Saturday, 10 December 2011

A look back at 2011

Doing all of this preparation for my Happiness Project and making plans to make 2012 an amazing and super productive year has made me think about 2011. Every year, people start to do facebook quizzes about the year. I couldn't find any 2011 ones yet (fb notes clearly aren't cool anymore...were they ever anyway?!) I really enjoy doing them though, because they cause me to really think about the year and what I achieved. So I found last year's batch of them and copied my own. It's always interesting to me to read my past answers to questions, just like I love reading old diary entries, despite them making me cringe for the next few days thinking of how embarrassing my younger self was (and still is). So here's a quick summary of 2011: 

 What did you do in 2011 that you have never done before?
I flew on a plane on my own for the first time. Quite a few times actually. 

Did you keep all of last year's resolutions?
I can't even remember what they were if I'm honest. 

Have you any resolutions for next year?
Due to my Happiness Project, I've got loads. 

What countries did you visit?
LOADS this year! Greece in April, Germany in May, Ireland in July, Italy in September. 

What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011?
Self discipline. A full time job. A bank balance that doesn't have a (-) before it. More time outside, doing different and interesting things.

What date in 2011 will remain etched in your memory?
13/07/11 Graduation Day :) Despite the hell that was 3rd year and the unspeakable disaster that was the night before my dissertation deadline, graduation day was THE BEST DAY EVER.  

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating, definitely. 

What was your biggest failure?
Ha. Italy. Let's move on.

Did you suffer any illness or injury?
I have a constant cold, but that's nothing new. I don't think I injured myself. I spilled boiling hot coffee down my last night but luckily once the shock had worn off, I was ok. 

What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmm....The Happiness Project 

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My family and friends for putting up with me! That's my answer from last year, and I'm keeping it because it's still true.

Whose behaviour made you appalled or depressed?
A certain Italian family. My own at times. People who do mindless, cruel things to others. ANYONE who rioted/looted. 

Where did most of your money go?
At the start of the year it was rent and food. Other than that, plane tickets and other travel costs. And general every day stuff. 

What did you get really really really excited about?
Loooooaaaaaddddddddssssssss of things. It's been such an action packed year. 

What have you been listening to in 2011?
Spotify, Key 103. Adele's album over and over again. 

What was your favourite TV show?
Ooooooohhh. Well Gilmore Girls will always be number one. But How I Met Your Mother just joined the ranks. Grey's, Gossip Girl and Greek are all up there too. And Glee of course. If you want to write a great TV show, give it a name that begins with 'G'.

What was the best film you discovered in 2011?
Hmm. I watched The Shawshank Redemption for the first time if that counts?

What is the best book you've read this year?
The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin. AND Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Compared to this time last year are you:
Fatter or thinner?
I'm not sure if I'm honest. 

Happier or sadder?
Again I'm not sure. Happier probably, because uni was stressful. However, job hunting is stressful. 

Richer or poorer?

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Had more fun. Had more courage. Taken more risks. 

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Moaning and wasting too long in bed asleep...Again, I'm keeping this answer. Wasting time is my biggest vice. 

Did you fall in love in 2011?

How many one night stands?

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope. Just that one same person. Always will. 

What did you want and get?
A DEGREE! And loads of other things because I'm spoilt. 

What did you want and not get?
Hmm. Can't think of anything. 

How old were you on your birthday and what did you do to celebrate it?
21 and I had a party at my house which was epic. 

What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Having more money. 

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
'Lazy, rolled out of bed and threw on the first clothes I could find' look. I am trying to improve my wardrobe, to make myself look more like an adult and not a 14 year old tomboy. 

What kept you sane?
My family and friends.

Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
Neil Patrick Harris. Oh no actually, probably Darren Criss. 

Which political issue stirred you the most?
I don't pay nearly enough attention to politics as I should. 

Who did you miss?
My Bangor people :( I miss being a ten minute walk away from everybody/mostly everything. 

Who was the best new person you met?
All the bloggers/authors/people at TWCS I've met this year. The amazing authors that practically wrote my dissertation for me. 

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year?
I've learned quite a few again this year. The biggest lesson I've learned is that you have to stand up for yourself because no matter how many people you hide behind, you have to rely on yourself when it comes down to it. 

