A Winter’s Tale: What If? Guide to Winter

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It’s happening. I’ve been trying to remain in denial for some time now… but I’m having to write this in my onesie which means only one thing… WINTER IS UPON US! For some this calls for cheers of jubilation! For others (myself included) it induces shivers of dread/lack of central heating. In my desperation, I have decided it would be fit for me to try and see the positives in winter this year: WHAT IF THIS YEAR ROUND I ACTUALLY ENJOYED BEING COLD/ILL/CONSTANTLY FROSTY? So get your hot chocolate ready and your slippers on, because I have come up with a guide for all those winter Scrooges out there to find some of the positives in the negative temperatures about to ensue….

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1) Better Beverages
Summer bunnies, I know what you are thinking. “Nothing beats that feeling of lying on a beach, with an ice-cold beverage named after a chapter from the Karma Sutra… NOTHING!”… But.. Despite my own love of the summer cocktail, there is one alcoholic seasonal beverage that trumps all. And it’s name is … Mulled Wine. I know this is a relatively controversial start to this list as many people have never tried it or believe it’s completely gross because WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DRINKS ALCOHOL WARM? but even I can appreciate that the wine gods of the mulled variety did GOOD when they came up with this gem. It’s Christmas in a cup. Not even Hot Chocolate can outdo its majestic, burgundy yumminess. Although, another plus for this time of year is the lack of guilt when drinking Hot Chocolate. No, I shall not have a green tea.. It’s cold and no one shall see me in a bikini for several months, so yes… HOT CHOCOLATE PLEASE WITH LASHINGS OF WHIPPED CREAM, YOU CHEEKY STARBUCKS BARISTA WITH YOUR CHEEKY STARBUCKS CUPS. (Who doesn’t love the christmas cups?) So yeah… Beverages in winter kick ass. Case closed.

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2) Wearable Winter!

Yes. I know. Winter does indeed = Soggy Shoes, Wet bottoms of jeans, and a sweat fest when you accidentally wear too many layers. BUT. Who doesn’t love the fact that you can just snuggle into the biggest jumper known to man and not feel bad about it? EVEN UGGS ARE PASSABLE (although not the primark kind. Primark is a NO in winter.) We’ve spent the last three months obsessing about our bodies so we look hot in the smallest amount of clothing possible, but as soon as winter arrives you are totally allowed to slob out in a pair of baggy jeans, heavy boots and a jumper with cats on it. Whats not to love?

3) Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it.. NO!

I know I am not in the minority when I say that I am a person who HATES SNOW WITH A PASSION. Nothing infuriates me more than when our wonderful transport system internally combusts because of this white fluffy stuff. Not only that, but it causes wet clothes (as previously mentioned), icy roads (cue cars rolling down the hill) and that constant fear that at any moment you can fall flat on your arse. BUT DESPITE THIS COLD WET SLUDGY CLOUD, THERE IS A SILVER FLUFFY LINING. Snow is the number one signal that winter has arrived and the festive season has begun. It means we can throw balls of ice water at strangers and get away with it because HEY IT’S SNOWING! Plus building a snowman is still fun, even if you’re 23 years old. It’s something that still evokes that childlike excitement amongst all of us because quite frankly who can explain something that beautiful just appearing out of no where? Anyway.. mushiness over.. NUMERO FOUR.

4) It’s Time… To Face… The TV?

Now I am not one to advocate spending all day in front of the television, but when the TV is THIS GOOD then it’s hard not to tune in. None of us are proud to admit it, but I am a secret X Factor fiend and always love that build up to the Christmas Number one, even if it always is the X Factor Winner singing a cheesy song about stars and love and fate and all that. It’s trash, but I love it. But it’s not just reality tv that reaches it’s peaks, its the MOVIES. Christmas movies are the ultimate in feel-good films. What film genre can encompass so many varying films that provide SO MUCH JOY TO SO MANY PEOPLE? I shall name but a few to prove my point:

  • The Grinch
  • The Holiday
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Santa Clause
  • Home Alone
  • Elf
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Love Actually

I mean I could go on with this list. But I feel this is a good starting point for you all. Feeling down? Need picking up? Just choose one, only one, and let the happiness begin!

5) Dive under the Duvet

This previous point leads nicely onto the Olympic sport of Winter, Duvet-Diving. This winter sport is prolific during the colder months, when the fear of the frost outsides drives it’s participants to dive head first under their duvet, never to re-emerge unless for Tea, Mulled Wine, Toilet Breaks, and to fetch a Christmas film to watch. And I AM NOT JUDGING YOU FOR IT. There is nothing nicer on those cold, frosty sundays than snuggling into your onesie and slippers, cup of tea/mulled wine in hand and just enjoying a day of pure laziness. When the sun is outside, you can feel it’s rays beckoning you to guiltily get out of bed and “make the most of the sunshine”. The sun is gone, the snow is outside. GET BACK INTO BED!!

