15 things I’m grateful for

I’ve decided to dedicate this post to being thankful for the things I have in my life. I’m so incredibly lucky and blessed and I wanted to share a bit of gratitude and encouragement for us all to think about and appreciate even the tiniest things in life.

  • My faith– I’m so thankful that I am a Christian, I have a God who cherishes me (my faults and ALL), I can be proud of who I am and what I believe in. I’m grateful to the people who have taught me what it’s like to love God and share his goodness wholly and openly!
  • The people I have around me and their CONSTANT support– my family, friends, fiancé, teachers, church leaders, co-workers, lecturers and many more have influenced the person I am today. They have taught me to love others (even when it feels difficult), to have strength and courage in situations I may not want to face, to persevere, to push through anxiety and have confidence in who I am and who God made me to be.
  • My job– everyday it is a new challenge (a lot of the time I don’t feel like facing a new challenge…) and it keeps me learning new skills, thinking of new ways to do things and making me a better nurse.
  • My days off work– in order to relax and unwind from usually a very busy 13 hour shift.
  • Flowers– don’t flowers just make the world a happier place? 🌹🌷🌸
  • My health– I feel so grateful to be well, fit and healthy. This is something I will always be hugely grateful for as I am reminded at work of the hardships many of the families I look after go through.
  • My car– I love my little Nissan Micra called Esther…
  • Lush bath bombs/products– my relaxing evening sorted! Plus every one of their products smells INCREDIBLE!
  • Getting a mortgage, buying furniture and (nearly) moving into our new flat– eeee so exciting, I feel like I’m really adulting now!
  • TV- loving Hunted, Release the Hounds, Hard Sun and many more programs… as well as a little bit of Come Dine with Me hahah!
  • My favourite snuggly blanket– makes me feel nice and cosy on cold evenings.
  • Online shopping (or just shopping in general…)– whether that is clothes, furniture, home stuff, shoes or food. LOVE IT.
  • Everyone who is supporting Ben and I in planning our wedding– you are amazing! That includes our parents, bridal party, grooms party, family, friends, etc. x
  • Little surprises– my parents sent me a cute package the other day with some organisation bits in… who doesn’t love a bit of organising! There was some Candy Kittens sweets and some other little bits and pieces. So cute and so grateful!
  • Lastly, I’m so grateful for this blog and the people that follow me and support me with my blogging!

What are the things you are grateful for?

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It’s finally 2018! A year of craziness, business and joy for me. Hopefully a year full of excitement for you all too! I’ve been reflecting on 2017 and how much I have done/achieved- qualifying as a nurse, getting a first in university, getting and starting my new job, going on holiday with my family and Ben, buying a car, getting engaged and planning a wedding. Of course there have been lows too (which I won’t expand on in this blog post…), but that’s to be expected. It’s about how to come back and grow into the beautiful people we are through those experiences. I know its corny, but its the tough times that make us stronger humans.

For Christmas I received a diary called “The Happiness Planner”*, which I absolutely adore. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on how my day has been, think about my goals, challenge myself and organise my upcoming days, weeks and months. It’s especially helpful at the moment, through this busy period of wedding planning, moving house, working and blogging. I thought i’d share with you some of the goals and dreams I have in mind for 2018:

  • Spend more time committed to blogging- drafting ideas, writing blog posts and making my site as interesting and creative as I possibly can. This is something I genuinely love doing- i’d love to develop it further.
  • To be more selfless- I have been really aware recently that since I started my job (in my job I spend all my time doing things for others to ensure they are well and happy) I have ended thinking a lot more about myself outside of work, rather than thinking about how I can help, support and show kindness to strangers, friends and family. I want to work towards being a person who has a selfless heart of love and compassion through words, actions and gifts.
  • Give a gift to a meaningful charity to me this year- whether that’s through giving blood, giving some money or anything else.
  • Allow myself some rest time and TLC each week- whether that’s having a bath, doing a face mask, doing my scrapbook, listening to music or watching TV. Need that chill time especially through all the craziness of life and 13 hour shifts…
  • Spend more time digging, reading and understanding the Bible and trusting the plans God has for my life.
  • Go to the gym regularly and eat healthier- I want to refuel my body and my mind ready for a busy year. YAS!