How will you be spending Christmas?
With my family as usual. 

How will you be spending New Year's Eve?
No idea yet! 

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
"Now don't drown in your tears babe, push your head towards the air."

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Funny Things My Brother Said #4

C: Laura, you need to choose between all these guys you fancy! I mean, there's Russell Brand, Matt Smith...
Granddad: Oooh Laura, who's Matt Smith? Is he your friend?
C: No Granddad, he's the doctor. But anyway Laura, you fancy everyone!
Me: There's a difference between 'fancying everyone' and finding celebrities attractive. You fancy people you know in real life.
C: Well you know, one of these days you might drop a load of paper on the floor and somebody good looking might bend down to help you pick them all up...and you'll fall in love! 

Me: Little legs can sit behind granny in the car. 
C: You can't call ANYONE little legs!
Me: That's why I said it, while I still can.
C: In a couple of years, when I'm taller than you, I'm going to call you little legs. And everyone will think I'm sixteen and you're 12. Then I'll ALWAYS sit in the front. Hahahahaaaaaaa!

C: OHMYGOD LAURA, Mark Wright is going out with Emily Scott!
Me: Er...who and who?
C: Mark Wright from TOWIE and Emily Scott! Don't you watch I'm a Celebrity?!

Funny Things Jason Said
Today we went to Blackpool and I met my cousin's little boy, Jason, for the first time. He's three and he's absolutely GORGEOUS. I fell in love straight away and he sat on the couch and talked my ear off for a while...

J: Can you take the skin off my toast? 
Me: The skin? You mean the crust?
J: Yeah, the skin!
Me: OK, but do you know that the crust makes your hair curly? You should eat it!
J: *Thinks for a second, stroking his hair* My hair's good. Can you take the skin off? 

J: I don't like sharks! They're scary! Do you like sharks?
Me: No!
Me: Because they're scary?
J: Yeah, they are really scary.

J: Do you like biscuits? 
Me: Yeeeaahhh I do.
J: Have one then.
Me: I'll have them ALL!
J: No, you can't have them all! That would be really cheeky!
Me: I know, and greedy!
J: Yeah, greedy. And when we go to get some, there wouldn't be any left!

Playing hide and seek with my brother. 
J: Caweeerrnnn....why haven't you found me yet?! Come and find me now! 

J: The grinch doesn't like Christmas! He's really ticklish!
Me: Are you ticklish like the grinch?
J: Yeah I am, but I don't have big hairy hands like the grinch! 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Funny Things My Brother Said #3

Playing Mario Kart:
C: Oooooh...nearly fell off then! But guess what? I was hanging to the...EDGE...OF GLORY!

While I was saying goodnight to him in his room:
C: I'll miss you.
Me: What?!
C: I'll miss you, when you go into your room! We're hanging out now, but then you'll go back into your room and leave me all alone in here. I'll miss you, that's all I'm saying. 

C: I'm an artist. I'm being expressive. 
Me: Uhuh.
C: I know what expressive is too. It's when you let out all of your emotions and feelings onto the paper. 
Me: That's right.
C: Here, tell me what you see in this picture...

Eating the cakes we made: 
Me: The marshmallows were a great idea.
C: Yeah, that was totally my idea. 

C: I'm not going to my dad's tomorrow. I want to go to granny and granddad's. 
Me: How come?
C: I just miss them! I want to spend time with them, ok? I've hardly seen them lately. 

On the phone to mum:
C: OK mum, what's your point?!
*listens to mum*
C: I know, you already told me that! *Rolls his eyes at me* 

Sat watching TV
C: I managed to find a John Lewis advert that wasn't cut down. Are you jealous?
later on...
C: Laura! Come here, there's something you have to see!
Me: What is it? 
C: I can't tell you, it'll ruin the surprise!
I go downstairs. He presses play on the TV remote, the Coke Christmas ad plays.
C: There you go, you've finally seen it. You can be excited for Christmas now!

