Saturday, 21 January 2017

2016 Roundup

Just like at the end of 2015, I have put together a super collage featuring all of my This Week collages of the year!

Click to enlarge

It turns out that 2016 was a really colourful year! I love looking back on these at everything that's taken place. Dave and I had a look earlier and were shocked at some things that happened a year ago! I did loads of crochet last year, and I think that shows in my collage. Hoping to make 2017 go in the same direction!

Week 2

Wedding planning!

8th - 15th January

From left to right: sunny walks to walk, a new amigurumi project, helped with a car accident outside our house, Gizmo really didn't want to have his photo taken, big moon on the drive home, looking at wedding venues - Sopley Mill, crispy beef with Sarah at Koh Thai, I love sunsets, and Dave playing with Ruben's workbench!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Week 1

The start of 2017! Let's do this all again!

1st - 8th January

From left to right: overnight oats, my first book of the year ("One By One" - Chris Carter), trying on my bridesmaid dress for Kirsty's wedding!, last Christmas nibbles, empty pan..., one of Kirsty's beautiful Josephine Wall prints, winding my Mum up on Whatsapp, raspberries and chia seeds, and my new copy of Careers!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Dear 2016...

You have been an amazing year! So much has happened, and will pave the way for things to happen in 2017 and beyond!

My biggest moment of the year definitely has to be getting engaged to the love of my life. Ok, ok - soppy stuff, but I mean it. Dave has changed my life in so many ways, and I can't wait to marry him and embark on our next chapter together!

Another big change has been my change of profession; swapping from baby photographer to medical receptionist. It has, without a doubt, been the best decision ever. No regrets! I do occasionally miss playing with children for a living, but on the plus side, I am not doing a daily 2hr commute, spending endless periods of time in hotels, and being treated like dirt. I feel like I've finally found my calling! And I've made some fab new friends along the way!

My new job meant losing my work I bought a car! It'd been a few years since I had given up my car, so it's been lovely to have my own set of wheels again!

Crochet achievement of the year! My Lilypond CAL - I loved making this, and although it was a little rushed towards the end, and I did have the disastrous moment of throwing a cup of tea into the bag of squares, it turned out beautifully and Dave's Mum loved it.

In addition to the blanket, I picked up my hooks and did some amigurumi for the first time in over a year, and now have crocheted critters all over the upstairs office at work (hoping to add to the collection...!). I also made my first items of clothing! I'm already piling up the projects for 2017!

This year brought an amazing achievement within the family - my Grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary! They are an absolute inspiration ♥

2016 also brought the "adoption" of Dave's new lady, in the form of his Lotus...which I did not initially take to, but have changed my mind!

In addition to these lovely highlights, I have spent 2016 reading, cooking, laughing, making, creating, loving, and smiling. I've tried new foods (I never thought I'd eat calamari, and discovered I love it!), been to new places, and made new friends. I've been camping, for the first time since I was a teenager, and can't wait to go again when the weather warms up! I completed the first year of the 5 year memory book that my brother gave me for Christmas 2015, and am ready to get started on year 2!

It's been a fantastic 12 months, and although a lot of people have been saying it's been a sad one due to celebrity deaths and terror attacks, for me as a whole, it has been life changing. Bring it on 2017 - you have a lot to live up to!

As for this year - what would I like to achieve? I have already set my target in my Goodreads Reading Challenge! This year I am hoping to reach 18 completed books, which is the most I have previously read in a year (in 2015), so I know it's achievable. If I can surpass that, it'll be an added bonus. I also want to try and see how many of these I can tick off...

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I would like to dabble in pattern writing again, which is something that I haven't done in several years, but who knows...maybe I'll have a stab at it again.

I want to spend more time with my loved ones, which is a recurring thing each year, but I believe that people focus way too much on work and not about those around them. We are only here for a limited time, so we need to make the most of it.

I am hoping to plan the most kick ass wedding ever! Or at least a really good one!

As always, lose weight and get fit are high up in the rankings...but this year I really want to stick at it and sort myself out. Getting married is definitely good motivation for that, and I want to maintain it afterwards as well.

But more than anything, I want 2017 to be another happy year. And that applies for my loved ones as well. Life's too short to frown all the time. It's taken me a long time to realise that!

Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 Reading Challenge Completed!

Woohoo! With only a day to go, I managed to complete my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 2016, by finishing my target of 17 books over the course of the year - I'm really pleased I didn't fail! Here's what my year has looked like:

It's been a bit of an up and down year with my reading, to be honest. I have had quite long periods where I have been more focused on my crochet (like when I was trying to finish my Lilypond CAL) and I've read quite a few smaller books, but all in all it hasn't been a bad one. My total page count for 2016 is 6699 - that's a lot of pages!

My timelines is as follows: Hunted, The Magpies, Because She Loves Me, It, Skellig, Gone Girl, The Night Circus, Holes, The City of Mirrors, The Butterfly Lion, Follow You Home, War Horse, The Girl On The Train, A Wanted Man, The Devil's Work, Behind Closed Doors, and Siege.

I intentionally tried to mix it up a bit this year, and chose to read some of the books that I enjoyed as a child/teenager. The Butterfly Lion was my all time favourite book when I was growing up, and returning to it as an adult did not disappoint - I absolutely adore it. The same goes for Skellig (which is so emotional) and Holes. Sadly I didn't enjoy War Horse as much as I did growing up, but these things happen I guess! I'm also really sorry to say that I didn't particularly enjoy Stephen King's It. I really wanted to love it, but it went on far too long and just didn't do it for me (having read and enjoyed a few other Stephen King books previously, I was even more disappointed). Biggest surprise of the lot for me was Behind Closed Doors, which I just bought on impulse one day when I saw it on offer on Amazon - what a fantastic read! It's also been nominated in the "Best Mystery & Thriller" category on this years Goodreads Choice Awards, so I'd highly recommend it. Mark Edwards was a good discovery this year, from an author point of view, and I ended up reading 4 of his books!

I'm going to be setting myself another target for the New Year! Not sure how many I'm going to go for yet, but I'll definitely be taking part. I have accumulated even more books and have loads ready to start on my Kindle, so I need to make a dent in them all! I want to try and review some of the books I read next year as well, if I have the time.

Anyway, over and out from reading HQ - it's time for bed! Night all xx

Week 52


23rd - 30th December

From left to right: serious Jenga face, Gizmo snuggling with his ducky, loving our new Christmas tree topper from Paperchase, Dave's festive tshirt, I made chilli chicken, a very happy boy with his Lego Millennium Falcon, my beautiful earrings - real flower earrings from Dave, Bailey kisses, and the lovely decorations in Dave's parents' lounge on Christmas Day

Week 51

Cooking and more prepping!

16th - 23rd December

From left to right: homemade pie for dinner, ice patterns on glass, Dave planted a new laurel hedge, hooray for late night openings, a Christmas elf installing a new headlight bulb on my car, a block of marzipan...just for eating, Dave bought a spice rack!, hate having misty windscreens, and my homemade pate!