My Top 17 Moments of 2017

Hi chums!

I can't believe 2017 is almost over! This year I've been so lucky to meet so many new people and visit  so many new places. Looking back through my photos just reminds me how lucky I am and although it was hard to choose just 17 moments, I have managed to do so for this post to celebrate 2017.

So here they are, (roughly) in chronological order:

1. Early morning runs in the frost

I am not a fan of running at all. In fact, I'm the anti-runner. How can walking be so easy and running be so hard?! Anyway, early this year we had some pretty cold days and I decided to go on a few runs. The scenery was so pretty that you (almost) forget that you are doing exercise! I really loved these mornings, I would get some great snaps as well as doing some exercise!


2. London trip to Primrose Hill and Camden with mum

I love doing anything with my mum, but one super fun trip we took this year was to Primrose Hill. It was a super cold day but we had so much fun walking around the colourful houses, taking pictures.


3. Fam Ski Trip to Austria

I can't even describe how amazing this trip was. Skiing is just the best and Kitzbühel has such a pretty town too! Everything about this trip was perfect!

My three Austrian blog posts can be found here, here and here!


4. My Mexican-themed Birthday Dinner

This was a very last minute decision, but it was one of the funnest things I have done this year! I loved everything from the sombreros to Harold the piñata (who is actually still alive - I couldn't bear to hit him!) This was definitely my kind of fiesta!

More on my amazing Mexican fiesta here!


5. Working as a lifeguard in Orlando

When I got the email to say I'd been accepted onto the program to do this I couldn't believe it. Although lifeguarding turned out to be a lot more stressful that I thought, I absolutely loved working at Portofino Bay in Orlando. I met some amazing people and learnt a lot!

To see just what I learnt, click here!


6. Meeting three new best buds

When I set off for Florida, I was hopeful that I might meet some nice people to spend my summer with, but little did I know I would be meeting my new best buds! These three girls are the nicest people in the world and I feel so lucky to call them my friends. It really was fate that we met and they made my summer so amazing!

Check out everything I did in Florida here.


7. Celebrating 4th July and my sister's birthday in Magic Kingdom

Whilst I was in Florida, my family came to visit and have their holiday. I met them on 4th July in Magic Kingdom, which, coincidentally, is my sister's birthday. My sister and I are so so close and I am so glad I got to see her on her birthday and celebrate our first American Independence Day together.

More 4th July pics here.


8. Meeting photography legend @disney_nuts

Oh. My. God. This was the BEST. I have followed Luis on Instagram for longer than I can remember. I have always admired his photography and love watching his Instagram lives when he is in the Disney parks. Little did I know I would actually have the chance to meet him! He is so lovely and was kind enough to give me some photography advice.

This was a HUGE highlight of the year for me and I am so grateful!

Click here to check out his account.


9. Photography meet up with Disney colours

When I was in Florida I joined a Facebook group of photographers who organise meet ups to shoot in Disney. Whilst I was in Orlando, they organised a meet up in Epcot to shoot Illuminations (the firework show), so I knew I just had to go and my friends were kind enough to come with me. When I got there, it was raining and so I was thinking that the fireworks show would be cancelled, and if it wasn't, that we wouldn't have anywhere to stand to shoot undercover. Spoiler alert: it was all ok!

We went to stand under some shelter in Japan and actually had an amazing view. I stood next to Luis and he helped me get some of my first successful firework shots!

To see more fireworks pics, click here.


10. First American football game

I was excited about going to an American football game, but I had no idea just how much I would enjoy it. I have no knowledge at all of American football (and still don't!) but it was super fun going along with my friends and being part of the crowd. There was such an amazing atmosphere and the marching band made me laugh so much.

Check out my UCF post here.


11. Visiting the Kennedy Space Center

I visited the Kennedy Space Center years ago with my fam, but this year I got the chance to go again and unleash my inner nerd! Space both interests and scares me, but I found it so fascinating learning about the different trips taken to the Great Unknown and seeing lots of spaceship models.

For my NASA blog post, click here.


12. Fam trip to Barcelona 

Wooooow. Barcelona is insane. It is truly one of the coolest cities I have visited! My favourite part of this trip was walking around Park Güell, which is on the outskirts of the city and definitely worth the trip!

Check out a couple of my Barcelona post here and here!


13. Halloween trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Halloween is such a fun time of year! I am a huge fan of the ol' pumpkin tradition and this year I went with my mum and sister to a pumpkin patch to take some classic orangey-green snaps.

For more picks, click here!


14. Bonfire night

Bonfire Night always makes me question the English race. Why we celebrate someone being burned at the stake will always remain a mystery to me. Sure, Mr Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament, but is the answer really to burn a fake Guy every year? Really? Anyway, apart from that completely disturbing aspect, I am very much into the firework-bonfire marriage and this year I managed to get some semi-ok snaps of the fireworks!


15. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

This was a year and a half in the making. We literally booked tickets in early 2016 and at the time it seemed so far off that I couldn't really get excited about it. Come December, I was so, so excited to see this show which has been raved about by everything and I have to agree that it is such an amazing show. The magic they used in the show left my whole family amazed - we literally couldn't figure out how they did it!


16. Choosing the Christmas Tree

This is always one of my favourite parts of the festive season! This year I got home from uni on a Friday and on the Sunday we went to choose our tree after a family brunch at Bill's. It is always fun to see my family again after being at uni and this was such a fun thing to do to start off the Christmassy season!


