So here it is, my last blog post of the year. 2018 has been a crazy one for me, with lots of highlights and achievements along the way. I wanted to use this down-time between Christmas and New Year to reflect on some of the main things that have happened this year and some of my hopes and plans for 2019. So grab a cuppa and enjoy…
My first achievement of 2018 was managing to get rid of the extra weight that I had slowly put on over the last couple of years. I wouldn’t say that last Christmas I was ‘fat’, but when I looked back at photos from three/four years ago I could tell how easy it is for weight to creep on over a long period of time since leaving school. I worked hard over the first part of the year to eat better and stick to a workout plan and I got back down to a weight I was happy with again. You can read more about how I managed to do this in an earlier blog post here.
Starting up my blog
The most exciting but hardest thing I did this year was starting up my own lifestyle and beauty blog. I had been toying with the idea for a while but never had the push to actually create the website. Along with the amount of work you have to put into something like starting up a blog, the other thing that was holding me back was having to put it out there – for everyone to see. That is the hardest thing! Thoughts in my head always went back to ‘what if people think it’s ridiculous’ or ‘everyone on social media will be like what the hell is she doing?’.
In April I decided that you know what, if I want to do this then I’m going to do it, and if people aren’t interested then they don’t have to read it and that doesn’t bother me. It was the best thing I could have done, and it’s made me so much more confident as a person compared to who I was before. Getting over the initial hurdle of putting my website ‘out there’ was the most difficult bit, and I actually remember having everything ready to go and the first post written, but I just couldn’t bring myself to press the ‘publish’ button for like half an hour. I’m so glad I did though! If you fancy having a read of my first ever blog post, click here.
Visiting New York City
Something me and Harry wanted to do for a long time was visit NYC together. Harry had already been years ago on a school trip, but apparently didn’t get to see or do much, so we were both so excited for our 2018 trip! It was everything we could have wished for and more – and with my excellent organisational skills (if I do say so myself) we managed to see and do everything on our list as well as have some chilled down time. The fact that we were there for 7 nights also helped the situation!
As well as me visiting New York for the first time, while we were out there I also bought my first pair of designer shoes AND my first proper designer handbag! It was lovely being able to treat myself to something more luxe than the usual Michael Kors or Ted Baker, and it was made even more memorable by the fact that one of my purchases was made at Sak’s Department Store at the high end of 5th Avenue. It was a real pinch me moment and it was crazy to see how the other half live. We made so many great memories on this holiday and I’m so happy that we can now settle down knowing that we have thoroughly explored this city and loved every minute.
Starting up a YouTube channel
The week we travelled to New York I thought was the perfect time for me to start filming my first ever vlog to upload to a newly created Ashlie Loves YouTube channel. Throughout the year I had been enjoying planning and writing my blog posts, so I thought why not see if I enjoy creating YouTube content just as much? I always watch YouTube and have my favourite lifestyle, beauty and fashion YouTubers that I tune into religiously, so it made sense to give it a go myself and have a bit of fun with it.
It’s quite awkward and difficult to start off with, having to get used to talking to a camera (I hated it for the first few clips as I thought I sounded like a crazy person!). However, I now love it!! It’s so much fun to film and edit your own footage and it’s lovely to have a video to watch back whenever you want to relive memories. I still love to write blog posts too, but sometimes when you’re either having a great day out, or on holiday, or just doing anything that you think will create lots of great memories, it’s just easier to pull out the camera and start recording. If you’ve not yet seen any of my YouTube videos, a link to my channel is here!
Something that’s come about from my love of blogging and the hard work I put into it, is collaborating with brands. Considering Ashlie Loves has been up and running for less than 9 months, I’m actually surprised that I’ve already collaborated with some great brands. I honestly thought it took ages before any opportunities like that came about, but each time I work with a brand it inspires me to keep writing, creating and improving. It just goes to show that you should always believe in yourself, because if you put the work in, you will be rewarded!
So much more has happened this year, including holidays with my amazing family, weekends away with Harry, and Summer BBQs and evenings with our good friends. It’s been a wonderful year but I’m now ready to see 2019 in with open arms. I just know that next year will be even more exciting and eventful as this year has been, as it’s the year that Harry and I will be looking to buy our first house! It’s been a long old slog of saving up, but as we know exactly what we want, and we’ve been so excited about it, it’s helped us reduce our spending on other things and we’re now very nearly there!
In terms of Ashlie Loves, I’m hoping 2019 will bring lots more opportunities, new brand collaborations and more readers and viewers. I’ll be able to create a lot of new content when we go through the house buying journey, including interior inspo and hauls which I’m super excited about!
I hope you all have had a wonderful 2018 too, have achieved some goals of your own, and are looking forward to what 2019 brings. Happy New Year!