Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014; A Reflection.

Hey Everyone!

As this year draws to a close, I'd like to reflect on the previous 365 days that I've lived. In my ear is 'Bad Blood' from Taylor Swift's new album '1989,' yet I don't feel that I can relate to the song nor feel resentment towards this year.

2014, in a nutshell, was a surprise. It was a year where I surprised myself and was surprised by others, in a pleasant way thankfully. My first blog post for 2014 was titled, ''Everything's Got To End Sometime, Otherwise Nothing Would Ever Get Started''  which is a quote from Doctor Who. I was silently hopeful that the year would pan out well, a stark contrast to previous years, and would lead to a positive development in my character and life experiences. 

Needless to say, I am in slight shock when I think of everything this year so far. I had to read through some blog posts to refresh my memory of the year (most of my brain has been filled with information necessary for exams, so I tend to spout out a lot of facts, particularly about animals) So it has been interesting and refreshing to read and relive past memories from throughout the year. 

One of the many things that struck me was the lack of self-confidence in myself early on in the year. I had taken quite a few knocks in the past few years and continued becoming more of myself throughout the year. Last year I didn't really like interacting with my peers in school, as I was scared of what they'd say and how they would 'judge' me. At this moment in time I don't really care any more, how we all see ourselves is a lot more important than how others see us. 

This little piece of the internet has grown too! In a blog post from January 2014, I thanked you all for having reached 12,000 page views, as of now, it's over 44,400 page views. Wow! That means the page views have trebled in a year! You guys mean so much to me. Every page view of my blog and posts means the entire world to me, so an absolutely huge and heartfelt thank you to all you lovely readers!

My 2014.
I started the year with high hopes of a happy and joyful new year, needless to say I was in for a treat. I began an obsession with Snapchat, took selfies with my new Harry Styles cut-out (who is still chilling in my room, he says hi) I cried over seanfhocal, made hot chocolate a lot and did Christmas sales hauls! Overall, January was a good month, 

February was filled with blog posts and Costa coffee. Costa had just opened down the road from my house and humorously is called 'Cost-a-fortune' by my Dad. (Ask Grace if you don't believe me) There were huge storms battering the local seaside town and the waves gushed everywhere, needless to say I was there with a camera! AwkwardSprinkles re-emerged after a break due to all the school work and we recorded videos and took copious amounts of selfies!

I got new glasses in March! According to my brother I became a hipster. I kept studying and doing my homework, wrote quotes and covered my bedroom walls with their inky words of advice. I attended Grace's birthday party and we all had a very good time. Later on, I went to the Slógadh Spleodar in Carlow and we all indulged in Supermacs! For Ag Science we travelled a local farm and towards the end, we all had to take a selfie beside the silage. I wish I was joking, but it's still funny to think about now.

In April, the John Green Book Shrine emerged from it's isolation, complete with quotes and a candle. I encountered an Audi R8 (one of my favourite cars in the world) literally outside my school and of course, got photos taken beside it, no shame. I went to my friend Caítlín's 17th but I've no photos, it was a day to experience, not capture with a camera lens. We saw The Amazing Spiderman and basically all of us cried. I started taking photos for OOTD's around this time too. AwkwardSprinkles bounced back (yay!) and I did a massive Penneys haul for the Gaeltacht! 

When I wasn't studying manically for summer exams, I went to Costa in the warm weather, took selfies with my Dad, took selfies with oil seed rape for ag science, attended a Communion, won awards in school and caused a drama llama Apocalypse over an award for a mental health speech just be mentioning it here on TRLOA (#NeverForget) I also started packing for the Gaeltacht, with hindsight in hand now, I brought far too much to Galway.

June was a definite highlight for me in 2014. I went to the Gaeltacht!I spent three majestic weeks on the other side of the country, speaking Irish, going to ceilís, the siopa and attending Rang Ardteist. We were all so lucky with the marvellous weather we had over there. I came home 22 days later with a brown face despite bringing suncream! Up above are some of my friends, I had over 120 photos so I condensed it as much as possible. Those three weeks were utterly fantastic, along with the hilarious letters Grace sent me about all the gossip back home!

