For those that have been reading this blog for a long time, you may remember previous December's where I have written 'A Year In Glitter World'. A post designed to sum up and celebrate the year we've had.
I went back to previous years to recap what I wrote and I was both surprised and unsurprised to see that I didn't publish one in 2015.
2015 was a most brutal of years, with heartbreak being the main dish served and a lot of angst along with. Whilst professionally it was a dream, home life felt closer to a nightmare and last NYE, in the back of m friend's car in Seattle as we watched the fireworks over the Space Needle, I said quietly to the universe, 'Please, please let 2016 be gentle'.
The universe listened and here we are, at the end of 2016 with a healed heart, a clear head and a great deal of things to celebrate. Thank you 2016, you've been beautiful.
Before I delve into each month, I want to take a moment to specifically thank YOU for being so supportive. Without your readership (and viewership), I wouldn't have the life I do, I wouldn't have a career I love and I wouldn't be writing this post. Thank you so much for coming on this journey and walking beside me, you are so very appreciated.
Here we go, 2016, let's recap!
January began in Seattle, America. My dear friends Marie and Ryan (and their children, Scarlet and Luca) live out there and as I tend to do when life gets tough, I ran to them to sit in their family and be loved. Darcy loved playing with Scarlet for two weeks and I loved being away from my normal surroundings and taking a breather. We talked a lot in that fortnight. We talked about God and His plan, self love, rational thinking and the difference between needs and wants. We also did a lot of great shopping, a sure fire healer. Packing my bags, putting my babe on a plane and jetting off, set me up for a great year. I actually remember popping into my Dad and Stepmum's when I landed and them both saying how refreshed I looked. I think I owe my good year to Marie. If you're reading, thank you.
January was a fun month for work too! I uploaded a Huge Target Haul, my What's In My Bag 2016 and appeared on live TV as a guest on Blue Peter, discussing internet safety for young people. Oh and yes, I did get a badge- woop woop!
Knowing that 2015 had been a bag of utter bin juice, some of my lovely friends took me out for the fanciest meal of my life in London. The whole day was quite a tale actually of lost bags, tears, expensive butter and mega lols. Definitely a night to remember- thanks guuuyyyz.
February was the month I officially started dating the unnamed boyfriend. He did have a name obviously, but I never shared it online. I never even uploaded a picture of us to my personal facebook which probably says a lot. I've thought a lot about that relationship and learnt quite a bit. I've learnt that I love very easily (maybe too easily) and that I overlook a lot when love is involved. I've learnt that when a man calls you high maintenance, it means they're not strong enough for you. I don't want a man to maintain me, I want a man to run along side me and keep up with my ambitions without feeling inferior or intimidated. I've learnt a lot of other things too but perhaps we'll discuss these in a video.
I had a lot of fun with him and when he broke up with me in May, I was really stung but hindsight is 20/20 and at the risk of sounding cliche, I actually think he did me a favour. I remember talking to my friend Dave Erasmus in an Orlando hotel room in April and him saying, 'So, is he the one?' and me saying, 'No, but he'll do for now, probably enjoy the Summer with him and call it quits'.
At the time I was so broken from 2015 that it didn't occur to me that you shouldn't be in a relationship that 'will do for now', you should be in it with your whole heart. As it happened, Unnamed must have thought the same because a few months later he ended things. I don't know what his life is like now but I wish him the best and hope he's found someone to settle with (and who will put up with him haha).
Professionally, February was a real turning point. I flew to New York City to attend a meeting at the United Nations Head Quarters to discuss my new role as Change Ambassador for Gender Equality. It was an incredible experience to be amongst so many strong women and talk properly. As with many big trips, my gorgeous Maddie (my manager) came too and it was good to spend proper time with her too, she's a good one. I made this vlog on the trip for you to watch.
Taking on the role was a huge moment for me. It made me think more about the potential of women and what we should and could be doing to lift them up and impact the world positively. It highlighted the Global Goal initiative which aims to tackle 15 issues in 15 years to make the world a better place. Check it out and feel motivated to make change too <3 .="" p="">
March was most definitely a homey month. I carried on with vlogging and general admin but took on no new projects and spent a lot of time with Darcy, having playdates with my Mummy friends, enjoying the first glimpses of Spring and feeling very mumsy. I think this was my most healing month.
