2018 Highlights

Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Today's post is a little late but I've been enjoying a mini break from blogging, spending time with my family and getting ready for a new year. I was contemplating not publishing this post but I had quite a good year on the whole, one of the best years for a while actually and there were so many firsts in 2018, from going on my first girly holiday with friends, being a bridesmaid for the first time and visiting the gorgeous countries of Germany and Belgium to going on a hen party for the first time, watching my first stand up comedy show and visiting so many new sites around the UK.

January, February & March: Ancestry, Visiting Famous UK Sites & Photography Course 
2018 began with a fantastic reading month, redecorating our home and going to one of my best friends baby shower. Within January 2018 I managed to visit one of the oldest libraries in the UK, Chethams which is actually in my home city of Manchester. I also visited Manchester Cathedral which is where a couple of my ancestors were married!

Speaking of ancestors, in February I started my ancestry research again and this time I focused on my mums side of the family and while we knew that we had a lot of Scottish relatives (great grandparents etc), I didn't know just how many there were - there are a lot of them! I utterly adore the areas of Scotland I've visited including Fort William, Oban, Isle of Arran and Mull so it was very interesting to find out more about my large army of Scottish relatives. Also in February I continued my goal of visiting more local sites and I visited the beautiful John Rylands Library and Ordsall Hall, both for the first time.

Another goal I had for 2018 was to take part in a photography course and after searching I found one which wasn't too much money with the Open University and the Royal Photographic Society which I started in March. March 2018 also consisted of being featured on the Metro website, loosing more weight and visiting the ridiculously busy Ramsbottom chocolate festival for the second time.
April: Blogger Mail, London + Bridesmaid Dress Fitting
April was quite an exciting month as I was sent one of the most expensive items I've ever been sent to review which was my amazing Magimix and I had a quote from a book review of mine printed in the final paperback book! Also I visited London again in April 2018 and visited a few sites that I hadn't managed to before including: St Pauls Cathedral, HMS Belfast and the British Museum, all of which I loved, especially the British Museum! Lastly, for April I also had a bridesmaid dress fitting which is something I haven't experienced before.

May: Hen Party, Dunham Massey, Weight Loss Milestone, Comedy Show
I tried so many new things and visited so many new places in 2018 and May was the month, along with August, that seemed to have the largest number of firsts including: the first hen party I went to, first Lush party, first stand up comedy show (the Frog and Bucket in Manchester), first time driving my friends and I visited a couple of sites in the UK for the first time including the beautiful Dunham Massey and Gawthorpe Hall. I also reached my two stone weight loss goal in May which I was extremely happy with so naturally I celebrated with pizza...Additionally, I became a member of the National Trust in May and I've been able to visit a few sites for free with it and I want to visit even more in 2019.
June: Blogging Milestones & Bridesmaid Duties
June was yet again another busy month and one with quite a few milestones in it with my dads retirement, a wedding rehearsal and then the big day for one of my best friends! I have to admit that I was equal parts very happy and also terrified about being a bridesmaid especially as I was the first, along with a fellow bridesmaid, to walk down the aisle but it was an amazing experience.

June also featured a few blogging milestones as my blog reached over 3,000 followers on Bloglovin, I reached over 8,000 followers on Twitter (I'm @ofbeautyand) and my DA reached 44 which is incredible and the highest it's ever been - that made me very happy, if I'm honest!

July: Food Festival, Heatwave & Highest Paid Blogging Month Ever
I live in Manchester and it's a place known for rain but in July we had a ridiculous heatwave in which it reached 31 degrees celsius which is unheard of in Manchester...and on that day I went to the Manchester Eats food festival (the first food festival I've ever been to and I saw Marco Pierre White!). I also passed my photography course with the Open University and the Royal Photographic Society in July.

One of the most exciting things about July was blogging related as I reached over 900,000 blog views and I had my highest paid blogging month ever! I never expected to earn anything from my blog so to earn more than enough for rent and bills (if I lived on my own) in one blogging month was just amazing! Additionally, I finished my 100th book of the year in July.
August: Girly Holiday, Lake District, My Birthday, Chatsworth & Cruise
August has always been a very busy month as it's the summer and my birthday month - August 2018 was no different! I went on a girly holiday for a couple of days with two of my best friends at the beginning of August and we went to the beautiful Lake District. We visited Penrith, Lowther Castle, Ullswater and Aira Force. I paid for us to stay in a restored post office (which was built in 1713!) in the picturesque village of Dacre and it was such a lovely experience which hopefully we can do again in 2019.

