DEAR 2016


“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”

Oh 2016, you were a real bastard weren’t you?

No wait, I take that back. For the most part, you were the biggest babe imaginable; full of travelling the world, opportunities I never dreamed possible, laughter, love and a dream career that grew from strength to strength and filled my heart with so much happiness and fulfilment. But then you scattered little raindrops of shite – or you know, more specifically, grief and heartbreak – all over it, and sadly, those little droplets took the best year of my life to potentially the worst and this is where we’re at right now. Which is a bit grim because you know, you want to go into the New Year being like “watch out world” but actually I’m kinda crawling into 2017 like, “oh please be nice boo, I actually can’t cope with any more shit”.

So let’s start with the good because I’m feeling all moaning myrtle and I’m trying not to be about that life at the minute. I started the year full of positivity. My blog had just started to be recognised a little, I’d been invited to a couple of press trips and rather than feeling like I was drowning in a sea of massive fish that didn’t have a clue I existed, I felt a little bit like I was doggy paddling and definitely not drowning and maybe sometimes a lot of my much bigger peers even knew who I was too. At the beginning of the year, if you’d have told me I’d go on to work on a mammoth – and maybe slightly ridiculous – 68 brand collaborations (sponsored, for the sake of transparency), I would never have believed you. If you’d have told me I’d have collaborated with some of my favourite brands like Max Factor, Loreal, Elizabeth Arden, Clinique, Cartier (I know!), Primark etc. I’d have never believed you. If I had one tiny little inkling that I would travel the world and see Dubai, Paris, South of France, Italy, New York, Spain etc. … that I’d have stayed in some of the dreamiest London hotels (including The Shard), I actually would never have believed it for a single second. And if you’d have said that I would’ve been the face of a brand and my moosh would’ve been in Superdrugs all over the UK I actually would lol’d so hard in your face.

Because I’m an ogre, so lol, no pal that surely never should’ve happened!

I am so aware that that probably sounds like the arsiest (not a word), braggiest (100% not a word), most self indulgent paragraph that has ever been written but please know, the only reason I’m saying this is because this year I somehow managed to achieve things I could never even dream of, so if you are that person that has a list full of dreams and goals but never thinks that they’re possible… they are absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt achievable if, basically, you work your arse off like you never have before! 

Other than work, my life was good. I loved my new house, I loved my relationship… I was happy, I was settled, I was comfortable. This for me, was pretty much it. I have also made some of the best friends this year, and my relationships with some previous friends has developed into one of those god damn awesome “whatsapp basically everyday” kinda ones and honestly, this year has taught me that friendship is everything. It’s also taught me that you can have people that you would’ve classed as one of your best friends, that you talk to all the time, and then when shit gets real and you’re in a real bad place, they will just disappear off of the face of the earth. But you know what, that is absolutely OK. Because, without sounding like a tryna be sassy knob head, this is 100% their loss because why would I ever want that kind of flakey, “I’ll chat if I can moan about something insignificant and not really listen to your rock bottom struggles” person in my life? I wouldn’t, you’re so right!

Forward to June. I remember this day so f**king vividly. I’d travelled to Rayleigh to meet Hannah to shoot a campaign together for Fat Face and I just had such a good time. We got the shots, demolished chips, dips, houmous, all of the meats and basically all of the cheese and carbs and good things in life. When I got home from the shoot, my Mum called me to say that my Grandad was ill. I’ve gone through this a little bit in a blog post here, but in short, he had a major stroke and I spent the next 3 days by his side. Every second of every day. We “slept” on windowsills, the floor, the edge of the bed, a chair… it was just the most horrendously horrific time in my life and I just remember feeling this constant state of panic that I hadn’t told him I loved him enough, I hadn’t seen him enough (I think I actually probably did both of these things more than enough but when you know you don’t have much of a chance left you just regret everything and anything don’t you?), and honestly, when he finally passed away, a small little piece of me just went with him because you see, my Grandad was just one of the best people to have walked the planet, let alone be in my life. He was a gentleman. He was funny, kind, witty… he was a provider and he treated my Nan like royalty and if I’m honest, he is one of the biggest reasons why my standards for men are almost set unreachabley high. And even though his passing was categorically the worst thing I’d ever gone through, I just feel so endlessly grateful to have known him for 23 years. And to have known that men like him actually exist.

