Year Review

My 2019 Favourites & Looking Back at a Decade

Hello 2020!!

I can’t believe we are now in the 2020s! This new year we didn’t just move on a year, ok well we did technically, but we are now in a completely new decade. And that only happens once every ten years! It’s 100 years since the 1920s, I wonder if any of the fashions will come back into style this decade?

I honestly never imagined I’d make it this far; I truly feel like I’m living in the future right now. I’ve never really spent much time thinking about the future, I like to enjoy the moment and take each day as it comes. Let’s face it, pretty much every year the news is full of climate change and scientists predicting how long the earth has left.

Way back in 2012 we were told that the world was going to end at a specific time on 21st December. It was the last day of school before Christmas and I remember sitting in mass and my row holding hands watching the clock tick down, and nothing happened! I remember feeling so scared but suddenly so so happy to still be alive and to have a future! It’s 2020 and we are all still here! Honestly, I do worry about the effect of all the scaremongering on the news today is having on the next generation of children. There is truth in the news, but there is also exaggeration which is used to create headlines and to get more views. I totally understand that we have a problem and we need to fix it, as soon as possible, and I am very scared of what will happen if we don’t. As a society we need to work together and find solutions, but it’s also important that we check that the new alternatives don’t have an even worse an effect on the environment.

There are also small changes we can make ourselves, every little helps as it all adds up in the end. This year I’ve been cutting down on single use plastics; I said goodbye to plastic straws and hello to a reusable water bottle. Wherever possible I’ve also been keeping hold of the packaging of products I’ve used and seeing how I can reuse them in craft projects and costumes. I watched a documentary earlier this year and I was shocked to see that a lot of what we “recycle” isn’t being recycled, so I’m trying to take control and recycle whatever I can into new things myself.

The 2010s has been a decade of constant change for me. Looking back my life now is so different to how it was at the start of the decade. I was in primary school, I still had 3 grandparents and I was a part of 5 orchestras! Yes, you read that right 😂 I play the clarinet, and at one point I was a part of the school orchestra, woodwind group, local youth training orchestra, local woodwind group and wind band, all at the same time. It was intense playing every day, but I loved it and I got to spend time with my best friend. (I was also a Brownie and a Wildlife Ranger too, honestly, I don’t know where little Emily got all that energy from!). One of the highlights of the decade for me has to be playing the clarinet at the Royal Opera House with the Take Five Summer School, it was an amazing experience and I loved seeing backstage. It’s one of the moments that helped me realise what I want to be when I’m older; a costume designer and maker! After all that you were probably expecting me to say musician, I do love music and the way it makes me feel, but what makes me happiest is creating things with my hands, taking an idea from a sheet of paper and transforming it into something three-dimensional.

2014 was my favourite year this decade. Frozen had just come out the November before so Frozen fever was at its highest. Loom bands were popular and of course I was obsessed, I still have all my collection, I have four rainbow looms as I used to connect them together to make different designs, hey, maybe I’ll get them back out this year and make something with them as a throwback? And The Common Linnets were on Eurovision! One of my favourite bands! I love that feeling when you discover your favourite band or song, it’s just like magic! I also made a tonne of memories with my friends and family which made it one of favourites.

Now, 2019 however was one of the worse years for me and my family this decade. It was stressful and it was challenging. A couple of days before New Years last year, I was very sick and ended up going into hospital as I was vomiting blood, they gave me medicine which I then had my first allergic reaction to. I never really used to have allergies, but I feel like 2019 has been the year of allergies for me! I then had my second reaction after screen printing puff binder in sewing class, the technique was fun, but the itchiness was not. 😂 And now I seem to be allergic to pretty much every single fruit I would usually have eaten, bananas, apples, strawberries, oranges, at the moment they are all making my mouth burn and itch, which is making it harder to achieve my five-a-day. I think I heard it could be related to pollen and hay fever, but I do so wish I could go back to eating them one day. On a positive note at-least I’m drinking a lot more water now!

At the start of the year we also found out that my dad had cancer. That was super scary!! Very luckily the surgery went well and right now he’s doing fine. All fingers and toes crossed!

I then found out in June that I have a heart condition. I knew something was wrong, so I do feel better knowing what is going on, because the fear of the unknown is terrifying! For about 3 years the doctor kept putting my palpitations down to anxiety, but I felt anxious because of my symptoms not the other way around. I just wish the doctor had referred me to the cardiologist the first time! That doesn’t mean to say my anxiety has gone away, of course not, we all have anxiety to some degree, it is what keeps us safe and stops us from doing dangerous things. I was previously diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder, I’m not 100% sure if that is still the case now that we know something else was going on, but I still get anxious about many things especially with regards to how it will make me feel as heart palpitations and chest pain is very scary.

Despite all that there are a few happy memories and achievements to take from 2019. I finished my first costume in May, and my class took part in an exhibition in London! Over the summer I did a course in the History of Royal Fashion with FutureLearn, which was very interesting and one of the highlights of my summer. Then in October/November I made four costumes for my local Christmas light switch on, which was a very interesting and new experience making costumes for stilt walkers! I’m planning to make many more costumes in 2020!

And I did learn a lot in 2019. It was the year I learned to accept myself and stop worrying about what other people think, it doesn’t matter whether it’s cool, what matters is whether it makes you happy. I also pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I regularly used my sewing machine, an over locker, a heat transfer press and a glue gun. All of which seemed scary to me years ago. I also spoke to new people; I know “shy Emily” actually spoke to people? Now that’s a crazy thought! But I made new friends, and I found myself work, it may not be paid at the moment but I’m still building up my costume portfolio so hopefully it will be by the end of 2020!

