2017: Looking Back and Ahead

Happy New Year
Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Friends! 2017 as expected came and went in a flash. Every January I tend to reset my mind a little, wipe the lenses a bit, do more reflecting. For me it’s just natural this time of year. I tried some new things. I decided to scrap things too. Learned a bit more I would hope. There are definitely things I want to continue or focus on more or approach differently, new year or not.

The more recent years are starting to mesh together and are getting harder for me to recall. I had to actually sit and think about what happened in 2015 and 2016 which kinda freaked me out. Besides my son’s birthday parties I just couldn’t remember. Thank God for pictures and other documentation because without it I couldn’t tell you what was going on during those years and it wasn’t even that long ago. I really must be getting older. With that said and and so I don’t forget, in no particular order what are some things that personally stand out to me about 2017?

More Minimalism, Intentional Living, Shopping.

My minimalist side is continuing to come through more and more. Minimalism always appealed to me but other factors have certainly helped kick it into gear, like knowing what works for me and what doesn’t at this point in my life and changes in our budget with my son starting school. My version of minimalism isn’t about having just one of everything or living out of a backpack, but having less overall or downsizing in some areas.

I’ve never had a shopping addiction or anything like that- I consider myself to be a pretty disciplined shopper even if I do like to look at what’s out there once in a while. But I’ve realized this past year that I just don’t like shopping just to shop anymore, and I find it a lot more tiring nowadays especially when I’m just looking for specific things. I don’t find as much joy in the process as I used to unless I actually find what I’m looking for which is always a triumph. I have a feeling a lot more of my shopping and browsing will be taking place online from now on, or at least until it gets warmer!

New stuff can be fun. I also like choices (as with makeup, obviously). But it’s nice to appreciate and use what I already have and see that it’s enough in many cases. I’ve been getting rid of what I’m truly over, and really making sure I value what I decide to bring in. Over the past year+ I’ve outgrown a lot more things-some of which have been around for years, so there’s been quite the exodus which has been quite liberating. Proof that we gotta let go to grow but letting in is just as much a part of it too. When it’s time, it’s time-for either.

Beauty/Skincare etc.

Continuing on this intentional living idea-this past year I was excited to use, and in many cases, use up a lot of what I already own (hence all the empties posts). I wasn’t on a no-buy this year at all, heck I’ve hit platinum status for the first time at Ulta. But I’m happy with that because for me it was about being a lot more selective and willing to spend more on higher-end foundation, trying new products since I kinda wasn’t for a while, or repurchasing products I know I will use and enjoy. Since purging and using up so much, I’ve been a lot more willing to update and branch out and it’s been worth it.

In terms of new routines this year, there’s been more contouring and highlighting, putting my foundation on before the rest of my makeup (I used to do the opposite), more winged liner, and sticking with a more simplified skincare routine. I even attempted going dairy free for a few weeks to help my skin. Though I’m no longer dairy-free, I’ve stopped using cow’s milk in my cereal and in most of my meals. I’m definitely excited to see what 2018 brings in my beauty and skincare routine!

Work 

Over the past year I’ve observed some interesting work dynamic. I value professionalism and I’ve seen both sides of it clear as day. I don’t mean that I’m not human and never get tired or haven’t slacked once in a while, but some people go a little too far to do what they want to do. I don’t know what goes on personally with other people, their situations or what brings them to that point so I’m not trying to go there and judge. It’s not my business. But I do know respect and common courtesy go a really long way no matter what, or I don’t know, just doing your duty as expected? I’m just a lot more appreciative of those who do their part and hope that I do mine. I don’t take work ethic for granted. No one can be their best 24/7. We all have off moments, I know I certainly have mine. It was just a glaring observation from last year, and I’m happy to say that things are a bit different now.

Places 

Boston
Boston

In 2017 we got to spend some time in Massachusetts to visit friends. We had the chance to spend a day in Boston where I had the best lobster roll I ever had (please go to James Hook and Company if you’re ever there-you will NOT regret it!!). I’ve always wanted to visit Boston, so I was definitely excited. We also made a stop in Connecticut where I got to meet bloggers Jay and Estiana for lunch which was very very cool. Also we went to Sesame Place for the first time-that was fun and cute for the little guy. I grew up around Sesame Place and people are always surprised when I tell them I’ve never been there. I’m proud to say I’ve now been there lol.