On one of the days Darcy's friend Mollie had a birthday party at an ice cream parlour. I sat with all the parents having a chat whilst Darcy and the children went absolutely gaga on ice cream and activities and I just felt so uplifted. I'd distinctly remember thinking, 'I survived and I'm ok. My Daughter is happy, I'm amongst friends, I can handle things'.
My broken heart of 2015 was beginning to mend and I was feeling a lot better.
April is the birthday month in this house! Both me and Darcy have our birthdays and, Liam does too (but more on him later!). I think April might be my favourite month of the year. Flowers are blooming, days are sunny, I wear pink and peach, I just love it.
This sweet girl never fails to make my heart feel full. She's the greatest thing.
Fun fact, we joined a health club in April! It's a mix between a gym and a spa and we love it. I could definitely use the gym a lot more than I do (maybe 2017 will be the year!) but we've been swimming, enjoyed the kids play zone and had a lot of healthy food there. A LOT (seriously, a lot) of my yummy mummy friends are members so it's a great place for us all to socialise and because you pay monthly, you don't have to take you cards and it kind of feels like it's free haha.
My tiny baby grew another year and turned 5. Where does time go?
We hosted a Princess themed birthday party for her which she absolutely loved, with a customised castle birthday cake which I had a little figurine of her made for it especially. We also had a gorgeous Mummy/Daughter photoshoot (thank you Zoe for taking these shots, you always know how I like them) and I treasure the pictures now.
Behind Zoe and I are all the princess dresses the little girls could play with. Darcy spent most of her time trying on as many as she could- what can I say, the girl loves dress up!
Also in April I hosted a meet and greet to celebrate the launch of my second clothing line with Simply Be. It was held in their flagship store and I met so, so many of you. It was such a joy to meet women who said they felt comfortable in their body and fashionable in their clothes. I am so passionate about body acceptance and style and can't wait to talk more about this next year.
The lovely blonde above is Jayne who won a competition (there were 5 winners in total) for a personal shopping experience and some pieces from the line. She came all the way over from Ireland and was dreamy. Happy New Year Jayne!
Back home it was more Mummy/Darcy time with trips to the farm with the Yummy Mummys (we have this great place near us where you can play with the animals, play in an outdoor adventure area, play in an indoor soft zone- a lot of playing basically) and this video of Darcy doing my makeup. What a talent!
Before I knew it I was flying to Orlando to attend Playlist Live (a convention for people who love, use and enjoy online video) and how weird is this - I bumped into my Dad in Orlando Airport!!! He was just returning from a business trip and I was just arriving and we walked past each other! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!
Whilst there I hung out with dear friends (hello Dave Erasmus- check his channel out, he's living in the woods for one year to see what he learns), gave talks, took photos (there were way too many on my insta to include here), meet happy people and felt really inspired by our amazing community.
We even managed to squeeze a day in at Disney with some of the Gleam Team so it was no surprise that by the time I got home, I was pooped.
I spent my birthday in bed feeling really drained but really happy to have had such a full and beautiful month! April, you rocked!
May was a mammoth month.
It began with a trip to New York City with some of my friends to attend the annual YouTube Creator Summit.
The first time I went to New York in 2013, I hated it. I found it noisy and daunting and like an attack on my senses. I've been fortunate to return a few times now (I think around five or six) and every time I go, I fall more in love with the place. It helps that my manager Maddie is maybe it's biggest fan. It's hard not to like somewhere when you're with it's keenest cheerleader haha.
The summit itself was brilliant. Great speakers, interesting workshops and I came away feeling really excited for the world I work in.
I spent time with great friends and did all my best insta posing!
Meeting some of you guys was an absolute pleasure. You never fail to be amazing.
I also found a new sense of bravery on that trip. On the last day we had no scheduled plans and so I decided to adventure off alone. I didn't go far (just a short google map walk away), but I did it and I was proud. I bought myself a Starbucks, had a mooch round the shops and then went back to my hotel. Not ground breaking but for me, a big step in my quest to be more confident with travel.