July was a good month too. AwkwardSprinkles was back with a bang, I went to parties, took selfies and photos of daisies and got a new pair of Converse! I went back to my summer job and my face got even more tanned throughout the good weather. The loom bands obsession took hold at this time and I spent many happy afternoons making different designs of loom bands! I also became obsessed with Game of Thrones, a decision that was definitely a brilliant one.

Grace, Viv, Leah and I went to the bank holiday festival and saw 'White Chalk' and my favourite, The Rip Tide Movement perform! We braved some of the amusements and went to the local fashion show. It was a brilliant weekend. At a party we all got photobombed too. Grace and I were both nominated in 'The Blog Awards Ireland' which was a massive achievement for our blogs. We were even featured in our local newspaper so when I returned to school, all my teachers either congratulated me or wrote the details of the website and where to vote for me on the whiteboard for my fellow peers to take down and vote! (Genuinely happened!) A lot of voices of dissent quietened in school about my blog too which was a nice bonus. I also bought a new laptop which I adore. In late August I started my last year of school, Sixth Year *gulps*

I turned 18 in September and I still don't feel like an adult. I had a party with my friends and we all had a brilliant night. I was given an Orla Kiely handbag by my parents and bought another one later on after my birthday, I loved her designs that much! I visited MIC and went to Higher Options and ran into some friends from the Gaeltacht (with hilarious conversations and stories as a result) as well as bumping into Rachel from OhHeyThereRachel!

As a mature adult, I went to a Tommy Tiernan gig! It was a hilarious night filled with laughs and giggles as well as sore stomachs from laughing so much. Aware emailed me about their workshops for Leaving Cert students (which, coincidentally I had attended that week!) so I wrote a blog post about it. I did another Penneys haul, procrastinated on Tumblr, drank lots of tea and made cupcakes for Halloween! I also went to my friend Robyn's house for Halloween and we all had a brilliant night.

November began with a flying start, I went to see Nathan Carter in concert! I didn't know I was going until 4 hours before the concert as my aunt and uncle couldn't attend, so they very, very kindly gave my brother and I the tickets instead. We got to meet Nathan afterwards, he's a lovely lad! I also became quite sick this month, hence the shortage of photos. I received a certificate from Swipe Festival after coming joint-second in the Digital Story Telling competition. I also became a blood donor and received my blood donor card! Whilst I was sick, I mainly watched Game of Thrones, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead, as well as reading several books. In essence, I needed time off, I had such extreme fatigue I could barely do a thing. 

I went back to school in December, with a lot of ''Welcome Back!'''s and ''Where were you!'s said during the first couple of days. I went to Athlone to the Slógadh Spleodar but in all honesty, I was too sick to enjoy it as much as I should have. I filled out my CAO for college *terrified screams* We did Kris Kindle amongst my friends and I received the most beautiful and thoughtful present from my friend Chloe. Christmas was lovely too, I was spoiled really with the presents I received. I'm humbled and eternally grateful for the gifts. It was great to spend a few days with my family and friends just relaxing. 

So that was my 2014.
2015 looks to be a good and interesting year. I'm sitting my Mock Exams in early February and of course my Leaving Cert in June. I'm studying hard to get the results I want. In September I will, fingers crossed, be attending the college I've been dreaming of since I was young. In September I will also be 19, what?! Overall, I'm looking forward to 2015, it's going to be a tough slog through studying, but I'm always prepared to put in my very best effort, hard work and determination to achieve what I want. 
''If it's meant to be, it's up to me'' 

I wish you all the very best for 2015, I hope you all have a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Here's to another successful year for The Random Life of Aveen. 
Stay Strong, Happy and Fearless,
Aveen xx

Monday, 29 December 2014

What I Got For Christmas 2014!

