a year in my life, 2013

This is my first ever actual recap, not only on my blog but ever..I just kind of usually just go with the flow of things & the years just come & go. I don't stop to think about them.

When it comes to New Years Eve you won't find me partying..far from it, you will probably find me at home in my pjs & thats exactly how I like it! :)

Like I said before I don't usually reflect on my year but since I now have my own little space, here on a whole lot of chitty chat.. I thought I'd sit & reflect back on the year because hopefully I will be able to reread them in a couple of years time. I say hopefully only just because you never know whats around the corner do you? Quite scary but we won't focus on that..

I've decided I'm not just going to focus on the good things about the year because life isn't always good, well you already knew that. Yes, I'm one for focusing on the positives...I'm sure you might of already noticed that. But remembering the bad times doesn't have to mean we have to be sad, it can prove to us how strong we are & what we have survived.

I'm going to attempt to do my year in order, as much as I can anyway..actually I'm going to get my diary out so I don't miss anything, slightly sad? Nevermind ay :) I have a feeling this could be a really long waffley post so brace yourself, get comfy & get a lovely drink of your choice.

The only thing to actually happen in January was my birthday, I turned twenty one..Can I just say, I don't see what the big deal is with turning twenty one. I'm actually more excited about turning twenty two just because I can go around all day singing, 'I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22'.. you know releasing my inner Taylor Swift. In fact I will probably be singing it all year round. :)

I decided to give blogging ago & well it's safe to say, it turned out pretty well & I really enjoy it. I did originally start blogging over on wordpress but then I changed my mind & I haven't felt the need to change from blogger since. Ok, admittedly I did change my blog name from 'away with the fairies' (awaywiththefairies321.blogspot.co.uk) to 'a whole lot of chitty chat', I'm so glad I made this change..feels so much more fitting! I did also move most my posts across on to here too so I can keep them all together. I originally blogged about my struggles with anxiety & panic attacks but I've moved on a little bit from them too & adding in random posts as I fancy. But the reason why I started was to have something to focus on, something to call my own & to make people know talking about mental health isn't something anyone should be ashamed of at all.

March, April, May, June
Okay then, I've decided to tie all these months together because I have very little wrote in my diary (yeah, that sounded such a good idea until I started flicking through the diary). During these months it was a mix of good & bad. I'll start straight off with the bad, let's dive straight on it at the deep end. My mum got diagnosed with breast cancer & had two operations & a session (is it called a session?) of radiotherapy. Don't worry she powered through it, if you saw her you wouldn't even know at all. She is such an inspiration. Now the bad stuff is out the way, on to the good. I became friends with my now very good friend Ally, Ally if your reading this hello & I LOVE you girl, thank you so much for being there for me! You are soooo strong & keep fighting! I also experienced my first ever Skype party, have you ever had one? Music, dancing, party food, drinks & presents? As Miranda Hart's on screen mum would say, such fun! It really is a great idea. I can't wait for our next one for my birthday. At the end of June I started driving lessons, well the rest is history...

July, August, September, October
I'd say these were the obvious months when my health improved massively. I finally felt I was getting myself under control & back on track. I gave CBT sessions another go, after around the same time last year getting what felt like nowhere with CBT, feeling like there was no way out & no way to get better. So I gave sessions another try with a different therapist, I seriously couldn't thank her enough. She does a fantastic job! In October it felt a very hectic time on the job front, I applied for a job then had a driving lesson on the same day & when I got home there was a voice mail from the shop I had handed my CV in to that very morning asking me to give them a call. I had an interview that very same day, crazzyyyy! I was honest regarding my anxiety from the word go & what makes it even better is they were completely understanding & it didn't affect anything. They said they really liked me as a person & admired my honesty.

November, December
I got another interview from the job I had the interview for in October but unfortunately I didn't get the job but I have helped them out twice when they had an event on. Which was great experience & I LOVED it! Really would of loved to have got the job, as much as I love helping out my parents at their shop I don't feel its healthy spending so much time with them. But who knows what the future holds, not me! Do you know? If so please let me know :) I won't get myself down about it, it obviously wasn't meant to be. At the beginning of November I managed to pass my driving theory test first time, what an incredible feeling that was & I passed it on my god mum's 40th birthday too..happy day all around! :) December has been pretty quiet really other than my driving lessons, which I've been absolutely loving! The past week or so has been lovely spending time with my family & close ones, mainly just lounging about & enjoy each others company.

