London, Baby!

Just back from another trip and am honestly looking for some much-needed rest haha.

I didn’t plan for this trip and Liverpool to happen so close together it just kind of worked out that way, but yes, I’m just back from London.

This trip was very different from the other one, mostly because I didn’t go with my family this time I went with my boyfriend. And unlike last time, we didn’t have very many plans so it was more laid back.

I was super excited about this visit to London because we were finally going to see Dear Evan Hansen! I had bought tickets to the show when they were first released almost 6 months ago, so the fact it was finally time to see it was great.

Sadly though Dear Evan Hansen wasn’t until the end of the trip so we had to do something to keep ourselves occupied until then.

The first day we arrived early and decided to do some shopping. I wanted to check out the Pokemon pop-up store that was in Westfield so we headed out there. Naturally, I wasn’t expecting to get into the place because I heard there were queues for days and they always ended up selling out of things but thought we might as well check it out.

When we got there it was no surprise that there was a huge line, even though it was the middle of the day and some things had already sold out. I wasn’t going to wait in line only to be told I wasn’t going to get in or that I wasn’t going to be able to buy something I really wanted. So we gave it a miss, which is a bit sad because I wanted to know what the store looked like on the inside, but it wasn’t really worth the queuing. So I guess if I want to see a Pokemon centre I’m going to have to go to Japan.

We spent most of the day in Westfield shopping centre, mainly because it was giant. Honestly like ten times the size of any shopping centre I have ever been to. I can’t imagine it being your local place to shop, it’s insane.

After that, we went back to the hotel to chill before having dinner and a kind of early night because we had been up from 6 a.m. So it felt so good to sleep.

The next day we headed out to do a bit more shopping, this time in Oxford Street. Though honestly when I say shopping, I mean we went to the expensive department stores and just looked around.

One day I would love to afford fancy things in Selfridges and Harrods but in reality, all we walked away with were two bottles of Voss water, which is about as fancy as we get haha.

On Sunday we went to Madame Tussauds to see all of the wax figures. I have always wanted to go to one of those museums and it was fun. I mean there were quite a lot of people around some areas so it was kind of hard to get a good photo with your fave famous person but it was all good.

I even got to see the Zoe and Alfie wax figures which I was excited about, I remember watching the videos of them making their wax figures years ago so it was cool to see them in person.

Then after that, we got some food and also went to China town to check out bubble waffles. My friend Jasmine suggested we try them so we did and they were great! Though the weather was a bit cold for it, they were still enjoyable.

We also headed to the Christmas market in Leicester Square which was super cute. We only have one Christmas market in our town so it gets boring and repetitive after a while so it was nice to go somewhere new. We picked up a couple of cute things for our apartment there.

To end the night we went out to a comedy club, wasn’t sure what to expect but it was actually really fun! I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely go back.

On Monday, before Dear Evan Hansen I took a trip to my work’s London offices. They are a lot fancier than my local offices and have a lot more floors lol. One of my co-workers also showed us around Canary Wharf which was nice.

Then we went back to the hotel to chill out for a bit before we went to the show.

The actual show was amazing. I cried a lot. I mean you can just assume from now on I cry at basically everything, TV shows, movies, books, theatre shows…everything. But this time I wasn’t expecting to cry so much. I wasn’t sobbing but just picture big fat tears rolling down my face while watching the show.

It was incredible, the guy who played Evan was just so full of emotion and I can’t believe he has to do that on stage every night it is so crazy. But I really enjoyed it. I know they have a book version of the story going around now but I didn’t want to read it until I had seen the show. I wanted to be surprised.

I did listen to the soundtrack before I went to the show but aside from a general idea of what happened in the story I didn’t know exactly what I was going to be walking into and I preferred it that way. It was good to be surprised and to react to it for the first time.

So that was our final day in London. The next day we just spent travelling home so nothing too exciting.

But that was our trip! It was very relaxed and chilled out which I am glad about, it was also nice to spend quality time with my boyfriend because even though we live together now, we both still work and have other plans so while we see each other every day it’s not like we spend much of that time together. So it was a nice holiday away together.

Now that we are back, we are back to work and have to start planning for Christmas. I don’t even know what I am going to buy people this year so looks like I have a lot of work to do!

Aside from that, I imagine the rest of my year will be spent working, chilling out with friends and family and of course, reading a whole lot more! 😛

~ Courtney x

Liverpool | Family Trip

Last week my family and I took a trip to Liverpool for my niece’s birthday.

It was going to be my first family holiday and I was kind of nervous about it, because sometimes spending a lot of time with your family can be hard work. Not everyone always gets along and sometimes people can clash over opinions so it was going to be an interesting trip.

That being said, the trip actually turned out pretty well, there was the occasional little fight but nothing major so we all made it out unscathed.

We toured Anfield stadium on our first day and as someone who isn’t into football it was kind of interesting. Mainly because I had never step foot into one of those places before lol. Still I can imagine if you’re a big football fan you would have enjoyed it even more.

Then the next day we headed out on a Beatles tour bus, again not a big fan of the Beatles but I know my mum loved it. The bus took us around to the houses where the Beatles had grown up and even stopped by the infamous Penny Lane. Also our tour guide was great, he even had a guitar and was singing songs so I want to give him an extra special shout out.

After the Beatles tour, we spent the rest of the day at the Royal Albert Dock, checking out the little shops and things in the area. We also found an escape room place there so decided to give that a go. For my first ever escape room, I really enjoyed it. Sure it was a little bit frustrating but sometimes that happens during games haha.

Then the final day we spent doing some shopping before we went to the British Music Experience museum. Surprisingly this was not the biggest place, it was basically one room which was cool but I kind of expected to see more. But I still enjoyed it.

So that was our trip in a nutshell. I don’t know when the next family trip will be but I don’t think it will be for a long time. Still, it was nice to spend time with the family, since moving out I don’t see them that often, especially my sisters. That being said Christmas is right around the corner so I imagine I’ll be back home with all the fam before I know it.

In the meantime, I am going to be gearing up for my next adventure – me and my boyfriend are going to London to see Dear Evan Hansen! And I’m so excited, even though Ben Platt will probably not be there, but a girl can dream right?

~ Courtney x

24 Hours in Manchester for BLACKPINK | 21st May 2019

So me and my brother decided to go to Manchester last minute to go see Black Pink!

