Blogmas 25: Merry Christmas!

25 December 2015


Hello!

This is a kind of day in the life post.

I couldn't sleep at all last night. I was up tossing, turning and watching youtube videos until 5.30am, I managed to eventually drift off a little bit and was awoken by my mum at 9am.

Blogmas 24: AAARGH!

24 December 2015

Hello!

This picture appeared on my 'on this day' on Facebook this morning. It's from two years ago when I did all of my shopping on Christmas eve.

All of it. 

Blogmas 23: Let's look beyond

23 December 2015



Hello!

How often have you looked up into the sky? How many times have you counted the stars? How many times have you stared up, in the silence, and wondered what life lies beyond...

Blogmas 22: Blogging Goals 2016

22 December 2015




Hello!

I've decided today should be a short little blog post, I can't believe there's only a few days left of blogmas! I'm so proud of myself for managing to keep going!

In this I thought I'd talk a little bit about my blogging goals for 2016. I did talk about my new year's resolutions over on this post but they were mostly just personal ones, this will be all about my blog.

Let's gooo!

Blogmas 21: Town Tours Special

21 December 2015


Hello!

So... I've been talking a bit about how I'm going to be doing a special thing for Christmas... Well.. We're making Christmas Market specials of TOWN TOURS!


Yup. That project I started with my Baguettes is called TOWN TOURS where we go around different towns and cities in order to encourage tourism, for those who don't know. There is one main episode on my youtube (gailypi) about Falkirk, but also "mini"sodes for Singapore and Rhyl (beach) as well on my SherbetAurora account.

Blogmas 20: The One That Racheal Wrote

20 December 2015


Hello, Racheal here! (I'm the one in the straw hat in the Baguette's post)

So I've hijacked Sherbet-Aurora to tell you how our super festive weekend in Aberdeen is going!

As everyone was pretty tired, last night called for a movie night in. Which was kick started by Home Alone (it's the rules). From there, our movie choices became questionable and we wound up watching the demonic horror film As Above, So Below and then to the other end of the spectrum with Chicken Run! (I like to watch something light and silly after a horror, does anyone else do that?)

Blogmas 19: Megauncomfortable in Aberdeen

19 December 2015



Hello!

Okay, so I don't have much to talk about today. I'm in Aberdeen just now!

I woke up at 8.30 am so that I could finish packing my suitcase. I got myself showered, fed and then left the house at 12.30pm.

Blogmas 18: Meeting My Cousin

18 December 2015

Hello!

Here we have me and my cousin a week ago. Pretty ordinary, right? NOPE. Read about how we met, because it was a bit crazy!

This is my perspective. Be sure to check out Courteney's version on her blog

Blogmas 17: Giveaway winners!

17 December 2015

Hello!

So, I hope you remember but a few weeks ago I ran a giveaway on here to celebrate me reaching 700 followers on Tumblr (southwesteros.tumblr.com). There were two prizes up for grabs: a main prize and a runners up prize, and the closing date was 15 December 2015.

Blogmas 16: Stuff you!

16 December 2015

Hello!
Okay. So that made me seem like I was being rude, I promise I'm not! I just want to talk about the weird thing I do. It relates to teddy bears.

Blogmas 15: Winter Faves

15 December 2015

Hello!

So I know Winter has only really just started but I wanted to write a quick little summary of what I am absolutely loving so far. Who knows, perhaps I'll even have more parts to this and make it a series!

Blogmas 14: Resolutions

14 December 2015


Hello!

I was recently having a stalk on a few of the #GirlGang blogs, when I came across one by Sapphire Moon (she's also super lovely, so follow her on twitter and definitely read her posts!)

[edit: Saph's blog is now called Simply Saph]


In that post, she's talking about what 20 things she wanted to start doing more after her 20th birthday, and her current progress of doing them.

Last year, I wrote my New Years Resolution on Instagram and Tumblr. Have I achieved it? What goals will I set myself for 2016?

