Ok, so I know we’re well and truly into 2014 now and you’re probably sick to the teeth of these 2013 in review posts (actually, I’m not – I’ve been really enjoying reading them – but others might be bored of them). But as I was away after Christmas and only returned to the land of wifi, running water and electricity this week I thought I’d pop one of these out there. It’s also quite nice to take a look back over a year that’s been pretty darn awesome.
(Warning, it’s a bit of a long one…)
Technically the first picture is from Dec 2012, when I got engaged. But I did spend most of January looking in awe down at my left hand – I don’t know if it’s just me, but there was something quite surreal about getting engaged at first. Like I was constantly surprised to find the sparkly ring looking back at me! I can’t believe it’s already been a year – I should probably get a little more serious about organising the wedding rather than just filling pinterest boards with pretty pictures!
Jan also saw poor little Chip have a phantom pregnancy and need a trip to the vets – cue lots of worrying…. plus an absolutely amazing trip to see Cirque Du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall with Tresemme – I absolutely adore Cirque Du Soleil, basically spending the entire time with my mouth hanging open in wonder at what the performers day. If you get the chance to go – do it!
Feb 2013 was a pretty exciting month – Zoe and I went to see the amazing Justin Timberlake at Kentish Town Forum. I managed to resist the urge to climb on stage and lick his face, but it was close. Seriously, he’s amazing and it was hands down the best gig I have been to.
Another huge highlight was heading to Paris with Clarins to go to a fab European blogger event and check out their newest launches (plus a quick trip to Sephora of course). It was an absolutely fabulous trip and introduced me to some daily staple products (Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector, and Instant Light Complexion Perfector) – plus it was also a chance to
stock up on cheese check out the French Pharmacy offerings. It was a really special trip – so thank you to Clarins for having me!
March was the month I got on the fitness bandwagon properly and started with a kit overhaul thanks to Sweaty Betty – I always used to be the girl who threw on an old T-shirt and leggings to work out (usually a T-shirt that at other times would be the one I’d sleep in…hardly stylish) but now I am a true believer that the right kit makes working out significantly better as you feel that bit more confident about yourself. March was also the month the boy and I took a roadtrip to visit the one and only wedding venue we looked at – we found it online, fell in love with it, saw it, loved it even more and booked it.
March was also the month I got to take my Mum along to her first blogging event – Origins held an event to launch the new Plantscriptions Moisturisers and invited bloggers and their mums along for drinks and nibbles at the Soho Hotel. It was really lovely getting to show my mum a bit of my ‘blogging life’ – so a big thank you to Origins for having me and ‘Mummy Junkie London’ along! Which other bloggers and their mums can you spot in the pic!?
April – the month where the sun finally showed its face! Luckily on the day of the London Marathon too, or else spectating would have been far more dreary! The shot above is the amazing Elite Men storming their way along the insanely long course, where I was being a good fiancee and cheering on Ollie who was completing it for the second time. I do love watching the marathon, especially from close to the finish – cheering people on when they’ve achieved so much and are struggling through the final stretch… yes, it does make me well up sometimes, such a softie.
In April my friend LW and I wend along to Pizza Express to check out their new Summer Menu and make our own Leggera Pizza. So much fun, I love beauty…but an event with pizza was definitely a highlight for me.
In March I also had a proper play with the new Clinique nail varnishes – I felt these were worth a mention as I was a bit cynical at first with the whole ‘for sensitive skin’ angle – but regardless of that, these are fav polishes and a few have become firm favourites of mine in 2013.
In May I discovered Barry’s Bootcamp (actually might have been April, but I did Hell Week too which took me into May…). I had an insane month where I signed up to do the ‘Academy’, where you sign up to a class every day at the same time, five days a week for the month. I went for the 7.10 class so I could always fit in before work – it was amazing and I was hooked and signed myself up for the Hell Week – 7 consecutive days, straight after 5…so 12 days of bootcamp in a row. Later in 2013 I also shelled out for two more Academy Months, with one going really well and one not so well. In November me and Ollie signed up, but for some reason my head and heart weren’t in it and I just didn’t do as well as I have previously. I’m determined to sign up again though and get my but kicked by Barry’s all over again.
