What a time to be alive! One direction, Adele and Coldplay performing in the one night all on the Xfactor grand final? errrm yes thanks! I had to go! Despite creating several accounts to apply for tickets, we were unsuccessful .. BUT where there's a will, there's a way! We decided to wing it and ended up heading to the SSE Wembley arena, where the grand finals were being held, at 11am to arrive around midday. It didn't take us long to get our hands on some tickets thanks to Beck's friend who works in security for the arena. We then went and celebrated at Nandos where we feasted on Peri peri chips and a chicken wrap (and can I just say that it was the best Nandos I've ever had - DELICIOUS).

Once we had polished off our lunch we headed back to the arena to meet up with friends who were attending the show. We decided to go wait around the back where the celebrities arrive for the show. We ended up chatting to Martin (Harry styles driver) for a few minutes and almost scored ourselves backstage passes however we ended up blowing that shot when we said we already had tickets (little did we know that we'd end up with backstage passes anyway). Once it hit 5:30pm it was time to go into the arena and get ourselves ready! We shouted ourselves some nachos and got into our seats. It wasn't long before a man came on stage to try and get everyone up dancing and singing. Adele was first to come on stage and my goodness was she amazing. "Hello" is by far my favourite song of hers and she gave a phenomenal performance they moved the whole crowd. Coldplay was just as amazing performing their new single "Adventure Of a Lifetime". My absolute hands down favourite performance of the night (obviously) was by One Direction. They not only performed "Infinity" but also "History" (!!!) which was amazing/sad/hilarious due to the flashbacks on the screen from the past 5 years and the heartfelt speeches given by celebrities such as David Beckham and Simon Cowell. Not going to lie, it most definitely brought a tear to my eye. Witnessing one of the first Australian tour shows and then seeing their last show "before the break" was incredible and couldn't have asked for anything better. We also got too see Louisa be crowned winner of the Xfactor 2015 and hear her winning song (which also happened to be the runners up winners song as we saw them both practice it during the break on live TV).

Once we has dried our eyes and fixed our makeup it was time to head home; however, as always, that didn't happen. We found ourselves at the back gate again. We saw Liam and Louis's car leave but not Harry or Niall's. That's when beck got a call and I was told to run. Thanks to yet ANOTHER of Beck's friends we managed to get backstage passes! What's even better is that he actually only managed to get one spare (for beck) but pretended his had fallen off to get another so I could have one - bless him. I got to walk the bloody red carpet into the arena to the after party and can I just say how amazing it felt. There were 50+ fans behind the barrier and you could tell they were envious. Once we walked up the stairs flashing our wristbands at every security guard that asked, we made our way into the after party. No word of a lie when I say what occurred next happened literally in the space of 1 minute when entering the party. As we entered I could see a blonde quiff coming towards us and that's when it clicked, I didn't even need to see his face because I already knew who it was; Niall Horan. The regret, I didn't say a word! All I did was smile and subtly wave like a complete idiot (shock horror there). However looking back i actually am quite glad that's all that happened otherwise I would've gotten completely rejected because you could tell he didn't want to be bothered. Oh he was also with Selena Gomez??? I had heard rumours but had never seen it for myself and there she was. Mind you I didn't see her at first and only found out she was right In front of me in between Niall and I. They quite literally walked in through one door and out another just down the hall and that was the last I saw of them.

I had work the next day so the free alcohol, as tempting as it might've been, kept itself on the shelf. Jamie decided to take us on a tour behind the scenes of the Xfactor. He first took us onto the floor/stage where we took turns sitting in the judges chairs. I of course sat in Simon's chair. We the proceeded to where the dressing rooms were, when we ran into Olly Murs who was on the phone and looked a little confused when I waved at him. We ended up stealing adele's dressing room sign and my god I wish I had of grabbed one directions but there was a security guard standing in the door of their dressing room (I don't think the boys were in there). We then walked back behind the stage and saw Grimmy who we had a very quick chat too as we passed. the walk to xtra factor was shorter than I imagined. Beck spotted Che Chesterman in the group of people and had a photo taken with him before we headed back up to after party. As we were making our way back in we ran into Charlotte from Geordie shore and saw Gaz aswell! There didn't seem to be much else going on at the after party so we went back out to find our friends where we ended up seeing quite a few of the Xfactor contestants as they were all staying at the same hotel.

THANK GOODNESS I checked the times for the last trains because turns out no more trains were running, only buses AND the last one was leaving in 20 minutes. So unfortunately that is where our night ended but I didn't even mind because I was so content with the night. It then took us 2 hours to get home on 4 separate buses in the cold. I promise it was A LOT more fun then it sounds and I easily had one of the best nights I've had since coming to London.

