Thursday, 29 December 2016

Saying goodbye to 2016... 27 thoughts

Hi everyone! I guess its a sure bet to say this is likely my last post of the year...
How strange a year 2016 has turned out to be, is all I can say. It seems to be a year that a lot of people want to forget, be it on a personal level or larger (I mean, what even were politics this year?).  
Personally, it's ended up being a good year for me and I thought it'd be nice to talk about why! I find that it helps to focus on those good points every now and then, and help keep a bit of perspective. So, without further ado:

  1. I climbed lots of mountains// literally, and boy was it fun!
  2. I bought a tripod 
  3. I went to two blog events!
  4. Another year passed since qualifying as a Physio
  5. Actually keeping up with this wee blog and showing some consistency (on occasion)
  6. reading allll the books
  7. reading more books...
  8. all the ellipses...
  9. Meeting some great bloggers
  10. Attending the Rugby League Magic Weekend in Newcastle
  11. hitting 100 posts on Blue Striped Square
  12. Eating healthier
  13. Losing weight and achieving my goal
  14. Getting fitter
  15. keeping cycling as part of my commute
  16. getting a new tattoo!
  17. Getting a piercing 
  18. Convincing my sister to get a piercing (oops..)
  19. Becoming more confident talking to others
  20. being more confident professionally
  21. Loving my figure for what it is
  22. acing my twitter goal 
  23. trouncing my pageviews on bloger
  24. Wearing clothes I want to wear and not necessarily feel I should be wearing
  25. cutting my hair shorter than expected..
  26. trying a dip dye that can only be seen at certain times ie after witchcraft 
  27. having a generally alright year!
What are you looking forward to next year?

Abi x

Saturday, 24 December 2016

CarnLIVal: blogger event!

Soooo, let's face it, most of the people who will read this post were probably at the event with me. But this is my blog and I can write what I want #rebel.
Let's crack on with the post! 

To shake things up a bit, and also because there was so much going on, I've tried to sun the event up via list form. In fact I've picked twelve cool( to me) things to talk about, the idea being to help keep things all Christmassy!

1. People: number one on my list has to be the people! It was lovely to meet so many bloggers, including finally meet Katy herself( what a baaaaabe), #sorynotsorry to Sam.... Shout outs also go to Robyn, Kaz, Sarah and Alana for literally the most amusing petrol stop I've ever had in my life.
2. Stations: we had several different stations to raise money for charity. My favourite being the anonymous Christmas poem competition. 
3. Quiz: is it Christmas without obscure questions and fierce competitions?? Nope! Still gutted my team didn't win...
4. jumpers: my jumper didn't quite pan out but let's face it I had no chance of winning once Codi arrives in a TMNT Christmas jumper
5. Brands: there was such a variety of brands featured, covering tea bags to sex toys( as you do). We also had a really interesting talk from Goodyfull*'s rep Lex, explaining the role of the brand and how they promote the concept of moderation, so well worth a check out if you're interested in making a healthy lifestyle change anytime soon (aka New Years...)
6. Goody bags: well they were sure to crop up on this list because they were seriously gooood. So good in fact that I filmed a cheeky lil reveal video on YouTube. You're welcome ;)
7.Charity: not only was the event a great chance to meet and chat, it was alllll for a good cause! The chosen charity was Choose Life and a total of was raised.
8. Naughty and nice bags: These were SUCH A GOOD IDEA!And I'm not just sayong that because I won a load of lube and a vibrator, honest...
9. The dog!: Where best for a blog event, than somewhere that ahs a real dog behind the bar! He eas seriously cute!
10. Drinks: Plenty on tap[ and reasonably priced... a few of us had quite a few but it was all in good spirits
11. New blogs: This  is one of the best parts, I've found lots of new blogs to follow since the event. It was well worth going just for this aspect alone.
12. Gate crashing: so basically I self invited myself to the after drinks...#noshame

Not sure this lot will quite fit to the tune of twelve days of Christmas but hey use your imagination!

Did you go to CarnLIVal?

Abi x

*affiliate link

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A Quota of Quoats

Howdy! Today's post is a wee homage to brands who are keen to engage with bloggers as well as have a little bit of fun...
                                  
