Christmas PJ’s Round Up

Hi, loves!

This morning, Matt and I are heading to Manchester for a weekend of Christmas filled fun and I’m so excited! It is forecast to snow throughout the weekend though which is making me a little nervous because we’re driving down, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and squeeze in a little quality time with your loved ones!

One of my favourite holiday traditions is buying new pyjamas for Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning. I’ve bought the cutest pyjamas for Matt and I to wear this year, they’re super Christmassy and I’m so excited to settle in for the evening on Christmas Eve wearing them, then open our presents in them on Christmas morning! I know so many people love buying new pyjamas for Christmas Eve, so I’ve put together a little post for the last minute shoppers among us, filled with some of my favourite picks.

Ladies first…

Boux Avenue Skiing Bear Pj’s In A Bag – I really wanted these but picked up a Christmassy red plaid version instead! I got matching ones for my mam too 🙂

Victoria’s Secret Thermal PJ’s

ASOS Sprout Pyjama Set

M&S Llama Print Pyjama Set

Sainsbury’s Christmas Grey Pyjama Set

H&M Beary Xmas PJ Top & Shorts

And for the men…

ASOS Brave Soul Dinosaur Lounge Pants

Next Plum Check PJ Set

River Island Grinch PJ Set

Sainsbury’s Black & Red Plaid Stag PJ Set

Next Tree Rex Pyjama Set – these are the PJ’s I picked up for Matt this year! We have an inside joke about t-rex’s too, so they’re even funnier to us.

M&S Brushed Cotton Plaid PJ Set

Thank you so much for reading! Incase you’re looking for a way to present your pyjamas this Christmas, I picked up a cute Christmas Eve box for everyone in my family this year from Asda! I’m filling them with their pyjamas, each person’s favourite chocolates and something fun from Lush. I hope you found this post helpful, and maybe found some cute PJ’s for a loved one (or yourself!) 

-G x

The Christmas Tag

Happy Friday, loves!

I’m so excited for 5pm to roll round and for the weekend to begin. I can’t wait to spend a whole weekend with my love, enjoying a weekend away visiting the Christmas markets and drinking all of the Bailey’s hot chocolates!

Today’s post is a fun one, I created a Christmas Tag! I really enjoyed filling out The Autumn Tag back in October – you can check that out here if you missed it – I thought it would be fun to make my own. I have to point out my co-worker Laura helped me think of a few questions (there you go Laura, blog famous, HAHA!)

What is your favourite Christmas candle?
I love Christmas Eve from Yankee Candle, and Sugar Cookie from DW Home. My favourite is Winter by The White Company, I buy it every year!

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Step Into Christmas by Elton John. It makes me so happy! I also really love Holly Jolly Christmas by Michael Buble, Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande and Underneath The Tree by Kelly Clarkson. (And also pretty much every other Christmas song ever made…)

Do you stay in pyjamas all day or dress up on Christmas Day?
In the morning to open presents I wear pyjamas (Matt and I have super cute festive ones this year and I’m SO excited about them!) then I definitely dress up for Christmas Day, ideally in something glittery. My Christmas Day Outfit Ideas post will be up in just a few days if you’re struggling!

What are your plans for the holidays this year?
Christmas Eve: lots of baking, finishing up any last minute wrapping (literally every year), watching Christmas movies and then drinks with Matt’s family in our local pub for the evening, then head home to get snuggled up with our Christmas pj’s on!
Christmas Day: Matt and I are spending Christmas morning with my family to exchange presents and have a festive brunch, then we’re going to his family’s house for the afternoon and night. We’re also going out for Christmas Dinner with his parents and grandma – we’re all so excited! I really feel so lucky to have two families I love so much 🙂

What is your favourite Christmas movie?
I have so many, there’ll be a post up including my favourites in the next few days! I think my number one spot will always be tied between Home Alone and Elf. I really love a cheesy Hallmark movie though, they’re so cliche but so cute.

