2018 Roundup

A bit late for a 2018 Roundup, isn’t it Holly?

Hey, I know it’s 2019 already and I’m late to the party but here we are. I spent Christmas week working / trying to see family and didn’t have the time or energy to be putting posts together.

On reflection, 2018 was a pretty great year. Like everyone says, it had its trials and tribulations, but we had so much more to be grateful for than sad for.

I don’t want this post to be a boast-post, it’s entirely self-serving. I want to provide myself a space where, on those dark days, I can come and remind myself how blessed I am.

January

2018 Roundup January

I mostly made this post from going through the pictures in my phone (thanks Google pics for being so organised). Turns out, I didn’t do much in January, but I did grow this rather beautiful plant. I have no idea what she is and she didn’t rise again but I loved coming home every day and seeing how much she changed and bloomed!

2018 Roundup January

February

2018 Roundup Creme Egg Camp

London always has a pop-up something. Bar, shop, zoo, you name it, it’ll pop up. My friend Katie messaged me about a pop-up Creme Egg event in Shoreditch and obviously I said yes. We went on an egg hunt, got treats and had an adventure. We also took some of my worst double-chin pictures ever. Nice.

2018 Roundup Creme Egg Brownies

This inspired me to do some baking, which comes as a shock to us all. I’m a rubbish baker and also lazy so I bought a packet of brownie mix and felt all Nigella by adding half creme eggs into it. Was one of two forays into baking this year.

2018 Roundup Home Decor

I also managed to finally get the knick knacks and pretty bits sorted for the living room – shiny things make me happy!

March

Miller & Carter Lakeside 2018 Roundup

March apparently kept me busy! We had the Christmas party (LOL) for the team at the pub. We all headed to Miller & Carter steak restaurant in Lakeside and ate more lettuce wedges than I thought possible (if you know about the wedge, you know).

Kinkao Thai Restaurant Isle of Dogs 2018 Roundup

I also made it out for Thai food with some friends from work and had some hectic looking cocktails in a restaurant with the most ornately carved tables I’ve ever seen!

2018 Roundup Selfie

I launched my blog! After a couple months planning and years writing on and off, I took the plunge and launched my own blog! I chose Lyrical Host as my host provider and couldn’t have been happier with my choice!

2018 Roundup - Royal Victoria Dock - Millennium Mills

I also launched my Instagram and discovered that I love taking pictures of scenery but they really don’t perform that well.

April

2018 Roundup Cape Town Robben Island

We took an amazing trip to Cape Town! My other half grew up there and we’ve both been yearning to go the whole time I’ve known her.

2018 Roundup Cape Town Airport Selfie

We saw the sights, visited friends and family, ate our way through the city and generally loved and laughed every minute.

2018 Roundup Cape Town V&A Waterfront
2018 Roundup Cape Town
2018 Roundup Knysna Elephant Park

We also took a weekend trip to Knysna with some friends, staying at an amazing Air BnB. The entire trip was a plot by me to be able to go to the nearest Elephant Sanctuary to Cape Town. Even if it did involve making 6 people take a fiver hour drive, I was getting up close and personal with the nellies whilst I was in Africa or there would be hell to pay.

May

2018 Roundup Organic Shop Hair Care Range

I got gifted my first product to review! It was a new, affordable, organic haircare range. I loved the ethos and the scents but my super sensitive scalp (painful dermatitis) didn’t react well.

2018 Roundup Eurovision Party Fruit Kebabs

My friends hosted their annual Eurovision party. We ate and drank our way through the rainbow and marvelled at just how many bad songs can be made.

2018 Roundup Birthday Cake

May is also the month Maddie has her birthday. I made my second attempt at baking and produced an edible cake that looked like five year olds had decorated it.

2018 Roundup Upminster Cocktail Bar

We went out for cocktails with friends then came home and played with lightup balloons whilst very drunk.

2018 Roundup Drunk Lightup Balloons

June

Whilst we were in Cape Town, M got a call offering her a new pub. It took a lot of discussions, pro and con lists, logistics and tough decisions but we decided to make the move into East London. I had no idea how much I would love it here. It was worth the move just for the view!

