It’s time for another ‘year in review’ post and making plans for 2019!
I hope everyone had a fantastic New Year’s celebration. By the time this gets posted I imagine I will be currently tucked up in bed nursing a bit of a hangover! What a lovely thing to look forward to as I write this…
2018 has gone rather fast; it wasn’t nearly as crazy as 2017 but it still did have some low points. I know that’s totally normal but I just want to stress here that life is not perfect for anyone, despite the list of ‘highlights’ below and the highlights we see from everyone on social media. This is just what people choose to share, and doesn’t reflect all of someone’s life.
With that being said, when I look back at 2018 I have some fantastic memories and I definitely feel like life is on the up and up! I like to attribute a word or two to each year and this year I have decided to call 2018 my year of ‘balance’; I think it’s been a year of really finding my footing and (certainly towards the end of the year particularly) really understanding my priorities and getting a good work/life balance sorted as well.
My Highlights of 2018
Staying in wonderful hotels & new places
I’m so incredibly grateful to have had some great opportunities to visit and stay some of Cornwall’s most beautiful hotels this year to review here on the blog. From a spa day at the Scarlet hotel, the epic castle views of Mount Haven hotel, and the 5* self-catered cottages at The Valley, to the Bedruthan hotel, dog-friendly Talland Bay, and the gorgeously unique Chapel House in Penzance. Topped off with a glamping experience at Trevella in September, and a night in The Greenbank’s incredible ‘Florence Suite’ for my birthday. I have been truly spoiled!
Trying incredible restaurants
As well as being a guest at these wonderful hotels, I’ve had the chance to eat some amazing restaurants here in Cornwall too, either through reviewing on my blog, or on special date nights with Alex. We loved Kota in Porthleven, Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in Marazion, Oliver’s in Falmouth, Penrose Kitchen outside Truro, an evening at The Summerhouse in Perranporth, The Working Boat (under The Greenbank), The Beach Hut at Watergate Bay, Bustopher Jones, and (most recently), The Fish House at Fistral (review to come this week).
Being snowed-in in Devon
I couldn’t believe it when in March this year, the country was hit by an incredible amount of snow. We even got a little bit of it down here in Cornwall too! The unfortunate part was that Alex and I were supposed to be driving up to Devon and then on to York to visit my sister that exact week, and we had to cancel half of our trip. We did make it up to our little Airbnb in Devon, though, and found ourselves snowed in there for 3 nights with the dogs – only able to walk in the snow across the moors, amble our way through the village to the pub, binge watch The Sinner on Netflix, and chill in the outdoor hot-tub… bliss!
Going on 6 trips abroad
So remember last year when I went abroad 4 times and said I’d never be able to beat that? Yeah.. I outdid myself this year. To be honest, I’ve over-done it this year and plan to take it easy with travelling next year.
I started out the year with my first ever skiing trip with Alex and his family, in Val D’Isere. I was extremely nervous and I had a couple of meltdowns but it was very beautiful. We were actually snowed in for 3 days while we were there too! Then, we headed off to Fuerteventura with our friends for a week of sun in February. Olivia and I went on our very first girl’s abroad trip together to Ibiza in the summer (no, not for partying… for chilling out and taking LOTS of photos) and it was amazing! Shortly after, Alex and I took off to Croatia to go to Hideout Festival (see below). In Autumn I popped over to Switzerland for a week with Olivia to see her family, and then Alex and I flew out to Egypt in November (I didn’t blog about this because it was a mixed bag trip, but we got plenty of sun!).
As I say, I don’t plan to do as many trips in one year again. It was too much (too much expense, too much time taken out of work, and too many airport headaches as well…). However, we are already booked to go skiing next week (January), and Alex and I are hoping to fit in our big trip to somewhere completely new towards the end of 2019 too… I can’t wait!
Partying at Festivals (including Hideout in Croatia!)
Last year I managed 5 festivals, and this year we did 4! I love a good festival. We went to Love Saves The Day in Bristol, The Great Estate at Scorrier House, Tunes in the Dunes and….. Hideout Festival in Croatia!
We booked this in December 2017 and were so excited. Sadly our friends couldn’t join us so it was just Alex and I livin’ it up but we had an awesome time in the sun and it was definitely an experience I’ll always remember!
Next year I’ll definitely be going to Boardmasters – Florence and the Machine is headlining so it has to be done!!
