At this time of the year I always look back so I am able to look forward. It’s become a real favourite thing of mine to do and I like to reflect on the year and think about what I want to achieve in the next 12 months.
This is the fourth round up post I’ve done on New Years Eve that contains all my blog posts from the past year, a few highlights, and some intentions and plans for the year.
*POST UPDATED May 2022: Bright Lights Big City has evolved from being focused on PR to being all about travel, experiences, food and drink. All posts that are no longer relevant to these topics have been removed.*
Happy New Year!
Whatever you get up to, I hope you enjoy your evening.
I’m not a New Year’s Eve fan, I’ve only had a couple of great ones and generally think it’s the biggest waste of money. This year, I’m spending it at home with a lot of delicious Marks and Spencer food chilling out with a face mask, some movies and a glass of fizz – I know, I’m so rock and roll! 🙈
Year in review
I wasn’t actually going to write my highlights this year as I feel 2019 has been another tough one for me. But, I pushed myself to write three good things from each month to remind myself that this year has had balance and to not look at it as negative. And, guess what? It’s helped!
This year has had its fair share of low moments, I’ve lost two people, been robbed, got burned, my car died in Devon on the way to my friends wedding and oh god, I won’t go on!
I’m not usually a negative person but the past two years have been really tough, in fact this whole decade has really had its moments but it’s also been filled full of joy and great things too.
Picking out these highlights forced me to find the positives and while I’m not thrilled about how 2019 panned out, I’ve a lot to be thankful for.
It’s also made me realise that I’ve got really off track with who I am and as the months pass I’m feeling stronger and ready to reclaim who I am. I have a few people to thank for that and a few new friends who’ve given me some great direction and advice.
For me, 2020 is going to be all about learning, focusing on what I want the blog to become and giving it both definition and purpose. The blog evolved this year to focus on more of the things I love but it still needs a lot of work taking it forward.
I’m looking forward to continuing the hashtag I created in November called #KitForYourTrip and would be thrilled if you went and followed it and added your favourite pieces of kit to it too.
Here’s a look back at the highlights and posts from 2019…
- Spending another glorious birthday eating the best food at The Pig in Brockenhurst
- I was in a job that gave me back some of my confidence
- CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS #33 – #HeinzKetchupCaviar January 25, 2019
- CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS #32 – Provoke Piers January 25, 2019
- CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS #31 – #10yearchallenge January 24, 2019
- You don’t have to be an eggs-pert to crack Instagram! January 16, 2019
- Creative Campaigns #30 – Gillette’s We Believe: The best a man can be January 15, 2019
- CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS #29 – Fiji Water photobombs the Golden Globes January 12, 2019
- Hair Care Vol.1 – OGX Beauty January 10, 2019
- A hero in a half shell – Turtle Immersion Jelly Bath Bomb from Lush January 9, 2019
- Wake up to soft plump skin! January 8, 2019
- Oh my Deyes! What next for Alfie, one of the top UK influencers? January 7, 2019
- Scrub your way to sensational skin with Lush and St Ives January 6, 2019
- Happy New Year! It’s 2019! January 1, 2019
- I travelled to Kent for a long weekend
- I worked with Wagamamas and Gunwharf Quays on a mindfulness event
- We got robbed but realised how resilient we are! Strength comes from the funniest places.
- An evening of mindfulness with Wagamama at Gunwharf Quays February 11, 2019
- CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS #36 – Marks and Spencer’s Love Sausage February 10, 2019
- CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS #35 – Super Bowl LIII adverts February 4, 2019
- Anniversary dinner at The Florist in Bristol February 2, 2019
- CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS #34 – ‘Fight for Territory’ Steinlager and Guinness’ Lions Tour stunt February 1, 2019
Getting robbed in February really put the brakes on blogging for March, I just had too much life stuff to sort out and something had to give. I wasn’t in a great place and spent most of March making my house a fortress.
- Caught up with one of my best friends in London
- I bought some of the first pieces of furniture for our house, which revolutionised the kitchen and dining room!
- Saw Childish Gambino’s final gig at the O2
- Henry’s sister got married!
- Started my new job!
