Life Lately - June

Once again I have pretty much failed at this blogging business. I am hoping that once the new house is all sorted and I have my little office/library set up I will find more time to write. I always have so many ideas but I just don't make myself find the time. So here's another little update for you all!!

Making: Plans for our new house! Things are moving swiftly and it's an exciting time!
Drinking: Vimto. It really is the nectar of the gods.  
Reading: The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Yes I am very late to the party. 
Wanting: The keys to our house, I just want to get decorating.
Looking: For stuff for the house. We have been buying sooooo much lately. 
Playing: The Scott and the Sassenach podcast. It's about Outlander and it is brilliant!
Deciding: Where to start with everything I need to get done.
Watching: Outlander, I need to catch up.
Enjoying: The sunnier weather. It makes everyone happier.
Waiting: Once again for things with the house to move forward.
Liking: The fact that I only have 35 working days left until the Summer hols!
Wondering: What to wear for work tomorrow.
Loving: All of the copper stuff we have been buying for the house. It's an obsession. 
Hoping: For things at work to go smoothly this term.
Marvelling: At how much money me and Adam are spending!
Needing: To be more organised (as always)
Wearing: My new Primark Harry Potter pjs. 
Following: The news about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. No spoilers though!
Thinking: About how much I wish I spent more time on this blog.
Buying: Lots and lots and lots of house stuff.
Bookmarking: Ideas for displays at work.
Snacking: I have been snacking too much, need to be more healthy for my holiday!

First Time Buyers | The Beginning

Readers I am about to embark on one of life's biggest journeys. As I sit typing this on a balmy, spring like Friday evening, there are teeny tiny little butterflies fluttering away in my stomach. You see tomorrow morning me, my boyfriend and my Dad are going to a house viewing. But this isn't just any house viewing. Oh no, this viewing marks the start of mine and my boyfriend's hunt for our first home together.

Much excite. Much nerves.

We have been building up to this moment since we pretty much first got together. Back then our conversations about moving out revolved around me telling my boyfriend that he needed to be patient, that going and renting a flat just because he wanted to move out wasn't the way forward. At around the three year mark, as we realised that we could in fact picture ourselves actually living together, those conversations got a bit more serious. As many of you reading this will know buying a house is an expensive business. In today's market if you want any type of mortgage lender to take you seriously then you need a big pile of moolah behind you. Luckily me and my boyfriend are in a good position with the money we have for a deposit and all the extra fees that come along with buying a house. We don't have a huge amount but it's enough for us to be looking in the price bracket we were after.

Of course this price bracket has been decided on after many a wistful 'no maximum' budget search on RightMove. Slowly but surely we gained a realistic view of what we can actually afford to pay for each month and have narrowed our searches down accordingly. If I'm honest, whilst the price of the property is an important factor, it is deciding how much you can afford to pay each month on running the house (mortgage, utilities etc) that is the most important factor. The three trifectas of our house search have been: our deposit, house price and monthly cost. We also have a wishlist of features but I'll talk about that in another post.

Although we haven't actually sat down and worked out our finances down to the last penny as of yet, we do have a good idea of what we can both afford to pay each month. It's an important conversation to have especially, if like us, one person is earning less than the other. We don't have a massive disparity between our monthly income but we have had to sit and talk about how the running costs of the house will be split. Surprisingly, this conversation was quite easy and we both feel happy with the percentages we've come up with. Of course some people will pay 50/50 no matter the difference in income but we wanted to make sure that we both had money left over for each of us to save and have a little bit of disposable income as well. All of these decisions are very fluid at the moment as we have no concrete figures to go off of. What we have done is sat down and worked them out based on the average cost of the type of house we want to buy. Zoopla also have this handy feature that estimates how much the monthly running of a house may cost.

So yeah.

After a few years of saving, dreaming and planning it is all beginning to feel very real.

I went into my bank earlier and scheduled a phone call with a mortgage consultant in order to get a decision in principle. Once that is in place we will be able to make an offer if we find a property we want. This phone call includes going through our in-comings and out-goings and fingers crossed we will be able to borrow the amount we need!

The property we are going to view tomorrow does have most of the features that are on our wishlist, I am just keeping my fingers crossed that there is nothing majorly wrong with it! I'm trying not to get carried with myself because it is only the first house but it's so hard! (Who am I kidding, I have it all decorated in my head!) That's the reason we are taking my Dad along, so that he can be the voice of reason and keep me and my boyfriend from getting too excited in front of the estate agent.

