Just like that we’ve made it to the end of another year. In less than 2 sleeps, it’ll be a new year (2018, I’m coming for ya!), and with that comes new opportunities and great times to be had. But before I switch gears and bring this blog’s focus to the new year, I want to reflect on 2017. In this master post I’m doing a Year in Review of sorts, and I’ll be addressing the wonderful year Absolutely Olivia had (across all medias), the wonderful year I’ve had, a few lessons I’ve picked up along the way, and smaller highlights that are worthy of mention! I hope you all enjoy reading my reflections, and I would love nothing more than to hear fun blog and/or life moments that made your year special in the comments below. 🙂
ABSOLUTELY OLIVIA ROUND-UP
Hitting 1,000 Followers: I started out the year with a little over 100 followers, and oh my, how we’ve grown! If you’ve read my 17 Goals for 2017 or any of the check-ups I did throughout the year, you’ll know my original year-end goal in followers was 300. I hit 1,000 followers on July 23, and did a Promote Your Blog post to celebrate. My updated goal in followers was 1,500, and we met that too! The best part about all this growth is that it hasn’t stopped and has allowed me to connect with so many of you guys on all different platforms.
One Year Blogiversary: Shortly after hitting 1,000, I celebrated AO’s one year blogiversary on August 7. It’s crazy to look back on my posts from over a year ago and see how much I’ve learned about the world of blogging. I shared a post called Absolutely Olivia: Year in Review on this day, to round up my favorite posts, bloggers, and tips that I came across in my first year of blogging.
Getting an Instagram for AO: Unlike most bloggers, I did not start an Instagram for AO immediately, I waited until the blog had been up and running for 6 months. That being said, this was most definitely a milestone for me as it has put me in connection with brands and a bunch of you all! I’ve met some super cool gals that I can safely say are my blogger besties. 🙂
Hitting 10,000 Visitors and 20,000+ Views: Although this one might not sound as exciting to you as the others, it put me in awe. To think that 10,000 DIFFERENT people have visited my website is insane, and I’m so so thankful to everyone who ever has. Also, over 20,000 views was very insane to me as well!
-Stats (at time of writing)
Total Blog Followers: 1,675
Overall Blog Views in 2017: 24,331
Total Blog Visitors in 2017: 10,942
Total Instagram Followers: 1,055
Facebook Followers: 64
Facebook Likes: 66
Members Only: My first ever brand collaboration, and I’m still happy it was them! Their signature bomber jacket and other designs are so high-quality and perfect for the cool girl. Be on the lookout for new posts featuring two new MO jackets! Here are the posts I did with them: Solo Style ft. Funky Blue Camo Jacket and Solo Style: Majestic Purple Bomber.
Tobi: This company has the softest sweaters, but is also full of the prettiest dresses, blouses, shoes, bottoms, and more! Here are the posts where I featured their gorgeous products: How to Style OTK Boots and Solo Style: Red + Pink Cardigan
Maddison + Co.: One of my blogger besties, Taiya Maddison, reached out to me at the start of her Etsy shop, Maddison + Co. to feature her products. Considering that she has the cutest wall prints, throw pillows, mugs, and phone cases; I had to say yes! Here is the post where I talked about her amazing products, and a link to her shop: Maddison + Co. – The Print Shop You MUST Check Out and Shop Maddison + Co.
CaseApp: Right when I was in dire need of a new phone case, CaseApp reached out! They have cases for ANY personality, as well as a customizable feature. Caseapp also sells laptop skins, and given their phone cases amazing quality, i’m sure the laptop skins are just as good. Here is the post that features these bomb phone cases: Holiday Gift Guide
*Disclaimer: I was not paid to work with any of these brands, and all opinions are my own and represent my experience with the companies and their products.
Classy Abbie: This sweet blogger gal and I each shared a Fall Look at the beginning of October to get our readers inspired in their own autumnal looks- First Fall Look + Collab with Classy Abbie
The Sasha Nicole (Instagram giveaway): This wasn’t a blog collab, but Sasha and I did an Instagram giveaway together to get people in the Holiday spirit!
TOP BLOG POSTS (in my opinion)
-Top 5 Style Posts
-Top 8 Non-Style Posts
MY LIFE OUTSIDE OF BLOGGING (yes, I have one lol)
Running a Triathlon: In the beginning of this year, my cousins and I signed up for a triathlon (a race with swimming, biking, and running portions) at the beach. I had never done anything like it, but given my love for running I decided it was worth a shot. I started out strong in the swim, but when you had to run to the pool to your bike I could barely feel my legs! Nevertheless, I persisted because ya girl doesn’t give up easily. The biking part was easy (3 miles), and the run was simple for the most part until we had to run against the wind on the beach! I finished with a good time, and it left me with tons of adrenaline for the rest of the day.
Summer Camp: Woohoo! One of the highlights of my summer, summer camp was where it was at. I have to admit, I was not to excited and had very low expectations at the beginning, but it turned out way better than I could’ve imagined. Everyone in my cabin got along so well, and everyone was always laughing! From hikes to swimming in the camp pool, from singing at the top of our lungs to whispering in our bunks during rest hour, from yummy meals to cookouts after sliding down a gigantic rock; this summer camp experience was one to remember!
Trip to St. Louis, Cairo, and Chicago: For our annual summer trip this year, my family and I headed to the Midwest of the United States. Our first stop was St. Louis, Missouri and boy, was it hot! The historical landmarks were great though, and there was a cool art park perfect for photos. Next, we drove into the abandoned town of Cairo, Illinois for an interesting change of pace and a look at the old, Victorian buildings. Then, it was off to Chicago for some city sights and shopping. We took a beautiful boat tour that showed the city’s beauty and had yummy yummy eats along the way. I always love my family trip because we get to see more of the world and have great bonding time!
