Year in Review 2018: The Highlights

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2018 - what a blur. If I only had one word for this year, it would be ‘whirlwind’. It’s passed us by in a flash but it’s brought with it so many wonderful memories, moments to treasure and times to cherish for years to come.

In last year’s Highlights post, I said that I could only hope that 2018 would bring as much happiness as 2017 did - and thankfully, it brought even more. Here’s my best bits…

Personal highlight of 2018… Everything to do with our wedding. It has been one huge joyous tornado of activity so far but I have loved it all. From the initial working out of what the hell we wanted to do, to finding our venue and our amazing vendors, the dress, asking our friends to be a part of it, celebrating with our loved ones at our engagement party and making the most of every milestone - it’s been a once-in-a-lifetime experience so far and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2019 as we countdown to the day itself. It’s not always been easy, as event planning never is, but when you remember the sole reason that you’re doing it, who couldn’t love it?!

Professional highlight of 2018… I have always wanted to work in magazines, and completely unexpectedly, this year was the year that my dream finally happened. In October, Hood magazine launched and I finally got to call myself a fashion editor, something I’ve always daydreamed about. I couldn’t be prouder of our fabulous magazine and it’s amazing seeing how much people enjoy it. I have high hopes for where we’ll be this time next year, it’s been a crazy journey to get to this point but I am so thankful for the opportunity and making the most of every moment working on it!

Favourite travel experience of 2018… We haven’t actually done much travelling around this year, due to saving up for the wedding, but early in April, we decided to treat ourselves to a mini-moon of sorts, to celebrate our engagement. We found a cosy cabin in East Lothian and took ourselves off for a long weekend, luxuriating in a hot tub whilst snow fell all around us and making the most of a very special time for us. It’s also where I ticked off another lifelong dream - to get a selfie with an alpaca. Mission accomplished.

Album I played on repeat in 2018… After finally seeing them at TRNSMT in Glasgow this summer, the Arctic Monkeys are the only option for this. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but I totally love it and have rinsed the life out of it since its release. I think ‘Star Treatment’ is my favourite from the album, but on the whole it’s such a smooth listen, so unlike anything they’ve done before.

The TV show I loved in 2018… Years after most of us hopped on the bandwagon, this year was the year I finally started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and it has changed my life. Yes, it’s funny and it’s super entertaining, but it’s so much more. It’s art, it’s positivity personified, it’s showing the incredible strength of people who have overcome so much in order to live life the way they choose to. It’s amazingly wholesome, optimistic TV that just makes me feel good about life. Shantay, you stay.

The best book I read in 2018… This would probably need to go to ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton, which was a really beautiful read. I’ve loved Dolly’s writing for years and was so excited about her first book, and it wasn’t a disappointment. It shifts from witty, sarcastic takes on modern life to heartfelt essays in seconds, truly a book that makes you laugh and cry.

Favourite fashion moment of 2018… Finding my wedding dress is an unmatched moment for me - nothing else I have ever worn or will ever wear can compete. I didn’t cry, but I felt the best I’ve ever felt; I felt that I looked exactly as I wanted to, and exactly as I wanted my new husband to see me on our big day. Standing in the dress shop with a glass of Champagne in hand, I knew without a doubt it was the only dress I’d ever want to wear on my wedding day.

Most surreal moment of 2018… Probably our engagement party, which was incredibly surreal in the loveliest way. We decorated the space together, and one of the decorations was a wall of photos depicting Lewis and I over the years, which really hit home for me how much our lives have changed and how we’ve grown together and shaped each other. And then seeing a room filled with people we love, all there to celebrate us, was really just magical.

My favourite restaurant of 2018… Such a tough choice, as we’ve found so many places we’ve loved this year, but I’m going to go for The Outsider here in Edinburgh. We went along to celebrate our one-year countdown to the wedding in September and had the best time - beautiful food, great wine, an amazing time together. The hake was unbelievably good! I am looking for our next excuse to go back, it really is worth the hype.

My wishes for 2019… I am so excited for the year to come. I know that planning a wedding brings stress in some areas, which I’m prepared for, but on the whole I only want to look at the positives. Recent events have really hit home for us both that the time you spend with people is the most important gift you can give, and I want to make sure that I spend my time wisely in 2019. I only want to be with good people and do my best to bring happiness to their lives as they do to mine. Of course I’m hoping for lots of fun in the run-up to our big day, and the most incredible day itself, but there’s also our honeymoon to look forward to, the arrival of our first niece, and celebrating mine and Lewis’s ten year anniversary. As we’ve been saying to each other for the past few months: this year will be our year.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and positive 2019!