my twenty third birthday in photos.

Oh, just saying that I'm twenty three makes me cringe & sad both at the same time. I don't like this getting old business, not that anyone is actually getting younger.

Birthdays admittedly aren't as exciting anymore & when people ask me what I'm doing for my birthday I'm usually a little bit like 'hmmm, I don't know'. Are we meant to do something on our birthday every year? Other than repeatedly use the excuse 'but it's my birthday', which I can say I used....alot!

This year I seemed to be running about alot, not much time was spent chilling until atleast five. I would say that is pretty good going, even though admittedly I've been chilling since before five tonight. What can I say, once it starts getting darker my body slows down & goes into relax mode...I just can't seem to stop it.

I did get to have a really good long Skype with one of my best friends Ally, I really wish I could see her more. Both on Skype & in person (never met her yet)! Along Skyping, cards & presents my birthday was made complete with some fantastic, incredibly made cupcakes. I mean come on...

I'd like to warn you,this post is crammed with cupcake goodness!

I didn't manage to take photos of them all since four of them got eaten on my birthday & I took these photos the next day. Should now be the time when I admit that I had a little photo shoot/session for my cupcakes? Don't judge me. I just had to capture the beauty of them.

My mum ordered me the cakes (sometimes, there are no surprises when you get older you know) & she said she'd told Becky (the creator & baker of such beautiful creations) to do whatever she'd like, she'd leave it to her. I mean imagine how hard that must be, try to create something when you're a little unsure. So me being me, decided I'd create a list to help her along her way. After noseying on her Facebook page where she posts pictures regularly of cakes she's created, I saw she had made cupcakes for a lady with a few of her favorite things on top. It was only right that I gave her a list to help her, surely?

Here are the finished cakes...

Honestly, if  I could capture the smell & create a candle I would because these smell sooooo delicious! I'm afraid you'll have to take my word for it, I can't share them with you. I wish I could.

A cupcake with your blog name on?! Now that is pretty amazing...

So much love for the cupcakes...smooches for them all around, showing the love!

Finally, after over three years of hinting nagging around Birthday & Christmas my mum finally listened &...

I finally received a One Direction card, oh yeahhhhh!!! Smooches & love for the 1D boys!

If you'd like to see more of Becky's (the cake lady) creations, you can check out my twenty second birthday post or my delayed birthday treat post.

I hope you enjoyed checking out the beautiful cupcakes, if you had to choose one of them to eat which would you choose?

five things I'm proud of myself for...

Yesterday I was in the supermarket when I spotted an ex boyfriends dad. That instantly made me think of him (the ex boyfriend of course) & how well he must be doing with his life now. I genuinely felt like bursting in to tears right there & then, just thinking at how sh*t I've done so far. What do I have to show for myself? Am I doing really well in life, on the successful scale? On the work scale? On the money scale? No, not really.

I was texting my friend at the time & her automatic response to me saying how well his son was doing in life was, 'you're doing amazing!!xxxxxx'. Now I think about it, I'm actually doing pretty well. On the success, job, work & money scale not so much but health wise, positivity wise, improvement wise I'm doing a pretty darn good job. My friend then suggested that I wrote a list of 5 things I'm proud of myself for instead so here I am...

1. my little online space, my blog.
My blog isn't highly viewed, doesn't have a million followers, hasn't been professionally created but you know what I'm proud of it. I'm proud of everything I create for my little blog. I'm proud of watching not only my growth on here but also the improvement & growth of my blog itself. I'm loving learning more in this journey too.

2. my photographs/photography.
The photo above doesn't exactly show off my photo skills does it :/ but hey, we'll just say I'm not good at photographing at nighttime or screens, deal? Deal! :) Why do screens never take a good photo? Any ideas?

 When I first started blogging I would just use photos of quotes I'd find on weheartit (I'm still a little bit addicted to that app/site) or I'd just take photos on my phone & upload them. Phone photos then turned into camera photos (a compact camera) now I've got a bridge camera (I don't understand what that means but I know it takes better photos). I'm more into learning about the settings when it comes to taking photos now. Almost every time I turn on my camera I learn something new. My photographs are certainly something I'm proud of & the improvements I'm making.

