Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Summer Lovin'

Hello, hello! Long time no see! So my original idea to really get back into blogging this summer hasn't really played out the way I imagined. But that isn't to say that I haven't had a really lovely summer so far. It's definitely been another one of those cases where life has simply been too busy to even contemplate sitting down to document it all. Which, in a way, is a little sad, because I really do love making little records of the things I've done and the places I've been. But sometimes you just have to go with the flow and enjoy the life that's going on right in front of you!

Since my summer holiday started waaay back at the end of June, I have spent just over two wonderful weeks in Taiwan. I'm really close with my family, particularly my maternal family, so my mum, sister, brother, aunties, uncles and cousins all set off to Taiwan together on July 9th. It was so lovely to be able to spend time with my cute baby/toddler cousins, as well as explore the local area in Taipei and eat some really amazing food. I also loved visiting the local markets, both in the daytime and at night. I managed to pick up quite a few bargains, which I'll hopefully try and photograph to share with you all soon.

^^^ Sunset at Baishawan beach ^^^
^^^ Delicious food! I believe this cost maybe £3, which is so cheap (but actually kinda expensive for Taiwan standards). ^^^
^^^ Spending the day in beautiful Danshui ^^^

I am planning to upload a photo diary of some sort with lots more photos from Taiwan, but being the lazy person that I have been this summer, that's just something I'll have to get round to in the next few weeks. I'm excited to get some prints done of my photos too.

I can't quite believe that we're almost halfway through August. Time is going by far too quickly for my liking! Results day is literally just around the corner, but I'm trying to keep busy to preoccupy my mind. Since I've been back from holiday, I've been mostly chilling out and have been meeting up with friends when I can, as well as doing a massive clear out, which has proven to be very satisfying! I've also gotten back into drawing and scrapbooking, which is always a nice feeling. Hopefully I'll be able to make some more time for blogging again too!

Hope you're all having a wonderful summer so far. Happy blogging!

Chloe. X

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

I'm back!

It has officially been 4 months since I last posted... And I'm finally back! Since I last posted, quite a few things have happened:

I finally finished school forever, after seven years of secondary education! The last couple of days of school were so much fun. It's been a tradition at my school that on the penultimate day, everyone dresses up as some sort of character, whether it be from a film, a book, a video game or whatever. I dressed up as Cho Chang from Harry Potter hahaha, which I thought was a pretty cool character. (I went all out with a cape and I even made a snazzy wand out of a paintbrush. Dedication right there.) Some of my friends dressed up as Mario, NUTELLA(!), pink ladies, Red Riding Hood, Dorothy, flapper girls... It was such a fun day seeing everyone all dressed up in funny costumes. Then, as is customary on the very last day of school, we all wore our old school uniforms (as opposed to business dress, which is what we have to wear in Sixth Form)! My old school blazer was still about 4 sizes too big as, like most mothers, my mum bought my blazer in a bigger size with the intention that I would grow... But the truth is that I genuinely haven't grown since Year 7. I'm pretty much the same size as I was 7 years ago, which is a depressing fact haha.

^^^ Me and my lovely friends on Dress Up Day ^^^

During the majority of June, I also sat eleven A-level exams, most of which were, without a doubt, the most difficult exams I have ever taken. Revision was absolutely horrendous and some of my exams went okay, whereas some of them were pretty damn awful. There's nothing I can do now - all I can do is hope that I did enough to get into LSE. Results day is on August 14th, but I'm trying not to think too much about that. I'm just gonna try and enjoy the next month or so.

^^^ End-of-exams selfie! ^^^

It feels so weird that this chapter of my life is now over. This is gonna sound so incredibly cheesy, but I have learnt so much in the last 7 years. It hasn't always been easy, but I feel so fortunate to have made lifelong friends that I know I'll stay in touch with for a very long time. I'm hoping that this year will see the beginning of a new chapter at university (provided that I get the grades) and a new adventure.

In other news... I finally managed to save up for a DSLR camera, the Nikon D3200! It was just meant to be as it was finally on sale for a really good price and also came with a free kit with a spare battery and a few other little bits and bobs. I have absolutely loved taking photos with it so far and can't wait to get to grips with the different settings so that I can start learning how to take really nice photos.

