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10 December 2017

My Favourite Christmas Jumpers | Blogmas Day 10


It's not really Christmas time until you start seeing people wandering the streets in the most ugly, festive jumpers they can find. Rooting around in the back of your wardrobe to find a trusty old Primark one for 2014, or searching the shops for the one, I'm here to help make the search that much easier. Light up, extra parts, so bright they make your eyes hurt, to the easy, cosy ones. I've got a wide old selection.



I had to sneak in that little dog one because, let's face it, the only thing better than Christmas jumpers is Christmas jumpers for dogs.

Love, Alice x

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My Top Blogmas and Vlogmas This December | Blogmas Day 9


December is a busy old month for bloggers and vloggers. Gone is any kind of schedule and instead your schedule consists of EVERY SINGLE DAY. And if you weren't sure, it is quite a lot of work. Hence my week of vlogmas isn't even up yet (it will be soon I promise)!

I thought I'd fill you in on who I'm first to click on in my Youtube sub box, and whose tweets I'm anxiously awaiting to declare their latest blogmas post is out. 

VLOGMAS

All hail the queen of vlogmas. I am 22 and I will never be embarrassed to say, I am slightly in love with Zoe Sugg. As a business woman, as a vlogger, she is an online queen and to be honest, I fully appreciate why. Vlogmas is where she really shines, and every single day I am so excited to finish work and catch up with her daily vlogs, they're beautifully shot and so festive, vlogmas with Zoe is pretty much a part of my December routine now.  

Niomi makes me feel so good about myself, she's such a ray of light. Her vlogmas has proven no different to her usual light content and it's fab to snuggle down with. 

Alisha is the only American Youtuber I watch so consistently and is also the only American vlogmass-er (is that a word), which gives me such an insight into the over the pond attitude to the festive season! Her vlogs are snappy and bright and I highly recommend heading over to her channel.

Author and mother, Giovanna Fletcher is the ultimate feel good vlogger. Married to Tom Fletcher and the subject of the wedding speech to end all wedding speeches, Giovanna's life on Youtube makes my heart warm. Two adorable children, and absolute couple goals parents, there's literally nothing to dislike.

BLOGMAS

Amy's blogmas is fab if you're into beauty and fashion. Delivering gift guides and Christmas makeup, it's such a beautiful blog and I officially knew it would be on this list when Amy publishes a day at Blenheim Palace, one of my favourite places in the world. The perfect blog to read through for hours.

Jess writes such a refreshing blog with so much innovation in her posts! From silly winter sweaters (a personal fave) to some of her older posts, Jess of Earth is so a chilled, chatty blog, I've been loving keeping up to date with her blogmases! 

If you know me, and you know Harry Potter, you'll understand immediately what first drew my attention to Victoria's blog. Her content is amazing and the type which makes  you want to up your own game and proving you don't need to be a big time blogger to create great content. The instructions on how to make a Mickey Mouse wreath is one of my favourite blogmas's EVER. 

To be completely honest, a huge part in the appeal I find in reading CaityLoux is how much Caitlyn reminds me of myself and my own style of blogging. Caitlyn doesn't fit into any category, from talking about Orgasms to being 18 and Sober, her blogs are raw and honest and a huge breath of fresh air, and her blogmas follows suit too. 


I hope this gives you some evening inspiration! My taste is so hugely varied, I also read a lot of blogs throughout December which don't post blogmas, but I wanted to give a huge shout out to everyone who does because it is such hard work. Do you watch/read anyone not on this list who you want to recommend?? I'm always on the look out for more material! 

Love, Alice x 


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8 December 2017

10 Secret Santa Gifts For Under £10 | Blogmas Day 8


Almost anyone with a job will know, the best thing about Christmas, is the Christmas parties. Getting sloshed with your colleagues is almost never worth the day-after sheepish looks across the office, or the panic flashbacks in your morning shower. And with Christmas parties, comes Secret Santa, what a classic. Luckily for all of us on the receiving end of Secret Santa gifts this year, stores seemed to have upped their game for presents under £10. So I had a little nose around to see what I could come up with to fill your secret santa gift needs. 




Don't try telling me that iridescent flask isn't one of the best things you've seen? Never mind the Bath PUG. Whether you have your Aunt Lesley in family Secret Santa or Tom from Accounts in your work one, it's always a chance to show your sense of humour and simultaneously not get something which will be thrown away the next day.

I'll be back tomorrow with another blogmas, make sure you're keeping up this month with the new blog posts every day!

Love, Alice x


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7 December 2017

My Thoughts and Feelings on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child | Blogmas Day 7


If you somehow missed it being plastered all over my social media (if  you’re not following me, why not!?!?!), this week I went up to London to watch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We bought tickets back in November 2016, and they’re notorious for being gold dust. Being the huge Harry Potter nerd that I am, I couldn’t have been more excited. The night before, I lay awake in anticipation for the next morning, like a child waking up on Christmas Day.

The Palace theatre itself is breathtaking. Huge marble steps take you up towards the balcony and dress circle, the stage and seats a monumental compared to many of the smaller theatres found in the West End. In itself, the theatre seems to be made for a show like Harry Potter, with an essence of magic within its walls for all those passing through its doors.

The play is split into two parts, part 1 and part 2. And whilst there is a lot of scepticism surrounding the exploitation of fans, having watched it, there is no way to contain what is in essence a spin off book, into one show. Not unless you wanted it to be 4 hours in itself, in which case you’d still be looking at prices of £100 and up. The break between the shows, which we watched in the same day, gave us time to talk about what we’d seen and how ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL IT IS because let me tell you, the stage effects are literally out of this world. 

