For me personally 2015 was great. So I started 2016 feeling a little underwhelmed and keen to set myself some goals for 2016. They included doing a tough mudder run with my friend (which we decided not to do in the end) and doing the London Moonwalk back in May! Training went well (and I loved being outdoors whilst keeping fit). Sadly, when it came to the walk I was too ill to take part! I'd picked up a gastro bug and was too weak for a whole 7 days to even contemplate doing the walk. To say I was gutted is an understatement. My friends did it without me. I'd raised money in preparation for it though and kindly everyone was still happy for the money to be donated! I felt so bad! My friends said it was tough and two of them even almost passed out. I know I would have done it, had I been well enough but there is no way I would have survived. I lost 7lb that week!
Things have been on an even keel for the monkeys during 2016. They have continued to do well in school, both moving up a year back in September. Little monkey was quite anxious about making the move from Foundation Stage, but when it came to doing it, he was fine.
We did find out he has a medical condition this year, which affects his bowels. I've not featured it on the blog, as I don't want to embarrass him when he is older! It's in hand and I'm pleased we know there is a reason for the complications he is suffering!
The blog and in particular social media channels, have continued to grow! We're not the biggest, best, or even the most read but it's our space and we like it! We reviewed some great products and had some great days out through the blog. Highlights being days out at Kew Gardens with Muck Boots, lunch and the cinema with Pizza Express to see Ice Age Collision Course in Soho and reviews of the sought after Hatchimals, the Gtech Multi and a Tom Tom Spark to name a few! We've been very lucky.
With a renewed confidence, 2016 saw me get two new jobs. Meaning at one point I had three (excluding the blog). That was a juggle to say the least. I was working 22hrs a week in the job I've done since moving to Essex back in 2006. Then to top up my hours, I got a post for 10hrs a week with a Children's Charity. The work in the original job started to dry up, so by the middle of the year I needed to find something else. Getting a post working 32hrs+ a week, meant both other jobs had to go! I just couldn't fit it all in! To be honest, it's good to have just the one job, in one place. I'm enjoying it!
Big monkey (and the rest of us) got to go to his beloved Anfield for his Birthday back in May. The guinea pig 'babies' turned one then too!
We managed a wonderful family holiday in Cornwall in August, which was so lovely, we are going back in 2017! Friends joined us and are doing so again next year. We fell in love with Cornwall (I'd not been in several years or more, and the males of the houeshold had never been!). It was just lovely, albeit the very narrow roads at times, which gave me kittens. The weather was mainly kind too!
I've continued to manage to get to classes at the gym most weeks. Some more than others. Despite remaining in the same clothes size I have put a few pounds back on, so the gym and more healthy eating will feature heavily in 2017. I've loved being smaller again and buying and wearing clothes I want to buy, as opposed to clothes I felt I should buy, so putting all the weight I lost in 2015 back on, is not an option!
During September I got to go to the Mad Blog Awards as a guest for the 2nd time. Dressing up and dining, plus catching up with blogging friends was awesome.
Due to my new job, we managed to get another car at the end of September, a fab run around, which is right up my street. I feels good to own my own car again and the monkeys also love it.
Hubby remains a constant rock (and continues to work hard for the family). The monkeys adore spending time with him, when he isn't at work and all three love nothing more than playing football over the park.
Big monkey has been a mascot again at The Emirates. A fantastic opportunity for him, with memories and a fab poster of him walking onto the pitch with Sanchez from Arsenal, to cherish forever! When little monkey is 7, we'll be applying for him to get the same chance.
One of the most exciting things to happen this year, has been the birth of my new niece. She is adorable and I'm so pleased and happy for my brother and his fiance. I'll be spoiling her during 2017 I'm sure! The monkeys are happy to have another cousin too.
Christmas came around far too quickly for my liking, but we had a good one, despite the news of George Michael's death on Christmas Day. Wham (and in particular George) where my favourite band during my teens and they were like Take That are to me now. I was genuinely gutted by his passing.
As we move into 2017, we do so with goals to keep fit and healthy and continue to give the monkeys a happy home and lifestyle. We're looking forward to celebrating being married for 10 years, our holiday to Cornwall and making more happy memories for the monkeys!
We would like to thank you for reading and wish you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year! Below are some of our highlights in photo's. Enjoy!