2017 Year in Review

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Happy New Year! I can’t believe we’re officially into 2018 – the last bit of 2017 seemed to fly by, and we’re already halfway through January. I’m sorry I’ve been missing from the blog for the past little bit… balancing my full time job, blogging, Instagram and the holidays got a bit overwhelming for me in December. I decided to take some time off to really focus on spending time with family and friends, as well as to unplug for a bit to get back into a healthy and focused mind-set for the new year. With that in mind, I thought reflecting back on all the accomplishments, challenges, and fun I had in 2017 would be a perfect place to jump back in!

If I was to describe last year in one word, I would have to admit that “hectic” is the first thing that comes to mind. I spent a lot of time learning how to juggle my work (professional and personal) with my life – and while I’ve definitely started to get the hang of it, there’s still lots of room for improvement. 2018 will be all about balance for me: finding ways to be more motivated, efficient, and to make time to stand back and take care of myself when things start to get overwhelming. Although 2017 was a struggle at times, I also had some amazing experiences and made memories I’ll hold onto for years to come.

Here’s a quick recap of what I got up to in 2017:

I kicked work into overdrive

Apart from my full time job (I work in Digital Marketing for a print company in Toronto), I really focused on growing my Instagram last year! Thanks to the support of my awesome followers, I was lucky enough to be given many more opportunities in 2017 to work with some of my favourite brands, create content, and attend events I used to dream of being invited to. I would consider myself to be a quiet, more introverted person, so this really helped to bring me outside my comfort zone, to meet new people, and to even make a few new friends.

My best friend sent me to Coachella (!)

Coachella

As I’m sure many of you know, Lauren (aka LaurDIY) is someone I hold near and dear to my heart, and since going long distance with our friendship we haven’t been able to see each other as often. She surprised me in April by offering to bring me along with her to Coachella, and I nearly died of excitement. We took amazing Instas, celebrity spotted, tanned while eating avo toast by the pool, and spent some much needed quality time together. This was such a special and once in a lifetime opportunity that I’ll never forget, and will always be grateful for.

Celebrated my champagne birthday

Champage-Birthday

I turned 24 on August 24th last year, something that people refer to as your “champagne” birthday. I’m hoping this means 2018 will be my year (fingers crossed!), and I had a great time celebrating with my family and my closest friends. I’m reaching the age where getting older is starting to scare me more than excite me, but I know I still have a few years to figure out what I’m doing. Your 20’s are supposed to be some of the best years of your life, right? 

My boyfriend moved home

As some of you might know, my boyfriend and I were long distance for two years while he attended school in London, UK, after having been together since 2011. This was a huge change for us and definitely a challenge at times, but we found a way to make it work. I was SO happy to have him finally move home to Toronto in September, and have been treasuring every bit of face time we’ve had since then. Skype dates are great and all, but having him around to give me hugs IRL has been incomparable.

I travelled more

Travel

2017 was the year for quick getaways! I *finally* was able to take a day trip to Tobermory, Ontario in the summertime (a place I’ve been dying to visit for years), and also went to visit my boyfriend while he was away for work in the summer in Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale wasn’t a place that had ever been on my radar, but I actually loved it, even in the 40-degree heat! In the fall, my bf and I also spent a weekend in Montreal, which I think will be our new annual tradition.

Ended the year off right in Cuba

Cuba

If I could pick a way to spend the last week of every year, I would spend it on a beach, in a tropical location, with unlimited food and drinks! This is exactly how I ended 2017, with a trip to Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba. This was only my second all-inclusive vacation, and I had never travelled to Cuba before. The weather was amazing, the beach was stunning, and we didn’t end up having wifi, which was a blessing in disguise. Stay tuned for a full recap of the trip soon on the blog!

As for my goals for 2018, my blog and my Instagram are a huge source of joy and creativity in my life right now, and I would love to see that part of my life continue to grow this year. Part of that includes engaging more with all of you, showing more of my personality online, and getting to know you better. Whether that’s through comments and messages, Insta stories, or through video – I’m determined to find more ways to connect in an engaging and meaningful way.

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2016 Year in Review

2016-review

2016 was a big year for me – I wasn’t feeling my best at the start of the year, which led to a few changes that I think really helped me with my personal growth. When the beginning of a new year draws closer and I start to think about my goals for the coming year, I always find myself hoping for the same results: to be more confident in myself and to take more risks. I think I made some major strides this year on that front, which I’m proud of! I was also able to travel to a few awesome places, started a new adventure (hello angelachauxo.com!), all while working my full time job.

Here’s a recap of the major highlights of my 2016:

I focused on getting in shape (somewhat)

I’m probably the least athletic person I know – I’ve never been into sports, never cared for exercise, and have an unhealthy obsession with food to boot. My low point at the beginning of the year is actually what motivated me to take little steps towards a healthier lifestyle. I needed something to strive towards and to keep me preoccupied, so I started being conscious of what I ate and exercising regularly, and was able to lose 10lbs over the course of a few months!

Visited the most magical place on Earth

disneyworld

I visited my favourite place on the planet in March – Disney World in Orlando, FL. My family visited Disney World almost every summer of my childhood, but I will never get tired of eating Mickey ice cream bars and watching the “Wishes” fireworks at night from Main Street USA.

Chopped my hair off!

My long hair had always been my security blanket – I never trusted anyone to touch it and would only get it cut every 1-2 years. But when spring rolled around, I had a sudden urge to make a drastic change and decided to cut 12 inches off in favour of a lob. I don’t regret my decision and I’ve probably saved hundreds of hours in hair washing, drying and styling time.

Went camping for the first time

sandbanks

In addition to being the least athletic person I know, I’ve also had a lack of certain life experiences including going to the cottage and camping. I was able to check the latter of my list in 2016 with a two day trip to Sandbanks, ON. I survived sleeping in a tent and totally recommend visiting this beautiful part of Ontario – the beaches are stunning and the water is crystal clear!

Had a year full of weddings

It was a year for weddings! I took a quick trip to San Fran in June for my cousin’s wedding, and also attended another cousin’s wedding in Toronto earlier in May. In the fall one of my coworkers was married, and the year rounded out with my eldest sister tying the knot in an intimate ceremony at City Hall!

Visited beautiful Barcelona, Spain

barcelona

This may have been my favourite trip of the year – my boyfriend and I ended the summer with a trip to Barcelona. This was such a beautiful city and the perfect mix of historic European culture and picturesque beaches. You can read my Barcelona travel guide here.

Started my blog!

This is one of my favourite accomplishments of 2016 – finally taking the plunge and starting my blog. I was also able to work with some awesome brands (hi Tim Hortons!) on my Instagram channel throughout the year, which really gave me the push I needed to start this site and share more of my life with you.

Finished the year with a trip to London, UK

london

My boyfriend and I have been officially long distance since September, as he’s finishing a year of school in the UK. I took the opportunity to visit him in December and got an insider’s look at the bustling city! The holidays are such a beautiful time to visit London, with beautiful twinkling lights lining every street you pass. I’ll be posting my guide to visiting London soon!

Overall, 2016 was a great year and I’m so excited to see what 2017 brings.