As an early birthday surprise for my Mum, my Dad and I booked an afternoon tea experience at The Shard. My brother and I had previously been for afternoon tea with our grandparents, but it was my parents first ever time going, and so it was a very exciting experience for all of us – especially considering this was the first time in over a year we’d been to London (due to lockdown). The weather was gorgeous, the views were stunning, and it was overall simply a lovely day.
We set off in the morning by train (yet another refreshing experience), and went on a long walk around Carnaby Street, perusing Hamley’s, the Disney Store and so many more! After this, we were all pretty tired, but ready and raring for our afternoon tea.
After a few hours, we hopped on the tube and had a walk around Borough Market – probably not the best idea when I’m hungry!!
Then it was time for our afternoon tea.
We got our bags checked and went through the metal detector, and then we were put in the lift! We were on floor 31, and it went up so incredibly fast, it made gravity slightly distorted afterwards, but it felt like a theme park ride of sorts so I wasn’t one to complain.
We settled ourselves down, the waiter formally introduced himself – which was the most extra but brilliant thing I’ve ever witnessed.
The whole tea was Peter Pan themed and the amount of thought which was put into the meal was honestly extraordinary.
This drink was so gorgeously fruity without being overpoweringly sickly sweet. I loved all of this, even the colour – it’s such a divine pink and I was in love. It accompanied the food perfectly also.
As aforementioned, this meal was all Peter Pan Themed, and not one bit disappointed! Above, you can even see that the plates payed homage to the books. The part which really took my breath away though were the food stands. They came in these gorgeous pirate ships, which did something very special… [I’m not going to spoil it for you though, in case you wish to go yourself☺️]
I’m going to go through each thing I had to eat and give you my honest opinion on each. Please bear in mind my tastes are most likely quite different from yours, and so everything I say should be taken as word from a fussy 16 year old.
Baked Pig – it was a sausage roll. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of sausage rolls, but this one was actually super yummy! The pastry was perfectly crispy and light and the sausage was perfect – not too heavy which was pleasant as I didn’t feel like I was having a massive meal
An Enormous Mushroom Chimney – You don’t understand how confused I was when I got this chimney and there was no mushrooms at all! But, anyway, I never knew bread could taste this good! Now I am a massive fan of bread, but this was so light and fluffy, but somehow full of flavour, honestly a complete 10/10
“Codfish” Captain Hook – Yet again, I’m not the biggest fan of fish. But, this fish was so yummy! I swear, I do not know how they made me enjoy this so much, but it was very impressive and tasty. Plus, the fact it had the captain’s hook at the top was such an adorable feature I loved
The Lost Boys – If you haven’t already worked it out, I’m not the biggest fan of meat. But this sandwich had bacon and chicken in it, but it was so lovely. The bread was so fluffy and it complimented the sandwich extremely well and I couldn’t help but feel I deserved another!
Little Bird – Truth be told, I don’t know just how comfortable I felt about the fact they called the egg sandwich ‘little bird’, but that may just be me. I do not like egg mayo, so I feel I’m not going to say this was the best. It was okay, but I really just didn’t like the taste of it. I know my parents liked it though – I’m pretty sure that’s because their palettes are more refined than my own.
Peter’s Secret Never Tree Entrance – This was the richest thing I’ve eaten in a long time! I made the mistake of eating the little bit of chocolate covered in coco powder first and I swear I thought I was going to have to have on my obituary that I died from “death by chocolate”! Nonetheless, if you like chocolate and jam, you’ll love this. My Mum and brother loved it, but I wasn’t the biggest fan. I am glad I tried it though!
Hook’s Perish Cake – Okay, I hate coconut. This had a lot of coconut. I feel like that says all you need to know.
Tick-Tock the Crocodile – I was honestly very confused by this… it had the consistency of jelly, but it tasted a bit like jam… As bamboozled as this made me, I quite liked it, and the little gummy crocodile was super fun to eat!
Tinker Bell – This little biscuit was so simplistic but it worked so well! It also looked so cute and it really just melted in my mouth – yum!
These scones were baked to perfection! They were so nice and warm and the clotted cream and jam just made it 😙🤌 perfection!
It was a lovely day! At the end of it, I went to China Town and we got some dumplings for the next day. It was a great time and I’m so blessed that I got to share it with my amazing family♥️
Since the music video came out in 2019, I have adored this dress…
I mean… just look at it!