I came home to gorgeous sunshine and 26 degree weather so declared it a bikini in the garden day and didn't hear any complaints from my Daughter! I loved it so much I made this sunny day vlog.
The next day, unnamed boyfriend dumped me. It was all a bit weird and I haven't spoken about it before on the blog but here we have it in brief -
He came over, had a shower, was being a bit weird, I asked what was wrong and then he said he didn't think things were working. He said I was hard work, he mentioned that he wanted to travel and I was hard work about that (very true, travel makes me extremely tense and anxious. I totally understand him wanting someone really fun and exciting who travels a lot. I'd only been to Orlando and New York twice since meeting him as well as offering to pay for a trip to Amsterdam and Iceland to see the Northern Lights, if only I were more adventurous eh?), he said he'd felt pressured to meet Darcy (I had asked him several times when he felt ready to meet her and finished every asking with 'I don't want you to do if you don't feel ready because she deserves more than that') and that I was, the classic from every guy ever, 'a really great girl'. Thank God he validated that for me.
I had a good day of crying, showed absolutely zero dignity and called him to see if he was sure and maybe it could work and maybe I could be different, I could change. Please reconsider I urged, please give it another go. The thought of being lonely again, like 2015 again, was over powering. I stupidly had post break up sex with him and then, after a week or so, realised that was is. He was right, we weren't right for each other. I felt like he had called it, I was high maintenance, not worth the trouble of that much hard work.
So, I did what most do, put on my lacey knickers, applied eyeshadow like my life depended on it and partied with my friends. I kept every day busy. I didn't want to feel alone again. I worked on videos, took Darcy on every playdate going, went out to every drinks night possible and surprised myself at how much of an amazing time I had. I came to realise that I had a life, a good one actually and that if needed, I could stand on my own two feel and still feel enriched by my friends and my family and my career. That was a very valuable lesson to learn. Thanks unnamed.
A few days after being dumped, in part, because I wasn't adventurous enough, I was flown out to Cannes on my own in a helicopter to party in the French Rivera at Hotel Du Cap to raise money for research into curing aids at the amFAR Gala, curtesy of Instagram.
Naturally being very high maintenance and unadventurous as a person, it was very hard to fly over the crystal clear waters or dine on the coast at Cannes Film Festival amongst the world's glitterati, but somehow, I managed it. Tehe.
I was gifted this beautiful white and gold lace dress by ChiChi London who have saved me on more than one occasion this year for a red carpet outfit. Love them!
Here I am being high maintenance and unadventurous with Karlie Kloss, the supermodel. Such a shame I had nobody to take as my plus one. Heh heh. I'm done now I promise.
When I get a spare weekend this Summer, I'm going back to Hotel Du Cap, it was such a fairytale location. I think it was the most glamorous place I've ever been in my entire life.
Home again with my little lady and I remember spending a lot of time at my Dad's house, being with family and soaking them up. She's a good kid.
Before the month drew to a close I was lucky enough to speak at the WACL (Women in Communications and Advertising London) conference and meet some amazing women who, like me, use their voice to make a change, build a business and be their best selves.
May was a big learning month.
I am high maintenance. I maintain myself to a very high standard. I value myself highly enough to express my needs and wants. I'm not afraid to speak my mind, to work for my goals, to strive for what I think is right. I will never bow down to a man and do what he wants purely to appease his appetite for ego, I will try not to compromise my personal beliefs and, I will work every day to stick to the ideals I've set for myself. I am high maintenance. And proud.
June, despite the craziness of May, was my biggest travel month of the year! As I went through my instagram to choose which photos to include in this post, I couldn't believe how much I did.
It began with a trip to Rome. I was invited with a handful of amazing creators to go and do two things. Firstly, learn about Scholas, an incredible charity aimed to helping young people communication, tolerate, love and problem solve and secondly, to talk directly to the Pope about how we can use our own communities (that's us!) to spread the message of peace and love.
I was nervous about this trip. A place I'd never been, with people I didn't know, doing things I've never done, trying food I'd never tried.
