2018- The Year In Review

Happy 2019! Every year, I like to recap what happened the year before and outline the posts I did. This year, I’d like to do something a little different and more meaningful. (You can see the 2017 recap here and 2016 here)

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2018 was an amazing whirlwind of a year. I transitioned to working part time at my job since everything seemed to be going well at the end of 2017. I had some sponsored posts, an e-course client, and a brand partnership. By January of 2018, I had none of that stuff (of course! It’s how life works!) and I basically had to start from scratch. But before I could even start a plan on how to make that happen, life said “Nope! Not this year.”

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It all started on Jan 31 when I found out I was pregnant. The blog post has the whole story but let’s just say I was shocked and thrilled when I found out and literally everything changed after that. For starters, I was exhausted the first trimester and some days I could barely get myself to do anything besides watch tv on my days off. I also felt nauseous, so it was pretty hard to do anything... let alone blog work. I think I did the fewest blog posts EVER this year and in the end it was ok. I had a lot of time to think and made some amazing mindset changes. More on that later. 

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By the end of spring, I was starting to feel better (and, getting bigger!). I found out baby was a girl and I created the best blog post about it, in my humble opinion.

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Despite feeling better, the attic was such a mess and I was out of the posting loop for so long that I kinda gave up blogging. I was seriously going through a funk and going on social media and seeing everyone else’s posts really bummed me out. I wanted to create blog posts more than anything, but I’d sort of lost the spark. 

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Most of the summer was spent with me getting bigger and bigger by the day. I spent most of my time working on my photography e-courses and getting them ready to launch. When they did, they totally flopped but I learned SO much from the process. Including the fact that all this time, I wasn’t really honing in on what I was doing in the first place. I was doing EVERYTHING under the sun to see what stuck and -shocker- nothing did. But, I really enjoyed creating the e-course and being able to teach the skills I’ve learned. I’m revamping the free course now so that it’s even more helpful for everyone! 

One of the things I started (and never completed) in 2018 was cleaning up my house. I started doing it around March but then kinda got sidetracked doing “all the things”. And yet, nothing at all. Everything felt like a race against time before Hailey came, and I was trying to do so much that, in the end, absolutely nothing got done. 

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Fast-forward to September 28, 2018 and sweet Hailey Irini made her debut. It was one of the hardest and easiest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. The best and worst moments. The post-partum blues are no joke and they knocked me out for a few weeks. But I suddenly started to get immense clarity after Hailey was born. It was like the fog had lifted and I could finally see everything in a new way. I saw my faults, my strengths, my purpose, and where I wanted my life to go. It was absolutely astounding and of course, it didn’t come all at once. But I guess spending a lot of time reflecting will do that to ya. It almost felt like an entire year of reflection. 

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The word of 2018 probably would have been growth.

There was plenty of it. Physical growth, as my body stretched and nourished my baby. Spiritual growth, as I began to ponder the meaning of my life, and what I wanted it to look like in the future. And family growth, as we welcomed a new member. And overall, I felt the love grow. Love from our family and friends, from myself to my baby, and a new love for my husband. 

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By the end of 2018, I felt like I knew exactly what was holding me back and what needed to change. 

In the past, I felt like I did everything “just because”. Nothing had a real purpose. I couldn’t tell you why I did things or where exactly I was going. But now, I feel like I really know what I need to do and what’s important to me. I hopped off that work-work-work treadmill that was getting me nowhere. I finally understood that busy does not equal productive. I’m pushing for financial growth this year, because I’d really love this blog to be my primary source of income. I also want passive income, because I don’t want to live project to project, paycheck to paycheck. It’s not a sustainable method for my life. 

In 2019, the word I’d like to guide me is intention.

My goal is to know exactly why I’m doing the things I am, not just doing them because some guru told me to. Having faith in myself to create my own path, and knowing exactly where it’s taking me. I’m getting off that tradmill- this year, I’m really going places.

