Yearly Wrap-Up 2015

Posted January 8, 2016 in Blog Fests & Hops, Life Updates / 0 Comments

It’s that time of year again when I take time out to reflect on the best and worst of 2015. It’s been an amazing year for me, the highlight being the arrival of my little girl, Leona May.

Check out the 2015 End of the Year Book Survey to find out all about my favourite books from last year and have a look at my 2016 Reading List and Challenges to see what I’m planning to read in the year to come.

Blogging and Reading Stats

Most active month of blogging: April-29 posts (23 last year).

Blog followers: 332 via GFC, 323 via Facebook, 226 via Twitter, 205 via Google+, 143 via Bloglovin’, 7 via Feedburner.

Reading challenges completed: 1: The 2015 Women Authors Reading Challenge hosted by Valentina at Peek a BooK.

Blog awards received: 1: The Book Blogger Recommendation Award.

Discussion posts: 2: Translating works of literature, Thoughts on the casting of Hermione: does the race of an actor really matter?

Top 5 most visited posts: V is for VioletFall Bloggiesta 2015 wrap-up postBlog Tour: Eve Brenner Zombie GirlA-Z Challenge Blogs I’m Most Looking Forward to ReadingBook Tour: The Family Portrait Series .

Most commented on post: The Great and Powerful A-Z Theme Reveal

Creative Hobbies

Art and craft projects: 4: ‘Edward the Cat‘, ‘Spring Nest‘, ‘Coral Reef‘, ‘Radley, Biscuit & Pickle’ (gift for a friend).

Baking and cooking experiments: 7: Rocky road cornflake cakes, ferrero rocher cupcakes, cupcakes with mixed fillings, vegetarian and gluten free fajitas meal, vegetarian and gluten free pasta bake, vegan lentil and chickpea curry, white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, triple chocolate Christmas cookies.

Poems written: 1: ‘Alchemy‘.

Polyvore creations: 69:  see all my sets here (‘Modern Briar Rose/Princess Aurora’ to ‘District 11: Agriculture’ are from 2015).


Songs: ‘Sugar’ by Maroon 5, ‘Marvin Gaye’ by Charlie Puth, ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth, ‘Hello’ by Adelle, ‘Writing’s On the Wall’ by Sam Smith, ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Love me Like You’ by Little Mix, ‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, ‘Cheerleader’ by OMI, ‘Take me to Church’ by Hozier, ‘Love me Like You do’ and ‘On my Mind’ by Ellie Goulding, ‘Hold Back the River’ by James Bay, ‘Firestone’ by Kygo ft Conrad Sewell, ‘Shut Up and Dance’ by Walk the Moon, ‘Chandelier’ by Sia, ‘Heroes’ by Alesso ft Tove Lo, ‘Never Forget You’ by Zara Larsson & MNEK, ‘Heartbeat Song’ by Kelly Clarkson, ‘Sax’ by Fleur East, ‘Be Right There’ by Diplo & Sleepy Tom.

TV Shows: The Vampire Diaries,  Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish, The X Factor, The Apprentice, Great British Bakeoff, Would I Lie to You? Russell Howard’s Good News.

Films: Mockingjay Part 2, Insurgent, The Scorch Trials, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spectre, Ant Man, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Food and Drink: Quorn chicken style nuggets, Quorn steak style pies, Marks and Spencers mushroom pasties, Marks and Spencers spaghetti meal, Thorntons chocolate with fudge pieces, Cadbury cinder toffee cake bars, Rowan’s ferrero rocher chocolate cake, McCoys salt and vinegar crisps.

Worst Bits of 2015

It’s not been a bad year for me overall. The worst bits have been family members being ill or facing stress in their lives, family pets passing away and the dreadful events in the news such as the Paris attacks and bombings in Syria. Morning sickness earlier in the year wasn’t fun either, but at least it was for a good reason.

Top Ten Moments of 2015

1) The birth of my little girl, Leona May
Obviously this is going to be top of my list. I found out I was pregnant back in April and the highlights of this year were telling people our news, seeing our baby at ultrasound scans and feeling all the kicks and wriggles. Although I felt ill at the beginning, it’s been a lot of fun since then. Leona May was born on the 29th December at 12:18pm, weighing 7lb 3oz. She means the world to me!

2) Our holiday in Poland for our friends’ wedding 
This was a fantastic, unique experience and we discovered so many things about a country we new virtually nothing about. The wedding was such good fun and very different from how we celebrate in the UK! You can read all about it below:

Holiday in Poland Part I: The Wedding, Czarny Staw and Zgierz
Holiday in Poland Part II: Kraków and the Dragon Under the Castle

3) Our mini ‘babymoon’
We had a weekend away at a spa hotel in October right after my husband’s birthday and it was lovely to spend some quality time with him, knowing that soon we’re going to be parents and that these mini breaks are going to be few and far between in the future! The food was delicious, I did lots of relaxing in the pool and was treated to a facial treatment.

4) Spending time with family and friends
I’ve had some lovely opportunities to spend quality time with my family and friends this year. I went to a 1940s dance with my family, which meant a lot to my Grandad and was lots of fun. I also spent a weekend camping on a double-decker bus with my Dad and siblings and another weekend staying with my Aunt, Uncle and Nanna. For my birthday this year I had a big barbecue and invited lots of my closest friends and family. We’ve also been out for lots of meals and parties with good friends. These are the moments that have really made my year special!

5) My siblings’ achievements
I’m so proud of all my siblings this year. My youngest sister worked really hard at school and achieved amazing results in her GCSEs and has gone on to do well at college so far. My brother moved in with his girlfriend and got engaged and I’m so happy for him. We had a brilliant time at his engagement party in November. My oldest little sister has had a rough time in recent years but this year she’s had the courage to start a new college course and take on a new job, so I’m really proud of her.

6) Getting our garden redesigned
My husband has invested a lot of time and energy into our garden and this year we decided to splash the cash and have it redesigned to our own plans. I’m really pleased with it and it looks so much better.

7) Going to see The Bodyguard musical in Nottingham with Dance Krazy

Alexandra Burke was amazing! I was really impressed by how good she sounded live throughout the night.

8) Christmas! 
We had a strange Christmas this year as our baby was due on the 23rd, so instead of travelling to family they came to visit us for a while to exchange presents and then we had a meal on our own. It was different but quite nice to have a quiet Christmas in our own home for a change.

9) Watching the Dance Krazy annual show.
Although I couldn’t take part this year due to my pregnancy, it was nice to watch in the audience and enjoy the full show for a change.

10) Mum getting another new rescue dog, Harvey.
He’s doing really well so far and has really brought her other rescue dog, Maggie, out of her shell.

How was your year? What are your favourite memories? Did you achieve all your goals for 2015?

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