Highlights of 2016, Goals for 2017 & Year-End Lifestyle Favourites


I can't quite believe it's the start of another year! I like to take the opportunity to reflect on the year that's passed and think about what I want to achieve in the coming year. I actually did this post last year and though I haven't actively been checking back to see if I've ticked everything off, I'm pretty pleased with what I've accomplished.


Highlights of 2016 & a Look Back at Last Year's Goals

This year has been really great in terms of travel (you can read posts on my trips here). Though I may not have saved as much money as I'd have liked, I really can't complain when I have so many great memories and rich experiences to show for it. New York was just incredible; it was my first time in the States and the five days we had there were a whirlwind so I know I'll be heading back there soon. Spain was the kind of relaxing break with my girl friends that I've come to appreciate since entering the world of work. I also had an amazing time with my mum in Florence; taking in the art, culture and history of the city. Paris was an lovely short trip with two of my good friends and I ended the year with a relaxing weekend in Basel and the Alsace countryside. Whilst my Help to Buy ISA isn't looking as healthy as it could have, I wouldn't have traded these experiences for anything.

Career-wise, 2016 has been a really great year. There's no better feeling that starting to 'get it' and being able to start contributing your opinions and have them listened to. I never would have imagined I'd be able to have reached all the milestones I have work-wise this past year and I'm proud of myself. I just need to keep the hard work up and keep the momentum going.

2016 has also been a year of growth in terms of taking responsibility for things like my finances and moving away from home for the first time since university (which kind of doesn't count!) I moved down south and for the first time was paying a lot of money in rent so I was forced to control my spending a lot more. Who'd have thought that I would have a monthly budget spreadsheet?! It's been great for me career-wise too and, surprisingly, socially too. I've worked in a really great team this past few months and made some friends I don't want to lose touch with. Who'd have thought there'd be so  much socialising in a small Hampshire village...

2016 Blogging Achievements

2016 for Jasmine Talks Beauty: where do I even start? If you'd told me I'd have this number of readers and followers this time last year; I never would've believed you. I honestly wouldn't have expected to have achieved this in my entire blogging life, let alone in a year so I just want to say a huge THANK YOU! To everyone reading this, to those who take the time to leave kind comments and anyone who supports this blog! I know what it's like to feel like you're blogging into a vacuum and no one's reading so I never take this for granted. I've had the chance to work with some incredible brands this year too and it's all thanks to you guys.

Goals for 2017

Since September 2015 I've been on a 2-year graduate scheme however I've now got my permanent job! I'll be moving to Birmingham (which is where I went for university) and have the chance to work on a really exciting team and to take on quite a bit of responsibility. I'm really looking forward to it and I think it's going to be one of those experiences that will be what I make it, and I want to make it really valuable. I also hope to achieve my ACII (the industry qualification for the kind of business I work for) in 2017. 

I really want to clear any money I owe this year and save a good amount towards a deposit to buy a flat. I think the move to Birmingham (my rent is going to halve almost!) will really help and I'm hoping to move in with my boyfriend at some point next year so that will be really exciting if all goes to plan.

Whilst travel is something I want to do, I do think I need to prioritise saving this time round. I will aim for just going on one holiday, preferably outside of Europe. Though if my mum wants to take me away somewhere or the opportunity arises again to go away with cheap flights and no accommodation costs, I'm not going to say no!

In terms of blogging, I honestly don't have any special goals because I feel like I've achieved more than I'd ever have thought I could have in 2016. I just want to keep blogging and for you guys to still enjoy my content. Meeting more bloggers and going to more events is one thing I definitely want to prioritise though! 

2016 Lifestyle Favourites


Film: Trainwreck
This is one of those rare female-lead romcoms that puts the emphasis on the ‘com’ part! It’s honestly so hilarious and realistic as well as being really quite touching in parts. It stars Amy Schumer as a 30-something singleton who can’t really handle it when she finally meets a genuinely nice guy.