Speaking of decorating, as you can see from the photo up top I have been hoarding home-ware catalogues and home magazines for a while (the Next one is last years collection.) I used to want to be an interior designer so buying my first house will mean I get to flex my creative wings. I already have most of my colour schemes and designs sorted in my head.

You can check out my pinterest boards to see what I've been dreaming up. I also wrote a Wednesday Wishlist post a while ago which featured things I would love to have in my living room. Expect to see a few more home themed wishlists in the future.

I'm going to try and blog my way through the whole experience because having searched around I can't find many blogs that talk about the home buying process, especially for first time buyers on a budget. It's going to be a stressful but exciting few months ahead!

Are any of you in the same position or hoping to be soon? Or have you got some pinterest boards I can have a nosy at? Let me know in the comments!

The Reading List | January 2016

I know I know it is basically the end of February and I am ONLY just getting around to writing about the books I read in January. It's because I am an independent blogger who don't need no schedule (which I 100% do, I am just SUCH A PROCRASTINATOR). Bad blogger vibes aside I thought I would still share the books I read last month because I am planning on making this a monthly feature. As you can tell I don't have the time to sit and write a separate review for all the books I read so I thought I would put them all together in one handy reading list so you guys can see what I've been reading.

January was a good reading month for me. I read five books and each they were all completely different from one another. My Goodreads Reading Challenge is to read 50 books this year and I feel I've made a really good start!

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

In Life After Life Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have. 
- synopsis from Goodreads

I must admit it took me a while to get used to the almost meandering style of A God in Ruins with future events being intermingled with the present story being told. It is a remarkable feat on Atkinson's part that those little tidbits and references to future events are so seamlessly mixed in. A God in Ruins made me feel as though I were listening to a story being told, with little anecdotes being interspersed with musings about the future.

Atkinson has this knack of creating characters that crawl into your heart, nestle there and then refuse to budge. In Life after Life, Teddy is the golden boy of the Todd family. Sylvie's favourite, the boy hero headed off to war. A God in Ruins takes Teddy and weaves him a tale of love, loyalty and stoicism. I can't think of many books that I have read with a middle aged/elderly man as the main character (if I have read any at all) but Atkinson does so well to portray the way in which Teddy holds on to his values and the way he thinks the world should be. 

I had high expectations for A God in Ruins after reading Life After Life and I am happy to say that it more than lived up to them. 
Rating: 4 stars

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. 
Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
synopsis from Goodreads

I picked this book up purely based on its cover. It is such a beautiful book that I could not resist buying it. I had no idea what the story was going to be about when I started reading but I can assure you that it wasn't the story I got. 

This book certainly wins the award for being one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. That being said, the plot didn't actually feel that far fetched. The story starts off feeling very much like contemporary teen novel. Aza is ill and the only person she feels really understands her is her best friend Jason. It all felt very John Green up until the point Aza started seeing ships sailing in the clouds and began to feel like birds were talking to her. 

What follows that is a rip-roaring, completely fantastical adventure in ship that sails above the clouds. Whilst some of the elements did feel a little bit too out there and some things could possible have done with little more explaining. Headley does a very good job in keeping the plot coherent. There's a lot of references to the state the world is being left in and it could pose questions about the environment in a new way that teenagers may access easier due to Magonia's fantasy setting. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store!

Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villians to justice…
synopsis from Goodreads

Before picking this book up it had been a while since I had read what would be classed as a Middle Grade book. Working in a Secondary School library means that I mainly read YA titles. It was refreshing to pick up Clockwork Sparrow because it was such a fun read. 

Woodfine has captured the essence of what I imagine department stores were like during their heyday. Sinclair's is described so richly that I felt like I was there whilst reading. The elegance and the opulence of the many floors filled with products for the wealthy to fawn over cemented the book in it's era and almost added an extra character to the story. 

Sophie and Lil were brilliant written and it was great to read about strong, young women who were determined to do the right thing and set the record straight. Their friendship and the little group they formed with Billy and Joe has created the basis for a wonderful series that provides adventure and escape for children and adults alike. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt

Limpet, Steffan and Jared. Three best friends crammed into a clapped-out rust bucket of a car on a whirlwind road trip to forget their troubles and see out the end of the summer. But no matter how far they drive, they can’t escape the hidden secrets and slow-burning romance that could upset the balance of their friendship – perhaps forever.
synopsis from Goodreads

The Last Summer of Us was on the nominations list for this years Carnegie Medal so, of course, I was interested to pick it up and see what it was all about. I will admit that even though I do read a lot of YA fiction, I don't tend to pick up contemporary titles. I am drawn more towards the fantasy/supernatural so it was a change for me to pick up a book about three normal teenagers. 

