Today is my 28th birthday – holy moly. If you’ve followed my blog over the last year, you know that it’s been a wild 365 days [to say the least], but I intended it to be! 🙂 28

This post is LONG, and kind of personal, but I wanted to write it for me. If you do read through it, I hope that it inspires or resonates with you. I also hope it makes some kind of sense, it’s currently 4:08AM — eeeek! Enjoy! XO

So I know that I’ve been quieter than normal [online that is] over the past week. As my birthday approached, I opted not to blog, and found myself doing a whole lot of reflecting about the year. I put it out there that 27 was going to be my year. I was going to do all these big things, step outside my comfort zone, and really make it a game changer year. Looking back, I think it was just that.

Last year around this time, I was in a completely different place. Physically + mentally. Turning 27 was very hard for me. My life was absolutely nothing like I had imagined it would be at this age, and I kind of felt like I had failed myself. Turning 27 felt a whole lot like turning 26…and 25…and 24…and 23…and 22. I was still in the exact same spot I had been since graduating college. Life wasn’t bad, but it was very “normal”.  I really wanted something more, but I didn’t know what.

Ironically,  Rachel Platten’s Fight Song was constantly getting radio play around this time and it made me bawl my little eyes out every single time I heard it. It still does. I swear that song came into my life at the perfect time. A time when I felt like I didn’t have any options. I wanted to take back my life, and I didn’t care if nobody else believed in me [luckily, a lot of people believed in me lol], but I wanted more for myself, I knew I was capable of more, and I knew that I had to be the one to make it happen…

Alright, lets rewind to the beginning of this “27” journey…

The funniest part about this day last year, is where my mind initially was. I booked a consultation with a plastic surgeon on my birthday. I was debating a cosmetic procedure that I thought was going to completely change my life – it was going to be the first game changing move of my 27th year! I was so happy to go to this appointment and I thought that I was going to leave with an operation date booked! Let’s just say it went nothing like that.

Scenes from the plastic surgeons office...thanks to my sister lol.
Scenes from the plastic surgeons office…thanks to my sister lol.

I left feeling more down on myself than I already had been. I remember getting home, going into the bathroom and just crying. The appointment had not gone like I had hoped, and the first “game-changing” thing I planned to do was a flop. Very soon after, it hit me right between the eyes that no surgery was going to fix the way that I felt. I had to start working on myself from the inside out. To be happy, I had to create a life that felt that way. So I began…

The first few months were actually pretty terrible. In order to feel good, I had to eliminate what was making me feel bad. And to do that, I had to be brutally honest with myself. This meant giving up on things, people, and places that weren’t bringing me joy. I didn’t want to let go of some of them, but I knew that I needed to. There comes a point when you realize that you’re unhappy because you’re choosing to be. We must always be the biggest advocate for our lives + never settle for less than we deserve.

From there, I started to take care of myself physically. I finally addressed some concerning health issues that up until this point seemed easier to ignore, my doctor helped me find a cure for my chronic headaches, I cleaned out my living space, redecorated my bedroom, and enrolled in a 3 month yoga class. IMG_5922

Once my body + mind were feeling better, I had to figure out what I wanted to do in terms of a career. I began to think about all of the things that I really loved, the things I was good at, and the things that I could already do. I started to focus all of my free time + attention to my blog. My blog has been around since 2012 [go back if you dare lol], but I never really embraced or promoted it. To be honest, I never looked at it as a potential “job”, it was just fun. However, over the years I had seen hundreds of girls make careers out of their blogs, so I decided that it was time to really take mine seriously as well. I had to put in more work, more time, + really put it out there without any hesitations or fears of what others would think.

Like sharing
Hesitations/fears = sharing your blog on your personal Facebook page for the first time.