I wanted to get this dress so badly, but it was pretty pricey, to be exact: $4,995.00 pricey.
So, I did what anyone with a passion for sewing and belief that I could be the next Coco Chanel or something, I went on the prowl to make my own Taylor Swift dress. And this… well this is how it went.
The hardest part was finding all of the parts. After two whole days of searching, I finally found everything I needed. If you want to make this dress, then just click on the photos and they’ll take you to the links!
As you can see, it was all relatively affordable and I’m really happy with the quality of each of the products I bought.
After it all arrived (which took about a week or so), I got to work on sorting out how I was going to attach the flowers onto the skirt.
With the help of my Grandma, (thanks Nana!) we both pinned all of the flowers and butterflies where we felt they would go the best. This took us a bit of time, because we had to work out where the colours went best, but we were both really happy with the positioning of all the flowers and butterflies.
I love how all of the colours turned out! I chose these monarch butterflies because they are my favourite type of butterfly and, quite simply, I loved the variation of colours for the flowers.
Over the remainder of that evening, whilst on the phone to my boyfriend and whilst watching Netflix, I hand stitched each of the objects onto the skirt. This took some time, but I knew I couldn’t have used my sewing machine due to the delicacy of the fabric. I found it very relaxing, and I made sure that each of the threads matched the flowers exactly. This was a very subtle thing, but I felt it made all the difference, and meant the flowers stood out instead of their fastenings.
NOTE: Before pinning, all the flowers had little plastic parts which were the stigma (the centre of the flower which provides pollen). They had little holes at the bottom so you could attach a wire/”stem” to them, which meant that you could make a bouquet, or a flower crown. This was great, but I couldn’t sew them on! So, I had to remove them, and then sewing them as you would with buttons or sequins, making the thread the stigma instead. I found them to look even better like this, and I could make them as 3D as I wanted!
After I sewed all the flowers onto the dress, I was done! This project didn’t take me long at all. The reason it felt so long was because I had to wait for everything to arrive. Overall, if you have all the materials, you could do this in six hours – tops.
If I was to do this again, I think I would buy a petticoat as I feel that the skirt is not full enough, but that could just be personal opinion.
This is the final result, and I am honestly so happy with how it turned out!! I am now finding any excuse possible to wear it, and I don’t think you can blame me!!
Please comment and let me know what you think, I was so proud of myself and I love hearing from you lovely lot. 🥰
It’s come to my attention that I’m not always exactly a positive person. And that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes you just need a bit of realism in your life. But after realising the fact I have two different posts about pet peeves of mine (yes, you read that correctly, two) and one more in the deep depths of my drafts for blog posts, I realised I really should start writing about what I like, my pet loves if you will. Actually, no, I hate that, I will try to think of something better. Yes, I do see the irony of that last sentence, but I will try to improve! As February is the month of love, I might as well at least try to spread some form of love, or at least appreciation!
When TV shows just casually add it bits of representation without trying to appear dIvERsE. I was so happy when Brooklyn Nine-Nine did episodes on police brutality and sexual assault, it really makes me happy that they don’t just pretend the world is perfect. Some of my favourite shows: Bojack Horseman; Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore all casually have different bits and bobs of educational representation and I think it’s so cool. We really are in the golden age of television.
Random compliments about good work. I love it when I actually put in a load of effort and my teacher acknowledges it. I feel seen and valued and it just makes me feel really nice and warm and fuzzy inside.
The satisfaction of completing something which you’ve worked really hard on. I experience this whenever I do some schoolwork which takes me a long time, an art piece, a sewing project or even a song which I’ve finally mastered singing, I just love to feel like all the hard work I put in has clearly paid off and it makes me happy.
Seeing someone you haven’t seen in ages and just picking up where you left off. That is a sign of true friendship and it’s such a lovely thing. I’ve seen it firsthand with my Mum and her best friends from uni, and it always makes me happy!
Stickers! I absolutely love stickers. I do not care how old I am, if a teacher gives me the incentive of stickers for doing all my work, you best believe I will be doing all of my work, and more. This actually works as a really good revision tool for me as well – it’s the idea of positive reinforcement and doing something well so you can get rewarded for this. Psychology is fascinating. Long story short, if you want to see me cheer up, get me stickers!!
