Sunday, 31 January 2016

24 things... To do in 2016

Yes it's back, back, back; back again!
My favourite series on this blog has to be my "24 things..." series, most probably because I like lists. Therefore, this year I have decided to write a post on 24 things to do in 2016. These ideas are mostly things that I want to do, and if you want to see the list I made last year, then that post is here. I'll be honest I achieved very little on that list last year, apart from eating sushi, going ice-skating, going to a concert and passing my driving test, so I know I will be working on that also. But this year I thought I would extend on that list, but also include things that you guys could do also, but maybe not have thought of doing.

  1. Make a terrarium, they have become a big thing recently and I think I need to get my creative flair out of hiding.
  2. Go to Yo Sushi... I tried sushi last year and really liked it so now I think it is time for me to lose my Yo Sushi virginity. I've always been afraid to go because I am too scared that I'll have a Miranda moment and get a scarf or something caught in the conveyor belt (comment down below if you get my reference).
  3. Make balloon splatter art. Something about filling balloons up with paint and pinning them to a canvas and popping them pins makes me very happy.
  4. Go to a big farmers market. A few years ago I went to big farmers market with my mum and bought the most delicious cherries for super cheap, and I really want to do that again.
  5. Do an obstacle course colour run... okay... so I didn't do a colour run last year so I thought I would up my game and do an obstacle course one this year.
  6. Go strawberry picking, there is a place near where I live where you can go strawberry picking and now I can drive I really want to drive down there and go strawberry picking (I've said strawberry picking too many times), it'll really bring back some childhood memories.
  7. Go on a hike with my friends. The town where I live is surrounded by beautiful countryside and last year a new walking route was put in, and it goes through all of the local villages. This summer I would love to pack a picnic with some of my friends and walk it.
  8. Go to a horror maze thing at Halloween. Near where I live there is now a Tulley's Horror Farm, although next year I most likely would have moved out, I would love to go to it with my friends, as I think it'll be really funny.
  9. See Finding Dory... enough said.
  10. Go on a roadtrip, with a few friends that can drive now I would really love to go on a roadtrip this year, I think it'll be really fun.
  11. Go to a new city, I'm going to Leeds on Wednesday so I guess that will already count, but I don't seem to go very far in the country at the moment.
  12. Go to Madame Tussaud, I've never been before and I think it'll be such a laugh.
  13. Walk over the O2, how freaking cool does that sound? 
  14. Go banana boating, again, one word... fun!
  15. Go pottery painting, there is something about painting on plates and bowls and ornaments that makes me want to smile. I could do this before I go to uni so I have some more personal crockery to take with me.
  16. Start vlogging, to be honest, I really don't think I'll be very good at this, but maybe in the summer I can give it a shot.
  17. Write more on my blog, I am actually really happy with the fact that I have managed to post once a week on this blog in 2016, and I really feel as though I am getting back into the swing of things.
  18. Eat more cake... because why the hell not?!
  19. Have more girly nights with my friends, whether that is going out for meals, going to the cinema, or even just ordering takeaways round to our houses.
  20. Go to a club, I'm 18 and yet to have been to a club, the prospect scares me a little, because it's sweaty and gross, however I need preparation for freshers week!
  21. Make Tiger Loaf... everybody loves it.
  22. Get a boyfriend... I joke (it would be nice though aha!!)
  23. Go to an outdoor swimming pool, in England. There is one not too far from where I live, but my friends and I have been too chicken to take the plunge into the depths of it's icy cold water in recent years.
  24. Buy a pretty bra for myself, I am not blessed with big boobs, but I don't think that should stop me from buying some prettier underwear.
What is on your list of things to do this year?
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sainsbury's Homeware Haul!

