Life

An independent life: 2016 review

01.02.17

independent life year in review 2016 inspire and enjoy

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

In 2017, I plan to continue on my independent living journey & thought a check-in on my 2016 review may help encourage you to think positively about the days and months behind & all that was achieved in just 12 short months. Below, I break down a few of the components which I believe contribute to an independent life, which you can read more about in my original post: ‘What is an independent life?’   

INDEPENDENT LIFE & WORK | 2016

InspireandEnjoySocial independent life review I launched inspireandenjoy.com! This was a huge achievement for me & something I should probably be prouder​ ​of myself for. Having met the lovely Jaye Rockett at a Blogger’s Brunch for The London Artisan, she kindly offered me some creative coaching as part of her business Wild Imagination. Originally, I was certain I should be focusing on Meet the Makers, the blog I set up in 2013 interviewing makers. However, after working through some thought-provoking questions together, I came to realise that whilst wanting to share designer-makers work is always something I want to be doing, I wanted to open the doors to other types of people I could interview, as well as share a little more of my own life. And so inspire and enjoy was born! I’m really enjoying this new blog & have lots of exciting posts already planned out for the next few months. It was also really exciting working with a graphic designer for the first time too – you can read more about the process Natasha Nuttall & I went though to come up with the i&e logo over on her blog Graphique Fantastique. I hope you’ve been enjoying reading my new space on t’interweb & please do let me know what you like & would like to see more of.

Inspire and enjoy independent life the holborn magazine corso como Milan I continued as The Workshop editor (Craft & Design) for The Holborn. Two print magazines; two launch parties & a host of online interviews have kept me busy and motivated, but the real highlight was seeing the magazine for sale in 10 Corso Como, a fancy design concept store in Milan. It’s so easy to forget that once I’ve written an article, it actually gets printed & read by people I don’t know all around the world so this was a really exciting ‘pinch me’ moment.

Katie Robbins Cermic Magpie 91 Magazine inspire and enjoy Also in print, I contributed to issue two of 91 Magazine, interviewing Katie Robbins of Ceramic Magpie for a studio tour feature. I’m also contributing to the next issue and will be working away on that this month. I’m so excited to be a part of this magazine as it’s such a perfect fit for all the things I love: interiors, makers & gorgeous photography.

I finished working as the PR & Events Manager for The London Artisan in May for no reason other than a 6 day working week was too much for me. I met so many amazing makers & am really proud of the workshops, talks, competitions & of course designer-maker market that I helped to be a part of.

INDEPENDENT LIFE & TRAVEL | 2016

Goa inspire and enjoy independent life travel palm trees

The year got off to an amazing start with a last-minute deal to Goa. Staying in a little bungalow a short walk to the beach with its own yoga studio onsite was the most perfect way to see off the January blues. This was my first trip to India and I hope to go back again to see even more of the ‘real’India.

Sardinia inspire and enjoy independent life travel In June, I took a long weekend trip to Sardinia along with a few of my favourite uni friends. Beach, vino, pizza & gossip was the order of the day & the perfect introduction to Italian life.

Hastings pier inspire and enjoy travel independent life August bank holiday I booked an AirBnB last minute & took myself down to Hastings for a night away solo. I have to say, going by myself was lovely! I explored the independent shops and new pier at my own leisurely pace, had chips on the beach, went for a walk in Hastings County Park (only geting a little lost) & cam back full of enthusiasm for the place & a bit of an addiction to checking houses which come up in the area. Oh, to live by the sea…

Northern Italy independent life and travel inspire and enjoy

Finally, in October we took a 10 day trip to northern Italy, staying in Adam’s Nonna’s house and visiting the home my grandpa grew up in. We explored the local towns & took a day trip to Milano. Considering Italy is in my blood, I can’t believe it took so long to visit! Many more trips there in the future I believe.

inspire and enjoy comparison and independent life INDEPENDENT LIFE & COMPARISON | 2016

To be honest, I found 2016 a difficult year not to compare myself to others. Despite all my best intentions, my heart is always so much stronger than my head, & seeing friend after friend get engaged/pregnant/promoted has been a challenge for me to always feel balanced about. I think I’m ok with these things from a distance but inevitably go a little quiet when surrounded by them all at once. Logically, I know everyone’s paths are different and just as important as each other’s and I really want to do less of this in 2017.

inspire and enjoy creative workspace desk

INDEPENDENT LIFE & CONSUMERISM | 2016

Another area I’ve been working on, but I’m pleased with the progress I’m making. I now buy most of my make-up from The Body Shop & try to pick up other beauty bits which are not scarily chemical-ridden (I especially love this moisturiser). Working at The London Artisan & visiting so many other markets this year, my collection of handmade work from designer-makers has been steadily growing, in particular my love for prints: see my desk above!

yoga skygarden inspire and enjoy

OTHER POSITIVES FROM 2016

Probably the biggest change was my commitment to trying to keep my anxiety in check. On 1st January 2016 I picked up a pen before bed & started writing a diary. 365 days later I’m still recording things that happened & how I felt about it at the end of each day. I also end each page with 3 things I’m grateful for. My boyfriend really seems to believe it’s made a big difference to my peace of mind, and I’m continuing with it this year too. Getting thoughts out of my head before I sleep is a fantastic way to kerb worries.

On that note, I continued exploring mindfulness, finally giving in & buying a subscription to Headspace a few months ago. Everything about it works for me, from the design of the app to the animations & Andy’s soothing voice. I often listen to it before going to sleep but need to start doing it in the morning as I tend to doze off!

We also bit the bullet & signed up to a recurring monthly membership for Triyoga. The Camden branch is such a relaxing, warm space & I really love spending time in the space. I wouldn’t say my yoga has got much better in the past 6 months but that’s not what it’s about, is it?! I also went to a 6am yoga class in SkyGarden which was a truly magical way to start the day 🙂

These 3 things have really had the biggest impact on me cumulatively and I’m excited to continue with them all the way through 2017 too. Not to say I haven’t had my big anxiety wobbles, but nothing that a good night’s sleep & a bit of quiet contemplation haven’t helped with.


You know the best thing about doing a yearly review? There are still a billion things I didn’t include, like the markets and fairs I visited, the friends & family I saw, the online blogging & photography courses & offline journalism course I did. I honestly thought 2016 hadn’t been that big of a year, overshadowed by bigger global events and not much changing in my life on a day to day basis. As someone who craves big exciting events to feel like I’m moving forward, this has helped me see that overall, 2016 was pretty great! Of course I have 2017 goals too, but I’ll be sharing more of those in the months to come….

Have you done a 2016 review? Please share below – I love reading them and we can all gain encouragement from one another 🙂

All images my own via my Instagram, except for the 91 Magazine photo, c/o Katie Robbins.

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