Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Every year I write a set of resolutions or aims and most of the time I break most of them within the first week of January - especially if they are about eating less chocolate - and this year, I am sure, will be no exception. Yet I will still make them and hope that perhaps I will keep at least one of them.


Do more outfit posts
I always intend to do outfit posts but never get round to it so I think in the new year I will try to make more of an effort to do them more regularly.

Meet a blogger in real life
I feel like it is about time I met some people in real life as I love reading people's blog and it would just be such a great opportunity to put a face to a name and get to know everyone better.

Practice my German daily
I would describe learning German as the bane of my life if I didn't love it so much. And being very silly I have decided to do a degree in it (alongside English Lit) so I had better get practicing. 



File work into dedicated folders 
I have fallen into the bad habit of putting all my work into one big drawer and not into the folders so when it comes to revision there is a mass of paperwork to sift through in order to find anything - needless to say, it is not the best organisational method (*all universities withdraw offers*).



 Spend more time with friends outside of college
I have come to realise that I really don't spend enough time with my friends and as this is our final year before we all go our separate ways I think it is about time we organise some stuff to do on the weekends.

Read more 
I think for anyone hoping to do a degree in English Lit you can never read enough but the amount I have read recently has really fallen below par so I intend to buck up my ideas and crack open the books. 


 Try to become healthier 
Since leaving school many moons ago I have not done a huge amount of exercise and I have maybe eaten one too many Galaxy Caramels so I think I may have to try to eat healthier and do a bit more exercise in 2014.


Take up opportunities when they are offered
I fall into the category of person who gets offered something, thinks it would be nice to take up the opportunity then gets so worried that has to back out. So, it may be about time to stop worrying so much and do more things.

Try to read the Bible more often
Of course, I do want to read the Bible, it is just that I  have struggled to find enough time alongside college and everything. But, yes, it is important to make time.

Improve letter writing skills 
Poor Emma writes me the most beautiful long letter and I reply with rather monosyllabic answers which is something I need to address in further letters. 


Hope you enjoyed this post! Have a very happy New Year! 
Also you can come and chat to me on Twitter at @TheEmeraldDove.
Last thing, I have a poll on my sidebar which I would love you to vote on.

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Looking Back Over 2013

I decided to put together this post about my past year and some highlights of the year. I am so thankful for such a great year and I just want to say a special thanks to everyone who reads this blog (it sure does make me happy!) and let's hope that the next year is just as good or even better.



Friends

This year I feel as though I have made some really great friendships. I was contemplating earlier how happy I was to have started this blog purely because of all the lovely people I have met through it (well, not in real life yet). I am now friends, first and foremost, with a wonderful chum from across the pond called Emma who is my pen pal and I am really enjoying getting to know her (and without wanting to sound weird, but I know it will sound weird, I have already planned to invite Emma to my future wedding if I ever happen to get married). And, of course, about 20 different people who I feel close to through this blog and I read their posts and they often leave me lovely little comments. I have also been able to spend time meeting up with old friends from school who went to different colleges and it has been such a pleasure seeing them all. As well as old friends I have been spending time with people I have met at college and my bestest ever pal (who writes a lovely theological blog) and I feel we have all become closer through the year and we certainly have had ups and downs but it has really brought us closer supporting each other through that. The final thing I want to mention whilst we are aboard the friendship is I have loved attending my college's Christian Union and getting to know everyone in my Church better - I can safely say that some of the most generous and loving people I have ever met were through either the Church or CU.

Faith

I think 2013 has been quite the year for growing and maturing in faith. I feel as though I have become more defined in what I believe in instead of just following what I though Christians were meant to believe. I have become more involved in the Church and just feel a lot more trusting in God having a plan for my life than I did before. Also I feel closer to being ready for baptism at this point now and having seen a few member of my Church be baptised recently it has really drawn me towards it.

Confidence

So, this is not the kind of thing I tend to discuss on my blog but anyone who has met me will know that I am very shy but over this year I feel a lot stronger in myself. I have no 'overcome' my shyness but I feel like I can do more things independently which I would have felt really nervous about doing before. Every week I go to town by myself by bus and work in a bookshop which, with having to talk to so many people, would have once been a terrifying concept to me.

Travel

You may have noticed that this year I have been on holiday quite a lot. I have taken a few trips with my auntie which I have really enjoyed and have been able to visit places I hadn't been before. I think the highlight was probably visiting Downton Abbey (AKA Highclere Castle) in the summer which was amazing.

Family

Family-wise it has been a very nice year. I am so happy to have everyone together and just to have a bit of fun and enjoy ourselves. My family do really mean a lot to me and I think I will value them even more in the next year when I fly the nest, obvs grade dependent nest flying so you never can be too sure, and will be desperately missing everyone and missing the home cooked meals when I have to eat Tesco Value ready meals every night of the week.