I threw myself into it and it was amazing. My mind was broadened. I started to think about things I hadn't considered before and meeting the Pope, what an honour. A once in a lifetime opportunity, to which I am so grateful for.
Pope Francis spoke to me about using beauty and love to neutralise aggression. The event was picked up by various media outlets such as The Guardian, The Independent and Newsweek. If you'd like to see the actual event, this, this and this is the vlog for you!
Something really special was that my Dad came on this trip. He is always so supportive of everything I do and I'm glad we got to spend those few days together experiencing something so incredibly unique.
My three days in Rome were fantastic and the city is beautiful, but never as beautiful as returning to this sweet babe.
We had an unexpectedly great day when I had to shelp over to Peterborough to have my passport renewed. I'd opted for the 4 hour fastpass service because I had another trip coming up really soon and couldn't rely on the post, so we were forced to hang out all day in a very dull, rainy town centre. I thought it was going to be a nightmare but to my surprise, it wasn't!
We found a really cute tea room/restaurant and bedded in for the day. We coloured, ate, played games, watched a film and chattered. It was such quality time and I loved it. This kid is quite the adventure buddy.
After a day in London for meetings I hopped along to Victoria's (InTheFrow) British Heart Foundation Pop Up Shop and had a super fun evening with brilliant people and then wizzed home ready for a fun day in the sunshine.
It's always nice when Dave Erasmus comes to play.
We spent a lot of time in June outside. There were funfairs and walks and playgrounds and beer gardens. The snap below is from a day when we went to my friend Esther's village. Her local pub had a band playing in the gardens, Esther bought her children and their new puppy and it was lovely. All the adults sat having a drink and chatting and all the children played on the grass with the puppy and danced to the band until the sun went down. I remember thinking, 'this is what Summer is for, evenings like this'.
With my new found travel confidence, I did something quite unexpected. I flew to Malaga on a whim!
With the way my custody works with Darcy's Dad, we share 50/50, I had a stretch of 4 childfree days so decided to take a couple of them to go away! An old Liverpool friend of mine (not romantic, don't get excited), was travelling out there and said casually, 'you should come out sometime'. I was like, 'How about Thursday?' and within a few hours my hotel and flight was booked and I couldn't believe I was being so bold.
I realise to many this is not a big step but to me, it was huge. I arranged all my own travel, transfers, logistics and managed them alone.
And thankfully, it was worth it. Malaga is a gorgeous city and in fact, I'm going back next year!
The fish in the harbour swam right up to the edge and put on quite a show for us! If you want to watch a little video of my trip, HERE it is. I just watched it back and think it might be one of my favourites from the year. 2017 is definitely going to have to be travel filled!
A week at home to crack on with admin, mumlife, making videos and it was time for another flight to Los Angeles to attend vidcon! Woo!
Vidcon is a huge convention held in Annehiem for content creators or fans of online content. I spoke on panels, met loads and loads of you, had meetings with industry people, skipped out ultility corridors and ate a LOT of room service. I made three videos whilst out there, some of which are a bit adult (we partied hard), so watch if you are yanno, an adult. They are here.
The very best thing about this year was that Marie came!! We shared a room and had such an adventure. This is us 'looking sexy'. I'm not sure if we achieved it or not haha!
Once I got home it was my step-sister Hollie's birthday and family time again- hurrah!
July was a great month. After all that travel, I put my passport away and stayed on British soil the entire time.
I worked from home and London and what with it being the Summer holidays for Darcy, we had a lot of fun. On suitable occasions I took her with me to work (this kid has such an exciting life with days working at the BBC, hanging out at Gleam HQ etc) and other times I just worked from home whilst she played around me. We also found plenty of time to ignore work and enjoy the summer.
One day, I had a huge house sort out. It was a bit unexpected really. I had had a terrible morning (won't highlight why, this blog is a happy place) and felt very low. My friends totally rallied round and saved the day. I'd hired a skip to fill with garden junk and within two hours it was done, my friend Vicky helped me organise my office, Mark and Clare (and baby Hope) came too. Clare looked after Darcy and Mark built this flatpack picnic table for me. I was so uplifted that day by the power of good people doing good things. Now Darcy can dine alfresco!