This is probably one of the most impulsive things I have ever done, I mean I’ve booked tickets to things before and had to think about travel and accommodation later but this time, we literally had to book everything and get tickets the day before lol.

It seemed to good to be true to be honest and I was worried that because we bought resale tickets that maybe we could have been scammed but luckily for us everything worked out in our favour and we got to see BLACK PINK!

The show was amazing and I am so glad we decided to go and you know if BTS in London wasn’t so expensive I feel like we would have been going to that too lol but I guess I will hold out for BTS for another time.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this vlog! I think it was the best way to kick off summer 🙂

~ Courtney x

2018!

It is once again time for my annual wrap up blog post of the year! These are always interesting because it gives me time to reflect on all the things I have accomplished this year and remember all the good times I’ve had. I actually just read through last year’s post and I can’t believe all those things happened only a year ago, they already feel like a lifetime away.

And I think things will probably feel that way when I reflect on this year. Especially because I really don’t remember much at all from the first half of it. And unlike previous year’s, I sadly do not have all my tweets to remind me – so I’m gonna have to use all other social media to figure it out. But we will talk about what happened to my Twitter a bit later.

I started out the year celebrating with my boyfriend again. We have now been together coming up to 3 years, and here’s hoping there are many more years to celebrate together after that.

I also started the year with a full-time job as I was still on placement as part of my university degree. This is probably the hardest thing for me to remember, working a real job. It feels like it almost didn’t happen at all. Even though I worked there for 11 months. I won’t go into full detail about my placement year as I have made several blog posts about it so if you want to know more then you can check them out.

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A selfie from a lift while on placement

Overall I did enjoy my placement though, I think I learnt a lot and it was a valuable experience for me to have. So I am glad I had the opportunity to do it as part of my degree.

So, to briefly sum up the first half of the year, I was working Monday – Friday, 9 – 5. Not much else to report about that.

Though I did have a lot of fun things that I did outside of work. For example, in January I was eager for my next annual leave bout after coming back from Christmas because I was going to London with my boyfriend for his birthday.

Back in November of 2017, I impulsively bought tickets to Hamilton for me and my boyfriend for his birthday. We hadn’t even booked flights or anything but all that was important was that we were going to see Hamilton.

And while we were going to be in London I also thought it would be a fun idea to get tickets to the Harry Potter Studios for Christmas for my boyfriend as well.

It was safe to say the first couple of weeks back at work after Christmas was torture because I was just dying to go away for my next holiday haha.

London was amazing. I won’t go into too much detail about it here because I’ve already made a video talking about it which you can check out, but I will share some of the highlights.

First off, Hamilton was amazing. It was our first ever West End show and so I wanted to get good seats, and we got the best. I was blown away by the musical when I first listened to the Broadway cast but nothing really compares to seeing it in person. When you’re there you feel those emotions and you experience it completely. It’s incredible. And I highly recommend going to see it if you haven’t already.

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On top of that, we also had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Dornan while we were there seeing Hamilton. My fangirl heart literally exploded when I saw him walk into the room. Like what were the odds? It was even crazier because the night before we had been watching him on TV and then he was just there. I was starstruck and obviously had to say hi. I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t. He was lovely and even though our exchange was a small one I’ll still always remember.

Then, of course, there was the Harry Potter Studios! Okay, I’ll admit, I’d never seen any of the Harry Potter movies until right before I left for London. This was more for my boyfriend because he was a big Harry Potter fan, but I felt I needed to at least watch the movies to have some idea of what was going on. The Studios were stunning and I was blown away. I had never gotten into Harry Potter and I guess I never really understood but being there, where they filmed and seeing everything in person, I understood. It was magical and I really enjoyed the visit.

Other things that happened on our trip to London included a visit to the Sherlock museum, a look at Buckingham Palace, and some shopping. We wanted to go to the London Eye but I think it was closed when we were visiting, so I guess that’s something I will have to do when I go back.

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Just hanging out

Another thing that I did in January was start pole dancing lessons, this is something that I never thought I would do. But my friend Victoria and I decided to go at the start of the year, and I’ve been going ever since. Not going to lie, it was definitely a bit scary going at first, you know there’s a whole stigma around it and you think people might judge you, but honestly? It’s super fun and the community that I have found in NI around it are so wonderful and supportive.

I’m really glad I decided to take the chance and take pole classes, I have made new friends from it and it is also a fun way to keep fit. It’s definitely helped me get stronger and I love sharing my spins and tricks with my friends.

In February and March, I honestly am not sure what I was doing. I guess nothing eventful if I don’t remember haha. I feel so lost without my tweets to guide me in some sort of direction. I didn’t make any YouTube videos in those months either…so I’m guessing these months were just spent working. Obviously not all working, but nothing significant either.

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Though at the end of March I did get a second tattoo. I decided to get one because my boyfriend was also getting one. We didn’t get matching ones but I thought it would be fun. Ever since I got my first tattoo I have definitely always toyed with getting another one. And so I ended up getting a small one on my arm which says xo xo. And if you’re thinking xo xo Gossip Girl then I can confirm yeah I definitely also thought that. But I love it, like I love Gossip Girl and also gossip in general so I guess there was a meaning behind it, other than I just wanted another cute tattoo.

In April I decided to start my YouTube channel up again properly and try vlogging every day in April…I didn’t vlog every day but I did keep it up for a while. I suppose the reason I didn’t end up vlogging every day in April because I wasn’t always doing something worth vlogging, which is the YouTube vlogger struggle. But that’s okay, I don’t put too much pressure on myself to do YouTube because it’s just a hobby, as long as I’m still posting every so often I feel accomplished.

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I also got to see the Nashville Farewell Tour in April which I enjoyed a lot. I originally was not going to go, but then the day of the concert I decided to buy a last minute ticket. The reason being that I worked across the road from the arena where they were performing and I was on Twitter and saw people meeting the Nashville cast around the area and I was jealous and wanted to see them perform. It was also going to be the last time I would be able to see them perform as Nashville the TV show was ending.

And I’m really glad I went. I’ve been watching Nashville since I think 2014/2015? And I love the music on the show, so I guess it naturally made sense that I enjoyed the concert. It was a great show and if you’ve never seen it, now is a perfect time because you can binge watch it. 🙂

May was another one of those months where I don’t really remember what was going on. It was the month before I left placement so I know things were starting to wind down there and the weather was beginning to pick up for the summer. I think May was also the month when I lost my Twitter account.