I first cam across Quoats  as one of the goodies after CarnLival, in which they'd kindly donated products to the amazing goodie bags we received( check my reveal video here). I was lucky enough to receive the Coconut and Raspberry flavour. 
It's here that things get interesting, as I am a lover of porridge, I was excited to tuck in and try it. Sadly I wasn't that impressed. It was yummy but I juts felt the coconut took the edge of. The quinoa aspect was actually very nice. I'll admit at first I thought the portion size was a bit small but it was probably just right once all ready.  Naturally I had a good old tweet about the experience..
To my pleasant surprise the lovely people behind Quoats got in touch and offered to send me a few other flavours to try, which I did like much better. The Date and Pecan flavour was incredibly yummy, more so than I'd expected! I'll admit I did spice the original pots up with some seeds but still, no complaints from me!

This wasn't a sponsered review, but I felt that having brands who are so willing to work engage and wprk with bloggers is a real treat. They totally deserve a cheeky clap on the back, so thank you Jen and Rob!

Abi x

ps. would you try Quoats?
Did you like my title? My phone keeps trying to autocorrect to quota haha



Thursday, 15 December 2016

CHRISTMAS TAG!!

Let's be honest, most people are in the mood for Christmas by now. If you're not a Christmas person, that's cool but you probs won't enjoy this post.
As it says in the title this is a wee little Christmas Tag post. Admottedly, no one tagged me but I accepted my spinster state a log time ago... On with the tag!



1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
I’m a sucker for a rom com, my top picks include The Holiday and Love Actually. Although it’ll be bittersweet seeing Alan Rickman in it this year.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Always on Christmas morning, none of this Christmas Eve lark!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I remember one year trying to open a present for nearly two hours because it was so super-wrapped haha.

4. favourite festive food?
CHOCOLATE! Of course. It’s the perfect time to indulge.

5. Favourite Christmas gift ?
Has to be my Kindle hands down. I’ve had it for three years now and it’s still one of my most prized possessions.
6. Favourite Christmas scent?
Homemade mince pies on Christmas Eve…gahhhh.
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
See above answer. We also make a trifle for Santa on Christmas Eve, as well as swapping cards with the immediate family.
8. What tops your tree?
Angel (like me ;))
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
Literally don’t know! I don’t think I ever wanted anything to extravagant so I almost always got what I wanted.
10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?
Spending time with family and friends, but also eating all the chocolate #priorities…


Abi x

Monday, 12 December 2016

Thoughts about Christmas

It's undeniable. The C-word (not that one)! is officially here. So yeah, we've been hearing christmas songs since September, and next door have had lights up for a month but it's actually starting to feel like it might, just possibly, be Christmas soon.

It's fucking great.

I actually adore Christmas, and all that it entails. This year will be rather strange for me though, because it will be the first year I've not spent it at my Mum's since I was 5. Weird. On the plus side, the reason for that is because I'll be spending it with Lewis. Never the less it's still really strange and I'm not all that sure how I feel about it.

In fact last year I wrote this Christmas-y post based around my family traditions. This year I'm going have to adapt and start forming my own traditions. It's kind of scary in a way.

On the plus side, it's not like I won't be seeing my family near Christmas, or even talk to them on the day. It's not like I've been cut out.
I guess it's because it means I'm finally an adult. I have to start making my own way in the world.

So this year will be an unknown. I'm nervous, yet I feel it's a good time to start living for myself.

What are your Christmas traditions?

Abi x

Monday, 5 December 2016

NEW BLOG HEADER!!!

How exciting is this? I know right?

This is a reward for me. I've never spent money on the blog before. I told myself it wasn't worth it unless I could commit to writing. Well, it's amazing for me to say that I have done exactly that, and have been writing for well over a year now. So, naturally I treated this wee blog to a cheeky little makeover.

I got in touch with Jemma from Dorkface, because I've seen several of her designs and they never fail to impress. She asked me if I had any ideas in mind and I gave her few details. Jemma was absolute star to work with, and gave me an estimate for when the designs would be ready.
I was not dissappointed as she came up with several different ideas and then gave me time to decide if I liked any or if there was anything else that could be added.

