Hey y’all! It’s so hard to believe that 2018 is almost over! Is it just me, or has this been the fastest year yet?! I feel like the final two months have especially flown by. It seriously seems like it was just Halloween the other day. Anyways, yesterday I shared an open letter to 2018, with some general sentiments that defined my year. Today I’m going to get a bit more specific and share a handful of memories and highlights from 2018. So here we go with my 2018 in review:
I must start off by sharing the two best decisions I made during 2018, because they have both facilitated positive changes and new opportunities for me. Because of these two decisions, the positives of 2018 outweigh the negative.
Starting This Blog
Starting this blog in late February was hands-down one of the best decisions I’ve made not only this year, but also in my life. I will share a more detailed post when my one-year blogging anniversary arrives in February. But for now, I will say that I originally started this blog as a creative outlet to share how I style outfits, as well as my other passions. Palmettos & Pineapples has fulfilled this aspiration, but also become so much more. Ten months ago I never would have imagined all the amazing connections I have made with like-minded women in different parts of the country. It’s opened the door to some amazing opportunities I didn’t see coming when I started, like getting accepted to rewardStyle and having the opportunity to collaborate with Ann Taylor. Blogging has also increased my confidence and given me a greater sense of purpose I didn’t have beforehand.
Joining Bible Study Fellowship (BSF)
Over the past few years, I had occasionally heard some friends and acquaintances talk about how much they enjoyed the young adults Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) group in Raleigh. For a couple years, it didn’t work out with my schedule. And to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by BSF. I had heard it was an intensive Bible Study with a lot of homework. Even though I have been a Christian for years, I worried that the homework would be too hard for me. I also didn’t know very many people who went.
However, I decided to go for it anyways when I realized BSF would fit into my schedule this fall. It was a step out of my comfort zone, but four months later I haven’t looked back. From the first event I went to, I immediately felt welcomed. I have formed some amazing connections with the girls in my discussion group. Some of them have quickly become my closest friends. Furthermore, BSF feels like a cohesive Christian community, rather than a group with a bunch of cliques. I will have to share some more reflections in a future post about what a special community my BSF class is. In addition to making some great friends, the Bible study aspect has also been wonderful and helped me grow in my faith!
More Highlights and Memorable Moments
To be completely honest, the two great decisions I just described have really been the two biggest highlights of my year. Other those things, no major life events happened. And I didn’t go on any trips or have any experiences super unusual from anything I’ve done in the past. However, I still wanted to share a few highlights from my 2018:
First Trip to Carowinds
Back in June, I took a day trip to Carowinds with my best friend. It was my first visit there and it actually was quite the adventure driving down and back in the same day. (Carowinds is a little over two hours away from Durham). Although Carowinds is no Disney World or even Busch Gardens, we still had a great time and I’m glad we went. The best part was a photo opp with Snoopy. You can read more about my Carowinds trip here.
Lots of Beach Trips
Spending lots of time on the North Carolina coast is a highlight every summer, and 2018 was no exception. All of this year’s beach trips were to Emerald Isle. You can check out my Emerald Isle Travel Guide here. I’m so thankful that my family’s place did not suffer any major damage from Hurricane Florence.
Visits to South Carolina
I definitely made fewer trips down to South Carolina in 2018 than in past years, I still enjoyed two wonderful weekend visits to Greenville and Clemson this fall. These visits getting to reconnect with old friends and visit my old stomping grounds in Greenville are always a memorable part of every year. And of course I love that cheering on my Clemson Tigers is always a huge part of these South Carolina weekend road trips.
Fall 2018 was definitely another memorable season for Clemson football. And it’s not over yet because my Tigers are playing for the national championship one week from today. They’re currently undefeated at 14-0. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to witness three of those wins in person- two games at Clemson and one game at Wake Forest. Getting a couple photo opps with the Tiger Cub was also a highlight of my 2018!
Getting a Mammogram and Breast MRI
I don’t think I would call this a highlight, but one significant part of my 2018 was starting breast cancer screening beyond the monthly self-exams. Even though I’m years younger than 40, my doctor recommended starting to get a mammogram and breast MRI each year due to some personal risk factors. I am pleased that everything checked out fine, but it was definitely a scary and humbling experience. You can read more about all that here.
