This year I went to Poland for the first time in 8 years. I must say it was so weird seeing my cousins who some were 12 when I left and now they are full grown women. I saw them grow up through our social media on Myspace and then Facebook. You can read about my trip here, here, and here.
2. Starting a Business
My Etsy shop was opened on January 19, 2014. I started off with the name Jars by Monica which is pretty self explanatory I took mason jars or upcycled jars and turned them into home decor or center pieces. Then on December 7, 2014 I officially added new items to my shop. Check out my Etsy shop here which is now called Lilly in Pink. Also, these were sold at a physical store for a few months as well, how awesome!?
3. Long distance Friends
Throughout this year I met so many people whether it be through blogging or car groups that I made some long distance friends. I really love meeting new people!
4. Lucky FABB LA
I went to Lucky FABB in NYC for the first time last year and then this year I went to the FABB in LA back in April. I wanted to go so badly once I went to the one in NYC. It was so much fun and I got to know two of my blogger friends better because we had a sleepover for a few days. You can read about that experience here, here, here, here, and here.
Thanks to Lucky FABB I was able to go to California for the first time. It was an amazing experience and I was so glad to get off the plane and see Marilyn Monroe on a huge billboard. It put an instant smile on my face. California is a wonderful state and this was such an experience.
6. Buying a Car
Remember how I talked about my BMW here? Well not too long after I traded in Lonestar for Coco, my Volvo which you can read about here. This was the first time I was able to get a car WITHOUT a cosigner. I think I like the car more because only my name is on all those papers. It feels awesome to say, yea, she’s mine, I got her all on my own. Oh and before I forget, my car is a girl and her name is Coco Chanel. Chanel pretty much invented the little black dress, well my car is my little black car. Also, I really don’t care if people say I downgraded from a BMW to a Volvo because this car is manual, convertible, AND she has a baby turbo. Plus, she was pretty good for our first snowfall especially being a FWD car.
7. Working with Brands
I’m not going to link to ever review I’ve done, but this year was all about working with brands. I was even lucky enough to work with Cavenders which is my favorite store to get my cowgirl boots from. Unfortunately they are located in the south (Texas mostly) so if I shop I have to wait a few days, but it was pretty awesome working with them. I was able to get myself two pairs of boots, my dad a pair, and one of readers won a gift card to Cavenders.
8. Practicing Photography
I did my first photo shoot with me being the photographer this year! It was for one of my blogger friends who actually started her blog because of me. We used to work together back when I was her manager and we kept in touch over the years. You can read that post here.
9. Baking; my new favorite saying is “Just call me Martha Stewart.”
I started baking. My first attempt was carrot cake for my dad’s birthday. Since then I’ve made whoopie pies, apple pie, cream cheese frosting filled chocolate cupcakes, brownies, cookie crisps, and so much more. I think it’s no coincidence that my initials are the same as Martha Stewart’s. I think that means something haha, just kidding.
10. Nail Art
I can’t even begin to talk about how far I’ve come with nail art. I have mastered not getting paint anywhere but my nail and I’ve tried out so many detailed designs. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has complimented them. It’s taken up so much time from my life that I want to say thank you for the recognition. Some designs have taken me up to 3 hours with how detailed they are so thank you for supporting all of these Mani Monday’s!
11. Weight Loss
Currently I’m at a stand still with my weight loss and I think I’ve actually gained 3-5 lbs but a few months ago I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I cut out/cut back on carbs, sugar, and salt intake. I lost 20 POUNDS! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was when I saw that number on the scale. This past year I was at my heaviest (172 lbs and I’m not afraid to tell y’all that) and at 5’9 it’s not bad because if you gain 5 lbs you can’t tell until you gain 10 lbs then you’re thinking ok, I need to slow it down. Seeing those numbers drop was absolutely amazing. I haven’t weighed this little in a few years and I still want to lose at least another 10 lbs. As a tall girl, you can’t really tell weight loss until it’s a drastic change.
12. Growth of Blog
This is all thanks to all of you. I just want to say thank you. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. My blog has grown along with all of my social media and it’s all thanks to you for continuing to read this site whether it be every day or every week. I’m glad that you enjoy my content and my style because I really try my best to give quality posts to all of you.
