What a Year: 2018 in Review

2018, you have been unreal.

I don’t think I can put into words how insane the past year has been, it has been a true whirlwind. With that comes a huge amount of gratefulness for the opportunities, learning experiences, friends and memories 2018 has given me, and what better way to reflect upon and review this past year than dedicating a blog post to it. I want to be able to look back at every month of the past 12 and remember every single thing I was truly thankful for that month, however big or small it may be.


To start of 2018, I got to see in the new year as we always do, a little tipsy and surrounded by the important people in my life. Also this month, I joined a social netball league. We play every Tuesday, and the girls on the team are lovely and great fun. Netball has not just been a stress release, but a great way to socialise every week, and I always look forward to it.



To start off the month, we had a very belated Christmas work night out, and I was lucky enough to get some amazing presents off Emily for secret Santa. This was also mum’s birthday month, so we all went out for a lovely meal to celebrate. Later in the month, Adam and myself went to Liverpool for valentine’s day, we spent three wonderful days then, and I was blown away by the city.


Also this month I was truly grateful for the amazing NHS we have, as my mum went in for another eye operation, and thankfully had a speedy recovery. The day mum went in for her operation, I had a catch up with Mol over afternoon tea, which was great to keep my mind off of mum’s operation.


In March I had a girly night out drinking far too many cocktails (basically, the usual). Plus, a spontaneous day out to Whitby as it used to be once in a blue moon that Adam would have a Saturday off work, so we took the opportunity to go out for the day.


April was a pretty big and busy month for me. Firstly if you saw my April Life Update you’ll know I (spontaneously) bought my first car, this was a huge part of my 2018, and something I am very proud of.


Also this month I was elected as department rep for Criminology, had a post deadline day out to Knaresborough, a night out for my work bestie’s birthday, got to see my second mum and a very close friend get married to the loveliest man (who is the biggest wind up merchant!), and Adam and I had a night in Sheffield and we to see Fast and Furious Live.



In May, I went to my first official blogging event at Jalou York, for a VIP cocktail masterclass, check out my blog post on the event here. It was an amazing night, and I met some lovely fellow bloggers. Adam also took me to the circus one evening in May, but the biggest surprise got him when he was invited up into the ring! Apart from these, I didn’t get up to much in May as it was filled with deadlines and exam preparation.



June was another busy month, I finally finished all my deadlines and exams for second year, so of course it was time for some celebrations. I attended my university’s summer ball, and actually made a bit of effort for a rare occasion. On Father’s Day, I took dad out for drinks and dinner to Lucias, and then we very competitively had a few games of pool to end the night…I won of course (not!).

Adam and myself also went on holiday to Calella, Spain for a week in the sunshine, which was a great way to celebrate the end of the academic year. This included an evening in Barcelona too, click here to be redirected to my ‘5 Hours in Barcelona‘ post. This was the start of a summer of fun.



July was where the summer fun kicked off even more, including a day out to the Great Yorkshire Show, and one to Scarborough too, with a visit to Alpamere Waterpark. I also had a day out with my best friend to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, I blogged about our day so be sure to check out that post, and see all the cute animals.


Also in July, Adam, my mum, and myself went to see Hairspray The Musical and it was amazing. I love going to the theatre and it something all three of us do pretty often. Next year I want to start blogging my reviews of the shows I go to see, especially as I’ve got some exciting ones lined up, including seeing Matilda The Musical at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, in February for my mum’s birthday.

Later in July, there was a huge surprise in store, but not until after my mum and I had a day at the spa. This was mum’s birthday present from myself, and it was the perfect relaxing treat for the both of us.


Then mum booked a surprise holiday for me for my 21st birthday that was coming up later this year. She’d booked it back in October the previous year, and had amazingly kept the destination a complete secret. IT WAS TO BULGARIA. We had the best week, spending such lovely quality time together, even if we were tipsy most evening and sometimes waking with a sore head, I had the loveliest time (we just wish the weather had been a little lovelier too!).



August was an intense month for me. I worked with NCS for 4 weeks from the 6th August. We spent the first week in Lockerbie, Scotland, second week at York University and the last two remaining weeks in York city-centre. I won’t lie it was mentally and physically exhausting and nothing can prepare you for it, and I found it especially hard as the weekends we had off from NCS, I was working my normal part-time job at the cafe, I was shattered. BUT, the young people in our group were amazing, and we couldn’t have asked for a better bunch, watching them develop personally, build friendship and step out of their comfort zones every day, made the exhausting days truly worth it. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of colleagues, well to be honest they are definitely more friends, to work with for the 4 weeks.


This month was also filled with a trip to the cinema to see the second Mamma Mia film (yes, truly amazing and I am still annoying my boyfriend singing the soundtrack on repeat), plus my birthday celebration also began at the end of the month.

My last day working for NCS was the 31st, and the young people and my fellow mentor surprised me with a card, cake, presents and a lovely Nando’s they’d paid for, they had me in bits! Then that evening, two of my closest friends from school and I had a night out to celebrate my birthday, and yes as usual I drank too much.


