hi! some random facts.

Happy Hump Day, everyone! I know Wednesdays can be a big bummer for a lot of people, but I have verrrrry strong anti-Tuesday feelings, so I usually feel like I’ve beat my weekday nemesis by the time I get to this point. (But also, why do short weeks always feel so. much. miserably. longer than regular weeks? I worked for a few hours on Monday, but Matt’s office was closed for MLK Day, and having the extra day with him around was the best — even if I did have to spend some of it at my desk.)

In any case, we’re quickly nearing the halfway point for the week, so if this one has you drained, it’s almost time to refuel so you can start again and maybe — just maybe! — get yourself out of that constant countdown-to-the-weekend mode. We’ve all been there (I, for one, was most definitely there last week), but it’s not a requirement! There are, in fact, things to live for between Monday and Friday : )

I’ve noticed that we have a few new readers over here, so…

Hi! So happy to meet you!

With a new year and some new followers, it seems like the perfect time for me to reintroduce myself with some random facts (and you can click here for all the basics, too).

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1. I hate clutter and love hunting around the apartment for things we can donate or throw away, but I keep every single greeting card, Christmas card, birthday card, thank you card, and random note I receive — even if it’s just scribbled on the back of an envelope or on a Post-It. Honestly, I’ve lost track of all the nooks and crannies I’ve found to stash them in around here.

2. My first “real” job was on the prep line at Cosi at a shopping center in my hometown. It was brand new at the time and no one in the area had heard of Cosi, so it was a very cool gig (at least until I almost got fired on more than one occasion for snacking on craisins from the salad line).

3. I can sing along to the full soundtrack of a lot of classic Broadway shows and movie musicals. Like, a lot of them. Without even missing a word.

4. When I make cookies, it’s mostly so I can snack on the dough. I don’t even really like baked cookies! I know raw dough isn’t good for me, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. It’s the ultimate indulgence.

5. Three episodes in, I’m already pretty sure that the current season of The Bachelor is going to be terrible. I’m happy to discuss this further with anyone who disagrees.

6. I made every last centerpiece and program for our wedding by hand. So if you ever need someone to hot glue thousands of glass beads to Mason jars or to hand stamp and tie ribbons onto 150 pieces of card stock, I’m your girl!

7. I don’t have a single game app on my phone.

8. I hate all things orange-flavored: juice, lollipops, the fruit itself, you name it… but I love me a mimosa. Go figure!

9. The first blog I ever read was Love Taza. I read through the archives start to finish during a nasty sinus infection back in 2012, and immediately fell in love with Naomi’s city lifestyle and love for colorful lipstick (she inspired me to try to wear it myself!). As she’s moved more into the parenting space recently, I’ve become a less diligent follower, but as far as I’m concerned, she can still do no wrong.

10. I’m currently binge watching The Mindy Project and my only regret is that it’s taken me so long to get into it. Any other Mindy fans out there? It’s the best!

Your turn! Feel free to share a random, fun, or simply awesome fact about yourself in the comments below. (As you can tell from my facts, no tidbit is too big or too small!)

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things i’m working on.

A story of the first two weeks of 2018, in two sentences:

In the first week, I felt on top of things. Then, in the second week, I didn’t.

Yup, that’s pretty much the whole story. Start to finish.

I threw myself into the new year with an amazing new word — “WELCOME” (you can read more about that here) — and a set of goals that lit the best kind of fire under my you-know-what. And in Week One, that translated into an intense rhythm to my days. I cranked the music, turned on my pretty new salt lamp (thanks to my sister!), barely even felt the temptation to break my no-desserts-during-the-week rule, and knocked things off the to-do list right and left. Hello, 2018. I’ve arrived.

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This week, on the other hand, has felt a little different. feel different. More tired. More focused on the weekend. More “Do I really have to cook dinner again tonight?” More distracted. And definitely more interested in a teeny, tiny taste of chocolate after lunch in the middle of the week (for the record, I haven’t caved yet!). I took Wednesday afternoon off to see a show with my family while they were visiting the city, but other than that, it’s been kind of a bummer of a week.

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(P.S. Go see I, Tonya. It rules.)

Can anyone else relate? Is Week Two bringing you down?

