Why I’m Not In To Resolutions But More Goal Making + My 2018 Goals

I’ve taken a little break to refocus, spend quality time with those around me and recharge from a hectic holiday season with work; but in reality it was to sleep! A new year has yet again rolled around and everyone is making resolutions, coming up with words for their year and starting the “new year, new me” train. As for me, I’m currently eating a apple pie I bought out of the frozen section of the grocery store while I constantly see everyone posting about their new diet all while rolling my eyes and deciding whether I finish the champagne off or make a hot toddy. Yup, same old Stephanie in the new year.

Here’s the thing. I hate resolutions. Be honest with yourself and I with myself; you or I are going to give up on half of them unless you or I are extremely determined, it just sets us up for disappointment. And why make resolutions anyways? Because it’s the norm for the new year? Just because everyone else is doing them? Girl (or gent, all about inclusiveness here) be a rebel. Do what you want! And who needs a word for the year, when there are a ton of words in the English language to describe yourself every day! Like worthy, loved, amazeballs, pretty little young thang or dare I say a bad ass bitch. But you do you and if you feel inclined to create a word for your year, no judgement here. Though I hate resolutions, I do like to set goals. But I set goals on a monthly basis, it’s sadly part of my type A personality, so it’s not out of the norm for me to do so. Goals are more attainable in my opinion because they don’t have the word resolution or “this has to be achieved in order for me to feel fulfilled” looming overhead. So since it’s the new year and we are all about sharing what we look forward to, I’m going to share some of my goals for you.

On a personal level I would like to travel and explore more, work harder at the things I am the most passionate about, capture more memories but also be more present (how is this even possible) and dig deeper in to the hygge lifestyle. Nothing out of reach or that has specific deadlines. If it happens, it does, if not, I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

For 30 Shades of Stephanie, there are some big changes coming. And this is not something that I just randomly thought of or created with the idea of a new year rolling around. I have discussed before a creative rut and sadly it never went away. It wasn’t until I had a press event and got to speak with the lovely Sarajane over dinner and drinks. She said some things that struck me, like blogs are dying and stories are the new “it” thing. But I love my little corner of the internet, even if just a few people read it. It’s more an electronic scrapbook of things I have done and storing all the changes I have went through as far as style and life over the years. So don’t worry I’m not stopping. But things are changing. There is going to be way more info, posts and daily life situations on InstaStories and Instagram in general more so than on the blog. I like the idea of keeping my posting schedule to MWF but it may also change to just Monday and Friday. Who knows right now. Also video content (thanks Sarajane). I have talked about it but never went through with it, mainly because I think sometimes I have a manly voice. But it’s happening in 2018. Why? Because A) I want to connect with each of you on a different level and B) there are just so many things a shutter through a lens cannot actually capture. Like, sometimes I want to be able to laugh with each of you about weird fabrics or why things just don’t work, for you to get my real ahhh ha moment when something as far as fashion comes together just so, so we can all feel a little sense of wonder when I visit new places (or so you can see I’m not just a serious work lady) and so I can feel like I’m actually talking to you. Because you the real MVP if we get to talk in person or on the phone or facetime. So just imagine these videos as one big facetime session.

ANNNDDDDD, there is an entire shift itself in the fashion you will be seeing here on the blog or on any social media outlet for that matter. Last year I talked about one of my goals for the year was to stock my closet with more things I love and investment pieces. Well guys, I actually accomplished that goal. WHOOOAAA. Fast fashion is fun (and don’t get me wrong, there are still trendy pieces I buy at Target and Old Navy) but it has slimmed down a lot for me. I just don’t want to spend money on things that are going to tear in a few washes and be out of style next season or year. I’ve gotten really picky with what goes in my closet. I now don’t have a problem with investing a bit of money on one piece if I can get a lot of wear out of it and also it’s something that will continue to stay in my closet. So more things like this, capsule wardrobe pieces, best investment pieces and how to shop smart for bigger ticket items are coming your way. So there may be a lot of stuff on repeat and I won’t be showing you the same thing the other 5 bloggers a few sites over are doing but that’s okay. I’m changing, my views are changing and my lifestyle is changing. So it’s time the brand of 30 Shades of Stephanie also took that change that I have been wanting to make and have just been putting off.