Luckily I fell straight in love with the above design, saving me from being super indecisive!

The whole process was really casual and gave me a lot of input into the design and actually not that expensive to do. In my head I thought it'd have been a lot more than actually was! If you're after a new header yourself I'd recommend you drop her a line!!

Abi x

P.S. What do you think of the new header??

p.p.s this is not an ad, I'm just really happy with the work

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Am I a real blogger yet?

Okay, so this isn't an existential crisis. It's a post just to ask a simple question: Am I real blogger yet?

Everyone's idea of blogging is different, I get that. In fact that's what makes it great. Anyone can be a blogger, if they put their mind to it. Yet, when do we start to become bloggers in the eyes of our peers? Yes, you might feel like one, but do they?

I've recently been lucky enough to be invited to a great pressevent in Liverpool, the first I've ever been to. I'm due to attend a blogger meet up (CarnLIVal?). So, it feels to me that my blogs starting to spread its wings a little bit. In a nice way of course, but it really just made me wonder at what point do we become real bloggers?

Is it simply a count up of how many events we're invited to? Or the exact number followers on, well any of the classic social medias?  There's no trick question here. I'm genuinely curious because lately I've been feeling much more validated as a writer and there's no real reason for why that I can see

Over a year ago I launched this little blog, hell you can see my first post for proof. It feels like I've come a long way since then, so maybe thats why I 'm feeling more confident identifying myself as a blogger. This blog has been a slow burner in terms of growth, it's probably at the crawling stage if anything never mind hitting the toddler years. It's seen periods of minimal content, and eras of proliferic postings.

One things for certain... whether I am a real blogger or not, this little rambley blog is purely for me.

Abi x

Ps. when do you consider someone a real blogger?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Kilner pop up event!

SUPER EXCITING TIMES GUYS! Probably a bit OTT with the capitals but on Thursday I got to attend the very first Kilner pop up event opening night over in Liverpool. They've set up the shopin an amazing store called the Rex Concept store to start off celebrating 175 years in business (oldtimers!) culminating in a special anniversary glass. Let's face it they've found a way to make a bloggers fave even better.


But back to the event. I was super excited for two reasons:
  1. It's the first time I've been invited to this kind of event( which I'll talk about more in another post soon!)
  2. I was drooling over the possible Insta opportunities (You can't blame me right?) 
I'll be honest here, this post isn't sponsored but I had such a lovely evening that I had to write about it.

The event had several stations: one showcasing freakshakes where we mad eour own mini ones, one with different punches (I fell in love with the Winter Pimms one) and finaly a tasting station with infused alcohols. That was absolutely my favourite, with a cheeky Candy Cane vodka being a stand out.


 Someone, obviously had given them a head's up about bloggers because food was provided by a local Lebanese stret food restaurant: I've been Bakchich before and really enjoyed the food, so it was an extra little treat that they were involved.





We were also lucky enough to receive to a cute lil goody bag, with a bottle of wine, a glass and lots of ideas on what to do with Kilner.

The final thing helping to make the night lovely was a our own name
s handwritten in chocolate by the fabulous brand: The Chocloate Cellar. I did plan on showing you a pic but it, well, I kinda ate it #sorrynotsorry. You can check out there stuff in store or put in some custom orders yourself just in time for Christmas

Overall, I had a lovely time at my first event. The next one has lots to live up to!

Have you even been to a bliog event? How did your first blog event go?
 Abi x

Ps: Kilner pop up shop runs 24th-30th November on Bold Street, Liverpool
Bakchich also resides on Bold Street
P.P.S. I'm totally not sorry for the photo overload ;)

Saturday, 26 November 2016

5 ways to relax


Let's face it, we're all busy little bees. Every now and then it can really get to us. It's times like then that we need some decent de-stressing strategies in the repertoire. Here's a few of my faves:

