16 Great Things In 2016

3.1.17

1 | The biggie for 2016 was my change of career.  Whilst I miss the kids and the personal aspect of working in a school, there's no doubt that moving to an office environment has done wonders for me both mentally and physically.  I've had numerous comments on how much more relaxed I am now (and how less "haggard" I look!) and I can only put it down to the better work/life balance I've achieved.  The New Year is bringing some exciting changes with my job role and I'm looking forward to developing and feeling like I'm moving along, so to speak.

2 | Partying in a cave watching the sunset was undoubtedly a memory I'll never forget.  Check out the blog post here.

3 | I read lots!  I set myself the goal of reading 52 books in 2016 and managed to surpass that and hit 79.  The books I've read have been varied, from a range of genres and I've made some surprising discoveries when it comes to finding books on topics that I didn't think I'd actually like.  I can't wait to see how many books I can cram in for 2017.

4 | My capsule wardrobe.  This started out as an experiment but it's really changed the way I see my clothes and style.  It's very much a work in progress and there have been hiccups along the way but I'm pleased with the steps I've taken so far and feel so much more at ease with my wardrobe.  Next steps - hone in on my style goals and cull my shoe collection.

5 | Speaking of culling...towards the end of 2016 I gained more of an awareness of my surroundings and moved towards making our home more of a stress-free environment which is clear from clutter.  We've accumulated a lot of *stuff* and it'll be a while before things are feeling truly calm, but I know the direction I'm going and things are definitely on the right track.

6 | I smashed my weight loss goals.  Which at first glance seems shallow (who am I kidding, it is) but that also goes hand in hand with my heightened fitness levels, an appreciation for my body and....I hate to say it.... a general feeling of being more confident in my own skin. 

7 | After a long hiatus I got back into baking and, not only that, experimented with some recipes I wouldn't otherwise have chosen. If you'd like to see a selection of what I ate made, click here.

8 | Although not as many as I'd like, I did manage to go on a fair few day trips.  In terms of new places, I visited the spas in Bath, explored Chichester in the early morning sunshine, went for an impromptu wander around Kew and looked in awe at Canterbury cathedral.  On top of that I managed to revisit beautiful Oxford, take a couple of daytrips to Brighton and hit Waterstones in Picadilly (Europe's biggest bookshop didn't you know?).

9 | Watching Ella and Dylan, my niece and nephew, grow and become little people has been a favourite and I look forward to spending my Saturdays with them and Mum.  Ella is the sweetest, most intelligent little girl and Dylan has an irresistibly cheeky personality.  With only 16 months between them they can be a handful at times but I wouldn't have it any other way.

10 | I've found some great online content creators throughout the course of 2016.  There's too many to list here, but despite the radio silence on my blog at times I've still been very much immersed in the blogosphere.

11 |  Linked to #6, I really feel like I've gotten to know myself as a person over the past 12 months.  There have been times in the last few years when I've struggled with mental health (something I naively thought would never affect me) and I think perhaps it's a combination of my change in lifestyle alongside getting older, but I feel much more content.  I know my weaknesses but I also know what I won't stand for in my life.  After really struggling to feel in control for what was actually quite a sustained period of time, I'm glad to be starting 2017 with a sense of inner calm and ownership of myself and my emotional state.

12 | Similarly, that inner sense of calm is something I'm glad to have discovered in 2016 in more than just a sense of knowing who I am.  It's hard to put the distinction down into words...I'm glad to have found more about myself personally and then I'm also counting having this new outlook as a great thing from 2016It's definitely an ongoing development but after feeling like I'd been searching fora long time for something to ground me and bring me a sense of focus and calm, I'm happy to have found that and know where I'm going and what I'd like to look into.  I'm sure it'll filter into my blog over time so look out for more on this in the future!

13 | I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty great people in 2016.  I come from a fairly close family and have a small group of friends who I wouldn't be without.  Lizzie came back from  her travels for the latter part of the year, too!  I'm also appreciative for my supportive colleagues, both past for sending me off with a bang and wishing me luck in my new job or present for showing me patience and helping me learn the ropes.

14 | Early on in 2016 I discovered bullet journalling and I love it!  It's a hobby besides blogging that allows me to exercise a degree of creativity, albeit in a more hands-on way.  Admittedly I did struggle to dedicate time to updating it at points throughout the year, but I've been researching new spreads and *think* I've come up with an aesthetic which will work for me and motivate me moving forward.

15 | Leanne and I hosted a beauty masterclass in collaboration with House of Fraser back in April.  It was scary and out of my comfort zone but ultimately an amazing experience.  We did some public speaking and had a make over whilst chatting make up to the people attending.  Plus spent some time checking out the beauty counters afterwards!  I never thought blogging would bring about opportunities such as that and it's something I'm really proud of.

16 | Overall 2016 was a year of good health and well-being for me and my loved ones and, material things aside, that's truly all I could wish for.  Here's to another 12 months of happiness!

What were some of your favourite things about 2016?

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