The hours I devoted were insane. Many nights of staying up until 2-3AM editing posts, and waking up early to snap photos before work so I could catch the sunlight that’d be gone when I’d get home. I’d spend my weekends glued to my computer editing WordPress code, brainstorming ideas, building a media kit, working on my social accounts, designing business cards — it became a full time job. And come Fall, it was starting to pay off. I began receiving e-mails from readers, other bloggers, PR companies, and affiliate networks…brands were interacting with me regularly, sharing my content and posting my photos!Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 1.57.24 AM

I was being contacted to see if I had ever thought about speaking on TV, if I cleaned out closets or did any personal shopping. I started attending different events + meeting really cool people. I was watching myself do what I always wanted, but never thought I could do! FullSizeRender-5

Come the New Year, I created my first vision board and laid my goals in front of me. I made the decision to leave my full time job + pursue this blog full force. I was legitimately giddy at the thought of having 24 hours a day to do this! I will be honest, having this time at your disposal can be difficult. I had to really set some boundaries + rules so that I could be as productive as possible. I slowly began to figure it out. 🙂

That work from home life...
That work from home life…

While I was just getting used to my new life, my boyfriend was presented with some great opportunities for his career…in LA! My sister had just flown off to Italy to begin her semester abroad, and my parents were about to spend six weeks traveling Europe as well! My world did crumble a bit — my whole support system was up and leaving me lol. I couldn’t blame any of them [these were good things after all], but I had to try and make the best of the situation. Lucky for me, I had a handful of incredible girlfriends to hold me down!

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Quality time with my cute godson + dog sitting TheRealLilyChi helped too! 😉

I was getting into a groove when all of a sudden, I had the opportunity to spend a month in Europe! I didn’t really have anything holding me back…and when you get the opportunity to spend a month in Europe, you take it [lessons I learned from LC]! It ended up being the most incredible time of my life. I was in the most beautiful city, with some of the most important people, living in what felt like a dream world. piazza

Fast forward through that trip, and I was back home before I knew it! The lease on our condo was up at the end of the month and my roommate and I decided not to stay. We had been there for six years + wanted to move out for a while…now was finally the time. So we both packed up at the end of April. 🙁

I may or may not have cried on our last night lol.
I may or may not have cried on our last night lol. Idk why I take pictures of this stuff… #noshame

In the month and a half since we moved, I’ve just been working my tush off! I launched my YouTube channel, I’ve been in touch with some wonderful new brands + I’m continuing to explore all kinds of opportunities that come my way! Life isn’t perfect, but it is pretty darn good. And the best part? I feel good. 🙂

I had a moment where I wondered if 27 was all that I cracked it up to be — and although I’m not exactly where I want to be, I’m a heck of a lot closer than I was. Going into this new year, I know that I’m a different woman. I’m a more confident woman, a happier woman, a woman who knows what she wants, what she deserves, and what she’s capable of. This was such a growing year for me. It was a foundation year. I laid the bricks, I prepared, I focused, and I hustled. And I don’t plan on stopping. 🙂

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So, 28… I’m looking at you with hungryyyy eyes, let me see what you’ve got!  🙂

XOXO

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to every person who reads my blog. Thank you to those who take the time to leave me comments, those who send me e-mails or FB messages, those who consistently share + support… it means the world to me! 

Back to our regularly scheduled content next week — I’ve got some good stuff coming your way! 🙂

67 comments on “28.”

  1. Omgsh girl you are just such a beautiful person inside and out!! I really can’t wait to see what 28 holds for you!! I know it will be amazing because you are taking risks on yourself!! You are so brave love and I am beyond proud of you. This is such an amazing post and I loved learning more about you, your struggles, realizations, and accomplishments. You go girl!! Go be that Girl Boss you were destined to be! Happy Birthday love! I hope you have a wonderful 28th birthday!!!

  2. How amazing has your 27th year been?! YGG! I started following you actually when you were on that month long trip in Europe. I had no idea where you started and the goals you had ahead of you. Thank you for opening up and sharing! Now, go enjoy your 28th birthday! You deserve a wonderful celebration!!

    Xoxo- Danielle

    • Aww you hopped on at such a fun time!! Thank you so much for sticking around + being such a wonderful support! Thank you for all of your kind words. I had a really great day + am definitely looking forward to the year ahead! 🙂 XOXO

