The Best of 2018

Tonight, from Manchester, I raise my bowl of salad to one heck of a memorable year.

2018 goes down in my personal history book as 100% major.  It’s been one of those years where I feel blessed far beyond what I even knew to ask for.  It’s been filled with gracious opportunity and a lot of hard work.

There have been highs and lows, lots of learning, some tears and plenty of of goodies have come out of my oven, both here and back home.

My phone has been stolen. My laptop’s hard drive has been corrupted. I got a job. I quit my job. Lots of family drama and other unpleasant stuff unfolded. But today we remember and appreciate all the nice things.

Looking through my photos made me realize how much has happened and how quickly time has gone by.

So here it is, my highlights from 2018:

#1

Oh the anticipation of traveling internationally for the very first time ALONE!

I’d been abroad before but never without my parents and siblings so you can imagine my excitement anxiety.

 

#2

Not having to share a washroom, a bedroom or any room for that matter with any of my many sisters is a MAJOR highlight for me xD

 

#3

The year I baked my first cheesecake!

And made truffles.

And ate a lot of berries.

 

#4

The Brathay trip.

The trip of a lifetime.

 

Rowing on one of the most beautiful lakes of the world, Lake Windermere, taking the ‘leap of faith’, and doing all sorts of other wild activities I never would have imagined myself doing.

#5

Meeting some awesome people and making some AMAZING friends from all over the world.

 

#6

Falling in love with the beauty of autumn.

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#7

Experiencing the magic of Christmas.

 

#8

Exploring London with my crazy Russian best friend.  

 

#9

Visiting the infamous Dominique Ansel Bakery, and FINALLY trying the mighty ‘cronut’. A moment I’d been dreaming of ever since its creation.

The first bite was magical.

I’m swooning just thinking about it.

 

#10

The day I met Cupcake Jemma!!

Major fan moment!

My heart was thumping. My palms were clammy. We talked. I told her my sisters and I were huge fans. We took a photo (which came out horrid). And then I tried some of Crumbs and Doilies mini cupcakes.

A day I can relive over and over again.

 

I might have gone and visited her again. O.o #stalkerandproud 

#11

My first roller coaster ride at the Winter Wonderland in London.

It only took about two minutes, but the experience will stay with me forever. It was raining and I was laughing and crying.

The whole experience was just exhilarating! And nauseating.

 

#12

My first football match.

Though not a sports fan, I wouldn’t mind going again and again.

I loved the electric atmosphere and the excitement you feel with every pass, tackle and goal!

#13

And the highlight that made all the above highlights possible; being awarded the British Chevening Scholarship.

I am incredibly honored to be given this opportunity, to be one among the 1800 scholars out of 65,000 individuals who applied.

It still feels surreal.

 

Every time I walk through the campus feels surreal.

 

me outside campus

Thank you Chevening for giving me Manchester.

#14

Last but not the least, the highlight of not just this year but forever; having my laser eye surgery done.

It’s quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s changed my life, my confidence, and my happiness. I am SO glad I took the leap and finally got it done. 

Huge thanks to my mother for pushing me to get it done (and my father for financing it :p). ❤ ❤

I am incredibly grateful for all that has come my way this year and I want to thank you for sharing this journey with me. Your response to my Instastories makes my day.

Thank you for all of the love and support.

Happy New Year.

Love,

Noor

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Exciting news!

SPATULA IN MY POCKET IS MOVING TO ENGLAND!!!

Specifically…Manchester!

In just 5 days!

And I’m thrilled to finally tell you all about it today!  😄 Seriously, it has been killing me to keep this to myself all this time.  My trustees told me not to say a word till the final award letter was here, and then ‘not till you get the visa’, and THEN ‘not till you book your ticket’!

But I’m happy to say that my plan is now officially a go, and in just five days, I’ll be flying across the ocean to my new life in Manchester.  And I cannot wait to get this adventure started.

 

I’ve been dreaming to study in the UK since I was about six when I first started reading Enid Blyton books and fell in love with girl boarding schools. And then came the Great British Bake-Off and I fell in love with Britain all over again. I dream of visiting the Dominique Ansel Bakery, roaming the streets of the Northern Quater, taking pastry classes at Le Cordon Bleu, and studying in a country where there is so much to explore and do.

And in just a few days, I will be making that dream a reality.

I am going to the University of Manchester to pursue a Masters in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship fully sponsored by the British Chevening Scholarship Program.

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Chevening is a UK government international award, which sponsors developing global leaders in obtaining a Masters degree at any British university. This program is financed by Foreign and Commonwealth office and is oriented at future leaders, influencers and decision makers from all over the globe.

After an almost year-long agonizing selection process, I am incredibly honored to be chosen as the youngest Chevening Scholar from Pakistan for the year 2018/2019!

Right now, I think it’s safe to say that I am officially feeling all the feels.

I can’t wait to be swept up in the newness of a brand new place with so much to explore and so many new memories to be made. I am just feeling incredibly excited and lucky that I have the opportunity to take an adventure like this. And more than anything, I am super excited to visit all the donut shops I’ve been stalking on Instagram all these years xD

That said, it’s also sinking in just how much I am going to miss my friends and family here back in Pakistan.  And how much life I am going to miss out on here while I am away.

With each passing day, though, the reality of this amazing adventure ahead is starting to feel more and more real.  And I absolutely can’t wait to get there and get it all started!!!  So thank you in advance for following along on the blog and coming there with me and making this entire journey possible. This scholarship would definitely not have been possible if wasn’t for your love and support that made Spatula in My Pocket what it is today.

I can’t wait to write and share all about my adventures, the wonderful people, places, and food I discover along the way. (Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!)

Love you all and thank you!

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