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So, what’s in store for 2019? Well, I’d love to refresh our home. I want to update our decor and tidy up (FYI- I liked the KonMari method before it was cool). I want to DIY things with a purpose- fun home decor, crafts for the baby and things to wear. I think one of the biggest things that I’m excited about is improving my photography. It’s something I’ve been working on for the past 3+ years now and I’m ready to go from hobbyist to “pro”. I mastered my blog and DIY photography but now I want to get into more lifestyle photography, room setups, self portraits, etc. 

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I think the biggest change I have going into 2019 is an unshakable faith in myself. For so long, I thought I needed someone else to help me succeed. I bought courses, listened to others tell me how to run my business (I mean... what?!), looked for every secret trick and surefire way to success. And I failed miserably. For 3 years!!! Simply because I wasn’t looking at the one and only person that could bring me success- myself. Maybe it was the labor and childbirth, or the fact that I’m raising and (almost solely) responsible for another human... but I finally feel like I can do anything. I don’t need someone else guiding the way- I can figure it out for myself and get help as needed. I’m not a lost cause in need of saving. I won’t let anyone else steer this ship. I have faith in myself to get to where I need to be. 

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There are probably going to be some changes around here, but they may not be that noticeable to other people. I’d like to see it as the blog growing up, sort of like I have. DIYs are here to stay, since they’re my favorite. New, fun topics are coming too. And I’m going to spend time teaching and giving back, as much as I can. Another big change is coming that I can’t talk about quite yet but I’ll share more about it next week. Overall, life is good and I’m ready to take on 2019!

DIY Boombox Music Valentines

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I am still sorta in shock- wasn’t it Christmas 5 minutes ago?! Well, don’t worry- there’s still plenty of time to prepare some Valentines for the kiddos! While you can really easily purchase a stack of Minnie Mouse valentines at your local drugstore, I think it’s way more fun to make your own! Especially if you relate to every parent out there with a nostalgic boombox valentine. The full post is over on the Giggles Galore blog.

Looking to make something a little bit different this Valentine’s Day? Try these DIY boombox music valentines! They’re the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a music lover, especially when paired with an iTunes gift card!

I think these would also be great if you paired them with an iTunes gift card for your kids or family members. Gone are the days when you needed to hang out by the radio with a cassette tape inside, waiting for your favorite song to play!

Looking to make something a little bit different this Valentine’s Day? Try these DIY boombox music valentines! They’re the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a music lover, especially when paired with an iTunes gift card!

These cards are SUPER cheap to make- all you need is a pack of cardstock and some washi tape. That’s it! Some paper punches with make things a bit easier, but you don’t even need those. So, head on over to the Giggles Galore blog to see the full post!

DIY Holiday Cards Scrapbook

If you’re anything like me, you have a stack of holiday cards from friends and family that you don’t know what to do with. Keep them? Throw them away? So, they usually end up in a pile on the coffee table until April when I stuff them somewhere that I’ll probably never see them again. But, what if there was a better way to keep those cards so you’d actually get to enjoy them, year after year? And what if it was fun and easy to do?! Pop on a Christmas movie and grab your glue gun- we have a book to make!

*This post was sponsored by Pinhole Press, but all ideas and opinions are my own.

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This is perfect to make in the days between Christmas and New Year’s. I find that I’m a little sad that the holiday fun is over, and my life feels a little bit empty. This is a perfect excuse to prolong the holiday fun a bit longer, and watch all those Christmas movies you didn’t seem to have time for! Head on over to the Pinhole Press blog for the full DIY.

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Seriously the cutest! I’m planning to make mine this week, now that we are taking down our Christmas decor.

Head on over to the Pinhole Press blog to see the full DIY!

DIY Easy Painted Gift Tags

Are you a “sharpie on the wrapping paper” type of gal? I used to be, but I’ve discovered that gift tags are way prettier, easier to read, and more fun! Why run out and purchase gift tags when you can make your own? It’s easy-peasy with just some paint and cardstock. It’s even easier if you have some paper punches, but honestly some scissors will do the trick too!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Don’t be a “sharpie on the wrapping paper” type of gal! These tags are easy-peasy to make, with just some paint and cardstock. Click to see the full DIY.