WOW! my driving lesson appointment cards so far.

I'm not 100% sure they are called appointment cards (it just doesn't seem to sound right) but I'm not sure what else to actually call them.

Well that was a short & sweet post, yeah right! :) Give yourself a pat on the back if you made it this far & are still awake, woo hoo! Well done you..*high five*..*group hug*

I just want to take this moment (ok, now I feel a speech coming on) to thank every single one of you who takes time out of your day to read my posts & interact with me too. Since starting blogging I feel so many friendships blossoming & I absolutely LOVE it! :) I hope 2014 is going to be a great year for us all, each & every single one of you! I'm also hoping that you will travel along, on my journey via my blog. I LOVE BLOGGING! & the incredible people I've 'met' along the way!

Hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas & I would like to wish you all a very happy new year!

- Anna ♥

p.s. let's end this post in style, 90210 style.
90210 has come to an end & so is 2013...

Image found on weheartit

Sit Down Sunday - 29th December 2013

It's that time of week again but not only is it the last day of the week but today is also the last Sunday of 2013! WOW, where has this year gone?!?!

I just want to start of by saying I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas & I wish you all the best for the new year! :)

I love to blog when I'm alone & there is very little sound. Right now the only sound I can hear, other than my fingers tapping the keyboard is birds chirping away outside....peace & quiet, bliss!

My parents have headed out to have a browse around the sales so I decided to stay at home & just chill, that is what Sundays are for right? Well by chill I actually mean stay in my pjs & catch up on all things blog related. Bloglovin' I'm coming for you next once I've hit the publish button.

Does anybody else agree that Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year? I understand for some people it isn't going to be a wonderful time of year, every year. You can imagine what is coming next, you've got it..a quote, a post just isn't complete without a image.

Image found on weheartit

Yes, admittedly Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of year but it can also be one of the most wonderful times of year too. Since this week has officially been Christmas I'm going to reflect on the good things about this week & what has made it the most wonderful time (too cheesy, oh nevermind he he).

- spending time with family & loved ones
- exchanging gifts to show you care
- family time with no distractions
- being able to stay in my pjs without being called lazy
- having a skype party & skype in general
- everyone seems more jolly
- exchanging well wishes with blogging friends
- more films are on tv
- lazy lie ins
- sales in the shops, who doesn't love a bargain?
- being told that my posts about driving have made someone decide to give learning a go! :)

I'm pretty sure that has been pretty much everything good about my week. What has been good about your week? Leave me a comment or send me a tweet, I really do love hearing from you.

Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

p.s. my last blog post of the year will be going up tomorrow.

My Driving Journey - Lesson 48 & 49

I'm currently skyping my cool friend Nicola...her words not mine I'd just like to add :P hehe! Ok, she is pretty cool! I didn't know how to start the post but now I'm just going to go for it..

Is the run up to Christmas manic for everybody? I have a list today soooo long! But I added on my list time to skype, have my lunch & blog so here I am. Got to add some good things during the day inbetween cleaning bathrooms, steaming floors, hoovering, tidying bedrooms & a pile of ironing.. fun times my friends, fun times!

If you have followed along with my journey from the start, can you believe how far I've actually come? I know I can't..

I'll shut up with my waffling now shall I & just get on with how I've done this week?

Tuesday 17th December
Today I drove to the next town & first thing when we arrived I did a 3 point turn on a housing estate & made it in 3, I love the feeling of completing a manoeuvre right first time. Afterwards we headed to Aldi car park to have a few practices at bay parking, I practiced 3 different times in 3 different spots & they all went really well, win win win! Then I drove on & got to practice a parallel park which went well. After this we drove on to another housing estate where I got to practice a reverse around a bend & this went really well too. All in all, my lesson was a success!!!!

