2018 was an amazing year for me in several ways. It also had its truly awful moments (trust me, no one’s life is perfect, even if you think it is). I don’t try to portray that I have a perfect life, I don’t! No one does. I’m a private person in many ways and think that a lot of things don’t need to be shared on the Internet.
Often blogs and Instagram are just a glimpse at people’s lives, mostly what their passions/interests are — so you should never think that what people put out online is an accurate representation of everything that’s going on with people. I choose not to talk about a lot of personal things (some people do and that’s totally fine) but know we all have good and bad times. Just wanted to keep it real and tell you my year wasn’t perfect and included some of the most horrible moments of life but also some of the most exciting in my career to date. It all made me realize that you never know what’s really going on with people and being kind person and a good friend can go a long way.
So, why was 2018 amazing? Two things really stand out to me — art and fun times with my Mr.
In 2017 I started leaning more into my life-long desire to create art. I don’t want to stop blogging completely but I’ve always wanted to be an artist and I started moving that direction in 2017. In 2018 things really picked up in an unexpected way — painting murals. For whatever reason I have a lot of clients that want murals! It’s been really fun to lean into that side of me. I took on projects that scared me (a staircase mural with scary scaffolding, 46×16 foot mural that was so big I needed a scissor lift to paint it), but I think doing things that scare you is always good and I am so glad I had all of the experiences I did. I learned a lot.
I still did a lot of blogging work but art took a much bigger role in my life in 2018 and will continue to in 2019. As much as murals are fun, I really want to do more paintings and art collaborations this year. Murals took over my life for a while, and while I still want to do them, there are a lot of other art-related things I want to do and find the balance between all of them.
I say fun times with my Mr. because we did a lot of really fun things together this year that really stand out to me. We went to a bunch of comedy shows, went on a road trip, went home to see family, had fun remodeling our bathroom and patio, etc. Lots of fun times.
I think it’s fun to go through my year and look at things by month. While I was writing this I was remembering so many things and felt proud of a lot of the work I did. I have one of those personalities where nothing is ever enough. I expect more of myself and am rarely happy with things, so the fact that I felt that way when I looked back at my year was great.
I also like to look back at my site and do a little math (not my best subject). In 2018 I did 112 posts. Probably the least amount of posts I’ve ever done in a year. But I also like to take into consideration the content I put out on Instagram — all those stories take up a lot of time! I don’t actually care about the number of posts I do, I just think it’s interesting.
Out of 112 posts, only 14 of those were sponsored. So if I did the math right, 12% of my content was sponsored. Why do I look at that number and share it with you? Because those who care about the business of blogging might find it interesting. 12% of the content basically has to pay for 100% of the content I create. 98 posts I did last year were not sponsored and all the costs associated with creating them were out of pocket and I use mostly original photography that I pay my photographers for. I don’t make a lot of money on affiliate links so simply doing product roundup posts isn’t going to make me much money (also I try to do them very sparingly). Anyway, it’s just a number I find interesting to look at.
In 2018 we did three renovations to our home — my closet, the patio, and most recently our half bath (all linked below). I painted a lot of cool murals and worked with some awesome people. I didn’t travel nearly as much as I would have liked to, but what I did do was fun. It’s fun to look back and reflect, and then get started working on the new year!
2018 Year in Review
+ I wrote about my microneedling experience.
+ I finally wrote about our awful mortgage experience — if you are getting one soon, there are some good tips and other info in this post!
+ We found out Hemingway’s breed (sort of).
+ Had some experts in the wedding industry give amazing advice!
+ Painted this mural in a staircase at a co-working space.
+ My MacBook Pro from 2011 bit the dust and I upgraded to a shiny new one.
+ Showed the before & after photos from closet renovation.
+ Revealed ten unglamorous things about being a blogger.
+ I turned 35!
+ My husband and I celebrated 13 years of marriage!
+ Finally took a supertaster test to confirm the fact that I am a supertaster.
+ My sweet grandma passed after 98 (she was so close to her 99th birthday!) on this earth.
+ We painted our house white!
+ Flew to Georgia to attend my brother & his wife’s PhD graduation!
+ Revealed our new patio!
+ Answered the reader question — How I Got Into Painting Murals.
+ Went to Tampa and had a great time!
+ Painted this DC-inspired diptych commission for a client (and later adapted into a print).
+ Flew to San Francisco for the Pinterest conference.
+ While in SF I hit up the SFMOMA with my gal pal.
+ Wrote about the wine that I found that solved my headache issues.
+ Had so much fun doing this artist interview.
+ Threw a killer patio party!
+ Found THE BEST pasties. Yes, seriously.
+ Shared the process of how I made a faux boxwood hedge on my patio.
+ Went home to Kansas City for a week to hang out with friends & family.
+ Released my DC Buildings limited edition prints!
+ Painted this fun series of small works (available here).
+ Launched this makeup series I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
+ Saw a Bill Burr comedy show (he is hilarious).
+ Celebrated my good friend Laura as a Washingtonian Style Setter.
+ Painted a mural and the time-lapse of it was my best performing Instagram of the year.
+ Hosted an event for Goop & CB2.
+ Shared my DC Travel Guide — Restaurants, Shopping, & Things To Do!
+ Became obsessed with a few specific foods.
+ I couldn’t stop doing oil pastel drawings of this photo I took in Morocco.
+ Went to a Joey Diaz comedy show.
+ The Mr. and I went on a road trip through New England. We went to New Hampshire to hike, Portland (Maine) to eat, and Newport to see the famous mansions.
+ Painted a mural that I really love at Julie’s house.
+ I made something beautiful with eyeshadow.
+ Flew to Chicago to shoot some holiday videos with CB2.
+ We went to a Chris D’Elia comedy show.
+ This site celebrated 11 years!
+ Published my DC/NoVA Local Shopping Guide (with a map including restaurants too!)
+ The Mr. and I flew to Lubbock to visit his family for Thanksgiving.
+ I painted the biggest mural I’ve ever done at a new restaurant in DC called Coconut Club (it opens soon!). I’ll be publishing a post about the entire project soon.
+ I also painted this fun mural/photo backdrop which was a huge hit on Instagram.
+ I painted one of my favorite murals at Vicky’s house. See the time-lapse here.
+ We remodeled our half bathroom! More photos coming soon!
+ The holiday videos I shot with CB2 went live on their IGTV.
+ My husband and I went to Kansas City to be with my family for the holidays.
+ While in Kansas City we went rock climbing (my brother goes regularly) and tried Orange Theory for the first time (my sister’s favorite workout)!
+ Published my 2018 Book List.
+ The Mr. & I went to see Theo Von.
+ I partnered with Uber.
+ The 4th Issue of the Alexandria Scout Guide came out and I’m on the Ones To Watch page. I also illustrated the map!
+ Did some MAJOR beauty product purging and cleaning out of my overstuffed home office that is also my closet, and a storage room basically. It’s much better but still has a lot of work to go. A lot of which won’t be remedied until I have a proper art studio.
I look at 2018 as a transitional year for me in many ways. It was the beginning of new things, and I think 2019 has a lot more in store and I’m stoked about it!
Do you ever look back at your year and reflect on it?