Growing up, my mum worked in the theatre and her best friend worked in film, which meant I was exposed to a lot of behind the scenes things. I would watch performances when I was 9 and know how they made people disappear, or watch a show at 15 and roll my eyes at people gasping. The Cursed Child blew my mind. People were disappearing and reappearing, shooting up telephones and disappearing from their beds. Even if you hated Harry Potter, had no interest in the theatre and loathed every aspect of the play, I don’t know how you couldn’t walk away with huge respect for the cast and crew for pulling off a performance which, whilst you were in it, made you forget you were in the muggle world. 

Whilst it was fantastic in all of this, there were elements which I was let down by. The first mistake I made was not reading the book of the script, thinking it would spoil what I was waiting for. I went into the theatre completely blind to what was about to happen, but knowing JK Rowling cowrote the script and the plot, I figured I was in safe hands. However, The Cursed Child isn’t, as is widely advertised, the next chapter of Harry Potters life. It’s a new chapter of Albus Severus (Harrys middle child who we meet in the final chapter of the seventh book), which would have been absolutely fine with me, if it wasn’t for the fact it was advertised as being an extension of Harry. Whilst Harry, Ron and Hermione are all heavily featured, as are many of the original characters, it revolves around Albus Severus and Scorpius Malfoy. I can’t comment on the plot too much without giving away spoilers, but I felt like it went full circle and ended almost exactly as it started, which I’ve never been a huge fan of in any medium. This, though, also added to the lack of ‘the next chapter of Harry Potter’ because the majority performance takes place in a very short space of time rather than giving an insight into the new, 36 year old Harry and his life and love and troubles. Which is, admittedly, what I expected and hoped for. 

To enjoy the play in its entirety, you need to approach it from a completely isolated perspective. Completely independent from the film and the book, there is no overlap of music, (although of course there are references and quotes from the books). And it is vital to remember it is a play, another dimension to the Harry Potter world, rather than the sequel we all hoped and dreamed for. The final three Harry Potter books are extremely dark, yet whilst the tones of the plot are dark in themselves, the play is light and funny, and I would argue, is more directed at a younger audience. There’s a lot of laugh out loud moments and some dry humour, but again, as it’s a stage performance, characters have been exaggerated and I found the character of Ron was purely there for comedic purposes with slapstick jokes which to me, undervalued the personality of the character.

I would, without a shadow of a doubt, go and watch it again. I actually think, now I know what to expect, it’ll be better the next time around because there will be no disappointments. The actors carry the weight of the show incredibly, and put on outstanding performances in both halves, particularly Scorpius Malfoy (Samuel Blenkin) who, as I was walking out with the crowds from the theatre, was widely renowned as a favourite. A huge feat for a new character in the most popular book series of all times. 

If you have tickets, go in open minded and a little detached from the original Harry Potter world you know from the books or films. It’s a fantastic piece of theatre, but approaching it with the view of it being completely independent will, I think, make you enjoy the performances even more. It was visually spectacular and bought the little bit of magic most of us need after so long without the magical world. The commotion made around the play is not unwarranted, undoubtedly, the show will continue to sell out for months if not years to come. It seems no matter what form JK Rowling turns her hand to, there are millions of people so attached to this world, we will always come back, anxiously awaiting Hogwarts to welcome us home. 

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6 December 2017

Why Self-Care Is Not Found in Green Smoothies (and where to find it) | Blogmas Day 6


I've been having a long old think recently. The kind that makes you reflect on your life, quit your job and travel the world - oh, wait.

Self care is one of those things which carries a bit of a taboo. Think self-care, and you might picture a Kayla Itsines workout, abs of steel and a green smoothie in a perfectly manicured hand. Self care might sound like the kind of thing you find at a yoga session or at a retreat in Bali.

Some people do have the luxury of living these lives, but for most of us, it's not realistic. Self-care is about not comparing yourself to other people and how they care for themselves, and figuring out how to do you. Finding your own comfort zone, discovering what you can do, what you can't do, and what you'd love to be able to do.

Eating healthily and exercising regularly is going to make you feel better, of course it is. But actually finding the mindset to go to the gym? That is part of your self-care regime. Figuring out celery and kale itself isn't going to make you feel like a 10/10, is also part of your self-care regime. Self-care might be found losing yourself in a paint brush and canvas, it might be found taking your dog for a walk, or it might be found in writing. It almost definitely won't be found in Instagram stalking your favourite influencers and comparing their lives to yours.

It's so easy to look at someone and think they're happy. It's even easier for people to create that persona online, and publishing a post of your green smoothie doesn't mean everything's going great in life, it doesn't mean that person isn't having a bad day.

The truth is, you might just need a break. You might just need to sit down in front of a film with a huge tub of Ben and Jerry's. You might even need to admit you have to give up and leave whatever you're doing for a little while, because it's for the greater good, and those are the real things which lead to self-care.

There's only so long you can persuade yourself materialistic things are making life okay, before you have to have some time to reflect on what's going on within. Social media has made false impressions 100x harder, and it's so easy to look at the life of everyone around you through a lens of Facebook and forget they, like you, only post the highlights of their days, weeks and months.

So put down your green smoothie, and get yourself a cup of tea. Think, write, draw, paint, do whatever you can to discover what you really need to do to care for yourself, it might take days, it might take months, but it'll be an even slower process if you think you can find it in kale.

Love, Alice x

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5 December 2017

The Christmas Tag | Blogmas Day 5


1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
Definitely Home Alone! The soundtrack is so festive and one of my earliest memories is watching it for the first time at my Aunty's and being terrified of the part when the burglar has his head caught on fire! I also love Nativity!, but Home Alone has to be my all time favourite.