I thought, after going through such heartache with losing my Grandad that nothing else in the world could make 2016 any worse. I am absolutely not going into any details – and I never, ever will – out of sheer and utter respect for that person, but at the very end of 2016, my engagement/relationship came to an end and I felt a kind of pain that I never even knew was possible. Shock, anger, hurt, devastation, disappointment, hope, failed hope, failure, confusion… emptiness. They are all emotions that I felt so strongly that at points I genuinely couldn’t even breathe. I was always one of those “independent women” that just thought they would be OK if anything happened, but I was not OK. I felt sick, I couldn’t sleep, I was a complete and utter mess and I just want to put it out there right now that if it wasn’t for my family and friends (in particular, Ally, who was the brightest star in the gloomiest night and actually saved me. Hayley and Meg were also just the best people ever).. I have no idea how I’d have gotten through. Of course, I’m not through it already, I am beyond aware that I have a long, painful journey ahead, but the difference now is that I know that, in the end, I’ll be OK. I can accept a situation that was entirely out of my hands and I can finally look in the mirror, in spite of all the lack of self worth/confidence that you feel when you go through something like this, and I can tell myself, with complete and utter sincerity, that I deserve better. I deserve happiness. I actually may never find it (in a man), I actually might end up on my own for the rest of my life but I would rather do this than settle for a situation that’s less than I deserve. The thing is, when you have a near perfect relationship – and it was, it was full of love and laughter and pure friendship – and then it quite literally gets thrown away, it completely eats you up inside about the fact that; surely I clearly wasn’t good enough? Maybe after years of happiness I just wasn’t enough any more? But what I soon realised is that is isn’t a reflection on me, and actually, I get to walk away from the situation with absolutely no regrets and my head held high… I am not the one that has to live with regrets and never being able to forgive themselves and I am endlessly grateful for that.

“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”

Do I feel like I failed at love because I was engaged to be married and that didn’t work out? Yeah, of course. Do I feel absolutely gutted that I couldn’t/wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to a side of the family that had taken me under their wing and got on with so well? Devastated. Do I question most days how two people that were on the most part so perfect for each other didn’t work out? Yeah, in the bad moments (which are less and less frequent every single day) it kinda eats me up inside. But the thing is, I’ve always thrown the quote “everything happens for a reason” around, but this truly tested my beliefs in that quote, and actually… I still believe this to be utterly true. I guess really, I just felt the absolute need to talk about the relationship side of things as a) every single meeting I go to I am constantly asked by PR’s/brands when I’m getting married and let me just tell you that when I was going through the worst of the break up, I literally just held myself together enough to pass off the question and change subjects (before going home and crying hysterically about the fact that said wedding will never happen). And b) I guess because so many people just see Bloggers/Youtubers/Influencers Instagram feeds and therefore they must live the perfect life, right? They see me go to shoots, they see me with the biggest smile and the loudest laugh and they just think that life’s perfect and carefree. And I think it’s incredibly important to realise that you just never know what is going on in people’s lives behind the scenes, so please just be kind, and never judge. Everybody is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

I honestly don’t know what, or maybe even who, is out there for me in 2017, but I hope and pray that it involves adventure, experiences of a lifetime, hard work paying off, family health, the pain of this heartbreak fading (preferably as quick as possible!), constant laughter, new friendships, old friendships thriving. And happiness. 

Through everything I’ve been through this year, the highest of highs and lowest of lows, all I ever really want in life is happiness.

I want to end this in a sassy way like, here’s to making the next year the best one yet but realistically, 2016 taught me that you never, ever know what’s around the corner. And life can change, inconceivably, in a single moment. So rather than attacking life and planning out world domination (said completely ironically because I’ve definitely not turned into one of those really annoying “sassy, take over the planet, bossing life” bloggers that think they can own the world), I think I’m just going to take each day as it comes and trust in the fact that what’s meant to be will find it’s way.

So thank you 2016 – and soz for calling you a bastard at the beginning – for giving me experiences of a lifetime, and teaching me life lessons that’ll last me a lifetime. 


58 responses to “DEAR 2016”

  1. Robyn Taylor says:

    Oh Elle! This was so emotional to read! 2016 has been a weird year and it's so heartbreaking to hear of all your stories. Of course you've been a total babe with your blog and we all love you for it! Sorry about your bad times this year but congrats for managing to write it all down and let off some steam, I hope things settle in 2017 for you!

    Robyn xox

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  2. I'm so sorry for the lows you experienced in 2016, but I seriously commend you for seeing and reaching for the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope 2017 is nothing but beautiful and prosperous for you!

    Sharni //

  3. I'm so sorry for the lows you experienced in 2016, but I seriously commend you for seeing and reaching for the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope 2017 is nothing but beautiful and prosperous for you!

