A 2016 Highlight Reel: Colourful Interiors, Euro Trips & Blogger Besties

A 2016 Highlight Reel: Colourful Interiors, Euro Trips & Blogger Besties

Well 2016 was a bit eventful wasn’t it? For me, it’s been a busy one! Lots of work, lots of blogging, lots of family adventures, and making more of an effort to attend events and travel. In a nutshell, it’s been brilliant.

Busy is just the way I like it. Thanks to opening myself up to saying ‘yes’ to a lot more, I’ve met some of my favourite fellow bloggers and collaborated with some incredible interiors brands.

Whilst not wanting to make too much of a declaration for New Year, I’m simply looking forward to doing more of the same in 2017, and when I look back at 2016 I’m really happy with what I spent my time doing.

Below are my personal highlights in the blogosphere. If you missed a post, go back and take a look! Likewise, for any of my new readers, this is a great chance for you to catch up on what you’ve missed. I’m always happy to get feedback, and if you have a request for what you’d like to see in the future – go for it!

I’ll be taking a break now until the New Year, although still floating around on Instagram most likely.

I hope you all have the most amazing festive break, whatever you’re doing, and thank you a million times over to all of my readers who make working on Well I Guess This Is Growing Up such an adventure.


Last January I was a little unsure where I wanted to go with my blog, but after seeing my house featured in both Home Style and Style at Home, I can’t pretend that didn’t give me a total nerdout! I’m so proud that the little place I call home was worthy enough for a proper mag. Chuffed.

Look who's in the latest issue of HomeStyle magazine!



Every parent will mark important milestones in their kid’s life. For me, February saw Luna’s first proper trip to Ikea and you’d think we took her to Disneyland. SO. MUCH. EXCITEMENT. Sort of like how I reacted when I saw the cat curtains there. Must keep an eye out in their Jan sales. I still want them.

cat print ikea


I’ve been trying to add more personal touches to our home for a while and finally decided that it would be easy as pie to print out some wall art at home. This is one of mine & Joe’s favourite phrases from the US Office and I finally got to put my gold skull frame to good use.



Flower arranging was never my strong point. I’ve definitely always been one of those to just throw flowers in a bouquet and hope for the best. BUT, I attended a flower masterclass with Manchester’s Frog Flowers in April and absolutely loved it. I got to chatter away to some of my favourite interiors bloggers, sip champagne, and make a beautiful bouquet. Check out the post to see what I learned about flower arranging.

flower arranging at frog flowers


Whilst I’m Manchester based, I made the effort to test the waters out in London this year, and I’m so happy I did. I visted an event hosted at a lovely homeware store called Olive Loves Alfie, and learned all about colour psychology in interiors from expert Karen Haller, as well as how to add personality to your home from interiors stylist Ashlyn Gibson. I learned a LOT. Read my posts to see how you can use these tips in your home decorating.

colour-psychology interiors


I’ve made a real effort to try and shop independent in 2016. I’ve discovered new stores, visited more markets and generally just tried to support local. So when one of my favourite brands opened their new showroom in Altrincham, I was thrilled to bits. If you haven’t yet visited Rose & Grey, either in-store or online, do it. Do it now.

Rose and Grey Showroom 10


Which brings me nicely onto this little styling challenge I did for Rose & Grey over the summer! I’m not an interior stylist by trade but do enjoy playing around with the many many ornaments and feature pieces in my home. This mini glass greenhouse made it all around our home and we still get compliments on it to this day.

Glasshouse display 01


Pokemon Go took over the world in August. Was anyone else playing? I know this is a bit of an odd one for me to write about, and it was a shortlived phase, but I loved how many of Manchester’s hidden quirks it showed me, including the many many colourful buildings we have! It inspired me to do a little makeover of our garden planters in a beautiful pastel lilac colour.

Valspar Dusty Lilac Garden 06

Out and about again, I took a tour of Manchester’s London Road Fire Station. It is under new management this year and will be soon renovated into a boutique hotel and restaurant, which I can’t wait to visit! Whilst plans are ongoing though, tours were available and even though it has been sadly neglected, the interior is stunning.

