Goodbye 2014 | Recap & Favourites

LIFE
Well, well. What a year it's been for me. When I started this year I was suffocating from being bullied in college, my anxiety playing up and general 'What am I doing with my life?' breakdowns. The latter two are still part of my life today. But do you know what, I'm feeling pretty damn good. And I think that this blog is a big part of that.

Top 5 Books Of 2014


Compiling the books to feature in this post was actually pretty difficult for me, because I've read and re-read some amazing books this year, and I loved all of them for different reasons. But for this post, I've picked the books that made me feel something when I was reading, or because it's a book that isn't similar to anything else I've ever read. So without further ado, here are my Top 5 Books of 2014!

Reader Survey 2014

source

 
First off - I'd just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads/comments/follows my blog. I am honestly so appreciate of everything, and your comments and love really make my day. I didn't think my blog would ever be as 'popular' as it is, but I'm so glad people like it.

What I Got For Christmas 2014

Well, well - look at me uploading a post in the afternoon! I was planning on writing up this post as soon as I photographed it earlier but Animal Crossing life got in the way and here I am, typing it up at 4pm. Lateness aside, how was your guys' Christmas?! I had a very lovely three days: I went to a Church service for the first time on Christmas Eve, I ate three servings of roast potatoes on Christmas Day and I spent Boxing Day cooking a mock Christmas dinner with my Dad. I also opened some amazing gifts!  

The Christmas Tag

 
 
1.  Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?
I'm honestly not sure! I've only ever had one real Christmas tree in my whole 19 years, and I didn't particularly like it much. To be honest, I think we just chose one with a weird shape. I think that it's probably a lot nicer to have a real tree, but I've always had synthetic ones growing up so I guess I don't mind!
 
2.  You're in a coffee shop, it's December, what do you pick?
Hot Chocolate! I went through a huge coffee phase during the summer (I think it was the McDonalds Frappes that started it off) but I'm kind of over it now. Just a plain ol' hot chocolate for me, with a ton of whipped cream! I've been looking for some vegetarian marshmallows in supermarkets, but I just can't find any!

The Happy List #2


It's been around a month since my last The Happy List post, and quite a few things have happened that have made me very happy, so I thought I'd write up another one! I'm kind of in denial about the fact that it's four days until Christmas, because I'm so ridiculously impatient and it'll drive me insane knowing that it's so close. But I AM very excited. I just can't wait for everyone to open the presents I've bought them!

Nandos, Park Street | The 'Beanie' Burger


Nandos, 49 Park Street, Bristol BS1 5NT | 0117 929 9263 | Sun - Thurs 11:30am - 10:30pm | Fri - Sat 11:30am - 11pm
 
To fully complete my induction into being a vegetarian, I thought it was about time I introduced myself to a vegetarian burger. And what better place to try out & talk about than Nandos? I have always been a huge lover of Nandos (especially their chips & sweetcorn), but I'd never re-visited since becoming a vegetarian, despite their (albeit small) veggie offerings. I can guess that people wouldn't be all that tempted to go to a chicken restaurant if they're a veggie, but my Dad had never been and wanted to try it out, and I liked the sound of one of their veggie burgers, so yesterday lunchtime we took a trip to the Park Street branch.

Wreck This Journal #4


Hello! I am here today to bring you your monthly subscription of Wreck This Journal inspiration. I actually had two of these pages completed a long time ago (they were contestants for Wreck This Journal #3) but I finally had time to wreck another page to make up this post.

Current Favourites


I'm one of those people who always means to do Monthly Favourites but generally forgets about all of the things I've been loving. And as the time for November has past, and it's still too early for my December favourites, I thought I'd share what I'm loving currently.
 

9 Things | iPhone Christmas Wallpapers

 


Like I mentioned in my 25 Things To Do Before December 25th post, I rather enjoy Christmas-ifying my phone when it's the festive season. My ringtone is currently the Christmas theme from Harry Potter & the Chamber Of Secrets, but I wanted to re-vamp my phone wallpapers and thought I'd share my findings with you.
here | here | here *

Currently Reading

 
Hello everyone! I hope you're all well. Today I thought I'd show you what I'm currently reading. I am one of those readers that flicks between books constantly, purely because I can be in the mood to read a certain genre of book (romance for example) and if my current read doesn't feature it, I'll just pick up another book. I don't actually own any Christmassy books (unless you count The Grinch), so I haven't been reading anything particularly festive, but I thought I'd show you anyway.
 

