Wednesday, 25 June 2014

1 Month to Go!

As I was reading blogs the other day, I noticed a few people sharing their favourite holiday destinations and their future holiday plans. Well, we go on holiday in a month's time and we have plans. Big plans.

11 people + 18 nights + 7 bedroom villa + minivan + the happiest place on earth= Chaos and fun!

Epcot during my last trip in 2009.
That's right, there's a group of 11 of us travelling to Florida in a month's time. All of us have been to Florida before- some only once, but some have been at least 7 times so are Florida veterans. The majority of the arrangements are in place although we are waiting for new passports to arrive and we need to work out which rides we are going to get fastpasses for. It's shaping up to be amazing.

Me and my little sister on our first trip back in 2002.

The idea for this holiday came around a few years ago when we realised that there were a number of 'big' family Birthday's happening in the same year. We booked the villa last August after searching through thousands of villas, then the flights were booked in February this year. Car hire has been sorted, park tickets acquired, ESTA's completed, new suitcases bought and money has been saved.

My cousins Sophie and Sara, myself and my little sister in 2004.

With only one month to go, everyone is getting super excited. We've been using a really helpful Disney website and forum to help us with the planning. Many people would be daunted at travelling in such a large group but we all get along so well it's never been a problem before. Also, I've never gone in a group of less than 8 so it's all I'm used to. I'll do my best to blog the trip while we're there but with all the fun we have planned, I doubt I'll have much spare time to sit down and write. Exciting times.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

I Did It!

Degree results were posted on Friday and I'm proud and relieved to say that I did it! I got a 2:1 degree with Honours! I honestly could not be happier and it took all the willpower I have to not run up and down the street shouting about it and letting everyone know.

Sadly I couldn't start the celebrations straight away as I had a dance show rehearsal (I haven't mentioned my dancing on here yet- I'll post about it later) so I put a bottle of wine that I'd saved from my 21st Birthday in the fridge to chill.  I stopped off at the shops on the way home to buy some treats for myself (aka lots of Cadbury's chocolate) and by the time I got home my Mum had the wine poured and celebrations began. We ended up walking over to my Grandparent's house where they were all too happy to get another bottle or two out to celebrate- though the majority of that wine ended up all over the kitchen walls and ceiling thanks to a flying cork and the ensuing explosions of wine! After we got home again we Facetimed with the family in Wales where they were also drinking wine in celebration.

We ended up staying up fairly late considering everyone had to be up early the next morning for various commitments, but it was totally worth it- you only get your degree results once!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

My Final Year as a Student- In Pictures!

I've blogged sporadically throughout my final year at uni, but I thought I'd round it off with a picture from each month of the academic year.

1) September- I moved back to uni at the end of September but didn't actually have lectures until the start of October. This is the pathway from my halls of residence to the rest of campus and I just love how the sun finds its way through the trees on an Autumn afternoon.

 2) October- The hard work kicked in. Quite often I'd find myself with the flat to myself on Sunday's so I'd move myself into the kitchen for the day and work there as a change of scenery. Being close to the kettle for unlimited amounts of caffeine was also a plus! A team trip to a buffet restaurant, a trip to Wales and fun with my housemates and ex-housemates made it a busy month.

 3) November- November was a busy month. I had two trampolining competitions and a lot of deadlines to fulfil. The month was topped off with the Ball for our Athletic Union. We have two Balls a year and this is my favourite dress yet!

4) December- Another trampolining competition (successfully competed a new level for the first time) then breaking my ankle 5 days later. Also mixed in December were uni deadlines, Christmas meals, hospital appointments and December was rounded out with surgery on New Year's Eve.

5) January- January was all about exams and recovering from surgery, all while I was on crutches. My friend Jazz sent me this card and it made me laugh so much. She knows me too well! (Jazz is my wine drinking buddy and we try to meet once a month or so for a wine and chocolate night).

