Thursday, 19 January 2017

Book Review of Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit

One of my main goals this year is to read more, and I can definitely say I'm doing well so far. I challenged myself to complete the Popsugar challenge, as discussed here. Already I've finished one book, Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn Ferrer. I've also completed a childhood favourite, The tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, started re-reading a favourite book by Jacqueline Wilson - Girls under pressure, yesterday I finished Jane Eyre and have also enjoyed listening to the audiobook, Fool me once by Harlan Coben. This means that I predict I will read more in this month than I did last year alone! Onto the first book I finished and what I thought...


















As stated in my recent wishlist, I was desperate to read Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit. For those who don't know I greatly admire so much about Audrey Hepburn from her talent for acting, her elegance, her amazing charity work for UNICEF, her inspirational words and just all the things she achieved in the small life she had.

Scenes from Funny Face (pictures in book)


































I find it harder in a way to describe how great this book is because I care more than a typical novel. I have never read a biography either; if I want to know about someone I'd rather read it in their own words. When I was a teenager I read a lot of autobiographies. My favourites were from Julie Walters, Paul O'Grady and Michael Parkinson (probably not the typical books a teen would be reading). However considering Audrey Hepburn didn't want to write an autobiography and died three months after I was born, I knew I couldn't read an autobiography from her. That being said, I was impressed to hear her oldest son, Sean wrote a biography about her. Who better to discuss her life than someone who loved her the most and knew her their entire life?

I think if there really is a heaven, Audrey would be looking down; she'd be proud of the way her son went about illustrating her life. The book was filled with just as many pictures as words, so much so that it almost felt like he was showing a member of the family the pictures. I honestly learnt so much about her too. I learnt that she wasn't just a typical celebrity doing charity work; she genuinely cared and went out of her way to help. Children she met were moved; Sean details stories of children who were transfixed by her, or children she hugged and held. Most fascinatingly of all, Audrey had a difficult start to life and dealt with malnutrition during the war; she knew best of all what it must be like. UNICEF was actually a charity who helped her, and she strongly believed in helping them to continue the support they provide. She was the best ambassador they could have! I was near tears reading some of the speeches she gave that featured in the book. She was incredible and inspirational, and almost without trying. Making a difference with such ease!

Somalia 1992 (powerful picture from book)


















The book also featured recipes to her favourite dishes, discussed wise motherly advice Audrey gave to her sons and even quotes she appreciated.

Of course, the book also did what every book did and described her life in all - childhood to adult, and even described how she dealt with her illness and the days leading to her death. I don't want to go too much into that as I feel I might give something away, and spoil the book for you.

The one downfall of a son writing a biography can be that it isn't critical. It won't describe personal weaknesses of the well-known actress, but then again he says that early on. There were no scandals about Audrey Hepburn, so why would he create them? If you hope to hear juicy details about her divorces, you won't. Some harder issues are brushed over, but it doesn't stop the book being a favourite biography; one that I'm proud to have read and one that makes me feel like a better person for reading. How many books can genuinely say they've done that?

Instead of focusing on what you might feel you've missed, I will focus on the good. It describes her relationships with her parents, the warmth she had as a mother that demonstrated just one more thing she took to naturally. I also learnt she didn't initially want to be an actress, and it was interesting how she came to be an actress instead.

Perhaps my favourite pictures of Audrey with son (photos in book)



















When I finished the book, I felt a strange feeling of emptiness and sadness which I still can't explain. I also felt somehow motivated to support good causes, make a difference in the life you have and show real love to everyone I care for. I hope if you choose to read, you might get a similar appreciation. This has to be a favourite read for me. Like most books, I'm not sure I will read it again, but that's just me. I've never re-read books unless asked for educational purposes.

Taken during the production of War and Peace (photo from book)






















I really feel like my review doesn't give it justice, but these are the only words that come to mind as I try not to give too much away or hint too much about the most interesting parts of the book, or parts worth mentioning.

Let me know if you have read this book, or whether you know much about Audrey Hepburn.

I hope to write a summary of all the books I've read this month at the start of the next month. I think it will be good to help me keep on top of the challenge, and also detail some amazing reads!

Another favourite picture from the book taken in 1991

Friday, 13 January 2017

My Benefit Favourites

Benefit is safely one of my favourite makeup brands. It has my favourite bronzers, highlighter and mascaras. Although I haven't tried everything I thought I'd describe what I like most, and the other products I've tried.






















