2017 | The Year of Adventure

Adventure is a strange word. For most people, it conjures up an image of hiking mountains and travelling through treacherous lands. For some, it means lavish hotels with ski resorts, or perhaps a quaint Parisian terrace house. For me, it means my life.

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a weird one. Deaths of legends. Natural disasters and indescribably cruel attacks on innocent civilians. So it’s safe to say that most of us are very ready to move on to 2017. Whether that’s because this year was so tragic, or because the new year holds so much promise. 2017

Personally, 2017 will be the year I get back on track. I have had eighteen months of gap year after university – clearly a lot longer than anticipated. My writing career has come to a standstill and my editor isn’t best pleased! I struggle to be creative and often find myself hiding under my duvet watching Netflix instead of being creative.

But, 2017 is the year to get in gear (ooh that’s catchy!). I will be transferring jobs, moving back to Canterbury and into a proper house – with my closest and most beloved friend, Ash – and starting a Masters degree (Publishing MA – if you were wondering) in the autumn. So I need to kick myself out of bed, as it were, and get motivated. movingone

Moving back to Canterbury was always the goal, so it’s amazing to be going back to a city that helped make me who I am. My university, my home, my friends, my personal and professional education all happened there. And whilst I will never be that eighteen-year-old fresher again, it will be nice to see it through some older eyes. 

[ We’ve made a Pinterest page to keep cool ideas for our new home, so if you fancy a look, here’s the link. Myself and Ash are looking to upcycle and DIY a lot of cool things, and I’ve already started with some candle holders, etc. But if you have any ideas, we would love to hear about them in the comments! ]

What does 2017 have in store for you? Marriage? A new job? Getting yourself to the gym? Or maybe it’s a new hobby, or perhaps just trying to change one little thing? Let me know in the comments what your plans for 2017 are. 

Happy New Year, guys!


Keep track of my year in pictures at www.instagram.com/melissaholden94 

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Head In The Clouds | Blogging

I’m ill. As in tissue-box-follows-me-around-the-room,-where-is-my-medication ill. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time! Work has been crazy so I am too busy right now to be run down by some silly cold, but here I am.

I spent all last night and most of this morning dozing in bed watching YouTube and Netflix, hugging my tissue box and just generally feeling like crap.


But, if I want to be a super-awesome author within the next decade; then I don’t have time for lounging around in bed feeling sorry for myself! So, I hauled my ass into the shower, did a bit of pampering and let the steam clear out my lungs, dried my hair and jumped straight in front of my laptop.

And of course, my mind went blank! It’s not secret that I’ve been having some serious issues when it comes to writing my most recent manuscript, as I have been working on it for over a year and have still only written 22,000 words of my minimum word count of 60,000. So suffice it to say, I am not loving how my head is in the clouds these days – and being ill is not helping. *sad face*

So suffice it to say, I am not loving how my head is in the clouds these days – and being ill is not helping. *sad face*.

Maybe I will feel newly inspired after a walk into town, or maybe I’ll feel like I’ve caught the plague and go straight to sleep – but I can’t stay hauled up in bed all day… I’m an adult: I’ve got stuff to do!


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The Facebook Bucket List Tag (UK Version)

I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page and thought I would play along on this blog.

 Put an X if you have done it.

Been Married
Fell in love 
Gone on a blind date X
Skipped school
Watched someone give birth
Watched someone die
Been to France X
Ridden in an ambulance X
Been to America
Been to Europe X
Been to Blackpool
Been to Liverpool
Been to Newcastle
Visited Disneyland/World
Visited Legoland
Seen Grand Canyon
Flown in a helicopter
Been on a cruise
Served on a jury
Danced in the rain X
Been to Manchester X
Been to Edinburgh
Played in a band X
Sang karaoke X
Made prank phone calls X
Laughed so much you cried X
Caught a snowflake on your tongue X
Had children
Had a pet X
Been sledding on big hill X
Been downhill skiing
Been water skiing
Rode on a motorcycle X
Traveled on a bus, train and coach X
Jumped out of a plane
Been to an outside movie
Rode a camel
Rode a Donkey X
Been on TV
Been in the newspaper
Been in a magazine
Stayed in the Hospital
Donated blood X
Gotten a piercing X
Gotten a tattoo X
Driven over 100 mph
Been scuba diving
Lived on your own X
Rode in the back of police car
Got a speeding ticket
Broken a bone
Gotten stitches X
Traveled Alone X

Please play along in the comments! I’d be interested to see what mischief you guys have been up to!

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The Time I Quit Drinking | A Letter To Myself

Dear Me,

You know what you’re like: you can never have just one drink. And deep down, you’ve always known it was a problem.

You grew up with alcohol all around you – you live in a pub for god’s sake! So, you’re used to seeing alcohol every day. It’s practically you’re natural environment. Which makes coming home and being offered a drink pretty normal. It makes not being able to escape the Friday night drinkers okay. It makes making the excuse of ‘oh, I only came down for one but I was having so much fun I lost count’ acceptable.

Not anymore. No excuses.


Last night I was at a friend’s wedding – having an amazing night – but the worst thing about it was how lost I felt without a glass of wine in my hand. I felt like I couldn’t possibly have  a good night without alcohol. And that’s not right.

You used to be a pretty seasoned drinker at university, parties or drinks or clubbing every night, and up in time for that 9 am lecture. Thinking you were rocking the dry shampoo, but really you  were wobbling into class wearing some – if not all – of last nights clothes and make up. You tanked your grades second term because you’re brain was so fogged by the alcohol, that you couldn’t concentrate.