Thursday 19th December
My lesson today was based in my local town & I got to practice all four of the manoeuvres. First of we practiced a parallel park & then headed to a big car park where I got to practice bay parking. It went really well, half way through I decided to ask Sharon if anyone had ever crashed the car during a lesson..luckily nobody has, she hasn't let that happen but a few people have bumped into the car when the driver has accidentally stalled...naughty, naughty! People should be patient & careful. After this I got to practice a 3 point turn & yessss...did it in 3! Then I got to practice a reverse around a bend, which went pretty well & afterwards I drove to my parents shop in town where I was finishing my lesson today. I find it good being able to end the lesson in different places because then you are gaining more experience.

I feel my lessons have been a real success this week & I also have some news for you all too. Can anyone guess what that news is? (Nicola, you can't comment & guess..you already know)

If you fancy having a guess, leave me a comment below :)

Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 22nd December 2013

Well hello there my little blog readers.
I really hope you are all ready for Christmas & are in the festive spirit....


I'm not excited in the slightest, honest..
Oh, who am I kidding?
I can't wait!!!!

How sad to think that this time next week Christmas will be over..well Christmas Day will be anyway. Festive season carries on til the start of January right?

I'm not a big fan of reading blog posts without a pretty picture, it just breaks up all the words..pretty obvious statement there? Sorry about that... So I decided to choose this quote as it is a very obvious but very powerful point too. How many of you don't step out of your comfort zone? Admittedly I don't do it as often as I should I guess but that is better than not at all.

Image found on weheartit

So the good things about my week are....

- Christmas presents finally sorted
- receiving such lovely comments
- receiving lovely Christmas cards & parcels
- skype, love the creation
- feeling like I'm creating a lovely friendship with Christina (kimi and me)
- managing to have my dinner in a cafe (big deal for me)
- Sales

What has been good about your week?
Please, do share what has been good about your week.
I'd love to hear from you & about your achievements.

Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

don't make an enemy, make a friend

Image found on weheartit
This post isn't about humans. Okay, so that was a simple & not a crazyyyy way to open a blog post. Don't you think?
I've now learnt to regard my anxiety as part of me, as my friend. They say the first step to recovery is acceptance. I've learnt to accept anxiety & class it as part of me. It is with me during the day, most days. So instead of pushing the little monkey away (yes, I've just referred to my anxiety as a little monkey, a polite way of putting what it really is) I've decided to welcome it with loving arms we could say.

I've been told a few times by various different people that I'm so positive. I haven't always been this positive, I just decided to switch my mind set. No, it wasn't easy but was it worth it? Yes, totally.

Yes, I've cried some nights just wanting it to pass. Just to no longer feel that way anymore. But where will fighting the feeling get me? Other than miserable, it won't actually get me anywhere. I've questioned why me? Why is this happening to me? I haven't always been like this.. No, I haven't but I can either accept what is happening now or cry about my past self & pray that one day I will return to my old self as if by magic.

If you are reading this thinking, what is the point? How can I be positive about this situation? The point is life will feel much more worth living & I feel everyone can be positive about any situation. You just have to be willing to change your mind set & give it your best shot.

Just like to add aswell that being positive & happy all the time obviously isn't possible or healthy. You know you might see people & be like oooh I want their life, they are always so cheery & upbeat. Yes, they might seem that way but we all fall down sometimes. We have down days & probably just choose not to broadcast it to everyone. We are all humans, nobody is perfect. But I've now learnt to accept my bad days because it is okay not to be okay sometimes you know :)

One good thing to come from my new friend, Anxiety is my strength. I know feel a lot stronger person than before. When life throws something at you it can either destroy you or make you stronger.

Image found on weheartit

I really like that quote, I've used it before on my blog but it is so true. Just look back over your life so far & look at what you've come through & how much stronger you are now.

Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

My Driving Journey - Lesson 46 & 47

I really feel like a broken record being amazed at how many lessons I've done but I seriously never thought it would be possible & I haven't had to cancel any....yet! No, I'm kidding. I don't plan on cancelling any. 
I don't know why or what even made me think of it but earlier the thought popped in my head that I had passed my theory test...yes, I passed it last month but I don't really think it has fully sunk in that I have managed to achieve that. Next stop, the practical driving test itself.
Dum, dum, dummmmmm....