- Hand made a leather satchel
- Went to my first Brighton SEO event
- Celebrated Henry’s parents anniversary with a big party back in his home town
- Discovering Trading Post Coffee Roasters in the Lanes of Brighton April 30, 2019
- Making a leather satchel with The Makers Guild April 29, 2019
- Picking up pastries from Bread Addiction in Southsea April 28, 2019
- Ned’s Noodle Bar arrives in Southampton April 26, 2019
- Good Friday breakfast at The Winchester Orangery April 25, 2019
- Ear piercing at Accessorize April 24, 2019
- Good luck, and don’t f*ck it up! PR lessons from RuPaul’s Drag Race April 23, 2019
- Bao buns at Two Doors Down in Southsea April 8, 2019
- The Fitness Diaries February/March 2019 – A sweaty journey begins April 1, 2019
- Took Henry to the Harry Potter Warner Brother’s Studio Tour
- Bought loads of plants for the garden, bought and made vegetable planters and laid a patio
- I enjoyed yoga on Bournemouth beach!
- Dinner and cocktails at Cosy Club, Portsmouth May 30, 2019
- An early start for Record Store Day 2019 at Winyl May 3, 2019
- Hello glowing cheeks! St Ives Oat Scrub and Mask May 2, 2019
- The Fitness Diaries April 2019 – Hard work and routine May 1, 2019
- Had an amazing trip to Jersey
- Went to a yoga retreat on the Isle of Wight
- Discovered some incredible foodie places in Portsmouth
- Perfect Porridge at The Tubestation in Polzeath June 26, 2019
- The Fitness Diaries May 2019 – The Garden Gym June 24, 2019
- Offshore Film Festival 2019 sails into Southampton June 20, 2019
- The revoltingly excellent Matilda arrives at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre June 16, 2019
- Outside-In serves up street food in Portsmouth June 8, 2019
- Visited Bristol and discovered some incredible foodie treats and learnt lots from Visit England
- Visited family in Bedfordshire and enjoyed walking along the river – I also held a ferret!
- My car died and I had to buy a new car – I love my new wheels
- Love Bedford Medieval Festival July 31, 2019
- Simple skincare gets a Korean influence July 27, 2019
- Yoga and Wellbeing at The Awakening Festival on the Isle of Wight July 25, 2019
- Thoroughly good coffee at Dandy in Jersey July 23, 2019
- The Fitness Diaries June 2019 – Falling off the exercise wagon July 19, 2019
- Beach breakfasts and night feasts at The Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach July 17, 2019
- Coffee at Shuga in St. Helier, Jersey July 15, 2019
- Doughnuts from Bread Ahead in Borough Market July 12, 2019
- A seafood feast at Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow July 10, 2019
- The Crab and Lobster Festival in Clovelly, North Devon July 8, 2019
- Things to do in… Jersey July 7, 2019
- Visited Somerset
- Was invited by Lush to review the spa – it was just the morning I needed!
- My Mum gifted me a National Trust membership and it’s the best
- Visited and fell in love with Belfast, my first trip to Northern Ireland
- Doughnuts and coffee at Hideout Coffee Company in Portsmouth August 19, 2019
- When the Wanderlust is Real – ways to keep the travel bug under control August 16, 2019
- The Fitness Diaries July 2019 – Trying and failing to get back on the exercise wagon August 14, 2019
- Brunch at Becketts in Southsea August 12, 2019
- Banana Bread Breakfast at Finca, Yeovil August 9, 2019
- Cupcakes from Flour at Jersey’s Central Market August 7, 2019
- The one where we had coffee from Bean Around the World in Jersey August 5, 2019
- Cake from Cherry Trees in Padstow August 2, 2019
- Had a gorgeous two week holiday in Cornwall and ticked so many things off my bucket list
- I finally learnt how to body board properly, I stargazed, I wild foraged and went swimming.
- On the last weekend of summer I visited the Blue Pool in Wareham, somewhere I’ve been itching to visit for two years
- Discover The Blue Pool in Dorset September 25, 2019
- Hubbox brings award-winning burgers to Portsmouth September 23, 2019
- An evening at Bill’s for Southampton’s Foodie Fortnight September 19, 2019
- Fresh produce from Padstow Kitchen Garden September 17, 2019
- The Fitness Diaries August 2019 – Exercise and illness September 15, 2019
- Mussels on the seafront at Surfside Polzeath September 6, 2019
- A spa day with a difference at the Lush Spa in Poole September 2, 2019
- I had an incident when I was burnt quite badly but it was a great reminder of how bloody amazing our NHS is. The people who worked on may hand and leg were truly brilliant and they put me very quickly back on the path to recovery. Being inured made me appreciate the NHS, my amazing family for being so supportive and my new work environment who took it in their stride.