Do you love or loathe tacky Christmas sweaters?
LOVE! The tackier the better, haha. Matt and I got matching sweaters last year and I freaking love them. Here’s us wearing them on Christmas Eve 2017:

Who will you be kissing underneath the mistletoe this year?
My wonderful boyfriend, Matthew, of course 🙂

What are you excited for in the build up to Christmas?
This weekend! Matt and I are heading to Manchester for the weekend to visit the Christmas markets and spend alllll of the QT together! He’s been working so much recently, and even though we spend as much time as we can together every morning and night, I’m so excited for us to disconnect from ‘real life’ and just relax. I’m so excited to treat him to date night whilst we’re there.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
I love that we have pancakes for breakfast every Christmas Eve, and I love Matt and I’s tradition of spending as much time as possible over the whole festive period with each other’s families. My brother and I also always get a new decoration for the tree every year, so I have 24 to take with me when Matt and I buy our house… most of mine are from Disney World, they’re so cute!

What is the number one item on your Christmas wishlist this year?
For part of my present, Matt has bought me a pink Himalayan salt lamp and I’m SO excited about it – I was going to buy it for myself but he was so sweet and offered 🙂 I literally can’t wait to set it up on Christmas Day hahaha. I know I’ll love anything from my loved ones because they picked it. But anything from Jo Malone or Victoria’s Secret would be great HAHA!

What is your favourite Christmas food?
Mashed potato, stuffing and of course, pigs in blankets!

Do you shop the Boxing Day sales?
Only from the comfort of my bed or the couch đź™‚ …well, usually. Matt isn’t working this year (YAY) so we’ve decided to brave it and head in, I’m already nervous but I do have a few tips coming up in a post that will hopefully help both me and you this year!

Do you prefer to give or receive presents?
ALWAYS to give! I love putting in so much time and effort to buy things my boyfriend, family and friends will love. It makes me so happy seeing them happy on Christmas morning, and it’s worth every single bit of the stress in the build up!

What is your favourite sweet treat for the holidays?
I love sugar cookies, gingerbread and peppermint bark!

Do you have a favourite Christmas drink?
Alcoholic: almond Bailey’s or mimosa’s. Non-alcoholic: gingerbread hot chocolate from Costa. (It’s really good, but not as good as the Bonfire Spice from the Autumn!)

Which Advent Calendar do you have this year? Do you remember to open it each day?
I have two! Debbie (Matt’s lovely mam) bought us a Cadbury’s Heroes one each, and Matt bought me a Galaxy one. (Okay, tecnically I bought it for myself when I picked him one up HAHA. Gotta do what you gotta do…) I definitely remember to open it each day and I always remind Matt, I’m all about chocolate in the morning!

What is your favourite holiday scent?
Real Christmas trees, gingerbread cookies baking in the oven and my favourite Christmas candles!

Are you one of those people that wish for a White Christmas each year?
Honestly, yes! I am not a fan of snow any other time of the year except from Christmas (even the thought of driving in it makes me feel sick). Having said that, snow on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day would be BEAUTIFUL and makes everywhere look postcard pretty.

What makes the holidays most special to you?
Spending completely uninterrupted quality time with the people I love most in the world, and getting to spoil them a little more than I usually do. Also, the food/alcohol combo is pretty great, and I really love that everywhere you look is a sea of fairy lights!

What has been your highlight of 2018?
I have SO many. All of the weekend trips Matt and I have taken (especially a few to Ireland), seeing Ed Sheeran live with our friends, our Summer holiday to Kos, Matt getting his well deserved promotion, starting my blog, my skin finally looking better, spending another Christmas season with my love and our families, and generally feeling so happy throughout the year. A post on my highlights of the year will be up in the new year, but to summarise I feel very lucky to have had such a great year, and I’m feeling very excited and optimistic about what 2019 holds for Matt and I!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed the post and found it fun to read, I really enjoyed making it. The inner 14 year old in me who watched and loved every YouTube tag video back in the day will always love these kind of posts, haha! I tag all of my wonderful fellow bloggers, but I’d really love to see Savannah and  Abbie complete this!.

-G x

Secret Santa Gifting

Happy Thursday, loves!

Today’s post is the first in the Twelve Days of Christmas series on my blog, I’m so excited!

I posted my gift guides for her and for him at the end of November, and got the BEST response to both posts. I was so pleasantly surprised by how well received my posts were, thank you so much for reading, I hope they helped with any shopping stress!

