Tag Archives: 2015 in review

2015 In Review: Everything Else

 

Last year I had just five resolutions; that should have been doable, right? Not so, apparently, but let’s start with the ones I did achieve.

 

Get closer to God. I don’t know if it’s really right to say I nailed this one because I think this is something you should always be working on, but I definitely did work on it all year like I’d wanted to so I say it’s a win. I read my devotional everyday and even flagged the days that spoke the loudest to me to refer to later. I volunteered for the Sharing Table and enjoyed it immensely, so much so that it’s something I will always do when it’s my churches turn now. I was able to put some of my creative skills to work at my church during Vacation Bible School and hope to do that again this year as well. But even with doing all those things I set out to do, I missed a lot of church this year, for either being sick or bad weather or just because I was too tired/busy. I wish that part wasn’t true because it’s so much easier to drift from God without that weekly sermon to keep you grounded. I need to work on that for sure in 2016. I also didn’t write in my prayer journal nearly as much as I might have thought I would. In fact, praying as a whole is something that slips my mind all to often these days. I get it in my mind to, but instead of doing it right then and there, I collect my prayers and then forget to do anything with them. I really want to work on that in 2016 as well. Still, as a whole, I feel like my faith is definitely stronger this year than it was last year and even though I’ve got so much more room to grow, I feel like I’m moving in the right direction in my walk with Christ.

 

Get Healthy. This is another one of those resolutions that is always on my list and will probably stay on my list forever, but I definitely feel like I can call this one a success this year too, maybe even more so than years past. As I mentioned in my “Stuff I Loved” post, I got really into fitness in 2015. I had already been practicing the whole “clean eating” lifestyle from the year before, so that part wasn’t hard. In fact, once I started pushing my body past the limit, eating right seemed to get even easier – like my body was only craving the nutrients that would allow it to keep enduring all those grueling workouts. T25 is an amazing workout regimen and I’m so glad that I gave it a shot. In that first week, I keep starting an overly dramatic blog post about how I was basically committing suicide, but I’m glad I never finished it because I swear once I got past that first week my perspective changed 100%. Being the busy person that I am, it’s almost too easy to say I just don’t have time to workout, but I swear that somehow squeezing that 25 minute workout in everyday made me capable of fitting even more into my everyday schedule. I guess it just makes you more aware of your use of time? Something like that. I’m still disappointed I had to quit when I got pneumonia and that I haven’t been able to re-start it again because of my limited space/Christmas decorations, but I’m really pumped about killing it in 2016. And I’m really proud of/happy with the changes in my body so far as a result of the 7 weeks I already completed. By my wedding I’d lost 3-4” everywhere, dropped down 2 bra sizes and 1 size in clothing, and lost 15 lbs. total. Thankfully, despite my increased cookie/sugar consumption through the holidays, I’ve managed to keep it all off, too! I’ve still got a long way to go before I’m truly at a healthy place, but I feel like 2016 is definitely going to be the biggest year of success in this resolution.

 

Pay down debt. I don’t think I was able to pay off nearly as much toward my debt as I did last year, partly because I didn’t have the same amount of overtime and also because I got married/went on a honeymoon. But I did still put a significant dent in my credit with the help of another successful year of the Savings Challenge and in shifting my cards around to 0% interest rates so the money I was putting toward them was being used more effectively. I’m definitely not in the clear yet (or even close to be honest), but I do think I’m closer to being able to buy a house and am still hopeful that 2016 is the year for that. After we do our taxes and meet with the bank, we’ll have a better idea of what’s possible or not, but I’m still hoping for the best and I’m glad I’ve gotten in this saving/paying habit over the past few years because I’m confident I’ll be able to keep it up whether we can buy a house this year or not!

 

*Bonus: Get a Tattoo!* This was technically 2014’s resolution and I hadn’t achieved it by the end of 2014, but in reviewing those resolutions I felt confident that the day was right around the corner and I’d been right. I got not just one, but three new tattoos in 2015 (over 4 separate sessions) and gosh if it doesn’t make me want ALL the tattoos now. Seriously, it’s not even painful at this point and that’s when you know you’re in dangerous territory – lol. Thankfully the cost will keep my tattoo collecting in control, because boy is it expensive! Still, I’ve got a small savings started already for the next one and I can’t wait for more ink!

 

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So for the things I didn’t succeed at….

