Monday, 1 January 2018

2017 Reflections

If I had to choose one word to describe this year, it’d be: Reflective.

I don’t know if it’s what’s been happening on a global stage, personal epiphanies, getting older, or all three, but 2017 has felt like a year to step back and take stock.

More than ever, I’ve found myself reflecting on life, my priorities, my ambitions, achievements and fears, choices and events that have passed by in a flicker of a heartbeat.

It’s been a year full of highs and lows and whilst, I’m definitely looking forward to stepping into a new year, I’m completely grateful for the perspective 2017 gave me. Here’s a few snapshots...


January started with bubbles, frosty winter walks with friends and a quick visit to see the reindeer. Old hobbies were revived with some quick-fire sketching and I started a attending weekly Pilates classes, which I’ve stuck at for 12 months now. Never one to miss an opportunity to eat cake, we held birthday gathering for a friend who was away from home traveling South-East Asia and I headed to Oxford to celebrate another buddy birthday. Pink skies held my attention, living rooms were re-arranged, Brighton was explored, whilst forever thinking, “What would Louis do?”

In February, I decided to re-visit this little space of the internet, kicking off with some insight into my ‘Anti-Bucket List’. After a beautiful girl-date to Sketch with bestie, I also wrote about FOMO and the benefits of being more  ‘IRL’. My dog obsession grew after meeting my friend’s new pub baby, Clyde, who gave me a leg hug despite the fact that I was wearing active-wear out of the house. My friend Chris & I were overly ambitious making a mighty stack of pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, which quickly defeated us. February was also the month where I was feeling the most brave – booking my first solo trip to Barcelona (because I could) and chopping off my hair.


Spring arrived and so did an abundance of blooms. On the blog, I posted up a chat with one of the Moomin’sillustrator’s Merlin Evans, and put together a silly ‘Soundtrack of my Life’ post. It was the month that I finally found some pretty non-underwired, unpadded bras, which made me happier than you can imagine. My brother and I held a homemade afternoon tea party for Mother’s Day, and after years of declaring that she couldn’t draw, we whipped out the watercolours and let her and my dad surprise themselves with some quick floral paintings. 

March was the month that I penned the hardest thing I’ve ever wrote (including all University essays combined), documenting my feelings on engagement. I’m proud of myself for posting it. The catharsis gained in having wrote it, has prompted a recent want to delete it - things feel more overdramatic when you find a sense of calm with a situation, but I’ve decided I will keep it up, if anything, to remind myself to continue to write from the heart.

Enjoying the warm days and evening Sun that April brought with it, I went to hear Temples do their thang in Birmingham (a first chance to hear the new songs live) and wrote about how Wes Anderson was inspiring most of the décor in our house. Bank holiday weekend brought with it leisurely burgers dates with my closest chums. 4am drives to heathrow on Easter morning to pick J up from the airport and getting out of my comfort zone, to shoot pics for the blog in public with my friend Jack. There was also a-whole-lotta Barcelona pics, including a post on how to spend 72 hours in theCity. May was slower, which was nice.


The summer months included a lot of travel & adventure, as it should. Firstly, J & I spent the best week in the South of France, exploring the Côte d'Azur, returning home for a couple of days before flying over to Belfast for a family wedding and to see my Grandad. In July, we celebrated James’ birthday and I also took a trip down to Southwold with my bestie for Latitude Fest.  I also wrote more about my solo travel experience

August was my birthday month, and included a lot of favourites. I finally saw Regina Spector (incredible), re-read favourite books (comforting), and I spent some time with one of my oldest school friends Sam (ultimate babe). James cut his hair and I made lots of yummy summer food, apparently. CR, (bestest buddy and my almost birthday twin) + I got matching second piercings, and my birthday weekend was spent on a South-Coast road trip to Totnes and Victorious Festival.


September brought with it a renewed energy to make the house a home – I picked up a bunch of new artwork and for my birthday, my brother lent his services to help decorate our living room and paint the room a beautiful shade of grey (Manor House Grey by Farrow & Ball). James made my life by getting us tickets for Ryan Adams in Cambridge and I geeked out and picked up a screen-printed tour poster.

I was excited about new season dressing in October and had a moment on the Zara site and picked up a bunch of new shirts, which I captured here and here.

I was thrilled to be contacted by a couple of brands that I absolutely love, especially Joanie Gal who kindly sent over a bunch of cute items for me to style up. Another pinch me moment, was lovely Laura of Tee Party clothing getting in touch to hand-stitch my very own Novella tee – how freaking cute!? She’s so blooming talented so be sure to check her out!

In October, after a twelve year hiatus, I finally got round to getting a second tattoo!! After changing my mind a million times leading up to the day (so sorry for the endless emails Fiona), I went back to my first idea, and got a Mimosa Pudica black line illustration half way between by rib / shoulder blade. This month, I tried to make more of an effort with the content on this blog, and said yes to more opportunities, some of which will be popping up on here soon. There was LOTS of love and laughter at a Studio 54 themed hen party with the best bunch of girls and some clownin’around for Halloween.

November held some serious good brunch dates, a good old wardrobe cleanse and the addition of this incredible blog portrait by Ella Masters. I made more of an effort to slow down this month, and spent a lovely morning venturing around Castle Ashby. I’ll be putting up a full post on that shortly but in the meantime, you can check out a few of Yvonne’s 35mm pics from the day, here.

The festivities kicked off in December, starting with the absolutely glorious wedding of two of our dear friends and the work year finished with an overnight stay and Gatsby style party at Coombe Abbey. I’ve been so thankful for the downtime over the past couple of weeks, catching up with close friends who now live all around the World and spending Christmas hosting for our loved ones.

It’s been quite a year! Thanks to everyone who’s read even just one of these pages this year, sent nice messages and emails, it means the absolute world to me <3 Wishing you all the very best for 2018. I for one cannot wait!

Much love,
L xo

Listening to: This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies
Follow 2018's adventures: @lauren_afterglow

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