All in All it was a pretty good year for me. I made new friends, had new adventures and went to new places. I wrote, I travelled, I found a new love of photography and made much use of it.
Personally, I laughed and I cried. I was hoping that 2017 would have been the year I stopped taking anti-depressants for good. I tried but it didn’t work out. I don’t class it as a failure, more as I am not quite there yet! 2018 may be that year, but I am not putting any pressure on myself.
I set myself some challenges and I met them head on. Some of these are work based, others personal and I will talk more about these as the year goes on.
My family are happy and healthy. Maybe a little stressed through work and University, but it could be a lot worse. We have much to be thankful for even when life seems tough.
So…. here are some of the highlights of my year. I have enjoyed it and hope you do too!
I made the final ten shortlisted for the “Be the Yours Blogger” Competition. Whilst I sadly didn’t win, the competition was amazingly fierce, with some of the best Bloggers around being chosen. It was a total honour to get as far as I did!
I went to my first blogger VIP event with the fantastic Viva Voluptuous lingerie brand. Held in a club in Piccadilly, not only did we get to see some amazing underwear that would actually fit, we laughed, danced and drank lots of champagne and cocktails! What more could you ask for?
I was lucky enough to see the wonderful Lucie Luella for a hair makeover in London. She took me another shade lighter and gave me an amazing poodle up-do which I wore to a fabulous night out….
A fabulous night out….. meeting up in London with the simply amazing Rhina Duque, a vintage friend who I had met the previous year. We had lunch and ended up in Fontaine’s Cocktail bar; a stunning Art Deco establishment in Dalston. Just perfect!
I totally suprised to find out I had been shortlisted for two awards at the StyleXL awards. Most inspiring Blogger and Best Newcomer. This meant that I could go to an awards ceremony with all of the amazing Plus Size community.
I finally saw Phantom of the Opera in the West End with my Mum. We had bought her the tickets for her Christmas present and she was over the moon. I booked it for the anniversary of the day my Dad died to hopefully raise a smile to her face instead of being sad. We had a great time and the show was out of this world.
I returned to the Londonedge trade event and met up with a host of new suppliers and made it into a mini blogger meet up. The afterparty held at the Ironworks featured the sublime and very amazing Virgin Xtravaganzah. Burlesque from Talulah Blu really livened up the evening, before dancing my feet off.
I was lucky enough to go to the Hen night of a colleague and friend where much merriment and food was had. I wore one of my favourite dresses and for once my hair went JUST as I wanted it to!
March was an amazing month for me. The absolute highlight was winning “Most Inspiring Blogger 2017” in the StylXL Awards. I was blown away and never expected it. The best part though was meeting up with all my friends in the PS community for the awards and drinking, dancing and socialising. I was honoured to even be nominated, so it was simply wonderful to win an award voted for by the public.
I finally took the plunge and got a small lily tattoo on my wrist covered up. I had it done several years ago and whilst I still thought it was pretty, it was slightly poorly placed and had faded. I did a lot of research into what I wanted and had several appointments with my artist, Thor before finally deciding on a vintage perfume bottle, with flowers and feathers. The bottle had a name label on it, so I chose to go with “Goddess” in honour of my blog. Four hours of pain later and I had half a tattoo with just the flowers to complete. I was absolutely over the moon with it.
Last month I attended the hen night of my friend, Corinne. Now was the day of her wedding and I was honoured to be invited. I purchased a gorgeous hat made by my friend Jane and then found the perfect dress to go with it. The evening was spectacular and they made all our hearts melt with a dance they had taken lessons for. I couldn’t stop crying over how beautiful it was.
Whilst with some blogger friends leaving Kings Cross, I had someone call out my name. Nothing new there, I mean I have a lot of friends in London. However, this person was a stranger…She recognised me from my blog! I had never been “spotted” before and after having photographs taken and hugs, Amazing!
April was another month of excitement. I had stayed at a fantastic hotel in London for the Plus Size Awards last November, and it was simply stunning. I was honoured to go back for a visit and wow…. I was blown away. The wonderful team at the Montcalm at the Brewery remembered me, greeted me with hugs and took me up to a suite! Wine, chocolates and Hermes toiletries and I was in heaven. I stayed at the hotel as I was due to have a complete weekend of fun…
That evening I met up with the fabulous Rhina Duque, Leanda Lewis and Amelia Keenan Monaghan, all stunning vintage loving ladies who I had met through the Pin Up Picnic in the Park. We duly went off to have dinner and then spent a very pleasant evening at Fontaines drinking our way through the cocktail list.
