It’s here! The end of the year!
For me, personally, it’s been a year of Big Changes.
This time last year, I was a massive stress-head. I’d recently started a new job, I was working insane hours, and I’d already told my mum that it just wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle.
I left my job in social media in the Spring, and returned to working as a receptionist. My lovely manager took me back with open arms, and found me the perfect building, which now gives me the time, space and full-time salary I need to work on my real passion: this blog.
Around the same time I decided to change jobs, my family suffered several personal losses in the space of just a couple of days. Three of my best friends were also going through hell at that time, and despite the relief and happiness of finding my career groove again, it was a really hard time for everyone.
Summer, in contrast, was blissfully quiet and peaceful for me. Parties, events, amazing opportunities, time with Gary, and a LOT of prosecco drank in the company of my amazing Bangarang Squad.
One day I’ll get round to writing a whole post about these incredibly strong, smart and sassy women, but for now, let me just say that I’m not sure I could have got through this year without them.
Constant cheerleaders, intelligent advisors, not afraid to tell it like it is, and with the added ability to make me laugh until I’m quite literally rolling around the floor, clutching my stomach and crying tears of laughter.
Bangarang forever ❤️
Autumn and Winter saw me spending lots of time at home and with my family. Gary and I moved into our very own little flat together, and I’ve really enjoyed getting stuck into cooking again.
And, of course, in October you voted for me and I won two blog awards. (Which is most definitely in the top 5 moments of my entire year!!)
Thank you for being the absolute best readers I could ever have asked for. Thank you for your comments, tweets and kind support of my brand collaborations this year.
As Dumbledore once said (and as I’ve quoted here at least three times before): “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
So, in the interest of ending this year on a high note, I rounded up as many people as I could on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp, and I asked you to tell me one Good Thing that happened to you in 2016.
The 159 replies I received have made me laugh, cry, and (in one instance) actually snort tea out of my nose.
I hope you enjoy them as well, and I wish you all a very happy new year. ❤️
1. @hellomissjordan: I bought my own house! 🙊❤
2. @toniwriter: After 5 years of online friendship I finally met @mellyboo in person & it was every bit as amazing as I knew it would be ☺
3. @RetroSnowflake: I went on holiday on my own!
4. @sianreed93: I focused on making myself happy rather than trying to please others ☺
5. @prettyPPD: I did a Masters in a new country and survived!
6. @MeganJaneLillie: I got engaged! 💍
7. @jademarie93: I met and fell in love with my boyfriend ❤☺
8. @lolaslittleblog: I passed my driving test!!! 🚗🚗🚗
9. @abbeylouisarose: All of my hard work paid off and I graduated with a first class degree 🎓
10. @MissPond: I survived moving cities and it turned out to be a great decision. Closer to family and lots of great new friends 💕
11. @Francivusk: So many good things happened in 2016! I went to London & got an amazing grade in the toughest exam in my degree :)
12. @sophiecliff: We bought a house and booked our wedding!
13. @WFazackerley: I finally moved in properly with my fiancée!
14. @Catstello: I was made redundant and it turns out it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Now I’m bossing freelancing!
15. @KatyGilroyBlog: I got engaged ️❣🤗
16. @wanderwithlaura: Amazing trips to California, Greece, Barcelona and Australia have got to be my highlight ✈
17. @CloHutch_: I became an auntie 😊 and also met some fab blogging friends – 2016 wouldn’t have been the same without them!!
18. @wanderness: I saw a wild penguin on a beach, in 30 degree heat #lifegoalcomplete 🐧
19. @iamsamball93: I moved to my favourite city (that I’ve always wanted to live in) and started university ☺
20. @lifeinflorals: Finally managed to stop biting my nails, a habit I’ve had for forever 😂
21. @em_knott: I ran the London Marathon! 🙈🎉
22. @ODDERZinnit: I went to Germany in August, and it was very nice indeed. Took me too long to remember that.
