It's the little things

10 December 2014

Sometimes, in the middle of our busy lives, we just need to take a step back and appreciate the little things in life. It's easy to forget what is right in front of us, and sometimes the smallest, tiniest things that you think don't matter, actually do. They make a huge difference to our well being and morale and without them, we'd all be different people.

Maybe just something to think about.


001. Sitting down and playing the piano. Nothing drifts me away into my own little world more.

002. Seeing a beautiful frost outside and watching the winter sun rise.

003. Max sleeping with his head on my shoulder - the most unconditional love in the world is from a pet.



004. Using Disney hand wash and not even caring if guests judge you and your bathroom because of it.

005. A phone call from your best friend.

006. Eating Clarence Court blue eggs because they're just so pretty.

007. A cup of tea. At any time of the day.



008. Sitting down and reading a really good book.

009. Wearing socks with your favourite animal on.

010. Snuggling in bed and not having to set an alarm for the next day.



It's the little things that matter.


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Winter Problems

4 December 2014

I love Winter. Truly, I do. It's probably my favourite season of the whole year, just because it comes with so many wonderful features. The festivities, cuddling up on the sofa, the Christmas lights, knowing it's cold on the outside of the duvet when you're warm under it.... However, I was getting out of bed the other day and my feet nearly froze as they touched the floor...I may as well have French plaited my hair, changed my name to Elsa and started singing 'Let It Go' it was so cold. So I jotted down a few problems that you find with Winter, despite loving the season.

Lots are to do with the cold. Did I mention that I don't enjoy being cold? Unlike Elsa, the cold does bother me anyway.

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001. Struggling to fall asleep at night because it's so cold...

002. .....and then struggling to wake up because you've finally got warm and it feels like the Antarctic outside your duvet.

003. Regretting having that extra 10 minutes in bed, as you didn't prepare to find ice on your car windscreen and now you're going to be late for work. Massive fail.

004. Looking out of the window and thinking 'it's about 9pm..time for bed?' Maybe not as it's only FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON. Why so dark?!?!

005. Not being able to wear your onesie to work. I'm sorry, but they keep me warm so I should be allowed.

006. Needing to go to the loo, but having to mentally prepare yourself because the toilet seat is like an ice block.

007. Sneezing so hard that you almost split your lip. Where is the lip balm please?!

008. Having to physically sit next to the radiator to try and get warm, but then risk burning a layer of skin off - a risk we have all taken.

009. Forcing your animals to lie next to you to act as a 'furry hot water bottle'. Don't laugh..it does the job very well.

010. Being unable to find a hair style that can withstand the rain, wind and cold and look good without feeling like straw. Ponytail it is then. For the 12th day running.



And with that my friends, I'm going to wrap up very warm before heading out to work this morning!

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Poorly Happy

30 November 2014



You know when you make loads of plans and it all goes out of the window? That.

After a day of Christmas shopping yesterday, I was plagued by a sickness bug yesterday evening and have been feeling sorry for myself today, mainly involving lying in bed, watching films and sipping water. To cheer myself up, I thought I'd make myself a happy list, of all the little things that have made me smile this weekend.

001. Putting up the Christmas tree - I'm ready for all the Scrooge's to tell me that I've put the tree up too early, but did you all realise that there's only three more Thursdays before Christmas Day? Exactly. Get that tree up now and enjoy it!

002. Smoothies - I had a peach smoothie yesterday whilst shopping and it was gorgeously refreshing.

003. About A Boy - Before the dreaded illness started, I was watching the classic film with Hugh Grant and forgot how much I enjoyed it.

004. England beating Australia in the rugby - that keeps all the men in the family happy.

005. Hearing my name on the radio - I'm in a concert next week with Gemma, and BBC Radio 2 mentioned us. It makes me even more excited to perform again!

006. Decorations everywhere - It's feeling truly festive now, and a personal favourite of mine is supermarkets dolling up their exterior with lights. It makes even the most boring of food shops fun again.

007. Fresh bed linen - is there anything that beats fresh bed linen?

008. Friends - honestly, I do not know where I would be without some of my friends. I'm a very lucky girl.

009. Disneyland Paris - it's two weeks till were off on our annual trip to the castle across the pond, and I cannot wait.