2. When do you open your presents?
We open all of our presents on Christmas morning, and always have. This year though my sister is working until the afternoon, so I'm sure we'll wait until she's back for us to open them all together!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
One of my favourite days ever was a day in the December of my second year at university, when my housemates and I spent the day at the Harry Potter Studio Tours, and then came home to our other housemate who had made a full Christmas dinner for us (he couldn't make it to the Harry Potter tour)! And we then played articulate and drank wine until the early morning and it was honestly just the best day from start to finish.

4. Favourite festive food? 
To be honest, it's a year round food for me, but baked camembert has to be my favourite festive food - and stuffing when it comes to roast dinners!

5. What's the best Christmas gift you've received? 
Two years ago we got Elviswho was a Christmas present for all of us, so I would be a terrible person if I didn't mention him!!

6. Favourite Christmas scent? 
If I say the wintery smell of like cinnamon and winter spices etc does that make sense? Will people think I've lost my mind? 

7. Do you have Christmas Eve traditions? 
We used to go to the cinema and watch a festive film every Christmas Eve, but for the last few years either myself or my sister have been working. We usually have picky food and watch a festive film in front of the fire when everyone's back home.

8. What tops your Christmas tree?
A star! Although it broke last year... so it looks like we'll be investing in a new one!

9. Where do you spend Christmas?
It varies! Either at home or at a family members, we've only ever spent about 3 Christmases alone as a family of 4 though, and I have to say, I much prefer the bigger the better kind! Being surrounded by family is what counts the most though.

10. What's the best thing about Christmas for you?
The cheer! No matter where you go in the build up for Christmas, people are feeling festive, there's little things going on to prepare and I just feel like there's this unspoken consensus of like 'yes it's Christmas'. I LOVE it. 



Love, Alice x

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4 December 2017

Growing Up Doesn't Mean You Have To Stop Enjoying Christmas | Blogmas Day 4


Growing up. There's a lot to enjoy, a lot to be excited about, but equally, you lose the bit of magic which comes with childhood. Since joining the adult world, I've noticed a slight switch in the anticipation of Christmas, obviously I'm not surrounded by fellow child-friends, eagerly awaiting the day Father Christmas comes down the chimney.

As you get older, the attention of the festive shifts, and instead of being excited to receive presents, a lot of us are stressing about what to get people, and how much to spend? Who needs a present? Why are Christmas songs playing in November? What do we do for Christmas day, and how do we afford Christmas day?

I read a blog post recently, called 'Why Growing Up Means You Need to Stop Enjoying Christmas' and to be honest friends, I call BS.

As a grown up, you're not going to enjoy the same things as 5 year old you will, it's natural. You don't want a little jelly alien and a Nintendo DS (pink please) isn't going to solve all of your problems. But if you can't beat them, join them, this time of year is far worse if you fight against the hallmark delights of light up reindeer and instead join your friends and family around the Christmas tree, just ask the Grinch.

Get excited about the taste of mince pies and mulled wine, the one time of the year it's socially acceptable to warm up wine. Get excited about seeing friends and family you only see once a year, and get excited about eating too much cheese with them. Get excited for the Christmas meal your work will definitely pay for, and the tacky £5 secret santa gift you'll definitely throw away.  Get excited about the beautiful lights which make you feel like you're in a film everywhere you go, and get excited for the children who can't sleep on Christmas eve.

Christmas might not be about waking up on Christmas morning to a stack of presents, but it never should've been. It should be about everything else. The build up, the ice skating, the food and the family. Just because you're a grown up, it doesn't mean you don't need to stop enjoying Christmas, if anything, you should be appreciating it even more than five year old you could ever understand.

Love, Alice x

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3 December 2017

My Winter Wardrobe Wishlist 2017 | Blogmas Day 3


Winter is my favourite time of year in terms of clothes. Gone is the weird in between period of will it be hot will it be cold, putting a coat on and taking it off after 10 minutes, in winter, you know where you stand. You dress warm. You wear thick tights, and a wooly hat and it's just a snuggly, glorious month.

I've been scouring the internet to find some of my fave things out there this winter, and it made my heart hurt knowing I can only afford a chosen few, but me oh MY was it a joy to have a look through what's on offer this christmas.


DAY DRESSES


PARTY WEAR


FOOTWEAR


COATS/JACKETS 


ACCESSORIES



I'm reallyyyy feeling check this winter, and I particularly love the baker boy hat (in check of course). How do you guys feel about them? I saw one on Zoella and sort of loved it, but I'm not sure I could pull it off. I already have the New Look midi day dress en route currently and I know from my own experience *cough three zara scarves cough* that Zara is THE place to go for winter scarves. 

Let me know if you have any standout pieces this winter! 

Love, Alice x


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2 December 2017

10 Things I'm Excited For This Christmas | Blogmas Day 2


Do you do that thing where you plan festive activities to make the season feel more special? I definitely do. I love sitting down with a christmas film, but it's so much better after a Carol Concert or a night with friends drinking mulled wine. Even thinking about what I have planned this month makes my little heart flutter, I LOVE THIS SEASON SO BLOODY MUCH. Right. Let's crack on.

1. Going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!!!! We booked our tickets in November 2016, so it's safe to say we have been waiting forever. And when the tickets came through the letter box last week, I almost cried with excitement, it's FINALLY HERE! Only 3 days to go!

2. Having a Christmas shopping day. I tend to order half of my presents online, and then go to the nearest big town or city for maximum productivity, almost always with a festive coffee shop drink in hand.

