A Look Back At 2015 + My 2016 Goals!

Champagne Bottle Balloon

Hey All!

I’ve been looking over my recap of last year and my 2015 goals and it’s amazing how much I have accomplished in the last year. I couldn’t have done it with out the amazing support of my fabulous community of readers and followers that I built here and on my social channels in the past 7 years. Thank you all for sticking with me as we transitioned to BriteandBubbly.com last year. It was such a scary time and I’m so glad almost everyone who has followed me all these years has embraced our Brite & Bubbly re-brand. This site has honestly always been Brite & Bubbly and it was just about time our site name and brand matched our content.

We accomplished a lot and grown so much this year. I can’t even describe what a whirl wind 2015 was. It was filled with lots of amazing accomplishments and lots of bumpy roads along the way. I learned so much last year and like they say, with more money comes more problems. In this case the more success you have the more stuff you have to take on and deal with. I thought I would recap what’s gone on in the last year here on the blog, with our brand, with us personally, and share what we have planned for 2016. I warn you this is a very long and not typical post that you’ll find here normally on the blog. I thought I would get a little personal with you all today. It’s taken me all day to write this honestly. I apologize in advance because it’s so long!

I’ll start with the positives, achievements and goals we accomplished in 2015. We were published in our first book this year. Our Hazelnut Twinkie S’mores recipe was chosen out of thousands of recipes to be published in the New Hostess The Twinkies Cookbook. My recipe was such a favorite it’s featured on the back of the book as well. Every time I see it in a store, I shed a little tear since I’m so proud to see one piece of my work made it on to the shelves of stores and into to homes all over the world.

Twinkie Cookbook

I got my own donuts and wine designed thanks to California Donuts and Windsor Vineyards!

BriteandBubbly-Donut

Brite & Bubbly Windsor Vineyards Rose

I was featured and published in a CB2 print catalog and on their website. This catalog was probably seen by hundreds of thousands of people! I also got to collaborate with CB2 for the holidays, which was another dream come true moment. I’ve loved this brand for some time and it was always a dream of mine to work with them.

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I was featured in a Cricut Email mailing that went out to half a million people and I got to work with Cricut. Another dream come true brand collaboration. This one actually made my mother extremely proud since we’ve been using Cricut to make our crafts for years.

CRICUT

I made it into the LA Times for being a nerd and loving Star Wars.

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One of my favorite shows the CW’s Supernatural shared the cake I came up with and had made for my hubby and it’s been liked over 50,000 times on their social channel alone and over 1,000 times on my social channel.

supernatural-share

We met almost every celebrity we’ve ever dreamed of meeting in 2015! We met everyone from the one and only George Lucas to Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrel, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, J.J Abrams, Meryl Streep, Tracey Ullman, Robert Downey Jr., Anna Paquin, Brad Bird, Paul Rudd on the set of Ant-Man, Bill Hader, Joey Lawrence, and even the voice of Aladdin Scott Weinger!

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That’s just to name a few and doesn’t count the numerous other amazing people and experience we had. It was an incredible year of movies and dream come true moments. Visiting Skywalker Ranch (I died and went to nerd heaven)…

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Visiting Pixar for the second time…

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And the set of Marvel’s Ant-Man where we got to put on Ant-Man’s helmet were also bucket list moments…

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We are very proud to have stuck to our goal of producing original new content along with our brand collaborations. We wanted to make sure all our brand collaborations fit in with our brand and we are very happy accomplished this last year. It challenged us to take our original and brand collaboration content to a whole new creative level in 2015 and I’m proud of what I did. These are some of the top food posts of 2015.

Best-Food-Posts

Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, BB-8 No Bake Cookies, Pineapple Mimosas, Italian Easter Breads, Twinkies Stockings, Alize’ Summer Cocktails, Mini Melted Ice Cream Cone Ice Cream Cakes, and Emoji Rice Krispies.

Another thing we took to a whole new level was our DIY/Crafts posts last year. We did a whole slew of DIY costumes for Halloween (which I’m so happy you all loved) and we did a bunch of party and home decor DIY’s as well. Here are the top DIY posts of 2015!

Top-DIY-Posts

The Emoji Ladies and Dog Costumee, Pixel PacMan Coasters, Our Disco Advent Calendar Wreath, The Sprinkles DIY Step Stool, The Pineapple Dole Whip Couples Costume, The Disco Themed Holiday Dinner Tablescape, The DIY Minions Party, The Ornament Place Card, and the Rainbow Cotton Candy Costume.