In October, my friend over at Lost in Coffee bought me the Blushin' Babe gift set. Inside it included the Watt's Up! highlighter, They're Real! mascara, They're Real! push-up gel liner, Hoola bronzing powder, Dandelion blusher, Rockateur bronzer, Coralista blusher and Sugarbomb bronzer.

(I did try to include a swatch but didn't show the real shine and glow like I wanted!)

I love the high beam highlighter of theirs, and hadn't used it in years. It gives a lovely healthy, natural glow to your skin and is fab for makeup trends like contouring or strobing. I probably don't do either in the right way, but put it on my brow bones, cheeks, on my chin (to attempt to disguise my double-chin) and the bridge of my nose spreading any excess onto my forehead.
















As you can tell, I LOVE that highlighter! Therefore I was excited to try the Watt's Up! highlighter, This one has more of a gold tone to it so I was a bit reserved trying it. I thought it might not suit my very pale complexion. However I loved it on, and goes on well with a decent bronzer.

BLUSHIN' BABE














Other favourites in the set included the Rockateur, Sugarbomb and They're Real! mascara. I've used Rockateur before and love it on. My Mum bought it either for a birthday or Christmas; I can't remember and fell in love with it. I love that it gives me some colour and use it most of the time. I always used to use blusher as I'm pale and therefore used to feel bronzers don't suit. With more blonde to my hair, I now prefer more of a bronze than blusher.

I also really liked Sugarbomb as it wasn't too bronzed and had a blend of colours to try.

I'm guilty of already trying the mascara, but like how it adds length fast and can separate the lashes well. Just what you often need. People often complain it's difficult to take off, and pulls off lashes in the process. I would have to agree to some extent, as it has done this in the past for me. However, now that I use Liz Earle, I find if I don't rub too hard, it comes off with some patience.

I also liked the "english rose"colour that comes from Dandelion.






















Using a Boots gift card, I also treated myself to the Girl-a-rama gift set. Inside it has the Roller Lash mascara, Porefessional, Benetint, Coralista, Rockateur and They're Real! duo shadow blender. As I mentioned about the previous set, I love Rockateur, but the way it comes in the set, you can mix it with Coralista which adds something different to the tone. Sometimes I like mixing different bronzers with blushers. I think on it's own, Coralista is a bit too orange for me. However added with the other bronzer, it makes a lovely healthy glow to my cheeks that I love!

Benetint was also the first Benefit product that I tried, I love the quality and how easy it was to use. I also like how you can use it for both lips and cheeks. I liked the colour on cheeks and was keen to use it again. However don't feel it suits the tone of my skin anymore. It can still blend well with a bronzer for a different colour again. I also liked to use it a bit on my lips too.

GIRL-A-RAMA






















The eyeshadow is fantastic. It can last all day, and I blend the two colours together. I love the roller-brush that comes with it, as I find it really helps to blend the colour well. The colour is gold, but also not too much. I love it and recommend it to anyone to try. If I can use it and feel fabulous, anyone can use it!

Roller Lash is by far - my favourite mascara. You don't need much to build up volume. I'm saving it for when I've finished my other mascaras and can't wait to use it again.

You can choose how much you're willing to spend on a brand too. The people who make Benefit also make Dior and Boujois, so there is something for every budget. Having tried both ranges as well, the items are still great. Dior is obviously the high-end of the brands, but Boujois is definitely fun to start with. It was one of my favourite brands of a teen - loving the blushers, eyeshadows and mascaras.

Although I've focused entirely this post on Benefit, this is not a PR post that I've been paid or asked to do. I actually plan to spotlight on a few more of my favourite brands in the coming weeks.

Let me know if you like this post. I don't write about beauty often as I feel quite clueless in that area, but have been inspired to write a few more as I have been trying new looks on myself recently.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

2017 Reading Challenge & Goal Progress

Just to remind you quickly of my new year resolutions, because I'm not too sure whether I went too deeply into it, while mentioning it in previous posts on 10 things and even more recently on my year review. Here they are:

1. Pass driving test and get car - If I don't achieve much this year, and only do this I will be happy. I've been trying since October 2014. There are much more job opportunities and extra independence with driving! I have only stopped to concentrate on theory test, and most recently while unemployed I just couldn't. I've already started with a new driving instructor, so confident I can achieve this.

