Friday, January 6, 2017

Favorite Moments of 2016 + A Look Ahead at 2017

Hey y'all!
Throughout 2016, life gave me a few ups and downs, but nonetheless there are always those amazing moments that you'll never forget. I had quite a few of those in 2016 and I'm going to share them with you today. I'm also going to share a look into 2017 and what I have planned. We know that not everything we plan always works out, or it may not work out how we wanted it to, and that's a lot of times for our good. I'm ready to start this year with a bang and am so happy that you are on this journey with me.

Favorite Moments of 2016

1: Growing in my marriage
This past year was really a tough year for us emotionally. We found out early in the year that Travis' dad has cancer. He's still fighting and his faith is strong. Some of you may know how hard it is to have a parent or family member go through this. It's terrifying. I know that God works all things for the good of those that love Him. That's what I hold on to. 

Within other contexts of the year, Travis and I have seen our challenges. No, nothing crazy like fighting, we actually never argue! But we've both grew as individuals in the past year and so with that comes growing as a couple as well. We've learned more about each other in the past year than I think we have throughout our entire relationship - almost nine years. Through it all, we have grown as a couple more than I could have ever hoped for. We listen to each other more. We talk about things that you wouldn't think are important... but they are to us. It's been a beautiful year in many ways and growing with my husband and as a woman has definitely been number one. 
Here's a photo of us at ICE! by Opryland hotel this past November:


2: My weight loss journey
Back in February, I stepped on a scale and I weighed 160 pounds. The most I had ever weighed in my life. I was horrified. Talk about ugly crying... I was a disaster. I knew at that moment that it was time for a change. It was time to step up and make a new lifestyle for myself. 

I started when my husband left for training for ten weeks. I didn't go on a crazy crash diet. I simply ate healthy, worked out five times a week, and didn't eat out except for one night a week with my girlfriends. It was hard, y'all. I was used to eating way more than I should and eating lots of sugar. I have a big sweet tooth and that's a huge factor in gaining/losing weight. When I cut that out completely... it made a world of difference. Of course I had coffee creamer in the mornings but it was sugar-free creamer and I only allowed myself half of a serving. 

Throughout those ten weeks, I watched as the pounds literally shed away and I was becoming the woman that I wanted to be. I wanted to be a healthy woman. A strong woman. The exercises I did were simple - running, yoga, and a dance class. I would work out twice a day on the days I was off work but it would be something such as walking and dancing. I wouldn't run and then go dance. That is just too much in my opinion! 

The point is... I did it. By May, which is when I was due to go see my husband at his graduation, I had lost 21 pounds. I couldn't believe it. The hard work I had put in paid off and I was looking pretty great (in my opinion). And it's not even the weight number that had me so excited. It was the fact that I was healthy and strong. I felt like I could conquer the world!
Here is a before and after photo:

3: Being more authentic with you guys
With change and growth, your style and taste changes as well. Throughout 2016, I grew in so many areas of my life, and I feel like I became a new woman. All good of course. For many months, I was struggling. I was struggling with this blog. I was struggling with wearing clothing I was being sent. I was struggling with being honest. I was struggling with letting you see the real me. Why? Because I didn't want to lose any of you. Pretty dumb, huh?

Why would I worry about what people would think? Well, it's called being a girl! I didn't want to run anyone away but I also felt this crazy push to show you who I was now! I wanted to share that and be real with y'all. So in October I finally decided to take the jump. 

I'm sure you noticed how my Instagram changed. It went from bright with pink everywhere to kind of faded with neutrals on every photo. Surprise! That's me! And you know what? No one ran away. No one hit that dreaded unfollow button. You guys stayed with me and supported me. You engaged more. You told your friends about me. In that time, I grew from 12,000 to nearly 16,000 now. That's support. That for me was the game changer for 2017. This showed me that I can step forward and do those things that I want to in 2017 on this blog and on my Instagram.
Here is one of my most recent IG photos with the new look:


A Look At 2017

This year holds many things that are going to be different. Some of you may love it and some of you may hate it. And you know what? That's okay! Because the important thing is that I'm being 100% real with you guys. I'm not holding anything back and walking through those open doors that I've been standing in front of with a blank stare for a long time. 

What's coming?

1: My vlog
That's right. You heard it here first (unless you follow me on Instagram stories!). I am starting a vlog. What is a vlog? A vlog, as my friend Jessica McLain likes to put it, is basically glorified Snapchat. There will be days that you'll see what I do from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep. Of course you will see the most interesting parts and I will vlog on days that aren't filled with work. You're also going to see trips... NYFW anyone? You'll see reviews of hotels and cities. You'll see behind the scenes of the blogging life. You'll see my continuing health journey. And much, much more. 

If you want, you can go ahead and subscribe to my YouTube channel here and be the first to know when the vlog goes live! I can't wait to start this with y'all! Spread the word!

2: New post topics
This year you're going to see posts on fitness and a healthier lifestyle, travel, and sporadic posts of personal writing. You're also going to see way more fashion this year. I've been working my tail off prepping collaborations for this year with brands I love and want to introduce y'all to. It's going to be a fun year and I'm ready to kick it off very soon!

With the fitness and a healthier lifestyle posts... you're going to see more workout outfits, more recipes, workout inspiration, and much more. You'll also see these types of things within my vlog on my YouTube channel. 

For travel... you're going to see my trip to NYFW in February, upcoming trips with my husband, hotel reviews, and hopefully more trips with my blogger babes. This is an aspect of the blog that I've been itching to get into and it's finally happening. 

For the personal posts... you're going to see times when I may talk about period cramps (lol!), talking about spiritual struggles or gains, marriage tips, and a lot more. These are the posts that scare me. These are the posts that I think you're going to hate or not read. But with the open mindset I have with this blog right now... I'm doing it. Letting it all out!

3: Being 100% authentic + A New Blog Design
This kind of ties into what I was saying in the previous section but it's different as well. I'm not going to lie to y'all. There are collaborations I did in 2016 that I'm not proud of. I'm sure those of you who knew me personally could definitely tell. I didn't know how to say no many times in 2016. Now I've learned how to kindly say that little word and it's a game changer. 

Any collaborations or partnerships you guys see from me in 2017 are going to be backed by me 100%. I'll only be writing about and working with brands that I believe in and love myself. That being said, you also may see less of some things that are currently on the blog. 

Speaking of the blog... there will be a complete 360 of the look close to April. I hope to have all of the design done and installed by April 1st. The look is going to be aligning with the new look of my Instagram - neutral and simple. I can't wait for you all to see it!

That's a wrap! I can't wait to share all of this with you guys! It's going to be a great year here on Bloom Into Beautiful! Be sure to follow along on my Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube Channel! Thanks for reading! Love you all!



1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love your openness and realness. I am so excited to see where this year takes you!

    ReplyDelete