Christmas has come and gone, so did Boxing Day. How’s the shopping going, guys?

It dawned upon me on Christmas day that what I actually enjoy more than Christmas itself, were the days leading up to it. The anticipation, the excitement, the surprises. That said, I had a wonderful, quiet Christmas with the boyfriend & his family. I helped put up the Christmas tree aaaaaaannnnnnnnndddddddd I also got a bunch of Christmas presents (yayyyyyyy!) – total kid at heart here. My first proper English Christmas & the boyfriend wanted to make sure I enjoyed every single bit of this festive season. And I did, I really did. ♥

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In the short month that I was away (from the blog), there have been a couple of happenings. Things that I won’t be thoroughly detailing out. Let’s just say that as much as I can hardly wait for the new year to begin, I am wary, so so wary, of what will be in the new year. I am uncertain, and so is my future.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

I’d like to believe that. After all, tough times never last, tough people do. Right?

I ran into yet another brick wall and once again I am stumped, almost defeated & kneeled helplessly in front of said brick wall. Despaired as I was, I actually have so many things to be thankful for. I am surrounded by friends & family who love me, applauding me for my successes as of date. They held out their hands and told me it is not the end of the world. Their words of encouragement mean so much to me, what would I have done without them? I admit I was tired, it was a stupid brick wall that shouldn’t have been, but yet there was. In the darkest corner of my heart, I felt the little flame of fight went out. It was scary, I honestly felt like I was already defeated and the worst is simply yet to come.

It was then that I realised that it wasn’t the fear of failure that paralysed me, it was the fear of not being able to stand up again after the fall. That was the fear I felt in the darkest corner of my heart. It was that fear that gripped my whole heart and turned it cold. And still, I have more things to be grateful for. The fact that I am here, with people I love, still able to go on and celebrate Christmas. It really wasn’t the end of the world for me. My friends reminded me: “You have come this far, you mustn’t give up now. You are so, so close. Closer than anyone has ever been.”

And they are right. I am SO CLOSE. Closer than I can ever imagine. I am here, & I am going to complete this journey. I just got to keep trying.

One of my closest friend said to me: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”

I want it so bad.

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It is painful for me to share that Bobby, the family dog, had left us and went seeking for dog heaven yesterday. We are all shocked & devastated, and I worry for my parents the most. Bobby had been such a joy for them both, they are still in denial. Maybe I am, too. We still can’t accept that he’s gone. I hope my sister is okay too.

Grief. Grief has not hit me this hard in such a long while. But with grief, there is also love.

And life goes on, like it always does. Life always goes on.

May the new year bring new beginnings. One can only hope.

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Happy New Year, everyone.

 

Toodles. ♥

 

Christmas is just around the corner (less than a month!!!). I am happy to share that this year I get to celebrate Christmas properly, decorating a Christmas tree, exchanging gifts & all that jazz. I have been pulling on my hair trying to sort out gifts for loved ones because I am absolutely terrible when it comes to gifts. So this weekend, I have decided to compile a list – an ever-growing list – of what I would like for Christmas because it is rather fun to be thinking of nice and pretty things.

IF by any chance, you are a dear friend who is pulling your hair out to think of a gift for me, fear not. I am here to solve all your problems! *cackles*

If, however, you are a complete stranger who stumbled across this little list, then I hope this would help you instead.

 

The Christmas Wish List

1) I love books. Give me anything to do with books and I will love you forever, for sure. This Christmas, I have my eyes set for Christmas Days 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson. I have every plan to read it this winter by the fire, with a cuppa hot chocolate. And the dog for company. £10.49

  • Not sure if you’re making the right book selection for friend/family? No worries! Get them some book vouchers! I’m sure they’ll be happy raiding their favourite bookstores the very next day!

 

Image from Penguin Books

2) Y’all know I pretend to be a domestic goddess most of the time. Encouraged by my wonderful boyfriend to continuously feed him until he grows fat, I find myself wanting a Recipe Organiser: Food Lover from kikki.k to store my all-time favourite recipes. Just so I wouldn’t have to trace my tracks online only to find my favourite recipes have been taken down, moved, etc. £24

Image from kikki.k

3) Winter is coming, if you haven’t already noticed. And the one thing that is missing from my life right now is a soft, cosy throw. I don’t know about you but I do like the option of walking around in the house with a throw around my shoulders while I carry my cuppa. Or sitting by the fireplace with the throw for extra warmth. It’s like a mini blanket. Like Linus’s security blanket. There is a lovely range of throws in Ikea that I would love to get my hands on. Affordable as well. Like Gurli Black-Blue throw for £5.50 or a Hermine throw for £12.

IKEA GURLI throw

Images from Ikea

 

4) I have never been an avid Ted Baker fan but while frantically gift searching for people in the last week, I came across lovely selections of wash bags & make up bags from Ted Baker. My favourites: Shella porcelain large wash bag £22.50; Arleen Bejewelled Shadows wash bag £22.50. There is even a classic textured leather wash bag option, Assfrid and it comes in black or pink £46.

