Okay, so I'm low key posting a 2016 recap two weeks after we rang in the new year...Delayed, I know. So are you guys ready for the 2017 talk to STFU already? I hope not (but to be honest, if I see another new year's meal plan popup on bloglovin' for the 500th time, I might be too...).
Anyways, for those of ya who've been following along with the shenanigans on Insta, you know that R. and I have been nonstop on the go lately. First Disney, then Ft. Myers, Jamaica & Pittsburgh.
Needless to say, it feels good to be home.
It also feels good to be behind the computer and back at the keyboard again. I had wanted to keep blogging while we were traveling but, as per usual, things didn't go as planned. We got so busy and, rather than feel guilty about not posting for a few weeks, I took you guys along on Instagram both through posts there and on my story (btw, I'm obsessed with this feature...RIP, Snapchat). Sometimes you've just got to live life in the moment, you know?
However, I'm finally settling down (currently laying in bed dozing off as I write this) and ready to get back to the grind. 2017 has big things in store, I just know it!
But first, can we take a second to look back on last year? Because it was pretty effin' amazing:
1. I hired a professional photographer
Though a lot of my girlfriends know me to be ballsy and outgoing, I can be equally shy and introverted when it comes to meeting new people. So, hiring my first professional photographer to capture some of my favorite outfits last year was a big step. It was majorly out of my comfort zone, but I couldn't be any happier now that I've done it. Though I don't always work with a pro on my photos (I'm teaching R. how to use the DSLR, and I have a fantastic roommate/BFF who somehow doesn't try to kill me when I ask her to retake a pic 10 times), it's something I definitely want to continue to do in 2017.
P.S. If you're looking for a photographer in Upstate NY, check out Katia. Her photos are gorg, and she's a blast to work with.
2. i started a youtube channel
Okay, technically I've had a Youtube channel for awhile. BUT, I wasn't really doing anything with it until recently. In the past few months though, I've posted an easy AF healthy(er) hot chocolate recipe, an unboxing video, and a travel vlog. It's not much, but I'm looking forward to creating more videos in 2017!
3. We went to St. Maarten
Richard and I started off 2016 with a two week stay in St. Maarten. We explored the entire island and loved being in a new place together. It sounds cliche, but it really was unforgettable.
4. I changed my graduation date
I officially decided that I would graduate college a year early in 2016. Now, instead of finishing up school in May of 2018, I'll be rocking that cap and gown this spring. I'm gettin' a move on in life, and it feels so good!
5. TBC went from a blog to a business
I started this blog during my freshman year at college pretty much as a creative outlet. In 2016 though, I did quite a bit of sponsored work and had the opportunity to collaborate with some of my favorite companies! I'm looking forward to expanding in 2017 and continuing to grow the business side of this blog.
Some of my favorite sponsored posts last year were...
6. We got a puppy
What would a recap of 2016 be without mentioning our new puppy, Brooke? She's such a trip, yet insanely cuddly and attached to us. I'm so happy we decided to adopt her and give her a better life.
7. I started experimenting with natural beauty
It wasn't until 2016 that I developed an interest in at-home, natural beauty remedies. Now though, I'm totally hooked. I featured a few different body scrubs and other recipes on the blog last year, but I'm really looking forward to expanding this section in 2017. Unlike topics such fashion and beauty tutorials, I don't see a lot of bloggers talking about homemade (cheap & easy!) beauty remedies, so I'm excited to get a grasp on this subject.
Here are a few of my faves from 2016!
8. My natural beauty recipe was featured in a Bloglovin' edit
Getting featured in a Bloglovin' edit last year was a big surprise. It was so cool to see such an interest in my 5 Minute DIY French Vanilla Coffee Body Scrub, and it helped me to realize how much people enjoy this type of content. So, keep an eye out for more in 2017!
What were your best moments of 2016? Any plans for 2017? I'd love to hear about them!
Hi all! Hope you're ready to jump into the weekend with some of my favorite finds. The weather has been awful where I live lately, so I'll definitely be attempting this DIY patch laptop case while eating in and whipping up this Mexican burrito bowl and vegan galaxy toast! Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
If you follow along on Insta and/or Snap, you may have picked up on the fact that I'm a complete natural beauty aficionado. I enjoy making my own products from time to time, but I equally love finding go-to, natural products that I can grab at the store on the go. Life gets crazy! That being said, I'm a firm believer that health is always our greatest wealth, and including more natural products in my home is something that helps relieve some of my anxiety revolving around health and wellness. Protecting our planet is also important to me (not to mention that April is Earth Month!), which is another reason that I like to buy natural products when I can.