Blogmas 13: So.. You Build Fences?

13 December 2015

Hello!


AAaand no, no I don't.

I also really love the above photo, as old as it is (I mean, I'm brunette) because I'm still friends with these guys, they've helped me through a lot and I'm there for them through a lot as well.

If you haven't guessed yet, this post is a little bit about Fencing.

Blogmas 12: Roman Holiday | CHESTER

12 December 2015


Hello!

If you remember, back in October, hannah and I took a trip to Wales. We then decided to take a day trip to Chester, because it was nearby to where we were staying (on the Welsh border) and also it had a Roman garden.

I love learning about the Romans, and my home town is where the Antonine Wall ran through!

I got super excited when I read that there was a garden in here! I had to go.

Blogmas 11: Are You A Baguette?

11 December 2015



Hello!

So you may have been seeing me talk recently on twitter about meeting my "#SQUAD" and you might be wondering who they are.


Well... Let's meet them and find out if you, too can be an honorary Baguette.

Blogmas 10: What 2015 Has Taught Me

10 December 2015


Hello!

Today is December 10th 2015. There are 21 days left of this year. I am 21 years old. How coincidental!

This year has been a pretty massive year for me. Long haul trips, major birthdays, first year of blogging, meeting great people... This year has been a rollercoaster. But, it's been a fun one. Let's jump straight in.

Blogmas 9: Where I want to travel to

09 December 2015



Hello!


Let's get back on a travel theme again, I've derailed a little but in the last few days, but I thought I'd share a small bucket list, I suppose with you all of places I really want to visit

Blogmas 8: The Importance of Life Experience

08 December 2015



Hello!
Today I want to take a semi-serious topic, so no travel/lifestyle/fashion, I want to talk about Life Experience.

I'm 21 years old. Since leaving school at aged 18, I have been in two colleges and one Modern Apprenticeship. I've had one proper job, one almost proper job and one volunteering job. I've been on Job Seekers Allowance twice and I've also dealt with Anxiety, Depression and emotional manipulation (but I won't delve too much into that last one.) and have seen a life coach.

I feel like talking about life experience isn't widely enough done, and that every once in a while, we should take a look back at who we were 1, 2, 3 etc years ago and who we are now. I, for one, am a completely different person, and I'm glad of that.

When I left school, I didn't have a place at college or university. I was struggling to get out of an undiagnosed depression and had no self confidence at all. I started hating myself, who I am and how I was just going to fail at everything. I ended up (reluctantly) on Job Seekers. Luckily, my advisor was really lovely, she listened to me and took everything I said seriously. She was the one who looked at my (fairly average) grades at school and told me about a new college opportunity with my local council. It was an Activity Tourism course lasting for 18 weeks.  I like tourism, and I like learning, I also really wanted to get off Job Seekers so I took it, and was accepted.

I did have a lot of fun on the course. I pushed myself to Abseil (although I cried a lot from fear) and I met some new, interesting people. I even had a boyfriend who I was with for over a year. Things were starting to look up.

Then the course ended, and we were all left in the dark about what was happening. I now had skills in First Aid, Manual Handling and Health and Safety at work, but what was I meant to do with them?

We were thrown into a voluntary job with the British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical. Myself, and two others, were on the shop floor. I actually had great fun with this, and was there for 6 months (longer than the people I started with, because they all got jobs.) I started to learn how to operate the till, take calls, set up displays, clean, mark prices, train new volunteers... Lots of retail skills to add to my growing collection. It was at this point that I was to be introduced to my life coach, Lorraine.

Lorraine was extremely lovely. She listened to what I had to say, all my anxieties and worries, and she tried to help me focus on what I could do as a career. I had been juggling with a few ideas and settled on teaching. From there, my employment coordinator nudged me into applying for a Modern Apprenticeship in Children's Care, Learning and Development.

I applied, got my interview, got the job, got through induction, said goodbye to my life coach and now I was a part of 60 children's educational experience.

