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.)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


I was a very lucky girl this year and received some absolutely lovely presents from my friends this year. Firstly, a few of my friends chipped in to buy me some absolutely lovely Bertie brogues! I've wanted brogues for years and years, but they're pretty expensive, so I'd never actually seen any in my price range that I actually liked. (Russell & Bromley brogues are the dream, but sadly, £165 for a pair of shoes is way out of my price range!) Anyway, I found these brogues on the Dune website and couldn't be happier with them - I love them so much! Next up, as mentioned in a previous post, I received a gorgeous brown leather satchel from The Leather Satchel Company, as well as a very handy and snazzy Google Nexus 7. I absolutely love these items and they make me feel every so sophisticated - definitely taking them all to uni with me next year. Along with these, I got some clothes which aren't pictured, as they're already tucked away in my wardrobe, but I received some stuff from Asos! Then I got a lovely crystal rock ornament, which is really pretty and will decorate my desk nicely! Along with this, some of my favourite stationery (Papermate pencils and WHSmith squared paper haha) and a perfect, personalised notebook. And last but not least, from quite a few friends, I asked for money as I'm still trying hard to save up for a DSLR camera! I'm almost halfway there, so fingers crossed I can save up enough to get one before the summer holidays! Thanks to those who gave any suggestions/opinions on my last post :-)

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^^^ I can't help but stare at my feet whenever I'm wearing these beautiful Bertie brogues! ^^^
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^^^ Some lovely cards. I especially love the London one, which my friend Gabi bought for me because she knows how much I love that city. ^^^
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^^^ Another lovely present from Gabi: this personalised notebook, which is just so lovely and very fitting because she knows that I'm obsessed with cameras. ^^^

It's been a pretty busy around these parts lately. I've been so tired and napped every day this week when I've gotten home from school (it sounds bad, but at least it's only Tuesday)! I feel well and truly exhausted, so this week seriously can't end soon enough. Luckily, I've got a week off for half term next week, so I'm looking forward to well and truly catching up on my sleep, on school work and revision and hopefully with friends. Also, I'm actually heading to Cardiff for the day next Monday as my sister has an interview on Tuesday morning, but rather than risking the 5am train to Cardiff, we decided to make a day of it on Monday and stay in a hotel the night before. It will actually be my first ever visit to Wales, so I'm looking forward to it! Fingers crossed that the weather improves!

On that note -- can you believe the weather in the UK lately?! The flooding has been absolutely crazy and I really feel for those who have been affected in the South of England. Luckily, the Midlands has been fine for the most part. I really hope it clears up soon.

Hope you're all well!

Chloe. X

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Birthday Celebrations

I am currently writing this post with Despicable Me on in the background (isn't Agnes the cutest thing you've ever seen in your entire life?!) and trying to desperately recover from this horrible cold that I've had for the past week.

In a bid to cheer myself up, I thought I'd flick through the photos from my 18th birthday celebrations last weekend! I went to the Handmade Burger Co. last Saturday with lots of friends to celebrate mine and my sister's birthday. I had such a lovely time, with some great food and great company. I'd never actually been to Handmade Burger Co. before, but had heard lots of good things about it - and it certainly didn't disappoint. We all managed to take advantage of an offer they have at the moment, where you can buy one burger and then another burger (or a salad) for just £1! Even better! I decided to go halfsies with my sister - I ordered the peppered beef burger (though I had a hard time choosing between that and the Wellington) while my sister went for the American cheeseburger. Then, we ordered a portion of chips between us (proper chippy chips, which made me very happy), as well as a fantastic vanilla milkshake and bottomless drinks. Needless to say, we were stuffed by the end, so I didn't even end up having any birthday cake that night. (I made up for this by having birthday cake for breakfast the following morning - the very best way to enjoy cake, in my humble opinion).

I had such a lovely night, filled with great chat and laughs. I also received some amazing gifts, which I'll do a proper post on next time! But I will say that I got some beautiful brown brogues from Bertie, which a few friends bought for me! They have been surgically attached (not literally) to my feet since I received them, so look out for them on the blog sometime soon!

Here are a few photos from the night, which were taken using my friend, Gabi's Canon 600D! (Speaking of DSLRs, I am still in the process of saving up for a DSLR. I really like the look of the Nikon D3200, but if any of you have any other camera recommendations, then please send them my way as I am a total beginner in terms of photography!)