2018 Roundup Thames View of Canary Wharf
2018 Roundup Outdoor Yoga

It was a tough month for me. M was away a lot on training, which meant I was home alone in a pub where I didn’t really know anyone for 5 days a week. We hadn’t started decorating and it didn’t feel like home. Without her here, I didn’t feel much like painting etc so I tried to keep myself occupied as best as I could.

2018 Roundup 30th Birthday

On the weekend she would actually be home, I’d actually made plans to go to Hastings for the weekend. One of my best friends turned 30 and I spent some much needed time with my family.

2018 Roundup Auntie Nephew Time

July

3028 Roundup Soft Serve Society Shoreditch Ice Cream

Luckily we survived June and started to settle into East London Life in July. I spent time doing insta-typical things like going to Soft Serve Society in Shoreditch because it was about 80 million degrees outside all of the time and a flat about a 500 year old pub, surprisingly, doesn’t have air conditioning.

2018 Roundup Canary Wharf

My mum came to visit for the weekend. We strolled along the river to Canary Wharf and discovered the London Museum of Docklands which has an absolutely fascinating insight to the history of East London.

2018 Roundup Courtney Act

July is Pride month in London. We decided to skip the parade – too many people, too hot and I’m prone to sunburn. Instead we got tickets to an after party at an insane member’s club in Soho, featuring very expensive wine, lots of glitter and performances from Courtney Act!

2018 Roundup Pride London

August

The pub hosted the first wedding of M’s tenure and I realised just how lucky we were to live here. My love for the pub started to grow more each day.

2018 Roundup Wedding
The night before the wedding, setting up decorations
2018 Roundup Hastings Seafront

I took another trip to Hastings to try and escape the heat of the city and have some family time.

2018 Roundup Brunch Big Easy Canary Wharf

M and I indulged in a boozy brunch at the Big Easy in Canary Wharf – an absolute bargain under £30! We then drank our way around the Wharf, managing to even catch happy hour at Rum & Sugar before making it home to bed before 9pm ha!

One low of the year (there’s plenty but I don’t want to drag myself down) – I got horribly burnt from a hot water bottle. I was making one for M as her shoulders often ache from lugging barrels about. The one we have a stupid U shape and a bubble of air popped out and the water went all over my belly. Cue a trip to A&E, a lot of cling film and a lot of moaning from me and I’ve learnt my lesson. Luckily it healed but you can still see it on my belly now, 5 months later!

September

September was pretty calm. Not much happened for most of it but one weekend provided enough memories for the whole month.

2018 Roundup Swallows Oast Wedding Venur

One of my oldest school friends and two of my favourite people ever got married! I’ve literally been waiting for them to tie the knot since we were 18 and I couldn’t be happier. They truly are wonderful people who fill my heart with happy.

2018 Roundup Maddie Holly Selfie

M and I also took a pretty decent selfie with great lighting courtesy of a fire pit.

2018 Roundup Arcades Brighton Pier

As we were down south already and had booked time off, the following day we took ourselves off to Brighton for the day where we battled on basketball hoops and air-hockey games. M made me go on an awful rollercoaster that gave me bruises and I’m storing it as ammo for anything I want in the future.

2018 Roundup Choccywoccydoodah Cakes

To say M is a chocolate lover would be a huge understatement so naturally I had to take her to Choccywoccydoodah whilst were in Brighton. We stupidly had a big lunch so couldn’t manage a lot but we did share milkshakes and a chocolate dipping pot which was enough indulgence to last me a month!

I also got to meet my friend’s baby for the first time and she is absolutely adorable. So calm, so cuddly and an absolutely smoosh face. My friend breezed through her pregnancy, glowing like JLo. She and her fiance are already absolutely smashing parenthood and raising a kid in the best loving home she could ever want for. I can’t wait to watch her grow up!

October

2018 Roundup Interior Living Room

In October we really got our interiors vibe going and got new carpets (not shown here lol), (only in some rooms sadly), a new sofa and generally pulling the grey vibe together. There’s still a lot to do but it’s definitely feeling like home now!

