10 things I would like to achieve in 2015...

I wanted to avoid naming this post 'my New Year resolutions' as I know what you're probably thinking- 'Yet another resolutions post, over three weeks after New Year's Eve? How original of you, Dominika!' To me, it's more like a promise that I'm making on my blog. So there you go, here's a list of 10 things I would like to achieve this year. I'm putting it out here just so I feel motivated to push myself and you have every right to hold me to it!

10. Keep up the good grades
I am currently at the top of my year, which is why I'm a proud recipient of the scholarship that covers a big proportion of my monthly living expenses. When you're at university, there are plenty of distractions though- that party your friends are going to, those funny videos you just found on Youtube or those conversations about everything and nothing that you just NEED to have with your roommate right now. I want to keep up the good work and hopefully have a much clearer idea of where I want to do my Masters and most importantly, what degree to choose.

9. Stop worrying about money
I take pride in the fact that I'm pretty good at saving money- I've never even been close to being broke and I like the sense of security it gives me. However, sometimes I find it really hard to splash out on various things. Even when I finally do, I tend to feel bad afterwards. There's nothing wrong with pampering yourself every now and then and it's definitely something I need to keep in mind.

8. Work on my fitness
For the past year, I've been attending gym once a week as a part of my university course. I had my very last class this week, but I would love to continue working on my fitness as I know I have a long way to go. Getting a gym membership and going at least 2-3 times a week is something I've been considering for a long time, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Last year I lasted on a strict diet for 3 whole months- I'm not sure if I could do it now, but why not push myself to start working out regularly in 2015?

7. Work on my photography skills
I am terribly ashamed of the fact that I've owned a DSLR camera for almost 2 years now, but my skills are pretty much on the 'point-and-shoot' level. Now, before you ask- yes, I did try to read the manual, but I just couldn't get through with it. When it comes to photography, I learn best when I have other people show me the ropes. I would really like to improve the quality of the photos I post on my blog- the sooner the better.

6. Buy some better quality cosmetics
This point is something that very often comes with age- ever since I started applying make up, I have relied on cosmetics from my local drugstore. I have recently seen a number of bloggers ramble on about how important our face is and how we should pay close attention to what products we use and it got me thinking. Now, considering my student budget. you most likely won't see reviews of dozens of MAC lipsticks and designer foundations on this blog anytime soon. I'd be happy even if I bought just one quality product this year- I'd especially like to get my mitts on some decent eyeshadow palettes (I'm looking at you, Naked and Full Exposure) and make up brushes.

5. Collect memories
I want to make this year all about creating wonderful memories with my family and friends. While some material things come and go, memories stay with us and we can cherish them forever. I want to live in the moment, visit new places, go to concerts, check things off my bucket list, do some crazy stuff and laugh hard until my stomach hurts. For starters, I am seeing 30 Seconds to Mars with one of my best friends this April and I cannot wait!

4. Revamp my wardrobe
I cannot possibly be the only one who has the fear of wasting a great outfit on an insignificant day. I always wear my favourite outfits on days when I have many classes and leave the ones I don't like as much for days of little importance. I want to complete more outfits I would love and get rid of the clothes that collect dust in my closet. Also, as much as I love various prints, I want to buy more classic, timeless items that will make me feel like a grown-up. Amazing what turning 21 does to you, isn't it?

3. Improve my self-esteem
Self-esteem is something I've been struggling with ever since I became a teenager. One day I'll look in the mirror, feel good about the way I look and leave the house feeling fairly confident. Next day I'll see an unflattering photo of myself or glamorous lives of celebrities and fashion bloggers documented on Instagram. I'll point out a number of my flaws and get upset about it, then swear that I need to join the gym as soon as possible. Happiness and positive self-image aren't things that stay with us forever- it's a daily battle; one that I am more than willing to fight this year and hopefully win most of the time.

2. Travel more
Travelling is most certainly one of the most important and fulfilling things in my life- I love waking up in new places and being around new people. I'll set out to discover a new city with my camera in hand, take hundreds of photos and people watch while sipping on a coffee. I'll bring some amazing stories home with me; ones that I will remember forever and randomly bring up every now and then for years to come. I hope to expand my travel map by the end of this year- I have already planned a little something for this spring, but I'm not sure if it works out!

1. Make it an amazing year for my blog
It's my first month of blogging after the big break and it truly makes my day whenever I get a new comment- even if it's just 3 or 4 people, it brings a smile to my face that there are people who actually take time out of their day to read my blog. I truly hope to make it grow by leaps and bounds and gain more readers by the end of this year.

What would you like to achieve in 2015? Sound off in the comments!

Every night's my birthday, they don't know so it's okay

Whenever 6th January rolls around, I find myself singing THIS SONG under my breath and dancing around my bedroom, so it felt like the perfect occasion to use the lyrics as my post title.
Today is officially my 21st birthday, which can only mean three things:

1. I can now legally drink and gamble in the United States. Except I have never been to the United States before and I don't gamble.

2. It was Selena's 21st birthday when the music video above was shot. I was secretly hoping that once I turn 21, I will look in the mirror just to find that I magically got at least a dash of her beauty as a gift. It didn't happen though and now I'm sitting here disappointed.

