Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Blogmas - Day 14 - My List of 'Things To Do This Christmas'

Source: WeHeartIt

As the years go on the list does indeed get smaller and smaller in ways of the list not subjecting around materialistic things but better quality things such as spending time with family.

But each item on our list, we treasure it dearly.

- Getting my hair done with Mum, for the holidays and for her Anniversary meal with Dad. Since my brother and I are both now away from home, mum and dad wanted for us to spend the time together.

- Decorate my room. Even though my room is filled will fairy lights and tea candles I'm going ro attempt if I can fit any more. Finally I will be sticking up my glow in the dark stars that my cousin so kindly gave to me.

- Go to my Mums Christmas Carol Service in Church. It'll be nice to listen for a change and not take part. I do enjoying listening to music without singing along. I prefer other peoples voices to my own.

- Walks in the night. Only if it's a starry night. I just miss going for walks in the dark, where all you have is the moonlight to guide you. Night time walks are very special to me. I've been doing it, walking the same route, the block is what we call it where I live, ever since I was 9. I used to go with my aunt, sometimes the two if the other were home from England, and we'd chat while walking. Coming back home, Grannys house, we would come in absolutely freezing running for our cups of tea and sitting next to Gran, either ready to say the rosary or watch the news.

- I may be 22 but on my list is laying in bed with mum watching Coronation Street. I may be too old for cuddles, but I will always be her daughter and she my mother/ big sister heehee. Love is unconditional so when people sneer and think that 'you should act your age' I think it's quite silly really. As a baby I'd only ever want to go into bed with mum cos she was always so warm.... using her as a hot water bottle people haha. Nah but I always prefer to sleep next to someone knowing that I'm not alone. Having no boyfriend really can be the saddest of times.... *sigh*

- Watching movies with the family. I usually take my seat on the rug with my hot chocolate next to fire, like a cat. I always like hearing Dad telling me facts about the movie. Mum just smiles, having no idea what's going on, or in any case what movie is being played. We do spend a lot of time together in our family. Alone time over here is a necessity but when I'm with my family not so much. Growing up with Gran I never had alone time, she was always there. But I still did the things I wanted with her being there, was very much in my comfort zone.

- Dressing up. In England, I surprisingly don't get dressed up as much I used to when I was back living in London. Being here I'm always wearing a uniform. And the nursing uniform is the most uncomfortable, unflattering thing in the world! It's like wearing cardboard!
In Ireland, I'm always on the road. So it's nice to get dressed and feel like a girl for a change. Instead of being someone invisible in a uniform or a tracksuit and hoodie.

- Staying in bed all day. Today I woke up naturally at 1pm. No more stress you see from Uni, so I really did catch up on my sleep. And the bed I have here has my back in such bad aches. The bed I have back in Ireland may not be the comfiest but it's a lot better for my already messed up back.

- Wearing cuddly, cosy jumpers. I love them! The more old fashioned and quirky they are, the better.

- Going to my friends 21st. Even though we'll only be separated 10 days we'll still have to see each other. It'll be nice to meet her sister and family properly. We're all acquainted on Facebook and Skype calls but it'll be nice waking up in the house and seeing how my friends life usually is in Ireland.

- Playing my music as loud as I want in my house. My friends over here already know I'm odd. They say that because I have different, weird tastes in music and movies and yes my favourite food is just plain food. After all I was brought up with a Granny who would feed me a half plate of burnt whatever and I LOVED IT!! If you grow up with it, you'll love it. So as soon as I get home, the following morning, I'll be banging on the piano keys and singing alone with Puccini and Jennifer Hudson. Hey, they're too darn loud for singing along to with the neighbours... and plus the house-mates really don't stay away. They just walk in and expect a show of some sorts.

- Watch Downton Abbey Season 6 with my brother. Unlike me and my Dad who watch it every week, my brother waits to watch it all with me, all before the Christmas Special. So I will not be forgetting to bring over the DVD. Trés important!

