My New Years Resolutions

Happy last day of 2015, everyone! 2015 has been a bit of a crazy year for me (a year in review post will follow at some point), including living in Scotland for nearly half of the year. I managed to find my blog post of my New Years Resolutions for last year and it's funny to see how similar mine are this year. Last year's are:
  1. To love myself and take care of myself — eat healthy, exercise, keep up a skincare routine, read more, use a positive inner voice. 
  2. To not let my fear of being hurt and the pain of my past experiences keep me from opening my heart and taking a chance. 
  3. To create content — writing, blogging, videos. 
I'll be honest...I only truly fulfilled one of those. While I did create content (both for this blog and my YouTube channel) regularly, I never really had the opportunity to bring #2 to fruition and I didn't always keep self-care in mind.

Some people don't believe in New Years Resolutions because they don't typically last the whole year. But does that really matter? In my mind, resolutions are wonderful even if they only last for a few weeks or months. Any progress towards a goal is progress, right?

So my resolutions for this year are:

  1. Continue regular posting on my YouTube channel, this blog, and my Instagram account
  2. Take better care of myself! This includes: drinking more water, exercising, eating more healthy foods, meditating/doing yoga/coloring daily, and pampering myself with skincare weekly. 
  3. Using my new bullet journal to help me feel more organized and in control of things.

What are your resolutions? Make sure to share them with me on social media or in the comments below. Oh, and Happy New Years Eve! x

Best Theatre Experiences of 2015

This has been a great year of theatre for me! I saw Les Miserables and Miss Saigon in the West End, plus Newsies and Wicked on US national tour. I discovered Hamilton and Gigi, not to mention that it was the year of The Last Five Years movie. I wanted to share with all of you, my best theatre experiences of the year:

Seeing Dreamgirls in Raleigh 
I love finding great theatre that's inexpensive and close to home. And seeing Dreamgirls was even better because one of the leads in it goes to my university! Read my review.

Seeing my best friend perform 
I was lucky enough to get to see my best friend, Lucy, perform twice while I was in Scotland: once singing a song from Elisabeth das Musical at a cabaret and another time singing "Time Heals Everything" at her voice recital. Luckily, I filmed both of them.

Seeing Les Miserables in London

Getting to see Les Mis in London in March with an incredible cast was one of the highlights of my year. While at first I was sad that Peter Lockyer and David Thaxton were both off the night I saw it, I ended up being immensely pleased that my family and I got to see Simon Shorten's Valjean and James Gant's Javert. Of course, seeing Carrie Hope Fletcher and Rob Houchen as Eponine and Marius for the third time was incredible and I absolutely adored both Michael Colbourne and Christian Edwards. 

Read my review

Seeing Miss Saigon in London 

From the moment I discovered Miss Saigon, I knew it was my show. I've rarely loved a cast like I loved the London revival cast so I was so pleased to see the show for a second time in March. That I got to go with my mom made it even better! This year, I got to see Tanya Manalang as Kim and Niall Sheehy as Chris. I'd always wanted to see Niall Sheehy as Enjolras when he was understudying the role so I was very excited and he definitely came through with a stunning performing. 

Read my review

Falling in love with Hamilton (and getting a favorite from Lin Manuel Miranda) 

When I first started hearing about Hamilton, it didn't seem like the thing for me. While I have a fondness for history musicals, the idea of a hip-hop show perplexed me. But, I recognized that it was a momentous occasion in musical theatre history and I had a lot of respect for Lin-Manuel Miranda, so I gave it a listen when he released it for free on NPR the Monday before the album's release.

I spent the next few weeks falling in love. I honestly don't know any other way to describe it. Having Hamilton has made my semester so much more wonderful, as it supported me through rough days and inspired me to make plans for my future and made me new friends. I can't wait to see it in New York City in 2016! One of the best days has to be when the man himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda favorited my tweet...(though the day Daveed Diggs favorited my tweet was also pretty exciting.)

Read my review of the album from the week it was released.

A Stagey What I Got for Christmas

I wanted to share some of my very stagey Christmas presents with you all! Let me know what you got for Christmas in the comments and don't forget to subscribe to my channel. x

Favorite Christmas Videos

One thing I love about Christmas time is all the special Christmas-y YouTube videos! I decided to round up some of my favorites to share with you. Make sure to tell me your favorites in the comments. x

There's nothing like a Christmas lookbook, right? I especially love this one for Baby Glitter and Zoe Sugg's latest. They definitely got me excited about putting together festive outfits!

I always look forward to Zoe and Louise's annual gift exchange videos! I absolutely love seeing what other people get for Christmas... #nosyNicole 

If I didn't already have gifts purchased for people, I would definitely be making some of these! As a matter of fact, I might make some for birthdays...or even for myself. 

Festive makeup is so fun...especially with red lipstick! If you're looking for tips, check out these two tutorials. 

Friday Internet Finds: Christmas Edition!

Happy one week until Christmas, everyone! I decided to do a special Christmas-themed edition of Friday Internet Finds, just to be extra festive.

1. I loved Alyssa Campanella's blog post about how she and Torrance Coombs decorated their home for Christmas (complete with stockings for their cats!). I especially loved how she tied gold bows onto their tree...I may have to do that next year!