Little snap before church one morning.
A trip to the vets with Rocket who got stung by a bee and had a swollen paw- stupid cat.
Two good things I invested in this Summer - taking Darcy out for crazy amazing milkshakes and a hammock. No regrets.
How many little girls can say they spent their summer holidays hanging out at the BBC?
Darcy smashing it in the business world.
Oh, I'd also started seeing my current love this summer, Liam. We snuck off for a weekend in Brighton (obviously I popped in on Zoe too) and enjoyed the time together.
Another good month for travel!!
As is our favourite thing to do, Darcy and I hopped on a plane (with way too much luggage for one Mum to handle) and flew to Seattle for a fortnight with Marie and family!
Seattle really is my happy place.
All the fun was had and I loved having that special time with my baby girl who evidently, is growing into such a gorgeous child. HERE is a playlist of all of the videos I made out there documenting our fun.
Once home, it was back to business and I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of the new YouTube London HQ and launch the first of my LouiseLive Theatre tour dates!
I was thrilled with how well the first leg of the tour went. The material was new and aimed at an older audience so I was nervous about that but, hurrah huzzah, it went down a storm and the reviews were fabulous!
Then, much to my Manager's horror haha, on my 3 days off (Darcy was with her Dad), I snuck off to Spain to hang out with Liam who was spending some time in his family's villa there! Another spur of the moment plane trip and I loved it! I mean, look, there was a kitten for goodness sake!
Needless to say, August was a great month and the perfect end to a wonderful Summer. When I cast my mind back to the start, in May, when I was freshly dumped for my high maintenance ways, I thought I would be alone and miserable all the way through.
Turns out, I took six foreign trips, fell in love and met the Pope. Not bad at all!
September was full of buzz. There's no business like show business and I performed my final LouiseLIVE 2016 in London whilst it was filmed by the BBC for it's DVD release. HOW COOL IS THAT?
I took Darcy with me to this show and it was lovely having her backstage with me. I don't have a traditional job and I love that she is able to capture small glimpses of what Mummy does and how it all works. She absolutely loves coming on work days with me and all the Gleam staff spoil her rotten. She watched the majority (she was taken out and looked after backstage for the unsuitable bits) sat on Maddie's lap. I love that.
Here she is with Mummy's congratulatory flowers waiting for my in the greenroom. I die. So cute.
As at home as she is in theatres and grand surrounds, she's equally happy at church. We try to go every Sunday (so I take her every other because of my custody arrangement with her Dad) and it's lovely. My parents go and we know so many people at St Giles that it's like extended family. I love that time we spend each week and really feel like it's enriching for us.
Oh, don't mind me, just snapping away on the red carpet of Bridget Jones' Baby- a great film and my first glitzy thing with Liam. He loved it too. I think I'm going to say yes to more premier's this year because they really are so fun and I love the glamour of it all.
In between filming videos and writing my book, we took time out to enjoy the last of the sunny days and play at the health club. I'm really looking forward to being outdoors more when the weather picks up.
The month was finished off with a visit from Hazel and a trip to Althorp House for a food and wine festival- I'll never say no to one of those!
October began with a trip to the theatre to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was Darcy's first trip to see a proper production with me and she loved it.
One of our friends Carrie Hope Fletcher actually had the lead role so we were lucky enough to go backstage afterwards, have a little tour, explore the magic. Carrie stayed in character the entire time as Truly Scrumptious and so now Darcy think's we know her- let's just hope she doesn't ask to visit her and want a ride in a flying car!
A really special moment of October was hosting a Tea Dance and the London Waldorf to support Stand Up To Cancer.
It was so lovely to meet so many of you and also so lovely to realise just how terrible I am at ballroom dancing!! Haha. I still live in hope that I'll go on Strictly Come Dancing one day so let's hope they done see the footage of my Cha Cha from this day!
Another day, another photoshoot. Heh, sorry, I couldn't resist.
This year YouTube asked me to be part of their 'Made For You' campaign which showcases some of the different kinds of creators you can find on the platform and the kinds of content they make. I made this special video for it. Thanks to this I've been on billboards, buses and probably popping up on a lot of your website browsing. I've met some amazing creators who I wouldn't normally get to work with and loved every second. Anything that Google/YouTube do like this is always so well run and so exciting that you can't not want to be involved!
