The Year 2017: Probably The Busiest And Best Year Of My Life

I can’t remember a year as busy and fulfilling as the year 2017. From start to finish, I feel I’ve barely had time to catch my breath. It’s been life-changing in many ways, both as an individual and for us as a little family and as I reflect, I can’t quite believe how fortunate I am. It’s hard to know where to begin so I’ve decided to look at a few different aspects of my life.

The Year 2017: My Style

Writing a (life and) style blog means I have a permanent record of what I wear and for what occasion and when I scroll through my Instagram feed, it’s plain see what colours and styles I favour. This changes with the seasons. December was full of shades of red and pink wheras blues prevailed throughout spring. Of late, midi length skirts and statement earrings have featured heavily, whereas they didn’t quite so much at the start of the year. I will always maintain that this isn’t a fashion blog because I’m really not that fashionable, but I do embrace new trends and styles if they reflect my personal style. If they reflect me. My style is ever-evolving while remaining true to myself and I know for certain that I’m more self-confident than ever. I will credit age and the love of a wonderful man with this.

These are my favourite outfits from 2017. (Just click on the captions to see the full post).

The Year 2017: Work

I took an important and ultimately life-changing decision back in July when I decided to finish working for local glossy magazine Aspire. I’d worked there for three years and loved every moment. I learned so much and was privy to some wonderful experiences and opportunities. However, the time had come to consolidate my energies and my focus to enable me to concentrate on my own business. (my blog, my freelance writing and my online jewellery store). It was a risk but it has paid off.

Since then, I’ve been able to devote more time to building my brand. Writing a blog is incredibly time-consuming. Each post takes a minimum of four hours to photograph, write, edit, optimise and promote. Without question, it’s a labour of love as any of my blogging colleagues will attest. But I love it. My freelance writing work has increased and I am thrilled to be able to combine this more and more with my clinical and scientific background as an optometrist. My blog has opened doors and presented me with the most wonderful opportunities which I’ve grasped with both hands. I’m incredibly fortunate to have a career I love and one that is as fulfilling as it is diverse. These were the highlights .

I promise that this was all work!

The Year 2017: Trips and Travels

Many of my trips and travels have been work-related and include those mentioned above, but I have been very fortunate this year to have had three recreational trips to Spain. I had ten days in Nerja with my children and parents in summer, a week in Lanzarote with Ian and the children in October and a gorgeous weekend with Ian in Malaga in November. They were very different from each other but all were equally perfect and equally memorable. Just before we went to Nerja, Poppy and I had a fabulous long weekend in Brighton while Harry was away on a foreign exchange trip.

The Year 2017: Family, Love and Life

2017 has seen quite a few milestones and changes for my children. Poppy took her GCSEs, went to her prom and started at sixth form. She also got a weekend job and has been fundraising for an upcoming school trip to Tanzania. I look at her and see a beautiful, intelligent, sensitive young woman who has a heart of gold. Next year will be another pivotal year for her as she learns to drive and applies for university. I get very emotional when I think that she probably has another 18 months with Harry and I at home before she goes onto to higher education.

what lizzy loves my 2017

Poppy on Prom Night

Harry began his GCSE courses but it’s football that has dominated 2017. In summer, he was selected to play in a district schoolboy team and this has taken us the length and breadth of the county (and neighbouring counties) on a Saturday. He continues to play for his local team on a Sunday and plays both football and rugby for school. I can’t deny that this imapcts hugely on my time. As well as the weekend fixtures, he trains two evening per week, each an hour’s drive away. However, I love watching him and am proud of his dedication and determination. Sometimes we take one of his teammates, but when we don’t it means we have several hours alone together in the car. As a result, we have a wonderful, close relationship. He realises that as a lone parent, this is a big committment for me and it means Poppy sometimes misses out. He returns the favour by helping me at home and he constantly astounds me with his emotional intelligence.

With all that being said however, although I am a lone parent, I have the most wonderful boyfriend I could wish for. Ian and I have a long-distance relationship and see each other on alternate weekends (at the most). When he’s here, he usually drives to football. The other parents have made him so welcome and he is as much a part of it as I am now. I’m a confident, happy driver but it’s SO lovely to be the passenger from time to time.

We’ve grown increasingly close throughout 2017 and I simply can’t imagine life without him. I think it’s blindingly obvious to those that know us that we’re excited for the future. It hasn’t been plain-sailing. Integrating a new partner into an existing tight family unit hasn’t been easy and the four of us are still finding our feet and adapting to this new dynamic. I’ve learned a lot this year. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve cried more tears than anyone could ever know, but we’re getting there. Love has prevailed but I’ll tread carefully for a little while longer yet. Seeing their mum as a romantic parnter, as a woman and not just their mum, hasn’t been easy for my children. All of this is totally understandable when I think what they’ve been through.

what lizzy loves boyfriend Ian

Lizzy and Ian

What To Expect in 2018

I have a few health issues that are to be investigated in early 2018 and life as a lone-parent to two intelligent, spirited teenagers will always have its occasional challenges. (It’s relentless but they’re the best children and we laugh a lot and enjoy life so much). I will continue to keep my blog as a very positive, optimistic and upbeat space. I will always, always, always write with honesty and integrity. If I wear something it’s because I love it and if I recommend a product or a place it’s because I use it or have visited it. I have an exciting year-long collaboration with a spectacle frame company starting soon and a few other exciting things in the pipeline but for the main part, I shall just wait and see what 2018 brings and I can’t wait!

Thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog. Thank you for understanding that sponsored posts are essential for the survival of my blog and thank you for the lovely comments and feedback. I wish everyone a very very happy and healthy new year and one that’s full of love and laughter.