I struggled. This was not the right thing for me, but I persevered. I got through each day, and I tried, each day I felt like I was losing more and more energy by trying to stay happy and alert outwardly, while inside I was on total panic mode.

After a few months, alarm bells started ringing with my employers. My assessors had brought up that I was struggling and was not where I should be, I was still taking a safe, back seat on things. I was back with my life coach again to try and give me some support but it didn't work, and I'd broken up with my boyfriend. Lorraine told me that the best thing to do would be to leave on my own terms, which I agreed to. Everyone accepted that this was the best decision for me to make, and I was allowed to continue to see Lorraine to help me transition to a new venture. At least I had a few more certificates to my name: Emergency First Aid and Food Hygiene.

This was April 2014. I was back on Job Seekers allowance.

I was lucky again, the woman taking my details happened to be an old neighbour of mine, so while I felt really uneasy at being back in that building, I felt a bit more relaxed knowing that she knew who I was, who my parents were and that everything I was saying was the truth. My advisor was also really lovely, I think I've been really lucky with how things have panned out for me in the Job Centre department, I've heard a lot of stories of people getting horrible advisors but I just haven't seen that happen. They are people too, with stressful jobs.

Throughout this, I was still seeing Lorraine, and the job centre, Lorraine and my past employers were all in the loop with what was going on with me. Lorraine had been noticing a trend in me talking about how I wanted to travel more, and all my possible futures surrounded around going around the world. She suggested I apply for Travel and Tourism college courses. So I did.

I also found a job, with help from my advisor, at a local Fish & Chip Shop. I said bye-bye to the Job Centre, and hello to the world of work.  At this point I'd had all my college interviews, several unconditionals and I was on the waiting list for my No1 college. My colleagues at the chippy were also really lovely, I'd never felt so supported anywhere before. Things were looking up.

I got a second job in Aberdeen just in case I was going to college there. I'd travel 2.5 hours by train on the days I wasn't in my Chippy job. It was stressful, it was exhausting but I did it until it all became too much and I had to leave.

In August 2014, I was sitting in the car on the way to Blackpool with my mum and my friend Jennifer. We were going away to get me away from my now stressful life. I had not heard back from my No1 College and so it was looking likely that I was going to have to move to Aberdeen, where I had one friend. I was in the midst of drama and on the verge of tears at trying to think of where I could get money for my flat that I'd agreed to when I got en email from my No1 college asking if I was still interested. Of course I was! I zapped an email back straight away and was given my induction date.

I was so excited.

I was no longer with my life coach, but I was in a comfortable place. I loved my college course, I'd met new friends who I'm still close to (of course, because I'm still here) and my lecturers have all been wonderful, helpful and understanding.

In January 2015, we became short staffed and I was now at College 4 days a week and work 3 days a week. I was run down, I had no time to myself but I still wanted to get everything done to the best of my ability. I would wake up every day in pain, my self confidence had taken a nose dive again, I was stressed and my hands had started to flake. I was really ill. This lasted at it's worst, for 3 weeks. However the stress, the self confidence, the flaking hands, it all lasted for months. I was so beaten down, that my memory started to go. I'm still feeling the impact of this 12 months later, where I forget my words in the middle of a sentence 8 times out of 10, I struggle with descriptions of actions I'd taken moments before, I have to write down almost everything I have to do, or that I've done.

In April 2015, it was time to get my graded unit handed in. I was struggling to find the time to get it done. I stayed up all night trying desperately to write it up and when Monday rolled around... It still wasn't complete. I had a breakdown infront of my guidance lecturer apologising for not finishing it on time. My tears and panic lead to me having a panic attack in front of her and several other lecturers who all tried to calm me down. I ended up getting a C in the unit, I was two marks away from getting a B.

