Mariah Carey is blaring, the Baileys is being consumed in excess and boxes of Quality Street are being passed around from family member to family member.

I know, I can't believe it either, but Christmas is very nearly here!

2019 has felt like a whirlwind of a year. There's been lots of change for me, and to be honest, despite there being a lot of downs, it's been a year of me *kind of* getting my shit together. It's felt like a year of a lot of liberating decisions, and new experiences, and that's just the sort of thing I think I've needed for a while.

Back in January I worked on amazing project with the Trafford Centre, which saw my face plastered on billboards and scattered around the shopping centre - something I never thought I'd be able to see in the flesh. I've been on billboards before, but always in other places like Paris or New York, so it was really nice to be able to see one, finally, up close and personal! 

The Trafford Centre is a really significant place for me too, as when I was in the depths on my eating disorders, my Mum would get me out of the house for the day by taking me there. Fast forward 5 years and I'm working with them and seeing myself on motorway adverts! I don't think anything will ever quite top that feeling, you know.

In February I traveled down to London for a week to shoot with Marionaudd for 2 days, on top of working with Sister Jane, which was absoloutley dreamy. I got to model along side my pal Kiera, and prance around the quirkiest Notting Hill house, which was so much fun.

I also got to work with two of my favourite people CJ and Christian to shoot some really cool stuff for BOYGIRL AGENCY. I absolutely loved the video we shot - you can watch it HERE over on my Instagram!

"As you notice the ways other people bloom, may you remember the ways you are blooming too"

In March, Josh and I ventured into London together for the first time. It's safe to say we were both very stressed that day, as I rushed from meeting to meeting, but we ended the day on a high with a little trip to the Natural History Museum, which was lovely. *side note - Josh did not enjoy the tube journeys haha.

I also got to work with Bobbi Brown on their Skin Longwear Foundation - you guys know I'm a huge Bobbi Brown stan! Every opportunity I have to work with any brand feels like such an honor and it's especially great when it's one of your all time favourites.

By April, I felt like the busiest girl in the world - constantly in Manchester shooting blog photos or going for brunch. Marta Ferenc and I shot one of my favourite campaigns of all time for Calvin Klein, and managed to get the most perfect 'golden hour' photos. I loved sharing that with you guys! 

I was also invited down for a lovely lunch with Calvin Klein too. We had an amazing 3 course meal and got to have a sneaky look at upcoming collections - what a dream come true!

On May 12th I was so very kindly invited to attend that BAFTAs with Carat London, and honestly I can't even put that experience into words - it was so surreal walking the red carpet and being 'papped' like some sort of celebrity. I wish I could do it all over again!

I remember being stood by Jonathon Ross whilst sipping my champagne, and completely fangirling as David Schwimmer presented an award on stage... I WAS IN THE SAME ROOM AS ROSS GUYS!

BAFTAs aside, in May I also got to go to my first festival ever. Miss Selfridge invited me along to go to Neighborhood Weekender and it was honestly one of my highlights of the year. I had such a laugh that day, drinking with the girls and desperately trying to sign up for the karaoke tent even though the list was full (lol). I just remember having the best time and I'm so grateful I got to be surrounded by such lovely people to experience it. 

I also started my part-time job in May, which may not seem like a big deal, but this was my first ever non-self-employed job that I've ever had. It was the kick up the arse I felt I needed at the time - I'd felt lost in my little bubble, struggling for money when the paid 'ad' work fell flat, and desperately seeking something else. It may just be a retail job, but I've met some of the most amazing people from it, and I'll be forever thankful that I got given the position, despite my hugggeeee lack of experience in the 'real' world.

"It's okay if growth looks differently this season"

In June I hit the ripe old age of 21 and swanned off to Milan to celebrate with Josh. We had the best 5 days there, but jesus christ on a bike, was it hot. We arrived in the height of a 40 degree heatwave and, I have to say, I don't think either of us have ever sweated so much, or drank so much water, in our entire lives haha. What a great first holiday to remember though ♥

Fast forward to August and the OPI campaign I shot last year drops and my face is all over the new A/W19 Edinburgh collection. It was such a long wait, anticipating how the campaign would turn out, but I was so happy to finally see it all and it reminds me of one of the best jobs I've ever had the privilege of working on.

In August, I also made the decision to leave my modelling agency. It had been something I'd thought over and over for the last year, and I finally decided it was time to leave it behind and focus more on me for a while. It's definitely done me the world of good (and saved me a lot of money on travel haha) - it's nice to just pick and chose what I get involved in now. I love working on things more locally and experiencing modelling up north a little more. 

With the modelling contract out of the window, I decided it was time for change... on the same day... and I immediately booked a hair appointment and chopped my long ginger locks into a bob.

It felt like a new lease of life - somewhere for me to start over a bit.

"You are free to have peace without knowing what comes next"

By September, Josh and I were celebrating our 1 Year anniversary in Liverpool and I still can't believe he'd put up with me for that long! We spent 3 days indulging in all-you-can-eat breakfasts and 2 for 1 cocktails. 

He's my favourite person in the entire world and I don't know what I'd do without him. The last year wouldn't have been the same if it wasn't for him, at all. ♥

Within a week of our anniversary, we were on our way to Porto for a fleeting trip whilst I modelled for PROF. It was a short but sweet trip, but it was nice to go on another little adventure together and do a tiny bit of sight seeing. It was like our anniversary take two!

November rolled around and I got to spend the day in London with Burberry Beauty. We learnt all about the new releases, including the new Matte Glow Foundation, whilst enjoying the most delicious meal at Thomas' Cafe. We even had a quiz about London (which, obviously, as a Northerner, I lost significantly!) I felt so honored to be invited.

In all honesty - I was a very small fish in a very big pond, so I'll be forever grateful for that experience.

And well, from then, to now, it's just been go, go, go working on other projects and earning my pennies in retail so that I can afford enough espresso martinis over Christmas! 

I truly can't believe how much this year has flown by and it's definitely been a significant year for me despite the lows that have come along with the highs. I feel like I'm in a place where I can finally move forward in 2020 and really figure out who I want to be and where I want my paths to lead.

I mean, I don't have it all figured out, but I'm definitely a portion of the way there, for sure.

Here's to a happy and healthy New Year and taking each day as it comes! Cheers!

"May you always be the one noticing light in the chaos of things"

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