This has truly been a year for the books. I have had more happiness and success in 2016, than any other year in my life that I can remember. All the links in this post link to the specific blog post about these experiences, trips and blogging endeavors. Make sure to click them to take a trip down memory lane with me!
My boyfriend and I started 2016 in Cancun, chilling on the ocean with friends for a wedding. It was absolutely magical and Isla Mujeres was my favorite place that we explored. We did get a chance to hang out at Playa del Carmen for a day, which was fun. We sat on the beach, drank some Mexican beers and enjoyed the wonderful breeze. Cancun’s weather is perfect this time of year. We also had the chance to explore Tulum, which is well known in history.
We were home for a couple of weeks, and I was getting some of my very first serious blog inquiries with brands I really love, like my campaign with Vaseline and Secret. Just as I finished polishing those posts, we then headed to Norway and Germany in February.
We spent a full week in Norway, which was good for me because it let me get adjusted to the time zone in time for us to spend the next week in Germany. We both skied for the first time in OUR LIVES in Norefjell which is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. After being in Norefjell, it really felt like a different type of magical escape. I understood the allure of the cold. Skiing in Norway was super intimidating because honestly everyone is a good skier, even the 3 year olds.
Germany was super relatable, especially since we went to Berlin which reminded me a bit of Austin here in the US. Eclectic, fun, lots of excellent food, great people. Did I mention there’s a lot of Bosnians? They say that Germany is “Little Bosnia” because so many Bosnians end up moving to Germany. We explored quite a bit, and stayed in one part of town for half the week and another part of Berlin the second half. Hotel Otto is still (to this day) my favorite hotel that we stayed in given the service, the views, the food, and the boutique style of the hotel.
This was a big blogging month for me, along with my birthday. I told you how to beat negativity (whether it’s online, corporate, friendship, etc.) and I also explained the pressure in my life. Then I shared 25 things I’d learned in 25 years, which included pouring out my heart. I visited California and saw my parents, which allowed me to have my time overlooking the city down below from a hiking path in Palos Verdes, California.
I had the most incredible opportunity to work with Clinique and their new chubby stick foundation. This collaboration started my ongoing relationship with the brand, which is amazing, because I have loved and worshipped Clinique since I started using makeup. Also, this campaign got my family and friends to start taking blogging seriously (for the first time in 3 years!) I know it’s not about proving yourself to anyone else, but it was nice to get some recognition from those in my life who hadn’t understood before.
I wrote another personal post about letting things go, because I was going through this life lesson at the time. Sometimes we hold grudges that we didn’t even realize we were holding, and it’s so important to re-evaluate and let it go, because holding on to anger or sadness until the end of time is only going to cause you more pain and suffering in the long haul.
We had my company’s annual summit, which brings more than 400+ clients into town. It’s a long exhausting week, but so much fun.
After another trip to LA, I wrote a post telling you about three things that inspire me in the city of Angels. Then things got a little dizzy for me because I was dealing with bad vertigo. It is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, because there’s not much I can do. You just have to let it pass, and I hate being dizzy as it causes me to feel sick to my stomach alongside an awful headache.
Luckily I was able to get my health together, in time to travel to D.C. and spend some days in the capital. One of the most exciting things that happened was Urban Decay and I started emailing back and forth. I received many of the Vice lipsticks, which was part of their entire lipstick relaunch. It was one of the most exciting packages I’ve ever received!
The most exciting thing in May was that I went to Iceland. Reykjavik specifically. It was truly an adventure of a lifetime, and we had a great experience with our client. It was chilly, even in May, but it was just beautiful. I learned that in Iceland, the police officers don’t carry guns, which is incredible. There is very little crime, and Iceland is typically a very peaceful country. It makes sense, because everything screamed calming to me, as soon as we arrived in the country. Being at the Blue Lagoon just made it all so clear too, as everyone was so calm and having a great time. It seems that lots of people have made their way to Iceland this year (I’ve seen a lot of photos!)
June was quite the busy month, in terms of work and blogging. I had a lot of work to do since July 1st is an important contractual date for my clients. I also broke down how you can start your blog, because I was getting lots of questions about it.
This was a very personal month for me, and I told you about jealousy. My own struggle with it, and my challenges. Quite possibly the most influential post I’ve ever written.
I went on an epic trip to Huntington Beach, where I surfed for the first time in my life. It was honestly one of the most amazing trips in the US I’ve ever had. We stayed in their newest hotel property and our client is just the coolest. Biking on an electric bike down the beach for miles was such a calming and fun experience too.
I shared some of my favorite summer skin care essentials, and then I got down and personal and explained why bloggers should stop blogging for free. Then I had a huge opportunity to work with Neutrogena, when I shared by back to school skin. They ended up loving my work so much, they sent thousands of people to my site through a campaign they sponsored. Quite epic.
In August, my boyfriend and I went on a weekend trip to Phoenix. I had the opportunity to work with Visit Phoenix, and we ate the most delicious foods. We did a lot of fun things, and just had an awesome weekend chilling.
I did a campaign with Hanes (which was amazing) and I loved getting to work with the brand. I also received my first package from The Estee Edit, and I was so excited to try everything out. I am always so humbled when I receive these packages from some of the biggest brands, because it is truly something to be thankful for each and every single day. I know Christmas comes once a year for most people, but I truthfully receive so many packages that it’s almost unreal. That’s why I host so many giveaways (more on those later!)
I also shared 7 ways you can better yourself, because we’re all learning each and every single day. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and grown up emotionally quite a bit.
I started receiving packages from Tarte (WHAT!?) so I started reviewing all of their latest and greatest.
I had the opportunity to work with Dunkin Donuts, and I told you how and why I consider myself bold. I then had a badass photo shoot, with my boyfriend being the photographer, and I loved the dress and the mural behind me. It was my favorite shoot of the year, and I also shared 10 ways to be happier. Because we’re all looking for things and ways to be happier.
I received a lot of products from Elf Cosmetics throughout the year, but I started three of my favorites in September. I did another personal post (it was the year of personal posts!) and this time it was about people you know unfollowing you knowing you’re a blogger or influencer.
The most amazing package came my way from DIOR (seriously….WHAT!?!?!?!!!) I am still eyeing the box, and don’t want to use all the lipstick. I did a thorough review of them, but I just couldn’t believe they sent me their entire box. So exciting!
I had the opportunity to share our kitchen with you, when I discussed how Uncommon Goods was such a badass option.
I had the amazing opportunity to attend Tucson Fashion Week, as an influencer. It was such a blast and I was able to take lots of photos, and enjoy the shows with my best friend (she’s way taller than me…even when I’m in heels LOL!)
After Tucson Fashion Week, I just stuck with Kelly for the entire month of November. We went to the east coast, and had a week-long roadtrip visiting some of our clients. We got to experience fall, which was just breath-taking.
I then decided to partner with Paul Mitchell for the long haul. I will have opportunities to review all of their hair products, attend events and just share my love for a brand I’ve always looked to for hair inspiration.
I’ve just been looking back at the entire year, in awe of what we’re accomplished. I’m currently doing content planning for 2017, while picking winners for all the giveaways I’ve been hosting this month!
Thank you all so much for a successful 2016. Four countries, over 10 US cities, countless collaborations, countless blogger packages later, I am looking forward to doing even bigger things, and sharing a lot of incredible content with you across the board. Make sure you stay tuned on all my social media, blog and YouTube. Lots more coming!