Happy Birthday to Me I’m Turning 23! (Plus Giveaway)

In case you didn’t guess by the title of this blog post, today, I turned 23. To me, 23 is a big scary number that makes it sound like I should have it all figured out when really, I don’t. For that reason mostly, I’m not a huge fan of my own birthday (other people’s however, I love!) because more often than not you focus more on what you haven’t achieved by the age you turn, rather than what you have. But this year, I thought I’d try and put things a little more into perspective.

happy birthday

A while ago I wrote a blog post called 33 before 33. Quite simply, 33 things I want to do before I’m 33. I’ve already made a start on this list – some things will take me a day, others will take me years so it’s an ongoing project but one I like and can focus on. So today, instead of moping around, complaining that I’m getting old, blah blah blah, I’d like to focus on my achievements and things I want to do within the next year before I turn 24 (some things which will be taken from my list).

What I’ve Achieved/Done in the Past Year:

  1. I visited somewhere new: The Lake District.
  2. I started focusing properly and working hard on my novel. I’m now just under 3/4 through.
  3. I started offering advertising space on my blog.
  4. I took an interest in cooking and my boyfriend and I have made lots of meals from scratch.
  5. My personal/home life has changed, dramatically.
  6. I’ve grown and expanded my blog touring business into all genres.
  7. I’ve met my best friend, Lynsey James. Twice! (Soon to be 3 times, in November!)
  8. I’ve met lots of new people and battled my social anxiety.
  9. I’ve organised a fundraising event for October! (You can find out more, here)
  10. I’ve booked more holidays: Another UK staycation, a boating holiday and hopefully Disneyland Paris next year too!

What I’d Like to Do/Achieve in the Next Year

  1. Reach 1,500 blog followers.
  2. Finish the first draft of my manuscript (and hopefully some edits too!)
  3. Go to Scotland to visit my best friend and her family.
  4. Go to the theatre with my boyfriend.
  5. Make a Christmas shoebox for the shoebox appeal charity.
  6. Learn how to cook a roast dinner then successfully make one by myself.
  7. Start driving again
  8. Grow my nails (and keep them nice because they’re fucking rank).
  9. Write down 1 thing that made me happy/grateful every day for a year – starting on my birthday.
  10. Do something I’ve never done before.

Giveaway

Now because it’s my birthday and I’m feeling generous, I’m going to be giving away one Peter Pan advertising package for the month of October to one winner. Included in this package is: Your blog button/book cover in my sidebar for a month, 3 grouped follow Friday’s on Twitter, 1 individual follow Friday on Twitter, 3 blog posts/links of your choice shared on my Facebook page and one extra shout out either on my Facebook or on my monthly wrap-up post.

You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here. The giveaway will run from 4th September till 25th September.

Good luck!

What have you achieved over the past year? Anything you’re aiming to do before your next birthday? Let me know!

Tips For Planning a Fun and Memorable Road Trip

I might do most of my travelling in the UK at the moment, but I have itchy feet and can’t wait until I can travel elsewhere. I am so excited to get out there and explore the world. There’s a big, beautiful world out there, and I want to see it all. Well as much of it as I can, anyway.

Obviously, if I do decide to go travelling, it will be a longer trip than I am used to. So it would require a lot more planning. I like meeting new people and making new friends, but I also like having my own space, so travelling in a motorhome would probably be my first choice. (I don’t think staying in hostels is for me.) Continue reading

August wrap-up: No Books But At Least There’s Bake Off!

Firstly, I’d just like to sincerely apologise for how boring this August wrap-up could potentially be. August has been a pretty good month but believe it or not, I haven’t received anything in the post nor have I actually bought anything that you might want to see! But, I did finally get to see my best friend again, make some progress on my WIP amongst other things so although there’s not much to show you, I can still waffle a bit about what I’ve been up to and what’s to come over the next month!

collage

Let’s get the important stuff out the way first; this month I was finally reunited with my best friend Lynsey James! She came to stay with me for the second time and we had a great time. We made cakes and cocktails, had takeaways and a gorgeous BBQ, spent all da relaxing in the garden and had a ride to the seaside one evening. Continue reading

Review: My Perfect Planner

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m super organised (well, try to be). I feel much better when I know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and when everything is in order. I work better under organised conditions and being an active blogger and small business owner, it’s really important to me that I stay organised.

perfect planner 1 Continue reading

I Have Absolutely No Idea What I’m Doing… and That’s Okay!