Favorite Featured Outfits
Next I wanted to share a few of my favorite outfits I’ve shot for the blog in 2018. As much as I wish I could hire a professional to shoot all my outfit pictures, that’s just not possible at this point in my blogging journey. However, it’s extra special when I am able to hire a photographer, and I’m also so thankful that both of my blog photographers are also friends of mine. I love that I have been able to support their small businesses in 2018, and their quality images have helped me grow my blog. And when your photographer also knows you on a personal level, it makes shoots that much more fun. Shoutout to Amelia Cassar Photography and Reveling Spaces for their talents!
Lauren James Harper Dress
This look I shot back in March will always be one of my favorites because it was the first professional photo shoot I did for Palmettos & Pineapples. Check out this post for more pictures.
Lilly Pulitzer Etta Top in Home Slice
This pink & green pineapple print Lilly v-neck top was one of my favorite purchases in 2018. (I will share more of my favorite purchases in another section of this post). This shoot from April was also super fun because it included yummy ice cream at The Parlour in downtown Durham. View more in this post.
Lauren James Emmie Tank
This citrus print spaghetti strap top from Lauren James was another favorite addition to my closet, and I loved taking blog photos around UNC’s campus back in June. See more pictures from this shoot here.
Lauren James Brooke Gingham Dress
Although not pictured here, this shoot at Maple View Farms also involved delicious ice cream. A gorgeous sunset made it even better. This light blue gingham dress by Lauren James is yet another favorite purchase of mine from 2018. More pics here.
Lauren James Ali Slub Top
I love this basic top from Lauren James, and it was really fun taking photos at LocoPops in Durham. View more here.
Target Leopard Print Sweater
Leopard print is one of my favorite trends from 2018, so I had to take some photos in this sweater back in the fall. Location for this shoot was Brightleaf Square, one of my fave areas of downtown Durham. More pics here.
Lauren James Plaid Flannel Skirt
Taking blog photos among the Christmas decorations at The Carolina Inn was absolutely magical, and this Lauren James plaid flannel skirt was the best festive addition to my wardrobe. See more pics from this festive shoot here.
In addition to some of the outfits I highlighted above, here are a few more of my favorite purchases from 2018. (Note: I’ve included some affiliate links in this section. If you decide to shop my favorite 2018 purchases via these links, I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks for your support of Palmettos & Pineapples!)
Kendra Scott Elaina Bracelet and Elisa Pendant
I have gotten hooked on Kendra Scott in 2018. The Elisa Pendant was the first piece of Kendra I got, and I used my birthday discount. My other favorite Kendra Scott purchase is the Elaina bracelet (pictured below). I think I’ve literally worn it almost every day since I bought it two and a half months ago.
Lilly Pulitzer Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf
The Lilly scarf pictured above is another one of my favorite purchases from 2018. The best part is it benefitted breast cancer awareness. You can read more about it here.
Tory Burch Marsden Tote
I splurged and treated myself to this Tory Burch bag during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this summer, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a very functional bag, and I get so many compliments on it.
(Amelia Cassar Photography)
Lilly Pulitzer Hangin’ with My Boo
I must include my Lilly Pulitzer infinity scarf and keychain ID holder in the Hangin’ with My Boo print in my favorite purchases of 2018! It was such a treat that Lilly introduced their first panda print since early 2010! Hangin’ with My Boo was definitely my favorite Lilly print of 2018. And as a bonus I got a gorgeous Lilly stocking for free when I bought these two items. You can see more pics here of how I styled my Hangin’ with My Boo scarf.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram and the blog for awhile, then you know I am obsessed with Duffy the Disney Bear (read more about Duffy here). So when the plush version of his cat friend, Gelatoni, became available for online purchase in the US for a brief period early this year, I had to buy him. And I’m so glad I did. Now if only I can make it to Tokyo Disney to meet the entire gang in person!
Canon Rebel T6
I also bought my first ever DSLR camera in 2018. It’s a basic model, but it fit into my budget and its still a step above an iPhone or point & shoot camera. I’m glad to have it for documenting memories in my personal life, and it’s good to have for blogging too.
It’s Been Real 2018!
I feel like there’s so much more I could reflect on about 2018, but this post is already getting a bit long, and I wanted to get it published before I head out to a friend’s house shortly for a low-key party to ring in 2019. What were some of your highlights of 2018?
Wishing y’all a safe and happy New Year. See y’all on the flip side!