Another year older, and hoping a bit more wiser… today is this gal’s 36th birthday. I know a lot of you out there HATE celebrating birthdays, but for some reason I don’t mind. Having said that, I informed Jeff I didn’t need a big celebration this year, but all I am asking for is Papa John’s and Jeni’s Ice Cream for dinner–that’s the stuff life is made of, you feel me??
Each year on my birthday, I like to look back and reflect on the year and undoubtedly I think this one has been one for the books. Last year I shared 35 you may not know about me, but for 36, I want to take a walk down memory lane and share some highlights, both personally and professionally, with a little coffee talk this morning:
CLOSING SUGAR BIT
When one door closes, another opens… last August, I made the difficult decision to close my beloved Sugar Bit children’s shop and though I was uncertain as to what that was going to feel + look like, in hindsight I would 100% do it again and I am so thankful I closed up shop. The world of e-commerce isn’t for the weary and as much as I loved owning my own store, the constant having to be “open” even on vacation was exhausting and I wasn’t fulfilled by it anymore. I was having to say no to things that I wanted to do because of time and I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt I made the right choice. I assumed I would be sad not participating in Christmas Village, not attending market anymore, not hosting pop-up shops, etc, but in all actuality, I’m happier than I’ve ever been and closing that chapter was a smart one. Now that my friends is how I know I followed my heart and it’s been the best choice for me AND my family.
100% FOCUS INTO HELLO HAPPINESS
On the flip side, now that I have been solely focusing on my social media + blog as a full-time career, I’ve had the opportunity to do more of what I love. Partnering with brands I listed for years that would be a dream to work with [Walmart, eBay, Lilly Pulitzer, Boden, Evereve, Hilton, Spanx and a host of others], more blogging opportunities with friends [travel, conferences and events] and I’m hoping that as this space continues to grow, I am able to get back to basics… more recipes to share, day in the life type of posts, tutorials, raw/unfiltered and heart to heart talks–who knows what that looks like and what’s going to happen, but that’s also partly what makes this job fun. There is NEVER a dull moment and I love that I have the ability to work from home, volunteer at the girl’s school/serve on the PTO board, and can spend more time with my sweet family and friends that make life what it is.
LANDING THE BIG ONE
Following on what I mentioned above, I really set a lofty goal to do more travel content and when Mickey Mouse calls, you answer… and that’s just what we did. I always set working with Disney as the ultimate dream for myself as a blogger, and to be able to work with Disney earlier this year made all those dreams come true. I’m still pinching myself at that moment and won’t soon forget that opportunity to treat my girls and Mimi to a Disney Cruise and I’m hoping we’ll get to do it again one day! Now I’ve got to set another big goal for myself so all ideas are welcome–go big or go home, right?!?!!
SELF CARE | FASTER WAY TO FAT LOSS
Another big check on my list for 2019 has been to focus on self-care and prioritize my health and wellness and with Faster Way to Fat Loss, I have been able to not only look and feel my best, but I’ve assisted in getting more than 500 other women to do the FWTFL program with me as well. Through carb cycling, tracking my macros and daily fasting, I completed two rounds in the first 4 months of the year and after a brief summer hiatus, I am back on the regular FWTFL rotation with my training and eating. SUPER excited to get back down to business with this lifestyle program I LOVE so very much and share more of it with you! P.S. a big huge thank you to my coach extraordinaire Allie Janszen who has walked this road with me–without her, none of it would be possible and I cannot wait to attend the FWTFL conference in December!
Speaking of all things conference, I talked about this yesterday via IG stories, but I am SUPER excited to be serve as one of the keynote speakers at INNFLUENCED 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in August. I’ve always had to say no to speaking opportunities because of my overly full plate, but this totally sparked my interest and I am thrilled to join this lineup of incredible girl bosses and small business owners… grab your girlfriends and make it a gal pal getaway, learning all you can about engaging, empowering and expanding your audiences with in-depth looks at the latest trends and stepping up your social media game.
Celebrate we will, for life is short but sweet… and yes, milestones should be celebrated!! My friends and family threw me the biggest surprise party ever back in May and to say I was shocked is an understatement. I never dreamed of anything like it and I was grateful beyond measure–that 100K is more than a number to me, it’s a symbol of a load of hard work, early mornings and late nights, but most of all it means that hopefully I am doing something right and making a small difference in the lives of others.
FAMILY TIME IS THE BEST TIME
I say it all the time, but there is nothing more important to me in this world than my family… this past year we’ve experienced some pretty amazing trips–from Disney World in January, Cabo in February, Charleston in March, Italy in May and others scattered here and there, our quality time meter is pretty dang high and I get giddy just thinking about all the fun we’ve had. Life is meant to be lived and that is just what we are doing–we’ve got Rosemary Beach and Antigua in October and Steamboat Springs in February so things are looking good already in terms of more travel.
It’s been one wild, whirlwind of a year… thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along and I can’t wait to see what #36 has in store–big hugs and loads of love, OXOX Natasha