3. I have exactly one year left until I can post Taylor Swift's 22 on every single social media account I own and sing 'I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22' all day long until everyone around me goes nuts. Who am I kidding, I like the song so much that I might just do it all year long.

On a slightly different note, I really loved the stunning birthday photoshoots OLIVIA and KAVITA prepared for their birthdays and they certainly left me wishing I could just frolic around with a pretty dress on and a bunch of balloons in hand. However, I still have the sniffles and the weather really hasn't been cooperating with me as of late. I might just have to consider snapping birthday photos in the middle of July from now on- perhaps the post title would be even more fitting then! ;)

In the meantime, I'm going to leave you with a BLOG POST from 2012, when I turned 18 and posted a bunch of photos from my childhood. Sit back and enjoy- I'm off to have some birthday cake!

What I got up to in 2014...


As much as I would like to post a bunch of photos of me in some sparkling NYE outfit and gush about my party plans, my night will most likely consist of me watching TV in bed and devouring some delicious food. For the first time in 7 years, I decided to spend this day with my parents and fight off the remains of the sickness that came to me unwanted on the first day of Christmas (NOT a cool present).

I decided to write a little recap of the past year instead, even if I'm going to end up being the only person reading it. I'm in favour of thinking about all the highs and the lows and possible areas for improvement when the year draws to a close. Don't we all feel a little excited about the opportunity to start everything anew and leave all the worries behind when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve? I know I do.

I remember as I was scrolling through Tumblr around this time last year, I came across an extremely inspiring quote that I decided to make my motto. It said:

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one."

Today, for the first time in years, I'm actually looking back on the past year with happiness. Not the 'I wasted another year, let the new one begin already' kind of disappointment, not relief that it's almost over- instead, I'm feeling pure happiness because of what I have accomplished and I'm hoping to make 2015 an even better one.

2014 is the year I worked very hard on finding my confidence and tried to care less about what others might think- while it's a lengthy and complex process and I still have my dark moments, I know I'll get there someday. It's also the year I decided to cross a bunch of points off my bucket list, make some dreams come true and do things that would make me genuinely happy.

I went to my very first music festival and saw a number of great artists live- including Kings of Leon, Florence and the Machine, David Guetta and Ella Eyre. After the last concert finished at 3am, still high on endorphins, I jumped into the car to get to the place where I'm studying, which is 300km away. In the morning, I was about to sit an extremely difficult exam, which at the time seemed virtually impossible to pass on the first attempt. I'm still not quite sure how I did it, but having had just one hour of sleep, I was among the 8 lucky people who passed and a day later I officially completed my first year of university! 

In July, I moved to one of my favourite places in the whole wide world- London, where I got my very first job (better late than never, I suppose), met some truly wonderful people and made incredible memories. One of the things that stood out for me was finally going to the Emirates Stadium to watch an Arsenal game- a diehard Gooner right here! ;) It's been three months since I got back and I still start numerous stories with "when I lived in London..." (I wonder who's secretly tired of those already!) 

Last but most certainly not least, 2014 is the year I got back to blogging and founded The Dashing Diaries. While it hasn't been easy and I do feel like I'm my only reader most of the time, I'm doing what I love and that's what really matters at the end of the day.

To finish it off, I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year. May the upcoming year bring you lots of love, joy and success, be it personal or in blogging. Don't hold yourself back and pursue your dreams, one after another! Remember that tomorrow is the beginning of yet another book of your life, make sure to write an excellent one! Have a glass of champagne for me and see you all in 2015!

We're happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland

I am well aware of and terribly sorry for how long I kept you waiting for the second post (by 'you', I mean those couple of readers that actually stuck around). I guess that's what happens when you spend too much time on a blogging break and get too caught up in trying to enjoy the smallest joys in life as of late. Those included a pub quiz, late evening mall runs, shooting funny videos with my roommate and watching the silliest movie we've ever seen until 3am, all wrapped up in our duvets and snacking on an advent calendar. It's been a while since I focused on making memories instead of checking my phone all the time and I'm not going to lie- it felt really good. I'm back in my hometown now, enjoying the presence of my family and doing some last minute Christmas preparations. Today, me and my mum finally got round to decorating our tree to the tunes of typical Christmas songs. This time my mum decided on a blue and silver colour scheme and even though I say it every single year, the tree truly exceeded my expectations.

What I wanted to share with you today are some pictures from 2 weeks ago, when my mum came to visit and I decided to show her the place which is an absolute must-see in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I love the atmosphere of Christmas markets, even if I go there just to swoon over amazing decorations and pretty lights because most of the things are simply too expensive. Every single year they gather artists who offer unique, quality handcrafted goodies and they have food trucks to comfort people after hours spent in the cold- what's not to love?

It was really hard to get a decent photo of me because of the omnipresent crowds and unflattering lighting (hey, we're no photography pros, but we'll get there...) so this one will have to suffice for now. I hope my little recap managed to put you in the Christmas mood at least a bit and you enjoyed it as much as I did sharing it all with you.

Last but not least, I wanted to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. May this special day be filled with love, joy and peace. I hope being around your loved ones brings you lots of wonderful moments to cherish and Santa ticks off every single point on your wishlist!
© The Dashing Diaries

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