He's cheeky but you can't help but love him!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Happiness Project Preparation

So like I mentioned a couple of days ago, I'm starting preparations for my Happiness Project, which I'm starting on 1st Jan 2012. I'm spending the next month and a half figuring out what I want to focus on and how, and my specific resolutions for each area. For anybody who's interested in starting their own project, I advice visiting The Happiness Project Toolbox  which was set up by Gretchen Rubin to help people get started. As well as being a good place to plan and document ideas etc, it's also a good place to see other peoples' projects too. (After looking at the ideas boards, I ended up with 58 commandment ideas because they were all so awesome. I had a hard time narrowing them down).

However, narrow them down I eventually did. I didn't manage to get to 12 just yet though. I managed to get down to 20.

1.  Be Laura. Love Laura. Respect Laura.
2.  Stand up for yourself; you are your own responsibility.
3.  Lighten up. Let it go.
4.  Do it now.
5.  Just breathe.
6. Think before you speak. Be honest; no excuses, no lies.
7.  Focus on the positive.
8.  Be polite and be fair.
9.  Take the high road.
10.   Work hard, play hard.
11.   Don’t settle.
12.   Change the things you can.
13.   Everything happens for a reason, have faith.
14.   Keep an open mind. Don’t judge.
15.   You can’t Sky+ life.
16.   Cut yourself some slack. Forgive yourself.
17.   Listen.
18.   Tomorrow is a new day.
19.   Put in more than you take out
20.   Make every moment worthy of your ‘Best Bits’ montage. 

       I think #20 is my favourite, even though it's probably also the most embarrassing. Watching reality TV, I've always been jealous and wanted my own best bits montage, set to an awesome song. I like to believe that we'll all get one when we die. (Laugh all you want, you know it'd be totally awesome!) 
     This list will most likely change before January, but I thought I'd share it anyway. If anybody has any suggestions/ideas, drop me a comment! :) I'd also love to know what your own personal commandments would be! Let me know! 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Funny Things My Brother Said #2

Discussing what he did at school:
C: In art, we made propaganda posters, then we did comic strips. I made a comic strip about people going into a bomb shelter, but one person needed a wee and there wasn't a toilet in the shelter so he went outside, then a bomb fell on him and he died.
Me: That's not very nice!
C: *Rolls his eyes* I know it's not nice. World War II wasn't nice, you know! 

C: I think the Chinese guy fancied you.
Me: What? Why?
C: Because he kept looking at you! Ooooooh!! *Wiggles eyebrows suggestively*

C, as I can imagine lots of nine year olds do, sometimes uses words in the wrong context. I say 'randomly' and 'casually' a lot, and recently he's been saying them too.

C: I'm just randomly stood at the window, trying to get fresh air.

C: Teachers are so sarcastic. Mia's Bs were dodgy in handwriting today, and miss just said they were fine! She was really sarcastic.

Me: Do you know what sarcastic actually means? 
C: Yeah, it's like when I tell a joke and you think it's rubbish but then you laugh in a really stupid, sarcastic way.
Me: Well....yeah, pretty much. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Funny Things My Brother Said #1

So this is my first official post documenting all of the hilarious/ridiculous/baffling things that my nine year old brother says. From now on, I'll call him C.

C dressed as Grandpa Joe for his school's Roald Dahl Day.

On our way to Dr Who Live last October

C's extremely clever, especially for his age, funny, cheeky, and never ever shuts up! People say I can talk, but I've got nothing on this kid. His favourite things include history, dinosaurs, Dr.Who, art, grey wolves, chicken noodles, any other food, sleeping in weird positions, and the colour yellow. His hero is Ben from Outnumbered, and he sometimes likes to think he actually is this character. We might not get along all the time (the age difference is confusing for him!) but he's extra special and I wouldn't have him any other way. Anyway...without further to-do:

C is on the PC. I'm in my mum's room talking to her. Suddenly C skips (actually skips) into the room:

C: 'I've found you on twitter! *hehehehehehe* I've found your actual twitter! Come and look, there's pictures of you on there! Of your room!' 
Me: 'I know, I put them up there!'
C: Oh. *goes back into my room* Oh my God! There's pictures of you on google! Look! There's me! I'm on there!
He keeps looking while I get on with stuff. A few minutes later, to himself.
C: *hehehe* I love being famous. I love being on google. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

General update-y stuff.