2018 Roundup Coffee Canary Wharf

My mum came to visit for the weekend (sense a theme?) as she’s my actual best friend and we can’t survive too long without each other. We walked to Canary Wharf again and stopped for a coffee before heading to Mudchute Farm where I found the most beautiful pair of Tamworth pigs and I vow to visit them more often!

2018 Roundup Mudchute Farm Tamworth pig
Look at this ginger beauty!

The biggest thing that probably happened in my (our) year was actually extremely small….

2018 Roundup MIniature Dachshund Puppy Chorizo Hogram.
Chorizo Hogram

WE GOT A PUPPY!

2018 Roundup Chorizo Hogram

Chorizo, our miniature dachschund, joined us! He’s the tiniest bundle of joy wrapped in the smoothest of shiny brown coats. Given that he wasn’t allowed out / I didn’t want to ever leave him, I spent all my time that wasn’t at work absolutely loving having a fur baby and being amazed.

2018 Roundup Chorizo Hogram

I’ve never had a dog before and I didn’t know how much I’d be obsessed with him. He loses his mind with excitement every time I come back from work and he’s really made our house a home. And yes, he has an Instagram and it would make him happy if you would follow him.

November

This is my birthday month! I always have a lot of mixed feelings about this. Naturally I love being spoilt and spending time with people I love. I’m a princess like that. But it also stirs up a lot from the past. Plus, no one wants to admit they’re inching closer to death. LOL Hi I’m such a happy bean, aren’t I?

2018 Roundup 30th Birthday Bailey's Cake

I was totally spoilt on all fronts. My team at work got me this awesome Bailey’s cake. My contractors had me a cake made in the form of a sausage dog. I turned 31 and that week I was full of gratitude and emotion.

We may not be the best at romance year round but M always makes me feel like a queen on my birthday!

2018 Roundup Bath

Aside from the presents and the puppy (which she claims was for me but was totally all her idea and her goal), we also went to Bath for the weekend!

We took the puppy with us so were a bit limited in what we could do but we found plenty of food and drink, lots of sunshine and walks and lots of love!

December

This is one seriously hectic month for us all. Balance that, work, the pub, friends and family stretched hundreds of miles apart, it all becomes a BIT TOO MUCH.

2018 Roundup Christmas Tree Decorations

The month started in a glorious way, with the annual trip to the Southbank festival with my group of friends colloquially known as The Sausage Girls.

2018 Roundup Southbank Food Martjet
2018 Roundup Southbank Winter Festival
Go Hard or Go Home
2018 Roundup Udderbelly festival
2018 Roundup Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar

M gave be the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar for my birthday so I had a great time every day discovering new products from some pretty awesome brands!

2018 Roundup Marks and Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar
Rizo helping me test all the beauty products. Not that he needs them, he’s already beautiful enough!
2018 Roundup Oiler Bar

I had two work Christmas parties. One was cocktails on a boat converted into a bar with the girls in my team.

2018 Roundup Christmas Party Look

The other was a mass event on the Southbank which I didn’t really love to be honest. My shoes broke on the way, my last minute Waterloo purchase replacement pair ruined my feet and caused me pain. I still looked fly though.

I got to spend some decent time doing long walks with the puppy in our neighbourhood which is something I love!

2018 Roundup London Canary Wharf Sunrise
2018 Roundup Daxie Walks Tower Bridge
2018 Roundup Auntie Nephew Time

I got to spend time in Hastings with my best buddy nephew and sing songs about sausage rolls.

2018 Roundup Mirror Selfie

I also managed to pick up this bargain from New Look in the sales and I’m very chuffed with myself. Excuse the bin bag in the background, it has curtains in it, not rubbish, promise.

All in all, it’s been a good year

This has been the longest post in the history of the world and if you actually made it this far, email me through the site and I will make you a certificate. Maybe I’ll do this monthly from now on!

What were the highlights of your 2018? Happy New Year!

2018 Roundup
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly
2018 Roundup Honestly Holly

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