December 22, 2017

Wrapping Up The Year

Wrapping up the year

Wrapping Up The Year… And
getting Ready For A New One!

Writing these posts always makes me feel a bit like I’m prepping for the Queen’s speech! Oh the pressure of wrapping up the year so we can deal with the inevitability of another coming soon to the theatre of life near you.

I’m tapping this out on the MacBook, sat in a coffee shop (I know – how cliched of me), whilst the pre-teen and a friend have disappeared to the shops among the seething Christmas masses in the great city of Bournemouth.

I rarely come into Bournemouth town centre and generally tend to avoid it if I’m honest. Until the urge to go and explore Zara becomes too strong. I resolve to explore Zara much more often in 2018 – have you seen their knitwear this season?? Still, I digress.

I really don’t like letting H go off by herself with a friend in crowded places due to the current climate we live in. Walking to the coffee shop today, I didn’t know whether to be re-assured or alarmed by the presence of armed police in the town centre.

I ‘ M  F O R C E D  I N T O  L E T T I N G  O U T
T H E  S A F E T Y  L I N E  B I T  B Y  B I T . . .

But with her thirteenth birthday approaching in the early spring, I’ve been forced into practicing the art of letting out the safety line this year… bit by tiny bit. Going shopping with friends whilst I’m parked in a coffee shop (or in Zara) has become a “thing” so I’m trying to go with it.

That’s about the scariest level it’s reached so far… I know there’s a lot worse on the horizon.

We swing back and forth at the moment, she and I, between her scrabbling for as much independence as possible to needing me in ways previously uncharted. We have many talks about the real (and sometimes downright scary) stuff of life, we butt heads in spectacular fashion and we laugh and connect in a much more adult fashion than ever before.

And so it goes… the continued and unstoppable journey to teen-dom.

coffee and newspapers

In amongst all the Christmas prep that consumes me every year, despite trying to stay one step ahead of it but somehow ending up on the back foot fairly early on in proceedings, I have small and mighty thoughts and plans beginning to form for next year.

I’ll let you into a little secret – they’re so the opposite of the Lady Boss/Goal Getter mindset I flung myself into head first these past couple of years.

I T ‘S  N O T  M O R E . . .   I T ‘ S  L E S S

2018 will be more of a Me Year than this one has been. I’m sure this feeling is ably assisted by a healthy helping of end of year fatigue – that seasonal affliction everyone I know is suffering from.

Only this time I think its working in my favour.

It began with the guest post I wrote for Monica about designing a life you love and now it’s growing throughout the process of me asking of my work/business self, what do you really love to do? Which things make your heart sing?

Writing here on this blog (although not necessarily in this coffee shop) thats what makes my heart sing.

I’m repeatedly asking myself “What makes you feel stressed?” Or “Are you only doing this because you feel you should be doing it, not because you really want to?”

So 2018 will look a little different in lots of ways. Ways that I plan on getting into more detail about in 2018 – after all, we’re not there yet.

my filing system for the soul

In amongst all the silly season madness, my mind wanders into reflection mode every so often – do you do this?

Whilst organising the minutiae of Christmas, I compartmentalise all the good, bad and the downright blah from the year. It’s like a filing system for the soul.

Away into storage goes the joyous and inspirational to pull out again when needed and into the shredder are stuffed the memories that bring nothing of any value and are best left learned from but then promptly discarded.

As a place for inspiration, positivity and small indulgences, whilst I sometimes talk about the realities of life that I’m comfortable sharing online (and that I think you might be facing too), I try not to bring the rest of my shizzle to this blog.  It’s just not me – I choose to deal with it privately.

coffee books and instagram scrolling

So in the spirit of highlights only,
here’s what I’m most proud of in 2017…

Having figured out a way to design my own Media Kit for FREE, the sharing of how to do this inspired the Working With Brands series.  It’s information that I would have snapped up in a heartbeat when I first started out on this route so I hope you continue to find the posts useful next year.