It’s funny how some of these top posts came at the end of the year during the holidays!

We got to tour the new Disney Animation Studios, Tour the HP Headquarters, and meet so many amazing brands this year.

We also got to cover some amazing travel locations like Hearst Castle

Hearst-Castle

And we got invited to check out some amazing restaurants all around Los Angeles like the Fords Filling Station

Ford's-Filling-Station-Dinner

And Dinette!

Dinette-Eats

There were honestly more highs than there were lows in 2015 and I’m beyond grateful for the year we had. Last year took Brite & Bubbly to new heights and it was both successful on a personal accomplishment level and on a business level. I’m very proud of myself for all I accomplished running this one woman show here on my little piece of prime internet realty.

Now on to the lows and resolutions I sadly didn’t achieve last year.

Hospital

First, I didn’t get healthy like I vowed to and I didn’t lose all the weight I wanted. In fact I was in the hospital and doctors office with everything from bowel issues and kidney stones. I didn’t focus on my health and I was ridiculously stressed out from work and the drama that comes along with working non-stop. I eat my feelings, so I gained the weight I lost. I’m seriously upset with myself, as I had lost over 15 pounds at the beginning 0f 2015 and I was on track to getting to my goal weight. I was on Weight Watchers, exercising, and doing good. I was trying to lose weight and get super healthy in order to have a new baby. Since I didn’t stay on track, I let myself go and paid the price because of it. No baby came since the doctors said I had to lose weight and get healthy before I should start trying to have a new baby. It was a devastating blow, because the hubby and I want a baby badly and we wanted to have one shortly after our wedding. It’s my own fault and I’m working hard to rectify it in 2016. Getting healthy is a priority in 2016!

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I lost focus on my health as a result of the stress I put on myself. I was letting stress really get best of me.  A lot of this stress came from the fact that I was taking on too much, not managing my calendar and time, and trying to do more than I could handle and as a result the work would pile up. I would then get extremely stressed out because of this and then have to work double time to catch up. I still do everything myself and I love it with a passion, but it’s beyond hard. The hubby helps as best as he can. He helps me take some pics, cover entertainment/movies and some food content, but everything else is all me.  I come up with all the content, make, style, cook, photograph, edit, and write everything. I do that on top of any outside events or projects I do. This is something I said I was going to do better in 2015 and I failed. I said I was going to get help and I didn’t.

I also let the stress and drama of the blogging world get to me. As a result, I didn’t collaborate as much with other bloggers and creatives in 2015 (which I love to do) and I didn’t grow my brand team or my blog squad/tribe as I had hoped to do. That was one of the saddest things for me to fail in last year and I think that added to my stress because I love to collaborate with other like minded people.

DIY Care-Bears-HALLOWEEN-COSTUMES

I also didn’t stick with the weekly blog series and I didn’t travel as much as I had hoped to either.

I plan to turn all that around in 2016 in order to make this site/brand bigger and better than ever before and to make my personal life better and healthier. Here are my goals for 2016!!!

1. I’m going to focus on Happiness and living a truly Brite & Bubbly lifestyle: This year, I’m letting go of the stress and focusing on happiness and truly practicing what I preach. I got myself a planner called “The Happiness Planner” that will help me focus on bringing happiness into my daily life and everything I do. I want to share what I learn with all of you so you too can focus on finding your happiness in life. I am focusing on finding the joy in every day life and steering clear of negativity. I’m steering clear of blogging drama as well! I’m just going to focus on all the things that make me and my family and my readers happy and just focus on bringing the joy to myself and all those who follow me and are around me. This is the year of the “Sweet 16”, So I’m going to make it as sweet and bubbly as I can.

2. Grow My Brand Team. I plan to hire my first part time assistant this year. I have trust issues and it’s hard for me to seek out help. I’m going to learn to let that go and find someone I can rely and trust. This person will help me with administrative duties and organization. They will also help me with organizing the content schedule for BriteandBubbly.com and keeping me on schedule. I also want to hire someone who will help me with making my DIY posts. This will be who shares my same style and tastes in DIY. For those food/recipe posts, I’d like to hire someone with culinary experience to come in and work on our food tutorials with me. I’d also love to hire someone to come in and help me shoot video and photography on some of our posts as well. I’ll be posting on the blog and on our social channels when we’re ready to start hiring. It’s one goal I’m making a point to accomplish this year because I will need help if a new baby is coming. With plans to grow the blog/brand even more this year and in the future, I need to have a team in place to support me. I also know when I get some help, I’ll be less stressed out and overwhelmed during the busy times of year for this site like the holidays.

