Photography by Ally

So I'm watching Grey's Anatomy and I've got to the episode where Ellis Grey goes absolutely insane again and amongst the random stuff she spurts out, she says something along the lines of life being a carousel and never being able to get off of it.

And there was something about that line - that was clearly so poignant to me that I can't even remember the whole bloody thing - that sort of struck a chord. Because this year has kinda been a mixture of insanely incredible, stressful af, out of this world, absolutely vile, more confusing than Kanye's onstage rants and the funniest and most fun year of my life.

So yeah, it kind of feels like I've been on a carousel that I couldn't get off of but finally, thanks to the Chrimbo Limbo - I F**KING LOVE YOU CHRIMBO LIMBO - I've finally had a minute to take a step back and look at this year and Jesus christ, it has actually, despite being so busy that I am incapable of finding the time to get even one paragraph into a blog post without having to finish it days/weeks later, despite the fact that I am so up to my eyeballs in work that I am currently struggling between signing to management and basically running away from life like, LOL LOL LOL BYE RESPONSIBILITIES AND ADULT LIFE, SEE YA LATER BYE FELICIA *insert ten waving hand emojis here*... despite all of those things, it has by far been the best year yet.

So I thought I'd list a few of my favourite things that have happened this year. Mostly to remind myself that the stress and mild/major breakdowns have all been worth it and partly because if you can't be a bit of a self indulgent tit at the end of the year, when can you? [insert cry laughter/"actually shrivelling up at the prospect of being self indulgent" emojis here].
1. Friendship
2017 was the year of Friendship. It was the year that my little army of really insanely amazing people fell together and I finally felt like, yeah, friends are about quality and not quantity and the few that I have in my life on a daily basis are pretty bloody amazing/hilarious/sass af! If you follow my social media/youtube/this blog/know me, you will know that Ally, otherwise known as my right arm (or the one with constantly amazing hair), has pretty much become one of the most integral parts to not only my happiness, joy, (can I say sass or will that make me a total knob? possibly) and general wellbeing, but generally just my life. We talk all day long (no YOU stay up up all night talking for 3 hours a night), we laugh all day long. But not just lol little laughs, like.... my face is so contorted and I am crying a river and I've actually given myself abs from the sheer amount of laughter, kind of laughter and fucking hell that is the best kind. I have never laughed like that in my entire life so for that I am just beyond grateful. But Ally is just one example, Jess has also been a huge part of my year (more on this later) creating some amazing memories - and some we/I would rather forget - as well as so so so many other blogging friends that I am lucky enough to do life with. Basically, I now have loads of people to message Gemma Collins memes too and that makes me really happy.

BRB while I vom in a bucket because apparently I am now the cheesiest person of all time.

2. Working with Primark
I have always, always been the biggest Primark fangirl. Always. I shop there on a weekly basis, a good 75% of my wardrobe is dedicated to it, at least 50% of the questions I'm asked on Instagram is "how do you always find the best pieces from Primark?" basically... I've just always loved it as much as Harry Potter and Harvey Specter and pizza takeaway nights combined. Earlier in the year I was contracted to work with them on their influencer program (which I think only consists of a very small amount of people) to create regular content and it was not only one of my successful campaigns in terms of engagement/relatability etc. but also in terms of the reaction of not only people - and The Sun because LOL this turnip ended up in an article about finding the best Primark pieces, linked here if you fancy a read - that follow me but also other brands/companies too. It was just so natural, so easy, because I do wear Primark everyday anyway so the content was no different from my usual apart from every other week I'd write "ad". And that is the kinda campaigns/work I will be doing in 2018. Projects that actually keep me up at night plotting and planning and generally being excited af about.

3. Nailing Box Set Life.
I decided to watch Grey's Anatomy all the way through for a second - and now a for a third, no I don't have a life, feel free to judge away - time and that's the moment that I realised that sometimes I do make really blinding decisions. 
4. Big round face plastered around London (soz London)
Having my rounder than usual face plastered all over London on bus stops, in newspapers, tube stations and a huge (mortifyingly huge) screen in Canary Wharf when I was part of the Santander Cycles campaign was maybe one of the unexpected things to happen this year. There was only 2 bloggers involved in that campaign alongside Jess Ennis and Jensen Button and it still blows my mind that I was picked. I still think deep down my Mum might have secretly sold our house/life and paid them to pick me because HOW?!?! 

5. Legit reason to fangirl
So, I'll let myself have a tiny second to fangirl over the fact that Zoella followed me on Instagram this year. I am generally the least fangirl human in life but I would be a big fat liar if I said it didn't put a smile on my face seeing her in my follower list after first discovering her when I was 16 (no YOU now feel old af). It was just... cool I suppose. Like, I'm not gonna whack it on my non-existent cv but I guess it's just nice to know that someone you've always thought was a total girl boss even knows you exist.

