What Olivia Did in 2017- Olivia 2017

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Towards the end of last year I downloaded an app called ‘One Second A Day’. I only really started using it from Christmas last year, but was determined to make sure every day in 2017 I was to take a second video clip (even it had a filter and was from stories), and, well- add in a second of every day that year- so that around now I could have a full video to look back on and remember everything that happened- even if it was just bite size. Here’s what Olivia in 2017.

Honestly, when I started doing it I didn’t know whether I’d be able to keep it up, let alone if it’d be any good. But after sitting down to write this post, watch the video and relive and remember what each month had in store- that I realised, truly, what an exceptional whirlwind 2017 was for me. It’s often so hard to praise ourselves and actually break down what we’ve achieved year on year, and although there have been tears, lows and tremendous challenges, I thought I’d list some of the wonderful things each month has brought and certainly made me realise how ridiculously fortunate I’ve been. I normally would do this in a category kind of way, but seeing as I’ve seen a couple of month-by-month posts from other lovely ladies- thought I’d give this a go this year- almost in a diary way, and a way of looking back and reflecting in the future too.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect this year to pan out the way it had at all. I feel so, so lucky to have been able to tick off a couple of somewhat monumental adult achievements and feel more comfortable in myself, my friendships and career than ever. I’ve had wobbles, endless bouts of self doubt and moments that I know I’d rather not share on here (including my current look, which is day old pjs and about 3 different hair accessories in trying to deal with my impulsive fringe decision)- but with the family and friends I’ve had around me all year, I’ve definitely realised my greatest achievement is nourishing those relationships and how I can’t quite believe I’ve gathered such an army of amazing people around me. WhatadidIdo?! I won’t go on here (there’s plenty more rambling where this came from down below)- but I hope you enjoy a little New Years Eve post of reflection- before the bubbles are opened)…!

January

Dragging out the festivities for as long as I could, January started with a trip to The Nutcracker, starting (and then filming) a new video series with one of my favourite people, Charlotte, and seeing lots of friends to avoid any case of the January blues. I also fell in love with The 1975 about 5 years later than the rest of the world and listened to the La La Land soundtrack until I was close to singing it in my sleep. I also paid my first of a couple of trips to beautiful Manchester (during the Women’s March) and finished the month with a family trip to Somerset.

February

With February beginning with family karaoke for my dads birthday (can you tell we’re related?) I then had a pretty star studded month including a delicious BAFTA meal with Lancome at Kensington Palace (I know, SORRY WHAT), lurking at the VO5 NME Awards (and trying to keep my cool), attending the Topshop LFW show for the first time after dreaming about it for years and then attending the Brit Awards with Pixi and ma gurl Kate– I mean, a month like this may never happen again so let’s just pretend this is a casual occurrence while I go and mop my brow…

March

March was the month that travel started to kick in again- beginning with a pretty special trip with YSL for a beauty photo shoot (!) and later back with Darphin, where I rode around on a motorbike seeing the city by night (things you never thought you’d hear Liv say Pt. 1222). Joe and I also went to Bath for a mini-break (and wrote one of the guides I’m most proud of), saw Dirty Dancing in the theatre live with my mum (which further engrained a serious love for that film) and finally wrapped with a trip to Mallorca with Glamour magazine for a shoot. I BEG YOUR PARDON.

April

April was the month that things went from grown up to grown up. After saving up for what felt like a small lifetime and having run my blog from my teenage bedroom up until now, Joe and I finally got the go ahead to look at houses- and hopped on a bus after a meeting with our mortgage advisor to visit some estate agents- namely because we assumed that is what any grown up house-buying human would do. After viewing two places (not in the same day), and arriving at our third- we fell head over heels and put an offer in on the same day- which, to our amazement was accepted the very same date. Although the next two months were a lot of limboing, this felt like the biggest achievement, and I don’t think I still quite believe it- but let me know if you’d like another post more about this!

Also in April, my pals and I held our fourth ever Bloggers Market, I tried out ballet classes again for the first time since I was about 4 and even met a certain Queen Mary Berry at the launch of her cake range. Joe and I also shot a feature for Blogosphere Magazine with the gorgeous Lauren and took part in my other queen Lozza’s Girl vs Cancer campaign– which to this day, continues to blow me away.

May

May was another month of travel- also peppered with uncertainty about a number of things. It began with a return to Mallorca with Hush, followed by Joe and I celebrating 8 years together and then attempting surfing for the first time with London Girls Surf Club (this was where my ‘hey, perhaps I am outdoorsy’ blip began). I also went to a couple of gigs with Papa P including Bob Dylan and From The Jam and then whizzed over to Paris for the day with the gorgeous Alice– where we met for the first time, tres romantic!