Harcourt did well to capture the dynamics in the trio. Having a trio made up of two boys and a girl was an interesting take and I think that their friendship was portrayed well and quite realistically. The shifting tensions between the three of them as they learn more about the situations they find themselves in created a great canvas on which Harcourt could explore the ways in which friendships can change, even in the smallest of time frames. 

I wasn't blown away by the story, it was a simple road trip story with some emotionally charged moments that stood out. I would recommend it to anyone who was looking for an easy contemporary YA. 
Rating: 3 stars

There Will be Lies by Nick Lake

In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.
Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.
All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

synopsis from Goodreads

The thriller parts of the story worked really well. At any point in the story you are not sure who to believe and whether or not Shelby is finally being told the truth. Lake builds up to the twists and turns brilliantly and even though I figured a few of them out, the way he weaved them into the story was clever. Shelby wasn't a particularly likable character, something about her jarred with me and I can't put my finger on why. Of course she had led a very sheltered life and that may have been why she was so bitter, but still there was something I didn't like about her. 

The problem I had was the way in which Lake used the Native American mythology to move the story along. Shelby's progression throughout the novel became dependent on her entering 'the dreaming' and working her way through some sort of quest she needed to complete. I'm still not entirely sure why Lake decided to use that narrative device and I'm not sure it worked. If the story had moved along with the mythology I think I would enjoyed it a lot more than I did. 
Rating: 3 stars


Have you read any of the books in my January reading list? Let me know in the comments, I love to talk about books!

Life Lately - February

I had all these grand plans of posting three times a week once 2016 had started and here we are seven weeks in and I have a total of ONE post so far this year. So that's going rather well isn't it? Starting my new job has been rather a steep learning curve and if I am honest it is taking up A LOT of my energy. So I thought I would do another little update post to keep you all in the loop!

Making: Plans, plans and more plans. I think that, that may be a huge theme for this year.
Drinking: Peppermint tea. I am attempting to be a little bit healthier than I have been lately. 
Reading: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach - the plot sounds intriguing!
Wanting: Half term to last longer!
Looking: Forward to spending the day shopping with my Mum tomorrow. 
Playing: Pillowtalk by Zayn Malik over and over and over 
Deciding: What I need to tackle at work next!
Watching: Me and Adam just started watching Making a Murderer, it's so good!
Enjoying: How much time I've been spending reading.
Waiting: For decisions to be made at work so I can start implementing things for September. 
Liking: The fact I have been making sure I make time for 'me' time, such an important thing!
Wondering: How to make time for everything I want to do in my spare time!
Loving: My new skin care regime. After all these years I have finally stuck to one!
Hoping: That my plans for the library come to fruition.
Marvelling: At how strong my Mama is, she's such a fighter. 
Needing: More time in my day.
Wearing: My lovely dressing gown that looks like it's from Frozen.
Following: All the librarians I follow on twitter are so supportive, it's a really good network.
Thinking: About my to-do list when I go back to work next week.
Buying: I have been quite good with my money this month so far!
Bookmarking: All the books I want to buy/read.
Snacking: On all the sweets.

Letters from the Library

My last 'Letters from the Library' post came at the beginning of the last academic year and I was in a little bit of a limbo period, not knowing where I would be at the start of the current one. I had gone for a job as an Assistant Librarian in another school but I was unsuccessful. Luckily the school I was at very kindly agreed to let me stay on and I spent most of the six weeks holiday working my way through a huge to do list, which included rearranging the library.

Me and the Librarian didn't actually end up working together too much over the six weeks as we both used our annual leave at different times. I did find it difficult to work from a list that she had created without her there to answer any questions I had but I feel like I did a good job. I do admit to feeling a little despondent over the summer. Although I was really enjoying work at the school, the placement was only designed to last year and then I was meant to move on. Every other person who had completed the placement had moved on after the initial twelve months and I hadn't. A part of me felt like I had failed. I did have to keep reminding myself that three out of the four people who had gone before me had actually moved on to different sectors. School librarian jobs are not ripe for the picking, especially in the area in which I live, so the job hunt was always going to be an arduous process. So I picked myself up and pledged to get as much out of continuing at the school as possible whilst still searching for a new job.