- Take a piece of straw from the crib at church. We always do this in my family. Gran would always feel as though little baby Jesus would be welcomed in our house. So this year I'll take it to her grave and lay it beside her.

- Visit my grand-parents and great-grand-parents graves. I usually prefer to do it alone so I can chat to them. More so with Granny. I tell her what's been going on with my life in Canterbury. Who I've met, what I think of them. What my worries are, what I'm excited about for the future. Of course there's tears but I feel better thinking even though she's not in my life realistically any more, she can still be with me on my journey. I'll tell her about my first relationship, about the hardest losses I've faced with being a nurse, my first kid, my first house. You always feel as though the loved ones in your life will be there for your life changing events. 

- Make butternut squash soup. I've just been craving it for a long time now. And it s after all my favourite soup. Pumpkin is tasty with it as well and carrot, but I'll stick to having it plain with some lovely soda bread.

- Re-watch some of my favourite boxsets. My friend said that I am the only person she knows who collects boxsets of different genres, with tv shows and movies. If it is only a show that I love then I'll buy the collection. I just fall in love with the characters, wanting to be them, wanting to be in the directors mind, the costume designers minds, the composers minds. I do get disappointed sometimes thinking that my life will never live up to a movie. That it'll be predictable. My reasons for loving fantasy and sci-fy is simply because I believe in that little bit of magic.

- Shopping with mum in the winter sales. If I am wanting a new coat and if it is perfect that's my day made. That and sitting in a café with mum while people watching. Trying to suss out what peoples lives are like and admiring peoples outfits. Hey we're nosy but it's fun!

- Spend some catch up time with friends. See a movie, eat something maybe and chat, chat, chat.

- Watch the new Star Wars and Daddys Home movie with my brother and dad. I really need a laugh this Christmas and Will Farrell never fails!

Just think that tomorrow is my last day here in Kent... Hey I love it, but eating, living and walking with the same people can be exhausting. My flight is at like 9pm on Thursday and me and my Irish lassies are heading to the airport like 6 hours early. Firstly, because of the security over here, don't want delays or stress. Secondly, we're going to shop around in the airport and have some food and drinks. And lastly, we're just too freaking excited!!

Thanks for reading my little elves x

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Blogmas - Day 12 - Do You Still Believe In Santa?

Source: Pinterest

Ever since finding out the truth about Santa as a child, Christmas has never really been the same. It has slightly lost that excitement and belief of magic that we all had as children.
The first incidence where I almost believed that he wasn't real was when I was pretending to be asleep and I heard 'Santa' in my room carrying a bag of presents. I then heard the fella curse under his breathe as he tripped over my toys.... My room was a mess as a child. I was never told to clean it up, but I would do it myself as the clutter would get way out of hand. So at that instance I thought I had heard my Dad. But I let it slip from my mind, saying that it was impossible!

The actual moment where I found out the truth was when I was probably nine or ten.... I was old enough to be believing in magic. I had found the presents in the boot of my parents car. My heart was broken!
I was happy though with the school that I went to, with everyone made sure not to tell the other kids. I remember playing on with still believing just so my parents (Santa) would keep giving me gifts.

I miss getting excited with seeing Santa being on the tv and the announcement of him landing in Ireland. My dad would play jokes on me and my brother, where he would be stumping around in the attic, or he would get the ashes from the fire and splash them a little on the rug, implying that Santa had come down from the chimney. I remember thinking how funny it was seeing the bitten mince pie beside the empty glass. "Santa actually ate that!" I used to have my relatives always dressing up as Santa Clause. They knew how much I loved him! My aunt dressed up one year and knew I was with my mum and brother driving to my Grans house. I saw Santa in my Grans field, waving at us and strutting up the field again as though he was on a catwalk. Such a funny memory! 

Sometimes I think my brother would be excited just because I was. Strangely enough I think he had no idea what was going on. He just knew something good was gonna happen! Brothers huh!

