Emtalks | Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog


Thursday, 31 December 2015

My 2015 In Review; Highs, Lows, Boyfriends, Life Lessons, Honesty & Goals For 2016

Hello hello hello! 2015 has been a crazy year, filled with ups, downs, excitement, tears, you name it, the year had it. I wrote a post similar to this at the end of 2014 and it went down well so I wanted to do another one this year. This isn't me boasting about this year but it's more me celebrating the opportunities, feeling grateful for them and talking through some highlights, as well as setting myself some goals for the future ahead and also, looking at where a few things went wrong but showing you that it isn't always the end of the world. I really don't think there should be an issue with celebrating and recognising that things can go right, just like it's a good thing to look at where things went wrong. I hope you like this post, I'm so nervous to publish it! 


In January I was invited to be the first blogger to shoot Missguided's active wear range - read the blog post here. I've always massively adored fitness so to be chosen to do this by one of my favourite brands (and appear on their newsletter and blog with my fitness tips) honestly meant the world to me. Looking back now, I don't even think the images look that good, but back then, I felt so proud of them. It's crazy how much we learn in such a short space of time but hopefully 2016 will bring more exciting fitness ventures as it truly is my passion. Afterwards, I put together my top health and fitness tips and really started properly getting back into my fitness and I've never felt better! 


In February, I headed to explore Mexico, one of the most amazing places I've ever been. First stop, Cancun - which is so much more than just nightlife. You can read my blog post here.

I finally got the chance to swim with dolphins. I felt guilty afterwards as it definitely is a once in a lifetime thing (I really just don't think people should swim with them, it felt weird) but I honestly cried my eyes out when I set my eyes on my first ever real life dolphin. I've never loved something so much. You can read about that here. 

I finally got to stay in a Hard Rock Hotel whilst travelling through Mexico and gosh it was just heaven. You can read about that here.  Let's just say, in 2015 my love for beautiful hotels got even stronger. 

I then went from 40 degrees to -20 and headed to enjoy the Winter in Canada.


In March, we launched LVNDR clothing and 925 sterling silver accessories. I felt so proud to expand my online store and be able to offer people clothing and 925 sterling silver pieces at affordable prices.

98% of March was spent in Canada, but I flew home for a short 3 days to enjoy London Fashion Week. I didn't want to miss that buzz. You can read about that here. I did quite a lot of flying by myself in 2014 but it was 2015 where I finally felt confident to fly alone.

My time in Canada was a whirlwind, it was freezing but so much fun. Rather than getting homesick, I made the most of it and was lucky to spend it with my long-term boyfriend and best friend.  We just enjoyed the outdoors, rather than moaning about the cold. This is probably the time of my life that I felt the most 'free' and happy. I cannot put into words how happy I was. You can read about that here


 In April I flew back home for a week, I got to spend some more quality time with Kayleigh who's honestly turned into one of my best friends over the last year.

Whilst at home though, I did manage to find the hair salon of my dreams; Sassoon in Leeds. My journey to 'fixing my hair' started with them in April and I'm still visiting the salon now. They've worked miracles on my hair and I just cannot recommend the salon enough. You can read about my experience with Sassoon here.
I didn't stay in the UK for long though and soon headed to Chicago, the windy city...

You can read about my time in Chicago here. 

 After Chicago, it was back to Canada for some more exploring (I just love Canada and finally the snow had cleared up). 


May was all about the Bahamas. I visited the most beautiful private island and spent days there looking for sharks and swinging around. It was honestly my dream to visit for so long after seeing Mary-Kate and Ashley visit on their film, Holiday In The Sun. You can read about my Bahamas trip here. 

We continued our Bahamas journey and I swam with sharks in the Exuma Islands whilst island hopping on a powerboat, it was the most petrifying experience of my life (it's not every day you're casually snorkelling and then have to swim to the shore because you spot sharks next to you). You can read about that here. 

Whilst out there, I landed the campaign of my dreams with adidas. I created 6 weeks worth of fitness videos to go out on all their social media channels as part of their Summer fitness campaign. Flying home to London quickly to film with them for two days solid was a dream come true (who needs jet lag to stop them anyway?!) and really made me realise that fitness is one of my biggest passions. I was shocked that little old village girl me got this amazing opportunity and I think it will forever remain one of the most exciting opportunities ever. I am so thankful to anyone and everyone who supported me with this. You can read about my behind the scenes shooting with adidas here. 

