Why 2020 Was My Best Year Yet!

You’re probably reading the title & thinking, “were you on the same planet as the rest of us, because 2020 was ANYTHING but great.” Let me explain…

So, yes 2020 was probably the most trying year for many reasons. But I found it brought on needed change that in turn caused me to have intense growth. Which was something I desperately needed for a while. I was just too afraid of said change.

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The coronavirus caused me to GROW THE F**K UP.

To sum it up, my priorities changed. I mean, I’m going to be 30 this year! This doesn’t mean I’m fully throwing in the towel & replacing my high heels with flats, but to be completely honest the thought of going out & partying until 4am for no reason every weekend is no longer on my “things I gotta do today.”

It’s a start of a new chapter of expanding my aspirations & career path, marriage & being a mother in the future. And I’m really really excited about it. Not to mention, I finally am at a point in my life where I truly know who I am & who I want to be as a person. I’ve accepted myself completely, flaws & all. I’m finally content & it feels amazing.

MY INTERESTS WENT FROM 0 to 100 REAL QUICK

This past year has taught me what I truly enjoy in this life & they aren’t extravagant things. For one, I actually enjoy cooking now. I love reading about different recipes to try or kitchen gadgets to buy. Both my grandmothers were huge cooks so I guess I had that quality hidden away for a while. Obviously, I’ve let my creative side run wild with blogging, which was my saving grace of getting through such a trying year. Now I love graphic design, marketing & all things social media. I love interior design & having home improvement projects. I helped paint the inside of our house, I stained a freaking deck of all things & tons of yard work. I read more books & watched shows of a multitude of topics (mainly because of boredom) that caused me to expand my thinking. Who says you can only be limited to a few interests? This past year taught me never stop learning new things.

MY RELATIONSHIPS CHANGED

I feel like the pandemic either made or broke couples. For us, we became even more closer (which I didn’t think was possible because we know each other like the back of ours hands). When you see each other 24 /7 (especially during stay at home order) you see EVERYTHING. Makeup vs. no makeup, hair done vs. the messiest of buns with a few stragglers at the ends. Moods all over the place with maybe a few breakdowns as well. At the end of all that, if you can look at your partner & still love them to pieces, you’ve got a winner. Never let that person go.

Friendships were another thing that changed this past year. When the world is telling you to limit social interaction due to a global pandemic you choose those interactions wisely. For the most part I stuck with spending tons of time with family. But when it came to friends outside of that circle, I could count those people on one hand. We didn’t get to have a proper party at our house or tons of events during the holidays. Some of my favorite people are out of state so visiting in person was impossible. The pandemic taught me who my favorite people are in my life & the ones I’ve missed terribly.

THERE IS STILL GOOD DURING TOUGH TIMES

It seems like it was so easy to focus on the negative parts of last year as there were plenty to go around. And believe me it was for good reason. But I refused to sit around being miserable all the time, so I tried to find happiness despite it all. I’m not saying it was easy & that I didn’t have nights of sadness & frustration, but miraculously I found the good even in the smallest of cracks. I realized I don’t need a whole lot to be happy. I only need my family, good friends, a few pets & good health. Everything else is just an added bonus.

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Has the past year changed you? What are you grateful for moving forward to 2021?

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My Tinder Success Story & The Secrets To Online Dating

I’ve never seen dating in shades of grey (get your mind out of the gutter). I either wanted a full fledged relationship or nothing at all. Casual hookups always seemed completely pointless. I just wanted my Monica & Chandler picturesque love story. Is that so hard to ask for?

This led me to have a fairly short dating history of a highschool relationship of 4 years too long & a few “attempts” during my rebound phase. It wasn’t until my close college friend (at the time) introduced me to online dating. It worked wonders for her so she thought it was the golden ticket for me. To be completely frank, I considered online dating to be nothing more than catfishes, backseat car hookups & serial ghosting. Which is true! But believe it or not, success can be found in swiping right (I can attest to that). You just may have to hop through some smelly lilly pads of frogs to get to your prince charming.

In all honesty, it wasn’t until I completely gave up hope when the right guy came into my life. I’m not kidding, I came home from the most awful Okcupid date, slumped onto my bed, stared at the ceiling & told myself I was done. The single life was fine with me.

But life works in miraculous ways & my sleepy state of mind pulled out my phone & swiped through Tinder one last time. And I managed to match with some guy named Todd. And 6 years later I’m living my with the best friend & partner I could ever ask for. But what made us become a Tinder Success Story? I’m here to let you in on the 5 Secrets to Online Dating:

  1. Find Out Their Intentions Right Away

Why waste time on someone who doesn’t have the same goal as you? In the past, I never asked this question in fear the person would run away. The thing is, if you aren’t on the same page as the other person, they will ghost you anyway. So, when Todd & I matched, the topic of “where is this going” came up within the first few conversations. And luckily, we both were looking for relationships. 

