At the end of every month, I like to compile a list of all my favourite things. Whether it was products, experiences, or achievements with the blog, I write them down to share.
As 2018 is coming to an end, I thought I could so something similar but with the year as a whole. I’ve sat down and looked back at my favourite parts of the year.
A lot of things have happened. Personally, I have grown so much. I am a much better person than I was in January and I can see that in so many ways. I’ve developed the best friends I could ever ask for, and I am ending the year engaged to the absolute love of my life. Professionally, this blog has vastly improved. I am learning new things every day and I can see that show in my work. I am incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m looking forward to what 2019 has in store for me.
I’ve gathered a list of the highlights of my year. From traveling to a new country alone, coming down with Bell’s Palsy, getting engaged, and ending the year by booking our wedding venue, it’s been jam packed full of so many adventures and experiences I will never forget.
Every header in this post is a clickable link to the blog post that supports it if you want to read more about something specific.
So without further ado, here are my highlights of 2018:
I began the year trying to establish some healthy habits and to learn more about health and wellness. And the outcome has been much greater than I ever thought it would be. I learned that I truly love taking care of my health and fitness. And I learned that balance is the absolute key to maintaining a healthy and happy life. In the new year, I want to be more strict with my diet but I also want to be much more forgiving with myself if I’m not “perfect” all the time. I’ve realised that this journey doesn’t have an end date as I want my health and wellness to be a lifestyle, not just a fad.
I was asked to go to Turkey for work and I did not want to go. It was the first time I was traveling to a non-English speaking country alone and I didn’t really want to be away from D. I had only been in the UK for 6 months and I was still in my adjustment phase. It was only a 5 day trip, so it really wasn’t too bad in the end. And I came back feeling quite proud of myself doing all that traveling despite being scared. It wasn’t a luxurious trip by any means, but personally, it was quite a big deal to me.
FUN FACT: This picture was actually taken in Southampton (soz) and I was looking at the pier that the Titanic left from. :O
D’s sister bought him tickets to this comedy show for the two of us in Portsmouth for his birthday. Neither of us had ever been so we tried to make an adventure out of it and see some new sights. We went to Southampton first and then on to Portsmouth. I remember I had a nasty cold, could barely breathe, and I was definitely suffering. However, we still had a lot of fun. Portsmouth is definitely not the nicest area to go and visit, but we made the best of it. And the show ended up being really funny as well.
Oh man this was such a fun week. D and I took my parents around London seeing the Tower of London, the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide, Covent Garden, Shoreditch, and many other places. They met D’s family and bonded with his nephews. We drank nonstop and honestly just never stopped laughing. We always have the best time with my parents and it was so cool being able to show them our life here. I wish it was easier, and much cheaper, for them to visit more often but I’m glad we were able to have this trip together.
A few days after my parents left, I ended up with Bell’s Palsy. And this may not seem like something to include on a highlight reel, but it ended up being such a positive experience for me, despite the fact that half of my face was paralysed. I did everything I possibly could to heal quickly, and managed to make a full recovery within 6 weeks. In the week I had off work to heal, I took things slow, but I also committed a lot of time to the blog. I loved the schedule that I fell into, and I felt so creative that week. I also had the most supportive boyfriend in the world at my side, and I really don’t think I could have gone through that experience without him there to laugh with me while I drooled everywhere when I drank water. Funnily enough, getting Bell’s Palsy and having half of my face paralysed brought D and I closer together.
I’m only including this because I went here specifically for the blog. I had never been and wanted to see a new part of London. I actually realised that it was incredibly hyped up on the internet. Everything was so expensive, and not to mention there were people everywhere, and it was a cold rainy day! Truth be told, it was a good experience for me even though it was a tad annoying. I tried something new and didn’t like it, but it became a story and something to knock off the London bucket list. And now I can suggest that people not waste their time there unless they really want to go.
We went to visit D’s mum in Wales and while we were there, we decided to take a day to go see “Waterfall Country.” I remember I woke up that day in a really bad mood. I had been eating healthy and trying to lose weight and I woke up feeling bloated and heavy and all I wanted to do was lay in bed and feel sorry for myself, but I couldn’t. I had to get dressed in hiking gear and go walking around the wilderness and I loved it. It made me feel so good about myself and really helped get me out of the funk I was in. And it was gorgeous! Honestly it was a nature photographer’s dream. I hope to go back sometime because it was so lovely.
