Friday, 30 December 2016

LouLouLand - 2016 - A Year In Review - Part 1 - January To June

Hi Guys x I hope you all had a lovely Christmas x It was a quiet one here in LouLouLand but it was a one filled with lots of love and precious family time. This year has been a sad and reflective one for me for so many reasons, and as a result I think my blog has suffered. I haven't been able to devote as much time and energy to it as I would have liked, and as much as I know I shouldn't have to apologise for that, I still feel as though I should.

Despite the fact that my posting has been a touch on the erratic side this year, I still managed to post quite a few pieces that I'm pretty pleased with, so in this post I'm going to take a little look back at 2016,  both on a personal level and on a blogging level, and I'm going to share with you some of my favourite and most poignant blog posts of 2016. I've had to split this into two parts so here is Part 1 - January to June x

January 2016

The last few months of 2015 were a bit rough thanks to a very inflamed wisdom tooth, but thankfully in January the tooth said goodbye. Without going into two much graphic detail I shared my wisdom tooth removal experience with you, and I also talked about how even the smallest thing can knock you for 6 when you suffer from chronic illness.

There have been a few fabulous tooth fairy stories floating around on the internet this year, but seeing as I'm an adult the tooth fairy doesn't visit me anymore but thankfully my lovely Mummy took on the tooth fairy role and bought me a couple of things to cheer me up after my surgery. 

She got me two of the exclusive QVC UK, Hello Kitty For OPI kits, and on the 24th January I shared pictures and swatches of those two kits with you. The first kit was a beautifully packaged 3D collectors box which contained 6 full sized lacquers and the second was a beautiful full size duo pack. I've posted a few nails of the days over the course of the year but there are still plenty more to come in 2016.

Recipes and Foodie Friday posts were a bit thin on the ground in 2016, but I started the year on a high by sharing one of my favourite quick meals, my version of Nigella Lawson's Eggs In Purgatory. Soft, quick, and warming and perfect for when you're short on energy and time x 

February 2016

Although February is the shortest month, in 2016 it was my busiest blogging month and I posted more in February than I did in any other month of the year.

There was a nice assortment of posts including some hauls including some more Hello Kitty For OPI kits , some nails of the days, the start of yet another weight loss journey and my usual Trimming My Stash posts, and it was my birthday, No not my real birthday but in February I celebrated my blogging birthday and 9 years of LouLouLand - eek! I still can't believe that it been 9 years and I'm already looking forward to celebrating 10 years in February 2017.

To celebrate my 9th blogging birthday I held a little giveaway and I gave away what would become one of my favourite eyeshadow palettes of 2016, The Balm Nude Dude. Alas the giveaway ended a long while ago now, but this palette is still widely available, so don't forget to have a read of this post, and view some of the swatches for yourself x 

February also saw the first post in what would become Benefit Cosmetics love in. In 2016 I fell in love with Benefit Cosmetics all over again, and in February I reviewed the Benefit Cosmetics Do The Hoola Beyond Bronze Kit For Complexion, Lips And Eyes

I love Benefit's mini kits, either for travel or for trying out new products and this kit was no exception. It contains 6 pieces including a mini Hoola Bronzing Powder, a mini Dew The Hoola Liquid Bronzer and it's perfect for adding a bit of colour to your complexion all year round.

March 2016

March saw the appearance of another Foodie Friday post and this time I shared one of my favourite Hello Fresh recipes with you, Mexican Bean & Buckwheat Bake With Creme Fraiche, and I talked about using Buckwheat as a grain and how I use it instead of pasta, rice and cous cous.

I also dug out one of my Hello Kitty plushes out and shared a Hello Kitty For OPI Nails Of The Day with you, in the blackest of black shades, Never Have Too Mani Friends.

There were a few nail posts in March and in celebration of what was a very early Easter, I shared a Mini Egg themed manicure with you, using Models Own Speckled Egg in NP202 Swan, a lovely lilac shade, which is crammed full of matte black glitter x 

In March I also talked about one of my best discoveries of 2015 and 2016 the RESEED* hair care system. This was quite an emotional post for me because I talked about my relationship with and experience of hair loss. Like so many treatments for hair loss, the RESEED system isn't the cheapest but it made a real difference to my hair. You can read my thoughts here

April 2016

April was a busy month review wise, and in April I reviewed a few natural make up products from both Benecos and Lavera, for My Pure*. I also shared you a few hauls with you, including some beauty bits, and a Primark haul. Primark hauls were a real feature on both my blog and my you Tube channel in 2016 and they've proved really popular in both formats so that's definitely something that will be continuing in 2017.

Something else that I hope will be continuing in 2017, are the Intu Metrocentre Style Garden events*. I've been to quite a few of these now and I've loved every minute of them. April's even beautifully combined some of the centres best fashion and beauty offerings.  I had a Giorgio Armani makeover, I tried some Liz Earle fragrances and thanks to the event I also ended up having a beautiful Kiehls facial and hand and arm massage, and I ended going on a little bit of a shopping spree which I ended up talking about much later in the year, see I told you I'd been a bad blogger ;)

In April I also shared a pretty large Beauty Haul with you, but unusually for me I just did it in video form and I didn't write an accompanying post to go with it. I utilised You Tube this was a lot in 2016, and I produced a lot of exclusive content that was just for my You Tube channel including favourites, lots of unboxings and some exclusive hauls like the one that you can see below. I've really enjoyed making videos in 2016, and I'm definitely going to be working harder to grow my You Tube channel in 2016 so make sure that you're subscribed x 

April was also the month where I got messy, and slathered my hair in Lush Henna. Despite the fact that it's more than a little bit messy I'm a big fan of traditional henna hair dye. It leaves my hair in fabulous condition and I love the subtle wash of colour that it gives. So if you want a full demonstration and you want to see some pictures of me with a carrier bag on my head, don't forget to look back and read the post here

May 2016

May is probably my favourite month of the year, probably because it's my birthday month! On the 15th I celebrated my 30 something th birthday and I shared an exclusive What I Got For My Birthday video with you x 

I also shared a very rare outfit of the day post with you. I love my clothes but lately I've been really lacking in body confidence so outfit posts have been a little thin on the ground. I am hoping to get back on track and build up my confidence though so here's hoping that I can manage a few more in 2017. In the meantime though check out this post, to see a gorgeous bright floral Simply Be dress on mah body!

2016 was definitely the year when I tried to be a little bit more experimental with lip colour, and in May I was lucky enough to be able to try out a berry toned lip colour from Smashbox.  This is the Smashbox Be Legendary Long Wear Lip Lacquer in Currant and I love it! Find out why in this post

June 2016

Ah June half way through the year, and the official start of summer! At the start of the month, I celebrated one of my best friends birthday with ice cream sundaes at Lickety Split in Seaham, and a home fragrance inspired shopping trip. This haul post was a sign of things to come, and 2016 was officially the year when I went candle daft, check out this post for some beautiful smellies from Yankee Candles, Village Candles, M&S, and Poundland.

I also shared a few beauty reviews with you from the likes of Kiehls*, and Lavera* and I also shared with you my love / hate relationship with Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Beyond Mascara. I love the effect but sometime it just turns into a clagg fest. I'll definitely continue to buy but in my opinion always have a lash comb at the ready you can read my thoughts here x

So that was LouLouLand 2016 from January to June in review, don't forget to let me know your thoughts below and don't forget to read Part 2 which should be up soon x

*Press Samples Or Blog Events

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