I’m fully aware that the solution to all of this is nothing more than an attitude adjustment (and maybe a few nights of really good sleep), but while I go ahead and adjust that attitude, here are a few things I’m working on…

I’m working on not second guessing every little thing I say.

I’m working on forcing myself to ask stupid questions when I actually need the answer.

I’m working on jumping out of bed without checking social media, and on leaving my phone on the nightstand so I’m not tempted to carry it around with me all. day. long. All the important daytime stuff is on my computer. The phone can wait a few hours.

I’m working on stretching more.

I’m working on loosely scheduling out my days the night before, so I don’t have to waste time in the morning figuring out how I’m going to spend my time.

I’m working on figuring out how I can spend as much time as possible under my heated blanket. (It’s just the truth, OK?)

I’m working on jumping right into the early stages of big, scary-sounding projects instead of waiting until I think there’s going to be enough time to get them on the right track. Work happens in small chunks!

I’m working on Writer’s Block. I know it’s an occupational hazard, but do I really need to have it for a week straight?

I’m working on saving up my sweet tooth cravings during the work week and indulging in something really delicious over the weekend, instead of mindlessly snacking on candy that I don’t want that badly.

I’m working on being better at Twitter.

I’m working on being OK with not being at inbox zero at the end of the workday. I find that I’m better at processing how I want to reply to emails first thing in the morning than I am at 6 PM.

I’m working on learning how to use new tools for projects (I’m looking at you, Asana). Pen and paper will always have their place in my life, but I know I’m wasting resources by insisting on all analog, all the time.

I’m working on listening to more podcasts, and watching less TV.

What are you working on these days? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!

 

 

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new year, new book recommendations.

I think a lot of people out there must have “READ MORE” listed among their New Year’s resolutions for 2018, because I’ve gotten so many requests over the last few days for book recommendations. These are requests that I’m more than happy to get, since there are few kinds of talk that I love more than book talk — plus, they give me the opportunity to put my handy book log to good use.

That’s right, friends — I have a book log.

I started tracking my reading back in 2014, and it’s turned into a seriously hefty Google Doc in the years since. At that time, I was working in publishing, so it was really helpful from a work perspective to keep tabs on exactly what I’d read and how I felt about it, but I loved logging my books so much that I kept it up even when I didn’t “have to ” for work anymore. People know that I’m a bookworm and tend to ask for my recommendations fairly often, so it’s actually been really helpful to have a central list of what I’ve read, what I’ve loved, and what I’ve (sadly) hated. I won’t reveal my organization or ratings system because it’s a little embarrassing (nerd alert! nerd alert!), but I will tell you that if you’re a reader like me, you might want to consider creating your own!

Thanks to my book log (yes, that’s exactly what it’s saved as in my Google Drive), I could go on and on with recommendations for thousands of words, but I’m going to keep it short with a few quick suggestions for the new year! You may have seen me mention some of these in my recent monthly goal recaps (check out the latest one here), but I’m sharing a few more details below so it’s even easier for you to pick your next read!

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#1: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: It’s challenging for me to find a memoir that I stick with start to finish because I just tend to prefer books that are totally fictional, but The Glass Castle was so mind-blowing that it was hard to believe that it was actually a true story. But it is! Jeannette Walls shares the story of her untraditional (to say the least) upbringing in West Virginia, with a father whose alcoholism is matched only by his kindness and imagination and a mother who simply wanted to keep her family together. The author’s journey out of her moldy (literally) childhood home and into New York City is inspiring and emotional, and I found myself wanting to learn even more about her lfe when I’d finished.

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#2: The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe: I read this for the first time just after I moved to New York, and it quickly became a favorite, since it tells the story of young women working in the publishing business (just like I was when I first came to the city!) in the fifties. I recently reread it, and it was amazing to realize the perspective that I’ve gained in the few years in between. It read almost like a different book entirely! I firmly believe that every woman should read this book, especially given today’s extremely important dialogue about professional parity and safe workplaces. You’ll especially enjoy it if you were a Mad Men fan, since it has the same sense of New York City glamour and excitement.

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#3: Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota: The most interesting thing about this book was the extent to which the storyline predicted much of the media landscape during the 2016 presidential election. Author Alisyn Camerota (also one of my favorite CNN anchors) actually wrote much of Amanda Wakes Up prior to the height of the frenzy around Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and yet somehow, much of the events of the book came true in real life! So interesting! The world of cable news is also just fascinating to me, and if you feel the same, you’ll really love this read.

