Saturday, 31 January 2015

365 days of Inspiration- If I won the lottery...

For my birthday (back in June so I’m just a touch behind schedule) my friend bought me this book:

Aside from being really cute, it has a little challenge or quote for every day of the year. As a form of motivation and to keep me on track with it, I thought it would be nice to feature little snippets of the challenges on here where appropriate.

So as a starter, my task for the 26th was to imagine that I had won the lottery and list all the things that I would do if I did win big. Aside from being a bit of fun, I thought it would be a good post near the beginning of my blog to reveal a little bit more about me!

So, here we go:

1) I enjoy my job (most of the time) and am really focused on having a career and not just a job and working my way up the ladder. The kind of work I do is more than possible to manage on a project by project basis meaning if you have financial backing then it's possible to take on jobs with periods of your own time in between. 

Oh my God I would do this. 

The world is just so vast and I think when you start to see more of it, it becomes an insatiable thirst. I'm lucky with the places I have been and maybe that's a blog post in itself if anyone is interested. There are so many places I would love to go though, I've got a list as long as my arm!

So, massive load of waffle there, but I would take the time inbetween projects to really see the world. I've done enough travelling to know how long I like to be away for and what I like to do. My ideal is about two months away, with the first month working on some sort of volunteer project, and the second month travelling around and seeing as much of the country as I can cram in. Maybe I should do a post on all the places I would love to go....

Cruising along the Li River

2) Buy a flat. I work in London and oh lordy am I bored with the commute. I'm 23 and have been doing it for over a year now. It's boring, it makes me ill all the time and anyone who commutes knows that there is nothing more annoying in this world than other commuters. Not yourself though- you are wholly virtuous and never do anything that may annoy your fellow passengers in the same way that they annoy you. 

I wouldn't want anything ridiculous and worth millions and millions with all the mod cons. But I would like a three bed, probably in Kensal Rise/ Queen's Park. I would let my friend's live in it at a rent that they can actually afford and it would always be warm. Also it would be largely decorated from Zara home, Anthropologie, Oliver Bonas and Urban Outfitters. And we would have dinner parties every Wednesday night. 

3) I'd buy my Mum a lovely little house. We live out in the country and she'd like to move to a small little cottage really. We're in to horses and so it would have a couple of acres and school as well. I'd maybe buy her a little pony to have a nice time on as well.

4) Following that I'd buy myself a dressage horse that would allow me to do British Dressage U25s- something that has always been my main life goal. I could then die happy.

5) Handbag. I seriously need a black handbag. My brown Mulberry Bayswater has stood me in good stead now for years and is still going strong. I'd like to be able to give it a few days off a week really and let's face it- who doesn't need a black handbag? The problem I face at the moment is that I will start the hunt for one then get distracted by ridiculously expensive Stella McCartney numbers...

5) Get fit! I would like a personal trainer to help me compensate for my laziness please. I swim once a week, and walk a lot of dogs and ride at weekends so I'm not obese. But I am chronically unfit. I'd love to start some of those Psycle London classes but they're so expensive! Also if I had a personal trainer I'd have the body of Rosie Huntingdon Whitely. Right?!

6) Singing lessons. Used to have them but my teacher did scare the absolute **** out of me and there's no way I could afford them in London. I'd also really love some language lessons, probably in German and Mandarin. 

7) Cliche maybe but I would like to donate some to charities. I would probably start with those that I discovered travelling which would include a lion project and probably the Chengdu Giant Panda Centre for Breeding and Research. Charities are actually quite tricky though, particularly animal ones, and require a lot of research. All sorts of unexpected and well respected charities can have affiliate links to canned hunting and all sorts, so if I did have money then I'd really want to conduct some careful research. I'd also love to support charities for Alzheimers and Dementure more.

8) Lastly, it's boring but I'd want to invest a lot very sensibly and carefully. A cash injection like that would be harvested very carefully by me! I would consider property but hopefully would have a financial adviser to help. I would want to make sure I was earning enough that my family and I could always be comfortable and the dream of winning big would never end!

So there we go. Maybe a boring list, but I think that's what I'd do! Inevitably there would be clothes and make up along the way but I think I'd try not to go too crazy! Topshop and Urban Outfitters would definitely see a rise in their sales figures though...!

What would you guys spend your millions on?

Friday, 30 January 2015

Saying yes

I'm definitely one for worrying too much what other people think of me and letting self consciousness hold me back. 

Things that make me most uncomfortable are really more extroverted type activities as well as physical challenges. Fit I am not. I think it's really important to be open to new things all round however, physical, cultural etc. Going to see a film at the cinema that isn't your usual type or reading a book by an author unknown to you- whatever it takes to push yourself. 

With this in mind I found myself trekking off the the O2 after work one night to see the NBA. New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks, all in the name of an old friend's birthday.

I thought I'd enjoy the game but not to the extent that I did. It was great! 