3. I’m going to get healthy and grow our family. I said last year I wanted to have a baby and I’m making it a point to keep that goal this year. I’ve already made it a point to cut back on sugar and bread to get healthy. They are my two main addictions. I drink soda rarely and I don’t eat many junk foods like chips etc., so all my weight is coming from those two things. I love my cookies, candy, donuts, and pastries and it’s hard to let them go. I had to learn the hard way that I can’t eat those every other day and not gain weight. I used to be able to do that, but not any more! Since I don’t exercise like I used to, I’m not burning the calories like I used to. I’m making it a point to go back to the gym and not spend all my day on my butt and on the computer working. I’m going to put my health first above everything this year and focusing on being healthy enough to have a baby. I know my little Brite & Bubbly baby is on the way this year!

4. I want to grow my Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope and Pinterest social channels. I’m legit obsessed with Instagram and I’m hoping to grow it substantially this year. It’s where I love to share and capture all our daily activities that happen off the site and all that we experience. If you don’t follow me there yet, please do! I’m going to be doing a weekly series of special photos on Instagram to spread the joy and positive vibes each week called my #MarqueeMantra series. I’m sharing my first one today that you see below. Life is short so make everyday magical!

marquee mantra

I’m also going to be sharing daily on Snapchat since it’s just so fun to just jump on and chat with you all on. Be sure to follow me by adding BRITEANDBUBBLY. I’ll continue to pin and repin our content and all the amazing content we find. On Vine I’ll be sharing some DIY short videos! I’ll lastly be doing more Periscopes to check in and to give you an inside look at all we’re doing. Be sure to follow on Periscope @BriteandBubbly as we have a tone of fun events coming up in the next week that you don’t want to miss! Celebs will be involved.

5. I will get back to my blog series and bring you more awesome content. For a while I was sharing my Fab Friday Finds, Wedding Wednesdays, etc. You all seemed to enjoy them and I stopped doing that each week because I just didn’t make time to do them. This year I’m bringing back my Fab Friday Finds #FabFridayFinds showcasing all my favorite links from my site and sites around the internet that I find. I’m also starting a few new series of posts this year that will include BriteandBubbly’s Favorite Eateries #BANDBEateries which will cover all our favorite places to eat out in Los Angeles and NYC for breakfast, brunch and dinner. We’re from NYC, but live in LA, so we have favorites on both coasts! In BriteandBubbly’s Favorites Shops #BANDBShops, we’ll be covering and sharing all the small business shops we love to shop in around LA and NYC. For BriteandBubbly Travels #BriteandBubblyTravels, we’ll be sharing all the amazing places we either travel to or the places that are on our bucket list to visit in 2016. I hope you enjoy these new series of posts on the blog.

I’m also focusing on making my content some of the most original around and distinctly me. I want my content and my voice to stand out in the sea of colorful lifestyle blogs. I don’t want to be compared to anyone else and I want to be know for the great original work I’ve done. Whether it’s geek chic or just plain chic, I’m going to push myself to go even bigger and better than last year! Get ready because “UNIQUE” is the one word I’m focusing on making all my content this year. I will also continue to bring you more awesome Entertainment, Movie, and Celebrity Interview coverage as I went to NYU for Film and TV and it’s something I will always love and do!

6. Improve our photography! I went to NYU for film and TV, so I’m ashamed my photos aren’t as perfect as I’d like them to be. I want to learn the in’s and outs of my camera this year so I can be a photo rockstar in 2016. I want the photography you see in anything on this blog and on my social channels to be incredible in 2016.

7. Be more organized: I’m planning my entire year and all the content I will be doing in advance. I’m going to have everything done well in advance and make sure I’m staying on a magazine content like schedule. I’ve missed so many holiday content deadlines or have been late in the game for the holidays and it’s not going to happen this year. Get ready for Valentine’s Day content coming in the next week!