6. I walked the Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival
Erm, so, this still feels so weird to even say out loud because I refuse to believe that it's real but, I WALKED THE FRICKIN RED CARPET AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL. No really, I actually did, and I was invited and didn't just gatecrash. I was taken to Cannes by Mouten Cadet, the official wine sponsor for the festival as one of 4 "influencers" (using quotation marks because I hate that phrase more than Kanye loves Kanye) from the UK and Germany. We drank wine, walked the Red carpet, watched Twin Peaks (strangest thing I've ever seen, personally wouldn't recommend) and within 42 hours I was home. It was a total whirlwind but for a very brief second - when the security guard wasn't stood on my dress - I felt a little bit like a princess.

A very bedraggled, slightly half cut on Mouten Cadet wine princess, but a princess all the same.

7. Got paid to eat Pizza, Cheese fondue and Chocolate melts. No YOU nailed life.
I created my own edit for Zizzi. The Elle Next Door edit which obviously consisted of cheese fondue and pizza and a chocolate melt. (The other person involved was Lucy Meck from TOWIE who went for salads so that didn't make me feel like a grotesque wildebeest at all). Basically you could order my edit from Deliveroo and I think that's just a little bit cool af.
8. Watch your back Carrie Bradshaw
During October I moved to New York for just over 3 weeks with Jess and BRB WHILST I SHED A LITTLE TEAR OVER THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE. That trip was far from perfect and far from a holiday but my god we laughed. We bonded in a way that you can only bond if you spend 3 weeks in each other's pockets 24/7 (and happen to get food poisoning, I don't think I need to elaborate on that do I?), and we just fell in love with NYC even more than we already was. We explored all day, and watched Sex and the City at night. We stayed up for hours trying to swat a mosquito that had given us collectively 30+ bites. We ate the best food, 12 times a day. We became almost locals and could direct people everywhere. We felt like legit New Yorkers and OMG LIFE MADE. We switched off from our jobs for longer than we ever do at home and actually spoke about life rather than our work life. We just lived our best NYC life and I will forever be grateful for that trip of a lifetime and the memories that we'll never forget!

9. Getting involved with GIRLvsCANCER
If you don't know about Lauren - otherwise known as Lolli/Lozza - she is quite frankly one of the most incredible people I know. She was diagnosed with Breast cancer, fought it like a f**king girl boss, and then went on to create GIRLvsCANCER, an incredible online space for anyone also suffering from Cancer. As well as making the most babe'in Tit tee's with 25% of the proceeds going to GIRLvsCANCER's partner charities. To be involved with the Tit tee campaign and just to be in a position to maybe be able to help out in any way was a really special moment!

10. My Mum and Dad are legends. Just sayin...
If you thought I was a soppy twat previously then please prepare yourself for the mother of all sops. My Mum and Dad have always been complete and utter legends in my eyes... the kindest, most selfless, generous, amazing people I know. But this year I watched them basically give up their entire lives to take care of my Nan. She has Alzheimer's now and whilst she is still a lovely little old lady, she is also incredibly hard work. But they don't complain, they don't mope around like moaning Myrtle, they just get on with it. Mum and Dad (well, Mum, because I know 100% you will be reading this because let's be honest, you are forever my biggest fan), you are my heros!

Oh, and my brother is a mega, mega babe too who I'm super proud of although I could never actually tell him because he'd probably lob something at my head or generally take the piss.

ABC Studios sent me Grey's Anatomy memorabilia because they could tell I was fan. BRB WHILST I FANGIRL AND CRY INTO MY NEW DEREK SHEPHERD MUG OF TEA. And furthermore, recently asked to work with me. No, I'm sorry, still can't deal with this. I'll mention this again but when I've digested the most exciting information of all time.

12. Luke Danes Gilmore Girls is the love of my life.
I also started Gilmore Girls this year and my god I love it. Luke Danes is basically my perfect man. The end.

13. I became 5 years old again and it was wonderful.
This year I went on a press trip of a lifetime to Disney and I got to take a plus 1. I took Ally and sweet baby jesus, picture yourself laughing the hardest you've ever laughed, times it by100000, and that's what we were like the whole time (so so sorry to the rest of the group, we must have been a total nightmare... our bad). But it was magic. Pure, innocent, "am I 5 years old again?" magic. I was never a huge Disney Princess kinda girl but omg I am a fully fledged convert so if you could whack on the kettle and bring us a cuppa whilst I watch Beauty and the Beast, that'd be fab!

14. Youtube became a thing
I've been on Youtube for over 2 years now but around September time I decided to prioritise it a little more and it's honestly now such a big part of not only my work life but also just enjoyment. Yes videos take an age to edit and there's no doubt that Youtube possesses the most trolls of all platforms but for me anyway, it's by far the most rewarding. It blows my mind that I have a little community over there that watches every video and comments and I don't really think it's something I'll ever be able to full comprehend. So here's to more videos of me making a prat out of myself!