3. Making mulled wine. Because mulled wine is up there as one of the best things about Christmas.

4. London at Christmas! If you haven't been to London during Christmas time, we are the city who know how to do it. From Winter Wonderland (over priced in my opinion, but v festive) to Harrods free christmas photo booth, London becomes a festive city of cheer and it is bloody beautiful.

5. Having Christmas Day with friends and family. This year we have my mum's best friend and her whole family coming down, and every time we're together we end up singing, dancing, laughing and drinking way too much. So Christmas will definitely be no exception, just 100x more intense!

6. Decorating the Christmas tree! Obviously this was going to be on my list. We have a whole palava about going out to get the Christmas tree, potting it and decorating it, then figuring out who's turn it is this year to put the star on top, and we listen to the Nativity! soundtrack during the whole thing. Is anything better? (No)

7. The present wrapping process. I know for a fact, I am not the only person who gets excited about wrapping presents. I get almost as excited as when I'm buying them! I love getting creative with how to decorate my presents, and I have to confess, Zoe Sugg (Zoella) is a huge wrapping inspiration of mine as she just does it so well, and documents it so we can all use her ideas!

8. Winter walks. Walking in the winter is a weird one, you feel sort of unnatural to be outside in the weather, but (hopefully) you're fully wrapped up in hats, gloves and scarves and it just feels so nice. It also makes for a great date idea, especially if there's a toasty warm pub on the horizon with a log fire!

9. Making a Christmas Cheesecake. So, I kind of want to turn this into a tradition, as I made my first one last year. You may have seen my Honeycomb and Salted Caramel Cheesecake recipe, it was so big, we ended up giving it out to friends and neighbours! This year, I'm very keen to make another cheesecake and just basically make it a tradition to feed up the local neighbourhood, I've been thinking and researching already, and I do have a rough idea..... obviously there will be a blog post about it too... !

10. Vlogmas! I couldn't possibly be the internet human I am, without mentioning Vlogmas. I must watch a hundred of them. And this year, I'm joining in, hopefully somewhat more successfully than last year. I'll be vlogging every single day, as is traditional, but I'm going to put them into a weekly vlog and upload on a Sunday. I'm so excited to watch everybody daily vlog and to get involved myself!

What are you looking forward to this season?


Love, Alice x

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1 December 2017

Welcome to Blogmas 2017! | Blogmas Day 1


It's only December the bloody first!! Where has the year gone, can someone please tell me? It honestly feels like only yesterday I was writing (and miserably failing) last year's blogmas. 2017 has been a year of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, something I am sure will be discussed more in depth over the next month or so. But for now, my brand new 'winter spice' candle is burning,  Love Actually is on, and I am currently snuggled in bed writing this and wearing my Home Alone pyjamas. It is 100%, officially Christmas. And because it's December 1st, nobody can even complain about the festive activity!

If you're new here, you may be left wondering wtf Blogmas is. Well friends, as if Christmas isn't hard enough being the most hectic time of the year, a lot of bloggers like to add on the extra pressure of releasing a new (usually festive) blog post every single day in the countdown to Christmas day. Well, unless you happen to fail it every year for the last 4 years like me, then the extra pressure doesn't exist and you just have traditional wtf-do-you-get-a-man Christmas panic.

Everyone does blogmas differently, but the years I have done better than others, I like to include an element of Alice's Antics-ness. There's no point in throwing away your whole blog ethic just to be festive over Blogmas, so whilst I am going to be doing the odd gift guide and recipe, you will also receive my traditional posts about life and the universe, as ever.

So, set a daily alarm for 8pm for the next 24 days, because Blogmas 2017 is here! To add to my absolute craziness, I'm going to be a type of Vlogmas. Vlogging every day, but potentially putting them into weekly or every-other-day, type videos, rather than the pressure of uploading daily, because I do have a real-life job on top of the internet life I lead. So I highly recommend you have a look at and subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

The first advent door is open and I am SO ready for the season to officially begin. May Blogmas 2017 commence!

Love, Alice x



OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

Blogmas Day 1 2015
10 Times 'The Grinch' Summed Up Life
'Twas Christmas Eve, Babe
The 'Look What I Did' List

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20 November 2017

5 Things I Struggle With As A Blogger


Blogging. It's a bit of a weird one isn't it? There's so many of us bloggers out there, millions in fact, and yet each and every blog is extremely personal to its owner. Back in 2013 when I started Alice's Antics, blogging wasn't really a thing. When I posted my first Youtube cover back in 2009, internet fame just didn't exist. It's crazy to think how far we've come in nearly a decade, and for the most part it's good. Gone are the days of me saying I write a blog, and people looking at me blankly. Knowing my audience is made up of a lot of friends and family who may not read other blogs, (the true OG's), I wanted to write a post today which might make people think slightly differently about blogging, rather than as a hobby through which some people 'get lucky'.

1) People thinking it's a walk in the park
Since I started writing my blog, I noticed a huge shift in how others see it. When I first started, a lot of people made fun of me for it. A huge reason why I didn't commit to weekly posts until I moved to Italy, was because I knew the stick I'd get for it in England. Yet now, I have people messaging me a lot about starting their own blogs. And that is great, I am all for people expressing themselves, writing is a bloody great outlet, but the truth is, of all the blogs I've seen started over the past couple of years, only a handful have stayed dedicated to blogging. And that, is quite simply, because it's hard. If you want to blog, you need to love writing. It's not enough to love makeup or love fashion, you need to enjoy expressing yourself through words. Because the chances are, you're not going to be making money from it the second you buy your first URL, and the realisation of that for a lot of people, is where the lack of momentum comes in. The only way you'll keep blogging is if you love to write, because it's the only way you'll push through all the shitty bits nobody tells you about like writing 10 blog posts on your days off 'real work' and getting 6 views on a blog you spent hours on.