2. Go abroad
3. See at least 3 gigs this year
4. Start yoga again
5. Do a charity challenge
6. Pursue creative hobbies
7. Lose weight
8. See more films from my list - I've bought more DVDs and waiting for them to arrive. For more info, read this post here, need I say more!

9. See friends more
10. Walk dogs more
11. Do more in spare time
12. Keep writing
13. Read more - This will be conquered with the following reading challenge.

I've not included a few more personal ones because I'm trying to limit what I put out there a bit more. This blog is not the Jodie blog despite the name. It is about topics of lifestyle and just general opinions. I do occasionally write about fun things I've done such as a recent subcrawl and reviews on things I love.

With all this in mind, I've taken up the Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017. I struggle to read even a few books in the year, which is disappointing. I used to love reading so much at school. I loved when you dressed up as your favourite character from a book at school, used to read whole book series at a time, and I just can't wait to get going with the challenge. Here is a picture that sums up what is involved:







































































































I'm now a much slower reader, and I think I will struggle to do the advanced ones, but am keen to get started with the rest of the challenge. I'm already reading Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit by son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. This covers point 32: a book about an interesting woman. Here are more I think I will achieve:

2. A book that has been on your TBR list for way too long






















I don't really have a TBR list, as I tend to get books as I want them, ask for them for birthdays/Christmasses. However, I always wanted to read more classic books, so picked a classic book at random, which happened to be Jane Eyre. I've already purchased this.

3. A book of letters






















Not sure whether this is an entire book of letters, but the Colour Purple has been suggested to me. I'm keen to hear more suggestions!

4. An audiobook






















My Dad has started listening to audiobook more, and suggested reading Fool me once by Harlan Coben.

6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title






















I've come across the book, Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones.

7. A book that is a story within a story






















This was another recommended book and sounds amazing: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

8. A book with multiple authors


















Being a big fan of Pretty Little Liars, I had to try this book by star, Shay Mitchell; I always find it interesting when celebrities try other things whether it's singing, dancing or just anything - I'm noisy! I can't wait to hear how the book: Bliss by Shay Mitchell and her friend, Michaela Blaney measures up.

10. A book with a cat on the cover





















This one was an easy choice for me as it is one in my recent wishlist. I heard about it recently on the news: A Streetcat named Bob: how one man and his cat found hope on the streets by James Bowen.

11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym






















I did not know this, but J.K Rowling used the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith for a few books. I've always wanted to read one of her books as she is a writer I greatly admire. Although I've watched many documentaries about how she shot to fame with the Harry Potter series, I never took to reading the first book as a child and haven't tried since (shocker!). Therefore, I'm going to try The Cuckoo's Calling.

12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read





















I don't usually take to sci-fi (either in terms of film or books), but the Martian by Andy Weir sounds like a fascinating story. I believe it is also a film too.

13. A book by or about a person has a disability






















The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby is an inspiring story which is also a movie. This extract from Amazon made me want to know more: "'Locked-in syndrome: paralysed from head to toe, the patient, his mind intact, is imprisoned inside his on body, unable to speak or move. In my case, blinking my left eyelid is my only means of communication.' In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French 'Elle' and the father of two young children suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless, but entirely conscious, trapped by what doctors call 'locked-in syndrome'."

14. A book involving travel






















You can probably tell by the title that this one ticks the box: The Vacationers by Emma Straub.

16. A book that's published in 2017






















I found this hard to find out since the new year has just began, but looked up ones due to come out. I'm going to try Never let you go by Chevy Stevens.

19. A book about food

















I've heard so much about Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks. I would love to be able to cook, but don't have the patience or skill, so help with making quick healthy meals  might be what I need. I also like the exercise element of it too.

22. A steampunk novel





















In honesty, I didn't know what steampunk was and had to look it up here for ideas. This is where I chose the classic: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I've bought this one and just waiting for it to be delivered.

25. A book I loved as a child





















I used to read mostly Jacqueline Wilson books. I can't think of specific favourites, so when repurchasing I chose the cheapest I could find: Girls under pressure. It seems to be sold out from music magpie, where I got it!

26. A book by an author from a country you've never visited





















This was a lot easier than it might have been for most, as I've only seen a few European cities and Tanzania. I  have chosen to buy Nemesis by norwegian writer, Jo Nesbo.

27. A book with a title that's a character's name





















Hausfrau is the main character of Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum.