I’m also searching for an outside office space to get the Brite & Bubbly studio out of our home. Having it in our home is a bit chaotic and causing a lot of clutter. There are photo props, lights, and just stuff every where! It’s madness! I organize it and clean house, but then a big project comes and the house looks like a tornado hit it once again. I’m done with living in chaos and clutter. I’m cleaning out stuff I don’t need and I’m looking for a real Brite & Bubbly studio/office space to take my work outside of the home. I also feel like this will make me more productive since I’ll have a place to go for work with less distractions. No more family, dogs, or the couch and TV to distract me from getting work done!

8. Grow My Blog and My Brand: I’m working hard to get my work more notoriety and attention this year. I don’t want Brite & Bubbly to solely be a blog forever. I want to grow this blog into a brand that transcends into products, events, books, and more. I’ve started to do this in 2015 and I have big plans to make this brand grow in 2016. I can’t wait to share them soon.

9. Take Vacations and Travel! I know it’s a scary time to travel with everything going on in the world, but I’m not going to let fear deter me from traveling. I want to go to London, France, Italy, Greece, My home lands Puerto Rico and Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Those are my bucket lists of places to visit this year and we’ll see how many I can get to! If I get to go to one or two this year, I’ll be happy with that! Even if I don’t get to travel to any of those places, I want to schedule and take more vacations and time off. Even if they are staycations or driving up and down the west coast. I’m going to schedule more breaks through out the year.

10. Find My Blog Tribe, Collaborate, and Make More Friends! I’ve lived in Los Angeles for almost a decade and I’ve been blogging for almost a decade and it saddens me that I don’t have a ton of friends or a group of bloggers who I can call my tribe. When I was in NYC, I had tons of friends and I still do, but I don’t see them often since I live on the west coast. I want to make more girl friends and make some long lasting relationships and friends. I don’t know why it’s been so hard for me to do that here in Los Angeles, but I’m going to do my darnedest to get out more and meet new people. I also want to have a great small group of blogger friends I can confide in and who I can collaborate with and support. I have a few thus far, but we don’t have the same style of blogs or interests so we can’t really collaborate on much. I’d love a group that all knows each others, has similar interests and blogs, and that we all get each other. I see so many people have this already and it’s hard to break into groups that are already formed, so I’m on the hunt to make my own blog tribe at all the blog conferences I attend this year. So if you’re looking to connect and join my Brite & Bubbly tribe of blogging besties feel free to connect with me if we cross paths this year!

11. Pamper Myself, Write, and Read! I haven’t done a lot for myself in some time. I haven’t gotten a hair cut at an actual salon in over a year. I haven’t gotten my nails done in over a year. I haven’t gotten a massage in over a year. I haven’t been to a new museum in Los Angeles in a year. I haven’t gone dancing in over a year. I basically stopped having any free time fun for myself or with my family and I stopped taking care of myself and pampering myself. I kept making the excuse that I had no time or money to do so.  I’m turning that around in 2016 and I’m not making any more excuses. I also have stacks, YES STACKS of books to read that I bought all year last year. For example, I’ve had the #GirlBoss book for god knows how long and I’ve read a few chapters and have not finished it. Sacrilege I know! Everyone has read and finished that book but me. I’m getting through these books this year! I want to take more time to relax and read and send out letters to my good friends. I have so many cards and stationary to use and this year I’m going to use it! I’m getting 300 stamps to make it happen!

12. Last but not least, I want to trust my instincts and gut. I can’t tell you how many times my gut told me to do something or to not to do something and I went against my gut instinct and payed the price. I’m going to go with my gut in 2016 and I’m not going to second guess myself or go against it. I’m learning to trust myself and that’s a big focus for me in 2016! It’s something I realized I needed to do more last year.

I know this is a lot I want to accomplish in 2016, but I feel it’s possible with focus, dedication, hard work, and all your incredible support! I also have to thank all the amazing brands and collaborators that believe in me and Brite & Bubbly each year! They allow us to continue to keep this brand and business going each year. I’m so thankful for everything we get to work on each year.

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Thanks so much for being brave and patient enough to read through this extra long and extra honest rare post. I hope you enjoyed this reflection of 2015 and I hope you are excited as I am for what’s in store for 2016!

I can’t say thank you enough for all your support of this blog and all that I do and I can’t wait to share all the amazing content we have in store for 2016 and all the exciting things to come from our brand!

Get ready for Valentine’s Day coming soon! It’s going to be one for the Gals if you know what I mean!

Thanks again for the continuing support and for being part of my Brite & Bubbly squad!

 

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