Wait, what? 2017 is almost over?! I seriously cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by. So much has happened over the past 365(ish) days, it's hard to remember everything. I am going to recap on the year as a whole as we get closer to 2018 but today I want to share my top ten blog posts of this past year.
2017 was a great year of blogging for me. I upped my posting game to every single (ish) day and was really happy with the growth I saw. We gained almost 10,000 followers on Instagram and grew substantially in email subscribers, YouTube subscribers, Snapchat friends, and Twitter followers. Although I am still waiting not so patiently in the edge of my seat to hit 20K on Instagram, I am still thankful for every read, click, message, email, collaboration, share, and comment that I received.
Not only did our numbers grow substantially, no thanks to that new Instagram algorithm, but I also expanded my work with companies. I went from a product only blog to a site that actually makes money and brings in revenue. This year, I finally started to see my full time blogging goals come true, even if it's just one tiny toe in the door. I have InfluenceHer Collective to mainly thank for that. Without them the HBO, Panera Bread, eBay, Amazon Prime campaigns wouldn't have been possible. I also broke ground and worked with Vineyard Vines which was a huge goal of mine for many years. Similarly, due to my previous collaborations, I am all ready to go on a fun PR internship with a brand whom I respect and have looked up to for a few years now. That will kick off this summer!
Finally, I expanded my fashion and my adventurous side when it comes to content. I shared more pictures in more new places than ever before. Although I still feature it quite often, I strayed slightly outside the realm of "New England preppy" to southern fashionista, college chic, and classic Parisian styles which I think helped open my eyes to new trends and new brands.
The posts below aren't ranked based off of statistics but off of my personal feelings towards them. I loved writing these specific posts than any other ones this year and they really do sum up this year as a whole. They are also posts that people asked to see more of and responded well to. I hope you enjoy them and read with me as we take a look back at this truly phenomenal year.
10. It's All for The Better -- This is a post from back in May where I shared what I learned after finishing up my first year at JMU. So much of my person changed from August of 2016 through May of 2017 because of college and being in a new place and learning to adapt. The lessons I share in this post, although brief, are ones that I still find myself strengthening as a sophomore.
9. Garnett's on Park Avenue -- This outfit post from back in early June is still one of my absolute shoots I have ever done. It was the very first time I went down to the city of Richmond, on the nicer sides I will say, to explore. I've lived in Richmond my whole life but never really have gone to explore. I turned the corner to park the car off the busy road and this cute cafe was staring right back at us. I loved the spontaneity of the shoot, the colors that match perfectly, and the fresh hydrangeas which represent the start of a perfect summer.
8. A Letter to the House that Built Me -- This sentimental post is was from back in February that was then transferred over to this new blog platform in May. We moved from my childhood home -- the only home I knew -- back in February without too much warning. It was definitely exciting but a extremely sudden. This sentimental letter was written on the last night in my house on Old Prescott where the only thing that filled the space was empty shelves and barren furniture. Just yesterday I drove through my old neighborhood to see the old house, which used to be the most festive on the block during the holidays, with no lights on and no decorations to be seen. Had to sit in the car and dry for a few minutes before heading to the farm. This post represents a big step in my early adulthood symbolizing my last grasp on childhood which is now gone.
7. How to Have a Successful Job Interview -- This post I knew as necessary to write because I know I wanted something like this a few years ago when I first started applying to jobs but I didn't think it would be so fun to write. I am someone who was always pushed to make money and have a job as soon as I possibly could so I understood the worth of a dollar and I loved sharing my tips for helping you all catch that dream job, even if it was just a retail associate position. I loved reading your feedback even more though! The amount of messages I receive from young girls who enjoyed the post and found the tips helpful truly made my heart happy.
6. Lobstah Lovin' -- This is another one of those outfit posts where I can post the pictures for summers to come. Kirsten and I go to the beach every year together and always make it a point to take down a few extra clothes for photoshoots. We shot this look the same week Lobstah Roll came back to Lilly Pulitzer as a pop up print. I'm still a little bummed Lilly never reshared it on their Instagram but maybe next summer??
5. Nantucket Living Wherever You Go -- This post from July is by far my favorite outfit post from the summer. It was a collaboration with Murray's Toggery Shop up in Nantucket and as much as I loved working with the fabulous company, I loved working with my dad on the post even more. Seriously, he went into full on model mode and I think he needs to sign with Vineyard Vines or something. We took these photos at Cape Henry Lighthouse in VA Beach and loved every minute of it. I bribed him to do this with breakfast and it was totally worth it!
4. Switzer Lake Wanderlust -- My favorite fall photoshoot because of the incredible backdrop. My friend and fellow ADPi sister, Erin, helped me take these photos in November before heading home for Thanksgiving break. These photos have an incredible adventure behind them. Between getting lost and accidentally driving into West Virginia and almost destroying Erin's Kia because we drove through a stream, these photos were well deserved and turned out absolutely stunning thanks to God's great earth as a backdrop.
3. New York City Recap -- Obviously, this New York City trip I took with my dad this March has to make the list. This was a total trip of a lifetime and we spent a little more money than we should have. I have never taken a trip with just my Dad before and it was incredible to spend three whole days together talking about anything and everything in between gazing at windows on Madison or stopping for a chocolat chaud at Laduree. Everything from Rockefeller Center to Broadway and the Plaza hotel are featured in this post and it's definitely worth reading if you have't seen it yet!
2. College Gameday Recap -- I still can't get over the fact that College Gameday came back to JMU this year. We thought we were a one and done back in 2015 and seeing that orange bus drive down the Quad again was incredible. From Thursday to Saturday the entire weekend was incredible and one I will never forget. I love looking back at the pictures already, imagine how I'll feel looking back when I'm graduated from college. If anything this post is just a great photo album of memories.
1. It's OKAY to Fail -- This was my favorite post to write, the most shared post, the most commented on, and the most read by far this year. It's an emotional one to go back and read because I will always be reminded of this failure and always think "what if..." when it comes to my academic endeavors. I still feel a little bit stupid and sometimes have to remind myself that I'm where I'm supposed to be but every word of this post is true and should be read by those who have felt rejected, like a failure, incapable, unworthy, or unwanted. It was an honor to have this post shared by friends, family, and complete strangers throughout Facebook this year so much so that a superintendent of school district here in VA sent it to all of the principals in his county.
What post did you love the most this year? Let me know!