  3. Thank you so much for the honesty you shared. This post was SO inspiring to me! I’m 33 years old (as of last week, ha ha), and I can relate to the “what am I doing with my life” feelings. I’ve definitely taken risks over the past few years and seen them produce wonderful things (like quitting my full-time job to teach piano from home so that I could run my own little business as a mom). At the same time, most of my big changes have been focused on being the best mom that I can be. And that’s awesome!! But i’m realizing – more and more – that I’m not making time for myself as an individual. My blog has definitely taken a back seat, while I had always wanted to really promote and grow it. And I don’t write for enjoyment hardly ever, even though I’ve always dreamed of writing a book.
    Thank you for the reminder that I AM worth it as an individual and that it’s never too late to start living and making dreams come true! I have been SO excited to see you flourish and become more successful, because it’s exciting to see someone make their dreams a reality. Your blog constantly motivates, encourages, and challenges me.
    Keep up the awesome work! May this be THE best year yet… Happy birthday!!! AND I can’t wait until you’re a famous fashionista one day, and I can say, “Wow, I read her blog before she was even famous. 🙂 xoxo

    • First off, Happy Belated Birthday!! 🙂 I remember your touching comment on one of my previous posts about leaving your job to teach piano at home! I think that’s incredible! I’m not a Mom yet + I don’t think I have a single clue about how much work it actually takes, but I can tell that you’re probably a really, really amazing one. I hope to be as well one day, but I also hope to always try to find time for the things that I love too! It’s never too late to do what you want to do. I think you should absolutely take a little time for yourself to work on your dreams too – life goes by so quickly, and if not now, when?! I appreciate your kind words + your constant support so much. I don’t know that I’ll ever be famous or anythinggg like that, but if I can continue doing the things that I love, and inspiring people along the way, that’s enough for me!! XOXOXO

    • Thank you Jamie! It’s true, sometimes you’ve got to put yourself in some uncomfortable situations or share some honest words to help people understand who you are and what you’re trying to do. At this point, I don’t really have any shame anymore LOL. I appreciate your support so much!! XOXO

  4. Loved this post! I, too, turned 28 this year and it’s been a crazy ride. It’s hard when you picture something for so long and it ends up not happening like you planned. “When you release expectations, you are are free to enjoy things for all that they are instead of what you think they should be”. Love your posts and I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for you! Seeing your blog posts pop up in my e-mail on the regular really keeps me inspired to keep pushing and keep going. Wishing you all the best on your birthday, babe!

    • Thank you so much, Brittany!! It’s never too late to wake up to your own life + start living it! 🙂 I appreciate your support more than you know! People like you keep ME inspired! I love what you’ve got going with your online shop + I am so excited to be collaborating with you! It’s so nice to have people in your life [and online!] who keep pushing you further! I hope this is a great year for all of us! XOXO 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday hon. I’m happy that you’re in a good place in your life right now. Growth is important and it seems like you’re on the right track. I wish you much success with your blog – you’re definitely headed in the right direction. Xoxo

  6. Happy happy birthday!!!! You are such a wonderful person (even though I only know you from social media!) and I think 28 is going to be the best year for you!! I love your blog and tell everyone about it – one day soon you’re going to be famous, and I’m so excited for you!!! 💜

    • LOL! I don’t know if I’ll ever be famous, but who the heck knows where this life will lead! I appreciate your constant support + kind words more than you’ll ever know! I’m looking forward to 28, I think I’m ready for it! 🙂 XOXO

  7. Love this Amanda! You are truly inspiring! I love reading your blog and you are definitely motivating me to put more time into mine! Happy birthday girl! May 28 help you kick even more ass 😉

    • Thank you so much, Allison! I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog + I’m inspiring you to keep pushing too…I swear, you will get out just as much as you put in! 🙂 I wish you the best of luck with everything!! Thank you for reading + supporting, it means a whole lot to me!! 🙂 XOXO

  8. Happy Birthday Pretty Lady!!! You’re putting out some awesome energy- cheers to you! I hope those “hungry eyes” get everything they want this year- you deserve it all ❤️ Xoxo

    • Thank you so much!!! I have you to thank for a whole lot of this!! You are such an incredible friend, you always keep me inspired!! Let’s get together soon! XOXO 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday!!!! 💕You are amazing. I cried reading this. I’m so proud of you. All young girls should read this, you are such an inspiration. I wish I was 1/2 the person you are when I was 28 💃🏽 Keep it going you will be BIG soon !!!