For my birthday we visited the very impressive Chatsworth which was an amazing day, the house was utterly gorgeous and the grounds were so nice to wander round but sadly we didn't get to explore everywhere in just one day. We also went on a family cruise with Royal Caribbean at the end of August to Germany, Norway and Belgium as well as the port of Southampton. Royal Caribbean and P&O cruises are just incredible and cannot recommend them enough!

September: Cruise, Belgium & Lush Showcase
I started the month of September with the end of the cruise and visiting the amazing city of Ghent, Belgium which I definitely want to visit again as it was just gorgeous - sadly we only had one day there. Also as one of my birthday presents, I visited the Lush Showcase which was in Manchester for the first time and it was wonderful. We went to the showcase on the second day so it wasn't as chaotic as the first, we made some Lush products and saw all of the new products. I actually managed to restrain myself and only buy a few items from the showcase. They had the worlds largest bath bomb at the showcase too! If you want to see my stories from the showcase or anything I've mentioned in today's post then check out my highlights on Instagram (@ofbeautyand).
October: Liverpool, Halloween, Grandads 80th + Christmas Blogger Mail
October is one of my favourite months as halloween is my favourite holiday but sadly due to my skin flaring up, I couldn't create nearly as many halloween looks as I wanted to. Also I kind of missed out on halloween in 2018 as Christmas seemed to start even earlier than normal. I received so many Christmas blogger mails packages and gifts in October (I'm definitely not complaining about that). Within October I also visited the nearby city of Liverpool for the day which included visiting the Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool and the World Museum, all for the first time. We went to see the limited Terracotta Army exhibit which was amazing but also very slow and very busy!

November & December: Leeds, Christmas Markets, New Tattoo, Christmas Blogging Rush
Another busy month for blogging was November as the Christmas preparation and posts increased even more and I was lucky enough to receive a lot of gifts and sponsored posts in November (as well as December). Also at the beginning of November I got another tattoo which was my first for seven years and my biggest as well. Mine was created by Zu at Flesh Tattoo which is based in Manchester city centre and I cannot recommend it enough; I definitely want more tattoos from Zu in 2019. November also consisted of visiting Leeds, visiting Dunham Massey (again, I love Dunham Massey) and visiting the extremely busy Manchester Christmas Markets - don't go at the weekend unless you want to be crushed!

December was a bit of a blur if I'm honest as I had a stall at my primary schools Christmas fare and made more money than I thought I would; I spent time with friends, had so many last minute Christmas posts to write and then it was Christmas Day. For Christmas Day I made a vegan Shepards pie for myself and my grandad as well as a chocolate cake which went down very well. We also visited family and exchanged gifts on Boxing Day, I spend too much in the sales and I finished my 190th book of the year!

I was very lucky work with so many amazing new brands in 2018 including: Whittards, Ryman, Co-Op, The Book People, Baileys, We Are Knitters, BakedIn, RSPB, Hotels.com, Little Greene and many more which I'm so grateful for!

You can see so many of the sites, milestones and more on my Instagram highlights (@ofbeautyand).

What were your highlights of 2018?

17 comments

  1. Sounds like you had a really great year!! Goodluck with 2019.

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  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful year sweetie!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  3. 2018 has been a lovely year for you, esp bridesmaid duties.

    http://littlemissmelanie.com

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  4. I’d quite happily have a heatwave right now! I’m not enjoying this cold spell at all x

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  5. That a amazing that a quote from your review made it into the book! That's a brilliant achievement.

    Roxie | thebeautifulbluebird.com

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  6. Wow, so many great things you have done last year. Definitely sounds like you had a wonderful year. Also really love all of your photos.
    Clem xx
    http://www.clemloves.co.uk

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  7. I absolutely love reading posts like this - your photography is beautiful and it sounds like such a fun and busy year! I hope 2019 is fabulous for you xx
    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

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  8. Wow you had a jam packed year!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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  9. Sounds like so many amazing things happened for you last year! Strangely, July/ August were also my best blogging months money wise x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  10. Wow what a wonderful 2018 you had! Amazing pics x

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  11. It looks like you had an amazing year!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  12. I really want to do a photography course too!

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  13. Aaaah you have achieved so much in the past year, you should be so proud of your milestones and the bridesmaid duties! :D

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  14. You had such a fab year. I hope 2019 is even better.

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  15. Sounds like you had some great moments last year, I hope this year is even better x

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  16. You've done so much last year - amazing!

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