In looking back at 2017 I was surprised by how many favourite memories had been as a result of my little space on the internet. So much so I thought I’d write my seventeen favourites for 2017. Some of them I’ve been fortunate to receive through this blog, but others are wider.
I’m really conscious of a lack of books- probably reflective of my year- but I hold books I’ve loved on the shelves in my office, and I haven’t added any this year. Fortunately I have a stack of books I haven’t read in 2017, so I’m hoping books will feature more heavily in 2018.
So here goes,
1. The NHS
This was going to be Bio-Oil as my lead-in (see number 7), but I just didn’t feel I could offset the NHS with anything. This year particularly we’ve come into closer contact with our health service. Mr J had surgery on his hand, again. I’ve had minor surgery on my leg after I finally got around to making an appointment (hence the bio-oil). CM’s had braces fitted. And E is in the midst of his referral for neurodevelopmental support. Not only do I not want to think about the cost of all of this, but it’s not just been about the medical side of this support. I have been, as always, amazed by the care and support offered.
2. The Dyson V8
This is at number 2 because it’s a reflection of how much my life has changed. Why on earth would a vacuum feature in my favourites list?? I’ll start believing I’ll be 40 next year at this rate. But, it is a favourite. We received this item to review earlier in the year. I loved it at the time, and it’s remained a fast favourite. Literally because it’s fast. No dragging it out, plugging it in- no, this is just the height of laziness- set to max and either maintain a sense of a clean household or get rid of whatever’s been split (usually the latter of course).
Because I’m so old school the whole Spotify thing passed me by. But, in new skool- OMG. I could not be without this in my life. And I happily pay the extra to download just because I spend so much time in places without signal. I love that on car journeys the children can play whatever song they suddenly decide is their favourite. I love that I can suddenly remember a song I loved in 1991 and find it, and spend the next four hours wandering my youth. And I love that it helps me through work assignments and uni assignments with so many playlists. Sad but true, my life is better because of Spotify.
4. Sarah Debnam
Sarah offered a photoshoot to promote her children’s sessions. I couldn’t have loved the images more. So much so I ordered Christmas cards and a canvas. A fantastic photographer, and one to be trusted with your most precious cargo. Sarah’s photos really do speak for her talent.
Mr J and I returned to Anglesey, this time with our brood of three. It was everything I had hoped. And whilst at one of my favourite places- Beaumaris- we stumbled upon (would you believe it if I told you a small child needed the loo?)- Janet Bell’s Gallery. Never have I been so grateful for small bladder for introducing me to some beautiful prints. I now get to appreciate the beauty of Beaumaris Pier everyday thanks to my birthday coinciding with the trip.
I had a random period of winning stuff this year. I rarely enter competitions but did. And so not only do we now have an awesome barbecue but, thanks to a packet of Belvita, my office has a coffee machine. I wasn’t sure of its staying power, and part of it might have been stubbornness of Mr J questioning the same thing. But it’s love. Coffee for me in the week, and hot chocolate for the children after football on the weekend. We’re for keeps.
7. Shower stuff
I’ve narrowed it down a little bit. This year I started taking a bit better care of me. I started going to a fab place for waxing. I am a ridiculously hairy person. Nuff said. This has meant a few things. I’ve started having really honest conversations. So I have bio-oil after finally getting round to talking to the doctor about a lump, and I’ve also become a fan of scrubs.
And much to Mr J’s appreciation, I have discovered Buster in liquid form. I malt a ridiculous amount of hair, which makes hair brushing and washing the bane of Mr J’s clean life- the need for the Dyson V8 is also testament to this. Buster has made any issues with water draining a thing of the past.
I have a friend who hates wheelie bags and umbrellas. It seems these items do not make for friendly London travel.
I get them both, but appreciate them both. Although this year has seen me rescind both by investing in rucksacks and coats with hoods.
9. Bullet Journal
This year I took my BuJo love one step further by investing in the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal. And I love it. I could not be without it. I do go weeks not using it, but where the big planning is concerned- holidays; birthdays; Christmas; blog plans; home plans – it is a thing of sanity.
The perfect item for creating whatever room a child wants on plain walls. I still beat myself up over how long it took to figure out that ordering star decals for the ceiling was a solution. After considering all sorts of other stencil shaped solutions.
The stars really make the boys bedroom.
11. Northern Ballet’s Casanova
It has been forever since I’ve been to the ballet. And I was a little cautious of the opportunity to review Casanova at the New Theatre earlier this year. But any trepidation was overtaken by the sheer strength of the piece.
The things I never thought I would never rate. I took a very excited eight year-old to see Little Mix in Cardiff in the October half-term. I didn’t think I’d like it but there is so much to admire. Whilst their clothes may be scarce, and some of their lyrics completely questionable when recited by a child, there is so much positivity which overcomes all of this.
13. 5 Second Rule
We’ve had so much fun with board games this year, but this one really has provided so much all round entertainment.
I’m not sure my children are any more articulate as a result of the game, by the 5 Second Rule has definitely emphasised their competitive nature.
14. David Walliams
Another which I wouldn’t have predicted. I am now more accepting that I can’t make the children love Roald Dahl like I do, but they have instead discovered David Walliams. And in this my daughter has accepted that books with chapters really are fantastic.
15. Christmas at the Sherman Theatre
Fortunately, this never disappoints. I don’t think I could cope if it did. I’m already finding it difficult to accept that the children are growing so fast we’re outgrowing the younger children’s Christmas production. Fortunately in this growth comes the tradition of enjoying the main house production on Christmas Eve’s Eve.
16. Sinner’s Club
One which has stayed with me all year, the power of Sinner’s Club at The Other Room.
We were so fortunate to be invited to the Geronimo Festival in Cheshire in May. Our first experience of a family festival and it was fantastic. From the Rocking Rhinos, to the whole camping experience, snakes, climbing trees, walls, and caving.
And that’s our 17 of 2017!
What would be on your list?