Whatever your goals are for 2018, make sure they are achievable and enjoyable! Don’t be too harsh on yourself, remember that we are not perfect and life will never be perfect all of the time- so give yourself some slack and make sure you look after yourself this year!

*this post is not sponsered, I just really love their products and the planner I have.



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What it means to live courageously?

I’ve had a tough week of unexpected and stressful events. I’ve lived in a little world of doubt, fear and self-pity for the last week, only relying on my own resources to guide me through. I’ve realised that this is not how I was born to live. Living courageously is not about doing everything on your own or trying to solve every problem.

The Bible calls us to “wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14). Jesus displayed courage when he knew that he had to go to the cross and die in order for us to have freedom from sin and death. “And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”” (Luke‬ ‭9:22‬). God said to Joshua “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”” (Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬). God calls us to be the same- mighty warriors in the battles we face in life!

For me personally, living a life of courage is trusting that God is holding my life in his hands with great plans in store. Also, when there are bad days, weeks, months and years, remembering that God has ALWAYS got me and he will never let me fall. I trust that I am safe and secure. I trust that I will never have to face anything alone. I trust that my life has value and beauty in every step. I trust that when I look back on the hard times, I will realise how much God has shaped me.

I have also realised the importance of honesty in order to live courageously. Knowing that it’s okay to feel sad, disheartened and stressed- these are all normal emotions. I have had the courage to open up to my friends and family about my feelings this week, which has released a new freedom and sense of peace. This has meant that people have been joining me in prayer and I have felt beyond supported. So a BIG thank you to all you people (u know who u are)!

No matter how much I try and plan out my life, God is always one step ahead. Even if I become confused how everything will work out, I’ll always rely on my Heavenly Father and this wonderful verse: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬)

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The importance of persevering

My week has been challenging to say the least. I feel as if one thing after another has been piled on top of me, which has left me feeling deflated and wanting to quit. I have constantly had thoughts this week like “my life would be so much easier if i had this…” or “i would be so much happier if i was doing this…”. I have just felt so overwhelmed and unable to think positively about how to combat all these things that have been stressing me out.

I sat down this evening and spoke with my mum (who ALWAYS gives me wise advice and never fails to encourage me). I spent some time reflecting on what she had said to me (whilst snuggled in bed with a cuppa and some worship music on). I remembered the reason why I was on this earth and my purpose that God has over my life. He has called me to be a children’s nurse. He has instilled sensitivity and empathy into my personality for a reason. I am called to bring joy and encouragement into others lives. He calls me to always PERSEVERE through the tough days, weeks, months, years.

My trust is in father God, he who brings peace, encouragement, passion, joy, wisdom and love into my life. He will be walking with me and holding me up.

This verse stood out to me this evening as an encouragement to always have faith in God’s plan and persevere:

“My brothers and sisters, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.”


James‬ ‭1:2-5‬ ‭(Good News Bible Version)

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Life update vol. 1

Helllllllo you,

I’m slacking with my blog posts, but I promise it’s for a good reason. I wanted to give you a little life update of what’s been going on at the moment and what’s been on my mind.

I’ve recently had a lot of life changes happen recently- so the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I finished my university nursing course- which was such a huge achievement! I defo couldn’t have got through the difficult days on placement, the stress, tears and crazy amounts of work without my AWESOME fiancé, family and friends. You know who u are, u are gems 💎

I had a bit of a break after finishing my student nurse placement and my course. These last 3 years have been super intense, so I just needed to chill out and enjoy a lovely holiday with my family! Here’s some of my fav little memories over my break before I started my new job:

I started my job on Monday as a real life proper nurse, which is so surreal, but incredible! Not going to say that it’s been 100% easy (because nah it has not..). It’s been intense trying to understand my new role, finding my way round the hospital and ensuring that I can be the best I possibly can! I am so excited to be a part of this incredible profession though- it’s such a privilege. I’m taking everything one step at a time and I’m sure in a few months time, I’ll be feeling a lot more confident about everything! I’m trusting God with this all too- I have felt and known for many many years that this is where God wants me to be. I trust that he’ll be guiding me through all the beautiful, amazing moments, as well as the challenging and hard times.