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#4: Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs: I’m crazy intrigued by stories of cults and fringe religious communities in the same way that other people are fascinated by true crime, and this account of life in the FLDS (a more extreme, militant offshoot of the Mormon church) by the daughter of one of its scariest leaders was about as shocking as I expected it to be. I read it cover to cover in less than two days!

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#5: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: One of my friends has been recommending this to me for ages, and when I saw the beautifully lush preview images from the upcoming film adaptation in Entertainment Weekly recently, I knew the time had come for me to finally read it! With the holidays, I didn’t have as much time to read as I would have liked, but this is definitely the kind of book that I would have devoured in hours-long chunks if I’d been able to. The characters are amazing, the descriptions are beautiful, and the whole thing just made me want to jump on a plane to Singapore ASAP.

How about you? Have you read anything that you’ve just loved recently? I’d love to hear more in the comments below!

(Please note that, while I’ve included Amazon links for each of these books to make your life easier, I am also super in favor of you heading out and supporting your local bookseller. If there’s one in your neighborhood, don’t forget to help them out. They’re doing such important work in our communities! )

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monthly goals recap -> december + january.

As I write this, there is a ton of snow falling from the sky (at crazy speeds — and in all directions!) thanks to this crazy “Bomb Cyclone” we’re experiencing here on the East Coast. Oh, I am so not cut out for winter. Nothing makes this whole “city living” thing feel or look less glamorous than a nasty snow storm. Grubby boots and grimy snow and subway rides that start off freezing and end up with you sweating like it’s the middle of the summer because you’re wearing so many layers… it’s just as fabulous as Carrie Bradshaw made it out to be, right? Check out my current view:

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Let’s just say I’m pretty happy on days like today that working from home is my default!

Following up on Wednesday’s Word Of the Year post, I’m here to recap December and January goals for you! I’m especially excited to share my goals this month, because it’s the first time I’ve been able to work on goals with my new Powersheets, which are (quite literally) a GOAL PLANNER. You know I love my Passion Planner (and I always will), but Powersheets have definitely added another layer to the way things are operating around here.

December was an interesting one for me.

Technically, it’s my second December as a freelancer, but in a lot of ways, it felt like the first. In December 2016, I was just starting out as my own boss, and my plate was a lot less full than I may have been letting on : ) At that time, I was doing a lot of outreach to editors and other potential clients, but I didn’t have many deadlines, and I was really able to enjoy the holiday stress-free. When I made my goals for December 2017 (you can read more about those here), I honestly didn’t know what it would be like to balance a fuller workload with the schedule changes and general shake-ups that are par for the course in the last month of the year. And it showed! I wasn’t as successful as I would have liked to be on my work goals for December, largely because I didn’t account for the fact that it would be harder to get in touch with people around the holidays… and to plan around my own holiday preparations! Next year, I’ll know better.

Here are all the December details:

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  • Be more intentional about early morning work time. I don’t think I can fully give myself a checkmark on this one, but I did take some baby steps in the right direction. I didn’t set an early alarm as many days as I would have liked to (partially because I was sick for a few days mid-month), but I did get myself out of bed and working (without an alarm) more often than usual.
  • Start 2018 planning. √ YES! Now armed with two planners, you can bet that I spent A LOT of time on this last month. It was exciting — if a little scary — to get specific about the things I want to accomplish in 2018.
  • Work on the book three days a week, every week.  Between being sick and traveling for the holidays and (if I’m being honest) getting distracted with the end of the year, I definitely lost some momentum on the book in December. There’s always next month!
  • Read three books. √ YES! I finished Hillary Rodham Clinton’s What Happened (which I would recommend no matter how you feel about HRC), What We Lose (a quick and beautiful — but heartbreaking — read that I don’t think you should read until any winter blues you might be experiencing have passed), and Breaking Free (say what you will about this choice, but I finished it in less than two days).
  • Successfully pitch to editors at my focus outlets for the month. December was not a great pitching month. I sent pitches to some of my regular editors, but not for anything super exciting. My head just wasn’t in the game, and I didn’t want to send anything that felt half baked.
  • Avoid shopping for gifts last-minute. I was so close to succeeding at this one! For the first time ever, I did most of my shopping online — but I ended up experiencing some shipping issues with a few gifts that forced me into a last-minute scramble on December 22.

