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2018: The Years to Sparkle & 2017 Recap

When it comes to reflecting on an entire year of memories, highlights, and ups and downs, 2017 has definitely been quite a year for us. We both celebrated our 1 year work anniversaries, moved apartments between Manhattan and Brooklyn and vice versa, traveled to Japan and Portugal together, and shot over 50 lookbooks for Penny & Dash. The blog has challenged us in many ways over the past year by testing our friendship and showing us what commitment truly means. Instead of a lengthy resolutions post, we wanted to just do a little personal reflection for ourselves to look back on in the future and share with you what this past year has looked like for us in a nutshell.

Jess: Last New Years Eve, I flew to Vienna and watched the fireworks over the Danube River at midnight until my hands went numb, and I had a magical first start to year the year visiting some of my favorite places in the world including Hallstatt and Prague. I skied in the Austrian Alps, ate trdelníks crossing the Charles River, and went Christmas market hopping in my favorite places, and it really was as beautiful as I remember it to be. But as incredible as that time was, I was confused. I was unsure of where I wanted to take a potential relationship, what I wanted to do with my career since I just started working a couple months before, whether I should move from Brooklyn to Manhattan to reduce my painstakingly long work-commutes, and a host of other things running through my mind.

After some long nights of thinking in bed, I cut off the necessary ties, found an apartment, made the move to East Village, and spent the next 10 months looking forward to my next adventure. I was constantly hopping on planes every week, from personal vacations to Japan, San Francisco, Chicago, and Portugal to work trips to St. Louis and Montreal. The constant movement has always kept me sane, and I love keeping life exciting and unexpected.

I binged plenty of shows on Netflix (Black Mirror, The Punisher and Daredevil were my personal faves), crossed off a ton of my bucket-list restaurants in the city, spent lots of time with old and new friends, moved again to Hell's Kitchen with one of my best friends and best of all, I fell in love again. It's kind of funny how things work out sometimes isn't it?

2018 will be a year of many more adventures (tickets are already booked!), a lot of love and a challenge to beat 2017's year of growth.

Mel: My 2017 New Years Eve was definitely a lot less exciting than Jess's as I had a low key night staying in my boyfriend. Whereas 2016 was a year ridden with questions, doubts, and some bits of anxiety in regards to where my future was headed, 2017 was the year of making new friendships at work, settling down and of course loads of travel! I started my year off with my annual family vacation to South Africa in February, a memorable trip to Japan and Portugal with Jess, a spontaneous romantic trip to Banff with my boyfriend and just returned from a fun, but exhausting weekend of skiing spent with my sister and our boyfriends. In terms of personal growth, I actually accomplished a lot of 2017 new years resolutions (cooking, reading, and exercising), but I do still have quite a long way to go!

Back in June, I made the decision of moving from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn where I now pay about 1/3 of the rent amount I use to pay in the city. Although my commuting time nearly doubled, and I no longer live near any hipster cafes, bougie juiceries or my friends for that matter, I am proud of my decision as it is definitely helping me meet my financial goals. Living in the city can be very costly, and by cutting down on what use to eat up 30 - 40% of my salary, allowed me to reallocate my budget to other things I enjoyed (i.e. vacations) and of course started saving for something bigger (i.e. owning an apartment).

While the past 2 years have been whirlwind, I am actually excited for things to be quiet a bit down and be constant for 2018. I definitely have some pretty lofty goals for this upcoming year and cannot wait to see what is in store!

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