Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Resolutions 2017

2016 has gone by incredibly quickly. This year has been a varied one for me. I've had some good moments but generally it hasn't been the best year, which I think has been the case for a lot of people. I'm looking forward to drawing a line under 2016 and moving on to 2017 with a clean slate.

I'm continuing with my New Year's Eve tradition and posting my resolutions. As always, I try to keep mine somewhat achievable. Some are repeats from last year that didn't quite make it! In no particular order:

1. Travel.

I've always wanted to travel, but I was stuck in temporary work for nearly a year after I left university and I just couldn't afford it. I was made permanent in October and I can finally afford to go on holiday. I haven't been on holiday in years and it would be wonderful to go away. I've had a travel list since I was tiny and it would be lovely to start checking off a few places. For example, I've always wanted to go Iceland and it would be wonderful to start planning it. I would definitely be going alone though, so if anybody has any advice for travelling solo I'd appreciate it!

2. Stop obsessing over my mistakes.

I'm a perfectionist, and I find it difficult to admit when I have made a mistake. I will sit and obsess over every little mistake I make. I really need to start understanding that I do not need to be perfect all the time, and that making mistakes is ok.

3. Read more.

This is a bit of an odd one for me as I spent every spare moment I have reading. However, I'd like to start reading things outside my interests and actually start working through my book list instead of re-reading old favourites.

4. Find a better work/life balance.

Now that I have a permanent position I need to make sure that I use my weekends wisely so I enjoy the break. I need to find a balance between relaxing and getting out of the house to do something interesting. 

5. Blog more and find time to write.

I had this resolution last year. I've been busy adjusting to my new job and I've really neglected my blog. I'd like to dedicate at least one day a week to working through my draft posts. I have so many reviews to post!

6. Pass my driving test.

I passed my theory test last year and I still haven't passed my practical test. I became very ill just after passing my theory test last year and I didn't recover until January. This meant that I wasn't able to continue with my lessons. I've been desperately trying to find a new instructor (my last one did not make me feel comfortable at all) however I have been unable to find an automatic instructor in Nottingham with good reviews. I'd like to pass my test before my theory test runs out!

7. Go to more concerts.

I used to go to concerts a lot in my teenage years and I really miss it. I went to the Download Festival again last year and it made me remember how much I enjoy it!

8. Exercise more.

My fitness has really dropped recently. I used to go the gym once a week but I stopped a few months ago. I'd at least like to begin swimming again once a week as I find it really relaxing.

9. Plan ahead.

I would like to spend some time looking ahead to the future. I still live with my parents, but I'm currently putting money away so that I can afford to move out. I'd also like to get my PhD but it depends on my finances.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you all have a lovely and safe New Year's Eve. As always, I'm spending my evening watching a film with Bree and Figgy. I don't drink, and the pets hate fireworks so the best option for me is to stay at home with them so they are comfortable. Cat/dog cuddles and a pizza is a perfect evening anyway!

What are your resolutions for 2017?

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Winter Wonderland

How is Christmas only two weeks away? I've always loved December, but it always flies by. One of my favourites things to do in December is visiting markets, and I decided to book a day out in London to explore Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park with my sister and my cousin. I last went to Hyde Park in 2014 and I really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to visiting again. I thought I'd share a few photos on here of my day.

The last time we visited we only had a couple of hours at Hyde Park so we decided to spend the whole day there this time. We also booked tickets to The Nutcracker on Ice, as I've always wanted to see The Nutcracker and I thought it would be nice to spend at least part of the day warm and inside! I was expecting it to be held in a basic tent, but it was surprisingly elaborate and beautiful. It was small but very comfortable. The show only lasted an hour so it was a rather condensed version, but it was still very festive and lovely.

After The Nutcracker we decided to wander around the market and visit the Ice Kingdom (which was my favourite part of Winter Wonderland last time). I didn't actually buy anything from the market except food because it is incredibly expensive, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Ice Kingdom. The sculptures were stunning, and the level of detail was incredibly impressive. I highly recommend visiting if you are nearby. The theme is arctic this year so it included ships, igloos, fires and polar bears.

It was such a lovely day. Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I think I need to make this an annual tradition. We visited during the week so it wasn't too busy, and the market had a wonderful atmosphere. I'm very much looking forward to celebrating Christmas now!

Have you visited any Christmas markets this year?
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