I feel like we all need a bit of cheering up at this time of year. Right? Christmas is over, back at school/work, it’s cold and the next holiday seems very far away indeed! Music can be such a game changer for me when it comes to lifting my mood. When I’m feeling a bit down I just turn my headphones up and play some feel-good music and I feel better almost instantly! The right music can be a very powerful thing.

Today I’m going to share with you my top twenty ‘songs that make me smile’ – and I hope they will you too!

  1. Pencil full of lead – Paulo Nutini (always reminds me how lucky I am)
  2. Better when I’m dancing – Meghan Trainor
  3. Azonto – Fuse ODG
  4. Can’t stop the feeling – Justin Timberlake
  5. Hold my hand – Jess Glynne (makes us smile because it’s the song we walked back down the aisle to as a married couple!)
  6. Dancing queen – ABBA (classic!)
  7. Happy – Pharrell Williams
  8. I want you back – The Jackson 5
  9. Love on top – Beyoncé
  10. Hey ya! – Outcast
  11. Uptown funk – Mark Ronson
  12. Price tag – Jessie J
  13. Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth
  14. Dancing in the moonlight – Toploader
  15. Heatwave – Wiley (my holiday song!)
  16. Baby – Justin Beiber
  17. She’s so lovely – Scouting for Girls
  18. All summer long – Kid Rock
  19. Hey soul sister – Train
  20. Get lucky – Daft Punk

Happy listening and keep smiling!

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Happy new year and HELLO 2017. I love the positivity the start of a new year brings. We’ve still got a week left of our dream honeymoon so it’s difficult to reflect on home life or imagine anything other than this beach existence we are currently living! But soon we will be home and I’m focused on setting some goals to make 2017 even better than 2016.

Last year was full of excitement for me: I got married, graduated, started my teaching certificate, had my honeymoon to look forward to as well as visiting several other countries too. Looking forward to 2017 it doesn’t seem quite as jam-packed! But there are always things to be excited about or strive for.

2017 holds for me (so far!):

💗 My first full year as a Mrs and our first wedding anniversary.

💗 Finishing my post grad teacher training and (all being well) getting my first job as a teacher!

💗 Summer holidays to Greece and Portugal.

My goals for 2017:

⭐️ Finish my PGCE and get a job!

⭐️ Continue to grow my blog, extending my readership and improving my content.

⭐️ Take more photos and improve my photography skills.

⭐️ Get back in the gym and lose those few holiday pounds and get my six pack back!

⭐️ Get to as many places as money will allow, both in the UK and abroad.

So, now that I’ve committed these to paper I guess I’ve got to achieve them! What are your goals for this year?

Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2017 and a big THANK YOU for reading my blog 💗

Happy 1st December!

Okay, I’ll admit, this post is as much for me as it is for everyone who reads it. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get a little down in winter time; I’m a summer girl through and through and the short days, dark mornings and cold weather really put me in a bad mood sometimes.

I truly believe that when life gets you down you can make such a difference to your mood by just acknowledging the amazing things in your life, the things to be grateful for, and appreciate just how bloody wonderful life can be. We all have up days and down days, but hopefully this list will remind you (and me) of the little things which can make us so, so happy.

💖 Loved ones. This may sound obvious but if you have people in your life who you love to bits and who love you back then we all need to be grateful for them everyday. But especially around Christmas which is a time for celebrating our family and friends. If I’m ever feeling miserable on a cold evening I cuddle my hubby, call my mum/nan or one of my close friends and I feel better straight away. Love makes the world go round – be grateful for it.

💖 A warm home. Not everyone has a lovely warm home to stay out of the cold winter air so it’s really something to be grateful for. I’m guilty of taking this for granted. I’m always complaining about our flat; how small it is, how it can get damp in the bathroom. But in reality we are super lucky to have a nice place to live and somewhere to be happy and relaxed.

💖Pretty Lights. Christmas lights are getting more and more beautiful every year and London especially is somewhere which really goes in for pretty lights. Everywhere you go the shops and restaurants are decked out in gorgeous classy displays and it just makes everything look lovely.