Blogging

2o17 saw my first full year blogging. I’ve gone through the typical cycle of being motivated to totally not feeling like it and back again. I’ve made some pretty awesome blogging friends. I’ve established some sort of readership which is awesome but I’ve also felt uncertain about my content and other aspects of my blog, or where I wanted to focus most of it, what I wanted to get out of it. I’m finding more of my direction over time of what I’d like to concentrate on and what really gets me excited. Little by little I’ve been learning more about myself through all of it. In 2018, I would like to at least get more ideas down and go through with the majority of them, and hopefully do it more regularly. I swear that’s always my intention! Also just find more of what truly excites me and motivates me to blog. I’d like to incorporate more favorites, more hauls in the rare instances I actually have them, document my journey towards an updated and curated collection of what I love and use regularly, and also what I haven’t been feeling in beauty and other areas. And there will always be empties posts.

Mom Life

My son started school in the fall and it’s been great. We love his teachers and the school overall. My son has special needs and the school he attends couldn’t be a better fit for him or for us as a family. That was a huge relief for me since at the start of the year I wasn’t sure how all of that would play out. He really enjoys the routine and it’s been pretty awesome seeing him grow. It’s been just as much of a growth opportunity for me as it was for him since this is all new for us as parents. Every year I understand a little bit more of myself as a mom and what my parenting style is, what I bring to the table or what I need to do more.

Bullet Journaling

Bullet Journal
Bullet Journal

I started my bullet journal back in February and over the year shaped it to make it my own. I use mine as a tracker of what I’ve done daily (I’ll share an example at some point), or I make lists of things I’ve purchased in beauty, clothing etc. I don’t really put my to-do lists in there since I found it to be a little much and didn’t want to use a book for that, but it’s been perfect for any other things I want to jot down and it is a tool I use regularly. Sometimes I’ll throw a doodle in there to decorate or do some fun lettering but it’s nothing over the top. Most times I just use a pen and call it a day. It’s still fun to look at more elaborate setups and get ideas though!

YouTube.

I follow many channels in beauty and minimalism, and this year I’ve discovered some new favorites like Audrey Coyne and Ashlan Moore, and continue to follow my older favorites like CoffeeBreakWithDani, Kathleen Lights, Jaclyn Hill (when she actually makes videos these days) and so many others. YouTube is my Netflix. Seriously. I could binge for hours if left to my own devices, and 2017 saw a lot of it.

Music

I’m a music lover through and through and every year there are new songs and artists I can get into. Worth mentioning-towards the end of 2017 I really got into Charlie Puth. It’s been a while since I’ve been THIS into a modern-day music artist, but I’ve been playing his songs on repeat, in particular Attention. Watching him lay down tracks for a song amongst many other things (thanks again, YouTube) shows how talented he truly is. Since I like hearing songs in parts, I love that sort of thing and it’s just so impressive to watch him in action. He definitely has my respect. My husband got me tickets to see him in concert in July-needless to say I’m stoked. Hopefully he continues to do amazing things in the upcoming years.

Looking at 2018- Goals? 

Along with the new year, I also just turned 35. The era of my mid-thirties is bringing about it’s own inevitable changes in mindset and taste and I’m moving along with it. But part of me also doesn’t feel like just moving along either anymore. I want to be very deliberate in what I choose to do and pick goals that really speak to me, persevere. Take initiative and continue to advocate for myself. I don’t want to give in every single time I have a craving for food that will just make me feel like crap. I want to care, and I know I’ve gotten away from things but it’s there, the want. I want to continue to live intentionally and be open to what life has to offer, and be useful and be a help. I want to continue to edit what I have whether that means adding in or taking out, and use what I have. I’m learning to trust that life will go how it’s supposed to, everything falls into place, and if I want or care enough to do more to make things happen then I will do it. I will do what I gotta do, and stop what I want to stop. 2018 for me after all is part two of 2017 or part 36 of my life, but no matter what I always look forward to what a new year brings and know each year has something new to reveal.

What are some big things you got from 2017 and what are you looking forward to in 2018? I’d love to hear. 

Love always, Jen.

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