When you’re thinking about someone and they just message you. I swear each time I do this I’m psychic or something. I feel loved and also like I am queen of the world. It’s a magical thing!!
When you’re as excited about seeing someone as they are about seeing you. A few weeks ago I was out on a walk with my boyfriend and we ran into two of our friends from school and it was the most delightful thing because we were all so excited to see each other and it was clear we genuinely enjoyed each others company.
When someone who you don’t really know just compliments your outfit. It’s something I love to do when I’m getting served at a restaurant or a place where there is no strict uniform. It makes the person feel good and it makes you feel good! There is something so heartwarming about a girl in my sixth form who I don’t know that well just coming up to me and complimenting my outfit. Girls supporting girls is great, you can’t change my mind.
Being acknowledged for the things you do – saying thank you if you do something etc. It’s probably just something about manners and me being painfully British, but I love to be polite and people being polite to me back!
That new book smell. God, it’s just so nice but I can’t explain it!!
When a teacher says your work is exemplary – it’s a feeling of pride which will feel great at any time in your life.
Waking up on a day which you’ve really been looking forward to. Everything just feels so perfect, it’s like you’re a Disney Princess or something!
One of my blog posts getting lots of likes and gains me new subs – I always feel valued and appreciated and it means a lot.
When you message someone and they reply really quickly. It doesn’t make me happy as it does make me feel extremely satisfied, and I love that!
Hard work paying off, I know that seems to be my whole theme, but it just feels really great.
Seeing a picture or video which just instantly cheers you up or makes you smile. I have a couple of videos on my phone of me and my mates which I watch whenever I feel down: instant serotonin boost.
When someone hugs you and you just feel completely safe in their arms. There’s something about that safety which makes me feel so much love and happiness.
When the light hits your room just right and a rainbow appears. I don’t care how old I get, this will forever make me incredibly happy and there’s something extremely magical about it. They’re so pretty!!
I know, I know, this article should’ve been posted before 2021 started, not halfway through January! I’ve just been kind of busy recently and I wanted to post this so I could officially move on from 2020 – for good. I did have this article partially written up, all ready to be completed and published, I just… didn’t. I had other ideas for articles, then I felt like it was too late, but now I am finally sat down here, on a mission to do this, for my mental health more than anything else.
I had lots of great plans for 2020, it’s just a shame that I didn’t exactly get to achieve all of them…. Nonetheless, I was on a mission to make the most of it, no matter what! In my post my 2019; I discussed what big plans I had for the year ahead and my top goals and how I was going to be coming back at the end of the year, hopefully to tell you how well I did! Even though I didn’t get to achieve all my plans (a moment of silence please for The Killers concert, Six performance and the trip to America that never was), I still managed to try and achieve all eleven goals I set myself, and I’m here to prove it!
So, without further ado, these are the goals I set myself, and an honest response as to whether or not I did it!
Become better with physical contact! This one did take some time; I’ll be honest with you. I was getting a lot better, but then certain events took place which meant that I was back too square one. Luckily though, through continued support of friends and family, therapy experiences, medication, and my own will, I finally did it! Now I can confidently say to you that I only slightly flinch when I’m not expecting someone to touch me but I’m normally completely okay with it! Of course, I do still have some moments which are tricky, but I am getting on in leaps and bounds, considering I used to freak out and have a panic attack when anyone reached out to touch me, so I am very proud of myself.
Partake in a protest/march. Okay, I have an excuse for this! I wanted to but due to coronavirus, I didn’t really feel comfortable partaking in any of the BLM marches/protests. It’s a shame, but I’m carrying on this goal to 2021!!
Go to a pride event. Yet again, due to COVID, I couldn’t go to a pride event which was a shame. But yet again, 2021, I will be going! Hopefully!
Try to post once a week! This one honestly started out so well! It’s just a shame that I burnt myself out and became super busy. This year I am going to post at my own pace, whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s worked pretty well for me so far, so let’s hope it stays that way!
Pass at least five GCSEs.Whilst I didn’t actually get to do the exams, I took thig goal and my word I ran with it! Not only did I pass five, I passed all the core subjects and all my other exams too! (more on that here), so I’d say, yeah, I think I achieved this goal pretty well!
