2016 · days out · wedding planning

Looking back on 2016 <3

After the most lovely Christmas spent with our families I decided in this time between Christmas and New Year I would do a little blog post of my favourite things that have happened this year. 2016 was always a year I was going to wish away in some respects. Since we booked the wedding back in 2015 for 2017 I have been so excited for it to be here but looking back I haven’t obsessed over dates quite as much as I thought I would and now, with less than 7 months to go, I am so grateful for this year to prepare and enjoy the wedding planning. We have had so many lovely days out, weekends away, time with family and friends and most of all each other, 2016 has been pretty amazing :))

January is always a busy month for us, it’s Ben’s birthday as well as his brother Jacks and Step Dad Jays birthdays so celebrations feel like they go on and on! Like last year we decided to travel up to Manchester for the weekend to endure enjoy their favourite team play at the Etihad. We all actually really enjoy it and I get quite into it. It snowed whilst we were there too, the only snow of the year I think?! It was so cold up in the top seats but we all enjoyed it nonetheless.

I also arranged to have some yummy cupcakes made for Ben for his birthday, he was so chuffed with them!

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We’ve made no plans to go this coming January so I will actually have to think of a present for Ben this year instead of just football!!

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February this year marked what would of been my special Little Grandmas 100th birthday, she passed away nearly 3 years ago now, we still miss her incredibly and I so wish she was there to see us get married next year. February also bought lots of fun, we shared our first Valentines as an engaged couple, we enjoyed lots of great times with friends and had a lovely day out in Rye, Kent. 

March is one of my favourite months, I love seeing all the signs of Spring appearing and the nights not being as dark. We had our Mums and Grans to our house for Mothers Day and had a little afternoon tea (what else?!) for them, it was such a lovely afternoon.

The majority of photos from this month have flowers in them, I so love the change in season and the bright colours appearing again. We had a lovely day in Tenterden as well as celebrating my sisters 21st birthday, a lovely day at the Spa and then dinner out.

Easter fell in March this year and I loved creating a my first little Easter display in our house, Ben thought I had gone a bit nuts but it was a lovely addition to the dining room.

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I enjoyed lots of baking and eating chocolate too, you cant style for the seasons without yummy food ha!

April was a really busy month, with a week at Center Parcs being the highlight. We had a lovely time at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest with Bens family, this was our second trip to a Center Parcs and we just love being out on the bikes every day, joining in activities and chilling out in the lodge of the evening.

We also did quite a bit of wedding organising in April, our venue had an open day and we booked the fab Fairy Dust Bakery to make our wedding cake! YUM! Wedding fairs were back and I loved spending weekends seeing different venues and suppliers and gathering ideas.

We I decided I had also had enough of our ugly bathroom whilst I was on my school holidays and decided I wanted to repaint it and get rid of the horrible wallpaper that was up in there. I mean it was just so awful, wallpaper made to look like tiles! Just grim! We had bought the house a year before and it was the ugliest, coldest room in the house and I wanted it changed.

I’m embarrassed sharing these on here, I really hated the bathroom so much!

Unfortunately, like most old houses, nothing was straight forward and the wall under the wallpaper was in terrible condition and some parts were back to brickwork so we needed a plasterer for it. We then decided to have him re plaster the whole room and get rid of all the ugly tiles and horrendous artexed walls. We then ended up replacing the whole bathroom suite except for the bath, ‘just’ removing the wallpaper escalated somewhat!

In hindsight I probably shouldn’t of decided to do it when we were planning a wedding, going away to Center Parcs and I had an essay to write for university but now looking at it I am so pleased I did! It took a few months to do but it now looks amazing and I am so chuffed with it.

May brought the peony season and I couldn’t wait to display gorgeous bunches around the house. I would love peonies at our wedding but I think we will be a few weeks too late for the season. Looking back on May we had a few busy weekends, it was Bens brother Sauls 2nd birthday, my friend Jade had her baby shower, my school had a big celebration and the bathroom was ongoing.

I love June, it always feels like Summer has arrived and that BBQ’s, Pimms and holiday season is on the way. We had a few family gatherings for birthdays, a trip to London for Bens works awards do and I carried on obsessing over peonies, they really are the most gorgeous flowers!

