Saturday, 31 December 2016

Two Thousand and Sixteen Highlights

My 2016 best nine - most snaps here from Prague, but the snap of the Carnaby Rebel lights being up there made me laugh. 
2016 has been an interesting, busy & weird year - I wouldn't say the best year, but definitely not the worst either! I've definitely pushed personal boundaries, and smashed goals, and still have a few to achieve. Today, being the last day of 2016, I thought I'd create a little list of everything I feel grateful for & made me smile... 

Family
The people who without fail always make me smile are my family... even when I have what seems to be a crisis going on, as soon as I go home, I can chill out and completely relax and laugh. My goal next year is to spend more time with my immediate family & see my extended family / family friends , oh & to beat my Dad again at Popmaster or University Challenge!

Friends
This year I've made so many new friendships, and existing friendships have grown stronger too, which I am so thankful for ... I am a complete introvert, and in the past few years, have on and off struggled with anxiety and socialising in general (which may seem weird to people who know me reading this), but this year I've felt so in my comfort zone with my friends, and I'm going in 2017 a lot more confident in myself because of all of the wonderful people in my life...
Meeting JadeHildaChelsey & Nat at the #BigBloggerExpo earlier in the year was a complete refresh in my blogging life/ life in general - our WhatsApp group can cheer up any day for me, and our meet ups since have always been full of laughs!
The same goes for meeting Tracy and Hannah at the Maidstone Hotter event earlier in the year, and then attending the Blogsophere Summer Party together ; I love catching up with these ladies in person and through Instagram/Twitter.
And to my existing friends ... whether it's Nando's dates, getting drunk and hitting up loads of new cheesy clubs or going to see Queen Bey herself or retro bands like Wheatus, as always, so much love for you always being there!

Blog

I'm not sure whether I'll ever get through a year feeling like I've had a perfect blog year, but my sixth year blogging has definitely been the best. I added to my bucket list, that I wanted to attend at least three blog events this year... well I definitely outdid that with Hotter Maidstone, #BigBloggerExpo, Blogosphere Summer Party & Winter Market, JessXKiss event, #BloggersXmas, Glamour X New Look event & more. Alongside that, came brand collaborations this year, and I'm so grateful for the brands I've been lucky enough to work with this year. When I made my first media kit last Easter, and made plans to be a bit more social in the blogging world, I couldn't believe the opportunities it has opened up. My goal for next year, my seventh year blogging is to just say yes to more opportunities, and prioritise my blog properly, alongside my newer teaching blog.

Career
I think this year has been the year career wise, that I've started to feel completely comfortable in where my career is going and what I want to do next. Teaching has certainly brought out a side of me, especially confidence wise, that five years ago I wouldn't of thought possible.
Travel
I explained in my 17 places for 2017 how much I loved travel, and my hopes for next year. I feel so lucky that this year I've visited three different countries, and so many different places across the UK. I mean just look at my top nine at the top ... Prague was just the best, alongside Disney!

Weight Loss
This feels like the weirdest thing to write about on here (especially as I am still celebrating Christmas and have probably eaten my weight in chocolate and turkey rn), and posting a photo too, but deep breath and here goes. My weight was one thing I knew I needed to sort out this year. Back in the summer, I think I was way over 15 stone,   - at that point I didn't weigh myself because I didn't want to know the answer. Then I began dieting, and the first point where I found a start weight was just over 14 stone, which is the photograph on the left, taken in October. 17 pounds off later, 5 1/2 inches off my hips, and knocking points off my BMI & body fat percentage, comes to the photo on the right taken in December, which is nowhere near perfect or my target goal yet, but is an improvement. Seeing the two against each other, I can't believe I allowed myself to become what I did for so long, but seeing the photograph on the right, makes me want to smash my target weight even more. During the past 9 weeks, it's been strictly dieting only because I had a chest infection that wouldn't shift which made exercising so difficult, which was frustrating as throughout August & September I kept up the exercise well alongside starting a new job. Now I'm over the infection, I'm ready to have January & February be my diet and exercising combined win. Some of you may know that I've been using Slimfast and I can't believe I've actually stuck with it - my old diet used to be skip breakfast & lunch, then binge mid afternoon, dinner & snack - actually having breakfast and lunches now, along with fruit has helped me develop much better eating habits. I'd love to read more diet / fitness posts, so if you have any send them my way, and I'd love to write / feature more on here about the process, and my weight loss journey.

& those are my highlights for the year! I'm hoping 2017 will smash 2016, but to be honest, I'm pretty content with what I did achieve throughout this year! What are your highlights of '16?


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