Our power lies in our small daily choices, one after another, to create eternal ripples of a life well lived – Mollie Marti.
It is time for my input on the blogosphere’s eternal reviewing stage of the year. Every single creator will be thinking the same thing, writing the same lines and voicing the same thoughts, but all in our own individual ways, because all of our years have been different. There have been ups and downs, highs and lows; I’ve seen so many tweets about how they can’t wait for 2018 to be over, whilst others are sad to watch it leave. I’m in the latter half. This time last year, I couldn’t wait to see the back of 2017 . Fast forward a year and I am so happy that I’m on the brink of sadness to say goodbye to an incredible year, and diving into a pit of excitement about what 2019 will bring.
I have travelled, I have met new people, I have made new friends, I have lived, I have laughed, and I have most certainly loved. Here are my highlights from each month. Bear in mind that there have been so many lows too, but in reality – at least my own – they are not the moments that I’ll remember when I look back at 2018. I won’t deny that life isn’t all rosy, and it isn’t all happiness and excitement and frilly business, but for this post, it is.
Prague. Of course my first highlight would be something to do with travel. It is crazy to think that my best friend, Ellie, and I hopped onto a Ryanair plane eleven months ago to explore a city that neither of us had ever visited before. There, we wined, we dined, we wandered and we explored. I collaborated with Prague City Tourism, so there is a blogger highlight too! We talked over food and wine, wrapped in blankets and sitting by fires. It was just the best kind of city break and the kickstart to a good few months of travel. It also sparked a new tradition for us as in under a month’s time, we’re heading to Lisbon!
Les Gets. I started off pretty good in the travel department for 2018! Just a couple of weeks after I landed back on UK ground, I headed off to Europe again. This time, I visited my other bestie, Dottie, in Les Gets (near Morzine) in France to have a go at skiing of all things. I am not an active person. As much as I tell myself that I will get fitter, or I will do more sporty things, it just doesn’t happen. So, it came to a massive surprise that I enjoyed skiing and was actually pretty good at it. The blue skies and white mountains cleared my awful winter cold and made me feel so fresh it was unreal. The weekend turned into a week and as much as I loved being away, I came back to the comfort of my own home.
Read about skiing here.
I got a job. Now, this might not seem like a massive thing, but when you are endlessly typing away at CVs and job applications, whilst scrolling through Indeed every single day, it is a miracle. Not only that, but it was at a place that I was hugely familiar with in a role that has made me step up. I didn’t start until April and as much as I go on about never working in retail again, it’s been a right laugh… for the most part. I have stressed a lot too; I have a nickname in work: stress pigeon, because I stress a lot. I am so glad of the experience and it will be weird when I leave in April, but it has taught me a lot, mainly about patience.
Started a new project. I can’t remember how much I’ve spoken about this on the blog, but I’ve definitely shared it on social media. I had an idea, about six or seven words, in December 2017 and in April I had the time off to finally sit down and just write. So I did. Before I knew it, I’d open my Word document and write between 1000 and 5000 words a day. I couldn’t believe how much I was getting down and to be honest, there were many moments that I thought I’d never finish it, but April was the start and without that time off before starting my new job, I don’t think I would have completed a chapter, let alone an entire first draft of a novel.
Verona for my birthday. May was a pretty fab month as it is every single year. So much happened in such a short few weeks: I headed off to Verona, I celebrated my birthday, I house-sat for my cousin and I went to London for the first time in months! It was amazing and exciting, but Verona was the icing on the cake. Me and my mum had been secretly planning Verona for a long time, and then back in November 2017 when I hit a low point, we just booked it for us and Dad. It was a spur of the moment, spontaneous act that led us to having an amazing holiday. It was scorching hot; the places we visited were incredible and the food was insane. I drank way too much Italian wine and prosecco and ate so much buffalo mozzarella. I found Romeo and Juliet, and I was in awe of the churches and architecture. I created so much content for Instagram and it was an incredible break that I will always remember.