Tuesday 10th December

Today my lesson was 90 minutes & a mock test too.. Is it slightly weird now that mock tests excite me? Surely I can't be the only one who really likes them...am I? who knows, let me know how you feel about them in the comments :) So my lesson was based in the next town & surrounding villages.

 In your actual test you can be marked down for 15 minors & still pass. I got 10 minors today, we started my test at the test centre & carried on one of the possible routes they might ask me to take. 5 of the minors were on the same junction which was almost like a x shape. No, it wasn't a basic crossroad neither. It was weird, genuinely don't even know how to explain it so you'll just have to take my word for it that it was a toughy. Then 2 of the minors were when I completed an emergency stop, not greatly can I just add. But that is what mock tests are for right, to make mistakes & then learn from them & find out where you could be going wrong. The last 3 minors were for tiny things, 1 of them was for slowing down too soon. I can't remember the last 2 but just proves you have to be careful & safe to have a full licence. The amount of minors you could get I feel are just based on the road situation & the amount of traffic.

Thursday 12th December

Manoeuvres lesson today.. I think actually now a lot of my lessons excite me. I'm such a dork :) I get excited when I'm waiting for my lessons now. Yes admittedly today I felt sooo sick & at one point I thought I might just throw up in the car (ooohh lovely, too much info) but I carried on, completed the lesson & didn't throw up at all. Bonus! :) That was hard for me since I seem to have a slight fear of being sick out of the house but really does anyone actually want to be sick out of their house? If you don't like the subject of sick, I apologise..
I got to stay in my local town which felt weird because it feels like I haven't been driving around it for a while. We have mainly be going over to the next town, where the test centre is. I got to practice a parallel park twice, both went really well. Then I got to practice a reverse around a bend.. I always get confused if its called a reverse around a bend or a reverse around a corner...corner & bend are similar though right so what difference does it make? I practiced this about 4 times to make sure I had it sorted. Admittedly last time it felt like it took about 7 attempts to complete it right. Sharon did say it is a tricky corner though, but she does it on the difficult ones just so we can prove to ourselves that we can do it & when we are given a simpler one we should have no trouble. Then before heading home I got to do a 3 point turn ooooh, the excitement! :) I did make it in 3, woohoo! Yes, I did accidently bump the kerb..only a little so all is good. On our way home I also got to practice an emergency stop, can I just say I don't feel like I've quite mastered these. The first time I try I'm not great & then the second time all the papers on the back seat end up on the floor, is that a good sign?
I just want to add in here that if I wasn't blogging about my progress with driving that I might have found it so much harder to do. I've received a lot of support & lovely comments from you, so thank you! I hope if you are debating being able to learning to drive that maybe this might help you along the way? Or maybe in some other part of your life, if your doubting yourself..know that whatever you want to do, you are capable of it. If you set your mind to it & stick to it!
You can do it & just like Amy said in my recent post, you've got this!
Thanks for reading & coming along my journey with me.
- Anna ♥

Monday giggle anyone?

Monday has arrived, some of you might be excited about the fact of a new week ahead & some of you might be like urgh, Monday is here again.... So I thought I'd just do this quick post before I blog in a little bit about my driving. Everybodys Monday will be different, some of you will be back to school/ back to work, some of you might be catching up on blog posts & youtube videos.
I have just logged on to my bloglovin' account to see over 50 posts I haven't read, WOW! So whilst I'm catching up I thought I would share two videos that I have watched this morning. I genuinely haven't laughed so much in ages. So if you need a giggle to cheer you up, I don't think you will be disappointed.
Firstly I watched The Headband Challenge on Alfie aka PointlessBlog with Joe aka ThatcherJoe
Then I couldn't resist watching Joe's video called Electric Shock Challenge
I really hope these made you laugh & brightened up your Monday morning!
- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 15th December 2013

