My favourites of 2017

My favourites of 2017

Hello again, I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas! Surprisingly to some, I’ve only had this blog since the beginning of the year. I’m proud of where I’ve got to with it so far. The end of the year always brings with it a pensive mood. I don’t usually take the time at the end of each year to reflect on what’s happened. However, this year I feel that it’s important to.

This year, we’ve lost people some people who were very dear to us. Going into 2018 feels like taking yet another step further away from them, in some respects. However, as sad as it may be, life does go on. They wouldn’t want me to be sitting here dwelling on them. They’d want me to look at the positives, knowing that they’ll always be in my heart and remain a part of me as the years progress. My long-forgotten New Year’s Resolution was to be more positive this year. So here we go, let’s go out with a final big bang of positivity with my favourites of this year!

Person

Well, of course my favourite person of the year is Autumn! She’ll always be my favourite person of the year. Of course, if hubby and I have any more children she’ll be in joint first place though.

Autumn tree stump, Sheffield Park

Moments

This has been a really wonderful year in many ways. I managed to turn something negative into this outlet of creativity. Sometimes it drives me crazy with stress. However, I love my blog and am very proud of it. Ultimately, it helps me emotionally and provides me with a place that I can gather my thoughts as well as being creative and techy. I’ve always loved writing so much and it’s been wonderful making time for it again.

Anyway, I digress. What I’m saying is, it’s going to be difficult but I’m going to try and narrow it down to 7 things. These are the first few that come to mind.

1. Autumn’s January hospital appointment

We had an appointment at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting in late January. After the operation to remove Autumn’s cyst, they had sent it to the lab for analysis. It was such a relief to hear the doctor say that there was nothing suspect there. She performed a few checks on Autumn and discharged us. We were told that she wouldn’t need any further check ups, which was brilliant news. I hate my hair in this picture, but I was so so happy! It was taken in the hospital just after our appointment.

2. Press launch of This Morning Live

I was delighted when I got to go to the press launch of This Morning Live with Netmums. It was my first event and I kind of felt like I’d ‘made it’. There were so many bloggers that I admired there; I felt a little star struck! Plus, I got to meet Rylan Clark-Neal!

3. Getting pink hair

I’ve wanted an unnatural hair colour since I was a pre-teen. Even as a child, I remember staring in awe at people with brightly coloured mohawks. School and work commitments had always prevented me. On maternity leave, I decided to grasp my opportunity! I’d originally wanted blue hair, but was told it would fade out really quickly. Instead, I went for pink. I’m not really a pink person but it does suit me, so I went with it!

This picture brings me onto my next moment…

4. Download Festival

I had wanted to go to Download Festival for years! My husband, with thanks to his uncle, managed to win tickets. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go with him, as one of us needed to look after Autumn. She had quite bad separation anxiety at that point. Instead I went with my Dad and had one of THE best weekends of my life. I got to see bands I’ve loved for years and discover new ones too.

In Flames at Download 2017

5. Watching Autumn grow

Autumn has gone from a 3 month old, to a 15 month old. It’s been wonderful seeing her so healthy after everything we went through. It’s been amazing watching her get bigger and hitting different milestones. She’s such a lovely, cheeky little person and I’m so very proud of her. I get so excited with each achievement, whether it’s something big like walking or something more simple.

6. Autumn’s christening

Autumn’s christening was such a beautiful day. I always enjoy planning events and it was great to see all my plans had come together successfully, even if it was quite stressful! Even better was spending time with so many friends and family to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Vintage silk christening gown

7. Blog On Xmas

I was so proud of myself for going to my first blogging event in September this year. I only managed to have one anxious blip during the day. It was great to meet so many other like minded people and pick up some great tips. It was one of the most fun days of my entire year!

Blog On bloggers

With Donna (Bobsy’s Mum) and Sam (Stressy Mama)

8. Meeting the Duchess of Cambridge

We were fortunate enough to meet the Duchess of Cambridge with Family Action. I discussed what I’d gone through with Autumn last year and how the charity had helped me. It was wonderful to see her in real life and to help spread the message of how Family Action help.

9. Bluestone

It was wonderful to go on our first ever family holiday to Bluestone, Wales. It was an amazing week and we really enjoyed all the Christmas activities! We also loved returning to places we went on honeymoon, with our little addition in tow!

Oops, that was a couple more than 7!

Blog Posts

I’ve written over 200 blog posts this year, so it’s going to be difficult to narrow it down to just a few favourites!

It may seem a little odd, but I think my most favourite one has to be Autumn and the Ovarian Cyst. It was the most difficult post to write. However, when I started my blog it was what I was really gearing up to do, in the back of my mind. I hoped that it could help other people who might be going through a similar situation. The fact that it has helped other people is absolutely amazing. It also really helped me. It was a big part of my recovery from the anxiety I suffered which at its worst left me unable to walk, sleep, eat and even breathe properly. People talk about crippling anxiety, but this really was. It made me feel like a weight was lifted from me once I’d told my story. Within weeks I had more confidence and started driving again (with help from Family Action!)

