Leaving 2014 Behind

December 29, 2014

2014 has been one of the most bewildering, scary and happiness filled year of my life. I've never had a year filled with so many ups and downs, a year where life has managed to fluctuate from hell to amazing, I've never experienced so many things in such a small period of time but I have so far yet to go. I cannot wait for 2015, yet I still need to comprehend what has happened this year before I even begin to fathom the events that will take place following the hallowed first of January.
This year I've visited places I've never seen before, acted in ways that seemed unimaginable twelve months back and accomplished insignificant loves which made my heart swell with joy. The pictures included above are just a small example of what's happened in my life, as no, my life does not revolve around food and filters but my Instagram sure does.
2014 started with a quick redecoration of my wardrobe sides, and a lovely message from Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame (which in no way rivalled the 'you should learn how to spell' Cheryl Cole tweet when she told me not to hate her as I obviously 'walked into it') but it was great all the same,  I had one too many Costa Coffee trips this year, an obvious perk of having a branch in our town, while buying cute colour changing lollypops from the ice cream van.
I also received my first ever PR sample this year, which astounded me. Being able to receive products from businesses who value my words and opinions is something I never thought I'd be able to say, as I'm only me, Olivia, a small town girl from Yorkshire, I'm nothing special and I know that trying to appear different will not make me special. I've had the joy of working with Liz Earle and Smiggle, amongst others and I feel thankful for this every single day.
I feel blessed that 2014 has happened.
Thank you to those who've cared.
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Returning To Childhood With Smiggle

December 27, 2014

Smiggle Pencil Case with Inbuilt Calculator*
Smiggle 8 Colour Pen / Extra Large Pencil*
Smiggle Snake Puzzle*
Smiggle Macarons*
Smiggle Zebra Keyring*
Smiggle Water Bottle + Lunchbag Duo*
Smiggle Backpack*
Smiggle Large + Small Notepads*
Smiggle Friendship Wristbands*
The brand Smiggle first came into my subconsciousness about a year ago, when a friend introduced me to an Australian world of colour and magic. It hit me that children nowadays had nowhere to light up their world, as Paperchase were slowly but surely aiming towards the older audience and WHSmith's range was becoming more and more lacklustre every year. So when I heard that Smiggle were moving over to the UK shores I was ecstatic, as you can see in this post here written by foetus Olivia (it's #hashtag embarrassing.)
Dreams and drama is the name of the game over in the Smiggle world and even though I'm a seventeen year old teenager with an adverse reaction to hyperactive children, I still can't allow myself to not be sucked in to a world of magic, mystery and bright tantalising colours. The happiness radiating from a child with a new toy is something that I hope will continue to exist for decades to come, even after the ultimate triumph of the personal computer and electronic device changed the world. My body still tingles with delight when I find something that makes other people ecstatically happy and I never want that feeling to disappear.
I miss the feeling of zero responsibility and weightlessness, where the world could stop spinning for a split second yet this would never register with my child like brain as I would be so ridiculously engrossed in a nonsense activity, like jumping into the air for a snapshot to rival the High School Musical posters or playing Monopoly till my head hurt. I know that Smiggle are aiming their products at young school children but as an almost adult, I feel the message their trying to deliver and I wish more businesses would try and follow their lead. 
This Christmas, Smiggle pulled out all the stops and I think they deserve the sales figures they will undoubtedly have because their sales pitches have been beautiful. I've finally had the chance to go to one of their stores (thanks Meadowhall!) and the enthusiasm and general happiness I felt from their employees and the ethos of the store.. God I just love it.
If you would like to find out more about Smiggle, click the link here.
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BLOGMAS DAY 1: Christmas Tag

December 01, 2014

So.. here we are. The rain is threatening to pour on our glass roof, the clouds are circling above in an action that reminds me of animals surrounding their prey. And it's December. With the 'pinch and punch' ritual aside, and my daily TimeHop images viewed, it was time to face up to facts. This is the last month of the year. 2014 is almost over and with that, another set of gift giving and money sharing awaits. Christmas has always been a somewhat materialistic time in my house and my brain, and I've never existed in a universe as to where my dreams match the sudden reality, but I always keep eternal hope that one of the December 25th moments will be as I imagine them in my sleep. And, to start #Blogmas, I feel as though this is the message I want to put across. Hope. Defying all of the odds to achieve something and make something that others think is not reasonable. Maybe this Christmas will be like the movies, maybe this next 31 days will teach me something unexplainably beautiful that leaves me feeling warm inside as I approach the next January. Blogmas, I'm ready for you. 
The following tag was created by Megan and Emily, who invited bloggers to take part in the #countdowntochristmas movement (there's too many hashtags recently!) which involves two posts a week written on a variety of topics up until Christmas! I thought that these prompts dotted with typical Olivia posts would make a nice change this December.
What's your favourite holiday movie?
This choice always involves funny stares and confused glances, but I can't get enough of Mean Girls during the holiday period, the jingle bell rock scene is something that I believe encompasses Christmas and it's a staple every Christmas Eve in our household. 
What are your favourite Christmas colours?
I didn't think that there were so many colours to choose from... from Google Images I assume a deep, glittery red would be my favourite but if glitter is an option, surely glitter is the best?
Do you like to stay in your PJ's or dress up for Christmas?
Dress up all the way! If you can't dress up for the fanciest day of the year, when else can you? I've never had a holiday season where I haven't bought a new frock, turned the heating onto full and scoffed my face with left over pork pie. This year I wanted to buy a beautiful green sequined dress from H&M for the occasion but the sizing's were all wrong. (sad face)
If you could only buy one person a present this year, who would it be for?
I don't think I would buy anybody a present if I had to choose between my friends and family. Every single person who receives a present this year has impacted positively on my life in some way and I don't think there is a way I can categorise that and then decide who is more worthy? Even if one person is deemed insignificant for a proportion of the year, if they make you smile they can be deserving of a present.
Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
I think the magic of Christmas Eve is built upon the realisation that in the not so far away hours, there will be a gift giving session which should be worth so much more than the money spent, which exchanges happiness and pride and this is why Christmas morning should be the time for present opening.

Have you ever built a gingerbread house?
I actually haven't, nor have I ever had a burning desire to build one. I love gingerbread and teaming a slab of gingerbread with a hot chocolate from Costa is one of my proudest moments but making a house from it has never interested me. I'd hate to say I'm now too old to create one, but maybe that is now the truth. Hmm.
What do you like to do during your Christmas holidays?
I usually go and spend too much money in the boxing day sales, while meeting up with friends who I may not have seen in a while and drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, but this year I really want to read a damn book as my reading has been pushed to the side amid chaos after chaos and reading three whole books in a year is embarrassing to admit, especially when one of those was a lacklustre Kimberley Walsh book.
Any Christmas wishes?
Without sounding totally cheesy, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas for once, though I don't actually like the snow it looks ridiculously pretty and if I'm not setting foot in it, having it lay outside my window will do me just fine. 
Favourite Christmas smell?
I have a ridiculous addiction to the salted caramel Yankee Candles so I assume they will take pride of place in the candle holder this year.
Favourite Christmas meal or treat?
 Pigs in blankets are a once a year treat, so I assume they'd be what I'd choose, but stuffing is my bae and therefore I should choose stuffing. Did I mention I went to Leeds last week and they gave me a Yorkshire pudding with my fish and chips? Leeds is bonkers.
Join me tomorrow for more #blogmas! 
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