2) Finding time to blog when it's not your full time job
Tying nicely into the above, is finding the time to blog. If I could, I would be writing 5 days a week, popping out posts like tubes of pringles. But instead, I work 5 days a week, often 9-10 hour shifts, and then I have to come back home and when I want to collapse and have my brain shut down, I get my thinking cap on and start writing. It's hard because turning a blog into a full time job is about consistency, interaction and quality of posting, but finding the time to do that, on top of working a normal job, is bloody difficult. It's a bit of a vicious circle.

3) Writing for yourself entirely without baring an audience in mind
Goodness me, there is a lot I want to write about. Politics, mental health, Fenty Beauty. But I am constantly aware of the people who read my blog. Not for the purpose of views, but because the internet in 2017 has become a bit of a nasty place and more significantly, it's a place of permanency. Once something is out there, it's out there for good, and although right now I might feel completely comfortable writing about anxiety or an eating disorder, will I feel the same in 10 years time? How do I know future employers won't find it and hold it against me? My blog is the first thing on my C.V., so it makes sense I need to monitor my content accordingly, but sometimes that stops me writing what I want to write about, which is a shame.

4) Facing the 2017 Internet community 
IT'S A FIERCE WORLD OUT THERE! If you don't regularly read blogs, or watch youtube, I'm sure you'll be blissfully ignorant to all that's going on. 2017 has peaked in saturation of the internet superstars, and the saturation of blogging. And to be honest, it's slightly terrifying. People are pulling each other down, vloggers are creating 'diss tracks' about each other. I understand, the more fish in the sea, the less likely you are to be caught (or in this case, propelled to fame and riches), but it makes me so sad that that's the reason many people are creating content on the internet. It hurts my heart that people are basically creating negative content as a way to attract attention. Get me outta here and back to 2013 please.

5) SEO
That three lettered acronym from hell. To non-bloggers, the words MOZ, DA, PA, Follow Links and No-Follow Links, probably mean nothing. To bloggers, they mean a whole lot of work and a 9 month plan of how to help your internet space not sink in this sea of blogs. SEO is essentially, how well your blog performs on search engines, aka, it can make and break your blogging life. I'm fairly sure everyone struggles with SEO though and if I could, I'd live in a world where it didn't exist. But it does, so we might as well learn how to use it to our advantage. SIGH.

If you don't have a blog, maybe this will give you a bit of an insight into being a blogger. And if you do have a blog, I'm sure you can relate to some of these struggles. Do you have any to add?

Love, Alice x



IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU MIGHT ENJOY: 
So You Want to Start a Blog
5 Lessons of Blogging in 4 Years
How I Manage a Blog and a Full-Time Job
The Truth About Blogging


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16 November 2017

Where My Desire To Travel Comes From


One of the stories my mum likes to recount about toddler me, is when I was 2 years old, she was pregnant with my sister, and her best friend's husband was at our house. I asked him if I could go back with him to visit his daughters, who I grew up with as more like family. He agreed, and my mum packed little me an overnight bag, fully expecting him to have to turn around on the M1, as I realised I was leaving my parents and going half an hour up away from them. Instead, I sang him nursery rhymes the whole way, and was picked up the next morning by my dad.

For me, this story has always epitomised my personality. I will still sing songs on road trips, but more importantly, I've never been afraid to leave home. I was always the child who ran happily into playschool to meet their friends, I never worried about school trips away from home, when I was 18, I left my small-town Dorset life behind to move to Italy, where I had no friends, no family, and no knowledge of the language. The next stage in this side of me, was my decision to quit my London job so I could go and see more of the world. And the truth is, nobody was that surprised. In fact, most of my friends were more surprised at my ambition to get a London job in the first place.

To be completely honest, I don't know where my sense of adventure comes from. I'm quite systematic. I love lists, and I've never really been a wild child by any stretch of the imagination. But somewhere, I developed this desire to see more of the world, get out there and do things hard to do, and go to places difficult to get to. It's a desire that couldn't even be suppressed by the knowledge of 'making it' in the traditional sense, post-university. Getting an adult job in an area you're passionate about, is the hardest step after university, and I walked into it. But it wasn't enough. And here I am.

I think part of my desire to travel has actually grown from my practical approach to life rather than it being a preventative. I've always been very aware that there's more out there, I've always been stimulated by the idea of going to see what else is on offer, rather than just settling for the bare minimum. And instead of wanting to explore through holidays, I've always wanted to experience it for myself, rather than taking anyone's words for it. I have jobs in Australia and Thailand of 6+ months lined up, and I've lived in Italy and France, all of it off my own back.

Another area, sombre as this may be, is that I have a big, fat, giant phobia of death. Something I've had my whole life. Why? I don't know. Even typing about it makes my head and body ache. Just the thought process of not being here anymore, really freaks me out. But I think this fear has actually inspired me to do as much as I possibly can. Yes, I am terrified of dying, but if I'm going to die, I'd rather it be as I jump out of a plane than as I cross the road during my daily commute to my 9-5 office job.

Maybe another part of me wants to travel because, to be honest, the world is in a pretty terrible way at the moment. The icecaps are melting, Donald Trump is President, and the should-be unity of the earth is becoming more fragmented by the day. So it's possible a part of my desire to go and explore comes from this knowledge, and wanting to go before it's too late.