Why hello there peeps!
When the new year came around, there were quite a few things I wanted to change up about my routine and lifestyle in general. I knew I wanted to be a bit more tidier and enjoy the space in which I relax in. For this reason I decided it was about time I made my room feel a bit more homely with a few more decorations. I was excited about doing this, particularly considering I hadn't updated my chilling space since I moved into that room when I was 10 (apart from the occasional moving of furniture), so it was in need of some good ol' TLC. Plus, I see the decorations that I have just bought for my room as an investment for when I go to Uni next year.
The first thing I picked up was some bunting, in which I have draped from my curtain rail. There is some really kitsch about bunting and for me I feel like it really reflects my personality. I love coffee shops and cake, and cute markets strung with bunting, so it brings a nice part of my favourite things into my bedroom which really does make me smile. It is also something that I believe will look really cute and lovely strung across my room when I go to uni.
I also bought some fairy lights, which I have strung around the mirror of my dressing table. They are little wicker love heart shapes and are just so adorable. They are also really bright so are actually really handy to turn on when I am doing my makeup, which is something that I find quite helpful. I also love turning my fairy lights on in the evening as it makes my room seem so much more prettier and tranquil.
Another item I picked up, which is currently sitting on my bedside table is a vase of fake flowers. I'll be honest, I haven't got much of a green finger and I am really rubbish at remembering to water plants, thus having a bouquet of flowers in my room which I do not have to worry about looking after is perfect for me. I also have heard that having plants in your room can create a more peaceful space and there is a sort of special feeling to my room now I have introduced plants into it... I am debating making my own terrarium at some point in the future, as I love cacti so much, I saw a fake one in Sainsbury's too which I nearly picked up, however, I decided that I wanted to be a bit more creative and actually make a real one myself. Besides, I've seen places where you can buy cheap terrarium pots, and there are plenty of garden centres near to where I live.
I also picked up a new duvet which is quite simply a white duvet with a pink floral and butterfly pattern on it. For years now I have had the same duvets, both of which are very dark shades of purple, and I believe neither really reflected me as a person. I believe having a lighter colour duvet has really brightened my room up, and has made it look much more feminine and elegant. Plus, new bed sheets feel so crisp and wonderful that they really do feel as though they were worth the money.
As well as the duvet I picked up a cushion to match. I already have two deep purple cushions in my room, but they are both the same and I wanted to mix things up a bit. This pillow is a more rectangular shape and is a light lilac shade. It also has a white floral detailing on it, thus going more along with the pattern which is on my new duvet. It also makes for a really good head prop, if like me you like to use your laptop in bed.
The final thing I bought was a pinky purple throw. I had a pink blanket which I used to keep on my bed, however it was old and beginning to look a little babyish in my room. Most of the time I like to keep a blanket at the bottom of my bed to keep my feet warm, so I knew I was due an update. It is a knitted throw with fraying around the edges, so it is really pretty and it really matches the colours and vibes of the rest of my room.
Have you bought anything to spruce up your room recently?
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 17 January 2016


Sometimes, we need peace, a moment to ourselves; a moment away from the chaotic world that is around us. As humans, we don't spend enough time away from the chaos, away from the quandary from others, away from the weight of our work. We take on too much, too much drudgery, too much hardship from others, and too little of our own time, me time; time to stop.
Sometimes stopping in our tracks is a good thing. Stopping to think about all of the things we are grateful for and relishing a moment to breathe in clean, fresh air (where possible with pollution becoming a greater issue- more on that another day maybe?).
I often wonder to myself whether I could spend some more time looking after me personally. I spend so much time consuming myself with other people's problems, or trudging through the internet looking for a new story to read about. But why? I sit here and ask. Why do I spend more time caring about other peoples life stories when I could be writing new chapters of my own?
Source: WeHeartIt
Mindfulness is a fairly new concept, but a popular one. Mindfulness is something that I've wanted to practice more so this year, in order to feel more grounded as an individual, and to feel as if my life is less hurried, but also less stuck in the past.
According to mindfulness is:
  1. The state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.
  2. A technique in which one focuses one's full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.
The idea of mindfulness can be performed in a number of ways, as long as your key focus is living in the moment; centralizing all your thoughts on that exact moment, how you are feeling and what you are feeling.
Mindfulness can be practiced pretty much everywhere. For example, in the shower you can spend an extra 2 minutes feeling the way in which the water hits your skin, smelling the warm muggy air in which the sweet aromas of your favourite shower gel is filling, and breathing the clean air. It doesn't have to take long, but the more you practice focusing on the now, rather than the then or later, the more at peace you will feel.
Put away your phone for a moment, look around you, see the beauty in your day. Open the window, enjoy that earthy scent that the ground produces when the rain hits soil, enjoy the noise of the water dripping from the gutter and the wind whistling against the window.
Don't just look at your life through your Instagram feed and the photos in which you are taking, put your phone and your camera away, and enjoy the elegance of the Earth, through your own eyes. Feel the breeze sweep across your face until your eyes are streaming, the sensitivity in which you would never feel if your were looking down at your mobile device.
Stop. Breathe. Feel.
Feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck when aghast from the grace in which you feel when you see a gaggle of geese swoop past your own head. Enjoy the feeling because it is unique, special, a feeling of wonderfulness.
How will I practice mindfulness you might ask?