Jeeeez, is it just me or do the weeks seem to fly by a lot quicker at Christmas time than what they do any other time of year? Another week has zoomed by so it's time to reflect on the good of my week....
- cuddles
- Christmas songs
- home alone..would Christmas be the same without it?
- putting up the decorations & the tree up at home
- hollyoaks...extremely entertaining recently!
- the x factor...who will be crowned the winner tonight?
- mock driving test....is it weird that I enjoyed it?
- mint hot chocolate
There we have it, a selection of things I've enjoyed this week.
What has been good about your week?
Let me know, it's always good to reflect back.
Thanks for reading
- Anna ♥

Amy from 'relief from anxiety'

I love discovering blogs, especially ones I feel I can relate to so much. I have a little page up top where you can find my blog recommendations. But this week I approached the lovely Amy of 'relief from anxiety'. I genuinely feel like most of her posts are the thoughts that are in my mind, it's slightly scary but just proves we are never alone :)
So I'll just let you read away with what Amy had to say....
Hello guys! Anna has asked me to write a piece for her blog, so here it is. 

My name is Amy, I'm 18 and from the blog reliefromanxiety, which I set to up to help others struggling with mental illness, especially anxiety like Anna has written about in the past. As time goes on, I'm slowly including posts about other things, like music and thoughts of the day. 

At the beginning of my anxiety journey I felt totally alone, until I began to find out how many other people were suffering like me. I set up a blog to not only express what I was feeling, but to help others. I wanted to gain something positive out of this experience and so my blog was created. 

I think I've always been an anxious person, but it got a lot worse just over a year or so ago and it got to a point where I couldn't leave the house. Everything I loved to do, such as driving, going to school and meeting friends was being taken away. I had to rebuild my life from scratch and have had many sessions of therapy and medication to help me along the way. Recovery is a journey I'm still on and I feel I am slowly getting there. You can read more about my anxiety story by clicking on the 'about me' tab on my homepage.

I know it can be so hard at times and life can be hell, as Winston Churchill once said: "if you're going through hell, keep going" Remember that many other people have been through this and have come out of the other side. Think about how much you've been through and how you've managed to survive. "You've got this!"

You can contact me/follow me on any of the social networks. I'm here to help:
Twitter: @reliefofanxiety
Follow me on Bloglovin: www.bloglovin.com/reliefromanxiety

Before I go, I'd just like to thank Anna for letting me write a piece for her blog. 
Amy, you are more than welcome! I'm so glad you agreed to do a post for me! I really can't wait for Amy to reveal herself as she currently blogs anonymously. I guess blogging openly about anxiety can be a struggle, nevermind adding your face to it too. But I think Amy will be absolutely fine if she reveals her identity :) 
I really hope if you too suffer with anxiety, that you check out Amy's blog if you haven't already.
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

My Driving Journey - Lesson 44 & 45

I'm quickly approaching 50 lessons now, how exciting!
How many lessons did it take for you to pass your test?
I find it interesting finding out, please leave me a comment :)
I haven't sat my test yet but I would rather have lots of lessons & get myself fully ready because being able to drive a car is such a powerful thing. You have to be extremely careful, accidents can easily happen & end in disaster. So I'm going to practice & make myself the best driver I can possibly be.

Monday 2nd December
Ok, ok so all I have to say is that we drove to the next town & I just obviously drove around. Obviously the more I practice the better I will get & the more experience I will get. I will get to experience a lot more different traffic situations..

Thursday 5th December
This mornings lesson was my first ever 90 minute lesson, well that made me feel a little bit uneasy...well the build up to it did. The day of the lesson itself was absolutely fine, I actually find myself getting excited now before my lessons! I mean really?! What happened to the girl I was last year?!?!?!?! I'm not complaining I am feeling much more confident & have more self belief.

So today I woke up thinking ooh it's abit windy....abit windy was not the word! It was the day when the weather was really bad, stormy infact. It was the day when the weather claimed 2 peoples lives. I didn't realise how bad the weather was until I went out into it. I had never experienced wind whilst driving really but today was definitely an experience. Sharon was even on about cancelling her lessons for the rest of the day. Luckily my lesson was at 9, so we headed over to the other side of the next town. The village we went to had recycle bins & rubbish blowing all over the street, it was pretty dangerous actually. We did the test route (well driving & Sharon would explain what they might ask me to do as we went along) & Sharon kept saying to me the bits I would be asked to do was nothing I couldn't handle anyway so that is great thing!

Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 8th December 2013

It's this time of week again, time to reflect on the good things of the week.
Firstly though I'd like to just state that if you misread my last post & thought I meant I was stopping blogging all together I am not, just the series of 'hey let's talk about...'. Just thought I'd put that out there because Christina thought I was...heyyy Christina! :)
So a reflection on this week & the good things about it..
- midnight memories...yes again,check it out!
- rediscovering my reindeer earrings
- my first 90 minute driving lesson
- managing to help out at my parents shop
- youtubers vlogmas
- chocolate advent calendar
- almost being sorted with Christmas presents
- Luke Friends sing off performance..
I absolutely loved Lukes sing off performance, you can just see how much it means to him. He certainly sang for his life! Thought I'd just pop the video in there for you! :)
What has been good about your week?
Let me know in the comments, I'd love to know :)
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

Hey, let's talk about....the end of my blogging routine

It's safe to say when I started my random 'hey, let's talk about....' series as such on here, I never thought I would write 17 in total. For now though this one will be my last one, maybe forever, maybe for a little while. Who knows? I might feel like bringing it back at some point, just not so scheduled. I thought I'd round it off on an even number, cos I'm a little weird like that....this one is number 18. I've been debating about it for a little while & I think back now to why I started my blog & I didn't really have a set plan to follow, I just blogged when I wanted, about whatever I wanted. So I'm going to rewind & get back on track.
I didn't start blogging to become big/to become somebody/to become a well known blogger. I started blogging to escape my mind, to get all my thoughts out & into something productive. Then later on when I realised people were reading I thought I could use my little blog to maybe help people realise they aren't alone in whatever they are facing & whatever they are going through they should not be going through it alone. Talking really does help in my opinion. Why don't you give it a little try. What is the worst that can happen?
I've just thought some people might not even realise if I had just brought this to an end without warning, but nevermind. You regular lovely readers would of probably realised. I don't actually have anything else to say other than sometimes life changes a little bit every now & then & we just have to make a few adjustments here & there. A slight adjustment I'm making for life changes is scheduled blogging, I will blog whenever I want..about whatever I want. Back to basic guys!
Image found on weheartit
Well that was a lovely bit of waffle wasn't it? I just partly felt like I was becoming lost in my old routine & my possible new routine. My old routine didn't feel 100% me so I thought I'd be honest & share that with you.
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥

My Driving Journey - Lesson 43

Thursday 28th November
During todays lesson we headed over to the next town & I just got to literally practice driving around a lot more. My lesson was at 3 so there was a lot more traffic about & it started getting dark whilst we were out. I didn't end my lesson at home I ended it at a shop where I was helping out at an event so ending at a different location is a little different experience in itself. Since I'm used to ending on a very quiet street with very little traffic. That is all I actually have to say for my update today, oh I forgot to mention...I am improving on roundabouts now too. woo hoo!!!! I've just realised it was actually only my last lesson that I learnt I had a fault on roundabouts but I got to practice a lot of roundabouts today.
Are you learning to drive?
What are you enjoying most?
Thanks for coming along my journey with me.
- Anna ♥

Sit Down Sunday - 1st December 2013

Not only is it Sunday today but it is also the 1st of December, Christmas is literally around the corner & I think now it is completely acceptable to do everything festive! I might actually watch Elf, oooh or maybe Home Alone later. Anyway this week seems to have flown by so I'm gonna get cracking & just recap on the good things about this week.
My Advent Calendar
- being part of an event
- being trusted
- being believed in
- one directions album - midnight memories
- being able to keep busy
- beating my anxieties
- attending my first ever support group
- being able to put my Christmas duvet & throw on
What has been good about your week?
Feel free to let me know,
I love hearing from you.
Thanks for reading.
- Anna ♥