Even though I have all these ideas for what happens here and else where that I have been jotting down for the past three months, I love the input of others. Duh, I want to make y’all happy and have an enjoyable place to visit (whether to read or watch or double click to like). So if you want to share your input, head on over to Instagram to cast your votes on my InstaStories today about the changes taking place!

A Year in Review

Y’all it’s New Years Eve! How is this even possible?!? Even though it has been a rough year for many, there were tons of unfortunate events, an election year that brought out the worst in people and there are a tons of memes saying let’s just forget this year; 2016 wasn’t all bad in my books. I accomplished some great feats. I graduated college, I landed an internship with a local fashion designer that has now turned to freelance work, I hammocked more than I ever thought I would, I traveled to the beach for graduation celebration and camped for a whole weekend in October and I finally got to see Adele in concert (and we all know those tickets were actually the hardest things on the planet to get). As far as the blog, I decided to keep it going after school, made some changes in my fashion decisions, partnered with some great brands, started working with sustainable, ethical and fair trade companies, and met a lot of great people along the way. So 2016 really wasn’t that bad. So here are some of my highlights from 30shadesofstephanie.com and I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds for both myself and blogging.

Mountain side photoshoots will always be my favorite.

Our 2016 big snow.

Valentine’s Day 2016!

My first Rachel Weisberg product, now I have a little collection growing!

This year I’ve really taken the time to discover and explore nature.

Will still love this outfit.

One of my all time favorite outfits for the blog!

The day I took my final, final exam and received grades by 12 that day. The day I found out I was an official college graduated. And we celebrated at Hilton Head Island.

We actually celebrated all week.

Went and chopped my hair off because it was time for a change, plus found the perfect hairstylist in Asheville, Jessy at Bari.

Celebrated getting another year older.

Went on an 3 night camping trip at Fall Creek Falls. I survived, it wasn’t horrible. We liked this place so much we may actually go back.

Gilmore Girls had a revival this year. On Black Friday to be exact. So thanks to Netflix, Luke’s diner did a pop up in Asheville. Of course I went.

Traveled to Atlanta to see Adele with my girl Anne. Thanks so much to Andrew for taking us, dealing with us talking about the show the following few days and constantly talking about it until the actual show. One of the best nights of my life.

Blog collab.

Holiday Season!

 

I hope all of you had a great year, are looking forward to the new year and I hope you all have a fun and safe #NYE!

Check out the blog tomorrow to reintroduce myself to new followers, what I would like to achieve for 2017 and what to expect from me as far as blogging!

 

 

 

 

How I Stay Organized

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A new year means everyone sets resolutions or goals, and 1 of 2 of the biggest things I have noticed is to be more organized. So I thought I would show you how I stay organized for school and blogging. This could work for any kind of work you do and your home.

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I like to keep my planner at my “work station” whether it be my desk, couch or purse, I keep it with me. I also keep with me a journal or notepad to write done ideas or short sketches. As for my writing instruments I keep a clear holder so I can hold everything I need. The one on my desk contains pencils, pens, markers, scissors and instruments I need for studying that would be easy to grab and easy to see.

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As for my planner I keep a smaller planner. One where I can write down everything I would need but it’s not as extravagant as others. (Use the #planneraddict on Instagram and you will see how large and serious some planners are.) I keep it smaller so it fits in my purse, but none the less it does the job. I always write down school assignments, my work schedule, planned blog posts, errands, other social activities, etc. I like to write things that could change such as blog posts in pencils. I also use post it notes like nobodies business and these generally cover my planner when school is in session (it doesn’t start until next week). I will also decorate my planner with stickers and washi tape for special dates, but unfortunately I just got my planner. One thing I would like to start doing in my planner would be meal planning; I’ve done some research and it seems to be healthier, save money, and save time.

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I also like to color coordinate. I am a very visual person so this works for me. I color coordinate for blogging and for school assignments. I color coordinate my ink in my planner, as well as folders. I use a different color for each class, I also have a special color for blog business contracts and information. I also have a folder for all of my personal information. This would work for anyone for anything you keep documents of..

