2020 is upon us. A new decade full of new chances, new choices and new adventures. As is customary on my blog, I'm looking back at 2019 -- the year that's passed, the year that brought more happiness into my life once again.
I look at every moment as a chance to embrace the best life has to offer. Yes, I have lows -- for instance, I was fired from my job this year -- but I never let them get me down. I use them as learning experiences to grow and change for the better, and to continue to make my life what I want it to be. Despite them, I turned 2019 into my best year yet -- a year filled with family, with friends, with new opportunities, with the first time I've gone fully freelance and actually not just survived, but THRIVED.
My wish for the coming year, and the coming decade, is to continue to embrace every moment. Let's all find happiness, peace and strength in the year ahead.
My most special moments this year had some definite themes that emerged. Keep reading for a look at what happened this year!
I PARTICIPATED IN THREE VERY DIFFERENT, VERY FUN INSTAGRAM PHOTO CHALLENGES.2019 was definitely the year of the Instagram photo challenge! I don't typically participate in these, at least wholeheartedly, but there were three different ones this year that really called to me. I went all in, really working to create the perfect outfits, and engaging with other people in the community who were doing the same. I made some new friends out of each one AND really pushed myself creatively in ways I never thought possible!
|I started the challenge craze with the #FauxFall10x10 challenge. This challenge was a way for people to take what was in their closets into the fall, even when it was still hot outside (for example, it was 90 degrees on the first day!) -- and you could only wear 10 items for 10 days! As you can see, my clothes spanned the gamut from warm to cooler weather, since I traveled from LA to Cleveland halfway through. I also only did 7 of the 10 days, since I was traveling for Yom Kippur during it, but overall I was still pretty happy with how these looks came together.|
|The #BoundToParkHop challenge. This was one of the most fun, rewarding AND challenging ... challenges! Each day was inspired by a different THING in the parks, from favorite snack (can you tell what I chose?) to favorite ride. I worked BEYOND hard on this challenge and am very proud of how it all came to life! Read about each look in detail here.|
|The #LetsGetEarthyChallenge was started by my friend Mary Ann, AKA @styleapproximately. She wanted to encourage people to slow down and really think about the clothes in their closets in an earth-inspired and earth-friendly way. As a result, each day was inspired by a different earth tone. Mary Ann asked me to be a cohost of this challenge, which I really appreciated! The one caveat was that it fell DIRECTLY after the #BoundToParkHop challenge, so I had my work cut out for me. After this challenge was complete, I was EXHAUSTED.|
I MADE ADVENTUROUS FASHION CHOICES.I will always, ALWAYS have fun with my clothing choices. I was psyched to discover Nuuly this year -- a monthly clothing rental subscription from Free People, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. Not all of the looks below feature items from that subscription, but many do! I also had SO much fun creating looks to wear to Disneyland, Instagram popups and more. It's been amazing to think outside the box and try new things, and to push myself outside the clothing box!
|Top images, left to right: Cynthia Rowley Avery Mini Dress. Minnie Mouse inspired look that I wore to the opening night of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Free People Hearts Run Wild Maxi Dress.|
Four small images, clockwise from top left: Monki polka dot jumpsuit. Laser Kitten x Betty and Veronica heart bag. Shein palm tree print dress and JustFab striped booties. Chufy Oasis Tunic.
Tall images, left to right: Anthropologie Euphrates Dyed Tunic Dress. Reclaimed Vintage snakeskin print dress and JustFab snakeskin boots.
I TRIED NEW BEAUTY PRODUCTS AND TRENDS.What would the BeautyChick be without beauty products? I may not have tried as many products or trends this year as in years past, but a few great ones still found their way to me! From the super popular ombre mani to masks galore, I definitely had a LOT of fun with my look this year.
|Clockwise from top left: Brooklyn Botany Himalayan Salt Body Scrub (review here). The personalized nail color I made at ORLY Color Labs and the array of bottles used to create it. An ombre purple manicure using colors from Rescue Beauty, Picture Polish and more. Experimenting with the TONYMOLY Blue Hydrating Painting Therapy Pack. A brown ombre manicure using shades by Essie (review here). Another masking night, this time with I Dew Care Cake My Day Hydrating Sprinkle Wash-Off Mask.|
I VISITED DIFFERENT ART MUSEUMS AND INSTALLATIONS.I've always loved going to the art museum, ever since I was a little kid. I wish I could paint, draw or sculpt, but as I definitely don't have those talents, I love to appreciate the beautiful works others create.