17. Manchester Christmas Markets

I booked a trip a while ago to meet up with my Florida buds in mid-December in Manchester. It was so lovely to see them and reminisce about our amazing summer. Although the actual markets were really crowded and busy, I just loved seeing everyone so festive and of course spending time with my friends.


So that's my 17 top moments of 2017! This year has been a great one and I am so grateful!

I am really excited for 2018 as I will be doing a lot of travelling (watch this space!) and am super motivated!

I hope you have all had the best year and that you have a very Happy New Year!!

Love as always

Emma
xxx

Old Timey Ideas

Hi chums!

I listened to an audiobook recently which talked a lot about how maybe sometimes we should take time away from our phones and computers and social media accounts. At first I thought that this was too idealistic because, really, what else is there to do nowadays other than to look at photos on Instagram of people who are prettier, richer and more talented than ourselves? Isn't that just such a great way to build our self-esteem?


As much as I am a fan of social media, I do enjoy taking some time away from it all. Recently I decided to try to limit the amount of time I spend on my phone, particularly before I go to sleep because I've read that the light from your phone stimulates your brain and makes it harder to fall asleep.

My solution to this problem has been reading. When I was younger I devoured books quicker than the Hungry Caterpillar ate his food. I would buy piles of books from the bookshop and at Christmas when I received a stack of books, I was so excited.

While I was at school I didn't really have much time to read (I'm putting the blame on you, homework!) but now I'm at uni (aka. black hole of time) I've decided that I'm not only going to read, but I'm going to read well known books so that when the sporadic mention of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' comes up, I can jump right into the conversation and look all smart (well, that's the idea anyway!)

Seeing as this is something I want to continue doing, I don't want to put myself off by picking up books that are super old and hard to understand (Shakespeare, you're out), so I've decided to be selective.

As you've might have guessed, the first classic book I read was 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee and I'm now reading Mark Twains 'the Adventures of Tom Sawyer'.

Now when I have lunch, instead of getting out my phone and brainlessly swiping through Facebook, I whip out my book and read a cheeky chapter!

Even though I started this mission only a couple of weeks ago, I already feel better mentally. Not looking at my phone all the time is actually refreshing and also when I had to do a presentation at uni last week I felt that I spoke a lot better, instead of the usual 'so it's like, ummmm.... like when this happens and like...'.

So, I'm not sure how many birds I'm killing with one stone here (not mockingbirds, of course!) but I am feeling super positive about this!

Now wherever I go I always make sure that I have a book on me - and oh my goodness, can I just say, the approving looks you get from the older generation on the train/bus/you name it, when you pull out a book instead of you're phone is just delightful!

A few years ago I went through an 'effective reading' course at school (shiver) and after that I never thought I would recover, but here I am now encouraging you to take a step back in time, away from technology and pick up a book!

I hope you're all having a great week!

Love as always,

Emma
xxx


A Halloween Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Hi chums!

Halloween marks one of my favourite times of year. It's autumn and the leaves are going golden brown, and it's the first of the Halloween-Bonfire Night-Christmas-New Year celebrations that the end of the year brings.



I've mentioned before on my blog posts that I love to celebrate anything I can and so visiting a pumpkin patch is starting to become a new tradition for me and my family.




We went to a local pumpkin patch around 30 minutes from my house and it did not disappoint! There were so many different types - white pumpkins, orange pumpkin, 'super freak' pumpkins and more!




There was also a pumpkin which had a recipe for Pumpkin Pie written on it which inspired to try making a pumpkin pie of my own (it was too unattractive to post on this blog post though!).





Although we weren't allowed to pick the pumpkins from the patch, we still went to have a look and took plenty of photos!





Halloween is just around the corner but there is still time to go to a pumpkin patch this weekend so I would really encourage you to do some if you have time!




I hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

Love as always

Emma
xxx

A Visit to Gaudí's Casa Batlló

Hi chums!

When we woke up on Saturday morning to blue sky I was so happy! We had a lot on our list that we wanted to do but after a leisurely breakfast we decided to start with Casa Batlló.


Casa Batlló is a building which was redesigned by Gaudí in 1904 and although is has been refurbished many times since, it remains one of his masterpieces and a popular place to visit for tourists.


I learnt that this house is also known as the 'House of Bones' because of it's skeletal look from the outside.

The building is so impressive, with beautiful mosaics covering the outside of the house walls.




Inside the house there were beautiful stained glass windows and there were almost no straight lines, something Gaudí is known for.




Half way round the house there is a terrace so you can step outside and looks at some more amazing mosaics and sculptures.






In the middle of the house there is a room covered in blue tiles. From the stairs, you can look straight up to the roof or down to the ground floor.





At the top of the house, there are views of Barcelona which are absolutely amazing.



The actual structure of the rooftop terrace includes lots of strange shapes and more mosaics. A common theory is that the structure (shown in both the picture above and below) looks like the back of a dragon.



There are strings of lights everywhere and I can only imagine how beautiful it must look at night when all these lights are turned on.




Casa Batlló is a must, if you visit Barcelona. If you book online, you don't have to wait in the queues outside so I would definitely recommend doing that!

More Barcelona blog posts are still to come so watch out for that!

I hope you are having a fab weekend!

Love as always

Emma
xxx



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