010. Post - I had to pick up 4 parcels from the post office yesterday. It's always nice receiving something through the letter box.

So that's 10 things that have made me smile. I think the plan for the rest of this Sunday is a hot bath, more sipping of water and an early night. I'm not sure if I can face work tomorrow but we will have to see how I feel in the morning. Hope you're all enjoying your Sunday more than me!

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Ascot Races and Country Living Christmas Fair

24 November 2014

Horse racing is one of the most exciting sports there is. Did you know that the Grand National is the most watched sporting event of any year? And that after football, horse racing has the most spectators? See. You learn something new every day! I actually work for a national horse racing company so it's no surprise that I love it - give me any excuse to be screaming at a grandstand and I'm there. I wanted to get someone else excited, so I thought I'd take Brogan with me for the day.

Ascot Racecourse is only a couple of minutes away for me. It holds huge memories and is somewhere I can enjoy myself, no-matter what races I'm watching. Royal Ascot will always be a favourite of course - this year's celebrations consisted of getting rather tipsy on Bollinger sitting in the rooftop terrace of the Royal Enclosure. However, the racing is what I enjoy. For those who don't know much about racing, at a meet, there's usually 5 or 6 races over a 4 hour period. With jump season in full flow, Ascot put on a Country Living Christmas Fair to keep the racegoers amused in between races. The main concourse was packed full of stalls, ranging from tweed companies to Turkish baklava. Christmas music was being played and there was a real festive buzz in the air.


Next came the racing. Brogan had absolutely no idea about racing, but said she would be placing a few bets for fun. I explained how it worked over a glass of wine and then we put our bets down on race one. I think it only took Brogan a few minutes to realise just how exciting this type of sport is. Everyone shouts for their horse and jumps up and down holding their betting cards in the air.


We had a classy bite to eat of a classic hot dog and a glass of champagne - the best combination of course, all whilst having a catch up and discussing the next horse we were going to put our chances on. Despite the weather being a bit dreary, all the racegoers were out in their country finest and the weather didn't seem to dull anyone's mood. The atmosphere was just wonderful and it made me appreciate one of my favourite sports more than ever. There's a brilliant respect with racing, and you can find yourself chatting to anyone and everyone.


When the races finished, I had managed to win 4 out of 6 races - not too shabby! Bets aside, it was a wonderful day, and I think I managed to convince Brogan that racing is exciting and more than just seeing the horses run. It's the whole package, and that includes having a laugh with your bestest friends. Brogan actually vlogged the day, so make sure you keep an eye out on her YouTube channel for the upload!

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Not Going Out

22 November 2014



In my prime, I used to love going out. It was 'the thing' to go out on school nights, usually Thursday's and Sunday's (classic Sugar Hut nights before it was taken over by the awful TOWIE), and everyone would crawl into class the next day looking worse for wear but feeling pretty proud of themselves that they made it. University was no different. I met some of my closest friends in the toilets of a club, hugging each other in a tipsy state and proclaiming that 'Omg this is our songgggg' to whatever song was on next. It was a classy affair.

However, as I've grown up, I've stopped going out so much. Hell, you wouldn't find me in a club nowadays unless it was for a particular event I suppose. I've always been more of a 'let's go to a nice bar and drink champagne girl and have a chat' rather than noisy places and drink WKDs, so it's only natural that to me, staying in on a Friday or Saturday night is the best option.


My recipe for the best night in

1 tidy home - I can't relax until everything is looking lovely and in its place. Then my mind can unwind.

2 candles - Candles set the mood and give the place a night atmosphere. Plus they smell damn good. I've been burning one that Steph bought me recently and it's delicious.

A dash or two of alcohol - I say a dash as this is up to the person and if they fancy a drink. Being me, I will always have a nice glass of wine to hand, and remember, life is too short to drink cheap wine. Hell, go all out and drink the champagne. You don't need a reason to drink it. Just do it!

A handful of fairy lights - In my house, you can expect a lot of fairy lights. It's just pretty and lovely and happy!

