An Open Letter to 2015: You Were a Wild Ride

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Dear 2015,

You were a wild ride. So much so, that I had to take a few weeks off from blogging to process everything that’s happened over the past year.

If I remember you for anything, it’s for being the year I finished writing my very first book. 200+ pages of blood, sweat and tears that pushed me (in a good way) as both a human and a writer. Now that I’m putting the finishing touches on the manuscript and getting it ready to send out to potential publishers, the fact that I wrote a book is finally starting to sink in. The reality that I accomplished one of my biggest goals, will always make you special to me.

I will also remember you as the year I did all the fun things. I spent two weeks exploring Los Angeles, visited Palm Springs and saw more amazing live music in 12 months than I ever thought possible. In fact, when I think of all the concerts I saw in the past year, it makes my head spin (D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Rudimental, Sam Smith, Drake & A$ap Rocky to name a few.)

But, let’s get real, 2015. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Amidst all the travel, awesome dates and adventures, you also brought a lot of stuff that was just fucking hard. Breakups. Regrettable choices. Self-doubt. A book that at times was very difficult to write because it required me to sift through a lot of really uncomfortable emotions. But, if I’ve learned anything from the past 12 months it’s that I can do hard things. 

So, lets recount some of the best and worst of our adventures together, 2015.

January started off with a bang (um, literally) with a bunch of sexy reviews. I discovered the Fun Factory Stronic Eins (a vibrator that thrusts. Yep, like an actual person), tried out two new lingerie looks and reviewed one of the most luxurious products yet, The Crave Vesper – a gorgeous gold vibrator that’s worn as a necklace. I also shared the story of Vancouver Guy and decided that dating in your thirties is like that Amerie song – there’s just one thing that’s got you tripping…and it’s BAD. 

In February I reflected on the “lost month” I spent with Party Guy and came to the conclusion that no good can come from doing things that feel good in the pants, but bad in the heart. I also started to date a much younger guy. Although our relationship only lasted a few weeks, he was incredibly sweet and kind. February also saw the launch of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. To celebrate the release I interviewed Cynthia Loyst from The Social and spent a Galantine weekend in Vancouver with my friend Courtney. Another reason February was a big month: I discovered one of my (new) favourite sex toys: the Lelo Ina Wave. It’s been almost a year of play and I’m still smitten (just sayin’)

With the help of Joe the Intern and his friends, I tackled yet again, the epidemic of terrible online dating photos in one of my favourite posts from the past year. I also wrote about what it’s like to date in a small town (sometimes it feels like you’re wearing a scarlet letter) in a another favourite post.

April was a big month for book writing so I didn’t blog much. I did however, go on a virtual shopping trip to Cupid Boutique and celebrate Match.com’s 20th anniversary. April was also when I went on my first date with The Secret Agent, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

In May I had the pleasure of being on a podcast hosted by one of my favourite people, Nicole Antoinette. Our conversation spawned another one of my favourite posts: the one where I dispose of the world’s worst sex toy. During this month, Joe the Intern experimented with Sexting and the results were….interesting. 

A blog face-lift was in order, so in June I launched a new look for Skinny Dip! I also wrote about how it’s important to be brave and follow your intuition when it comes to dating. With the new blog design in place, I finally wrote about The Secret Agent and how we met.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably aware that I spent most of the summer hanging out with SA by the pool and going on a bunch of different adventures. However, July also brought some fun reviews: sexy black lingerie, red underthings or porcelain dildos, anyone?

The highlight of August was attending Squamish Fest – my very first music festival experience, where I saw so many awesome acts (Alabama Shakes! Schoolboy Q! Mumford & Sons! Hot Chip! DRAKE). After the weekend festival, SA and I drove down to Seattle to see D’Angelo. I’ve been dying to see him for YEARS and it was without a doubt, one of the best concerts I have ever seen.

The summer was so jam packed with activity that I wrote about how to recharge and stay inspired when you’re really busy. In preparation for fall, I gave my bedroom a sexy makeover with a new nightstand.

In September (my birthday month) Joe the Intern professed his love to Hipster Barbie and I celebrated my 35th birthday in style with friends and family.

October was all about California! My trip to the Golden State was very, very dreamy. So much so, that it was hard to come back to reality.

2015, I could have done without November. It was a difficult month. SA and I broke up right before Halloween. Between having all the feelings, suffering from post-California let down and experiencing seasonal depression brought on by the dark, dreary weather, November wasn’t my favourite.

I liked December. I wrote about how to get through a breakup on a budget, spent some time in Vancouver and capped off the year with a fun sex toy review. I finished the year with some much needed time off that I spent with friends, family & catching up on books + Netflix.

Whereas I spent last New Year’s Eve swilling champagne and partying my ass off, this year’s celebration was much more subdued. I spent it at home with a good friend & her husband, having a few drinks and eating delicious things. It was a perfect relaxing end to a year that went by at break-neck speed.

2015, you were really something else. You involved epic highs and soul-crushing lows, but I’m grateful for both the good and the bad that you brought. Your ups and downs made me stronger and that much more ready to take on everything 2016 has in store.