 

 

6) Saving the best for last…

Those who know me know my favourite thing of all time is FOOD. Food. Food + Christmas. Food + Christmas + Not having to wear a bikini in public = Perfection. My favourite memories of this time of year always centre around the scents and tastes of the festive season. I’m not just talking about the obvious Christmas dinner (whose brilliance needs no mention) but I’m talking about chocolate advent calendars, steak pies on New Years Day (Family tradition in my house.. so so good!), Scrambled egg and salmon on toast with bucks fizz at 9am on Christmas Day. FOOD IS SO BRILLIANT AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. It’s not even the celebratory meals that make it so special though. It’s the slow-cooked casseroles, baked fruit pies, and bubbling soups that just make me feel so at home in this season. So if you wonder where I am this winter, check in the kitchen (Recipes to be uploaded thick and fast I assure you!)

So there it is, my little list of why Winter is great. I am a summer bunny but there are some parts of winter you cant help but love. There is, however, one thing that Winter will never win at.

THE BED TO SHOWER DASH. Sorry Winter. But No.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed! Keep warm, fill your bellies and for gods sake STOCK UP ON MULLED WINE NOW.

– Koko x

The What If? Diary’s Guide to Getting Over It.

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We’ve all been there: you didn’t get that job promotion, the date you went on was disastrous, you stub your toe on the side of your bed. The instant reaction to all of these things is to just FLOP OUT AND BE ANNOYED. I’ve been there this week – when faced with RUBBISH news I instantly went to the lunch room at work, ordered something full of carbs, and then reached for the most fattening chocolate bar possible. I then proceeded to spend my afternoon in a sugar-induced coma of annoyance and frustration. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO DEAL WITH THE CRAP THAT LIFE DEALS YOU, MY DEARS. After giving myself a swift telling off for being so dramatic, I decided it was wise to spread the joy to other 20-somethings who need to JUST GET OVER IT. Life isn’t easy, especially at this age, but stay away from that mars bar! Here are my tips to Getting Over It and Getting On with being AMAZING:

  • Hit the Treadmill

I realise that this point is going to be controversial – not all of us enjoy getting our running trainers out from the dusty back corners of our wardrobes. But getting out in the fresh air and doing some exercise is sometimes all it takes to clear your head before you do something disastrous. You want to text your ex that you found out he was cheating all along? NO YOU DON’T – YOU WANT TO RUN OUTSIDE AND CLEAR YOUR HEAD! Not only does this stop you looking like a crazy ex, but it also helps you to get fitter and have time to sort out all those negative, angry demon thoughts. You’ll start to make space for positive ones instead.  You WILL feel better! You WILL feel more confident. And you will have achieved something useful and positive with your day! If you don’t like running- do some yoga, pilates, lift some weights! Anything that will get rid of that extra annoyed energy and put it into something focused and positive. 

  • Food = Happy Times

Now do not think this means I allow you to do a “Feed four for £5” deal at Domino’s for you and you alone! Take some time out to make something you LOVE to eat. It could be a Chinese stir fry, a massive Pie and Mash or even a batch of cookies (Although save some for your housemates/family!) Putting the effort and time into cooking always mellows me out and makes me feel like I thoroughly deserve to enjoy my meal, rather than crying into a tub of Ben & Jerrys and washing it down with two bottles of wine (although a glass or two is DEFO allowed). If you fancy something quick, easy but looks impressive and tastes DAMN GOOD check out recipe for baked Salmon and Bruschetta here!

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  • Spend time with the people that make you feel AMAZING!

Some people feel best when with their partners, others need their best friends to perk them up. HELL, some people just need a cuddle from their cat to make them feel better (ahem!) Whatever the case, pick up your phone, stop moping and go out and see them! Sometimes we spend too much time alone with our thoughts, and when we’re in a negative place these thoughts can be especially mean! So shut them up and go and listen to your best friend bang on about this amazing new dress she found in Topshop! Sometimes all we need to calm us down is the simplicity of having a conversation about mundane things to bring us back to reality and realise.. Hey! Things aren’t all that bad.

  • When you’re ready, come to terms with what happened

Unfortunately, getting over things does require you to come to terms with them first. Whatever has happened, take some time away from the issue, keep yourself busy and then come back to the problem in the knowledge that you have forgotten about it for a few days and coped just fine. There may be loose ends that need tied, or sometimes these things just need putting to bed. If it helps, write down your feelings about the issue, then rip it up, burn it, feed it to the dog!! You don’t need things bogging you down in this period of your life – you should be enjoying it and making the most of life so (in the words of Adele Dazeem) LET IT GO!

  • Have a ME party!

My last point is to simply have a celebration of what makes you happy and what makes you great!! Our generation is constantly told that we are not excelling, we’re loaded with debt, we can’t get a job. Well actually, we can all do A LOT MORE than we’re given credit for. Half of us wouldn’t overload ourselves with worry over small things if we just had more self-confidence and took time to realise how great we are. Spend an evening in looking after yourself, or take a night out on the town dancing with friends! Just make sure you ENJOY every moment of it and realise that the problems in life are NOT worth dwelling on.

Life is a long journey, and our twenties will fly by in a flash, so we musn’t allow ourselves to dwell on the negatives. Whatever it is that is niggling you – GET OVER IT! I promise you’ll discover there’s much more to be happy about when you let everything else pass you by.

