Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year

It's the end of another year. This year, as ever, has had its up and downs, I finished uni, went to Japan, moved back home and so much more. The people in my life I honestly couldn't live without, they have supported me and been my rock. For that, and the fact they are all absolutely amazing, I love them to pieces.

I'm not setting new years resolutions as such, but am determined to be more positive. I was planning on going out, but my anxiety is too high. I can't really explain it other than I feel really uncomfortable around a lot of people in clubs especially. That simplifies it a lot but is the gist of it. With it being New Year's I convinced myself it was going to be super busy, even though it may not be. So instead I'm wearing my new Harry Potter pj's, dressing gown and drinking a couple drinks to see the new year in.
The next part is realising in the course of a year we've gone from three pets to a massive nine. The extra six came from the degu mummy having babies which was totally unexpected. I say we, but the guinea pigs are my sisters and degus are my brother.  

These quote cards were a Christmas present and this one stood out as a way to end. So amazing things are going to happen. It may not be today, tomorrow or even in a week. But it will.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Twenty Five- Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to all you amazing people out there!! Hope Santa brought you everything you wanted. I've loved today so much, I was the first one to wake up this morning, even before my sister which was surprising! We still had sushi leftover from yesterdays dinner so I had that for breakfast.. and lunch for that matter. Then we spent early afternoon watching movies and munching sweets until dinner was ready. Christmas dinner as ever is made by dad, and we ate until we were all completely stuffed and watched Vicar of Dibley.

Then about an hour later we got the munchies so nibbled on crisps, chocolate and whatever took our fancy. I really hope everyone got to spend today with somebody, because no one should be alone any time of the year, even more so at Christmas. It makes you grateful for who you have in your life and makes you realise you should hold onto everyone you care about.

I wore a Christmas jumper from Asda, its slightly longer than normal jumpers so meant I could wear leggings, which comes in handy with the amount of food we eat! As ever excuse the mess in the reflection.



Thursday, 24 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Twenty Four- Christmas Eve

I've had such a lovely day, it was admittedly a little stressful in the morning had to go to Asda for last minute food for todays dinner. It's been really relaxing despite the awful weather. For dinner mum did sushi alongside mini sausage rolls, cheese and onion rolls, basically a lot of pastry. I'm super full now, and appreciate the fact I can have such lovely food everyday and never take it for granted.

Sorry today's so short, apart from eating not a lot happened..

Going to bed early ready for Santa!


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Twenty Three- 3 wishes

It's 2 days until Christmas!! I think I'm more excited than most of my family combined. Today I decided to wear my minion jumper. Much to the embarrassment of my sister (again, I keep telling her to stop being ashamed but it doesn't seem to work, teenagers I guess ;p).
I picked three wishes as my topic today. So here they are:
1. To have more happy days than sad. I chose this because this year like most has been hard, I had a lot of high points but had quite a few lows. But for me the lows always outweigh the positives so I suppose that's something else, to be able to see the positives more.
2. Get a job, I've been looking for so long and it bothers me that I'm struggling to find one.
3. My third wish would be to be able to read minds for one day. For me, I get so anxious because I think people are thinking bad things about me. Now this could backfire as not everyone will always be thinking something nice about me. But it would be good for me for peace of mind.
I decided to leave you with this quote, because I completely agree with it.


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Twenty Two- Stocking fillers

Cannot believe its nearly Christmas, there's still presents left to wrap and people I need to see! This year mum was debating whether to do the stockings, I pointed out we should and even if we don't it means extra winning either way. If you are struggling for stocking ideas or little presents here's my top five:

1. Sweets or chocolates- you can't go wrong, we all know the ones I mean. The shops are full of tubes of sweets and a lot of them are on offer now. The ones I convinced mum to get for us are the gourmet jelly beans and buttons (for my sister and brother) and Rowntrees for me.

2. Mini photo frames- Everyone has pictures of their favourite people lying around somewhere, and I think giving them a frame with picture of them and you in it makes it more personal and also fun.

