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 I don't want to start my 2016 review with saying how challenging and difficult a year it has been, because while I've known challenging times for sure, I've also realized how incredibly lucky I actually am. I feel like this year has honestly been one of the busiest years of my life. I have not sat still at all. It all piles up. Once you say yes to one thing, a next one shortly follows and before I knew it my diary was packed beyond belief. I've even slacked on school work over the last few months, which usually I have the time to push for. This year has known some horrible moments and world happenings, yet personally it has been one of the best days of my life.

January. In January I attempted a month of daily blogging and did reasonably well all things consider. It was a quiet month. I went on a couple of day trips, Amsterdam and Den Bosch. Took blistering cold morning walks and generally spend my time being more active. I started playing Floorball more and more and took part in Adriene's Yoga Camp.

February. Usually February is my least favourite month and this year it was worse than I could have imagined. My best friend was on the brink of losing her dad and I spend all my time and energy trying to support her and her family. It wasn't a great time, however I'm so incredibly glad for the friendship bonds that have been strengthened. Another great thing about this month was the photography course I took part in.

March. In the beginning of March I attended a funeral, which was incredibly sad. But the month also featured great moments. My granddad turned 80, I went to Gent, celebrated Easter and played some more floorball.

April. April was exciting. My best friend and I took a well deserved break to Lisbon for a few days. It's such a cool city and I loved being able to travel some more again. We were also treated with some of the best spring weather and maybe most exciting of all. At the end of April we visited a farm and picked out a puppy that we adopted in May.

May. Taking Nala home with us was just wonderful. I had a relaxed break and spend my time getting to know our little pup and watching her learn and grow. This was also were I fell in love with Formula 1. Watching sports is one of my favourite things to do.

June. June started with the birthday of one of my best girlfriends. The weather was absolutely wonderful at the time and so I spend a few quality evenings in the park drinking wine in good company. I also went on a weekend away with my sports team, wrapped up another year at uni and celebrated my brother's graduation. This was also the month were I discovered Suits.

July. Three out of four weeks in July were spent volunteering at different summer camps for children. They were both the most incredible and challenging week of the year. I got a throat infection out of pure tiredness, but the experience was all worth it. I don't think I spoke much of it on the blog before, but it was incredible. I'm happy I could give those children a great holiday.

August. Olympics. A trip to London. Birthdays and bbq's. Generally a chilled and fun month, like August usually is.

September. Uni started up again. I was glad to get back into it. I followed an interesting course in shopping, marketing and city identities and I figured out what I want to do after graduation this year, I have a vague plan. Watching the Great British Bake-off was fun. Often my friends would come over and we would eat dinner, play games and catch up.

October. A month full of deadlines, but I did have a lovely evening playing old school board games. It was my mum's birthday in October too and my mum and I spend a day shopping and eating lunch.

November. November was busy! First up, after all my uni deadlines were completed, I visited Marrakech for a few days with two girlfriends. It was such a cool city, highly recommended. It was also my birthday and the month the Gilmore Girls revival was released.

December. Wrapped up the year celebrating in great company. With great friends and caring family members. This last week has been a well deserved break from everything life related. I should be ready to get back into action now.

Happy 2017.

Merry Christmas + A Festive Reading List

Good morning,

It's Christmas and I'm sat writing this post with a cup of coffee in one hand and a mince pie in the other. In a few hours we're off to my grandparents for a christmas dinner and presents by the tree. For now though, there is a christmas movie on the tv and we're indulging in some pure downtime. I love how slowly Christmas day always goes. You think you will be extremely busy, but you end up having a lot of time on hand to simply watch tv or read a book. I think that is wonderful. We already did presents last night and I got a beautiful travel book full of the most amazing places from my brother that I ended up flicking through for a few hours this morning. If you are having that same moment  between breakfast and christmas dinner or an afternoon nap after your christmas lunch and you're in for something to read, then here is a little guide:

I couldn't resist picking up this book when I saw it last week and I think it would be perfect to read during the next few days: Chrismas Days: 12 stories and 12 feasts for 12 days by Jeanette Winterson

Reading for hope at christmas

The latest Schmancy newsletters. They have been an absolute joy to read.

Probably my favourite christmas romance writer ever: Sarah Morgan

I'm thinking of adopting this weekly series next year, because I love it so much.

I get bored of being in bath after about 15 minutes, but this diary of a week full of baths makes having a bath sound absolutely wonderful.