Travelling isn't for everyone. And sometimes I wish I'd wanted to grow up to be a Doctor, or a Lawyer. But then I land in a new place, and meet new people, and realise this is exactly where I want to be.

Love, Alice x



IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
I'm Moving to Australia
Why Everyone Should Work Abroad in their 20s
5 Places on my Travel Bucket List
How to Live Abroad (and Survive)



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12 November 2017

Why Uncertainty is the Best Thing About Your 20s


The unknown. I've watched enough Blue Planet II to know it's terrifying - and also bloody amazing. Pretty much exactly the same as your twenties. Being in your twenties is a learning process. It's figuring out who you want to be right now, and balancing that with who you'll be in five or ten years. Knowing you can do a season in 'Maga' if you want to, but also that it's not going to be the rest of your life. Nothing is permanent, everything is a learning process, and forgive me if I'm wrong, but I think that's pretty exciting.

Nobody knows who they are when they're 21. You can have a mortgage, a partner and children, and I'm still willing to bet the person you are when you're 21 is going to be a world away from the 29 year old mindset you'll enter your 30s with.

There's a huge pressure on us having our life figured out as we enter 'adulthood'. Knowing exactly what we want, when we want it and who we want it with. But there's a lot of world to see. There's a lot to do and a lot to experience and the best thing about it, is that after years of being under  the direction of teachers, parents and lecturers, we're finally our own bosses, and can make our own mistakes, paving our own way on our own path rather than one carved out for you.

Our teens were full of firsts. First kisses, first try of a cigarette, first drinks, first relationships. Your 20s are full of experimenting. You're not going to be in school, you're not going to be doing the same old thing. Most of us have no idea what we'll be doing, and we have this time to trial it all out, without people thinking we're having a midlife crisis.

Questioning if you're in the right place, keeps you standing in the same position. Which is why it's so important to take risks and embrace the opportunities thrown at you whilst you can. Whilst you don't have ties and can do whatever the bloodyhell you fancy. I have friends who are living all over the world right now, friends who dropped out of their Masters degrees because they were unhappy, friends who are living in London working their way up in their dream industry. Trusting your instinct and embracing the uncertainties of life is terrifying, but there's no better time to do it.


If you feel like you're lost, if you feel like you don't know what day it is, you don't know what you want, and you feel like you don't know who you are, you're doing your twenties right. Go out and discover. Live life and find out everything you like and don't like. Snog the wrong people and find out the alcohol which makes you lie on the bathroom floor at 5am. Embrace this hot mess of a decade, and live every second of it. Because as soon as you're in your white picket fence house with your 2.5 children, you'll be wishing you could do it all over again.

Love, Alice x
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10 November 2017

How To Survive Moving Back Home With Your Parents


A month before I moved back home officially, I sat on my bed in my childhood room and cried. I was visiting for the weekend and knew, the next time I was coming back, it would be for a lot longer than ever originally planned

Moving back home is hard. It's hard for you, it's hard for your parents, and it's hard for your siblings if you haven't been around much. I had a sudden 'oh my god what am I doing' moment, on that Friday night in July, when the realisation of living at home for the first time in 4 years finally sunk in.

There are different pressures which cause people us to pack our bags and move back home, but rarely is it a choice we want to make. Sometimes you have to move because there's literally nothing else you can do and you need to find a job. Other times, you might just need to save up money or maybe you've found your dream job in the city you live and it's just easier.

It's nearly two months since I moved back home to join the Dodd family household in Dorset, a decision I made after university so I could save up as much as possible to go travelling. And although there have been moments, the truth is, it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

The first thing is to remember, is this is your family home. Whilst it might be your temporary settlement, it's your parents home and as an adult, you can't expect to live the same lifestyle as a university student.

On that note, going back to live with your parents as an adult means the dynamic is going to change. Gone are the days of arguing over bedtimes and here are the arguments of who's contributing the most to bottles of friday fizz. Instead of adults and children in the house, you may be going back into a house of all adults, and that is a very different dynamic to the one you left. You may find you get on better than when you were seventeen, so it's not all bad.

There's nothing worse than moving back into a noughties reminder of the life you left behind. A bedroom plastered with 1D posters might be okay for the summer, but you don't want to move back into it as a full-time adult. Take the time when you first move in, to makeover your childhood bedroom. That's the best thing I did to keep me feeling 22 instead of 12.

It's probably on your agenda, but the sooner you get a job, the better. Having a structure to your day, and not being under each others feet day in day out will do wonders to the mood of yourself, and the other members of your family. They've got to get used to you too, and you lazing around whilst they all go out to work will definitely cause a bit of animosity - best to find a purpose as quickly as possible.

If you have a plan, the time is bound to go faster. Being in a kind-of limbo is extremely hard, especially if you're job hunting and don't know how long it's going to take you to find a job. Give yourself goals to help speed the whole thing up, a goal for when you'll get your first job, a goal for how much money you'll put aside each week, and a maximum-time you want to spend living under your parents roof.

Remember, at the end of the day, they're still your parents. However much you may have grown, or however many years it's been, you're still their child. You may have to tell people where you're going after work, or your plans for the weekend, but you also get food on the table, a bed to climb into at the end of the day and people who care enough to worry. So give them a break.

There's a big taboo of moving back in with your parents, but it's the reality a lot of people in their 20's have to face, particularly after university. Sometimes it's the best option, and just remember as hard as it is for you, it'll be hard for them too.

I hope you've all had fantastic weeks!