You will need:

Cardstock (here)
Paint (similar here)
Circle punch (here)
Embroidery floss (here)
Paintbrush
Tape or glue gun
Scissors

Directions:

Don’t be a “sharpie on the wrapping paper” type of gal! These tags are easy-peasy to make, with just some paint and cardstock. Click to see the full DIY.
Don’t be a “sharpie on the wrapping paper” type of gal! These tags are easy-peasy to make, with just some paint and cardstock. Click to see the full DIY.
  1. Punch your circles out of cardstock.

  2. Paint designs onto your gift tags.

  3. Tape or glue a piece of embroidery floss in the back to hang it. Add the name of your recipient.

That’s all folks! Seriously, it’s the easiest DIY ever. If you want to save time OR have your kids help out with less mess, have them paint the full sheet of paper, then cut the circles out. You can also use a regular tag shape if you prefer, but I thought the circle was more fun. You can even use these as little tree ornaments too!

I LOVE making gift tags, so be sure to follow me on Pinterest to get the newest DIY projects, including gift wrap!

Hailey's 2 Month Update

I can’t believe another month has gone by! My little girl is getting so big and while I’m loving all the new parts of her personality, I’m missing my teeny baby. However, I wouldn’t change these new smiles I’m getting for anything!

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

At two months old, Hailey is 10 lbs 6 oz and 22 3/4 inches tall. She’s wearing size 0-3 months clothes. She hates onesies going over her head, so we’re mostly wearing sleepers and dressing up occasionally when she goes out. She’s officially my new best friend, and I ain’t even mad that she poops her pants. 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Wonder Week Nightmare

The first week I spent home alone was ROUGH. Hailey was up all night, eating every hour and not letting me sleep at all. Every night was like a slumber party I didn’t agree to attend. I’d catch up on sleep in the morning, when she usually slept from about 6am to 10am or so. Luckily, by the end of the month Hailey was sleeping through the night. This momma is super happy about that! 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Smiles

I’m so happy to say that we’re getting more and more smiles from Hailey! Lately she’s been smiling because we are smiling. She loves being held, talked to, or even having her diaper changed if you smile at her while doing so! She also does this almost-laugh where she smiles big and makes a cooing sound. I’m pretty much in love with it and will do almost anything to make her laugh! 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.
Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Look Who’s Talking

Ok, so they’re not actual words but Hailey just started making sounds and “responding” to us when we talk to her. Whether it’s with some noises or a smile, conversations don’t seem so one-sided anymore! She also discovered her tongue this month. She would stick it out and play with it, lick things (like a blanket touching her lips) and even would copy me when I’d stick my tongue out!

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Songs

Hailey’s getting into the holiday spirit! She loves when I play Christmas songs for her, and loves it even more when I sing them to her! She even seems to anticipate it and immediately calms down when she hears the music start up. Then she starts to smile and breaks into a big grin when I start full on singing to her! She melts my heart, I swear. I’m like Olaf near the fireplace. Some people are worth melting for, and she’s definitely one of them!

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.
Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.


My Favorite Things

Still a big fan of the boobie. Hailey also loves attention/smiling, Christmas songs, and playing Mommy Watch Me Poop. She loves sleeping and lounging on the boppy, and hearing me sing “head and shoulders, knees and toes” plus the Winnie the Pooh song. 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Nicknames

I’m still calling Hailey Little Bird and Little Chirp Chirp (from her cooking sounds she makes when she stretches). I call her an animal when she’s trying to find the boobie and cheese foot, because her owlet makes her foot kinda sweaty and stinky haha! 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Fitness Star

Hailey is a master at pulling things. She loves my hair, John’s chest hair, and my mom’s cross. She’s also starting to do sit-ups! She’ll grab my thumbs with her entire tiny fist and use them to pull herself up into a sitting position. 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.
Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

I’m amazed by how much Hailey is growing and changing everyday. She’s my little BFF and I love every day and every minute I spend with her! Even diaper changes make me happy, mostly because she’s smiling the ENTIRE time!