My first post of 2018! Happy New Year, everyone — thanks so much for stopping by to kick off (what I’m sure) is a big year for myself and Oh So Glam! I had mentioned this on Instagram yesterday, but I’ve never been one to start goals on the first of anything. It’s just me — but, I hate that mentality. When I have a goal or idea in mind, I like to start that change right away, instead of waiting for a calendar to make me do it. I actually spent most of December making some of these “goal” changes — so my butt was in gear for the New Year, and it feels amazing to have already started off on the right foot. These aren’t different goals than most have at the start of the a new year, so hopefully most of you can relate to these. Here are three goals I already started working on — and cheers to making 2018 the best yet!
Continue to Eat my 85% Plant-Based Diet
Something I didn’t fully share on the blog (but spoke on Instagram Stories a bit here and there) was that I completely changed my diet last spring. I’m going to plan to write an entire post on this topic this month — because, I really am passionate about it, and I get asked a lot by friends and family what the sudden shift was. I’ll take it back all the way to the 90’s when I was under 10 and diagnosed with lactose intolerance. Like most kids at that time, I spent the next 8 years barely having so much as a LICK of real milk, stayed away from a lot of soft cheese, and never had ice-cream. Flash forward to college — I was off on my own for the very first time, trying a bunch of new foods, and after some experimenting in the cafeteria (and late-night dorm room eating), I realized that my reaction to dairy products wasn’t as dramatic as I thought it would be. I went on a free-for-all for the next four years, thought I had grown out of my intolerance, and completely changed the way I ate. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that my body WAS reacting to it… I just didn’t know the signs. I continued to eat dairy after college, and then began to think that I was dealing with a lot more body issues in my mid-twenties than I ever did as a teenager. Weight gain, a terrible complexion and very dull, dry skin, rumbling (but not pain) in my stomach at all times… all that fun stuff. I briefly spoke to a holistic doctor and was informed that sometimes intolerance to certain foods can come out in ways you wouldn’t normally expect — meaning, your stomach doesn’t have to KILL in order for your body to be rejecting a certain ingredient. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and from that moment, I really started watching my dairy intake and almost immediately noticed a difference. After a few months of cutting back, I decided to become dairy free* (I’m asterisk-ing that statement because I am by no means perfect, more on that in a bit).
It was a total mental game, and I’m not going to lie, the first week was hard. I missed my mid-morning Greek yogurt, a sprinkling of cheese on top of a Chipotle bowl, and cheese and crackers as a nightly snack (I had to watch Raj munching on these items because he DID NOT do this diet with me). After about a week, I really did start to feel better, so my cravings almost couldn’t compete. I really did stop craving cheese and after over 8 months of really keeping up with this lifestyle change, I almost gag at the sight.
I also really started to watch my intake of meat in 2017, most of it due to the fact that I felt SO GREAT without dairy. Let me preface this though and say that I’ve NEVER been a big meat-eater, so this wasn’t as drastic of a change for me. Since I eat a lot of meals at home, it’s something I am able to control when I’m here. I eat a lot of chickpeas and black beans, add hemp/flax/chia seeds to my salad and buddah bowls and try to fill myself up with sweet potatoes and lots of veggies. If we’re out and a resturant doesn’t have a vegetarian (or vegan) option, I’ll eat a little portion of meat. If we’re at a party or family gathering, I am not that person who refuses to eat. It’s been something I’ve always been sensitive about — I don’t want anyone to think I’m difficult, or get anxious that I’m coming over and have to adjust the food courses. I make it work — and it’s why I say I eat 85% plant-based.
Now for the fun part — yes, I feel incredibly different. I am that ANNOYING girl who will preach about it to anyone who will listen. Since last spring, I lost ten pounds. I know most of that came from my dairy cutout. My complexion has completely changed. I used to break out and have painful cystic acne — you’ve probably seen the scar on my forehead that I got when I was 27 (nope, that isn’t a chicken pox scar). I can honestly count the number of times I had a pimple in the last 8 months on ONE HAND. My skin is so much brighter and looks fresh and healthy. I noticed that these rough bumps I would feel on the back of my arms and my thighs (that I always thought were just dry skin patches) went away completely. I’m barely ever bloated. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have a job that required constant photos of myself, but it’s almost been a blessing — I’ve really been able to notice a difference because it’s been documented. It’s motivation that’s it working, and every time I see a photo of myself since before I made this lifestyle change, I cringe.
I love that there are blogs devoted to this topic and it’s easier than EVER to incorporate this change into your life. I actually never feel deprived (food and craving-wise), and I’m so happy I made this change. Like I mentioned above, I plan to write an in-depth post about it — I’ve had some of you reach out and ask me questions, so let me know if you want anything answered, and I will work on this post over the next week or two!