 

Time Management. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to master this, not unless something major comes along to force me into it. Even then, though, I’m not sure. I really need to learn how to say no. Outside of all the creative pursuits I have on my own, I’m constantly saying yes to doing things for other people and thinking I can fit them all in my schedule together. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things I want and need to do. Once again, this year I found myself sick with pneumonia for the first time in my life, as a result of trying to do way too much. People even tried to tell me to slow down, but I didn’t listen. It didn’t help that I had a wedding to plan, prepare, and participate in during the height of my busy season. That’s all I should have been focusing on, but instead I was doing so much more. If I could go back and do it differently, I would, but since I can’t I really just need to learn from it. I hope that I won’t find myself making those same mistakes this year, but I also know how foolish I can be. :/

 

Try to get Published. What a laughable joke. And not the funny kind either, no it’s the sad, pitiful kind. The most I achieved this year in the way of writing was reading through and redlining my manuscript. Not the one that’s complete either, not the one I wanted to shop around. No, just a regular old work-in-progress. And then I set it aside and literally did not write even one single new word in 2015. Failure doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings over this. I miss writing. I hate that my other creative pursuits eat up all the time I’d usually have for writing. I hate that I don’t know how to balance the two and be successful in them both. I miss my characters; they’re almost never even around anymore. I feel so out of touch with writing at this point that I feel almost foolish for thinking it’s still a possible dream to have. Am I even a writer anymore?

 

 

2015 In Review: Stuff I Loved

It’s that time again, where I highlight all those things I got real obsessive about in 2015. Somehow, since there’s only three big things, it doesn’t look like I was as addicted to things as much as I was last year, but I promise you these three things consumed so much of my mental energy (and even physical at times) that the addiction is definitely the same. When I love something, I love it hard. I don’t know any other way. So, in 2015 I fell the hardest for….

 

 

IMG_20160108_224216YouTube – I’ve already blogged about my obsession with YouTube once this year, and that obsession hasn’t lessened in the slightest (though I do have less time to devote to it these days). I don’t need to ramble on about the why’s and who’s again, you can read all about that HERE, but I will say that my love of YouTube has grown so big that I would really like to be brave enough to do my own videos someday. Whether they are toy unboxings, or makeup hauls, or baking tutorials, or even just creative vlogs, I am interested in doing more on YouTube than just being a spectator and I am hopeful that 2016 allows for the bravery and time required to learn video editing to do just that!

 

 

 

Toys – It sort of feels like cheating to include this one again, since it was part of last years ‘Stuff I Loved’ post, too, but this love grew so much more than I could have even imagined in 2015 and I need to talk about it. Loving toys is no new thing for me, even when I didn’t have the massive collection I have now, I always knew I’d wanted a toy room in a house someday. Growing up, my grandmother had a toy room and it was always our favorite to hang out in whenever we were at her house. My grandfather on my mom’s side also had an assortment of toys when I was younger and so I guess I just decided early in life that I’d let the kid in me stay alive forever like them in the form of toys. Last year I finally let myself start collecting again, something I’d refrained from for years because we live in an apartment and lack the space. It was just a Funko thing last year and I thought for the most part that’s all it’d be until we actually had a house, but at some point in 2015 I allowed myself to buy my first Monster High doll and everything spiraled out of control from there. I don’t actually want to go and count up all the toys I acquired this year because the number might frighten me, but I have been photographing them all year long and you can check out my 2015 haul HERE. While there was plenty of Funko in the mix, I discovered other vinyl designer toys like Tokidoki’s Unicornos and Joe Ledbetter’s Chaos Bunnies; I got super into Monster High and Ever After High dolls (and their books and movies, too), I fell in-love with exclusive dolls that were pricey and difficult to make mine like Pullip dolls and LE Disney dolls, and I even snagged a few plushies this year, too!

 

 

My Top 3 Favorite Toys of 2015 were…. Tokidoki’s Pullip Doll Luna, Funko’s Garbage Pail Kids 10″ Adam Bomb Vinyl, and Momiji Dolls (though I’m just showcasing my first one below)!

 

fave 2015 toys

 

 

While I’m going to try to behave a little more this year, since we’re trying to buy a house this year and there is seriously nowhere else to display them in my apartment anymore, but I already know of a few releases this year I must have and I’m sure once Toy Fair and various cons go down, that ‘must have’ list will start to look like my book purchasing lists looked back in the day. It just feels so good to be collecting again!

 

 

Weightloss Blog PhotoFitness (aka T25) – About 10 weeks before my wedding, I finally got really serious about feeling better in my skin.  I had joined the gym at the start of the year, but I’ve still yet to step foot in it (and am just waiting for my contract to end so I can stop wasting that $20 a month). Nothing seemed to motivate me to work out until a friend let me borrow her T25 kit and while the first week felt like I was committing suicide, I actually became quite a feign for it in the 6 weeks that followed. There’s something really empowering about pushing yourself past your limits and busting your butt like that in such a short time period. 25 minutes goes by fast! And while I didn’t initially see a huge drop on the scale, I was losing inches quick and feeling so incredibly strong (alongside the aching muscles – lol). I was forced to stop unfortunately when I got pneumonia the week before my wedding and haven’t been able to resume the habit since I have to take down my living TV to put up my Christmas tree, but I am crazy excited about getting back into once I put my living room back together. This is something I never imagined myself looking forward to! 