  • I will bake more, baking for me is something that puts me in a state of presence. When baking I am only in that moment, I am not thinking about the anguish in my past or the angst of my future, I am thinking about what I am doing in that minute. I am thinking about the syrupy scents drifting past the heavy burnt glass doors of the oven into the warm, homely kitchen. I am thinking about every ingredient in which I am pouring into the concoction of sugariness. I'm not worried about what has just happened or what is to come in the future.
  • I will read more, when reading I can concentrate on that one thing, that one plot that is gripping me into that book. I don't care about the sorrow of the day or the world. I am enjoying the emotions in which that book is taking me on a journey through. I am enjoying that very exact moment.
Other methods also work, whether it is just sitting in a quiet room meditating and concentrating on every breath that you inhale, and exhale. Or sitting outside and listening to the birds sing a choir in which you can only relate to as Bruno Mars- Lazy Song. You may want to learn yoga, practicing not only the flexibility involved which holding a position for an extended amount of time, but the breathing techniques and the serenity involved in it.
There are so many ways in which you can practice the globes new phenomenon, and it isn't just limited to the ways in which I have described above. I know I am going to practice it more in 2016, are you?
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Revision Tips!

Hello Everybody,
I know I have done these types of posts before, whereby I tell you every single revision technique and tip I know, however, normally I time my posts for after exams... which is both pointless and not providing the help that I intend to provide when I am writing those posts. Today, therefore, I have decided to enlighten you with my revision tips now. This will give you time to put together a revision timetable (if you like to use them), buy the supplies you need and give you a head start to getting the best grade you can possibly get...

Don't just read it!!

Okay, fair enough, reading can help a little, but a lot? No! I know I sound like an old, boring teacher telling you this, but once you get to A Level standard at least, there is no way you are going to do as well as you want with just a little bit of reading.By writing down any key facts you are not only processing the information more then once, but you are also ensuring that you understand what you have just read. A lot of the times when we read, we might not actually be taking in the information and you would feel a little bit gutted if you got to the exam and then realised you didn't know how to explain a graph for example.

Use different methods.

It's easy to just sit there and write notes for hours on end- actually, that's a lie, it's not easy to do that for very long at all without getting bored. By trying different methods you can engage yourself for a little bit longer. For example, you might get bored of using flashcards for key words so instead if you go onto Quizlet you can create games with these key words. Although I do like to use flashcards, my other favourite revision technique for key words is to play word match, on Quizlet this is timed and you can try and beat your highscore, thus it is great for competitive people like myself.
I also, like to make posters, with LOTS OF COLOUR, and use colourful post-it notes to simplify information into a small space and stick them in places that I am most likely to look -on the fridge; on the back of the toilet door.
Other techniques that you could use include doing past papers and self-assessing them, this not only allows you to find out where you are most likely to need improvement, but to also get a grips of what the examiner is expecting from you. Also, reading the chief examiners report from the previous years is  really helpful, because you can find out where other candidates went wrong in previous years, so you do not make that mistake again.

My favourite methods:

  • Making posters with lots of colour.
  • Highlighting key points and then writing them into notes, followed by condensing those notes further.
  • Using mnemonics and acronyms to help me remember key concepts... rhyming and making songs also helps if you are a creative type.
  • Sticking post-its up around the house with the facts that I am most likely to forget.
  • Making even BIGGER posters, when I feel like an A4 sheet just isn't cutting it anymore I often revert to using A3 paper.
  • Using flashcards, I don't only use these for keywords I also use them for writing factors that I shouldn't be forgetting down.
  • Chew gum. I like to do this because it stops me from getting distracted by the thought of snacking, because you can't snack with a piece of gum in your mouth.
  • Listen to music. This isn't to everyone's taste, but for me putting my sound blocking headphones in and listening to fast paced music really helps me to switch off from the outside world and actually get some work done.

Did you know:

You can use whiteboard pens on mirrors, and they clean off perfectly fine? I often write on my mirrors information that I think I am going to forget. For me this works really well as I am quite a vain person, so whenever I want to look in a mirror I am faced with the information that I would have previously forgotten instead.

