Friday, January 4, 2013

2012, A Recap

Long time no see!! So I'm back, I think. And I wanted to start out with a little recap over the last year, 2012. It took me so long to put this together (just the words!!) so I got lazy and there aren't any pictures to go along with it. Oh well. Um, for starters, here's the recap on 2011 in case you want to see what we did last year! It's always fun to look back. It's seems so long ago yet like it was yesterday?? ....Anyways, let's get a move on with this 2012 business! 

Alright. So. 2012. 
When January started I.... had two stores, remember that? I also made this cute little stop action video for the store. My computer broke but luckily I got it fixed right at the beginning of the year! This would be our second year in our apartment, living on our own as a family. And I had started "greening" our bath products in effort to become more eco-friendly. In January I also did my first vlog, moved back to having only one store and created my storefront at Samwishstore.com. I also died my hair red and cut myself some blunt bangs. Oh and I was featured on Beauty Riot
I feel like January was a very emotional month. After Christmas and the end of the previous year (with an overload on school work), I think I was just extremely overwhelmed and worn. I was at a crossroads and really questioning my path and overall life's goals. I almost didn't go back to school! We were in the middle of making this big decision to change our lifestyle, it was a hard decision but one that has had a huge and awesome effect on our life. We decided to be more conscious of our decisions and the effects they have especially when they come to our bodies and the earth. We've come a long way but still have much to improve. I'm so happy about it though. Best decision I've ever made. Oh and did I mention that Brandon's car died? Ya.. that definitely added to the pile of crap this month. We aren't so great in the finance area and having to look for a new car (with no money to spend) was definitely tough for us. We had many fights over this, it was a very stressful time. BUT we came out with the car we wanted and are so so thankful it all worked out. This was probably one of the most difficult situations we've ever had to deal with as a couple. 

Once the drama of January was over, February broke through with tons of exciting adventures!! I died my hair almost black, saw my first rugby game, went bowling with my family and on a nightfishing adventure. We also rescued a turtle, gave a homeless man a chocolate bunny, and was gifted $20 by a complete stranger (read about all that here)!! I went through a really girly phase apparently? Did another cute video with Eliza. Went on a family road trip to Austin, TX-pictures 1, 2, 3. Posted some fun pictures from my past here and here. Wrote about my love story here. Wrapped my hair, was featured on Beauty Riot, and made a Valentine's Day Lookbook. Phew!! I guess I got in a really lovey dovey mood just in time for Valentine's day! After the craziness of January, it was much needed. February was about appreciation and spending some much needed time with family. 

In March, I announced my first handmade dress line! This was a first for me and I was pretty darn excited about it! I died my hair back to red after I decided I didn't want black hair. We saw Dr. Dog for free at a record store!! We went to the Houston Rodeo with Brandon's Dad. I shared pictures of my house in a House tour- living room, bedroom. We made our first visit to the beach. And my style started to get a bit more tom-boy. I died my hair brown again... I don't know. And I made my first raspberry jam, last time I'll probably ever buy jam from the store again! March was a pretty chill month. OH! Also, in March, I bought an advertisement on A Beautiful Mess (a present from Brandon) and it was amazing. Best Christmas present ever. 

Woo April!! In April, Eliza and I got up early to watch the sun rise. We did a two week, no grocery shopping challenge to clear out our fridge & pantry. Brandon guest posted about records!! I got a renewed motivation to finish school. I got hit on by a creepy hispanic guy while wearing my mother's dress. I started the Mingle Monday series with the first being a blogger friend of mine, Katia!! Did my first pop up show which was a SUCCESS!!! I'm so happy I did that, it paved the way for many more shows to come. My style changed to.... less girly? And I built my first hydroponic system, see the tutorial here. Oh, I also.... turned 21!!! Yippee. April is always a good month (: 

May. While on the verge of summer/end of our school year, I did an extra amount of dreaming. After finishing up finals, we were done with school for the semester! We took a trip to Las Vegas for a graduation and it was AMAZING. You can see our vacation here and here. I started my series "A Few Things" and talked a bit about becoming a mama. We visited the beach again. And we started eating more vegetarian food, somewhere in there we dedicated a whole week to not eating meat and turned out to be awesome! This would be the start of us eating a significantly less amount of meat and eating better in general. Oh and I also shared how my Sam wish logo has evolved over the years. Pretty cool! 

