Closing a Chapter

After yet another unannounced hiatus, I’m finally back and in a new year no less. I know that I shouldn’t feel a need to exactly explain myself, so I’ll save the words, but just know that I’m finally in a better place now. After several days of finding myself not wanting to lift a muscle – potatoing precious hours away, I’ve finally come to a place that’s definitely more elevated than where I last left off.

Coming back, I feel the need to present a little year in review and highlight all of the moments this past year has brought, both dark and light. Moving onto a new chapter, it feels only right to close out the last one.

Let’s dive into some memorable milestones of 2016:

  • January – Cruise. I actually documented my entire trip on a GoPro and created a small vlog because I’ve never been on a cruise before. I wanted something I can keep forever, plus I decided to try this vlogging business. I went with family and we left from NY to hit the Caribbean. Let me tell you, I got so, so sea sick. But I literally had the time of my life. From snorkeling with sea turtles to ATVing to exploring the islands. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start off the year.
  • February 28th. I remember this date so clearly because it was when Jennsemble was born. I remembered the thought process leading up to this day, tossing back ideas of creating a blog and just going for it. I remember having tons of doubts, the biggest surrounding what other people would think. I think the biggest push in all of this the never ending support I received from important people in my life. So a special thank you for making all of this possible.
  • May – 5 Years. This May, like every other May, I turned a year older and so did my significant other. More importantly, this specific May marked our five years together. Believe it or not, we never travelled anywhere together so we spent our birthdays and anniversary in Philadelphia for a small getaway. It was a beautiful first of many to come and I’m so grateful to have someone who is so supportive and challenges me.
  • July – New frands. I decided to get out of my shell and meet some new people. Blogging has seriously opened up my network of people and has allowed me to spread my social butterfly wings just a little more. I think the most memorable meeting was a dinner at Root & Bone with a bunch of strangers I met through Instagram. This meeting marked the seed of our growing friendship.
  • August – Tiger Lilly. My son, Gunner, has been lonely for quite some time. Even though I know he loves us humans, I strongly believed he needed another furry companion to keep him sane. SO I added a baby girl to my furbaby family. She was intended to be his little sister, but they fell in love and became inseparable. They’re now husbun and wife. They melt my heart. (P.S. they’re bunnies in case anyone is wondering what the heck I’m talking about)
  • September – NYFW. Another first of many! I attended several events during New York Fashion Week with my new frands (hey Ingrid & Eddie). It was a complete whirlwind of exhilaration and fun. I can’t wait for next year!
  • December – Graduating. I couldn’t have ended 2016 on a better note than literally closing a chapter of my life by completing my undergraduate career. I’m done with school and classes, now it’s time to adult. I admit that I’m scared because I’m still uncertain for what I truly want to be, but I’m taking it step by step. Plus, I really miss school. I know, #nerd.

With all highlights, there have also been plenty of things that I’ve learned and have grown from. Here are a major few:

  • Love Yourself. This has been the biggest lesson I’ve learned this past year. Discovering my self worth and accepting my all has been the hugest game changer in making me happier.
  • Stop Caring What Others Think. For real. Once I put this past me, I just felt lighter. Like a weight has lifted. Opinions are important, but the one that matters most is yourself. There will always be haters and negative people who want to bring you down. Don’t let them.
  • Let Go Of Things You Can’t Change. I’m the type of person that gets stuck on the past, persistently overthinking and overanalyzing. I’ve learned to stop stressing over things I can’t change and just learn to move forward, adapt, and improve.
  • Pay Attention to Your Body. With this past year, I’ve had several episodes where my health was just not up to par. I’ve ignored it in the past, but it grew so bad to the point where I couldn’t function anymore. After many tests and medical visits, I got down to the source of the problem and have slowly learned to adjust to the news. I definitely have my off days, sometimes off weeks, but I’m hanging in there.
  • Be Positive. Have a positive mind and spread kindness. There’s too little time in the world to focus on the bad and be negative. A brighter outlook will improve all aspects and bring you one step closer to happiness. Plus, it really doesn’t hurt. It heals.
  • Take a Break When You Need One. I’m a workaholic, especially when I’m stressed. I pile so many things on my plate and definitely bite off more than I can chew. All of this breaks me and I get burned out. It’s so important to hit pause and recharge. Potato. It feels great.
  • Be Creative. Have fun! Blogging is my outlet from everyday duties and a way to let my creative mind stretch it’s legs. Remind yourself why you started and push yourself to have fun with things you love. This even goes toward fashion. You never need brand names to dress appropriately. When you make something out of nothing, you are gold. Believe it or not, the “necklace” I’m wearing in these photos is actually a belt. Break the rules and make your own.

Even though I’m several days late, thank you so much 2016 for a wonderful year. I can only imagine what 2017 has in store for me.

