ISle Of Wight James Laila Tapeparade Quarr Abbey Winter Outside Nature Woodland Forestgirl in black dress, black floral dres, joy the store, arashiyama, bamboo, bamboo mat, black, black dress, blossom, buddhism, buddhist, flowers, garden, geisha, hanami, Japan, joy, kimono, kyoto, sakura, shrine, temple, tenryujiIMG_0609Regents Park rose Garden Queen Marys Laila tapeparade blog Valentines Day free in London north things to do parks royal parkPhotos from: Isle Of WightKyotoBoyfriends, Cleopatra, Valentines Day

FIRST: 2013, 2014. I’ve written a round-up of my year goals and top posts below, and I’d also LOVE you to take part in this short quiz if you have a moment! First, a few reflections…

This year has been odd. In the past I had such a burning energy and kind of fired through projects, people and places; knocking through achievements and fitting a lot in. This is the first year where I feel a bit like I’ve just continued, rather than progressed. Work has been steady without really growing, largely on the same projects and in the same routine. I’ve been in the same house, and at the same pubs, with the same friends.

I’m pretty sure 2016 will feel a lot like 2015. I can’t work out if it’s boredom, or just the natural settling process that occurs with age. Part of me feels like everything is going well and I should learn to be content, but part of me feels like jacking it all in and rashly going on the road to spend all my savings having fun. There’s a huge amount I haven’t done this year.

Museum of architecture cite d'architecture black dress white tightsIMG_7326-0winter wonderland hyde park london 2015 christmas festive tourist christmasland theme parkoxford university museum of natural history, dodo, skeleton, tortoise, camel, laila

Photos: Cite de l’Architecture, Amy, Walking In A Winter Wonderland, Oxford University Museum

There have been new things this year: #JDL being the girlfriends I never knew I was missing, my article going viral, one lanky sofa defrosting worn-out hearts, everybody remaining in good health. There have been nice things: fun Quizcats gigs, a lot of nights out, seeing my family, a beautiful tour with Rhum & Clay, travelling to Japan, Dubai, Mauritius, Edinburgh, Oxford, the Cotswolds, Paris and Venice.

On a slightly different note, family events and personal life messes have followed me around this year. Regular readers may have picked up on my slightly veiled hints that all was not well (especially in the summer); it was my way of trying to disclose upsetting situations whilst maintaining other peoples privacy. It’s been a challenge and very draining at times. A positive is I’ve learned how grateful I am to my friends (as I said in this post) and how much they care. It’s never too late (or early) to see how important you are to people, and I’ve been surprised by how much the love of others has affected my sense of self. Whilst that may seem an obvious statement, I think for me, it was a lesson I needed to learn.Casela Nature Wildlife Reserve Mauritius day out tourism animals tapeparade safari birds tortoisegiant tortoise tortoises Casela Nature Wildlife Reserve Mauritius day out tourism animals tapeparade safari birds tortoiseDisneyland paris tomorrowland fantasyland tapeparade blog disney park walt disney the happiest place on earth

Photos from Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Paris

2015 TAPE PARADE reader survey! It would be incredible if you could fill this in!


_MG_0222 copycomputer laptop apple girl working career tapeparade blog bloggingnishe bow dress tokyo sakura cherry blossom festival laila tapeparade yoyogi parkPictures from: Quizmas, My Job, Sakura at Yoyogi Park

2015 Goals

As ever I write these down and then NEVER look at them during the year. Let’s see what I arbitrarily decided would be fun this time last year!

1. Lose weight – lost just over a stone since September!
2. Catch up with (long list of friends) – I did catch up with a lot of people.
3. Go to Helsinki, Japan, New York, New Zealand and Russia – 2/5 ain’t bad and 2 more of these are booked for next year!
4. Record an album – No. :(. Written an album: HELL YES.
5. Aim for a zero-waste life – We’ve gotten way better at recycling as a house. Yay for the planet!
6. Save £5000 – Er, no. To be honest, I’m not sure why this was a goal? I didn’t seem to know last year when I set this goal either. WAY TO GO ME.
7. Make 6 videos – Yep! If you haven’t seen me crying on the Hello Kitty boat ride yet, or being swamped by excited bunnies, then PLEASE CHECK IT OUT.

