Although I am a big believer of always looking forward, sometimes it can be great to look back at what you have done, what you have achieved and what you are happy about. It is a great reminder of your abilities and friendships and definitely gets me excited for the possibilities for the year ahead.

Here are a few of my favourite things from 2016.

Photos by Helena Willemijn - follow her on Instagram @yogielena

My Favourite Things from 2016

Merry Christmas!

I'm sure you're very busy today seeing friends and family, eating lots of food and eating lots of chocolate - so I'll keep it brief. I would like to share with you my December 2016 Mixtape as a little Christmas present to say a big thank you for your support, lovely comments and messages on the blog and social media from Copper Pink. It's been quite a special year for me personally, but I'll get into that more near New Year's.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Christmas Day and my December 2016 Mixtape. Which you'll notice includes exactly zero Christmas music - not something I listen to in my spare time, although I am so so excited for today don't doubt that!

December 2016 Mixtape

Hope you have a fabulous day and do let me know what you're getting up to in the comments xx

Merry Christmas! + December 2016 Mixtape

Every year I search for my three winter wardrobe essentials: a super soft and cosy jumper, similarly soft and cosy scarf and a comfortable yet still fab pair of winter boots. And this year has been incredibly good to me.

You may already have read my four tips to find the cosiest, softest, fluffiest jumper ever. This year I found the perfect roll neck jumper - and yes, it's cashmere. So so soft. Paired with my amazing gift from Chouchou after my summer internship and my new black boots from New Look, I think I've found a winning cluster of three of winter wardrobe essentials for 16/17.

Photography by Cera Kamonji | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Three Winter Wardrobe Essentials with Chouchou

When asked by my photographer and cheerleading friend Siobhan Morton if I'd like to help her out with her next shoot, I pretty much jumped at the chance. I am always up for glitter, contouring, hair brushing, some cheeky smizing and all while getting to wear my sparkly prom dress again. And what made this shoot all the more appealing was that it is inspired by Picasso, whose work I studied in high school, and seven of his different styles and periods of art. Do you recognise which periods I'm modelling in the final images below?

Photography by Siobhan Morton | Facebook | Instagram
Makeup by Michaela Walker | Instagram

Picasso Photoshoot by Siobhan Morton

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to attend the press opening of the shiny new KIKO Milano store in Aberdeen's Union Square. Having only visited the store in Barcelona previously and wishing I'd bought more then, I was super excited for Aberdeen to have its very own KIKO Milano.

KIKO Milano Hits Up Aberdeen

You may have noticed my posts lacked a little in November. This was due to a heavy load of coursework due for university as well as me just not feeling 100%. We all have those days, weeks and sometimes months, mine particularly in winter as I'm adjusting to the dark and the cold. One morning I surfaced from my cosy bed into the chilly world with the first thought of I can't wait to get back into bed tonight.

About 20% of the UK population experience mild symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and although not diagnosed, I feel I am one of those 20%. It sucks. And often you can blame the symptoms on other happenings - anxiety on that coursework due, hunger for comfort foods and snacks because you've just moved out of home again and can decide what you want to eat etc. But it's okay to feel sorry for yourself even if others say you just need to 'get a grip' or 'just get up earlier' even though it's dark, cold and all you feel like you want to do is hibernate, when usually or in the lighter and warmer months you're quite the spring chicken.

But here are a few tips to get back at SAD and not let the winter blues get you down. It can be difficult, but try just taking one step at a time and motivate and feel good about yourself when you do achieve one step.

Get Outside

This is one I do find difficult for myself. The thought of even my 5 minute walk to the bus stop for university in the dark cold mornings can feel like a mountain hike. But even just a short walk outside during a lunch break can help break up the long day indoors, expose you to natural light and boost your mood.

Pop of Colour

I haven't read this tip online anywhere, but it works for me. A lot of us wear mainly black and grey in winter, which I do love, but recently I have been wearing pretty pink-ish hues as this is my favourite colour. It really does lift my mood and just adds a little brightness to my appearance and to my day. Read here why blush pinks and rose gold are so appealing.

Go to the Gym

My aim is always to go to the gym three times a week, but usually I manage two - which is still better than none. I have found a class I like (body pump) and I go with my flatmate Biba who motivates me to get out the house when I really, really can't be bothered - thanks Biba <3. I don't always look forward to the gym, even though I do like it, but the feeling after finishing a session is amazing. It honestly helps my spirits so much especially during winter when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and physical exercise or movement is the last thing on my mind. The gym is also great for winter as it is indoors, and you don't have to jog through rain, wind and darkness - which all horribly dampen my mood. Even if jogging isn't your thing (it's definitely not mine), give the gym a bash and bring along a friend too so you can motivate each other.

Light Therapy and Wake-up Light Alarm Clocks

Something I have heard of and always wanted to try, Lumie are well-known for their light therapy and dawn-simulating alarm clocks, with specific types for different reasons. Light therapy (put simply: sitting in front of an extra bright light for about 30 minutes a day) has been proven to be effective at relieving symptoms of SAD whilst the alarm clocks can help massively in getting up and allowing you a positive start to the day. If anyone has tried these techniques out, please share in the comments how you found it - I'd love to know and I'm sure others would too.

List all the Pros of Winter

At first thought this may be hard to consider, however once you start I'm sure you'll quickly be on a roll. Here are a few to start you off: Christmas, The Body Shop's festive scents, pigs in blankets, seeing family, snow, wooly jumpers, scarves, black winter boots, robins, decorations, fireplaces, pretty landscapes... Immerse yourself in what winter does have to offer and try to forget the negatives. Always try to think and see the positive in any situation.

I am of course no professional or expert on SAD and all these tips are based on my personal experience, but for more information on SAD and what you can do to prevent it, see the NHS' advice and also this greatly informative article by Lumie on light therapy as treatment.

You can do it.

Feeling SAD? How to Pull Through Seasonal Affective Disorder

Vanilla chai, frosted berries and spiced apple: The Body Shop's three exclusive scents for Christmas 2016. My favourite is definitely vanilla chai, with spiced apple coming in a close second. It was fantastic to be shown a preview in Aberdeen of what The Body Shop has to offer this year, including shiny makeup, skin oils, personalised body butters, advent calendars and of course the three new delicious scents.

Christmas at The Body Shop

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