Following Hell Week was a little slice of heaven in Majorca, where me and the boy went for a week so he could compete in an Iron Man 70.3 (yes, he is crazy) and then have some sun and relaxation afterwards. Much needed chill out time. Then when we came back, we got to meet the amazing Molly – the gorgeous pup on the right hand side – she’s a rescue dog via Dog’s Trust who is now part of the family at Ollie’s parent’s place. She’s amazing, such a friendly, fun dog – definitely a highlight of 2013! In fact, dogs play a big part in 2013 – my sister also got a gorgeous Cockerpoo puppy who we spend Christmas day with. So lots of amazing dogs all around!
June is always one of my favourite months, as it’s my birthday month! In 2013 I spent the year keeping up with my fitness goals, with Barry’s and going for runs through the city. I’m still no fan of exercise, but needs must! For my birthday this year I got something I’ve wanted for ages and absolutely love to bits (as geeky as this sounds) – a desk! Not just a desk though, it was the gift of space! Not to be sniffed at when the space given was previously the man-cave of our small flat – Ollie kindly (finally) let me share the space in the spare room…so I now have a blogging space which makes me very happy indeed.
June was also the month I discovered the wonders that are the ASK cheese and chilli dough balls. Seriously, amazing. (yes, dough balls do count as a highlight of the year).
July was an amazing month – starting with a trip of a lifetime to Ile De Reunion and Mauritius with LUX* Resorts. I still pinch myself now that I spent a week exploring such amazing places and staying at the amazing hotels. Yes, that island in the middle really does exist – it’s Ile De Coco, the private island that belongs to the LUX* chain. The trip was something I will eternally be grateful for, memories of sunset cruises, amazing food, snorkelling and swimming with dolphins in the wild, amazing spa treatments, staying in the honeymoon suite… so many things I will never forget. I really loved the whole LUX* brand, with the luxury that was relaxed and not at all pretentious. Ollie and I are currently researching honeymoons and the Maldives LUX* is top of the list right now.
In July I also achieved something I never thought I would – I ran the British 10k. Now, this is no distance compared to all the marathon runners and things out there, but for me – running is NOT fun. Throw in some rather un-British temperatures of 30degrees…and this was one hell of a challenge. It was also made that little bit tougher as Ollie was away in Spain training to do a leg of the Tour De France, so I didn’t have him in the wings for support – which did take the edge of finishing a little. But I’m still very proud I did it, and if the date wasn’t the day after one of my Best Friend’s weddings this year I would be signing up to do it again.
In August the running streak continued! Ollie and I did our first (and only, to date) race together – it was just a fairly small one in the village he grew up in. It was tough though, up hills and all sorts. But another little notch on the running achievements! In August the blog got a make-over and re-launched in a slightly new style. It was the first of a few new steps I decided to take with the blog and life – but more of these in 2014…
I also found a real life four leaf clover… definitely a sign!
In September we headed down to the gorgeous Tenby in South Wales, where Ollie was due to take part in the British Iron Man race. Unfortunately he had picked up a chest injury and despite training his arse off and having all the determination in the world he did have to pull out in the end. I was quite pleased to be honest as the swim part in particular is always a big challenge and idea of him doing that with an injury that meant he couldn’t breath properly would have been quite scary.
We made the trip into a mini-break, along with Ollie’s parents and Molly. So we spend lots of time walking and on the gorgeous beaches. I’ve never been one to really consider UK holidays but it was the most relaxing and refreshing break I’ve had in ages – we got really lucky with the weather and Pembrokeshire is absolutely gorgeous.
I couldn’t pass September without a mention of London Fashion Week – I ‘skipped’ the one in Feb as was feeling a bit frazzled/hectic with work but went into the one in September full force. Covering shows for Revlon as their backstage beauty reporter was amazing, I also filmed a video with MAC and spotted the gorgeous Cara Delevigne backstage at Topshop. It was a great LFW for me and I’m already looking forward to covering the Feb 2014 catwalk offerings!
MORE travel for me in October! I headed to Amsterdam for an amazing whirlwind trip with DKNY to meet Marloes Horst, the face of the DKNY Be Delicious Skin fragrance (the new moisturising version of the DKNY Be Delicious Family). It was a great crowd of bloggers with Milly, Lily, Ree and Zoe and I had an amazing time. Then I headed away to Barcelona, South of France and Italy on a work trip. This was a cruise where I was accompanying some bloggers on a cruise with Royal Caribbean. It was amazing to see so many places, I’ve wanted to visit Italy forever and this was my first time there. Plus it was nice to be somewhere that bit warmer than the UK before winter.