23. @katejwilson213: Took two @poetryschool courses which got me writing again and tried ballet for the 1st time.
24. @LondonKiwiEmma: I met some of the most AMAZING people around the world through my blog.
25. @Englishian: WELL, this happened! (see pic below!)
26. @hollypryce: I passed my driving test, on my 1st attempt, 5 years after I initially started learning. 🚗
27. @KaraWillow: Visited four new countries, taking me closer to 25 before I turn 25!
28. @katie_brennan: I fell in love.
29. @johnaagnew: I drove 283 miles from London to Scotland on Christmas Eve to surprise my parents (hadn’t been home in 5+ years) ☺
30. @sarah_mcpartlan: Moved house & job… onwards & upwards!
31. @sammioneill: Got the job of my dreams. It is only temporary but I am learning heaps!
32. @rhymeandribbons: I got married 😁
33. @owlsandstags: I flew to Australia and New Zealand by myself ✈🌏 10 flights with no anxiety! 👏🏻
34. @carpediememmie: I left a job which made me feel worthless for a job that rewards me on a weekly basis ✨
35. Becky: I met my wonderful boyfriend.
36. @peachesandbear: I ticked Singapore off my bucketlist 🌏✔
37. @hawkeyesc72: I completed undergrad degree, recertified my Sec+ cert, passed Cert Ethical Hacker & approved to stay 2 more yrs in Poland.
38. @appreciate_day: I started university to become a teacher – a career I’ve always wanted.
39. @ashtongibbs: So much! Graduated, had my long awaited nose job, amazing blog opportunities, got my dream job, built a home from scratch. 💞
40. @xpectopatronerd: Me and Charlie moved to a flat we love in an area we love and have filled it with all our bestest trinkets!
41. @franalibi: Finally meeting @vvnightingale and getting to go to cool coffee shops together.
42. @alittlebutton_: I graduated from university and bagged an amazing job!
43. @alicespake: We got engaged and I started the job of my dreams 🎉
44. @colourscarousel: I started a new course after dropping out of uni and feel like I found my “thing” ❤🤓
45. @misswestendgirl: We got our kitten in August this year 😍
46. @isthateloise: I got a first on a uni assignment (my first first ever!) 💃🏻
47. @pintsizedtweets: I won a photography award in the Bloggers Blog awards 😏
48. @TinyGreyCat: I began fostering for Cats Protection and rescued and rehomed 15 kitties since July. 😻
49. @kneltweets: I moved in with my boyfriend after 18 months of long distance! We’re now saving for a house 😊
50. Krissy: I applied for and successfully got onto a teacher training PGCE and started my dream journey in September. I’m absolutely loving it :)
51. @rosysparkles: I booked a holiday to Disneyland Florida :)
52. @Dibdabdebsblog: After five losses in 2015 and another in early 2016 I finally welcomed my son into the world in November 💙
53. @msleannefraser: I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time and fell in love with LA.
54. @adalovelace_x: Well, there’s actually been a lot of good happened this year but top of the list, at the end of the year, was our little boy being born 💙
55. @iliketweet: We were finally able to buy our own home, all on our own too! 🏡
56. @KateDruryy: I moved in with Marc after four years of long distance! 😊💕
57. @Lollz81: I carried out a childhood dream and went to wrestle mania in Dallas.
58. @ElleBloggs: Tom and I moved in together! No more trekking to Liverpool every weekend 😊
59. @FeedingFranklin: I left a job that wasn’t making me happy and set up my own business! Never thought I’d be able to…
60. @Lauren9Dudley: I got my job at Grazia! 💖
61. @ConnorLightbody: I moved into my own place!
62. @Lauraknowslife: I got engaged and bought my first home 🏡💍
63. @fairofface1: I found a new flat that’s 20 minutes walk away from my work!
64. @archivesoph: I started my MA after years of planning.
65. @toastywrites: I finished my Creative Writing degree and graduated with a first!