So, this was a very soppy post but I hope you enjoyed it. Also, to anyone waiting for specific posts for me - for instance, people who sent me Secret Santa gifts which I haven't posted about - I am very sorry and promise I will be posting them after this one. Or maybe after my Resolutions posts...sorry!
I hope you enjoyed the post and I will speak to you all soon!
Also you can come and chat to me night or day on Twitter at @TheEmeraldDove.
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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Fashion Memories 2013

I can't believe this year is coming to an end already. But has been a really good year. I am so happy I started this blog and never expected to even have anyone read my ramblings and I imagined that by this time I would have given up or have 10 followers at best.
I was inspired by Becky Bedbug to do this post as she did one similar and, low and behold, I have! So, I have put together some of the OOTDs and pictures from fashion posts into one collage - despite some of them being cringey. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past!

I would love to hear which is your favourite outfit and I assure you that there will be many more to come!
Hope you all have a happy New Year and when the clock strikes 12 you will have a lovely guy/friend/family member/chocolate bar to share the moment with (I think you can probably guess which from the list I will be spending that moment with - yes, a lovely man named Terry...'s Chocolate Orange).
You can all come and chat to me and Terry, Ben and Jerry (my harem of admirers) on Twitter at @TheEmeraldDove.
Also there is a poll in my sidebar which I would love for you to vote on.
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Friday, 27 December 2013

The Empty Shelf Challenge

I have just stumbled across a wonderful challenge which I am going to take part in and really wanted to share with you. The initiative was started by Jon Acuff who writes an amazing blog called Stuff Christians Like which is one of my favourite blogs ever - seriously, go and check it out now! You can read his original post here.



'Find an empty a shelf in your house somewhere. Every book you read from now until December 31, 2014 goes on the shelf. At the end of the year, I guarantee you will have read more than you did in 2013. Best of all, you’re scientifically more likely to accomplish something when you have people working on it with you. '

I am starting on January 1st and thus attempting to complete my imminent New Year's resolution of reading more. Hopefully I will get through some of my many unread books (I probably have about 40 unread books - at least).



The only problem is that a move is hopefully coming my way next autumn to a certain exciting place - well, if any of these particular institutions will accept me following my exam results in August. Have I given it away? Yep, 2014 is university year for me - whoo! Most people are excited about freedom to party all night and do what they want whereas I am so excited about the prospect of a 24 hour library - I mean, how cool is that?! Anyway, I digress. 

It says on Jon's blog that the hashtag for this challenge is #EmptyShelf - so get tweeting! You can also come and chat to me on Twitter at @TheEmeraldDove. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I would love to hear if anyone else is taking part. Also, check out Jon's blog - it is really funny and great. 
Also, hope you all had a great Christmas and will have an amazing New Years!  
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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! Remember to eat a lot, as I will be doing, watch a load of TV and rubbish films and have a great time. Because Santa Claus is coming to toooown. And as I gift from me to you I have put a few lovely Christmas gifs - now you all know what I will be watching in the coming few weeks.







Right, I'm off to eat some chocolate and watch Bridget Jones. The next time you see a post from me I will probably be about 5 stone heavier and over-zealous in my Christmas spirit - and Santa will have visited!
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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Winter Holiday Haul

It really has been a fair while since I have done a haul on this blog. It has not, unfortunately for my bank balance, been because I have no bought anything but because I have just had no time to take pictures of things. But recently I went on holiday to Kent and did a fair bit of shopping. I have to say there is something rather satisfactory about opening a suitcase full of new purchases. Although I bought mostly gifts for people, and finished my Christmas shopping by the 10th of December *pounds fist in triumph*, I do have a few items I just couldn't leave and had to come home with me.



I have been in love with this jumper from Topshop for some time now and when I saw it in the shop I couldn't leave it. I love the colour, the fit is quite flattering, it is a great length and the embellishment is so lovely and Christmassy. 


I bought this shirt from Matalan and it is quite sheer at the front but the back is jersey material so it is fine with a vest underneath. I loved the colour of it and I also purchased some black jeans to wear with it.


I got this jumper from H&M and I really like the teal colour as I have been looking for a teal jumper for a while.



I got this darling little spoon from an amazing store called We Made It in Canterbury and I fell in love with this spoon. I always seem to be drawn to spoons but I just loved the pretty design of the handle bit and the engravings on the spoon.


I found this little book in a bookshop in Rochester and had to buy it. It is the poems of the German poet Schiller, who is my absolute favourite, and contains my favourite poem of his - Das Maedchen Aus Der Fremde.



I found this gorgeous tin in a kind of charity shop which had both new and vintage items and was very nice. They had a few varieties but I loved this one and, at this moment, it is full of nail varnish in my bedroom.


I also bought this gorgeous felt satsuma which was filled with cloves so it smelt delicious. It reminds me of Christingles and what I missed out on not being involved in a CofE Church - how I wished I had a satsuma with cloves, sweets and a candle in it!


I got this book in a lovely antique shop in Windsor. It is a collection of a few of Shakespeare's plays. I just couldn't pass it up.



