Turning 22

If you haven't guessed by the title of this blog I recently turned 22. And what an amazing weekend it was. If you know me, day-to-day you will know that I am an absolute control freak, I guess its my inner-Libra coming out. But because of this I am a nightmare to surprise when it comes to gifts or birthdays, as I always have to know what is going on! My birthday weekend was amazing as my NYC wifey Jessica and my boyfriend Gino managed to do exactly that! 

I woke up on my birthday morning next to G, which was amazing in itself, and on top of this he had popped out and gotten me my favorite breakfast (Turkey bacon, egg and cheese everything bagel from Bergen Bagel) and huge balloons bless him! Also Gino's gorgeous parents Dawn & Anthony had gotten me this beautiful black worn-leather tote bag amazing, it was so nice to have a relaxed morning before I had to head into school for classes before beginning the birthday celebrations! 

Whilst at school NevNYC had set a SnapChat geo-filter so that everyone could take some fun selfies. It was such a cool thing to have! I loved seeing everyone's selfies. Check out the website, you can make your own! School actually went really well, I had 2 classes, Acting & Movement which I love. My classmates were so sweet and had all signed a card for me, and then my gorgeous friend Tiffany had gotten me this amazing strawberry cream tart from Paris Baguette! So sweet!

The evening held surprise number 1! Now I had been told for weeks that on the evening of my actual birthday, Gino and I would be going out to do something and the closer we got to that day I was told that it would actually be a dinner for the two of us and then a dinner with friends. Little did I know that Jessica and Gino had been in cahoots and organised me going to see HAMILTON! I mean wtf?! I think literally until the point that I sat down in the auditorium, I couldn't actually believe we were there. This was the second time I had seen Hamilton, the first time my friend Ayesha won the lottery and kindly took me with her. It was insane and I LOVED it. At that point however the CD wasn't out so I didn't know the show as well as I do now. THIS TIME was incredible, knowing the story and having read the book Lin-Manuel wrote the show from, I enjoyed it even more and bawled my eyes out for a solid 3 hours! So so magical! Here's a picture of me looking like a happy 5 year old! Gah it was just amazing, and the seats we had! WOW. 

The following day Gino and I popped out to the West Village and had a gorgeous day just wondering around the streets and popping in and out of shops. We also managed to squeeze in a trip to see the Puppies in the Pet Stores in SoHo, it took nearly everything in us however to not leave with one! It was just one of those perfect days with Gino with no plan, but just good company and good coffee. The two most important things in life....

I mean how could I not have a good day with this cutie patootie! That evening entailed my second suprise (which was actually a double whammy). I was told that we were all heading to my groups fave food spot "Benny's Burritos" which sounded like a good plan to me, they do a killer Frozen Margarita. But actually, Jessie and Gino had organised a SURPRISE PARTY! Gah it was just the best time, we partied in our apartment and on the roof, and danced all night. One of the most amazing parts of the evening though was when we all gathered in the movie room on my roof to watch a video that Jess had organised for me. A video containing lots of clips of birthday wishes from my friends and family here in NYC and back at home. Incredible. It is safe to say that it brought a tear to my eye. You can watch the video HERE!

It has just been an incredible birthday most definitely a birthday I will never forget. I'm so thankful for Jess, organizing all these amazing things for me! I'm so thankful for G who kept all these secrets and just made it an incredible weekend. I'm thankful for my family back at home for sending out hilarious birthday cards and birthday wishes. And I'm so thankful for everyone who took the time out of their day to wish me a Happy Birthday it really means a lot to me and I'm so glad I got to spend my birthday with such amazing people. 

I hope you all have an incredible holiday weekend whatever it is you are doing!

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!

Nev x

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Sunday Morning Thoughts

Sometimes living here, in my own little world, away from everything I grew up around. I forget. I forget where I am, I forget how I got here and I forget to take a step back and really take it all in. Of course I am so appreciative, that never changes, but honestly, sometimes I forget I'm in New York. Every week I wake up early, head next door to work or to classes and then I get in on an evening and cook some food I used to chill out with everyone and then probably grab an early night. A routine not too dissimilar from the one I had back at home which really doesn't make NYC feel that far away. This leaves little time for perspective and reflection. You will have read in my first blog post "Its Been Waiting for You", that I spend my weekends at a local park or by doing something within the city that ignites another spark of love for the environment. You will have also read in my "Stress and the City" post that changing your environment or getting out of the city can really help. A place I really like to do so is Central Park. Now I know this is technically not really "getting out" of the city, but it really feels like a different place when you're wandering through the park on a Saturday or Sunday. The best place to get some perspective is from the top of the Central Park Reservoir, the views of the skyline are breathtaking and really make you appreciate all that you're doing. 

In my apartment we don't have cable so I get all my news stories from online or in the paper. On Friday whilst getting my haircut, I was watching the weather report for Memorial Day weekend which was shortly followed by an overlook of the weather this weekend in America. I sat there and thought to myself...SH*T, I live here! 

Summer, most definitely arrived this week! Back in the UK I would dream of living in a hot climate, but as I found out this weekend, when it is hot here, it is HOT! During the week I'm in the office and Sod's Law usually means that by the time we reach the weekend, the heat has disappeared, and I'm left with an overcast and mild Saturday and Sunday. This weekend the temperature reacher 33 celsius which is the equivalent of around 90 fahrenheit. Add a couple thousand tall metal/glass skyscrapers, you begin to feel like an ant, burning away under a microscope. 