I also went to Brides the Show with Bobbi Brown (along with fellow Bride-to-me Milly and Zoe…who just really likes weddings) it was great fun to start thinking more about the wedding and getting some ideas for the beauty side. I’m currently planning to do my own make-up for the day and will be doing a post all about the look that the Bobbi Brown team created/showed me how to do on the day covering everything from skincare prep to the finishing touches to make it last all day. At the show I also spotted some details I would love to have at my wedding – amazing photo-booths and a cheese cart with a selection of over 400 cheeses! Heaven!
November saw a major beauty highlight of the year – the launch of the Naked 3 palette. Yes, a third selection of nude eyeshadows from Urban Decay, no I have no idea how they manage to keep coming up with new shades for each of these palettes. But regardless the palette created much hype and has become a firm favourite for me as I love the pinky/rose gold type shades that the third palette contains.
In November I also further indulged my obsession with dogs and went to ‘Discover Dogs’ – yes, a dog show. I have no shame in how geeky that is – I loved it. I got to have cuddles with the gorgeous sausage dog called Cocoa in the pic above. That’s my so happy I could squeal face.
In November I also spent some fab time with my favourite girls – having a lovely bridesmaid day (me as bridesmaid for one of my best friends) where we went dress shopping…and then cocktail drinking. Ending up a Madison Bar at One New Change with stunning views over St Pauls and the river (plus delicious tapas).
December was a busy but fun month! I had the best night out of the year with the girls… starting with food (steak and mac’n’cheese), copious prosecco and then Lucky Voice and dancing to cheesy music until the early hours. Amazing. Very lucky to have such an amazing group of friends.
In December I also got to go and see the absolutely spectacular performance of the Nutcracker Ballet at the Royal Opera House with Birchbox – it was genuinely magical and re-ignited my childhood dreams of being a ballerina. Overlooking the fact I’m about a million stone too heavy and have the grace and coordination of a rhino… I reckon I could have done it.
Then there was Christmas, which passed in a fun whirlwind of two families – highlights for me being the cauliflower cheese my Dad made on Christmas day and generally getting to see all my immediate family and Ollie’s family. Then, immediately after Christmas I jetted off to Cambodia to end the year! Happy days!
So there’s my little round-up/summary of 2013, it was quite a year! Lots of fun, have taken some exciting steps to big changes in 2014. Starting with leaving my full time job, to pursue full time blogging/working for myself… exciting, but also terrifying. I’ve had a full time job since I left Uni, and the idea of not having a guaranteed income every month is undeniably scary. But it’s so exciting to think that I could be earning my living from doing something I love so much. Plus the idea of the freedom and flexibility that comes with working for yourself is pretty much the most exciting thing ever. It does mean I’m going to have to work my arse off – but I’m all up for that if it means I can make this thing work.
The other plus side to working for myself is that it does mean we can potentially get a dog… I’ve wanted a sausage dog for about as long as I can remember and now it could become a reality. We’re thinking of waiting until Spring/early Summer so I can see how freelance life is going first. But all being well…!
2014 is also the year I have a milestone birthday cough *30* cough. I’m actually not all that daunted by 30 at all… reading blogger friends of mine in their early/mid 20’s talk about being old just makes me laugh, since I don’t feel old at all. I might be, by ridiculous blogging standards where anything past a foetus is considered over the hill… But who cares, in no way is 30 old – so bring it on. I’m thinking of having a bouncy castle/jelly and cake (and prosecco) party for this… if that’s a sign of how mature I feel!
Of course, 2014 is also the year I get married! Eek! The date is booked for late August 2014, we have the venue, the food, my dress (squeal!) and the bridesmaid dresses all sorted. The invites are almost ready to go… but still feels like an awful lot to sort out. But so excited for the big day – will be doing a bit more wedding chat on here over the year to share the whole planning/excitement stuff!
I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a pretty good year! I hope that you have a wonderful year too, starting with hopes and excitement and finishing with amazing memories to take to the next!