6) February- I was so disappointed to miss my team trip to Edinburgh because of my ankle, but instead I spent the weekend at home celebrating my sister's 18th Birthday. A lot of February was spent writing my dissertation with my foot in a bucket of ice water and watching the Winter Olympics. This picture is taken at a social- it was the first time I left my flat without crutches in over 2 months! My team were doing a Cowboys and Indians pub golf but I knew I couldn't walk that far so agreed to join them at the bar closest to my flat.

7) March- March was largely focused upon finishing my dissertation and waking up with daily deadlines of how many words needed to be written. Life was made a lot easier by being able to walk again! I accompanied my team at a trampolining competition and it killed me being there but not being able to compete. I reached the magical 12 weeks post surgery status a few days before our varsity competition (also my dissertation deadline) so I competed basic routines for my team. Our university were the overall winners of varsity and at the end of the celebration party, I got my hands on the big trophy.


8) April- Most of April was spent at home revising for my last exam and working on my last few deadlines. My last exam was on the same day as the 10th Anniversary of Mean Girls being released, so I quite proudly wore a pink tshirt all day. This picture was taken on my last ever trampolining social where I was dressed as Hollie the Hawaiian. 

9) May- I handed in my last piece of uni work on 8th May, then this picture was taken on the celebration night for third years. My time in May was spent jointly between home and uni due to commitments in both places, but I enjoyed the guilt free feeling of having no work left to do- particularly getting to spend time with friends around our pretty campus.

10) June- I went back to uni one final time for our big end of year festival. I have access to my room until a few days after my graduation but I moved the majority of my stuff back home at the start of June. It was so sad to take down my decorations and pack everything up!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Is it Thursday yet?

So the World Cup in Brazil starts on Thursday and as usual pubs across the country are smothered in England flags (and sometimes British flags, what's all that about? Britain don't even have a current football team. I digress...). The best/most standout attempt I've seen to get some excitement for the tournament going was hearing Brazilian Samba music playing in Tesco next to a bunch of England flags.

It's become a bit of a family tradition to do football sweepstakes for major football tournaments and this World Cup is no exception. As usual, I haven't really got my hopes up for winning but I've done remarkably better than usual in the four teams I picked out- I might actually have a team or two that gets out of the group stages! So is it Thursday yet?

Smudger joined in with picking the teams out, and was downright smug when he picked out Brazil (yes, the rabbit picked out his own teams- our family is not normal). 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Surprise Discovery

Who knew I had so many pairs of shoes? Not me. I can count 22 pairs in this picture and I found a couple of other pairs in my wardrobe after taking this picture. The sad thing is that some of my most worn shoes are at home and not even at uni with me. I think a clear out is due soon. Please tell me there's other people out there that have had the  'omg how many?' moment...

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A New Trampoline!

After years of begging, my dad bought us energetic, then 8 and 11 year olds a garden trampoline in the summer of 2004. This trampoline has been used so much over the years; pretty much very social event we've ever had at our house has ended up with people on the trampoline. It also has a multitude of uses- it's the best sunbathing spot in the garden too! Needless to say, we got our money's worth out of it. Sadly, the springs were breaking and rusting, the trampoline had lost it's bounce and was no longer safe to use so dad dismantled it :( The garden looked so empty and not a day went by when a comment was made by either my sister or myself wanting to go on a trampoline.

Fast forward ten years from summer 2004 and there is a new trampoline in the back garden- this time a little smaller but with an added safety net. It took 5 of us half an hour to assemble the trampoline but a lot longer to sort out the safety net. It's so much bouncier! I haven't done much on it yet because my ankle is a little sore at the moment but I've had fun bouncing on my back (back bouncing is also a good ab workout).

Anyways, Sunday was a warmish day by British summer standards so the grandparents came round for a BBQ. Turns out my nan couldn't resist the temptation of the new trampoline! She didn't stand up on it but she loved doing teddy bear rolls with a bit of help! Hard to believe that less than a year ago she was fighting cancer. I can only wish that I'll be that energetic and full of life when I'm 73! 

And a bonus picture, Smudge isn't a huge fan of the new trampoline!