DIY: Personalised Christmas Baubles (for less than £2!)


Hello everyone! Today I thought I'd share with you a simple little DIY I did a few days ago: Personalised Christmas Baubles. I've been Pinteresting like crazy recently and one of the things I've been looking up the most is DIY Christmas Décor, as my little sister is DIY-crazy and, well, I just like looking at things on Pinterest really. But I gathered the inspiration for these super simple baubles - that come in at £2 for the whole lot including equipment! (Thank the lord for Poundland) I made one each for my family - brother, sister, boyfriend, mum, dad and step-dad - as well as one for myself and they were so happy with them.

December Haulin' | Boots, Amazon & Charity Shops


Raise the alarms: there is make-up here on What Lauren Did Today. I'm not a huge fan of make-up (despite being an ex-beauty blogger - lolz*) but I've been dabbling back into lip products again recently and have made a few purchases which I thought I'd share. I also bought a certain book, a DVD, some Christmas decorations and the biggest bargain of my whole life.
 

Blogs I Love #3

It's time for another dose of blog love to be shared! I love reading blogs as much as I love writing mine, and these three blogs are some of my most loved recently. You know those blogs that you read literally anything they put up? These blogs do that for me.
 

25 Things To Do Before December 25th

I feel like the older I get, the more the Christmas spirit inside of me fades a little so this year I'm combating growing up/the loss of excitement with this little to-do list. These are all of the things I'd love to do this December to help build the excitement again, especially as my little sister can join in too!
 

Updates | Luna

I mentioned penning another post on my lickle Luna a few days ago in my The Happy List post, and a few of you said you were interested and I have so many photos to share that I did just that.

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts That Give Back



 
Welcome to Part Four of my Christmas Gift Guide 2014. Have a friend/family member that is passionate about charity projects, or simply doesn't 'want' anything for Christmas this year? Here are my 'Gifts That Give Back' picks, which are either great for the environment or give back to charity. Instead of buying them that bottle of their favourite alcohol, why not give the gift of food or a mosquito net in their name? Or maybe you have a little one in your life who loves animals - adopt an animal for the year! I've also added in a few eco-friendly things, such as a Grow Your Own Herb set, a canvas shopping bag and a travel mug for those coffee fiends. x



The Happy List #1


It's 1pm on a Sunday afternoon, I'm waiting on a roast dinner and my dad's cat Weller is prancing around me trying to chew on my feet... what better time to reflect on life? To be honest with you, I've had quite a rough few weeks but what's important is that I can see through all of the crap to focus on all of the good things that have happened recently, and I thought I'd share them with you!
 

Top 5 Non-Romantic Fictional Relationships

Hello everyone! Today I thought I'd share my Top 5 Non Romantic Relationships. You may realise that there is one glaring relationship missing from this post*, but I think that it's such a classic and well-known partnership that practically everyone knows what their relationship like so thought I'd miss them out. (5 points to Gryffindor for guessing who I'm talking about ;) ) Most of my favourite non-romantic relationships seem to be bromances (definition: an extremely affectionate relationship shared between two men that is not sexual/romantic in any way.) although there is one double-female pairing and one male-female one.

Christmas Gift Guide: For The Geeks




 
Welcome to part three of my Christmas Gift Guide 2014! This is quite possibly my favourite collection of gifts so far, and I honestly would love to receive any of them for Christmas! I am honestly the biggest nerd. This guide is a bit more unisex compared to my others and I've featured a top/jumper for men and women as well as the other gifts in general being suitable for anyone. If I had to choose out a few for myself as favourites, I think they'd be the Middle Earth mug and the Jon Snow little figurine, although I'd prefer it to be of Daenerys. Sorry about all of the mugs, but there were so many amazing options and I love them all haha!

100 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY! {CLOSED}


A few weeks ago I was amazed to find that I'd reached 100 followers on Bloglovin! It's beyond crazy to think that this many people find me the tiniest bit interesting, so I thought I'd say a little thank you with a giveaway. It was actually really easy to pick this prizes and I feel/hope they reflect my blog well.
 

