See you later 2014.

Somehow or another 2015 has snuck upon us, bringing with it a return to posting here at This Northern Gal. I may have been tempted several times to put finger to key and come back to this place a little earlier but I think the break was for the best. I’m recharged. There are so many ideas brimming around this brain of mine and I am super-duper excited about where 2015 is going to take this little corner of the internet. So much so that, as a special new year treat and to make some very exciting announcements, I’m upping this week’s posts to five instead of the usual three.

But before we get to that, it’s time to take a little look over our shoulders.

While I was fine-tuning and pretty-ifying the site, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the Stats  that WordPress have been keeping for me. I was astounded with how many of you joined this blog this year! I really can’t thank you guys enough for putting up with me. What was really interesting was seeing which posts you’ve loved the most over the past year. Wanna see? Of course you do.

(Click on the picture to get to the original post)

back in t'north

Back in t’north.

vesuvio

Vesuvio.

the c-word

The C-Word.

Did your favourites make the list? I loved these posts, but have some absolute favourites of my own in 2014. The next three posts were a joy to write and I feel a little flutter of pride because of them.

gratitude

Gratitude.

on saying no and slowing down

On Saying No and Slowing Down.

on being an almost grown up

On Being an Almost Grown Up.

I can’t wait to see which posts will be on this list next year! What was your favourite post of 2014?

Kelly x

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TTFN.

It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2014 and it’s time for me to say a quick ‘see you soon’ to you guys.

I’m taking a couple of weeks off to spend some time with my family and friends, eat my body weight in festive foods and dance until my feet hurt. It’s been a little busy in the life of Kelly recently so I’m looking forward to spending some time focusing on R&R. Hey I may even use sleep as a replacement for coffee for a few weeks.

tri christmas do 2

This isn’t goodbye by any means and This Northern Gal will be back up and running on the 5th of January. I’ve got some great ideas scrawled down and some pretty important announcements to make in the new year so I’m already super excited for 2015 and what that is going to bring to this little corner of the internet that I call home. I hope you guys will still be around when the doors reopen on the 5th. I’ll stick the kettle on and may even make cake…And, if you really can’t wait there’s some rather embarrassing posts in the archives for your entertainment and my dismay.

Before I leave I just want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. I hope your holidays are filled with love, laughter and mince pies. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

Kelly x

The C-Word.

I’m a day late in posting this and for that I’m sorry. But I’ve been pretty busy and have only found a moment to catch my breath, put the kettle on and write now. I struggled through my last exam on Tuesday afternoon, celebrated pre-christmas with my housemates on Tuesday night, judged their dance off, and then cleaned and packed on Wednesday morning before heading to back to t’north that day. I hit the ground running with festive preperations and going back to work. Like I said, busy. 

But after spending a few hours shopping and wrapping presents (and eating a mince pie or six), I’m getting excited for Christmas. So it’s time for me to share my day trip to Edinburgh from a couple of weeks ago…

christmas marketIn the beginning of revision week, I woke up at the crack of dawn (ok, it was seven) and yawned my way to the train to meet my mum in Edinburgh to do some Christmas shopping. It’s always been something we’ve tackled together and the prospect of having to trawl around shops without my partner in crime was too horrible to face.

christmas marketAfter a mahoosive hug on the platform, we made our way to the Christmas market and started our day off right with dutch pancakes. They were delicious. So much so that we were planning to grab a second batch on our way out but ran out of time.  Since the vendor was so nice, she also gave us free doughnuts  while they cooked. Not wanting to be rude, I accepted mine with skepticism. You see, I despise doughnuts.

Christmas marketBut guys, these were divine.

christmas marketChristmas MarketWe couldn’t spend the entire day eating however so we took our time wandering amongst the stalls and oohing and ahhing over the products on offer.

Christmas Market Christmas MarketBefore taking a quick break for some lunch and do assess how many gifts we had crossed off our list. Who knew spending money could be so tiring?!

Realising that we couldn’t just spend our day in the markets, we took advantage of the rest of the city. Compared to St Andrews, Edinburgh has a plethora of shops that I could spend many an hour in.

Christmas MarketEven without the retail heaven, I love the city itself. I could happily wander around and snap away to my heart’s content, especially at Christmas time.