June was full of risks! We took some risque engagement pictures ;) Haha, not really but it was fun and thoughtful. And I talked about body love. We had a blast at Houston's Gay Pride Parade and did a mini photo shoot with film! I made a much easier hydroponic system (compared to my first one). And this was the month I signed up for passionfruit ads and started doing paid advertisement (a big step for me!!). That was actually a goal for me, last year and was a really happy moment. We went to Free Press Summer Fest, the best one yet! I talked a lot about wanting change and I was in a budget fashion contest at Beauty Riot. I didn't win but the experience was fun and I definitely had the cheapest outfit on there.... I probably shouldn't be proud to admit that but I AM (: 

July started with my first photoshoot with an actual model and photographer! Part 1, part 2. I wrote about some goals for 2012 (a little late in the year, yes. but oh well). Brandon and I had our annual trip to the Cabin with all of our friends from high school, it was a blast as usual. We went to the beach again, played in the rain, and tended to my patio garden (see all that here). I shared pictures and reflected from our last three years, got on a boho kick, and had an awesome 4th of July. We did this photoshoot- Island Lookbook 1 & 2, and did a lot of vegetarian eating. We also visited Los Angeles, California (1,2,3) which was absolutely beautiful and I FINALLY got to go to the Renegade Craft Fair. A wrote a little "A Few Things" post about my trip here. And another important milestone-Eliza turned 3!! A fun month, indeed. Lots of summer activities, reflecting, lots of creativity (and time to go through with it!), and friends. Very positive overall. 

In August we said goodbye to friends that had come home for the summer and started school for the semester. I participated in the Studio market which was so much fun and had a few friends come to visit! We started looking forward to fall and the long couple of months ahead of us. We took a mini family trip to downtown Galveston and walked around the shops and streets, enjoying life as a family of three. Eliza and I also traveled to Georgia with my dad to see his family and stopped by Florida & New Orleans on the way back. What a great trip, a great way to end our summer and it was so nice seeing family we don't see very often. After all the fun trips, we were ready to start back with our regular routine! 

September was the start of many awesome things. I started networking with Model Mayhem. Started the "Good Foods We've Been Eating Lately" series. Went to an "international" flea market, saw the Endeavor when it stopped in Houston, and made a weekend trip to Austin/San Marcos to surprise a friend for his birthday (all here)! Did a lot of de-cluttering. Joined a food coop, discovered Gangnam Style, made floral headbands, and did a great photoshoot. Wrote a post to Brandon, and discussed our plans for the future. Also, I announced another handmade line of clothes (really proud of this one). September was like a month for beginnings, after all the summer dreaming, we were starting to come back to reality and figure out what we wanted to do with ourselves. We had lots of heart to hearts and made lots of plans. Some of which stuck but some that didn't work out. It was a good month overall. Very real and inspiring.

In October, I modeled for a photoshoot. Did another show called the Re-Market and had a picnic with friends. Went to the Bayou City Art Festival. I also started a fitness walking class for my PHED credit and got a lot of exercise! That was fun. Then we went camping at the Renaissance Festival, an adventure I will never forget. I dyed my hair with henna, I need to do this again soon! I attended my first essential oils class and FELL IN LOVE. That was a significant event that changed a lot. We also learned and worked a lot on minimizing in the toy area. And of course, there was Halloween. Eliza ended up getting really sick  the night before but luckily, made it trick or treating on Halloween night! October was a lot of fun. So many good things happened! 