My Favourites of 2019:

My favourite movie of the year is of course Frozen 2! The soundtrack is fantastic and the scene where Olaf re-enacts the movie is the funniest and cutest thing! I cannot wait to see it again, I think I actually prefer the sequel to the original!

I have a lot of favourite tv series this year! In the summer I started watching The Athena, which was awesome! It is teen comedy/drama set in an art college in London. It’s funny but at the same time features a lot of themes about the students’ relationships and discovering who they really are.

I then found Find Me In Paris, another one of my new favourites and I cannot wait to see the rest of series 2! Lena is a Russian princess and also a ballerina at the Paris Opera Ballet School who accidentally time-travels from 1905 to 2018. The plot involves her boyfriend Henri trying to find a way to get her back to 1905, whilst Lena realises, she doesn’t want to leave her new life in 2018.

I first started watching Just Add Magic whilst I had an Amazon Prime trial, and I was so excited when I heard it was going to be shown on Nickelodeon! The first season was awesome, I’m so excited to see what happens next!

I also watched a couple of series this year that weren’t exactly “new”, but they were new for me. One of my favourites was The Darling Buds of May which is a series from the 90s set in the 50s based on a book by H.E. Bates. I’m also still currently re-watching Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Midsomer Murders, yes, I made a checklist ahaha and I’ve not got many left to watch. 😢 What can I say? I love a good mystery!

Book-wise my favourite series I read this year was Emily of New Moon by L.M Montgomery. I’ve heard about this series for years so when I saw it on sale earlier this year, I had to get it, and it’s one of my favourites I’ve ever read! I also recently purchased some of Montgomery’s other series; Anne of Green Gables, which I’m looking forward to reading in 2020!

My 10 Most-Played Songs of 2019!

  1. Into The Unknown ~ Idina Menzel (Frozen 2)
  2. I Heard A Rumour ~ Bananarama
  3. Heartache ~ Pepsi and Shirlie
  4. Daylight ~ Taylor Swift
  5. Hand On Your Heart ~ Kylie Minogue
  6. Spirit In The Sky ~ KEiiNO
  7. The Archer ~ Taylor Swift
  8. Always Been ~ Ilse DeLange
  9. Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi ~ Kylie Minogue
  10. I Forgot That You Existed ~ Taylor Swift

My Goals for 2020:

  • Take time to do the things that make me happy
  • Gain more sewing skills and experience
  • Sew at-least 5 costumes
  • Upload blogposts regularly and consistently
  • Improve my drawing skills
  • Do more photography, go on photography trips whenever possible
  • Reach level 4 in all skills in Dutch on Duolingo
  • Start writing a story/novel
  • Give stop-motion a go
  • Get back into music, clarinet, piano, guitar or maybe something new?
  • Make time to spend with my family and friends, phones away just enjoying the moment

“It’s the end of a decade
In another ten years time
Who can say what we’ll find
What lies waiting down the line
In the end of [2029!]”
Happy New Year ~ ABBA

And yes, I’m quoting that verse whenever possible as it won’t make sense again for another ten years! 😂 Right now 2029 seems a million miles away, as did 2019 way back in 2009! I wonder if blogging will still be a thing then, or if the internet will even still exist or will there be something new in its place?

If I could go back to the start of the decade, I would give little Emily a hug and tell her this decade will be tough, but never give up because she is braver and stronger than she thinks. You can do anything! Keep believing in your dreams!

Although the future may seem scary, I’m excited about the possibilities.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! I’m currently aiming to post weekly, on Saturdays at 4pm GMT, with a mixture of craft, sewing and knitting tutorials, book reviews, baking recipes and more!

Comment below: what is your highlight of the decade and what are your goals for 2020?

Follow my crafty adventures and for more updates on my posts check out my Instagram @lilacdaisiesdiy and @princessemily_m

See you again soon!

Emily M x

18 thoughts on “My 2019 Favourites & Looking Back at a Decade”

  1. My highlight of the decade was probably meeting my (now!) best friend. But the worst year of the decade was probably 2019 :(. There’s been a lot of family problems and my family is basically splitting apart. Currently, It’s still going on, but I hope everything will go back to normal soon.
    Thank you for the blog post! I really enjoyed reading it :).
    Ella x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading my post and aw that’s lovely! I hope you’re ok? I know it can be stressful and upsetting trying to keep everyone happy and avoiding arguments. I’m here if you need to talk 💛
      Emily M x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear you had such a tough 2019. It does sound like you went through A LOT so I’m not surprised it wasn’t your favourite. I love your outlook though, it’s so good that you’ve managed to stay positive and optimistic about this new decade. I really hope 2020 is a lot kinder to you!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😄 I think it’s so important to count all your blessings and little achievements when things aren’t going too well. Best wishes for 2020! 💛


  3. What a fun post to read. I think that is wonderful all the goals you have for the new year. I also can’t believe it is 2020, the years just seem to fly by now. Have fun on all your new adventures this year, can’t wait to read about them all and also see some beautiful photos that are waiting for you out there in the world to take and share with everyone. You and your family have a very Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that’s awesome that you took steps to be environmentally friendly like switching to a reusable water bottle & recycling. I’m glad to hear that your dad and you are well despite the health-related challenges & stress.

    Congrats on all of your achievements this year! I totally see you as a a costume designer and maker! Wishing you the best on your career & projects! ✨

    Liked by 1 person

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