In the end it turned out to rather a good thing that I didn't move on.

The last week of the summer holidays was actually the first time throughout the whole summer that the Librarian and I were able to work with each other for more than one day. We had the last week set aside for getting the new display backings up and doing any last minute tidying and rearranging that needed doing.

All was going smoothly until we decided to put the display backing up. The display boards in the library are not easily accessible and in order to get to this particular one we were required to climb up on to a bench. It was whilst I was stapling away at a border that I head a huge clatter and turned round to see the Librarian on the floor clutching her wrist.

A trip to A&E and a five hour day spent in hospital later and it turns out she had broken it.

Which meant that for the foreseeable future I was going to be running the library. This wouldn't have been too much of a problem if it weren't for the fact that I was going to Florida for two weeks, a holiday that had been booked before I got the job.

This meant that for the first three days of the new school year I was racing round like a headless chicken trying to put things in place so that the library would not burn to the ground in my absence. This process was frustrated by members of the SLT being very unhelpful and basically telling me it wasn't my problem. There may have been a little bit of truth in there, they were attempting to sort out cover etc. but I still felt that I needed to be kept in the loop. The students were at the top of my priority list and I made sure that there were facilities available for them to return books as I knew that there would be many who were worried about over dues whilst the library was shut. I also made sure that staff knew the library was going to be running a limited service but to email me any queries they had so that I could attend to them when I got back.

I then jetted off to Florida and had the best two weeks I have had in a while and luckily came back to a functioning, if somewhat disorganised, library. It was then that I realised that I needed to step up to the plate and keep the library running as normal as possible. Of course there were things that I couldn't do because I didn't have access to the Librarians emails or documents but I did my utmost best to do everything that needed doing.

It was a rather tiring time if I am honest but I did enjoy the challenge. I tried my best to make sure all the classes that were scheduled went ahead and for the most part I kept the library open at break times so students could use it. I fielded questions from staff, kept the website up to date and I did it with almost no help whatsoever.

I think that is the one thing that made it such a stressful time, not having support from SLT. I had a glimpse into what it is like for Librarians who work on there own and don't have much support from higher up. It is not a walk in the park believe me.

But I did it and when the Librarian came back during the second week in November she thanked me for keeping the library running. It took up until the week we broke up for Christmas to catch up on everything that had been missed or forgotten whilst she was off.

That's when this little story takes another turn.

I got a new job!

It was all rather rushed as I went for the interview and was offered the job three days before the Christmas holidays began but as of tomorrow I will be working in a new school. What is most exciting about this new job is that I will be running my own library!

I have done it, I have managed to land myself my dream job!

It is not going to be without it's challenges. The library is in dire need to an overhaul but I am confident that I will be able to turn it around. I will be working as a solo Librarian which is a little nerve-wracking but I will tackle it head on. I had a meeting at the school last week and I got the most supportive feeling from everyone I met. The English and Literacy team can't wait to work with me, the Head Teacher is fully on board and there have been talks of a good budget to get the library back up and running.

I also have such a fabulous network of people that I have met on Twitter. Librarians such as Leanne, Alison, Hilary, Rachel, Elly, Jo and Cazzle who have welcomed me into their little community on Twitter and have helped/encouraged me so much already! I know I'll be OK with them around.

I have a big job on my hands but I cannot wait to get started. I have so many ideas buzzing round my head and it is going to be so rewarding to see how my passion can help build a fantastic school library.

I'll be updating mine and the libraries progress on here so if you want to follow my journey keep your eyes peeled!

Life Lately - December

The festive season is so hectic right? I haven't found the time to sit down at my laptop and write a blog post for so long!! I found this lovely blog post idea on Kassiella's blog and I thought it was a great way for me to update you all on what I've been doing/thinking recently. I will hopefully be back blogging normally again soon!