Film: Brooklyn
I was honestly expecting this to be a bit of a cheesy romance film but it wasn’t at all; it really captured how it must have felt to have moved thousands of miles from home in the days before we could fly from country to country with relative ease. It’s about a young Irish woman (played incredibly by Saoirse) who feels trapped by the limited opportunities in her small town (the film is set in the early 50s) so decides to take the plunge and move to Brooklyn. Although she starts an amazing new life there, she still feels a pull back towards home and a lot of the film is about her deciding where she really belongs.

Film: Room
This was such a sad, moving but also at times, uplifting film starring Brie Larson. Almost all of the film takes place in a single room and the story is told through the eyes of a little boy who has lived there all his life with his mother. It quickly becomes clear that they’re being held captive there by his mother’s kidnapper, however she’s determined to find a way for them to escape.

If there was ever a TV show name to make you sit up and take notice then I think it’s this. It’s also one of the reasons I think it’s so important that BBC3 has continued online after being cut from broadcast. I honestly feel emotional just recounting the story because it’s so heart-breaking! Essentially it’s about the relationship of a Muslim teenage girl and her father. She’s fairly spirited and her father is accepting of that, as long as she does one thing (which is to marry a family friend). Though it isn’t directly a true story, it is based on testimonials by survivors of ‘honour’ violence. Obviously the ending is in the name but the inherent spoiler almost makes it more tense as your heart is racing each time the situation escalates and how events unfolded still had me open-mouthed by the end.

I’ve noticed there’s a lot of murder in my TV favourites. Awkward… Anyway, I’m pretty sure everyone was addicted to this Netflix documentary right at the start of this year. It essentially charts the life of a man living in a small town who was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and spent years in prison, before the real culprit was discovered. However almost as soon as he is free, he is arrested for a murder. The documentary is biased towards his innocence however it’s still a brilliant bit of story-telling as it takes you right into the (botched) investigation and subsequent trial.

TV: The Night Of
This is a HBO miniseries starring Riz Ahmed as an awkward college student who is accused of murdering a wealthy young woman. It's incredibly tense and well-acted and looks at the criminal justice system from almost every angle as the main character is put through it.

Another testament to BBC3; this is a fantastic documentary series exploring the American justice system from various perspectives when the death penalty is on the table. It’s compelling viewing if you have an interest in true crime. For me, every episode was fantastically-done but especially Episode 2 of Series 2 (Punishment), where a teenager who had an extremely difficult upbringing commits an absolutely horrific crime. There are various interviews with people involved in the case, however the focus is on the jury and what they think and how they feel as they decide whether he should be put to death or not.

Podcast: Serial
Yes, it’s more true crime! I actually discovered this after finishing Making a Murderer and wondering what on earth I was supposed to do next. I pretty much listened to the entire thing in one weekend because it was so addictive.  The host of the podcast investigates a murder from 1999 where a teenager was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. It goes into such depth with the evidence and by the end (mild spoiler alert) I just couldn’t decide whether I thought he was guilty or not (never mind ‘beyond reasonable doubt’!)

Book: The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Malcolm X, Alex Haley)
I’m actually still reading this (I’ve just been so busy lately!) but with under 100 pages to go, I think I can still consider it a favourite. I never really knew much about Malcolm X as a person; I obviously knew he was a civil rights leader who had ties to the Nation of Islam, but that was about it. However he actually led such a fascinating life before he even became religious and socially-conscious. It’s a really great read that I’d recommend to anyone.

Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)
This is another one I’m on the home stretch with but still wanted to give a mention. If you’re at all interested in evolutionary and sociological history but you want to read something that’s presented in layman’s terms, then this is the book for you. The way it’s structured is almost narrative; like you’re being told the story of human history in a way that’s so interesting.

YouTube Channel: Lily Pebbles
I kind of ummed and ahhed about who to choose for a while, however I decided to just keep it simple and think about whose videos I most look forward to in my subscription box and who I never miss an upload from. So for me it had to be Lily. As well as the beauty content (which I obviously love), I just genuinely look forward to her vlogs and some of her more creative, artistic videos.

