Let me start by saying I almost trashed this post entirely (actually I did trash it then I rewrote it) because I wasn’t sure about doing favorite posts post BUT when it dawned on me to mix my faves from the year with a recap of the year, I decided the combination of the two would be worth writing – even if we are nearing the end of January already. Looking back, my blog has changed a lot in the past year. I went self-hosted, purchased a WordPress theme that I absolutely adore, got a handle on my blog’s look/feel, reorganized my categories and even set up an email list (subscribe in the side bar!!) which is going to get a little revamp in the coming days to fit my current quality-over-quantity/don’t-box-myself-in mentality. And although the perfectionist creative type in me is only truly proud of a handful of the posts I produced last year, I managed to put together a list of posts I’m happy enough with, posts I really enjoyed writing and posts that won the popular vote (aka had the most views) to share with you today. So, here is my blogging year in review along with ten posts I’ve deemed worthy of including in a yearly roundup. Shall we?
For me, 2017 was a year of trial and error, of figuring out what works and what doesn’t (for my blog and life in general), and learning to take note (super important!!) of what is and is not working. Strict blog schedule that I rarely adhered to? Out. An inescapably visible Post-It Note list of blog ideas by my desk which gives me the super satisfying experience of taking down the sticky note upon completing a post? Yes, please. This year was also about allowing myself to enjoy what makes me happy instead of avoiding certain joyful things and activities because I hadn’t “worked hard enough” to deserve them. I’ve learned that keeping my frequency high (many thanks to Jen Sincero and her book!) is crucial to churning out the good stuff I want to give to the world.
The majority of 2017 was a roller coaster on my blog. I was either completely on top of things and motivated to the max or I was neglecting my blog and social media entirely (mostly out of fear) and wondering why the hell I thought I was worthy of being a “real blogger”. It wasn’t until my first beauty review which I wrote in August (it’s on the list below!) that I started to develop a sense of direction but I still didn’t have the exact coordinates as to where I wanted to take this thing. I started to listen to a lot of podcasts that, despite providing mostly info for stages I’m not even close to, were both helpful and motivational all the same.
Around late October, I finally got a clear vision of the types of posts and content I want to create (and I wrote them down to keep myself focused) as well as the specific purposes I want this blog to serve which feels so awesome after having felt lost for so long. In reviewing the past year’s posts in preparation for this one, I could immediately identify which posts didn’t really fit into the “niche” I’m aiming for or – cringe – didn’t add any value to the world. Side Note for Perfectionists: DO NOT be afraid to get it really wrong because each “fail” is a step closer to really getting it right!!
When late December/early January rolled around, I hit a weird wall which was upsetting considering I’d just figured out so much and felt so motivated during the weeks leading up to that point. Between enjoying the holidays and having the kids at home during their break, having a lot more to clean (I still have to find a place for all their new toys and clothes) and being emotionally drained by life stuff, I just didn’t have it in me to write or even give my blog much thought. A couple weeks ago, I started to feel myself again and wrote my first post of 2018 but I wasn’t really ready for social media until more recently. As of today, I’ve posted on Insta, I finally replied to my Twitter mentions and I have a brand new work schedule in place that I’m praying works for me from now on.
To sum this up, I love my blog and while I know I coulda/woulda/shoulda done more in 2017, I’m grateful for a year of learning, experimenting and making some of the most amazing blogger friends I could ask for. I’m happy that I didn’t give up during the thousand or so times I thought about doing so and I feel pretty well-equipped to tackle this next blogging year. As much as I’d love to tell you about all the cool stuff I hope to do in 2018, one of my goals this year is to talk less about what I want to do and just let the things I do get done speak for themselves. So, while I keep typing and clicking away at my computer in order to hopefully make you guys happy/proud/inspired in the future, here are those ten posts as promised…
My most popular post of the year and my first time ever swatching lip products!
A delicious – if I do say so myself – lemonade recipe I created for Valentine’s Day!
One of my first experiments with Adobe Illustrator in the form of a cute self-care infographic!
Another one of my first Illustrator projects with some springtime freebies!
A handy list for beginner bloggers and my second most popular post of 2017!
My very first beauty review on a product I absolutely adore to this day!
One of my favorite posts I’ve written so far because I just LOVE gallery walls!
A post I felt compelled to write after finding out my own personality type!
My third most popular post and a recipe that’s just as fun and easy to make as it is sinfully satisfying to eat!
And last but not least, the book that made me realize I could totally take on 2017 and beyond!
As always, thank you SO MUCH for reading and thank you for being a part of my little blogging journey this year and (hopefully) many years to come!! xx