3. passing my driving test.
I've repeatedly said this but after experiencing panic attacks & anxiety starting between the age of 16/17 I never thought I'd ever be able to sit a single lesson, let alone sit over 60 & sit 2 driving tests. But I did it & I'm so proud of myself because I know just how hard it was for me.

4. being a good person.
Don't get me wrong I'm not any kind of angel or saint but I class myself as a good, genuine, honest person. I can occasionally be found fighting the urge to scream thank you at someone sarcastically whilst they don't have any manners after I've held the door open for them or let them go past in a busy shop. Sometimes when I'm driving I find myself fighting the urge to stick two fingers up at ignorant drivers. I thought I'd throw that bit in the mix cos I don't want to fully toot my own trumpet cos I'm not all good, nobody is but being a good person is something I'm proud of.

5. how far I've come.
Sometimes you have to loose something to make you appreciate it more. Freedom, health & independence were certainly something I lost. Until something is taken away from you, you don't fully realize how much it actually means to you. I now have all 3 of them back, to some degree anyway. Little improvements are made fairly often now.

This is a quote from my very first blog post, in the archives somewhere you can find a post when I looked back over old posts...if you want to of course.

So yes, that is the five things I'm proud of myself for. Maybe in a couple of years I'll be able to create a list of five different things I'm proud of myself for.

I just want to say a little thank you to Bethany (my friend who suggested I create the list), thank you for always being so supportive, so lovely, so genuine, so honest & just so you I guess. I know you've got a tough week ahead but I know you can make it & you know I'm only a text, tweet, imessage, facetime, phone call away if you need me!

If you're feeling abit poopy about yourself why not join in? Write a list of five things you're proud of yourself for, I'd love to read them!

missing in action, a little update...

Almost at the end of January (where has this month gone) & I've only posted once, yes...once. I'm not exactly happy with this but sometimes life happens & we just don't have time to blog, bloggers who else is with me? A little voice inside my head wants me to apologise but why should I? :/

I'm just going to share a little update & hopefully get my blogging mojo back sometime soon, hopefully very soon.

At the beginning of the year (2nd January if were being exact), my dad had a back operation so I've been helping him alot, whether it be around the house (you know, tea must be made every half an hour on the dot) or driving him to hospital appointments. So I've been helping with my dad & him being out of action also means my mum is in need of a little more help at the shop too. Luckily (in a way of course) business is alot quieter after Christmas but everyone seems to be quieter so nothing to worry about there.

Over the past two months or so I've felt like I've lost myself. Only slightly but I feel like I'm getting myself back. I'm learning alot more about myself, knowing what I like, knowing what I don't like. Knowing what kind of people I need in my life, knowing what kind of people I don't need in my life. Knowing what makes me happy, knowing what doesn't make me happy. One thing I'm still to figure out is what I want to do as a career, working in a carpet shop (what I do now) isn't that enjoyable. Plus, there isn't an awful lot to do sometimes either. I need to find myself more.

One thing I have learnt about myself is I'm loving my new camera my parents bought me for Christmas. I've taken over 500 photos in less than a month but I've narrowed it down to a few of my favorites to share with you.

I've learnt something I like about photography, I prefer to take creative photos. I like creating photos, making them different, spotting something unusual or unusual and beautiful. Once I've captured a photo I don't like adjusting the lighting in photos though, I don't tweak them slightly. I like to keep them original, leave them natural. Obviously sometimes though I do tend to alter the effects, I'm quite a fan of the black & white photos.

Hopefully over this year we'll (me & you, my friend) will be able to see improvements in my content & my photography.

Whats new with you?

one year, twelve goals...

It's important, good & healthy to set ourselves goals. The goals I've set are all very realistic & do able, if I take the right steps in the right direction to head towards them/reach them.

I'd first decided I was going to create just six goals, then my idea changed. One goal per month is pretty much doable, right? Some of the goals will be something that will hopefully happen every month anyway.

Let's get started...