2. Need a last minute present for your favorite geek? This Buzzfeed quiz can give you some ideas, based on their fandom.

3. This recipe for shortbread cookies from Tanya Burr's blog looks so simple! And the cookies are absolutely gorgeous. I'll definitely be trying it out.

4. Um this gingerbread replica of the house from Up! is seriously amazing.

5. This Christmas Lookbook from Zoe Sugg might just be one of my favorite videos of hers ever! Some gorgeous outfit inspiration for the whole holiday season.

My Christmas List

I wanted to share part of my Christmas list for you in case any of you were looking for gifts for your friends or family, or trying to figure out what to tell people that you want! 

Austenland DVD // I absolutely love the movie, Austenland. It's exactly the sort of Jane Austen themed cheesy romantic movie that I love to put on while I'm working on something. I can't wait to have my own copy of it. 

Madewell sweater // This turtleneck from Madewell is so gorgeous and soft. And luckily for you, even though it's a bit of a splurge, it's on sale right now. 

The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet // I haven't had a chance to read this yet because of school. It's perfect for anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice and especially the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. 

Hamilton laptop sleeve // If you're looking for a way to show your love of Hamilton to the world, this is surely it. I can't wait to start using mine! 

Kate Spade bag // The bag that I ordered recently is unfortunately out of stock, but this one is gorgeous as well. If you're trying to figure out what to ask your parents for or what to spend your holiday money on then this would be a lovely choice. I love the look of a pale pink bag paired with an all black outfit. 

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

I wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas traditions with you all that my family uses to really make Christmas seem longer! I also wanted to share my friend Stefanie's gift for me because it's so adorable. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel if you aren't already! x

Friday Internet Finds

As of today, I'm finally finished with my exams! I am so excited to go home for the holidays and really get into the Christmas spirit.

1. Looking for a Christmas TV episode to watch? This Buzzfeed quiz can suggest one. (If you want movie suggestions, head to my list of fave Christmas movies.)

2. Have you seen that the UK actually has a serious petition going to ban Donald Trump from their country? At least I know where I'm moving if he becomes president...

3. I love this "21 Things You Need to Thank Yourself For Before the End of the Year" post from Thought Catalog.

4. Did you see the Hamilton is officially launching a national tour, starting in Chicago? Check out this article for more details.

5. I love Sanne Vliegenthart's YouTube channel (booksandquills) and her Christmas gift guide of bookish gifts under 5 pounds is perfect. Whether you need a little present or a stocking stuffer for your for your favorite bookworm, she has some great suggestions!

My Seven Favorite Christmas Films

With two of my exams behind me, I can finally afford to feel festive. So what movie am I watching while I write this? Love Actually, of course! I wanted to share some of my favorite holiday films with you. Please comment with your favorites so I can find some new ones! xx

Love Actually // Is there anything even to say about this? Without a doubt, the best adult Christmas movie of all time. What storyline is your favorite? Mine is definitely the one about the prime minister.

White Christmas // Confession: I watch this movie all year, not just at Christmas. But what's better than a Christmas movie musical with incredible tap dancing and singing?

It's a Wonderful Life // Perhaps the most classic Christmas movie ever. I have to watch this with my mom every year.

A Royal Christmas // This is my Hallmark movie guilty pleasure. Because what's better than finding out that your boyfriend is actually royalty?

The Nine Lives of Christmas // If you love cats and cute men, this one's for you. Surprisingly touching for a Hallmark movie.

The Christmas Card // This has always been my favorite Hallmark Christmas movie. When I was younger, I adored love triangles and the whole idea of a veteran finding someone who sent him a card while he was in the army is lovely.

Little Women // While Little Women isn't really a Christmas movie, Christmas does play a large role in it and I love watching it at Christmas time. But this is definitely one to bring the tissues for!

Magic Kingdom and Epcot Vlogs!

Here are the other two vlogs from my Thanksgiving trip to Disney World. Enjoy! xx

Friday Internet Finds

How are you all surviving the beginning of the festive season? Next week is exam week for me, so I'm quite stressed out. Which makes mindless Internet browsing for breaks even more important!

1. I love this article about habits of fashionable people from College Fashion. Too true!

2. As sad as I am about the news that Les Miz Broadway will close in September, I can't contain my happiness about John Owen Jones coming to play Valjean. Brb, booking tickets.

3. This Buzzfeed quiz can tell you what your life would be like on "Gossip Girl." Apparently I would be Queen of the Upper East Side...I'm certainly not complaining. Let me know what you get in the comments!

4. If you're studying for finals like I am, you may as well do it to Christmas music! Check out this vintage Christmas playlist or this indie one.

5. Anyone else SO excited for #24DaysofZoella? I love love love this Christmas jumper haul.

Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios

I was lucky enough to get to go to Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving with my family. We went to Hollywood Studios for the first time (as my little sister finally decided she was ready to try the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror) and were delighted to find The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. 

During the holiday season, at dusk, the Streets of America section shuts down and turns into a place of holiday wonder. The streets are covered in thousands of lights which twinkle in time to holiday music. The feeling of wonder and community is amazing as everyone wanders about, taking photos and singing along to the music. It seemed that for just a little while, all the visitors from different places joined together to celebrate the holidays a bit early. 

While the photos certainly don't do it justice, I wanted to share some with you. I also filmed some of it which is in my Hollywood Studios vlog on my YouTube channel! 

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