And you know what, using the excuse of ‘write drunk, edit sober’ doesn’t work if you’re never sober.

You started hanging with a better crowd, people who accepted you for you – not the party version you tried to be. You got healthier, smarter. Your grades got better and your mental health had never been better.

Then, in a flash, uni was over. Those friends that made you feel amazing (and hopefully you made them feel the same), they weren’t a five minute walk and a quick cuppa away. They lived miles away. Now, you all had new lives, with new jobs and new friends. You’re starting all over again.

So you started drinking more. A few after work with friends. A lot on a night out. Binge drinking. ‘I’ve had a long day.’ ‘I deserve a night off.’ ‘I’m only going to have a few.’ The lies you tell yourself to justify the glass in your hand.

Not anymore. Not again.

You’ve let your writing and your passions die. You’re always tired. You’re starting to depend on the drink again to make you an interesting person. You secretly enjoy the stories your friends tell you about all the crazy things you did the night before. But you know what? They aren’t telling you because it’s funny and a great story. They’re laughing AT you.

When the only stories your friends have of you start with ‘OMG Mel was so drunk that…’. That story, is never going to end well. So stop drinking. Start socializing more. Start writing again.

( Just to clarify: I am not an addict. I can go days without drinking. And I’m not doing this because I am against alcohol. But right now, it’s getting in the way of me becoming the person I want to be. )

You need to spend some time figuring out who you are AFTER university has ended. Without the alcohol to hide behind. Time to quit drinking and climb out of the fog.

So, Me – are you ready?

Love, Me x

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Songs That Make Me Want To Travel (Playlist)

Ever heard a song that’s made you feel so ecstatic, you wanted to jump on a plane? Me too. Here’s my list:

DNCE -Cake By The Ocean

Good Charlotte -Dance Floor Anthem

Roses – The Chainsmokers ft Rozes

Never Forget You – Zara Larsson, MNEK

LeAnn Rimes – Nothing Better To Do

Daft Punk – Lose Yourself To Dance

Alanis Morissette – Ironic


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The Creation Of #BrokeBestiesSavingForTravel

textgram_1458401749If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know a few of my friends (and me, of course) have set up a hashtag called #BrokeBestiesSavingForTravel. And, today, I’m going to be giving you some of the gossip.

First of all, you should probably look at our intro post, which tells you all about WHO the #BrokeBesties are. So, that’s right… here! 

Effectively, we’re just a bunch of wanderlusting ladies who want to see the world, and that’s pretty much it.

We’re going to be posting a lot about the prep for our next two adventures (Amsterdam and Australia), as well as throwbacks to old sightseeing trips and ways to save the cash when it comes to travel.

So, if you want to lust after our wanderlusting blog (haha, get it?) then feel free to check us out at www.brokebestiessavingfortravel.wordpress.com or go hit up our Instagram page. 

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textgram_1458401749I recently met up with one of my best friends, Ash for a catch up and a therapy session.

By the end of the day, we had made two decisions.

  1. To stop wasting our lives (and money)
  2. To go travelling together

First stop: Amsterdam in September 2016 – Me, Lara (fellow author) and Ash

Next: Australia in March 2017- Just Me and Ash


And thus, I created the hashtag #brokebestiessavingfortravel. I intend to use it to show you our world travels, but for now – it will show you us NOT buying Starbucks, NOT going out for dinner and NOT wasting our money.

We’re giving up the little things. But by the end of the year, we will have saved enough to spend three weeks travelling around Oz.


Wish us luck and keep an eye on this site and our Instagram pages @melissaholden94 and @ashleighno3 for more!


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1 Year On: New Job, New Life

A year ago (on the 7th Feb 2015 to be exact, I started a new job for an optical retailer in the UK. A completely unfamiliar and stressful job, but one I have grown to enjoy and be passionate about. Even proud of.


It is shocking how much a job can change you. I would never have thought that I would end up in an medical career, let a lone an ophthalmic one!

But you would be surprised how much a new job can effect your life. I work unsociable hours… decent pay, great colleagues-turned-friends. But it’s pretty damn stressful.

I remember a few weeks after I started working there, I was desperate to quit already. It was a lot to learn in such a busy environment – it was driving me crazy. But after a good ol’ meltdown, I woke up and realised that this was a good job. A great job, where I could have a decent career if I wanted to.

And that’s not to say I’ve given up on my writing – to hell have I! Sure, it’s slowed me down – but any job will. That’s life for you, and you just have to fit your passions around your work.

I may not have sorted my work-life-balance to a T yet, but I’m getting there; and  I wouldn’t even think about quitting now: on and up! 

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Life of an Author: BOOK TATTOO

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day… so I decided to do something spontaneous. 

As regular readers will know, I have six tattoos (now seven) – and they all mean something to me. Whether it’s obvious to anyone or not.

Here’s me waiting to get it done:

AND here is the tattoo in progress, starting from the template and finishing with the final product:

my book tattoo progress

This is my first literary tattoo and I think it’s probably my favourite so far. Falling books, blank pages and has no colours that could fade – it has no flaws!

I’ve already got several more lit-tattoos planned, and maybe even continue this one with some falling letters… who knows? 

I, of course, recovered with a meatball sub and a Doctor Who Series 1 marathon. Now, off to bed for an early work day.

Over and Out, 

Author Mel X

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