Hello 28! I’m Ready For You…

…no, really I am!


Today is the day I turn 28 (FUN FACT: This is past Anna typing because I tend to write my posts about a week in advance because it makes me feel like I have my s**t together). 28 years ago today my parents were presented with a child that looked like it had been born with a Simon Cowell wig glued on it’s head. My Dad said that I was a nightmare child who only slept if one of them laid down next to the crib on the floor with one hand on my back. My parents also tell me of the one time that they visited IKEA and I had a tantrum that shook the walls. They have never returned. It’s tales like this that concern me that karma will eventually come to bite me on the ass when we decide to have children. The idea of a mini me both sounds terribly cute and horrifying.

These days I’d say that I have calmed down on the tantrum front (although when Mark snoozes his alarm in the morning for the 18th time I do feel that IKEA roar boiling up again) and if we’re going to compare years of my life, I’d say that the transition from 27 to 28 has been a pretty decent one. I got married to a man who despite the snoozing, is really a rather lovely egg and have reached a place where I’m really, truly happy. In fact when I was wandering out to a lunchtime Pilates class the other day I had a little whimper because I thought of how truly lucky I am (lame, but true – feel free to have a little vom). Our friends and family are happy and healthy, I love the life we have down here, our home, my job, our Sunday brunches with our best mates who live 5 minutes down the road – I try and soak up the goodness like a sponge because we all have peaks and troughs, so right now I’m storing up all the goodness like a contestant seriously acing Dale’s Supermarket Sweep.


Aside from the obvious highlights from the past year, I feel like there have been some personal ones that I’ve achieved too. One thing that comes with age, (aside from nostril hairs that seem to increase in length by at least a centimetre each year), is that you really start to work yourself out. You begin to truly tap into your loves and dislikes, what makes you tick, what makes you feel really f-ing stressed, your strengths and weaknesses, your goals and purpose and why five year plans are completely bollocks because no one really knows what’s going to happen, even tomorrow.

You also learn that no one has got everything 100% pinned down and under control at all times. We all have moments where we’re just faking it till we make it, and are doubting our abilities or have just momentarily lost that dialogue with our gut feelings. And you know what? THAT’S TOTALLY OK. We all make mistakes and fudge up, often on a daily basis. As long as we own up, apologise where needed, learn  from it and then dust it off, it’s time to move on.

Being 27 meant I tried some new things – the new blog design had just gone live, Lily and I gave podcasting a go, I’ve tried my hand at newsletters and behind the scenes there a couple of new ‘OMG I NEVER THOUGHT I’D DO THIS!?’ things going on too. This injection of new ways of working has really done wonders in terms of my creativity and my happiness. It’s been nice to mix up my weekly schedule a bit and has made me use the time that I do have sitting at my desk, more effectively – which means less ‘cute cats playing with boxes’ video compilations and more firing through a to-do list.


I’m a notoriously agreeable person who avoids confrontation like the plague because the thought of an awkward conversation turns my armpits into a waterfall. Sometimes though, there’s a not-so-nice conversation to be had and during my year of being 27, I’ve definitely spoken up more. I’ve learnt that travelling up to London makes me grumpy and is a real zapper of my time, so unless I’m travelling up to spend time with my bestie LP, for a work obligation or for an event that truly makes the overspilling inbox worth it, then I’ll politely decline. The power of saying ‘no’ has been a huge lesson for me this year and has meant that I haven’t stretched myself so thin, giving me more time at my desk and allowing me to really pump quality time into my content.

I’ve also put time into me. I’ve turned in early in the evenings to finish off a good book, have carved time out of my schedule to do exercise that I actually enjoy doing (Reformer Pilates, because of the lying down), have cleared out a whole Sunday just so I can organise my wardrobe and have the world’s longest bath. These are all things that allow me to recharge my beans and in turn be a better wife, sister, daughter, friend, blogger and just generally a nicer person to be around.

So 27, it’s been a good one, but 28 I’m ready for ya. What have you got in store for me then? More happy tears on the way to Pilates? We’ll see..

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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  • Zara

    Happy Birthday Anna! So happy I found the 27 year old you-‘s blog and youtube channel! xx

  • Ahh 27 was a fab year!! I seriously love your podcast – can’t wait for it to come back! It introduced me to so many new brands which I now love, in a really cool way! xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Fashion Beauty Travel

  • ella ryder

    You’ve had such an amazing year! Can’t wait to watch the video later 😊
    Ella xx

  • Glad you’ve had a fab year Anna. Happy birthday, here’s to an amazing 28th year! 🙂
    Coco Bella Blog

  • Happy birthday! Sounds like you’ve had an amazing 27th year. Posts like this make me realise growing up is not all bad. Enjoyed reading.

    Jodie |

  • Hope you had a fab birthday Anna! I’ve loved watching you over years from Vivdoesmakeup to now, and you’ve really come into your own. Would love to see a self-help book from you one day or something.. who knows. xxx

  • Susan

    Aw that was just lovely to read! I think what you say about saying “no” and making time for yourself is so important and difficult to do too. I learnt the hard way that you have to put life outside work first sometimes and that’s ok and not everything is about career (& oddly by doing that have made my career what I want rather than what was dictated to me). Happy birthday – hope it’s been great and enjoy 28 🙂

  • Happy birthday! I am so glad I’m not the only person who reserves an entire weekend day just for having a bath and getting shit done ahaha. People always say that school and uni are supposed to be the best days of our lives but I think it gets infinitely better after that and this post seems to confirm that! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

  • Happy Birthday. I love this post; I feel as the years go on you do reach a new level of confidence that makes you realise you can actually cope and enjoy being a grown up (well most of the time). I’m starting to realise I’m not just pretending to be an adult, I am one and it’s really quite nice.