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely, happy and healthy Christmas. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of Christmas. This post is about the presents I received from my family and friends.

Just before I start, I would like to state that I'm entirely grateful and humbled by the beautiful presents I received. This blog post isn't for bragging, some like these type of posts, some don't. Anyway, here is what I got for Christmas 2014!

I didn't ask for anything 'big' this year like a phone or a laptop as I got a new laptop in the summer and a new phone a few weeks ago. I was delighted and happily surprised with the gifts I received.

Taylor Swift's album '1989' along with 'The Silkworm' by Robert Galbraith. The 'Pengwing' beside the Smarties and 1989 is a hand warmer! I have horrifically cold hands in Winter (even with gloves or mittens) so it's perfect!

Sweets, Impulse sprays (my absolute favourite!) and Penguin socks (Pengwing if you love Benedict Cumberbatch like I do)

A Starbucks mug with a candy cane spoon! There was also sachets of coffee, yum!

A Vaseline bag with some pretty products, 'Shopaholic to the stars' by Sophie Kinsella. I've been reading the Shopaholic series since I was like 13! (5 years ago help)

The cutest fluffy pen! Reckon my teachers will allow me write in class with it? 

The massive shoes are slippers in the shape of Converse! I also received a One Direction calendar. I received one last year and loved it! I also got a couple of pairs of pyjamas, which I love and adore! 

So that's what I received for Christmas! Hope you had fun having a nose through my presents! :) 
I'll be back shortly to write a 2014 reflection (which I've started planning!) 
Best wishes for 2015 to all you lovely readers!
Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!
Aveen xx

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Kris Kindle Amongst Friends.

Hey Everyone!

Hope you're all enjoying the Christmas holidays, I know I am. As Christmas is a huge and important event for exchanging gifts, I decided to post about a beautiful present I received from a friend of mine as part of Kris Kindle.

My friends in school and I decided to do a Kris Kindle between around a dozen of us for Christmas so everyone would be guaranteed a thoughtful gift for Christmas. We were given a day to bring in the presents and then give the person we'd picked randomly a present.

The day arrived and to my utter delight, Chloe handed me a Christmas bag filled with such thoughtful and pretty gifts. I'd like to take the time to say a massive thank you to Chloe for such a beautiful present, you're far too kind and I love the presents so much!

The presents included the softest and warming scarf in a Christmassy red colour, cute fluffy socks in the shape of a cupcake and two notebooks. I squealed with delight, especially at the sight of the ornate and pretty notebooks. I am at my happiest sitting at my desk with a pen in my left hand and a notebook in front of me, with my handwriting swirling on the pages as I write. Needless to say, the gifts were thoroughly welcomed.

I've been wearing the scarf down the town as I go shopping and walking and I've written in one of the notebooks, which I adore. The fluffy socks I want to wear on Christmas morning as they have an immense Christmas feeling about them.

I wish you all a happy, peaceful Christmas and a prosperous and successful New Year. 

Have you exchanged any Kris Kindle or Secret Santa presents with your friends? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!
Aveen xx

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Christmas Tag!

Hey Everyone!

It's nearly Christmas, can you feel the excitement and joy in the air? I was tagged by Jane from Dorky, Fizzy and Quirky Stuff to do the Christmas Tag! Enjoy. 

What is your favourite Christmas film?
It's definitely a toss up between Love Actually and Miracle on 34th Street. I just watched Miracle on 34th Street again this afternoon while wrapping some presents and my inner child emerged as I squealed with excitement. I also adore Love Actually, it's so cheesy but I love it!

Have you ever had a White Christmas?

I'm pretty sure there have been a couple of them in my 18 years. I remember Christmas 2004 (THAT'S TEN YEARS AGO OH GOD) Where it literally began snowing on Christmas morning as we were getting ready for The Children's Mass that morning. It truly was the epitome of a White Christmas. It snowed in 2010 as well and I can't really remember any other years. 
Where do you usually spend the holidays?