A year after I started my job in the chippy, I left on good terms because I was going into my second year at college, which was going to be a lot more stressful than the first. I left on good terms, and my boss knew that this was the right decision, again. She'd seen me work as hard as I could, she saw the stress I'd been under and she'd even taken me aside on a number of occasions to ask if I was okay.

I've been feeling a lot more confident now, more than ever before. I have supportive friends, family and this new and excited blogging network through #GirlGang. I've even been on my first ever long haul trip to Singapore! That I never dreamed would happen!

It truely feels as though everything that I've been through has given me the experience I never knew I needed to get me to where I am now. I still battle with Anxiety, that is going to be a hard one to shake, but I'll get there one day.

I made this post to highlight that although things seem bleak, they do get better and before you know it, you'll be exactly where you're supposed to be. You just have to persevere and take the opportunities given to you, because they'll lead you to new and incredible places that you didn't think you'd ever be.

I urge you all to take a look at your life experience, how far have you come on your journey so far? How have you changed in the past few years? Where do you see yourself going?

Let me know, because I'd really love to read your responses :)

Thanks for reading this, I hope it's helped to shape your perspective on life a little bit.

_________


Remember, I have a giveaway running until 15 December.
Here's the link to the post if you are interested >> ( here ) <<
Two prizes up for grabs; from Lush, Metal Panda and Bomb Cosmetics.

Blogmas 7: Why Do I Blog?

07 December 2015




Hello!

I was scanning the internet looking for ideas on what I could do for today, when I came across this seemingly very simple question. Why Do You Blog?

In the easiest response I can give, it was because I'm friends with +hxanou (here) and I would read her older blogs and think 'wow, that's really good. I'm kind in interested in doing that as well'.

Although that is still true, (and let's be honest, hannah's blog always looks wonderful and I am probably the number 1 fan of it) I have different reasons now.

Blogmas 6: Walking 30 MILES

06 December 2015

Hello!

I don't think I've ever told you all this story, but back in November 2014, my friend Nicola and I set off on a journey that lasted for 14(ish) hours, on a 30 mile walk from Falkirk to Edinburgh.  But why?

Blogmas 5.2: My Experience With Turkish Airlines

05 December 2015

Hello!
I must be spoiling you with two posts in one day!  My previous post was on Christmas food, and this one is a travel related one based on my recent flight (well, flights) with Turkish Airlines (THY).

I'd never flown long haul before, and my flight before this was from EDI - BHX which was maybe an hour long, tops. Quite a change to a 16 hour flight with one connection!

Blogmas 5.1: Food





Hello!


Today's Blogmas question was 'favourite Christmas food' and honsetly this is a really simple one for me to answer.

Blogmas 4: Christmas music

04 December 2015




Hello!

Christmas music is one of the best things about Christmas. You walk into a shop and you hear 'and the bells were ringing out for Christmas day' and your heart fills with festive spirit! (Unless you're the shop floor employee who has heard that same song 50 times over in a 6 hours shift, a feeling I totally understand after a certain little tree kept getting set off at my last place of work...)

Blogmas 3: Christmas Movies

03 December 2015




Hello!

My brother is 20 years old today! That's terrifying. What's more terrifying is that in 3 months I get to sing "22" by Taylor Swift for a whole year! God, time flies.


When it comes to Christmas time, I tend to watch whatever comes on tv, and throw in a few of my other favourite films as well!

Blogmas 2: What Christmas Means To You

02 December 2015


Hello!
To me, Christmas means family. It means friends. It means joy. It means excitement. It means cold days and colder nights. It means the anticipation of snow. It means the praying for no snow so that you don't end up with a cancelled train. It means "I almost forgot to get my brother a present for his birthday, again!'

BLOGMAS 1: Tradition.

01 December 2015

Hello!

I've decided to do Blogmas this year, and unlike that month where I started to do a monthly blog and then give up I AM COMMITTED TO GETTING THIS DONE.

I did a quick google search for prompts and found this (being well aware that it says 2014. credit to the creator!)

Let's begin.