January 4, 2017


BOOM SHAKALAKA - It's 2017. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

BOOM SHAKALAKA – it’s 2017 Hawt Dang and Happy New Year friends! How are you? Did you have a most fantastic Christmas? Were you able to take some time out and recoup after the mammoth year that 2016 was? Did you get your eat on and drink yourself merry? Are you ready to get crackin’ on 2017? OK, interrogation over!

Would you believe I have been living it up on my little tropical island in the heart of paradise for 3 months now, the waves of gratitude that wash over me as I reflect on the year that was and the year that will be, warm the cockles of the heart. So much accomplished, so much to be thankful for, so much still to do!

I write you from the heart of paradise, a picture perfect postcard where the sun always shines and palm trees line the coral laden beaches with crystal clear water full of colourful tropical fish. A place most would call a holiday, but I call home.

BOOM SHAKALAKA - It's 2017. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Under the sea, darling its better, down where it’s wetter, take it from ME!

Maybe it’s the humidity (it’s currently 31 degrees, 89% humidity here) that has me all pensive, but these past few months have been filled with some amazing experiences and I’m totally pumped for what 2017 has in store for this little shenANNAgator.

2016 was a tumultuous year for me both professionally and personally, I left the comfort and familiarity of the National Press Club of Australia when I ‘scored’ a job in the Events team at Parliament House of Australia. But things just didn’t feel right at Parliament House (even though they did spend weeks promising and cajoling financial and career gains to get me there), so I jumped ship and decided to live more frugally for awhile to avoid spending my time working in a place that didn’t fit, and headed back to my hospitality roots for a couple of months working in the kitchen while I figured out my next adventure.

BOOM SHAKALAKA - It's 2017. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

My last Canberra Chef at Home gig with my fave Cheffie at Murrumbateman Moving Feast

Figuring out my priorities was easy – pursue personal and professional happiness over a life filled with obligations and craft the most nourishing life possible with just the right amount of adventure thrown in to boot!’

BOOM SHAKALAKA - It's 2017. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Apart from all the usual crazy fun antics Event Coordinators get up to professionally here on Daydream Island, I’ve also consumed an unhealthy amount of sweet and sour pork, showered in murky brown bottom of the tank silt loaded water because the islands water supply ran dry; worked in a 40+ degree office for days on end because the air conditioner conked out, almost stepped on a snake and been bitten many times by blister inducing bugs – nothing like living on an isolated remote island in far north Queensland for adventure.

BOOM SHAKALAKA - It's 2017. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with S…

Friends, I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff, and if I do sweat, well… it’s doing great things for my skin – free sauna, right?!

BOOM SHAKALAKA - It's 2017. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Serenity, Aphrodesia & Infinity, representing respectively mind, body & spirit

Yep, it was a year filled with highs, some shitty lows, a bunch of pinch me moments, some tears, many laughs and much tough love, but overall I reckon I am one of the luckiest gals around, because 2016 helped me find me!

BOOM SHAKALAKA - It's 2017. Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Stay close to anything that makes you feel glad you are alive!

I cannot thank each of you enough for your support of my blog, I appreciate so much that you take the time to stop by. I love connecting and sharing with all of you, you guys ROCK! Thank you for making it possible!

Big sparkly unicorn kisses, a dash of sass and sprinkle of love coming at you!


I’d love to hear what fun shenANNAgans you have planned for 2017? 


shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Hotly Spiced - January 9, 2017 Reply

You have certainly crammed a lot into a year. The photos of Daydream Island are stunning and remind me so much of a very wonderful family holiday we had there a few years ago. I hope 2017 is a great year for you xx

Tim UrbanDuniya - January 7, 2017 Reply

You go girl! Happy New Year to you too!! I can’t wait to find out what 2017 has in store for all of us…. these are indeed exciting times 😀

Sue Slaght - January 7, 2017 Reply

Anna I so admire you for going after what makes you happy rather then trying to fit into a box that just doesn’t work for you. What an adventure you are having although I could do without the bug bites and so steer clear of Mr. Shark. Wishing you so much happiness. Hugs from Canada!

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - January 6, 2017 Reply

may 2017 hold all your dreams! Our year is going to be full of travel 🙂

Serina - January 6, 2017 Reply

Thank you for sharing such a lovely post. Congratulations on following your dreams and listening to your instincts. Would love to hear some of your frugal tips:) All the best for 2017

Elizabeth - January 6, 2017 Reply

I love how transparent you are beautiful Anna……! Life is in fact full of highs and lows and I think that without the lows we would forget to appreciate the highs! My mum was diagnosed with an inoperable liver tumour in November (which is why I have been very quiet) so life has been tumultuous at best for me at the moment! I have a good feeling about 2017 for both of us! Enjoy your time off with your family, it is precious… lots of bear hugs,
Liz xx

Maureen - January 6, 2017 Reply

I’m incredibly proud of you for following your heart to create a life of joy for yourself. It sounds like you landed in the right spot if bugs, snakes, dirty water and a heat filled office don’t bother you.

May 2017 be the best year yet for all of us.

Liz - January 6, 2017 Reply

It sounds like this was the perfect move at the perfect time!! I can just hear the happiness and contentment in your “voice.” Happy New Year to you!
P.S. I’d gladly trade your heat for our sub-zero wind chills and snow 🙂

Amanda - January 6, 2017 Reply

Happy new year to you, anna.
I’ve been following your escapades on Facebook, with just a little envy. (Well, maybe not for the staff meals.)
I hope the new year is full of ever more joy for you. x

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - January 6, 2017 Reply

Aww Anna baby!! A very happy 2017 to you and I think it’s so brave of you to follow your heart. Sometimes things don’t seem right for a reason and now you’ve found yourself!! 😀 xxx

Fran - January 5, 2017 Reply

Merry New Year lovely lady Miss your happy face, loving your special pics and when are you coming home?

Kris Johnston - January 5, 2017 Reply

Great blog Sis. I really hope that your 2017 is filled with wonderful adventures and you continue to follow your heart.

Liz Posmyk - January 5, 2017 Reply

Happy new year, possum. Live the dream, just remember to schlipp, schlopp, schlapp. xxxx

mjskitchen - January 5, 2017 Reply

Happy New Year Anna!!!! So glad that things are working out for you in paradise, but then you are in paradise. 🙂 Wishing for a wonderful 2017 and looking forward to more of your adventures.

Ala - January 5, 2017 Reply

I loved this recap so much. Your adventures in 2016 were amazing and inspiring–cannot wait for all of your wondrous discoveries in the year ahead!

John/Kitchen Riffs - January 5, 2017 Reply

2016 was a bit of a meh year for us, so happy to see 2017. Happy New Year!

Mandy - January 4, 2017 Reply

2017 is going to be a phenomenal year for your darling Anna! Love and hugs to you from SA. xoxoxo

Mabel Kwong - January 4, 2017 Reply

Such an inspirational story you lived in 2016, Miss Anna. I am so proud of you, I cannot say that enough. So happy to see you smiling and feeling so good about yourself and the way you live your life.

Holiday paradise as your home. I do envy you buy you deserve every bit of it, working hard over the years and really, just giving yourself to a lot of people out there like how you do here on your blog 🙂

I don’t have much planned for 2017. 2016 was a very challenging one for me and I really want to slow down this year and enjoy the moment a lot more. Maybe a bit more resting and getting enough sleep…but I really like to stay up late, you know. And that’s when I’m most productive 😀

Best of luck for this year, big sis. As usual, lots of hugs and kisses your way x

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