I have already made a blog post about what happened to my Twitter account so I won’t bore you with the details but long story short, I made my Twitter account when I was 12 and so they locked me out. I still have not been given access back to my account and it’s really annoying. I’ve had that Twitter account for 9 years and now it’s just…gone.

So I started a new one. It’s definitely not the same as it used to be. But because I use Twitter so much and it’s a big part of my life I couldn’t be without it. I had friends there that I didn’t have anywhere else and to try and find them again without remembering their Twitter handle was a struggle. It was also hard because I couldn’t really explain to anyone what happened.

But with the way things are going, I think this is the Twitter account that I’m going to have from now on. It’s just annoying that I can’t at least get my username back…

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June started with a drag show which is how you know June was a good month for me. As you know I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and going to drag shows has become a new hobby of mine. The first big show I saw in 2018 was Werq the World. This is one of those shows where a bunch of queens from past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race come together to perform and I love them.

June was also a big month because it’s my birth month. It also happened to be the month that I finished work placement. So it was a time for celebration, this year I turned 21 and celebrated going out with my friends. I never really feel older when I celebrate a birthday but I suppose no one really does. Either way, I still end up getting ID’d when I go out so it’s not like I’m looking any older haha.

Also for my birthday, I got to see Taylor Swift in Dublin! Taylor was amazing and I have wanted to see her perform for the last couple of years now so I’m really glad I got to do that. And she recently released her concert on Netflix, so if you missed it you can check it out there.

At the end of June my boyfriend graduated from university, so all his hard work and sleepless nights had paid off. I am so proud of him for making it through uni and getting his graduate job. It was great to see him get his degree, and hopefully next year it will be me getting mine. 🙂

As far as I remember July was spent chilling and enjoying my time off work. I also started this new blog and I plan to keep it. So far I think it’s going well, though I am still trying to find a good layout. I want something simple and clean but at the same time, all the blog layouts I’ve found have not been right. The one I am currently using is the one I liked the most out of my choices but I am hoping to find something better soon.

Aside from that, I feel like I spent a lot of July playing video games, watching TV and sleeping. Which is a great month in my opinion when you’d spent the last few working a lot.

A few fun things that happened in July were that my friend Jasmine came over for a while with her boyfriend Chris, it was his first time in Northern Ireland so we had to show him around, I also started my scrapbook which I’ve had sitting around for ages and I also started selling things on eBay for my mum. I’d never sold anything online before but I’d always thought about it because I have a lot of stuff I wanted to get rid of and I thought selling online would be a good way, though so far mostly my mum’s stuff has sold compared to mine lol.

August in comparison to July seemed to be a very busy month for me, I spent half of it with my boyfriend as I stayed with him while his parents were in Florida, I also decided to vlog/make a video every day and played a lot of Sims and Stardew Valley. Not to mention went to pride and all the drag shows as well.

After the less successful attempt at vlogging every day in April, I decided to try again in August. Only this time, it wasn’t just vlogging, I also made videos for my Sims YouTube channel. August was definitely more successful than April as I was able to create 22 videos in August, 11 for my Sims channel and 11 for my main channel. So it’s safe to say August was pretty well documented on my YouTube channel.

At the end of August, I was also super busy with moving house and preparing for my final year of university. It feels weird that I have been moving so often, and I can’t wait to finally move one last time after graduation and be settled for a little while. But for now, I’m back in student accommodation and ready for the next semester.

September I spent settling into my new flat and enjoying my last remaining weeks of freedom before university. As in, I spent a lot of time playing Sims and Stardew Valley because I knew once university started I wouldn’t be able to play as much.

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September was also an exciting month because after waiting years we FINALLY got confirmation for Animal Crossing Switch. It should be coming in 2019 and I’m going to be waiting every single day waiting for some news. We haven’t heard anything since the first announcement but I’d like to think we’d be hearing something very soon. In case you didn’t know, I’m a big fan of Animal Crossing and it’s been 5 years since we got a new main series game and I can not wait until it comes out. I already know it’s going to be amazing.

Also in September my friends and I went over to England to surprise Jasmine for her birthday. This was a really fun trip as it was a good time for all of us to spend together before we started university again. It was also the first time we’d ever organised a surprise and it was super fun. Though a bit stressful, especially when Jasmine almost saw Megan the day we arrived to surprise her but it all worked out and she was really surprised.

October was when I really started to get into university life again, classes started and things quickly settled back into a routine of student life. This year of university has been the busiest one I’ve ever had. We have so much more work to do this year than we did in previous ones so it’s been hard to adjust to the workload.

That being said, I still had a lot of fun things to do to take my mind off of university, and by that, I mean I went to 4 drag shows and a metal concert haha. They announced these drag shows over summer so I bought tickets at the time not knowing how busy I would be university wise, but I made it work.

The concert I went to was Okilly Dokilly, I had heard of the band through the internet and I couldn’t believe they were coming to Belfast. My boyfriend and I went to see what it would be like because you never really know what to expect when you go to see a heavy metal band that is all about Ned Flanders. But they were actually really good and I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say I am their biggest fan by any means, but they do put on a good show.

November was mostly spent working hard at university, I didn’t have any drag queen shows to go to that month and so things were definitely a lot less busy than they had been the previous month. However, I did take some time out in November to play some Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee.

And finally, December was a pretty chill month. I started it off by going to Christmas Queens, which was the first drag queen show I ever went to by myself. It’s so weird to think that was a year ago, especially when I’ve been to plenty of shows this past year by myself now. I’m really glad I decided to start going on my own though, because it’s true what they say, if you wait around for other people to do things with you, then you’ll probably never do them.

Aside from that, I spent the first half of December working hard to finish the university semester on a high. And then have been spending Christmas break having a long and much-needed break.

Which brings us to now! The end of the year. Well actually, into the new year as I’m writing this. Overall 2018 was a very busy year, whether that’s because I was keeping myself busy or because I’ve had obligations. But it’s been a great year, I’ve said this many times already but I think my main plans for this new year are to continue to work to get my degree, enjoy Animal Crossing when it comes out and we will see where we go from there.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this year is a good one for everyone!