  • abydavies

    HAPPY BUFFDAYY! This post is all kinds of lovely!! im truly happy for you and the way things sound like they’re going! good on ya kid 🙂 Long may it continue x

  • Savannah Giersthove
  • Em

    Happiest Birthday!! It is lovely to hear such an honest and uplifting recap of a year.

  • Beautiful post Anna. Happy birthday!

    Sharni xo
    A Girl & Grey

  • Happy birthday and I really love this post Anna! Frankie x

  • I just turned 28 this year as well, and can relate to a lot of this, especially knowing my likes/dislikes and not feeling guilty for being protective of my free time. It has also definitely helped me put the important people in my life into perspective! Happy birthday, sweet Anna!

  • Happy birthday, Anna!!

    xo, Elisabeth

  • happy birthday darling!!

    miki x

  • Happy birthday Anna! I’m so glad you had a good year! I hope 28 is filled with just as much contentment!

  • Marie

    Happy belated birthday ! This is a very lovely blog post. Love it x

  • NatalieLeanne

    Aw this is such a lovely post to read Anna, you’re totally right in that no-one feels like they have it all together all of the time *or most of the time in my case!* I hope your 28th year is your best yet! xxx

  • Happy birthday! May the next year be filled with as much joy and happy tears, be they on the way to Pilates or wherever else.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Veronika

    This post is pure hapiness 😍 I turned 27 in july but it started horribly for me 😕😢 but I am realy glad that there are people like you who are truly happy and satisfied with life 😊 happy birthday Anna 😘😘😘

  • Happy belated birthday, Anna!! I hope you had such an amazing day. Here’s to 28 being an amazing year!!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

  • Great post, as always! Happy Birthday once more :D.

  • Sandra Zottl

    Loved reading this, all the best for the new year ahead!

  • charlotte samantha

    I loved reading this post, I hope youve had a lovely birthday!

    CharlotteSamantha //

  • Happy Birthday! You’re a Libran, like me! Great post. It’s good to try different things and I agree, as you get older you become so much aware of what it is that makes you happy and most importantly, what doesn’t x

  • Happy Birthday!! Hope your day was an amazing one.

  • Lisa

    Happy Birthday!

  • I love this look on you! Happy birthday!

  • A very happy birthday! I hope you are having a wonderful day. I loved reading this post – it’s always so lovely to read someone feeling so happy and content x

    Jenny | LuxeStyle

  • Happy birthday Anna! It’s always great to look back on all the positive things and realise how lucky we are, because we can easily fall in the pit of negativity sometimes so reminding yourself of all the positive things you’ve achieved and lived is a great way to start your 28th year on this planet!

    Julia x
    Last Post: Autumn Nails with Sinful Colors |

  • You sound like you have had a good year! Looking forward to seeing the next one 🙂

    Shiana xx

  • Happy birthday Anna! Here’s hoping this year will be as good as the last one!

    Sara – Flemingo

  • Happy birthday!! Wishing you all the best from Argentina.

  • I really loved reading this! I totally agree with everything you said.

  • Healthier Emily

    Happy birthday Anna! I’m so glad I discovered you through YouTube!

  • Joanne

    Ahh these photos are stunning! I adore your style so much! <3
    "You also learn that no one has got everything 100% pinned down and under control at all times." And this part spoke to me a lot. Thanks for writing and sharing such great content, I wish you the happiest of birthdays!!

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

  • Such a lovely post Anna!

  • Hannah Jones

    This post is ace man, so honest and true, I can really relate! Love the photos and your outfit as well, you’re really making me want those jeans and trainers!!

  • V

    Happy 28th Anna! You’re awesome and very inspiring. Keep doing what you do! xoxo

  • Happy birthday Anna! A fantastic post. I hope 28 is as good as 27! (Side note I’m living for this outfit) xx

  • Laura Emilia

    What a lovely post – put a smile on my face! Happy birthday Anna, I hope you had the beeest day! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • ima the gem

    Happy Birthday Anna <3 , I love what you said about five year plans !

  • Angie Carvajal

    Anna, I’ve been watching your videos for years but I had never read your blog. In fact, I had never read anyone’s blog. I stumbled upon this post going through my Google recommendations, and quite frankly I am so glad I took the time to read it. I’m 26 and I feel so incredibly connected to the way you feel. Love the way you think, love the way you write, love your personality and your lovely husband. Love Lily too! Ah! I’m so happy I read this post. And most importantly I hope you had an amazing birthday!

  • Happy (late!) birthday Anna! Congratulations on all your achievements this year, big and small, and may 28 bring as much joy and success as 27 did for you!

    Eliska at Curated Theory

  • Randee Brant

    Happy Birthday, Anna! May you have a wonderfully blessed year!

  • This is such a lovely post with such positive & as I just turned 20 has made me feel a lot more excited about my 20s than I previously was. I love your writing style and can’t wait to see what your year of 28 brings you, let’s hope it is happiness & rainbows. Thanks for all of your inspiration.

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • Naomi Hill

    Anna this was so refreshing to read, social media is always so aspirational these days that it’s nice to read something REAL. I have been watching your videos since the beginning and it’s so nice to grow as a person along side you. Love from Australia x

  • HarrisonBeach

    Aww this was such a good read. I’m so happy to see you happy! You’ve got your s**t together pretty well and the happiest of 28 years, here’s to another 28!!!

  • Alex Rhead

    Loved this post Anna. I always enjoy your writing but this one had a lovely feel to it. Thank you for always writing honestly, it really makes your most all the more enjoyable!


  • Lisa Autumn

    I hope you had an amazing birthday hun!

    xx Lisa |

  • Sarah Luna Mortensen

    Definitely feeling 28-blues-or-excitement this year as I just turned 28 in August. It would mean a lot to me if you could take a look at my blog