Time to Reflect on 2018

A time to reflect - Pikalily Blog

As we draw closer to the end of another year it’s hard to think of where the last 12 months have disappeared to. It feels like it was only a short time ago that we were celebrating Christmas 2017, and now as I write this we are one week away from Christmas 2018.

In fact, it’s been exactly one year from I handed in my notice at my old job with Belfast digital agency, The Tomorrow Lab and embarked on a new adventure with one of Northern Ireland’s leading company’s, CDE Global. This made me think back to the last 12 months so I thought I’d share some of the key highlights from Pikalily over the past year.

A New Challenge

2018 started with Helen still on maternity leave and our little son Lewis starting to grow into a real character, something we continue to see every day. For me, the start of the year brought with it a new challenge as I started a new job on 1st February. Having worked in an agency environment for 5 years, going back in-house was certainly a bit daunting but I felt the time was right for change.

With 10 months now behind me, it’s certainly been an eye opening experience but one that I am so glad I decided to go with. Getting to know a new industry, new team and new surroundings has certainly taken some getting used to, but it has made me a much better digital marketer and I’m really looking forward to a busy 2019 with the CDE Global team.

Hillhead 2018 - Pikalily Blog

Highlights from my first year with the company include the marketing team getting recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ireland as the Marketing Team of the Year. The new year see’s the company move into a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Cookstown, which promises to be an amazing workspace.

The role does come with plenty of travelling, as Newcastle to Cookstown isn’t exactly a short trip down the road, but it’s a journey you certainly get used to. It’s a long way from the career in fitness classes that I was considering back in my youth! 

A New Home

Regular visitors to the blog will know that 2018 has also seen us move into our new home. While we still have a few bits and pieces to finish, it’s great to be in our new home for Christmas, and looking forward to spending many more Christmas’s in the house.

12 months ago we were getting our windows and doors fitted, and as I reflect on the time since then, it’s been a testament to the hard work of the tradesmen and Helen that we managed to get in for the end of the summer, and have a home we are both delighted with. We look forward to sharing more tips and advice about our self-build experience in 2019.

Kitchen Design Ideas - Pikalily Blog

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A New Lease of Life for Pikalily

The last couple of years have seen us be less active on Pikalily. This hasn’t been for the lack of trying to get articles on the site, but simply a case of struggling to find the time. Becoming first-time parents and going through our self-build project took so much time, and the result meant very little time to focus on Pikalily. 

Recent months have provided a bit more time to spend on the blog and given us a new lease of life as far as Pikalily is concerned. We’ve also given the site a facelift this year with a new design and layout and the addition of some new topics. We look forward to continuing to build on the blog in 2019 and get back to sharing tales of our travel and dining adventures, along with our interiors tips and advice.

Our Travel Highlights

Edge Restaurant Review - Pikalily Blog

In terms of our 2018 travel adventures, it was a fairly quiet year. We did manage to enjoy a family break to Donegal (read about our wonderful meal at the Redcastle Hotel here), while I enjoyed work trips to London and Buxton. Getting the house finished restricted our travels in 2018 but we already have some plans in place for 2019. These include trips to Madrid, Munich, Galway and Clare. We’ve visited some of these places before, with our 3-day trip to Co Clare in 2016 one of our favourite holidays to date.

Stay Tuned…

With 2019 approaching, stay tuned to what the next 12 months has in store for Pikalily. We look forward to continuing to share our adventures with you. 


One half of Pikalily, I am a Digital Marketing Manager by day, and food and travel blogger by night. I enjoy writing about my food and travel experiences with my wife Helen on our blog, Pikalily.com. I hope you enjoy this post.

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