Ben and I have been continuing to plan our wedding, getting excited for our future- thinking about our home, where we want to live, etc, etc. Even though I currently feel like I have SO much to do that I won’t manage to fit it all in, it’s super exciting!! Also, being busy is great, because it means that the next 10 months will flyyyyy by and in no time Ben and I will be husband and wife 💓

2018 is going to be an INCREDIBLE year (also a lil bit crazy hahah). New job, new city, new car, graduation, marriage, new home, new EVERYTHING!

There u go, a quick life update from me. I hope you are all well and just as excited for 2018 as I am! ✨

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beauty is loving the whole you- inside and out.

I wanted to talk with you about something I am really learning about myself.

I feel as if the topic of body confidence and loving your (inner and outer) beauty is a big talking point at the moment. This is exciting, because this expression of LOVE for ourselves is needed now more than ever. In a society where body shaming and negative comparison happens on a daily basis, children are battling with fears, anxieties about their bodies/personalities and even suffering with eating disorders at such a young age, something needed to happen. To see this positivity and encouragement that we are beautiful as humans, is exciting!

We all have days when we feel imperfect and insecure- that is okay and completely normal. It’s how we deal with those feelings and how we help ourselves to be positive about the bodies and personalities we were given. Here are some of the things that help me when I’m having an “agh” day…

1. Remind yourselves of the amazing people you have around you and that they LOVE you. You are cherished just as you are, with all your beauty and your flaws. Doing this on a daily basis, enables me to remember that I am great and I don’t need to change. If it helps, go ahead and ask some of your nearest and dearest what they love about you. Then go and tell them what you love about them!

2. For every negative you speak over yourself, you have to say 3 truthful things you adore about yourself.

Being honest: I haven’t liked my skin for a long time- the way it is so blemished/scarred from having acne as a teenager. However, I love my long, healthy hair, my musical ability to play the piano/ sing and my caring nature which enables me to empathise and understand other’s situations.

3. SELF CARE. This is key- look after yourself. Pamper yourself. Do whatever makes you feel good and like a queeeeeen.

You are beautiful. You are cherished. You are loved. Believe in yourself.

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“… the greatest of these is love”

In a year today I will be making the biggest commitment of my life, choosing to marry my best friend in the name of God. I feel so overwhelmed and excited thinking about the awesome future that is ahead of us. However, I have been reflecting massively on everything that has happened in my life so far, leading up to this point- I’m so thankful for every single moment of love, joy, adventure and happiness that God has placed in my life. I’m also thankful for all the hard times because I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.

1 Corinthians 13:13 popped up on my Bible app a couple of days ago, which says “Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love” and I was reminded of God’s generosity- he places love in so many areas of our lives and I feel so grateful to have fallen in love with not only my fiancé but also have a deep adoration for my family, housemates, children’s nursing and China. For God to give/show us a glimpse of what his love for us looks like is so awesome! I have no words for how much it makes my heart happy to know a portion of how much we are loved!

As a step into a new life with my husband-to-be, I also step into a deeper spiritual relationship with God, sharing every high and low together and trusting God through everything. I’m so thankful that God has put Ben in my life- he’s shown me what true love is like, what it’s like to have a no.1 supporter through every path of life, what it’s like to experience true joy and he always reminds me of my worth and value in not only his eyes but also in God’s.

To celebrate getting engaged and the start of a new journey, we decided to take some photos:

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it’s okay to not be okay

It’s been a very  l o n g  time since i’ve written on this blog. I’ve been super busy, lots of exciting things have been happening like starting my final placement, finishing my last assignment and wedding preparations. But it’s not all been an easy road, there have been disappointments, bad days and challenges. Last week I had a particularly bad day where nothing seemed to go right and it just seemed to turn into a negative downwards spiral.

It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to have bad days. It’s also okay to talk to people about how you are feeling- you are not a burden and so many people love you.