~ Courtney x

Dublin and Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour | Saturday 16th June 2018

I’ve finally gotten around to editing my Dublin vlog!

I guess I wouldn’t really call it a vlog but still, I finally edited it. I almost considered not posting at all because I thought maybe too much time had passed since the actual event but I guess a few weeks isn’t too bad.

I promise that I will step back up on my editing game this summer! I currently have about 5 Sims videos that are unedited so please expect to see them very soon! But for now, enjoy this lovely Dublin vlog.

My 2016

I know a lot of people would say that 2016 was a terrible year, and for a lot of reasons it was. But for me? 2016 has been a pretty amazing year. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the negative of things but I think going into 2017 we should focus on the positive. And so that’s what I’m going to do.
In this recap of my 2016 I am only going to focus on the positive. This year has been an amazing year for me and I want to share all of the good things that have happened with you today.
Just like last year, I am going to talk about things in chronological order since that makes the most sense. It’s hard to think back to the start of the year but luckily for me, I like to document things. Whether that’s online, or writing a journal, I always have the memories somewhere.
One of the first big things that happened in 2016 for me was meeting Bianca Del Rio. She is the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6 and one of my favourite drag queens. The night I got to meet her was definitely an unforgettable one. Mainly because I was asked to come on stage and lip sync for my life in front of her. Talk about pressure. And of course, plenty of my friends were there and recorded the whole thing, so I think I’m going to be remembering that for a long, long time.

A quick look back on my Twitter, and the rest of January consisted of me playing Sims, and not having very much sleep. Something I think I need to work on this year. Sleep is precious, make sure to get enough of it.
In February I started dating my boyfriend. We’ve been together almost a year now which is crazy to think about. I don’t want to say too much about it but we’ve had a good relationship over the past year, and I’m hoping 2017 will be a good year for us too. I never thought love would be in the cards for me last year. As my first long-term relationship it was an adjustment but I think I’ve adjusted quite well.
Then in March, I began house hunting with my two friends. We were looking for somewhere to live during our second year at university and that was an experience. Student houses are not the most glamorous of accommodation but they are something.
During this time I was also starting Mandarin classes for the first time. Definitely not an easy language to learn. Let’s just say I didn’t make it far in those classes. However later in the year, I ended up enrolling in a Korean class and I find that language much easier to learn. So I think I’m going to be sticking with Korean for now.
April was spent watching a lot of TV shows, I watched Suits, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Nashville. I also got addicted to Neko Atsume which is an app about cats. I thought it was really adorable and so I posted lots of photos about it on Twitter. I still play the game to this day so there’s no regrets.

In May I was starting summer holidays after finishing my first year at university. It felt good to be done with university for a while. I felt like I had a much needed break. This is when I started to make more YouTube videos again and decided to make my second YouTube channel.
I think that it was a good idea to start another channel just for Sims content. I just find that my Sims content doesn’t fit into the rest of the channel which are all videos of me. Plus it means I don’t feel bad for posting so many Sims videos. It also helped to keep me productive over the summer months because it meant I always had something to do.
In June I celebrated my 19th birthday by going ice skating with my friends. I also put together party bags which I think went down really well. I swear that young adults appreciate party bags more than little kids haha. At least my friends loved them. Who knew all you needed was mini water pistols and party poppers to have fun? That and sugar, sugar is a must.
Also in June, I left the country for the first time to go to New York. Talk about a holiday to remember. I went with my best friend Jasmine for KCon and it was the most amazing experience. I won’t talk too much about it now since all I did when I got back from New York was talk about the fact I went to New York.
I just had such an amazing time and to be able to share that experience with one of my close friends was even better. I am also so glad that I was with Jasmine when she went to see her KPop idols in person. I hope that in the future there will be more opportunities for her to be able to meet them. Seeing KPop idols perform in person is an incredible experience. And if you get the chance to experience it, I definitely recommend it.
And of course I would love to go back to New York one day. It’s an amazing city and I wish I had gotten to see more of it when I was away. But I guess it just gives me an excuse to go back.

When I came back from New York I threw myself back into playing Sims. I had went a whole 4 days in New York without it and I was missing it dearly haha. I also began to play a lot of Pokemon Go. I was obsessed with Pokemon Go for a long time when it first came out. I had spent so long waiting for it to be released in the UK that when it finally came out I couldn’t get enough of it. I even played in when I went to Rome in September.
Rome was another amazing experience that I got to have in 2016. I went from never having left the country to going on two holidays in a year. That’s a big deal. Again, I won’t say much about my trip to Rome since I already made a blog post talking about it. But I had a great time there. And I think it was the perfect way to end the summer before I headed back to uni. Everyone says that when you are young you should travel and I think 2016 was just the beginning for me.

After Rome came the hard work of starting university again. Second year so far has been so much more work than first year. So it was a big adjustment for me. That and moving into my student house was a lot to take in for the first month or so. But soon enough I settled into a new routine. There are still flaws in this routine but I know things will work out in the end.
Obviously moving out wasn’t the smoothest of transitions. We went without wifi in our student house for a month and it was a whole new world having to pay for food and bills on your own. But I think it went pretty well. We also had a roommate situation but luckily we were able to deal with that as soon as possible and everything worked out for the best.
On top of starting university I was also looking for a job for my placement year. I was completely new to the process of applying for jobs and going to interviews so it was a learn as you go type of thing but everything worked out well in the end. I got offered a job in the middle of December and I start in July which is wonderful. Something less to think about for now.
And to end the year I was able to spend lots of time with friends and family over Christmas which was really great. Ever since going to university I don’t get to see all my friends as much as I used to and so I think that it was good that I got to see them when they came home for the holidays.
I was always worried about keeping in touch with friends after we left secondary school. It’s a lot harder when you don’t see each other everyday but when you do get to hang out again it’s really fun. And I hope that I can continue to keep in touch with my friends no matter where we go and what we do in life. It’s definitely something that takes work but when you have really good friends, it’s worth it.
I am now currently enjoying my time off from university and preparing for another crazy year ahead. I have no idea what exactly 2017 holds for me, but if it’s anything like 2016, then I welcome it with open arms. If you had told me this time last year that this was how my year was going to turn out I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s been so amazing. And I’m glad that I got to share it with such amazing people.
So do I have any expectations for 2017? Not really. I’m not expecting this year to be like the last one, maybe it’ll be better, maybe it’ll be worse. Who knows? I just know that I am going to continue doing my best and see where it takes me. I’m definitely going into this year with a positive attitude, and I hope everyone else does too.
I hope you all had a good 2016, despite all of the bad things that happened. And I hope 2017 is a great year for you. I feel like the whole world is hoping 2017 is a great year. So let’s see if we can make it one.
~ Courtney x

