January isn’t too depressing because we have Phill’s birthday to look forward to. This year however, our restaurant plans were scuppered when we had a heavy snowfall. We were snowed in so Phill had to make do with a home-cooked birthday dinner and some yummy birthday cake. I had my coffee and cake on this adorable Winnie the Pooh cup and plate set bought for me by Carolyn of Forever Scarlet.
We often head away for a mini break in January to celebrate Phill’s birthday but this year we went a little later. I had wanted to see Paloma Faith when she came to Belfast in January but I left it too late to book tickets. However, when I saw that she was performing in Brighton in February I thought that would be a great excuse to visit this brilliant city once again. When I visited my friend Jen in Luton a few years ago she took Phill and I to Brighton for the day and we absolutely fell in love with this quirky and eccentric city. Our second visit didn’t disappoint and as we stayed two nights we got to see much more of the place than before. I’d recommend having a rummage in Snoopers Paradise, going for coffee in The Marwood, dining at Gars, having a drink in The Mesmerist and taking in a show at the Marlborough Theatre.
In March I was lucky enough to win a two-night stay in City Hotel Derry. I’m ashamed to say neither Phill and I had ever been to Derry~Londonderry (currently the City of Culture!). We had a great time and the photo you see above was taken as we wondered around the famous City of Derry Walls.
I think I’ve mentioned before that Phill and I used to revamp furniture under the name Ugly Duckling. We mainly sold our furniture (and a selection of retro homewares) at vintage fairs. In April we took a stall at the Frock Around the Clock vintage fair in Belfast Castle and this was to be our last event. Ugly Duckling was a great little sideline and we did it for almost two years. It was lovely to have something creative to do together but Phill was putting a lot of energy into his graphic design business Level 44 and I didn’t really fancy being the only one out in the cold garage painting furniture so Ugly Duckling came to a natural end.
With no Ugly Duckling to keep me occupied, it wasn’t long before I itched to start something new. It was Phill who gave me the push I needed to finally start my own blog. After years of reading style blogs, May 2013 was the month I finally started my own. Once I decided on a name, Phill designed my blog. Soon I was addicted to blogging and produced eighteen posts in May alone. I loved the little photo-shoot we did in May together.
June was an absolute scorcher in Northern Ireland. On one particularly hot day Phill and I took a half day off work and went to Botanic Gardens, Belfast. Phill got some lovely photos that day. You can read my Botanic Gardens blog post here.
I turned 28 in July and I had a lovely evening with Phill and best friend Carolyn and her other half in The Potted Hen. I loved what we both wore for my birthday outing. I felt so good in my olive green dress, which I paired with my new Fossil watch (my gift from Phill and Mum).
In August I was delighted to be welcomed in to the FABB group – a network of fashion and beauty bloggers in Northern Ireland. I got to meet most of the other FABB members when we were all invited for an exclusive PJ Party at Malone Lodge Hotel. Read all about the amazing night we had here.
We returned to Florida for the second time together in September. This time we got tickets for the Disney Parks as well as Universal. Going to Florida is a full-on holiday but this time round I made sure to have more chilled-out time. I did a few posts about our holiday, and one dedicated to our time in Disney.
In October I had the pleasure of hosting a Cancer Focus NI fashion show at Conway Mill, Belfast. This was my first hosting role and I got a real buzz from it. It was hectic behind-the-scenes as we scrambled to get the models ready with a range of outfit changes. A lot of money was raised for the charity and hopefully peoples eyes were opened to what gems they could find in charity shops. Hosting is definitely an experience I’d love to repeat.
Autumn is one of my favourite times of year so I was keen to get some outfit photos before winter well and truly set in. I love how these photos turned out.
The best thing about December for me is decorating the house with all things Christmassy! Each year I love buying new decorations for the house and enjoying the run-up to the festive season. Of course I did a post about my love of Christmas and I even followed it up with a festive video!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a happy and healthy 2014. Thank you for reading my blog this year, it means a lot.