Hey loves! I’m back! Whew, that was the longest break I’ve ever taken from my blog and I’ve gotta say, while it was very strange at first, it was extremely refreshing and much needed so I could really plan for 2017 and spend time with the family. I had a wonderful Christmas break and birthday celebration (yep I’m 27 now!) and I managed to relax yet accomplish so much while welcoming in the New Year.
Speaking of, is it just me or did 2016 literally fly by? I swear it seems like it was just yesterday I had barely started a blog, and here we are 1 year later with so much that has changed in my life. As you know, I don’t necessarily believe in the whole New Year Resolution thing, but I’m definitely a fan of setting goals and challenging myself. But before I do that, I always like to take the time to reflect on the past year and celebrate the successes, accomplishments, and wins. So without further adieu, here’s a recap + my 2016 reflections.
Blog– 2016 was an amazing year for me and my blog. Besides connecting with the most awesome readers ever, I had the opportunity to collaborate with so many fellow bloggers, which was great. I also successfully landed several blog sponsorships this year, which I’m really proud of. You can read more about those over here.
Social– Starting out with zero followers on all platforms in November 2015, I’m happy to report that I now have almost 15,000 followers total. Instagram specifically has been one of my favorite ways to connect with my followers, and I’m so grateful to each and every person who follows me on my blog or via my social channels. Seriously, it means the world.
Work-I was officially promoted in October to a position I’ve wanted for a long time. I’m also happy to report that I gained the best boss possible this past year who was able to effectively clean house. 😉 Not having the stress of working with someone anymore who sucks the life out of an organization has been such a godsend.
Family-Our family was able to take several fun vacations this past year including our fun Outerbanks vaca, and I’m so thankful that both my husband and I have a great job that gives us that financial freedom. I’m so thankful for my husband and boys and all the blessings we’ve been given. I can’t wait to keep creating more memories together as a family this year.
Describe 2015 in One Word– Exciting- It was a great year full of new endeavors, surprises, and accomplishments!
Your Theme Song This Year- Pink “Just Like Fire” was by far one of my favorite songs in 2016, mostly because it promotes individuality and learning that it is okay to be different from everyone else. This is something I really try to constantly remind myself of both in my personal and professional life.
“Just like fire, burning out the way, if I can light the world up for just one day. Watch this madness, colorful charade, no one can be just like me any way.”
Top 3 Things You Learned About Yourself-
- I am strong and can get through anything that this life throws my way (although, it is okay to ask and accept help from others)
- I am a kind, genuine person and should never be ashamed of that
- I am a balancing act queen and am proud of being able to find a happy medium in my life
Top 3 Things You Learned From Others-
- You control your own happiness
- Live life through the eyes of a child
- You only get one life, so live it to the fullest and leave the past in the past
Greatest Accomplishment- This is a tough one, but I’d say it would have to be my first publication in a magazine, which I shared exclusively on my Facebook page a few weeks back! You can check out the article in Trend Magazine over here. 🙂
New Year Goals
- Work with 20+ beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands this year on the blog. I had the pleasure of working with 6 amazing brands in my first year of blogging, and I know I can do it.
- Hit 25K followers on Instagram by January 1, 2018. My original goal for this past year was to have 1,000 followers by year end, which I definitely surpassed. As I’m trying to use Instagram as a business tool to connect with brands and attract more followers to my blog, I’m really excited to see what happens next!
- Pitch written articles to at least 5 magazines/publications. Writing is such a passion of mine, and it’s something I really want to continue to pursue.
- Start creating videos to connect with my readers more. Whether it’s via YouTube, or Facebook/Instagram live, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, and I keep letting fear and doubt get in the way. I just need to kick that to the curb and do it, and I hope to have your all’s support!
- Make time to just simply relax. Not sit and plan, not sit and internet/social media surf, not sit and fold laundry, just relax. Multi-tasking is awesome, but sometimes truly relaxing and doing something mindless like watching a cheesy Hallmark movie is the best form of therapy.
- Get outside more and start doing more outdoor activities like biking, swimming, and hiking.
- Start a small vegetable garden
- Plan a fun vacation with the family to somewhere we’ve never been. I’m thinking we might see some Mickey Mouse ears in our future very soon. 😉
I hope 2016 treated you awesome and that you accomplished everything you set out to do! I hope you’ll join me in setting at least 5 goals for this year, and feel free to share them with me in the comments. Cheers to the best 2017!
Happy New Years Everyone!- Cara
P.S. In case you didn’t notice, my blog got a makeover! It was time for an upgrade and I really like how clean and beautiful it looks now. Feel free to browse around, and let me know what you think!