New Year // Highlights from 2018 and hello 2019

December 30, 2018

Hello! Happy, Happy New Year to you. Tomorrow marks the last day of 2018 eeeek and how fast has that gone? Will you be celebrating tomorrow night? I've never been that much of a fan of New Year's Eve and instead of partying, we'll celebrate in London with an early dinner with my parents and then probably finish a Netflix marathon {currently watching the new series called You} I'm not even sure I'll stay up until Midnight! Maybe we’ll do some sparklers instead of staying up to watch the fireworks... But as always at this time of year, I've put together this post with highlights from this past year to look back upon and some thoughts on heading into 2019. What. A Year. 

I'm always slightly torn as to whether to press publish or not, I mean I guess just writing a blog and sharing highlights can come across as a bit braggy I feel? Which it is in no means intended to be. But I love looking back upon these posts, this blog always started as a diary for me to reflect upon so if you do want to read, thank you for indulging me and as ever for reading. Putting this together always feels like a gratitude exercise too, to really appreciate all that has happened and celebrate the seasons. The highs, my favourite photos, looking back month by month, wondering in equal measure both how fast the year has gone but also how we fitted so much in? {And side note, just how beautiful and distant England looks in summer compared to at this time of year!} I kind of feel embarrassed with the sheer amount of travel that we fitted into these past twelve months, but I am so, so grateful for all of these adventures, whether home and enjoying the garden, walks with the dog, time with family & friends, or exploring places around the globe old & new with my favourite guy of all. And then, of course, the true highlight of all, finding out that 2019 will bring a, much loved already, baby for us which will start a whole new chapter. This year has been one to remember forever, we've certainly made the most of it and our last as just us two <3.

The New Year can be a bit of a weird, kind of melancholic time? Another year over, getting back to reality after that heavenly hazy Christmas time and all the festivities and cheer in December. But putting this blog post together really gets rid of those feelings for me and instead I want to celebrate all that has happened and feel excited to see what the next will bring. Especially with all that is to come for us come the summer. I've started to read about birth a little recently and the science of Hypnobirthing with the importance of oxytocin, and already I feel like just looking at this photo diary from the past year will give me so much of that. Happy, happy, memories and the photos that bring so much joy from those times. I really hope that you're able to look back upon your highlights from this past year, and feel ready to look ahead for another year? Let's ignore the talk about resolutions and how we should all be trying to better ourselves. You do you. I'll let the photos do the talking {apologies in advance for the sheer amount, you know me and trying to narrow favourite photos down} instead of me rambling on. But Happy, Happy New Year you guys. Here's to 2019 and all that may lay ahead for us all. Big, big love.

// January 
...started with travel! A belated press trip that had been put off after hurricane damage meant that we jetted off to Beaches in Turks & Caicos {post here} just a few days into the start of the year. It was such a tonic and I only wish that every year could start that way. We then came home for a week or so before flying to Australia on a long-planned trip which again, set the year off on a real high where we travelled around the country, found summer and fell in love with that lifestyle. It was a real treat for me as somebody who hates the bleakness of January at home. I shared thoughts on wellness for the new year with this post on food & health and this on fitness

A fun Valentine's shoot for Not on the High Street which ended up being some of my favourite photos from this year.

// F E B R U A R Y 

brought jet lag back from Australia and getting back into the swing of things at home. Trying to pretend it was Spring already when there was still snow outside!

// M A R C H 

In March, I was really poorly with bronchitis so enjoyed some sea air on a short trip to Cornwall with Joules for Mother's Day. Meanwhile, Ben was working on our latest house renovation, our master bedroom and converting the loft and panelling the walls. We took a trip to Sri Lanka - here and here, which was incredible to go on safari and explore the beautiful country, {and also missed more snow at home! what a winter}. Before coming home for my Birthday and Easter celebrations where we decorated a cake, the house and went for a special afternoon tea at Sketch. We started back in the garden again, talking spring and answering your growing questions.

// April

brought about a belated Birthday night away to Soho Farmhouse, blossom, lots more blogging, a London city guide, and at the end of the month a family trip to Florida which was a real highlight. 

