You know how I like to end my year with a goodbye / round-up post … Tracey’s Oscar speech of sorts. Well here is this years offering …
[you can read last years post // HERE]
It’s slightly earlier than usual because there’s a rumour we may be going away. I say maybe because it’s the 20th December and nothing has been booked as yet ! Even by Michael’s standards that’s leaving it late.
I’m of the opinion that all things happen for a reason and if we end up somewhere fabulous, or we stay at home I’ll make the most of the festive season.
I’ll not lie I still struggle a lot with the fact that Mum’s no longer around to help celebrate it with us . My 48th [ or as it fondly referred to around her – your nearly 50 ] birthday which is also in December was a bit of a wash out too [ quite literally it poured down all day] Hopefully it will get easier as time passes; not that I’ll ever stop missing my best friend. Losing my mum has been life-changing, and I’m still adjusting and learning to live without her around.
That aside this year has not been a total wet fish there have been some amazing times. As long as I keep having ‘moments’ I’ll be a happy bunny.
I’ve not travelled anywhere near as much as I would have hoped too. In fact my only trip this year was a long weekend away to Malaga with the girls. [Must do better next year !] It was however FABULOUS; a jam-packed few days with tonnes of laughter, alcohol, late nights and the insta-famous ‘face-masking’ in the sun! Malaga is an amazing city which definitely needs exploring further. I for one can’t wait for next years antics.
I have made no secret of the fact that travel is something I would love to do more. I crave more adventure, to discover new places. Hopefully next year that will happen. I have a few places on my radar… the Maldives however might be a request too far. I should perhaps ease in gently!
Writing wise I still want to do more. A lot more and improve. I’m aiming to read more people’s work too [ to study their writing style] and I’m still considering enrolling on a writing course. I still have that book to write – the one I promised mum I would do. It’s all in my head … I just need to get it down on paper.
I have loved, loved , loved writing and producing content for the blog. My Musing posts are definitely my favourite. I’ve found writing some pieces therapeutic and it has definitely helped me deal with my Mum’s death. I hope that by writing about my experience it has also helped others.
My audience is growing steadily… albeit slowly. I have been more selective with what I’ve been posting about and who I’ve been working with both on the blog and Instagram. Authenticity is VERY important to me. I see a lot of people selling out .. I don’t want to become one of them.
Next year I intend to be even more selective. I have worked with a few brands this year and actually got paid for doing so. I’m not going to lie this is something I never dreamed would happen and it feels fabulous … BUT don’t worry I will only ever work with companies I believe in and feature products I would wear / use / purchase myself. DON’T expect to see a ‘Cooking with Tracey’ feature or a cleaning product promotion anytime soon. I don’t like to do either!
I would love to do a regular feature on the Blog or Instagram in regards my new friend Gin and my old favourite Whisky. I concocted my own Gin a couple of months ago [ aptly named Rocket Fuel ] and it was a fabulous experience. I might crack it open tonight I feel like blowing my head off!
I’m just mulling stuff over in my head at the moment. But having really got into my Gin this year , I find the history behind it fascinating and I’m sure it would make for some interesting reading .
The research side of it would be even more fun! Any ideas are most welcome.
I have been invited to a fair few brand events this year which is both flattering and always appreciated but I have had to turn most of them down.
While I don’t like to moan … 8.30am breakfast meetings in London when you are based in Sheffield , AND work , are a big fat no no. The cost alone to get there can also work out fairly expensive. It shouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg to attend an event to predominantly promote that company?
I do find it frustrating that brands still choose to hold the majority of their events in London . It’s probably down to logistics … but they should perhaps consider that their customers are based all over the country and it would be nice if they branched out a little and gave us northerners a shot at it.
Saying that I have attended some really fabulous events up here in Sheffield this year. Alex Steinherr [ she is really that beautiful IRL with flawless skin … I’ve seen it first hand] recently hosted an event in Givenchy, Debenhams Meadowhall – not blog related, it was open to the general public – but more of that please.
I love reviewing new [and existing] bars and restaurants, anything that involves scoffing myself silly and drinking! I swear I am happiest when I’m eating. So I hope to continue and do more next year. Especially towards the end of the year there have been a fair few new places to review – Pitcher & Piano, Turtle Bay and The Lost and Found.
One of my very favourite events was held in April and was hosted by Viking Stationary at The Chimney House.
The Chimney House is a stunning building and it was the perfect backdrop for the day. Beautiful setting and something a little different from the norm. I got to explore my crafty side. You can read all about it // HERE
I love promoting this fabulous city and I especially love shouting out about the shows we are lucky enough to be able to go and see right on our door-step. Don’t forget ‘Everybody’s talking about Jamie‘ showcased in Sheffield.
Health wise I’ve recently been advised that I’m going through the bloody dreaded peri-menopause. I feel extremely tired all the time which I guess is part and parcel of the condition. I’ll start off by booking in to see the nurse early next year and take it from there… you can learn a lot from a simple blood test. I will keep you updated on the findings.
I’ll not promising myself that I will lose weight, shape up or start running because I say this every year and every year I fail. Why put yourself through it and make yourself feel rubbish? I have however tried my hand at Pilates and I really loved it. More of that definitely. An exercise I actually enjoy! You can read about it //HERE
I feel a change of hairstyle is on the cards and I want to try and experiment with my make-up looks. Switch it up a bit.
One of the special things about this year has definitely been the people I have met. Its been life-affirming. I’ve met a lot of insta /blogging buddies that I now class as my friends… these are people I would probably never have met had it not been for my social media presence.
They say as one person leaves your life , another walks in and I guess that’s true.
This quote sums my year up perfectly …
“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents, and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same. You have grown and you are growing. You are breathing, you are living, you are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.“
Morgan Harper Nichols
Thank-you for joining me on my journey; I do hope you’ll continue to do so in the new year. Who knows what it will bring?
Here’s hoping I bump into Bradley Cooper [ you thought I got giddy about Mathew Kelly … you’ve not seen anything yet! ] … a girl can dream!
As always and until next time, stay safe & shine bright