When I spend Christmas Eve night with my Godmothers kids and my cousin, I get all hyped up, putting on my best "Santa's Coming" face. I just love to see them so excited. My aunt (dressed as Santa) also came into my house another year when my grandparents were visiting from the Caribbean. My granddad played Santa one year at the community centre but unfortunately lost his beard, so he opted for the dishcloth. Trust me the kids were extremely confused!

I remember my favourite Christmas gifts were a bike and some Harry Potter books. Mum knew how I kept getting complaints from my Primary school teacher saying that I would never return them. Then also I got a gift from my dad, when he drove me up with his cousin to visit my mum and brother in Dublin. He treated me to this little ugly monster of a teddy, Ferbie! He would kinda talk, but with a weird Stitch kind of voice. He made me laugh anyway up until where he annoyed me so much that I threw him in my wardrobe under all of my clothes and left him there. I still remember his voice in my wardrobe as I tried to sleep.... heehee. That Christmas memory will always stay with me. As me, my cousin and my dad drove home from Dublin, Ferbie on my lap and listening to "Driving Home For Christmas".

Deep down I do still believe in a little bit of magic. Sometimes I feel as though there's a spirit in the room or that I'm not alone. I feel as though there may be witches and wizards out there. I just get that magical belief feeling from time to time.

Let me know any stories ye may have about your Christmas memories.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Blogmas - Day 10 - Candlelit Christmas Carol Service

I may have skipped two days but alas I had nothing new to add to any of those days anyway. Sure none of ye probably hadn't noticed.... up until now that is! Crap!

The first day for not publishing, I was doing it very last minute and the website was down. Then yesterday I was exhausted. Coming in the door from placement, I ate then napped for 3 hours, was awake for 2, then fell asleep for another 6 hours. I was all over the place with my sleeping pattern.

I just wanted to tell you all about the Candlelit Christmas Carol Service that was on in Canterbury Cathedral. I sang along with the gospel choir and the amplified sounds of our harmonies bouncing off all of the walls of the cathedral was amazing. There were other choirs there singing beautiful carols such as In the Bleak Midwinter, a favourite of mine and O Come All Ye Faithful. There was a little orchestra and contemporary ballet dancers, with the candles glow reflecting off their white costumes. They were almost like angels dancing to the crowd of 1100 people.

Even though I got candle was all over me, I still had a wonderful, peaceful time.

After getting our pictures taken with our conductor lying out in the front of us, we all made our way to the Uni canteen to get free mince pies and elderflower.

Source: WeHeartIt

I LOVE candles!! And everyone knows this about me. They know I love soft light. I love to have fairy lights, candles and lamps. Even my room here in Canterbury has fairy lights and church pillar candles at the fireplace. In my home in Ireland we always have candles. My family goes nuts for it. Seriously, even my dad!

I even got my mum to buy a huge candle lantern for outside our house, for Christmas.
And the reason why we've always had candles is, is that my mum is a freak for electricity, and she bloody well is right! Whenever we have had power cuts it makes no difference with getting around, we still can see where we're going. Plus you don't really need them if it's your home! You should know your own house off by heart.

So each Christmas we always have a tonne of lights!! I even got my dad to buy me these pretty lights one Christmas and put them on my ceiling in the shape of a tree!!

I can't wait to see my glowing house when I get back!!

Just one week guys... 1 WEEK!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Blogmas - Day 6 - Christmas Cheer

Source: WeHeartIt

Christmas is the time for people to 'want' to feel happy. Even though it's just like any other day, the only difference being the lights and decor are up in peoples homes and all over the streets and everyone is out and about buying presents. For some reason we can't help but join the exciting atmosphere. Even though presents isn't what Christmas is about, it certainly gets the community coming together in the merriment.

Hey, I love buying for people but I too like it when I buy a new boxset or some beauty products from Lush just all for meeeeee.