15. Gluten Free Dumplings, marry me?!
In NYC I discovered a place called Lili's 57. It's an old, run down Chinese restaurant which basically does the most insane gluten free chinese food (and just Chinese food in general, it became one of Jess and I's regular haunts)... and they have gluten free dumplings. Like, actual thick, stodgy amazing pork dumplings. If it's possible to die with joy then I am ready to go.
16. I travelled the world.
I almost forgot to mention this point because travelling has become such a normal part of my life that it didn't feel like one big point (which is ridiculous as it's by far the most important) but this year I was so frickin lucky to travel the world. From the US (6 times, not even Trump can stop me) to Italy to Scandinavia... I honestly just feel so #blessed to have been able to fall in love with so many different parts of the world. It's something that I have and never will take for granted and I am so bloody ready to see where 2018 takes me. (FYI, so far it's NYC, Paris and Budapest).

17. Priorities
I have a best friend who is inspiring (she's a paramedic, a blogger and a photographer - look at some of her sassy, amazing photos here I JUST CAN'T!!!!) and who also inspires me. Ally and I have so, so, so many plans for content next year and I am literally buzzing with excitement for you to see it all. I love that we laugh until we can't breathe anymore but I also love that we bounce ideas off each other all day long too. And I feel like this will hopefully sum up my 2018. Actually enjoying my job again because, and I think this might have been slightly evident over here, I started to fall out of love with a bit. This year I'm forgetting about numbers and focusing on what I'm actually creating. Because let's be honest, what's the point of having lots of numbers if what you're sharing with them is a little bit shit?

18. I ain't too bad
This was the year that I finally realised my self worth and I think most importantly, without transforming into the world's biggest tree hugging hippie of a person, I kinda started to like myself. *insert eye roll here* I know that I am the furthest person from perfect and will forever fail life and make hilariously bad decisions - that do make for good stories however so there is that - but I do know that I'm a good person. I'm kind (lol, still can't say anything nice about myself without shrivelling up inside) and thoughtful and I always try to make people feel good about themselves. This was the year that I managed to build myself up without relying on others to do so and I'm really grateful for that. I realised that I finally do believe that with hard work (and jesus christ this has been the year of hard work) I really can probably can do anything I put my mind to. 

And I think this is my cue to wrap this up. Thank you, as ever, for all of the incredible support this year. This year saw my social channels and my Youtube grow more than ever and I forever feel so sad that this little space - which will always be my favourite platform - was just something that I didn't have time for any more. But that will, and is changing in 2018. So thank you for sticking around. Thank you for having my back. Thank you for making my dreams a reality*

*Yeah, I truly, truly outdid myself on the cheese af stakes there.

Thanks so much for reading, see you in 2018!



  1. I love everything about this post. I remember reading your Dear 2016 post and hoping that 2017 would be so much better for you. Looks like you've had the most amazing year Elle, you've done so amazingly well. Here's hoping 2018 is even better x

    1. Thanks so much Jade, so happy you liked it and thank you for sticking around since 2016!


  2. Wow it's awesome that you walked the red carpet, that is crazy. I hope you have a wonderful 2018.

    1. Thank you lovely, it really was such an insane experience!


  3. Girl you have had one AMAZING year! I hope 2018 is even better to you!

    Sharni xo
    A Girl & Grey

  4. Sounds like you had one exciting year!! How awesome!

  5. I've smiled the whole way through reading this. I'm so happy for you and what you've achieved! xx

    1. Thank you so much beauty, we still need to get that catch up in!


  6. You have absolutely killed it! I'm so happy and proud of you :) And Ally is definitely a babe xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

  7. Huge well done my talented pal. You absolutely rock and inspire so many (myself included). Lots of love and Happy NY xxx

  8. Ahh Elle this sounds like a wonderful year! You've achieved amazing things (working with Primark hellooooo, that is incred) and must be so proud...I've loved watching you grow. Hope 2018 is even better and looking forward to seeing what it brings you (hopefully delicious gluten free food, more divine Primark finds and more living your best life in v.cool places) xxx

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

  9. Girl you have absolutely slayed it this past year and I'm sure you'll go from strength to strength this year too. You are my ultimate girl boss inspiration!
    Amy xx

  10. Girlllll I LOVED this post so, so much! You had the most INCREDIBLE year and I honestly can't wait to see what 2018 holds for you; I know you're going to nail it beyond belief!

    Lots of love,
    Hayley xo

  11. Sounds like you had an amazing year! Roll on 2018 am I right?


    Ellie xx

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  13. You're totally winning at life and it's all well deserved. You're such a relatable person and I'm over the moon that 2017 was a smashing year filled with cheese fondue and travels. Yup, ultimate lifestyle goals.

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Thank you so much for stopping by on my blog. I read and appreciate every single one of your comments so much!


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