I hope you all had a lovely, lovely Christmas. Did Santa bring you anything good? :)
I was super lucky and (among other things) got pretty much everything on my list: Gary and my sister got me a ton of Yankee Christmas candles between them, my brother bought me the WRECK THIS JOURNAL book and my parents got me a diviiiine 4-wheel suitcase.
It’s teal and lime green and you wouldn’t believe how much of a difference it made to my journey back to London on Saturday!
Sorry I’m a bit pants and haven’t got any photos of Christmas Day for you. If y’all want to head over to my Instagram you can see a couple of my snaps from the big day.
But really I was just having too much fun (and was too busy necking all the wine and chocolate) to be of much use with a camera…
In a nutshell: we woke up late, ate brunch really late, went for a sunny walk on the beach, opened presents late in the afternoon, had an epic Christmas dinner and finished the day off with wine, turron, a Skype with Gary and watching The Grand Budapest Hotel (FYI, it is the strangest movie I’ve seen in a long while).
So now Christmas is all over (sob), it’s time to start looking towards the future!
New Year’s Eve isn’t until Wednesday but I’ve already started the process of looking through my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds. I’ve been slowly remembering the good times, processing the bad moments (of which I’m happy to say there haven’t been many this year!) and filing away the information I need to make 2015 my best year yet.
Here’s my list of 10 Good Things that have happened in 2014! :)
1. I started blogging!
This is fo’ sho’ my Number 1 best decision of the year. I started Little Miss Katy right at the very end of April 2014 as somewhere to get my writing muscles going and to keep me occupied during my long boring hours at work.
I’d written blogs in the past, but this is the only one (so far!) that’s stuck. I’ve come such a long long way since that first pink and grey layout on Blogger and I’m really incredibly happy and proud of myself for pushing through with it.
I feel like I’ve finally got my sense of direction back.
After a year of floating around after abandoning my acting dream, I now have ambition, a purpose and a new path to follow.
Now I just can’t wait to see where it leads me! :)
PS. Check out the evolution of my Banner!
2. I made amazing new friends
My blog has given me some super amazing opportunities.
But more important that any of that is the amazing community I’ve become a part of and the brilliant friends I feel I’ve made.
I’m not gonna sit and list you all (mainly because I’m certain I’ll miss someone out by accident!) but you know who you are ♥
Basically: anyone who says friendships from the internet can never be as good as real-life connections has clearly NO idea of what they’re talking about…
3. I ran my first 5K
Way back at the beginning of the year (before I got into blogging and lost all my spare time to taking photos and social media…), I started running.
I’ve never been very athletic, sports have never been my forte and I really reaaaally hated running. But Gary got me into it, my best friend kept me at it, I bought a snazzy new pair of trainers and in March I ran my first (and only) 5K race.
I finished it in 33 minutes and was pretty darn proud of myself!
One of my new goals for 2015 (full post about that coming this week!) is to start running again, at least once or twice a week.
4. Gary and I went on our first holiday together
5. I fiiiiiiinally stopped biting my nails
It’s taken me over two decades to stop, but I’ve finally done it!
As far back as I can remember, I’ve bitten my nails (I think it started when I stopped sucking my thumb!).
I’ve got a post coming in the New Year about exactly how I managed to kick the habit, but I’m so excited about not having to put this on my list of New Year Resolutions.
For the first time in forever.
*cue Frozen soundtrack*
6. I found a skincare/beauty/hair routine that works for me
OK so first of all, my skin is clearer than it’s EVER been before. It’s mostly thanks to this cleansing product in particular.
Now, because of the strict grooming regulations of my job, I’ve been forced to wear full makeup five days a week for the past year. And because I can’t get creative with my hair or clothes (we wear a uniform), makeup has become a massive source of creative expression for me.
I finally learnt how to Do My Eyebrows (note the capitals) which has made a massive difference to my face.
In 2014, I managed to properly grow my hair out from a too-long pixie cut to my current shoulder-length long bob. So three MASSIVE cheers for that. It’s also healthier and shinier than it’s been for a long time and overall I’m just very happy with it!
Basically: I feel like I’m slowly learning how to look after myself, how to embrace my looks, enhance my assets and generally feel good about myself – WITH MAKEUP AND WITHOUT.
7. I finally went Up North
In fact I went three times!
Once to visit Gary’s home (and eat the BIGGEST Chicken Parmo you’ve ever seen in your life), once to visit my delightful friend Shvonne in York (and to feed lions and giraffes at the zoo!), and once for a gorgeous country wedding.
It’s such a beautiful part of the country and I really really recommend heading up there for a break if you can :)
8. I started trying to move past my fears
I wrote a post a few weeks back about a workshop I attended, where Marlene spoke to us about the Sisterhood of the Travelling Jacket project, and urged us to think about what we would do if we were FEARLESS.
This is still very much a work in progress for me.
But having made that first step of accepting my fear, I’m now ready to start moving past it and breaking through my own barriers.
9. I partied like it was 1999 with my best friends
Very rarely do we manage to get the whole of my uni gang together again under one roof. Even on this day we were still missing a couple of girls… But in April we met up and this is the closest we’ve come to having everyone together since graduation.
And it. was. FABULOUS.
Sailor costumes were worn and stick-on tattoos were applied. We were super late, didn’t eat breakfast and were hammered by lunchtime. We cracked out our signature moves, laughed like crazy, saluted the policemen, posed for selfies with the policemen, indulged in a spot of lunging on the dance floor, and ended the night back at our hotel with Domino’s pizza.
10. I started to appreciate the little things
My Happy Mondays have quickly become one of my favourite posts to write.
Taking the time to slow down and appreciate the small things that make each week great has really made a massive difference to my mood.
I feel lighter and I don’t get as wound up about insignificant things (except the London Underground, cos we’re just never going to get along…).
I find that, as the weeks go on, I’m much more aware of the things that make me smile. And I’ve realised that what really makes me happy is actually the simple things.
It’s watching the sun rise. A fresh cup of tea in my favourite mug. Getting 8h sleep at night. Catching up with my best friends and laughing until my tummy hurts. Writing a blog post.
It’s cooking a delicious meal at home, really taking the time to make it look pretty and then sitting down to enjoy it without the distraction of phones or TV. Fresh bed sheets and clean towels. A good book and a rainy sky. A hug from my sister, a kiss from Gary and a cuddle from my Mum.
It’s taking photos and capturing a moment. The first cup of coffee in the morning. Toast and peanut butter. Brisk walks in the frosty air. Fairy lights. Singing at the top of my voice in the shower.
Writing down my list of 10 Good Things every week has made me realise that these are the things that feature on it every week. These are the things that make me really reaaaaally happy.
So these are the things I’m going to try to focus on in 2015.
And I’m grateful to 2014 for teaching me that.
I think that, if I were going to be well and truly cheesy (and spoiler: I totally am), I would say that 2014 has been one of my best years yet.
2013 was all about new things. New job, new home, new boyfriend. It was awesome, it really was.
But 2014 has been about taking all those things one step further, about settling in, finding my feet and starting to build something really great from all those brilliant foundations.
My plan for 2015 is to keep building, keep exploring, keep experimenting and keep learning.
And I can’t wait to see where it takes me!
OK, cheese feast is over now.
What’s been YOUR favourite thing about 2014? :)