As years go, 2015 has been one of great change for me both personally and professionally.
At times, it was challenging both practically and emotionally but it has, without question, been the most fulfilling and enriching 12 months of my life.
As you probably know by now, I work for Skipton based lifestyle magazine, Aspire. I started off just writing the fashion feature back in October 2014 after the director read my blog. At the very beginning of this year, she offered me the role of writer and editor, my first issue coming out in March. It was a dream come true because ever since starting this blog in May 2013, I'd hoped to turn my writing from a much loved hobby into a profession.
Distributed to 34K addresses in North and West Yorkshire and Lancashire, I cover quite a large area geographically and love nothing more than meeting clients about whom I'm writing. My role also includes restaurant and treatment reviews. This year I have had a natural facelift, reflexology, acupuncture without needles, sports massage, seated acupressure massage, relaxation hypnotherapy and reiki.
To say my job is varied would be an understatement.
To say I love my job would be an even bigger one.
My beautiful children continue to grow and mature and amaze me with their strength of character and resilience.
In July, we took took our first holiday as a threesome and stayed in Woolacombe, Devon. It rained and it blew a gale, but eventually, the sun came out and we managed to sit on the beach (albeit wrapped in beach towels). Tenacious and determined, we had the most wonderful week and my 12 year old son even swam in the freezing cold sea without a wetsuit. I wrote about our adventures and you can read about them in this blogpost.
I will remember that precious week as long as I live.
It was wonderful and for a laid-back city break, I cannot recommend a more beautiful location.
In Autumn, I was offered a further writing opportunity. For those that might not know, I'm an optometrist, (ophthalmic optician), by profession. I relinquished my career around 5 years ago to fit in with circumstances at that time. I loved being a stay at home mum, but always retained an interest in optometry and will forever, be proud of my degree and my professsional qualifications.
Also, as a result of reading my blog, my university friend, (who happens to be the clinical editor of Optometry Today, the optometric journal for members of the profession), offered me the opportunity to write a monthly page which is fashion led but with a clinical/ocular bias. This came out of the blue and I'm proud and thrilled to be involved with this brilliant publication. It rekindled my love with optometry and I feel the circle is now complete.
This was the second of the features and was in the December issue.
As the year drew to a close, I was invited to sell Danon jewellery on a website of my own. This came about after I was sent some of the jewellery to review. My passion for the brand was immediate and over the months, I found it very easy to write about and promote.
The lovely, lovely lady who sent the jewellery put my name forward to the owner and I met with her but a month ago. Within two weeks, I had managed, with so many calls to IT support that the guy on the other end recognised my voice and we ended up on first name terms, plus some very late nights and a *touch* of stress, to launch Lizzy O.
I designed the dragonfly logo because I love dragonflies and because a dragonfly necklace was the very first piece of Danon jewellery I owned.
I am very excited about this brand. It is beautiful quality and is a little different. It is a brand in which I truly believe and I love every single piece on my website.
This little blog, about which I'm passionate and which has opened more doors than I could ever have imagined.
So, I would say to anyone, follow your dreams.
Yes, it's hard.
People may think you're bonkers(!), but persevere.
Don't let anyone rain on your parade. Ever.
And be honest. Always.
If you have passion and are prepared to work hard and make the most of every opportunity, you CAN achieve your goals and your dreams.
As always, it's been a team effort. My wonderful parents, my two brothers and their families. My friends, near and far. All continue to support me in every way. My gorgeous children. My daughter in particular must take credit for the vast majority of my outfit photos and my son who steps in when needed. They are my world.
I am truly blessed and so loved and we are healthy and safe.I have everything I have ever wanted. What more could anyone wish for?
Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading my blog and for all of the lovely comments and emails. It really does mean so much.
Happy New Year!
Love Liz x