Here are some of the ways that help me to understand, cope with the hard days and focus on the beautiful things, enabling me to change my mindset to a positive one:

  • It’s so important to talk about feelings. I’m not that great at this one, but i’m definitely learning the importance of this. I tend to hold my feelings in when I get angry or upset, which then only causes me to fall into the negativity trap. I end up feeling 100 times worse than I  originally did. Find someone who genuinely cares about you and is someone you trust, then talk to them honestly. It’ll make you feel so much better and getting someone else’s view/opinion may also aid you in understanding more about why you are feeling a certain way.
  • Pray. Now for me this is really important, my faith is a part of who I am and God always guides me and provides me with complete peace, especially times when i’m feeling anxious or having a bad day. I find myself trying to deal with everything on my own, but as soon as I give everything over to God and open up my heart to him- I feel free from all the negativity in the day. It’s so refreshing and I am always utterly overwhelmed by God’s love for me. Whoever you are, if you want to, you can always step into closeness with God- just start by speaking out your heart and seeking him.

bible verse

  • Writing in a journal. I find if i’m feeling really angry or sad, it helps me to write down all the things that have made me feel that way to get it off my chest. Then on the next page I will always write lots of positive things that aid me in remembering all the amazing things in my life and how grateful I am for it all. This helps me to sort out my thoughts and start/end the day on a positive note.
  • Listening to chilled music. Music always helps me to relax and allow me thinking and reflecting time! Put on your favourite happy or chilled out tunes, make yourself a cuppa and then turn yourself into a burrito with a blanket.

Whatever helps you, remember that it’s okay to have a bad day but keep reminding yourself of all the positive and great things in your life!

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he liked it, so he put a ring on it

So… long time, no speak. The reason is pretty valid though, I’ve been very busy!

I have some very exciting news to share with you all, some of you may know, others may not. On the 20th May 2017 I said YES to becoming part of the Stapleton family. My boyfriend (now my fiancé, ooooh how exciting does that sound?!) proposed to me and I wanted to share a little bit of our story with you.

Ben and I have currently been together for nearly 2 and a half years. We met each other at the christian union at university in my first term of my first year and Ben was in his second year. We both noticed and had our eyes on each other from the first time we met. Defo had that initial sparkle! Here is where I give credit to one of my best friends- after I had stressed to her about whether I should message Ben, she told me just to go for it and see what happens (Anna V, u are the reason we are together, so thanks xo). We ended up talking ALL the time and from there everything just blossomed. We both knew pretty quickly we were meant to be together after sharing a lot about ourselves and feeling so comfortable with each other. We decided to go on a walk and a talk on the 16th December 2014 and that’s when our relationship “officially” started.

We’ve shared some pretty amazing memories together along the way. Including seeing Ben graduate and finish his degree with a 2:1, celebrating his 21st birthday, sharing and celebrating getting baptised, going to the Isle of Wight with him and his family, magical evenings together watching the sunset in Inverness in Scotland, conquering our fears on Go Ape, beach days, going punting for my 21st birthday, having dinner out in Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in London, celebrating me getting my first nursing job, going to see Russell Howard in the Royal Albert Hall, travelling to new cities and many, many more.

So this is the part that probably most of you are intrigued about… how Ben proposed. So I’m going to tell you! Ben and I had been discussing weddings and getting engaged for a few months prior to actually getting engaged, so I guess you could say that I knew it was coming soon. But it was honestly so beautiful, the best day of my life (so far)! We went out in the morning just to run some errands, so started at as a pretty normal day and then Ben said that we were going to go on a picnic for lunch. Not going to lie, I was kinda hesitant to start with because it was supposed to rain that day… but Ben persuaded me that it would be lovely to have a picnic and spend time together, haha, little did I know!
We packed up some lunch and took it to a beautiful little spot right by the river with some trees over us. Ben and I had recently started geocaching and it’s an activity we enjoyed doing together- so, Ben mentioned that there was a geocache* close by and that I should look in the trees near to me and Ben looked on the other side. I found the container pretty quickly and started to open it. I then turned around to see Ben standing behind me with the ring box in his hand- at this moment, the floodgates opened and I just cried SO many tears of joy! I opened the piece of paper in the container and it said “Will you marry me?”- a personal geocache just for me that he had created. He then knelt down on one knee and told me he loved me and how he wanted to marry me. AND of course, through all my tears… I SAID YES!

So there you go, that was how he proposed. It was so beautiful and personal. It honestly was my dream proposal! I am still in awe of how he pulled it off, got his family and my family involved, without me finding out (i’m like a detective, trying to work out surprises). We then spent the rest of the day calling/contacting people close to us and celebrating with lots of prosecco with one half of the family! It was perfect.