"Care what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner." - Lao Tzu
If I could tell all women everywhere just one thing, it would be this:
F*ck what other people think of you.
I wrote a Motivational Monday post a few weeks ago on why fear is SO boring, but I never really got down to the nitty gritty on what I think scares people the most.
It's funny, because there are so many things to worry about in life, and yet almost all of us subconsciously choose to stress over what other people have to think/say about us.
First off, thanks to all of ya'll who stopped by last week to check out the first ever "Weekend Edit". I really enjoyed getting a bit more personal with you guys, and I got a generous amount of positive feedback to boot!
But let's talk about this weekend, shall we?
I mean, it was kind of a big deal since R. turned 21...on Sunday.
So it obviously wasn't the wildest time haha, but we had a lot of fun going midnight bowling and eating too much cookie cake on Saturday night. For those of ya who don't know, Richard's interning in Pittsburgh this semester, so I really didn't care what we did this weekend as long as we could spend it together.
Despite the fact that New York is currently awaiting a massive snow storm right now (*sigh*), spring is right around the corner.
Aside from doing a deep clean of my closet and going on a major clothing haul to prep for the next few months of fashion posts, I also try I try to reevaluate my beauty/skincare routine each season. Spring is one of my favorite times, because it brings lots of beautiful colors and delicious new scents.
However, it can be a tricky transition going from the dry winter weather to luscious spring in the blink of an eye. Of course, this is always how it seems to happen in New York. Luckily though, I've established a few rules of thumb (totally through trial and error) that'll help even the most troubled skin transition seamlessly into the upcoming season...
Ah, another edition of "5 Things You Need in Your Life This Week". I'm so happy I started this series last month, because it's been such fun for me to share these ideas with you guys! Richard's birthday is this weekend, so I'm not sure how many of 'em I'll be able to try, but the though of making these wholesome carrot muffins during my spring break next week is totally giving me life right now.
And before we jump right into the rest of your tentative weekend to-do list, I want to note: if you enjoy these posts, you should definitely sign up for my "Weekly Dose of Inspiration" newsletter. It goes hand in hand with "5 Things You Need in Your Life This Week", but in the newsletter I share even more personalized, exclusive content like weekly reading suggestions, killer playlists, dope quotes, style steals & even more (yes, it's possible to pack even more value into a weekly newsletter, I swear!).
If there's one thing that I think almost all bloggers fear above all, it's running out of ideas. I mean, let's be honest...writer's block is a huge pain in the a$$ — especially if you're relying on your blog as a source of income.
I wrote about how comparison has stifled my creativity in the past here, but there's a few other tips that I didn't note in that post that have helped me to grow as a writer and blogger immensely.
In fact, I almost never question what I'm going to write about nowadays.
That's coming from a girl who used to stare at her computer for hours trying to come up with the "perfect" post idea.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm not a big fan of breakfast. There's just something about it that rubs me the wrong way.
It also probably doesn't help that I really hate eggs.
That being said though, I do love my antioxidant-rich pomegranate avocado toast and the occasional batch of banana pancakes. I recently whipped up a few fluffy, vegan (minus the honey I drizzled on top) 'cakes, and they were so good that I knew I just HAD to share with you guys.
Oh, and I topped them with my favorite 3-ingredient raspberry chia jam. So yes, I'm definitely a breakfast eater when I make these babies.
For those of you who follow along regularly, you may or may not have noticed that I almost never post to the blog on weekends. I'm active on Snapchat (@blondechiffon) and Insta, but I've always felt that people aren't as apt to go read a blog post on Saturday or Sunday as they are during the regular week. I honestly have no idea whether this is true or not (bad blogger, not doing my research, I know), but it's also nice to take a little breather and come back strong on Monday.
"5 Things You Need in Your Life This Week" is a recurring series on The Blonde Chiffon. New edits are published every Friday, and the intent is to give readers a concise list of amazing thoughts/projects/trends to try over the weekend and into the next week. I hope that you are as inspired as I am by these finds!