Even if we've had a bad year or nothing as good as we expected we hope and pray that our Christmas will be filled with fun. When we're happy we become more sociable, flexible for time and a lot more energetic. And yes Christmas would be the best time to be all of these things

In all honesty it's a lot better off that Christmas festivities, like lights and Christmas drinks such as eggnog and specialised hot chocolates are just a once off in the year, otherwise we'd be bored pretty much all of the 365 days of the year. Easter I do love because the main thing is chocolate! Having an occasion based on my favourite food/sweet item... YAAAAS!!

I usually am a lot happier during Christmas and I find that so because it's all to do with the merriment being rubbed off on me from another person. My mum is the one in our family who shares the Christmas cheer. Even though she is perhaps one of the most happiest of people that I know, she still get's giddy like a child over Christmas. She excels! She still buys gifts for me, Dad and my brother saying 'from Santa'.

So it's her that really influences me during the holidays. As a child with living with my granny, I'd go up to visit my mum and brother and I'd still be so excited for Christmas. Mum always brought me to see Santa and she'd be so excited! My brother on the other hand was always afraid of the strange man who resembled Dumbledore. He'd roar, which was nothing like him. In our family everyone knows how he didn't give a proper conversation until he was 8 hahahaha!!!

Let me know who/ where/ what influences make your Christmas cheerful for you?

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Blogmas - Day 5 - Gospel Choir Service & Christmas Cocktails

Gospel Choir in CCCU Chapel

So myself and my friend Becks are in the Gospel Choir. It's not only students that are in it but lecturers and people from other places.

We had such a great time. We sang a lot of songs by Kirk Franklin (the King composer of Gospel music)
My favourites were "Now Behold The Lamb", "Precious Lord, Take My Hand", "Reign", "Joy to the World" and "Mary Did You Know". Our conductor also sang us a song with his guitar. I could see my housemates and friends standing up and sing Joy to the World with us. I was really in my element, smiling down at them. It was really something like out of 'Sister Act'. Our conductor was sprinting down the aisle and clapping to the audience. Seriously was a fun night to remember.

Afterwards, myself and my friends went out for a few cocktails and played a bit of pool. I of course went for the cocktails that had more of the percentage of alcohol, compared to the rest of the others. We hadn't been out in a while seeing as we are seriously feeling the nerves getting to us now with everything such as assignments, exams, placement and work. We're all a bunch of busy bees dying to get home and to finally have a break over the Christmas.

The Gospel choir is something of which that I happened to commit myself to, simply because the people are lovely and some that I've met have real soul and passion for music. Every rehearsal that we have, our conductor makes us laugh so so much.

My good friend Becks did a solo in "Now Behold the Lamb"... I still get teary when I hear her sing. If you could just see her, you'd agree that she is just so amazing! Our conductor said that this song will be hers for the next 3 years. 'Proud' doesn't even cover it!

I know this is supposed to be a countdown for Christmas Day but I am actually counting down to the 17th - the day I arrive in Dublin.

11 Days left guys!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Blogmas - Day 4 - Secret Santa Christmas Gift Ideas

Source: Etsy


These beautiful gems I recently bought for my housemate (for Secret Santa) from Etsy. The problem with Secret Santa is that for certain people you would know well what to buy them, mine was quite difficult. In the end if she doesn't like the gifts she could give them to her sister or mum. Not a total loss.

But I have come up with an idea. Something of which I'd like... not so sure about my housemate.... sure we'll see on the 14th of December, the day we have our Christmas dinner and open our gifts.

Onto the gifts....

I bought a medium sized blue glittery box for all of the gifts to go inside. I also bought a long white lace strip of snowflakes, so that will be stuck around the box to add a little more Christmas dazzle to it. Not forgetting the silver bow on top... duh!

Inside, stuck to the lid of the box will be a note to my housemate.

"Nurse's Survival Kit.... Especially for you.
+ Sweets (fudge freshly made from a shop in Canterbury town) - to give you energy.

+ Candles [3] (oyster filled turquoise soy wax candles in rose and vanilla scents) - your smiling face lights up the room.

+ Matchsticks - to keep your eyes open from working the night shift.

+ Teabag - relax and put your feet up with a cuppa.