// M A Y 

In May, we arrived home from Florida to the start of that long, hot summer with the first bank holiday weekend. It's always one of my favourite months in England, when everything is so fresh and green. It was the Royal Wedding, my Mum's Birthday where I shared this best ever lemon cake recipe and we took a short but sweet work trip to Sardinia. Our house was shot for an exciting magazine feature which should be out this Spring {2019}. There were the first BBQs of the year, picnics and the start of the alfresco living. I went to the Chelsea Flower Show which is always a highlight. 

// J U N E 

In June, we finished our en-suite attic bathroom and bedroom off, the garden was blooming {before it all wilted in the heat!}, I threw a midsummer garden party with Hobbycraft, we took a day trip to Mersea Island for beach hut envy and took a dreamy trip to Mallorca with the clearest water ever. We had a few days in Cornwall for a work trip. The hot weather showed no signs of disappearing! Best summer ever?!

// J U L Y 

At the start of July we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, with a day out to Soho Farmhouse to sit by the pool {that heatwave!}, dinner in Marlow and the start of world cup fever. We then flew to the Ile De Re, one of our favourite places in the world for a few days of cycling, hollyhock heaven and beaches. I wrote a letter to myself as a reminder in winter of just how dreamy summer can be. The sun kept shining so we took a family day out to Southwold with the pup to escape to the sea. I talked about how much we loved using our greenhouse this summer, the allotment went crazy with beautiful flowers and the BBQs went on!

Summer days and the living is easy. <3. Just SO much love for this guy.

// A U G U S T 

In August, we saw rain for the first time in about 3 months! We spent two nights in Norfolk at the gorgeous Little Norfolk Cottage, struck gold with the hot weather and I shared our favourite spots in that gorgeous part of the world. I shared our allotment growing so far this year and we had a day at the garden school at Belmond's Le Manoir, visited the sunflower fields, took a day at Soho Farmhouse with my favourite girls - this photo post sums up August. It was Ben's Birthday and I treated him with a night away at Babington House.

// S E P T E M B E R 

In September, this blog turned four!, we flew to Italy for probably my very favourite trip of this year. We started in Puglia, and fell in love with crumbly white washed towns like Ostuni, before driving to the dreamy Amalfi Coast and it was just the most perfect trip ever filled with the best gelato and pizza we've ever eaten. You can see more in these posts Puglia here and here, Capri here, Positano and the rest of the Amalfi Coast. Just when we thought we'd stay home for a while... a last minute incredible trip to Jamaica presented itself! for the last fill of sunshine.

// O C T O B E R 

October brought allll of the pumpkins and beautiful autumn leaves, days out to London for halloween spotting with a fav friend and to Daylesford in the Cotswolds. Ben & I had a special overnight trip to Le Manoir, enjoyed a beautiful, autumnal 2 night trip to Amsterdam, that we loved so much that we booked to go back in the Spring before we'd even left! We had a fun photo shoot in London with Clare Graham, was excited to finally be able to talk about and launch my Balance Me Beauty Christmas collection and then at the end of the month... found out that we were pregnant! The happiest weekend.

// N O V E M B E R

I spent most of November feeling very sick, and miserable! But also just so happy to have this incredible secret. My friends and I baked day of the dead biscuits, we enjoyed the last of the autumn colours, and spent a few days in Norfolk at the gorgeous Eden Hall. By the end of the month, it was time to think about Christmas already! A fun gingerbread decorating party.

// D E C E M B E R 

And then, all things Christmas! A few Christmassy days in Boston & New England with my family where the decorations were insane, finally being able to share our secret {and seeing our babe for the first time!!}, lots of festive traditions {photos here} like choosing the tree, making wreaths, decorating the house for Christmas and a couple of nights away in the Cotswolds with Ben as an early Christmas treat. Followed by the best week of the year, our Christmas, to finish off 2018.

Wishing you a very Happy & Healthy 2019.

Thank you, as ever, for reading and especially if you got this far!

R <3 xxx 

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