1 takeaway - What diet?

2 films - Kick your feet back and watch some of your favourite films that make you feel cosy. Last night I watched The Muppets Christmas Carol. Don't judge me..it's less than 5 weeks to go people.

A sprinkling of naughtiness - Interpret this to be how you want. As 'I'm A Celeb' is currently on, last night Gemma and I decided to do our own pretend bushtucker trials with our Chinese takeaway. I won't go into many details but it involved some sweet and sour chicken balls.

To me, not going out is the new going out. Personally, I would rather feel comfy and cosy at home be it on my own or with friends. You can still have just as much fun and there's something very nice about celebrating the weekend by just chilling out, reading blogs and watching tv.

If you haven't had a 'great night in' in a while, I highly recommend this recipe.

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Things To Remember

18 November 2014

I had a rubbish day yesterday. It didn't help that it was Monday, and all I kept thinking was that the Boomtown Rats were right. I don't like Mondays. However, that's not like me. I'm usually a little ray of positivity and happiness and I don't like not feeling like myself. A quick text to my best friend, and after work finished I was over at her house drinking prosecco and eating glitter coated cupcakes. It's amazing how your friends can instantly make things a little clearer.


Gemma and I have been best friends since university, so after 6 years of friendship, she knows me pretty well. We were chatting last night about various things, and I think sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, it's very easy to forget certain things, such as having all important 'me' time and keeping a balance with work and life. So when I got home last night, I made a list of the things that I need to remember on a daily basis, but especially when you're having a rough day:

001. Work to make a living - don't live to work. Make sure you have that balance between work and your own time. Life is too short to spend the whole time working and we all need our time to do the things we want to do.

002. Be a warrior, not a worrier. Worrying doesn't make anything easier..it just sits there and mulls with you and can make you feel worse. Just aim for happiness, and the rest will fall into place. (I'm trying to work on this one!)

003. Keep a clear head. For me, I do this by going to the gym, walking Max, playing the piano or singing, having a bubble bath etc. Find the things that help your mind relax a little.

004. Never let anyone dull your sparkle. By this, I mean always stay true to yourself. Never let something or someone change you and what you're about.

005. Give things some time. We can't make rational decisions on the spot or without giving things some thought. Just carry on doing what you're doing and re-evaluate when needed. And when you do, sit down and talk it over.

I've written all of these things down and am going to have this list on me, just so that I can remind myself that it's fine to have a wobble occasionally and you don't always need to be strong 24 hours a day. And when things do get tough, just call your friends and have a chat. There's no better solution really...oh and that includes laughing at Jimmy Bullard doing his bush tucker trial on I'm a Celeb last night - I felt much better after watching that... ;)

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Thoughts on being the 'new person'

14 November 2014

It's finally Friday (or Friyay as is more appropriate).

I'm home from work and sitting cross-legged on my bed picking at pick-n-mix I apparently took home with me from an event I went to last night (prior to going to the gym in an hour..fail). I started my new job this week, and I think it's always good to reflect on these things. However, I have observed certain things about being the 'new person'.


001. The nerves will never go away. I'm a confident person but wow I was nervous before starting this job. Driving there on my first day, I needed a real boost of encouragement, so thank you to all the people who tweeted me/texted me to wish me good luck - it was massively appreciated!

002. The introductions never stop. I cannot tell you how many times I've had to say 'Hello' and 'Lovely to meet you!' By the end of the day, I had a smile sewn into my face like Tour Guide Barbie from Toy Story 2.

003. You never know when it's acceptable to start organising your desk. Straight away, I just wanted to sort my stationary, get everything organised and make my desk area my little space. However, you don't want to look like the weird stationary OCD person, so that had to wait until day two. It's now a little Paperchase haven.

004. Lunch breaks. This one kills me. I don't want to look like the overly hungry person who has to eat lunch the moment the clock strikes midday, but I'm hungry and my nerves are only making the hunger worse. I want my yummy quinoa salad and I want it now!

005. Being called the wrong name. Ok new work colleagues. I know you're learning and so am I, but please take the time to not call me Tasmin. It's not hard. Give it a few weeks and I will be biting your head off if it continues.