Become my own person. After a long process of “self-discovery” I guess you’d call it, I think I’ve finally done it! I’m now proud to say I’m not “a part of” anyone or anything else, I am completely just Tatiana, no more, no less – and that’s just the way I like it!
Become someone others look up to. I think I did that. After I helped a kid in year eight, I realised I could become a good role model, despite certain rebellious ways and features! I hope that as I grow up and develop myself more, that I become more of a role model and others are inspired by my story of growth, instead of just feeling sorry for me.
Get out more! God, what irony am I right? Despite being unable to go out for a lot of 2020, I did manage to go outside and – when it was legal – socialise! I definitely tried to achieve this, despite things trying to stop me!
Stop feeling bad about what I can’t control. Man, 2019 Tati was a prophet, wasn’t she?! I think that during therapy, I really tackled this goal head on. It was something which I struggled with the most, and I’m proud to say that I am doing a lot better! I feel like I now have far more control in my own life, due to the fact that I’ve accepted the fact that I can control certain aspects of my life. All’s well that ends well!
Read More! I think I’ve done that! It’s been a struggle to keep my focus, but I’m definitely a lot better. I’m now on my third book of 2021, so I am pretty proud of myself.
Never lose sight of my morals. Something I will stay true to until the end. I have my morals which I keep close to my heart, and no matter what, I will not ever betray them – which I think is pretty sound advice too!
Hey, I haven’t seen you since last year! ahahahaaaa, not funny Dad joke out of the way… on with the article!
Something which I began a few years ago, is instead of creating New Years resolutions, I create self love goals for each month. Each month helps me to focus on myself and bettering myself and just improving my general wellbeing. Each month usually has a particular theme which I abide to, but this year I’ve decided to set myself some main challenges for the whole of the year, and editing and adding them each month to fit with what my focus is. I have twelve main goals for 2021 to help me embrace different things in my life, and they are just overall factors which I wish to improve on. So, without further ado, these are my twelve goals for 2021! ~ Tati xxx
Do more of what I love, even if that means I have to say no to people. Something very important which I learnt from therapy is that it’s okay to be selfish, as long as you are protecting yourself. I have a bad habit of being a people pleaser, something which is often detrimental to my wellbeing. This year, I am going to focus on saying no and being more honest with those around me. If they don’t understand I need to take time for myself, then I don’t need them in my life quite simply!
Keep up on the physical aspects of self care. I am slowly getting to grips with the mental aspects of self love, but I find myself often forgetting that physical care is also important. Ensuring that I relax, don’t spend too much time on technology, even taking care of my skin and hair, are all vital parts of self care and this year I will be spending time on each of these things.
Keeping fit and healthy. Something I found when I was really struggling with depression in 2018 was that I often couldn’t bring myself to leave the house, but exercise was very good for me. My boyfriend is a bit of a fitness freak and he is constantly encouraging me to get my endorphins going by doing cardio and going to the gym. It makes me feel a lot better even if I’m simply walking somewhere instead of driving, getting out the house or even on those days where I really need to stay in, just opening the curtains and letting in those rays, opening the window to breathe in the air! It helps a lot and I’m planning on doing a lot more of it this year.
Really dive into and focus on my schoolwork. At times, I used to feel completely isolated from others, abandoned by my friends, rumours flying left right and centre, it often felt like I was alone. At times like this I began coming to terms with the fact that the one thing which would never leave me was my career and hard work. This year I am on a mission to kick ass on my AS levels, even though “Ms Rona” [as my friend calls it] has her own plans! No matter what, this year school work and getting the grades is one of my priorities and it’s definitely a helpful one to possess!
Finding (and keeping to) that healthy balance of school, family, friends, a social life, volunteering, work, relationships and having time for myself! I’ve spent so long trying to work out how to do this, and I think I am finally getting there. I have worked out that timetables work well for me during revision time and organisation is one of the best ways which I can balance everything, seeing it all right in front of me instead of just in my head really helps! This year I am going to do this all 365 days! If I control my own life then nothing can be too bad!
Stop worrying about what others think of you! I got part of the way there in 2020 but I will master this in 2021! It’s all about self-confidence and staying true to myself, no matter how crazy ‘myself’ is! I’ll get there in the end, it’s all about practice, it seems.
