Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Festive Feeling // Remembering What's Important.

Hello again!

Of course, the Christmas period is recently behind us and dare I say it, what a large build up for just a festive few hours! Christmas may be a time of celebration for some in various different ways, be it a largely religious celebration or the appreciation of all things well and good in life, including those around you. In today’s blog, I feel it is appropriate to share my views on what it means to celebrate Christmas as well as taking into account what is important during this period.

Now, as I already stated, Christmas is celebrated differently by everyone including different cultures, religions and traditions. Personally, I believe it is a time to spend with family and enjoy your surroundings which you can sometimes take for granted. With many people living hectic and full on lives it’s easy to get caught up in all the hussle and bussle of the festive period and forget the positivity’s it may carry! 25th December 2015 brought upon me a family filled day full of laughter, love and lush food but of course this did not come without the stressors this season brings with it.

Twas the night before Christmas and I found myself tidying the shelves at work and clearing away the mess of last minute shoppers. I suppose I was fortunate enough to not be one of those last minute panickers but rather on the receiving end of them instead. Whilst the life of a sales assistant can greet you with the odd cheerful and witty customer, you can soon be faced with the grey cloud of the bunch who do not care who you are or what you are doing as long as they get what they want by the end of their visit. 

The main thing that keeps you going whilst dealing with these customers during the festive season is the thought that, the perfume they just bought? Or those fluffy socks? They are probably a present for someone that is going to love them and you know that you have basically been on the same tedious hunt for the perfect presents. Put yourself in other people’s shoes.

As an eighteen-year-old at Christmas, I lay in bed on Christmas eve thinking of the nights as a young child being unable to sleep due to the sheer excitement that father Christmas was coming that night. Now, I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come and prolong it for as long as I can the following morning. 

That meant 9:30 this year, as I got up, showered and prepared for the day ahead. Christmas Day always holds certain traditions I believe are famous in every household; early morning cooking the turkey, eagerness to open and give presents and of course the infamous Christmas dinner.
A key concept for Christmas day of 2015 in my household was holding ‘pub quiz’s which I believe is entertainment for all! Whilst there are general knowledge questions for all and some trickier ones for those with a wider and somewhat quirkier knowledge this type of game makes for great family entertainment as well as pass time whilst the turkey is in the oven!

One thing the Christmas season taught me this year was that you should be appreciative of what you get and have. Whilst present giving is a key concept of Christmas it is not to be revolved around and for me, I believed that good company was more important and effective for a successful Christmas. Take some time out to think about what made your Christmas special and what you believe to be important to you and what actually is; there’s a fine line. I hope your Christmas was filled with sugar, spice and all things nice and if I do not blog before it, have a wonderful new year.

2016 awaits.

Until next time,
Shannon xx 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Friendship // A Technological Society


I return with a slightly more sentimental blog for you all today purely because I believe today’s excessive use of technology can be seen in a slightly corruptive way in terms of our lives and most importantly friendships.  I believe the value of friendship can be so subtle it is almost forgotten, and whilst everyone has their own definitions as to what makes a friendship, there are pretty basic structures everyone has to follow.

It is common knowledge that us, as human beings, have the innate nature to want to be liked and want to have friends. It is also common knowledge that everyone will cross paths with someone they consider an enemy. As I said before friendships can differ with everyone which makes the points I write invalid in a way as they are a personal preference of some sort, I do however believe I have understood the ins and outs of a good friendship as well as the ups and downs fairly well.

As an upper sixth student I have had many experiences enabling me to create new bonds as well as diminish previous ones. This is normal. Of course the key to friendship is finding similarities and finding that spark between you, similar to a loving relationship. I believe a good friendship can be formed though humour and establishing the likes and dislikes of each other, people say the easiest thing to become friends is finding something you both hate…or love. I believe there are certain do’s and don’ts to keeping a friendship alive, especially when times get tougher and you might start to drift…be aware young ones, this does and will happen!
quotes about friends drifting apart

You might find a group of friends on your first day of year 7 or your 50th history lesson, and they may become the people you glue yourself to through thick and thin. High school friendships often occur like this and they are usually great…until you reach a certain age, hormones fly everywhere and you can’t stand each other for a year.  Again this will probably happen. I know from previous experience that even if you don’t see someone for months on end, if you really were there for each other and were the best of friends, nothing will change between you except for maybe a new haircut.