Bye for now, Maddison x

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Three hours is how long it took Beck and I to decide to go to Winter Wonderland, THREE WHOLE HOURS. You would think that going to Winter Wonderland would be a big fat YES but not when you're as lazy as I am. It was also going to take us two hours to get there because we're poor and thought that taking the alternative route (to save £1.50) would be a terrific choice .. so we winged it and did it anyway! Little did we know that half of the journey involved us walking through a few scary alleyways and back roads, but it's totally okay because everyone who walked past us knew we practiced karate.

The last time I saw Hyde Park it was just a huge stretch of grass and a few statues - still beautiful, but nothing like what I saw when we approached the park last Friday night. After the long journey it was amazing to drive from one end of the park where it was dark and gloomy to the other end where all you can see is colourful lights, a giant ferris wheel and the imaginary snow. May I just mention that I have never seen snow, so even the sight of fake snow got me all giddy!

I am a huge photo person; I will literally take photos at every given opportunity. So when we arrived at the entrance of Winter Wonderland that is exactly what I did! I genuinely look like an overly excited marshmallow in all of my photos no thanks to my jacket and inner child! We first did a lap to take it all in and also because we were freezing our asses off (they don't refer to it as a Winter Wonderland for nothing). Passing all of those Christmas food stalls was exhausting!! Every second store had churros, donuts & waffles and I had just polished off a large chicken strip meal from McDonald's! Can you see my dilemma? I managed to get through the markets without spending anything, despite being surrounded by delicious and very over priced food. We decided to move on and found ourselves in the Bavarian hall enjoying an authentic German festive experience amongst a very large crowd of slightly intoxicated people singing along to Y.M.C.A and staying alive. Definitely a must if you go to Winter Wonderland! I would honestly be able to spend a whole night out just in that one hall; the atmosphere is insane!

After a solid half hour singing and dancing along to the acts performing on the main stage, we than went on to explore the rest of the event. We found ourselves at the Arctic lodge bar where we hung out with friends and watched some more live acts. Can we please just talk about how many cute boy bands there are in London?? amazing! Coincidentally we ended up hanging out with a few of the performers while looking at the different stalls and soaking up the Christmas festivities! Unfortunately we hadn't booked tickets to the ice skating, the Zippos Circus, the Cirque Beserk or the Magical Ice Kingdom HOWEVER when we visit again (not if, but when) these will all be ticked off! There are also other rides which are quite cheap, have smaller lines and would be just as fun .. If you like the rides (Im not a ride person, so I'm the designated bag lady). Winter Wonderland is free entry so you're in for a magical night wether you book tickets for the high demand activities or not.

Unfortunately 10pm came around very quickly and Winter Wonderland was being closed for the night. Fortunately it was now off peak which meant it wasn't another two hour journey home for us! All in all, I'm so glad that we decided to go because it turned out to be an incredibly fun night filled with new friends and new memories! Winter Wonderland is a must do if you're in London around the Christmas period (20th of November 2015 to 3rd of January 2016). When I go again I'll do an update in here on the popular attractions!

Bye for now, Maddison x

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It's been 4 months and 22 days since I hopped on the plane from Australia to the UK. It also happened to be the day of my 20th birthday which coincidentally meant I was to spend my 20th on a plane. Here I was thinking that surely there would be benefits to flying on your birthday .. perhaps an upgrade to first class or maybe some free wine? nope! The only benefit was that I had the longest birthday I have ever had; 31 hours! Probably not at top of the best birthdays I've had considering the massive hatred I have for planes (too much air crash investigation), however I did get to spend it with one of my closest friends and we were heading for London!

Coming back to the UK was something I wanted to do for a while (pretty much ever since I had left in 2013). What can I say? I love the atmosphere, the people, the food, the style - basically everything. After years of discussion, my friend and I decided to just do it. It didn't take long for us to decide what we wanted to do and when we wanted to go. There are a few different travel corporations that provide organised coach trips around the world however the one that stood out the most was Contiki. The trip we went with was the European Encounter; a 16 day tour through the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, France and Monaco. It is honestly the perfect trip if you want to experience Europe in a short amount of time. I don't think I can summarise how amazing this trip was! Was it all the crazy awesome friends I made? The extremely delicious European food? The shopping? Or maybe the Contiki cough? Probably not the last one, however I would happily suffer to be able to experience the trip all over again!

