Happy last day of 2016 you beauties! This chapter has (finally) come to an end, and I’m sure many of us will be glad to see the back of it. I think it was a difficult year for a lot of people, but I always like to focus on the positives. I love doing a little “Year in review” at the end of every year because it’s always nice to look back and appreciate what has happened so you don’t only remember the bad things but also appreciate the good thing that happened. On this note, I’ve complied my annual view, so have a cup of coffee and join me in looking back on the rollercoaster that was 2016!
For me personally, it was a good year. If I had to describe 2016 in 3 words I would use the words “Challenging but fun!”. I was challenged each and every month but I had a good year- I started my job (in launching that little brand called Urban Decay) and got promoted in it at the end of August. I explored 5 new countries and 10 new cities. I grew a lot as a person and as a friend. I am thankful for the lessons that 2016 taught me and the challenges and blessings that it brought with.
My year started off rather slow- I was officially in my new job at the office. I started working as a Marketing Trainee on Urban Decay- my little purple baby. Launching a brand into the country is no joke, and because I was hired with very little marketing experience, I had a lot ahead of me to learn. It was frustrating-I have never been in a position where I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s like after so many years I had to start from scratch and re-think my way of life. I felt lost at my job every day and I am not going to lie, I came home and cried every day for about a month. The support of Steve and my friends was crucial for me this month, they convinced me that I am in the right place for me and that I must just push through the “teething” stages of a job. Of course they were right!
This was the month that we finally announced that Urban Decay will indeed be coming to South Africa, and the news went off with a bang! People could not wait to have the brand in the country, and their excitement gave me the confidence that I could do this. I focused on learning more at work and settling into the brand- there was so much information! On the blogging side, this Valentines look was one of my favorites in the year. So pretty and so feminine, I wouldn’t mind repeating it this year again!
Things finally started picking up around March with work commitments and my first trip for the year. We hosted 2 private Urban Decay dinners (one in Joburg, one in Cape Town) and got our lovely bloggers and media just excited about the brand coming as we were!
For Easter it was time to take my first trip for the year, and I picked Italy! Italy was second on my European bucket list and I headed off to Verona, Venice and Milan. I got the meet the famous Juliette in Verona and leave her my little love letter. I ate pizza and fed the pigeons in the magnificent city of Venice (prettiest place I’ve ever seen!). I shopped to my hearts content and was blown away by the beauty of Milan. I would love to go back to Italy but this time to the Southern part of it. After Italy I went to visit my parents is Moscow for a quick break. I love visiting my parents there even though it was still flippen cold!
My best friend was due to get married next month, so in April I hosted my first bridal shower! As the Maid Of Honor I was responsible for throwing a bridal tea and the bachelorette, and I think (as does the bride;)) that it went beautiful. I embraced my Pinterest board and added all the touches that I thought would be lovely at the bridal shower. At work we had a little hiccup with the build of our store, which meant we had to push out the launch until July (which thankfully gave us more time to prepare!). Learning something new was the lesson of April- whether it was learning how to host a bridal shower and learning how an actual store is built and what goes behind it.
The month and the trip I enjoyed the most was in May, because we headed off to Mauritius for my friends wedding! It was the first overseas trip that Steve and I took together and it was so, so much fun! We spent the days snorkeling, eating and swimming and were part of one beautiful wedding! Seriously wish I could go back to those days and re-live them again.
While I was busy running around at work, my parents were travelling through Europe and no lie, I was starting to feel a bit jealous. To cure my jealousy, one day I randomly bought a ticket to fly and meet them in Budapest! It was never on my bucket list of things to do, and I was blown away by how much I actually loved Budapest!
We spend a day there, after which we drove through to Croatia– another country off my list! I flew out on Wednesday evening and by Monday morning I was back in the office, but it was one of the most relaxing trips I had!
I also headed off to Cape Town for work and kept busy with stayctations in Idwala Boutique Hotel and Tintswalo lodges. This flower crown look was my favourite “Beauty Look” of the year.
This month was really about one thing- Urban Decay! This was the month that we launched the brand into the country with an awesome party at a tattoo parlor, and a queue of 200 people on the morning that we opened! The nights leading up to the launch were brutal- I also suffered a really bad round of food poisoning right before the launch which threw me into hospital, but there was no time to rest! We were up until 12 o’clock and up at 5 every morning on the week that we opened, but boy was it fun! It all culminated into an amazing launch weekend where our team absolutely smashed it. Even after that launch, there was no time to rest as we had international visits from the CEO of Urban Decay. Again if I could go back and re-live this crazy time, I would in a heartbeat. What a jam this was!
I was in much need of a break this month, but work kept me busy. Now that a brand has launched- what do I do? I felt a bit lost and confused at work because I didn’t know what step I would take next, so it got me down for a bit. I hosted another bridal shower for one of my besties in the beginning of the month, married her off to her dream man at the end of the month, and celebrated 6 years with Steve with a trip to Sun City. At the end of August I also got a promotion at work, which was an amazing thing for me, meaning that all of those late night and frustrations have paid off. I am still trying to figure out my new role (Junior Brand Manager for Urban Decay) and very often get upset and frustrated. But its all a learning curve and I look forward to new challenges.
Birthday month! As a birthday treat for myself, this month I headed off on a girls trip to Spain. A besties trip was just what the doctor ordered after this hectic year and Alessia, Cass and I visited Barcelona and Madrid, and created a very special bond while doing it. Travelling with friends can be disastrous, but our trip turned out great. Then it was time to ring in the 26th year of life and I did it with a bang-literally. While out shopping for birthday things I banged up my car- what a way to start 26 am I right? Thankfully everything was fine in the end and I managed to still have fun and party up a storm no matter what.
October was a bit of a challenging month for me as I dealt with some personal issues and struggled to adjust to my new position at work. I looked to the positives this month, meeting up with friends and doing some blogging. These 2 posts were probably my favorite posts of 2016- a little denim and a little pink. Sometimes in life you just have to fight through the negative time hoping for a better month!
This was another month dedicated to Urban Decay as we launched the Eastgate branch. We hosted an awesome pool party to celebrate it and had a lot of fun doing it! My parents also came down for a visit and I had a blogging first- my own little magazine cover! I was on the cover of Get it! East magazine which was fun and exciting for me (do you see how proud my dad is ha-ha). My blog took a back seat in 2016 due to work and travel so it’s nice to get a “win” with it every now and then. I really hope that in 2017 I get my groove back with blogging because it has been tough and I’ve been feeling unsurprised. I’m going to try my best to focus on all of the positive things that blogging brings me and channel that into beautiful content.
Yay the end of 2016! I did a fun little Garnier #TakeTheDayOff campaign and had some fun with Forever New and their Island Luxe collection. I didn’t do any travel this month (because I just didn’t book things in time), but we have booked our trip to Zanzibar for January so I am excited to start 2017 off with a bang.
Overall I had a lot of fun in 2016, and while I often felt frustrated and lost at work, I’ve also come to understand that everything is a learning curve and that I’ve only been doing it for a year- things take time! My biggest hope for 2017 is that I get my blogging groove back, carry on learning every day at work, and continue to explore my love of traveling. I hope that 2017 is an amazing year for you guys, and that it brings you all the joy and the happiness that you all deserve.
See you in 2017!