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 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!
Congratulations on your many accomplishments from 2016!! So excited for you! Love the rock solid goals you’ve set for this year too. I have no doubt you’ll surpass them many times over! Looking forward to staying in touch in the coming months! 🙂
Thank-you Krista! I appreciate that, and hope you have a wonderful 2017 as well!
Congrats on all your blog success – that is super awesome and I know you will be able to hit all your goals for this year!
Aw thanks Emily! Hope you have a wonderful 2017 as well!
Can I add “Pitch 20 brands” to your blog goal list FOR you??? 😉 You’ve got this girlfriend!
Coming Up Roses
Haha it’s definitely on there! I’m so excited for what’s in store for this year! Thanks for all your great advice/help! 🙂
What an amazing year you guys had! I can’t wait to follow along! Happy New Year xoxo
Thanks Rachael! Happy New Year!
Love the format of this post. I usually fall victim to really wordy & long posts haha, maybe I should try something like this.
Congrats on all your blog success! Sometimes people are so afraid to mention or talk about sponsorships, but why shouldn’t you be paid for all your hard work?
Thank-you! I couldn’t agree more! Bloggers work hard and should definitely be paid for the work they put in. Cheers to an awesome 2017! 🙂
I love how well thought out and planned you are. Yay for a good year and can’t wait for more to come to you!
Thanks Corsica! Cheers to an awesome 2017!
It sounds like you had a great year and learned alot. Your blog has done tremendously well considering the time you have been blogging so congrats on that! I think doing “nothing” and just relaxing is something that I def need to do more of. I’m also never just doing one thing at any point in time. I also plan to be more positive in 2017 and really would like to take a vacation somewhere.
Thanks Tanya! I think my marketing background has helped a lot with strategizing, but I’m definitely excited to keep learning new things. I second planning an awesome vacation soon! Happy New Year! 🙂
Congrats on a yesr full of huge accomplishments! Wow! You’ve grown your platforms so much in a short amount of time. It’s a ton of work. Don’t know how you juggle it all. Balance has been challenging for me. Love keeping up with you and looking foward to 2017!
Thank-you so much! It’s definitely no easy feat, but at the end of the day I just try to remember we have to work hard to reach our goals! I love your blog as well and wish you a wonderful 2017!
Your goals for the New Year are awesome and definitely attainable! Congrats on growing your blog following in such a short period of time, that is amazing! Can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for you! <3, Pamela
Sequins & Sea Breezes
Thanks Pamela! Happy New Year!
Aw I love this Cara. What a great way to reflect back on the year. I’ll have to remember this or maybe even still do it for this year. Hoping you have a year that brings only the very best of everything!
Thank-you so much Jennifer! Hoping you have a wonderful 2017!
25k on IG is my 2018 goal too! So awesome seeing how much you grew in 2016 Cara! Really excited to see everything you do this year! Love that you brought up self care too! That’s a big one for me this year in creating balance and staying organized.
Rachel | The Confused Millennial
Thank-you! We definitely can do it, girl! 🙂
Loved reading your goals for the new year and learning more about what you learned in 2016. Lovely post, Cara!
Thank-you Kiara! Happy New Year!
Cara, you’ve done such an awesome job this year with your blog and finding balance in your life! Ever since I first started reading your blog, I’ve felt like you are such a sweet and genuine person. Good luck in the coming year! 🙂
Aw, thank-you Shani! I appreciate your kindness so much! Happy New Year!
Happy Birthday!! You did have an exciting year indeed!! Great job on growing your following and the job promotion! I wish you all the best in2017!
Thank-you Nadine! So glad I got the chance to meet such awesome blogging friends this year like yourself! Cheers to an amazing 2017!
Congratulations on all of the accomplishments in 2016!! You’re a rockstar. Excited to see all of the fun things you have in store for the year ahead.
Aw thanks Whitney! Happy New Year!
Loving all of the positivity radiating from this post, girl 🙂 You kicked 2016’s butt! And I’m with you for your first personal goal – less multitasking is definitely high up on my list!
Happy New Year!
Thank-you!! I’m all about multi-tasking most of the time, but sometimes we really need to focus on just one thing. Cheers to an amazing 2017!
I love reflecting on the year and reading these posts! Good luck with all your goals!
CONGRATS on the promotion and all the amazing growth on your blog and social media platforms. Taking a blog break especially over the holidays is so refreshing, glad you enjoyed every second. Happy New Year <3
Thank-you Kate! It was definitely nice to just relax and enjoy family time. 🙂
I am so beyond happy that I have met you and your blog. You’re such a sweet and genuine person. You had such an amazing 2016 and I know you will kill it in 2017! xoxo
Aw thanks Lexi! Cheers to a kick-butt 2017! 🙂
Congrats on the article! So fantastic! Happy new year, I know you are going to do great things this year! Can’t wait to follow along on your journey!
Thanks Sarah! Excited to see what’s next for the both of us! 🙂
Congrats on a great year! I look forward to getting to know you better in 2017. Happy New Year!!
Thank-you Courtney! Happy New Year!
I love your new site design! It is so clean and pretty – great job! It seems like you had a fantastic 2016 and I’m so happy for you! Your 2017 goals are great as well. You can totally achieve all of them! I really admire your dedication and perspective.
I’m really bad about multitasking as well. I feel guilty if I’m not doing something productive. Relaxing is on my resolutions list as well.
Best of luck in 2017 and have a very happy new year!
xoxo Lauren I Glitter & Grandeur
Thank-you Lauren! I appreciate that! Cheers to a productive, yet relaxing 2017! 🙂
What an awesome year you had, Cara! So great for you! 🙂 Yes, find time to just relax. So so key in self-care.