33. A book set in two different time periods





















This one was obvious, but I didn't see it (luckily this was recommended to me). I've seen the film (and loved it), but not got to the book yet: The time traveller's wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

36. A book written by someone you admire





















You can't help but admire this lady. I remember hearing about this book, but shameful, I know very little about her journey, and little about her bravery. However I need to read this and share with you: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. I can't wait for my book to arrive!

37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017





















Again I needed to look this up, and there was a great selection. However I felt I'd most enjoy reading: Live by night by Dennis Lehave.

That's 21 ideas out of 40. Not bad for just looking through it properly yesterday. I'd love to hear if you have any ideas for the categories specifically:

  • A book from a non-human perspective
  • A book with a month or day of the week in the title
  • A book with a red spine
  • A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
Hope you enjoyed the post, and it encouraged you to get involved in this reading challenge and goals in the new year. If you have any tips for the book challenge, or help achieving my new year's resolutions, I'd be grateful to hear them!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

What to know about a subcrawl?

I love reading funny or less serious blog posts, so hope this might add something cheerful to the mix. If nothing else, it shall make you laugh at how stupid or ditzy I can be.

Usually, I hate reflecting too much on the past especially at the start of the new year, but I wanted to write about a recent subcrawl after it happened in October. However, in October I found myself wrapped up in Blogtober posts, and before I knew it, I had Blogmas and I just didn't write it. However it here comes.

For those of you (like me) and didn't know what a subcrawl is. It's basically going to a city like Glasgow with a subway system, and stopping at every subway stop that has a pub to have one drink.

I recommend picking Glasgow as a fun city with friendly folk and guaranteed good time. It is also the third oldest subway metro system in the world!

For me, this was an opportunity to meet the other bridesmaids and ushers before the big day. Very exciting! At first when I heard, I just thought it was a spelling error of pub crawl, and when talking about it, they were being lazy getting the subway. No idea why I would think they'd keep spelling it wrong, so here are my lessons from the subcrawl:

1. Know what it is













Nothing like showing up for a night out, not knowing what you're there for (e.g. forgetting it was someone's birthday). Not knowing what to expect made it more fun in some ways.

2. Don't drink the night before!
One of our subcrawl stops






















A subcrawl is one of the biggest drinking sessions you will do. I had to look this up as I couldn't remember... there are 15 stations you will stop at. That equates to 15 drinks (maybe more if you have friends like mine who bribe you with shots or encourage the consumption of nicer tasting spirits). Stupidly, I'd arrived to Glasgow the day before - went shopping and enjoyed a nice round or many of drinks and fishbowls. Never wise! I woke up hanging and wanting irn bru so much; I might as well have been injecting it by an IV drip! Luckily, determined to make the most of it, I had the most fun! Dancing and drinking the day and night away. Thanks Jools!

3. Don't be afraid to drink soft drinks between drinks

















Sometimes I find that alcoholic drinks can be too sweet and sickly, so I like to break it up with a soft drink whether that's a J2O, water or even irn bru. There is no shame if you're still the one standing, dancing or having the time of your life, while the rest are sleeping on the dance floor or making fools out of themselves.

4. Eat lots!
If you're drinking that much, you need food. We started with some amazing dips, chicken and crisps. Easy pleased and thanks again Jools! As we were out, we also had two takeaways. My favourite drunk food is cheesy chips (or if in Scotland, chips and cheese). It is the best! This was my first port of call. Then towards the end of the night, we had another takeaway which brings along a very funny story.

We went to the next takeaway, where we lost two of our entourage, but if I'm honest, I didn't care. Food came first! However I made a massive mistake. In subcrawl state, I didn't read the menu properly. I wanted pizza and instead of being my sober self picking my favourite pizza of mushroom pizza, I wanted to be adventurous  Big mistake! I don't know what it was but out of the five toppings I liked 2. I didn't look at half the line with the ingredients. I could have cried. No, I laughed. How stupid can you possibly be? So being the drunken person I am entering the long taxi queue of Glasgow, trying to find everyone we were with, I found myself giving my pizza slices away to some strangers. Until I realised I was no longer with my people. Before I could realise this, Jools was shouting me to the front and telling me to stop giving my pizza away. A sentence I never thought anyone would say. I don't give food away. Think of female Joey from friends...














5. Take pictures early on!
My hair looks a state!


















I wasn't wise, and did not do this while I looked half decent. This one, for instance was when I was so hot, I needed to tie my hair back. At least I had a nice top on!