Christmas MarketIsn’t it magical?!

Christmas MarketAll too soon however our departure loomed and we had no choice but to return to the real world for a couple more weeks. Now, it all feels a lot more real and exciting. The house is decorated, presents are wrapped and my mum is already planning just how much cheese she needs to buy.

I love Christmas.

Kelly x

Adventure pt 2.

December the fifth was kind of a big day for me.Following on from a relaxed day of celebrations for Sam’s 20th,  I had concocted my craziest birthday plan to date and after weeks of planning (and a few shelved ideas), it was time to see if it would actually work. Luckily for me, I have a crazily supportive group of friends who don’t find it that weird when I drop them a message asking if they will pretend to be a cat kidnapper. Yep you read that right.

Adventure pt 2

But before I explain that, can we get some virtual round of applause for friends who run with your crazy schemes? Thank you.

Now the cat kidnapping. .

For those of you that don’t know Sam (or have only met her ‘normal’ facade), she is a bit of a crazy cat lady. Nothing matters more to her than her own little Puss-in-Boots, Misty. So when I was writing a quest in which she would be the hero, I knew the perfect motivation: putting her cat in (make-believe) danger.

Adventure pt 2It all started with a phone call. Sam answered it to find that her beloved cat had been kidnapped by an evil dragon lord who was going to sacrifice Misty to open a portal that would destroy the world. What could Sam do but save her feline friend and the world while she was at it?

Adventure pt 2

Of course the first thing she had to do was ask her Professor for advice on these strange occurrences. According to the Professor, Sam needed to find a mystical weapon that was last seen in the land of Lade Braes. So of course being the supportive friends that we are, we supported her on her adventure and ventured into the unknown territory.

Adventure pt 2Of course it is never as simple as that and there were many challenges to be faced, including a monkey spirit, a possession and a logic competition.

Just as she thought she had won, she realised that this had all been the evil dragon lord’s means of distracting her and she had to race home and face one last challenge…

Adventure pt 2Only to find that the last ‘challenge’ was in fact one of our friends from home who we had snuck into town while Sam was gallivanting around town on her adventure. She was surprised it made all the last minute stress worthwhile!

Adventure pt 2It didn’t quite go completely plan and I made plenty of last minute adjustments and phone calls as we went around. Sam didn’t really seem to notice and enjoyed herself so the few grey hairs I gained are worth it.

Operation Save the Cat: SUCCESS.

Adventure pt 1.

If you couldn’t tell from recent activity on my blog, my best friend and housemate recently turned 20. Being the wannabe party planner and procrastinator that I am, I planned a three day birthday bonanza for her. Since I am also a theme lover, I went with ‘adventure’, a theme which gave me a lot of room to let my imagination run wild…But more on that later.

AdventureWith exams coming up, we had to leave plenty of revision time in between so we didn’t actually kick things off until late afternoon on the Thursday, Sam’s actual birthday.

Sam is one of the kindest (and well loved) people I know so I really wanted to tell her that but I’m not really one for speeches and she’s not really one for being the centre of attention…

adventure
 So I filled our entire living room with a little timeline of Sam’s life and asked her family and friends to send in messages for her too! (Sorry for the blurry shot but it perfectly captures my excitement and her reaction).

DSCN3011Even after a slight printing issue and a last minute presentation of all the images I’d been sent, I had a fair old collection to decorate with. For those of you that sent one in, thank you so so so much. Sam absolutely loved it. (And don’t worry if you can’t see yours on the wall, I made sure she got them all!)

DSCN3048

After present opening, bucks fizz and red velvet cake, we started preparing dinner. The birthday girl had requested Chinese food so our resident chef, Sarah, put her culinary genius into practice to create a feast of dumplings and chow mien. I tried to help but was soon shooed from the kitchen after revealing my inability to fold dumpling wrappers. Instead I set to work making the table look adequately pretty, complete with individual portions of soy sauce in shot glasses, though they were definitely not to be drunk.

adventureAfter stuffing our faces, we chatted away for a few hours, did some animal impressions, posed for the camera and then headed to bed in preparation for Day 2 of the celebrations which promised to be a big one…

Kelly x

 

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