This is a post that’s sorta been flitting around in my mind for a while but I’ve literally had no idea what to say or how to approach it so I’ve put off writing anything. But… I’m coming up to my 23rd birthday and I feel now is more relevant that ever to declare the fact that, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. And that’s okay.

I recently found this photo…

11873410_951235518232814_4957715135230268060_nOn Facebook and after a particularly frustrating day, reading that felt like a whole weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It’s only a little thing. A simple thing. But something about it made me feel 10 times better. Especially finding out that my absolute hero *Walt Disney* didn’t have it altogether when he was my age, yet look what he achieved. Continue reading

Eliminate Stress With These Top Tips

Stress can have such a negative impact on our lives. It can give us bad skin, make us put on/lose weight, and stop us from being happy in general. Many of us get stressed, and a lot of the time, we can’t help it. This might be due to work, relationships, or something else. Whatever the reason, you can eliminate stress. You can use these top tips to help!

2204059683_9ae889398a_oLearn to Use Breathing Techniques

Breathing is very underrated. It has the power to give us energy, chill us out, and everything in between. The right breathing techniques can help to reduce stress dramatically in no time at all! Meditation is one way of doing this, where you clear your head and take some quality deep breaths. However, you don’t even have to mediate. Simply focus on your breathing and take deep belly breaths to feel the benefits. Do this until you feel your worries melt away. IN through your nose and out through your mouth is best, just make sure you really take your time.

{picture} Continue reading

Recipe: Tuna & Coriander Stuffed Peppers

Hi everyone! I haven’t had a new recipe post up in ages and truth be told, my boyfriend and I have tried a few new recipes but I wasn’t a huge fan of any them (sad face) so I didn’t want to share with you a recipe I didn’t like myself. A while ago, I wrote a post about Thai fish cakes that we’ve made numerous times since because they’re so damn good. We made them again the other day but tried our hand at a new starter. We didn’t really know how it’d turn out but you don’t know until you try, right?

stuffed Continue reading

12 Fun Things To Do With Your Family

If you’re looking forward to spending some quality time with your family, you might want some ideas to help you have as much fun as possible. Depending on what your family likes to do, there are hundreds of options. Here, I thought I’d share with you 12 of my favourite ideas to have some fun!

  1. Have a Picnic

A picnic with the family is a cheap and cheerful way to spend time together. Head to the park or one of your favourite outdoor locations. You can even have one in the garden! Make a selection of snacks and you’re good to go. Don’t forget to get a chiller to make sure nothing goes off! Continue reading

What’s Next For Cathy Bramley? Excerpt of Conditional Love!

Today I’m revealing a very exciting and exclusive excerpt from Cathy Bramley’s new novel, ‘Conditional Love’ which is out in November. I’m a huge Cathy Bramley fan, I reviewed both Ivy Lane and part 1 of Wickham Hall and thoroughly loved and devoured both. So, what’s next for Cathy? You saw it here first, chapter 1 of her new novel, ‘Conditional Love’.

Chapter 1

Conditional LoveI woke up on the floor, wedged between the bed and bedside table. My hip bone was bruised, my skin was mottled with cold and I had pins and needles in my arm. Painted across my face was the smug smile of a woman who hadn’t got much sleep the night before. Getting up was a priority; I was freezing and I really didn’t want Marc to wake up and find me down here.

It took a full thirty seconds of grunting, shuffling, inelegant flailing of limbs and a carpet burn to my right buttock to wriggle free. Not a pretty sight.

I sighed with pleasure at the slumbering, golden-haired Adonis taking up the entire width of the mattress. He looked so peaceful. He was certainly a deep sleeper; he hadn’t even woken up when he’d pushed me out of bed. Continue reading

My Must Haves For a Modern Wedding Day

If you want to plan a modern wedding day, you’ve come to the right place! So many people are going for vintage style/shabby chic weddings, that the modern wedding has taken a back seat. However, if you want a wedding that’s different from this rest, this could be the perfect idea for you! Take a look and see what you think:

Ice Sculptures

Ice sculptures aren’t including in many weddings. I mean, they can be a little pricey. However, they look amazing and are perfect for a modern wedding. You can have virtually any sculpture you like, so make sure you think about themes before you splash out on one. You can have hearts, rings, a bride and groom and more. This will definitely make your wedding day stand out! Continue reading