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24 Comments

  1. Pauline Yeowart
    December 31, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Beautiful blog Liz. Eloquently written straight from he heart and with love, honesty and passion.
    2017 has been a rollercoaster year in many ways but certainly with more ups then downs. With your positive attitude to life and your continuel hard work we know you will succeed in everything you do that 2018 brings. You are a wonderful example to Poppy and Harry. They are wonderful young adults.
    We are very proud of you all.
    Good luck ! Xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      Oh thank you Mum.You know me. Heart on sleeve!!! Yes, it has been a roller coaster hasn’t it. I wouldn’t have been able to travel for work without you and dad helping out and I’m very, very grateful. And Yes, Poppy and Harry are wondereful young adults. I’m proud of how close we are as a family and the strength it brings to all of us xxxxxxx

  2. Frankie
    December 31, 2017 / 3:11 pm

    Beautifully written and straight from the heart. So pleased that things are going in the right direction for you. Your children sound amazing and I can only aspire to raise my children the way you have done. You are a wonderful mother and a characterful woman, full of style and grace xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 4:06 pm

      Aw, Frankie, thank you so much. It was straight from my heart and those that know me (including my mum Pauline above), know that is always the case. My children are amazing. They have had very difficult times and they have come through it strong, resilient and with a wonderful sense of perspective. They are my absolute pride and joy xxxxxx

  3. Vicky
    December 31, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    What lovely sentiments. All the best for 2018.

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you so much Vicky. Happy New year! xxxxx

  4. December 31, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    A lovely post Lizzy and hope that 2018 is a happy and productive year for you.

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you so much Gail. Happy New Year and lots of love xxxx

  5. December 31, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    It’s lovely to read and find out more about you – basically I’m a nosy person!! Lol. Some amazing photographs too, I’ve been given a photography course for Christmas so hope that will be beneficial to my blog. Have a super Happy New Year & I’ll look forward to hearing more next year. x Jacqui
    http://www.mummabstylish.com

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      Oh I’m really nosy too!!!!! Thank you for the lovely words and wow! I bet the photography course will be brilliant. I would love to improve my own skills too. Happy New Year Jacqui xxxxx

  6. January 1, 2018 / 8:47 am

    What a fantastic year! I hope 2018will be just as fabulous or even better!
    Lanzarote has been one of my favorite island for years and Brighton is just amazing! Every time I am in the UK I go to Brighton! Just have to taste the sphere there!

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 3:58 pm

      Oh Nancy, it’s been a wonderful year. At times it has felt like a dream and at other times it has felt like a whirlwind. I am so very fortunate to have such special people in my life and to have been given such wonderful opportunities too xxxx

  7. Sue
    January 1, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    Thoroughly enjoy your blog and the way that you look at life. As a Mum of a 17 year old who loves sport I can empathise with much of what you write about, but I am lucky to have a very supportive husband which helps. This year has been a big change for us as said 17 year old learned to drive much quicker than we ever anticipated and can now drive himself to school/sports fixtures all over the Midlands. It has been a big year of change and 2018 promises yet more. All the best for you and your loved ones and for a happy, healthy and prosperous year.

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 3:57 pm

      Oh Sue, thank you so much. Yes, life with teenagers is always evolving isn’t it. And I find that they need me just as much now, (if not more), than when they were little. I wouldn’t change a thing about it though. Good luck to you and your family this year xxxxxx

  8. January 1, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    Oh this post had made me SO happy, Liz – you deserve everything you have because you’ve worked so hard for it! You’ve done it all not just for yourself but for everyone else around you that you love (and with them in mind – you’re a total inspiration and the very definition of a “strong woman”)! May 2018 bring you even more happiness, I can’t wait to see what joys it has in store for you!!!!

    Catherine x

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 3:55 pm

      Aw, thank you so much my lovely friend. Such kind words. I can’t wait either! I’m so excited and ready for some new challenges and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for you too! xxxx

  9. January 2, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Dear Lizzy. It’s always a pleasure to read your blogs. This one was even more special. You show you care, you show you’re strong, you show that you’re devoted to yourself, your loved ones and your work. Your positivity doesn’t only show in your wonderful smile, but also in your wonderful writing. Wishing you a year full of many more magical moments! Love, Lieske

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 3:54 pm

      Lieske, thank you so so much for your lovely words. I wish you a very happy new year too xxxxx

  10. January 2, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    This post is such a testament to your spirit & drive Liz. I’m so proud to call you my friend, you’re an inspiration & a bloody gorgeous chick inside & out! Where to from here my love?
    xxx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 2, 2018 / 8:11 pm

      Oh Michelle, thank you so much. I think you have more than your fair share of drive and spirit too my darling xxxxxxx

  11. January 3, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    Such a lovely, heartfelt post, Lizzy! It certainly sounds like you’ve had an intense year and 2018 promises to be simply amazing for you and your kids. I shall look forward to continuing to read your posts – whether style, food or travel, you’ve always got exciting stuff to say!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friend!
    Hugs
    Suzy xxx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 5, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you Suzy. Happy New Year to you my darling friend xxxxxx

  12. Yvonne
    January 9, 2018 / 8:08 pm

    Such a lovely post Lizzy, so honest and touching. I wish you the most wonderful 2018 and keep looking forward to your super cute style posts. Thank you too for supporting and visiting http://www.funkyforty.com this has always meant so much to me too!

    Huge hugs, Yvonne xx

    • elizabeth
      Author
      January 10, 2018 / 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much Yvonne. I wonder if we will meet again in 2018? Haoy New Year to you too lovely lady xxx

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