London Road Fire Station Manchester

Remember when I said I was able to work with some amazing brands? Well, Denby Pottery invited me to their Pottery Village for behind the scenes action and some throwing of a pot! I had such a wonderful day, learned just how much effort goes into the production and design of crockery, and am so thrilled that such a British classic asked me along.

Denby Pottery Village


You know when you spontaneously decide that a room needs decorating? Well in November we decided to do just that with our Hallway. It’s been scrubbed and newly painted, and as part of the makeover – which I’ll be finally blogging in the New Year – we’ve added marble windowsills to the mix, but shhh they’re not real! See our DIY on the post.

DIY marble window sill


And here we are at the end of the year. I was absolutely thrilled to be included in the first #UKHomeBlogHop where some of the greatest UK interiors bloggers came together and showcased a little festive cheer in one week. For my contribution, I showed off exactly how we decorated the house for Christmas this year, mixing felt garlands, pom pom decorations and authentic nutcrackers from my trips to Europe this Winter (which will feature on the blog in January).

Family Christmas Decor

And there you have it! What a brilliant year. Do you have a favourite? Here’s to 2017. I hope you’ll pop in and visit as I’ve got big plans for the new year.

  • What a brilliant year! So many exciting things. Let’s hope 2017 is as wonderful. Have a lovely Christmas x

  • Old Fashioned Susie

    I can’t believe the flower class was April!! Ages ago!

  • Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    You had quite a 2016! Here’s to an even better 2017. Thanks for sharing the highlights again. Such fun!

  • Ann B

    This sounds like a great year. I was part of the Pokemon Go phenomenon. Now that the weather is so cold I have not been playing as much.

  • Claudia Krusch

    I will have to do a highlight reel of my 2016. This is a fantastic post. I love all the photos.

  • Gabriel Bregg

    Been an interesting year for sure. Lots of things going on, looking forward to 2017!

  • Dogvills

    You had a great 2016. I love your mini glass greenhouse. I wish you a wonderful 2017.

  • Polkadot Pink

    What an amazing year! Your home looks beautiful and you’ve had some amazing opportunities. Enjoy your break, looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings for you x

  • That mini glass greenhouse is darling! You had an amazing year of accomplishments, and I can’t wait to see what is next!

  • Katya Willems

    Thanks for this post Karen! What a jam packed exciting year you have. I have blogger envy – you’ve done some great activities. Love your pictures too. Merry Christmas x

  • You have had a busy year. I started out the year recovering from back surgery. I am doing well now but still have had a rough time. In May, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis and started treatment for that. Then in Sept, we worked hard to put our house up for sale which included a bit of painting, new flooring, and detailed cleaning.

    • Oh no i’m sorry to hear that! Hope you feel better soon!

  • Lotte Brouwer

    What a lovely post, and so lovely to reflect back on the year. Hope you reach many more milestones in 2017 – can’t wait to read all about them! Have a lovely Christmas, xx Lotte (http://yespleaseblog.co/)

    • Aw thank you Lotte, that’s so nice of you to say! Merry Christmas! x

  • Kathy

    I love all these great photos. What a neat idea to do this too. December is one of my favorites because of the holidays.

    • Thank you! Me too, The most wonderful time of the year 🙂

  • My Teen Guide

    I was about to choose your favorite month but I can’t. I love that cat picture though, I can’t stay away from staring at it. I hope your next year’s going to be more decorative than this year!

    • Aw thank you. The cat fabric is still abailable in Ikea globally I believe! Going to try and get my hands on it soon x

  • Jennifer S.

    The mini green house is FABULOUS! And it looks like 2016 was a fabulous year for you all!

    • Thank you! And it really was. Hope 2017 is just as fabulous!

  • Adriana

    This was so fun to read! I love yearly recaps. I can’t believe it’s almost 2017! I want to try out doing a post like this – it’s got to be fun to make too!

    • Thanks so much Adriana. I can’t believe it’s 2017! You should absolutely do a recap. Always a lovely way to see how you’ve spent the year 🙂

  • Wow you really have had a truly amazing year. I can not wait to follow your 2017 journey xx