I can’t believe that 2016 is coming to a close already – where on earth has the time gone? It really does feel like every year goes faster and faster. I remember when I was a child thinking that a year took a really long time to go by, but as an adult, the opposite seems to be the case.
The last few years have been pretty tumultuous for me, with a lot of difficult times. However, this year has been a little better, although full of difficulties, all the same. I thought that it would be a nice idea to think of the highlights of 2016. I’m all about positivity and, to me, thinking of the good things that have happened for me throughout the year is a really nice way to see out the year before welcoming in 2017.
Putting my blog out there and reinventing it
I started a blog in September 2015. It was something I’d wanted to do for a long time, and I made the decision to completely focus on my home and DIY and to just keep the blog to myself while I figured out how to design it and to just generally get to grips with the whole blogging process.
I created social media accounts for my blog in June, which felt like a scary move for me, not knowing how anyone was going to feel about my blog, and the possibility that people might tell me that my writing/photos/whole blog was awful! It was also pretty daunting to create social media accounts from scratch and to begin with no followers. I’d read many a post by other bloggers saying not to worry about only having a few hundred followers and that it will soon grow. Nowhere did I read anyone talking about literally starting with 0 followers, and so it felt like I was a million miles away from reaching the kinds of numbers anyone was talking about. I do agree that it’s a good idea not to concentrate about the numbers of followers/page views and so on that you have, but I think when you first start out, having such low numbers everywhere can still be a daunting prospect.
I could focus on increasing my following, but to be honest, I’m much more bothered now with making sure I enjoy what I’m writing about, putting out what I hope people will see as good quality content, rather than lots of posts I’m not totally proud of, engaging with like-minded people, and just getting my blog to be something I love. My twitter following is slowly growing over time, which is great; as for Instagram, well that’s a different story entirely. For some reason, I’ve never been able to really get into Instagram and I think that maybe working a little harder to at that platform would be a good resolution to make for the New Year.
I got to a point this year where I found that I was really enjoying blogging, but I had fallen out of love a little with my blog. I felt too constricted just talking about my home and DIY because as much as interiors is a huge passion of mine and wanted to continue blogging about the subject, I also felt that there were so many other topics and issues I wanted to discuss, so I took the step of completely reinventing my blog. I changed the name, the layout, I moved from Blogger to WordPress and I decided to begin writing about all of the things I had been wanting to write about for a long time.
I’m happy with the direction I’ve begun to take my blog in, but I feel like I still have a long way to go to get it to be how I want it to be. Designing a luxe life without the luxe budget is what I hope to focus on a great deal more in the new year.
I feel so blessed and grateful to have received some lovely comments and feedback on my blog and to be getting increasing numbers of visitors to my little blog, which is so rewarding and fun when I’m writing about topics I love. I think that I’ve often put blogging on the back burner because I have so many other things going on in my life, but I enjoy it and love engaging with everyone, so I would like to focus on it more in 2017.
Road trip around France
The only holiday we had during 2015 was a small city break in England, which was lovely but very short, and this year we really felt that we wanted to go on holiday abroad. Dan has never been to France before and I haven’t been for years, so driving down to France and doing a little road trip sounded like a great idea.
I don’t remember every doing a road trip before and it was really good fun and amazing to visit so many new places and see so many sights all on one holiday.
It was a little tiring at times, especially for Dan who did a great deal of driving, and we did kind of feel at times like we might need a holiday to recover from our holiday! However, I’m so glad we did it and we both agreed we might drive down to France again at some point. It felt like a real adventure and it was nice to be able to take our own car and be able to buy and bring back what we wanted to, without the restrictions of flying.
I’m very good at saving money, but sometimes I’m not so good at spending it on things like holidays, and I think this trip made me realise that I need to make more of an effort to stop worrying about spending money to go on trips away where we can explore different places and relax too. The last few years have been full of working hard and saving hard for a new home, but we are hoping we can finally move house in the next few months, and so then at least I won’t have to be quite so focused on saving so that we can move to our ideal location. I find it hard to use our well earned money for experiences and I think that holidays, days out and so on are something we need to do more of.
Sometimes I can be so intent on looking towards the future that I forget to enjoy the here and now and to live a little, so in 2017, this is something I hope to improve on.
Being asked to be godmother
One of the best things to happen to me this year was being asked by my best friend to be godmother to her baby. We’ve been close friends ever since the start of high school. Whilst other friends have drifted away and lost touch, we have always remained good friends. She relocated a while ago to start a new job a few hours away from home, which was a really sad time for me because I knew we wouldn’t be able to see each other very much. However, I knew we would stay in touch and when we do get to meet up, it means we have so much to chat about and catch up on and it makes the time I do get to spend with her more precious.
I was over the moon for her and her husband when she told me they are expecting their first baby. The baby is due to arrive in early 2017 and even though he/she hasn’t made an appearance yet, my friend asked me to be godmother. I feel that being asked to be a godparent is such an honour, which is why it means so much to me, and I can’t describe how thrilled I was in that moment, and still am now to be honest. To know that out of all her family and friends, I’m one of the people she trusts the most to take up that role means the world. It’s at times like this that I realise how lucky I am, that even though my best friend lives miles and miles away, that we still have each other as friends and that we can still share special moments together. I can’t wait for the baby to arrive and I’ve got my fingers crossed that one day she will be able to move closer to home so I can see all of them even more.
I would like to say to everyone reading this that I’m so grateful to all of you for reading my blog posts/following me/leaving me such nice comments. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m looking forward to everything that’s to come in the new year. I sometimes approach a new year with trepidation of what it will bring, but this year I’m pleased to say I feel more positive about it and even excited for what will happen in the coming year, and I hope that you are also able to feel the same.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year, with lots of fun and laughter along the way xx