Dance and sing more! I really want to start doing this again and I am so happy I decided to continue with performing arts! I have started singing again and I am slowly getting back onto the dancing scene which is super exciting! I find it all super calming but also freeing and it lets my creativity go nuts!
Accept the past, but don’t ever use it as an excuse for your actions. This is more just continuing to work on the foundations which I made last year. I have accepted that shitty things have happened to me and I am now slowly moving forwards. I will try my hardest nonetheless and I will definitely manage it all at some point and I’ll be stronger than ever!
Cut out all types of toxicity: friendships, relationships, unhealthy foods, contacts, just everything! I am getting a lot better at seeing the red flags which is very good. However, I still have a bit of way to go. This year, I am sure I will work my way through it all which is a very good thing. Working out what positively and negatively impacts my life is a difficult thing at first, but I have been getting a lot better at it and I feel that with some practice, I can live my best toxic-free life!
Read more – expand horizons! I don’t just mean books, I mean any form of literature! The news, magazines, books, tabloids, novels, comics, you name it, it will help me become a better and more well-rounded person which is very good!
Reflection is a good thing. I enjoy tracking my mood and habits as it shows me how I’m doing. I reflect on the past day, past week, the past month, gosh, even the past year! It shows me self-improvement but also self-acceptance. It helps me keep on top of both healthy and unhealthy habits too, while giving me potential reasoning about causes for certain moods and emotions. It’s a very systematic and logical which I enjoy and it’s helpful to me as well!
Take more photos! Something I need to do more is take more photos when I go out. It will help me to focus and appreciate the beauty of everything outside the house. Plus, I really enjoy it so – added bonus!!
I like to count my blessings at this time of year, because I’m lucky for a lot of things and grateful for everything in my life, as rubbish as it feels at times. If you read my 2019 thankyou, then any of my other posts, you’ll know that a lot has changed this year. From the obvious, to the slightly more personal which I still don’t really feel comfortable talking about yet, a lot has happened. As shit as it’s been, I stand by the fact that I am a bloody warrior. But, even though I’m strong, even strong warriors need help at times. And this article is just to simply say thank you to those who raise me up whenever I need it. I’m 5″6 regularly, but when I’m with this lot, I swear I could be 10 feet tall. So, here’s my annual gratitude post! Love you all, Tati.
First and foremost, the person who I care about more than anyone else, my little baby brother. He’s not exactly a baby, he’s 10, but he will forever be my baby. This year has been hard on him too, and he deserves more credit than I give him. He’s super duper active so staying inside has been a pain in the ass for him. But, he’s overcome it alongside me, through Just Dance, Beetlejuice and just starting every day on the right side of bed, he’s my little hero. He’s got a wicked sense of humour too – I’m proud to say he gets it from me! (my parents on the other hand… not as proud when he comes out with a slightly dark joke… sorry guys…!)
Second up, my saving grace throughout lockdown: my friends. These little shits were my rocks and my word what great rocks they were! We hung out almost everyday in the summer (you know who you are), we called everyday from March to May, and some of you, sixth form has made us super duper close, as much as you hate to admit it! All my friends are the sweetest, most supportive people I have ever known. They are all so funny, caring and fiercely loyal. I can’t get over how lucky I am that so many of them live close by and I can just pop over whenever I want to! All of you are perfect and you made me see that before I can let anyone else into my life romantically, I need to let myself in first. Even though it took each of them a lot of yelling, hinting, and just general “DUDE GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER!”-ing, I finally listened to them and I can happily say my mental health is the best it’s ever been, from eating regularly and (relatively) healthily, to avoiding self-destructive habits which clouded my judgement almost all the time, to just accepting the fact that in myself, I am a decent person who just wants to get better even though I mess up at times. Through their love and encouragement, I’ve successfully managed to let myself into my own life, thinking about what I need, being selfish to protect myself, and even let in someone else without destroying my self-worth!
That’s a smooth transition into the next person I want to thank: my boyfriend. He’s the stupidest, smartest person I have ever met and I love it. He always cheers me up without even realising and he puts up with all of my crazy ways, just like how I put up with his. He’s driven and ready for life, so we both get on like too hyper-active peas in a pod. Plus, I’ve known him since year seven, we may have not properly spoken until late year eleven, but it’s all worked out in my favour, because I feel like I finally have a chance of a good relationship which is super duper exciting for me. He’s a good egg 🙂
A slightly more lighthearted one before I get deep and meaningful again, Miss Taylor Swift! I talk about her a hell of a lot, and that’s what you need to expect here, this blog is 50% my life and the other 50% a Swift fanpage. I feel she saved 2020 with her releases of not one but two albums: Folklore and Evermore! Taylor Swift is the perfect being, change my mind.
