2017: Year in Review
I only write this kind of review once a year. This year I’m met with thoughts like “Why do I need to do this?” It mostly comes from the obvious fact that I got married this year, and that the months of the year melded into one another, and that a review of the year could quite easily be as short as three sentences.
That said though, I’ve got much more to say than three sentences.
Upon having my last meeting of the year with my manager, he pointed out that for me, this year it had literally all happened. I had changed teams (twice, kind of?), I had changed managers, our company had gone through some large organisational changes, not to mention I’d gotten married and also moved house.
While all the events had occurred, I had forgotten just how much had actually happened.
But it’s obvious what didn’t go so well and it’s staring me in the face: my blog. And although I stand by the fact that I’ll continue to blog for a long time, and although I often put my blog first, too much happened for me this year to write as much as I wanted to. But I want to make every effort to fix what I consider an abnormality.
So as I may have said before, I am going to start with my honeymoon posts, finish them off, and slowly recount things like our wedding (and no, we haven’t gotten our photos back yet!), some travel I missed out on writing about, and just a lot of other things in general.
I usually use my monthly Achievement Unlocked posts to help me write my Year in Review, but this year those posts only went as far as June because I was so busy! I will definitely try to keep up with it next year though. 🌟
This post isn’t image-heavy; I figured a list would be enough for now. There are links to any related posts, so feel free to click around. 🔗
Best posts of 2017
Looking back, I had so many posts in the first half of the year and then they just tapered off. I personally find that upsetting, but it made it easier to find this year’s gems. 💎
- Fashion Friday: House of Mirrors – My friend Pat’s debut photographing my Fashion Friday series. It was an awesome debut, and while I don’t particularly like the outfit, the whole aesthetic of this shoot was wonderful.
- A letter to my 21-year-old self – When I was 21 I was going through a really rough time that I almost couldn’t see ending. I wrote this letter to my 21-year-old self to reflect back on that time.
- 🍽 Trying to eat at every cafe in Northbridge – During my time in Perth I explored a lot of café culture, and I rounded up all the cafés I could find in the town of Northbridge.
- Hey Girlfriend!: Monica Ella Regalado – I almost did not want to choose a favourite but it was so hard. soooo hard. to choose a favourite Hey Girlfriend! interview for this year, because all the women I have interviewed are passionate, hard-working and inspiring in their own right, but at the same time, I couldn’t go past Monica’s. Yes, she’s one of my closest friends, but how she manages to do what she does and make it look easy when it’s not, and still know how to party hard and still manage to be a bridesmaid, she must be taking more than just a couple of caffeine pills every now and then. 😂 I always say age is just a number but she has energy and maturity way beyond her years, and when we first met online when she was just ten years old, that was true ever since then. So yeah, here’s to Monica, because some of her answers to my questions in the interview were also great. 👍
- Passion is immeasurable – A post I wrote for International Women’s Day. Looking back on the times I used to run a popular tutorial website and study and work full-time, there is a quality that everyone should have and that should never be underestimated: passion.
- ‘Before’ (World Poetry Day 2017) – For World Poetry Day I share an unpublished poem from 2012, sintered by the intermittent communication between myself and a friend, which bothered me at times even though we were often very close.
- This is a backdated April Fools post – I had to do something for April Fools. Had to. This post only has screenshots, but they are timeless screenshots of the joke I had live on my website for 1st April.
- Ambitious as hell: 27 goals before I’m 27 – I haven’t done a lot of checkpoints for my 27 by 27 list but this was the introductory post!
- You know you’re right, and I’m fine with that – A less vague follow-up on my letter to my 21-year-old self, explaining something that shaped the person I am today.
- You are not your job – On answering the question “What do you do?”
- I used to hate my body. – My fitness journey. A lengthy post, but a full history of how I got to be the fitness enthusiast I am today. 💪
- Dear Perth – A little “love letter” to Perth.
- This is not a hiatus – Writing about my decline in frequency of blog posts, and reflecting on when bloggers used to go on “hiatus”
- Let me talk about mental health for a second. – I was going through a tough time. If your loved one is going through a tough time, here’s a little bit about understanding mental health and how you can really help them.
- 21.10.2017 ❤️ – Ahhhh do I really have to explain this one? 😍
Now for the yearly roundup of events!
- I started the Hey Girlfriend! interview series, focussed on interviewing women in tech of varying ages, backgrounds, and experience, from around the world. I will be continuing the series in 2018.
- I spent some time in Perth. I was going to give a talk at a meetup but Nick and I stayed for the Australia Day long weekend. We hired bikes and rode around Rottnest Island where we got to see what quokkas are like. Quokkas are little creatures that are native to the island and they look like wombats or something? They are unique.
- I tried on wedding dresses and found my dream dress. I shared nothing about it really, since I wanted to keep it a surprise from Nick. But you all get the idea of how it looked. 😄 I was looking for a figure-hugging mermaid dress to show off my curves, but at that point I didn’t have a lot of gains so didn’t have much to show. 😂 I ended up trying on a ballgown dress, pretty reluctantly actually, but I cried when I tried it on because it was the perfect one and I could just imagine getting married in it. 😭
- I gave a talk on Creative ways to style
figcaptionsat the inaugural Localhost meetup, unfortunately the meetup doesn’t exist anymore but I enjoyed being a part of it.
- Nick and I saw The Beach Boys in concert. It was a little strange because it’s not like the original lineup, but it was a good show nonetheless and The Temptations, who were supporting, were fun to watch.
- I went on my first cruise with Nick. It was just a sample cruise, but the ship went up and down the coast for the weekend and it was an interesting experience.
- I presented at the Girl Geek Sydney meetup. One of my presentations was titled Your blog ≠ everyone else’s blog (slightly rehashed and extended version of a previous talk I have done), and my coworker Cecilia and I did a joint presentation on pathways in IT. You can find my presentation recordings on my speaking page.