    • Aww, thank you AJ!! I love you so much! I’m still figuring this life out, but I’m so lucky to have the support of such a wonderful family!! I’ll see you soon!! XOXO 🙂

  10. Happy Birthday Amanda!! I’m so glad you started making all the changes you want in your life and I’m so glad I was able to connect with you during it all. You’ve inspired me to making changes in my own life too and I have noticed a huge improvements in my overall happiness coming from within. I can’t wait to see what this new year brings for you and hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂 xoxo

    • Thank you so much, Christina! You are the sweetest girl. I am so grateful for your support! And I’m so glad that you’ve been working to make positive changes in your life too… as someone who’s been following along, you are killing it girl!! I am so proud of you! YOU keep me inspired! Keep up all the great work! I hope there are great things in store for all of us this year!! XOXO 🙂

  11. OMG girlfriend!!! Loved reading this post and loving even more that you are in such a great place! I think 28 was the year I realized I wanted a change and to REALLY start living! What an inspiring post about your blogging journey… So happy for you and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

    Happy Birthday all the way from Texas!!! 🇨🇱☺️

    • Thank you so much!! I love that 28 was a momentous year for you! I’m really looking forward to it. I swear, age has some downfalls, but I think life just gets better + better as we get older. I love following blog + am so inspired by you!! Thank you for all the well wishes!! XOXO

  12. I hope you had a wonderful birthday! You are so amazing and brave to spill your heart out in this post. Writing can be so therapeutic so I’m sure this post was a great way to kick of 28! You definitely wrote so many things that I’m constantly feeling. I had a plan for myself too and when it didn’t pan out, I felt like the biggest failure. It took me some time to realize that I just needed a new plan! You are such a wonderful, genuine person and it shines through in everything you do. I can’t wait to follow along and see what 28 holds. Cheers to you!

    • Thank you so much, Hannah! Your comment was so sweet. This was definitely a therapeutic/liberating/sortttt of uncomfortable post to write, but I’m happy to have recapped the year. It was a really significant one for me, and I’m so happy to have gone through it the way that I did, but even more excited to move onto the next. Life can be funny sometimes – you think it will go one way and it ends up nothing like you imagined. But you’re so right – sometimes a new plan is all you need, and it turns out to be even better than the original. I do believe everything happens for a reason + we all eventually end up exactly where we’re supposed to be! Thank you for always being so kind + supportive, I definitely value your relationship! XOXO

  13. This post resonates with me so strongly – I felt/feel about the same way about floating through my twenties without achieving something BIG! I’m so happy for you in all your success and all the best in the future year! xx

    • Thank you so much! I still have a long way to go, but there comes a point where you’ve GOT to get our of your comfort zone + just go for something! I just wish I had had the confidence sooner. It was a really great year, and I hope I just continue to grow + learn! Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know! XOXO

  14. Happy belated birthday, Bella!! I waited until tonight to read your post because I knew it was exactly the inspiration I needed in my own life, but wasn’t ready to read until now. You are such an inspiration and a wonderful woman. I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and to see you pursuing your dreams is awesome and the push I needed to make the most of the opportunities in my life. Keep reaching for the stars because you are going to do even more amazing things!! LITP xo

    • Thank you so much, Kayla!! You’re so sweet, I’m really glad you enjoyed this post. It’s definitely a little awkward writing these kinds of things + sharing it with everyone — but it’s so comforting to know that SO many people feel the same way. At the end of the day, we all just want [+ deserve] to feel loved, fulfilled, and happy…and we all can be, one we realize it’s up to US to make it happen! Thank you for being so kind + supportive, it means so much to me. I hope you find the courage to go after whatever it is that you want, you are so incredibly smart, kind, and motivated — you can make anything happen!! LITP! XO 🙂

  15. Happy belated birthday!!! I can totally relate to how you are feeling! I just turned 30 at the beginning of the year and was too disappointed with where I was at in my life and decided to start my blog. It sounds like you have already accomplished so much and there is so much more to come! You are a true inspiration to us new bloggers!

    • Thank you so much, Danielle — this was the nicest comment. 🙂 I’m so happy you decided to start a blog! It’s such a great creative outlet to have! I wish you the best of luck with everything!!! XO

  16. I’m a bit late on this but I couldn’t just read it and not say anything. I love this post and you really are truly inspiring. I hope this year is amazing for you girl 🙂 xo

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