It’s fair to say that 2016 has become known as something of an annus horribilis for various reasons, not least of which is the Brexit decision which is going to have a profound impact on our lives for years to come. I don’t want to talk about that though, mostly because it is too depressing to contemplate and given the government’s current stance of keeping everyone in the dark as to how they actually plan to action it, there’s not much that can be said.
Instead I want to focus on how 2016 was for me. I do that every year (in 2015 here, 2014 here) and have never felt guilty or selfish in doing so, or the need to comment on politics or world events, which just highlights how nuts 2016 really was, that I feel a little personal year in review is a bit self-serving now. I’m going to do it anyway though, because contrary to the trend, 2016 was actually a really great year for me, and I really like being able to look back at these posts, especially since I’ve never managed to keep a diary going past January!
Warning: this is going to be a long’un so go grab a cuppa! I’ll wait.
Personal life in 2016
Well, the obvious special event in 2016 was getting married! Pledging our lives to each other surrounded by all our favourite people was honestly the best day of our lives. I keep looking through our wedding pics trying to choose the best ones for a post, or even to make an album from, but each one captures a moment and I just can’t choose! I will though – one chilly winter evening I’m going to commit to digesting them to some favourites and then I promise I’ll finally share them with you all.
Something else I am really excited about is finally having discovered yoga. I have tried it soo many times before, but either I’ve not been in the right place in life, or the teachers weren’t great, or whatever, it has never appealed to me. But now I’ve found Ellie, a fab teacher at Om Is Where the Heart Is in Slaithwaite, and I can’t wait to make it a regular habit when her new studio opens very soon. I’ve always struggled with slowing down, but I do love meditation, and vinyasa yoga makes me feel absolutely brilliant. I feel a post coming on about yoga for non-yoga lovers…if I can fall in love with it, anyone can!
As well as the amazingness of getting married myself, this year was a big one for weddings, most notably my little sister Tasha got married a couple of months before me. I absolutely loved helping her with the preparations for her big day and sharing the experience made it extra special. We also spent long weekends in London, Glasgow and Suffolk for the weddings of some other lovely friends, and each one was a great chance to catch up with people and celebrate love, which is always wonderful. (Can’t tell I’m a newlywed, can you?!)
2016 in Travel
Aside from our long weekends around the country to attend weddings, we went on a fab booze cruise to France with my little sister and her husband, to buy all our wine supplies for our big days. It was only a day trip but we had so much fun, I would love to make it an annual thing, especially now we have an actual wine cellar!
I was really spoilt by my best friends and actually had two hen parties. One was a brilliant weekend in a stunning country house near Stratford Upon Avon with lots of my loveliest ladies, relaxing, eating, gossiping, walking in the country, and of course the obligatory rather wild night on the town with cocktails and dancing! My best friend Roch who lives in Singapore couldn’t make it, so the week of the wedding she took me to Paris on the Eurostar for a couple of days. It was my best trip to Paris yet and the hotel we stayed in was absolutely incredible! I shall post about it soon.
Finally, Ste and I spent a week in the South of France for our honeymoon. We had a wonderful time and far from the lounging by the pool or on the beach doing nothing week I had imagined, we actually managed to visit loads of places and cram in all sorts, not to mention all the wine and cheese and ice cream into our mouths! I promise to relive some of the highlights in upcoming posts, because it was too good not to share.
2016 House Renovations
Although it seems like we were stalled with renovations for much of the year because we were channelling all our spare time and cash into the wedding, we actually achieved a lot!
The upstairs was reconfigured, taking out some walls and adding one in to create a large landing space, and then the entire upstairs was replastered. This was a huge and quite complicated job, and though we have done a mist coat on the plaster, we’ve not finished most of it, or fixed skirting etc, because we knew we would be lugging building materials up and down the stairs and corridors for a while yet, so we will finish the painting and trim once the rest of the upstairs is finalised. But already the improvement in light and space is amazing.
My new home office has been replastered and painted and had a new end wall put in (in the above pic), as well as a new double-glazed window, but since then it has been used as a storage room for power tools, and baths, and all the contents of the other rooms we have been working on! It is still a storeroom now, but one of my goals for this year is to get this done.
We hadn’t planned on doing our bedroom, but when we replastered the corridor it was the perfect chance to get rid of the ugly glass panes between the corridor and the bedroom, meaning we had holes in the bedroom wall, so we decided to bite the bullet and crack on with it. We had it all replastered, replaced the radiator, added a new built in cupboard and added decorative moulding to the wall and the wardrobe doors, and the difference is amazing. All we need to finish it completely is a new carpet, but that isn’t happening until the rest of upstairs is finished! I am so pleased with the transformation every day, and we did it on a tiny budget so I am definitely chalking this one up as a success.
We even managed to give our terrace a bit of a spruce up thanks to a blog collab, and I absolutely love it out there now. It has been further improved by my DIY log store which I’ll blog about soon – a bit late for this year but maybe you can build one in time for next winter!
After the wedding we decided to crack on with the bathroom. We are very nearly done now, so expect some updates soon, but here’s what we started with. There was a bit of an unexpected hitch, so it all took longer than we thought it would (standard with old houses, or any renovation really!), but it is coming together so nicely and I can’t wait to share the end result soon!
So things didn’t exactly go in the planned order, but essentially, we are almost done with upstairs, we just have to finish off a few things, which is good, because we’ve got big plans for downstairs in 2017! More on this soon.
2016 on the Blog
…was pretty useless! I had so much to post about, yet I found actually posting to be pretty difficult. I think with so many things going on (wedding, freelance business, renovations, job) something had to give and sadly it was almost always the blog. I am disappointed about that, because I actually love when I get time to write a good post and share it with you all, so in 2017 I’m going to do better. It might all be posts about what I did in 2016, but hey, something is better than nothing, right?!
I also discovered my tribe of bloggers at blog conferences and meetups last year. Blogtacular was simply the most amazing experience and it was brilliant to finally meet people I’ve been ‘friends’ with on Insta and following on Bloglovin for forever. I didn’t know anyone before I went, and came away feeling I had gained so many new friends. It also hugely renewed my enthusiasm for blogging (not enough for me to actually do any!) and for all things crafty. I had already been experimenting with watercolours for my wedding invites and doing various other wedding DIYs and meeting so many creatives was seriously inspiring. In 2017 I am going to make more!
I wrote a few posts I was proud of last year though, both on here, and for Roost Blog, which is a brilliant family interiors site if you’ve not yet discovered it. It’s great to be part of a group of really fab contributors and I will be posting my monthly upcycling posts regularly this year so do subscribe to Roost News so you can follow them.
So, all in all, 2016 was a pretty fantastic year for me. I remember thinking this time last year that 2016 was going to be a big one for us, the biggest year ever maybe, but as I sit here writing this, I think 2017 might actually top it! Stay tuned for why!
I’d love to hear from those of you who also had a good year and felt a bit ashamed to say so! It’s kind of tough to hear people say it was the worst year ever when one of the most amazing events of your life happened in amongst all the rest of it, but I’ve said it now – 2016 was more like my best year ever – so who’s with me?!