I must admit that so many of the blogs I read have been on my radar for a pretty long time, so it took me a while to think back on my favourite discovery of this year. However I went for a browse of posts I’d added to my ‘Favourite Reads’ collection on Bloglovin’ and the blog that just had entry after entry was Beauty By Kelsey. Firstly, I love  the aesthetic of her blog; the photos are just beautiful. I also really appreciate her approach to makeup; a lot of her content is based around wearable, everyday makeup that’s achievable for me. I literally don’t think I’ve scrolled past a single one of her posts because she just always delivers content I want to read, so I highly recommend going and following her!


What have been your lifestyle favourites of 2016? Have you set yourself any goals for this year?



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56 comments

  1. Sounds like 2016 has been a great year for you! Good luck for all your goals in 2017 xx

    Phoebe & Abida | phoebida.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. 2016 was incredible for your blog! Such an amazing year! Well done :) I am away to go check out Beauty by Kelsey now too! Lily is definitely one of my favourites too, she always just seems so lovely!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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    1. Thank you Erin :) I love Lily too - I think you'll really like Kelsey's blog! xx

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  3. Great post and I couldn't agree more about Beauty By Kelsey, I just love to see wearable makeup in each post, she also has the same skintone as mine, so our shade range is very similar to mine which is even more helpful!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

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    1. Thank you :) and totally agree, it's refreshing in a world of Instagram tutorials! xx

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  4. Congrats on your wonderful achievements in 2016! I wish you all the best for 2017 for both your blog & YouTube as well as your personal life.

    Asia xx

    http://www.asiajadewalker.co.uk/

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    1. Thnk you so much Asia :) Happy 2017! xx

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  5. Happy new year, Jasmine! I hope 2017 is kind to you - sounds like you've got big things planned! ♥

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    1. Thank you Jess - happy new year to you too :) xx

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  6. I'm a new reader so I haven't followed your blogging journey of 2016, but it seems like you had an amazing one! I hope 2017 as good as 2016 was for you! I have been loving Lily too and I'm just about to go and check out Kelsey. I found the Life and Death Row to be very interesting too, whenever I tell people about it they always seem to look at me shocked as I think it is such a sensitive topic and they all touched me in one way or another! Happy new year too you!

    Jenni // http://glutenandme24.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Jenni! Yeah I think it's show you have to be open to; in terms of being moved and having difficult questions/moral challenges at the end if it xx

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  7. Couldn't agree more with you on BeautybyKelsey! I've loved reading your content this year and I can't wait to read this years content :)

    Lee | www.thatbellemakeup.co.uk

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  8. Congratulations on everything you have done this year! You are honestly an inspiration! You should be so proud! I can't wait for all the new content this year and lusting over all your lovely makeup! Good luck with the job and the move! I bet you are so excited and I know your flat will just look amazing already but my gosh, your dressing table! Girl when you move that has to be your first post!!!

    Happy New Year! I hope it's amazing! <3

    Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin' // Instagram
    xx

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  9. Your 2016 sounds so good, all the best for 2017!
    Love Alicia x
    http://bambidreaming.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. Your blog is incredible so you deserve it! I love the film Trainwreck the ending made me laugh so much.
    Happy New Year and I hope 2017 is just as good for you!

    Sarah
    astateofdreams.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Sarah - all the best for the new year :) xx

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  11. Congrats Jasmine on such an amazing year and exciting year ahead!


    Parie x
    Class and Glitter

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  12. It sounds like you had an incredible year! Both of those books sound really fascinating -- definitely going to check them out. Happy New Year x

    Sara | Sara | Sara Spoke

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    1. They're both well worth checking out :) happy new year! xx

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  13. I'm so happy your blog grown so much in 2016! you deserve all the success. Have an amazing 2017, I hope it's as good as 2016 was :)

    Cyber Mermaids | Alternative beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog

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  14. What an amazing year you had, Jasmine! Congratulations on all your achievements! Here's to an equally successful 2017! xx

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

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    1. Thank you Dagmara - happy new year :) xx

