I like to start the year by reflecting back at the previous year, I have also been thinking about what is coming up in 2017, what I am hoping to fill my year with, and what dreams I would like to nurture. If you would like some inspiration and some encouragement to believe in your creativity, read on.

Happy New Year to you all. I feel like I could hibernate for another month, but life and reality have been calling to me this last week, and I am gradually easing myself back into things.

After a blogging and Instagram break, I feel like I have lost my voice a little, and ironically I actually did lose my voice, and have been croaking my way through this week.

I like to start the year by reflecting back at the previous year, I have also been thinking about what is coming up in 2017, what I am hoping to fill my year with, and what dreams I would like to nurture.

Really, it’s the perfect thing for me to do when I am feeling uninspired with it all, because it helps me realise all the incredible things I have done, and personal growth that has happened, all as a direct result of this blog.

2016 was a year of great change, and the world feels very different compared to this time last year. Not just because of all the political changes and cultural losses that have happened, but because the person I am today is pretty different to the person I was a year ago.

In the last twelve months, I have overcome some fears, pushed myself out of my comfort zone, grown in confidence, and am finally starting to believe in myself. I feel a bit funny about saying it out loud in case it jinxes it, and it all starts to fall away.

One of the main things that has facilitated this, is earning some money from my creative work. For the last few years I have known that being paid would bring a sense of self-worth and validation that can’t be replicated, and I am sure this has really helped with my confidence.

Reflecting on a few highlights from 2016…

Last year I had written work published in several publications, 91 magazine, Wildling magazine, and a few other commissions that are coming out at the start of this year. I have worked on some brilliant collaborations for the blog, and partnered with some wonderful brands on Instagram; Toast, Muny, 20th Century Fox, B&Q to name just a few.

The magnetic wall and my work room in collaboration with British Gypsum was one of my favourite projects. It may have distracted me from kitchen plans (which will now get my full attention) but it’s so wonderful, and necessary for me to have a space to work.

We still have lots to do with the house, and I am currently thinking about plans for 2017, but we have made a great start on slowing down our home and simplifying the way we live.

In Spring 2016 I said goodbye to Margot, and then focused on re-designing the blog, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

I started the #slowlivingforlife hashtag, and the gallery now has over 13,000 photos.

Possibly the biggest adjustments of the year was Bailey starting school. As a result, one of the focuses for the first 6 weeks of this year is establishing some healthy routines for us as a family; things like how we manage the school run daily whilst remaining calm. And personally, I need to priorities my self-care.

I think it is so important to have people around you who support and get what you do. I know I find it invaluable to be able to chat through the things that I come up against creatively, and any blogging conundrums that present themselves. I have built some great friendships though blogging and social media and attending Sisterhood has helped me nurture these and allowed me to find new friendships too. Thank you to you, if you have been a sounding board for me this last year.

I have always believed that my creativity would lead me to good things. Plus, it is simply not an option to ignore it – I have tried  – and that just leaves me feeling miserable and unfulfilled. I hope this post inspires you to believe in your creativity, and gives you hope that with hard work you too can make stuff happen.

I am currently working my way through Susannah Conway’s ‘Find Your Word 2017’. I had planed to do it before Christmas so I was ready for the 1st of January, but there just wasn’t the space and time to work though the exercises. It’s not at all complicated, I just couldn’t get myself in the right frame of mind. I never make New Year resolutions and I love that with Susannah’s approach you can’t fail. Choosing a word to hold onto for the year is far more empowering, and has more possibility behind it. If you think you would like to try focusing on something specific this year, like being kinder to yourself, or even slowing down more, perhaps you are going to try new things and need a little courage, you can sign up to find out more here.

Finally, thank you to all of you who read the blog and take the time to comment here, and on social media. It brings such joy to be able to share our lives with you, and hearing that I have inspired you to slow down and take sometime to enjoy your wholehearted moments really means a lot to me.

Here’s to 2017 being full of creativity, love and laughter.

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