After I posted those gift guides, I received a message asking if I could please make a Secret Santa gift guide, so I set to work to include it in my Twelve Days of Christmas posts. I’ve rounded up the best Secret Santa gifts that are not your typical box of Celebrations and a bottle of wine (not that there’s anything wrong with those!) that I think would be perfect for co-workers, family and friends.

Most Secret Santa gifts are capped at somewhere between ÂŁ10 and ÂŁ20 in my experience so I’ve got 10 for you under ÂŁ10, and 10 under ÂŁ20. You can always add some sweets or chocolate to make the present up to full value, that’s what I would do!

Ten Gifts Under ÂŁ10
1. Escape Room Game
2. This Works Dream Team Sleep Set
3. Wine Bottle Glass
4. Happy Socks Gingerbread Man Socks
5. Bird & Blend Tea Co Snowball Tea
6. Spider Catcher
7. Mobile Phone Jail Cell
8. Foodie City Breaks of Europe Book
9. Citrus Bottle Opener
10. Desktop Golf

Ten Gifts Under ÂŁ20
1. Anthropologie Plant Pot
2. Nanoblock Space Shuttle & Launch Tower
3. Pink Pantone Mug
4. Belgian Waffle Maker
5. Mens Superdry Gloves
6. Tiger Eye Mask
7. Monki Fluffy Slippers
8. Christmas Eve Yankee Candle
9. Friends Central Perk Cookie Jar
10. Bear Post-It Note Dispenser

Thank you so much for reading, I hope this post helped if you’re looking any last minute gifts (they’d also make great stocking fillers if there wasn’t enough options in my previous gift guides!)

Did you give or receive a great Secret Santa gift one year? What was it?!

-G x

Twelve Days of Christmas

Hey, loves!

Today’s post is very short but (hopefully) sweet… 

There will unfortunately be no new post today, but there will be one post per day starting from tomorrow, because… *drum roll please* I’m doing Twelve Days of Christmas here on my blog! There will be a post up every day, from tomorrow through to Christmas Eve and I am SO excited! I’ve put so much work and effort into these posts, I hope you love them!

Seeing as I’m such a planner, I thought I’d share with you my schedule for what will be going up each day at 6am:

Thursday 13th December – Secret Santa Gifting

Friday 14th December – The Christmas Tag

Saturday 15th December – Christmas PJ’s Round Up

Sunday 16th December Easy DIY Christmas Hamper

Monday 17th December Christmas Candle Edit

Tuesday 18th December – My Goals For 2019

Wednesday 19th December – Spreading The Love This Christmas

Thursday 20th December – The BEST Holiday Treat

Friday 21st December – Christmas Day Outfit Ideas

Saturday 22nd December – Festive Makeup Routine

Sunday 23rd December – Boxing Day Shopping Tips

Monday 24th December – Christmas Weekend Trip: Photo Diary

If you were hoping for a longer read, I’d recommend heading right over to my gift guides! There’s one here for the ladies in your life, and one here for the men! I put a ton of time and effort into them, and I’m so pleased with the response I received to them both.

See you tomorrow!

-G x

My Favourite Bath Products

Happy Sunday, loves!

I feel like Sundays are the perfect days for a long, hot soak in the bath, and that’s certainly my plan for this evening. Matt is at work all day (boo hoo) then he’s at a work event this evening, so I’ll be for sure making the most of settling in with my book (I’m currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama) and relaxing before he arrives home. (I know by the time he gets home kissing him goodbye this morning will feel like a lifetime away!)

Throughout Autumn and Winter especially, I love nothing more than starting my evening relaxing in a hot bath for a good 45 minutes, then getting cosy with Matt, cooking and watching our shows. This is how at least half of my evenings through the week look, if you’re wondering! As much as I love trying new bath products, I definitely have my favourites, and today’s post is a little round up of my current must-haves. I find that a bath is the perfect little snippet out of your day for a little self care or ‘me time’ and it’s something we all should make a higher priority, especially as our weeks get busier in the build up to Christmas.