Thank-you Summer! 🙂
Missed you Cara and glad you are back. Congratulations on a great 2016 and wishing you and all your family a wonderful 2017.
Thanks Candy! Same to you! Happy New Year!
Love your goals, Cara and I am just blown away by how you grew your instagram that fast! I’d love pointers. haha
Thanks Sarah! I think I might do a special post on social media tips! 🙂
Looks like 2016 definitely did you well, and I turned 18 few days back, when was yours?
Plus you’ve achieved so much with your blog, I sure hope I can in 2017 🙂
My b-day is on the 22nd! Happy belated birthday! 🙂
Wow – I love how you recapped 2016 and tied it into your goals for 2017!! Your engagement numbers are staggering!! How did you grow by so much so fast?? That’s AWESOME girlie!! Congrats on the publication, the promotion, and the positive relationship with your new boss!! Cheers to an amazing 2016 and an even better 2017!!
Thanks so much Sara! FB blogging groups helped a lot, but I mostly just started being strategic with my social profiles (especially IG). I stopped using my page as a personal account and focused it solely on my blog, learned about hashtag strategy, and started getting out and commenting/liking and following other accounts in my niche. Doing that really has helped build up a great community! I’ve been thinking of doing a post with tips, so let me know if you’d be interested in that! Hope you have a wonderful 2017 as well! 🙂
Would love to see a tips post!! I get frustrated with the follow/unfollow part of instagram (and refuse to participate lol), so anything you can share would be appreciated!!
Sounds like 2016 was a great year.. and I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings for you! It looks like you have a great list of goals!
Thanks Lauren. I’m excited to see what’s around the corner! 🙂
What a wonderful post, Cara! I really enjoyed reading this. First of all, congrats on an exciting and successful 2016! I love your blog and your IG, you deserve every bit of the success. I also loved reading what you learned about yourself. I think for me, realizing my strength has also been huge. I am in control of my thoughts, but I cannot control others. Cheers to 2017!
Aw thanks Chelsea! I love your blog and IG as well! I think the older we get the more we realize our own strength and it helps us be more confident in our daily lives. 2017 is going to be a great year, and I hope it’s everything you wish for! 🙂
I like the categories for reflection here…instead of just recapping month by month or the usual recapping.
We’re plotting out a huge garden for this year, and I think Hallmark movies are perfect for relaxing (and multi-tasking).
Thanks! I’m trying to figure out whether I want to do a traditional garden or do one of the raised bed ones. Either way, I’m excited to have my own fresh vegetables! So much better than store-bought.
I am all about setting goals and not so much on resolutions either. Wishing you a great year, Cara!
Beauty With Lily
Thanks Lily! Happy New Year!
I love your reflections! Such a great perspective! It is going to be a great year!
Absolutely! I’m excited to see what’s in store. Happy New Year!
2016 was great for you; may 2017 be even better! happy new year!
Thanks Kathy! Same to you, girl! 🙂
You had pretty awesome year, I’m happy you achieved so many goals in personal and professional life. Hopefully this year is gonna be the same like the previous one. 🙂
Thanks Michelle! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! I love your word for 2016! It definitely was an exciting year! I feel so blessed to have found your blog! I leave it feeling happier than before I came onto it! I am very excited to see how 2017 shapes up for you! I am wondering if you have chosen a word for 2017 yet?
Aw, that’s the sweetest comment ever, Erin! I’m so glad to have met you this past year too! My word for 2017 is present- I want to make sure I’m truly present in all areas of my life and not just going through the motions. Happy New Year! 🙂
You are so right, Cara! That is a great word and constant reminder that we are here and now! Love it!
You had such a big year and I know you are going to completely achieve and surpass all your 2017 goals. Happy new year, friend!
Thanks Chelsea! With your amazing writing skills, I know you’re gonna do great things this year too! Happy New Year!
Love this! Live through the eyes of a child, it’s absolutely perfect and that’s right, we do control her own happiness! 2016 was great for you my dear but I have a feeling 2017 is going to be even better! Hugs!
I’m truly trying to live my life that way and enjoy all the little things. Thank-you so much! I appreciate you and your kind words more than you know! 🙂
You had some amazing social media growth in 2016! Great work, lady. You seem driven, so 20-plus partnerships will totally happen for you this year. Also, I need to work on relaxing more as well. I feel like I am always running around from one thing to the next, especially now that I have a daughter. Good luck this year!
Thanks Marette! I appreciate your kind words! Happy New Year! 🙂
So glad to be part of your life and proud of you and what you have accomplished. We Love you and your family. I Love that me and your mommy have got to be part of those 2 little buddies lives and look forward to making more memories with you guys. We would love to go somewhere with you guys and just watch those 2 little buddies play. They bring such joy to my heart and thank the Lord for them. I am so blessed to have a daughter like you and we Love Rob so much. Keep pressing forward. Love you Dad
Thanks Dad, we love you too! We’ll plan something fun soon. 🙂
i love to set out my goals at the beginning of the year! I feel like it really helps me to stay on track, I write them in my bullet journal and make sure I read them through regularly. good luck with reaching all of your 2017 goals!!
Lianne @ http://www.makesbakesanddecor.com
Oh that’s a great tip, Lianne! Happy New Year!
You had SUCH an amazing year and it’s awesome to look back on it all. So excited to follow along with you in 2017 and see what awesome things you do. Definitely never feel bad about being kind and genuine 🙂 happy new year!
Aw thanks so much Emelia! It’s great to be part of a wonderful community with sweet gals like yourself! Happy New Year! 🙂
I love the reflection on your 2016 and the optimism going into 2017. Lots of great things came about last year but yay for all that 2017 has in store for you and your blog.
Thank-you Ashley! I’m excited to see what’s in store this year. Happy New Year!