Five Days in Rome

I’ve been meaning to make this blog post for a while now haha. It’s been over a month since I’ve been to Rome but I still wanted to write about it. So here it is, my trip to Rome.
It started off as a random conversation between me and my boyfriend, we wanted to go on holiday somewhere and he had always wanted to go to Rome. It was just before summer and we hadn’t been going out that long but we agreed we would go to Rome someday together.
Who knew that someday meant a few months from then?
It’s kind of crazy to go on holiday with someone you haven’t known for that long. Especially if you are in a relationship with them. This would be the first time we were ever fully alone together for five whole days, and it’s not like one of us could just leave if we had a fight. So I was a little bit nervous about it.
But luckily I had nothing to worry about. Yes, we got annoyed at each other (mainly because all of the walking and the heat really got to me) but we’re still together now and so I take that as a good sign haha. I mean every couple has their disagreements and get annoyed at each other at time to time, why would going on holiday be any different?
Anyway, moving on to the actual trip itself.
Rome is breathtaking. Everywhere you go in Rome there are beautiful buildings, fountains and all of the pizza/gelato places you can imagine. I honestly had never been in a place with so many restaurants around every corner. It was wonderful.
On the first day we arrived in the morning but didn’t arrive to our hotel until the afternoon. We hadn’t really arranged transport to the hotel from the airport but we decided to take the bus, and then a train rather than pay for a taxi.
Public transport in Rome is very cheap – well taxis can be expensive due to traffic and they run on meters – but the train we took everyday from where our hotel was to Rome was only 1 euro. I found it hard to believe the train cost so little, especially when the same length of journey here costs about £6. So if you are ever in Rome – take the train!
Once we had been to our hotel and showered – we used the rest of the day to go into Rome. We wanted to see something so that our first day there hadn’t been wasted and so we went to the Trevi fountain. It took a little bit of navigation to get there from Rome Termini but we found it in record time thanks to Google Maps.

It was beautiful. And way bigger than I thought it was haha. There were people everywhere so it was hard to find a way to even get close to the fountain but we managed it. We only stayed for a little while but we said we would come back the next day to throw a coin in and make a wish – at first we weren’t sure if we could do that since it seemed not a lot of people were making wishes but you can still do it!

We actually ended up at the Trevi fountain every night we were in Rome. I’m not even sure how but we did haha. Sometimes it was just because we knew there were lots of shops and restaurants around it because it’s a tourist spot, other times it was a complete accident. But it is not the worst place in the world to end up at.

One night we were there and my boyfriend decided to get gelato. He had had some before and he wanted more so this time he ordered a large cone. The first one he had gotten was small and wasn’t enough and thought the large would be more fitting. Little did he know the large cone was going to be bigger than his head haha.
But he accepted the challenge of eating all of it, cone and all. It was a struggle but he did it and vowed never to eat that much gelato/ice cream ever again. The people next to us cheered for him when he had finished and kindly gave him some wipes to clean the gelato from his hands. This was also the night a couple got engaged at the fountain, so it was a night to remember for us all.
The second day we were in Rome we headed to the Vatican. It was an all day affair but it was so amazing. I can’t even really describe to you what it was like but I did take some pictures that I think you’ll enjoy:

We also went to St Peter’s Basilica that day and while we were resting I decided to play some Pokemon Go. And I know what you’re thinking – how can you play a video game when you are in such a beautiful city? But I just had to see what kind of Pokemon I could catch in a new place haha. I was able to catch some great new Pokemon and even take some gyms too, all while enjoying the view of this great city.

After visting the Vatican and St Peter’s we ventured back towards the Trevi fountain to make our wishes, and to find a restaurant to eat at. There were so many to choose from that it was so hard to find one but we finally found a nice one. I liked this one because of the umbrellas attached to the chairs, I thought it was really cute.

I felt like I was in a movie, sitting outside having dinner in Rome. It was so romantic. I was also just in shock that we were able to sit outside at night and eat at all. In the UK it’s always too cold/raining so you can’t do that haha. But outdoor restaurants are everywhere in Rome and I think they are really cute.
There were so many restaurants that looked so pretty that we wanted to go in but we definitely didn’t have time to go to them all haha. Normally you see them in the side streets you walk down to go somewhere else and they just look so inviting…
On Wednesday we headed to the Colosseum – another classic tourist destination in Rome, and the number 1 place we had to go to on my boyfriend’s list. Again, it was so much bigger than what I thought it would be. I mean seeing these places on TV and in movies is never anything like when you see them in real life.

When we went to all the these tourist places, we decided to go and see them at our own pace and so didn’t have a tourguide, but I do regret that a little bit. Mainly because I feel like I would have been able to learn a lot more if through a tourguide. However it is nice not to have to follow on a schedule and explore these places in your own time.
After the Colosseum we walked up Palatine hill – this was not my favourite thing to do. Here’s a tip – don’t wear all black in the sun – it’s not good. But the view was worth it. I’ll admit we didn’t spend as much time there as we should have but I definitely didn’t have the right walking shoes for the occasion haha.

That night we headed to the Spanish steps – which were unfortunately closed at the time. But we still spent some time in the plaza, people watching and admiring all of the designer stores. I’m not really sure why but the plaza surrounding the Spanish steps is designer heaven. There are brand names everywhere and one day I hope to come back to Rome just so I can shop there. I feel like it’s Rome’s version of Fifth Avenue and it’s wonderful.

The next day we headed on a boat ride – not really sure where our destination was supposed to be or if it was some kind of tour haha – my boyfriend bought all of the tickets for touristy things. But all I remember was that we got off the boat and made our way to the Pantheon.
Again, another gorgeous place to visit. We walked around the area and found a plaza with the most beuatiful toy shop I have ever seen. I wanted to buy all of their dolls. It looked like something out of a fairytale.