^^^ Me featuring my beautiful new camera. (Apologies for the dirty mirror!) ^^^

Also, in the last couple of weeks since I finished my exams, I've just spent some nice quality time with friends and family, which has been lovely. I also had my Upper Sixth Leavers' Ball which was such a fun night. I'm sure I'll have some photos up soon!

Aaaand finally... Just to let you all know that I'm actually heading to Taiwan tomorrow, which I am super excited for (even though the weather forecast is predicting thunderstorms in Taipei... and England is actually sunny for once). I really can't wait to explore that wonderful city again and take in all the culture and eat lots of fantastic food! 

Hopefully I'll have a chance to blog while I'm out there. And hopefully I'm back for good on this lil' old blog of mine. Hope you're all well!

Chloe. X

Sunday, 9 March 2014

That's What's Up

I most definitely did not plan for a one-month-long break from blogging, but such is life sometimes... I actually did sit down to write a few posts, but unfortunately, none of them came to fruition. Nevertheless, I'm back with a little update post!

Life, as always, has been very busy. Since the last time I posted, I visited Cardiff with my sister for one night, as she had an interview at the university, so we decided to make a day of it. Despite the terrible rainy weather and getting a little lost, we managed to have a good time! In the morning, we had an hour or so to kill before our train, so the inevitable happened... We went into Zara. I found a few things I liked, but my sister and I both made sure to limit ourselves to one sale item each, especially since I'm supposed to be saving up for a DSLR. Anyway, I settled on this beautiful floral dress which was only £9.99! With our buys in tow, we made our way to the station only to find out that our train had been cancelled due to the flooding!!! (Cue panic.) Luckily, we managed to get on another train to Cheltenham, where we then got another train to Bristol and then a last train to Cardiff. After arriving at our hotel, we did some much-needed freshening up. We also found a voucher online (very classy, I know) for the restaurant, ASK Italian, so decided to make a trip to get some dinner. I settled for the tagliata, which was absolutely delicious. (For those wondering, the tagliata dish was comprised of steak, salsa verde, Grana Padano cheese, rocket and tomato on a rosemary and sea-salt flat bread!) Then we settled in with a night of TV before an early night since we had a 6 am start the next morning! The next day, I walked my sister to the station before her interview and then I headed back, had breakfast, a two-hour nap and finished packing! Then, later on, we were back on a train home. A very, very short trip to Cardiff, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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^^^ Cardiff Central Station; my lovely new Zara dress! ^^^
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^^^ ASK Italian; pretty Cardiff ^^^
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^^^ I apparently do not understand the meaning of "travel light"; my delicious tagliata ^^^

Aside from that, I've just been busy with school, as usual! However, I feel like things have been looking up lately. I think my good mood can, in part, be attributed to the stellar weather we've experienced over the last week or so! It's been so lovely and sunny, as well as mild in temperature, which is very welcome. Along with this, I've done a bit of a "Spring Clean" and tried to sort through my external hard-drive and sort out all my folders. I'm not even half-way done, but it's definitely a start. I've also gone back through my old blog posts and finally got round to adding labels/tags to my posts. I started this blog way back in the summer of 2009, when I placed far less importance on organisation than I do now!

Also, some other news: my family have officially booked our summer holiday to Taiwan! I visited Taiwan two years ago in 2012 and absolutely loved the place, so I really can't wait to visit again. Furthermore, as is customary with so many school-leavers in the UK, my friends and I are looking to go on a little holiday somewhere. Since it'd be quite expensive to go too far, we're hoping to go to Paris! The last time I went was to Disneyland when I was about 9 years old, so I'd love to visit again and explore Paris properly. (I am beside myself with excitement even thinking about the Eiffel Tower and walking down the Champs-Elysees...) We're thinking it might be cheaper to rent an apartment, as we saw a good deal on a place in Montmartre! Has anyone ever rented a holiday apartment? Or been to Paris? If so, I'd be very grateful if anyone could please send any recommendations or tips my way!

Hope you're all well!

Chloe. X

(I love Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' song 'That's What's Up'. Sooo good and the music video is just the cutest.)