Generally at home. We visit Nana on Christmas Eve before Mass and see my other cousins on Christmas Morning in my aunt and uncle's house. All of my cousins, Aunts and Uncles go and we all chat and relax for an hour or so then head on home to our own houses. It sounds strange but it's become a tradition.
What is your favourite Christmas song?

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl of course! It's truly an Irish classic. 

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

We only open presents from a particular Aunt as every year we get pyjamas and we always wear the new pj's to bed on Christmas Eve night. Her children (who are around my age) do the same thing. It's another little tradition that we've continued over the years.
Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
 Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen. and Rudolph!
What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
Mainly the ones mentioned above!

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
It's fake, it was real I would probably be sneezing like a maniac. 
What is your all-time favourite holiday food/sweet treat?
Food would be Mammy's Christmas dinner and sweet treat would be Mammy's homemade sticky toffee puddings and sauce. YUM!

Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

I prefer giving gifts so I can hopefully see the look of joy on the face of the person receiving the gift!

What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?

That is such a tough question. Over the years I've been lucky and have been given such beautiful, thoughtful presents. I can't name just a single present. My family are genuinely brilliant at choosing presents for me, I've never had a present I didn't like. 

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

No where really. I prefer to stay at home for Christmas. For me, Christmas is for spending time at home with your loved ones. Although going abroad would be lovely, the thought of spending Christmas somewhere abroad sounds insane. 

Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?

I've improved over the years. I have an obsession with having the wrapping perfect so I always put a lot of effort into it.
Most memorable holiday moment?
There's so many I couldn't possibly decide!

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

There's little eyes and ears on my page. Did you not see Miracle on 34th Street? It explains it all there ;)

Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?

I don't really make any New Year resolutions, I feel that so many people break them they're not really worth much. I do generally make a promise to myself to achieve a certain goal that year, eg happiness or what not. So that could technically be a resolution?
What makes the holidays special for you?

Spending time with my family and of course, the food :D :D 

So that's about it from me, I tag Grace and Rachel

Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!
Aveen xx

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Dreaming dreams with happy endings

Hey Everyone!

I hope you're all well and that you can forgive me for my abrupt and lengthy absences. As you likely know, I was quite ill but I've 90% recovered so I'm feeling a lot better.

Christmas is approaching and preparations are in full swing in my house. We have decorations everywhere, along with Christmas cards all over the sitting room and all the presents for our families and friends ready.

I have been back in school for a couple of weeks and I was warmly welcomed back by my peers and even teachers. It seems making an out of character disappearance causes a lot of concern. The first few days were horrendous, luckily now I've caught up on the notes I missed.

So I'll tell you all what I've been doing recently! I went to Athlone for the Slogadh Spleodar. It was an exciting and fun-filled day where I had the opportunity to catch up with some of my Gaeltacht friends. However as I still had fatigue, I was utterly drained afterwards!

I finally managed to see Mockingjay last Friday. My friend Caítlín and I went after school. Needless to say the film was spectacular and a definite must-see for any cinema fan.

This week is our final week in school (which I'm eternally grateful for) and a dozen of my friends and I did Kris Kindle amongst ourselves! We exchanged gifts today and I'd love to say a massive thank you to Chloe for the most thoughtful and pretty present! :) I think I can speak for all of us and say we were all thrilled with our gifts and also delighted to give gifts to each other. (I'm getting all emosh I know)

That's about it from me so here's some random photos. I apologise for how brief this blog post is, I'm trying to slowly settle myself back into normal life. It was nice to take a brief break from it all yet living in my imagination can't last forever

That's about it from me! 
Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless! 
Aveen xx

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Christmas Penneys/Primark Haul!

Hey Everyone!

I recently visited Penneys and picked up some items for Christmas! *Cue excited squeals of joy* Here are the items I bought!

