Lifestyle|| A brief look back at 2018…

2018 has been a fab year. One of change, one of challenge. One to have made me stronger, happier and more sure of what I want than ever before. There have been tough times – life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But let’s recap some of the best bits – not in a month by month fashion, just a bit of a showreel. It’s always good to take a look at the positives and make you appreciate just how much you’ve done/how fantastic your year really has been.

My sister’s wedding started the year.

It was a truly magical day. Yes I cried. A lot. She was like a princess! Couldn’t have imagined her day being any more special.

My sister got married My sister got married

On the note of family…

I had a couple of visits from my little bro (who’s amazing if you didn’t know), a visit from my parents (they’d not been to visit for the day since I moved down 5 years ago!), and plenty of trips home to see everyone else too, including my sister and nieces. Which brings me onto 2018 seeing the arrival of by third adorable niece!

2018 review - new niece

This year hasn’t just been one for family though.

2018 has seen me make some amazing friends! Certain events have shown me just how strong these friendships are, and how supportive they can really be. We’ve had some great times from girls sleepovers to gospeloke, 30th birthdays and evenings catching up in the latest bars.

There’s been plenty of girls trips too.

I’ve been to Liverpool and Leicester to see friends for the weekend, and had girls trips to Paris (with the work gals), Edinburgh (with my little group of amazing ladies), and a whole 5 days in New York too with the incredible Katy Mitten!

Day trip to ParisEdinburgh festive weekend breakNew York, Top of the Rock

On the note of trips…

I also did my first solo trip, with a night up in Manchester and had a couple of days exploring Brighton (and getting competitive on the pier). I even had 5 days in the Forest of Dean, walking and chilling in the hot tub with all the family, and explored the Cotswolds for a day with mum and dad in a little rental (my dream car – a bright green picanto!). This year sure has been one for seeing more places and this is not going to stop. I already have St Lucia booked for January and I’m planning a couple of road trips in Europe too – there’s been mentions of Germany, but hit me with all your recommendations!

Manchester City Break, 24 hours in ManchesterBrighton weekend breakForest Holidays, Forest of Dean

There’s been theatre.

Dream Girls and The Little Shop of Horrors . Both of which were amazing in their own way, and made me want to start dancing again. As productions usually do. I even had my first proper F1 qualifying experience back in July, when I took my dad for his last year’s Christmas/birthday pressie. It was incredible and something I hope we’ll do again.

F1 qualifying silverstone

I started kickboxing..

Never looking back. I joined Flykick in April and have completely become addicted. It’s now a big part of my weekly routine and a class I always look forward to! It’s amazing! I come out feeling like I’ve worked my utmost hardest, yet so proud of myself for smashing another class.

I think it goes without saying that I’ve had my fill of brunches, dinners and cocktails too.

Alongside my own foodie outings, and the reviews/events I’m lucky enough to be invited to, I started writing for East London Girl which is run by Nicola. She quickly became a good friend and I feel privileged to be part of the team!

My fave food & drink memories from this year include learning how to make pasta with M&S (and their Christmas feast!), my evening drinking zombies, singing and dancing the night away at Studio 88 with Nicola (East London Girl), cocktails at Threadneedle bar, dinner at Megan’s, spending an evening at the Aperol Spritz Social and ooohhh Roti King (which I finally managed to try!).

M&S Pasta Making + Italian MonthAperol Big Spritz Social

There’s been plenty of action in the kitchen too…

…as I’ve continued my love of trying new things and developing new recipes. Some of my top picks from this year are my Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle (which has consistently gone down a treat!), the Goats Cheese and Blackcurrant Hot Cross Toasties and the White Stilton and Apricot Pearl Barley Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash.

White Stilton & Apricot Risotto with Butternut Squash RecipeVegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake

But nothing tops my recipe collaboration with Voucher Codes for my leftover roast mac and cheese. It was my first proper recipe video and I love it! It’s also my fave recipe for cooking when entertaining! Or trying to impress.

Voucher Codes Mac and Cheese Recipe

Honestly, 2018 has been one fantastic year.

At the beginning, I was a little dubious (having many of my own challenges) but I’ve sure come out feeling on top of it and ready for another filled with all my fave things and people! There won’t be any new years resolutions, just one reminder, to keep living the life I want, and loving always.

Have you taken a look back at the last year to reflect? Hope yours has at least as many shiny moments, even if there are tough ones in there too – it’s normal! We don’t often showcase them, because you know, glorifying everything on social, but it’s important to acknowledge them, and think about how the other things outweigh the bad.

Here’s to a fab 2019!

Chloe xx

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