Have a happy weekend lovers.

Koko x

Nine things we learnt from the Nineties

Good Evening Easter Bunnies,

First of all, HAPPY BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND/EASTER FESTIVITINESS! I hope anyone who isn’t reading this is having a wonderful time sunning themselves in a pub garden, and for those who are reading this.. you’re my favourite so I hope you win the Euromillions and eat all your Easter eggs without gaining weight.

A video on facebook caught my eye that literally brightened my day and it inspired my to write this little article about the wondrous NINETIES. Have a cheeky watch below:

I hope this filled everyone with as much joy and horror as it did for me. As if they have no idea what a casette is? (I have Mel & Kim and Wham still on tape…. just sayin) But it got me thinking how amazing the nineties was as a kid. I asked friends on Facebook to send me a list of things they loved/missed from the nineties and have used this to come up with a definitive NINE things we learnt from the NINETIES that shaped us to be the crazy, wonderful, briliant individuals that we are today. So without further ado:

1) Stickers are more valuable than money

There was no greater feeling than when your mum arrived home with the shopping and there was a shiny packet of new stickers poking from the top of the bags. Stickers, I hear you say? What worth do they have? They proved to your class that you could customize with style – what a trait to behold in a new friend! Even better was when you had stick on jewellery – a party-bag staple and ticket to being the “groovy chick” in your class 😉 Boys, don’t think I’ve left you out – I know how important it was to be filling in that Football sticker book of yours. Stickers were common currency within my school, and hey, for at least once in my life I was rich!

2) Real pets were for grown ups!

“But..but..but… I WANT A CAT!!” … “No Kayleigh – Here.. have some.. Sea Monkeys?” I hope I am not the only person who got the gift of Sea Monkeys as their first pet. These creepy looking tadpole creatures gave me endless amounts of joy. Hours of my childhood wasted by staring at miniscule specks of god knows what! But it didn’t just stop there… Oh no, we got Furby’s – a toy made to annoy parents mercilessly and have you spend hours in the day trying to understand Furbish. Or, for those of us who were ultra cool, we were given the grand responsibility of looking after a Tamagotchi. Not only did this mean that kids around the world were being grounded for constantly checking their pockets to see if our creature had died, but it taught us that all pets must have food, a medical check, and their poop cleaned out promptly. WAY TO GO NINETIES!

3) Aliens can’t teach you Sex Ed

These little ones were THE toy to have in primary school. The gooey sticky Aliens were cute, weird, and always ended up covered in fluff after your dropped them on the carpet. However, what still baffles me to this day is that (within my school at least) we all believed that rubbing their backs together would make “alien babies”. Thanks for clearing that one up for us, nineties!

4) Girl Bands = Confidence to sing out of tune and wear crazy outfits!

Yes I am primarily talking about the Spice Girls. Because there were NO OTHER girl bands in the nineties. Ever. Thank you Spice Girls for teaching men and women alike that you CAN wear Cheetah, you CAN sing lyrics that are essentially just a load of noises, and you CAN rely on your friends because “friendship never ends”… that is.. until Geri decides to leave.. ZIG-A-ZIG-AAAHH!

5) Pleather. Just no.

On the other hand, there were SEVERAL boy bands, all of whom proved that no matter how muscly you are, how slick your curtains are, and how white your teeth are.. PLEATHER IS A NO GO.

6) The best people were witches

The kids of today have wizards and vampires but we had witches galore on our televisions. Sabrina, The Worst Witch, Charmed, Hocus Pocus, The Craft. We were spoiled for choice when it came to getting our fix of girls defeating bullies with a spell, talking cats, and crazy aunts!! Instead, we now have pale and interesting vampires and flesh-eating zombies. I’ll have fixing my life with the swish of a finger any day!

7) We didn’t need an Iphone to play games… just a Dream Phone

The nineties was the decade of BRILLIANT board games with no technology involved, just a couple of batteries. Dream Phone, Twister, Operation, Monopoly, Cluedo. These games were AWESOME and provided HOURS of entertainment without an iPad in sight. If only Dream Phone worked in real life too!

8) It’s not always about being the birthday girl/boy!

It’s my birthday party. The decorations are up. Pass the parcel is wrapped several times. The Donkey’s tail is waiting to be pinned. And my mother has been sat for several hours putting together the BEST PARTY BAGS KNOWN TO MAN! I think we all know that the best bit about the party was not the sleeping lions or musical chairs.. but the freaking party bags. Free sweets, plastic jewellery, pirate eye patches, weird bug like things in wooden boxes (please tell me people know what these are) and a whole heap of cake. Who needs it to be your birthday when you get presents just for showing up?

9) Mum and Dad know best. Always. Except maybe when it comes to how we should dress.

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Point proven. Although the facepaint was allegedly my idea…

So there we have it kids. My Nine lessons we learnt from the nineties. I know it’s a bit of a random one, but i think Easter Weekend and spending time with the family is a great time to reminisce on some of the best bits of our past. Thanks to all those who contributed some ideas and i hope you enjoyed!

Have a brilliant weekend and i’ll catch you next week!

Koko xx