Love, Alice x
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6 November 2017

How to Stay In Touch With Friends When You Move Away

At some point in life, we all have to make an effort with friendship. The number one best thing about university, is the people you meet. But after three or four years of living in each others pockets, it then becomes incredibly hard to imagine a life where they’re not at your side in under five minutes. If you didn’t go to university, you might move away from your town or city and find yourself in the same situation - or, at the very least, your friends might move away themselves. Either way, we all come to a point where not all of our friends surround us the same way they do at school.

Although I haven’t moved around in the same way some of my friends have, I did move when I was 11 to a completely different part of the country and started at a new school. I then moved to (and back from) Italy when I was 18, and spent 4 months in France where I made friends with people who live hundreds of miles away. Not to mention, of course, university. 

Yet despite my moving about, I have always retained my core friendships. I still have my friend Collette who I met when I was three, there’s a group I’m still friends with from school, and I still have strong friendships with the people I met in Italy and France.

The truth is, we have no excuse in the twenty-first century to not pick up our phones and see how each other are. We can use text, Facebook, Whatsapp. You don’t even need a phone call to retain a friendship these days. So the main way I’ve stayed in touch, is literally keeping in touch with them. If you see they’ve had a shitty week, send them a message. If you read something on Twitter which makes you question how they are, give them a call. Keep in contact in the most literal form and you will be able to retain your friendship.

Very much within the same ball park, is making sure it’s a two-way street. Make sure you’re putting in equal effort, and not expecting your friend to do it all. Equally, if you feel like you’re the only one putting in the effort - maybe it’s time to reevaluate. Friendship is a form of relationship and the only way to really make it work is if you’re both putting in an equal amount. This doesn’t actually mean talking 24/7 all of the time. Different friendships work different ways, I have some friends who I talk to every single day and then I have some who I won’t talk to for weeks but each of us will just randomly check in to see the other is doing okay. My best friend and I call each other and basically don’t expect the other to pick up, but whenever we get the chance we call each other back, this can honestly go on for days before one of us finally picks up. But the effort is there, and the love is there and making a friendship work doesn’t mean you need to be stuck together like glue.

Only you will know what kind of friendships you have. The world is a much smaller place now but staying in touch with the people you love still requires work. Being an adult means no more school or seeing people every single day, life is busy and can get in the way, soon enough you’ll end up with half the friends you once had, but all of them 10x stronger. 

I hope you all had wonderful weekends and are enjoying the new blog theme! 

Love, Alice x

OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
Why Everybody Should Work Abroad In Their 20s
I'm Moving to Australia
How to Live Abroad and Survive
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31 October 2017

I'm Moving to Australia


This blog post has been such a long time coming, I've been absolutely giddy with the excitement of finally writing it.

Let's cast our minds back to what happens to be my most popular blog post ever, Why I've Quit My London Job To Move Home. I was completely honest about what was going on in my head for the first time ever, and moving back home is still to me, one of the bravest decisions I've ever made. Weirdly, I feel like that was a bigger step than what's to come, because I literally threw myself backwards. Of course, it depends on how you look at things, and travel and happiness and self-growth to me, is far more important than materialistic steps. But I could've stayed in London, worked my way up in the Public Relations Agency I was working for, invested in a flat, met a boyfriend and truly lived the London dream until I'm 30 and thinking about marriage and babies. That could so easily have been my life and when I'm sat here now, in my childhood bedroom, it sort of blows my mind how close I was. 

And then I breathe a bloody big sigh of relief.

Because I am not that person. Not right now, anyway. And I quit my job and moved home because I wanted to travel, and save money, and when you're spending £890 a month on travel and commuting, you do not have a spare penny to save.

So, I moved home to Dorset, and I realised fairly quickly that whilst moving home was a resort I was willing to take if I wanted to save up to go travelling, if there was another way to do it which would allow me to both travel and save, I would throw myself straight in. 

And at the beginning of October, I secured myself a job in Sydney, Australia which starts in January.

Yup, you read that right.

Your girl is moving to the other side of the world! 

If you followed me during my gap year (kudos if you did, that was a bloody long time ago), you'll know that I was an au pair. An au pair is essentially a nanny, and you live in with the family and help with the kids. Which means you don't pay rent or think too much about your meals. Aka, you don't have many out goings, and you're being paid. Au pairing is the perfect way for me to save money, and gives me the chance to save whilst being on my own adventure. On top of all this, I'll be blogging and vlogging and doing social media bits, which will also help a bit here and there with my finances and give me a bit more towards my travel fund.

I'll be in Sydney for at least 6 months before taking up another job somewhere in Australia, and am giving myself December - March to travel around Australia/NZ and some of Indonesia before I finally come back to the UK for about 3 weeks in March... before going off onto my next adventure.

At 22 I've been lucky enough to live in the UK, Italy and France, so it's probably time to cross a few countries further afield off of my list. 2018 is shaping up to be fantastic, and I am SO excited to see what the next couple of years has in store, the people I'll be meeting and the things I will see. 

My content might be a bit more geared towards travel for obvious reasons, but I'm sure I'll still be writing some deep life perspective posts too.

As always, thank you for your eternal support, it means the WORLD.


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28 October 2017

Happy Fourth Birthday Alice's Antics


Last month, this little internet space turned four years old. FOUR! And tying in very nicely with the 'celebration', I decided Alice's Antics needed an updo, so THANK you Kotryna Bass for this perfect blog design. I hope you all love it as much as I do!

The last year has been a bit of a mad one, hasn't it? I would easily say it's not been my most frequent experience of blogging, but it is the one where my blog has reached the most people and made the most impact. I decided last September I wanted to blog about things which matter to me, no matter how hard they might be to write about, and write things which I would want to hear from other people. And I like to think, I've managed to achieve that this year. We've had to grab our snorkels a couple of times for the bloody deep stuff I churn out, but a number of those posts have had massive responses and it makes my heart so warm to know people are connecting with what I'm writing.