13. Event Invites
I’ve gone to Lucky FABB in LA as you already read but I was also invited to a Horse Race in Saratoga Springs which we got VIP treatment and we got to meet the horses and the jockeys. It was an amazing experience that you can read about here. Then recently I went to a Cooking in Heels event (here) which was more of an event rather than blogging event but it was so much fun. I love networking and meeting new people!
14. YouTube Channel
I started my YouTube channel this year! I did my first makeup tutorial and since then I’ve done two more and two Lookbooks for Fall and Winter Fashion. It’s not like those top vloggers but I think it’s pretty cool for a newbie.
15. Transformation of my Look
Long red hair, short red hair, short blonde hair, long blonde hair. Need I say more? I’m pretty sure a picture is worth 1,000 words.
16. Traveling with work
I’ve traveled so much with my full time job. I got to meet some of our customers and it’s great getting to know them. Thanks to one of our customers I was able to get a little more creative with my jars in my Etsy shop. Then another customer sent me a care package for my car. It’s really nice when you get
17. 30 before 30
With the help of my blogger bestie I made a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30 here. Now that I am less than three years away, I honestly was feeling very over the top oriented. I have no idea how I’ll have most of that done before I’m 30 but at least I crossed off a few things!
18. Using an actual fancy Camera not iPhone
Oh you fancy huh? Yea, this year marked the year I bought my first fancy shmancy camera. It’s only the little baby camera (Cannon T3 rebel with a regular lens and zoom lens) but at least I’m not taking outfit pictures with my phone anymore. I’m so sorry for those of you who have stuck by me for so long. Phone pictures are ok every once in a while but these were my every day pictures so I’m so glad that I’m finally taking better quality photos.
19. Indie Chicks
I was only one of their sponsors but it was pretty cool to see my name and face in a print magazine!
20. Blogger Meetups
I’ve had so many blogger meetups this past year. I held my Macaroon Meetup in the spring, my Central Park Picnic at the end of summer, and my East of 8th Fall Meetup. I can’t wait for the next one which will probably be in the spring because I don’t like to leave my house in the winter, it’s just too dang cold.
21. Blogger Friends
I’ve made so many blogger friends this past year. Through my meetups and conferences/events, it’s been so much fun. These ladies are the only ones that truly understand the blogging life and it’s nice to get together with them and talk about it, or even if I have a question for example on HTML or something I can text one of my girls and they can help either with the answer or steer me in the right direction.
22. Full Time Job 2 year Anniversary
On December 17th I had my 2 year work anniversary. Looking back on all the things that I had to go through to get this job really makes me appreciate it that much more. I was working jobs that were barely paying the bills and a recent MBA graduate that couldn’t find a full time corporate position was bringing me down. Then magically (I swear it was pure luck) I landed this job. The pay was double what I was making before, and I was able to start blogging again because I actually had the time. I finally was able to go to physical therapy for my knee, and I’ve learned a little Mandarin (only short phrases/words) along the way. As stressful as it can be sometimes I am so grateful and will forever be grateful.
23. #Fitspo (remember that short time I went to the gym?)
I actually went to the gym this year. I was very serious about it, until I injured my knee again. I was seeing my body change and it was awesome. Unfortunately I did have to stop because of my knee but I think I’ll try it again this coming year.
24. Rebranded-oh yes started a business and rebranded in one year
When I added the bangles to my Etsy shop I decided I had to rebrand. I changed my name and my logo a bit. Baubles and Jars are what I create now. I’m so excited to be on this new journey!
25. Stepped my game up on blog design
My blog has seen quite the changes over this year. It went from the regular format that you get through blogger, to a more sophisticated blog design, to the one I have now. I am absolutely in love with it. I feel like it really pops and I’m soooooo glad I finally have the read more button. I feel like when I didn’t have this before if a post had too many pictures it was too overwhelming for my readers. At least that’s how I felt when I check my blog.
“Not all who wander are lost.”
“It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.” RWE
“Live, Laugh, Love”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“I can’t say, the past will never get in the way. Just remember all things come and go, but they don’t mean a thing, it’s not about what you have now. It’s what you have in store. Let go.” Memphis Mayfire
“What if I fall? Oh but darling what if you fly?”
“When things don’t happen right away, just remember it takes 6 months to build a Rolls Royce and 13 hours to build a Toyota.”
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.”
“All moms gave birth to a child. Except my mom, she gave birth to a legend. High five mom.”-Ecard
“Girls, don’t let a guy treat you like a yellow Starburst. You are a pink Starburst.”
There are so many more but those were my top picks of this year.