What an incredible year it has been! Here’s my year in review highlights for you all and for me as its so important to reflect on our achievements.
Ted made his (slightly late) arrival albeit swift! 34 mins into my hypno-birthing recording and Ted was here already. Another beautiful home birth for which I am blessed to have experienced.
This month I relaxed. I didn’t do much else other than try and get to know little Ted. Feeding was tough and my ante-natal friends from being pregnant with James had gone back to work. As a couple we decided to make life easy on ourselves and undertook loads of Mystery Dining just so we didn’t have to cook or wash up! Nice to know we made money from this at the same time though!
In March I had the honour of being featured in Loose Change where I wrote about how we had reclaimed over £12k back in PPI just by doing it ourselves. You can read the full article here.
This month I was invited to speak live on Share Radio all about decluttering and how this can save you money. You can listen again here:
I then had surgery on my legs. This would be the first operation of two which would need to be completed this year. As a result I started to support other women online who also suffered with the same condition.
View this post on Instagram
Waking up to the first day of the rest of my life 🙌🏼 Since the age of 16 I have suffered with Lipoedema which is an abnormal build up of fat cells in my legs 😔 It has meant that I couldn't walk far, couldn't kneel down for long and struggled to buy jeans that fit my weird shape 😩 Yesterday I had surgery that removed 6 litres of these diseased cells 🎉 I may need one more operation but getting up today knowing I'm on a journey to recovery and no more heavy painful legs was amazing thanks for my incredible surgeon Mr Karri from @thekarriclinic
In May I went along to BlogOn which is one of the best bloggers conferences in the year. It was touch and go as to whether I would have learnt to walk again in time to attend but I just about managed it, albeit with the help of a lot of painkillers! There were loads of great brands to chat to and plenty of freebies too. I even won £200 and lots of sweets courtesy of Swizzels!
June saw the establishment of my Facebook group Thrifty & Frugal Christmas in conjunction with Nicola from The Frugal Cottage where we all committed to saving lots of money this Christmas without compromising the quality of our festivities.
You can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/993061210824400/about/
I also had the pleasure of featuring on Andy Webb’s Cash Chats podcast for his site which was lots of fun. You can listen again here.
This month saw my legs go viral… I’d made a short documentary with the BBC about Lipoedema during my first operation and it had over 2 million views within a couple of months!
Summer was an interesting time, the boys both scared us to death by catching croup after already having had chicken pox. After being in and out of hospital with breathing difficulties, we then settled into enjoying a quiet summer together with plenty of mummy & baby dates and long sunny days in the garden playing in the paddling pool.
Award season arrived and I was honoured to be shortlisted for categories of Best Parenting and Money Blog and Best Money Saving Blog. It was, (as last year was), a brilliant opportunity to catch up with my fellow UK Money Bloggers and meet some brilliant finance brands.
View this post on Instagram
What a brilliant day! 👌🏼Learnt loads, met some wonderful people especially @thefrugalcottage and brands including @experian @getyolt @quidco @latestfreestuff @vanguard @hootsuite @awin @sainsburys bank, saw some amazing award winners, ate some yummy #dominoesuk pizza, cheese and biscuits from @icelandfoods and wine tasted with @ocadouk Now for an early night 😴 #thrifty #thriftymum #frugalfamily #thriftylife #moneysaving #moneyblogger #frugal #frugallife #frugalfamily #frugalliving #frugalblogger #hullbloggers #ukmoneybloggers #shomos #parentfinance #ukparentbloggers #childfree #londonbaby
In October we started a long term relationship with HiPPOrganic baby food brand as part of their #HiPPSquad and have loved working with them. It’s been an absolute pleasure so far and we can’t wait to do more work with them in the New Year.
This month saw my final surgery completed and finally I’m cured of Lipoedema. I’m so lucky to have found such a talented surgeon, especially as he’s based only five minutes from my house!
View this post on Instagram
I N V E S T M E N T I’ve always made a point of investing in myself through courses and furthering my education 👩🏻🎓 and it’s paid dividends with my career 🙋🏻♀️ but this year it was time to make a significant investment in my health 🏥#Lipoedema has ruined years of opportunities that I had to turn down but no more! 🙅🏻♀️ After two hefty operations this year and months of steady recovery as am finally considering myself CURED 🙌🏼 No more pain, no more strange shape to my legs, no more restrictions on clothing, no more tears at the end of a day due to heavy ache and bleeding thighs and knees where they rubbed 😢 Three years ago I met an incredible man who promised me one day I could wear wellies and jump in puddles with my boys ☔️ He said I’d be able to kneel on the floor and roll about with my dog 🐶 He said I’d be able to buy jeans off the peg in a normal sized person shop! 😳 This man became my surgeon and he was right!! 🤗 With financial help from my parents, my in laws and some very kind anonymous donors through my blog, I was able to have the surgery I so badly needed ☺️ Earlier this eat my deformed legs went viral 😅 I wanted to raise awareness for this horrid condition and the film I made with my surgeon and the @bbc has been seen over 2 million times! 😬 I had so many personal messages asking for advice from other women who thought they might have it too and I directed them to @thekarriclinic and I’m delighted to hear how booked up they now are! 😂 Of course, I also had my fill of trolls who also thought it was necessary to personal message me that I was just lazy, fat, needed to diet, should be grateful I had legs 😞 This was really tough to deal with and I thought I was going to be strong enough to handle it but I wasn’t ☹️ For three months over summer I was in a very dark place but I found my strength in other Lippy Ladies who I support online 😍 Some of them travel alone for surgery! Others keep their surgery a secret from their parents for fear of what might be said! We all have a story and now mine has a happy ending. Thank you for my Xmas gift of @hunterboots Vasu and Suzanne Karri ❤ they (and the legs that stand in them) mean the world x
I then appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper reviewing a new mobile phone app called Moment.
November also saw me in the iNews Paper talking about how to save money at Christmas.
I then made another appearance in The Sun as a talking head on the subject of housing Stamp Duty.
At the beginning of Advent I decided to get back into comping seriously and was winning a lot! This saw me appear in another article with The Sun talking about how I could win Christmas!
I finish the year on an incredible note. I appeared (twice) on BBC breakfast news to discuss what to do with your unwanted Christmas presents. It was such an honour to be invited into the studio and I can’t wait to return. You can watch it again here.
Reflecting back on my year I can see how far I have come. How I’ve grown my blog whilst juggling two children. How I have overcome health problems and anxiety. I can also see when my turning point was and that was when I was encouraged to begin guest posting for other sites. This really grew my confidence and the contacts stemmed from there.
I have a lot to be thankful for but in particular the individuals who saw the potential in me and gave me a chance. Adding value to society is really important to me. I love helping other people. I especially love helping others make the most of their money. Thank you for reading and supporting me in helping others by continuing to support my blog.
I wish you the very best for the New Year. It will come with a whole set of new challenges for us all, I’m sure. We can definitely do this though!
Happy New Year!