Hello, Y'all and Happy New Year!
I can't believe that 2017 is over. I feel that as I get older time flies by at an exponential rate! I started the year with the goal to live the "Extraordinary" life, pushing myself in all aspects of my life. That was not an easy task to take on; I spent a majority of the year feeling overwhelmed and overstretched. I wanted to be able to do it all, and I did but left myself continually desiring rest and coffee. But would I go back and change anything? No! I learned so much this year and experienced so many things that I wouldn't have if I had sat back and let the opportunities pass by me. I traveled much more than 2016 between both work and leisure trips; all the way from Vienna to Buffalo this year. Plus multiple trips around the Southeast to visit my family and friends. In the middle of all the traveling, I moved into a new apartment, saved a cat, and expanded Southern'spirations into the little corner of the internet it has become.
This year also taught me how to "know my limits," - when to step back and take time for myself. 2017 was full steam ahead and left me running on fumes. The last couple of weeks I have been reflecting on my goals for 2018. And along with many career and creative goals (more on that soon), my main goal is to focus on me. Not in the selfish "the world revolves around me" way but on my health. I have been pulling myself in too many directions this year while eating healthy and exercising has taken a real back burner. I am excited to start new habits this year and take on 2018 with the same excitement I started 2017 with but with more realistic expectations.
I mentioned it above but this year has brought Southern'spirations to new heights. The views, interactions, and following have grown exponentially since making this community a priority and focusing on producing more quality content. I thought it would be fun to do a year-end review of some of the most popular posts and my favorite posts from 2017.
Top 5 Popular Posts These are the posts that have had the highest views of the year.
I loved the whole apartment series, but this was a favorite among all of you. I remember sharing the post on a whim with Evelyn Henson because of all of her art in the room, and she loved it! Even shared it with her Instagram Story which made my whole day!
Not going to lie, I am astonished that this post got as many views as it did. This post had so many technical differecultities and was a nightmare to get published. And then the scariest thing a blogger can experience was that it published half completed, and I had to rewrite half of the content very quickly.
This post gave me the real DIY post bug. I loved creating the step by step photos and sharing this fun project with everyone. Expect more DIYs in 2018!
This blog post was my most personal one yet and the fact that it made your list makes me feel supported and loved. I opened up about my Memaw and what I was going through, being that vulnerable was relieving and makes this post very special. I plan to stay real with all of you and bring my life updates to Southern'spiartions more in 2018.
This lookbook was my first, and I swore against lookbooks for several months. I now understand why people usually only do one outfit per fashion post. Shooting, editing and writing up three looks takes a lot of time. So I am thrilled is made your list because that means it was worth all the work! Plus this was my first collaboration with BandB Jewel Designs and one of my early brand collaborations.
My Top 5 Posts
The photos and setting make this my top post of 2017. I love the dreamy look of the Biltmore estate. A new standard of photography came from this trip to the mountains. Other post published around the same time had terrific photos (thank you John Michael), but I loved the movement captured in these images the most. We keep pushing and learning to have better quality imagery for Southern'spirations, and this marked the start.
I learned so much about food photography and food blogging in general during the production of this post with Virgina it had to make my top 5 for 2017. The recipes are also delicious, and a must try for all your winter get-togethers. I can't wait to work with Virgina again in 2018!
Always striving to improve and add new elements to Southern'spirations, this post marked the first video. Filming and shooting photos made the whole apartment tour more labor-intensive than other series, but I am proud of how they turned out. I had a vision and had no idea how to do it. Thank you to Google and iMovie for helping make the first several videos of Southern'spirations possible.
This post makes the top five because of the collaboration it entailed. I reached out to fellow bloggers, Instagrammers, friends, and family to find out why they joined their different sorority chapters. I loved getting to read and share the various responses. I hope to have more collaborative posts like this one in 2018; it helps make this little corner of the internet feel like a real community.
5. Vintage ABCs
Telling the story of making my laundry mistakes and sharing a little DIY fix was fun. I hope to share more glass is half full experiences with you all in 2018. The shirt is still a favorite of mine and had to make this list.
Was one of your favorite posts not listed above? Please share in the comments below!
I pray that 2018 brings you many blessings and that you conquer your goals and your dreams come true!
Blessings from Birmingham!