1. Have a bath: I'm not trying to say you smell buuuuut.... Nah. This ain't just a quick spruce, go all out for a de-stress bath. Candles, bubbles the lot. You deserve it.
2. Food: I have a love/hate relationship with comfort eating. I'm trying hard to move away from it but I can't deny that after a shitty day all I crave is something stodgy or sweet. It's not ideal but hey, it works for me.
3. Walk: I'm lucky enough to live in a beautiful area with plenty of nice paths and gorgeous views. Sometimes all I need to clear my head can be a nice wander. Even now, when it's dark early and cold out, I still head out with my torch and woolly hat.
4. switch off: as a blogger and general social media addict this is a hard one for me to do. I'm just used to having my phone 
5. Read: are you surprised by this? I've saved my favourite for last. Reading has always been my go to, it just lets me let the real world slip away for me.

How do you relax?

Abi X

Sunday, 20 November 2016

My experiences as a graduate

It's been nearly a year since a graduated (give or take a week or so) and thought it'd be a nice topic to have a little reflect upon. I hope you enjoy my wee rambles...

 

Do you enjoy these kind of pieces? Let me know!

Abi x

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Pyjama Wishlist!!

Hey everyone! It's that time of year where it's actually socially acceptable to live in pyjamas. They basically become you're new best friend. Thankfully, their is fuck tons of awesome pjs available. Be they fluffy and snuggly or basic and badass. Their is something for everyone! I've taken the liberty of gathering a few of the good'uns I've spotted this A/W and rattled out a wish list for you. You're welcome...







Hope you enjoyed my wee wishlist!

Abi x

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

5 things: in London!!!

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have noticed I've just spent the weekend with my fellow down in London! While originally I'd planned to film a vlog it sadly didn't pan out. Instead I've brought a classic offering of a list of 5 things that went on in the capital!

1. All the foooood- so basically we went down on the train Saturday morning (holla to virgin for a super speedy trip down) bags packed with a nifty little packed lunch. In return for being saddos we went for an absolutely top notch meal at the London Reds True Barbecue! We've been to the Liverpool one several times and I feel that london held there own. 

Not only did we have dinner out, we also treated ourselves to a cheeky brunch at Ed's diner. Again there is one up here in Liverpool but I've never  been before.  I got a lovely stack of waffles and bacon and blueberries, completed with a pepsi float( yep, for breakfast!).

2. Travelodge- it's gonna sound boring but I'm a bit of a connoisseur of cheap hotels and travelodge has remained a clear favourite. We stayed right opposite the station and you couldn't hear a peep. Nice work!

3. Rememberance day-  stay happened to coincide and we were lucky enough to view a service just outside Euston station prior to the silence.
Can I say, as eerie as it is during the two minutes silence it's doubly so in as busy a place as London?

4. Shopping- oh yeah, we came, we saw, I bought a Tshirt... And a bralet which I am mega in love whilst simultaneously having no idea when it will be worn... Lewis also treated himsel to some black Levis( goals!) and some big thick ass jumpers. 

5. Rugby- finally, the rugby (league ofc). This was the main reason we went down. While the game was disappointing it was still lovely to be back at the Olympic stadium and seeing some top flight action.


All in all, a pretty full weekend I think you'll agree!
London is a place I could explore for days and still never  get bored of.

Abi X 

Ps any recommendations for next time I'm down??

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Changing my perceptions: one bralet at a time!!

I recently had, well what felt to me, a hell of mind opener. And to be honest, the star of the show was none other than the humble bralet. It's challenged my own perceptions of myself and my self esteem. Today's post is merely my attempt to express my own revelation.

 So earlier this month I got a new tattoo on my upper back, about where my bra strap and band would sit. I've definitely got a good pair on me so there was no way I was going braless. Instead I purposely bought a few bras with racer backs and a couple of Bralets to wear that hopefully wouldn't annoy my tattoo too much.
Nothing that strange right? Well....
The truth is I'd never bought a bralet for myself before because, and this is where I feel really silly...but because I thought I couldn't pull one off with bigger boobs. 

Like, it seems silly just looking at that sentence. I Normally I never ever consider buying anything like them purely based on that one ignorant thought. Its really strange because on girls the same size or bigger than me I've never doubted they could rock one. So why did I feel that way about myself?
The truth is although I strongl believe in body positivity, I was doing myself an injustice and not applying to myself.
I've been setting restrictions on myself because of my body shape for absolutely no good reason. I hadn't even realised.