Getting into Photography: 2017 was a year I discovered a new passion of mine, Photography. I’ve improved lots since last January, and have learned that taking photos of people (portraiture) is my favorite kind of shots to take. For Christmas, I received a DSLR and I am so excited to continue with this hobby into the new year! Some of my photography plans include doing a shoot inspired by the planets. 🙂
Fall Retreat: In October I had the opportunity to go on a Fall retreat to Brevard, North Carolina with a few people from my school. At this time of year, fall had yet to reach where I live, so it was cool being able to see the leaves changing in the mountains. This retreat taught me I could do the most in 24 hours, like zip lining, hiking, a photo shoot, dancing for hours, eating yummy meals, swimming, and more. Ugh, I had so much fun!
Homecoming Week: 2017 homecoming week was one for the books! All the spirit days gave me tons of opportunities to dress up in the best outfits and experiment with how creative I could get with the items already in my closet. Also, each grade had to build a float for the homecoming parade according to their theme (ours was Valentine’s Day), and so much fun was had with friends while painting it, blowing up the balloons for the arch, and of course, riding it in the parade. This week really taught me what all the hype about friends is truly about!
Halloween: Halloween, another fantastic day with friends. I dressed up as a punk princess, and spent the evening munching on Jolly Ranchers with my gals and then wandering around the neighborhood to look at decorations. Later, we danced like crazy and sang at the top of our lungs at a neighborhood party. It was way too fun, and I can not wait for more nights like that with my pals!
Going to States for Tennis: I’m on the tennis team for my school, and we made it all the way to States this year! Although I didn’t play at states, I had played the majority of the season. It was so cool experiencing the highest competition you could go to in high school sports, and even though we were runner-up; we’re even more ready for next year. 😉
Friendsgiving: I think at this point you all can probably sense a major theme of this year, friendship. Well, Friendsgiving was another one of those wonderful times with friends. Each of us made a dish or two for dinner, played White Elephant, and danced for 2 hours straight that night. It was so much fun to talk and hang out with my gal pals, and it’s hard to explain the love I feel for all them, but I always leave our hang outs feeling fulfilled and very happy.
Vine 2.0: This one is totally random, and does not directly effect me at all, but nevertheless is extremely important to share. I don’t feel like I share my silly side all the time on the blog, but if I did I would be quoting vines left and right. If you meet me in real life, you won’t be able to go a conversation without a vine reference coming out of my mouth! They’re what I watch every night before my beauty sleep, and with the announcement of Vine 2.0 coming out, you best believe I am through the roof excited!!
Birthday Trip- For my birthday this year my fam and I headed to Charlotte, North Carolina for a tiny shopping spree.
Learning How to Do My Eyebrows- My eyebrows are non-existent (for some reason they decided not to grow and the har I do have is super blond!), so going to Sephora and getting someone to teach me how to do them was life-changing.
The Beach- Going to the beach in the summer is always a blast. Hanging out with all my cuzzos and getting surburned and having your hair get blonder is the best.
Thrifting- Woohoo! I discovered the best places to shop this year, and picked up some of the most unique clothes.
KALLIE KAISER Liking and Commenting on my Photo- My style icon, Kallie Kaiser, liked and commented on one of my photos this year. It was probably the most excited I had been over something so small in a while!
Eclipse- As we all know, the eclipse happened this year, and I was lucky enough to live in a city that was directly in it’s path. Seeing the world go from light to completely dark and back again in 2 minutes was absolutely amazing.
Fair and Sabrina Carpenter Concert- With October comes my favorite event of the year, the Fair. I love the thrill of it and how gorgeous the lights are at night. Also, I got to see Sabrina Carpenter in concert this go-round.
3 THINGS I LEARNED (my special take on a few cliches)
Everyone Finds Their “Squad” Eventually- For a lot of the past few years, my friend group has been ever-changing. I’ve been in and out of friendships and although I enjoyed them while they lasted, they weren’t meant to be. But this year, I can safely say I’ve found my squad. I’ve found a big group of people who I can lean on and no matter how silly or weird I am, they laugh and stick by me (wow, that got cheesy real quick). Maybe I’m lucky to have found great people like this so early on, or maybe I’m late to the game, but either way I truly believe that everyone will find friends like that eventually. And a lot of times it will come unexpectedly! 🙂
People Don’t All Grow At the Same Rate- This one is talked about a lot, especially in the blogging community, but sometimes it can take your own experiences to fully understand something for yourself. In February, I started an Insta for AO, and got frustrated when I saw people in a similar niche as me gaining more followers and likes quicker than I. Then I realized that’s totally normal and okay. As long as you’re putting out the best content you can create, are having fun at the same time, and your followers are genuine and engaged; it doesn’t matter how fast you’re growing. It’s better to focus on the people you do have and your content creation, while engaging with other accounts to market your page. The growth will come if you keep putting in that work!
Never Pay Full Price- Given my discovery of how great thrifting is, I’ve learned that it’s not necessary to pay full price to have a bangin’ wardrobe. The majority of my clothes are thrifted, found on clearance racks, or are on sale, but they still look fan-freaking-tastic! The only exception to this is if you’re buying a staple piece you know will be in your wardrobe for years and years to come.
Whew! This was one heck of a post, but it’s necessary for a Year in Review. I hope you all enjoyed reading about my life in and outside of blogging, and learned a thing or two from this post. I’m excited for what 2018 is going to bring for us, and thank you all so much for following along on this blogging journey with me. Leave a comment below letting me know something good that happened to you in 2017, and feel free to drop any questions or blog post ideas as well. Thanks again and Cheers to the New Year!!