To conclude, I just wanted to take a moment to talk about what marriage means to us. Marriage has huge significance in our lives, especially as christians. We believe that marriage is a binding agreement under God to spend the rest of your life with that person and live out the purpose God has called you to do together, as well as individually. It’s a very exciting time and we can’t wait to see how God will be blessing and calling us in our married life, as he has been in our separate lives.

I can’t wait to marry this wonderful man!

*Geocaching definition: “an activity or pastime in which an item, or a container holding a number of items, is hidden at a particular location for GPS users to find by means of coordinates posted on the Internet”

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let yourself unwind

It’s exam period or deadline stress for a lot of people at the moment, whether you are at school, college, university or work. This includes myself, i’ve recently just handed in my dissertation and i’ve still got an assignment to write, things to prepare for my final placement and admin bits for my new job. This is taking up a lot of time and it can be so easy to forget to relax or unwind from all of these. For me personally, it usually leads to me becoming unwell and then having to take time off- which is not what I want to happen. I’ve decided to talk about some of my favourite things to do to unwind when i’m feeling stressed or I just need to take a break. I’m the type of person who really enjoys having company and being around others. But I do also enjoy some time to myself, so for me it’s a balance of both!

  • Going for walks outside in the fresh air is one of my favourite things to do- I personally prefer going with some company. I enjoy having deep discussions together, taking pictures of nature (and each other too, maybe taking a cheeky selfie…), laughing and joking around. Being with friends or loved ones helps to de-stress, but also being outside just helps you to forget about the pressures of life and enjoy the beauty of the world around us instead.
  • Cooking (and eating, of course) are massive de-stressers for me. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. I know for many people, cooking may not be classified as “relaxation time”, but if it is, try making, experimenting and trying new meals for yourself. Go ahead, buy yourself a new cookbook and go crazy! If you enjoy eating good food, but not necessarily cooking it, you could always put aside some money and time, once a month or every couple of months go out for a delicious meal with some friends or family (or on your own- go for it!). I adore indian, thai and mexican food, so I really enjoy having mexican evenings with my housemates or creating a new tasty curry with different ingredients.
  • Having a bath, especially with Lush products is super relaxing. I love to just de-stress by reading a good book and listen to my chilled out spotify playlist. My favourite Lush bath bombs at the moment are called the “Roller” and the “Which Came first?”. I also love just popping a face mask on and painting my nails- taking time out to pamper myself!
  • If you love writing and haven’t ever written a journal or a diary, then I would massively recommend it. I find it helps me to reflect on the journeys and adventures I’ve had throughout the day. It helps you to be aware of the things that are troubling or upsetting you, but also as a reminder of all the joyful things you can be thankful for. A plus side to journalling is you can buy loads of pretty notebooks… seriously I have wayyyy too many! For me personally, journalling reminds me of the blessings that God has poured out over my life, but also the things that I need to keep praying for. Ultimately helping me to focus on God in every circumstance!


Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, make sure that throughout life (especially the stressful periods of time), you take time to look after yourself and relax. This is something that i’ve learnt is vital in order to not burn out. I feel like after 3 stressful, but wonderful years of university, i’m only just realising the true importance of this!

Whatever challenges you face, you have strength and you can do it! But please don’t forget to look after yourself too.

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inspirations to me

There are many people in this world or who have been in this world that inspire me. Their positive mindsets, the achievements they’ve made, the people they’ve helped, the gentleness of their hearts. It inspires me to be more like these people. Let me explain a bit more about who these are:

  • Florence Nightingale-  this is quite an obvious choice for the fact that I am training to be a nurse. She is an innovator in healthcare and provided hygienic and sanitary conditions within hospitals. The things she achieved helped lay the foundations of safe nursing practice and she is a massive reason in the advancing of healthcare. As International Nurses Day is approaching, it’s made me realise the fearless and selfless actions she took to care for her patients. She is my inspiration because this is the nurse I want to be one day!
  • My grandma- now this one is very personal to me. Sadly my grandma passed away in December 2013 from cancer, but she was and still is a huge inspiration in my life. She always lived with joy and a little bit of silliness. She taught me to never take myself too seriously, to laugh and not let other’s opinions get in the way of fulfilling my dreams. She pushed me to work hard, but always praised and celebrated me, whatever I achieved, whether that was a D or an A. She always encouraged me to continue pursuing my talents and to NEVER give up. She inspires me to bring up my future children/grandchildren with this love and encouragement that she did with me.
  • My boyfriend, Ben- another soppy one (I can hear some of you sighing, but i’ll try not to make it too gushy). Honestly, this man is a true inspiration! His passion for his faith, his ability to continue having complete trust in God no matter what situation he goes through. His positive outlook on life and how he has always shown me the importance in focusing on all the great things we have been given. I love his passion for serving, whether that’s within the church, giving people lifts, helping people out or running errands. His kindness overflows and I guess he’s an inspiration to me to always give and be generous.
  • The Bible, especially Jesus. Jesus’ compassion and endless care for others is admirable- in the Bible it can be seen that he spent time with and loved the sinners and the people that society had pushed away. He spent time with others just like you and I. He was honest and truthful and always proclaiming the goodness of God. He faced temptation, trials and pain but still battled through and relied on God in all circumstances. This is the woman I am continuing to try to be. The woman God has called me to be. I am not perfect and never will be, but aiming to love people just as Jesus did (and still does) is something I hold as very special and is deeply important to me.

I think we all have the opportunity to inspire others with our actions- I truly believe that it doesn’t have to be something huge, it can be as simple as radiating kindness as much as you can. We are only human which means that we are in no way perfect. But we can always aim to bring as much love and joy into the world, and by doing that we will inspire!

“Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. Do your best to preserve unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you.”

Ephesians 4:2-4

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my uni experience

As i’m coming towards the end of my university journey, I have been reflecting back on the experiences and adventures I’ve had along the way. Also, remembering the pretty tough times too. I’m lucky to say that university has (mostly) been such a positive and beautiful journey, meeting life-long friends and making amazing memories.

Throughout my childhood, I always knew that I was going to work in a hospital- my mind was constantly changing on what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. It went from becoming a nurse, to a doctor, to a physiotherapist, to a radiographer, then I finally realised that I wanted to be a children’s nurse in about year 11. I then applied to universities and went to an open day at the university i’m at now and realised that THIS was where I was meant to be. Little did I know that my life would completely change for the better!

First year feels like an absolute age away now, reflecting back on it, it was actually quite a tough year. I think the massive changes that were happening, having to meet so many new people and learn a completely new art- the art of becoming a nurse! The challenges of a first placement and many assignments to write could sometimes feel very overwhelming, however I started to get into the swing of it and it became slightly easier as time went on. First year was also one of the most beautiful years- I met my boyfriend in the October and we became a couple (my first boyfriend!) in the December. That’s all i’m going to say now… as there is another blogpost lined up for later!
Not only that, but I met the wonderful friends that I live with now. I made some hilarious and brilliant memories with my flatmates from halls. I became a part of the christian union and my relationship with God just… blossomed! I also decided to get baptised at the end of first year, sharing it with some of the most important people in my life.

Second year was SO long! There was loads to learn, lots of hard exams, assignments and placements. It just became quite a stressful year. However, there certainly were some fun memories and happiness throughout- going to Winter Wonderland with my boyfriend, beach days with my family, meeting with friends that I met in China, celebrating my housemate’s birthday with tasty food and cocktails, my friends making me cry with laughter when helping me prep for my OCSE exam (if you girls are reading- you should know what i’m talking bout!!), going to the Isle of Wight with my boyfriend’s family and then Scotland with my family- beautiful views from the hot tub. These are just a few of the memories that captured my heart from my time at university.

Third year has been INTENSE but also AWESOME! So many exciting things have happened and there is so much more to come. I feel like I have had so much more motivation this year (maybe that’s because i’m nearly qualified- not long now!). I’ve had the most amazing placement and actually really liked writing my dissertation… i’m a bit weird I know. I think I just really enjoyed learning more about my topic, developing my understanding and awareness. Although, not gonna lie, it’s also been really stressful at points this year. I have AMAZING housemates, they have continually encouraged and supported me, even when i’ve felt like i’m flagging! I also got a job as a children’s nurse ready to start once i’m qualified, which is super exciting, but a little bit scary too! It’s getting real now.