    Sharni //

  4. Sometimes, when things go wrong it's not actually a bad thing at all. Sure, at the time if feels like shit but when you reflect, it's the time you learn so much. This summer I spent working with my best friend and our relationship suffered so much because of it BUT we came out of the other side and now we're stronger than ever (and we learned so much about each other). It reminds me a little bit of J. K. Rowling's words, 'It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default' and what a legend she is, right? Of course, I hope 2017 is better for you, but 2016 will probably be more valuable than first believed xxx

    Sam // What I Know Now

  5. Beautylymin says:

    What a year! I'm so sorry, Ellie. You are right – you do deserve better & going through something like this will set your standards even higher, but there are good men out there – just like your Grandad, and you will meet one when the time is right. I can only imagine the hurt you're feeling but never feel lonely – you have family, friends and a wide community of readers and viewers who all love you. I wish you the very best for 2017 & hope that this time next year, you will look back and not even be able to recognise the sadness you are feeling right now. Lots of love, Siobhรกn xx

    Beautylymin| LuxuryFragranceBundleGiveaway

  6. Holly White says:

    So sorry to hear about your bad times over 2016 Elle. It has just been one of those years where there's just been sooo much good and sooo much bad all at once. I hope 2017 brings you much more happiness and loads more amazing opportunities – you deserve it! Sending lots of love Xxxx


  8. I admire you so much for sharing this post lovely – especially as it's so so personal. I'm so sorry for what you've had to experience this year. It's really been a complete whirlwind for you, but you really have had some incredible blog experiences and I'm sure your success will just continue to grow over the next few years! You're such a babe and you deserve all the success and happiness xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

  9. Frances says:

    Oh lovely, I hope 2017 sprinkles you with all of the magic you deserve! Sorry to hear about your loss and difficulties this year but pleased to hear that you are feeling stronger now. You deserve all of your successes and I can't wait to see you grow further <3 xxx

  10. This was a very emotional post and I thank you for sharing. I hope 2017 brings you the happiness you crave and hope that you continue on your journey of putting 2016 well and truly behind you.

  11. Oh my word girlie, your posts have always reached out to me and engaged with me on a level that no one else manages but this one has really touched me.

    I am so pleased that through all of the heartache and suffering you have gone through this year you are able to still see the good that 2016 has brought into your life.

    Onwards and upwards lovely!

    Emma |

  12. Sammy says:

    I think that this may be one of the best blog posts I've read all year. Not because of the content, because it sounds like you've been through a lot of shit this year (I'm sorry to hear that and let's hope 2017 is way better!!), but because it's so honest and open. What you've achieved this year is amazing and it gives hope to me as a pretty new blogger that it is possible to achieve these things. Hope you've been able to have a nice Christmas with your family and friends and have been able to relax…look forward to seeing you smash it in 2017!!

    Sammy x

  13. Sheree Milli says:

    Love the honesty in this post and here's to an amazing 2017.

    Sheree x

  14. Lauren King says:

    Ive recently broken up with my long term boyfriend and it hurts so much so to hear you openly speak about it helps me so much. Your destined for great things girl. Love you blog and youtube its been amazing to see you grow.

  15. Frankie Lee says:

    Love this post…! Love your blog (I'm a new reader!)
    Frankie x

  16. Saira Shah says:

    I felt this post and absolutely love how you've written it. I feel like I know you so well and honestly just want to give you a massive hug for the year you've had. I also admire your strength so much and courage for writing this post! I just love the honesty and openness in this post and it has to be one of my faves I've read all year! Here's to 2017!

  17. Wow sounds like such a rollercoaster of a year with extreme highs and lows. I hope that 2017 is better for you and that some of the pain you have suffered gets easier to bear. You seem like a really lovely person too. I look forward to read your blog in 2017. Gemma x

  18. Oh Elle, I'm sending you the biggest virtual hug from across the world. I love that you were honest about what you went through this shitty year. Just know that through the lows you went through, there'll be a bright thing waiting for you by the end of the rainbow! As cheesy as that sounds, it's true. Just remember, you're never alone and that we're here for you. x

  19. Louise Brown says:

    Loved reading this – I think you nailed it on the head saying you don't really ever know what's around the corner; but I wish you a more positive 2017 and all the best!

    The Little Things | Louise x

  20. kerstinix says:

    What a wonderful post! I only recently discovered your blog but am absolutely loving it. Cheers to many great memories to be shared in 2017!

    Love, Kerstin

  21. Hanan Abdi says:

    2016 has been some rollercoaster for you and many of us, but you have come out as a strong independent girl who understand her worth more than anything and will not stand for anymore bullshit thrown her way, you've put my 2016 into perspective and thank you for that..keep spreading the love :p xx

    A Girl's Journal xx

  22. What a year it's been for you love, I can't imagine how it's all felt but as you say you've also had a great year with the blog! Fingers crossed that 2017 is an even better year for you :).

