Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Reflecting on 2017

2017, what a year. Globally it was undeniably nothing short of awful, the news splattered daily with terrifying and heartbreaking headlines and the world has felt a very dark and bleak place at times. That being said, on a personal level it's been wonderful. Usually when I sit to reflect on the previous year, I feel like it's zoomed past but for me this year seems to have gone on forever! Looking back at photos I find myself saying was that really this year?! 2017 was just so busy with SO much change - new job, new car and buying our first house. I seem to associate 2017 with being in our house but we actually didn't complete until my birthday in March. We still have some finishing touches to add but I do plan on producing a home tour post and talking about the process, as my home-related posts prove popular on Instagram. I got up to loads of other pretty cool things too, let's take a look shall we?

I received a makeup course from my parents for Christmas 2016 so in January I headed over to Beak Street in London to the Illamasqua Flagship store. It was a really fun day! House aside, we did still manage to find time to celebrate my Birthday and Juan and I went to see School of Rock. We're fairly seasoned on the major theatre shows in London now and this one was really excellent, potentially my favourite. To celebrate with my friends, we had a night out to a bar in Deptford, London. Little Nan's is a multi-award winning bar offering bottomless pick and mix and cocktails, served in teapots. Their cocktails are named after retro celebrities/characters including Pat Butcher and the whole bar is adorned in tacky, kitsch decor. We all had a fab night and I really recommend it as something a little bit different for celebrating special occasions. For Juan's Birthday in August, I took him to see Book of Mormon before some delicious Thai food at the Crazy Bear, Fitzrovia.
My friends also picked some really cool ways to celebrate their birthdays in 2017. In February we did a cocktail-making class at Lola Lo in Reading. All the mixing didn't do wonders for our hangovers but it was a fun Tiki-themed night! My other best friend's birthday falls in December so at the end of November we took another trip to London, this time for karaoke & cocktails at the Karaoke Box, Soho (What can I say, we just love cocktails). It was my first karaoke experience and it didn't disappoint, they had literally every song you could think of. We did Slipknot, Amy Studt, The Bloodhound Gang, Ru Paul and Katy Perry to name a few.
If you know me personally or are a long time follower of mine, you'll know I love live music. I try to go to a festival every year and 2017 saw me go to V Festival for the first time. It was an amazing weekend and a certain change of scenery for me as my usual haunts are Reading Festival, Download, Slam Dunk, Hevy etc. Highlights were Pink, Clean Bandit, Madness and Jay Z. I went to a few gigs and a comedy show too: the xx, Deftones, Wolf Alice, Honeyblood, CKY and Russell Howard.
Compared to most people I know, I'm not very well seasoned when it comes to weddings but last year one of my oldest friends married her lovely husband who she met at university. I got to attend her hen do in Edinburgh and it was such a fun-packed weekend of games, a Dirty Dancing dance class and lunch at Tigerlily, a boutique restaurant with the most Instagram-worthy decor and of course the obligatory night out. The wedding itself was just a beautiful day set a converted barn in Cheltenham.
My Dad turned 60 in 2017 and my wonderful step-mum arranged for a helicopter to land opposite their house and then take them to lunch. They also through a big party which was a lovely day/evening accompanied by a methusaleh (8 bottles in one...) of champagne. My sister and I paid for him & my step-mum to go to the Fat Duck restaurant and his reaction was priceless, a major highlight of the year. On the subject of family, it was my second year of being an auntie and seeing little Ella and Amelia grow is just the best. They're both around 2 so their speech is coming along and their little personalities are shining through!
Although blogging has been on the back burner since the move and I'm only just getting back into it, I did get invited to a couple of incredible launch nights at Franco Manca and The Botanist, both in Reading and also Miss Patisserie and Kiss sent me some fabulous products for review.

A hobby that got a lot more of my time over the last 12 months is netball. In 2016, I started playing netball again on a social basis, before moving on to playing in a fun league which in time turned out to be not-so-fun, but that's OK as in 2017 I joined a netball club! I'm a fully fledged member of Surrey Jets and am really enjoying it. I love netball as it's not only social but you don't feel like you're exercising so for me it's less tedious than say, going to the gym. I also really appreciate and am benefiting from being coached again. As I mentioned in my introduction, I got a new car, a pastel pink Fiat 500, which I absolutely love. I also changed jobs, still negotiating in the energy sector but for a supplier rather than a broker.

I feel like one of the dangerous aspects of blogging/social media is that we just talk about the good stuff and it's easy to look at other people's social media, where they too just post the best aspects of their life and want what they have or wonder why we aren't that happy. For that reason, I would openly share my bad bits for the sake of authenticity but truly, other than the colossal stress that comes with moving, the odd off mental health day and worrying about money more than I have have before, there isn't much in the way of negatives to share for the year which I'm so, so grateful for & I can only hope to continue to be so lucky in 2018.

Well that's it for my year in summary! 2017, you've been a belter but 2018, I'm ready for you! How was 2017 for you?

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