I ended up not at my university by chance, but because I knew it was my calling to go there. God has abundantly provided for me and shown me so many truths and hardships along the way. I can’t wait to become a fully qualified children’s nurse but equally it’s going to be so hard saying goodbye to some amazing coursemates and housemates that i’ve met whilst being at university. But I have no doubt we’ll continue to keep in touch and share more beautiful times together!

For now, i’ll try to fulfill my dream of becoming…

an inspiring beam of light.


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some of my favourite things

I felt very overwhelmed and lucky to receive a number of beautiful gifts for my birthday. I’m thankful to everyone who celebrated with me, it was a very special few days and i’ll cherish it for a long time to come.

I wanted to share with you just a few of my favourite things, although beware… I have a slight obsession with pink (as you can probably see from my blog site), so lots of these items are pink! The first thing that I have loved reading this month is this beauty book I received all about eating and looking after your skin well. My skin has always been bad from a young age, I suffered with acne as a teen and tried everything (including strong medications from the doctor) to try and clear it. Thankfully as I have got older my skin has cleared A LOT! However, I do still struggle with some horrible breakouts occasionally and my skin is still scarred from old spots. So, I always like to be learning more about skincare and good foods to eat to help your complexion.


So basically I absolutely love cooking, baking and making (and drinking) cocktails, so my parents kindly gave me a Kilner cocktail making kit which i’m super excited about using! Can’t wait to be making and having mocktail/cocktail evenings with my fav people. I also received a tasty recipe book to make more meals in my slow cooker! My brother treated me to some Anthropologie gold painted cutlery (okay I feel super old- I actually wanted cutlery for my birthday). But these are the prettiest things I have EVER seen in my life!


Feel so incredibly grateful to my boyfriend’s parents for buying me a Pandora PINK bracelet with a 21 charm, such a special gift! I have matched this with the watch I received- literally wear this everyday! This pretty highlighter from Mac and the perfume from Charlotte Tilbury is *heart eyes emoji*!

I then picked out and bought myself a jacket, black jeans and a pretty moon necklace- again these items I wear constantly. I adore shopping, although it’s not good when you are living off a student budget.


pretty clothes

Pink overload on this blog post, I know. Again, so thankful for everyone who made my birthday special. I’m genuinely so grateful and overwhelmed with the generosity of people!

Generosity is a practical expression of love!

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adventures and celebrations

I’ve been so busy recently, everything has just been non-stop but so amazingly fun and exciting. So grateful for all the family and friends who have supported me and celebrated with me over the past few days!

So it started on the 4th of April with seeing one of my beautiful best friends, spending a day in London, catching up on all the things we hadn’t spoken about, browsing the shops, lunching in the sun and spending money we don’t have to spend. The sun was shining and it was a precious day, the start of the ongoing celebrations and busyness.

I spent the next five days with Ben and his family celebrating my 21st birthday and doing many other exciting things. On the 6th of April, I woke up super early, as I always do on my birthday (I’m a child at heart) and went downstairs to find birthday breakfast laid out for me and pancakes made by my boyfriend… he’s definitely a keeper! All my presents were out on the table and I was just made to feel so special by Ben, the rest of his family, my family and friends. The day consisted of some very cute surprises- a beautiful day out in Cambridge, going on a private punting tour, being wined and dined and a spa day to go to after my dissertation is handed in.

It’s not only been a time of celebrating my 21st birthday, but also celebrating some friends of ours, wedding. Weddings are beautiful occasions, a time to celebrate two people coming together and choosing to share their lives together. Feel so blessed to have been invited and been a part of their wonderful day!


I then came back home to spend time more time with Ben, seeing my family and celebrating with them. I knew that I was having a party with my extended family, which I was so excited about. However, I had no idea that my family and Ben had planned to invite some really special people in my life! My face when opening the door to them was a picture!! It was such a beautiful day, spending good old quality time with all the special people in my life. The celebrations continued the next day on the 11th, for my brother’s 18th birthday. We went to a pretty location in Hampshire- had a day of relaxation and fun; playing giant jenga, tennis, and visiting secret gardens.

To top off the celebrations- I received a offer for my dream job as a children’s nurse in my dream location!! Everyday I’m thankful to God for providing me with so many things to be joyful about.

