I know it's a little late in the month to recast back to November but I didn't want to end the year not falling with the pattern of giving rigorous detail into what turned my frown upside down. The past couple of months have been quite tough for various reasons but no matter what happens, there's always that light at the end of forbidding darkness, the escapism, the reason I can enjoy my surroundings despite the negative feelings, and that's what really made me appreciate the finer facets in life. So, without further ado, let's get to the nitty gritty.
November saw the release of albums from my favourite artists that I felt as though I'd been waiting for forever (seriously, that's not even an exaggeration). I'm usually a patient person but when it comes to requiring music that freshens up my playlist then that goes entirely out of the window. I'm one of those people who's always on the lookout for new recommendations as I get bored of listening to the same thing and luckily, those albums satisfied my melodic needs but it didn't stop me craving more and during my countless repeated session, I discovered a whole load more variety. Having unlimited access to Spotify means I can plug in my headphones, drown out the world and go from S Club 7 to Kodaline without even questioning my tastes.
Giving and Receiving
Sounds odd, I promise it isn't. I've just never known what it's like to put all your care, your loyalty, and your well thought out ideas into a creation, to be handed back the recognition and the gratefulness. I don't need to keep expressing my love for my friends but it really does mean a lot to have people appreciative of me, people willingly wanting to spend time with me, and be interested and understanding to what I have to say. That happened copiously in November. The occasions spent together had the ability to bring out the best in me, presents were bought knowing my efforts were valued and afterwards the friendship continued to grow into what it is now - something I can't wait to develop even further into 2017.
Following on from the above, most of my notable memories in the past couple of months have taken place in Manchester. My now second home. The place I've endured a whirlwind of never ending emotions and being held accounted for dramatic situations in, way too much. From laughing, to crying, to being angry, to eating my body weight in food. I've never spent so much of my freedom in Leeds to Piccadilly station, dashing through to platform 16, moaning about spending all my money on trains, collecting a hoard of tickets and doing it all over again and I love how it's now become my little ritual. I'm so familiarised with the city now and it holds a huge place in my heart. My Yorkshire roots are forever but the further North I venture, the more interesting my social life becomes.
Following on again, one of the highlights of November was celebrating birthdays that lead on to be one of the most random but most evoked nights of the 5 months I've known my crazy bunch of besties (recently renamed mc smally fanclub and I have no clue why which kinda sums up every point made). It started out as a chilled meal and cocktails, and ended cooped up in a trashy karaoke bar where a crowd of Irish/Canadian men became our acquaintances for the night and we blasted out our signature songs in a tone bad enough to shut down Leeds City Centre for the week. The spontaneous decisions always end up being the wisest that's for sure!
Yep, more mentions of my friends because they truly have become my source of happiness for the last half of the year. If you know me well you'll know my love life has always been non existent so to have friends to fall back on is a boost I don't take for granted. We don't need no guy to savour several Nando's and coffee dates and gossip until dawn as we arrange to meet up because we shamelessly miss each other lots and as the new year rolls in no matter what happens I know that won't change. (Also, kudos to Costa for the mega creation that is the Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate - you've been a mega influence in our date decisions).
Getting Into The Festive Spirit
I tried this at the beginning of November, didn't quite succeed, waited a while, noticed the mood change from Halloween and Bonfire Night to the soppy joyous adverts and the ho ho ho's and then that's when I could relish in the build up to Christmas. I don't know where on earth time went as we've suddenly gone from getting excited at the thought of Christmas to hiding beneath our hands and acting as though it definitely isn't arriving as soon as Sunday but even so, the 25th saying goodbye faster than it says hello means I prospered in the early festivities. It's funny because I actually think I enjoy the hype and preparation towards Christmas more than I do the actual day.
Salon Success Press Dinner
This was certainly one of the reasons I could wallow in the festive spirit as I attended another exclusive dinner courtesy of the lovely Amy and Mickaela. Jingle & Mingle was the name so I knew it was going to be first and foremost even if I hadn't already become aware my trips to the Malmaison hotel blessed with amazing food and the company of local bloggers I desperately desire to catch up with were one of my favourite events to appear at. It oozed festive fun, frolics and a brief discussion of the fabulous new launches amongst the throwaway small talk. It unfortunately fell on the day I received some crappy news but I still decided to hold my head up and go along as I knew my mood would be lifted and it was, instantly. I'm so grateful to be connected to such PR teams, they never let me down with the providing of luxury and smiles all round.
A simple gesture that turned into the sweetest from my usually wayward 12 year old cousin after I took her along to meet Nathan Sykes at his HMV album signing (which also obviously became a favourite rekindled moment of mine)
yes, again, don't judge me. I should quite evidently spend quality time with her more often as I was surprised with the cutest thank you note and a bunch of beautiful red roses that just so happen to be my top pick of flower. Whether it was a rare instance where her kindness took over or something she'll keep demonstrating, I don't know, but what I do know is I very nearly cried because it was just what I needed.
Last but not least, November really did hit me with a force and made me realise just how important it is for me to have my family around to help and turn to when I find myself in sudden difficulty. I know I'd be an absolute mess right now if it wasn't for my close ones. They know me inside and out, assist in matters I can't deal with myself and comfort and reassure me when things spiral out of control. Sometimes I have a real personal think into how lucky I am to have that supportive system and my admiration grows for them all every time this intuitive happens.
What's made you happy in the run up to Christmas?