Preparing for this trip meant we had to save .. ALOT! For a girl who is a massive shopaholic, I didn't find it as hard as I expected. Saving for something I was so excited for made it all the easier. Obviously I had to buy cute clothes for my trip along the way aswell! Although keeping in mind I would be going to Europe, where fashion is everything, I made sure to save extra for shopping, as well as food and extra activities on top of the optionals. The optionals came to just under a $1000 and we had agreed to do every last one. If you're reading this and contemplating wether to do them all or not; DO IT! Seriously! Sure, there are a few on the list that don't sound as appealing and a waste of money, but it's honestly what you make of it! 99% of the activities were done by the whole group (that 1% was when people were physically unable to join in) which made it so much more fun and brought us all closer. My favourite optionals included the white water rafting and the Venetian dinner! The white water rafting seemed extremely terrifying at first however not doing it wasn't an option and I'm very happy I did it and conquered my fear! As for the Venetian dinner who can say no to free wine, great company and experiencing it all in such a beautiful city!

All of the inclusions from the trip absolutely blew my mind. It was all extremely well organised, showcasing each of the cities tourist highlights aswell as taking us behind the scenes to some beautiful/not so touristy sights which were just as amazing yet so under appreciated. We were so lucky to get such a knowledgable, lovely and friendly tour manager; Taz. She was basically like our own personal history book aswell! Thanks to her we were able to understand everything about Europe. For someone who used to find history in school quite boring, I LOVED learning about it when I was able to see the everything for myself. When I thought about spending 2 weeks straight with strangers I expected it to be scary and uncomfortable, but it was quite the opposite. Who knew that after that short period of time, I would come out with 50 new friends!

My absolute favourite cities I was lucky enough to visit were Amsterdam and Rome. Amsterdam was the first to be explored and because we arrived around midday, it gave us almost 2 full days to experience the amazing city! If you know me, you would know that I am a huge movie buff and am madly in love with Ansel Elgort. So when we had a day off of course the first place I was going to go to was the Fault In Our Stars bench. It only took us an hour to get there (sarcasm because no internet = paper map) but oh my was it worth it. It was situated beside a beautiful canal and luckily wasn't too busy which allowed me to sob quietly to myself. Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit the Anne Frank house but fingers crossed when I eventually go back I can go! The nightlife is so much fun and the drinks are very cheap which made it even better!

I don't think I can put into words just how much I loved the food in Rome. Pizza and pasta are unfortunately my favourite meals and probably one of two reasons (one being alcohol) I gained weight on the trip, sigh. I think I had pasta every lunch/dinner I was in Italy, however for some reason the pasta just tasted extra delicious in Rome! Besides the food, the architecture was astonishing. We were taken through 2 walking tours; one through the colosseum and the second through the Roman Forum. It was so weird/cool to think that these places weren't just ruins and were actually used in people's daily lives. To think that the Roman forum ruins were once government buildings and the colosseum was used for gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights blows my mind!! Once the exploring for the day was over it was time to head back to the hotel and .. Relax? Never! we decided to down to the hotel bar to continue the night and before I knew it I was sitting on the bathroom floor, the toilet as my best friend and alcohol my worst enemy. If you're heading to Rome, prepare yourself, they free pour!

If you're looking into doing a trip through Europe and want to see as much as you can in a limited time, a Contiki coach trip is perfect! Not only do they cover every amazing city Europe has to offer, you'll be able to do it at an affordable price! You also don't have to try organise everything yourself. All you have to do is pay, show up and have the most amazing experience of your life. So if you're contemplating it, JUST DO IT! If you're looking for the link to the tour I did here it is - http://www.contiki.com/destinations/europe/tours/111-european-encounter


NO REGRETS!

Bye for now, Maddison x

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Olá! Salut! Hola! Hello!

Never did I think it would take me this long to start writing a blog. I've always wanted too however I'm a massive procrastinator, oops! But the time has finally come and here I am sitting on my phone, trying to write this first blog post while watching I'm a celebrity.

I am 20 years old and have recently moved to the UK from Australia. Before you ask, I moved here for multiple reasons. Firstly being family, secondly I'm not a huge fan of the heat (shocker I know, but I am a pale red head who burns after sitting in the sun for 5 minutes) and thirdly for a change in scenery. I thought this blog would be a good idea considering the move, although I wish i started it earlier!

Things I love: family, friends, dogs, pizza, soccer, movies, bowling, shopping, social media (hence me posting on here), onesies, winter, white hot chocolates with maltesers, cooking, rainy weather, wakeboarding, singing and dancing etc etc

Things I dislike: softdrink, wet socks, jacket potatoes, the heat and airplanes - will update when my brain is functioning but as of right now these are apparently the only likes I don't like

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Now that the intro is out of the way (feel free to ask me any questions) ... My blog is going to consist of all different bits and pieces. From celebrity encounters, fashion, travel and food! So keep checking back and hopefully there will be some blog posts you're interested in!

bye for now, Maddison x

P.S. how beautiful is the city I live in now!

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