  1. Get To Know The Person Before Meeting Face to Face

Todd & I didn’t meet in person until almost 2 months into our daily conversations. We did exchange phone numbers right away, but I wanted to be sure the person I was potentially meeting was worth it. We talked pretty much every night (sometimes until 4am) about everything & anything. The first thing that really drew me to him was his attentiveness. In the past I swooned over a “hey, watcha up to?” “not much” conversation. His thought out questions & story times were a breath of fresh air. 

Fun fact, I was snooping his Facebook (as we all do) & came across a photo of his license (the typical “I’m 21 now, pic”) & noticed his address. 

Only 5 minutes away from me? Are you serious? At that point I knew I wanted to meet him. But of course, I couldn’t just admit I knew where he lived! That’s just creepy. So, one night I just casually commented, “oh my gosh, how crazy would it be if we lived by each other?” 

  1. Be Yourself 

This one may seem like a no brainer but my dating history resulted in me giving off the wrong intentions at times. I felt like no one really liked me for me. It’s so important to show your true self (well, maybe not all your baggage at once) but eventually they will find out the truth. Even though it took me a minute, the reason for our success was allowing myself to put my walls down. And in the past, I was always that girl molding myself into someone I wasn’t just to please a guy. And that clearly worked out for me…not. 

  1. Meeting Online is Just Like Meeting a Stranger At The Bar

We are all strangers to one another at some point. So, what’s the difference between observing someone’s profile vs. someone across the bar? As long as you take precaution & slowly get to know anyone, online dating is a fine way to meet someone. 

  1. Sometimes The Stars Simply Align

I was never a person who really believed in fate or soulmates. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic & always wanted to find someone who was my partner & best friend all in one. But now I think sometimes people come into your life when they should as they should. And as crazy as it sounds, sometimes I feel like our relationship was one of those magical & crazy “fate type” situations. I seriously feel like we’ve known each other so much longer. Maybe that’s simply the feeling you get when you find the right person. 

have you tried online dating? did it work out or did they ghost you? Comment below

Project 333 Was The Worst Idea in a Pandemic!

Out of all the times I attempt a challenge such as this, 2020 was probably not the best choice. When all you are wearing are oversized sweatshirts, joggers & slippers around the house, my fashion sense left the building. I mean, don’t get me wrong I tried. On weekends, I would take advantage of any outing (even the grocery store) & put on jeans & a cute top. So, in a way Project 333 was pretty easy & I managed to wear even less than 33 items. Does that mean I win?

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out my introduction post called I’m Going To Try Project 333

I Definitely Wore Less Than 33 items in 3 months

Fashion Sense -

This year has taught me it is possible to only own 33 items in a wardrobe, because I even wore less than that! The reasons probably are due to the fact most events were canceled & I was inside my house more often than not. But still! It is possible. The concept of this challenge is genius & perfect for those trying to pair down their wardrobes. I think we all develop this idea of needing MORE when really it’s simply society’s way of brainwashing us to fuel the economy.

There Were a Few Adjustments

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So, my original list of items for my capsule wardrobe needed tweaked for sure due to the surprisingly warmer temperatures. I was wearing sandals through the end of October. So, I needed to swap a few pairs of boots with some summer replacements. Other than that, I was able to create plenty of outfits for these 3 months.

I’ve Embraced Being an Outfit Repeater

Outfit Repeater | Sarah Forshaw's Blog

Remember how when we were in middle school or even high school, the idea of repeating an outfit was like sacreligious? Yea, I don’t believe in this notion any longer. If I look bomb in an outfit, best believe I’m wearing it for multiple occasions. I own this red dress that I’ve had since I was 18 years old. And I still wear it to this day. I take pride in my belongings & treat them like vintage attire. I mean, I feel like back in the day people held on to their items for years & passed them down through generations. People are so quick to declutter almost too much. And as much as I preach letting go of stuff that no longer serves you, I also think it can go too far!

I Did Do Some Shopping

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I know! I know! During Thanksgiving break, I did treat myself to a few new clothing pieces. I have been doing well with my Low Buy Year but I really wanted to purchase a few new items for the new year. Luckily, my shopping habits are better & I stick to basics. I found a long sleeve army green top from J Crew (The Artist Tee) which are the perfect style for my body type. I also bought a pair of gold hoop earrings because they are coming back in style. The reason for this is because during the challenge, I discovered so many duds that need to go to the Goodwill ASAP. I believe in reinventing your style sometimes & I learned I really needed a shift.

Would you consider trying the Project 333 Challenge? For more information check out Courtney Carver’s book & her blog called Be More With Less

H&D Book Club: "Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves  Less Really Is More” — HEDS & DEKS
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