+ Coffee - to keep you awake during long shifts.

+ Marbles - to replace the ones you have lost.

+ Elastic band - for when you are stretched to your limits.

+ Safety pin - because you keep your patients safe.

+ Wooden plaque - a sign that your heading down the right route.

+ Oyster (used to hold jewellery) - You can do anything you want - the world is your oyster."

Let me know what ideas you have. Opened to anything really.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Blogmas - Day 3 - Top 10 Christmas Movies

Source: Pinterest

A dream job that I would love to have would be to work in filming, either in directing, producing or  in script writing. I just love movies and tv shows. So Christmas just gives me the excuse that I can stay indoors all day without feeling guilty and watch as many movies as I want. And all of my friends say that I watch movies like really unhealthily, hahaha. I blame my dad and both of my grandparents for allowing this to happen.

  • Love Actually (2003) - It's a must guys!! My whole family and I watch this not even at Christmas. We just love the music and come on!! THE CAST ARE AMAZING!
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - My dad bought this one year for me saying that he really REALLY wanted me to watch it. He knew how I would react to it. I just love this heartwarming story. It's about a man named George Bailey (James Stewart) who goes into serious debt with the bank that he owns. He then lets the stress get the better of him and doesn't allow his friends or his family to help him. He then meets an trainee-Angel named Clarence who is there to help him by showing him what life would have been like if he was never born.
  • Little Women (1978 (mini-tv series & 1994) - Both are amazing. Winona Ryder plays Jo brilliantly in the movie but I do love William Shatner from Star Trek in the series version. The story is of four sisters growing up, moving away, getting married and pretty much having their lives completely change and yet a lot of what they go through they all are there for each other when need be. It is an ideal movie for Christmas, where you want a feel-good family, romantic, funny movie. There is one moment where you can't help but blub but it's beautifully done.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Out of all of the Potter movies this one is perfect for Christmas Day. Hogwartz is covered in snow and that really with the huge Christmas trees in the Great Hall is all the magic you need for the day.
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947 and 1994) - Six year old Susan is skeptical of the Christmas myth surrounding Santa Claus, a trait she learns from her mother, Dorey. When her mother is tasked with hiring the Santa who will pose with kids at Macy's (toy store), Dorey enlists a man with the curious name of Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough) who claims to be Santa himself. His assertions are met with scoffs and threats of institutionalization, but a young lawyer, along with Susan and Dorey, comes to his defense. I do prefer this to Home Alone... now comes the endless groans... I do like Home Alone, but once every 5 years is enough for me.
  • Elf (2003) - This is played every single Christmas in our house and once during the year haha. My dad LOVES this film. Will Ferrell who is an elf looking for his biological father in New York city and pretty much standing out with his ott enthusiasm for the festive season, is the best comedy you can watch at Christmas.
  • The Santa Clause (1994) and The Santa Clause 2 (2002) - Great memories of watching the first one at my Grans house every Christmas. The second one is my favourite though. I just love when there's a bit of romance in there.
  • The Holiday (2006) - This is my favourite rom-com Christmas movie. I just remember coming out of the cinema with my aunt feeling as though it was one of the best feel-good movies I had ever seen. Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Carmeron Diaz and Jack Black... WOW!! And the kids in it are adorable.
  • While You Were Sleeping (1995) - I know this movie well off by heart!! I may even sleep talk the dialogue of Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. The really cheesy music and the funny grandmother is what I love about this movie. Plus I like how Lucy (Sandra) doesn't wear any typical beautiful outfits. She's a normal gal where the guys likes her for who she is and I seriously like that!
  • Jack Frost (1998) - This is a movie that my brother and I have always watched as children. We would watch it over and over again. I was always heartbroken though by the story how the dad was his sons best mate only when he was turned into a snowman and then he just died in the end!!!! Sorry for the spoiler but god it is sad but I do love it weirdly enough!
So there they are my top 10!! Not in any order as I don't have a number one slot for a Christmas movie. Let me know what your favourites are and why.