3. Body sprays- Something we always need and run out of quickly.

4. Nail polish- It's something most girls (and some boys) wear and is handy to have if you feel like a pamper day.

5. Little toys- I always love getting little toys like from Hawkins Bazaar, the fun stocking fillers like wind up toys. They occupy a lot of time and make you feel like a kid again.

I don't claim to be any food at drawing but pretty proud of my quick sketch.


Monday, 21 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Twenty One- Leicester

I decided to wear my Olaf jumper today, and wore my penguin hat much to the embarrassment of my younger sister. Both of which are super comfy and perfect for rainy days like today was. My anxiety has been pretty low considering we had to go out to Asda, which is starting to get really busy now Christmas is only 4 days away. I completely forgot that I had fairy lights on my window so decided to switch them on. They look so pretty!!
I couldn't get a lot of pictures of around Leicester as I mentioned in a previous post its getting so busy now and I don't enjoy being in town. The Christmas tree has always stood next to the clock tower (well for as long as I can remember anyway).

 The Christmas market they have ever year always makes me happy, mainly because of the smells of all the different kinds of food from around Europe like sausages and paella. Yummy!!
 Speaking of food I made gingerbread for the first time, and they turned out pretty good, everyone enjoyed them. It also makes the house smell amazing for ages which is an added bonus.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Nineteen and Twenty- Family and christmas shopping

Sorry didn't upload yesterday was busy all day, I'll have to squash two days into this one blog. In the morning I went food shopping with mum then by the afternoon we had family come to visit. We haven't seem them in so long, so it was great to catch up and have a few giggles. It's so weird how grown up everyone is and you don't really notice until you see friends or family you haven't seen in a while.

Family has always meant so much to me, and everyone probably says this about their families but I think I have the best one. I have so many fun memories of going up to grandmas and spending time with my cousins. I feel like even though we've all grown up now, we still need at least one more random crazy sleepover at grandmas.

Christmas shopping is generally stressful not because I don't know what to buy, but just because of how crazy people get at Christmas, its like manners just get thrown out the window and replaced by this mad hunger to buy gifts. It annoys me that people think its okay to try and push you out the way using their shopping basket (yes this happened a couple of days ago) instead of saying excuse me please. I've been brought up with the mind set that manners don't cost a thing, and to see adults pushing and shoving baffles me. All of this ends up with me picking the times I go really carefully otherwise it triggers my anxiety, which doesn't always go to plan.

If I do have to brave town later in the afternoon, I try and keep constant conversation with whoever I'm with, or at least let them do all the talking and I listen as it distracts me. I take my iPod with me if I'm alone and listen to music, this also acts as a distraction. Basically I do whatever I can think of to distract myself from the amount of people around.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Eighteen- Favourite Story (and a rant about photo filters)

Today has been pretty slow so far, and by that I mean I haven't done a lot at all (again). This is also the first selfie in a while that I haven't put any filters on. Which for me is a big thing as I usually feel like I can't. Whether it's because of lack of confidence, anxiety or a combination or both I'm not sure. I think it's sad that in today's society we feel we have to put filters on our photos to make us appear that bit better just because we are worried what other people will say. It says a lot about expectations and how the media portray celebs that we feel we need to do this.

Anyway onto todays blog.. I love reading, whether its crime novels, Harry Potter, bit of romance anything, but I have to say Dr Seuss is great for any age. The Grinch not only is one of my favourite Christmas films but also stories. Anything by Dr Seuss I adore but especially at Christmas I love this.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Seventeen- Favourite poem

Today so far has been pretty good, and by that I mean I woke up happy and mostly pain free. Realising who your true friends are is a massive thing and something you keep on learning the older you get. It hurts a lot that people I thought were friends could continue to hurt me in the way they have. I'm a forgiving person and I think I always will be but even I have a line once crossed can never be crossed again.
Anyway back to today's blog, I found this poem and thought it was so lovely and pretty much sums up Christmas.
Best Christmas Poems, Short Christmas Poems and Poetry | Christmas Celebrations:
If you struggle to read red here's what it says:
The wind is blowing with the cold breeze air,
The children are singing everywhere,
The laughter and joy are always shared,
These are signs that Christmas spirit is in the air.
The love that we give will always be felt,
The messages we convey will also be sent,
The poor and the needy will now be fed,
These are signs that Christmas spirit is not yet dead.
The people everywhere are having fun,
The fathers are bonding with their son,
The quarrels and fights are already done,
These are the signs that Christmas spirit is not yet gone.