I enjoy my blog so much, it’s difficult to choose posts that I most enjoyed writing. However, I remember really enjoying writing about my Download fashion. I also love that I have a month by month account of what Autumn does each month! Here’s my 14 month letter to her. She’s turned 15 months old just before Christmas, so a new letter will be published within the next few days.

Instagram posts

I’ve done almost 300 posts this year, but I’m going to try and narrow it down to 10…

I love Autumn’s cheeky little face in this one. She looks so small!

Autumn’s expression in this one is adorable. We still love reading together!

This one is just too cute! Her teeth are cute, but I do miss that little gummy smile.

We had a mini photoshoot at home today, such a little cutie πŸ’œ #yescutiepies

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This one is from Autumn’s first visit to London!

My poor little baby was teething when this picture was taken, but I was so proud when she crawled for the first time! My Nan and I had spent much of the afternoon crawling in circles around her as she dragged herself around. Something must have clicked, as she then crawled properly for the first time!

Download Festival was such an amazing experience! I was so happy I’d got to go after over a decade of wanting to.

I adore Autumn’s eyes and cheeky little smile in this photo.

After Beyonce’s infamous picture, I felt the need to do my own take on it. Women’s bodies are NOT perfect after birth (unless you’re very very lucky), especially after twins! Despite using cocoa butter on my stomach, I got so many stretch marks. But you know what? I earned them! Each of those scars shows how my tummy growed into a HUGE bump to house the little person growing inside me. Although I kind of cringe when looking at this, I did find it very empowering and it’s helped to empower other women too.

One day in the late summer, I took Autumn to the park. We played in the first of the autumn leaves and looked at dandelions together. It was a magical half an hour or so, until we heard a storm rolling in and ran to the car! I love how I captured her wonder.

I adore flatlays on Instagram and this was my first proper attempt. I was really pleased with how it went and I enjoyed the creative process.

I'm hopefully going out to an event tomorrow so I get to glam up and wear something other than the regular comfy jeans, jumper and trainers combo that I've dubbed my 'Mum uniform'. I was so excited to see that this jacket I had my eyes on for months has been reduced – and I managed to get a matching necklace in the sale too! πŸ’• I'm not usually a pink person, but I love this jacket. It was tough to choose between this and the black version, but the fact that the darker pink in the embroidery will match my hair clinched it for me! πŸ˜‚ I am a big fan of both the embroidery and velvet trends, so I'm really excited to wear these! Over on the blog, my latest post is also kinda fashion related as it's a selection of the best Halloween costumes for babies this year πŸŽƒSeriously, go and have a look even if you don't have a baby because they're so cute! 😍 Link to blog in bio ‴ My feed is turning pink for @breast_cancer_care this month and I'll be donating 1p for each like each Big Pink post gets in October πŸ’• #bigpink #thebigpink #thismamaloves #whatmamaworefriday #sale #quiz #quizclothing #leatherjacket #velvetchoker #embroidery #missdior #pink #fashionbloggers #fashionblogger #fbloggers #fblogger #ootd #grlpowr #thebloggershub #fashion #fashionlover #fashionaddict #londonfashion #ukfashion #instastyle #fashionpost #personalstyle #fashionpost #style #fashionista #blogstravaganza

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Here was another flatlay…which included Autumn’s very first shoes!

I just adore everything about this picture, it’s one of my favourites of Autumn so far!

Meeting the Duchess of Cambridge was an amazing experience. It was wonderful to share my story and hear other’s stories of how Family Action have helped them too.

Autumn finally visited a beach for the first time in November on her first holiday!

Then, at the beginning of December, she experienced snow for the first time. She seemed absolutely delighted by it!

There’s something about this picture that I just love. I felt like such a diva having two hairdressers work on my hair at once.

Okay…that was a lot more than 10 posts! Never mind…it’s not all 200 and something of them after all, is it?

Achievements

Helped people

The top achievement in my mind is that my blog posts have helped people. It fills me with such joy and pride when I hear I’ve made a difference.

Surprised myself

This year, I’ve done things I’d never have imagined I could do. My positivity has waned towards the end of this year. However, at the beginning of the year, I was super positive and making things happen! I need to try to pick up that attitude again. I think returning to work and the winter months has dragged me back down again. I’ve started getting more stressed more easily again.

Anyway, I’d never have envisioned going to London or Manchester for events. Chatting to celebrities and famous figures and networking with brands and bloggers at an event miles from home would be something I didn’t think I was capable of.

Brands

I’ve worked with some amazing brands this year! I think the biggest I’ve worked with so far is probably Panasonic. However, I’m so proud of getting to work with so many PRs and companies, big or small. I’ve been very fortunate and discovered some products and companies that I really love!

Award nominations

I’ve been nominated for a couple of blogging awards this year. The first was with Tutora. Unfortunately I didn’t win, but was pleased to hear my blog had had a great response!

The second award I’ve been nominated for is the UK Blog Awards 2018. I’m not expecting to get very far, but am keeping my fingers crossed, regardless.

 

This is my last post of the year. I’m taking a bit of a break, posting only twice between Christmas and the 8th of January. As I’ve worked so hard over the last year, I think I need a break for the weeks of Christmas and my birthday. Speaking of which, look out for my next post on 1st January. I hope the last few days of 2017 treat you well and that you enjoy any New Year’s celebrations.

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