Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Year That Was 2015

I wasn't really planning on writing a review of the past year, but I wrote one about 2014 and thought it would be rude not to do the same again! So without further ado, let's check out how 2015 turned out for me! 
One year, one slightly different hair style!
With some of my first uni deadlines looming, in January I spent the majority of my time perfecting my Food Writing and Editing final project, a book proposal called A Taste of Wonderland. I felt so incredibly proud of this and ended up getting my highest ever mark! 

Another uni-work orientated month, not a vast amount happened in February! I did surprise Joe with some Stewart Lee tickets for valentine's day, and I apparently got addicted to the Disney Tsum Tsum app. Safe to say I had to delete it to ensure I didn't fail my degree! I also shared my Jar of Sunshine, which heavily included my good pal Leona! 

In March I saw Wicked perform a Bristol Hippodrome, and what an experience it was! I went with some of my work pals, and despite having to run in the rain to make sure I got there in time, I ended up having a fabulous night! I also went to Salisbury Cathedral to climb up the spire and ordered some new glasses. Aaaaaand, I saw Morrissey! A pretty good month! 

I apparently had an 'informal chat with a potential employer' this month, but I can't for the life of me work out who it was! Buuuut, I also went to see McBusted with megababe Leona and I apparently didn't blog about it but Leona did so have a read!

I handed in all of my final uni work! It was stressful, and tiring! But yeah, not a lot really happened other than that. I pondered what would happen next and I was mostly right! Also, I cried over the election and joined the Labour Party. 

I landed my very first internship for the NHS! I really loved my internship, and living a life of comms. Other June news included joining Slimming World and saw Manic Street Preachers perform at Cardiff Castle

At the end of June, my Nana sadly passed away so I didn't really blog at all in July, understandably. I went home to be with my dad, and the whole family got together to remember my wonderful Nana. My dad then came down to Bath for my graduation which was of course a happy, but sad time as well. 

Joe and I celebrated three years of marriage and I whisked him away to see The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime at Bristol Hippodrome after a lovely meal at Wahaca! It was a seriously great day, and I'm very happy that Joe puts up with me. I also read All The Bright Places and cried a lot.       

I started a new job a week after my internship finished and hoped it would be a sign of great things to come. Dylan had a superhero fancy dress birthday party and I posted a birthday wishlist to help my loved ones on their quest to buy me things! (Side note: most things on here still haven't been purchased, if any loved ones are stilling thinking about treating me!)

My birthday! I went to the zoo and saw some Red Pandas! I also posted a 25 before 25 post which I had pretty much forgotten about until just now... 

I quit my job! With all the rubbish family stuff going on in the background, I decided I needed to make a decision between working a great job in publishing and being with my family. Family won. I also shared some pictures of Monty and Joe's brother got married!  

Well, this month has been pretty busy - what with Christmas coming up and all that jazz - and I mostly just bought presents for other people and books for myself. I also looked back on my 10 things for 2015 goals, which was, erm, a good try... 

And there we have it! A whole year in review! If you'd wrote a similar post - or would like to share your year - please comment and leave links below :) 

Chelsea xo

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Books I've Been Buying

In true Chelsea fashion, I decided that December would be the month when I go book-buying crazy. After being quite conservative with my buying habits, I somehow managed to buy myself six books within the first half of this month. You know, the month of Christmas and presents and stuff. I was also sent some books as part of a #bookbloggers swap, so I have included those below.

I adored the film of A Little Princess when I was a nipper, but I don't recall ever reading the story. When I noticed this super gorgeous Puffin in Bloom cover designed by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co, I couldn't help but pick it up. I'm hoping that Dylan will let me read it to him, but he tends to prefer picture books mostly. 

My lovely pal Dannie recommended this one to me, and she's my go-to for YA fiction. The storyline has a focus on Alzheimer's, so it may not be suitable for everyone, but I really enjoyed (that feels like the wrong word) Elizabeth Is Missing which has a similar focus. 