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  15. Woohoo!! Well done lovely, you've achieved some amazing things this year! Can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for you! xx

    franceskayleigh.com

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  16. Your blog has grown so much this year, I'm so happy for you! Hopefully 2017 will bring even more success!
    xx Dany | The Queens Empire

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  17. love all your favorites! Always wanted to check out this book!
    I haven't set all my goals yet.
    Congrats on all your achievements and a Happy New Year to you♥
    xx
    Selina | Selinas Inspiration

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  18. Good luck with your ACII - a lot of the graduates on my scheme are taking that route, and I definitely understand the pain of studying whilst working! Good luck with the new team and role too!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Thank you Chloe! Yeah it really is intense - we have to do it in 2 years on mine, though I suppose I'll be glad I got it over with in the end haha xx

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  19. I loved this round up post. I'm so pleased you've achieved so much this year. I completely agree as well about travelling bringing you as many riches as saving up your pennies :-)
    Tori | www.torisworld.com

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    1. Thank you Tori :) yeah it really does! xx

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  20. Loved reading this post, I have a lot of similar lifestyle favourites - I can't explain why I'm so interested in murder either haha! Have you listened to the Sword & Scale podcast? It's very good if you're into true crime.
    Well done on everything you achieved this year, you should be super proud! Hope 2017 is just as good for you, if not better x

    Sick Chick Chic

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    1. Ooh I'll have to check that one out - thanks for the tip Josie! Happy new year :) xx

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  21. So happy that 2016 was a good year for you! Traveling is something I really want to do more this year, and desperately want to get out of the states and go to Europe. I wouldn't mind New York either since I love it so much :).

    I LOVE Serial. So so good. I've relistened to it quite a few times haha and I still can't decide if he's guilty or not.. something is terribly fishy. I didn't know what to do after the podcast ended which is how I fell in with Making a Murderer and the My Favorite Murder podcast. It sounds so creepy, but it's basically like sitting down with your girl friends and talking about a different case each week. It's very interesting!

    Happy new year! Wishing you all the best in this year :)

    xx
    Nida | Caked To The Nines

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    1. I know it's just unbearable to listen to as there's no conclusion! I will have to check that one out (all the closeted true crime fans in this post haha)

      Happy new year, I hope it's a good one for you, lovely! xx

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  22. It's nice to find beautiful blogs like yours to read. I wish 2017 will bring even more greater achievements and make all your dreams come true!xxx, Sophie
    http://www.theboudoirsecrets.gr/

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  23. It sounds like you've had an amazing year Jasmine, your life seems so well thought out and put together!! Really excited to hear more about your big move and permanent job though, sounds like a great year ahead :)

    Hope you've had a lovely Christmas & New Year!!

    The Makeup Directory

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    1. Thank you Sally - you too! It's an exciting time :) xx

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  24. I love a good crime program too! Making a Murderer had me shouting at the TV and Murdered by my father nearly made me cry. I also love Kelsey Blog xx

    LPage Beauty

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  25. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate for 2017 and yay to a great blogging year in 2016! I'm a huge fan of you, Jasmine and looking forward to more amazing blog posts from you this year. And getting your own place is a huge commitment but a wise and smart one for sure. I bought my own place when I was 27 and most of my monthly pay cheque went to it but it was one of the best decision I ever did for myself.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Thank you Shireen - I think I will (hopefully) be around the same age when I've saved up if it all goes to plan! xx

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  26. This is a great post, I'll definitely take some of your film, TV and blog recommendations away with me. I'm really happy you've achieved most of the things on your list from 2016! And congrats on growing your blog so well, yours is one of my favourites.

    Tia | The 10am Blog

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  27. Congratulations on all your achievements in 2016 Jasmine! Not least all the travelling that you did, I totally agree life is too short not to take advantages of travel opportunities - plus you've worked so hard you totally deserve them!

    Iqra | The Blushing Giraffe x

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  28. Thank you for your comments everyone - happy new year and good luck for 2017! xx

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  29. Oh my gosh thank you so much for the shoutout! I hope you've had a wonderful start to 2017, and I can't wait to see your blog grow even more in the new year!

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