The process of working on this post about playing tourist in your own town and this one about celebrating summer at our local beach really helped to drive home the realisation that I want to blog more about where I live on the South Coast. And so Coast & Countryside Life was born… and of course the first official instalment had a Dawson’s Creek theme running right through the middle!

We took an impulsive trip to Majorca after sitting at home one night and me informing the other two musketeers that I had earned enough money to pay for it. We loved the trip and I loved the fact that I could pay for it.

I spoke at the inaugural BSB conference and learned a lot about myself from the process… and what I learnt lead me on to talk about Imposter Syndrome – something it seems so many of us put up with. The best thing about this post?  Check out the comment from the lovely Karen that was only left last week. The fact that this post helped one person achieve something important to them literally made my year!

I posed for a blog post in swimwear! Anyone who faces down their body issues will know I don’t need to say anything else on that!

The blog rebrand – it was a year from getting it out of my head and onto the screen in front of you. It was a monster task that lead to more than a few sleepless nights but it made me reflect on how blogging should look for me and I had the most fun coming up with my About Page “I Believe” mantra!

I finally bit the bullet and started dipping my toe into video content. My first Vlog got a generally good reception but looking back, I think its too long. Try it, reflect on it and improve it next time. This is how you learn and I plan on learning lots more about Vlogging in 2018!

Speaking of which, I took a fantastic girl’s trip to Venice with wonderful freinds… and made a Vlog about it!

monochrome stationery and thank you cards

Elevating the everyday since 2009!

So that’s me… wrapping up the year, looking forward to indulging in a long seasonal break and already feeling the excitement for whatever 2018 may hold.

This year, more than ever, I want to send a heartfelt thank you out into this online universe to each and every one of you flippin’ amazing people who read the blog, send me comments and emails, drop by on Instagram and just continue to support what Online Stylist is all about.

Without your loyalty, love and encouragement I wouldn’t still be here, attempting to #ElevateTheEveryday since 2009!

Wishing you and your loved ones the Merriest Of Christmases and Happiest of Holiday Seasons and I look forward to spending 2018 in your company once more.

The blog is now taking a long winter’s nap and I won’t be back here until early January – exact date still undecided… but that’s okay with the new Less Is More me!

✨ 🎄 Merry Christmas!🎄 ✨

 L O V E  A L W A Y S ,
A M A N D A  X X

16 comments on “Wrapping Up The Year”

  1. I so enjoyed this post, beautifully written and reflective. I can relate to the rising panic around letting the children venture away, but it is so sweet to see their appetite for it. Wishing you the happiest of family Christmas’s. Hx

  2. Merry Christmas Amanda! I loved reading your 2017 round up, and WOW there are some amazing achievements there! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for OLS … I know that it will be inspirational and meaningful as always. Enjoy your well deserved break. Christmas Hugs … xxx

    1. A belated Merry Christmas Jen but more importantly, a happy, healthy and calm New Year to you too!
      Likewise for you my amazing friend – I’m so excited to see where your Italian cashmere journey takes you in 2018!
      Lots of love as always,
      Amanda xx

  3. I always find your blog inspiring and I look forward to reading it throughout 2018 and beyond! Oh, and by the way – be reassured by armed police. Nothing to be alarmed about, at all.

    1. Thank you Sarette and thank you as always for your continued support!
      It was odd seeing them in Bournemouth I must admit but we shouldn’t always jump to the worst conclusions I guess.
      Wishing you a very Happy 2018!
      Amanda xx

  4. Merry Christmas and a very happy new year to you,mr os and H.
    I can’t wait to see what you will bring us in 2018.
    Enjoy your break. Cheers!

  5. Thanks for the name check – you just made me cry (but in a good way!). You write beautifully. Happy New Year and I look forward to your posts next year.


    1. Aw Karen… you’re welcome… and sorry for the tears! But glad to hear they were in a good way!
      I hope to be able to provide plenty more inspiration in 2018 and beyond. Here’s to a great year for all of us!
      Amanda xx

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