Growing up, I think that communication becomes very apparent in keeping a friendship alight and in today’s society it is easier than ever to speak to someone.  A text message takes up to a minute to write and a second to send, so there is never the excuse of not being able to reach someone, even if times are tough you can email…or really tough, then write them a letter. All in all it is impossible to not communicate with someone and then wonder why things are changing. In a similar way, a common belief now is that it should be specifically down to one person to contact the other. Whilst it shouldn’t be down to this, if someone hasn’t spoken to you in a while, it doesn’t kill you to send the message, it might make their day that you made the effort.
Friendship is not a two way road, it is a one way road traveled by two people together, hand in hand.

Better yet, avoid texting! Whilst this might not be the issue for 98% of our population, there are easy misunderstandings made in texting, even if you do use 20 emojis in one sentence, you can’t really see or hear how the other person is talking to you. Some people might generally be blunt texters who can give off the wrong impression, or some may be over enthusiastic. Either way I believe that this technological form of communication can be an easy way to corrupt friendships in today’s world.

All of this can be sorted if we got a grip of ourselves, sent the first message without a care in the world and cared less about what emoji to use and instead wondered what people are up to. Friendship is something to be cherished and I believe that it is sometimes taken for granted. Of course there will be disagreements and arguments but that’s what makes a friendship, it’s not all green grass and sunshine.

I’m ending this blog today with a miniscule task for those that have read it. Did you relate to the point raised? If so, I guess it’s about time you sent one of those 1 second texts? Go on, you know you want to!

Thanks for reading,
Until next time,

Shannon xx

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A Holiday To Remember // Turkey 2015


Two blogs in one week, yes it's actually happening.

Last week I got back from what can only be described as the best two weeks as I went to Turkey with my best friend and her family. Twas definitely the highlight of my year so far as a) I was away from work for two weeks and b) SUN; something England doesn't receive much of. 

Holidays can often come with a mixture of emotions for some people ranging from excitement to pre-holiday nerves, there's oddly two ends of the holiday spectrum and I most certainly experienced both. But, I thought that today I would address the little things that make us all silghtly nervous or apprehensive about holidays!

Firstly, of course there is the flight. I for one hate take off and had to make my friend hold my hand whilst I listened to music and squeezed the life out of her hand as we left the ground. But I have to admit after that, the whole flight can be quite draining and boring. This is why you pack your hand luggage full of things to keep you occupied. I would include: 

A book (or two)
Music (of course)
An iPad or tablet
Any sort of game (Cards or Nintendo etc)
Fluffy socks are a must!!

Our flight took off at 7am so we were up at 3 making our flight a sleep filled and tiring one, but I have to admit I find it difficult sleeping on planes so if you haven't guessed from previous blogs, a good music playlist is my best friend on long haul journeys of all sort. This journey was filled with a mixture of artists as was the holiday so I shall list them for now.

- Catfish and The Bottlemen - Balcony 
- Clean Bandit - New Eyes
- Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
- Disclosure - Settle
- Taylor Swift - 1989 (Yes, even Taylor Swift)

As well as the common loves such as AM by Arctic Monkeys and The Vamps cover of Sweater Weather. However I would have to say that our holiday song would have to be Locked Away by R.City ft Adam Levine, as it was always on the radio every time we were in the car...as well as the fact that I love Adam Levine with or without Maroon Five.

As well as music you all know by now that books is the main thing that I would spend time on, which I did whilst I was away. I brought with me, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare both of which I've been dying to read for months on end. I will review these books in a separate blog but would have to say that Fangirl was a slight let down as it took me a week and a half to read...where as City Of Lost Souls took me three/four days. Quite the difference, either way though books are a must for holidays as you can sit by the pool and read them or use them as a pass time if you're staying in for a bit...something I had to do as I am cursed with the fairest skin ever.

Talking of skin, this was one of the biggest worries for myself as I am naturally very pale and usually burn at the sight of a sun ray. However I was okay! Although I did burn slightly a couple of times there was nothing a bit of Aloe Vera gel and a cold shower couldn't take care of. But when going abroad to a hot country you need to know how your skin will react, if your blessed with sun loving skin then there's no worry but if, like me you burn easily and can react to Prickly heat make sure you know your limits, as I did but still came out in an awful heat rash which in turn ended up looking like I had the L word...Leprosy.   


