What. A. Year.
It’s a funny time ‘Crimbo’ that limbo time between christmas and new year when you lie about almost oinking you’ve consumed so many pork based products. Your eyeballs seem to slosh about with wine and you’ve definitely no idea what day of the week it is. As I sit here full to the brim of cheese board and DNA that is now 84% quality street, it’s got me thinking about 2017 and what a year it’s been. You see, it’s been somewhat mind blowing and never has the prospect of a new year excited me more.
I’ve always taken a relatively simple path, the sensible risk averse one that is smooth and un slippy, the one that pays the bills on time. But this year I’ve followed my heart a bit more. I’ve taken a few more risks and invested precious time into a few things that have just made my bones happy. Risky, hell yes but mother fupping fun, absolutely!
I joined Instagram just over a year ago after presuming it was just for those young enough to actually BE my kids, turns out it’s not. There are hundreds of thousands of incredibly inspiring and supportive people behind those little squares. Like a lot of people, I quickly fell down the Insta rabbit hole, only coming up for air, the occasional gin and to infrequently feed my kids. I was instantly hooked. The blog came shortly after, once I’d realised that I’d written nothing other than lists for the past 10 years! Mr Thirlby my GCSE English teacher would have been terribly disappointed, this is partly for you Sir.
So what has 2017 all been about?
15 rooms totally transformed
When I get a second to take a breath, I genuinely can’t believe what we’ve done to this place in just a year. Our builders were truly incredible and waved their dust covered magic wand to turn this project around in 5 short months. The stress scars will run deep, the anxiety related to the pressure of constant decision making is still palpable but sweet baby cheeses was it worth it. you can check out some before and afters here
1 huge mortgage
And what a sleep depriving burden it’s been too! Be under no illusion, the financial implications have been of epic proportions. Has anyone ever watched Homes Under The Hammer? You know, the bit where they say they are going to renovate the entire house for 15k. Well surely they are high or drunk or just big fat liars because that barely got us through the blinking front door! The haemorrhage of savings as been quite something.
48 near divorce moments
It seems that the aforementioned stress and money worries doesn’t come without the knee jerk reaction to take it out on your nearest and dearest. I think renovating a house is akin to having a baby, something that absolutely shouldn’t be considered unless your relationship is as solid as the granite worktop you are about to install! I spoke about the B.R.A (build related aggression) back in June with my ‘what I wish Id known post’ you can catch up here
35000 new followers
Now this is what I find mind boggling. I struggle on a day to day basis to get 5 people to listen to me. I have to ask my kids (and Mr Peach) to pick up their pants, get their coats on and put their bowls in the sink at least 12 times before they consider acting on my requests. Yet, 36 thousand people CHOOSE to listen, like and react to what I post. I distinctly remember my first regram on Insta, I came runner up in the @myhomevibe hashie in Autumn last year and it took me to just over 100 followers, I was bloody delighted. I genuinely smile every time I see that blue notification and appreciate every last one of you lovely lot who take the time to like, comment and support.
2 new Instagram accounts
The Insta crack that I’ve been consuming for the past year has seen me search out more. I’ve been incredibly lucky to meet the fabulous @thisstyle_rocks and @malmo_and_moss with whom I’ve formed the @styleithappy and @nohouserules accounts. The former is a hashtag regram account and the latter a new business venture combining my passions. Interiors, design, booze, socialising and grub. Go have a squizzles
2 days less drilling teeth
As much as I love being elbow deep in blood and spit it has been life changing being able to drop a couple of days of work. Can you imagine 80% of every conversation starting with ‘I hate the dentist’ I mean, how many other professions get that? I’d like a skinny soy latte please but I hate Baristas. I’d like a full head of highlights please but I hate hairdressers, you get the picture right? If I took it to heart I’d be weeping in to my cornflakes every morning.
1 award nomination
I cannot tell you how utterly delighted I was to be nominated for an Amara IBA. To then be shortlisted was a proper Brucey Bonus, a true acknowledgement of just how much work had gone into this renovation. It was also an incredible evening, the venue was gorgeous and I got to meet some of my all time faves whilst pretending to be not at all star struck! (thats you Erica Davies, Pinkhouse and Sophie Robinson) Of course, we all know how this ends. For every winner there has to be losers? yup that’s me alright.
0 awards won 😂
15 new blog posts
Doesn’t sound like much right? Well, there’s a heck of a lot of work that goes into a blog post. I think it’s only a blogger that can read another blog post and truly appreciate the effort that has gone into it.
5 Big interior risks
There isn’t a bone in my body that would have contemplated some of the decisions I’ve made this year. Painting ceilings black, neon fieplaces, black staircase, and a bloody pink bath?? It’s funny how none of these feel at all risky anymore
147 test pots
Love of colour and risk taking comes with one huge downside. The purchase of a crazy number of test pots. I reckon I could build a new house with the amount stacked up in our basement!
4 new addictions
Tiles, wallpaper, hexagons, Instagram. The End.
100 Instagrammers in the Peach Palace
Quite possibly one of the most bat shit mental things that I’ve ever done. Invite 100 strangers into our beloved, brand newly renovated house? Seems crazy right? High chance that there would be at least 2 or 3 crazies? Can you just imagine Mr Peach’s face when I told him. Thankfully my ‘other’ other half Amy aka the rocks to my peach aka @thisstyle_rocks and I were totally in it together. We had the most fantastic evening and we can’t wait to share our incredible plans for the 2018. We would love for you to be involved in. Head to @nohouserules to find out more.
5 business trips
OK, it’s no big deal to a lot of you, business trips are ten a penny. Not to me! My 17 years as a dentist have seen me do the sum total of zero! I’ve not once been wined and dined. I’ve never been asked to submit my expenses and I’m lucky if I get a free tube of toothpaste. This year has seen business and fun combined in one huge package. It’s a huge thrill and an honour when a brand big or small wants to work with you, it’s so exciting to receive those messages. I think it’s bonkers that sponsored content can be frowned upon, surely we should all be proud of what we have achieved, we should feel pretty content that a brand has chosen us and others should see it as affirmation of all of the hard work involved? I’m guessing not so much. I read a cracking blog post recently on being an influencer in 2017. It’s by @annaelerihart and you can read it here
28 new cushions
Yes, yes, I am completely aware that I have an actual problem. You only need to witness the flinging and huffing ritual that goes on round here at bedtime here, absolutely no pun intended! There is no flinging, I’m 2 stone heavier than I’d like to be and more often than not I’m more tired than Rip Van Winkle. The fact is that nobody needs as many soft furnishings as we have here but I genuinely can’t help it. And if it’s velvet there is no chance its escaping the basket!
Countless new friends
I feel genuinely lucky to be able to count a lot of you now as friends. The support and encouragement that the blogging and Insta community offer is crazy. It’s so blummin lovely to meet the faces behind the squares. If you are just starting out and are enjoying it, keep at it! A lot can happen in a few months, you never know what’s round the corner.
And all of this interspersed between the inevitable 1825 nappy changes, 2190 nose wipes, 4380 meal servings and 965 loads of washing that comes with 4 kids who are 7 and under. I’ve not only become the queen of peach but also the master of multitasking and I am beyond excited about what 2018 will bring, watch this space!
I’ll leave you with a montage of my favourite picks of the past year.