Lush Body Conditioner
One of my favourite beauty discoveries of this year is the body conditioner from Lush. I have used and loved the Ro’s Argan scent for the past few months, then I seen the Snow Fairy scent body conditioner was included in this year’s Christmas collection. Snow Fairy is my all-time favourite Lush scent, so I was so excited to pick this up! It smells amazing, is a beautiful pink colour with a slight glittery shimmer and it leaves my skin feeling so soft. I apply this in the bath or shower, post-shave, then rinse off any excess. It then acts as a body moisturiser, and means there’s no need to awkwardly stand freezing cold whilst waiting for your moisturiser to soak in!

Aromatherapy Associates Bath Oils
I absolutely LOVE using bath oils, and Aromatherapy Asssociates are really the best brand I’ve ever tried. The oils are so luxurious, and each time I use one I feel so calm and relaxed during and after my bath. I tend to buy the mini sets (or get them for very generous birthday or Christmas gifts) and save them for when Matt and I are travelling and staying in a lovely hotel with a claw foot bath tub. However, sometimes I do use them myself if it’s been a long week and I need a little extra something! My favourites are Relax and Sleep, and a tiny amount goes a long way. My skin also feels so good after a bath using one of these oils, I wish I could justify using them every time!

Radox Therapy Detoxed Acai Berry Bath Salts
Bath salts are a fairly new discovery for me, but I can’t recommend this product highly enough! They smell incredible, and when sprinkled into your bath they just make the water feel that little bit more inviting. Bath salts have a calming, purifying effect on your body and help to clear your mind too. This is also such a great product to use if you have sore muscles or joints, I have arthritis and the cold weather makes it so much worse. A nice hot bath helps a lot, and I love how relaxed I feel when I take a bath using these!

Lush Bath Bombs & Bubble Bars
To be totally honest, I’m not too fussed on the specific bath bomb or bubble bar as I love so many! My favourites from the 2018 Christmas collection are Cheery Christmas, Butterbear, Magic Wand and Luxury Lush Pud. I love sweet smelling scents and pretty pink baths, they’re aesthetically pleasing and they just make me feel so happy! I’ve really got Matt into using bath bombs too, he loves relaxing in the bath as much as I do and there’s just something that feels special about using a bath bomb or bubble bar.  I just recently tried Niomi Smart’s new avocado bath bomb from Boots and I loved that also, is there anything she can’t do?!

Scented Candles
I am the biggest fan of candles, and I have them burning at every opportunity. Mine and Matt’s favourites for cosy evenings in are usually sweet bakery-like scents, however I love aromatherapy, woody and clean scents whilst having a bath. My favourite ever bathtime candle is Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir (well, it’s my favourite candle ever!), however I’ve used up my last one. Pictured is the Fig candle from Aldi (it’s such a great dupe for Diptyque!) and in the back is a DW Home Sea Salt Pumpkin candle, they’re both so inexpensive yet smell beautiful.

Thank you so much for reading! Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite bath products?

-G x

Lessons I’ve Learned Since Joining The Blogging World

Happy Wednesday, loves!

I hope you’re all having a great week, although if you’re like me you’ll probably be so ready for the weekend coming up… (some things never change haha). I’m sad Matt’s at work all weekend, but I’m grateful we’ll squeeze in a little time together in the mornings and evenings, and we have another great week ahead of us next week! I am so happy it’s December, it’s finally time to break out the matching Christmas jumpers with my handsome boyfriend! I actually am enjoying the freezing cold weather too, it feels so Christmassy all of a sudden. Matt and I have been spending our evenings this week relaxing and binge-watching the new Narcos: Mexico season and I’m A Celebrity. It’s pretty good this year! We both love Harry SO much, he’s such a sweetheart. What’s your week looking like?

Today’s post is another personal one, talking about the lessons I’ve learned since I joined the blogging world a mere five months ago. I love writing and I wish I’d taken the leap years ago to create my own little corner of the Internet, when I first became interested in blogs! Every so often on my Timehop, I’m reminded how many times I tweeted about wanting to create a blog. However, I definitely don’t regret not starting earlier as I really think I’ve found my feet in my own time, and I’m so happy with the little community I’m building day by day.