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Sixteen- Christmas in other traditions

Today's been another busy day, I've done about half my Christmas shopping (finally). Although being in town for so long and with it being so busy triggers my anxiety and I end up with a headache. The presents have already been wrapped, I've forgotten how annoying it is to wrap presents! I've been feeling a little bit down with things going on I didn't expect but I have amazing friends who have helped me through it.

There's no point talking about traditions all around the world, I would be here all day, so instead seeing as I'm half Japanese I'll talk about Christmas in Japan. Most people in Japan do not celebrate Christmas itself. But with Western influences, especially from America creeping in more people are starting to find their own ways to celebrate. Shops are starting to sell more Christmas cards and decorations for people to put up. They don't usually gives gifts and Christmas Eve and Day is just a normal day, however they do go out for special family meals or order chicken from KFC to eat on Christmas Day.

From pictures mum has shown me, and from being over there, what I have realised is they love a good festival. Somewhere in Japan there's generally a festival going on, and during the winter months is the Winter Festival. Schools and people compete with each other to try to make the best sculpture out of snow and ice and they are pretty impressive!

What is important over there though is New Years Eve and Day, this is when parents and grandparents give money to the children and grandchildren as a gift. Noodles are usually eaten as a way to say 'I hope you continue to have a long healthy life'. It is also a time to go to the temple to pray to lost family members and to Buddha. Cards are also exchanged, and greeting cards over there are always pretty cool.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Fifteen- What I've learnt from this year

There's still a little bit left of this year, but decided to do a bit of a reflection of the year.

So this year I graduated from uni with a First. This has got to be up there with my proudest moments. I worked ridiculously hard to get the best grade I could, and it meant I spent a lot of time in my room and didn't socialise as much. I never thought I could get into uni let alone finish it with a First. It's so crazy to think back three years ago when I first started, I commuted which wrecked my health, I felt a bit left out being the only one of my circle of friends who had to do the commute and trying to manage my anxiety triggers. Admittedly sometimes I couldn't and meant I missed a few lectures through being poorly or genuinely feeling like I couldn't walk out the door. Although saying that I chose to live in a student house for my second and final year and that was no picnic either! I learnt so much living away and proved to myself and my family that I can do it.

I had to spend a lot of time in and out of doctors and the hospital, and although we in the UK may grumble about it sometimes, we should be grateful healthcare is so readily available. My health has never been that great, especially since my surgery, but I am always grateful to be able to wake up each morning and getting on with the day the best I can.

I also learnt that sometimes life sucks, well I knew this already but this year seemed more stressful than most. But what I never though about before was putting a positive spin on things. For example, relationships or even friendships may not work out like you wished they would, but it gives you the experience to know what to do in the future. Sure it hurts like hell at the time, but after you've had time to sit and think there's plenty of life still ahead to look forward to.

Going to Japan in September has to be the highlight of my year. Being able to see family again and also visit parts of Japan I've never been to like Kyoto was amazing. I'll put a few pic in from my holiday as this blog has been really wordy.

Kiyamizudera temple in Kyoto was stunning, not just the scenery but the bright orange temple contrasted the green trees so well.
 Looks like I stepped into Jurassic park here, but it is a dam (can't remember the name I know it's outside Sapporo though!)
Climbing this mountain and going above the clouds was so much fun.
Otaru, what a beautiful seaside town, we picked the perfect day to go and I even caught the Sun a bit.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Fourteen- Christmas tree reveal

I've had a pretty relaxing day today as I've been feeling poorly still. I'm hoping it clears by Christmas but wouldn't bet on it. I've spent most of the morning sleeping and watching Santa Clause 2, by the afternoon I felt a little better so sat helping mum wrap presents for the family, and when I say help it means writing labels and sticking ribbons on. I'm usually stuck doing the ribbons as the backing tape is fiddly and I'm the only one who seems to be able to take them off.

