- Wednesday, 31 December 2014 -

Let's Look Back: 2014

It's as though I blinked and the year has just melted away. This time last year I had made the courageous, conscious decision to put university on hold for a year whilst I work on my mental health. Feeling slightly forlorn, I reigned in the New Year by making one resolution and one only - that this would be the year I started a blog. Now, in the past my track record for keeping impulsive hobbies has proved pretty poor, with a fistful of good intentions and the attention span of a squirrel, I tend not to get too far. Perhaps it was the promise of escapism, or the allure of a shiny new pastime, for whatever reason, 2014 was THE year and I'm so thankful you decided to embark upon this journey with me. So, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and let's take a trip down memory lane to see exactly what I got up to this year...

January: Even though I had resolved to take a break from studying, I was determined to stay in Newcastle and find a job. By nature, I'm a very caring person and have a tendency to put others before myself, and that coupled with caring for my grandmother back home, I yearned to put these skills to use. I desired more than anything to help people, to make a difference so as of January 2014, I became a care assistant.

February: The month where the magic began - in February, after weeks of preparation and organisation, my little blog, formally known as 'Dainty Ghosts' went live! After securing my care job, I felt so inspired that I went and created Chirpy to cheer you all on and cheer you all up! (pictured above). I was of course feeling very festive come Valentines Day and donned just about glitter everything!

March: Not impressed by my current HTML skills, I went and bought a beautiful new template for my blog, it was official: the blogging bug had me hooked. March also marked Martin and I's 3rd year anniversary, look at us, as if butter wouldn't melt, eh? In March I relived my teenage years and my inner emo rejoiced as I went to see Fall Out Boy - I won't lie, I cried.

April: In April we witnessed the seasons changing, with beautiful blossom blooming spring had truly sprung. I travelled back to Ireland for Easter and spent my holidays with family and friends, getting fat on food and relishing in the bliss of doing nothing at all. April also played host to National Sibling Day, and words can't express how completely besotted I am by these two cheeky monkeys.

May: As the first glorious wave of welcomed heat hits England, it seems like every man, woman and child is racing to the beach. During this month I accompany the lady that I'm caring for numerous times to the beach where we bask in the beautiful sun. Even though I'm out of education, I'm still working away concocting commissions for lovely clients and appreciate the doodling practice!

June: After enduring a persistent itch at the back of my brain, I finally yielded and changed my blog's name from 'Dainty Ghosts' to a better suited 'Fine and Dandy'. I felt that Fine and Dandy described me more and now, it's kinda become my own personal motto. After months of hemming and hawing, I finally got this beautiful vintage bird tattooed on my thigh, not a day goes by where I don't look at her and smile. June also saw more trips to the beach with one of my best blogger friends Katie from Katie's World of Beauty

July: In July, Martin and I finally embarked upon our first holiday together! We travelled to Morocco (I wish I could say by flying carpet) and experienced so many wondrous adventures. We arrived during Ramadan and it was such a cultural awakening, Marrakech is such a spirited and colourful place with so much to do and see. Probably the highlight of my trip was riding a camel for the first time, whereby we had this chirpy little fellow following us our entire trip around the Sahara Desert.

August: As a very early birthday and Christmas present combined, my mum treated me to this amazing Canon camera. After seeing all the time, effort and love I poured into my blog the past few months, she was delighted that I was dedicating my time to a healthy hobby. So, without any hesitation, I took her for a test drive and snapped photos of the changing seasons.

September: Seeing as I didn't start back at school until the end of the month, the majority of September was spent cosily at home, mentally preparing myself for the journey ahead. My mum, Martin and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Dublin, sort of like a final hurrah before heading back to England. It was like a mini holiday in itself as Dublin was abuzz with activity, and of course no trip to Ireland's capital would be complete without a pint of Guinness in hand!

October: October was awash with university work, though I was glad to be flexing my creative mind once more. After many anxiety-induced sleepless nights, worrying over whether I'd fit in, if I'd make any friends, if history would repeat itself etc I finally found my feet and it was good to be back again. My birthday lies dangerously close to Halloween so of course I had to treat myself to a few bits and bobs, including this incredible Disney villains scarf which was quite appropriate for the season. I had been lusting after a Pandora birthstone ring for ages and after dropping a few not-so-subtle hints to Martin, he surprised me with it on the big day! It has yet to come off my finger.

November: As the days began to grow darker and the nights sporting a new nip in the air, November was definitely the cosiest of months. I don't think a day went by where I didn't pop into Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spiced Latte. There was also quite a noticeable difference in my weight as I piled the layers on whenever university would force me into the cold, outside world. However, upon arriving home I would promptly treat myself to a LUSHcious bath (see what I did there?) and thaw out with a Yankee Candle burning brightly by my side.  

December: It's the most wonderful time of the year! I arrived back in Ireland early in December to spend Christmas at home and soak up as much time with my family as I possibly could. Although a spanner was thrown in the works when I received a letter from my doctor discussing the possibility of surgery on Christmas Eve to remove my gallbladder. I had been on the waiting list what seemed like an eternity so of course I jumped at the chance. I suppose this time round when I mutter the old mantra "New Year, New Me" it can actually be true!

Well, I'm brimming with nostalgia. What did 2014 hold for you?

  1. I am so proud of how far you've come this year! You're such a lovely blogger and all round ace person - I hope 2015 is shiny and full of happiness for you. Lisa xx

  2. I'm so glad I met you and found your blog. I think you're an amazing woman. I hope 2015 is amazing for you dear! Love you :)

  3. Sounds like you've had an amazing year. I wish you all the best for 2015 chickadee.
    Love Hayley,
    Water Painted Dreams

  4. Such a lovely post with such obvious care and dedication put into it! I love all your posts as you know lol, but seeing a look back at your whole year of experiences is wonderful! I'm sure 2015 will be amazing for you! ^__^

    Jemma xx

  5. Such a gorgeous post and beautiful pictures. I'm glad your year turned out so well and that 2015 brings you lots of happiness, as well as lots of blogging fun! Xx

  6. Amazing photos, I've really enjoyed following your blog over the past year and look forward to what you show us next x

    Cream Tea And Rose Jam

  7. Happy new Year! Looks like 2014 has been good to you - let's hope that 2015 will be even better!
    Miss Blue Eyes