A look back at 2017 – highs & lows

Hello 2018!

I know the blog land is awash with these sort of look-back posts but 2017 has been a big year (is there ever such a thing as a small year?!) so I wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the highs and lows of the 365 days that made up 2017 before kicking off the New Year with some fresh posts to share.

2017 – The Highs

For me when I look back on 2017 there are two major highs that stand out for me. One being the discovery of being pregnant in July. If there’s ever such a thing as a moment that changes your life I guess that would be one for me – looking at that test and realising that yes, holy crap – your life is changing. The feeling of seeing it as a positive is one that’s so hard to describe. Excitement, happiness, shock all bundled up in one bubble of laughter, smiles and tears (and a couple of freaked out swear words from me as the news really sunk in). Sharing that with Ollie was really special.

Following this the next major highs of 2017 was telling our family and friends that I was pregnant. Just such a happy moment and so good to share the news and be able to talk about it all.

Travel was also a massive high for me in 2017 – with a lot of it happening at the first half of the year as whilst I had a couple of chances to travel more in the second half my gut feeling was to focus on staying home and really getting stuck into work. Whilst I always work whenever I travel, as much as I would love to say it’s the same – I never quite manage to work at full capacity when abroad!

So travel wise I was fortunate enough to join a few brand/press trips that were really special. I got to explore Florida not once but twice – the first time being a trip Ollie and I took in the 2017 New Year to Walt Disney World which is one of my absolute favourite places in the world. Unfortunately that trip was a little dampened by Ollie getting a nasty bout of food poisoning (so technically would put that as a low of 2017…)

BUT the best news was that I was invited to go back to Florida to explore Kissimmee and head over to Clearwater and St Petersburg on the Gulf Coast side of the state. It was an incredible trip with a fantastic group of people and I had so much fun. A highlight for me was meeting the incredible Becky from English Mum – Becky is one of those people who you just warm to instantly and it was amazing to spend time with her as she really made the trip for me. I hope it wont be too long until we get to catch up again!

 

Another incredible trip I took in the first half of 2017 was to the Caribbean island of Grenada to experience their annual Chocolate Festival. Yes, you can just imagine the excitement when I was invited to the CARIBBEAN to go to a CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL. No joke, it’s like something out of a dream. The trip was amazing, it’s a relatively small island and one of those ‘everyone knows everyone’ sort of places. It was this side of things that really made it for me – the people – both on the island, involved in the Grenada chocolate festival and the others on the trip. There can be something daunting about going on trips when you don’t know anyone but this was the perfect example of a trip where it just worked so well and I felt like I laughed my way through the whole trip. I would 100% recommend making Grenada top of your Caribbean must-visit list – a really unique and special gem of an island. Or as they call it – The Spice of the Caribbean!

Another travel (and life) high of 2017 was being invited to go to LA for an incredible weekend with Joico. I know, I’m still pinching myself too. It really was an amazing trip from start to finish – I got to meet a great group of bloggers from around Europe where we had a whirlwind of fabulous LA experiences of amazing dinners, pool parties, hair make-overs and photoshoots. I also got to see one of my best friends from University who now lives in LA which was an amazing perk too.

I then got to go back to California for our big Summer holiday that had been about a year in the planning. Ollie and I took a road trip along with Ollie’s bother and his girlfriend so the boys could take part in the Santa Rosa Iron Man race and then follow it with a couple of weeks exploring down to LA. I still need to write up some posts on this trip as I took a load of photos and realise I haven’t shared them yet!

Blog work wise, I’ve worked with some amazing brands and I’m really proud of what I achieved not just in 2017 but since I first started out – especially when I factor in that it really is *just* me. I’m not the biggest and I don’t have an agent, support of management or a team. So when I am approached by some of the incredible brands I’ve had the chance to work with I’m both very grateful and pretty darn proud. I’ve been looking back over the brands and campaigns I’ve worked on over 2017 and it’s been such a boost to look back on the year and really see how many amazing brands collaborated with me and the posts I produced that I’m really proud of. So thank you if you have worked with me this year and I hope we can do something again soon!

 

As well as the blog campaigns and posts I’ve done a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ type of work including loads of social product photography and social media management for brands like L’Oreal and beautyblender. Covering London Fashion Week backstage for various clients is always really exciting (and a little hectic). I’ll never not get a buzz from seeing my images or plans in action on brands social media accounts so this is definitely a high and something I can’t wait to do more of in the year ahead.

All in all, if I could sum up main personal highs of 2017 it would come down to three things – the people, travel and pregnancy!

2017 – The Lows

All in all, I really can’t complain about 2017. It’s been a great year and overall I’ve been so content and happy. But the one low I will touch on is how I’ve struggled with blogging. Both in terms of motivation and being a bit lost in my own direction and knowing what I want. All in all, I knew I never really wanted to throw in the towel and give it all up. But there have been moments where I have come close and just thought ‘what’s the point, you can’t keep up so give up’. But I haven’t given up and don’t plan to. It’s been hard to navigate as when blogging was just a hobby I could just put it down and come back when I felt the spark return. But when it’s a major part of your day to day job, you can’t exactly check out and ignore it. You have to power through.

What I’ve done to overcome this as a low is take a step back a little and try to see the wood for the trees – if that make sense. Not getting so bogged down in competition and comparison. I had a bit of a clear out of the blogs and Instagram accounts I’m following and just focus on doing what I do. Am I ever going to be the top of the game that everyone watches in blogging? No!  But did I ever want to be? No, no really. My blog has changed and grown over the years with me and no, it’s not just limited to being a beauty blog anymore. But I think that’s ok? Well, at least I hope so!

Early 2018 will mark nine years since I started my blog and I’m actually feeling pretty good about it. My blog has a new look, I’m feeling positive and excited for what I have in mind for the year ahead. With baby due in March and a whole lot less travel on the cards this year I know it’s going to look very different to the last two – but I’m sure it will be amazing in it’s own way, with a few challenges too no doubt! But I’m excited for the year ahead.

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2 Comments

  1. January 2, 2018 / 8:53 am

    As a regular follower of your blog I have loved seeing all your pictures and reading your posts throughout 2017. I love reading about new products, the fab places you have been and life in general but I think my no.1 fave post of the year was the pregnancy announcement!! Happy New Year Jen and here’s to 2018 and all she brings.

    • Jen
      January 2, 2018 / 1:09 pm

      Aw thank you! Definitely a highlight for me too! So excited for what 2018 will bring! Thank you for all your support!

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