November- I made these fabric wrapped bracelets for my store, a product I am still in love with. 
We had Thanksgiving and we all practiced being thankful. I participated in a blogger's swap, so fun!! 
I ended up having a meltdown towards the end of the month and was feeling really lost (I think it was kind of building up all month). Our plans mentioned here have been almost completely scratched. I eventually dug my way out of the rut I was in and wrote this post about why I sell clothes to get back on my feet. With the help of Brandon, I kind of found my way again. I did this lookbook- Summer Dayzz Photoshoot, part 1 & part 2. Brandon got a role in a play. I started getting overwhelmed with end of the year finals! I did a show and a few photo shoots. This month was a lot of work, physically and mentally. It definitely rolled into the next month as well. I practiced being thankful but sometimes it was just too much. 

December- Brandon had a birthday, the big 22! We finally got to see all of our (very missed) friends. I finished up school for the semester and closed down shop. Then, I took a break for the holidays to get myself back together. November was a heck of a month and took a lot out of me! But all the time off really helped me find myself again. Eliza and I went on vacation with my family to New Orleans. I did something a little crazy to celebrate my brother and sister's birthday (more on that later). Brandon finished up with his show which turned out really awesome (I'm so proud of him!). I made a lot of homemade Christmas presents and had a wonderful Christmas. We went to a crazy punk rock show, celebrated a friend's birthday, and then had a fun New Years with a bunch of friends. And I also kind of moved out/evacuated my house. I'm currently spending most of my time at my dad's house, where we will officially be living after our lease expires (Feb. 17). If you follow me on instagram, you have probably caught onto that. And for Christmas, we vowed to makeover my dad's house (he needs it!) so we got a little head start on that too! In December I finished up school and then filled my timed doing things that I wanted to do. The break was much needed. After Christmas I was actually.... almost.. bored!! This never happens. I was literally dumbfounded. And then I found my to-do list again (: 

Ah this year. What a year. 

I remember back in June wanting, longing for change. I'm very content now though, I have to wonder what has changed? I started networking more. I started doing shows in Houston and doing photoshoots with people on Model Mayhem. I met a lot of awesome people and started falling in love with Houston for the first time. The more I got out, the more people I met, the more of the city I experienced, the more I started to enjoy it. I still want to move some day but now I feel like I have so much more to discover & experience before we leave. I guess I just needed to learn how to get out of my shell and see the things around me. And now that we will be living with my dad, I will have a lot more time/money to do those things. I'm actually pretty darn excited!

And some pretty life changing things happened this year. Brandon kind of had a revelation about what he wants to do with his life. I'm glad to be moving back in with my dad so that he can go to school and do more with that. I started learning about essential oils and have met the most amazing people. And doing my shows have been so exciting and were a great way to meet like-minded people. Something I was looking for the whole time. 

We've done a lot with being eco-friendly. We started a garden, recycle A LOT, started a vermicompost, and have taken tons of steps to reduce our waste/impact on the earth. We also eat so much healthier than the beginning of the year. And have tried foods that we never even dreamed of!! We almost never buy meat and usually only eat meat while eating out. And we started buying food from a local food coop, we even get local goat's milk now!!

We had so much fun as a family this year. We kept up with old friends, made new friends, and really made a life for ourselves. Even though we are moving back in with my dad, I'm still so grateful for the time we lived on our own. It allowed us to grow and to see what is really important to us. We had some things to figure/work out and really became a little family! We spent lots of time dreaming and planning for our future. There are many things we want to do this year and I'm so excited for them!! We will use the time at my dad's to save money to hopefully make some of our dreams come true. And we are going to work extra hard with my store and school so that they will become a reality. And let's get real, I'm extremely excited about not having to stress out about rent and bills. Everything was just getting to be too much and I'm just glad to have that weight off my shoulders... even if just for a little bit. So huzzah to less stress! 

And here's to the New Year people!! And to making dreams come true (: I hope you all had a great break and are as ready as I am to welcome 2013!! 
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