Outfit details: Skirt: State via Revolve I Velvet Blazer: Cupcakes and Cashmere, sold out (similar here and here) I Shirt: Vince, sold out (similar here) I Heels: Pour La Victoria (similar suede version here)
Happy New Year! I spent my New Year’s Eve with family and it was much needed after spending the day traveling home from Florida. For my first post of 2018, I’m sharing a few things I learned this past year and highlighting some major events. I don’t really make New Years resolutions but I do take time to reflect and think of ways I can become a better version of myself.
Three major lessons I learned in 2017:
Creating meaningful work feeds my soul
I was blogging for four years but this is the year I really pushed myself to make the most of my blog and GO ALL IN. I told myself that if I truly put 100% into my blog and failed, then I could move on with peace of mind. What I couldn’t get past was really not giving it my all and having the idea just float around in the universe.
I’m happy to say that this was a major year for Street Style Philosophy. I walked in my first fashion show with Anthropologie and had my first brand collaboration with Owlet. I worked with Philosophy, whose products I have been using and loving for years. One of the coolest collaborations I did was with Google! I was able to bring in Perry to test out the Google Home Mini together. As a blogger, I was able to connect with some incredible people in Philadelphia, who I may not have met otherwise.
I worked with some fabulous ladies at Starr Restaurants, a brand I hold near and dear to my heart. Starr has been a part of almost every meaningful celebration we’ve had in Philadelphia. A good friend and I went to the Tone It Up Tour in Philly and felt strong and healthy. None of this would have been possible without an incredible support network and some wonderful people who believe in me and my blog.
I have found something that gives me a sense of personal fulfillment. It is entirely my own and outside of anyone’s expectations of me. I’ve heard a lot of No’s this year but all it took was a few Yes’s from a select few (you know who you are) to keep me going. I wish I had the courage four years ago when I started blogging, (as LaptopsAndHeels for those of you who have been around that long!) to believe in myself like I do now.
To all of you, I read and appreciate every like, every comment, every DM. Your support has made this an epic journey and I feel so grateful for your kindness, words of encouragement and sense of community.
Prioritizing my personal relationships brings me joy
Our little family welcomed our sweet boy, Dylan, into our lives. I worried throughout my entire pregnancy if I could ever love him as much as I love Perry, which now seems like a distant memory because I seriously cannot imagine life without him. I have always enjoyed keeping myself busy and focused on work but this year, I learned how to unplug. While on maternity leave for six months, I completely stepped away from my life as a Pharmacist. I also had the last two weeks of the year off and did not touch my phone the entire time.
The old me would never have done that. My goal would have been to stay connected anyway I could so I wouldn’t miss anything and avoid my workload being unmanageable after returning from a break. I have learned that I don’t need to do that. I put in 100% when i’m working and do everything I can to deliver quality results. But when i’m off, i’m off. This gives me the balance I need to commit to my work when I’m at work, my blog during designated writing time and the chance to be a present mom and wife when i’m home.
This method of compartmentalizing various aspects of my life has given me the peace of mind and fulfillment that I was missing for quite some time. My mind used to always wonder off to a task list. When I was with the kids, I was thinking about all the work I had to do. When I was at work, I was thinking about how much I missed the kids. I could never truly be present. It took me years to get to a point where I can focus and devote all my energy to what I am doing in the moment.
We’re all so busy. Between working, traveling for work, and blogging, sometimes it’s hard to make time for the ones that are the closest to us. When I don’t have my family and friends around me, my support system, I feel alone. That was one of my biggest lessons from 2017.
My most difficult moments make me stronger
There were some incredible highs this year and lows that challenged me individually and us as a family. Looking back, i’m able to have some perspective that I didn’t have in the moment. If something didn’t go my way, I would get so frustrated. I was always a positive person but lost that a little throughout the year. Towards the end of the year, I started to change my perception and stopped letting little setbacks affect my mood.
This was a year that our nanny moved on and we scrambled on a weekly basis to find childcare. The person we hired shortly before I went back to work did some incredibly unsafe things. We had to let her go less than two weeks after she started. Going back to work and worrying about what was going on at home was terrifying. I’m not being dramatic here. Thanks to the help of our family, we somehow survived. This is such a cliche but it truly does take a village!
Living without a reliable childcare system made me constantly anxious. If Perry had to stay home from school because she had a fever, J and I didn’t know if there would be someone there to watch her. I worried that one day I just would not be able to go to work. It was becoming really difficult balancing life as a working mom and blogger. I began thinking about whether or not we needed to make some drastic changes in our lives. Thankfully, we hired someone wonderful and were able to eventually move past these challenges. No matter how down you feel, things will get better. I’m learning to let go of the little stuff and put things into perspective.
My baby girl, Perry, became her own person, a free spirit who lights up my entire world every time I see her running towards me with that gorgeous smile on her face. Having her start preschool and being out there in the world without me there to protect her was an emotional rollercoaster. Thankfully, she thrived and taught me one of the most important lessons of being a mother…letting go (but just a little bit) when all I wanted to do was keep her all to myself.
Another theme this year was trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in my marriage and hold on to our sense of adventure. Being a parent is one of the most difficult things Julian and I have ever done. We have an overwhelming responsibility to raise kind humans while somehow prioritizing our marriage and ourselves as individuals. We’re learning how to put our relationship first, since it is truly the foundation of everything important in our lives.
Overall, 2017 was a year of personal growth. In 2018, I will continue to practice these behaviors. More time with friends and family, more of an emphasis on meaningful work, and a focus on perception and how I react to life events. What are your biggest lessons of 2017?
❄️I’m so thankful for each of you. Wishing you all a beautiful, healthy and happy 2018! ❄️