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  • Continue to cultivate holiday excitement. √ YES! I can confidently say that I succeeded at this one! Matt and I agree that this was one of our favorite holiday seasons to date.
I’m really excited about my January goals!

I think goal-setting is most fun at the beginning of the year, when you’re feeling really clear about your vision for the 12 months ahead and can be that much more intentional about making sure your short-term plans match up with the big picture. One of my favorite things about my new Powersheets is the way they’re encouraging me to look at goals in a different way — more specifically, to break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily chunks in a way that ensures I’m still keeping my eye on the prize.

I know I talk a lot about goals here, and maybe you’re asking yourself why it’s such a focus for me, or why I need all these tools to help me get it done. Totally fair questions!

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All of this work around goal-setting does for me as a freelancer what working with my managers and supervisors did for me when I was working my corporate job. People often ask me how I’m able to work for myself and work from my apartment full-time without getting distracted, and it’s this discipline of setting goals (and using multiple tools to do it!) that’s really been key for me. I don’t have anyone giving me performance reviews or sitting down to share feedback with me after a project’s complete anymore, and this is the next best thing! I’m always happy to answer questions about all of this, though, so feel free to ask in the comments below or to send me an email.

ANYWAY, here’s what’s up for January:

  • Create a list of target outlets for the year. So many exciting things happened in 2017, and I want to make sure I continue to create opportunities for myself and my writing in the new year. I’m going to spend time this month putting together a list of “dream” sites and outlets that I’d love to be published in by the end of 2018.
  • Work on the book three to four times a week, every week. The chaos of the holidays is behind me, and it’s time to re-focus on this very important passion project.
  • No sweets during the week. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know this isn’t the first time I’ve challenged myself this way. This kind of health goal works really well for me because I’m not trying to lose a lot of weight or revamp my workout schedule — I just know that my sweet tooth is probably my biggest downfall in this area, and by retraining my appetite for a while, I know I can get it back under control so that I don’t need to restrict myself anymore.
  • Get back on track with weekly pitching. Once again, I’m aiming to send one “big” pitch or pitch to a new editor every week. Something I’m planning to incorporate more in 2018 is batch working, which means that I’ll try to block out my time in such a way that I’m doing similar kinds of work all at once. At this point, I think that Fridays are going to be my pitch days. I’ll spend a few hours each Friday at a coffee shop (maybe eating a pastry) and putting together ideas for my editors. The biggest hurdle I find with pitching is that it’s easy to get distracted with other, more urgent work while I’m trying to do it, but by Fridays, I’ve usually met all of my deadlines for the week — and I think that getting a change of scenery will help, too!
  • Eat better lunches. I’m really bad at eating lunch. I either don’t eat enough or I go way over the top with something too involved and complicated. I really want to work on this in January!
  • Continue podcast research. Starting a podcast is one of my “big” goals for 2018, and while it feels like an extremely overwhelming project, the best way to start is, well, to start! I did a little research about the logistics of podcasting at the end of 2017, but I want to do more this month so that I’m ready to start brainstorming concepts for my show in February. (Ahh! So weird putting that out into the universe!)

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  • Plan weekend trips with Matt. Ugh… isn’t the post-holidays winter so depressing? Matt and I want to plan some little getaways for the first few months of the year, so we need to get on that.
  • Read 3-4 books. My goal for the year is to read 40 books, and I’m ready to get back into a good groove with reading now that life has settled down a bit.
  • Stop checking Instagram first thing in the morning. Four days into this one, and I can already tell you that it’s been worthwhile. I’ll report back with more when I recap January!

What are your goals for January? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below!

 

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my word for 2018.

Happy New Year, friends!