I've written a bit about my Autumn Goals (it might even nearly be time for my autumn ones!) but I have a few more goals to add which are entirely blog-related.

I want to post more regularly
In a dream world, I'd be posting Monday-Friday, but at the moment I'm going to dedicate myself to 3x per week for now and see how it goes. I feel like I put a lot of pressure on myself because I see so many other bloggers putting out content daily, but I hope to be also working full time, and finding time to blog alongside work is like a giant puzzle, trying to piece your time together!

I want to up my photography game
I do have my eye on the Canon G7X Mark II, the goddess of blogging and vlogging cameras. I'm thinking it may fall into my clasp on Black Friday in November. I can't really justify spending the whole amount when I'm trying to save up money to go travelling etc, but I could easily be persuaded if the price drops a little bit.

I want to create social media goals
I'm trying to find an overall social media goal for this time next year, but I can't seem to decide on one. So let's go for it and say I'd love 2000 followers on all of my social media by September 2018! I actually have over 4000 of you reading this, so it shouldn't be too hard, but you never know with these things!

I realised the other day that 2013, my self-acclaimed 'favourite year', will be five years ago in January. And with that in mind, I decided 2018 would be my next favourite year. It's already shaping up to look very good, so more on that soon!

I hope you all like the new blog design and are have had the best weekends. THANK YOU for clicking on Alice's Antics, whether this is your first post ever, or you've been here since the beginning, it means the world.

Love, Alice x
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24 October 2017

10 Choices I've Made Which Would Surprise My 16 Year Old Self

It's 6 years since I turned 16. And to be honest, I'm not even 100% sure what I did for it. At fifteen I had a party and a meal... and 16, well, who knows? What I do remember about 16 in general is that I was pretty much any other 16 year old: 'full' of knowledge and desperate to grow up. A month after I turned 16 I had my disaster of a prom *shudder*, which was definitely a turning point for me, and then I joined sixth form, where I met most of my still-best friends. The great ones who you can call up at 3am after 6 months of barely talking. My 16 year old self may have thought she knew herself through and through, but twenty two year old me is only just scratching the surface. 

1) I went to University: It wasn't for another year that I even contemplated going to university, and then it took me 10 lots of applications before I found the uni I was happy to go to. BUT, it was honestly the best decision I've ever made. My gap year and my three years at university were the best four years of my life, and I'm so lucky to say I don't have a single regret.

2) I cut my hair: LOL, I'm not sure if this is quite the groundbreaking decision, but my hair has always been a shield. Bad face day? No worries, my long dark hair would distract from it. I loved having long hair, so my decision in 2015 and then again this summer to cut my hair into a grazing-the-shoulder bob, was a big one. And although both times now, I've had post-cut regret, I'm still kind of glad I did it because my hair is looking a hell of a lot healthier for it.

3) I quit the London job: To be quite honest, 21 year old me didn't think this would happen. But it has, and I did, and not a single person has told me I've made a mistake. All I've heard from friends and family is how brave I am, which although I'm not sure I'd use that word, it was definitely a daunting decision. But thank goodness I did, I know if I'd stuck it out I'd just ended up resenting my job more and more.

4) I'm still living in Dorset: A shock for everyone, let alone 16 year old me. My friend even said to me, 'I thought you'd never come back'. Well, here I am. May it be short and sweet, but good for the soul.

5) I'm single: Would we call this a choice? Maybe not, but with everything going on in my life, the last thing I want at the moment is somebody else to think about, and it would definitely have made my selfish life choices a lot harder. When you're in your twenties it's so easy to date somebody for convenience and just because they're there, but my decision not to do this is another sign of growing up.

6) I'm not going to be a journalist: Turns out, journalism is not for me. I thought it was going to be my career for a very long time, and although I LOVE writing (hence this lil' internet space), I don't want to be a journalist. This may have also been ever so slightly due to one too many chick flicks.

7) I like red wine: WTF????? I didn't like red wine until I was 20. And now, it's basically the only wine I'll drink.  Is this the definition of growing up? Maybe.

8) I've stopped singing: This is something I actually want to pick back up again. When I was 16, singing was my life. I was singing and playing guitar at weddings, local festivals, busking, and the odd pub. It was always a hobby rather than a profession but I couldn't imagine a life where people didn't know I could sing. Fast forward a few years, and apart from the odd hour in my bedroom, my guitar stays in its case. It's probably about time I picked it up again, eh?

9) I've broken friendships on my own terms: This is a huge one. Bloody massive. 16 year old me was, to be frank, a melt. Ruled and walked over by other girls, I would give anything to just be accepted. I've now realised the toxicity of some friendships and the importance of moving onwards and understanding change. I mostly grew up with other girls dictating the rules of friendship, and 16 year old me was very far from understanding that one loyal friend is better than twenty unloyal popular ones.

10) I'm NOT ready for marriage and kids: Hahahahahahaha. Ha. When I was 16, my life plan was marriage and kids by approximately 25. Which gives me less than three years to find a husband and baby daddy. It didn't go to plan, and thank goodness for that.

Isn't it funny how much the reality of life as you live it doesn't add up to the expectations? Despite knowing my 16 year old self would be surprised at these life choices, I personally don't regret a single one of them.

I hope you're having a lovely week! I have a new vlog over on my Youtube tonight at 7pm!

Love, Alice x


OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
Why I Quit My London Job To Move Home
20 Moments I'll Remember From Three Years At University
22 Lessons You Should Know By 22
My Turning Point in Self Confidence


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