Verity and Tom’s wedding. What. A. Day. Bear in mind that I hadn’t seen Vez in four years! Jess and I travelled to The Cotswolds from London, armed with our cases and gin. Verity’s brother came to pick us up two hours before the wedding began at 2pm. It took us an hour to get to the venue. It was hilarious and the quickest I’ve ever gotten ready for a wedding before in my entire life! Of course, the wedding was beautiful. The day was stunning. The bride was gorgeous. We all cried. I met people who gave me so much laughter and we all drank the night into oblivion; I danced with many special people and it really was a day that changed my life. Verity’s brother, it turned out, would become very, very important to me. I don’t think Warren and I have looked back in all honesty.
Read more about my wedding look here.
Our first date. Can I quickly say that if that first date had been a disaster, God knows what we would have done the entire weekend! After five weeks of constantly messaging after the wedding, Warren drove up to visit me. We stayed in Heswall so that we could spend time with just the two of us and get to know each other alone. It’s a good job we got on so well and the entire weekend was perfect. We ate amazing food at The Viking – a firm favourite for us now – went for long walks, watched the sun set, wandered over to Liverpool and had more food. We basically ate a lot of food that weekend. It was the beginning of a new relationship and I can’t help but remember every tiny detail about that weekend and smile.
Family nights out. 2018 has been the year that my brother and I have really found our relationship. There’s a lot of history that I won’t delve into, but this has been the year where I think we’ve both been like, omg we are too alike. It has also been the year of the absolute worst hangovers. I cannot cope much the next day after a night out with James, apart from the day after Boxing Day… that was a rare occasion, and that is because we switched from Jagerbombs to Black Sambuca. We have the best nights together. I also celebrated two of my cousins’ birthdays who are basically my sisters: one with cocktails, gin and Cuban food, and the other with Chinese food. I feel so grateful to have the people that I do in my life this year because they are the same people who are there year in, year out.
I finished my manuscript. I could not believe it when I wrote that final sentence. It was done. All those long hours and working on my days off from work to create this story. It is still sitting there, gathering a technological dust, but it is done and real. I am so proud of myself for achieving something that I have wanted to do for years.
Week off in The Cotswolds. I visited The Cotswolds in August too, but this time, we really went all out with the exploring factor. Warren and I went to Oxford for the day; we visited Brum at Bourton-on-the-Water; explored the grounds at Sudeley Castle and had a generally lovely time together and with his family too. I now know where the best pies are made as well. I love the countryside in autumn; it is as relaxing as ever and there is a general excitement in the air for what is fast approaching. Perhaps that was just me being excited. It was a lovely little break, and something I can’t wait for in January too!
Christmas Markets. I had never been so in awe of Christmas Markets before I visited the ones in Manchester, Birmingham and Chester this year. There was so much magic about them and such a bustle in the cities in the run up to Christmas. I won’t lie, I think it has to do with the fact that I was so excited about Christmas this year. I had started buying presents back in August. Plus, I actually had money to buy presents from the stalls as well as little festive trinkets. I had a traditional hot chocolate and then a traditional hot chocolate with amaretto. I had German sausages and Swiss cheese. I ate all the food. I can’t wait to make it a tradition again this year.
Christmas. It has been one of the best Christmases ever. I don’t know if it is because I was so happy for a day off work, or because I was really excited, or because I cried at The Good Dinosaur for a good fifteen minutes, or because I just couldn’t stop smiling all day. It was definitely all of that and more. I had such a fab day and I was so grateful of every single person in my life. Christmas didn’t stop at the stroke of midnight. It carried on to Boxing Day (after a few hours in work) and carried on some more. I could do it all over again if I’m honest.
Read about the books I got for Christmas here.
So there you have it – some of the best moments from 2018. I have had a truly wonderful year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!
What have been your highlights of 2018?
Love, Faye xo