Bristol Cathedral

 

New To The Shelves

Confession: I can't stop buying books. I have a list in my notebook filled with books I want to read and that list seems to get longer every day, despite the fact that I actually have no more room for books anywhere. My bookshelf is full - I have little stacks of books in pretty much every corner of my room! But as I pointed out to my incredulous mum - books are a good thing to spend money and time on, are they not?! And (surprisingly) two out of these three books I've read since getting them. Yay!
 

Wreck This Journal #3


Hello! Today I am bringing you another instalment of my Wreck This Journal series, where I have so far thrown it out of my bedroom window and rubbed it on the bumper of a neighbour's car. Sadly this post is filled with prettier things than that, as no severe wrecking has gone on aside from my cat stepping in my watercolours again.

Updates

 

It's been such a long time since I've just sat down at my laptop and had a general chat with my blog! Which is strange really, because the whole reason I started this blog after abandoning my old one was so I could treat it as a 'diary' of sorts, in order to share my life and loves and current obsessions to look back on in fifty years when I'm (hopefully) still watching old YouTube videos and playing Pokémon Pearl.
 

Christmas Gift Guide: The Novelty Christmas Gifts


Welcome to Part Two of my Christmas Gift Guide 2014. This one goes out to all of those who take Christmas seriously - the ones who probably got their shopping done in May and who have been wearing their Christmas jumper since September. (No judgement, I have been told firmly several times by my boyfriend/dad that it's too early for mine *sobs*) I have chosen a selection of clothing and just plain ol' novelty for these gifts, although my favourites are the Lush Golden Wonder Bath Bomb and the Miss Selfridge Necklace!

OUTFIT: The Tartan Scarf

 
Scarf - Primark
Cardi - Primark
Vest - New Look
Leggings - Miss Selfridge
 
This outfit is very simple, but my new scarf made me want to photograph it. Isn't it lovely? I've been looking for a good tartan scarf for absolutely bloody ages, and finally came across this one in Primark for just £4! It's black and red with some paler blue streaks running through and I don't know if it's really long or I'm just really short haha! (Although I definitely am short). I paired it with some other simple pieces, as I wanted the scarf to be the statement piece: my black Miss Selfridge leather leggings, a simple black cardi from Primark and a white vest. This scarf is definitely going to be my go-to item this season!

Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts For Animal Lovers

 

 
Welcome to Part One of my Christmas Gift Guide 2014! To kick off this little series, I thought I'd share my top 9 gifts for animal lovers. I am a huge cat person, but my boyfriend is a dog person and my mum is a horse person so tried my best to add in something for everyone to this list. There was actually a surprising amount of options to choose from - especially from the high street. River Island and New Look had amazing options, as did Not On The High Street and Etsy. Some of these things (including the eye mask, slippers and selfie book) are also available in other animal designs so there's something for everyone.

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Top 5 Books I Haven't Finished

 
So, last night I was sat all curled up with Luna, jotting down blog ideas when this post came to me: Top 5 Books I Haven't Finished Yet. And so I scanned my bookshelf looking for books to feature when I realised that I had a vast majority to choose from. I am (shamefully) one of those people who will start reading something and then abandon it mid-way through to move on to bigger and better things books. So who knows, there may be a Part Two of this post coming soon, but for now here are the books I really need to pick up again.
 

Lush Seanik Shampoo Bar

 

One of the most important things to me as a person is being eco-friendly. I use eco-friendly cat litter, always use canvas bags instead of plastic bags when I go shopping and always, always re-cycle (I even go as far as taking my McDonald's boxes home as they don't re-cycle!). And another way that I'm a green freak is by using one of Lush's shampoo bars.

Things To Do Before 2015

 
I'm one of those people who believe in that cliché 'Fresh Year, Fresh Start', and whilst that isn't always the case, I always make an effort to make the transition into the new year as fresh and clean as possible. A few nights ago I thought about all of the little projects or aims that I wanted to have completed before 2015, and thought I'd share it with you guys. There are a few regarding my anxiety, a few about my blog and a few just about life!
 

Endgame by James Frey & Nils Johnson-Shelton

Title: Endgame*
Author: James Frey & Nil Johnson-Shelton
Genre: Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Length: 464 pages.
Published: 7th October 2014
Series: First book of the Endgame trilogy.

