Why hello there 2016, you soon came round didn't you? Whilst 2015 has again felt long yet short, it’s been one of change, highs, lows, and some pretty spectacular moments. What better way then to express my gratitude for a year of learning and new opportunities before the start of a new chapter, than a little Year In Review post - so original, so unexpected right? But enough of the quick wit Lauren, as 2015 was really in fact, truly great…
Working with more brandsThe start of the year saw me finally working with more companies and brands that I really love, and even better my favourite store Homesense got in touch after I expressed interest to work with them and now I'm regularly sharing my favourite pieces that also make my home look fab! It's insane, but I'm so grateful for all the opportunities. In 2016, I want to work with a wider range of brands but also have those select few that I have a close relationship with - to name a few: Laneige, Missha, Charlotte Tilbury, Selfridges, Anthropologie, Homesense, Kikki.K, Debenhams, Paperchase, even Whole Foods because girl needs some food in her life...
Attending more events
Despite spending most of the year quite far fro Central, I have managed to get down for a few fun an exciting events - Scarlett's #BloggersFestival's are always a joy and I love to meet up with friends old and new, I got to indulge my photography nerd with Manfrotto's event and Pink Lady Apple's Food Photography workshop, and I've even been to a few press days which makes me super excited to get that sneak preview before products hit the shelves. Next year, I want to say YES to more events and experience everything that London has to offer!
Reaching 1000 followers
A huge milestone for me this year was reaching 1000 followers on Bloglovin - I mean that's crazy, that's the size of my secondary school! I've always been big on growing organically without shoving myself on everybody's timeline all the time, but I'm so proud of how far I've come; that the people who do read my blog engage with my posts, and I wholeheartedly promise to myself and to all of you (past, present and future readers) that I will work hard to produce content we're all inspired to read.
Being shortlisted for Best Longstanding Beauty Blog
Pretty spectacular if you ask me; I honestly didn't think I'd be nominated for an award but even being with all the lovely ladies in my category I felt so humbled to have chosen to stand alongside them. Although I didn't win, the day as a whole was amazing and this has only made me aim higher for my blog!
Meeting my soulmates (aka, the best pals in the world)
I've met some pretty amazing people this year, and I'm so thankful that they've come into my life when I felt so alone. Some I have met IRL, some are still virtual, some are still yet to cross my path, but for now I know I've found my tribe and that they are some of the most beautiful humans out there.
Learning to love my skin
Almost a year ago, I made a statement that this would be my year of great skin, and that was going well until April; all of a sudden a had an acne breakout that would have made 17 year old me run straight to the antibiotics, yet I've been trying my hardest to cure and heal it naturally and so far, it's looking pretty clear again. But that isn't the main issue - whilst some days I've looked in the mirror and thought 'I don't want to go outside' or 'I can't cover this up', I've chosen to share it online - in vlogs nonetheless where I'm barefaced and blotchy because we are all human and acne isn't something to be ashamed about. People have spoken up more about it this year and hopefully it'll become one less thing teens and adults alike are made to feel small about.
Sharing my problems online and realising I’m not alone and can help others
Basically at the start/mid/late...okay all of 2015 until about November I felt miserable. Days would go by where I felt happier, but I'd also have awful low days, and on those days I would hide away and think about how I was the worst person in existence and nobody understood how I felt. However, those days, I would write down how I felt so it would leave me alone, and then maybe a week later (after some tweaking) I would publish the post, and it always overwhelmed me how many people said they felt the same. It goes to show that if you don't share your fears no one can help you, and if you don't bring to attention your fears and insecurities then it can eat you alive. Share your story, you might make a difference.
Back in 2009 I started YouTube - really awful, bad random videos - but because I was a bit of a wimp I quit when people started to make comments about it. Oh Lauren, you silly thing. After many reasons why I couldn't start YouTube, I finally invested in new equipment and rejoined the site I'd been watching my favourites on for years. My first 10 videos make me cringe, I honestly thought I was coming in with more knowledge than I had but hey ho, you learn, you grow, you get better. I've found so many new channels, so many inspiring people - creatives, gamers, people who just talk for the heck of it - and I'm starting to feel I'm finding a niche somewhere; I have so many ideas, so many things I want to do, at this rate I'll need a clone but I've learnt that you don't need fancy equipment (however fibre optic and fast processors are a godsend) to make your content full of quality, you make your content full of quality.
Going on holiday
I hadn't been abroad for almost three years before Paris this year, and it was a welcome break from the Internet. Walking around, snapping photos, I felt like I was free and living my dream of travelling around Europe as a photographer. It's definitely given me a taste to book myself a holiday, and maybe expand my horizons...
Speaking of expanding horizons, I finally moved house! It was the most stressful, emotionally breaking and uplifting experience of my life and I'm so glad I've finally done it. The house immediately felt like home, and yes it's been a big change but I've never felt so accomplished and also surprised at how every day is a new day to get excited over being somewhere I want to be and that I live here!
Feeling happy again
Like I said, I haven't felt happy for a long time, but finding new friends, moving and just feeling the constrains attached to me disappear has (in a really cliche way) made me feel alive again. Yes, I still get scared about life and things and then my brain starts to hurt, but I don't feel as if time is running out and I feel I'm able to deal with things more, so yes, I am happy. And I'm so happy to say I'm happy.
2015, you've been a wildcard, but you've been my wildcard and I'm excited to see what you bring me in 2016.
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.
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