|Photo credit: Emily Sacra Photography|
I definitely have a lot to say about this year, so without any further ado...
January ("Belated Holiday Style") - This was the first post where the pictures were taken on my DSLR camera- it was right after I got it for Christmas!
February: ("Sale Rack Sequins") - Pictures taken by my blogger buddies Cara and Gina during a meet-up that we had in Greensboro, NC!
March: ("Floral: A Family Affair") - This dress used to be my mom's, and I used to play dress-up in it as a little girl. Talk about a #TransformationTuesday!
April: ("Black Diamond Formal 2015") - It's always a highlight for me to share about some of my sorority experiences here on the blog, and our spring formal is something that I look forward to every year! I did pictures for formal in Uptown Charlotte this year.
May: ("Blackout Derby Style") - It's always a treat for me when I get to meet up with and shoot with my photographer friend Meredith of Meredith Sledge photography!! May 2015 brought an opportunity for us to meet up on my drive back home from school. :-)
June: ("National Wear Your Lilly Day 2015") - A prescheduled post during my time abroad in France, but one of my favorites nonetheless! My tribute to every Lilly lover's summer favorite holiday!
July: ("Southern Belle in The 'Bunk: True Colors") From my hometown summer posting series all about Maine and my region of the state- this post was one of my favorites of the series! My longtime bestie Katie took the photos for this post and absolutely killed it.
August: ("I'm Blue [Da Ba Dee Da Ba Da]") - Is it any surprise that one of my favorite posts is one that I titled after an early 2000s one hit wonder song?!
September: ("She Leaves a Little Sparkle Wherever She Goes") My dream 21st birthday photoshoot...thank-you to the amazing Emily of Emily Sacra photography for making this happen!
October: ("Poncho in the Pumpkin Patch") - One of my favorite fall outfits that I've ever worn on my blog!
November: ("Neutral Pattern Mixing") This outfit got a lot of love via blog comments and on social media!
December: ("Holiday Party Outfit: Glammed Out Holiday Look") - Ending a great year of outfits on a sparkly note!
2015 was the biggest year by far that I've had in blogging yet! I made lots of new blogging friends, attending (and even planned!) meet-ups with other bloggers, collaborated with amazing brands, co-founded and launched the Millennial Blogger Network back in the spring, and truly began to treat my blog like a business, and not just a side hobby.
Because I believe in being honest with all of you (we're all friends here, right?!), and after all of the wonderful feedback that y'all gave me last week on the fact that you enjoy when I pour more of my heart into the deeper faith type posts here on the blog..... I'm about to be real honest with all of you about something (actually not faith related- blog related)...
Probably one of the worst things that I went through in 2015, both on a blogging level and also on a personal level, was that I was declined from rewardStyle yet again. If you are a fashion blogger yourself or follow any fashion bloggers closely on social media, then you know that rS is coming close to monopolizing the fashion blogging market right now. They have the best technology, networking and opportunities for fashion bloggers. I had first applied to join years ago, shortly after I started this blog, and it really is of no surprise that I was declined then. I didn't have much of following, and many aspects of my blog needed a lot of work.
But the amount of time that I have put into my blog since that first application a couple of years ago is, well, a ton. I've rebranded, completely revamped the photography quality and content of posts, built a following, etc. I am by no means the biggest blogger on the block, but I have definitely grown and have work to be proud of. Most of my fashion blogging friends are now rS members, and I would be lying if I said that it definitely was a personal blow to me at times this year that I still wasn't in. I'm not sure if this is a good analogy of not, but it felt like I was going through sorority recruitment again, but the blogger edition, and all of my friends had gotten into sororities but I had been dropped from every house. Don't get me wrong- I am beyond thrilled for each one of my blogging friends who is a member, they all deserve it, and I can't wait to see how their blogs will continue to grow and flourish. The blogging community should be about supporting each other's successes and lifting each other up. But at the same time.... as the months literally have turned to years for me, I wonder when my time will come.
I genuinely hope that posting the above paragraphs here on my blog won't harm my chances of re-applying for rS in 2016- but at this point, what do I have to lose?! ;-) Haha. I know that I am not the only blogger who has been declined before, and I feel like this subject can be a bit taboo and "hush hush" in the blogging community.
Coming into 2016- I don't want any bloggers to feel like a failure. No matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000, whatever your goals are, you will someday achieve them. And if you don't achieve them on your own personal timeline, that is okay. Sometimes different but still good things can happen in the meantime. I didn't get into rewardStyle in 2015, but I absolutely kicked butt at making my blog the best that it could be (despite being a full-time college student, and actually getting a 4.0 this past fall semester!). I also still managed to work out some collaborations with some incredible companies, and for that I am proud and grateful.
Thank-you for letting me be brave and share a bit of my heart about blogging with you today! And most importantly, thank-you all for reading my blog in 2015, and for being such supportive and wonderful followers! Here's to 2016..... <3
xoxo Annaliese / Miss ALK