This was probably the first thing I learned, and something that I’ve tried so hard to do throughout my short time in the blogging world. I have read blogs for years, and it’s definitely something that is talked about often, but I really feel it’s so important to stay true to yourself, and to write about things that truly interest you. One thing I was so nervous about when first posting was my Week In My Life posts, but they always get high engagement and people seem to really enjoy them! I’ve been told by several people that when they read these posts they feel like they can hear me talking, and that’s exactly what I was going for. In a similar way to my love of vlogs, personal posts give an insight into my life that you wouldn’t otherwise see, and I think that’s why people like them! My beauty related posts also get a lot of good feedback, and people tell me they buy things on my recommendation which blows my mind! I really want to focus more on fashion posts in the upcoming year, as well as lots of travel related posts. Matt and I are already planning a few fun trips and adventures and I’m so excited to be able to share those with you. I’d really love to know what kinds of posts you’d like to see in the new year from me?  

I’m very lucky in the fact that my boyfriend, close friends and family have been such huge supporters of my blog since day one, and enjoy what I write as much as I do (or at least pretend to LOL). I’m still shocked that people from all over the world read and interact with my posts, it’s a very weird feeling! When I first began posting I looked forward to seeing my engagement related to each post so much you’d think my life depended on it. I checked my stats hourly when a new post went up, and then I got myself upset and worried when numbers varied day by day, post by post. The fact is that sometimes you will have a lull in readers, and that’s okay. I always let people know about a new post on my Instagram story and Twitter, and I occasionally mention a new post going live on my Instagram grid. It’s all about balance, and in time I’m finding that the same people come back time and time again – and hopefully they tell their friends, too! It blows my mind that anyone wants to read my blog, seriously thank you all SO much. I also have to add that Matt tells me he’s proud of me every time a new post goes up, and that means the world to me!

Before I even pressed publish on my very first post, I had already planned out a schedule in my head, and I made sure my readers knew what it was. I have since changed the days slightly, and I now schedule all my posts for Sundays and Wednesdays at 6am. I always find I work better to deadlines and with structure in my day-to-day life, so this helps to ensure I’m consistent and never behind on posting. That is something I really appreciate in blogs too, for example Anna from The Anna Edit always posts Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so part of my routine is to go and read her latest posts on those days. My schedule works for me as I always write in advance (I’ve currently written almost all of December’s posts which is crazy!) and then I edit – sometimes over and over again – and add in any relevant things a day or two before the post goes live. I also like my routine as I can write posts before I take photos to go with them, therefore allowing me to plan photos with an idea behind them. I also really appreciate that I’ve been told by a few people they check back on my blog each Sunday and Wednesday to see my new post – that makes me so happy! 

Similarly to writing about what you want to read about, I think it’s key to have your own writing style, and allow your personality to shine through in your posts. Over the past month or two I ‘ve began including something personal to me at the beginning of each post – whether that’s a round up of what I’ve been up to the past week/weekend, or my thoughts on something going on currently. A lot of people have told me that makes them feel like they know me a little better, which is a great feeling. I read so many blogs from people all over the world, and because one thing works for one person, it doesn’t mean it will work for another. For example, I love reading DIY posts and luxury handbag reviews, however I am rubbish at most DIY’s (I can copy a few I find on Pinterest but that’s cheating to write about it as my own) and my budget does not allow me to purchase luxury handbags, as much as I’d love to #doitfortheblog. I had to adjust over recent weeks to being photographed myself, not because that is what other people do, but because it fitted the image I had in my head for my blog and for my posts. (The post I’m talking about will be up soon!) I know people read my blog because they like it (or me, maybe?) and that’s something I need to own rather than be embarrassed by.

Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to know any of my fellow bloggers thoughts on this post! Do you agree? Have you had any similar experiences to me? I also hope if any of you reading are thinking about giving this blogging thing a whirl this post has been helpful!

-G x

An Introvert’s Guide To Social Situations

Happy December, loves!

I can’t actually believe it’s December already! I hope you are having a great weekend, I sure am! On Friday night, I picked Matt up from a day out with the boys and we snuggled in for an early night. Yesterday we had the most relaxing morning watching Friends, then spent the afternoon Christmas shopping and enjoying quality time together. We were so excited for a chilled night at home, cooking steaks and watching Hell’s Kitchen and I’m A Celebrity! Today we’re hoping to go for a nice breakfast by the beach, and spend the day shopping, watching football, and visiting with family. We’re determined NOT go to Costco though (we’ve been twice in the past two weeks HAHA, we’re obsessed). What are you up to?!