I thought I'd do a tree reveal now we finally have a tree topper. We bought a smaller and thinner tree this year mainly due to lack of space. That hasn't stopped us from crowding the tree with our favourite decorations though. Lots of pictures today so bear with me..

 I thought I'd do a couple close ups of tree decorations. We never have had a theme and have always just put ones up we think are pretty and in my sisters case, fluffy. The butterfly and dove capture the fairy lights really well, we've had these for years so can't remember where we got them from.

Again these we've had for as long as I can remember. We always put them up as they are cute and look really Christmassy.

 The deer is a recent addition, although I still can't remember where it's from (Wilko's or B&Q I think?). I really like the glitter on the hooves, tail and around the neck.
 It wouldn't be Christmas without annoying dancing Santa's and animals, and we have a lot.. They usually sit under the tree as that's the only place big enough to fit them all. They all sing something different, and of course they have to be tested once they come out the attic every year.. at the same time..




Sunday, 13 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Thirteen- Favourite Christmas memory

I have two favourite memories, the first I was around 8 years old. It was Christmas Eve and I was super excited that Santa was coming soon so of course had an early night. I woke up in the middle of the night, because for some reason I always do every night, and could have sworn I heard bells from Santa's sleigh. That morning when we went downstairs I was more convinced than ever that Santa was real as the milk had been drunk and biscuits eaten. I would love for when I have a family that my child would believe in something that much that they can hear sleigh bells or think they can see or hear Santa.

So my next memory has drama, a sledge, snow and Bradgate Park. I'm from Leicester and there's several parks, one of which being Bradgate Park, it's still one of my favourite places. There are deer roaming freely and Old John which is a building that I think looks like an upside down cup.
I haven't got a picture on my phone or in any of my photo albums so had to get one from Google..

Anyway.. I was about 10 years old and it snowed alot, which is unusual in England, especially Leicester, so we drove down to there and decided to go sledging. Me being the wimp I was asked mum to go down the hill with me on the sledge. Everything was going great until we got about halfway down the hill where we hit a rock and I fell off. That would have been fine if mum fell off too.. But of course she didn't and accidently ran me over with the sledge. Thinking back it's absolutely hilarious, but at the time I was like mum..Why didn't you stop? Which is still a running joke we have even now, and I often joke I'm left terrified of sledging because of her (I'm not just to point out).
Hope you enjoyed my memories, today's been relatively anxiety free, had to do some more Christmas shopping and people tend to be a bit more rude and less open to moving out the way.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Twelve- How I count down

For as long as I can remember every year we get and advent calendar. Last year I got a Frozen one, and yes it was exciting. I think its one of the things you can truly let your inner child out on, that and buying funky socks. Anyway this year I got a Minions one, although I cannot eat the actual chocolate as its been making me feel ill recently. Which is a bit of a bummer as I love chocolate.. It's still fun to open the advent calendar itself and hand out chocolates to my family.

Minion Bob (I think) sits behind our sofa so its easy to reach and remember.
Usually when I go into town when its busy its sets off my anxiety, which it did I feel really headachy and tired. So I usually just do quick sketches to calm myself down. This one literally took about 10 minutes and is supposed to be my sister, even though she doesn't have a fringe.. with her guinea pigs.