    Lauren xx |

  23. Rubi Ani says:

    As they always say, you can't appreciate the good without first going through the bad <3
    Rubi | Instagram | The Den |

  24. Elle, I admire you because although you've had a terrible year, you get on with your blog and the work that you have to do. You're a very strong person and I'm delighted to have met you. I didn't know about your engagement ending, that's another blow in a tough year but your strength will carry you through to bigger and better things

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  25. Such a beautiful and honest post – here's to 2017 being amazing girl! x

  26. Call Me Amy says:

    Babe I can't imagine what you've gone through in your break up and how torn up you must be but you have in NO WAY failed and although I know you can't help it affecting your self confidence it totally shouldn't because you're amazing. You've achieved some wonderful things this year, your blog remains one of my absolute faves and I can't wait for you to boss next year just like you have this one! I hope the new year brings you so much more happiness too <3 xxx

  27. That was an emotional read. I feel proud of you, even though we don't know each other. You've overcome so many difficult things. You trooper.

    Big hugs! x

  28. Anonymous says:

    Beautifully written Elle, trust me, time is a healer. Trust in that clichรฉ.
    All the best for your future. The world is your oyster!

  29. OH Elle, I feel like I went through hell and back with you there, I ain't gonna lie. 2016 certainly was a mixed bag for you, but you have come out the other side (well you will have in 48 hours ๐Ÿ™Š) were all a lot stronger than we think, keep bossing it! And inspiring us little fish in a very big blogging pond!
    Bee |

  30. Alina Bostan says:

    Oh no Ellie I am so utterly sorry to hear about your relationship ending, but so proud of you for how well you managed through it all so far. You're such a strong person and you definitely deserve the best. I hope 2017 is filled with amazing things for you xox

    Beauty with charm | ESTEE LAUDER GIVEAWAY

  31. Laura says:

    This actually made me cry a bit and I want to send you a gazillion hugs. Although, from reading through the whole post, I think you will be absolutely fine. I have been following your blog/YouTube for about a year now and you seem like one of the kindest and the strongest women out there and I really do hope for so much happiness for you – I hope you get that in 2017 (and beyond!).

    Hope you have a great NYE and a start to the new year! X

  32. Laura says:

    This is such a beautiul post. You sound like an incredibly brave, strong and positive person and I hope 2017 will bring you happiness. I also lost my grandad early this year, I had never experienced a pain like it before. You're right that life can change in a single moment, we really do just have to take each day as it comes. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a great new year.

    Laura //


  33. I can see you're getting so much love for this post, and it's so deserved! I'm sorry 2016 has been so rough for you, Ellie, I really am. However, I have every faith that you'll come out of this year stronger and wiser and I believe that 2017 will be full of great things. From an outsider's perspective, you've come on in leaps and bounds this year, and I know you'll continue to do so. Good luck! <3 x

    Martha Jane |

  34. I am seriously rooting for you to have an even better year with much, much less emotional trauma. There is only so much one person can take.
    Mucho besitos
    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  35. Julia Bluhm says:

    THANK YOU for an honest, real, emotional post. This was beautiful and sad and everything that life really is. I'm so sorry about your grandad and your engagement, and everything you've been feeling. I'm so so sorry. But I also have to say congratulations for all your success in 2016, and for making your blog the amazing thing that it is (your blog is so inspirational for me!). Keep going, girl, I know you can do it! Remember how much you've done all on your own, and how much you'll continue to do. Here's to a whole new year. <3 <3
    Julia || Julia in Bluhm

  36. Raquel says:

    This reminds me of my latest post. I learned so much this year. Good + bad things, but I will cherish all that I learned from them. You have to experience some negativity and pain to learn the correct way to prosper. There are so many accomplishments that I achieved as well. 2017 is going to be amazing!