Desk Accessories under £6

 
 
If there's one thing I love more than using my fancy desk accessories and writing in notebooks it's buying more of them. So I thought I'd throw together a little wish list packed with all of my desired stationary bits that all come in at £6 or less. My favourite places to shop for stationary and desk accessories is actually Supermarkets like Tesco or Asda, as well as places like Wilkinsons, Ikea and the classic Paperchase. So all of the bits I've chosen are from these places!

DIY: Simple Autumn Candle Holder

 
Hello! Today I thought I'd share a ridiculously simple Autumnal DIY. I did this myself a few days ago as I wanted some Autumnal accessories for my fireplace and thought that instead of just showing them off, I'd show you what I used. It really is almost criminal to call this a tutorial because really, you just put both things in a glass and it's finished but I thought some of you might find it inspiring/useful.  
 

Top 5 Book Covers

I'll be the first person to hold their hand up and say: I judge books by their cover. I know, it's terrible, but I can't really help it. When you're in the book store with only a few minutes to scan the hundreds of books on offer, the only way to choose what to study further is to pick the one that aesthetically attracts you. And there are some awful book covers out there. I can't help but feel that if you've gone through the effort to create a perfect book, why would you cloak it in anything besides a perfect cover? So today I thought I'd share my favourite book covers with you!

6 Vegetarian Recipes I Want To Try

Since becoming a vegetarian back in July of this year, I've been having a lot of fun experimenting with different meal options that obviously don't include meat. And whilst I involve the vegetarian substitutes sometimes (such as sausages and stir-fry chicken) I really want to begin eating meals that are completely composed of vegetables. So I took to Pinterest and BBC Goodfood to source some recipes to try out and thought I'd document my findings on my blog. These meals could be for any other veggies out there, or maybe if you like the sound of them you'd consider having a 'No Meat Monday' once a week/month!

Instagram Round Up


L - R. Luna // me and the boyfriend // my sister's birthday cupcakes // me & Marley // Wreck This Journal // Believe in yourself! // Luna // my new photo wall // banana bread & muffins

12 Reasons I'm Not Cool


I saw this post originally on an amazing blog named Dorkface and thought it was hilarious, so I decided to share with the internet all of the reasons why I'm not cool. Hopefully you will relate, if not then try not to judge me too hard. 
 

Blogs I Love #2

It's been two months since my last Blogs I Love post and I've discovered a few amazing blogs recently so thought it was time I updated my list!
 

Mini Autumn Haul | Primark & Boots

 
A few weeks ago I sent myself out on an Autumnal mission: buy knitwear, scarves and tights. And what did I come back with? None of those things, but I did get a few things that I love! I ventured into Primark and strangely only came out with three things, and then on a trip to Boots I bought myself two things that I had been after for a while. So here they are!

Wreck This Journal #2


Due to the surprising popularity of my previous Wreck This Journal post, I thought I'd do another! I haven't been wrecking that much because my kitten Luna seems to find the process very entertaining and thinks that me colouring in with a felt tip is an invitation for her to attack either myself or the pen. She also likes stepping in my watercolour paints (although she regrets it afterwards). But here is my progress since last time!

First Impressions: The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes

 
This year was truly the year of the YouTubers, and one of those amongst all of the success is Alfie Deyes from Pointless Blog. I'm not going to give you a biography of him because I'm sure 99% of people reading this know who I'm talking about, so let's just get on to the book!

September Favourites

 September was a month of loves for me. I've always considered doing a favourites post before but then upon taking the photos I have try and remember what I've actually been enjoying, which to me is a sign that I haven't been enjoying the things that much. However this month I've loved so many things. The colder weather, my new kitten Luna and my Wreck This Journal are a few unphotographed but much loved things that I've been obsessed with, but here are a few photographed extras!
 

October Goals

Welcome to another monthly goals post! I am writing this whilst wearing mis-matching pyjamas and attempting to wrestle my new kitten off of my keyboard. I am also dreaming of a hot chocolate with marshmallows and a roaring fire (plus a few other autumn clichés). But amidst these dreams I have been tallying up my progress with my September Goals and penning my October ones, so without further ado...