July is the start of my work school holidays so I am always excited for July but it was a little sad this year as two lovely ladies I have worked alongside for 7 years retired, we had many celebrations for it so it was really special for them. July also marked the end of university for me, I had been studying for 3 years part time whilst I worked and it was, at times, pretty full on and I would spend my weekends and holidays writing essays. I was pleased to see the back of it and enjoy the summer work free. Ben had a week off where we traveled to Cambridge and Hitchin Lavender Farms (I’ve blogged about that here) and enjoyed the sunshine with picnics and days out. July also marked 1 year till our wedding, exciting!! We made our ‘save the dates‘ and excitedly sent them out to all our friends and family.

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We also found out that our best friends are having a baby next year and we are so excited, I couldn’t resist buying this little fox as they are Mr and Mrs Fox, can’t wait for him/her to arrive! I know I am so lucky to have summer holidays off and always try to make the most of them by spending time with family and friends and doing bits around the house.

August aka my birthday month was the best, we got lots of wedding bits sorted and I got THE dress!! Dress shopping was amazing and I had so much fun trying so many dresses on and that feeling of falling in love with the dress is unforgettable. I also found out that I had achieved a First Class Honours Degree early in August, I was completely shocked and I don’t think it has properly sunk in still! I graduate in January at Canterbury Cathedral so I cant wait! I traveled to Wales with my mum and dad to spend some time with our family friends, Ben wasn’t able to come as he had to work but it was lovely all the same. We spent many a happy summer when I was younger in Wales with them and it feels like a second home to me.

I had such a lovely birthday and was totally spoilt by Ben and got a fab new camera that I’ve loved using ever since. I went dress shopping on my birthday with my sister, my maid of honour, and found the dress, best/most expensive birthday present ever! We also enjoyed another lovely week off together where we went to London (I’ve blogged about that here) and enjoyed a spa trip with my sister to celebrate our uni results.

September brings the new school year and it’s always so exciting to get to know my new class and get organised for the year ahead. It was a bit of a shock to the system going back to work after 8 weeks off but it’s nice to be back in a routine. In September my sister graduated from Writtle University, we enjoyed lots of time with friends and family and making the most of being outdoors whilst it was still quite warm.

October we visited the lovely Cotswolds (post on that here) and said our goodbyes to my best friend Emma. She went off travelling for a few months and is now in Australia to set up home with her partner Rich. I took a ridiculous amount of pictures in October it would seem, I love the colours Autumn brings and being off work gives me more time to do things I love. I’ve blogged about our Autumn months here already so I won’t repeat myself too much.

November passed in a whirlwind in all honesty, work is so hectic with Nativity rehearsals, Christmas events and the end of term from bonfire night onwards so very little else happens. We did enjoy going to some Christmas markets, getting the decorations out for Christmas and getting excited for December to begin!

December and Christmas were the best, I’m so sad Christmas is over for another year. We enjoyed so many lovely days with our families and it all just passed so quickly. We were very spoilt by our families and it was nice seeing our hampers that we made for everyone being appreciated. I love having our own little home to decorate for Christmas and have family and friends over for celebrations.

After Ben and I said we weren’t really going to do Christmas presents for one another with our wedding on the horizon I got the shock of my life when I opened up a present with my dream Mulberry bag inside!! Ben decided to use his work Christmas bonus to buy a bag without telling me and I still can’t believe it. He put a lovely message in it along the lines of ‘he doesn’t need his bonus as every day being with me is enough of a bonus’  ❤   I definitely had a little cry over that!

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It’s a Medium Oak Lily with the gorgeous postman lock fastening and chain in gold. So dreamy! I have wanted a Mulberry for more than 10 years, I think they are so timeless and versatile. Everyone told Ben when he was debating buying it whilst at work that it is an investment, that it doesn’t lose money and I have to agree, obviously! I am now trying to make every outfit coordinate with the bag ha!

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Looking forward to 2017 it’s shaping up to be the best year of my life, I get to marry the love of my life, my best friend, in July and I cannot wait! I also graduate in January with a First Honours Degree, our best friends are having a baby in late March and my best friend Emma will be home in July after not seeing her for almost a year! I also have tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that I cannot wait for!! Oh 2017 you have huge potential!!

Happy New Year to you all and thank you so much for taking the time to read this ❤

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