|Clockwise from top left: The Tiffany in Bloom exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Enchanted Forest of Light at the Descanso Gardens. Michaelangelo: Mind of the Master at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Yayoi Kusama's With All My Love for the Tulips, I Pray Forever at the Marciano Art Foundation. Ellsworth Kelly's Red Blue at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Ugo Rondinone's Clockwork for Oracles at the Marciano Art Foundation. Monet's Water Lilies at the Cleveland Museum of Art.|
I GOT VERY INTO BRAIDED PIGTAILS.This marks the first year in a LONG time that my hair was finally long enough to wear braided pigtails! I got REALLY into the look and wore them over and over and over and ... well, you get the picture. :) This look got me through the hot summer months!
|Summertime called for many days with braided pigtails.|
I WENT TO DISNEYLAND. A LOT.Yes, I have a Disneyland Annual Passport. Yes, that means I go a lot. And yes, that means I love it! From going during the opening weekend of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to visiting multiple times throughout the holiday season, I definitely took full advantage of my pass this year. I also took full advantage of creating different looks for my trips, including some special bounds. And yes, of course I renewed my pass for another year!
|Clockwise from top left: Sporting my favorite ears of the holiday season, the Mickey and Minnie Gingerbread Ears! Hanging out with R2D2 during the opening weekend of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (and bounding as him, of course). Dressed in pink to go along with my awesome donut ears. Enjoying a fall day at the parks with the beautiful Sleeping Beauty Castle behind me. Showing some love to my favorite ride, Dumbo. Hanging out with my adorable alien popcorn bucket. Going all out for the holidays with the SunStaches Santa Hat Minnie Sunglasses. Meeting the princess of all princesses, Cinderella (in a retro-inspired Donald Duck bound with my Donald Duck butt ears).|
I SPENT QUALITY TIME WITH MY FAMILY.My mom and brother are the most important people to me in the world. I take every opportunity possible to spend time with them. I'm grateful for so many special moments with them this year.
|Left row, top to bottom: Mother/daughter day at Disneyland! (Doesn't my mom look so cute in her ears?) Having fun with my mom opening our traditional stockings during my Thanksgiving trip home.|
Middle row, top to bottom: Family photo after my brother's gig in Cleveland this past April. Celebrating the Jewish holidays with my mom, who's the cantor at a synagogue in Elyria, Ohio. Taking my mom to an outdoor movie in Hollywood. Family photo at the end of Thanksgiving.
Right row, top to bottom: Family photo in Boston. My mom and me at the Bean in April. Taking my mom to her first popup -- the Peach Pit!
I ATE A LOT OF DELICIOUS FOOD.I don't claim to call myself a foodie, even though I love dining out at special restaurants -- but I do really appreciate treats! I experienced a lot of them this year -- yes, the majority were at Disneyland, but not all of them!
|Left row, top to bottom: The Alice in Wonderland Tea at the Disneyland Hotel. The Mickey Gingerbread Cookie.|
Middle row, top to bottom: Magpies ice cream in Los Feliz. A hot dog from Portillo's in Chicago. A cronut at Dominique Ansel. The alien macaron from Alien Pizza Planet.
Right row, top to bottom: Popcorn at Disneyland. The limited time rice krispie treat for the Main Street Electrical Parade. Raspberry and pineapple swirl Dole Whip at the Tropical Hideaway.
I ENJOYED SPENDING TIME WITH FRIENDS NEW AND OLD.My friends mean the world to me. I feel very grateful to be surrounded by a group of people who support me, who love me, who go out and experience all life has to offer with me. These are just some of the people who made this year so special.
|Large middle image: With my dear friend Todd at The Happy Place in Las Vegas.|
Small images, clockwise from top left: Spending time with Bri at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Going to Vegas with Chad for an incredibly fun work trip. Swinging with Alice at FUNBOX. A surprise visit from Jenny to start off the year. My mom and me with Michael, Andrew and Matty in Chicago. Spending the day at Disneyland with Sara. A night out with Erin. Gallivanting through Galaxy's Edge with Jenny. Having fun at the Scenario Studio popup in Beverly Hills with Alexis. A Thanksgiving visit with my childhood friend Danny. Enjoying the Descanso Gardens with Claire. A special evening out in Cleveland with Andrew and Abbie.
