I know Christmas has been and gone but it’s never a wrong time of the year to support small businesses and buy unique and personal gifts for those you love! We all have birthdays after all! I’ve always found personal gifts the best; to give and receive. Something that no one else in the world is going to have. I also love supporting small businesses when the time comes for gift buying, whether that’s Mother’s Day, Christmas or a birthday. Being a small business myself (albeit not one that sells gifts), I know how important the support is. Not just the purchases but the word of mouth, the positive feedback and even the shout outs and retweets.
It is January. That month that we literally just had like, 3 weeks ago. It is January… again. First of all, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year! I hope the end of 2017 saw you out well, whatever the year was like for you and I hope you’re feeling positive and enthusiastic about the year to come! I certainly am. Despite the end of the year being a bit meh and uneventful for me, 2017 as a whole wasn’t bad. I wrote about my highlights of the year here and I really can’t complain too much. But as always when a new year rolls around, I’m feeling motivated and inspired to tackle some brand new goals. But this year, I’m not going to set myself huge, unrealistic and un-achieveable goals for the entire year, I want to take it one month at a time. So here are my goals for January!
For my birthday this year, my boyfriend and I visited Paradise Wildlife Park for the afternoon. Although somewhere I’ve been more times than I could count, I always enjoy going to Paradise because for me, it’s a form of nostalgia. It’s a place my parents used to take me when was I very little and although obviously it’s been updated a lot over the years, the majority of the format of the park is the same. It’s cute and quaint and a lovely day out – so although it wasn’t an extravagant birthday (just a zoo and a Dominos!) I really enjoyed it and wanted to share some photos and a little bit about the park with you today!
As you probably know, I’m a huge animal lover. I’m also a huge documentary lover and my absolute favourite documentaries to watch are those that are about animals and more often than not, it doesn’t matter what mood I’m in, I can always find myself getting lost in the animal kingdom. I’ve put together a little list of some of my favourite animal documentaries – those perfect for all you animal lovers!
Everyone has a handful of places that brings up a whole world of nostalgia for them. One of mine is Colchester Zoo – I could not count the amount of times I’ve been here and have been going here since I was little. I absolutely love the place; it’s got such a gorgeous atmosphere and whatever the weather, you can quite comfortably wander around for the entire day. I visited here a few weeks ago, for the billionth time and I wanted to write a little blog post about the day and share some of the photos I took. Come and join me at Colchester Zoo!
I pinched this idea from Clare at ABookandTea but I’ve noticed quite a few bloggers have done it. It’s a great idea because it occurred to me the other week how little we really know about our online friends! Writing facts about myself proved very difficult but I got there in the end so enjoy!
1. I’m really scared of toads because when I was younger I was walking down an alley in a thunderstorm and I couldn’t see properly so I stood on what I thought was a massive rock but it turned out to be a toad and it jumped at me. I ran out of a pet shop crying once because there was one in a tank next to me. I wasn’t as young as you might think…
2. I’m a huge Disney fan! I’ve been to Disneyland Paris 3 times and as well and truly gay as this may sound, I’ve never been happier than when I’m at Disneyland. I first went when I was 5 so it reminds me of my childhood. I also have a tattoo on my hip that says ‘Second star to the right and straight on till morning’ from Peter Pan as it’s my favourite Disney movie.
3. I’ve suffered from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) for about a year and a half and it makes it difficult for me to do everyday things that most of you don’t think twice about. I used to be very private about it but since blogging, I’ve met and spoke to so many people who suffer from similar things – it’s amazing, so instead of being ashamed of it, I’ve learnt to open up and be honest about it. But no fear, I’m still alive and I’m getting help and I’m determined to kick anxieties arse.
4. I’m a bit of a neat freak, I love tidying up and one thing that really irritates me is a messy fridge. So if anyone would like to hire me to organize their fridge in return for chocolate and bacon sandwiches, let me know!
5. Speaking of chocolate and bacon sandwiches, I love my food. My favourite being Dominos Pizza, Hawaiian with extra peppers, potato wedges, chicken wings and lots of dips. If anyone’s offering…
6. I’m a bit of a TV series fanatic. I’d rather watch a TV show than a movie because I love how much you learn about the characters and I don’t know about you, but I get so attached to shows and certain characters, it makes me so sad when they finish! Some of my favourites include LOST, Desperate Housewives, Prison Break, F.r.i.e.n.d.s, Glee, One Tree Hill, The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead, Sex and the City and Breaking Bad, which I’m watching at the moment. As you can see, there’s a bit of a mix, I don’t tend to stick to one genre!
7. I’m 21 years old and I still sleep with the teddy bear I was given when I was born. His name is Brown Teddy. As you can see I was a very imaginative child. Judge me, bitch.
8. I used to be like a massive grunger… From the ages of 13 till about 16 me and my friends used to hang around in a car park with about 70 other grungers. That sounds ridiculous but despite getting beaten up by chavs every other week, they were the best days of my life. I have no idea where most of them are now or what they’re doing but I hope they’re happy and thank you for making my teenage years the best ever. (Yes, I was a member of Vampire Freaks briefly at one point…)
9. It took me about 100 years to finally get Twitter. Then another 100 years to learn how to use it. I don’t really like technology, it always breaks and sometimes I think I’d have better luck with carrier pigeons.
10. My favourite time of year is November and firework night. For me, it marks the beginning of winter and dressing up warm and my boyfriend always has a firework party at his house every year which is a lot of fun!
