Sunday 31 December 2017

My Biggest Achievements in 2017

My Biggest Achievements in 2017, Katie Kirk Loves, UK Blogger, Lifestyle Blogger UK

I'm a great one for always focusing on all things I haven't done, wanted to do and have yet to achieve! So as 2017 comes to an end I feel it's the perfect time to reflect on some of the amazing things I HAVE achieved this year and celebrate them however big or small they may seem. 

• Getting Through My Prolotherapy Treatment! | The first half of the year started out pretty difficult for me health wise. I have suffered from multiple chronic health conditions for most of my life including Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. In the past I've had this private treatment called Prolotherapy to help with my severally lax joints. It's very painful, makes me feel quite poorly and sick afterwards and has to be done fortnightly over a few months to be effective. Not to mention expensive! I knew I would have to go back for more this year and had be putting it off for a while. I might go into things in more detail in a blog post next year if it's something you would all like to read about? I spent several months travelling to and from Tunbridge which for us is a 2 and 1/2 - 3 hour trip each way. I was very sick after each one but after 7 treatments on my back, shoulders & hips we decided to give it a break for a while. I survived it and it has helped me be physically able to go on and achieve everything else I'm about to mention!

• Making Some Really Great Blogger Friends! | It's always wonderful to make new friends but in my situation, being relatively homebound most of the time, it isn't always the easiest thing. This year however I've got meet many new local bloggers in person who I'd only got to know online before. As well get closer with bloggers I'd already met like Holly, Tania and Rosie and now call good friends. It's really great having friends with blogging in common as we talk about things that no one else will want to talk about or even really get! For example happily talking for hours about blog content, photography, working with brands and moan about the Instagram algorithm and then not even questioning that fact that you have to get 20+ shots of your food when it arrives, usually joining in too! I hope to do more meet ups as well and make many more lovely blogger friends in 2018. 

• Helping To Organise a Blogger Event at Jo Malone! | I really am so proud of this achievement and still can't quite believe it's real to be honest! I've been wanting to try and find more local blogger events as getting to London is so difficult for me. I can't use public transport so I have to have someone drive up there if there is something really special I want to go to, usually my very understanding Dad! It isn't just myself who feels this way either - there are so many bloggers in the area who are keen for great brand events to go to. It's not always practical for them to get to events in London either especially if they work full time plus it's costly. I think brands are often surprised to find how many bloggers there are outside of London, FYI the answer is a lot! So I thought, okay, why don't I try and organise something myself?! I've been to my fair share of blogger and PR events so I know what makes a successful one and what bloggers want in order to get good content for their blogs. It means I could also organise it around my own physical capabilities which is really important when you have chronic health problems. I spend a lot of time in my local Jo Malone store in Chichester as I just love the brand so much, hence I've gotten to know the staff there pretty well including the manager. Between us we managed to put together the most fabulous event for the launch of Jo Malone's new English Oak Collection! It was amazing with the loveliest bunch of girls and I think everyone, including head office felt it was really successful. Hopefully we'll be able to plan some more next year. I do really want to try organise more events for bloggers in West Sussex so if you're a brand please do get in touch!

I have also helped to organise events at Bluebelle & Co in Brighton and The Body Shop in Chichester

• My First Trip Abroad and On a Plane Since I Was a Kid! | For me this was definitely my best achievement and biggest highlight of my year! My Mum and I went on holiday to Jersey in the Channel Islands. Not only was this my first time visiting Jersey but my first trip abroad & on an aeroplane since I was 4 years old! It was a girlie trip with my Mum and we stayed for 3 nights at St Brelades Bay Hotel. It was also my first ever press trip as well as I was invited to review the hotel, you can read more about everything in my blog posts: Postcards From St Brelades Bay JerseyPalm Prints & The Most Perfect BeachDressed For Dinner At Salty Dog JerseySt Brelades Bay Hotel.

Although it went far from smoothly - I was sick the whole way over on the plane and took several hours to recover, then on our second night I got food poisoning from a dodgy prawn - yay! However I still managed it and proved to myself that I can do it even when things don't always go right. This is where I coined my term 'positive pants'! I feel like I coped well because I remained positive that everything was going to be fine. The weather turned out beautiful even though it was forecast to be bad the whole time we were out there and I still managed to get some amazing content for my blog and some perfect Instagram shots!  Because I had my 'positive pants' on. I look back on it as a beautiful holiday and I'm hoping to go away again next year!

• Working With Some Amazing Brands! | One of the great things about blogging is that it brings you opportunities you wouldn't get in any other circumstance. This includes working with brands I've loved for many years on blog & Instagram posts featuring their new launches etc! This year I have felt so privileged to have some brands reach out to me such as Nails Inc, Oasis, Yumi, Dermalogica & Cohorted. I'm particularly proud of a couple of campaigns I worked on with Moshulu Shoes: Colourful Wedges Styled 5 WaysMoshulu X Palava Competition. The photos came out better than even I had imagined and I've worked really hard to maintain the same quality with all my subsequent outfit shoots. 

I took a leap and decided to reach out to a few particular brands to collaborate with in my Christmas Gift Guides this year and they said yes! I'm the proudest I've ever been of these posts and my photography so I feel all the effort I put in really paid off. Here they are if you fancy checking them out: Luxury, Pink & Scented & Stocking Filler Gift Guides. I also found some of my my shots being reposted on Instagram by the likes of Bobbi Brown, Benefit, Tarte Cosmetics, Nails Inc, Olympus, Smashbox, The Body Shop, & Oasis (one, two, three) amongst others. Which has had a great impact on my social following. Photography is one of my most favourite parts of blogging so I'm very happy to get any recognition for my work in that area! 

I was incredibly excited to be invited to the Oasis Press Day in London last month to preview their Spring/Summer 18 Collection. Look out for an in depth blog post all about it next week, but I've got to tell you it was so amazing and I felt really lucky to be there!

I'm feeling really positive about 2018 and am determined to make it an even better year filled with many more achievements. Be fearless in chasing your dreams you never know some may well end up coming true...

My Biggest Achievements in 2017, Katie Kirk Loves, UK Blogger, Lifestyle Blogger UK

I'm not going out for NYE tonight so I'm going to be ringing in New Year 2018 over on my Insta Stories if anyone wants to join me?! @katiekirkloves

I'd love to know what you feel your biggest achievements were this year in the comments below!

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