I SMILED AND LAUGHED MY WAY THROUGH THE YEAR."I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite." This quote from Elf always resonates with me! I'd say I'm smiling about 95 percent of the time -- it's just my M.O. I honestly can't even imagine not looking like this all the time!
|Clockwise from top left: Dressed as R2D2 and loving every moment of it! Hanging out in front of the wall at Milk Bar in West Hollywood. Laughing at a friend's birthday party in Beverly Hills. Celebrating a dear friend during a 70's-themed birthday party in Palm Springs. Taking in the sun at Two Bunch Palms in Palm Desert. Surrounded by swirling confetti at Happy Place in Las Vegas. Pairing a romper with sparkly boots at the WonderWorld popup. (Review here.) Hanging out in a donut float during my birthday weekend in Palm Springs. In my happy place at Disneyland.|
I WENT TO A LOT OF CONCERTS.I believe in going to as many concerts as possible -- which, in Los Angeles, is pretty easy to do since EVERYONE plays here! I feel very fortunate to have the chance to see so many incredible artists, some for the second time (John Mayer) and some bucket listers (Jenny Lewis, Betty Who and John Williams)! (And I will always, ALWAYS take the opportunity to see my favorite artist, Shawn Mendes.) This was definitely a good year for music!
|Left row, top to bottom: Jenny Lewis at the Palladium. Joan Jett at the Hollywood Bowl.|
Middle row, top to bottom: Sara Bareilles at the Hollywood Bowl. Shawn Mendes at Staples Center. Betty Who at The Fonda Theatre. John Mayer at The Forum.
Right row, top to bottom: Jesse McCartney at The Wiltern. John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl. Sara Bareilles at The Troubadour.
I CONTINUED TO VISIT EVERY POPUP MUSEUM HUMANLY POSSIBLE.Yes, I love a good popup museum! Some are definitely better than others, but I always have a good time seeing how a theme is brought to life. And there's usually at least one good photo that comes out of it!
|Top row, left to right: Dumpling & Associates. Hello Kitty Cafe at the Irvine Spectrum Center (with my gal Erin). Tacotopia. Pop-Up Disney.|
Second row, left to right: Friends Pop-Up: The One in Santa Monica. The Happy Place. FUNBOX. Museum of Illusions.
Third row, left to right: Scenario Studio (mean mugging with Alexis). The Peach Pit. Pop-Up Disney. WonderWorld.
Bottom row, left to right: Pop-Up Disney. Central Perk at the Coffee Bean (with my mom!). The Egg House. Pop-Up Disney.
I CELEBRATED SOME BIG MOMENTS.This was the year when I met one of my heroes, the incredible Dominique Ansel. When I continued not to let my broken ankle define me. When I faced my fears and my insecurities and did a photo shoot in my underwear. When I got my second tattoo.
|The moments that meant something in 2019.|
I HAD A HODPODGE OF OTHER SPECIAL MOMENTS, TOO.
Sometimes, a special moment doesn't fit into a category or a box -- or into a collage, as it were. But it doesn't make that moment any less special. This is the end of my 2019 wrapup -- the moments that still made my year what it was, even when they didn't make it into the other categories.
|Small images, clockwise from top left: Spending time in my favorite place, Palm Springs. Taking my mom to Michelin-starred Trois Mec in LA. Dyeing my hair pink and LOVING it. Seeing the incomparable Louis Vuitton exhibit in Beverly Hills.|
Other images, clockwise from top right: Trading in my old car and getting my new one -- yes, I love a red Civic! Enjoying the Marie Antoinette's Head: Let Them Eat Cake dessert at Barton G. Having a sexy moment in Vegas. Meeting two of the guys from Thunder from Down Under with my friend Chad.
And that brings me to the end of my 2019 wrapup! I hope you have a safe, happy, beautiful new year. Wishing you all the best for 2020!