Filming with adidas made me realise that I wanted to focus more on fitness. I've always loved sports, since I was a child but the campaign gave me the kick up the butt I needed and I made sure I worked out more and took proper care of my body (ps, pizza and chocolate are always still allowed!). As soon as filming was done, I headed to Miami. Miami soon became one of my favourite (and still is today) places in the world. In Miami, I caught up with one of my longest friends whom I hadn't seen for around 4 years, it was so amazing and actually, made the world seem so small. You can read about my time in Miami here. 

At the end of May, I headed to Santorini for the trip of a lifetime. I feel like I left my heart in this place, I've never seen somewhere so beautiful. You can read about my time in Santorini here. 

Whilst these photos make it look like 2015 was all 'highs', it wasn't (nothing is perfect). Social media can be a little bit naughty in the sense that we always just share the best parts of our lives. I'd had a whirlwind 2015 up until this point, I kind of ran away from my stresses, dropped out of university for a little while, grabbed my boyfriend and we explored the world. It was all well and good until reality hit. Unfortunately, I wasn't really happy and this unhappiness just hit me one day. One minute it was everything I wanted and I couldn't imagine life without that person and then within days, I just felt different. I knew I had to come back and face reality at some point and sadly, things came crashing down with the person whom I thought was my soul mate - the one person I thought would never leave my side. I guess I was feeling extremely anxious about the months ahead (having to restart University and feeling overwhelmed with my workload) and I took this out on the one person who always supported me. I guess I was so overcome with anxiety, stress and pressure that I just needed some alone time so I pushed those I loved away from me. Emotions are really weird and I still feel weird about this whole situation which is why I talk so enigmatically about it but I'm a strong believer in doing what feels right for you at the time. I'm also a strong believer in 'never regret something that once made you smile'. Maybe one day I'll feel like I can properly write all of this down and explain some more but it's all still a bit of a blur in my head because I find it so odd that emotions can change just like that. You can read my honesty post here and find out more about that. To be honest though, I find it crazy that you can have all of these experiences with one person and then within a split second, it can all be gone. I do believe that it's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all though but it does make me feel pretty emotional looking back on what was electric, exciting and life-changing, and I find it crazy how you can feel like that one minute and then within a second, it's gone. I know that 2015 will be so difficult to top and I have this person to thank for such amazing memories so thank you, even though we no longer speak sadly. 


In June, it was the launch of the adidas SS15 lookbook featuring myself. One of my proudest achievements to date. 
I presented at the Boots Petal Drop event infront of hundreds of people. I've always lacked confidence but in 2015 I pulled myself together and forced myself to get out there more and speak. I felt so fortunate to be asked to deliver a few lectures to packed lecture halls at The University of Leeds too - it was so exciting, scary but it made me face my fears. I'm a strong believer in doing the things that scare you and I well and truly did that this year.

 I then led my own workout for the team at Elle Magazine (one of my favourite magazines ever) and it was just an incredible experience - read more about that here.


I headed on a press trip to Austria and promised myself to see more of Europe. You can read about that here. By this point, I felt really good and was slowly getting over my June blip of just feeling confused, stressed and anxious. 

I headed to Mallorca a few days later, you can read about that here. 


I spilled my heart about facing my fears, I think it is so important to talk about your feelings, it's really not easy to do in person, let alone online but I always write them down in the hopes that it will help at least one person. So thank you if you've read my rambles. Online here. 

In August I modelled for ASOS and shot their campaign with Juicy Couture. This was such an exciting opportunity and I got the chance to work with such a phenomenal and talented team. I still can't believe it as ASOS are just the best when it comes to new trends and online shopping. You can read about this online here. 

Afterwards, I headed to Ibiza with some amazing blogger girlies. It was my first time in Ibiza and we had the time of our lives. Nothing beats sunshine, cocktails and good food with like minded people. I felt blessed to be able to spend my time surrounded by such inspirational girls. Read all about that here. 

My Ibiza trip inspired me to write about how blessed I feel to have made some pretty epic friends through blogging. Particularly this one, Victoria. In 2015 I realised that some of my best friends have come through the internet, proving that the internet is a pretty powerful tool. You can read that post here. 


