As the title suggestions HELLO and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Today I'm going to be chatting through some of the key life moments of the pat 365 days and I'm so excited to finally get writing this post.
I've been noting down highlights for the past couples of months since realising that we, as humans don't ever shout about our successes, or at least us British humans don't. I remember in October I was thinking back to a particular highlight at the beginning of last year and being so dissapointed in myself for not truly relishing in that moment. For not taking a step back to think "hey that was awesome, well done you!" Instead I was onto the next.
I think we've all become a little too harsh on ourselves and our achievements and I a blame it on social media. Social media is of course a highlights reel and that in itself is totally amazing, but I think it also works to rain our our own parades. You do something great but someone else does something better and in turn you don't celebrate yourself enough or at all.
It's something that has really struck a chord with me recently and something I'm going to fix for 2019. I'm going to slow down after key life moments and to really, truly revel in the excitement whilst giving myself a well deserved pat on the back, and I think you should too!
So, with that, heres a little look at my 2018 highlights. In no particular order, lets go!
Holidaying in The Maldives
This was a real pinch me moment and a really needed holiday for both George and I.
Whilst the accommodation for this trip was ever so kindly complimentary and whilst I was still snapping away and sharing over on Instagram it actually felt like my first proper switch off holiday in forever.
It was the most romantic week of my entire life and I feel that George and I really fell in love with one another once again. The Maldives is one of the most magical places I've ever been to and I would give anything to be able to see those crystal blue waters and sandy beaches again.
If you fancy taking a peak at what we got up to, check out this, this and this post here.
Completing Our House Renovation
Our home is officially complete and I am SO SO SO happy with it. I spent the majority of the Christmas break smiling at how proud and lucky I felt to have a home that felt like home. The bathroom renovation was the messiest and most stressful of the year, something that really surprised me, but it was well worth it as it's an absolute sanctuary. I have some slight regrets but all in all the house is perfect and I couldn't be happier. I'm planning on writing a blogpost about the lessons I've learnt since purchasing our property over a year ago so please stay tuned for that but if you fancy some room tours then check out our bedroom here and our living room here.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino- Arctic Monkeys
WHAT AN ALBUM! By far my favourite album of 2018 and now one of my fave albums of all time! It's my most played album of the year and I still cannot get enough of it. I was lucky enough to see Arctic Monkeys twice this year, both of which were two of my fave shows of 2018 too.
Being in a nationwide L'Oreal Advert
The highlight I was referring to in the intro to this blogpost was in fact that utterly mind blowing opportunity I had back in January to appear in a nationwide L'Oreal Advert which appeared in magazines, ON TELEVISION, on billboards in my home town of Manchester (MIND BLOWING) AND on Piccadilly Circus in London- only one of the most famous advertising spaces in the world!!!!
Now I can appreciate the magnitude of this achievement, I mean it's a L'Oreal advert! I uttered those famous four words, "Because Your're Worth It" on television for millions of people to see, BONKERS!
This is something I'll be sharing with my grandkids one day as I am so totally proud and honoured to have been given such an opportunity, I only wish I'd stopped to appreciate it at the time.
My Mum's 50th
A highlight evening of the year was my mums 50th birthday. I can't believe my gorgeous, ever youthful mum is 50! She honestly doesn't look or act a day over 34, seriously! It was such a lovely evening filled with the most special of family and friends and my mum looked utterly stunning, of course! It was so amazing to be able to celebrate my mamma in that way, something she totally deserves.
In May of 2018 my dear friend Amy (who I know you all know and love) headed on a very spontaneous trip to San Francisco, somewhere that has been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember.
It was the most hilarious trip and such a dream come true. A girls trip of a lifetime and I couldn't have dreamt of a better travel buddy than Amy; we packed in SO much and had so many lols along the way. A definite highlight of 2018 for sure so to read more on our trip check these posts here & here.
This year was the year I rewatched Desperate Housewives from season 1 right the way through to season 8 and my goodness is that show unreal! I remember watching bits of it when I was younger but to see it from start to finish once again was truly awesome. To be honest Desperate Housewives acted as my escape from the world for some tough months in 2018 and for that I'm really bloody grateful for it! It’s now officially the best series I’ve ever seen and I loved each and every moment and *almost* every single character in it.
AKA the best weekend of the summer, which lets face it was a 2018 highlight itself, what an incredible summer we had ey! 6 of us headed to Glasgow for TRNSMT Festival back in June and man alive what a weekend it was. The weather was incredible, a festival filled with people sunbathing and wearing FLIP FLOPS(!) not something I’ve ever witnessed in this country before but the weather was something else.
I went with 5 of my favourite people and we had an absolute blast; we stayed in a gorgeous air B&B in the centre of Glasgow and had so much fun dancing to Liam Gallagher, The Courteeners and Arctic Monkeys, a weekend I will never, ever forget but thankfully can relive as I vlogged the whole thing here.
Sticking with summer vibes we had the most incredible birthday for both me and for George this year, which are both within a week of one another, mine on 4th July and George’s the 11th.
For George’s birthday we invited all our family and friends round to watch *that* fateful England match in the garden. We got all the booze in, fired up the BBQ and somehow managed to bring our television outside. It was such a fun night, aside from the fact we lost, that went on until the early hours of the morning, one of the best nights we’ve had at our house to date.