Its time that changed. 
I wore that bralet on a day to day basis because it was the comfiest by far for my new tat, its well into my bra rotation now. Shock horror, the world didn't explode. Nobody swooned. No disasters. Nowt. Admittedly I still prefer more supportive bras in general but I feel more comfortable being a little more open minded on my selections.
It's genuinely had such a positive  effect on my own personal view of myself.
I wouldn't put up with restrictive shit like that from strangers, so damn it Im certainly not putting up with it from me. 

*mic drop*
Abi X 



Monday, 31 October 2016

NEW ON YOUTUBE: categories!

I'm still riding the train of inspiration over on Youtube, so have a peek at my next video!

Also, be reassured that there are some more substantial blog posts coming this way sooooon.

Abi x
p.s. let me know your thoughts! All constructive criticism welcome x

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Youtube Numero two!: Get to know me tag


Hi guys! I'm back with another video this week! Have a little nosey through the vid and let me know your thoughts. Gonna keep up with the awkward thumbnails, because hell, who gives one???
Abi x

Saturday, 15 October 2016

LBD: ASOS wishlist

Okay, no one wants to say it but it is nearly the time of year for.....getting dressed up! Haha bet you thought I was going to say Christmas! In all seriousness there seems to be an abundance of nights out coming up. 
My favorite outfit to wear is none other than the humble LBD (little black dress). I thought I'd share some of the lovely ones I'd spotted recently on ASOS. 

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9.

Although some of these are waaaaay out my price range, they at least give me a few ideas of what styles I'm gonna head towards this party season.

While this is sadly not a post sponsored by ASOS, could you imagine if it were?? #goals
Abi x

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

I'm on YouTube!

To my three loyal and only readers you may be wondering why I'm branching out into YouTube. I will allow you this doubt because let's face it, updating on this wee blog has become rather...shit tbh. It's not through lack of enjoyment, I just struggle to find the motivation to give myself the time to sit and play on my corner of the Internet.
So why am I making even more work for myself? 
Well to be frank, it's because I want to.
There's no ulterior motives. I simply fancy it. Why not have a go?
At the end of the day, blogging is a hobby. Talking and sharing my thoughts is just something I enjoy. Whether I do it well or not is a matter of opinion to the receiver. But get this, it doesn't matter! So long as continue to enjoy blogging and being online then so help me, I'll be doing it my own way.
To me YouTube seems like a challenge, and a pretty fun one at that. I'm not setting expectations on myself, except to maybe gain an understanding on how to edit! I don't plan on setting an upload schedule. Life's erratic, get over it.
So why should I not have a try? I've got nothing to lose.

Is there anything you feel like trying but haven't worked up the courage to just yet?
Abi X

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

5 ways to stay warm this Autumn!

Howdy folks. It feels like since the calendar flicked into October the whole of social media has tipped into autumn. Like all the Autumn, everywhere. 
Whether you love it or loath it, it's undeniable that Autumn is a season with a character all of its own. 
One undeniable part being the weather soon turns bloody miserable! 
Don't despair, today post is some handy tips on how to stay warm and cosy throughout the cooler months!
1. Layers: I'm not gonna lie, if you tell me you're cold when you've only got a Tshirt on then expect eye rolls. One of the main purposes of clothes is to keep us warm, and it's the perfect to roll out a load of thick cosy knitwear that's been absent during the sunny season
2.Hot water bottles: literally the granniest  thing you may ever own but when you're frets are toasty you seriously won't care.
3. Wheat packs: so this kind of comes under hot water bottles but I felt they deserved their own category. Why? Because they're even easier to use! Bing one in the microwave and hey presto instant heat with no need to remember to empty it.
4. Hot beverages: Even if you're not into the seasonal specialties hot drinks really come into their own this time of year. If your not a big tea or coffee drinker why not rustle up some extravagant hot chocolate? Or even keep it simple with a hot water and lemon? So soothing and refreshing.
5. Electric blanket: even though this came second in the granny stakes it's still one of the best things I've ever bought. If you're not sure what I'm on about, it's basically a mat that goes under your covers sheet in bed that HEATS up. Diving into a ready for snoozing bed is just downright awesome. I picked mine up from Argos a while back and it's always been great. They're designed to be left on over night and most are even washable! 

