Happy New Year everyone!!!! Not to start this out bleak, but 2017 overall was a pretty bad year for our country. I feel it’s important to talk about this first because there are still so many problems nationally that we need to work together to try to fix. It was beautiful to see so many people (especially huge influences online) stand up and fight these issues, and I’m so proud of everyone that did something to resist in 2017. Continue resisting and being hopeful this year; I know we can win and start turning this world around!
On a business level, this was our second year operating and our first year…err half a year where we weren’t working out of my apartment living room! So to say this year was a step in the right direction would be an understatement. Ha! As someone pointed out on Instagram where I shared a brief description of these same highlights on Insta stories last week, this was a year of firsts for me! First office, first time meeting so many new people I now consider my close friends, first time going to Coney Island picture above (even though I’ve lived in NYC for 7 years), and first time traveling a lot! And do you guys remember when I was flying back and forth to LA so often?? I even tried out for a TV show this year! I ultimately decided it wasn’t the right fit for me or the right time to do it, but it still blows my mind that I was part of the process.
To sum it up, there were a lot of things that I learned this year. I’ve been trying to take things slower with the help of Kyle, and you might have noticed where there are some days I don’t post on social media now. I’ve been finding these days to be so refreshing and sort of a re-charge for my brain. I was going at a speed of 7am-midnight 7 days a week for a while there! We also found out you LOVE our Instagram stories and you love Kyle’s humor even more, so we’ve been doing more personal posts and showing you exactly what our real, everyday life is like. We’re working on starting a podcast and a few Insta stories series this year so get ready for more of your favorite internet weirdos! Aside from a bunch of new stuff we have in the works for 2018, you continue to love our recipes and food-related projects, so we’ll be sharing even more of those!
Enough talk of logistics, here are some of my favorite moments from 2017!
I started off 2017 going to my first ever blogging conference and getting to turn internet friendships into real friendships. I now see so many of these ladies multiple times a year and they’ve become the best support system I could have ever asked for. Before last year, I didn’t really know anyone with similar jobs or interests, and I started out Aww Sam right out of college feeling very unwelcome in the blogging community and unsure of what I was supposed to do. It wasn’t until I connected with all of these gals online that I felt like I belonged somewhere.
Although I technically met Kyle in 2016, we met at the end of 2016 around Halloween and didn’t really kick off the more serious parts of our relationship until 2017. For those of you that never heard the story, I was in a relationship for 3 years that ended in 2016, and let me tell you it’s not easy to date in NYC. I don’t drink at all so meeting people at bars was ruled out and I couldn’t meet anyone at work when I worked for myself in my living room with two other employees. Ha! So I took to online dating and ended up meeting Kyle on Tinder within 2 days of having the app.
We met the same day we started talking at a Japanese restaurant around the corner from where I lived (I was lazy and didn’t want to have to travel far). I had also been out of the dating game for a while and have since been told by many friends that going to dinner on a first date is weird. Ha! But anyways, Kyle is allergic to gluten and dairy, which I guess I didn’t understand the magnitude of at the time, and the only thing he could eat on the menu were chicken wings. Long story short, he wanted to be super transparent about the type of person he is and he licked his fingers after eating the chicken wings. We shared what we both agreed was the worst first kiss either of us has ever had and I didn’t want to go on a second date with him. We went on another date the next day and fast forward 1 year and some months, and we’re both licking our fingers after chicken wings now!
This is when Kyle and his cat Sabbath moved in with me in May. The plan was that he would move in with me in May, leave his job at Nickelodeon in June, and start working full-time for Aww Sam by July! He wanted to further his photography skills and have a job where his hours were more flexible and he could focus on our apartment and personal goals when he wasn’t taking photos for our Instagram or the blog.
Before meeting Kyle I hadn’t really done any traveling and had only been out of the country once. Now we’ve been on around 7 trips total together! And this is coming from someone who HATES flying! I jumped right into Aww Sam immediately out of college and I didn’t really have any time to explore, so it’s been nice to forget about work a few times to have fun away from social media!
So much love for all of these girls! I’m so happy we were able to support each other so many times in 2017. And even though we all live all over the country, it’s amazing when we get to all meet up in one place and be there for each other! These are some of the most incredible, beautiful, and intelligent women I’ve ever met and I can’t wait to see all that they do in 2018!
One of the biggest things that happened in 2017 was moving from the living room in our apartment to our first office! By the way, did you know I have 2 employees, 3 including Kyle?? And we were all working out of the apartment! The studio has made things SO much easier for us, and although it might not be a permanent solution (rent in NYC is ridiculously expensive), we’re excited to be able to bring more of you to our space and host workshops and events in 2018! The new year will also bring a lot more home decor projects as we continue working on decorating our studio and our now empty apartment!
Had to throw in a couple more photos from our vacations. We almost missed our flight back to NYC at the time the first photo was taken! We decided we’d have enough time to go check out the Carlsbad Flower Fields not knowing how crazy LAX is, and we made it to the gate right as our flight started to board. It was definitely worth almost missing our flight though to get to be part of such a magical day!
This last moment is not the most special and amazing moment, but it was the first big shoot we did in our new space! I was so proud of our team for pulling all of this together, I had never dreamed I’d have enough space to do something this big. I know it sounds silly considering this party we threw wasn’t even THAT big, but seriously space in NYC is big $$$. Ha! We have some more big shoots planned already and they’re only going to get bigger and better from here!
And here we are at the end of the year! We’re SO thankful for all of your love and support, and we truly wouldn’t be here without all of you, so THANK YOU!!!! We seriously don’t know what we did to deserve such amazing followers and readers, but we hope you continue to love our content in 2018, and let us know what you want to see this year in the comments below! Oh, and one of my favorite things is hearing about your 2017 accomplishments, big or small, so let’s talk about them! Here’s to 2018!!!! 🙂