66. @cynthj: I spent a month in Iceland + adopted the cutest dog :) Happy New Year!
67. @9grandstudent: I graduated with a First AND after much tears got a grad job I absolutely love!
68. @alicesdesk: I got engaged! :)
69. @ashllyd: I got my dream job working in beauty PR, managing the blogger outreach ❤👏🏻
70. @themothercooker: Our little girl turned one, healthy and happy.
71. @Si0bhanEmma: I got to see Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart who are 2 of my heroes in No Mans Land at the Theatre and it was incredible!
72. @rob_and_jas: I got to know the lovely you, got motivated and launched our food blog. How awesome is that?!
73. @itslaurawood: Moved out of mum & dads (which despite making me skint is 100% the best thing I’ve ever done 🙌🏻)
74. Jennie: Left my job after 24 years and got my dream job at Southampton Football Club.
75. @luxestyleuk: Being asked to be godmother to my best friend’s baby – feels like such an honor :)
76. @charley_francis: I bought a house and got the suburban life I’d been waiting for.
77. @amyjanesmith: I started training to be a counsellor.
78. @littlebookblog1: Finaaaally moved to London and moved in with a boy who’s pretty goddamn special. 🐱🙊🔥
79. @ginevrella: I qualified as a doctor, pretty proud of myself this year!
80. @LoveandOAS: I made it to two blog events and didn’t let my anxiety ruin it for me.
81. @WishHopeDreams: I did more solo travelling this year and met so many fab bloggers too.
82. @C_K_J_76: I took part in my first half marathon in a field that included Mo Farrah.
83. @LouiseRRailton: I was accepted on a senior apprenticeship which I’ve worked very hard to get!
84. @aislingbrock: I met my amazing girlfriend aka the love of my life! 😍
85. Poppy: My 23 year old goldfish survived another year and in doing so she went viral!
86. Sophie: I got a new job that I love (and getting to fly to the US with work is a massive bonus!)
87. Tayrne: In August we went to Rovaniemi in Finland and we visited Santa’s home and met the real Santa Claus. The look on my boys’ faces was the best thing in the world!
88. @SmashleighJayne: I got an awesome job that I love :)
89. @imbeingerica: I got to spend my birthday with my mum in Iceland which was amazing.
90. @charlienin: I quit a job I hate and travelled the world by myself and had the best time ever ever ever!
91. @RainyCupcake93: Learned to drive 🚗
92. @Dalton_Banks: I visited 4 new countries with friends and family making some amazing memories along the way :)
93. @cmclaire: New job, first paid gig as a magazine contributor, dream holiday, and the surest five-year plan I’ve ever had.
94. Juda: In unity with all three of my children and brought walls down between myself and those I have had conflicts with for many years ️🙌🏻
95. @katybaines: Graduated with a first class degree which got me into Durham to do my masters next year in translation 😊😊😊
96. @Demelza_J: I got my my first tattoo; a heart and a semi colon for mental health awareness & the semi colon project.
97. @haines_cat: I got engaged 😊💍
98. @radishsociety: I proposed to my boyfriend and he said yes! 🥂
99. @lojovstheworld: It’s been such an up and down year but at the end of it all I have a mad, beautiful, absolute character of an eight month old little girl. I never knew I could love another person the way I love her and despite all the shit I’ve been through this year she is the best thing that has ever happened to me full stop never mind just this year.
100. @chattaboxblog: I completed my degree and got a 2:1! Happiest thing I have achieved in a long time! Here’s to 2017!
101. @christianneloizou: 2016 has been the most incredible year: we got married on Valentine’s Day, bought our first house in the summer and had a baby boy just before Christmas. There is so so much to be thankful for.
102. @klbracher: This year, I got engaged to a man I met on the tube three years ago 😍
103. @thedoorsofldn: I left two jobs I was terribly unhappy in during 2016, and I hope 2017 brings me better luck! I also went on some wonderful trips and count myself extremely lucky.