Images from Ted Baker

5) Cute stationery. Who can say no to cute stationery? Those who hang around me long enough will know that I have a crazy obsession for cute stationery, and that there will never be too much stationery. Some ideas for you to ponder on: Stationery Kit: Pause Guld £21 from kikki.k (currently unavailable); Everyday Ballpoint Pen 3pk: Cute £6 from kikki.k; Christmas Stocking stickers £1.50 from Paperchase (how cute are these!!!)

 

Images from kikki.k

 

6) I am one of your big time wanderlusters so I’m almost always on the look out for travel opportunities. I chanced upon this gem while browsing pages & pages of Christmas goodies and thought it’d make a great gift for pretty much anyone! I am sure most people you know (or even yourself) travel loads. So why not let them conquer their world, one scratch at a time? Luckies Scratch Map Travel Edition £6.99 from John Lewis. Note that this is a mini version of the original travel scratch map.

Image from John Lewis

  

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini wishlist, I also hope it might have given you some gift ideas for friends & family this Christmas.

It is also time to buy (& post) Christmas cards! Ooohhhh, the joys of picking out cards. And pretty wrapping paper!

Better get going before the sun sets on me without warning!

 

Have a happy Sunday, folks!

 

 

P.S. Some of the items’ prices stated on this post may have changed by the time you view the links. Do note that this post was written and published during the Black Friday weekend.

 

Toodles. ♥

D i s t a n c e.

How does something this difficult,

becomes easier?

With every repetitive moments –

Like the endless hugs & kisses

at departure gates

or,

the holding of tears, threatening to spill

at every goodbye;

Do we lose the pull of gravity

little by little, each time?

A vicious cycle.

But the cracks in the ring,

they are showing.

It is only a matter of time;

until the circle breaks.

& my heart will finally be free to come home,

with you.

 

I will wait for you, my darling;

            and I will wait for you.  

 

 

 

Taking a (very bad) stab at writing turned poetry. & swirly thoughts.

 

Toodles. ♥

So I turned 24 last Thursday (Happy birthday, me! Yayyyy!). I had very much wanted to post something up on my birthday itself, seeing that I had no glorious plans for celebration. However, my apologies – everything was delayed because for the first time in my 24 years of birthdays, I received a very pleasant surprise on the stroke of midnight at my doorstep.

Here’s the story: I cooked myself a fantastic meal (lamb leg steak with mash potatoes and some sautéed vegetables) and was setting myself to cleaning the mess I made in the kitchen in preparation of my (usual) midnight rendezvous – baking. I was eager to try out Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Cheesecake recipe (it’d be my first time baking a whole cake!!) as my home-made birthday cake. The cleaning must’ve distracted me because I actually forgot to count down to midnight. When suddenly, I heard someone knocking on my door. Pretty loud. I kinda froze. First of all, who on Earth could be knocking on my door at this hour (the shock of someone at my door erased all birthday anticipation)?! Secondly, why didn’t my porter call me?? Thirdly (as I called out to ask who was it at the door), I prayed to God let it not be some serial killer or kidnapper waiting to pounce on my poor shaken bones. Yes, I am rather morbid that way – I blame the fact that I watched too many episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds.

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My rather awesome pre-birthday dinner: Lamb leg steak with creamy mashed potatoes & sautéed veggies.

As I took a deep breath (and a huge leap of faith), I opened the door. *Dear God, please don’t let it be a serial killer, I promise to be good /sobs*

Only to be greeted by 2 very familiar faces yelling “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” in my face. Shocked, I was. All I could think of to say was “What are you guys doing here??? Now??? What’s going on???” (Clearly, not very clever and still fazed from the surprise.) And my 2 lovely friends (Pash & Doc) were just excited and swinging around 4 boxes in their hands and they were like we made you cupcakes! 24 of them to be exact! By now, I figured 3 minutes have passed since I opened the door and still I have had no courtesy to remember to invite them in. How rude.

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24 cupcakes! Surely they were trying to overload me with sugar and chocolate???

When I finally got to my senses and got them to come in, they launched into the whole story of how they baked the cupcakes just a few hours before and how they were hiding out in the courtyard while they waited for the clock to strike 12. And the amazing thing was how Pash had gotten Doc to participate in the baking process which really impressed me. At that point, I still haven’t gotten over the fact that I have been surprised because, as I have mentioned, this is the first time anyone has ever surprised me and I am just so touched. Not being bitter or anything but I have always been the one surprising people, not the other way round. So this time, I guess you could say I am overjoyed. Besides, I thought I was going to be settling in to a quiet night with some soft calming tunes while I attempt to bake my chocolate cheesecake. I ended up baking at 2am, after Doc left, and Pash was going to stay over and complete her lab report – which she didn’t start until 3am or something.