8. Travel with Quizcats – No. But we’ve gotten a few more gigs for next year so that’s something.


2016 Goals

  1. Stop being so reckless and stay committed!
  2. Go to Cuba, New York, Disneyland, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Ireland.
  3. Sing more jazz gigs.
  4. Practise more. I never get the time to just sit down and play for FUN.
  5. Gig more.
  6. Create something physical once a month.
  7. Take on 3 big challenging jobs to push myself.
  8. Cook more! I’m a good cook but I don’t enjoy it so rush everything!
  9. Drive better. I’m naturally a good driver but I HATE it and am very impatient, so I just zoom through it with with zero effort and achieve terrible results (see also: cooking, sewing). I cannot afford anymore fines or tickets!

nabano no sato nagoya led light show light tunnel flower botanical garden laila blog tapeparadeTewkesbury abbey cotswolds gloucester england tudor victorian abbey architecture forest woodland exterioraIMG_1314tokyo disneysea the little mermaid disneyland japan tokyo seaside sea aladdin little italy venice mcducksPhotos from: Nabano No Sato, Tewkesbury, Black And White In Brighton, Tokyo DisneySea

Top 10 Most-Read Posts This Year:

  1. What It’s Like Not Being White
  2. A Response: What It’s Like Not Being White
  3. On Getting Old
  4. PeteFest
  5. Orange Is The New Black Season 2: Episodes 1-5
  6. The Summers That Shaped Me
  7. Boyfriends
  8. Personal Post: Losing Weight
  9. How To Stay Safe At Night Part 1
  10. Souvenirs From Japan

I have no idea what you guys like. There is literally no correlation between the top posts and the posts I’ve been most proud of. If you regularly read my blog and have 3 minutes of time to spare I would LOVE for you to fill in the short survey above (or click here). It would mean so much to me! In the meantime I’ll just keep writing what I want.

Thank you so much for reading my blogs and taking the time out of your precious day to stop by this space. It means the world to me! If you would like to keep up to date please do. Lots of love and I hope you all have a fantastic 2016!

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Sunset nature beautiful woodland forest cotswolds pretty skies clouds tree silhouettecamel desert dubai sandstorm dunes arabic desertDisneyland paris tomorrowland fantasyland tapeparade blog disney park walt disney the happiest place on earthwinter wonderland hyde park london 2015 christmas festive tourist christmasland theme parkPhotos from: Misty Mountains, In The Desert,Disneyland ParisWalking In A Winter Wonderland,


17 thoughts on “2K15

  1. fii says:

    I love how cute you are and how all these photos are just stunning and this roundup post. SEE IT WASN’T TOO LONG. I also possibly ruined your survey because I love everything. <3



    I especially love the turtle/tortoise?? photo. Seriously Laila you are too goshdarn adorable and I'm so glad that you joined the group chat. <3


  2. Elizabeth says:

    It’s a privilege to read all the posts you write and I can’t wait to continue to read your blog next year. Also you should definitely try to visit Ireland! X


  3. Laura says:

    hope you’ll have an amazing 2016 and good luck with the goals! i think it’s okay just to continue on with life sometimes, but if it doesn’t feel right in the end i’m sure you’ll figure out what you want and need to do:-) and if you do decide to rashly go on the road to spend all your savings and have fun, can i come too, haha? you should definitely visit helsinki now that i’m in finland as well, athough i’m in the north! anyway, i like this little round up and wish you a happy new year! xxx


  4. jessthetics says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR LAILA! It’s interesting that you feel you haven’t progressed as much this year – you’ve done so much travelling and you seem to always be on the go! From an outside perspective it seems like you’ve achieved a lot. So excited to hear your new album and to spend more time with you in 2016. Lots of love xx



  5. spicepicable me says:

    You look stunning chica, and I must say your resolutions sound solid, nothing too fancy or unachievable, regular every day normal stuff that will make you improve tiny bits of your persona. And if nothing spectacular isn’t happening in your life, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in rut, you’re on a journey but sometimes the train goes so smoothly it seems like you’re not moving at all :) be proud of you, you’re doing just fine


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