104. @ablondex: I moved to my dream city (Budapest) in 2016 & started down the path to what I want to do – travel and write!
105. @alajode: I got the dream job I never thought I’d have (editor!) completely out of the blue when I was least expecting it. It’s been an incredible surprise to end the year and given me a lot more hope for 2017 after 2016 almost destroyed all the optimism I had left 😂
106. @emroseem: In 2016 I began painting and writing again after years of letting life get in the way of art.
107. @daydreamfoodie: I reduced my working hours to 4 days a week, chasing the elusive ‘work life balance’. I am happy to report it has proven to be a massive step in the right direction 👊🏻 Extra time spent doing the things I love, with the people (and furry folk!) that I love!
108. @fr.turner: Travelling close and far from home with such a variety of people; parents, uni friends, strangers and visiting old friends! Spain, UK, Nicaragua, Germany, France and Belgium THANK YOU!
109. @thelikelylady: This is a lovely idea! Well, in 2016 I met the most wonderful man right after I gave up on the idea of finding love ☺ in 2017 I want to leave my job and do something that makes me happy again 💗
110. @wanderwithsophie: This year I made my account on Instagram and I’m so grateful for all of the lovely messages and comments I’ve got!
111. @sylviassparkles: Got pregnant and bought our first house!
112. @sabr1nam: I travelled as much as possible. One amazing moment was watching the sunrise at the Algarve in Portugal, it was just me there and it was such a magical moment.
113. @chiconashoestringdecorating: This may seem silly to some but my beloved Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series! Watching it with my husband, boys and my dad was really special. I actually couldn’t believe how happy it made me feel, just thinking about it still brings a smile to my face. Definitely a big highlight of my family’s year! 😊❤🐻
114. @rachelanne_bee: I gave birth to my beautiful (even if I do say so myself) baby boy. He’s the light of my life, and I feel like I’ve truly found what I was meant to be be. (soz for the soppiness!!) 💙
115. @amilittlefair1405: Flying over Niagara Falls by helicopter was a real highlight.
116. @crazycatladyldn: Meeting people through this app that I can now call friends!! That’s probably one of my main highlights. 😊
117. @me.teresa: The best thing that happened to me this year was winning a trip to my favorite city London, where I was able to spend an evening with one of my favorite bloggers. This experience was very inspiring and as I never won anything before, I will remember it forever 💗
118. @everydaywithali: 2016 has been a year of really high highs, and really low lows. But I also got to visit my dream location this year too and see snow for the first time in years! ☺
119. @vvnightingale: I got my first job (part time) through blogging, in social media 💖
120. @robrobrobyn: I finally worked up the courage to let my wild rescue dog off the lead, and she didn’t run away! So much joy.
121. @alicecampbellxx: I moved away to uni and after so long of things not working out, everything seemed to fall into place in a matter of days. I instantly felt so much more settled and content than I thought was possible. Out of the fresh start I found an amazing group of friends, a wonderful new home, and complete happiness.
122. @queenbeady: 2016 showed me that despite my major downfalls I am bloody strong and I’m much more resilient and capable than I ever give myself credit for.
123. @tashajsteel: It’s so hard to narrow down one good thing that happened this year. I’d have to say booking a last minute trip to Barcelona in the summer – so much sunshine, tapas and sangria with my boyfriend!
124. @therarewelshbitblog: This year I met the love of my life 😊
125. charlottesid: I ticked swimming with turtles off of my bucket list while on holiday in Mexico 🐢😊💗
126. @abranchofholly: My happy thing has got to be that after a difficult period for my family over the past year or so, Christmas was made even more special when Tom proposed.
127. @Wander_Lass: I graduated university 🙌🏻🎓 but didn’t accept a job because I’ve made the decision to travel the world early next year 🙊
128. @kvburton657: My dog survived being extremely ill and saw his 14th birthday!
129. @kelsey_sam: We got our dog Edie and it just feels like our little family is coming together more and more.
