Thursday, 3 January 2019

18 Moments of 2018

Every year as tradition my family and I make lists of the moments we enjoyed the most this year or share personal achievements we are grateful for. Since blogging I have also shared these with you from 2014201520162017 and this year is no excuse. Hard to believe this is the fifth year! It's one of my favourite things to do at the end of the year looking back at how far I've come and things I've learnt.

It seems this year was the year of big birthdays in my family and although it wasn't for me its the things we do for others that make me the happiest. That being said, my Dads 80th in February was such a huge milestone. With everything he has been through the birthday alone filled with gratitude but to have all our loved ones come and celebrate just made it even more special.

Having friends all over the country and even the world is such an amazing opportunity. I was lucky enough to have two day trips to Oxford site seeing and catching up with friends. This involved a very well planned day of things my friends and I wanted to see whilst having a local friend who could easily guide us from pip to post as well as recommendations only someone living there would know about. We went to the Oxford version of the Bridge of Sighs (which I fell in love with in Venice a few years ago), St Mary's Church Tower and had cocktails at the Varsity Club. Post to come on this shortly - forgot it was patiently sat in my drafts (along with the images in this post that I've repurposed).

Talking of spending time with uni friends, we had some amazing reunions. I love that we still make the time to get together when we can. Some of my favourites were a lovely meal and cocktails at Buddha Bar, playing ping pong at Bounce and back to Birmingham for the weekend where we all met. It was like reliving all of our old favourite places such as Aluna at the Mailbox, The Botanist on Temple St and discovering new places like the Bakery + Gallery which have opened since we've gone.

I did lots of exciting things for my birthday this year and as it was all with different groups of friends and family I've been able to spread them across a few of my favourite moments this year. My friends from home came to visit me for the evening and kindly treated me to a Friday ticket to Wireless festival which we were all able to go to together. I was just excited to see them as I was J Cole, PartyNextDoor and Post Malone.

I also went to London Pride for the first time this year, as it always clashes with other plans I've never been able to go and show my support. Luckily it worked out this year that I was able to go and what a beautiful atmosphere it was. The sun was shining, everyone was able to be themselves and we were celebrating one of the most magical feelings in the world - love. After refuelling with food, my friends ended our evening in 'Salsa!' in Tottenham Court Rd which was another place I was eager to go. Picked by a professional I was taught a few moves and keep saying I should go again.
Certainly one of the best days of my year was when I spent training at Salesforce, the leading ecommerce platform (the industry I work) and although you may think training days would be rather glum the offices were out of this world with their views and staff. I also had a surprise to look forward to the evening so maybe that was what made the day go quicker? My family and I had a three course dinner at The Langham, which I haven't shared until now with these images that have patiently waited on my memory card. It was one of the most amazing meals, thinking back it's making me extremely hungry... may be time to get a snack whilst I finish this post.

Another surprise was with my sister, every year I wonder how she is going to top the year before with her experience gifts. With this event running for two weeks only I was very shocked when she said we would be having afternoon tea 100ft in the air with London in the sky. With some of the most breathtaking views of the city I love so much it was an unforgettable moment for life. They have these all over the world and think it makes such an amazing present, you can read more about that here.

Another big birthday in the family was my Mums 60th. My sister and I were put on party duty for the first time and I think you appriciate what goes in to it a lot more. Although the party wasn't a surprise we did manage to get her best friend and sister over from Ireland to join the party which I know she was overjoyed about. As she does so much for us it was so nice to organise something for her and to see her rest and enjoy these things a little bit more.

First holiday of the year was Dubrovnik and what a holiday it was. I am sure you might have already caught up with my outfits and what we did here, if not be sure to have a read after this. My first time in Croatia and what a beautiful place it is. With a good dose of culture and beaches we were set for our week away and travel is one of the things I love to do most - making this a half way through the year high point.
We used to go to the races every year, both on Boxing day and Ascot. We took a few years off for multiple reasons but it felt good to make a return this year. Although I walked away with the grand total of five pounds, its more the dressing up that I enjoy. Situated in the Queen Anne enclosure we had the best time which you can read more on here

I have been treated a lot this year but this was something I did for my sister. Although she has been to Madison before for drinks, she hadn't been in to the restaurant for dinner so that is exactly what we did. With stunning views of St Pauls and the London skyline, this venue did not disappoint, see what we went for on the menu here

The final big birthday of the year, promise was my Granny's 90th. Can you believe these were all in one year? Of course she had a party that we went over to Ireland for with the rest of our family there. I always find going there so peaceful and it was just what I needed at the time. An escape to somewhere familiar but that always offers something different with every visit.

I really outdid myself with music events this year, my favourite being a Jazz night at Ronnie Scotts. I had been wanting to go for the longest time and there wasn't anyone I would rather have shared that night with. I also went to other venues including the Southbank Centre to see the youth orchestra and a quartet, also discovered XOYO events firstly seeing Frank Ocean and loving it so much that we booked in to the Destiny's Child and many nights at the The loft @ BTL restaurant.

Just incased you missed the Instagram spam, I went back to Paris, this time on my own terms. Although I loved it before being able to be in control of the itinerary made the trip the perfect holiday. There was so many things that happened on this trip that were moments that could stand alone such as Disneyland, Palace of Versailles and the views from Pantheon - all things I hadn't done before. From what we did to what I wore to the pictures we got during our time there I wish I could relive this trip over and over again. 
Having been in ecommerce for just over two years now, it was a real career accomplishment to be part of a website re-platform. I don't want to go in to all the technicalities but this can actually be a rare thing in your career in this industry and to be part of something so big so early on in my life was a real learning curve. It was also really rewarding to see all my hard work come to life such as completely revamping and reworking the online photography. Although it was a lot of hard work I am glad I stuck at it and stayed to gain this experience for my CV.

As always I took my annual trip to Turin to visit my sister. We always try and do something different every time I visit so she asked if there was anything in particular on my list. After doing some research I came across the Reggia di Venaria Reale a beautiful palace and gardens. Luckily she hadn't been either, so it was completely new to both of us. I was blown away by the decor of the rooms and the design of the gardens (which I later found out to be inspired by the Palace of Versailles which I had visited earlier in the year). It was the ideal final trip of the year and couldn't believe the weather was still 27 degrees, extending my summer even if just for a few days. 

One of the best things about London is the events that take place and the fact there is always something to do. Something I would like to continue in the new year is going to panel discussions, live podcasts or general talks about different subjects. My sister and I recently went to Fearne Cotton's live version of the Happy Place in collaboration with the launch of the new Google Pixel 3 phone. She had Mel C from the Spice Girls as her special guest with two free drinks and popcorn I genuinely enjoyed the evening.

Last but certainly not least is my new job which actually doubles as a promotion too! I could not have been happier in November to start this new adventure as an Ecommerce Co-ordinator for ME+EM. Still in the fashion sector and my beloved ecommerce but with slightly different responsibilities and variations from my previous role to keep me moving in the right direction. With monthly socials it is the perfect opportunity to team build, make friends and reward the company for their hard work. I think moving role was the scariest but best decision I made this year - I'm overwhelmed with how much happier I feel and glad I'm going in to the new year with a fresh start.

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I have this incredibly good feeling about 2019 and what it holds. With all the highs and lows of this year I feel like it was the practice year to set me up for lots of laughters, love and life in the year ahead. Be sure to follow what I get up to my newest blog post right here, or see what I got up to today on Instagram.


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