What a year you’ve been.
At some points, a shocker of a year, but mostly an absolutely fantastic, life-changing, twelve months. And it’s not every year you get to say that. We’ve had births, deaths, weddings and winners. We’ve have trips away and trips a-plenty to the doctors. We’ve had blood, sweat and tears literally.
You started off pretty shitty, as most January’s seem to do for me. I had to say my final goodbye to Grandma, and although it was really hard to be told the news whilst I was in Florence for work, keeping busy was good for me. And keep busy I did, because on January 18th, I welcomed two little black kitties into my flat, who we now know as Shirley Bassey and Audrey Hepburn. Although I totally underestimated how much work having not one, but two kittens was, we muddled through it somehow and now the flat wouldn’t be the same without their meows and constant scratching at the bathroom door whilst I’m trying to have a minutes peace.
You gave me a fairly quiet February on the surface, but behind the scenes I was beavering away on rebranding my blog – formerly known as I Heart Fashion. I had made the decision before Christmas to change my blog name to Apartment Number 4, and if I learnt anything, it’s that it is definitely not something you should just do on a whim. It was time consuming, frustrating and complicated with six years worth of traffic, rankings and back links to organise. But we got there in the end thanks to some Internet boffins who helped me on various forums, and in March I unveiled Apartment Number 4 – the best decision I’ve ever made blog wise. It meant I was able to concentrate more on interiors and lifestyle and less about fashion, which has swiftly taken a back seat since I got my own place and basically bought the whole of Homesense.
April, again, was a simple month – lots going on with work but nothing major to write home about. I joined the gym, I suppose that was something right? Then May came along and I was invited down to the UKFT Awards hosted by Jack Guinness and Amber Le Bon, which was a fantastic night. The same week I boarded a plane and flew to Las Vegas. It was everything I expected it to be and more – the hotels were amazing, the shows were fabulous and everything was so…full on. Including the people. I didn’t win big, but I certainly ate big. My highlight of the trip? Waking up the morning after we arrived and seeing the Statue of Liberty next to us, the Eiffel Tower down the road and the huge lion outside the MGM – it took a while for me to notice my mouth wide open, catching flies in amazement.
In June you made it possible for me to turn my hand to a little fashion styling and I created my first womenswear photoshoot, from conception to execution. I had faith I could do it, but knowing there were so many people to impress at work really put pressure on a girl. My ideas turned out better than I could have hoped on paper, and I went to style four more shoots that month alone.
July was a crappy month, as I started to have weird heart palpitations and after blood tests after blood tests after scans and monitors, they couldn’t pin it down to anything other than stress and anxiety. I stopped blogging for a while and didn’t travel for work as much. My heart still beats irregularly now but am trying to control it more and not turn it into a situation where I panic, especially as it can be scary when I’m driving and I feel like I can’t breathe.
Now August was pretty effing amazing. On the very first day of August my niece Matilda came into the world and completely changed mine forever. Five months on, I’m amazed at all the new things she’s doing, as her brain develops and her little body gets stronger. I can’t wait to do all the things I have planned for us, just Auntie Vickie and Matilda time.
Babies seemed to be a central theme running throughout the year, with two of my closest friends having babies, both beautiful boys, and I was asked to be godparent to my friends little girl. All these babies, it’s no wonder our girls nights in have changed from playing beer pong and downing the hard stuff, to playing peekaboo and having a warm milk before bedtime.
The latter part of the year brought weddings. Two amazing weddings. One of which I managed to capture on camera, giving the bride some of her favourite shots from the whole day.
On to October, my birthday month and possibly the best month, blog wise, I’ve had. Ever. At the start of the month I found out I’d made it through to the shortlist of the Amara Interior Blog Awards which I was ecstatic about. I never for one second thought I’d be in with a chance of winning – the competition was just too high – so when they called my name on October the 28th at the Ham Yard Theatre, I was absolutely gobsmacked. Gob. Smacked. Possibly in the top three moments of my life.
November seemed pretty tame in comparison, although I did start to work with some pretty amazing brands through my blog, and I decided to swiftly become self-employed on the side of my full time job so I could do everything properly finance wise. I think this was when I started to feel a little bit more like a bona fide grown-up.
And so we are here in December. A month where I’ve spent much needed time with friends and family, given my blog a little tweak, and absolutely worked my arse off on three photoshoots in the space of two weeks. I also started a Christmas Present appeal at the beginning of the month for the Salvation Army and was completely overwhelmed by the generosity of people giving me gifts and donations, meaning I collected a massive 270 gifts to give to children who would be having a very different Christmas to the likes of me and you. It was a great way to end the year.
You’ve given me a fantastic twelve months, 2015. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed every moment but who does? I’ve had goals which I wanted to achieve and have done so. I’ve also had goals which I wanted to achieve and thrown out of the window – “losing weight” I’m looking right at you my friend. I’ve patched up friendships which were thinning this year, and I’ve also made peace with friendships which were bringing negative energy into my space. I might not have shed much weight this year, but I’ve shed a hell of a lot of crap from my life and I leave you on a really happy note. Thank you 2015 for being such a fantastic year.