University. Travel. Wellbeing. Beauty. Life.

two thousand and eighteen

You may recall I did one of these blog posts last year, to round up everything that happened in 2017. I thought I would do it again as I really enjoyed putting that one together, as well as reading it back 1 year on. I can't believe it has been a whole year (almost, I am starting this in November in an attempt to get ahead) since the last yearly overview. A lot has happened, so let's dive in.

2018 was a wild year. 

January.

January started off like a typical January. Back to work blues and cold days, up until the 10th when something really cool happened. I was invited to the screening of Coco, a brand new Disney film, in London. It was being hosted by Danielle Mansutti, a YouTuber I really like. I invited my friend Ellie to come with me and we had a day long adventure in the Big Smoke. We caught a really early coach and got a very late one home, but we had a great day and it was so much fun doing something a little spontaneous.





In January, I also visited my new baby second cousin. You may remember that on the 9th of January, 2017, I lost my Nan. Well on the 9th of January, 2018, little Nellie was born. Exactly 1 year after her Great Auntie died, we all thought it was really special!

January was when I first started seriously considering going to Arizona in the coming Summer. I even bought a t-shirt to mark the occasion. I hadn't booked anything at this point, but the cogs had started turning.


February.

February, I was a bit off. I felt quite glum. I was going through some stuff with someone and I think I was just really overwhelmed. On a better note, I went to visit Derby Uni again for the applicants day. I fell in love with the vibe all over again.


Over on my YouTube channel, I released some "merchandise" (t-shirts) to raise money for charity. They didn't come until March but I am very glad we did it and managed to raise a good amount of money!

In February, I reunited with my best friend after spending a while apart. We kind of grew in different directions after years of friendship, and we decided to see each other again. I am so glad we did because now we are closer than ever and our bond is so strong and solid.




Then it snowed. A lot. In February/March. It was crazy and very deep, and kinda affected my work flow. it was okay though, things were going good at the office and the snow wasn't going to stop me in my tracks. Metaphorically, I literally did get stuck a few times. Friendships had ended amongst other things and it just seemed to be an off month.


March.

The t-shirts finally arrived, and as you can see, I was very happy with them. They turned out so cute and I am glad everyone liked them!


I had an exciting meeting in March. It didn't end up availing to anything but it taught me a lot and I thought I would mention it to remind you that not everything works out, but that's okay. Plus, I really liked my outfit that day, and I had a really nice day with my brother in Manchester.


March saw a lot of Pret mornings. I would set off for work mega early and sit in the cafe to do some work. Usually revolving around blogging and YouTubing, I really found my flow with them.


April.

Easter! Gotta love all the chocolate.


Something very significant did happy in April actually. And no, not my 18th birthday, we'll get to that in second.

I turned Vegetarian. I have eaten meat all of my life. And I ate a lot of it. I was a big meat eater, I loved it. I would chose meals based on the amount of meat and I was always partial to meat feast pizza or a big mixed grill. But something just switched in me. Where is all the meat coming from? Why am I eating animal flesh? What affect is this having on the environment? I began to question more and more, and just thought enough was enough. I went kind-of cold turkey, pardon the pun. If you want to see how I went Vegetarian, you can read this blog post all about it.


I try to eat Vegan when I am out and I cook Vegan most often at home. I am not 100% vegan - and nor do I think I will be soon, but I think any change is a positive change, but that's for another day.

April saw the start of Spring and some gorgeous country walks with my family and doggy. I thought I'd include this so you could see the gorgeous pics from this day, in Hope Valley.




I went back to Derby again for the night with my mum. It was lovely and we got to explore the city. I vlogged the trip and we had a lot of fun. I love spending time with my mum and this was certainly needed. I had a lot of staycations in April, as you will see coming up.


The next weekend I went to Leeds with my good friend Kelly. We had a lovely spa night as a treat for my birthday. We dashed off on the Friday night after work, and enjoyed a lowkey, chilled night with room service and snacks. We shopped in Leeds on the Saturday which was great fun as well.



It was then time to enjoy my birthday. I had booked the Friday and Monday off work to enjoy a long weekend in Center Parcs with my family. It was to celebrate my 18th birthday and it was perfect. In a place I love with all the people I love, I couldn't have asked for anything more. It was amazing and I am desperate to be back there. Turning 18 was kind of surreal. I won't go into it too much now, but tbh I didn't think I would turn 18 haha. But I did, and all the celebrations made it feel very real! I am so thank full for my family, they truly mean the world to me!