Okay, now my Tay-Tay moment is over, I want to say thank you to my parents! Since lockdown started, my Mum and I have slowly begun to turn into the same person, and I’m honestly not mad about it! She’s the one woman I look up to more than Taylor Swift in my life and I love her to bits. Of course, I can’t be grateful for my Mum without mentioning the other 50% of my DNA – my Dad! I won’t lie, it’s been a rocky road this year, but I’m proud to say we’ve come out better and stronger than ever! From sing-alongs (or just ruining songs), to coming up with strange catchphrases, to a strange chaotic trip to IKEA, my Dad and I are now extremely close! I love him and he gives the best hugs ever. No debate.
Next on both the family tree and the thank you list, my Grandparents! This lockdown has definitely been the toughest for them, but they seldom complain! From helping me with blog articles, to our weekly family quiz, to them all sending me chaotic memes with both make me laugh and concern me largely, I love them to bits! It’s been hard not getting to see them, but if it keeps them safe, I am happy to continue to run away screaming when my Grandad comes up to me (true story – I’m so sorry Grandad!!)
Finally, a slightly more unexpected one: the – to be quite frank – the dickheads of my 2020. Even though you were each total shit bags (and they were big shit bags), you have each been a part of my character development so cheers. You’ve turned me into who I am now, and I kind of love it so I’m embracing you and putting you out of my mind forever and always, you’re welcome.
That’s all! Slightly different than last years, but I do love this mini tradition! If you celebrate it, I hope you have a lovely Christmas, if not have an amazing December!
I’ve been logged off of Totally Tatiana for almost three months now, and I feel I should explain why to you guys.
As you all know, I struggle a lot with my mental health as it is. I have crushingly low self esteem, I struggle with PTSD, and I have to take medication for my depressive episodes. This September something bad happened. I won’t go into details, I’m just going to say it was bad. This caused a lot of knock on effects and my mental health plummeted and I went back to square one. This took away almost all of my motivation and I felt like I couldn’t bring myself to write on here whatsoever.
Through mountains of support from my friends, family and therapy, I am slowly getting better. there’s still a long road ahead, but I’m willing to try my absolute hardest to battle through this and I know I will get there eventually.
Thank you so much for all your support recently, I’ve been feeling so much love from you all, it’s kind of insane!
Hope this clears things up slightly, I promise I won’t take anymore undocumented breaks!
Firstly, I’m sorry for the extended, unexpected hiatus. I will be explaining that in due time, but I am safe, happy and healthy and I hope you gorgeous people are too! Now, on with the article!
I love Christmas. The presents; the songs; the traditions; the food; the atmosphere, I love it all.
Due to the fact I love it so much and I want to spread some Christmas cheer to my favourite people in the whole wide world (yes that is you), I have decided to give you a list of 24 things to do on the run up to Christmas, so you can keep it festive all season long! These things are perfect to do with your friends, family, significant other, whoever really! Don’t worry if you can’t see people face to face because of…reasons… these activities also work if you’re self isolating this festive season.
I’m just hoping to provide you all with a little festive joy in these dark times. I am now Tati the Christmas Elf, spreading Christmas cheer at this time of year! [Yes, I did write that because it rhymed, Christmas makes me turn into a child and that’s not a bad thing!]. Now, let’s get started!
Dance to Christmas Music
There’s something strangely beautiful about dancing like nobody’s watching. It’s freeing, a good form of exercise, and you can listen to Christmas bangers while pretending you’re Mariah Carey, and no one will judge you because they’re doing exactly the same thing. I just feel like people need to dance more, it’s a magical thing.
2. Decorate the tree!
Lugging down the tree from the attic, reminiscing over all the decorations you remember getting, then eventually abandoning the decorating because you “got bored”. That’s my Christmas tree decorating for you. However, this year, I’m going to be different. I am on a mission to decorate the tree and make it the most gorgeous tree ever. It’s such a cute activity and I can’t wait to do it this weekend!