Welcoming 2015 With Open Arms

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Happy New Year!!! I can’t believe it is 2015, can you? I’m not one to make resolutions because it just sets yourself up for failure and disappointment. So my only “hopes” for the year is to live every day to the fullest, take joy in the smaller things more, expand my painting, and explore different avenues for the blog. 2015 is going to be great! If you set resolutions what are yours for the year?.

What Matters the Most

What Matters the Most

 My best friend, My lover, My other half

With a new year comes all the new year crap that everyone believes they can accomplish great things and do great things, but actually it just scares the living daylights out of me. Why? Because what if things don’t go as you planned or the year actually turns out worst than the last. I also feel like I should strive to be something greater. Instead I should just let everything be and see what happens. These constant thoughts along with a list to China make me forget what really matters sometimes and I’m about to pin point them to you all. Because we all really need to focus on whats really important in life.

* I have this problem with a thing called disappointment. Mainly in my blog at the time being. To be a “blogger” according to the rest of the world you need to have designer/perfect outfits, look like everyone else as far as body shape and size, have posts so many times a week that every girl in the world should be reading (so make it awesome) and don’t talk about touchy/personal subjects. I call shenanigans on this by the way. I need to quit beating myself for not constantly getting a mail delivery from some awesome new hipster brand every day, not having a trillion views a day and not meeting every other “bloggers” expectations. This blog is me, about me and my life, so why not stay true to that and try to be Stephanie as much as possible.

*Social Media is a huge problem for me. I could sit on Instagram all day and constantly look at pretty pictures and things and try to stay tuned through Facebook, but I’ve realized it’s becoming a problem for numerous reasons. It’s taking me out of the real world because I sit here with Andrew just admiring pictures when I could have a deep conversation with him or actually do something interactive together. I’m becoming too digital. Also it puts me in a slump. No, I’m not jealous of others but it makes me think “what have I done with my life?” I can’t afford all these nice things, I’m a homebody, and the realization that I don’t have some grand life sets in. It almost makes me feel like I’m not worthy enough to even on social media platforms. But I have things a lot of people don’t have and should be grateful for those. I need to close all the tabs and leave all the technology alone and spend time with people who matter, who make me happy, who make me feel worthy and make me feel alive.

*I’m a worry wart to no extreme but I always tell myself well look at the past and this is why. I worry about everything from bills, to current situations, to my sanity, school, this space in the interwebs, and how I push people away. Why must we be so hard on ourselves? I need to breathe and know that everything has always been ok (even though it may not seem to be at the time).

*I live in the past tense. The past is the past for a reason, you move on and you learn from all those mistakes. There is no point in reliving the past when the future is clearly looking me and you dead in the eyes. The past makes it hard for me to let people in, I have someone completely willing to accept me fully with all my scars and I need to focus on that and that alone.

I am crying while writing this (the emotional female side of me does show sometimes) because I have so many flaws, have so many doubts and fears but there are much more important things in my life that I need to focus on more than the minimal and silly things that take priority to REAL things. It’s ok to have moments of weakness, we are human after all, but the things that matter the most will always be there to pick you up and make you stronger again; so make sure those people or things come first starting now!

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A Recap

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Like I said in my previous post, 2013 was a whirlwind but I made it out alive. I did have some great moments throughout the year though! Focusing on 2014, I plan to make it even more great. Looking into the new year and all the possibilities, I have so many things I want to do and accomplish. First off I am in great need of a vacation and really can not wait to visit Hilton Head Island once again this year; also I would love to plan a vacation for the end of this year or next year to go to either Washington D.C. or New York City. Also with my goal of focusing on my art I am ready to dive into working on that to hopefully be in Zapow by the middle of the year! Also this year I am taking more time to treat myself personally and here are a few things on my list for saving towards (this, this and this). Also I plan to devote a lot more time to the blog so anything you guys are interested in seeing or that I should work on let me know via e-mail, in a comment or on my Facebook. All together we can make this a great year!

Stephanie Ferguson's Birthday8-12-5Stephanie Ferguson2-9-31-18-23-12-9Looking Glass Falls8-15-5Stop and Smell the FlowersFall, Where Are You.