So far, so good with the new role. It's going to take a while for me to settle I think, but that's only natural. It won't be too long before my new team are subjected to my foghorn laugh and then there's no going back for them!

Instagram @titchtamsin

Last night, I went back to my old work for their annual End of Season Ball. I was actually quite nervous about going back, which is really unlike me, but it was a great night and any excuse to get dressed up and I'm there! Now I'm just looking forward to a quiet weekend.

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10 things we should do more often

11 November 2014


There is always time for champagne. Always.


001. Writing letters: It's amazing how good putting pen to paper feels. Hands up who actually has handwritten a letter this year? I bet a majority of you haven't, and it's not your fault either. Internet, email and phones are partially to blame for the lack of writing letters, but I promise you, you won't regret buying some cute letter paper from Paperchase and sending something lovely to a friend. After all, there is nothing more exciting than receiving mail.

002. Baking cookies: This is something that a lot of people do for themselves (we all love a bit of indulgence), but what about baking and giving them to people you love, just because? I baked a batch of choc chip cookies yesterday for Jonathan to take back to base, and wrapped them in a little parcel with a bow. Not only does he get to eat yummy morale food, but he can share them with his officer friends - always a good day!

003. Walking: Whenever I need to clear my head, the first thing I will do is take Max for a walk. It doesn't even need to be a long walk. Sometimes it's just good to get out of the house, breathe in some fresh air and take in your surroundings. It's incredibly therapeutic.

004. Pamper yourself: Seriously, not enough people do this, and I don't even mean the 'Sunday evening routine' where you have a bath, put on a face mask etc. I mean really pamper yourself. Book that spa day you've been wanting to do for ages with someone, have a massage and whilst you're at it, go for the champagne afternoon tea deal too. You deserve it!

005. Watch your favourite childhood film: There is absolutely nothing to hide about being in your mid-twenties and wanting to watch your fav films from your childhood. They hold special memories for us, and it's good to relive those memories like we're 7 again. These films can 100% include A Little Princess, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Fly Away Home and every Disney film ever created.

006. Try new things: Not all of us are good with change and can find new experiences scary. However, they say you should do something that scares you every day, so if you're afraid of heights, try Go Ape with some friends. If you're being a bit 'samey' with your dinners, buy a food magazine and try a new recipe. Whatever the result, at least you tried something new, and a new experience always means learning or appreciating something you didn't before.

007. Eat the burger: If you're craving a burger, then eat the damn burger. Life is too short to be constantly worrying about calories and clothes sizes, and you need to enjoy food occasionally. So if it's the burger you want, eat it totally guilt-free. If I died tomorrow, I'd like to know that I had a yummy meal beforehand.

008. Turn off technology: Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our phones, TV, cameras, laptops etc that we forget what we already have. I turn my phone off at night so I can sleep better, I don't have the TV on as background noise and I put my laptop away when I'm not using it.

009. Treat someone: Nothing says 'I value you' more than a small, meaningful treat. This can range from a gift in the form of flowers or jewellery, to the something simple like a Starbucks when out shopping. Last week, I visited my parents and cooked dinner for them every night - simple, but meaningful. It took the weight off them when coming home from work and I also made them dinners they hadn't tried before (remember that 'trying new things' point? Exactly!)

010. Smile: It's scientifically proven that even on the worst days, kidding yourself into smiling can make you feel better. I'm the sort of girl that smiles at strangers as I walk past them in the street - smiling is contagious and you never know, you could be reminding someone that they can get through a tough time. Regardless, smiling releases endorphins and gives us all a positivity. Time to show some pearly whites!

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Pancake Day

5 March 2014

I think for the last 3 years, Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday as I call it) has come and gone without me noticing it. I've always been too busy or out with work. This year, I vowed it would be different.

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Gemma and I decided to get together to make some fluffy American pancakes. For Gem, this was a whole new experience as she'd never eaten an American pancake before..something I couldn't really get my head around. I wanted to prove to her that they were the best type of pancakes. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad with an English pancake..I'm just more partial to the fluffy American kind (preferably with bacon and maple syrup please and thank you.) Despite me loving these cakes of goodness, I maybe only make pancakes about twice a year, if that. They're a bit of a luxury in my opinion and I like having them on special occasions like birthdays or for a family reunion brunch. Seeing as I hadn't eaten pancakes for about 7 months, I was pretty much drooling by the time we started cooking them.

