Happy New Year to you! I’m so happy to be back here with you. My first post of the year always feels like that intial catchup with your friends when you haven’t seen each other in a while.
Cue: beverages, open-ended hours and chatting APLENTY! My favourite kind of get-togethers!
Like so many people I think of the new year as a line in the sand. Whether you believe in resolutions or not, it’s an opportunity to press pause, look back on everything from the previous year and look ahead to what’s to come.
Since my Birthday is in January (rapidly approaching on the 17th!) I tend to find myself in a reflection period for the first couple of weeks of the year.
This is handy since over Christmas I have zero time to reflect (definitely no down time round here haha!), so I have to take my ‘me time’ post December 31st.
I used the guides to structure my reflections and it was really helpful. So often I feel like we move from one thing to another in our lives, without taking time to take stock or celebrate. I love that the new year is a prompt for us to do just that.
So, in honour of seeing out 2019, and welcoming in 2020, here are my 2019 highlights!
Highlights From 2019
1 – Getting Married!
The biggest highlight of 2019 (and the past decade really!) for me, was getting married to Oli on September 14th, in Menorca.
People often say that your wedding day is the best day of your life, and before we had ours I kind of thought people were exaggerating . . . !
But it’s TRUE!
Not only were we so happy to be marrying one another (Oli is, of course, my Hallmark Hunk), but we were surrounded by people who we love and who love us, and it was just one big whirlwind of amazingness.
We were so touched that our friends and family came out to Menorca to be with us, and in so many ways it felt like the vision for our wedding (which we had spoken about for years in a “one day” way) all came true.
It was by far the best day of our lives, and the start of a new chapter together.
2 – My Hen Do
Getting married was amazing, but let me tell you, I was worried it wouldn’t top my hen do!
My bridesmaids – my sister and my three best friends – did THE most amazing job.
I had the time of my life!
I’ll be sharing allllll my wedding content this year, including pictures from my hen do, but I have to document it here RN as one of the highlights of 2019/my life.
3 – Our Nephew ❤️
Mine and Oli’s little nephew will be two this year, and he just totally fills our hearts up!
He is SUCH a sweet boy, and (although we are totally biased!) he’s just the. best.
For Christmas this year my sister gave us his nursery school photo and it’s SO cute.
Oli and I are both ridiculously gushy every time we see it.
I’m a total sap, but I just adore him.
4 – Visiting Italy With Oli and My Parents
My Mum is Italian (hence why she’s always ‘Mama’ to me!), and this year we took a really special trip to Italy together.
For the past few years my parents have been working on renovating a building in Italy which is adjacent to the home my Mum grew up in.
It truly felt full circle to visit this beautiful home which my parents have created, in the area my Mum grew up in. It was emotional!
Oli and I spent a few incredible days with my parents there in November. We saw family, hung out in the cosy new home (hello log burners), ate soooo much, drank soooo much and laughed a LOT.
We also got to try our hand at making gniocchi, which I think was one of Oli’s highlights of the decade too. Possibly THE highlight.
5 – Mini-trips to Morocco, the UK Coastline and Menorca
In May last year I visited Morocco for the first time on a press trip, and it was gorgeous.
We stayed in Fés and the whole trip was awesome. From the architecture, to the culture, the food, the spa treatments . . . incredible!
Ella and I were both invited which was SO nice since we got to spend quality time together. We also met some really lovely girls on the trip including Carley (@CarleysCamera) who’s the most amazing photographer. I want prints of all of her photos!
I also got to spend more time on the UK coastline last year which was one of my intentions for 2019.
Oli and I started 2019 in Devon with our great friends James and Georgie. We hung out in Bracklesham, where his family have a place, as often as we could. And we visited Norfolk for the first time together.
All in all LOTS of time at the beach . . . always a good idea!
And finally, we spent plenty of time in Menorca ahead of our wedding, including lovely trips with both of our families. It felt so special to explore the island together before the celebrations in September, and I’m so glad we got to discover some new places too!
For such a small island there’s always something new to uncover.
6 – Another Year Of Podcasting With Let’s Discuss!
When Ella and I decided to start our podcast Let’s Discuss, we simply wanted to take the conversations that we were having as friends out into ‘the real world’.
We had a sense that the problems we were facing, and the milestones we were experiencing, were relevant to other women.
Cue hitting ‘record’ on our chats, and what started out as a ‘let’s see how this goes’ idea, is now eight seasons and three years in!
Truly the community of listeners we have with Let’s Discuss buoys us up ALL the time.
I feel like we’re making genuine connections with people. We love it when listeners reach out and we learn that an episode resonates with them, or has has an impact.
This year we’ve really noticed a connection with our listeners and that is just all kinds of awesome.
7 – Working With Dream Clients
Skirt: Sosandar (Past Season) | Boots: Jigsaw (Past Season)
Bag: Lucia Saddle Bag, Katie Loxton c/o
Every year I write down a list of my ‘dream clients’, and if I get a chance to work with any of them I basically run round my office in celebration. Playing it cool!
In 2019 I worked some of those dream clients, and more! Including Anthropologie, Bobbi Brown, American Express, Very x Topshop, Hobbycraft, Wallis, Papier, Furniture Village, Philips and more! Phew!
Overall I really felt like the brands I worked with aligned with me and my values and I created some of my favourite content ever.
I have to shout out my amazing photographer Charlotte Bryer-Ash here, who ALWAYS delivers and is a huge part of the reason I’m so proud of those collaborations. I feel so lucky to have found such a brilliant friend and photographer in her.
Fun fact: Charlotte shot our wedding photos too ❤️
Thank you also to my Instagram hubby Oli who’s always willing to step in when needed! I totally lucked out with that Hallmark Hunk I swear.
8 – Another Year In Our Not-So-New-Flat
Every time I talk about our flat I feel like I need to say ‘new home’, but I guess it’s not so new anymore!
Oli and I moved in in February 2018 but it still feels fresh to us.
We are constantly working on updates, and every day I think how lucky we are to live here. I literally ‘thank’ my home when I walk in through the door! Is that weird?!
I’ve popped links to some of my home posts below in case you fancy taking a peek.
9 – Consistent Healthy Practices
Turns out that getting married is a good wellbeing incentive. Who knew ?????!
One of my favourite things pre-wedding was getting into a good groove when it came to my health and fitness.
Oli and I were both eating healthily, not drinking a lot, going to the gym together and generally focusing on feeling ‘well’.
We were both encouraged by our want to look good on our wedding day (hiiiii vanity!), but it meant that we also got into such a good groove for a lot of the year.
I loved it!
I’ve largely let that go since the wedding, but I’m looking forward to getting back into a rhytm now that the new year is upon us.
10 – Feeling ‘Fulfilled’
My word of the year for 2019 was ‘fulfilment’, and in general I feel like it was the guiding hand for my whole year.
‘Fulfilment’ really helped me to practice gratitude, and to align myself with projects, people and pursuits that felt ‘fulfilling’.
It wasn’t the case that everything felt totally aligned, but in general I feel like when I look back on last year I really felt fulfilled. I’m hoping to take that intention through to 2020 too.
2019 will forever be a milestone year for me – getting married is one of the biggest things in anyone’s life!
And truly I ‘get it’ now. It really IS one of the best days of your life.
Ultimately you’re opening up an amazing new chapter with your husband or wife. Yayyy!
Aside from the wedding there were so many things to be grateful for in 2019, and whilst I’m excited to start a new decade, I’m so happy to have closed the last one out on such a high.
How Was 2019 For You?
Have you had a chance to reflect on 2019 yet? If so, how was it for you?
I’d love to know!
Love, Monica x