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^^^ Making the impossible decision of which burger to eat! ^^^
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^^^ My friend, Charis' bacon burger! Mmmm... Who's hungry now? (I am) ^^^
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^^^ Cake ^^^
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^^^ CHEESE ^^^

In other news... I received my last offer from Edinburgh University yesterday - so I now have a grand total of 4 offers (from LSE, UCL, Bristol & Edinburgh), which is incredibly exciting. Also, I had my driving theory test on Friday, which I am very pleased to say I passed!!! I was really worried and fretting about this as I'm not the best at driving or perceiving hazards - ahem, apologies to the guy I didn't see at the zebra crossing last week (!) - so to say that I was shocked & relieved that I passed is an understatement. I'm a long way off from actually passing my practical driving test, but at least I'm kind of half way there!

Back to school tomorrow for 2 weeks before I'm off for half term! 2014 has flown by already, I can't believe we're already into February. Hope you're all well & keeping warm.

Chloe. X

Sunday, 19 January 2014

18th Birthday!

Hello, lovely bloggers! Today, I turned 18 years old! It hasn't quite hit me that I'm now officially considered an 'adult'. Despite always being a bit of an old soul, it's quite strange to think that from here on out, I'm very much transitioning through the stage of my life titled 'Growing Up'. This year, I'll be headed to university and will be having lots of new experiences that no doubt go hand in hand with leaving home and living with new people. It's gonna be a pretty big, exciting year for me (I hope!) and I can't wait.

I've had a lovely day today, mostly spending it with family as I still have mock exams tomorrow and Tuesday (very, very sad times!) I was spoilt with cards and money which is officially being put aside for my new camera fund! On top of that, I was treated to a few lovely items of clothing from my very generous mum, which is always lovely! I snagged a few items from ASOS, which will no doubt be making an appearance on the blog soon. However, the things which totally made my day were... 

(By the way, I finally joined the Instagram-party a few years late... @chloetamxo)

A satchel from The Leather Satchel Co., as well as a Google Nexus 7!!! (I'm actually writing from the Nexus now, which is very cool! Though I can't seem to upload some photos from here, so I guess this post will have to be photo-less!) Anyway, these were such unexpected gifts from my aunty and uncle - and I'm absolutely in love with them both! So, it's needless to say that I feel very spoilt today! I'm also gonna be celebrating my birthday with my friends next weekend at Handmade Burger Co. as I've still got mocks at the moment, so that should be really lovely, since it's kind of like prolonging my birthday for another week! 

Anyway, just wanted to check in and let you all know I had a really lovely birthday! Turning 18 feels like a massive milestone and I'm extremely excited for what this year will bring!

Chloe. X

Thursday, 9 January 2014


Admittedly, I'm a little late to the '2013 recap slash resolution blog post' party this year, but better late than never, eh! 

2013 was a funny old year, with plenty of ups, downs & everything in between. It was the year that I turned seventeen and started learning how to drive (and consequently realised just how bad I really am at driving). In 2013, I also completed my AS levels, which in itself was one of the most stressful few weeks of my life. Coming out of a couple of my Maths exams in tears was definitely not a good start. However, upon reflection, my exams did actually go a bit better than I thought - I came out with 4 As at the end of it! It was the year of a wonderful summer, during which I was a bridesmaid at my aunty's wedding and spent a lovely few days in Oxford. It was also the year that I travelled to London with some of my closest friends and saw some amazing musicians at Summer Stampede. I went to Thorpe Park for the first time and was able to satisfy the (unexpected) adrenaline junkie in me, which was soooo much fun. I saw all of my extended family over the summer too, which was really lovely. I also embarked on the difficult, stressful journey that is applying to university, which I didn't feel ready for at all! I got offers from LSE, UCL and Bristol, which was amazing -- but also experienced some disappointment from being rejected from Oxford. And though I'm in danger of sounding very cheesy right now, I definitely think that there was a very important lesson in there somewhere -- that rejection is okay and it is something that you have to learn to move on from. I enjoyed many incredible times with family and friends - both old and new. All in all though, it was a really fantastic year and I feel very fortunate for all the fond memories that I have.

So there is my little recap of 2013! Now, I suppose 'tis the season to make resolutions and try to stick to them. Though of course they tend to be forgotten about rather early into the new year, but we can always kid ourselves, right?

Anyway, here is what I plan to try and do in 2014:

Work harder - at friendships, at school and at bettering myself. Laugh more. Do more reckless, spontaneous things. Try my best. Act my age - (i.e. stop wasting my life away acting more serious and grown-up than my almost-18-years-of-age warrant). Write more. Draw more. Make use of that Moleskine book that sits untouched in my bag. Never stop trying to be a better person. Try new things. Be healthier, drink more water, exercise more (repeat & fade)... Learn to deal with criticism and failure and rejection. Smile more. Make an effort. Take more photos and continue to document my life on a more regular basis. Be less judgmental. Be more willing to step out of my comfort zone. Grow in confidence. Grow as a person. Grow. Be myself. Be happy. Be.