Cheers & love,

Simone

 

Up, Down, Turn Around. 2011: A Year in Posts

I saw a post like this on Teacher Girl Blogs and loved the idea. 2011 was full of so many twists and turns that I thought highlighting some of my favorite posts would be a fun & useful way of re-capping everything that has happened. Here we go!

January: 2011 got off to a rough start with me bawling in front of the TV while watching Teen Wolf with my Mom on New Years Eve. As low as I felt at that moment, my crappy NYE lead to some much needed self reflection and one of my favorite blog posts of the year. After 7 long years apart, I reconnected with my good friend Chris and we had a fun, vodka fueled night on the town. I wrote about the importance of feeling sexy and I signed up for Bloggers in Sin City – an event that later would turn out to be one of the highlights of the year.

February: I got food poisoning and my blog temporarily crashed. Despite those set backs, this was still a good writing month for me. I came to the conclusion that one of the best parts of being 30 is being able to say “NO” to stuff without feeling guilty. I re-read the book Wifey by Judy Blume and reflected on how I learned about sex. I put my home decorating skills to test and I created the perfect boudoir/dressing area in my bedroom.

March: After receiving a Facebook friend request from an ex, I came to the conclusion that broken hearts are sometimes a good thing (especially when they save you from dating a dude who wears mandals). I shared my story about coming out as a blogger. This month I started two new recurring features: Things I would Tell my 20-Year Old Self (where I give advice to my younger self) and When Sex Toys Go Hilariously Wrong (where I introduced the world to the “tiny neon pink penis”)

April: I left my job at the anonymous fancy Canadian business school and attended Toronto Fashion Week to celebrate. I worked with WIND mobile to promote the movie Textuality. I learned that there are only six degrees of separation between me and Kevin Bacon (I KNOW right?) I attended the red carpet the premiere of Textuality and I met Jason Lewis (Hollywood’s most leathery man under 50) Although my photo opp with him was comically botched, it still ranks as one of my “coolest moments as a blogger” thus far.

May: I started what I thought was my “dream job” – working as a Communication Manager for my alma mater. My shoe collection was featured on my friend Cristina’s shoe blog and I wrote about creepy animal shaped sex toys. I ended May with a bang by flying to Vegas to attend Bloggers in Sin City where I met tons of awesome people, drank booze out a guitar and realized that I’m becoming the person I was always wanted to be. It was an amazing, magical, glitter filled weekend.

June: Still on a high from Vegas, I created a Las Vegas Survival Guide, learned important life lessons from the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 and discovered that my razor looks like a penis. June was also the month I started reviewing sex toys and kicked things off with a review of my first rabbit vibrator.

July: When my “dream job” turned into a living nightmare, I looked to my favorite female TV characters for inspiration. Even though things were rough at work, I spent a lovely night filled with champagne, chocolates and books at the launch for “The Single Girl’s To-Do List” where I met the author Lindsey Kelk. I reconnected with my friend also named Lindsay (who would later become my room mate) and wrote one of my favorite posts ever. 

August: With things settled down a bit at work, I was actually able to enjoy the rest of the summer in Toronto. My friend Ellen came to visit Toronto and there were lots of weekends spent outside at the beach or the pool. My blog turned two in August and started a series of Flashback posts to celebrate. I also wrote about how hairdressers are like boyfriends. At the end of the month I left my job at the university and decided to try freelancing full-time.

September: I turned 31 on September 11th! I wrote about why I don’t like the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and I remembered 9/11. I continued writing the Flashback posts and talked about letting go of your 20’s.

October: I like to think of October as my “lost month” The blog was offline for most of the month due to technical issues. In retrospect, this was probably for the best because most of the stuff that happened this month was sad. I broke up with my long time boyfriend of 6 years and moved out of our house into a new apartment. I was mostly running on fumes but still somehow I managed to film a reality show and speak at a conference. I’m so glad I decided to do both of these things because they kept me from completely falling apart and losing my mind.

November: The blog came back! I launched a new design and made the decision to come home to BC for awhile to spend time with my family. I discovered that even when things feel like they are falling apart at the seams, the universe will give you exactly what you need. This was also the month I started working with Ohhh Canada – a partnership I’m really excited about!

December: It’s been a fun and busy month of working on myself and spending time with friends & family.  I also reignited my Muppet fandom and came to the startling realization that my hoo-ha has really bad taste in music.  The highlight of the month was going to see Prince with my Mom – one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen & favorite moments of 2011.

Last year I spent the turn of the New Year feeling sad, worn down and broken. The only resolution I made was “I don’t want to feel that way again” when 2012 rolls around (sounds kind of like a Red Hot Chili Peppers song doesn’t it?) and I don’t…at least not at this moment. Although everything still feels uncertain, I feel at peace and optimistic, looking forward to all the surprises that await in 2012. This year I’ll be ringing in the New Year my favorite way: All dressed up, with my best friend by my side and a cocktail in my hand.

I have a dress (a black vintage 1960’s cocktail dress suitable for Joan Holloway). I tried to resist but at the last minuted decided  to buy the perfect pair of shoes to match (a pair of sky-high BCBG pumps) – proof that as much as everything changes, some things never do.

Happy New Year Lovelies!

I wish you all a fabulous 2012. As always, thanks for reading xox

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