Happy 1st Birthday to Amy Elizabeth!

I think it's safe to say that I have had a pretty incredible first year of blogging, and I am so grateful to every person who has been a part of the journey. If someone would have told me twelve months ago that Amy Elizabeth would have grown to what it currently is I would have never believed it. Nearly 11,000 of you are now reading or following Amy Elizabeth in some way- but those stats are not what's important to me. My blog is my passion, I spend hours every day writing, photographing and perfecting Amy Elizabeth- it really is a labour of love and has grown to become such an integral part of my daily routine that I can't imagine ever not doing it. I will continue to blog for as long as I can reach out and make a difference to even one single person.

Below, I have complied a short list of the biggest highlights and most important things I have learnt so far:

1. Award shortlists - How could I even begin to compile a list of highlights without mentioning the two national awards which my blog has been shortlisted for. To be shortlisted from 47,000 entries to one of nine in my category for 'Best New Beauty Blog' by Cosmopolitan magazine after only four months of blogging is still incomprehensible. The award ceremony in October was one of the proudest moments of my life, and believe me it is not often I will admit I am proud of myself. In December it was then revealed that I have been shortlisted to win 'Young Person's Recognition' in the 2015 UK Blog Awards, a blog title that would mean the absolute world to me. To even make it onto the shortlist means someone out there considers my words to be influential to young people and to be recognised for that is so humbling. I cannot wait to head to the awards in April, keep your fingers crossed!

2. Acceptance - Anyone who has seen 'The Devil Wears Prada' will have a pretty strong opinion as to how they imagine the world of fashion and beauty writing to be. It's a scary thing publishing yourself so openly and honestly on the internet. You are opening yourself up to attack from potentially millions of people who have the opportunity to voice their opinions from the safety of hiding behind their laptop. For a few months I told no one about my blog, terrified of the backlash that I could potentially receive. It only takes a minute of scrolling through twitter to learn that the internet is not always a friendly place. However, my inital reservations could not have been more wrong. The community of the blogging world is incredible and the support between bloggers is so genuine. Hand on heart, the bloggers I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting and attending events with are some of the kindest, most genuine people I have ever met and I am proud to say they are my friends. 

3. Blog like no one is reading - The turning point for Amy Elizabeth came when I stopped worrying about what every reader was thinking about my content. I stopped writing for the sake of publishing posts, and started writing for myself. The enjoyment I get now when I publish something personal, lifestyle or advice based and receive an overwhelming amount of positive responses is exponential. The idea that even one person is taking the time to not only read what I have to say, but comment on how it has helped or inspired them in some way is enough to make me want to continue blogging for as long as anyone is willing to read it.

4. Blog for yourself - Remember that we are all different, we are all confined to our own subjective mind and it is a physical impossibility to be liked by everyone. Blog because you want to, because writing is a form of therapy for you, because you absolutely love doing it and couldn't imagine not. Who cares if no one reads it, or people don't agree with what you have to say. You will never please everyone, but trying to please yourself is a pretty good place to start.

Thank you so much once again, I can't wait to see what the next twelve months have in store and I am so excited to take you along for the ride,