130. @shonalouiseblog: I worked with the British Heart Foundation, promoting new Marfan research leading to a radio interview, speaking at their head offices etc.
131. @eenalol: I got into a teacher training course for next year! Working my ass off full time and studying part time is paying off!
132. @laurabeth_xo: I got two new jobs!
133. @iamclairekelly: I completed 12 marathons in 12 months in memory of my uncle and raised over 5k for @MNDScotland that was pretty cool.
134. @KieronAttwood: My perfect little nephew Bennett Lupo was born, an eternally happy little chap.
135. @yokomeshiuk: I started my own business and found my passion for my career again 💚
136. @littlepuddleduc: I went on holiday to Copenhagen and loved the city.
137. @closingwinter: I met so many amazing bloggers who are now friends ❤❤❤
138. @thefoodager: Got interviewed for The Blog Tag.
139. @dressdiaries: Finally got the chance to go to a European music festival and it was GLORIOUS 🎼🌞
140. @HarmonyBlaze_UK: 2016 has been the year I’ve finally found my voice, grown in confidence & got shit done – onwards & upwards in 2017!
141. @kimberly_naylor: I decided I was going to become a pole instructor and already have a job lined up for early next year when I’m certified 🙏🏻😘
142. @antoniawritesx: I started blogging again! ✨
143. @gotmeghan: I got to enjoy family time at Christmas…. I definitely ate too many sweets too!
144. @thecrownwings: I quit my job to change career path and go into something I love!
145. @ITYDarling: I became a great-aunt!
146. Catrin: Moved to Cardiff where my Dad is from, moving to my nan’s house after she passed away was hard, but I managed to make a life in the city where I always wanted to live and by doing so I connected with old friends who have also moved to Cardiff 😃
147. @chaptersofkat: I got into uni to study mental health nursing and overcame several anxieties! 🤗🎉
148. @hellodeborahuk: I pushed out a tiny human!
149. @andreannewrites: I passed my PhD special fields exams and became a PhD candidate 😊
150. Rebekah: Started a really exciting job at a theatre I totally love with an amazing bunch of people. Have learnt so much from them already and I get to write, design, film and all round be creative. The dream ❤️
151. @pippasays: I started a business this year and also quit my job at the end of this year to throw my whole heart into it in February 💁🏻
152. @freckleandfair: I finally stopped making excuses and started following my passion. Nothing is perfect, but it’s a journey!
153. @kirsty_london: I was super lucky in 2016, I got to finally visit America, not once but twice! I road tripped across three states, visited Disney world, LA and so much more. It has been a life long dream to go there and I’m still pinching myself that it happened!
154. @sharlovesapples: Was told almost a decade ago I’d never be able to have a baby, by my doctor. I still remember leaving the clinic that day sobbing, heartbroken, just totally devastated. I was a full time nanny for beautiful twin 1 year old little girls at the time which made it all feel worse. My wonderful boyfriend and me found out we were pregnant in September this year! I’ve never been happier or more excited for anything in my entire life, after being convinced for so many years that I’d never be a Mom ❤️
155. @parisiemme: I got to meet many lovely people & I visited South Korea and Hong Kong for the first time which were both amazing places. ☺️
156. @milligracelondon: This year my career reached new heights and although it’s a struggle – and I’m still poor – I love what I do and couldn’t be happier when I do it! :) I wouldn’t change it for the world – money isn’t everything!
157. @scwilde: I am mentally healthy again this year and while my year wasn’t the best, fining myself again trumps all the bad ☺
158. @captaincharleyy: Even though I lost my best friend, I managed to raise a shit tonne of money for her and her family. And I got a new job!
159. Gary: I moved in with you, which was nice.
160. @misskatyenglish: I learned to trust my instincts, left a job that was making me miserable, won two blog awards, and moved into a flat with my boyfriend! ☺️ (Yes, I realise that’s more than two – but it’s my blog. So there.)
Happy New Year!