There we have it, a few useful tips to stay toasty! Now I actually use all of these for the specific purpose of avoiding putting the heating on. Last year we made it to November before we needed and in determined to do better this year!

Are you gonna try any of my tips?
Abi X

Saturday, 3 September 2016

22 thoughts at 22

I recently hit my 22nd anniversary of living. Yep, that's my pretentious way of saying it was my birthday not long back.  I've decided I'm going to share with you lovely lot  my thoughts so far on being 22.

  1. I'm definitely past being a teenager, thank the light!
  2. People who guess you're age wrong don't seem nearly as guilty as when I'd say I was 21
  3. I'm not actually any different than I was at 21
  4. Taylor Swift has yet to appear
  5. I'll just sing it to myself.
  6. I like that it's the same number twice. Yep, silly but it amuses me.
  7. I've got, like, a whole year before my next birthday :(
  8. I'm finally the same age as people in my school/academic year!
  9. Oh wait, some of them are 23 already, never mind
  10. I'm the same age as my dearest mother was when she had me. Check out my letter I wrote here.
  11. Is it too early to have a quarter-life crisis?
  12. False alarm, I'm actually managing quite well
  13. Shameless smugness about having a great job for nearly a full year!
  14. Somehow a year has passed since I finished Uni? WHEREDIDITGOOOO.
  15. It's a been a full year of blogging!
  16. I've actually done a lot this year, it's nice to think back about it now!
  17. I mean...Snowdon? And acing the three peaks challenge the other week..
  18. Go me!
  19. Got a nice 8 year buffer before my next big birthday. 
  20. I wonder where I'll be by then?
  21. Gah! so many things to look forward to in just the next year alone
  22. I thought this would be hard to write but I'm actually struggling to narrow my list to just 22 things.
Any advice for a prospective 22 year old? 
Abi x

Monday, 15 August 2016

Dear mum...

Dear Mum, 
I'm writing this letter because it's finally happened. In just over a week I'll be 22 at last. I'll be exactly the same age you were when you gave birth to me. 
Did you imagine that I'd be living away from home? In a comitted long term relationship? Did you think that not only would I have my dream job, but would nearly be hitting the year mark since I started? No, me neither. 
Did you think my life would be more like your own instead? That I'd be ready for my first child at this point? Just moving out from living with my brother for 4 years? Giving up the fun and parties, to raise a baby?
No, me neither. I think we'd both agree we're two very different people. I'm 2 inches taller, about 3 stone heavier than you at 22, baby included, with twice as many tattoos. I'm hoping my natural hair colour will last past 22, because unlike you Im not very good with hair dyes.
My idea of fun is different. To me a celebration is doing something you enjoy with people you care about, not a big night of drinking. In fact Mum, I don't really drink that much or often. It makes it difficult when that's just your way of showing you're pleased. 
I know it seems dull to you but I'm genuinely thrilled about my holiday no far from home with the planned walks, challenges and local beauty. Again, very little drinking will probably happen. Sorry.
When you ask me what I want for my birthday, I usually tell you what you want to hear, because sometimes I don't like the reminder of how different we really our.
That's the wrong attitude to have. We should be celebrating our differences instead of searching for any little thing we  have in common. Because let's face it, I take after my dad more than you. 
Yet, there are somethings worth noting. Our shared love of books and fantasy dramas( Game of Thrones anyone?). Our general lack of enthusiasm for gardening but appreciation for the end result. Our mutual ability to hunt a great bargain. 
There are some things I envy you. Your natural artistic ability. Your confidence around new people. Your ability to start a game of rounders or cards or pretty much anything out of thin air. 

I don't know about you mum, hell I don't even know if you'll get to read this. I think over the past 22 years, I've given you a lot to be proud of. Of everything, I just want you to be proud that I am me.
Totally, uniquely, me.
Abi X