I also love this picture that I took with the bestie:


















6. Have a kitty!
Lovely place we stopped at






















It's hard to imagine what it might have been like without a kitty. 15 drinks, definitely more and how do you pay? We split ours into two groups of kitties, and it saved so much. I think I spent maybe £30. Then we stopped later in the night as some left earlier. That's when it got more silly.

7. Enjoy games and make up some funny stories!

















It became a standard joke that my friends tried to set me up with one of the other ushers. Not fun! However at least it bought along some funny banter, even if it was incredibly awkward. To make them stop, I agreed I was in love and said we were going to China (a place I want to visit) together tomorrow. My agreeing seemed to make it stop. Not sure whether they believed we were going to China though. Funny that!

I can't think of many other funny stories (or anything I wish to include) of the night other than the old man who took a shine to us, the guy who almost became part of the gang and the shots!

8. Don't have more than one drink!
Don't drink and take pictures! Another stop


















I don't mean it like that. Have as much or as little as you wish, but I'd suggest sticking to one drink at each place. Even if others are slow because you will live to regret it much later. I  found myself being caught in one drink then shot, shot and shot.

9. Take pictures at every stop
One of the subway stops


















Unfortunately I didn't stick to this plan, but some of my favourites have been dispersed in this post!

10. Make memories!
One of our funniest subway stops...














This is fun for any occasion from a good night out, birthday, hen/stag do or special occasion. Best of all, remember what it is for and enjoy doing it.

I'm not sure whether to write more posts about my time in Scotland over late September or October, as wanted to describe stuff about shopping, where to visit etc, but feel like too much time has passed. Maybe I will do more about the three cities - Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow, when I visit again this year.

Let me know what you think, and whether you've done anything like a subcrawl.


Monday, 2 January 2017

The Year Review

Goodbye 2016 and like many others I'm glad to see the back of it. Personally, it's been the toughest year for me, but I learnt so much from it.

This post is all about the big things that happened month by month, and also an opportunity to address new year's resolutions and advice on how to start the year.

January
This was the month that affected the rest of the year because I quit the job I had just started and hated. I quit without a new job, which was the hardest thing I did; I don't regret it as I felt it was necessary, but not going to go into that negative part too much...


































I attended a friend's 30th birthday, and then went go-karting the next day (completely hungover and with little sleep). I've always wanted to go-kart, but haven't. It was so much fun. I went for a friend's birthday. For anyone who hasn't done it, we did a tester part, which I failed and then you compete with friends to come 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I failed as didn't know you could brake, but crashing was fun! (Scary to think I'm learning to drive).

More friend birthday events were attended too.

February
After ending a relationship in the end of 2015, I decided to embrace alone time more. Living by myself and working independently.

I started to enjoy doing independent things such as attending my first gig alone, which was terrifying. I realised friends didn't all have the same interests as me, so I needed to not that stop me doing what I wanted to.






















One of my closest friends, Jools had been with her boyfriend for 6 years and he proposed. I was so happy for her solemate to finally do it! I jokingly asked for many years when he'd do it, and he finally did! Jools called me immediately after and asked me to be her Maid of Honour, which I was so happy about. I talked about the joy of being asked to be a bridesmaid in one of my posts this year, but can't seem to find which post it was. If I can, I will update with the post.

March






















It was a long month trying to get sorted with jobs and had temporary positions, but money just dried up. I made the hard decision to move away from Dundee, away from friends and move back with parents, who had now moved to the Isle of Wight.

April 
I actually made the plunge at the start of the month and moved back with parents. First, my grandparents who were slightly closer and lived in Yorkshire visited me. They then helped me move my stuff into their car, I stayed at theirs for a few days (that was bizarre being in the small town I once grew up in, and went to school; it had changed a lot, but then was completely the same too). Then we made our way through much more driving and a ferry from Southampton to Isle of Wight.






















I also enjoyed taking lots of pictures and discovered I like photography again. Here is a post describing my love for photography.

May
When I was younger (maybe about 5 or 6), we lived with squirrels. Not by choice! They kind of invaded. In May, we discovered we were living with mice. That was fun! We realised when we saw that cous cous had holes in, and when they attempted to get my Dad's peanuts that were kept in a container. For many reasons including this, we hated living in the bungalow. We then made the journey to move to another part of the island. It was good as we moved closer to more shops and just more, more.