Ah, the infamous Taylor Swift story. I’m going to assume you know it, but if you don’t, just click the header above and it’ll take you to the blog post. This ended up being an incredible night, and my darling D came with me to be my emotional support even though he really did not want to go. It wasn’t her best concert, but it still was a great show and we had amazing seats. I think that’s the closest I’ve ever been to Taylor… and that’s just a great story, eh?
This was my first full year of living in the UK and soon enough, I’ll be celebrating two full years. Time is absolutely flying by here and I am still really happy I moved. Of course there are struggles, but it has been such an amazing experience. I’ve learned a lot about British people and their culture, and I’ve even learned more about the American culture from being able to view it from afar. I feel like I fit in with British people more so than I did with Americans. We’ve built such a beautiful little life here together and it means the world to me.
It was our two year anniversary this year which is so weird. It feels like we’ve been together forever already. These past few years have been incredible and the next two are going to be even better. He’s made me a better person and this year we have grown so much together as a couple. He’s been there for me through some of my hardest times, and I for him as well. I really do believe in the future of our relationship more than ever and really looking forward to celebrating many more anniversaries together.
Instead of Thanksgiving (wah wah wahhhh) we went back to the States for the 4th of July. Since we’d be celebrating our two year anniversary there, I decided to drive to Chicago for a few days and show D a little bit of my favourite city in the US. The entire trip was incredibly fun. From spending time with my family to having some us time in the city, we had a blast. And it was nice that D finally got to witness an American Independence day. We did not throw things at him, although we wanted to… :p
2018 has been a life changing year for me when it comes to body confidence. I started the year off determined to work on loving myself in all aspects. Even though I am finishing the year probably the same weight as last year, I have a proved a lot to myself in the health area. I’ve realised that I have a lot of determination to get what I want. And I’ve learned to love my body despite the fact that it may not look “perfect.” And that almost no one has perfect skin all the time, and the people that do probably live a life I have no interest in living. I can only imagine how much further I will have come this time next year. But I am looking forward to finding out.
We finally went on our first beach holiday together to Fethiye in Turkey. It was amazing. We had fantastic weather, and stayed at a gorgeous resort. We liked what we did so much we never even left it. It was everything we needed to just relax and hang out by the pool every day drinking daiquiris and long island iced teas. And not to mention…..
WE GOT ENGAGED. Ah man, I had dreamed about this moment for a very long time, like a lot of girls do. It was beautiful and it’s something I’ll remember forever. We’ve had a little engagement party and have already picked out our wedding venue. Thankfully we have quite a bit of time to plan the rest of it, but I think a lot more decisions and bookings will be made throughout 2019 and it will be so amazing to see the wedding come together.
D booked us a weekend in the Lake District for my birthday. It was insane. One of the prettiest places I have ever been able to witness. It was cold and rainy, and we snuggled up, drank lots of coffee, and wine. We ate the best Camembert ever, and had some romantic quality time together. We liked it so much that we want to plan a trip there again, and maybe bring some friends along for a fun weekend. It was so magical, one of the best birthdays ever.
Since we couldn’t make it back to the States for Thanksgiving this year (as we were there for the 4th of July), I decided to host a Thanksgiving at our flat with some of my closest friends. We all laughed so hard the entire night eating, drinking, playing games, someone drinking so much he/she got sick – hahaha. It was so amazing that we’ve decided we’ll have to do it again. And more dinner parties in between!
Now this is such a big achievement. I was asked to do a collaboration with L’Occitane, the French skincare company. I could not believe it. Part of me had wondered if I was being pranked or something. I went to the Regent St store in London and picked up the “Best of L’Occitance” gift set you see here to photograph and keep for myself. I then hosted a giveaway on my Instagram for one lucky person to win the gift set themselves. This is the very first brand collaboration for KbC and I’m so proud of it! I loved doing it and hope 2019 will bring me many more opportunities like this.
We actually only viewed two places. The first was Godwick Hall and Barn and I completely fell in love with it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and knew that there would be no other place that could compare. We finally put the deposit down and secured our wedding date. Now all that is left to do is everything else.
What a year. And I can’t believe it’s over already because it really doesn’t feel that long ago that I celebrated the New Year and got Bell’s Palsy. Time really does seem to be flying by. And before we know it, it’ll be our wedding day. I am so so lucky to have such amazing people in my life who make it all worth living. And to my fiance who really does make the mundane things in life so much more fun, I can not wait to see what our 2019 holds. I know it’ll be absolutely magical.
I invite you all to just run through this last year and remember all the special events, experiences, and moments. Reflect on how far you’ve come this year and try to set goals for yourself for 2019.