31 December 2017

The Highlights of 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!
A brand new start is almost upon us and I can't quite believe how quick this past year has gone. It's been a step up from 2016 and a year full of change. If you would've told me that I'd get a job promotion, gain and lose some of my closest friends and combat my anxiety, I'd have laughed in your face and told you to be quiet. Yet here we are, 365 days later and all of that has happened and more. It amazes me how shy, reserved and scared I was this time last year. A lot has changed but it's only made me stronger and happier. I'm ready to make my twenties the happiest years of my life. 

I'll be spending this evening with a glass of gin in my hand, my family around me and welcoming in what will hopefully be a year of happy memories, big achievements and a whole lot of love. This time next year, I hope I'll be telling you all about my 21st and my *successful* graduation, but until then, I'm going to share some of my highlights of 2017. 

The Lion King

 We kicked off the year in style when we went to see The Lion King in London. I bought Mum and Dad tickets for Christmas and it was the most perfect way to spend a cold January afternoon. We took Dad to Selfridges, I had another photo in Cinderella's carriage before we headed to the theatre to take our seats. I knew that the show was going to be good, but nothing could have prepared me for how spectacular it was. My Dad isn't a massive fan of musicals but he was enthralled. It was pure Disney magic and the opening sequence is something I'll remember for the rest of my life - I was in tears from start to finish. I'm desperate to go back and see it again because it's an experience that I can't put into words. 

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary

In April, I was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate Disneyland Paris' 25th Anniversary. The 12th April is a day I will never be able to put into words because it still feels like such a whirlwind. From seeing 100 characters parade down Main Street to buying a balloon and taking photos in front of the castle, it was a day that I'll remember for the rest of my life. I shared the celebration with so many of my wonderful friends and I'm so thankful that they've been a part of my happiest memories of 2017.

Dancing with King Louie

I've had some hilarious interactions with characters this year but nothing sticks in my mind more than King Louie. Jungle Book is a film close to my heart and as I'd never met King Louie before, I was super excited. I gave him a big hug and told him that he sings one of my favourite Disney songs (which he does). He asked me to sing it for him, so very nervously, I gave an amateur rendition of 'I Wanna Be Like You'. To my surprise, he danced along with me and it's a moment that will never fail to bring a smile to my face. 

Inventions Lunch

April's trip also saw me pay my first visit to Inventions - the restaurant in the Disneyland Hotel. This has been a dream of mine for many years and the experience didn't disappoint. The food was delicious and the character interaction was pure magic. We met lots of wonderful characters but the two that stick in my mind happen to be the two that brought me to tears; Tigger and Eeyore. Tigger gave me the tightest hug I've ever had and refused to let me go, before bouncing around the restaurant. Eeyore was full of so much love and our hugs and chats brought everyone to tears. You can read all about it here.

This Morning Live

In May we went to Birmingham to see This Morning Live. Mum and I are massive fans of This Morning and we always watch it on our days off, so when I found out that they were doing a live show, I booked Mum tickets for her birthday. It was a fun-packed day out full of laughs and lots of food. To my excitement, we saw Schofe and Holly as well as the rest of the This Morning team. There was a wide variety of stalls covering every single thing imaginable - food, fashion, home, fitness and even gin. They're holding the event again in 2018, so if you fancy it then get yourself down there! 

Disneyland Paris Birthday Trip

 June 9th saw me turn 20, and what better way to start my twenties than a trip to Disneyland Paris. It was a brilliant trip spent mostly with my friend Victoria and her family. The weather was blazing hot and I got extremely sunburnt, got scared by Jafar and finally met Capitan Jack Sparrow. However, my personal highlight was being serenaded by Baloo. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that Baloo is my Dad's favourite character (he has an evergrowing collection of Baloo the Bear merch). There was a short queue to meet him, so we jumped in and he noticed my birthday badge straight away. Then, he got the whole crowd to sing 'Happy Birthday' to me and it's potentially one of the greatest moments of my life. Look how happy my little face is.

Meeting Victoria

Unexpectedly, I spent most of my birthday trip with fellow blogger and Disney lover Victoria, and her wonderful friends and family who were so welcoming. We'd spoken online for just over a year, so when we found out that we were in Disney at the same time, we just had to meet each other. From the moment I met her at Phantom Manor (of all places), we hit it off straight away and I've definitely found a friend for life. We're so like-minded and I can't wait to go back to Disney with her again soon.

A trip to Bakewell

In July, we spent the weekend in Bakewell. It's the quaintest village with a love lock bridge, cute little pubs and the best Bakewell tart shop you'll ever see. I spent the day writing at the side of the river, walking around the flower garden and eating all the Bakewell tarts I could find. I treasure spontaneous weekends with my parents because it's rare that I get to spend a lot of time with them. After that, August saw me work and work and work - I think I had 7 days off in the whole month.

