What an amazing year it has been and I’m ready for 2018. I want to take this opportunity to share some of my highlights with you as I had a few and many of these started as goals.
Like every year I set many goals, most were achieved, some not, others are still underway and some taking longer than expected, but that’s fine..sometimes we set out to do something and we can be taken in a different paths and things can take longer than expected. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and when we are presented with challenges and issues along the way they are there to test us, we can learn from them and it can make us stronger, every experience is a stepping stone. What we encounter along the way provides the building blocks and foundation for our end goal. So I think as long as we are aware obstacles can happen then we are more prepared and ready to take on what comes to us.
In this post I want to celebrate each and every one and be thankful for them as one day they were my wish and now they are a reality.
I will be sharing some of my goals for 2018 in the coming days but for now here are some of my Highlights from 2017
P.S I Got Engaged
My top highlight of 2017 has to be getting ENGAGED to my childhood sweetheart. After dating for almost twenty years we got engaged, despite knowing it was happening when it did, it didn’t take away from the amazing occasion and event that it was and it couldn’t have happened in a more idyllic setting at home in Ireland. We holidayed at home in the summer and spent some time in the Powerscourt Hotel, Co.Wicklow. Kevin planned the engagement to take place at the iconic bridge where the Irish Film, P.S I Love You, famous love scene was filmed. It was so romantic and more perfect than I ever imagined. You can red more about it here. Now I have all the exciting wedding planning to look forward to and keep me busy in 2018.
My House, My Home
This year we (me and Kevin) celebrated our first anniversary living in our new home together, which has been amazing and has been so nice sharing and having this time together with just the two of us. It really feels like our home now and I can’t wait to keep working on it and getting all the finishing touches done in 2018.
Corners of the World
2017 was not without its travels, as with my work I get the opportunity to visit many amazing destinations. The new year, January, kicked off with a trip to Los Angles and Hollywood, my first ever visit here and I must say I was excited to visit as it was always on my bucket list. I was lucky to get some sight seeing squeezed in and is probably somewhere I would visit again in my own time. (You can read more about my trip here)
Then in March I was back in Las Vegas, this was my 3rd trip to this incredible and bizarre destination and it always continues to amaze me, it definitely is one place you should visit once just to simply experience it.
I got on my annual skiing trip, which I make a point of doing every year as it is my all time favourite holiday and it’s my treat to me. This year we went back to Austria which is a fab destination, fantastic skiing infrastructure, great food and very very friendly people. Plus this year we had some friends join us which made the trip even better.
Then me and Kevin enjoyed a few trips to south of Ireland this year, and there really is no place like home, I just love to holiday at home there is so many amazing hidden gems and amazing things to see and do. The trip to Co.Wicklow, was extra special as we got engaged.
Later in the year I got to visit Poland for the first time, it was a very short trip but from what I got to see it seems like a beautiful and scenic country. But I think the hotel (Uroczysko Siedmiu Stawow Luxury Hotel & Spa) where we stayed stole my heart and made me fall in love with the country as it was something incredible and one that I will definitely return to. I have been meaning to do a post on it and will in the next few weeks, here are a few pics from it…
I spent a few days in London at the most amazing Marketing Festival, which for me is ‘Christmas coming early, as it is one one of the best events for marketers, where you pick up so much information, knowledge and ideas and have the opportunity to hear from the leading and top brands and companies. I love London too, it has to be one of the best cities in the world.
Then back in September I was back in Dubai, I have been here before so I knew what to expect. I used one of my free evenings to do a desert safari which was great and a real experience to remember.
Then just last month my travelling ended with a trip down under to Sydney. This was my second visit to Australia, it really is an incredible county with so much to offer and see. It was an extremely short trip for such a long distance but nevertheless I managed to squeeze in some sightseeing in a free afternoon and evening and got to do a tour of the Sydney Opera House, this blew me away and really is a must if your visiting.
Each year my family also enjoy some time away just as the family, which I always love, as its hard to get special time together as everyone has their own busy lives. Its a chance to just chill and enjoy good quality time together. You can read more about the experiences and discoveries of these trips here to Carton House and Galgorm Resort & Spa. Plus we also got to meet the Irish Rugby Team, so that was definitely a highlight.
Elaine’s Roves ‘n Troves
In my blogging journey I also have some great highlights, I reached my FIRST anniversary of blogging back in November, which was amazing and it has definitely been a great journey so far. This was a massive achievement for me as I had so many fears and hesitations about starting it in the first place and thankfully I overcame them. You can read more on this personal story here Part 1 and Here Part 2
Literally in the same week I had my Home feature in Northern Woman’s magazine in the interiors section, which was so special for me as this is something I am passionate about in my blog and is something I intend to feature more on my blog in the future.
I was invited to speak at Omagh Enterprise week to talk about my blog, this was a real honour to be asked and was definitely An experience that challenged me and made me step outside my comfort zone, but nonetheless a very enjoyable experience.
I attended my first NI Blogger Brunch in Belfast, organised by Cathy Martin PR, and everyone had the opportunity to do a pitch on their blog. This was so nerve wrecking, getting up in front of everyone including more established bloggers and talking about your own little blog. But this was something I knew would benefit me and get more exposure for my blog, so I did it. I’m looking forward to more of these in 2018.
For the first time in a long time I committed to a fitness programme. I was always complaining about my weight and just felt I wanted to be fitter and eat healthier. So I made a commitment to myself and undertook a 5 week programme. I seen great results in a short space of time and I really enjoyed it. I was very determined not to undo the good work over Christmas and came up with some Tips for how to take some Control. I stuck to most things, but its so so hard to resist the temptations of all the bad things, but next week I will get back on track and look I forward to more results in the coming weeks and months ahead.
NI Food Ambassador
I was one of few trainers in NI who was qualified to deliver a new series of World Host Training called ‘NI Food Ambassador’. I delivered this training to numerous restaurants, hotels, bars, eateries and food suppliers throughout NI, educating them on the vast and diverse range of NI food and drink what NI has to offer. This was an amazing experience and I got to meet so many food and drink suppliers and was amazed at the quality and range of produce that hails from NI. I promoted many of these products through my blog as I love to be an ambassador for what we have to offer.
I welcomed a new nephew into my world and my sister in law, to be, also had another little boy, so that’s always lovely.
I received my Chartered Marketer status just last month so I was delighted for that as I am always eager to continue to up skill and develop my marketing practice and knowledge.
Happy New Year
So I think that wraps up my highlights for the year, all of which I am so thankful and grateful for and now I’m ready for 2018 and all that lies ahead.
Now all that is left to do is wish you a very Happy and magical NEW YEAR, may it be filled with all your dreams, good health and happiness.