Making: Plans for 2016. As much as I hate to admit it, I am a total sucker for New Year's Resolutions.
Drinking: Lots and lots of tea and hot chocolate, 'tis the season after all!
Reading: I am just about to start The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. wish me luck!
Wanting: A lovely, cosy Christmas.
Looking: Forward to beginning my new job!!
Playing: Justin Bieber's Sorry on repeat (not sorry!)
Deciding: About what to wear on Christmas day! 
Watching: All of the vlogmas' on YouTube, so many to keep up with!
Enjoying: Having two weeks off work and spending time relaxing. 
Waiting: For Christmas day, only 3 days now!
Liking: How content I feel. I always take stock at this time of year and I feel good. 
Wondering: What my boyfriend has got me for Christmas!
Loving: How I've improved with my present wrapping skills this year. I'm impressed.
Hoping: That all that I want to happen in 2016 does happen. 
Marvelling: At the fact I have got myself a job doing what I love. 
Needing: A cup of tea now that I've mentioned it!
Wearing: I love being off and being able to slob around in comfy clothes. 
Following: So many things/people. My favourite people are the Sacconejolys! 
Thinking: About how much I achieved over the last few years. 
Admiring: The strength in the people around me. 
Buying: So many Christmas presents! I am officially done now though.
Getting: Excited about the coming new year. 
Bookmarking: Tips and tricks for when I start my new job. 
Snacking: On chocolate and sweets, I do love the festive season!

Get to know me - 25 questions

Seeing as I have been blogging semi-regularly for the past couple of weeks (we shall ignore the fact that The Wednesday Wishlist has not happened for 3 weeks . . .) and the fact that I am getting a small but steady stream of views now, I thought I would let you guys know a bit more about me. I found these questions after browsing a few blogs and I thought it would be fun to answer them!

What is your middle name?
I don't have a middle name as such. What I do have is a hyphenated first name. Although I go by Callie about 90% of the time, my actual name is Callie-Hannah. I will tell you something for nothing, growing up with that name was not fun. Whilst I can now appreciate that it is a unique name and I do love it, when I was younger there were times when I wasn't so keen. For example, my sisters names is Emily (well Emily-Jo but she goes by Emily), so when it came to getting stuff with her name on it, it was a breeze. She got EVERYTHING, stationery, headbands, stickers; you name it she got it. Me? Well I got stuck with either Hannah or a blank line where I had to write my own name. For someone who ADORES stationery, not being able to have my name on pens and notebooks at the age of 9 was heartbreaking. The struggle was real guys. 

What was your favourite subject at school?
English. I have always loved studying English, although my 'on this day' posts on Facebook may suggest otherwise with the sheer amount of moaning I did about writing essays for it. It is a subject I immediately had a natural affinity for. I enjoy the literature side more than the language side (grammar you say? *hides*). I think it helped that, for the most part, I had amazing teachers for my English lessons. At GCSE I had Miss Brice who introduced me to Jodi Picoult and lent me her River Phoenix DVDs. She could be quite harsh sometimes but she really pushed me and I thank her so much for that. I also had Mr Bray at GCSE and then again at A Level. This man will forever remain one of my favourite teachers. He was a fountain of knowledge and it was always quite easy to send him off on a random tangent if we didn't feel like doing work. I give him so much credit for me doing well at A Level because of how interesting he made Shakespeare. He would literally walk around the class performing King Richard II, which was quite an entertaining sight. What's interesting is that I didn't originally study English at university. I think I had become a little over saturated with it after GCSE and A Level. As I went into my second year I realised I missed it and picked it up alongside Creative Writing. I then eventually dropped Creative Writing and became a single honours English Literature student. I didn't look back and although my degree was hard I enjoyed every minute of it. 

What is your favourite drink? 
My favourite non-alcoholic drink would be Vimto. I could literally IV that stuff. My favourite alcoholic drink is definitely a jager bomb. Oh man I love myself a jager bomb (even more a jager pint). I know for a lot of people Jagermiester is the devils drink but I LOVE IT. It does get me drunk but not stupidly so, that would be Sambuca (which I also LOVE). The only thing I don't like about jager bombs is the furry feeling it leaves in your mouth the next day *shudders*. 

What is your favourite song at the moment? 
Sorry by Justin Bieber. That song is my jam, some serious car karaoke goes on when that gets played on the radio.  

What would you choose as your last meal? 
This is so tough because I love me some food. If I had to choose I would go for my ultimate comfort food meal. Corned beef, mash potatoes, peas and a whole load of gravy. All of that mixed together makes for one heavenly plate of food, especially when you need a good pick me up. 