- Nick and I sorted out a lot of things for our wedding. Our venue was done, we managed to find ourselves a celebrant and a photographer after a couple of weeks of research, and my mum helped us create our wedding favours. They were little cacti in pots, and I wanted it to be a surprise so I never blogged about the process but you can expect a post on that soon! 🌵
- I attended the Women Techmakers Summit and wrote a blog post about it.
- I’d started working on designing our wedding invitations, but finalised them and was able to start posting some out this month!
- Nick and I went on a road trip to visit some of his family in Queensland.
- Brandon graduated with a BA in Psychology. 👨🏻🎓
- Shortly before my birthday I created my 27 by 27 goals list.
- Nothing much happened this month but I upped my workouts at the gym and went to quite a lot of workshops to learn some different coding languages and platforms.
- I went to Perth again and Nick joined me for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. It was hard saying goodbye to him when he went back to Sydney. 😢 Just the moments before I settled in and became accustomed to being by myself – they were hard.
- It was Nick’s birthday later in June and I surprised him by delivering him doughnuts and wine, since I was still in Perth. 🍷🍩 I liked that it was a total surprise, hehe. ❤️
- I don’t think a lot happened during this month, but my calendar shows that I was busy, and that I caught up with my friends Dylan, Monica and Phuong.
- Nick and I went to a Hey Geronimo gig this month!
- I went to the Women in Technology Australia conference. It was eye-opening and I was very, very inspired by the end of it. I didn’t write a blog post about it but I did create a Twitter moment of all my live tweeting during the day.
- We scored our new apartment that we are still renting at the moment. We really love the area and it’s a shorter commute to work, so none of this standing-on-a-train-for-40-minutes bullshit. We got approved exactly two months before our wedding 🙂
- So. Many. IKEA. Trips.
- Nick had to go to Melbourne for work, so I joined him for a few days on a weekend. I saw my first AFL (Australian Football League) game and really enjoyed it!
- Co-organised the launch event for codebar Sydney with Charlotte, Mike, Marlene and Emma. It was held at my workplace, Campaign Monitor. Running a meetup is something I have always wanted to do and I’m glad I could be a part of codebar, so I’m very thankful for Charlotte for inviting me to help her out with it. codebar is a workshop-style meetup aimed at helping people learn to code in a safe and welcoming environment. We welcome everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, background, and experience. And as many of you know, inclusivity is something I am super passionate about. 🌟
- We started the process of moving in. We started with all-new furniture. On the weekends we were buying furniture (mostly from IKEA) and putting it together. It took us a long time, weekend after weekend after weekend of furniture and home organisation. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait for a weekend where we weren’t putting together furniture and could literally just relax.
- I went on my hens weekend with my bridesmaids: Lilian, Monica and Rebekah (Nick’s sister). 🌻 I have a post in the works… 😜 But we went to Hunter Valley Gardens, went to a lovely Japanese restaurant for dinner, and the next day went for high tea and took photo booth pictures. 😄💞
- Suddenly got obsessed with poke bowls. Poke bowls are a Hawaiian dish with sashimi (for example: raw salmon; raw tuna; raw kingfish), typically a rice or noodle base, and vegetables (sliced carrot; beets; edamame; bamboo) and other condiments with some soy sauce.
- Saw an episode of the My Favorite Murder podcast live. I loved it. I also forgot when I started to get obsessed with the podcast, otherwise I would have included it in this post somewhere.
- Joined the Virgin Active gym in Australia. I’ve been enjoying the vibe there – it’s all very positive and welcoming. I never thought I would get obsessed with classes but when I first joined I was trying all sorts of classes – pilates, barre, HIIT, and Body Pump™, which is probably still my favourite.
- Nicholas and I got married. It was honestly the most fun day ever and it was the best. ♥️
- My family came over from overseas for the wedding. It was a bit of a solid mess regarding accommodation, but we sorted it out! I’m so glad so many of them could come, and on the day, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was wonderful to be able to share the day with everyone.
- I got a haircut to just past my shoulders!
- Nicholas and I went on our honeymoon. We visited Seoul, in South Korea, and went to various spots in Japan. I’m still fleshing out all the posts about our trip but you can check out posts tagged with thecookeshoneymoon 😉
- We bought a Dyson vacuum literally the day we got back from our honeymoon (we were that desperate). 🤣 And then we went for a Body Pump™ class. Classic Georgie and Nick. Classic.
- I got another haircut to shorter than shoulder length! Shit I’m addicted! 💇🏻♀️
- We finally got a couch. 😂 That was the last thing we needed in our apartment.
- We also got someone on Airtasker to put together our dining chairs because we needed a power drill and didn’t have one. We kept putting it off for the longest time.
- Just settled back into work and getting back into the swing of things following our honeymoon.
I’ll check in again in the new year to say hello. 🙂 Regarding any goals I might have, most of it involves completing my 27 by 27 list. But I have a couple of extra things, most of which go without saying, but I wanted to say them anyway.
- Do something for me, every day. Self-love and self-care is important and even the smallest things can put make you smile on the inside, even if you can’t see it on the outside.
- Stop rushing. This goes hand-in-hand with getting adequate sleep and giving myself time. I want to completely avoid ever rushing something that should be simple: getting ready. Getting ready for anything. For work, for a gym class, for the next day. It should never be rushed.
- Spend time really listening to people. Not being distracted or thinking about the next thing I’m gonna fucking say or daydream or get distracted or start planning the rest of my day in my head, but really, really, listen. This goes for all friends, family, at work, meetups, and so on. Listen and be present.
Happy new year. 💕
Photo of myself and Nick in banner image taken by Kieran Moore.