STAY ORGANIZED AND BE A LITTLE MORE OF A MINIMALIST
I seriously WISH I was born to be a neat freak. It would 100% make my life so much easier. I’m not dirty by any means, but I’m just NOT a naturally organized human being. But, I married one. I married a man who gets overwhelmed by “stuff” and can keep ALL OF HIS SHOES on one shoe rack… HAVE YOU SEEN MINE??? I like decor, cute little touches all over the house, bookcases with ALL OF THE THINGS perfectly arranged, and I swear… he could live without ONE piece of decor on a shelf. We watched a documentary called, “The Minimalists” earlier last year, and as if he needed one more reason to be inspired, it really resonated with him. As a blogger (and just a chick in general I guess), I have a lot of stuff. Almost a nauseating amount — and I feel bad even for ONE SECOND complaining about that. I typically don’t do my “blogger mail reveals” on Instagram, because I have an intense fear of looking “too braggy” for your taste, but holy crap… the amount of stuff that gets sent to me on a daily basis is ridiculous. Sure, I love to try a product as much as the next gal, but do I need all 17 shades of every single product you make? It’s become a daily part of my job to manage the incoming products that I sometimes don’t even know are arriving — sorting through what to keep, what to keep for friends/giveaways, what to donate, breaking down the massive boxes that they come in to recycle responsibly, trying to organize the new stuff I am keeping to try, constantly purging stuff I don’t like or need anymore. I was trying to do this monthly and it was becoming a nightmare — and seriously causing a lot of issues in my house and leading to a lot of arguments. I’m now doing it daily — every single time stuff comes in, I FORCE myself to deal with it right away, so piles don’t start forming. I donated 15 boxes of stuff to Salvation Army and Dress for Success in December and it felt so great.
Watching that documentary not only made me feel slightly like a slob and hoarder, but it was also extremely eye opening to the fast fashion world. Guys, seriously. My job is a blogger and I’m supposed to sell you things to make money. As fun as that sounds, it has become OUT OF CONTROL. HOW MUCH STUFF DO WE ALL NEED?????? What ever happened to loving and cherishing pieces of clothing and investing in things that can be worn multiple times? I have SUCH a complex with this, that it honestly weighs on me as a human being and I question what I do and share with you all. The constant PUSHING I see other bloggers do really gets me — especially since I NEVER started this blog to make a dime. I started it to SHARE, not to sell. More on that in my next point.
In 2017, I took a look at this blogger bubble I live in and took a step back. If you hadn’t noticed — I wore ONE pair of jeans in almost every single post. I pulled out boots and coats this fall that I’ve had for FOUR YEARS. I think it’s always fun and exciting to style new pieces, but I made an attempt to style OLDER pieces with newer pieces with EVERY SINGLE OUTFIT I showed you this year. If that didn’t come through — GREAT, you didn’t notice that I was re-wearing things and THAT’S EXACTLY the point. You don’t need 95475843953 leggings and the same damn sneakers in every single color of the rainbow. REPEAT AFTER ME. YOU DON’T NEED THEM.
I love SHARING items, but I will not be that person to make you go into DEBT to buy things to keep up. I don’t want to ever encourage a shopping addiction, a long credit card bill, FOMO for a specific item that will be out of style in 5 seconds when all the bloggers move on to the next MUST HAVE item. ALL OF THIS brings me to my next point.
GET BACK TO BLOGGING OG STYLE
I started this blog 6 and a half years ago. Sometimes, it feels like just yesterday, but at times, it feels like that’s FOREVER ago. SO MUCH has changed in this blogging world. So much of it, I love. I love that it’s become a little more of a respected industry, it’s being taken seriously, and that there are so many opportunities and avenues to share content. I HATE that every single day, people are coming into it as a career path TO MAKE MONEY. It started as passion for me, and I really hope that gets reflected. I never in my wildest dreams started this blog to make as much as a DIME. When I made my first $100, it was the best surprise ever. When I was able to go full-time, I was SO grateful, and I honestly still pinch myself every single day.
It’s a fast-paced industry, and everything is constantly changing. Everything is numbers based. How much money did you make with affiliate sales, how many clicks, how many followers, how many likes, how many comments, how many sponsored posts. While I sometimes LOVE the challenge, and I really do love strategy — I don’t want that to dictate the direction of this blog. I started this blog to SHARE — and I like to think of you all like my friends. What would I share with my friends if we were sitting around chatting?! I can promise you… I don’t SELL THEM on a top they need in 5 colors. Ask them, they comment on my photos (usually in some snarky, inside-joke type of way, so I know they don’t take me TOO seriously). When it comes to fashion and beauty, we talk about the best face mask or dry shampoo we tried, what to wear to a wedding, what shoes to walk around NYC in that are stylish and comfortable, recent travels and hotel/restaurant recommendations, Netflix shows and podcasts to binge. TIPS, TRICKS, ADVICE.
I’m trying to mentally reset and get my content back to that. I came into blogging before it exploded — right before, and I promise you, my intentions were in the right place. “I AM HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS” — if this was The Bachelor. It’s a balancing act that I am constantly working on — being approachable, sharing content you might not see everywhere, while also trying to remain business savvy and grow organically. It’s a work-in-progress and my 2017 goal of making my content ACTUAL content paid off. I connected with you guys more than ever before, started a newsletter where I share a lot of Q&As — while still working on some fun projects with brands I love. I hope to just continue to do more of that in 2018.
I love connecting with you all — I love hearing from the same people who feel comfortable to reach out and start a dialogue. I love that some of you have come up to me when you have seen me out and about. YOU guys are the reason I get to do what I do and SHARE for a living and I am so thankful for every like, comment, and purchase made from me that supports that. Please feel free to reach out if you have any specific content requests, or advice for anything.
WHAT ARE SOME OF OUR 2018 goals?!
WHAT I’M WEARING