What was the last thing you bought? 
I treated myself to a Happiness Planner for 2016. I have been wanting a planner for quite a while but couldn't find one that suited what I wanted. What I love about the happiness planner is that it combines a daily planner with a journal. It focuses on your goals and mindfulness as well as helping you keep your schedule in order. I also need to be more organised, especially as there may be some big things happening next year.  I so am excited for it to arrive! 

Favourite Book of all time? 
This is almost an impossible question for a book worm to answer. On an old book blog I used to have I wrote about five books that have impacted my life, I might re-post that on here at some point soon. If I had to choose a book from that list it would have to be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry Potter has shaped my life in every way possible. I was introduced to the series by my year 5 teacher. She read POA to us in class and I fell completely in love with the Wizarding World. If you want to know how much Harry Potter means to me I wrote this post last April. POA is my favourite book of all time because it changed my life and introduced me to something that would prove to play such a pivotal role in the way I grew up. 

Favourite Colour?
I have a few colours I'm quite partial to and it does depend on what context the colours are in. I love purple, burnt orange and rose gold but my absolute favourite is raspberry

Do you have any pets?
Yes, we have two mini lop rabbits called Crumpet and Waffle and they are adorable. 
Favourite Perfume?
I would have to say Marc Jacobs Daisy. It is the one perfume I always ask for birthdays and at Christmas. It's got such a fresh and fruity scent which I love. 

Favourite Celebration?
Definitely Christmas. I love the whole process of it. I love buying presents, seeing all the decorations, the music, family time and, of course, the food. Everything always feels so cozy and homely at Christmas. I also love the fact this year I get a whole TWO WEEKS off work because I work in a school. Having two weeks to just chill is amazing. 

What is your relationship status?
I have been with my boyfriend Adam for four years. We are hoping to buy a house next year (fingers crossed), we are so ready to have our own space!

What is your favourite country? 
I'm not a massive 'travelling' person, I am very much a home bird. Spain does have a special place in my heart because I have been going on holiday there since I was 18 months old. My family found a lovely little town called Los Alcazares and I have been on holiday there four times now. I instantly feel at home when we go because we are so familiar with it and I always feel relaxed there. 

Do you speak any other language?
I took German at GCSE and got a grade D. I would love to be able to speak another language, Spanish being on top of my list but I just don't have the time to commit to it!

How many siblings do you have?
I have one sister called Emily who is 21. 

What is your favourite shop?
New Look without a shadow of a doubt. At any given time if someone asked me where my outfit was from I can guarantee that at least two items will be from New Look. I just think it offers good quality clothes at really affordable prices. I could literally spend a whole months wages in there if I had the chance. 

Favourite Restaurant?
I mostly eat out at chain restaurants and I guess my favourite would have to be Nando's. I know that isn't very original of me but I do love a good Nando's!! If we are going away from franchises there is a pub in the town where I live called The Newdigate which does really good food. 

When was the last time you cried? 
The other day. I am currently on the hunt for a permanent job and I let the frustration of it all get to me a little too much. 

Who are your favourite Bloggers? 
I have only recently started reading blogs regularly but three of my current favourites are Hannah Gale, Career Girl Daily and Bethany-Georgina. Hannah and Bethany both seem like the kind of girls that I would really get on with. Their posts are full of personality and I love how varied their content is. Career Girl Daily is good for motivation and making you realise that you can do whatever it is you think you can't. 

Favourite Film?
Finding Neverland. Oh gosh I love that film, it makes me feel nostalgic and I cry every time I watch it. Kate Winslet is my favourite actress, her and Johnny Depp are fantastic in this film. Aside from Harry Potter it is the one film I put on if I'm feeling down or just need to relax. 
Favourite TV show?
Gogglebox. I don't know why I love it so much, I just do. It is a genius concept and so very British. What makes me laugh is me and my boyfriend always watch it together and we do exactly what the people on the show do! My favourite people on there are Scarlett, Sandy and Sandra, June and Leon and Steph and Dom. It makes me laugh and cry all the time. What's also great about it is the fact I get to watch quite a few shows through it without actually having to watch them!

PC or Mac?
At the moment I own a HP laptop. I am not an Apple product fan and I never really have been. 

What phone do you have?
I have a Sony Xperia Z3 and I love it. It has a 20 megapixel camera and it has quite a large screen which is great for watching YouTube videos!

How tall are you?
I am a mere 5ft 3in. Good things come in small packages you know!

Can you cook?
If by cook you mean shove things in the oven/microwave/frying pan and not burn them, then yeah I can cook.