The same month I was invited by Google (but not because of the Made For You thingymajig) to speak at an event in Brussels to European Political Leaders. It was on stage and then there was a social mixer afterwards and it was SO GOOD. Who new policy makers could party so hard?! There was a lot more to it than that so you can check out this video if you're interested.
Back home and we squeezed in this day to Stratford Upon Avon. It was our first full day trip as a trio (me, Liam and Darcy) because we wanted to ease things gently and I can happily say, it was a success. Even when Liam was paying for the parking and I thought a safe enough distance away for me to let out a little fart. Thankfully, he didn't hear it. What he did hear though was Darcy shouting, 'Mummy pumped!!! Mummy's done a massive pump!! Did you hear that Liam? Mummy pumped!!'. God bless the children.
Next came the DVD launch which you can watch here if you're looking for a very long happy vlog. I think this DVD might be the thing I'm proudest of this year in my work. It was my first big foray into comedy and I think it's a hoot. If you haven't already picked up a copy, do! It's available from supermarkets, HMV, Amazon and to download on iTunes.
After a big week launching the DVD, doing press interviews, hosting the launch party and meeting lots of you at signings, we finished off the month with a spooktacular Halloween Party for Darcy and co and, let me tell you, that pink slime in the background - #regret. Slime gets everywhere! Importantly though, Darcy had a great night and we rolled into November ready for it.
In November Maddie and I decided to empty my calendar a bit so I could fully focus on Wilde (if you click on that link you can get a free newsletter with all sorts of exclusive bits and bobs on) but when I look at the pictures, it still seems like it was crazy!
The Made for You campaign hit London and I was inundated with you guys sending my photos of me on the tube, on the moving escalator adverts, on billboards, in Piccadilly Circus, it was surreal. One time when I was in London with Liam, I made him go up and down the escalator about 6 times so that we could see me in one of the ads.
It was such an honour. I started all of this with this little blog, seven years ago on my sofa. I'd planned for it to be a three month hobby until I went back to work in an office (I'd relocated cities and was taking a little time off). Thank goodness I never took that office job up! It's truly AMAZING what life offers up to you if you're willing to take it. I'm so thankful, really, just so thankful.
Wasn't too thankful when Chris Stark spat water in my eyes during a game of Innuendo Bingo for BBC Radio One though. I went on the show to talk about my DVD and got soaked.
I took my sister Tiyana and by some stroke of luck we bumped into Greenday and I caught it all on this vlog. She's like their biggest fan so was elated.
We wandered down to Covent Garden for a mooch round and while we were there, we got a call saying Greenday liked her so much that they invited her to an exclusive event the next day. I've never seen her shake and smile so much. It was really lovely to see something so good happen to her. More of that in 2017 please!
Alongside Davina McCall at Blogfest2016, a conference for creative Mum's to feel inspired. I'll admit, before I went, I thought it might be a bit naff. I thought I would just sit in the greenroom until it was time for me to present an award I'd judged and then go home but I was beyond wrong.
I've been to 'mummy events' before (years and years ago I mean) and really disliked them. They'd felt fake and pretentious so I'd tarred this with the same brush but I couldn't have been more wrong. It was one of my favourite events that I'd been too this year. I was introduced to so many amazing, charismatic, motivated women and I left feeling utterly inspired. I might do a separate blog or video on some of these women but wow, they're good'uns.
I also have a new found respect for Davina after listening to her incredible talk and then chatting to her afterwards and finding out we have mutual friends- small world!
Back home and it was Sick Week. I have never seen so much vomit come out of such a small creature. I cleared my schedule, set down everything and played Mummy Nurse. It was shitty seeing Darcy feel so rubbish but I actually look back on it with good memories because of how many snuggles, chats and naps we had together.