I knew nothing about basketball before and while some swotting on the rules prior wouldn't have gone amiss, it certainly wasn't a problem. I have to say, the US really have nailed my sort of sports! The whole game was a performance and a spectacle. Cheerleaders, mascots, hoop-shooting trampoliners... There was so much action whether the players were on the court or not that it was genuinely impossible to be bored. Because everyone was having so much fun the atmosphere was incredible as well, no matter which team you were supporting. 

Tickets were expensive, I can't lie, and I probably wouldn't have considered paying the price if it hadn't been for a friend's birthday. I'm so glad that I did though and I really would recommend taking the opportunity to go to something a bit different with your friends if you can. You'll probably be surprised how many would be open to it- people often just need that one friend in the group to nudge them into things by taking the organisational lead. 

Snapchat had us covered...

Is there anything you're curious to do that you haven't got round to yet? Or have you been to something that surprised you how much you enjoyed? I'd really love to hear anyone's ideas or thoughts- I'm going to start making a list of all the things I could do and definitely have my ears open for any inspiration! 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

My house in Budapest... December travels

For some reason I was ridiculously excited about Christmas this year and was wholly on board for any festive activities in the run to the big day.

With this in mind as soon as it turned to December I found myself on a Ryan Air flight and was jetting off to Budapest. It was no coincidence that it happened to be the very weekend that the Christmas markets opened in the city. 

My best friend moved over a year ago now, to Amsterdam, which means that I don't get to see him as much as I used to or as much as I would like. Gone are the days of Harry Potter marathon weekends!

We thought a weekend trip away together to a European city would be a really lovely catch up as well as getting us in the Christmas spirit. 

So what did we get up to? We walked. A lot. We also got cold a lot. I think I can safely speak for the both of us though when I say that it is a really wonderful place to visit and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get away.

We both really enjoy photography and so we spent a lot of time walking around all the major landmarks. The real highlights are of course the Basilica, Fisherman's Bastion, the Chain Bridge, and Buda Castle. The Christmas markets were adorable and festive, but it was the backdrop of the Basilica that really made the atmosphere. 

If you're interested in seeing more of the city and what we got up to, there's a YouTube video I made here:

Lastly, to anyone considering a trip to Budapest, then absolutely do it!

Friday, 9 January 2015

New Year, New Blog

Oh dear, that same old title, those same tired New Year's resolutions!

I had my little blog that I was just starting to get to grips with at University and was really enjoying myself. Unfortunately, BOOM, all of a sudden the dissertation hit and it all fell apart!

To be fair, now that I'm out of University and into the working world my life is probably rather more exciting than when I was wading my way through the entire works of Shakespeare or navigating the nuances of post colonialism... 

So what can you expect from this blog should you stumble across it and decide to give it a cheeky follow? Well this will be written for me about what I enjoy. I'm hoping to write about travel, cinema, books, and maybe the odd bit of beauty, fashion and lifestyle. Let's see where it ends up, eh?!

So back to these resolutions.

I've only been making these over the last few years and to be honest they've gone relatively well so far. 

2013 was to experiment with my style more. I don't know about you, but I would always look at others and think how much I loved their style or trends that were in at the moment but would be convinced that they weren't for me and I could never pull them off. I've definitely become better at trying on those pieces that need a little more bravery for me to wear and seeing if I can work them in to my existing wardrobe. I'm happy to say that there is a much wider array of printed trousers and leather skirts in my collection now and I really enjoy the process of putting pieces together much more. I still occasionally spend too much time considering what other's think of my style, but I'm getting better every day at not caring!

2014 was spurred on by the successes of the previous year. Selections included red lipstick and scrapbooking. A lot has happened and changed over the last year, so I may not have been quite so dedicated to the cause as in 2013 but I can still say I've fulfilled my goals.

You'll note that there's not a lot of "I'm going to run a marathon at least once a week", and "I'm going to lose 20 stone". Of course I'd like to be fitter and I'd certainly like to be leaner. But for me I think those are lifestyle choices, while New Year's resolutions are a way to introduce achievable new hobbies, skills or habits in to your everyday. 

So on to 2015 and on to the blog.

As I mentioned before, I used to really enjoy blogging. I think I probably put too much pressure on myself though, and was trying to churn out beauty blog posts that weren't as me as I would have liked. I got frustrated that my pictures weren't as clear and crisp and well lit as the professional beauty bloggers out there. But that's just it; I'm not a professional. I'm just little me, enjoying writing in the evenings. 

Resolution 1- Blog.

I also recently went on holiday to Budapest, just for a long weekend. I went with my best friend and had a blast. I love taking photographs, but for some reason when I was there I found myself reaching for the video camera rather than my normal still images. Cut to a month later with Christmas out of the way and I found myself ridiculously enjoying the whole editing process. As such, I really want to do more of this sort of thing and plan to embed some of my videos in to this blog. I'm guessing this means youTube as the easiest method to share video, but this is something I will begin looking in to. 

Resolution 2- Videos. 

So a happy New Year to everyone out there, may your resolutions serve you well through the year ahead and maybe bump into you in the blogging community some time!