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With the dogs swirling around our legs, we attempted 'the flip' - something that I found myself to be pretty damn enjoyable. There's nothing like a victory dance after a successful pancake flip. And nothing better than eating them after. We found that preparing yourself for 'the flip' in a Jonny Wilkinson rugby kick type pose was the best way to organise yourself.

Is anyone giving up anything for Lent? I will be attempting to give up Diet Coke - something I'm pretty terrified about as I'm a bit of a DC addict. I've warned all of my friends, family and colleagues that tantrums and withdrawal symptoms may follow. Eek. You can watch our vlog of the pancake flipping bonanza below. Remember to subscribe for more - that always makes me happy.

 

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London with Brogan

3 March 2014

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One of my fav things about blogging, vlogging, tweeting...the lot...is making friends. I can honestly say that I have made some fabulous friends through a variety of platforms - some of whom will be friends for life, and Brogan is one of them. I think we started talking in 2011 sometime and we haven't really looked back. Our personalities seem to click and we just seem to laugh constantly together. We decided to have a very overdue day out together in London. As Brogan is from Bournemouth and I've grown up with London on my doorstep, I was happy to play the role of 'tour guide'.

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We met at Waterloo and dashed over to Covent Garden by foot for breakfast. I think if there's one thing I taught Brogan this weekend, it is that London is small and walking is the best possible thing. And I know every shortcut going ;) We had breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien (as it was a little too early to devour Shake Shack for brunch) and caught up over fruit salad, green juices and scones. We soon headed back to the Southbank so I could treat Brogan to an outing at the London Dungeons. There was a lot of screaming and hand holding I can assure you, and after a hilarious face on the ride at the end, we made it out alive and Brogan felt pretty proud of herself. Next stop was a spot of shopping on Oxford Street and Piccadilly, followed by a late lunch sitting in the sun at Ed's Diner. As nightfall came, we stepped aboard the London Eye. It was a clear night so even in the darkness, you could see for miles. I honestly prefer the London Eye at night - seeing all the landmarks illuminated is just magical. At about 8pm, we said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways.

It was such a lovely day and I'm so glad I got to share a little bit of tourist magic with Brogan (thanks to my trusty Magic Pass). Honestly, I feel so lucky to have grown up in such a wonderful city. I don't think I could ever move away. I'm also lucky to have such wonderful friends, and true friends are like gold dust.

You can watch the vlog from our day out below - remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more!


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Dinner with Barefoot Bubbly

19 February 2014

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When it comes to alcohol, I'm not the sort of girl who likes to get totally trashed (although I am conveniently forgetting my 12 hour toilet bowl sesh after New Year just gone..it was an accident I swear). I'm the sorta girl who loves to savour alcohol, get to know it, learn about it, and enjoy it with family and friends. Drinking during the weekday doesn't happen for me either - it's purely a Friday and Saturday night thang for when I'm seeing friends and family or when Jonathan is home. A nice bottle of Chablis or Prosecco and I'm yours.

Recently, a bottle of Pink Moscato by Barefoot Bubbly was delivered to my door. This tasty sparkling wine is derived from muscat grapes which are a particularly sweet type of grape usually found in South America or California, where Barefoot Wines are based. If you like sweet drinks, then this will be a winner for you - if anyone likes Martini Asti then you will know the sort of sweet I'm talking about. It's almost like liquid sugar and runs sweet down your throat as you drink it. I adore sparkling wine and think there's nothing nicer than a glass of bubbles. Jonathan and I decided to have this as an appetizer to one of our meals at the weekend which was a king prawn stir fry, although this would have been lovely to drink with our dessert too. I know that you can make some fun cocktails with Pink Moscato too this could be a great drink to have at a girls night. What's even better, is that the price is under a tenner from most good supermarkets - £9.49. Pretty damn good for a bottle of bubbles. Something else I love is that the company, Barefoot Wines have won lots of great wine awards which is definitely reassuring when it comes to wine I feel. Not only this, but the company supports tons of charities which is a big thumbs up in my opinion.

