Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Reflection and New Year Resolutions

We've reached the end of another year and it's time to welcome in the New Year of 2014. I'm aware that the making of New Year resolutions divides some people - the belief that a New Year doesn't necessarily mean the need to make a resolution and that it can be done throughout the year on your own terms. However, I am one of those people whom create New Years resolutions to aid the direction of the New Year and I thought I'd share a few of them with you this New Years Eve.

I'm not a massive party animal. I don't drink so venturing out into the town centre won't be on my list! This New Years Eve I'll be sitting at home watching television with a nice takeaway - my perfect night in.

2013 has been a hard year to say the least. Yes, there has been some great aspects many of which were on my Bucket List! Some include:

Being shortlisted for the Company Style Blogger Awards - April
Buying my own car! - May
Visiting WB Harry Potter Studios - June
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - July
Visiting my Big Sister in Gt Yarmouth/Bacton by the Sea! - July
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland - December
TURNING 21 - December

Although these are only a handful of brilliant things, they've sadly been shadowed by the negative times.

In June 2013, I was diagnosed with suspected depression and anxiety which was apparent to my family. I've always been a worrier, but it started to develop into something more serious. In late 2013, I was actually diagnosed with anxiety and acute depression by my GP - not the greatest part of my life. It's one of the hardest times I've had to deal with - the change in lifestyle, medication and learning how to deal with things I find difficult, better. I am in no doubt that I will come head to head with difficult problems in 2014, but there is a handful of things to look forward to this New Year.

I must point out, through the tough times this year I've had my boyfriend to lean on. He may not have 'solved' my problems, but he's been there to talk to and a shoulder to cry on which is sometimes what you need and I just think he deserves a little mention and credit for that :)

Firstly, my Graduation in July! I will hopefully graduate with a BA Hons in Business Management! After that, I'm not quite sure. I know what I want to do, but I am not 100% sure of what path to take in order to get there, so the future after my degree is still up for debate.

I also am planning to holiday this year as a reward for my University journey and as a time to relax and reflect on what I have (hopefully) achieved this year!

Save Money
I recently  turned 21 in December and I'm starting to look to the future. I have my own personal Credit Card account and Current Account, which I might like to add to those gasping at the word CREDIT CARD, I am VERY GOOD at managing. I only have my credit card to build a positive credit rating score for when I move out and need a mortgage and whenever I do spend on it (which is a couple of times a month) I pay it off as soon as it pops up on my online account - which is the best way. See, I am very prepared.

I plan to create a new 'savings' account and put aside 'what I can' much a month and create and stick to a 'budget' each week. This will allow me to keep track of what I'm earning and spending on a weekly basis and actually see in my savings account what i have personally saved myself :) I'm not bad with money but saving will help whatever my future will bring and also make me feel good.

Healthy Eating
If you've ever met me or seen me, I have a small size 6 figure. It's all thanks for my high metabolism. I don't work hard for my figure and neither do I put any effort into it - but I should. My eating habits are very unhealthy, not just what I'm eating but also the fact I hardly eat at all.

This year I want to eat healthier. My body doesn't take too well to eating too much bread and therefore I want to cut a lot of this out :) My diet will be more balanced; trying to eat 3 meals a day and packed with more fibre, protein and vegetables. Not only will I be more healthier, it will hopefully have a healthier effect on my skin, which is always a total mess!

I also want to become more toned. I plan to take up a toning regime (free of course) which will also allow me to become more confident when I go on holiday later this year and healthier inside.

My New Year resolutions are short and sweet. I Find if you give yourself too many goals you become less focused and forgetful. Keep it simple :)

I hope 2014 is prosperous, full of happiness and good times to remember - not to mention great opportunities and open doors. I'm not keen on the cliché of "This year will be my year" - I prefer to look at it as I hope the coming year of 2014 is better than the last and that things start to look up. I don't expect a miracle, but some good news and light at the end of the tunnel would be encouraging.

What's your opinions on New Year resolutions? Do you have any for this year?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Winter Warmer: Hot Chocolate!

When the cold weather hits, whether you're dodging everyone in the Christmas crowds or cosying up in your PJs at home, nothing beats a hot chocolate in your favourite mug! I've had a few at coffee shops in town and the odd sachet here and there, so I thought I'd share with you my favourite!

Festive Feeling: Hot Chocolate
Firstly, I want to share with you my new Christmas mug! I bought this in October from a car boot sale for 25p! I couldn't say no to 25p, especially with that cutie gingerbread man on the front. The picture really doesn't do the mug justice - the mug is hand painted, the colours are vibrant and it really creates a festive feeling with the candy cane style handle and decor.

You can find a festive mug amongst a couple of the high street stores or supermarkets. The prices can vary but if you shop around you're bound to find one in your price range.
ASDA Chosen By You Drinking Chocolate
"Fairtrade. Simply add hot milk for a rich, indulgent treat,"

A lot of people 'knock' own brand labels because of the image that they're cheap and not as good as branded products. Well, I tend to disagree! I find there is too much hype on branded products and you're mostly only really paying for the brand name and image! My sister has been raving about this hot chocolate formula for ages and to be honest I was always a 'add water' formula girl, until now!

The tub is pretty big, 500g but is reasonably priced for the amount you get! It's part of the 'chosen by you' range so it's been tried and tested by customers. The formula is fairtrade, making it fair for all of the suppliers and growers involved which is pretty important granted the world we currently live in. The design is pretty simple. I like it. 
ASDA Chosen by you Drinking Chocolate - 500g -  £2.48 
Price; 5 STARS The price is very reasonable for the amount you get. It lasts a while so it doesn't damage the purse strings! I've seen many hot chocolate formula's roughly the same price but different in weight.

 Consistency; 5 STARS The formula is a powder which stays light and fluffy in the container. It says 3 teaspoons, although I find 1 and a half just enough! It dissolves and mixes in really well when the milk is poured in - no big lumps floating around.

I've had hot chocolates that are made with water and I can honestly say those mixed with milk, like this one, are much better! It's slightly thicker and the milk adds to the taste!

Taste; 4 STARS The chocolate formula and milk mix well to create a thick creamy taste and consistency, just like what I expect in a coffee shop! I found it a little sweet towards the bottom of the mug, although I could of added too much sugar - so I might need to stop adding excess!

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; YES I've had many hot chocolates, and I stand by those formula's made with milk. Although they take longer to make because you have to heat the milk instead of boiling a kettle, it creates a thicker and creamier drink. It mixes in really well and is great value compared to other similar formula's on the shelves!

I always have this hot chocolate after a long day at work / university. You can guarantee I'll have this hot chocolate in my favourite festive mug whilst putting my tree up! It warms you up and gets you in the festive mood!
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