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Thank you so so much, guys. You have no idea how much this meant to me. <3

The initial content for this post was a complete different twist from what you’re reading right now. I had planned to write about celebrating me, myself and I; mainly because for years, I have failed to grasp the concept about how one’s birthday is really special to that one person alone. For years (as you can tell by now), I have almost always celebrated it by myself, away from friends and family, save the few birthdays that I had that someone special to celebrate it with.  And this year, I thought it was going to be no different. But this year, as the days leading up to my birthday passed, I realized that I was forming a grand celebration for myself in my mind. Nothing really fancy actually, just a little treat every single day for a week until my birthday, a shopping haul on the day itself and a nice little hair cut to go with. My wallet is crying right now, can you hear??? I had no intentions of reminding anyone else that it was going to be my birthday and I sure had no plans to celebrate it with anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be anti-social or anything. I just realized that this is about celebrating me. I have to know how to love myself, alone but not lonely. (Or so I thought). I know this is sounding very cliché right now, I really don’t mean it to but if you could only hear the conversations going on in my head you’ll understand just how dramatic I am.

 

But anyway, I guess it was a good thing that instead of posting up a birthday post on the day itself (which would have read almost like a self-conceited girl who can’t stop talking about her birthday), I got delayed and lived through the day to have come to another important discovery.

I received a birthday message from my Mom: “I miss you too, how I wished I could be with you on your birthday.”

And it just hit me (FINALLY?!) that my birthday is not only special to me, but to my parents; especially my MOM. Sorry Dad, I’m sure you were anxious as hell but the pain Mom went through was definitely more memorable than your pacing along the hospital corridors. I still love you very much :D!

Right at that moment, I know my Mom deserves to be celebrated alongside with me. Because I obviously wouldn’t be here without my parents, and certainly it is unfair if I keep raving about self-love and self-importance when clearly my parents have made an unspoken pledge of undying, unconditional love the minute they knew I existed in their lives.

So here’s to my 24th birthday, it’s not about me, myself and I anymore. It’s about celebrating my parents’ decision to have me brought to this world, and loving me just the way I am…unconditionally. Birthday wishes, I have plenty but let that be my secrets. For now.

Come just as you are to me,
Don’t need apologies;
Know that you are worthy.
I’ll take your bad days with your good,
Walk through the storm I would,
I do it all because I love you;

I love you
Unconditional, unconditionally;
I will love you unconditionally.

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Not looking very pretty but there you have it! My first ever home-baked birthday cake! 😀 (Now I just need more people to share it with; I can hardly finish it on my own)

I would also like to thank everyone who had me in your thoughts on my birthday and taking the time to leave me happy wishes (be it on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and all other social media platform I happened to be on) and most certainly not forgetting my soul mate, Kris who took the time to call me up at midnight to sing me a birthday song and then dragging me to Burger King the very next day before surprising me with A HECK LOAD OF CHOCOLATES AND A CHOCOLATE CARD. Well, the card wasn’t made of chocolate but there was a block of chocolate IN the card which amazed me crazy. And not forgetting Jeff for putting away your ego and singing a birthday song to me at midnight via WhatsApp, I AM TOUCHED. :’) THANK YOU SO MUCH ALL, SO MUCH LOVE /sobs.

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4 boxes of cupcakes, 2 cards, 2 blocks of chocolates, a box of Lush goodies – I’m one happy kid. ♥

So I hope you enjoy this little (but rather long) insightful discovery (& story) on my part, albeit a few years late perhaps, but better than never. I hope I’ll be up to posting on my travels once again, right after I sorted out my photos (THERE’S SO MANY, I’M LOSING CONTROL). Sigh. ‘Tis the consequence of procrastination.

If any of you have some wise words you would like to impart to me as a birthday gift, please do so – leave me a comment or two, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Toodles. ♥

I remembered we were out late that night, in that bar. We must’ve spent a good couple of hours (or more) there, just talking. You regaled me with stories of your travels, and all those hilarious description of your tragedies cracked me up so bad. You showed me pictures of your poor attempts of selfies in random deserts, woods and pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I was mostly amused, delighted and perhaps you can say somewhat enchanted. And then I remembered there was all those pretty blue lights that adorned the trees. The whole place was glowing, it was almost like a ball night scene picked out from a fairy tale – only, I wasn’t the princess and you weren’t my prince. At least that’s what I thought. But I remembered, for that one night, it felt like it. Like it was real.

Just the other day I was on the bus and overlooking the city as we cruised by. I remembered you, and I remembered us. I remembered all the routes we took while walking aimlessly around town. Well, probably not all the routes exactly, after all we were getting lost. Lol. Fond memories, they are.

To be honest, we barely know each other. In fact, we still don’t. But it must’ve been some sort of connection between us. Maybe. I don’t know.  

Yet you say things so raw, half of me wants to believe that you are real, that whatever you say is true. Oh, how I remembered this strange infatuation.

 

I hope you will always remember me, just like you’ve always said. 🙂

 

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“Maybe one day we’ll meet again when we’re different people.

Maybe then we’ll be better for each other.”

 

 

Toodles. ♥