I got this adorable Christmas mug from Matalan as I had been meaning to get a new mug for a while and I thought this one was so cute.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
I will be posting the pictures from the trip soon as well as a Secret Santa post and hopefully much more!
You can tweet me at @TheEmeraldDove
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Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Cracker Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Ellie of Cutie Pie Penguin to do the Christmas Cracker Tag and I decided that I might as well get into the spirit of things and have a go.


Rules
Answer all ten questions below
Make sure to add The Christmas Cracker Tag logo (above) somewhere in your post 
Tag as many bloggers as you like to do the tag 
Comment on the blogs you have tagged to let them know!

One: What’s on your Christmas list?
At the top of my Christmas list is a new perfume as my beautiful Gucci Flora is coming to the end of its life and I need a replacement. But I also go to go on holiday as part of my present so I don't expect much.

Two: What’s on your Christmas Day agenda?
Eat, drink (non-alcoholic beverages) and be merry. Basically I will spend the whole day eating chocolate, opening gifts and spending time with my lovely family.

Three: How much Christmas shopping have you done?
I have finished my Christmas shopping *smug face*. I got most of the presents for people whilst I was on holiday so I am super organised which is unusual for me.

Four: What’s been your biggest ever surprise gift?
I remember once Father Christmas got me a life size polar bear toy which was amazing and I used to sit on its lap. I also remember that as a birthday gift my parents hinted I was getting a new bike (which, being hugely lazy, I didn't really want but had to pretend I was happy to receive) so when I opened this massive box on my birthday which had a purchase receipt for a bike on it, I was sure I was getting a bike. So, I put on a brave face and opened it up to find a box full of clothes and make up and lovely gifts - not a bike in sight! I was so surprised and happy!! 

Five: When do you usually put up your Christmas tree?
We tend to put it up around the 10th of December.

Six: Do you have a special outfit planned for Christmas Day?
I am planning to wear my Topshop grey embellished neckline jumper with jeans and brogues.

Seven: Do you have any plans for Boxing Day?
We are hopefully seeing extended family and just eating more chocolate and being lazy again.

Eight: When did you stop believing in Father Christmas?
What do you mean? ;)

Nine: What’s your favourite Christmas scent? (Candle/Perfume)
I love the kind of spicy cinnamon scent of candles as well as ones like spiced apple or the smell of Christmas trees. I also love the smell of oranges in the festive season.

Ten: What do you love most about Christmas?
I love spending time with family, eating a lot of chocolate and I especially love the religious parts of Christmas. As I attend Church throughout the year I love how especially jolly the Church are around Christmas.

I tag to do this post:

And anyone else who wants to do it because I have about a million people who have wonderful blogs that I would love to tag.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
Merry Christmas, my lovely freundlings! 
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Blogger Book Swap

I recently took part in the #bloggerbookswap organised by the lovely Rosie who writes an amazing blog called A Rosie Outlook. I was paired with Ann who writes the blog Prattle and Froth and was extremely organised with this book swap and sent me these books so quickly - which kind of put me to shame with my poor organisation. I was very happy with the books I received and the parcel arrived on the same day as my parcel from Emma did so it was like an early Christmas.
So, I am sure the suspense is killing you so I will now show you the lovely books I was sent.





I was really pleased to have received Cloud Atlas as I had never heard of it but I am really excited to read it as it sounds so interesting.
I found this overview on Amazon of the plot:

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagans California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation the narrators of CLOUD ATLAS hear each others echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.
In his extraordinary third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.



I also received this collection of plays by J.M.Barrie including Peter Pan which I am excited to read as I have, naturally, watched Peter Pan but I have never read the play. But I am also interested to read the other plays which Ann said were really good.
The description on Amazon reads:

For some 20 years at the beginning of the century J M Barrie enjoyed enormous commercial success with a wide variety of plays, but he is best known for Peter Pan. It retains its popularity today, both in the original and in adaptations. As well as being the author of the greatest of all children's plays Barrie also wrote sophisticated social comedy and political satire, much of it now newly topical. The Admirable Crichton and What Every Woman Knows are shrewd and entertaining contributions to the politics of class and gender, while Mary Rose is one of the best ghost stories written for the stage.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I really want to thank Ann for sending me such lovely books and to Rosie for organising this. 

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Funny Pictures From Facebook

For ages I have read on a certain person whose name I can't remember's blog their weekly Facebook Finds post and wondered at how amazing their Facebook must be to be able to find so many great pictures. So a month or so ago I intended to post a load of funny Facebook pictures which I had found then the other day I uncovered this file and decided that I had share these with you!
I hope you enjoy this and if you want this to become a more regular feature be sure to let me know.



















I would love to hear which one is your favourite!
And I have about a million posts to upload so keep your eyes pealed - even some fashion related ones which have become such a rarity on this blog!
You can come and chat to me on Twitter as well at @TheEmeraldDove
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