1. Dream It, Do it!
I started off the year feeling sick with nerves at the thought of speaking in front of a room full of people. But thanks to Fiona Dillon of Freddy Buttons and Nicola Carolan of The Naked Blondie who asked me to take part, I had a full day of cramps as my bit was at the very end, but it was such a brilliant day! I also got to meet the absolutely gorgeous and hard working bridie that is Kelly from Kelly Lou Cakes. Any time I do speaking things like this, I get a severe case of Impostor Syndrome and this continued throughout the year... I need to get a hold of my nerves and my bowels when it comes to things like this!
2. I went on a trip to Barcelona!
Back in 2015, I was jammy enough to have my name picked out of a hat to win a trip for 4 to Barcelona with Estrella! The family and I head to Spain every year but we'd never been to Barcelona, so off we went, minus Joanne and Will and saw the sights, drank the beer and ate the tapas. We went to the Estrella brewery directly from the airport so by 11am, we were pretty tipsy... That's the sign of a pretty deadly trip and I really want to go back to Barcelona (with Joanne and Will!) and explore more. And they have Sephora there. 'Nuff said.
3. We went on a family trip to Spain!
Continuing on with Spain, we had a very successful family trip there in May and I say successful because there were no major injuries and nobody knocked any walls down... Say nothing!. We're very lucky in that we all get on really well and brought you along for the ride on Snapchat while we made gobshites of ourselves during our BBQs. I was quite restrained in Sephora, Zara Home and I can't wait to go back this year.
4. I went to the Freddy Buttons Afternoon Tea!
|Thank you Catherine (daintydressdiaries.com) for letting me use this gorge photo!|
5. The Body Shop UK trip
Going to the English countryside with one of my favourite brands was an absolute highlight of the year. With bloggers and journalists from across the globe, we had a pyjama party where we learned about their new range of face masks. We stayed in Stanbrook Abbey, I'm pretty sure it's haunted and I scared the bejaysis out of myself a few times. We went to an organic rose farm, learned all about the roses grown and picked for the British Rose range and had a picnic in the countryside. I'd my good pal Joanne Larby with me for this trip and there were lots of laughs and snorts from us both!
6. The Jones Wedding!
The best thing about Snapchat has undoubtedly been the friends I've made through it and in March, Aisling, Laura, James, Vanessa and I went to Ellen and Conrad's wedding in The Shelbourne. The day was magical and totes emosh, with little Cooper Jones walking Ellen up the aisle and that's when the sniffles and happy tears began. It was the first time I'd ever been in the Shelbourne and didn't feel out of place thanks to my swooshy Asos dress! Ellen looked RIDEY, Conrad was super handsome and as for Cooper? He was the star of the show!
7. Afternoon tea in the Shelbourne!
Earlier in the year, Joanne and Will went for afternoon tea with the mammies and afterwards, someone snapped Joanne saying she always goes with her Mam at Christmas. Cut to us booking the fanciest schmanciest afternoon tea as a treat to ourselves and I think it's the beginning of a new tradition each Christmas. Now we're just trying to decide whether to go back to the Shelbourne every year, or try somewhere new...
8. Meeting Liz Actual Earle
We won't mention how I tripped on the way down the two steps into the room ok? But meeting Liz Earle was surreal and she was such a sweetheart. Her skin is amazing, she was fascinated by my Lumee light and I didn't make a show of myself in front of her. Result! Whilst trying to be all profesh and schmoozy, all that kept running through my mind was "You are Liz Actual Earle and I use and love your products... Like you're standing right in front of me and it's not just your name on a bottle of something..."
9. My birthday!
I turned 40 in December... And bonus points for the first gobshite who gives out about me saying "You think at her age she'd know better!" Well lads, I will never know better, I don't feel 40 and I certainly don't have my shit together, not even a bit. But what I do have are friends and family who went above and beyond helping me celebrate getting to this ripe old age in once piece! Kelly (Kellylou.com) surprised me with an amazing unicorn birthday cake, I had the best dinner out with the family followed by a mini surprise party in the local pub where the bridies and some of my closest pals came for drinks and chats! Again, there was very little documentation of the evening itself as we were having too much craic but I felt so lucky to have chums who took time out of their busy December evenings to come celebrate my ancient-ness with me!
10. Going to see Strictly in Manchester!
We started off 2016 with a girl's trip to Manchester to see the Strictly Tour which was the best night out! We absolutely love the show and every autumn when it starts, we have Strictly Saturdays. We're heading to London next month to see the tour again and can't wait!
11. Speaking at Blogger Conf
Back in May, I got to take part in BloggerConf, a feckin' deadly conference for aspiring bloggers run by Emma O'Farrell. I was included in the Snapchat panel which was at the end of the day, so once again, I got to have day long pains in my stomach from nerves, but more than that, I asked Emma if I could go for the whole day and sit in on the talks. I learned so much that day and being in the blogging business for as long as I have, I'm always open to being inspired by new voices.
12. Going on a trip to Powerscourt with CND
Yes, it took me a good 10 minutes to figure out how to turn off the lights using the little iPad-esque panel and the room was bigger than the downstairs of my house, but having the craic with the ladies from CND was gas. That was one of those pinch me moments of last year. I had the most decadent manicure the following morning (I picked coral of course) and I was ruined for the rest of the year every Monday morning, having to wake up in my own bed and not Powerscourt...
13. Getting loads of work done on the house
Back in November, Mam moved in with me but before that could happen, we had to get a lot of work done on the house. All of this started in September and meant that my weekends were spent doing massive clear outs of the whole house and I Marie Kondo'd the living shite out of everything I owned. It's part of the reason why the blog took a back seat because I had to empty the house, pack away all of my things while keeping enough stuff with me so I could move in with Mam for 6 weeks when the work was getting done in the house. I'm so happy to be back home and have my weekends back again! We have lots of plans in the works for phase 2 of Operation Do Up The House and I have a total goo on me to redecorate the office again!
14. Speaking at the Blog Squad in Cork
Back in March, I drove down to Cork and back in a day with Vanessa, James and Rosie to take part in the Blog Squad which was so much fun. The ultimate chats and laughs were had in the car and the 6 hours driving flew by. I remember having one of those out of body experiences when chatting with James on stage, and I thought how deadly is it that I get to do gas things like this!
15. I did a photoshoot with Smashbox!
I die of the cringe every time I think of Davis Factor beckoning me over towards him, me thinking he was opening his arms for a hug, I latched on, he didn't, then he realised what was happening, gave me a sympathy pat or two and moved me into position for the photos. I literally died and came back from the dead that day but sure it wouldn't be me if I made a dirty looking eejit out of myself!
16. Meeting loads of new internet friends!
Once again, thanks to Snapchat, I made lots of new friends and I hope 2017 continues that trend. I still have lots of Snapchat pals that I haven't met yet (I'm looking at you Lorna!!) so this year I'll be continuing meeting strangers that I feel like I do know, but don't actually!
I can't remember when exactly, but sometime last year, I followed Catherine from Dainty Dress Diaries on Snapchat and the rest is history! She's feckin gas, keeps it real and hustles like a mofo. We chat every day and it's great having someone who has the same goals and dreams and we keep each other inspired, help calm down the nervous poos and we're going to meet up lots more this year. Another special mention has to go again to Kelly from Kelly Lou Cakes who came all the way from Portlaoise with her Mam to surprise me with that amazing cake. I was so touched and can't wait to go see her in action in her cafe this year! I think a little afternoon tea with the bold gang might be in order!
I'm looking forward to lots more cool things this year and I'll do my best to document them or at least take feckin photos! Happy new year bridies!