Finally, and probably the main worry for women everywhere! Body confidence on holiday. I for one would have butterflies rush in my stomach at the thought of baring all in a bikini, but I was lucky enough to have a motivating and hard talking best friend with me who I would tell when self esteem reached a low...her response was "Shannon, I honestly want to punch you sometimes, shut up." I think she loves me really...Furthermore you realise when you're on holiday and having fun that people aren't staring at you, everyone there is wearing practically the same as you and no one has the same body, if they are looking it's probably because they admire your new bikini that you bought...or they're planning to push you in the pool, you never know! 
Much Love

All in all these things were a rough summary of our time in Turkey, where we made great memories, I for one made great friends and have to say it was quite the 'menTal' holiday, yes with a capital T filled of memories, water filled ears, funny tasting hand wipes and A LOT of gains. One final thing I fell in love with in Turkey were the endless, beautiful sunsets and stunning beach side views!

Night one did not disappoint!
My Beach // Beautiful
Turkey was a 10/10 and made my summer one to repeat in the future.

Until next time Turkey.

To be continued,
Shannon xx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

How To // Survive As A Teenager

Hello yes I am alive and back blogging.

First things first, I underestimated how much time A levels required and completely lost time for blogging which I am gutted about but hey! Look who's a time gambling blogger now...slightly.
Okay, well seeing as I am in the midst of starting my last year in compulsory education I think I've definitely learned the do's and don'ts about being a teenager in school and college so here we go.

Of course studying is the primary part of all education, but don't let it drive you into walls. Value your time in class and take notes; even if other people aren't! This was slightly key to me because although I'd listen in class...6 hours later when I'm at home, I wouldn't remember a thing! Organise your time and any work set outside of class around a form of social life. If you hibernate in a world books and keywords you will drive yourself insane and it really isn't worth it. You need to grow up and experience things at the same time as everything else, so don't purposefully stress yourself out as this leads to procrastination and poor concentration, it usually works out in the end!
Image result for funny stressed teenager
Now, secondly and possibly most importantly make a sterdy group of friends. This doesn't mean restrict yourself to a certain amount but it's better to have 3 close and trustworthy friends than 50 meaningless friends. As well as this, remember that high school popularity is a cliche movie thing and really holds no importance when you're really there, so don't classify yourself on any rating scale as it really means nothing! Always remember that your friends are going through the same thing as you are too, so if you're stressing over coursework or even just a course remember that you're all in the same boat! (Or car if you get sea sick easily...)
Image result for all in the same boat
One of the things that will probably seem pointless and un-useful for most is this, Never, ever 'like' one of your friends or someone in your friendship group. There is a reason you're part of the same friendship group, yes you have things in common, and yes maybe you would be great together but nine times out of ten the word FRIENDZONED will be stamped across your head in embarrassment due to the fact that you're FRIENDS. As good as the idea might seem at the start and no matter how much you think "no, no this is different!" it's not, there's 7 billion people on the globe, and I highly bought that the love of your life is a friend you made at the age of 15, so just avoid at all costs!

Image result for friendzoned
Finally, exam choices. In year 9 and year 11 you choose your GCSE's and A Levels. Both carry a level of importance in your future (but don't let that stress you out). The main thing to remember when making these choices is that you're going to study them for the next two years and that yo can't change them once you've picked them, so; Don't pick a subject because your bestfriend is doing it, Don't pick something because it looks like the easiest option and definitely don't pick something because you couldn't think of anything else. Make sure you know why your choosing certain subjects and think about how it might help you in the future! 
Image result for too many choices
Finally, remember that you and everyone you're age (between 12-18) is trying to figure themselves out and what they want to do and who they want to be. Teenage years can be hard and honestly, very draining. But when everyone else looks fine but you feel like a volcano ready to erupt remember, they feel the same way too, so don't panic! It's a rollercoaster journey but you'll come out at the end feel 10/10.

Image result for dont panic gif

Those are the main things I believe you should look out for. If there's anything you thing I missed out be sure to leave it in the comments down below! And remember!

Take notes,
Organise you're time,
Enjoy what you can.

Until next time,
Shannon xx