3. Go Christmas shopping!
My favourite part of Christmas is – without a doubt – the Christmas shopping! I love going around the shops and choosing that one perfect gift which I know they’ll treasure for years to come. Even though the shops are opening, if you’re still paranoid about having to go to the big shops, don’t fear! Etsy is here! Etsy is pretty much now the place I buy everything from. You support small businesses, you get quality products and it’s so lovely because you feel like you’re a valued customer at each shop you buy from. Plus, the things you can buy there… oh. my. god. I just live and breathe Etsy – it’s a Pinterest-ers paradise!
4. Make some special Christmas cards for the ones you love
I also love to make cards. I’m slowly turning into a full out crafter and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I love to make handmade cards for friends and family because – like them – they’re one in a million. Plus, if you’re stuck for ideas, just look online!
5. Christmas Light Trails
Something which I used to do all the time with my friend at this time of year. We’d hop in the car and go have a look at all the Christmas lights in the houses. Some of them were gorgeous!! As time progressed, I began to bring this tradition to my family, and now we go and look at the Christmas lights in London. A gorgeous, but affordable, tradition which produces gorgeous photos!
6. Wear something festive!
Every day is Christmas when you’re friends with me! From reindeer antlers, to dancing light up spinning Christmas trees, to hair baubles, to ugly jumpers, to a turkey hat, if you want tack, we have you covered! My friends and I all have the most tacky crap in our houses, exclusively for the month of December. No matter how bad life is going for us, we will get into the festive season, jingle bells and all. It cheers us up to no end and the teachers get a kick out of it too. It’s just a lovely way to spread Christmas cheer when you don’t feel too cheery yourself.
7. Gift wrapping
Unleash your inner elf and wrap to your hearts content!! Get out all the wrapping paper, ribbons, all that jazz and wrap the gifts so beautifully that people won’t want to open them! Plus, you can even make your own wrapping paper and that’s always super impressive and it can look super professional.
8. Christmas movie marathon!!
The only thing I do on my Sunday evenings! I love Christmas films – well a certain selection. And I have been getting hyped all year to watch the Nativity Trilogy!! I don’t know if people watch this trilogy anywhere else that’s not England, but if not, you should! I’ve been watching these films since the first came out in 2010 and I now watch them every single year, without fail. Another iconic one I’ve watched for as long as I can remember is the Disney Once Upon a Christmas. I’ve watched those since I could watch things and those mini stories all hold a special place in my heart.
9. Christmas walks!
There’s nothing better than late night strolls – I have mentioned this before! And when it’s Christmas, there’s a certain sense of magic in the air. Lace up your boots, zip up your coat and wrap up warm! We’re going on an adventure ♥️
10. Read a book
I love to read. I never shut up about how much I love to read, so of course my list has to include at least a tiny bit of reading! Just curl up and allow yourself to be transported to a magical world where the only limit is your imagination. It’s such a perfect way to unwind and relax and forget about your worries.
11. Spa Day!
Nothing screams self love like turning off your phone and running a bubble bath and hakuna matata-ing your cares away. Use that bath bomb at the back of your cupboard and put on your favourite playlist and just embrace your own gorgeous self at the end of a stressful day at school or work.
12. Do some charity work
One of the most important parts of Christmas is giving to others, and something I used to do at my secondary school is we’d donate to our local food bank. I think that’s such a lovely tradition and it’s always lovely to give back to those we love.
13. Make a gingerbread house!
Something I am on a mission to do this festive season is make a gingerbread house. As soon as my mock exams are over, I will be making the most extravagant, incredible gingerbread house the world has ever seen! Expect a blog post of my journey soon!
14. Get those cute Christmas pics!
Another thing I always go on about at this time of year is taking the cutest photos possible! The Christmas lights, the weather, all of it is just super cute and Insta-worthy! Make sure you share your photos with me ❤
15. Make special Christmas cookies!
As you have probably worked out by now, I love baking! I find it so relaxing and decorating things so they look super pretty is just so much fun to me. I love to bake with my friends especially and just because we can’t go to each other’s houses doesn’t mean we can’t still do that!! I for one know I will be FaceTiming my friends and together we can whip up a batch of cookies for our families to enjoy!
