For the most part December has been where I’ve taken a much needed break from working, and taking some time to enjoy what is always my favourite time of year. Now that I’ve had a breather, I’m once again motivated to write and looking forward to the year ahead.
What is nice though is to look back on the year that’s just been, and how it’s been recorded on this little blog of mine. One of the reasons I started a blog in the first place was to record our family moments just for our personal reading, and whilst the blog has grown and expanded to become a source of income for me (and with a lot more readers!), when it boils down to it I still love documenting what we’ve been up to for our family memories and as a place to look back on them in the future. Looking back at this post from the very beginning of the year, I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to achieve most of the things I wanted to to, and to be honest, what with a new baby on the way and house renovations I didn’t have many big ambitions for 2017 (aside from starting to vlog more, which I can officially tick off my list now!). It’s been a hectic one though, and to be honest I think if I had two words to sum up this year they would be ‘exhausted’ (totally underestimated how awful true sleep deprivation is, as Arlo is by far our worst sleeper) and ‘happy’.
I think my ‘word’ for 2018 is going to aim to be ‘enjoy’.
We’ve spent several years doing up houses and raising small children, and whilst we still have our garden project to complete, the inside of the house just needs what I would call ‘enjoyable cosmetics’ i.e. pictures and finishing touches and spanking more money on house plants and trying not to kill them. We still want to get the loft done but this won’t be for at least a couple of years, so it would be nice to really enjoy our home and the children and all we’ve worked hard for. It’s so easy to continue to strive for more, more, more, but it would be nice just want to enjoy life, travelling, working, this blog and other things I’m passionate about. I’m sure I’ll talk about this in another post about the year ahead, but in the meantime I’m going to look back on this year of blogging…
I’m not unlike most people in that January feels like a fresh start and a time to get motivated, and I LOVE that organised feeling a new year brings! I wrote a post about how to get organised and stay ahead in January which is one I still refer to now (and will in a few days time!). I was also 16 weeks pregnant, and really enjoyed starting to document this pregnancy having not done it with the previous two. Interiors-wise, we completed Freddie and Sasha’s unisex bedroom (and I made a popular vlog on it), as well as a corner of our new living room with a little help from good old DFS. We were also preparing to kick-off our kitchen renovation which was to totally change the way we live in our new house. As well as feeling organised and motivated, a new year also tends to bring a desire to feel healthier mentally, and I’m pleased to say I’m still following the 4 ways in which I gained a more positive mindset, as well as practising gratitude with my regular ’10 things that have made me happy’ posts.
In February, Freddie turned 6 (where do the years go?!), and we found out that our new baby was to be a little boy, something that we were delighted about – no gender ‘reveal’ though here I’m afraid! February overall was quite chilled, although we began making over our bedroom, the children showed off some of their tennis skills and I got my cook-on using Gousto for the first time. I also enjoyed some precious one-on-one time with Freddie in central London, something that I really must do more often.
March was a great month, and after several weeks of building work we were able to move back in after our fabulous kitchen renovation! I made a video about this kitchen renovation too. By this point I was 24 weeks pregnant, and also my thoughts turned to parenting matters, such as having three children and why I didn’t think our little ones needed to know about terrorism just yet. I also poked fun at myself by showing the ‘other side’ to those styled Instagram interiors posts and what the reality is often like! One of my surprising Pinterest hits was this post detailing how much our Kitchen Renovation cost us, with many readers saying how helpful it was to get a rough idea when they were thinking of carrying out similar work.
Looking back now, April seemed to be all about pregnancies and babies, and I was 32 weeks pregnant. I signed to work with Little Tikes for a year on their ‘Get The Grow How’ campaign, talked about pregnancy style as well as my pregnancy health and fitness. And there’s me saying that I’m never a baby bore! Aside from bumps and babes chat, I got my mitts on the dressing table of dreams, and gave a little garden update.
May was pretty quiet blog-wise as we went on holiday to Lake Garda in Italy with Eurocamp and I enjoyed a digital detox. Sasha also turned 5 this month, and I focused on more things that had made me happy.
In June I was 38 weeks pregnant and definitely enjoying a bit of last-minute nesting! I showcased our new bathroom as well as our baby’s new scandi-themed nursery. I got back to basics with my love of blogging with my Little Loves posts, and work-wise I celebrated two years as part of the Great Little Trading Co Testing Team, and signed to work with Swim England for a year, something that is still very exciting and means a lot to me. And of course, the biggest and most amazing thing to happen all year….Baby Arlo arrived!
Of course, in July we were getting used to having a new member of the family, and I also couldn’t believe that we now had three children! At 3 weeks old Arlo made his debut, along with the rest of the family, in the Virgin Trains summer travel campaign and I talked a bit about him 4 weeks in. I also gave a house update 9 months on from our big move.
Despite the big two being off school and having a newborn, August was actually a busy and varied month blog-wise. We had a sunny day in Brighton, and F & S were in heaven reviewing the new Go Ape ‘Nets Kingdom’. I wrote about my post-pregnancy health and fitness, my organised Sunday evening routine, how I made blogging into a career and why it’s okay to put yourself first as a mum.
At the end of August/beginning of September we went to Edinburgh for a long weekend which was fantastic, visited Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire, and had some beautiful family photos taken by the talented Ashleigh Shea. Arlo turned 12 weeks which seemed to come around ridiculously quickly, I shared our family breakfast routine, and my thoughts turned to starting to plan for Christmas (WHAT?! I hear you cry).
October was another lovely mixed bag of blog posts: We had a great half term holiday to Crowhurst Park near Hastings with extended family, I considered evolving as far as this blog is concerned, I suggested 4 productive ways to start your day, I took some favourite off-the-cuff snaps of my gorgeous 3 and finished our ace DIY scaffold board shelves for the living room.
This month I struggled with sleep deprivation and it seemed to take a lot of effort to actually write anything! However, write I did (and actually got some house-projects complete), including how I felt about having 3 children, 4 months in, our Autumn home this year, our new living room gallery wall and I showed readers how make their own DIY slogan prints using Canva. We also got our oven professionally cleaned for the first time- hurrah!
December has been very quiet as usual on here, largely because it’s really the only time I give myself off all year, and I’ve been enjoying time away from the laptop with my family.
Looking back at all I’ve written here I can see that we’ve done so much, and it’s actually been a bloody fantastic, if hectic, year.
I want to say again a huge thank you to everyone for following and reading this year, especially if you take the time to leave a comment- I really do read and appreciate every single one. Thank you also to all the awesome brands, both big and small, that I have worked with this year, and who have taken a chance on our family to represent them. We’ve had some amazing experiences and opportunities because of them taking a leap of faith and investing in us/me, and I am so grateful.
See you in 2018, hopefully for another mix of exciting and relatively boring ventures and adventures!