June

A.K.A my birthday month (never milking it). The month began with a spot of impromptu filming with Cath Kidston at their press day with Fearne Cotton (!!), voting with Maggie for the first time (a.k.a the best day ever), having a 24th birthday party at Cafe Miami with most of my favourite people in one place and then going away on my first girls holiday in forever with Lucy, Katherine, Julia and Frances to beautiful Greece (where a lot of ABBA, open mic and seawater swimming was done). Joe and I also photographed our first wedding together which definitely felt like quite the achievement!

July

WE DID IT! In July we got the keys and moved into our new house on the 7th of the month- which was also one of the hottest days of the year. It still feels like a blur, but everything from having our families chip in with the move, ordering burgers to eat on the floor and sleeping on a mattress for the first two months still feel magical. After the move we went to Cornwall for a week (after not realising the dates would be so close together)- which was actually the perfect break (especially when you have no furniture or internet) and also saw Haim in London for their album launch. This was also the month I became almost worryingly obsessed with Love Island (question: why does no one still use #grafting) and pub quizzes. The month ended with a dinner with Glossier celebrating their UK arrival, and then- LIKE A BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE- I GOT ENGAGED.

I know.

I still can’t believe it.

Engaged. I won’t waffle on about it again, but I wrote about it (at length) here.

August

August was the month all my 2007 dreams were realised when I saw Kate Nash, FINALLY (and sung ‘FITTA’ and ‘BITTA’ until my throat felt sore). I also started wedding planning (loosely), went to Poland for a night, met Charlotte’s gorgeous baby June for the first time and held a GBBO launch party because I’m a cool, grown up, mature adult.

September

In September, Joe and I photographed our second wedding together after going away with Jo Malone on the most magical trip to the New Forest, and staying at one of my favourite places- The Limewood. We also viewed and booked our wedding venue (!!!!) which felt like the most exciting thing- and has now made me wish it wasn’t so far away (although I know it’ll zoom by)! September also bought one of the most incredible career highlights- a trip to Grasse with Chanel, as well as big step forward after having my site redesigned by the amazing Sally and Ross at Behold– which I am still over the moon with. What a dream team.

October

In store for October was another girlie trip- this time to Paris with The Hoxton (and their gorgeous new hotel). It was such a lovely few days, and was so lovely discovering some new gems in the city. I also insisted that Joe and I went pumpkin picking in October (when will I grow up)- and even though it included a train and a long taxi ride, was definitely worth it. I think. I also saw Little Mix with ma girl Daisy and Clinique- and wrapped up the month on a flight to New York with Carrie and The White Company for Halloween (and one magical night only)!

November

November started with a fizz, crackle and bang with fireworks at Brockwell Park, followed by filming a little somethin’ somethin’ for my pal Shannon which was pretty exciting indeed (watch this space). I also went to Iceland for the first time in November, which was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and memorable trips I’ve ever been on. Not only was Iceland spellbinding but the company of Amy, Abi and Emily was the absolute best, and I don’t think I’d laughed so much in a long time. Fortunately, I also got to snuggle with Amy on a Viktor & Rolf Christmas trip to The Cotswold’s, before heading up to Liverpool to watch Joe’s sister, and one of my BFFL’s, Lucy graduate. Proud sister alert.

December

AND DECEMBER! CHRISTMAS! Joe and I bought our first ever real tree (which, as of the 29th December, is still alive. Just)- not bad for 29 days! I also went up to Sheffield to see Faye at BearHugs HQ, which, as excepted- was ridiculously inspiring. I then went on an amazing overnight trip to Paris with my family, celebrating my Grandad’s 80th and mama’s birthday- before landing back and catching Love Actually at Drury Lane too. The month got even more festive with a trip to Oxfordshire with Carrie and Suzie, followed by a whirlwind skiing trip to Canada with AWAY- which included snowmobiling and trying my hand at the slopes for the first time- eek (but more on that in the New Year)! I got back on the 17th, and squeezed in a quick (and bloody important) protest- before settling down for Christmas, seeing some of my best friends and hosting 12 of our closest family for Boxing Day in our new home. AND BREATHE! (There’s still a New Years party to go, but I’ll let you know how that goes another time)…

And of course, there’s you. Lovely reader. Pal. This year I’ve found the internet more challenging at times than I care to admit. I find it overwhelming, noisy- and, between you and I, I’m not great at dealing with criticism or bitchiness (despite what going to an all girls school taught me)! But hey, who is?! But- despite that, I’ve felt so, so lucky to have such a supportive, kind and bloody cool group of women (and men) following along with everything online. Not only are you the best decision makers, cheerleaders and ones to let me know about excellent Mac Demarco covers– but through seven years of algorithm changes, layout spruces- you’re still here. Each year endless cooler, shinier bloggers pop up- but the fact you still comment, click and read along means more to me than you’ll ever know. You are the reason I get to do the cool shit I do- and if that isn’t the kind of support that good people give, then I don’t know what is. So thank you, truly. This post is never really compete without a small Oscars’ style speech, so in tune with a yearly tradition- this one’s for you, kid! Have a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year- because you deserve it.

x

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