I've developed an obsession with fairy lights recently, this heart (with the prettiest snowflake) was 4 euros. I thought it would be a nice touch in my room. 

*sighs* I saw these fairy lights too and these were also 4 euros. I've become quite focused on decorating my room since I got it re-decorated over the summer. 

This cute Christmas tree hairband was only two euros and is ideal for any Christmas party. 

I also bought this cute elf clip, it's subtle yet so Christmassy at the same time. 

Gingerbread men mittens! I've lost the receipt so I'm not sure how much these are, but it's Penneys so it wouldn't break the bank. I've been wearing these to school and down the town and I love them. 

I saw these slippers and thought they looked so cosy and warm. (They are)

I love a good pair of fluffy socks and these are just ideal. This pair was 3.50 but so cosy. 

This t-shirt was 3 euros and I couldn't resist it. I've worn it once so far but plan to wear it more during the rest of the month.

My final item and probably my favourite. This was 17 euros and isn't it just the best/cutest cardigan you've seen? I wore it yesterday to the Slógadh Spleodar for the Christmas party and I was so warm wearing it, as well as looking festive.

That's my Christmas haul from Penneys/Primark. 
Have you bought any bargains or gorgeous pieces from Penneys recently? Let me know in the comments. 
Stay Strong, Happy and Fearless!
Aveen xx

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

''I'm Not Too Sure What I've Become, But I Tried As Hard As Anyone''

Hey Everyone!

I guess I'm back posting on my blog. The past couple of weeks have been difficult to say the least. On the 19th of November (yes that long ago!) I fell ill and it steadily went downhill from there. We think that the illness affected me more than it should have due to my weakened immune system due to overworking. I ended up with the awful 'flu virus' that's going around.

My symptoms were quite awful really. Soaring temperatures, a sore throat, aches and pains all over, along with my favourite of all and the symptom which kept me down for so long, fatigue. We all say we're exhausted after a long, difficult day in school or work, but nothing compares to the fatigue I experienced. (As I'm usually the one saying I'm tired)

Getting from my room to the sitting room was like climbing a mountain every day. I missed a lot of days of school and after various trips to the doctors and various medical certificates, I was told that I was to rest, and under no circumstances try do any homework or study. (Bear in mind this was the Saturday and I had my locker keys in my handbag to go get books from my locker to catch up on my missed work.) So for the past week and more I've been doing very little. I mainly stayed in bed watching Game of Thrones, as I was too exhausted to do anything. (I was half-way through Season 1 before I started, now I'm half way through Season 3, oops)

Yesterday (December 1st) and today I've started leaving the house! Today I think truly marks my 'recovery' as I look and feel much more alert and energised. My Mam politely told me that for the past couple of weeks I'd looked ''as if you'd been embalmed'' ie in a coffin with a waxy complexion.  I frightened myself a lot looking in the mirror as, my normally tanned/darkish face, was as white as a sheet and looked waxy with illness.

I've missed Christmas exams, an absolute rarity for me. I've never missed a test in my life. Yet, I'm grateful this illness struck now instead of during my mocks or even my Leaving Cert. When I think of it, I had been working far too hard and had been stressing myself far, far too much than I should have. This has definitely been a learning experience that I shouldn't be overworking myself with school work, I need some 'me' time once in a while. And to take regular breaks and try avoid doing over 8 hours of homework and study over the weekend (That was over two days by the way) So I'm going to tone it down a little, or at least make sure I take regular breaks, exercise and get enough sleep (something I hadn't in a while)

My lesson that I learned? To take care of myself better. To try stop stressing over every little thing in my life, get more sleep and set out time for myself and try take more regular breaks from the books. The Leaving Cert is a marathon, not a sprint. All of us students need to take care of ourselves and try living instead of existing. This year has/is been tough, but I'm determined to finish with flying colours.

Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!
Aveen xx

*Lyrics The Coronas ~ The Long Way.

Ps Happy 21st Birthday to my brother, enjoy the day! :D