You may also have noticed that November was the month I stopped showing Darcy's face full on in photos. I decided that for general every day snaps, I wanted to pull her back quite a lot. She's also not featuring heavily, if at all, in most of my videos right now. This may ebb and flow, I don't know, but for now, I think this feels more right for us. This is all such a new industry and I think as a Mother you have to do what feels right and this did. Nothing bad happened so please don't worry, I just felt more comfortable focussing things on my creative projects and my own life rather than hers. Obviously I'm still taking a million pictures a day of her because I think she's the most perfect thing in existence but I'm just holding back a bit on instagram. I hope you understand and feel chill about that.
I spent three days in London having meetings for my 2017 projects and also went along to Joe & Caspar's Hit The Road Premiere which was amazing. If you have a chance to watch it- you must, it's so funny!
But, for the most part, I wrote. I wrote on my sofa, in my bed, in coffee shops, at the salon, in the carpark of Darcy's school whilst I waited and even at the gym! Ok not on the treadmill but in the lounge area whilst Darcy had swimming lessons. November was a month of writing. What better way to spend cold nights and short days?
And then December, the final month of the year and always one of my favourites (it runs on par with April which I also love- it's Birthday Month!).
The tree went up and the glitter eyeshadow went on.
There were a lot of drinks do's and parties this month. I've never been so sociable! I think having made a lot of local friends this past year and being in a new relationship with a man who loves to socialise as much as I do has made me busy! I love it!
Liam has introduced me properly to rugby. We've been to a few Saints matches this year and watched a few on the TV. He's also making a convert of Darcy who will gladly shout at the screen with him, haha!
A great source of joy for me this year has been taking the piss out of Liam's Grandad Slippers. He loves them. They're memory foam and so secretly when he's at work I wear them too but I'm not going to tell him that, mwahaha.
My friend's baby was Christened at a beautiful ceremony in a local church. We went to one of those incredibly hipster pubs (you know, the type with filament bulbs and brushed wood tables on dark metal legs) for pizza and drinks and it turned out it was the place Liam and I had our first date, so that felt really nice.
I worked at Brandcast UK (it wasn't work, it was a pleasure. There was an onstage dance routine with James Corden ffs) and got to hang out with friends all day whilst eating the best food ever from the catering department. It's not a bad life!
December is always a bit bittersweet because the 20th marks the anniversary of my Mum's death and that hurts. It never stops hurting, it never hurts less and time never stops rolling. I don't feel actual heart pain so much, more a huge numb void in my life where she should be. She should be able to feel the weight of Darcy in her arms or hold a phone for me to text pictures of me doing amazing work things too. But she can't. I hope so much that she's watching down and seeing all of this but, even if she is, it doesn't feel like enough sometimes. I miss her a lot.
Instead of spending the day moping, Liam and I drove down to Brighton with Darcy, for a fun day exploring and taking my mind off of things. We popped in on Zoe and Alfie too and all in all just had a really happy time. I think my Mum would have liked that. The vlog I made of that day, here, is one of my favourites of 2016.
Christmas came and went and before I knew it, I had a VERY hyper child on my hands. After a week of treats and festivities and selection boxes and toys and late nights, she was CRAZY. To combat this we got out. We spent two days wrapped up in coats and scarves and being outside. Fortunately Liam loves that kind of thing too so he was more than happy to be introduced to our favourite playgrounds and parks. It felt good to get the blood pumping and feel air in my lungs after so much time eating cheese and crackers on the sofa.
Darcy was with her Dad for NYE so Liam and I went out to our favourite pub/bar with some of our friends and saw the new year in with kissing and champagne.
I look back on the year and feel so lucky. From the 1st of January 2016 when I felt so weak and tired, to the 1st of January 2017 where I feel strong ready to take on the world, this past year has been amazing.
I've travelled to Orlando, New York (twice), Malaga, Cannes, Rome, Alicante, Brussels and Seattle, I've been broken up with but then found new love which grows by the day, I've written, I've filmed, I've laughed and I've enjoyed each day.
2016 has been beautiful.
Thank you so much for all of your love and support along the way. Your constant positivity plays a huge part in my life and I'm so grateful.
I hope to be a little more active on my blog this year, aiming for over 100 posts, so do bookmark this page a check back.
Thanks for reading such a long old thing and I'll see you very soon!