2014 is going to be a pretty important year for me. I'll be turning 18 in January, finishing compulsory education for good in May, completing the most important exams of my life thus far this summer, hopefully going to Taiwan with my family and most importantly... Starting university! So the above resolutions will be particularly important this year!

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^^^ Obligatory 'Asian' selfie wearing my mum's Christmas jumper. ^^^
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^^^ My friend's beautiful Christmas tree! ^^^
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John Lennon in the background says "HEY. HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

In other news, I'm now back at school and *trying* to work hard for my upcoming mock exams next week. It's been lovely to catch up with friends over the past few days, though I really had forgotten how tiring school was. Definitely catching up on my sleep this weekend. Also, birthday plans are now in the works & I can't wait to celebrate with my friends in a few weeks time! Can't believe that I turn 18 in a mere few days - I don't feel nearly old enough!

Hope you're all well and enjoying January!

Chloe. X

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Slang (& New Year!)

Is it really 2nd January 2014 already?! Where did 2013 go?! I know that once I go back to school, it'll take quite some time getting used to writing "2014" on the top line of my work! 2013 was a pretty crazy year, for lots of different reasons! On the whole though, it was pretty fantastic. I'm gonna try my best to crank out a recap of 2013 post sometime soon! (Hopefully before this month is over - apologies for my erratic & sparse blog posts!)

I've been on my Christmas holidays since 20th December and it has been a pretty relaxed holiday this year. Christmas & New Year were fairly chilled, mostly spent with family which was nice, since I don't really get to see them enough these days. Also, a while back, I did some suitably Christmassy things like ice skating with my friends!!! There is a new outdoor ice rink in Birmingham which we'd wanted to try out, so after some persuasion & coaxing of reluctant friends, we made a trip to the ice rink one Friday after school. Having only been ice skating a few times a few years ago, I was incredibly rusty when I first got onto the rink. However, my childhood days of rollerblading came in handy and I soon managed to make my way round the rink without any assistance! Ice skating is so so so fun and it is one of my absolute favourite pastimes -- but the best thing about it is definitely watching your friends fall all over the place! Alongside that, I also recently celebrated my friend's birthday by taking a trip to the Electric Cinema in Birmingham to watch Mary Poppins! The Electric is a really lovely, old school cinema with the comfiest sofas I've ever sat on!!! It was a really lovely day out & then we all went back to my friend's house for some more celebrating. It's so so so crazy to think that I've known my friend, Gabi, for six and a half years now -- I still remember going to her 12th birthday in Year 7, after first meeting each other at the start of secondary school! It's so crazy how time flies & we've now celebrated her 18th birthday! Makes me feel all nostalgic for my 'youth' (haha). (Some would argue I'm still in my youth, but y'know.) :-)

So this holiday has been very, very relaxing. I have spent literally every day sleeping in very late & watching films all day, every day. I'm a sucker for Christmas television, so have been using my lack of January module exams as an excuse to do nothing all day (though I do actually have mocks coming up... But they don't really count, right? Right?) I'm now slightly regretting my laziness since I go back to school on Tuesday and I'm now going to have to cram all my schoolwork into these last few days. But... YOLO? (No, I don't think I can pull that off either!) Also, along with the copious amount of television, I've also been eating myself silly on most days. My mum's insanely generous friend sent us a Christmas Cartwright & Butler hamper from Harrods! So I've appointed myself the very stressful job of 'sampling' all the various foods: waffles, jams, biscuits, cake, etc. On the topic of food, I also baked some rocky road, which I previously made way back in March & shared on the blog here & brought it all into school on the last day! So I would say that this past holiday has definitely been a triumph in the food department - always a sign of time well spent, in my opinion. ;-)

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^^^ Ice skating! ^^^
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^^^ Harrod's Christmas hamper ^^^
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^^^ 1. The Electric cinema; 2. Friends; 3. Festive bull!; 4. Beautiful handmade Christmas card from my pen pal, Shana ^^^
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So those are just a few photos that I couldn't resist sharing! I've got a few more coming up in my next post, where I will hopefully look back on 2013, as well as share some of my New Year resolutions!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas & New Year!

Chloe. X

P.S. I've been super super super obsessed with The Shins lately. Listen to 'New Slang', it it such a brilliant song. Have been listening to it all holiday. On repeat. All day, every day.