- Some amazing opportunities came through for the blog
- Saw John Mayer at the O2
- Italian Coffee at Rod & Ruby’s in Bristol October 24, 2019
- Art, coffee and history at God’s House Tower October 23, 2019
- Dinner at Bite Me Burger Co and Get Plucked Southampton October 21, 2019
- Myths, legends and stunning scenery at Tintagel Castle, North Cornwall October 10, 2019
- Saw Vampire Weekend at Alexandra Palace
- Visited Hartlepool for the first time and saw The Angel of the North and wild seals!
- Geared up to helping with a very big event at work, and enjoyed being a part of events again
- Created the hash tag #KitForYourTrip
- Breakfast at Forte Kitchen in Winchester November 29, 2019
- BakeHouse24 in Winchester November 27, 2019
- Dinner at The Chilworth Arms November 25, 2019
- Wild Kitchen & Autumn Foraging at Lydford Gorge in Devon November 22, 2019
- Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market 2018 November 20, 2019
- Bento Factory – Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese food in Winchester November 18, 2019
- Gunwharf Quays Light Show Spectacular 15-23 November 2019 November 16, 2019
- Brunch by the sea at Southsea Beach Cafe November 15, 2019
- Breakfast at Cargo Coffee Bar in Jersey November 13, 2019
- New Menu at HarBar on 6th in Southampton November 11, 2019
- Celebrating Día de Muertos at Wahaca in Southampton November 9, 2019
- Kit for your trip – Teva Sandals November 8, 2019
- Bright Lights Big City is featured on English Heritage’s Instagram Feed November 7, 2019
- Join me using new hashtag #KitForYourTrip November 6, 2019
- Sushi at Nara in Southampton November 6, 2019
- Monmouth Coffee at Borough Market November 4, 2019
- A late lunch at Caravan Bankside November 3, 2019
- Visited Hinton Ampner and enjoyed the festive feels (and our National Trust card!)
- Reconnected with friends, after not being able to do much because of my burnt leg
- Visited the Winchester Christmas Market
- Had a private tour onboard HMS Prince of Wales
- Enjoyed my second winter solstice and was featured on CNN Travel with quotes, images and my post!
- Took my Mum for a ‘blog’ day out, and created the first intentional photos for Instagram – now I’ve just got to be brave enough to post them 😂
- Spent loads of time with family and friends
- How to make a Christmas snowflake jingle bell garland December 31, 2019
- Merry Christmas 2019 December 30, 2019
- Bright Lights Big City is featured on CNN Travel December 22, 2019
- Festive Aesop’s Fables at Hinton Ampner in Winchester December 20, 2019
- Support local with Love Southsea December 19, 2019
- An evening at Winchester Christmas Market 2019 December 18, 2019
- Etsy Made Local Festive Market Southampton 2019 December 17, 2019
- How to make homemade recycled Christmas crackers December 16, 2019
- Winter Solstice at Stone Henge 2018 December 9, 2019
- Breakfast at Southsea Coffee December 6, 2019
- 20 years of The Victorian Christmas Festival at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard December 4, 2019
- Dinner at The Old Forge in Otterbourne December 2, 2019
Writing 2019’s round up has been a big reminder that I’ve really taken a massive leap from where I was in 2018. Picking out the highlights has really helped me focus on some positives.
Every year I remind myself that it’s not a competition or a race – I’m on a journey and I really think 2020 will be a big step forward on that journey.
Unlike other years I’m actually really excited for what’s to come, that something new is just around the corner.
Here’s to 2020!
You can have a look at what my previous posts for each year here…
UPDATE: I did originally write a New Years Eve 2016 round up but I think the internet has gobbled it up, the link has broken and I can no longer find it.
What have you been up to over the past year? I’d love to know, and read your posts. If you do a similar round up or have something you’d really like to share, pop a link in the comments section so I can give it a read.