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Styled:
American Apparel Turtle Neck Crop Top | Forever 21 High Waisted Denim
Steve Madden ‘Gorgeous’ OTK’s | Na-Kd Fashion Coat
For daily updates, random thoughts, and stalking opportunities connect with me on:
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51 comments

  1. Happy new year babe! I always look forward to your posts because they are so honest and real. I took a major break too just to spend the holidays with my family and be more present. I love that you touched in your milestones and memorable moments and your upcoming goals. I definitely need to keep those in mind for myself as well. I have to also tell you that I am loving your photos! They truly capture your emotions and vibe in every shot. Xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

    1. Aw this was so sweet! I definitely agree and believe in creating a separate time to hit pause and spend time with family. I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating! XO

  2. Happy New Year to you babe and you had a great one! I also posted my opening year post for 2017 and I hope you could visit my blog too. Anyways I really love your outfit. You look so stunning with the right combo of it babe! Keep it up always and looking forward to new post.

    Elisha | http://loveelisha.net

  3. Dear Jenn,
    There are times in life we all need to take a hiatus and like you said, you have no obligation to explain the reasons to why or how it came across. Sometimes it’s just something we truly need to do! I’m VERY happy you are back though and it’s a pleasure to read about all that you’ve accomplished during the past year and what your plans are for the future.
    With a huge welcome back and a hug,
    Thomas

    http://thomasfalkenstedt.com

  4. It’s totally okay to take a hiatus! I actually recommend it because sometimes it’s good to reflect and take a step back before jumping back in again. It sounds like you had a great 2016 and so glad you are done with school because I am excited to see where life takes you!

  5. This post made me so happy, especially finding out that your blog was born on my birthday!! Yayyyy for the fact that we will both be celebrating on that wonderful date! I also love seeing how much you’ve accomplished and learned in the past year. You’re an inspiration to me for sure. Here’s to a wonderful new year!

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

  6. Wow Jenn! Love this recap of 2016. It was really interesting going through some of your milestones and the highlights you are sharing. Taking a break when needed has caught my attention because I’ve experienced this feeling of not feeling inspired, not wanting to do anything … kinda lost basically! It feels good to be back on my feet!

    Wishing you all the best for 2017 babe!

    Bisous, Josie
    http://www.petiteandbold.com

    1. Yes!! I stopped being so specific in NYR because I felt like they were too common and makes them harder to achieve. Something new monthly is just a great way to add color to your life with no bounds 🙂

  7. Wow you started your blog less than a year ago? You seem like a seasoned pro! And I couldn’t tell that you had taken any time off with your regular Instagram posts. Congrats on completing college. That’s a huge achievement. I hope you realize your learnings you listed are things that are ongoing. So work on them, take a break, backtrack, pause, then move forward. Life is about trying and doing your best.

    xx Yasmin
    http://banglesandbungalows.com

    1. OMG I wish I was a seasoned pro! Thank you for the kind words. And oh yes, I decided to keep as consistent as I could on Instagram just to have something running. Blogging fell onto the back burner for a while. But thanks for the positive vibes !! Definitely will do.

  8. Welcome back! Wow, you only started your blog this year? Amazing. 🙂 For a second there, I thought you really had kids. I would be sad to be sea sick on a cruise, but how wonderful that you made the best of it and had the best time! lol I love your resolutions. 🙂 I always try to let go of things that I can’t change. Not always the easiest, but a great mantra. 🙂

    I was thinking of coming back for NYFW since it’s been over a year since I’ve attended. If I do, I’ll have to send you a message. 🙂

    Wishing you an amazing 2017 babe.

    Xo,
    Miki
    http://mikialamode.com

    1. Thank you! Hah! I’ve gotten so used to calling them my kids that sometimes I don’t think about it. Letting go is definitely the hardest thing to do, but everything is a work in progress! And oh yes! If you come back, I’d love to get together!

  9. Sounds like you had a busy & productive 2016 ! The cruise, starting your blog, adding a new pet to your fam, NYFW (something I have still yet to do) and graduating, all great in their own right ! Setting goal for the future is such a positive start to the new year I am sure 2017 will be just as amazing ! HNY !
    xx,gracie
    snappedbygracie.com

  10. Whoa what an incredible year 2016 has been to you, congrats on so many firsts and graduating! Love how well your photos capture your emotions and feelings. Here’s wishing you the best of the best in 2017 and a bigger and better year than ever! Can’t wait to see all you do this year babe.
    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

  11. No worries girl! I turn 27 on the 16th of this month and I’m just now realizing what I really want to do, 6 years after I finished undergrad and less than 2 years after I finished grad. Most often, we realize what we want to do years down the line, but the important thing is that we eventually realize what truly makes us happy. That may or may not be exactly what we went to school for, but in the end, know that it all will work out as we wish 🙂

    http://www.thebeautybeau.com

  12. You look amazing love, you’re so right, Let Go Of Things You Can’t Change. I agree with that and 2017 will be amazing for us all ok. Thanks for sharing.

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