Yep, straight outta my wish list, Kaling's second book somehow found it's way into my hands. I'm pretty much obsessed with The Mindy Project, so I'm hoping this has lots of behind the scenes gossip about the show.

What? Another book from my wish list? I know, I'm too naughty at times. I really need to keep books off my wish list if I'm just going to by myself them. 

Did I buy this because of the title? Did I buy it because the author's name sounds like criss cross? So many questions, so little time. In actual fact, I Love Dick has been on my radar for some time because I follow the publisher on instagram. 

If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know my true passion lies with children's publishing. The Fox and The Star was chosen by Waterstones as their book of the year, and within seconds you can see why. Beautifully designed, the cover and illustrations are something that need to be seen to take in their true glory. The story is a sweet little tale that I'm sure will become an instant classic.

The Bees by Laline Paull - sent by my secret Santa
When Margaret Atwood calls a book 'gripping', you know it's going to be good. I've heard nothing but seriously positive reviews about this, so I can't wait to start it. 

I've been trying to expand my horizons by reading more translated texts, so I was really delighted when my secret Santa had picked this one for me. It sounds completely bonkers but that can only be a good thing, right? 

Since I first saw this book way back in 2013, I've always wanted to read it. The story sounds really captivating and refreshing compared to other 'book club' story lines I've heard about. Plus, the cover is really gorgeous - which I have to say often sways me when adding books to my 'must have' mental wish list. 

I've actually bought more books than this since I started writing this post, but I felt like nine books might be enough for one post! If you made it to the end of this list, then please go ahead and treat yourself to a new book. You deserve it! ;) 

Chelsea xo
twitter - bloglovin' - instagram

Affiliate links have been used in this post. 

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Post-Christmas Catch Up

Here's a not very festive picture of me, donning my lovely new necklace!
Hello everyone, just a quick post today! Sorry for the accidental silence over here, but in the run up to Christmas I managed to run out of spare time to blog. Well, actually, I have been writing posts, I just kept missing the elusive daylight hours needed to get some blog-worthy snaps. Anyhoo, if it ever stops raining, hopefully the posts start up again soon. 

How was Christmas for you? 

Chelsea xo

Monday, 21 December 2015

Ten Things To Do in 2015 - How Did I Do?

I was sitting down and thinking about what my hopes and goals for 2016 would be, when I suddenly remembered I had wrote a similar post for 2015. So, dashing through the archives, I had a look to see if I could find it and write about everything I had ticked off. Then I remembered I had posted a mid-point review (erm, in August?) and realised that not a great deal had changed. Whoops, my bad! Still, let's have a look at what I managed to do this year!

Renew my passport 
Finish my degree with a 2:1 or higher 
See some Red Pandas 
Do a 'Photo an Hour' post properly 
Reach 250 on my blog 

So, 5 outta 5 isn't so bad, right? The things I didn't achieve - make a patchwork blanket, pass my driving test etc - all pretty much relied on me having oodles of spare time. Which I don't. At least I know what to put on my 2016 list, amiright? 

Did you have a 'to do' list for 2015? What have you achieved this year?

Chelsea xo

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Photo Gifts Perfect for Christmas

Christmas for me is all about the memories. Sure, when I was younger it was mostly about the presents - but these days I'm happiest when surrounded by food the ones I love. As well as a time for making memories, Christmas is also a great time to gift memories to others, in the form of a photo gift! Whether it's a personalised mug or something in a new frame with a gorgeous family print already inside, giving photo gifts is great at this time of year!

When Snapfish got in touch with me for the chance to create some gorgeous photo gifts, I couldn't say yes fast enough. I had already bought the frame for a wedding gift to the newly weds in the family, so it couldn't have come at a better time. At first, I was sure I would create a heat-changing photo mug, but after seeing you could make your own jigsaw... Well, I couldn't not make one! 

As the wedding-related gifts are for Joe's side of the family, I wanted to make sure my side had some photo treats too! I created two photo panels using photos from my graduation to gift to my parents! I'm half tempted to order some more photo panels, as I love that photo of me with my dad! You can tell who I get my handsome manly looks from, right? I love the idea of everyone receiving some personalised Christmas gifts, and the quality of these Snapfish ones are incredible! 