Today’s post is another personal one, and it’s one I hope I can really help others with! It is not the most Christmassy of posts, however I really hope that anyone feeling a little nervous about the Christmas party season may find this post helpful. I have always been an introvert, and up until the past few years I wanted so badly to be an extrovert. I wanted to thrive off being in large groups, welcome attention and feel at ease in every conversation with a stranger. In reality, it’s just not going to happen because it’s not me, and I can now accept that’s okay. I have battled with anxiety over the past few years, however over the past 12 – 18 months I’ve felt so much better in myself, and I can confidently say it doesn’t affect me anywhere near how it used to.

My boyfriend 100% falls into the extrovert category. Matt is loud, outgoing and so friendly and welcoming to others, and it’s one of the things I admire most about him. He has so many friends and he never shies away from attention (in the best way). Even though I am completely the opposite, it’s a great balance, and he’s made me come out of my shell in so many ways. Whilst still being introverted I’ve become so much more confident and comfortable with myself. When we first started dating, I was worried that me being so shy would ‘put him off’, I’m never the life of the party and I knew this could be a bad thing in some people’s eyes. However I’ve since learned that I can be myself, and over the past year and a half I’ve definitely taken lots of good tips from Matt. As a result I now feel more comfortable in social situations, Matt’s love and support has made me feel so much more at ease with myself, and I’m no longer as shy, awkward or anxious as I used to be. I’m still never going to be the life and soul of the party, but I can enjoy social situations and not overthink everything like I once used to. 

*Disclaimer: the legal drinking age in the UK is 18*

A little background
Between the ages of 19 and 22 I completely stopped drinking alcohol. I didn’t drink for a few reasons, but the main one was I was terrified to be out of control of my thoughts or actions, and I didn’t like the fear of the unknown once drunk. The root cause of this was having anxiety, and as a result, I began to miss out on a lot of social situations. Let’s bare in mind this was during my late teenage years and early twenties; a window when everyone is up for a good time; to be even more drunk than the last night out, make stupid decisions and fall into a taxi at silly o’clock in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely done that, but I was a little more carefree and didn’t deal with anxiety at that point. I’m fairly sure this is why I’m not an extrovert, seeing as I missed out on those crucial socialising years, but I stand by my decision during that time period, and I don’t regret it. 

Fast forward to now, I’m 24 years old and I happily drink socially. I love a glass of wine (or two) with Matt and his family on a Friday night, I go for drinks with my boyfriend and our friends fairly regularly and really enjoy it, and this Summer, Matt and I looked forward to a fruity cider or two during the week on a sunny evening. This has now filtered through into the Autumn/Winter months and some nights we’ll have a glass of wine or a strawberry and lime cider as we curl up for the evening, wild I know! I absolutely stand by the fact I do not need alcohol to have fun or to be more social, and I’m more than happy to drive for date night or a pub night with our friends, so Matt can enjoy a few drinks. Since I began drinking again, I’ve only been mortal, as we say in Newcastle, once, but that was totally Matt’s fault. HAHA. (We went for a day date followed by a few drinks watching the NUFC game, we made friends with a sweet lady visting from New York City, crashed her evening with her friends and rolled home at 1am… oops!) For me, being tipsy is definitely my happy medium.

As I touched on earlier, the Christmas party season is coming up very quickly, and if you have anxiety, or you’re just a bit nervous/shy (contrary to popular belief, they aren’t the same thing!) but looking forward to meeting new people, maybe enjoying a few too many mulled wines and wearing all of the glitter possible, this post is hopefully for you. I’m going to share with you various things that may help you to feel more comfortable socialising, and how you can lessen any pre-party anxiety you may have.

Spend time enjoying getting ready before going out. One of the most important things for me is to feel good before I go out, as I think having that little bit of extra confidence shows through in my personality. When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good it’s very apparent to those around you. Treat yourself to a mini pamper session; run a hot bubble bath, throw a face mask on, and spend as much time as you like doing your hair and makeup. I know that glittery eyeshadow, a nude lip and a little extra highlighter makes me feel my best! Picking your outfit prior to the event date is also a good idea as it eliminates a little of the stress.