I can see this being my perfect 'girls night in' drink in the future!

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Pina Colada Breakfast Smoothie

7 February 2014

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When I'm on the run and busy in the mornings before work, breakfast isn't a priority. It should be, but it isn't. To combat this, I try and make smoothies so I can take them on the go when I go into work, or if I'm walking Max in the morning. Not only are they delicious, but there are so many varieties that you can make - I think there is literally a smoothie for everyone. Many of you will have seen my standard 7am Lazy Smoothie recipe which I use a lot, and today I'm talking about a variation on that. It's still very much a 7am Lazy Smoothie, but more of a 'lets pretend I'm on a beach with sun, sea and sand' smoothie. It's my Pina Colada Breakfast smoothie and boy is it a good'un.

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Unfortunately, this is a breakfast smoothie so it is sans alcohol - I need to be able to walk in a straight line when I get into work, although you can definitely make this with alcohol for a bbq or party. As always, I like my smoothies to be quick. Less preparation is better at 7am and I don't need any faffing around slicing and dicing fruit. No no no. I always chop up my fruit in advance and chuck it in a tupperware box to go in the freezer. That way, you just get out whatever fruit you want when you need it, and it also means you don't need ice. Double bubble. Obviously, the fruit you need is pineapple and coconut for it to be bonafide Pina Colada material. You can buy the fruit and slice it all yourself, or you can go the extra lazy step and buy tinned fruit. I know in Tesco you can buy tinned 'Pina Colada' which is a pineapple and coconut mix in juice which is perfect for this recipe. The next ingredient is Koko Dairy Free milk. I try to drink dairy free milk as much as possible because the health benefits are great and it's generally lower in calories, and Koko is based on coconut milk - even more perfect for this recipe. I know you can buy it from Tesco and Waitrose. Whack both into a blender and blend until it's the consistency you like.

This is more of a health concious smoothie, but you can of course make it a little more luxurious by adding some ice cream, yoghurt or coconut cream. It's like drinking a little cup of sunshine in the morning and definitely gives me a spring in my step - with the bad weather and flooding we've been having, it is totally needed! Simple, quick, and undeniably tasty. If only I could be sipping it out of a coconut on a beach...

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Friends Old & New

2 February 2014

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1524883_10153682612795570_939820323_n Everyone says I was born with a megaphone for a mouth because I'm that loud, and my friends are used to the way I am. If I walk somewhere, I usually dance. If I say something, then I'll probably sing it, and if I'm not doing either of those, them I'm usually head thrown back and cackling like a hyena. Think Ed from The Lion King and that is kinda like me. Last week, I was at a ball with work and I literally had one of the best nights of my life. I was genuinely having the best time, and after reflecting on this, I realised it was down to the people I was sharing the night with.

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When I relocated for my job in June last year, it was a total gamble. I knew it was the right thing for me to do, but it was still a gamble. Not only are you starting a new job, but you have the whole saga of being 'the new person' again and not knowing anyone at all. It can be really daunting, even for a confident person like myself, but it is something we all have to go through. I never thought that in a short space of time I'd meet colleagues who would become some of the greatest friends I've ever had. It didn't take them long to realise the type of person that I was - bubbly, dramatic, a total worrier, 100% naive to everything, and someone who just wants to laugh. I feel so fortunate to have found friends who know me so well in such a short space of time.

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On the flip side of new friends, I also have old friends who will always be by my side - the type of friends you genuinely can't imagine not ever knowing, because they've made such an impact on your life in the time they've been there, the type of friends who you can sit and do nothing with, or cry to, or laugh with at reruns of You've Been Framed. For Christmas, I came to the conclusion that my friends know me ridiculously well - nearly every present was Disney or something that they knew would make me squeal like a child. It's not the present itself that makes you so happy - it's the fact that they knew it would make you happy.

I am so lucky.

P.S - Click here to listen to my latest upload on YouTube!

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