Yesterday to enjoy and escape the heat, Ian (one of my future roommates) and I took a trip to America's good ol' friend Target, to look at stuff for our new apartment, of course we left with an abundance of unnecessary and essential snacks. It was so hot on the walk to Central Park that we ended up getting a cab from 116th down to 90th. I'd never been to the East Meadow before, I'd only ever been to Sheep's Meadow further down town. The lawn was sprinkled with people sunbathing, picnic-ing and playing frisbee. Stupidly, I had brought a fluffy red blanket to sunbathe on which seemed to cook us like chicken-cutlets so our sunbathing stint lasted around 45 minutes. But hey, at least now we know for next time. Gino is currently sunning it up in the Hampton's for memorial day with his friend Sami and are having the best time, so its a really nice a sunny weekend for all!

Although its been weird this week with everyone moving, I've had loads of time to myself to sit back and reflect on the 9 months I've had here and the point I'm at right now. The photo above is the first time I've been confident enough to upload and un-edited picture where my body is exposed. I'm really happy with where I am at the moment and in the craziness of New York City, I've really found myself and a life for myself here. And I couldn't be more thankful for everyone back at home supporting me and following my little adventure here. I especially cannot thank my parents enough for everything they do. The Neville's have been on a bumpy journey for a while and no matter what roadblocks or obstacles head their way, it does not effect their sense of humours or positivity. An attribute I'm so proud to have inherited from them all. EVERYONE is going through something, some cases worse. But it's how you deal with those times and get back on your feet that defines us. Their selflessness, passion and kindness is something that continues to inspire me. 

I guess today is a very thankful Sunday, just as everyday should be! 

What are you thankful for this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Check back every Wednesday and Sunday at 12PM for the latest post. If you enjoyed this Sunday's blog post, be sure to give it a like, comment and share! 

Blogging from An Empty Nest

It feels weird writing this blog in the common room of a now-empty apartment. Well, I say empty, but there is now 6 of us living on the floor, temporarily as we move to our new apartment in Brooklyn on June 1st. But I can't believe I've lived in this apartment for nearly 9 months now, leaving with 11 incredible friendships. 

This is the first time I've really written a personal blog post thus far. I mean I've shown you some of my favourite places and I've told you some of the things that keep me going, but I haven't really talked about things that have happened or I have experienced throughout my time here. As you guys can imagine, and anyone who has moved countries or even cities can imagine, moving here was extremely daunting. I had lived out of my parents house into two different apartments in Newcastle in the North East of England, but nothing could've prepared me for different world I was moving to. I guess in a way I was "ready", I have always wanted to live in NYC and I knew it was where I needed to be so I had confidence in that sense. But I am someone who needs their home comforts or some form of "base" in the place where I am living. Packing everything I owned into suitcases and boxes and heading to a different country, I had no idea what to expect. 

For first year, for a number of reasons, I'd decided to stay in the dorm building that was right on the same block as the school. I didn't know what neighbourhoods were good to live in and whilst adjusting to a new school, I really didn't want to worry about a commute. In the early months of 2015, the school set up a Facebook page where we could "connect" with one another. In fairness it worked! This was when I began talking to a Mr Wyatt Maloy.

Now with this 12-person apartment, the rooms were shared. On the initial housing form you could put down a preferred roommate, either a specific person or a preference. Wyatt and I, the first day we talked decided to just go for it. And from then on we spoke near every week on the run up to move in. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't completely naive in the fact that someone you think you know can be a completely different person when you live with them, but hey, I was already taking a big risk in moving. Wyatt turned out to be one of the best things about my move. He literally is my stateside equivalent of an annoying brother and we have had such a laugh. Currently, Wyatt is back in Colorado, where he is from (don't get him started on talking about it because it will turn into a 3-hour monologue of why it is the greatest state). But already cannot wait till he gets back to the city so we can have another drunken Mexican night at Benny's Burritos on Greenwich Avenue!! 

12 of us in an apartment sometimes resembled what I imagined it is like living in the Big Brother house. A large group of different personalities, living in close proximity to each other, whilst all attending a drama school. A daunting situation to think about, right? On reflection, I would'nt have changed it for the world. Of course we had our fair share of hard times, 12 people using 1 kitchen and 3 bathrooms can get MESSY. Meh. The littlest of worries when you think about it. But on Floor 5, we had some of the best times. Everyone cooking together for Floor 5'sGiving (Thanksgiving), Secret Santa and going to Cassy's parents house in Florida for Spring Break. We were extremely lucky to have had this experience and for it to be such a "family" feel. Something I would not change for the world. I remember the first day we got to Cassy's house in Clermont, looking at us all running around in the sun, boozing, eating and swimming and just feeling so content and lucky to have such an experience. If theres one thing I've found living here is that leaving the city and gaining some perspective can make you miss it and appreciate it all the more. I appreciate and love all 11 of the gang I lived + Amara ;) with and hope they all have the best summer ever!

Like I said at the beginning, its so weird seeing everyones room's emptied out and the floor being so pristine, its lost its energy and life. But its a bittersweet feeling as I can spend the next week working at school next door and reflecting on all the funny times we had. 

So what does the next chapter hold? Well, next Wednesday (1st June), Jordan, Sarah (2 girls I already lived with), Ian and Finty all move out to Clinton Hill in Brooklyn. Chapter TWO. I'm so excited to decorate our apartment in NYC and start to build up our own little home here! And who happens to be our next door neighbours but Cassy, Casey, Savannah and Amara from the Academy House. All I can say is Bring. It. On. This summer acts as a celebration of an incredible first year in my favourite city in the world and the foundation of the next phase here. Who knows whats in store?!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Check back every Wednesday and Sunday at 12PM for the latest NevNYC blog post. If you enjoyed this blog be sure to like, comment and share at the bottom of the post!