 Today I wore my burgundy jumper (again) from Primark, and wore my necklace I got from Amazon which says 'Always' which any Harry Potter fan will understand. The pendant is quite big so this jumper with a higher neck suited it well (well I though so anyway). Makeup.. was my usual: just eyeliner and bit of lipstick

Friday, 11 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Eleven- Food and recipes

I've had a pretty boring day mainly because I'm still not feeling all that great. So spent it watching Christmas films, which were the Grinch, Home Alone and, as I'm typing this, Arthur Christmas. Which are all lovely feel good films. On to todays topic which is food! We usually stick with the same foods at Christmas, but mum (and me) likes trying new things. We found this Christmas cookbook in The Works bookshop. It breaks down recipes into Christmas Eve, Day, Boxing Day and cakes.
Despite the fact it's almost guaranteed you'll get some form of biscuit or chocolate selection box for Christmas, it's nice to make them. I'm hoping you can read all the recipes I've uploaded, but either way I'll be trying to make them so will let you know how they go.

We tried this last year, but instead of pancetta we used bacon. Apart from dad, none of us are fans of Brussels sprouts. So by boiling them then roasting them with bacon, it makes them taste not too bad! And this is coming from someone who will usually avoid sprouts at all costs.

Roasted or glazed veggies are always a favourite and carrots and parsnips is no exception. As I've said before in a previous blog, I love roast veg.

And for the classic pigs in blankets, sausage wrapped in bacon what more can I say?


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Ten- Christmas Joy

I've been feeling a bit rough today so had to do a slight change of plan. Instead I'm going to ramble a little, but bear with me there's reason behind my madness (mostly). Christmas has always been my favourite time of year, and this year I seem more excited than usual. Also with it being slightly darker throughout the day its meant I have more of an excuse to light candles. This is mum's candle holder, but the candle has a berry scent which smells really Christmassy and leaves the house smelling lovely.

I always try and stay positive throughout the year, but anyone with anxiety knows that isn't always possible. So I think that the excitement of Christmas helps keep my anxiety at a lower level than usual. When I've watched Christmas films in the past I used to cringe at the people who were full of 'Christmas joy and cheer'. But now I see it and how important it is, with the crazy and scary events that have happened around the world this year, now more than ever its important to spread joy and a bit of love. So this year, when you're Christmas shopping if someone smiles at you smile back, or if someone you know looks as though they are having a rough day, find a way to cheer them up even a little. Because sometimes its the little things that make all the difference.

To anyone who's feeling the winter blues and to spread some joy if you see someone suffering..

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Blogmas: Day Nine- Favourite winter items

This is more of a challenge for me as sharing pictures on the internet tends to trigger my anxiety. I wore the items mainly to show what they look like on. I mean in all honesty I didn't have to, but decided to push myself a little bit and prove to myself that I can. Today I'm showing my favourite winter items, some of them are clothes but there are a couple of my must haves I use during the colder months.

I used to laugh at the thought of wearing a onesie, but in the January sales of this year (seems so long ago, the year has flown by!) I came across this one in Matalan.
 It is so cosy, again please excuse the mess I share a room with a teenager after all..
The next item is a scarf. This was a present from mum's friend in Japan. It's really soft and long which I like. I love the colours as the earthy tones seem to suit me more. (And yes that is an Ariel phone case)

 This coat I bought on Ebay a few years ago. I went for a walk today and dug this out, and teamed it with a black beanie hat. The military style makes you feel extra padded, which in this kind of weather works out well.
It wouldn't be winter without some funky slippers. Mum got me these from Shoe Zone, they are fluffy inside so keep your toes nice and cosy.

This throw/ blanket was knitted by mum for my birthday last year. I use it on top of my quilt and makes my bed all the more cosy.

Next up is the scent I use. This is cheating slightly as I use this all year round, but its one of my favourites. Zoella's Let's Spritz smells a bit fruity and really girly, which suits me well as I don't like too overpowering smells. The bottle is really cute and feminine.

Ah lastly my hands get so dry in winter, this Garnier hand cream smells like Mangos and keeps your hands hydrated and soft. Winning combination for me, I've used this cream for a good few years and would recommend it to anyone.

So there's my favourite winter items. Today my anxiety has not been too bad, especially as I had to go with mum to the Post Office and Asda, but we did go before lunch so it wasn't too busy.