Fusion Festival

In September, my darling Mitchell travelled up to Liverpool to come and have a boogie at Fusion Fest. This was one of my favourite days of the year and also one of my first proper festivals, and I loved every second of it. We saw The Vamps, Take That and Ella Eyre - all of whom were absolutely brilliant. The Vamps took me back to being 15 again and Take That were absolutely out of this world. It was windy, raining but so much fun. I'm also looooving space buns - they're giving real Princess Leia vibes and I'm not complaining. 

Disneyland Paris September Trip

September also saw me take my final trip to Disneyland Paris for the year. It was a rainy trip but, as always, was so much fun. I Disneybounded as my favourite Princess, surprises my friend Kathryn and twirled like a pro with Aurora in the Disneyland Hotel - that wouldn't happen anywhere else but Disneyland. It was beyond magical - from singing karaoke in Sports Bar to having hugs with Rapunzel. Snow White also dedicated the 'I see a Princess' song to me, but that's no big deal...honestly. Snow White sees a Princess in me...AHHH!

The Best G&T I've ever had

 2017 introduced me to gin, and I've never looked back.
Mum, Dad and I went to Peaky Blinders, and no I don't mean the TV show, more like the themed bar in Southport. It's one of the classiest, jazziest, smoothest bars I've ever set foot in and I can confirm that they make THE BEST G&T. I've been wanting to watch the TV show for such a long time, so if you've watched it and you think I'd like it then let me know in the comments. Also, they've opened a bar in Liverpool so if it's something you fancy then go and check it out.

Meeting Emma

I've never been confident in my blog, and I never thought that it'd ever result in anything. However, this year I met Emma, a girl who is like my big sister - she's always there to make me laugh, give me advice and take the prettiest photos of my outfits. We never stopped speaking from the moment we met and it felt like we'd known each other forever. We've got some exciting blogging adventures planned in 2018 and I can't wait! Also, thanks Emma for allowing my Instagram to look pretty with your photography.

A Day out with Grandad

I took my Grandad to explore the Albert Dock and have a look at the Museum of Liverpool. It was such a fun day out filled with laughter, tea, cake and lots of stories from my Grandad. It meant a lot to spend time with him as I really don't do it enough, plus he enjoyed being able to tell me stories that I've heard a million times before. I love him so much, my best friend since day one.

Christmas at Bents

In November, Mum and Dad took me on my first trip to Bents Garden Centre, otherwise known as the greatest Christmas display in the world (well, I think so). I've been so desperate to go to Bents for years and finally being able to see all the Christmas decorations was a real treat. I won't waffle on about it too much because I wrote a blog post about it which you can read here.

Edinburgh Christmas

Our last adventure of the year took us to Edinburgh to explore the Christmas Markets and see everything the city had to offer. I'm absolutely in love with Edinburgh, especially the small tartan shops and gin bars. I was introduced to brandy, had a photo taken with a bagpipe player and finally got to explore Edinburgh Castle. The Christmas Markets were something else; a maze of twinkling trees, Bratwurst sausages and hot chocolate with cream - what's not to love? If you want to read about our Edinburgh adventure then here's a blog post all about it.

The importance of family and friends

2017 has put a lot of things into perspective for me and I've learnt a lot in terms of my standards and how I want to be treated. I've realised that the family I've got are the only family I need and that the people who I need will stick around. I couldn't have got through the challenges without these people around me, or without cuddles from my partner in crime. I'm so very lucky to have them and I'm looking forward to welcoming in the new year with them tonight. 

And now a list of achievements

Finally, I want to tell you about some of the things I've achieved this year. 

I finally combatted my social anxiety and have watched myself change into the social butterfly I used to be. I can go on a night out without panicking and I'm absolutely loving everything about it. I'm so proud of myself - I never thought I'd ever be able to go on a night out again. I think this is thanks to shutting out the toxic people in my life. It's weird how certain people can blur the way you see things, and I've realised just how unhappy I was with them around. I like to think of them as grey clouds stopping the sun from shining. These awful people have made room for some of the best friends I could ask for - mature, hilarious and the kindest people on the planet. I'm so very lucky. 

In July, I passed my second year of Uni with a high 2:1 after submitting everything just an hour before the deadline. I've learned my lesson and won't be doing that again anytime soon, don't you worry. It also saw me combat my fear of dentists and hospitals by having my tooth extracted under sedation. Basically, they took my tooth out when I was as high as a kite and (according to nurses) singing along to Rick Astley. I don't remember a thing but apparently, before the dentist started work, I grabbed hold of his wrist and said 'Listen here you, if you do anything wrong, my friend's a dental nurse so I'll know everything'. Sedation is a weird and wonderful thing. 

Overall, it's been a year of challenges, laughs and a whole lot of magic. It gives me hope that with a little more hard work, and if I keep on doing what I'm doing, 2018 will be my year. I'm thankful that I'm still alive, healthy and that my family are too. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to travel to so many different places and experiences so many magical moments in Disneyland Paris. 

I hope you have a fantastic New Year and that 2018 is filled with love happiness and a sprinkle of pixie dust! 

Lots of Love,


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