What are the holidays without christmas specials and films on tv right? Bumpkin Betty shares her tv guide for the uk. Top of my list for Dutch TV will be the showing of all three Sissi movies on Net5, The All You Need is Love Christmas Special on Christmas Eve on rtl5, the Bake Off special on the BBC of course, technically a radio thing: but the Serious Request Wrap Up and I also always make sure to watch end of year round ups.

If you don't feel festive enough yet: Hannah shares her favourite christmas moments

I wish I could write as beautifully as Sarah does. Grab a cuppa and dream away at: The book of December

And if you want to get truly into the Christmas spirit, I'd recommend reading through Rosie's christmas tag. I've always loved her beautiful pictures and it's a joy to return to them every year.

Merry Christmas! I'm off for a nice long walk with the dog now.

December Diary | Almost Christmas

Now that uni deadlines have passed, I've finally gotten into the christmas spirit this week. I've been to a christmas market, went to see a musical on a night out and went into town to buy myself a festive drink, a present in the form of a book and some mince pies. I'm also about to go to my student union christmas party and so christmas has officially begun. So far December has been so absolutely packed with social events that I haven't had the time to turn to this blog or at any moment relax. Uni deadlines have passed in all it's glory and frenzied christmas shopping has been done and now I'm so ready to put my feed up and read a good book or at least go into the kitchen and do some festive baking in preparation for Christmas Day. It's been a super fun and whirlwind month.

I might have thrown myself full on into busyness and christmas festivities in order to forget about all the horrible things that happened this year. And just when you think it can't get any worse you hear about the attack at a christmas market in Berlin. A place where we are supposed to forget about horrid things and something that awful happens. It still baffles me that these are the things we do to other people. You know what though, even if we can't ignore the facts of this year, I think it's just as important to remember the awesome, maybe only small, things that make us happy each day. And one of the things that has made me so unbelievably happy this year has been the wonderful friends that I've made and the family that supports me through thick and thin.

I always need time to get used to a new environment and new people and I feel like I'm finally, finally finding my feet at uni. And I've realized that it's wonderful to feel like you belong somewhere. And maybe that is the most important thing I've learned this year, to learn how to feel at ease. How has this month gone so quickly though? I feel like I've rushed through everything and bam it's going to be Christmas Eve Saturday. I bought my FIRST mince pies only just today and it's the 22nd already. It's completely ridiculous.

December Diary | 02-12-16

I think everyone is so very ready for this festive period after the shitty year, news wise, it has been. I simply do not have the time to attempt either blogmas or vlogmas, because it's a manic uni month full of deadlines and other commitments, but since I don't want to let this festive month go by unnoticed, I thought I would start a new series, possibly bi-weekly, where I'll talk about anything and everything that has been going on this December month. Let me introduce you to 'December Diary'. I think topics will vary, but we will see how we get on.

Despite everything that has happened in the world over the last 12 months, Brexit, the Trump election, a number of celebrities that have passed away and the future these events will bring, I still had a pretty amazing year personally. I turned 21 this week and it's always a change to look back on the year that has gone by. Last year has been one where I have been content with myself for maybe the first time ever. I love where I'm currently at and I think I have a pretty solid plan for at least the next two years. I was talking to my parents yesterday, how much I actually love being at uni. I revel in the challenges course work brings me. I'm making friends left and right who actually make me feel good about my life, I have a lovely studio that I can call my own and that instantly feels like home the moment I step in the door and I see my parents plenty enough still. Plus we got the sweetest pup at home who always manages to put a smile on my face.

At the same time birthday's also have a way of making you realize how quickly life turns by. At 21 I can officially call myself an adult (even if I don't feel like one at all). It scares me looking at the future after school, but at the same time it's incredibly freeing. I have every change to do something that I really love and I hope that life will turn out alright. I know I've gotten very lucky and privileged growing up, but what will happen when I'm really on my own two feet? Maybe, I'll turn out like Rory Gilmore and keep on making mistakes. I remarked on twitter already that I'm so much like Rory, it almost scares me, especially since so many people seem to hate her. (Has anyone seen the revival by the way. I'm available if you want to talk).

In other news:

  • I've decorated my student room yesterday. It looks very festive. 
  • I'm also currently at home with my parents and tomorrow I'll be celebrating my birthday again for family.
  • Sinterklaas is this week, which officially marks the first of festivities. I've plans to watch christmas movies on the 5th and we're playing Secret Santa on Thursday.
  • Vlogmas has also started. It's the only time of year, that I watch vlogs. I love watching what everyone get's up to in December.

Take Care,

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