I hope these tips helped, and if you have any revision tips that myself or my readers may find helpful, then comment them down below.
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dear 2015

This is the time of year where we reflect; end a chapter; turn a page. Normally we speak of our year with clich├ęs, and I'm not going to lie... so will I. I speak for a year full of finding who I used to be, for year of friendship, and a year for a LOT of hard work. Yes, there were quite a few tears in the past year also, but we wouldn't enjoy the good parts of our life without sorrowful parts.
I sense that 2015 isn't going to be an easy year to reflect upon. It felt like everyday was a sprint; so much happened, yet it only feels like yesterday that the clock struck 00:00 on 1st January 2015, yet it's been a whole year and a bit since then. A lot of learning happened in 2015, and I sat back a bit, but I am not regretful, I am not ashamed, because I grew to become much more of the person I wanted to be in 2015.


I started off the year the same way in which I have started this year. Revising to mock exams, shopping, and generally recovering for Christmas. I didn't set any New Year Resolutions for this year, and I didn't mind. Sometimes, it's okay to say that you feel quite happy with the way in which you live your day to day life. My diet was good, I drank plenty of water and I had a good skincare routine.
I did something quite big in January however, I applied to be one the school's head students. The application process was grueling, and I spent many hours deciding whether what I had written on my letter of application was enough. Before this I didn't feel like I had anything to be proud of myself for, yes my grades were okay, but they weren't any better then average. Reflecting on what I had already achieved in my life made me realise that I might not achieve straight As, but that didn't matter. We had group interviews, which I made a right fool of myself in, probably because I'm a bit clumsy at the best of times, but that's me, and some how, people find that endearing. I also told the best joke, so maybe I am funny? We then had an interview with the head teacher... it was one of the scariest things I had to do, but it actually went much better then I ever thought it would. Anyway, they must have liked me because I did get the role as head student, and I've had the best year with the rest of the team... it makes me kind of sad that our year as head students is coming to an end, but I have become great friends with people because of it, learnt how to speak in a proper manner to adults, and do proper public speaking. 


This was a really fun month. It started off with me spending the day in Milton Keynes on a trade fair for my Young Enterprise's final product. We didn't achieve much on this day, but all of the same it was a good day, and I learnt a lot from it.
I also spent the day at Centreparcs with my family, auntie, uncle and cousins. We had such a lovely day cycling around the forest, getting all too competitive playing Table Tennis ("around the world" gets a little intense in my family) and stuffing our faces with huge stacks of pancakes! We then spent an excited few hours in the swimming pool... you never getting too old for water flumes. Followed by a lovely evening enjoying a meal together. Seeing my cousins is always a happy time for me, we all get on so well, and we always leave each other having pulled muscles in our faces and stomachs cramping from all of the laughter and smiles.


I made a decision in March which has changed not only the past year, but I believe will have changed the rest of my life. I decided that I would actually apply for University, and stay there. This was a big decision for me, as for many years I have been pretty adamant I did not want to go. Obviously, I didn't really realise at the time of making this decision it would have such a significant impact on my year, but I'm glad that I did. 
I also spent some great evenings with my friends. First of all we had our schools Easter Social, our school events are never a let down, and I had a fun few hours boogieing with some of my closest friends. And then my 4th year of playing senior hockey came to an end... which meant my hockey teams end of season do. This was a great evening, which again meant enduring in quite a bit of dancing, and food. My hockey team also won Ladies Team of the Year and it felt so good to be awarded this as we all really gelled as a team in 2015.


April was another busy month. It started off with me doing my practice Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition, it was great to get to know some new people, but it was also one of the most challenging weekends in my life. Having to put up with broken equipment, getting drenched to the bones and being hungry can be very tough when you don't know the people that you are with all that way. I knew I had to be the strong one, as I had done many expeditions before. But carrying a almost 2 tents on my own at some parts was more then I could physically handle, and ended up injuring my knee quite badly and putting me out of hockey for a little while. Luckily it was during off-season but I couldn't take part in summer events and my fitness dropped to a new low, and it was very hard for me to handle, also considering I was walking like a pirate with a peg leg for quite a while.
Even though I spent much of April pretending not to be in pain, and walking very, very slowly it was still a good month, and I don't want to dwell too much on the negatives (but lets be real... we all have them.). I went on my annual bowling and shopping trip with my friends, as well as spending a lovely evening with my closest friends celebrating one of their birthdays.