I hope your 2018 is already feeling great, and I’m happy to report that mine is! We spent the holiday weekend with friends in Philadelphia, and it was the perfect way to kick off the new year. It’s become a tradition for us to spend New Year’s Eve with Matt’s best friend and his fiancée, and this year, we had another set of friends fly in to be with us, too! Matt’s really lucky to have a close-knit set of friends from college — and I’m just as lucky to have been adopted into this group of truly good guys and the women they’ve chosen to spend their lives with. We ate sushi, played board games, drank wine, danced to our friends’ soon-to-be wedding band, and celebrated the stroke of midnight high above Philadelphia surrounded by windows, so we had an amazing view of the lights below and, of course, the fireworks. We also spent a few hours at a trampoline park (yes, that’s right, a trampoline park), which was as fun as it sounds! The six of us were easily the oldest people there without kids, and the jury’s still out on whether or not everyone else was thrilled to have us there — but we had a great time, and it made for a great workout, too. Who knew you could be so sore from climbing out of a giant foam pit? Not me. (I wish I had photos, but I was afraid my phone would fall out of my pocket and break!)

It’s never easy to come back to reality after a holiday, but I have to admit that it’s been nice settling back in here in Brooklyn. I was still mostly plugged in and working while I was staying at my parents’ house last week, and as much as I love the flexibility of working for myself and being mostly mobile, it’s definitely easier to get things done from my own apartment and office. I also always love the feeling of being home and back in the routine of buying groceries and cooking meals and going to the gym. Last night, we took down all of the holiday decorations, and even though it always feels a little sad to clear out the tree and all the tinsel (how does the season always go so fast?), it was nice to be able to deep clean the apartment and get back into our usual groove. When you live in a tiny little space, that tree takes up valuable real estate!

A new year, of course, means new resolutions, but if you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you might remember that I actually prefer to share a word of the year, instead of a specific set of goals. My word for 2017 was ABUNDANCE (you can read all the details here), and I can honestly say that keeping it top of mind — and on my desk! — was a driving force for me over the past 12 months. This last year was an abundance of work, opportunities, challenges, fun, and growth for me. I think I was able to frame it that way for myself because I’d decided to be intentional about seeking abundance in my daily life. Otherwise, it may have just felt like straight-up overwhelm.

Knowing how much I benefitted from having a focus word for 2017, I was really excited to choose one for 2018. I recently invested in a set of Powersheets from the awesome team over at Cultivate What Matters (I’ll share more about this later in the week when I post my goals for January), and I loved the process it laid out for figuring out the perfect word of the year. Thanks to Powersheets and some soul-searching on my own, I came up with…

WELCOME

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Friends, this couldn’t be more perfect for the year I have ahead. Here are some of the notes I jotted in my Powersheets that led me to choose it.

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2018 is likely to be a big year of change for Matt and I. There’s a good chance that we’ll be making a major transition to a new city, which brings with it all kinds of other transitions. I want to start this year with a mindset of welcoming change and embracing the opportunity it presents to continue to grow my marriage and make me a stronger, more adaptable person.

I want to welcome hard work, welcome new avenues for my writing, welcome new ideas, and welcome people with less judgment. I want to escape some of the internal “noise” I have about money and instead welcome the fruits of my hard work and use those resources to give back to others and make myself feel special, too! I want to welcome opportunities to try new things both in my work life and my personal life. I want to welcome good habits and embrace an attitude of health and consistency. I want people to feel welcome in my home. I want to feel welcome in my own skin by cutting back on the negative self-talk that so many of us are guilty of every day.

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Just like ABUNDANCE before it, WELCOME is now framed on my desk, ready to help me kick the new year into high gear. I would be lying if I said that the changes ahead of me this year aren’t a little intimidating, but I am going to try to do more than tolerate or deal with them. I want to do my best to welcome them!

Do you have a word in mind to inspire you in 2018? I’d love to hear more! Feel free to share in the comments below.
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december giveaway winner announced!

It’s officially my last blog post of 2017… and the full weight of the fact that I’ve now completed my first full calendar year here on Finding Plan A is hitting me (quite literally) as I type this. As always, I’m grateful to all of you for your support this year, and I’d love for you to continue to read and share — let’s grow our community, shall we? — in the months to come. Friends, you’re really the best, best, BEST!

That said, I’m psyched to announce the winner of the last giveaway of the year, based on a random drawing. Thanks to all who entered to win this month’s prize (a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble)!

Congratulations to…

Maddie Boardman!

Yay! You’re the winner! I’ll be sending your prize via email by the end of the day today. 

