Tuesday, 31 December 2019

2019 Best Bits

I had 4 goals for 2019:

  • Get married
  • Run my 200th parkrun
  • Drive on the motorway
  • Read 50 books.
Here how I got on with these goals:

  • Get married
Yep absolutely smashed that one. Threw a pretty bloody good wedding (even if I do say so myself!), had the best day of my whole entire life, married the best man I've ever met and have found that being married is the best thing ever.

  • Run my 200th parkrun
Smashed that one too. At the time of writing, thanks to a bonus Christmas Day parkun I'm currently on 212 parkruns (with the New Year's Day double taking me to 214 this week), so my 250 tshirt is just around the corner.

  • Drive on the motorway
Right only did this twice, but I do now drive on the dual carriageway to and from work every single day which is something that would have put the fear of god in me even only 6 months ago.

  • Read 50 books.
I finished the year having read 102 books. So yeah, did that one.

2019 was the best year of my life. I started the year as Miss Charlotte Crowley and ended it as Mrs Charlotte Cantillon. I started the year as a CRM Lead and finished it as a CRM Manager. I went on the most amazing trip of my entire life. I was thrown two incredible hen parties. We executed our dream wedding. And there have been so many tiny, wonderful moments along the way.

So like the last couple of years, I'm going to do a 2019 best bits (though I feel like I might have given away a few spoilers...)

2019 best bits

Getting married!!!!!!!

Oh did I mention we got married? Yeah we got married! 

I wasn't exactly quiet about how much I did not enjoy planning my wedding. The first 3 months of the year was consumed with ironing out tiny details (I am not a detail person), last minute checks and admin and averting disaster, but when the day finally came it was beyond my wildest dreams. It was absolutely beyond perfect.

My mouth hurt from smiling all day, we were surrounded by everyone we loved, everything went according to plan. The speeches made us laugh and cry and I danced to our perfectly-chosen songs until 1am, even though my feet had started hurting at 10pm. 

I don't get sad when I look back (though I do feel a bit relieved I don't have any more wedding admin to do!), I just feel so warm and fuzzy and happy that it happened. 

The year of our wedding was always going to be amazing but I'm not sure I was prepared for how incredible it was.

Our incredible honeymoon to Canada

We always knew our trip to Canada was going to be amazing - we knew from the moment we started looking at catalogues and choosing our destinations. We spent over a year planning it, from the day trips to the day-to-day activities. We looked at hundreds of photos, watched dozens of YouTube videos.  But I don't think anything prepared us for how unbelieavable it actually was.

We crammed so much into our trip it felt like 3 or 4 holidays in one. It was the first time we'd done a 2 week holiday together, and for both of us it was our first 2 week holidays in years, so it felt like a proper break. After months of wedding planning and stress and comedown, it was exactly what we needed.

Banff was the most beautiful place I've ever been to in my life. We climbed mountains, we canoed on lakes, we got up at 4am to see Moraine Lake at sunrise. We saw bears, we took a boat under Niagara Falls, we went to Toronto Film Festival, we drove hundreds of miles. We went to the coolest bars and ate the best street food and walked for miles and miles and miles. We got back absolutely exhausted in the best kind of way.

We don't have many holidays coming up (though I can't wait for my 30th Birthday trip to Barcelona) but it's going to be a tough one to beat our trip to Canada.


New job


While I knew our wedding and honeymoon were going to be happening in 2019, I didn't expect to be ending the year writing about a new job.

I joined MAG-O (Manchester Airport Group Online) in November as CRM Manager and I absolutely love it. Leaving Stagecoach after 3 and a half years was a huge and scary decision, but ultimately I feel like it was the right one and I'm really excited for my career and my future at MAG-O!

House stuff

Like last year, we've been slowly chipping away at decorating our house throughout 2019 and now I think the downstairs of the house is pretty much done! We've bought a new sofa for the living room, had new carpets fitted, bought new bits of furniture and with the exception of a new sofa for the front room I think we are pretty much there! There are still so many things we want to do with the upstairs of our house, but it's a work in progress and I'm really proud of the work we've done this year.

Hen Parties


My weekend away to Bristol was one of the best weekends of my life, and they did an amazing job of planning me the most perfect surprise hen - complete with parkrun (of course!), a secret bar, a treausure hunt, an escape room, 90s music, party games and a cookie with my husband's face on it!

We also had the best night ever with my aunties and cousins at Crazy Wendy's where my hens also organised the best games and ice breakers and we danced on the tables all night!

Minimoon and other UK trips

On the Monday after we got married, we headed down for a lovely few days in the Cotswolds. We had two nights in gorgeous Broadway, then spent the rest of the week around the Cotswolds, Cheltenham and Gloucester. We were blessed with the most amazing weather and it was such a lovely week.

We also had the best weekend in Newcastle thanks to a corporate trip to see Liverpool as a wedding present, where we also explored Newcastle castle, ticked another parkrun off the list and visited Fountain's Abbey on the way home. 

We also had a few trips to visit friends this year - Norfolk for Phil's friends' 30th Birthday and Milton Keynes for a wedding which included a trip to Bletchley Park. We've done lots of parkrun tourism this year! Speaking of...

parkrun

I've had an excellent year of parkrunning in 2019! In the whole year I only missed 5 runs (one being my wedding day and one being my honeymoon!) and with a few special events I've finished the year having completed 49 runs in 2019 (yes, it's driving my mad I haven't hit "gold level obsessive" of 50 in 2019 - hopefully in 2020!). 

I ran my 200th parkrun in October, celebrated 6 years of parkrunning in August and ran my 100th Bramhall parkrun in September.

I ran at 12 different parks in 2019, including 8 new-to-me parks and my first International parkrun on our honeymoon in Canada.

I got 6 PBs this year including my first PB at Bramhall in over 2 years! I got within 6 seconds of my all-time PB in 2019 and I'm determined to get there in 2020!

I ran parkrun on my Birthday for the first time (it finally fell on a Saturday!), ran our first New Year's Day parkrun (soon to be running our first New Year's Day double!) and our first Christmas Day parkrun - which I hope will become our annual tradition.

49 parkruns in 2019 means I ran 6 more than in 2017 and 2018 too!

Reading every day (2 years in a row!)




A post shared by Charlotte Cantillon (@girlnextdoorfashion) on
I have now read every single day for over 2 years - and yes, I did manage a couple of pages the morning of my wedding! I read 102 books in 2019 - which was more than double my goal of 50!

I've got a blog post coming up of my favourite books in 2019, so keep your eyes out for that.


One second every day of the year!

After Phil did it in 2018, I started One Second Every Day on the 1 Jan 2019 and managed to remember to record a video every single day of the year! I was sure I would forget but somehow managed to remember every day and I'm so happy to have a whole year of seconds to look back on.


You can see all my monthly videos on my Instagram, and I'll share my full year tomorrow!

Other highlights

2019 had loads of other brilliant highlights - celebrating Phil's 30th Birthday in March with a Virgil van Dijk cake topper, Liverpool winning the Champion's League and going to the city for the parade, Buckle and Boots festival where we danced all day and night to country music, lots of lovely weddings, hosting our first Christmas dinner and going to see one of my heros, Margaret Atwood, speak at the Lowry.


On to 2020!

2019 has been the most amazing year of my life and I'm so sad it's over, but 2020 will bring my 30th Birthday, our first wedding anniversary and lots of other fun along the way. Looking back on 2019, a year feels so long (it feels forever ago that we got married!) so I'm sure there will be loads happening in 2020, and I'm sure I'll definitely blog about all of it!

Thanks to everyone who read my blog in 2019 - on to 2020!

Charlotte x

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