Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 in Review

Where to begin?! When I look back on this year, I honestly feel so content.  2017 was an amazing year - I got married, opened the shop, and had such an incredible year, so I was interested to see how 2018 could ever top it. 2018 hasn't had quite as much of the excitement, but it has been filled with self-improvement, accomplished goals, exciting travel, and time spent with family. It's been a building year - building my business, my marriage, etc.  There were some definite low points - but I'm thankful that the good outweighed the bad. Here's a look back at some of the favorites.

Favorite Travels:
This year, I was lucky enough to take several fun trips. From Key West to New York City, it's safe to say I loved every second. 
February - Charlottesville, VA
I kicked off 2018 travels with a girls' trip to Charlottesville with my friends Shelby and Taylor-Rae. You can read all about it here but it was so fun to get together with my two favorite bloggers who are also two great friends. 
March - New York City
Mom and I headed to NYC for Coterie and it was our first time at this show. The first day was crazy overwhelming, but the second day was a blast. The Javits Center is huge so having that many vendors to choose from when ordering for future seasons is overwhelming but fun.
June - Atlanta
June held another trip for market, but this time to Atlanta! Mom and I hit the road late one evening (never again) and we snagged some goodies for fall and holiday for the shop. 
July - Key West
In the middle of the summer, I headed to Key West with the best group of girls for my cousin's bachelorette trip. We had the absolute best time! I planned to recap that trip as we had a great experience (maybe one day!). Regan is getting married in February, so I'm excited for all the girls to be together again. 
August - Charlottesville, VA
For Labor Day Weekend, I headed back to Charlottesville, but this time for a fun bachelorette trip to celebrate my friend Cameron! We had the best time, stayed in the cutest little townhouse, and drank and ate our way through Charlottesville. 
September - Outer Banks
In September, it was time to celebrate my friends Cameron and Brad! They had an absolutely amazing wedding week and it's a time with friends I will cherish forever. 

Other Favorite Memories:
I think one of the things I truly loved most about this year were the little moments. Days on the boat with my family, grilling out in our backyard with Steve, nights hibernating in the fall watching Game of Thrones together, friend time. Here are some other memorable moments:
Snow in Wilmington - On January 4th, it snowed in Wilmington! Coastal snow is so magical so waking up to a winter wonderland (that stuck around for a few days) was so much fun. 
27th Birthday - I turned 27 this year, and we spent Memorial Day Weekend at the beach house! I love spending our summers there and kicking it off with birthday celebrations was the best. 
Celebrating Our 1st Anniversary - We celebrated our first year of marriage with a staycation at the beach house and honestly, it was one of my favorite memories of 2018. We did our favorite things, just the two of us, and it was so nice to just unwind and not be in such a rush. You can read about our staycation here

Reader Favorites:
So what did SS readers love this year?! These were the top products:

Ruffle Strap Tank: This top is one of my top 5 purchases of the year. It was such a steal and I have worn it countless times. It was also a SS favorite and featured by the app, which was a highlight for my Instagram this summer. It goes in and out of stock, so it's never a bad idea to check in from time to time to see if it's available in your size! It's also available in this pretty pink. Click here to shop!

Shona Joy Wrap Dress: This dress will never get old! It continues to be my most pinned look on Pinterest and my most read blog post. It comes in so many gorgeous colors, but my favorite is Seaweed. 

Roll Sleeve Tunic: I've had this tunic for 3 years and it's my go-to piece for when I don't know what to wear. I love it front-tucked with jeans or on it's own with my favorite faux-feather leggings! And it's such a great price point. 

Oh Hello Door Mat: Our front door mat has been another reader favorite! I have it layered over this one from Wayfair, and I love the combination!

Cowl Neck Sweater: This sweater is hands-down my favorite one I own! I bought it in dove grey last Christmas while in NYC, and I've worn it so much that it's definitely seen better days! I also snagged it in a camel color and love rotating the two. 

Top 5 Blog Posts:
I always enjoy looking back to see what SS readers checked out the most. These were this year's top 5:

+ That One Dress
This post was written in 2016, but it still is a reader favorite.

+ A Girlfriends' Guide to Charlottesville
This trip was such a fun way to kick off 2018 travels. Be sure to check it out here!

+ On the Eve of Hurricane Florence
My emotions were so high as we prepared to evacuate for the storm. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, but putting my thoughts here on the blog seemed to calm me down.

+ #NSALE - Nordstrom Sale Early Access
This post is another one that was originally written in 2016, but each year during the Nordstrom sale, it gets a ton of traffic. I keep it updated with that year's sale so all content is relevant!

+ Wedding Planning Tips & Tricks
I still get a good amount of questions about our wedding, so this little list is an overview of what worked for me!

My heart is so happy thinking about this year, but don't get me wrong - there were some lows. Some very, very low lows. At various points during the year, I developed anxiety that would leave me feeling incredibly overwhelmed or even physically sick. I was in a car accident on Father's Day, and the thought of driving was very overwhelming at times. I remember the first time I drove a group of gals post-accident and I was so anxious before we left because I was terrified that something would happen while I was driving.

Hurricane Florence also brought on a kind of anxiety I've never felt before. Weather has never scared me, but the night before we evacuated, I was literally hysterical. I couldn't even look around our house without instantly crying and I was checking the weather non-stop, praying it would downgrade. Over the course of the next week, the anxiety only got worse as several situations made it so I couldn't eat without feeling sick. Slowly, the anxiety crept away when I was able to get back home and to my "safe" place, but I've experienced that kind of emotions very few times in my life.

I share those moments to be transparent. Every year isn't perfect. When I go through certain emotions, it feels like nothing will ever get better, but time passes on, and things do in fact get better. Those difficult moments are stepping stones to something more, and more often than not, something better. So if 2018 was a rough year for you, I hope and pray that 2019 brings blessings to your  life!

I also want to say THANK YOU to everyone who continues to read my blog, shop with me, and support the brands I collaborate. I treasure this creative space and the relationships that have stemmed from it. Cheers to 2018 and hello 2019!
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