 

2015 In Review: Photography

Somehow, between 2014 & 2015 I became a legit photographer. I’m not saying that like I consider myself some great professional photographer or anything, no I’m still amateur in my eyes, but other people have started to see me as something else. Lots of other people. It’s been both weird and amazing and something I’m still trying to adjust to, to be honest. I remember when it used to feel impressive to have 5 shoots a year, and now that numbers doubles itself consistently from year to year.

 

In 2015, I did 23 shoots and that number would have been even higher if I hadn’t gotten married at the height of photography’s busy season because I actually had to turn people away. Words can’t express how grateful I am for the people who like my work enough to pay me for this, who discourage my negativity about my ability, who do all of my advertising for me (because I literally do NONE). No matter how strange this still feels, I hope 2016 brings me more new faces, a braver attitude about it all, and a few new skills to put to use, too.

 

Below you can scroll through a few of my favorites from all the photoshoots I did in 2015. Huge thanks to all my clients, new and old, for helping me grow as a photographer and keeping me so busy! Can’t wait to see what I have to share with you guys at the end of 2016!

 

 

Best Of 2015 Photography
 

 

2015 In Review: Books

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I didn’t read nearly enough in 2015; there just wasn’t enough time. Lots of people think I sound crazy when I say that because they’re happy if they’ve read 1 book a year, but for me, reading is a necessary fuel for writing and there wasn’t enough of it to spawn even a single new word. Of the things I did find time to read, I actually read more comics/mangas/graphic novels than anything. My appreciation for the art and their ability to get a story across in less pages than books really grew for me in 2015. I suspect that will continue to be true in 2016 and I’m excited about it. Below is a list of the things I read, in the order I read them. The books are all clickable and will take you to my GoodReads reviews on them if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

 

 

Books Read in 2015…

 

 

 

 

Comics/Mangas/Graphic Novels Read in 2015…. 

 

  • Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 1 – 5 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou
  • Eerie Cuties: The Comic Strip Collection by Gisele Lagace & David Lumsdon
  • Eerie Cuties, Vol. 1-3 by Gisele Lagace, David Lumsdon, & Maria Victoria Robado
  • Garbage Pail Kids: Puketacular, #1
  • Garbage Pail Kids: Love Stinks, #2
  • Ms. Marvel – No Normal, Vol. 1 by Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona
  • Ms. Marvel – Generation Why, Vol. 2 by Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona
  • Ms. Marvel – Crush, Vol. 3 by WillowWilson
  • In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
  • Super Tales of Emotion #1: Swamp of Sadness by J. Salvador
  • Jem and the Holograms, #1-9 by Kelly Thompson
  • Jem and the Holograms, Holiday Special by Kelly Thompson
  • Jem and the Holograms, Outrageous Annual Kelly Thompson
  • Morning Glories, Vol. 1-5 by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma
  • The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi
  • New Archie, #1 by Mark Waid & Fiona Staples

 

 

While I plan to try my hardest to buy very little books in 2016 and actually work on all the books in my already existing TBR pile, I’m always open to suggestions for things I should be reading — especially in the comics department since that’s primarily new to me and there’s SO many to chose from. Feel free to leave some recs in the comments below! :)

 

 

2015 In Review: Music

I feel like I didn’t really seek out new music all that much in 2015. Partly because there wasn’t really anyone to corrupt me musically and also partly because I just didn’t have the free time that allows for musical exploration. I think that was a mistake, though, in a way. While it was great having so many years worth of music to fall back in-love with everyday, not finding new musical inspiration is just one reason why my creative well stayed so dry this year. I need to work on that more in 2016 so I don’t find myself in the same place at the end of the year. I only downloaded 178 songs in 2015, that’s half as much as last year, which was half as much as the year before!

 

Of the new music I did discover in 2015, the two bands that stand out the most are…

 

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ISSUES

 

Love Tyler Carter’s clean vocals in contrast with Michael Bohn’s screaming. Love the way they weave metal and hip-hop together. Love how much energy every song packs. Seriously, this band is still young in their existence, but so far their work is super consistent. I can’t wait to see what they put out next!

 

 

 

 

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PVRIS

 

Discovered this band shortly after falling in-love with ISSUES and actually only gave them a shot because of ISSUES. Lynn Gunn’s voice has that smoky, rugged feel and the pop-rock their music has as a whole reminds me a lot of all the reasons I loved Paramore when they first came out. Definitely excited to hear more from this band in the future!

 

And now for the part that’s probably pretty obvious if you’ve been following along for Music Friday

 

Top 10 Most Played Tracks of 2015

 

10. Throne by Bring Me The Horizon

9. Cupid Carries a Gun by Marilyn Manson

8. Falling Apart by Papa Roach

7. Something New by Dance Gavin Dance

6. Fire by Pvris

5. Stingray Affliction by Issues

4. I Am by Hands Like Houses

3. Mind Games (feat. Champs) by The Palisades

2. Uncomfortable by Andy Mineo

1. This Is Not A Game (feat. Miguel) by the Chemical Brothers

 

What were you listening to in 2015? Anything I should have been listening to? 😉