  37. Emma Boatman says:

    Wow – some super amazing highs but some equally crappy lows for you.
    Have a great new year and keep smiling!
    Em x

  38. Honest mum says:

    Oh Ellie, sat reading this so utterly moved, you are an amazing woman: smart, beautiful and strong. You deserve so much more and great things are in store. I've had the best year career wise and the worst personal wise too. Here's to a better 2017, lots of love x

  39. Sorry to hear about your breakup, it's hard but things do happen for a reason as you said. Amazing to hear about all your successes – gives me hope! Lol. Have a great new year ๐Ÿ˜ŠHttp://

  40. Oh Ellie it's not fair that you had to go through so much shit this year ๐Ÿ™ Sometimes life just likes to throw one crap thing after another at you which is really rubbish. I know everyone always says everything will get better with time and it's hard to imagine it but it seems like you're heading in the right direction. I find feeling loss and heartbreak etc can be really weird because you feel devastated and then one day you kind of get better but I've never been able to pinpoint when and to be honest I don't think it ever fully goes but I guess the length of bawling your eyes out reduces. I'm glad that you're not questioning yourself anymore, you definitely are enough and you should walk away with your head held high ๐Ÿ™‚ You're beautiful and strong ๐Ÿ™‚
    I remember back at the beginning of the year when you'd started to get all of these cool opportunities and it was really cool how much your blog and everything was starting to grow! I love that I've been following you for years and seen how you've grown and I guess the rubbish stuff is all part of it and it adds to your character ๐Ÿ™‚ If only the perfect life existed eh ๐Ÿ™‚
    Here's to a better 2017 ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  41. Congrats on your amazing blogging achievements! Sorry to hear about your grandad and your breakup! *hugs* x

  42. I just lost my grandmother and reading about your grandfather made me cry a bit. The pain will never go away, but thank goodness for all of our years with them and the good memories.
    Congrats on all of your achievements this year, you deserve every last one of them ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Josie says:

    This was such an emotional read! I'm so sorry you've had such terrible lows and losses in 2016, I really hope this year is kinda to you. And brag away about all of your achievements, you should be SO proud of yourself – I think when I met you ages ago you'd just began being a full time blogger and look at how much you've done since! Total #girlboss. Happy new year Ellie, here's to a better 2017 because you deserve it x

    Sick Chick Chic

  44. How stunning are these images?! Obsessed with that skirt! I am so sorry you had a terrible year, but I know 2017 will be great for you!!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  45. I feel the same way about coming into 2017. I really hope it will be kind. 2016 was a year of great loss. I can relate to your heartache over your grandfather after losing someone who was like an aunty to me very suddenly. She was expected to make it well into 2017 but didn't even reach December. The holiday season has been hard, especially watching her family struggle deeply with her passing. So yes, 2017 please be kind to us all.

    Happy New Year!

  46. Nikki says:

    Sending you hugs and wishing you a fucking fabulous 2017! Whether you intend to or not, I'm sure you'll kick the ass out of it! xx

  47. inezdiva says:

    Cheers for wonderful life in 2017

  48. Already said what I want to say via text but you are an amazing woman Elle, big love to you <3

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  49. Your blog continues to get better and better in my eyes, so here's to 2017! The photos here are seriously stunning, amazing job in 2016 Elle.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  50. Emma says:

    I have so much admiration for you for writing so honestly and sharing your life with your readers.
    I also had a relationship end last year and thought at the time that it was the worst thing, but it really wasn't and I'm happier now. It was of course different to your situation but I also had the quote 'everything happens for a reason' affirmed.
    I'm so sorry to hear about your grandad. The grief never ends and it's a process, but you will get through it, surrounding yourself with true friends is the way forward ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs xx

  51. - Karen says:

    Could you be any more of a babe?! I said in my previous comment that I wanna give you a huge hug and I'm for sure sending you multiple squishes right now! You have such a positive and inspirational outlook girl, go you!!

    Style Sunriseโ˜€


  52. Caroline says:

    Elle, I read this post as a mild form of therapy/realisation to you.. That's the awesome thing of blogging, not just sharing to help someone else, but sharing to help yourself.
    I have absolutely no fear that you've got this.. Things do happen for a reason. This is your time. 2016 was good to you and 2017 is going to be absolutely freaking amazing!!!


  53. Charl says:

    Elle, I am a new reader to your blog and this post really made me think about a couple of things while I was reading this my Grandad also had a stroke in May 2 years ago and got better then it came back in vengeance! He unfortunately passed away and while I wasn't there I realise that there were people there that cared for him and there's nothing more I could possibly do, I also believe both sayings "Everything happens for a reason" and always be kind and don't judge cause everyone is fighting a battle, no-one knows about. Thank you for your honesty and I you've got this girl!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Charl xx

  54. Don't make it long and painful Elle. It doesn't have to be. It can be the way you choose it to be. Take responsibility, be empowered and you will find your way back to happiness before you know it. Best wishes always! Lisaanne

  55. Out Rebound says:

    The place itself looks great with good pub area, and a much larger upstairs beer hall. Nice decor at San Francisco venues with brick walls, wooden bench seating, and chalkboard beer lists showing off the day's selections.

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