16 January 2020

A 2019 Highlight Reel

Stephanie wearing a red tank top sitting in a green chair
Every year so far undeniably has had rubbish parts, and 2019 was absolutely not without the glum days or weeks for me, but I love doing a little round up of all the highlights to remember. Hopefully in years to come I'll remember my 25th birthday spent with my sister, not the days I felt lonely or that time I had a really bad cold. 

Anyway, that was a bit of a disclaimer for the post because it's a highlight reel that I'm so excited to share, but it comes with a little pinch of salt that nobody's year is perfect, no matter how good they try to make it sound online. 

Home

Four green plants in white, green and pink pots

This was the second year living in my current home and honestly? I'm loving adding lots of little things to it. We switched up our dining table to something that fits into our home much more nicely, bought (and managed to keep alive!) a whole lot more plants and added lots of blankets and new cushions to the living room. I'm such a homebody that making everything a little cosier and happier indoors means a lot to me.
Grey Russian dwarf hamster facing away, hamster water bottle next to it


Side on view of grey russian dwarf hamster sat on edge of food bowl

White and grey bunny behind metal grille
After losing our two little hammies this year we got our new Russian dwarf hamster Doris. She's got diabetes so I have to be very careful about her diet but she has the sweetest temperament of any of the hamsters we've ever had. 

After five years of staying afloat, Ted's hutch finally gave up the fight. We built him a new hutch this Autumn and he's got a fancy hutch cover on it to keep him warm and dry (which he loves so much he chewed a massive hole through at the first opportunity he could get!).

Relationships

Four photo booth pictures of two girls posing

My sister moved to a city 45 minutes away from me half way through this year and honestly the difference it has made has been massive. She was 3-4 hours away before, so any visits to each other were a long slog. This year we did so many road trips together (complete with singing some Hairspray), spent NYE together at a Cuban restaurant and facetimed at least once a week, every week. I've loved it.

I celebrated my seven year anniversary with my boyfriend. Instead of buying each other presents, we treated ourselves to a fancy meal at a restaurant we normally would never step into. It was a Sunday roast with bottomless prosecco and honestly? What a dream.

A pumpkin with black bat and orange pumpkin cookies on a plate

I've made some really strong friendships with the people I work with this year too. There have been lots of quiz nights, and I've hosted a few nights of board games as well as a summer BBQ. One of my favourite evenings was one filled with baked goods around Halloween where we all got together to watch the Bake off final.

Hair

Steph smiling into the camera with long brown hair

I know this is a bit of a strange title section, but this really made up a massive portion of my highlights for the year, so please bear with me. For years I've been wanting to donate my hair to the Princess' Trust, but it's been too short or in too bad a condition or I've had it dyed. But in April I finally cut off 10 inches(!) of my hair to send to the charity. It went from the picture above to this:

Two plaits of brown hair

Steph smiling into camera with short dark brown hair

 I then had a whole load of firsts for my hair: I had it dyed in a salon, had a balyage, went blond and finally went red!

Steph looking into camera with short blond hair

Steph looking into camera with short red hair

Travel

Tall houses in Amsterdam - different colours

Before this year I'd never been on a city break, and I hadn't been on a holiday since I think 2016?? In January we went to Amsterdam for a long weekend and fell in love with the city. Despite staying in a very cheap, very rubbish Airbnb I loved everything about the trip. The Anne Frank museum was incredible, we went on a canal boat tour, ate so many bitterballen and poffertjes, tried out a few coffee shops and spent a day in the Rijksmuseum. I would go back in a heartbeat and in a few years may just do that!

Colourful cafe with small black kitten

A cup of butterbeer

The Potters' house from the Harry Potter films

 There were also some day trips to be had in the UK which I loved. My sister surprised me with a trip to the cat cafe in Birmingham. We had nachos and coffees surrounded by lots of kittens, which is pretty much a perfect day.

Just before my birthday I visited the Warner Brother Studios in Watford and it was probably my favourite day this year. Everything was themed so well that I thought I might cry pretty much from the moment we stepped in? I'd love to go again in the future once a few more things have been added, or to see Hogwarts at Christmas. If you're a fan I'd absolutely recommend going - none of the magic of the films was really ruined, and I loved seeing some of the bigger sets like the Great Hall or Diagon Alley.

The final day trip I had this year was one to an arboretum near me, which is basically a big tree place. It was on a genuinely beautiful Spring day, with everything in blossom. 



I really feel like 2019 was a time when I found myself, and found my independence. I went on a work trip to Birmingham, stopped taking my anti-depressants, learnt to slow down and look out for the signs that I'm struggling. It was pretty much the best year I've had yet. 

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