That night we walked around town and noted a lot of shops and we agreed that we would come back into town on our final day and do some shopping. However when it came to finding the shops the next day we were out of luck. We couldn’t remember the name of the plaza we were on and spent a lot of the day walking in a circle. It was maybe not the best last day to have in Rome.
Not to mention the traffic on the way to the airport! We had arranged transport with the hotel to take us to the airport. Luckily it was at a fixed price otherwise we would have been paying so much more money for the taxi. But we did make it to the airport with time to spare.
We were a bit worried our flight might be delayed or cancelled because at the time, it seemed a lot of earlier flights had been delayed but luckily we were able to get on our flight with no problems.
The trip home seemed to happen in a blur. I was so tired that I lost perception of time and everything seemed to take longer than usual. By this time I just wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep forever.
And at 2 a.m I was granted my wish haha. The next day I spent catching up on social media and uploading photos of my trip to Facebook. It feels weird to look at holiday photos after you come home. It’s almost as if you can’t believe you were there even though you have photographic evidence.
But it was an amazing trip, and I am really glad that I went with my boyfriend. I think it was a great bonding experience for us and has brought us even closer. It was also great to be able to explore somewhere new.
And as someone who went from never having left the country to going to New York and Rome in a matter of months, I can say I finally understand why people like to travel. It really does give the word holiday a real meaning to me. You separate yourself from your world and everything you know and are put into a different environment. A fresh start where no one knows you and a place you’ve never been to. It’s intoxicating.
But at the same time I was glad to be home and sleep in my own bed. There’s nothing like coming back to your home after being somewhere far. And I guess that’s why I know I could never move away from here. I would miss it too much. Even though I do hate it sometimes, it’s my home.
And so, that concludes my blog post about Rome! I’m sorry it took me so long to write but when I came home from Rome I honestly had no real words to describe it. Even now I don’t think what I have written does the city justice but I still hope you enjoyed. And maybe next time when I go on holiday I’ll post about it sooner haha.
~ Courtney x

New York and KCon NY 2016!

Wow is all I can say.
So a few months ago I agreed to go to New York for KCon with my friend Jasmine. I didn’t really know what to expect. Jasmine is really the one that is a huge fan of KPop and so I knew she would probably appreciate the experience more than me. Especially since her favourite band Seventeen was going to be there.
I’m not saying I’m not a fan of KPop though. I got into KPop around 2013 with Girls’ Generation however I never really listened to anything other than SNSD, so you can imagine how upset I was to find out this was going to be the first year Girls’ Generation was not going to be at KCon NY. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the people who were attending KCon NY this year. It’s just that I didn’t know a lot about the artists that were attending. But I did my research.
Anyway, fast forward to June and soon enough I was on a plane for the first time on the way to New York.
I couldn’t believe this was happening. Until this trip I had never left the country, never been on a plane, never even been to a concert. And so, to say this experience was a life changing one is very much true.
As soon as we got to New York, we passed out. It was only around 9 p.m but we were exhausted. A lot of travelling will do that to you, so we called it an early night and woke up super early the next day. We arrived into New York a day early which gave us an opportunity to explore the city and see the sights.
I was super excited about this because I have always wanted to go to New York. It’s one of those places you have to go to because you see it so much on TV and in movies. And in particular for me, I wanted to go to New York because it’s where the TV show Gossip Girl is set. All I ever wanted on a trip to New York was to be like Blair Waldorf and sit on the steps of the MET. And I got to do just that.

Of course we got to see a lot of other great sights when we were in New York. We got to see Times Square, Central Park, 5th Avenue and so many more things. However since we were only there for one day we didn’t really get to explore any of these places. We sort of just whizzed passed them on a tour bus. But I hope that one day I get to go back to New York and experience everything properly. I did however get some nice photos that day.

Later on in the day, Jasmine and I headed to the Prudential Center in Newark to check in to KCon and also attend Klub KCon. Which was a show the day before the convention started where one of the performing artists would make an appearance. We had no idea who was going to be showing up there but Jasmine had hoped it would be Seventeen. And as luck would have it, it was SEVENTEEN.
I had looked them up once I had found out they were going to be at KCon and that Jasmine was in love with them and I can completely understand why she loves them. Their music is catchy, they are good looking and there are thirteen of them. What’s not to love?
So it’s safe to say the fangirling started early with us haha.

Seventeen!

After Klub KCon we met up with some friends Jasmine had made online and hung out with them. They were all super nice and of course, huge KPop fans. One of them actually makes KPop reaction videos on YouTube and so we actually filmed a couple of reaction videos for his channel which was really cool. We also found out that some of the artists were staying at his hotel and he ended up sharing an elevator with some of them which was crazy. I don’t know how he stayed so calm in that situation as I know most people wouldn’t haha.

The next day was KCon day 1 and Jasmine and I had 2 fan engagements that day, Seventeen and Ailee. Jasmine really wanted to get the Seventeen hi touch but unfortunately we ran out of time to be able to find one but at least we got to go to the fan engagement. I think they were the artists we saw the most at KCon haha.

After the Seventeen fan engagement, I got to go to the Ailee hi touch event which was amazing. Ailee is one of the artists that I had known about before attending KCon and I really loved her music so it was really exciting to get to meet her. She’s so pretty in person and is also super charming and funny. I just love her so much. And so to be able to meet her was amazing. I have no words to describe it.
The hi touch experience was pretty crazy too. It went by so fast. It was literally just a second because I couldn’t think of anything to say to Ailee when I approached her. I just grabbed her hands and then just like that it was over. I know that at these events you don’t get long with the artist and if you do spend too long with them security do tend to move you along but still I wish I had thought of something to say to her haha. Other than that it was a pretty amazing experience.

Ailee!

 After the fan engagements came the first concert. The concert was incredible. I’m sure everyone says the same thing about watching their favourite artists perform live but this concert was insanely good. And even the artists we didn’t know that well, such as Crush and Dynamic Duo we ended up loving. There are no real words to describe it, it was just an unforgettable experience.
And during Ailee’s performance there was a technical malfunction and her backing track disappeared yet she still kept singing and she was FLAWLESS. I mean she sounded so good live without the backing track. It was insane. Luckily they were able to recover from the technical fault but no one was complaining about Ailee singing acapella.
Then Seventeen performed two stages and Jasmine was not prepared for that. I got really excited during their second stage when they did a cover of Balloons by TVXQ because that was one of the first KPop songs I ever really really loved. So that was also amazing.
Like I said, Crush and Dynamic Duo were insane – we didn’t know them before going into the concert but seeing them perform it was easy to see why so many people do love them and so we are definitely going to have to look into them more because their performance was so good.
We also really loved BTOB’s performance even though there’s was more like ballads compared to everyone else’s which were more upbeat and poppy. But still – it was incredible. I loved every single second and it was just a great show. Jasmine even lost her voice a little bit because of all the screaming haha.