Well, the most obvious thing this month was that it was my 21st birthday on the 2nd of September. The day was filled with surprises, presents and just so much love. I then was taken for a surprise family meal, which my mum and dad had arranged for my family to come and Tiff and Rich, it was so lovely. Mum also got me the best birthday cake, with a little figuring of me playing netball, I was so surprised. Also this evening, Adam passed me a little envelope at the table. I’d asked for us to go away somewhere for my 21st as I wanted memories and not presents, but I was thinking things in the UK like the Lakes, Edinburgh, I had all the jumpers and autumnal clothes out ready, you get the gist. No, I opened this envelope to reveal plane tickets to a mystery destination for the 13th September (sorry, what…I was in tears).


On the 4th September, my dad took me to Chester for 3 days for my birthday present. I had a great 4 days; sightseeing, visiting the falconry, river walks, visiting the cathedral and Chester zoo, drink and eating far too much, and just spending good quality time together. My dad and I haven’t been away together for years, and now we want to make it happen more often, it was so lovely. IMG_5453acs_0228

Before jetting off again, I had a lovely catch-up meal with one of my school besties, and by catch up I mean we sat in Bella Italia for nearly 5 hours…yes there must have been a lot to catch up on!

Then came another holiday for my birthday, this time to Crete in Greece. Adam did so good, he knows Greece is my favourite place in the whole entire world, and no place makes me happier or feel more content than when I’m there. I am so thankful. There will definitely be a full blog post soon on our holiday, I’m still sorting through all the photos! However, whilst we were there we spent a day scuba-diving at Kalypso Diving School, and I’ve written a full post on the experience. It was crazy! img_7078

If that wasn’t enough, on the way home from the airport after the holiday, Adam took me for a night stay at Holdsworth Hotel, in a beautiful suite, I was amazed. THEN, the next morning, he treated us to a spa day at Manor House Spa in Middleton, be sure to check out my post here, talking all about our day.


On the 12th September, my best-friend Tegan came to York for the night for more birthday celebrations. We had a night around York, drinking far too many cocktails, and trying to order and eat food in Zizzi’s; trying being the key word here, we may have been a little tipsier than we had thought (oops). Then continuing the drinks and girly chats early into the morning. A truly messy night to remember.

Lastly for September, my uni best friends hosted me a house drinks for my 21st, with my closest friends from uni, school friends, and Adam and Tom too. It was a lovely evening, with such great company, I am so grateful. This day was also Adam and I’s 4 year anniversary, so we had lunch out together as a mini-celebration before the evening.


October started off with me starting back at uni for third year, and also being completely overwhelmed by how intense this last year was going to be. I definitely still feel this way. Also this month, Adam and I spent 4 nights in Blackpool, if you want to know the fun things we got up to, click here to be redirected to my post talking all about the fun things you can get up to there. img_7429

On the way home from Blackpool, I surprised Adam with an early birthday present, an afternoon go-karting. I won’t lie I was super nervous, but once I got in the kart and got comfortable, I absolutely loved it, and I am proud to say I was only 3 seconds slower than Adam too!

The next day was Adam’s 23rd birthday, and we had a lovely meal at the Holy Moly American Diner. Also, a weird thing that stands out to me this month is spending my Marks and Spencer’s voucher form 2 years ago on plenty of snacks…yes it’s the little things. This month, myself, Adam, my friend and her boyfriend booked to go to Iceland in April, I went on a double date to Sledmere House Musical Fireworks display with Abbi and her boyfriend and Adam very Kindly surprised me the Naked 3 palette the same evening. I am blessed.



This month, we took a date day to Beetle Bank Farm, and I was in such a happy place this day, it was so much fun. Of course I blogged about the full day, be sure to give it a read. Then on bonfire night, I went to see the fireworks in Pocklington with the course girls, which included late night pizza kitchen chats and pub visits.


The rest of the month was pretty quiet, and if I’m honest this was the month went my mental health took a little bit of a dip, but hey we all have these moments. On to December…


Some highlights for December include, getting my hair done which was much needed, a great night drinking too man jugs of cocktails with Abbi and Mazzey, dinner date with dad, and starting all the Christmas festivities like a visit to Twinkle Pike Way Christmas Lights, which is always a highlight for me.

Christmas Day was spent with family. We don’t often get to see each other so I am truly thankful for the amazing day we had, and all the thoughtful gifts I received, again I can’t thank everyone enough for what I received. Also, the 30th December was a big day for my little blog, as it was the day I went self-hosted, and I’m pretty proud of myself as I really want to dedicate myself to my blog in 2019.

Then that just leaves us with today, New Year’s Eve. Today’s plan is to spend the afternoon in town having drinks and food with Adam and mum, then coming home before it gets too busy and spend the evening drinking, playing games then watching the new year countdown on the tele. I cannot wait.

In all honesty, I am sat here sobbing at how amazing 2018 has truly been, and all the memories I have made with the most wonderful friends and family around me. I couldn’t have dreamed for 2018 to be the way it has, and I am so grateful for every single moment.

Here’s to another amazing year!




    • nataliehansonblog
      January 2, 2019 / 1:05 pm

      Thank you, and thanks for reading!

  1. January 3, 2019 / 11:24 pm

    aw I so loved reading this, Natalie! You live a full life! I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings you 🙂

    • nataliehansonblog
      January 5, 2019 / 4:29 pm

      Thanks for reading Mackenzie! Same to you, hope you have the best 2019

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