May all who come to you be glad and joyful,
May all who are thankful for your salvation always say,
“How great is the Lord!”
Psalms 40:16

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a place that changed my heart

Traveling and experiencing new cultures is something I have always loved doing, spending time in different countries with my family and friends, immersing ourselves into different ways of living. However, I never realised how much my heart would be changed by going to China in the summer of 2014. The amazing opportunity arose earlier in that year to go to a village an hour outside Beijing, for a period of 6 weeks to volunteer with infants and children who were orphans with serious medical conditions. It felt like a dream come true. The decision to go definitely wasn’t easy or straight-forward, it felt like there were so many barriers… no.1: I had nowhere near enough money to afford plane tickets, the cost of the trip and to survive for 6 weeks; no.2: I was going on my own at the age of 18, which at the time, felt very scary and no.3: I did not speak a word of Mandarin. Nevertheless, I felt a true calling on my life to pursue this journey and I knew that God would provide if I was meant to go, therefore I trusted him with everything I had (which was by no way easy) and he provided in ways that I could not have imagined, which enabled me to go and experience a place I’ll always hold in my heart.

I arrived in Beijing airport only knowing how to say “hello” in Mandarin, which made communicating with the driver an experience to remember. I felt so naive and completely unaware of the culture… also, that wearing a seat-belt and road safety did not exist. I remember the drive from the airport to where I was volunteering as being one of the scariest moments- I was clinging onto the handle on the inside of the car, thinking that I was going to die. We made it though and I look back on that memory fondly, as it always makes me giggle now! The hardest thing about going to China was going through the culture shock- I went completely off my food and felt so strange for a period of about 1 and a half weeks. However, my heart began changing throughout the 6 weeks and I became accustomed to the culture, got stuck into the volunteering I was doing, I learnt more phrases in Mandarin and developed my relationships with the people I was working and living with.

Serving was so rewarding- I developed many amazing relationships and learnt a lot about the people I worked with. I discovered the power of non-verbal communication and how two people with completely different languages can understand, spread love and joy. I cared for, played with and developed a clearer understanding of what medical care the children and babies were receiving. I also worked alongside children from a senior school in China, aiding them to develop their English. I had many opportunities and learnt so much from everything I did. It was really challenging at points, but also so beautiful to see the growth, development and strength of these wonderful children!

On the weekends I had off, I did a lot of exploring of Beijing and sightseeing- made so many wonderful memories which I will treasure- such as exploring parts of The Great Wall of China, visiting Tienanmen Square, going tobogganing down the Great Wall, white water rafting, shopping at the Pearl Market, joining in and dancing traditional Chinese dances in the park with many others, eating at Pizza Hut when we were completely fed up of eating rice for 3 meals a day, every day  and SO many more…

I think what captured my heart was this beautiful sense of community, a constant willingness to love and bring hope. The people who ran the foster home I volunteered in, the nannies who cared for these children, the extra activities that were started to help the community and this amazing joy everyone had for this place- it all captured me. I found myself falling for China and seeing that this was not just luck that I had ended up here. God had called me to spend my summer blessing and bringing as much joy and love as I could to others. I hope one day I can return and serve with joy again!




Serve the world with your joy!

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me, myself and I


blogHi. My name is Abbie and this is a new thing I’ve decided to try out. I came to the conclusion that the name for this blog should be Cheerfully Live- it sums up the way I try to live and my aim to bring more joy and cheer into my own and others lives. Soppy I know… by no way am I perfect, but it’s always great to have a goal!

Let me explain a bit more about who I am, what I do and my passions for life. I’m 20 years old, turning 21 years at the beginning of April, hooray! I’m also currently studying to be a Children’s Nurse, which has been an exciting journey full of joys, but there have also been many bumps and mountains to climb along the way.

I’m a complete sucker for no.1: FOOD, no. 2: Instagram, no. 3:journal writing and many more things like, going on adventures with closest friends, playing piano, singing, writing letters to my pen-pal and taking pictures. I also spend my time at church and part of the christian union at university, which has enabled me to meet some wonderful and life-long friends.

I hope to make this blog pretty relaxed and all about my favourite things, including writing about lifestyle, beauty, food recipes, general and student-based advice. But I’m totally up to suggestions and ideas on blog posts, as I want this to be a fun, inspirational and helpful blog for you!

“No one is you and that is your power”

Dave Grohl

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