💖 Cosy nights in. At this time of year it’s easy to get a bit down in the dumps because we tend to go out less right? In the summer I’m always down the park, going for walks or (probably more often than not) in a pub garden! Being outside gives us endorphins and makes us feel happy and energised. But there is a real joy in coming in from work, kicking back with the TV on in your PJs and chilling out with the heating on full blast!

💖Good movies. Now, I’m not what you’d call a Christmassy person, but even I’ll admit that Christmas time is the best time for fantastic movies! It’s really the only time of the year when you can turn your TV on at any point and there is a wide choice of actually decent films on the normal terrestrial channels! I love it.

💖People are joyful. Now, this time of year may not fill me personally with buckets of joy (scrooge, I know!) but plenty of people absolutely cherish wintertime and find themselves overflowing with Christmas cheer. And generally, when people around me are happy – I’m happy.

💖Only six months to summer! And, if all else fails, we are over halfway to the best time of year again! Summer will be round in no time. Right?!

Wishing you a very Merry December full of joy and happiness.

Today is my day of birth!!! Hollaaaa. 25 today. Wow I’m so excited. I love birthdays, not just mine, everyone’s! I feel like most people prefer Christmas but I’ve always been a birthday girl. I think there is something really special about celebrating each person, individually and having one day where it’s all about them and you get to show them how much you love them. And today it’s my turn!

We don’t have any real plans for today. I have requested pancakes for breakfast and then I’ll probably just hang out with the hubby at home and open my presents (eeeeeek!). My main celebrations are happening this weekend.

Paul is taking me out on Saturday for a surprise. I love surprises and especially his because he can be extremely thoughtful so I can’t wait to find out what we are doing. On Sunday I am celebrating with my extended family at my mums house with a little party. So a whole weekend of celebrations! Can’t wait.

I’m excited about being 25 and getting stuck into my mid twenties. I really feel like I’m ‘there’ now being married and (almost) on track with my career I’m looking forward to seeing what this next chapter holds for me.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

xox

It was my hen party on Saturday! Last fling before the ring etc etc!!! I am now officially on the countdown to becoming a Mrs.

Planning a hen party is difficult. There seems to be huge expectations attached to it and the celebrations often involve a whole weekend (sometimes even a week!), sometimes abroad and usually involve quite a lot of money from all those invited. I was adamant that I wanted something simple, nothing tacky and nothing that involved my friends and family having to pay loads of cash up front and, more importantly, involved my bridesmaids having to spend hours chasing up payments and organizing! And nothing cringe – no strippers allowed!

My five bridesmaids with help from my mum did an amazing job of planning and setting up a stunning picnic in Greenwich Park with a ‘festival’ theme (I love my festivals!) and it was absolutely perfect! They went to a lot of trouble and there were a lot of extra touches which I wasn’t expecting like my mum made a flower photo booth for us to use to take our selfies and homemade personalized cupcakes with little pictures of me and Paul on them! So cute.  It was the little details that made it so special for me, instead of a sash or tiara my cousin made me a ‘bride-to-be’ badge to wear, we had bunches of gypsophelia on the table and all the food was homemade. It was perfect for me 🙂

How lucky we were with the weather! In the weeks leading up to it I was terrified that our garden party would be ruined by rain or a freezing wind but thank goodness the UK decided to bust out a heatwave and we were blessed with a balmy 23 degrees!

After a few hours of champagne and cake in the park we engaged in some hilarious ‘school sports day’ games (even more hilarious with a few drinks having been consumed) like the sack race, egg and spoon and the 3-legged race and I managed to lead my team to a convincing victory! We also provided some good entertainment for the other park-goers that day and became a bit of a tourist attraction!!!

In the evening we went out to Shoreditch to ‘Trapeze Bar’ which is a circus themes bar with yummy cocktails for a bit of a dance. As we had been celebrating for most of the afternoon we didn’t last much longer than midnight but it was still enough time to hit the dance floor and get a few drinks in.

The best thing about the day was seeing all my (female) friends and family and the girls that I love in one place all getting on and getting to know each other before my wedding. I feel truly blessed to have such lovely ladies in my life.

xox