June 
While out for a meal to celebrate my Mum's birthday, another friend who proposed to her boyfriend in February asked me to attend her 2018 wedding. Minutes later, I found out my Lisa was the next engaged lady. Her boyfriend of 5 years asked her to marry him, while on holiday. I was over the moon!

July
Lisa asked me and my close friend, Hannah to be one of her bridesmaids. We both received hampers like this:






















July was also the month that I started writing this blog. Click here to see the very first post.

August
I started working in a temporary position at Waitrose - working 6.30am to 1.30pm on Saturdays (don't miss those early starts) and 1.15pm to 4.15pm on Sundays (where I rarely finished on time).

I also started working towards improving myself more - attending a six week course of stress workshops,which was great. It taught me things I already knew and new things about sleep, exercise and diet helping to improve stress levels. I recommend this to everyone!

September
I volunteered for a charity called Community Empowerment - helping with bid writing for a few weeks.

I visited my friends in Scotland - travelling to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. It was a time to meet the other bridesmaids and groomsmen for Jools and Peter's wedding in Glasgow, go shopping, eat out a LOT, quality time with friends and of course attending Lisa's engagement party.

I took a great few pictures, but felt that was hugely personal. Therefore, here is a picture of my subcrawl with Jools and the rest of the groomsmen etc. This is a picture I took with two women who told me that they attended the comic-con that day:

How cool do they look? Shame I look awful!























October
I left Dundee and made my way home at the very start of the month.


















For the blog, I took part in Blogtober. Feel free to re-read these posts! I love writing them and expanding my ideas of what to write about.

It was also my 24th birthday, which was unfortunately a bit disappointing - not seeing my friends, not doing anything special but got everything I could possibly ask for.

November






















Due to certain circumstances, we needed to move again, so on the 26th November, we moved to Ipswich.

Before leaving the island, I enjoyed volunteering for the local hospice on the island. Helping to promote their Santa Dash event, working on admin tasks for the fundraising team and generally helping where I could.

December
I learnt that there will be more surprises to come in 2017 and lots more to look forward to besides engagements and weddings.

I also took part in Blogmas, where I wrote 12 posts on the lead-up to Christmas and the new year.














I also volunteered at the local Ipswich Hospital charity assisting in wrapping presents and taking presents to the children's ward. It really bought home the spirit of giving during the festive period. I hope I will do it again next year as it was truly the best fun!

Finally, I had the best Christmas I've had as an adult - spending it with parents, getting everything I could ask for and relaxing. Then seeing grandparents a few days after to celebrate all over again!

As I draw to the end of the first 2017 post, I'd like to say a few things about the new year, and advice on making the most of it:

1. Dust
Like the motto: "Tidy house, tidy life" or it goes something like that! I think there is something therapeutic about starting afresh with a more organised and tidy start to your house and life. I have been dusting my room today, as living with parents I can't always control the rest of my surroundings.

2. Sort out things
This is said in a very broad sense. Yesterday started with me tidying drawers which didn't have set places for things. Now I have folders with stationery, financial/important information and medical stuff. Everything has it's place! It was also the first time to find places for things as moving I still feel, not everything has a home just yet!

3. Get rid of crap!
I often find that I do a spring clean in autumn - getting rid of clothes, DVDs, books etc, all the things I don't need or have used. However I've decided I've already accumulated so much rubbish since moving. I suggest you do it at the start of any new year - it's great!

4. Set realistic goals/resolutions
So many people fail at their New Year Resolutions, but I strongly believe it's because they look at it the wrong way. Every year I love to set goals, more like plans for what I wish to do in the new year. I don't get disappointed if I don't do them all as they are mainly ideas of what I would like to achieve over time. Here are some pictures of ones I set in previous years:

2009 New Year Resolutions






















2011 New Year Resolutions























I love organising things for the new year.

5. Keep organised
Get a diary or calendar to make sure you don't miss a single appointment or engagement. Organise yourself in any way that might help. With my new planner, I can now budget, keep a to-do list and plan my meals to get healthier.

6. Plan
Make your plans for the year for holidays, career and anything you feel needs improving.

7. Do YOU!
I'm not sure what to add here, as you know what you need to do for yourself - I don't. I want to start looking after myself more - moisturising and exfoliating my body, concentrating on things that matter to me and help achieving goals.

8. Get back to work
Christmas and New Year's Day is now over, so you're either back at work or getting ready to properly start the new year. I wish you well, and hope you all work to achieve what you want both personally and professionally. I'm excited to get to it!