Do you like photo gifts? Ever received a jigsaw with your face on it? 

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Book Club #23 - Holy Cow by David Duchovny

My apologies for the radio silence here. I've been pretty busy in December and thought I had given myself enough time for writing blog posts but it would seem I didn't. I mean, I found time to watch three seasons of The Mindy Project, but that's beside the point, right? I'm back with a book review now, and it's Holy Cow by David Duchovny*. 

You've got to be in a certain kind of mood to want to read a book by a talking cow - as told to David Duchovny, of course - but luckily I recently found myself in that type of mood. As soon as I first heard about Holy Cow, I knew it would be a book I wanted to read. Mostly because I like tongue-in-cheek books, and also because I like books with strong leading animal characters... I jest. 

Holy Cow follows Elsie Bovary, a newly converted Jewish pig named Shalom and an iPhone obsessed turkey called Tom as they embark on a quest to find a better world - or at least somewhere where they won't become dinner. I enjoyed Elsie, the bovine narrator, and her endearing way of telling her story - full of Ferris Bueller-style breaking the fourth wall commentary and occasional casting hints for future directors. The pace is quite speedy, and it doesn't take long before 'just one chapter before bed..' becomes five or six chapters. Of course, when a novel's main theme is that eating animals is bad, it can get a tad preachy at times, but I felt like it was justified due to the fact is was 'told' by a cow. I think I'd be pretty pissed off to be a cow if I knew people wanted to eat me. Boy, that's a sentence I never thought I'd put on the ol' blog.  

Have you read Holy Cow? What do you think of talking animals in books?

Chelsea xo

*This book was sent to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. An affiliate link has been used in this post. 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Am I The Only Blogger That...

Although we try our best to hide it, most of us are committing blogging clichés. There's nothing wrong with a blogging clichés, of course, but when you're in a room full of bloggers and realise you all have the same watch/camera/cold plate of food waiting to be instagrammed - then you know it might have gone too far! Always one to buck a trend, I thought I'd share some blogging clichés I seem to have missed out on.

Am I the only blogger that...

- doesn't like Pumpkin Spice Lattes?
- doesn't use a marble tray/white fur blanket for blog photos?
- isn't part of a #girlgang?
- doesn't have an instagram 'theme'?
- hasn't been to Ladurée for macarons? (or other baked goods, for that matter!)
- doesn't like peonies? Tulips are where it's at, bro.
- doesn't put avocado on everything
- isn't worried about 'finding my niche'?
- doesn't own succulents?

There's no shame in it, it's the blogger clichés that bring us all together. If your 'real life' friends think it's weird to take photos of food before eating it, at least your blogger friends understand! I've got to say - I have fallen for the rose gold trend which is currently anywhere and everywhere at the moment, it's just so pretty! C'mon, own up, what blogger clichés do you partake in? 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

TMTW #5 - November Rain

Best bit? Attending a family wedding! Joe's brother got married and I just loved the whole day. They're such a great couple and the day really reflected how perfect they are for each other. 

My favourite things: Dylan being really good during the wedding, being able to spend more time with my family and finally getting Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer!

Any regrets? Wearing new shoes for a rare night out in the middle of the month. I bought them to wear during my graduation and couldn't remember why I had never worn them again. Turns out they kill the balls of my feet. My poor feet are still hurting!

What's in store for next month? I start my new job, which I am pretty excited about - I can't wait to get stuck in. Oh, and Christmas! Joe gets two weeks off over Christmas and New Year so he'll actually be able to spend the entire day with us! He's even insisted that he cooks - not that I'm complaining!

November - the month that was either weirdly mild, bucketing down with rain or giving us a blast with storm Barney. Luckily for me, I spent the majority of the month working from home so I didn't get subjected to much weather damage. 

How did November shape up for you?

Chelsea xo
twitter - bloglovin' - instagram
© Love in Modern Life. Design by Fearne.