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I’ll see you all on the other side of the new year (we have some serious 2018 and January goals to discuss, people). In the meantime, have a fun, safe, and happy celebration!

 

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2017 in review.

Hi, friends! I hope you’re having a great week!

Both the Christmas and New Year’s holidays fall in such a weird way this year, but I hope that — whether you celebrated Christmas or not — you’re able to steal at least a few minutes here and there to rest and recharge. I’m currently back in Pennsylvania spending time with family, which has been really nice. One of my sisters was studying abroad this past semester and another was away at school, so this is the first time in almost four months that we’ve all been together! The time apart makes you that much more grateful for the hours you do have with family. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take this week off from work entirely, but I’m happy (as always) to have the flexibility to write and log hours from anywhere so that I can spend a few extra days with them. I’ll head back to New York City tomorrow afternoon to prepare for our New Year’s travels, but in the meantime, I’m soaking in all the binge watching and leftover Christmas cookies I can!

With 2018 just a few days away, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect back on some of the high points (and even some of the not-so-high points) of the past twelve months. 2017 was quite a year, and there’s no way for me to include everything, so I thought I’d do what any Instagram lover would do and use my #2017bestnine as a starting point.

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Initial reactions? Including Matt in my Instagram posts obviously makes them a lot more popular! Matt, prepare to continue seeing your cute face all over social media in the new year. Let’s give the people what they want!

Anyway, here are a few more thoughts about these best-liked photos and how they were significant to my year.
  • In July, Matt and I traveled to Turks & Caicos with some of my family to celebrate my little sister’s high school graduation. My sisters didn’t know that we’d be coming, and it was so fun to surprise them at the airport with our bags packed and ready to go! This trip was especially significant because it was the first (and only, honestly) time since I’ve gone freelance that I officially went out of office. (Sigh.)
  • In June, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a trip to southern Maine. Marriage continues to be such an incredible experience, and doing life with Matt is the greatest blessing. Halfway into Year Two, I can say confidently that it’s only getting better and better!
  • September marked one full year since I left my corporate job and began working for myself. Even though it’s now been three months since I enjoyed this milestone, I still find it hard to believe that I’ve been at this for a full calendar year… but then again, I also kind of feel like I’ve been doing it forever. I continue to feel nothing but gratitude for all of the opportunities that I’ve had over the course of this journey — even the ones that come disguised as challenges!
  • Matt won the Hamilton lottery the week before Christmas, and we got to enjoy our favorite show from the second row. Such a fun surprise! The timing was tough, since my family lost our cat the same day, but I did my best to go with the flow (not always my best thing!) and feel all of the things at once. We lost our dog on the other side of my family this year, as well, so 2017 was a hard year of goodbyes to my childhood pets.
  • Marriage isn’t always easy, and Matt and I continued to work hard at learning more about each other and at being good partners (and at taking good pictures, of course). One thing we’ve found especially helpful is something we call The Appreciation Game — and it’s been fun to hear our friends talk about how they’ve adopted it since I shared it here on the blog! Every night before bed (even if one of us is traveling), each of us shares one specific thing that the other person did to make them grateful that day. Sometimes, it can feel like a stretch (just being honest!), but being intentional about that time daily has been really beneficial for us.
  • We spent the first two weeks of October traveling in northern California, starting in San Francisco, driving down the coast to Monterey, and finishing up with ten days at a cozy Airbnb in Mill Valley. Read more in my recap posts here and here.
  • We laughed a lot. That’s really all I can say about photo #7 up there.
  • We celebrated the wedding of two of our favorite people in Mystic, CT. And somehow we ruined a perfect sunset with a hilarious, mean muggin’ personality pic.
  • We experienced off-season at the Jersey shore for the first time — and we loved it! The only thing better than laying on the beach in a bathing suit is exploring the beach in a cozy sweatshirt.
What were the highlights of your 2017? I’d love to hear more about them in the comments below!

….AND don’t forget to enter this month’s giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Literally, the ultimate prize (if you ask me, at least). All you have to do to enter to win is comment on my last post. I’ll be drawing and announcing the winner here on the blog this Friday 12/29, so get those entries in ASAP! Be sure to send the link to your bookworm friends so they have a chance, as well! 

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