Read reviews/menu’s online. Before I go to a new restaurant, bar, hotel etc I always scour Trip Advisor and Instagram, as well as searching for blog posts to see if I can get any insider information before getting there. I’ve done this since I struggled badly with anxiety, and it’s more of a habit now than a necessity for me. It does take a little of the ‘fun’ out of going somewhere new, but I prefer to have an idea. Matt laughs at me all the time because we’ll go to a new restaurant on date night and I’m all ‘the toilets are so cool inside!’ and ‘their gin cocktail is really popular’ as we’re stepping through the door.

Have a (rough) plan. It will probably benefit you to have an idea of how your night will go, and what you’ll be up to. Most introverts thrive off plans and lists (guilty!) and much like checking out menus and reviews, you can feel at ease if you have an idea you’ll be going to A Bar, B Bar and C Restaurant throughout the night. I would say to be careful you don’t rely on this too much as, much to my dismay, plans often change last minute. You can also have an ‘escape plan’ with your partner/friend/colleague in case anything gets a bit too much for you. I am very happy to say I’ve not needed an ‘escape plan’ during nights out for well over a year now, however this used to help me so much because I knew I wasn’t trapped anywhere, and I could always get out if needed.

Book taxis prior to going. Along the same lines of planning, it always helped for me to know what time I’m going to be somewhere, and what time I’m roughly going to be back cosy in bed with bae. Again, this doesn’t affect me so much now, however it used to be a God-send, and I’d definitely recommend anyone with social anxiety to do so. It’s always a good idea to book in advance anyway as you can usually get set fares, it’s a win-win! 

Go with someone you feel comfortable with. It may seem obvious, but where possible I’d always recommend going out to social events (whether it be a night out with friends or a networking event) with someone you love and trust. I know if I’m anywhere with Matthew I feel safe, protected and I enjoy my night so much more. I have this same feeling with my close friends, and I’m very grateful I am able to lean on people to find comfort if I was to feel nervous or anxious throughout the evening.

Take time out to re-fuel if you need to. If you need to walk around the room, pop to the loo (any excuse to touch up your lippy, right?) or just step outside for five minutes, that’s okay. Pay attention to how you feel, and let yourself have a few minutes of alone time if required. It’s also nice to sneak off with your partner and have your own little chat (and a quick kiss), sometimes when you go out in a group it feels like you spend half the night apart!

Join in with small talk. One of the most difficult things for me, even now, is making small talk with people I don’t know. Depending on who I’m with I sometimes find it easy to join in, although I do find it very hard to initiate. Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts and opinions, people want to get to know you! It’s all about faking it until you make it – I’m doing that, too – and it’s really important to push yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes. This is one of those times! Stick to neutral subjects; mutual friends, your boyfriends bad dancing (love you, babe!) or, if worst comes to worst and you’re frozen on the spot, talk about the weather. Brits love to talk about the weather.

Don’t feel the need to keep up with the crowd. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it’s fine not to drink alcohol if it’s not for you, and it’s also fine to not ‘keep up’ with those around you. Who cares if Sarah is onto her fourth G&T in an hour and is begging the DJ to play Spice Girls – Wannabe? It’s not your problem, and if you are drinking I’d recommend drinking at your own pace. Let everyone else have their own fun, and you have yours. Also, if you don’t drink alcohol, it can be quite amusing to see how your friends or peers act when they’re drunk, it used to always give me a giggle!

Make sure to enjoy quality time with a loved one (or by yourself) after. That’s it, you’re home and you’ve had a great night! Now you can chill the F out. It’ll be no surprise to any of my usual readers but being with my boyfriend is my happy place, and planning in (see?) quality time with him is one of my favourite things. It’s not too often I feel shy, nervous or anxious enough to not want to go out anymore, however knowing Matt and I will get to snuggle up at the end of the night makes me feel so much better. Make your room cosy for coming home; fresh bedding, a cosy blanket, water on the bedside table in case you’ve had a little too much to drink. All of the home comforts will mean so much more to you as you’ll likely feel physically exhausted.

This is more like my kinda night…

Thank you so much for reading! Did you find any of my tips helpful? Do you have any extra tips to add, that may help me or my readers? Please let me know!

I hope you enjoy the party season, and please drink responsibly if you choose to do so!

-G x