1. Meet atleast 3 online friends.
Over the past few years I've found myself in some very lovely friendships online. Online, then turns to texting, that can lead to Skype/phone calls & you can also end up sending post. Some people will debate how you can create a friendship with someone you have never met, believe me when I say this it is one of those things that you probably wont understand until you've been there. So yeah, girls you know who you are & we need to be meeting.

2. Attend one or more concerts.
For this year I already have 2 concerts booked, but just because they are booked doesn't necessarily mean I'll be able to attend them. I'm going to try my best to, I'm already planning how I'll manage it & the first one isn't even until April. In the meantime though, I best get practicing my lyrics (even though I could possibly be a backing singer already with the songs I already know on the albums)...

3. Save more money than I spend.
This year is the first time I've noticed a serious drop in my bank balance, it makes me feel pretty anxious. I'm worrying a little about it but if I stop my spending sooner rather than later & save more than I spend we should be all good. So days that could be spent shopping will be altered for something else that won't be as expensive.
Plus, for the times when I do go shopping I have a new rule when it comes to clothes (a girl can never have too many clothes, right? wrong?) if I don't wear the item within two weeks of buying it I'm returning it. If I really do love something I wear it within a few days. 
4. Take a weekend break.
I've not been on holiday for the past 7 years. But since I haven't been I've kind of got in the mindset of I'm not really bothered about it. I did used to enjoy holidays, I'd really like that feeling & experiences to come back. I could even mix this one together with meeting online friends. Travel closer to them & stay in a hotel (even though this would be spending money) but hey, experiences & getting to meet fantastic people.
5. Read one book every month (more likely every two months).
 I'm an absolute sucker for a good book, I would say who isn't but I know a few people who can't stand reading. They'd much rather watch the film. The thing I love about reading a book is that you can create the characters in your own mind, you can picture them how ever you want. Films, you don't have that option. They are already created on screen for you.
Over the past couple of months my pile of books to read has grown higher & higher. Have you read any of these? I'm really looking forward to reading them.
6. Tackle the stigma surrounding mental health more.
 Tackling the stigma can be pretty easy, we can all do it. Speaking openly about mental health is one of the ways of bashing that nasty stigma. I plan to speak more about mental health. I can't speak for every mental illness but anxiety & panic attacks, sure thing.
7. Drink more water
 How many of you have this as a new years resolution? I don't usually. But I'm actually enjoying the taste of water. Water wins against drinking fizzy pop any day of the week, drink fizzy pop & you still seem to be thirsty if not even more thirstier. Water is the way forward. At the minute I'm probably only drinking two glasses of water but it is a start.
8. Spread my blogging wings a little more.
My parents bought me a new camera for Christmas, I can't thank them enough cos I bloomin' love it so much. I used to use a little Canon compact camera but now I have what I call a big girl camera. How many of you have a big girl or big boy camera?
My Christmas present to myself was then a tripod, so I can create some fashion related posts. I'm thinking of 'one top, three ways to wear it' kind of post. I'm hoping to give others inspiration & ideas, but also give myself some too whilst I'm rummaging through my wardrobe. So watch this space...
9. Keep my diary up to date.
 Last year I managed this up until I think it was September, at the end of every week I'm going to sit down & make sure it is up to date. I could maybe even try to plan a few blog posts for certain days around what I'm doing, please don't hold me to that.
10. Cook more meals.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't cook that often, mainly because admittedly my mum does most of the cooking in our house. If you have any recipes then send them my way, I'll be very grateful. 
11. Enquire more about braces.
Almost every time I look in the mirror I question my teeth/my smile. There was mention of me being referred last time but I haven't so maybe next time I'm at my check up I will mention it. Or I can get in touch with the orthodontist myself. I'm pretty sure it is expensive though but I think I'd only actually need them on my top teeth. 
12. Move...more.
I want to be more active. Recently I've found myself sitting down, looking down & thinking when did my belly get that much bigger. I'm not saying I'm fat because I know I'm not, but I'm not pleased with what I see so I'm going to move a little bit more. 

There you have it, my twelve goals for this year. I'm thinking of reviewing them every three months so I can track my progress.
Have you set yourself any goals this year?
Let me know, I love hearing from you!