Crush

The next day during KCon Day 2, Jasmine and I spent more time looking around the convention stands and also attended the Mamamoo fan event. Jasmine was able to get a Mamamoo hi touch and so was super excited about that.

She told me that Hwasa and Wheein really loved her Squirtle t shirt that was wearing which was really great. Although the Mamamoo fan event was quite short because they were running late but I’m glad that Jasmine got her hi touch, even though it wasn’t for Seventeen.
We originally had a lot of fan engagements for Crush and Dynamic Duo but because we didn’t know them we traded most of them for other things like the Mamamoo fan event and also a Seventeen fan event.
Mamamoo!
After the Mamamoo fan engagement it was time for the second KCon Concert. This was going to be a really exciting night because this was the night that BTS was performing. And a lot of people were only attending KCon to see BTS, so we knew the crowd was going to be insane this night.
While we were waiting for the concert to start Jasmine and I started to talk to the ladies in front of us. They told us about how they were at the concert the night before, but were sitting in a different section and also how they got some of the Seventeen members to do the ‘jam-jam’ dance with them. And then they explained their plan to see who they could get to do the dab during the second concert. Basically all they were going to do was do the dab anytime one of the artists came down the stage towards them to see who would do it back and Jasmine and I agreed to be a part of the plan.
The ladies were thrilled that we agreed to be a part of the ‘dab off’ and they also enlisted the help of several other people in our section. This ended up being the highlight of our night as we got several members of BTS to do the dab during the concert.
It was kind of insane because the first person to do the dab was Eric Nam. He was talking about his new music and possible dance moves for us to do during his performance of the new song and one of Jasmine’s friends knew about the dab plan, and so she did the dab right in front of Eric Nam and then he did it back!
So crazy, and then later in the night when BTS was performing several members also did the dab. I’m not sure which members of BTS but they did it. They probably thought we were crazy and we were but hey, BTS noticed us so that’s something.
And then towards the end, one of the members, Jimin was walking back up to the main stage and when he walked passed us Jasmine was throwing him hearts to see if they would do it back and Jimin threw a heart at Jasmine! She basically all but fainted in that moment. She couldn’t believe what had happened but everyone around her saw and we were so happy for her.
Then at the very end of the concert Jungkook from BTS started to dab insanely along the stage and one of the other members of BTS goes up to him and asks what he is doing and he POINTS TO OUR SECTION where we were sitting. Which is also unbelievable haha. I know he was making fun of us but that’s not the point. We got BTS to dab. Insane.

We found out at the end of the concert that the ladies that initiated the ‘dab off’ have a YouTube channel. They are called the KPop Mamas. And they were just so wonderful to us and so nice. We loved talking to them and fangirling with them and they definitely made the second night at the concert so much better than the first.
I think that’s one of the best things about coming to a convention like this, you meet amazing people. And not only that but you have an instant connection because you both share a love for something and are passionate about it. It’s definitely an incredible experience.

Other things I enjoyed in the second concert included Eric Nam – just Eric Nam in general. My heart melted when he came out on stage with roses, sadly I was too far away to receive one of them. That and he sang a little bit of acapella for us and also performed a new song of his in English. On top of that, he also did a special stage with Ailee which I loved. Mainly because no one was expecting Ailee to perform on both nights.
I also really enjoyed Day6 playing their instruments and singing their songs. And of course Mamamoo were also really good. They did a little collab with Day6 which again. no one was expecting which was great. And who can forget BTS, they closed an amazing show.

On our final day in New York, Jasmine and I decided to spend it in Times Square and did a little bit of shopping. It was kind of hard to navigate around the streets of New York with a suitcase and so we thought it was better to stay in one area.
I also found out New York was celebrating pride the day we were in the city and while I wanted to go to pride in New York, I knew going with a suitcase in tow was not going to end well. That, and we didn’t want to stray too far from the train station because we had to get back to the airport for our flight.
Fast forward a few hours later and we were still in the airport because our flight was delayed. It was delayed by two hours which kind of sucked. It was also a long flight back to the UK and so I was exhausted by the time we got back. It is not easy to sleep on an airplane.
Soon enough though I was back home, showered and in my pyjamas, ready to sleep.
And now here I am still talking about KCon almost 2 weeks later haha. I’m sorry I’ve been posting about it non-stop lately but it was definitely such an amazing experience that I wanted to share with people. At least my version anyway. I promise that I will officially stop posting about it now. After all the vlogs have gone up I swear that will be the end haha.
I still can’t believe it happened though. I mean I still don’t think I have fully adjusted to my normal life yet because I’m still living for the KPop craziness. And if anything, I would definitely do it again. Maybe not next year because my next target is to go to Vidcon, but definitely I would go back to KCon. I met some really amazing people, and I got to experience a new place with one of my best friends and so, yeah, who wouldn’t want that?
Anyway, I’m going to go now. I have a lot of Sims to catch up on and also I need to fix my sleeping pattern haha. If you want to know more about the adventures Jasmine and I got into in New York I also vlogged the whole thing so you guys can check that out on my YouTube channel. Other than that I hope you guys are having a good summer, and hopefully I have a new blog post for you guys soon!
~ Courtney x

My Holiday in Portrush

Hey, guys!
So today I thought I would share with you some photos of my holiday. If you guys didn’t know I went on holiday with my friends for the week to Portrush. Which is probably the only holiday destination we have in Northern Ireland. Everyone else decided to go abroad for their holidays, but me and my friends decided to stay up by the coast for a week. Haha.
So we rented a house for the week and packed our things and went off. I had no idea what we were going to be doing when we were away, mainly because we didn’t really have any plans, we just sort of decided we wanted to go on holiday and this was where we were going.
The house that we rented was called Isle Cottage and if you guys are thinking about staying in Portrush I would definitely recommend this house because it was such an adorable little house in a quiet area. Plus there is plenty of room for everyone.