In May I again enjoyed a bit of time with my friends. It was also a very stressful and busy beginning to the month as I had a Young Enterprise competition where lots of reports had to be written and a pitch for our product had to be rehearsed, ready for the county finals. We didn't win overall at this competition, but even so it was a great evening, and we also won Best Presentation and received a fancy looking trophy for our achievement. I was so proud of everybody, especially considering public speaking was something not many of the people in the company wanted to do.
A lot of revision was also entailed in May 2015 as well as me AS Level exams, it was a tough month, which also meant a time appropriate to treat myself. For this reason, with the ladies of the family on my mum's side we decided to indulge in a day with chocolate at ChoccyWoccyDooDah's secret room in London. It was soooo lovely, but I wasn't really hungry enough to enjoy much chocolate. 
I also started physio for my knee, which made a whole lot of difference for me and quickly saw me getting back into hockey. As well as finding the time to celebrate my blogs 2nd birthday.


Before heading back to school to start studying for my A2 levels I spent some time relaxing with my own company. Spending time outside and baking, both things that I know I need to make more time for in 2016. This was a particularly quiet month for me, as it really only included winding down from exams and getting my head into A2s and controlled assessements.
I also completed my real DofE expedition (which my knee was fixed for) and it was such a great weekend, and very hilarious. We were definitely in better spirits on this weekend.


July was a little more busier. Before school was out for the summer I volunteered in a local vineyard for the day. It was a weird day in terms of weather. To start with it was a sunny, hot day and then, within minutes it was torrential rain... it was still a really fun day with my friends though, and it certainly felt good to do something in the community.
I then did my annual Gilwell 24 challenge, which involved 24 hours of running around, playing games and partying. It's such an exhausting weekend, but it was worth every minute of being awake, and I hope I am around again this year to go one last time. 
On the last day of school I enjoyed a huge picnic with my friends, and we consumed A LOT of food, it's funny how little things like picnics can become a little tradition. 
Oh! And another HUUUUUGEEE thing! I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST! I passed first time as well, so it was a very good and happy month for me.


In August I enjoyed my summer with my friends, we had sleepovers, beach trips and just fun in each others company. It seemed to rain quite a lot throughout August, but on the sunny days we certainly made the most of it. 
We spent days going on walks, enjoying the outdoors, it's funny that when you step back you can discover a whole new  beauty just outside your doorstep. I guess another thing I want to achieve in 2016 is to spend more time outside, enjoying natural beauty... I also really want to go strawberry picking this year, but maybe that's for another post?
I also went to a large hockey event in London, in which I bought my Dad tickets for to go and see England Ladies play in, which they later went on to win. It was such a lovely warm day, and the atmosphere was incredible... I'm still debating splurging on tickets for this years hockey event?


In September before heading back to school my family and I headed to Staffordshire. The long weekend began with my family heading to Alton Towers. We had a lovely time there, but seeing as I had been there many times before, and it was very quiet considering the unfortunate events that had occurred there earlier on in the year, the waterpark was the most fun... mostly because we hadn't experienced it before. We also had a really fun game of crazy golf there. We then stayed in a small log cabin for a few nights, where we had a few trips out... this also entailed in me drinking the voted "Best Hot Chocolate in the UK", it definitely lived up to my expectations.
In this month my fifth season of hockey also began, which I was very excited for, but knew I needed to train hard for considering I hadn't done much exercise after injuring my knee. I also had a little boogie around my friend Heather's for her 18th birthday.


This month I went to see James Bay at Cambridge Corn Exchange. I was so excited, but also a little apprehensive considering I hadn't been to a concert in a long time. It was literally the best night of my life, and FREAKING ED SHEERAN WAS THERE! I was standing at the barrier and I practically couldn't touched him. My legs literally went to jelly, I have never had that feeling in my life, and I am so glad I stuck at my guns and went.


This was a bit more of a quiet month in terms of life. I went to see my friend I hadn't seen in a while to celebrate her birthday... "Hi Charlie!" and I gave blood... which by the way, you should all do if you can because it is soooo flipping rewarding, and really isn't as horrible and as scary as it seems when you first walk in. 


The month I became an adult... partied hard and celebrated Christmas. It was a really jam packed month, full of work, revision, parties and festivities. I had some amazing moments with my friends, and will never forget how special everyone made me feel. I went ice-skating with a great bunch of people, and the best 18th party. As well as spending a lovely Christmas with family, and New Year with friends. 

I would like to thank everyone that was involved in my 2015; true, it did have it's peaks and troughs, ups and downs, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I learnt a lot about myself in 2015, and I am ready for a bigger and better year this years.
Goodbye 2015.
Hello 2016,