16. Make reindeer food
Something I used to love doing when I was five or six was getting food for Santas reindeer and sprinkling it on my lawn on Christmas Eve. It’s something I hold close to my heart and I know if I ever decide to have kids, it’ll be something I share with them. If you want a recipe, I found a lovely one here.
17. Hot chocolate and fluffy sock Friday’s!
The other day, I was talking to my boyfriend about this blog post idea, saying that this was one of the first things I thought of. He blew me away and said he’s never owned a pair of fluffy socks! Crazy! I feel like it should be a law that everyone owns their own pair of fluffy socks and has to wear them at least once a month. I have oodles and boodles of these and I have my gorgeous hot chocolate which I will only ever buy from Whittard’s . Perfect after a tiring week at school, getting into my jammies, putting on whatever binge-worthy thing I’m watching this week, and settling down and see how long it takes for me to become the sofa.
18. Letters to Santa
Yet another fun thing I loved doing when I was young, letters to Santa are the greatest invention known to mankind. Just writing them and hoping that you’ll get what you wished so hard for, and seeing if he listened to your wishes on Christmas Day.
19. Christmas markets
This may be a lot more difficult now, what with restrictions and everything, but if there is one open near you, go to a Christmas market!! They have some of the most gorgeous things in these little shops, I even have a ring I got when I was 12 which I still wear today from the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. (Next year I’m going to go, I refuse to miss out two consecutive years!!)
20. Star gazing
Looking out of my window right now, this may not exactly be the smartest move in the whole galaxy (heh… get it?). But, on a slightly less wet and windy day, go to your local park and just lay there, looking at the stars. I love stars, I used to love going to the planetarium too, just that feeling that you were infinite and you could do anything you put your mind to, it’s just so gorgeous to me. It’s the thought that when you look at them, your soulmate could be looking at them too… gah it’s just so cute to me!
21. BOARD GAME BATTLE!!! [not to the death though, no one should get hurt]
Sometimes I forget how nerdy I can be, then I’ll start getting super excited over board games. I love board games. They’re so much fun and I really enjoy how competitive people get, especially in things like UNO! If you want to get the whole family together, why not create a family pub quiz? Zoom call in the family and see who’s the best at knowing random crap you’ll never need in the real world! It’s super fun and my family did it once a week together over lockdown.
22. Hang up the stockings!
I’ve had my own personal stocking I’ve used since I was born!! I just think they’re the coolest things and it’s so fun hanging them up on Christmas Eve, then coming down the following morning and seeing them all filled to the brim!
23. Get some special Christmas PJs!
Matching or not, get yourself some festive jammies this Christmas season! They have super cute ones everywhere and they’re super affordable too! Get the festive spirit running through your veins this December!
24. Have a lazy day – you deserve it!
No matter what you’ve spent this year doing, I think we can all agree that you deserve a lazy day this December. Enjoy yourself, relax and stay safe this festive season.
I have actually already done an article like this! But, instead of writing to my Future Self, I have decided to write a letter to my past self, six years ago, when I was 10 years old. Look at me go, linking stuff together!
Dear past Tati,
You’re about to go into secondary school this year! I know, you’re terrified of losing friendships and things, but trust me, for every shitty friend you lose, you’ll gain am amazing friend who will always support you through thick and thin.
I won’t lie to you, secondary school is tough. There will definitely be multiple moments where you’re ready to give up and just throw your future away. Don’t do that! Your future looks so bright and you got this.
You’ll explore and find passions you didn’t even know you had, you’ll learn so many new wonderful things, just make sure to take everything in and stay calm.
I know you love jumping into things head first, but try avoid it. Think things through and consider logical reasons to avoid doing something stupid.
Throughout school, you’ll find your voice. It’s a horrible journey to get there, but as soon as you do, you’ll be ready for whatever life throws at you.
You’re a tough cookie Tati. People have tried to break you before, but you’ll forever get up again and continue fighting and you’ll become completely unbreakable. As Legally Blonde’s Brooke Windom says: “what doesn’t kill us makes us hotter!” which is true, at least for your hair.
Don’t worry about your hair, just be warned that at the start of year nine you made a choice. Your hair is fine now though!
You can also do makeup, which makes you feel like the boss ass bitch which you are.
You’ll find yourself Tati, I do promise you that much.