January saw my passion for blogging blossom. I couldn’t get enough of setting myself challenges, creating recipes in the kitchen and continuously rebranding my site. I was commissioned to photograph the Bagelman Twitter campaign which sparked my desire to get behind the camera more often.
When I wasn’t blogging or working, I found myself tutoring English on a freelance basis. Finally putting my TEFL to good use, I felt like I was achieving something. I embarked on training for facilitating Photography workshops and successfully delivered three consecutively for young people. It was challenging, exciting and incredibly rewarding. From that, an article I had written was published by Photoworks, a massive achievement!
Although things were booming outside of ‘9-5’ hours (or should I say 3.30-10.30), work was dragging and not getting me any closer to where I wanted to be career wise. That’s when my best friend and I booked a last minute break to Berlin and had a blast. Not only did we consume an inhumane amount of the best Vegan food in Europe, we explored Berlin in all of its wonder, by day and by night. It may not have beaten Prague in the sightseeing department but it sure beat it’s cuisine!
March was the month of visiting the new family home in Devon. Although a far cry from the town life we had always known, the farm and it’s surroundings couldn’t have felt more inviting. As for blogging, I went Raw till 4, interviewed the wonderful Leila and continued to create recipes that I repeatedly go back for. And another great achievement was having my recipe published on the Food Matters TV website, I was rather ecstatic!
Being the birthday month, another trip was on the cards. Italy was calling and to Rome we fled. Easily one of my favourite cities, I couldn’t have asked for a more magical week.
Upon the return home, after sad news being broken before about Chris’ dog Alfie being put down, the blow was cushioned by the news of a new arrival; Buddy. This little bundle of nippy and scratchy fluff has been a great addition to the clan and has definitely made things a little more exciting.
May was a month of volunteering at a local gallery, invigilating an exhibition and mingling with like-minded individuals. My best friends and I took part in the 5km Colour Obstacle Run in London which was great fun and for which I had began training for weeks beforehand. I applied for a dream role and secured an interview where I was up against many talented creatives. The challenge pushed me further into believing I could do anything I set my heart on.
June saw another trip to Devon to visit family and friends and to celebrate my dad’s birthday. We took a trip to the beautiful Bude, ate ice cream by the sea and enjoyed the fresh air.
The end of June saw a big day for the whole of Europe. Hitting the polling station to vote was a nerve racking experience and a devastating result to wake up to at 6am the following morning. However, post-brexit, not much has changed and the younger generation are finally picking themselves back up and moving onwards and upwards.
July was the closing of a chapter and the beginning of another. Having landed myself the job role I had been dying to get, it was time to quit the job that had consumed the past 9 months of my life. I was happy to wave goodbye to the work itself, but not so much the lovely people that came with it. Not only did I quit my job to move onto something more career based, it was also time to begin planning the big move! From Brighton back to my hometown of Essex, the flat hunting began. My sister graduated from Cardiff University, the weather turned beautiful and Chris celebrated his 29th in style with a trip to the SkyGarden and German Bratwurst all around!
Before the new job began, we escaped East Anglia and headed for the West Midlands to Stratford-Upon Avon to visit Chris’ family, see the incredible Butterfly Farm and enjoy many glasses of Pimm’s in the fresh air.
August saw a huge change on the job front. From organic farms and adventure playgrounds to Arts organisations and day centres for the elderly, no one day was the same. I was lucky enough to work with great organisations, charities and of course people who want to make a difference. As August came to a close, I applied for a more permanent job at the charity and after gruelling assessments and interviews I made it. To top it all off we found our two bed flat, began purchasing furniture and collected the keys!
September marked the beginning of a new chapter entirely. A new job, a new city and a new home. I fell in love with my new job, working with young people motivating and inspiring them to change lives, learning the ropes and settling in to an office space that is so full of positivity and light. I couldn’t ask for a better working environment where you are continually challenged yet praised for your hard work.
Our long awaited venture to Europe soon came by with a trip to Riga, the capital of Latvia, a beautiful city with a lot to offer. With a great find on Air BnB, the 5 day trip was what we needed to stop, breathe and rest a little too.
October saw a busy time at work come and go, with not much time to stop. I squeezed in a trip to Devon to walk down memory lane at our beloved Black Rock and reminisce on a wonderful childhood spent outdoors. Chris and I also went to Vegfest London which was a great day to celebrate Veganism and try an array of vegan treats. The Temple Of Seitan was a highlight by far!
Aside from Trump being elected America’s president and the whole world in despair, November was another crazy month with an extravagant work party, another trip to Devon and Kandi visiting from Toronto! The short two day stay was split between a day out in London visiting Camden and Oxford street as well as a trip to the seaside at Southend.
December has been all about family. At the beginning of the month, my sister visited from Oxford to embark on a road trip to see the grandparents. Between wrapping gifts and putting up the Christmas tree, Chris and I went to London to see Kurupt FM perform an incredible show at the Brixton Academy. A hotel stay was topped off with a fry up to cure the hangover and a trip to Reading to visit Chris’ family.
Following that show stopper of a weekend, Christmas was fast approaching and the trip to Devon began. Four blissful days of relaxing by the fire, fresh air and unlimited roast potatoes. A break from the fast paced London life was needed even if the dreaded cold and flu made a reappearance. A snotty nose was not going to stop me from heading back to Essex for Christmas part two with my squeeze.
With New Year’s on the horizon and 2017 fast approaching, looking back on this year has brought nothing but positivity. Aside from Britain voting leave, Trump being elected as President and celebrities dying left right and centre, this year hasn’t all been that doom and gloom. From moving back to Essex and finding a new job to moving in with my soul mate and becoming a real grown up, this year has been rather eventful. Although there have been a few bumps along the way, reflecting has put into perspective how lucky I am to be where I am today and how grateful I am for everything that I already have.
Bring on 2017 and turning that blank canvas into a masterpiece.