Launching my new project
Last year I mentioned I had a new project in the works, and it took me a good few months into 2018 to launch it too. My new clothing brand, South Coast Lifestyle, finally launched in May, which was really exciting. What with going away so much and needing to focus on my other business, I didn’t put as much effort into pushing it as I would have liked but I’m proud that I put it out there anyway.
The shop is currently on ‘pause’ until 2019 now. I had some stock sell out and some issues with my supplier, and I need to focus on my website business for a while so I decided to ‘pause’ it so that I wasn’t spreading myself too thin though. I’m excited to get back to it shortly though!
Reading 12 books
My goal last year was to read 10 books, and I exceeded my goal (this never happens)! This year I read 12 amazing books, some of my favourites include:
- 1984 (the classic dystopian thriller by George Orwell)*
- The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy*
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg*
- My Morning Routine by Benjamin Spall & Michael Xander*
Getting into running (ran 5k)
I set myself the goal in 2018 to ‘get into running’ and ‘comfortably run 5k by the end of the year’. Well I have definitely caught the running bug, and Alex and I DID manage to run 5k back in October, but I wouldn’t say I could ‘comfortably’ do it (what does that even mean anyway?). Our time was around 28.5 minutes which isn’t too bad. I’m pleased to have part-done one of my goals though!
Working with awesome brands
This year I have worked with some dreamy national brands including Barbour, Joules, IKEA and Westbeach, as well as some amazing smaller businesses such as Bloomtown UK (natural skincare made in Cornwall), Aurora Pets (beautiful & classy pet products) and the Conscious Candy Company.
Renovating & moving into the bungalow
Some may know the chaos we went through in summer in having Alex’s bungalow renovated, but it’s all been so worth it! We lived at my house for a few months while it was being done and while it was stressful and not a very nice few months for anyone involved, we are both so happy with how it is now.
I shared our bathroom transformation, what our lounge looks like now, as well as the beautiful bedroom makeovers too. It’s so nice ‘officially’ living together now too, and I can’t wait for future makeovers in 2019 (hopefully our home office space, some more work on our porch and dining area, and I’d like to start working on the back garden too).
(Nearly) selling my house
I really REALLY hoped that my house sale would go through in 2018 and I was so gutted to find out it would actually be more likely to complete in January. However, we had a successful court hearing back in May which meant we could finally put it on the marketing, plus there was loads of interest and I’m so happy we found some buyers, getting it a step closer to being sold.
My Goals for 2019
Below are some of my goals and aspirations for 2019. These are purely personal ones (I have a whole separate list of business related ones!) and I’ve tried to keep in mind some really good advice that I heard on a podcast recently (I can’t remember the name of it… sorry!) about how you should make sure your New Year’s goals/resolutions always come from a place of love and desire to grow as a person, rather than a place of ‘self-loathing’ (ie. the classic ‘lose Xlbs’ and ‘give up chocolate’ ones).
Read 12 books again
I’ve enjoyed reading so much and you know what? I genuinely think it makes you a more intelligent, interesting person. I feel full of knowledge and I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I’ve finished a book and been inspired by it. I have a long list ready to get read this year…
Enter a 5k race
This is a good personal challenge for myself (I won’t be running to win!!), and not something I’ve ever done before! I know that it’s not a huge deal to some people but to run 5k in a decent time will be quite a milestone for me. And who knows, if all goes well maybe in 2020 I’ll be doing 10ks and half marathons…
Fuel & Strengthen my body
This is basically another way of saying ‘eat healthily’ and ‘keep exercising’, but I wanted to reframe it to make it more positive. I think with goals like this it’s important to ask yourself WHY you want to do this. Why do I want to eat healthy and exercise? Because I want to be able to run a 5k race, I want to stay healthy and not get ill, I want to feel confident and sexy, and I want to become a more disciplined person.
Spend more time outdoors & exploring Cornwall
Our summer of 2018 has some lovely memories, but due to work and other life stresses, we didn’t end up getting out and about as much as I’d have liked. We didn’t even go surfing once! I want to explore more places around Cornwall and do more outdoor activities all year round.
Learn more about cooking & growing foods
In 2019 I really want to improve my cooking skills (and repertoire of recipes, as we often end up eating the same things over and over!) and learn a totally new skill… gardening/growing foods! I’m literally the worst at keeping plants alive but learning how to grow my own herbs and maybe even some vegetables would be amazing.
What’s been the best thing about your year and what are you most looking forward to in 2019?
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