This year I was inspired by the very lovely, super creative, and wonderfully supportive Claire from claireabellemakes.com to start my very own #YearOfEsther.
I’ve followed Claire for a while and after reading the Year of Claire updates on her blog, I completely fell in love with the concept. The timing was perfect, my little world had just been turned upside down and I found myself in a brand new position – much more of my time became my own to decide exactly how I wanted to spend it.
So what better way to do that than to dedicate an entire year to myself!? I’m pretty proud of everything I’ve achieved in the last few months, the adventures I’ve been on, and the lessons I’ve learnt, so I wanted to take a moment to reflect and give you a little update on what I’ve been up to.
Amongst the chatting, swimming, and Prosecco drinking I had my first ever Dry Flotation Bed treatment. I had absolutely no idea what to expect but it was incredibly relaxing. The treatment involved lying on a water bed in the dark in a room complete with nature sounds and relaxing smells, and you wake up feeling like you’ve had a magical eight-hour nap. The treatment is only 20 minutes!
My fabulous family planned a surprise trip for us to head up to Edinburgh. It was the first time I’d visited the city and I absolutely LOVED it. The atmosphere was vibrant, the people were smiley, and the stack of pancakes I ate was dreamy. A well-needed trip for all of us.
I’ve always been pretty happy with my own company, but only in the last few months have I learnt to fully appreciate it and actually really enjoy it. My bestie went away for a long weekend and asked if I’d house sit. Having the space to be with my thoughts, binge watch some telly and eat a mountain of fajitas was a real treat. The bath was pretty spectacular too.
From age four to 18 I took weekly Ballet classes. I have so much to thank Ballet for; strength, grace, rhythm, posture, and a pretty good waist line (if I do say so myself). I’ve recently taken up ballet classes again and it’s been bloody wonderful. I can escape screens for an hour and focus on the movements, the music is relaxing and it really helps to calm my mind. It’s also such good exercise – I’m often limping around for a couple of days after the class!
I’ve never known three girls more in need of escaping reality to spend a weekend in the countryside than myself and the two babes I spent a couple of nights in the Cotswolds with. I mean it when I say we laughed from start to finish and being literally surrounded by nature did wonders for the mind. The cabin was absolutely adorable and waking up to this view was so special.
Newcastle has a very special place in my heart. I studied up there for university and so have a lot of my family members. I met friends for life up there and made memories I’ll never forget. Back in June one of my best friends (and now housemate!) Amy turned 25 and we spent the weekend up in Newcastle celebrating. We danced until 4am and obviously ended the night eating cheesy chips…is there any other way?
One of the best things I’ve done over the last few months is explore my hobbies, one of them being singing. I joined Vocal Remix, a pop choir in Cambridge and have been absolutely loving it. Every Monday evening I go a long and we sing a selection of songs (usually 100% feel good) in preparation for performances. My first performance was a charity event in Cambridge, the sun was shining, the song choices were fab, and it was all round a gorgeous day. Each Monday choir starts my week off positively and I’m so grateful it’s part of my life.
Spontaneous trips are always the best, right?! We booked this trip a few weeks before we flew into Milan and it was incredible. We drank wine on rooftop bars, ate freshly cooked pasta in glamorous restaurants and nearly got stranded in Lake Como. We also celebrated 2019 Part Two (I explain all here). There really was no better way to say goodbye to a crappy six months.
For a while now Greece has been one of my favourite holiday destinations. I love everything about it, the food, the people, the sunshine, and this trip to Crete was no different. We spent just over a week in a stunning villa in the Cretan mountains, the infinity pool had the most amazing view. I got to spend some quality time with my family and finally read some books! Something I haven’t done in a long time.
One of the happiest days of my life, my cousin Josh and his beautiful wife Mary tied the knot at their gorgeous wedding up North. The venue was idyllic and the happiness between them put a huge smile on everyones faces.
Yep, you heard – three mountains, one day. Now I’m a pretty active girl, I go to the gym once a week and try and walk frequently. But nothing could have prepared me for this challenge. In support of the Alzheimer’s society I took part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. 25 miles, 57,000 steps, 370 floors, and 1585m of ascent in 11 hours 22 minutes. By far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but so worth it.
And now here we are! I’ve recently moved into a stunning new flat near the centre of Cambridge ready to start a brand new chapter of my life.
There have been extremely difficult times and amazing times over the last few months but I already look back at this period with so much positivity as I see how much I’ve achieved and learned. And I’ve had SO much fun!
#YearOfEsther doesn’t stop there, I’ll be carrying on my adventures and sharing my journey so feel free to come and say hello on my Instagram page!