11. I love animals (except toads, obviously) and animal abuse is that one thing that really grinds my gears. I will never understand how some heartless people can abuse, abandon and neglect innocent animals that don’t do anything wrong nor understand what is going on. Dogs in particular and being a dog owner myself it really hits home because I would never in a million years do anything to hurt my dog. They’re so loyal and loving and remember guys, they’re not something you can just dispose of when you get bored!
12. Although I don’t really listen to them anymore, my favourite band has always been Green Day. I saw live with a friend when I was 13 and it was the first big concert I ever went too. Green Day kind of opened up the world of rock music to me and although nowadays I listen to the same shit as everyone else like Nicki Minaj and Example, they will always have a special place on my iPod.
13. My favourite dwarf has to be Sneezy for the pure fact that he is exactly like me! I suffer from horrendous hay fever, for the majority of the year unfortunately so I am always sneezing. I sometimes have hour long sneezing fits and feel so drained afterwards I have to lay down!
14. As you can probably tell, I love anything pink, girly, floral, glittery or with cupcakes on but believe it or not I’m not actually a girlie person. I don’t know much about make-up or beauty products and I’m not a huge fan of chick flicks. I’d much rather be playing Call of Duty and killing some zombies!
15. I supposed I’d better add something book related in here so my favourite genres are Crime, Thriller and Fiction but since blogging I’ve come to love Young Adult and Chick-lit books too! A few of my favourite books include The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and The Beach by Alex Garland. My favourite authors include Cecelia Ahern, Dorothy Koomson, Diane Chamberlain and my all time favourite, James Patterson. His Women’s Murder Club Series are my favourite.
16. I have a really bad habit of picking my nails. Not biting, just picking. I’ve done it ever since I can remember and I can pick them so short now it doesn’t even hurt because my nails are used to it. It’s disgusting and it annoys everyone but it’s like an addiction – I can’t stop!
17. My ultimate celebrity crush at the moment has to be Aaron Paul (who plays Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad). However, Tom Hardyand Bradley Cooper also quite tickle my fancy. I’m definitely not a lesbian but I also have a bit of a girl crush on Emma Watson, Kaley Cuoco and Isla Fisher.
18. I’ve never really had a dream job and I never wanted to go to university to study anything in particular. My first job was in Primark which I hated but was good for messing around with my friends. I’m not very good with the public and I started a teaching assistant course but then realised I hated kids. I’m hoping to start doing some charity work soon at a local animal sanctuary that looks after ill and neglected animals and I’d love to hopefully one day turn my blog and passion for books into a paying career as a reviewer.
19. I love making lists. I will make a list at every chance I get whether it be a birthday wish list, Christmas presents for friends, what to buy or a general everyday ‘To-do’ list. I’m really organized so it helps if everything’s written down in front of me.
20. I love going to the beach and looking out at the sea. It doesn’t have to be an exotic beach, just one where I can stare at the ocean for a while – I feel it gives me a sense of calm and the enormity of it makes my problems seem smaller.
Boo is an unlikely hero. The runt of his litter and the class dunce in puppy training, the odds are definitely stacked against him. But there’s more to little Boo than meets the eye, for he might be clumsy and short-sighted, but he radiates love and empathy.
Working as a therapy dog alongside owner Lisa, Boo has been a true miracle worker, helping countless people with his kindness, soft fur and warm heart. From young dyslexic children struggling to read aloud to the terminally ill seeking comfort in their final hours, Boo has an uncanny ability to sense what each individual needs. And for Lisa, suffering from her own health problems, Boo’s presence in her life is an unexpected gift she continues to treasure.
Seriously, with a book cover this cute how could you not want to read this?! I probably wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re not an animal lover but being a dog owner myself, I can relate to some of the struggles, frustration and touching moments Lisa goes through with my own dog, in terms of potty-training, learning new commands and being comforted by a big ball of fluff.
This book really touches your emotions and I praise the author for writing such a heart-felt, honest and very personal account of her life. This true story follows the path of young Boo, found as a puppy in a cardboard box in a pet shop by Lisa who takes him home to her apprehensive husband only to find that Boo isn’t like any other dog. She later finds out that the cause of Boo’s year-long potty training and clumsiness is due to a disability which only makes Lisa more determined to find Boo’s place in the world. In which she does. I found this book a very interesting read as being a dog trainer she often refers to psychological studies about dogs and their behaviours, relationships and actions. This book really touched a soft-spot with me, being a dog owner and animal lover I showed all the emotions whilst reading it as I’m sure Lisa did whilst writing. From joy when Boo encouraged a little boy with selective-mutism to talk for the first time in his entire life to pure grief and sadness when one of her other dogs, Atticus, passed away. She repeats throughout the book that she believes we don’t always get the dog we want but the dog we need. The dog that will teach us something we didn’t know before or bring something out in us (or themselves) that we didn’t know we had and this was definitely the case for Boo. This book has made me look at my own dog differently and I think that’s what’s important in a book – being able to transfer the words and lessons you learn whilst reading into your own life long after you put the book down.
The only criticism I have is as it is set in America, there’s a lot of places, names and terms she uses (particularly for dog training programmes) that I’m completely unfamiliar with. I would have looked them up online and read more into them but there was just so many I would have been there all day. I generally wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who wasn’t an animal-lover or particularly interested in animals however it may make you look at them in a different light. However if you’re a fan of animals or have a furry friend yourself, this is a must-read that will tug at emotions you never knew you had.