May.

Just before my birthday in April, I decided to dye my hair purple. It actually went more red and I didn't like it. I am not precious about my hair though, so I didn't fret, and kept it for a while. However in May, I did decide to change it, so I shoved a dark box dye over it and went with that.

Something really cool that happened in May was that I got two tattoos. My first two. My favourite is the wave, it holds so much meaning. The taurus symbol is a little nightmare, I have had it done 3 times since and the ink just keeps dropping out and looking so patchy. I am not sure what I am going to do about it, but whatever! I was so pleased with them and it felt so good to finally have tattoos!



May actually saw me book Arizona, officially. Flights paid for, arrangements made. I was so excited, and terrified too. It was such a big step to make, but I was so proud of myself. I have saved for almost a year, and to drop that amount of money, it was intense. But the excitement overwhelmed all the other feelings, and I just couldn't wait to reunite with Andrea.

I went to the Turtle Bay launch in Sheffield at the end of May.


June.

June was INTENSE.

I was all over the place.

I remember being so overwhelmed at the beginning of the month. Everything was happening at once. I was finishing my job in June, I was getting ready for AZ, finishing coursework and my mum was on holiday for a lot of it. Obviously I need my mum to function and June was really testing me.

I went to a blogger's event at the beginning of June, which was lovely, but I remember that day for a different reason. I was so stressed. I went to work that night at the Chinese, and just broke down. I started crying (lol) and I just couldn't stop. I managed to get through my shift (just about) but I was a MESS. There's things I can't really talk about in the post, but there was other things going down in June, and especially this day, which were particularly difficult.


On a lighter note (ish) I went to Soccer Aid with my parents on the 10th of June. It was fun - except I remember my anxiety being really bad that day - I just felt so tense. Again, I just think this was down to stress and the fact June (as a month) was really overwhelming. With my mum being on holiday, I had to make food a lot for myself, which I think really got me into cooking.


I went on my first night out in June, for Georgia's birthday. I hadn't been on a night out since turning 18 - I hadn't been too fussed but decided to go out for my bestie's celebrations. We had fun and it was nice to get glammed up. June also saw me go out for cocktails - once or twice.




I finished my job in June. I had been there a year and it had been a rollercoaster ride. However, I learnt so much and liked my time there overall. It really helped me grow as a person and I gained really, really valuable experience. I said goodbye to colleagues and hello to new adventures. It was time to move on and experience new things.



Frantic packing commenced as July was creeping closer.

July.

The day had come. The day I had been waiting for, for what felt like a million years. It was time to go down to London, and time to fly to Arizona. Whilst I am writing this, I still can't believe I went. Like that I actually got on a plane and flew to the other side of the world (almost). I had never been to America, I had never flown alone. It was crazy and still is to me. I am and always will be immensely proud of myself for doing this trip and it was the highlight of 2018 for me. Not just seeing Andrea and spending 2 incredible weeks with her of course, but just the actually beating travel anxiety part.


As mentioned, me and Andrea had the most incredible 2 weeks. I am sure you've heard me bang on about it one million times, so I will just include a few pictures here, and if you want to delve deeper into the trip, you can watch all my vlogs from it here.






I did get another tattoo whilst in AZ, to mark the occasion of course.


Something that may be a little weird to include in a yearly round up is a TV show. But I have to. In July, I became OBSESSED with the US office, and watched all 9 seasons over the following 6 weeks or so. I loved it, and I still watch episodes now. It got me through the summer and it really is the best programme ever.

August.

August saw sunny days and also sad days of me missing Arizona. I longed to be back! Wanderlust in full swing, I booked a flight and hopped on it to Guernsey to visit my friend Imogen. Again, I vlogged the trip, which you can see here. It was so nice to see Imogen again and spend a few days away. I was so stressed about Uni whilst I was there, so I feel like I was a bit distracted. I long to go back and do it all over again!








When I came back, I was straight off again. This time to Leeds festival for a very long weekend. It was about 6 days in total, and it felt like it. It was amazing, but at the same time, exhausting. Not showering for 6 days was.. well.. not nice, but the company, the music and the laughter made up for it. The best way to end the best summer.