The next part of our vintage adventure was a mass meet up in Kew Gardens. Rhina worked there and had invited us all for a tour around the estate. Meeting up with a dozen or so ladies with picnics and super clothing was fantastic and we certainly got a lot of attention. Silly poses, wine and camaraderie ensued and the best day ever was had. The fact the sun shone all day really helped too!
As one of Mum’s Christmas presents, we had purchased two tickets to see a local radio presenter do his stand up show at the theatre. Mum asked me to go along with her and to be honest I was a little apprehensive. I had never listened to Bernie Keith on our local radio, but thought “in for a penny, in for a pound”. I have to say it was one of the best nights I have ever had at the theatre and I have become an avid fan of a funny, sarcastic yet lovely and warm person. We couldn’t wait to book for his next show.
May was a slightly quieter month, however I did finally get the flowers completed on my tattoo. I was so very happy with it I immediately booked in to get a matching cuff on my left hand done, later in the year. Getting my small lily covered up was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I couldn’t wait to finalise my next design.
Eurovision is a big thing in our house. Every year we get the scorecards printed, arrange a huge buffet with foods from all around Europe – think Greek hummus, danish salami, french cheese, german sausage, spanish wine…you name it we get it. This year was different as my blogger bestie Boo was coming up for the weekend. However, what started as a normal evening with an extra guest evolved into a bunch of Baby Bear’s friends coming round. Eurovision drinking games, bingo, scorecard mayhem and a lot of alcohol ensured a great night was had. But with a lot of hangovers the next day…
The highligh of May was travelling down to London to meet up with the lovely Tricia of Hotties Vintage. I had met her at a vintage fair the previous September and we had talked about working together on plus size clothing. I was honoured to be asked to model some of her dresses and jewellery for her website. I had a fantastic day and made a new friend, Louise Prior who also modelled for Tricia. There were so many great photo’s and I even got to sit in this fabulous Hot Rod. What more can a girl ask for?
Last month we had attended a theatre production with local radio DJ Bernie Keith. Whilst listening to his morning programme, he mentioned he was hosting “An Evening With Richard Coles” who is vicar in our local parish. I immediately snapped up some tickets, as I knew Bernie would be great, and I have admired Richard Coles for a very long time. The evening was spectacular and we laughed and cried at the stories and anecdotes that came out of it. I was honoured to get a book signed by the Reverend Coles and a photo too.
June was a massive month for me, but nothing more special than a certain someone who entered my life and turned it upside down. I am of course talking about Thedore the Chow Chow. Having a puppy has been a sheer delight and he really has made a massive difference to the household. Of course, the fact he is so handsome really helps as my heart melts every time I see him. He really does bring a smile to people’s faces and he loves meeting strangers (or friends he hasn’t yet met, as he like to think of it). A total sweetheart who owns my heart.
I am not so sure that this next thing was that much of a highlight for me, however it did challenge me and allowed me to tick another item off my “50 before 50” bucket list. At an anniversary party at an Aunt and Uncles, I held not one, but two snakes (of which I am petrified). You can tell by this picture that I am not really loving it. But I did it and met the challenge head on!
For a few months I had been submitting articles to Vintage life Magazine and had been asked to contribute even more. I was very lucky to be tasked with several articles in upcoming editions and my very first one as a contributing writer was published in June. I was so very honoured to work with such an iconic magazine and felt such pride at seeing my words and photographs in print. A very special moment form me, indeed.
The brilliant Boo turned 30 in June and we had birthday extravaganza! A trip to Sketch in London, for the most wonderful afternoon tea really was something special. Caviar, cakes, speciality teas and the best thing ever, egg pods for toilets really made for an adventure. We topped off the evening with seats for Disney’s Aladdin. A remarkable show that wowed us all. I honestly think it is one of the best West End shows I have ever seen!
The very beginning of the month saw me modelling at Enfield Vintage weekend for Hotties Vintage. The husband and I drove down early on Bank Holiday Monday and wandered around looking at Vintage cars and more, before taking to the catwalk in a fantastic Heart print dress and original vintage accessories. It was a total blast to do it and hope I can repeat it in 2018.
The final highlight of June was travelling to Disneyland Paris with Boo. We spent three days in total having a blast and being big kids. The weather was perfect and I had a brand new camera for chronicling my blogging adventures and I made a lot of use of it. Parades, fireworks, shows and songs. It had it all and I was so lucky to be able to travel there with her.
Well…. that is the first six months of the year. I was hoping to do this all in one post and then realised just how busy a year it had been and what adventures I had experienced. Splitting the post in two was the only way to go, otherwise it would be a mammoth read.
Watch out for the final six months of what was an outstanding year for both my blog and my life.