I believe in reflecting, on a journey, on a year, on life, on the good, the bad and the ugly, what I should do more of and what I should do less of, what I excelled at and what would probably be better left to someone else's hands. I believe in goals, but I don't much believe in resolutions. Resolutions are simply another form of expectations, and setting any sort of expectation is the quickest way to failing. Mostly, I firmly believe, that every single thing happens for a reason, the failures, the mistakes, the missteps, the mess-ups, the successes. Everything in life is either a lesson or a blessing, and if things didn't happen the way they did, we'd be left without either.
After reflecting on my own year, I wanted to share a few favorites from 2017, both favorite blessings and favorite lessons, sprinkled in with a few favorite products, discoveries and more.
As always, I can't thank you all enough for reading, engaging and supporting. It's always one of my favorite highs and biggest blessings of not just 2017, but truly every single year.
The Runway Chef Site Redesign // The first step of many we've got planned to grow and expand. It was a massive undertaking (Hence, why I hired a team.), but to see your visions take shape and your goals brought to life after months and months of work, is truly no better feeling.
The RC Get And Give Giveaway Week // I wrote more about this here, but I truly could not think of a better note to end the year on than this project. At the core, my blog has one purpose- to help people. To be able to help those in need, and not just help someone figure out an outfit or party or recipe, is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and I'm so glad I'm finally able to.
Practicing Photography + Writing // I think it's important to keep practicing, learning and pushing yourself in whatever your craft is. In particular, I really tried to push myself with my photography style, my editing, my self-photograph and my story writing. I plan to share more of these practices in 2018.
My Biggest Year Yet // Blood, sweat, tears and straight hard work, and a whole lot of gratitude for this one.
Relationship // I shared some of our relationship struggles earlier this year (and was surprised by how many of you read the post! Ha!). Mr. RC and I got a big wake up call and realized our relationship had shifted, almost without us realizing it until afterwards. In hindsight, it makes sense. It's only natural that we change and evolve as we get older. We just weren't prepared for that change in our relationship. But we've learned our lesson, saught the advice of our counselor and are slowly learning to adjust. We've got some ways to go, but we've already learned so much, most importantly, that we'll fight to the end for each other.
Anxiety Attacks // I never fully shared, but one of the biggest reasons we left New York was because of my anxiety attacks. They had become an almost daily occurrence, and were, at times, so terrible, I didn't even want to go out. I came to realize that much of my anixety was, sadly, due to the city, and, while yoga, prayer, breathing techniques and tea are great and all, I realized I needed something bigger if I was going to get better. So, for the sake of my health and sanity (among other reasons), we chose to leave our New York life behind. It wasn't an easy decision, but since moving, my attacks having gone from a daily thing to only happening a handful of times a month. I'm so glad I listened to my body and made the life adjustments I needed (and ended up in sunny LA versus a mental institute somewhere).
Know and Value Your Worth // In life and in business, I've learned a lot of lessons this year. One of the biggest was knowing my value and worth. Learning to close the door on those who hurt me or cause me stress, learning to ask for more money, not because I want to buy a Chanel but because I know the time, effort and quality I put into my work deserves more than a pair of shoes as payment, learning to stand up for myself and say no because I am good enough, smart enough and work hard enough. Life is too short to deal with those who think I'm not.
Issues with Our Move // Our move came with a line of stresses and disasters that I thought would never end. They were all post-move, so the only thing we could do was toughen up and fight through them. In hindsight, we realized a few things we probably could have/should have done differently, but we also realized just how strong and resilient we could be, which in turn has now fueled our desire to be strong and grow in other areas of our lives.
Moving from NY to LA // This was by far the highlight of 2017, and one that comes with both blessings and lessons. It was a blessing to be able to leave New York, move somewhere new, chase a dream and make it a reality. It was, by far, one of the biggest lessons I've ever had in strength and perseverance. But, it was also a lesson in pushing boundaries, leaving comfort zones and realizing life exists outside the bubble that is New York City.
Driving Across Country // A long, but incredible, opportunity to experience the country from sea to shining sea. It was unforgettable the first time around, as a 9-year-old child, and even more so as an adult. (You can see all the posts from all our stops here, and stay tuned, as we'll be adding a few more soon.)
Instax Camera // I honestly think this may be my favorite camera. I love the old-school feel of the photos, the moments captured in time and, in a world full of "perfect" Instagram photos captured after 57 tries, the imperfect images that you only have one chance to snap.
Biologique Recherche P50 // This product, along with the one below, has literally changed my life. It's one of the only thing that has helped clear my skin of acne and 1000% worth the hype, price and smell.
Shani Darden Retinol Reform // Not smelly like the P50, but equally as life changing in the skincare department. I ran out halfway through our move, thinking it wasn't a big deal. But let me tell you, I couldn't order this stuff fast enough once we had our new mailing address. My skin is like a nightmare and a dream when I'm without this stuff and when I have it.
Youtube Channel: Gary Vaynerchuk // Nothing motivates me like a Gary Vee video. I watch them almost daily, while eating lunch, and I credit him for many of my business mindset shifts.
Daily habit: Daily Gratitude Journaling // The best way I've found to keep myself in check, change my attitude (if it's feeling off) and remind myself just how furtunate I am.
Favorite Book: You are a Badass at Making Money // Similar to Gary's videos, this book gave me some serious motivation and changed the way I viewed money (something I've struggled with my whole life).
Podcast: The Him & Her Podcast // I've tried to get into podcast and I just can't. But this one, I can. It's funny, entertaining and highly educational (especially the business ones).