year in review

11 Year-End Superlatives for 2016

Quite a few months ago, I read this post by Laura over at A Beautiful Plate and thought it was such a cute idea! I’ve created my own spin on it by doing 11 superlatives for 2016. It was an amazing year!

1. Biggest Milestone: Changing jobs! Back in July, I started a new job with Make-A-Wish. It is the best thing ever, and I pinch myself every day! I still can’t believe that I get paid to plan wishes!

Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina Disney World Wish | Trés Belle

2. Hardest Challenge: I am extremely grateful that 2016 was a year of few challenges for me. I am still dealing with some residual health issues from a terrible infection I had back in 2014/2015. Aside from that, I have few complaints!

3. Most Memorable Trip: Wes and I went to St. Thomas with my family back in March, and it was so wonderful! It was true relaxation to just lay on a beach all day. The sunsets were gorgeous, and I got to ride a horse in the surf. Bliss!

St. Thomas US Virgin Islands Sunset | Trés Belle

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands | Trés Belle

Horseback riding on the beach in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands | Trés Belle

4. Best Bite: Every single flavor of gluten-free cupcakes at Carytown Cupcakes in Richmond, VA. Y’all, I fantasize about going back to try more of these cupcakes! You truly cannot tell that they are gluten-free, and they have the perfect crumb. I also like that they have inventive, unusual flavors (obviously not pictured).

Gluten-Free Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes from Carytown Cupcakes in Richmond, Virginia | Trés Belle

5. Favorite Photo: This picture of me and Wes at a Panthers game back in August. I had a wish taking place that day!

Carolina Panthers Spirit | Trés Belle

6. Inspiring Read: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I’ve actually already talked about it here on the blog.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton Book Review | Trés Belle

7. Most Valuable Lesson: That I can only give out as much as I’m taking in. I always tend to overcommit myself and run, run, run without stopping for self-care. I used to be able to do this with minimal consequences, but due to the aforementioned health issues, I have to be more careful these days. I’m also an introvert, which makes it all the more important for me to have time to recharge alone at home. Thanks to the reflection process built into my PowerSheets (a goal setting workbook), I have learned that I need equal amounts of time of pouring into myself and giving to others. My eight hours of sleep each night cancels out my eight hours in the office each day, so it’s really how I spend my waking hours outside of work that are critical. If I’m out volunteering or participating in social events every night of the week, I’m going to feel tired, weary, and anxious. I need equal amounts of rest and doing.

PowerSheets Goal Setting Workbook by Lara Casey/The Cultivate Shop | Trés Belle

8. Favorite Gift Received: Wes surprised me by giving me a nice camera for Christmas! I am so, so excited to learn how to use it.

9. Scariest Moment: I don’t even know how to describe this in just a few sentences, but I’ll try. On a trip to Stratford Hall back in the spring, Wes and I went on a hike straight into a tick-infested forest. We didn’t realize it until we were already halfway into the hike and had dozens and dozens of ticks crawling all over us. It took us about 30 minutes of sprinting then stopping to knock off ticks to finally get out of the forest. I have a huge spider/tick phobia, and I felt like I was having a panic attack. It took us two hours to go through all of our clothes, comb through our hair, and shower afterward. Horrible! We kept imagining that we felt ticks crawling on us for weeks!

10. Favorite Raleigh Spot: I really can’t pick a true number one favorite because I have soooo many. As far as food goes, it may have to be Guasaca South American Grill based solely on number of times visited. Guasaca is a short order arepa restaurant that is amazingly delicious, especially for the price point! Another top favorite Raleigh spot is The Flourish Market, of course!

The Flourish Market ethical fashion store in Raleigh, NC | Trés Belle

11. Things I’m Most Looking Forward to in 2017: Taking a trip to Italy (Wes’s first time out of the country!), taking photos with my new camera, getting some projects done around the house, and granting wishes!

Wasn’t that fun? I’d love to hear some of y’all’s superlatives from 2016 in the comments. And, if there are any other superlatives you think I should add for 2017, let me know!

xoxo, Laura

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2016: Year in Review

Goodness gracious, belles! Can you believe that another year has come and gone?

To celebrate another great year of blogging, I’ve pulled the top five most frequently visited blog posts from 2016. Starting with number 5:

5. My reflections on my two year wedding anniversary. Glad to see y’all love love as much as I do!

Wedding cooler with wedding vows | Trés Belle

4. My write-up on Catalyst Scrubs, an ethically-sourced scrubs brand! Not going to lie, I was a little surprised to see this one pop up in the top five. Then again, there sure are a ton of nurses, doctors, physical therapists, speech pathologists, CNAs, radiologists, and other medical professionals out there. Makes sense that many of you are looking for ways to do good when purchasing your daily work outfits!

Ethically-sourced scrubs from Catalyst Scrubs | Très Belle

3. The Frizzy Hair Manifesto! I have struggled (and continue to struggle) with so many self-doubts about my hair. It really warms my heart to have your support as I learn to embrace my natural self!

The Frizzy Hair Manifesto: Embrace Your Frizz This Summer! | Très Belle

2. My post introducing the Inside Out Challenge, which was my year-long attempt to exclusively buy fair trade fashion! Read about all of the ensuing escapades here.

The Inside Out Ethical Fashion Challenge 2016 | Trés Belle

1. Annnnnnd top billing this year goes to….Ben and Marie’s picturesque fall wedding!! Who can blame y’all for loving these luscious sunflowers and beautiful burgundy hues?

That’s a wrap, 2016! I can’t wait for what the new year has in store for this blog. Thanks as always for following along!

xoxo Laura

2014: Year in Review

Happy New Year’s Eve, y’all! 2014 has been such a good year. After all, it was just this year that Wedding Belles had its first post published to the interwebs! In celebration of the fabulous year it has been, we are recapping the blog’s five most popular posts. Starting with number five….

5. Real Wedding: Seaside Splendor in Early Spring  (This was the first real wedding published on the blog!)

Real Wedding: Seaside Splendor in Early Spring - Wedding Belles Blog

4. Inexpensive and Fun Bridal Shower or Bachelorette Favor Idea: Nail Polish!

Nail Polish Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Favor - Wedding Belles Blog

3. Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains

Classic Country Club Wedding in the NC Mountains - Wedding Belles Blog

 

2. Classically Carolina: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Wedding Favors - Wedding Belles Blog

1. Andddd…the most popular post on the blog this year was Real Bridal Portraits: Smiles and Sunshine in Rose Hill. How could you not love Cristina’s infectious smile and that fabulous fabric flower bouquet?

Rose Hill Bridal Portraits - Wedding Belles Blog

That’s a wrap, y’all! We can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring. Have fun celebrating tonight, and we’ll see you in the new year!

xoxo Laura