Something that was a total game changer for me and the way I feel about myself was finally getting my eyebrows microbldaded. I went to the incredible Nez Hasan who has the most incredible client roster and I am honestly so thrilled with the results even now almost 6 months later.
I wrote more about it in this post here which are some of my favourite photographs ever so do check that out if you fancy learning more.
These Two Films...
Okay, so it sounds weird to say that a film or two was a highlight of my year but seriously discovering The Greatest Showman on the flight home from the Maldives was such a game changer for me. I loved each and every minute of it and have since watched it at least 30 times and I'd dread to think how many times I've listened to the soundtrack... But honestly what a film! It's become a highlight of 2018 for me, partly because even George loves it and we've had many-a-road-trip blasting the soundtrack and singing along at the top of our voices, so, if you're yet to watch it then get on it asap!
Another film that has gone straight into my Top 5 favourite films of all time is Bohemian Rhapsody. I've seen it twice in the cinema and once again I've played the soundtrack more times than I care to think about, I mean WHAT A SOUNDTRACK! I've since completely fallen in love with all things Queen and all things Freddie Mercury and George and I have become obsessed with watching old videos of him online. It's not out on DVD/online yet which is a bummer but honestly, I am SO freaking excited for it to be released, I'm desperate to watch it again!
LA & Arizona
AKA the best press trip of all time EVER! Honestly I cannot believe that this trip happened to me AND that I was able to take my gorgeous sister Faye with me, how insane! Trips like this don't come around often for me and I am honestly SO freaking grateful to have been asked to attend such a once in a lifetime trip.
It was with Proenza Schouler- we flew into LA, spent a couple of days there before driving over to Arizona for a couple more days. The Proenza Schouler Fragrance is named Arizona and for that reason it was so fascinating to learn more about the story and of course the ingredients behind the beautiful fragrance.
It was an incredible trip filled to the brim with amazing opportunities and awesome people who were also on the trip with me. I took a heck load of snaps on my film camera which I've shared in this post here and I also vlogged the trip, so head on over to that if you fancy watching.
Launching My Own Clothing Line
Now I have to say the biggest achievement of my life, let alone 2018 was launching my own clothing line Saturday By Megan Ellaby, what an absolute dream come true. I've dreamt of designing clothes for as long as I can remember and to finally have the opportunity and to give it a good go is just mind blowing!
I've loved every single part of the process and I have learnt so much! It's been really amazing seeing my designs come to life and seeing you guys respond and wear them, something I never, ever thought I'd see but truly, truly incredible to behold!
I'm really looking forward to sharing with you the next few drops and I truly hope this can become something big!
HUGE thank you to each and every one of you who has supported Saturday so far, whether it's just with your congrats when we launched, your follow over on the Saturday Instagram account or for buying a piece from the first Saturday collection, thank you from the bottom of my heart, I couldn't have ever dreamt of a better launch.
George and I ended the year with a skiing trip to Val D'Isere which was totally magical and the perfect place to get a lil festive at the beginning of December. There'll be a blogpost on our trip coming up in the next few days but getting back out on the slopes and feeling that kind of adrenaline and exhilaration again was unreal! It was an extremely beautiful and romantic week and one I hope we will make a yearly ritual.
And finally a huge highlight of 2018 was Christmas! It was the most festive and fun Christmas I've had in my adult life and the first Christmas in 6 years since I started my blog that I have felt truly relaxed. I put work completely on hold and really, truly went for it.
Kicking things off on 2nd December with the Jimmy's 2nd Birthday Party, a hilarious night spent with the most amazing people and celebrating George and his families incredible business, it was such a great way to start the festivities. We then popped over to France for our skiing holiday before returning for one of my favourite nights out of all time at Bongo's Bingo with 9 great friends! It was an utterly hilarious night and my abs and cheeks hurt for the majority of the night. If you haven't been to Bongo's Bingo before then you must add it to your list, it's an awesome night out!
Two days later on 22nd December we headed back to Jimmy's as George's new band Ethan & The Reformation played their first show; George is drumming and it was so amazing to see him back on stage. The band were truly awesome and yet again it was a really great, fun and relaxed night out!
And then it was Christmas, a Christmas spent with my gorgeous family and a Christmas that was HEAVY! I'm writing this on New Years Eve (daytime) and wondering how the heck I got through the entirety of December without a single hangover, perhaps it was because I was relaxed? Who the heck knows but my goodness has this Christmas been one to remember. I'm feeling so truly grateful to have such an insane group of friends and family around me right now and excited to see where this new year takes me.
So there we have a lovely little recap of 2018's best bits.
Lets not pretend that it's all been rosey though, this year has been quite a challenge mentally and personally as you lot will know if you've been reading along. I try to keep it real with you lot as much as I can without tipping over into moaning/oversharing territory so I hope that you appreciate that. It's important to me to not share a perfect life, 'cause no life is!
But it's nice to look on the bright side of life, I'm an optimist by nature so I do try to be positive where I can and this is my little 2018 round up of positivity. On one hand 2018 has been a great year but has also been the hardest year of my life and I hope those niggling doubts and bouts of negativity will be a thing of the past for 2019 and we can all have a beautiful year filled with as much happiness as possible.
I want to take this moment to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you for reading and watching along with me for the last 6 years but especially this year whilst things have seemed a little all over the show and I've seemed a bit lost at times, but having you guys here for me and supporting me with every step of the way truly means everything, you really are the best audience ever!
Happy New Year!
Love you all lots.