very first trip to a musical in the West End. We saw Sweet Charity: it was brilliant!


I spent the majority of May doing uni work, assignments, essays and suchlike, but I found time to celebrate my birthday along with some friends with a kids-style birthday party in my garden. There were cupcakes, a BBQ, pass-the-parcel, party bags, music and lots of fun had by everyone!


In June I went on my first holiday in years with the parentals and my older sister. We drove down to Italy and had a mini tour of all things Italia! We started off in Rome - which was absolutely amazing!

We spent a weekend in Fallerone with old friends. It made our holiday really special, they showed up the sights, took us to San Marino, which was one of the most spectacular places I have visited, and generously welcomed us into their home where they fed us some of the most amazing food I've ever eaten!

We finished off our Italian adventure in style with a trip to Venice. It was so beautiful! One of the highlights of Venice was definitely a visit to the Doge's Palace. It was an incredible building and we crossed the bridge of sighs into the dungeons. I loved exploring the old waterways where every building you look at has character and history. I'd love to go there again some day.


I worked in the Smugglers Caves and Hastings Castle throughout the summer. It is possibly one of the most fun jobs I will ever do. What makes it all the more enjoyable is that my colleagues are all my close friends so every day of work was made so much easier: getting paid to have fun (with a little bit of hard work thrown in too of course!)

In July I was part of the Guinness World Record for the most pirates in one place. Here's me, in my piratical garb, with the Johnny Depp look-a-like who spent his day dress as Captain Jack Sparrow entertaining the town.


Over the summer there were two more weddings. Here's me, my younger sister and my friend Daniella at her Hen Do garden party before her big day!

I went to stay with Jenny in London again for a long weekend and we went to Notting Hill Carnival. It was the first time I'd ever been to the carnival and it was so much fun!

Jenny at Notting Hill Carnival


September saw the End of Season work party at the Caves which always involves a lot of fun and fancy dress. This year we had to each represent a European country - I was Espana and dressed as a flamenco dancer!


I came back home from Leeds and University to take part in the Bonfire Procession in Hastings. We all dressed as pirates and marched the procession route with flaming torches singing sea shanties. Here's me and my younger sister by the bonfire on the beach.

I don't often go out for Halloween, but this year my boyfriend was DJing at a retro rockabilly night in Leeds, so I went along dressed as a 50's zombie along with my uni friend and her sister.


November was pretty much filled with assignments, essays and exams, but also a few fun lectures too. The joy of Primary Education degrees is that you can get away with doing things like this in lectures ;)


We had our work Christmas party, again, with fancy dress. We all had to represent a Christmas song. I went as The Holly and The Ivy, and above is my boss as Let it Snow and my colleague as Hark the Herald Angel Sing :) We had a brilliant night, I sang a few songs with the band and danced the night away!

Christmas! I love Christmas, it's always so much fun in our house, filled with family, board games, food, laughter and lovely presents. It's always a shame that it goes too quickly!

Well, there you have it... my highlights of 2010. What were your highlights of the year??

January Sales - Asos Dresses

Well it's that time again folks... my student loan has come through... and just in time for some January sale shopping too! So I immediately started browsing the sales online (of course, I will leave some money aside for rent, food etc... maybe) and discovered that ASOS has some gorgeous dresses in their sale. Here are some of my favourites!

Yumi Floral Lace Empire Sundress
Was £45
Now £22
I love the colour and design of this dress. It's really pretty and perfect for a sunny day - Ok, so a sunny day may be months away and it's only January, but It's worth buying it now in the sales and stashing it away until Summer!

Traffic People Printed Bandeau Dress
Was £55
Now £28
I love the print on this dress, with the little owls and trees, very cute!

Dhalia Floral Dress With Crochet Collar
Was £55
Now £27.50
Although you can't see it very well in this photo of the dress, it has a really cute little crocheted collar which gives it something a little bit different.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Foggy Walk With The Dog

Went out with the dog for a very foggy walk in the country park outside my house... It was a lovely walk, but it was very wet and at times it was so foggy I felt like I was completely surrounded by a thick wall of the stuff! According to the news and weather, the fog is going to stick around for a few more days yet...

There is something incredibly satisfying about walking through squelchy mud, it takes me back to my childhood. I'm not sure that my mum will approve of me borrowing her walking boots though... whoops!

My local church graveyard looked rather spooky with all the fog and mist!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Soap and Glory - Glorious Indeed!

I've been wanting to try out some of the Soap and Glory range for a while now, it's retro and fun and has some great products. So I was very happy to get a lovely set of Soap and Glory products from my sister for Christmas. I've never been one for having a huuuuge skincare and beauty regime, instead I have a few firm favourite products that I use... and I have decided that I love this range. It's reasonably priced, but still feels a bit special and it's delicately fragranced, smells good enough to eat, but not too overpowering.

Not only are the products great themselves, but they also have fun names too, like these "Off Your Face" cleansing facial wipes. These little delights do the job nicely and, unlike most facial wipes, they didn't leave my face feeling dry or greasy, so I was pleasently surprised.

Hand Food hand cream - This is a great hand cream. Most other hand creams leave my hands feeling soft but very greasy. But Hand Food smells delicious and with only a small amount, my hands feel moisturised and gorgeous!
Girligo moisturising body spray - Again, this product has the same gorgeous and delicious scent as most other products in the range, which is really good as it allows me to layer up the different products and get the most out of them without having a big ol' clash of scents. I've never used moisturiser in a spray form before, but I think I prefer it to all the lotions and potions. It's much easier to apply, none of the fuss of scooping the creams, lotions and potions, just a handy little spritz! It did make my skin feel lovely, and even if it felt as though it didn't last throughout the whole day, the luscious scent was still there! :)

So, in essence, I'm a new fan of Soap and Glory and I will be expanding my Soap and Glory shelf in my bathroom rapidly! Which are your favourite products?

Monday, 27 December 2010

What's New Cupcake?

Well Lovely people! I hope you've had a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas?? I've had a wonderful Christmas full of family, fun board games and food! I hope you've all been spoiled by Santa as well! I've been lucky enough to got some great gifts from my generous family and friends :) I shall no doubt be blogging about some of my many Christmas presents over the next few weeks, but to start it all off, I'm going to tell you about a brilliant book my little sister bought me... What's New Cupcake?

There are some gorgeous cupcake recipes, and some incredibly imaginative ideas for frosting and decoration... I love this cupcake Ring Bling! and here are some more of my favourite cupcakes from the book... (excuse the rubbish photos!)

Fur Ball and String Monster Cupcake

Karaoke Cupcakes

Artist's Palette Cupcakes

Jungle Fever Cupcakes

An Apple A Day Cupcakes

Rubber Ducky Cupcakes

Sand Castle Cupcakes

Pantry Pets Cockroach Cupcakes

Festive Stuffed Turkey Cupcakes

I can't wait to get stuck in and start baking! I'm feeling inspired by this wonderful book, and all that remains is for me to get back to Leeds, buy some ingredients and get baking!