My #BestNine of 2016

Happy New Year! I’m loving the recent Instagram trend inspired by the end of 2016 where people are posting a collage of their best 9 moments of the year. So here’s a #latepost of my best nine moments from 2016…in retrospect, and completely ignoring the fiasco that was Election Day, 2016 wasn’t all that bad 🙂

 

  1. White House Easter Egg Roll: This year we were granted the amazing opportunity to go to the White House Easter Egg Roll. I was so excited and hopeful that my son would get to meet the first black, and in my opinion the best, President of the United States. Although we didn’t get to meet the great Obama himself, my son got to meet many of his favorite characters like Peppa Pig, The Cat in the Hat, and Curious George. Plus it was still an unforgettable experience to be amongst all of the history and greatness of the White House. Not every kid can say they’ve played on the South Lawn.

best-nine-1best-nine-1-2

  1. Roooooooooad Triiiippp!!!: So at the beginning of 2016 the travel bug hit me really hard! It became a major part of my vision board, and I made travel happen. I was willing and ready to hop in the car and drive for hours just to see new sites and places. I’m most proud of myself for driving to and from Detroit without any help – that’s 10 hours each way! I’d say I have earned my driving stripes.
  2. Family Reunion: During the summer of 2016 I executed my first big event – my family’s first Family Reunion. It took a little over 2 years to coordinate, but in the end it was all worth it. I learned so much about my management style and doing business with family; and pulling this event off really solidified my career decision to pursue event planning. And my family enjoyed the heck out of themselves. On top of just getting together again and seeing faces we hadn’t seen in years, we enjoyed 3 days of fun-filled activities and good food.

                                   best-nine-3-1 best-nine-3-2

  1. Career Choice: I’ve had a lot of time to figure out in which direction I want to take my career. During 2016 I decided to focus my entrepreneurial efforts on PR and special event management. It’s something that I enjoy and am pretty good at doing. As I gained new clients and assignments I did not stray from this focus. I’m looking forward to reaching new heights and milestones in 2017 while being my own boss.
  2. Leaders in Heels: One of my most proud accomplishments in 2016 was starting a nonprofit organization! Together with a group of friends I became a founding member of Leaders in Heels, Inc. Our mission is to empower professional women in Metro Atlanta, and strengthen young women through community outreach, establishing supportive relationships, and mentoring the next generation of young women. We accomplished many great things this year including several community service projects and our first voter registration drive (led by yours truly! 🙂 )


best-nine-5-2

  1. Home School: Everyone has been telling me that I “need” to put my son in school. I have heard it so much that I began to believe them and started entertaining the idea by researching and visiting schools in the area. But to be true to myself, school does not fit our lifestyle right now. So instead of sending him out to school I gathered my own research, consulted my sister who’s a kindergarten teacher, and began teaching my son at home. He enjoys our homeschool days and has learned so much: Spanish and French, numbers to 100 (and beyond), sight words, basic math, and letter and sound recognition just to name a few things. By no means do I claim to be a teacher, but I am proud of our progress. best-nine-6
  2. My Sister is Married!!!: One of my closest friends, whom I call my sister, got married in 2016! Although there was a little stress and what felt like chaos leading up to her nuptials, the wedding day was absolutely gorgeous! I was the Matron of Honor and helped pull off one amazing bachelorette party. I was willing and ready to help in any way that I could. I am so happy and proud of her. She was the most beautiful bride and I know she’s enjoying being an awesome wife. best-nine-7
  3. Thanksgiving Dinner: Usually for the holidays my husband and I make arrangements to either fly out to spend time with my family or have dinner with his. This year we decided to have Thanksgiving Dinner by ourselves – and It. Was. Great. We made the entire meal all by ourselves, and just enjoyed a relaxing day. There was no trying to make it to anyone’s house by a certain time, no pressure of having the best tasting dish, and no trying to pack up leftovers to take home. We ate and chilled and loved every minute of it.
  4. Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!: I’ve been trying to find and create holiday traditions of my own to carry out with my son and husband. In the past years we had both a baby and a dog and we skipped out on putting up a Christmas tree because we weren’t sure how they would take to it. But this year we decided to put one up because our son is well aware of Christmas and all that comes with it. My son loved the tree so much he was constantly trying to show it off. The best part was reliving my childhood seeing all of the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. best-nine-9

 

These summarized the highlights of my 2016, and I’m looking forward to the highlights of 2017. What’s your best 9?

 

Vision Board Party

For my birthday this year I hosted a vision board party. It was my first time creating a vision board and I wanted to do something different for my birthday. Everything turned out perfectly. So here are a few things I’ll share for hosting your own vision board party.

Make sure there’s plenty of room: So I hosted the party inside of my home, which is not that big, but we made it work. I connected a few card tables together to make sure everyone had room for their boards. Even if your guests are not making large boards they will still need plenty of creative space. Make sure there’s plenty of room for each person.

image_12 by .

image_8 by .

Food & drinks must be present: you can’t invite people over and not be willing to feed them. For my party I did a brunch theme. Here’s a picture of the menu.

photo(1) by .

Be prepared to have plenty of food/snacks because creating a vision board takes some time. Drinks help your guests get comfortable and gets their creativity flowing.

image_2 by .

Artistic expression is welcomed: I designated a station specifically for the supplies we would need for our boards. I had tons of magazines, markers, glue (sticks & hot glue), tape, stickers, letters, ribbon, beads, etc. Encourage your guests to get as creative as possible. The goal is to let their personality show through their board. I decided to supply all of the art supplies and only required my guests to bring their own board. But you can encourage your party goers to bring their art supplies with them.

image_10 by .

It’s an all-day affair: I didn’t expect everyone to stay until the end, meaning when their vision board was complete. But I’m glad they did! If people leave without completing their board, chances are they will not finish it. So prepare to have your guests for several hours. With the girl talk and the snacking and the drinking, it makes for a great day.

DSCN1114 by . image_9 by .

The parting gift: Even though it was my birthday celebration I wanted to give my guests a “thank you for coming” gift. I decided to give photo albums so that my guests could document the things they accomplish throughout the year.

photo 1 by .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have fun with it: One thing that I loved about the party is that everyone was able to help and share with each other. “Let me know if anybody finds a picture of Solange!” “I need a 5.” “I’m looking for the word ‘self’.” “Oh that’s a nice beach picture, can I have that?” Everyone knew the end goal was to get our visions on paper, and we were all willing to help the next girl out. There was much talking, laughing, reminiscing, and good energy flowing through the room.

DSCN1105 by .   image by . image_1 by .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m very happy about how I celebrated my birthday this year. I’m glad everyone enjoyed themselves. And I can’t wait to celebrate my friends’ successes throughout the year.