In September I went on my first holiday with my new boyfriend who I feel like I need to introduce you guys to properly but I will do in time. You'll probably see his name (Matt) trickling into tweets and blog posts. We've been friends for a very very VERY long time and in all honesty, it's a breath of fresh air and I couldn't be happier. I almost feel like it's completed my 2015 and allowed me to end the year on such a happy, high. It's weird that something can just happen when you least expect it but I guess that's part of the fun with life. We had the best time in my favourite European city (so far), Barcelona. It was amazing to be able to go back as this city is just amazing. You can read about the trip here.

In September I had to go back to university. I didn't 'have to' but I needed to finish what I had started. In all honesty? It's a nightmare and I'm really struggling. I did really well in my first two years but taking a year out has really put me behind. Unfortunately, as much as I love my degree and the subject area, education is no longer my passion and blogging is. I put my time and efforts into blogging and LVNDR so it's really difficult to try and juggle a final year degree with that too. I love living with my friends though and having my own apartment. There are positives of living back in the city but I'm not going to pretend it's easy because it certainly isn't! I often beat myself up because I sometimes feel like my content isn't as good as it should be (I have SO many ideas) but sometimes I just don't have the time. Give me a few months and I'll be free, I cannot wait to deliver better quality things and finally put the time and effort into my blog that I want to. I'm going to be writing an updated blogging tips and tricks post really soon because I've been working with 1and1 on new hosting packages etc, so I'm looking forward to getting that live too and talk to you about things I've learnt! 

I got back from Barcelona just in time for another stint at London Fashion Week! Read about that here. 


In October, me and Victoria flew to New York for a fun few days with Clarisonic! Read about our trip here. We got the chance to meet the founder of Clarisonic and run around NY for a few days of fun. It was the most amazing girlie week and I'd do anything to rewind to this! 

A new, revamped LVNDR officially relaunched in October too which was very exciting and we haven't looked back since. You should definitely check it out.


In November, I did some exciting, live presenting in Manchester for the Arndale centre. You can read more here. It felt so good to put my presenting skills to use and work for somewhere in the North as a fellow Northerner


I had to cancel quite a lot of trips in December due to deadlines, time restraints and more but managed to squeeze in a quick weekend in Munich. It was my first ever time in Germany. You can read about that trip here. I was meant to go skiing and also to Iceland so hopefully I'll be able to up my trips again in 2016! 

2015 truly was my year of 'freedom'. I saw so many places and feel like I was lucky enough to land some really exciting campaigns. None of this would have been possible without your support so thank you for continuing to support me. If you've read a post, emailed me, tweeted me, liked a photo - you name it, you've supported me and honestly, it means the world to me. I can't even put it into words. At the same time as feeling 'free', I completely ran myself into the ground and don't really have days off but it's not something I'll ever complain about because I adore this crazy blogging world. I will always remain honest with you which is why I continue and enjoy to write personal posts (I really hope they help you!), about my confidence struggles, facing my fears, abuse and more. I love social media but I think it is so important to remind people that bad things do happen to all of us and we can overcome them. There are a lot of things I don't mention on this blog, for example, in 2015 I had some serious family issues and I had to get the police involved. That was a pretty tough period but certain things just cannot be shared or discussed on social media. I hope that in 2016 it is something I feel brave enough to discuss more though as I know it will help women in my situation. Whilst the world may look rosy through Instagram and blogging, we are all real people who go through ups and downs. Unfortunately, myself and my family suffered in an abusive relationship for a very long time.  Something I really haven't discussed on my blog. Scarring and bad memories take a long time to heal but I like to think that these bad things happen for a reason and only motivate me and inspire me more. I refuse to let bad things break me and in 2016, I hope you won't let anything break you either. Remember, every mistake is a lesson learnt and rainy days make flowers.

In 2016, I hope to travel more, make a differencehelp people with my personal stories and grow as a person. I will continue to blog full time, but hopefully, I'll leave 2016 with a degree and then I can really go on and fulfil my dreams: to provide you with amazing content and be able to put 110% of my time into my passions. I want to spend more time with my friends, family and just smile more! 

Thank you for always supporting me - here's to 2016! Let's see what we can achieve! 

What are your highlights of 2015? Let's celebrate them! What do you hope to achieve/do in 2016? We shouldn't feel bad for celebrating our year and patting ourselves on the back so well done you! Here's to 2016! Let's make this our year.

Lots of love, Em x

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