Isle Cottage

If you guys are interested in seeing the little house tour I did of this house you can check it out in my vlog below:

The first day that we got there we didn’t actually do much, we just got settled and did some shopping for the week. Then we played some Cards Against Humanity which has quickly become our favourite game.

The next day started out nice, we went to Barry’s which is the amusement park in Portrush. We went on some rides and then we decided to go along the streets and look into the shops. A lot of the shops in Portrush are very touristy you can pick up almost anything there with a name on it if you want to bring back personalised gifts, they also have a custom t-shirt store if you want to make customised t-shirts for your holiday.
We also stopped by one of the arcades that they had known as ‘Phil’s Amusements’. We played some arcade games to win some tickets. I ended up winning the most out of all my friends and picked up a few things from the prize counter, nothing special, just a ring, a notebook and two sweets.
We had also planned to go to the beach this day but then it began to rain so we just decided to go home and we played some more card games. A popular one was “bullshit” which is basically where you have to try and get rid of the cards in your hand by putting them in the centre and if people think you are lying about the card that you have put down they say “bullshit” and it escalated and got heated very quickly but it was fun. You can also replace the word “bullshit” with a less explicit one if you don’t feel like yelling swear words at your friends.
Another game we played was “spoons” and this is where you pass cards around and try to get four of a kind and then once you do, lift a spoon. Then everyone else has to take a spoon after the first one has been taken and the person without a spoon gets a letter. They are out if they get all the letters that spell “spoon”. It was a fun game and definitely not as aggressive as “bullshit”.

The set up for Spoons

The next day was a lazy day and we didn’t do anything. This is because the weather wasn’t great so we spent the day at home, but that was fine, we all had our books and electronics to entertain us. Another plus side to the house was that it had WiFi and the WiFi was pretty good, it did cut out a little when we were there but for the most part it was strong.
The day after that we headed back to the amusements because the last time we went one of our friends wasn’t able to go as she had to work. This is the day that we won ourselves a Pony. It sounds weird that a bunch of 18/19-year-olds went to the amusements with the sole goal of winning a Pony from the ticket counter but that’s what we did.

It started out as a joke but it quickly escalated and so we were able to take home our prize, we named it Isla Sheniqua, and there has never been a more majestic pony in all the land.

That night me and three of my other friends went out to Kelly’s which is a nightclub in Portrush. It was one of those places that we had heard a lot about and so we decided to go for the night and see what the fuss was about. Some of my friends didn’t want to go and so decided to stay home instead, they had their own dance party at the house.
I’m not really the type of person to go clubbing but I would recommend Kelly’s in Portrush. It wasn’t like I expected it, I had heard it had been around for a long time and so I didn’t know how well it would look on the inside but it has been renovated and it looks really great. The music was good and the atmosphere was really great.
Also, the taxi driver that we got to the club was so nice! He was very helpful on giving us information on the club and its opening hours and he also arranged with us a taxi back to the house which was very generous of him. Since it was our first time going there we really appreciated the information from the taxi driver.
The sad thing about it is that it is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays which was very upsetting to me and my friends who really wanted to go again before we left. It’s a fun place to go to but it’s not the kind of place you can go to every week if you live far away from it like me and my friends do. But it was good to go just once so that we could say we’ve done it.
Me and my friend Jasmine before we went out
The next day we went to Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which I have actually never been to before. It’s one of the main attractions in the coast and it was a nice way to spend part of our day. Going over the actual rope bridge wasn’t too bad, although I’m sure if you are scared of heights it would be more of a challenge.
The weather wasn’t too bad when we went however it was windy which could sway some people when they are on the bridge. Other than the bridge itself the scenery there is beautiful. I really loved it and was able to get some really great pictures while we were there.

After the rope bridge, we decided to head to the beach but unfortunately it began to rain when we got there so we didn’t spend a lot of time there. When we got home we ordered a Chinese from JustEat.co.uk and chilled for the evening. It was surprising that we were able to get a delivery because we thought we’d be too far out and have to go and collect the food ourselves but we did find a place to deliver to us. It took just over an hour to get to us which was good timing considering where the house is.
The next day we had plans to go to the Giant’s Causeway but after looking up the prices we decided not to go because we thought it was too expensive. If you are going to Portrush and have never been to the Giant’s Causeway I do recommend it though because it is something we’re known for.
However, because my friends and I live in Northern Ireland we decided it was okay to give it a miss because we’d all been before.
So instead we decided to go to the beach again and have a picnic. Luckily this time the weather was nice and we were able to find a place in the rocks to sit so we didn’t get sand in everything. Again, I was able to get some really great pictures.

This was our last full day here because we had to leave early Saturday morning and so we decided to go out for dinner. One of the best-known places to eat in Portrush is Ramore, I’ve heard a lot about the restaurant because of people from school going there and so we decided to go.
Ramore is not just one restaurant however, it is actually a group of different restaurants located in the same area of Portrush which I think is really nice because they have different restaurants for different occasions. My friends and I decided to eat in the Harbour Bistro which has more of a ”bar’ type atmosphere and we didn’t have to book a table, they only take bookings for parties of 10 people or more and there were 7 of us but we luckily didn’t have to wait for a table. The service there was great and they were very quick in serving us, the restaurant also requires you to order at the counter which is nice because it allows you to have time to decide what you want before you order.
Overall the experience was great and we had a really nice time and, of course, the food was good too.
That night we came home and we packed up our things to prepare for leaving the next day, we were all quite sad about having to leave because it had been such a nice week away.
We left early Saturday morning and made it back home around lunch time. The drive was long to get back home but I suppose the journey will always be long depending on where you are travelling from.
If I had to say anything else about the trip it’s that I really enjoyed spending time with my friends, I know that we have seen each other every day at school but soon we won’t even have that so it was so good to have a little holiday away together. Plus we were able to make it through the week without wanting to kill each other which is great because it means our friendship was meant to last haha.
Now just because the holiday is over doesn’t mean we’ll never see each other again, we told ourselves we’d make plans and hang out over summer because there’s still a lot of summer left.
Anyway, I hope that you guys enjoyed this blog post, it’s a little different from my past blog posts but I hope you found it helpful and maybe it’ll make you consider taking a holiday in Portrush sometime soon…who knows?
~ Courtney x