Right at the end of August, I went to Derby again, one last time before I moved there permanently. A little day trip with my mum, and I went to, my now favourite doughnut place, doughnotts. The best thing about living in Derby, I tell you!


Oh, I almost forgot, in August, I hit 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, which was such a cool milestone for me!

September.

September kicked off with a trip to Manchester to see the Arctic Monkeys in concert which was phenomenal. Despite the fact they didn't sing Mardy Bum or From Ritz to Rubble which I guess can be forgiven. They were a bucket list band to see for me and the fact I got to seem them on their opening night was awesome. I couldn't get tickets for Sheffield but I was happy with Manchester none the less.


I finished The Office, and I cried. Obviously.


On the 14th, I had a leaving meal for Uni with my family and Georgia. It all started to feel real!


On the 15th, I moved.



If you want to watch the moving vlogs, you can here. I got settled into my room and instantly loved it. Over the next few days, I went on nights out for freshers and to inductions for Uni. It was a great couple of introductory weeks which saw new friends and new experiences. I got adjusted to Uni life pretty quick and dived straight into the community Derby has to offer. I got involved with the Uni as a whole, participating in podcasts, facebook lives and more exciting projects. This only grew my love for a Uni and make me even more hyped for the future.



October.

Lectures, life and lots in between. October saw new jobs, visits home and more exploration of Derby and all that it has to offer.




I also started my hungryveggiestudent account on instagram, which has been a great way to document my food whilst being at university and away from home. I love being a part of the veggie/vegan community and finding great ideas is so much fun.


Not much else happened in October, so let's move on.

November.

Well first of all, I finished Jane the Virgin this month. What a TV show. Another TV show mention, I know, but JTV was wild and deserved a quick shoutout.

I started the month attempting to get all my work done - emphasis on attempting. Finding my flow with life has been difficult but it is one of my 2019 goals - to find my flow, routine and a little more structure.


November was a fabulous month for one main reason. I had been working with the Uni (my uni, Derby) on an Ad hoc basis, producing content for them as briefly mentioned earlier. Content in the form of videos, podcasts, live streams and pictures. In November, they asked me to work with them a lot more, and a lot more consistently, to essentially become part of their marketing team for the next semester. I was immensely proud when this happened, managing to secure something like this in my first semester was a real achievement for me. I can't wait to get stuck in even further.

My mum and step-nan came to visit me in Derby in Nov and it was a lovely day, shopping and eating lovely food. I love showing people my new city!



I went home again at the end of November for one last visit before Christmas.

December.

I got a Christmas tree! Is that worthy of a mention? I just felt like I had to include it. I decorated my uni room for Xmas and it felt so nice and cosy. I am so glad I did as it helped me get into the festive spirit.



December saw a lot of work, at many a jobs, and a lot of Uni work too off course. I was so busy, and I can't actually emphasis that enough. I was burnt out, majorly, and was eagerly looking forward to the break. I had coursework to do first though, and a lot of other shit to get sorted.



In-between, I watched Christmas movies and ate nice food.


I packed to go home as the time came and waited until the 16th when I finally got to return to Sheffield. The next week saw Christmas fairs, shopping, more nice food and even Xmas markets. I spent time with my family, had festive gatherings and tried new gins before the big day. We even did the VIP cinemas experience in Sheffield, which was mega cool. Mary Poppins returns was a hit!








And then I got ill.

A mere few days before Christmas, I began to feel like absolute crap. And I still do, as I write this part, on the 29th. Nauseous, dizzy and constant headaches, it's awful. This went on for all of Christmas and like I said, is still going on now. I tried to enjoy Christmas Day as much as possible, seeing as I'd spent the day before in bed. Ive kept going when possible, getting out when I'm feeling capable, and resting in-between. Weve been boxing day shopping and on a winter walk. Today and yesterday, I binged "You" on Netflix, and also watched Bandersnatch, which holds the title for most frustrating experience ever.


