I absolutely love looking back at the year as we near New Year’s Eve. I think it’s important to reflect on what has happened, the good and the bad, before going into a new year. It also helps me to realise how far I have come when it comes to my blog and I feel this year has been an important year for me as I went self-employed back in January and it’s been my first year actually making an income from blogging, which has been a really massive milestone.
Taking Even Angels Fall to the Next Level
As I have mentioned, back at the start of the year I decided I wanted to start earning money from my blog. I have been blogging in total for seven years and have had Even Angels Fall for a few years so I wanted to work on making it my career. The first step was registering as self-employed. I was fortunate to also get a part time freelance job is social media around the same time, which meant I managed to earn an ok amount over the first half of the year. The second half hasn’t been as profitable, but I have worked with some brilliant brands on a gifted basis and am looking forward to seeing where 2019 brings me with my blog.
All the Snow
Back in March it snowed heavily on two separate occasions here in England. It was crazy for us in Bournemouth as we usually hardly ever get snow, being right on the south coast. It was lovely to be able to get lots of snowy photos and to play outside but after a little while it got a bit tiring and people here aren’t really equipped for heavy snow so the whole country went into a bit of a standstill which wasn’t too much fun.
Our Honeymoon in Mexico
Ed and I had postponed our honeymoon after getting married last September and we finally booked for 10 days in Mexico over the Easter break. We opted not to take the children so that we could have a proper break and it was a lovely holiday, even if I did manage to have a panic attack whilst in Mexico and on the flight back. I really didn’t like the 11 hour flight and as much as I enjoyed Mexico and the resort we stayed in, I can’t imagine going that far in a plane again anytime soon.
Making New Friends
Over the past year I have made several new friends and I am really happy that blogging has helped me to meet these new people and to forge strong friendships. I now consider Ciara my best friend and I see her almost every week. Although there is a fairly big age gap between us, when we are together we can just totally be ourselves and it feels like I have known her forever. I also made a friend in Harrison, who promptly ran away to New Zealand, but I can forgive him as he is so clearly having an amazing time out there and it was 100% the right decision for him at this point in his life.
Being Invited to Press Events
As I have been running my local blogging network – The Bournemouth Bloggers, since last November, I have organised quite a large amount of events over the past year but I have also managed to get on press lists for other events as well and have been lucky enough to attend events such as the opening of new rides at Peppa Pig World, camping at Camp Bestival, day out exploring Solent Forts in Portsmouth and review visits to both Alton Towers and Thorpe Park plus a stay at the Hilton Ageas Bowl. It has truly been an amazing year!
A Family Holiday in the Lakes
In the May half term break we headed to the Lake District for a little family holiday with my mum and nan. It was just what we needed and we spent the whole week exploring and relaxing in equal measures. I have so many lovely photos from the trip and it was lovely to spend the time with the children.
Spending Time with Old Friends
My close friends from university came to stay at the beginning of summer and we had a lovely time catching up and visiting local tourist attractions. I really treasure having friendships which have lasted the distance and when we are together, it is like no time has passed at all.
Ed’s Graduation and New Job
I was so proud of Ed when he graduated from his Teacher Training and managed to get a job at the local school he had been working. He is now a maths teacher and he is enjoying the career he has worked towards for the past eight years.
Breaks as a Couple
Although I have enjoyed spending lots of time with the kids, it has also been nice to have little breaks away just as a couple as well. We are fortunate to have family who are willing and able to look after the kids so that we can get away from it all from time to time and this year, as well as our honeymoon, we also got away on a mini break to Devon for our anniversary and Southampton for a break at Hilton at The Ageas Bowl.
Our First Cruise as a Family
Last year I was lucky enough to win a cruise from a blogging event and at the end of July we sailed off from Southampton on our first cruise as a family around Northern Europe. The majority of the ports were in Norway and it was so interesting to visit a country I had never visited before. The views were just stunning and, although I really suffered with my anxiety during the trip, I have some lovely memories from our time away.
As well as having a shoot back in May with the extremely talented Kaye Ford – Fordtography, this year I have also gone on a couple of shoots with Ciara, where we have taken photos of each other to use on our blog and Instagram. We were planning a Christmas themed shoot too, but I am not sure if the weather will improve in time for us to fit it in as it just hasn’t stopped raining lately!
My Mental Health
I feel I can’t not mention one of the lowest points of this year. My mental health took a big hit back in October and I am now back on medication for the time being. I am not ashamed of this as it has really helped to give me the strength to work on things myself during my CBT sessions, which are also really helping me to understand my depression and generalised anxiety disorder. I think it is so important to get the help and support you need when your mental health is suffering and I am really fortunate to have a strong support network around me.
Over the past few weeks I have been going full steam ahead with the Christmas events. We have been lucky enough to receive a real Christmas tree so we put that up at the end of November and ever since I have been fitting in as many festive activities as possible. I am so looking forward to the Bournemouth Bloggers Christmas Party this Friday to round of an amazing year!