Howdy. Aw, it makes me happy to see my spiffed up blog. Anyway...


As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm (slightly) taking part in National Novel Writing Month. I say slightly, because everyone who knows me knows that I have the attention span of a squirrel and so writing 1667 words a day, every day, probably wasn't going to happen. I've gotta admit...I'm a little lot behind schedule. I'm on 7,310 words and I've got 16 days to go. Probably more than likely not going to finish. Apparently if I write 2512 words a day from now on I can finish in time. I don't write every day though (cos I'm lazy) so if I want to finish I'll have to write a lot when I do write. I prefer it that way anyway. Once I get into writing a scene, I won't stop until I've finished and I'm happy with it. If I don't finish, I'l be disappointed, but it won't be the end of the world. It is my first year, so I'm taking this as my 'practice run' (yeah I know, excuses, excuses!)

I'd been planning this story for a while though, so this month is just a way to get the writing of it off the ground. I'm going to carry on writing the 'zero draft' as quickly as possible, even if I don't finish it before the end of November. Then I'm going to edit the hell out of it and turn it into a first draft. Then decide if I want to continue with it, or file it away foreveeeeeeerrrrrr. I love the story though, and I'm a bit in love with my characters. Even the minor ones. I have all of their stories and backgrounds planned in my head, and I know what motivates them to do whatever it is they do in the story. The main character is extremely similar to me, which is making me feel a little vain, but aren't all main characters thinly veiled versions of the author in some way or another? I'm certainly learning a lot about myself as I write how Sarah (my protagonist) reacts to certain situations.

I've been posting snippets of my story (I don't have a name for it yet) on my tumblr. You can find them here, if you're interested!

My Internship 
I'm going to write a post about my internship on book blog, as I think that makes more sense! Again, you can find it here if you're interested! Which of course you should be, because I am extremely interesting! ;)

Happy 2012 Project
I'm starting to plan my Happiness Project for 2012. I've mentioned this before, obviously. The idea is based on Gretchen Rubin's book and blog The Happiness Project. 

(Clicking the picture takes you to Amazon)

I'm doing my own version, obviously with much different goals than a married mum of two from NYC. Brilliantly though, Rubin offers 'Happiness Project Tool Kits' for people starting their own project, so that will be lots of help. 

Blogging updates 
I've made several half arsed vows to myself and others to blog more regularly, but as well know by now, I'm exceedingly lazy, and so I often forget/can't be bothered to blog. Or maybe it's just that life as an unemployed ex-student is rather dull and not worth blogging about. Hmmm...I'll say a mixture of the two.

Anyway, this time I actually am going to start blogging more regularly. Promise. PINKY PROMISE. Ooohh. Can't break a pinky promise, or...bad stuff will happen.

Regular updates and reports on my Happiness Project will be happening, at least once a week.

I will also be introducing a feature called 'Funny Things My Brother Said'. I've seen quite a few bloggers/twitterers I follow do this with their kids/other relatives and I always enjoy reading them. Then I thought well hey, my brother is hilarious. He says funny things all the time that make me think 'I'll have to remember that one...' I sometimes post stuff he says on Facebook/Twitter, but I think it would be nice to keep track of them all here. An additional benefit, other than the happy memories, is the amount of material I will collect to humiliate him throughout his teenage years. I'm so a great evil big sister!

So yeah, hopefully those two features, along with any random musings I may include, should hopefully get me blogging more regularly!

Any other general/random stuff

  • I have an induction into Berkley and Scott on Wednesday. It's a catering services employment agency...thing. They work with hotels/restaurants etc and send them staff to work at events/functions. Hopefully I should get quite a bit of work out of that over the Christmas period. Yay, money. It's always good. Helps buy Christmas presents. 
  • I'm volunteering to help out with the tea/coffee counter at King's Church. This will hopefully stop me being lazy and make me get out of bed and go every week, instead of deciding that I'd rather have an extra couple of hours in bed. It will also hopefully help me meet new people and make some new friends. I'm not the most confident person around people I don't know, and having something to do always makes me feel more comfortable. 
Aaaaaaaaand I think that's about it. I need to go write a post on my book blog, and then get to writing a bit of my story before I crash out!