It is now Monday, New Year's Eve. I am writing this just before I begin to pack up my stuff and head to York for an evening with my momma. I am so excited for a little night away to see in the New Year. We're planning on heading to the hotel this afternoon/evening, potentially chilling out in the room/spa for a bit, and then heading out for an Indian meal to celebrate. We'll then most likely have a few drinks, before saying happy new year at the cathedral whilst the bells ring. And then I'll probably want to go back to the hotel and sleep. Let's hope I can make it until midnight. Tomorrow we've planned to just wander round York, seeing as it is one of our favourite places, but I guess I should save that for next year's post, seeing as it'll be 2019 then...

Overall, this year has been a journey. I think that is the only way to describe it. There has been highs and lows, peaks and troughs. The year started out quite low, things beyond my control just kept happening and it all felt a bit blue. I guess like the January blues - except they went on until April. April saw a bit of change - I went away 3 times, celebrated my 18th and I was finally an adult. It went a bit low again in May and June, mainly down to stress, panic and worry about the future. I just wanted to fast forward those months - so I could get to the good bit, summer. July finally arrived, after what felt like a lifetime, and hopping onto that plane to Arizona felt like PURE freedom. I have never felt anything like it before. It signified so much for me. Freedom, change, triumph, power, love. I had battled demons to get there. Demons of life, demons of travel anxiety, general anxiety and more. 

I could finally let go. After Arizona (and the tortuous jet lag that followed) I was on a bit of a high. I booked to go to Guernsey to see Imogen for 5 days as mentioned and then onto Leeds fest. Summer for me was about being outside of my comfort zone, and I certainly did that. 

September was about fresh starts, moving to uni was challenging but amazing at the same time. I love uni, and I am enjoying it so much, but nothing can prepare you for the loneliness. I've battled loneliness for years, I actually made a video about it this year, but the type you can experience at uni is something else. 

October and November were deadlines of course and December has been festive, whilst being stressful too for sure. More deadlines obviously. I've spoken about getting my new job/role which was incredible. This was just meant to be a brief over view, ha ha. 

Let's talk about a few goals for next year. 

I don't do resolutions, I do goals. I know what you're going to say - they're the same thing, right? Probably, but I seem them differently. I like goals better. They seem more concrete. And less pointless. 

Goal #1 - Continue to grow and develop my YouTube channel, with high quality content which all my viewers will enjoy. Also work on my other platforms, such as my instagram and blog. 

Goal #2 - Begin a journey which will see both my physical and mental health improve. This journey will include fitness, cleaner eating and more positivity. 

Goal #3 - Become stronger willed. I won't be so weak. I am too much of a push over! 

Goal #4 - Find a flow with life. This will include my mental state, academic work, paid work and YouTube channel. Get a rhythm and stick to it. 

Goal #5 - Happiness

I am so proud of what I achieved this year, but I think 2019 can be even better. This year, I:

- Finished my apprenticeship with a high mark
- Finished my full time job with a sense of pride and accomplishment
- Saved a lot of money (I would like to add, I spent it all by the end of the summer)
- Flew to Arizona
- Flew to Guernsey
- Went to Leeds festival
- Got into University
- Started University
- Got a great job with Uni
- Got a first on my first ever assessed piece of work at Uni

I am ready to kick ass in 2019, are you? 

I just looked back at my 2017 post, it's crazy to see how far I have come. One example is I finished last year on 730 subscribers. I am finishing this year on 1,432. It has almost doubled! My overall channel views has gone from 43,000 to just shy of... 100,000. I am currently on 99,454. Just over 500 views until I hit 100k. How crazy is that! 

Looking back on my goals from last year, they were as follows.

- Continue with my blog and YouTube and get them to the point where I am completely happy with them. Expect bigger, better content and more of me in 2018. - I would say I have done this to an extent for sure, but I can't wait to do more of it next year.
- Pass my driving test - Something I didn't do. I stopped my lessons and ended up deciding on doing them after Uni probably, seeing as I have no need for a car, let alone affording one right now.
- Travel more - I certainly did that! 
- Girls Holiday - Erm, yes and no. I had the best two holidays I could have dreamed of with the best two girls (separately) Andrea and Imogen. 
- Start University - Yep!
- Be happier overall - I think so. 2018 was an improvement on 2017 I will say that. 

I really should end this as I have been writing forever. This has took me so long to somewhat finish. If only I put this much time into my Uni essays... 

See you next year! ;) 4000 WORDS LATER!!!

Bye for now,
Tamzin xxx

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