My Year In Review : 2018

I have to say that 2018 was a good year for me. I certainly had some highs and lows, but the word that comes to mind when I sum it all up is transformation. I have been reviewing this year in my mind the last few days and decided to write about it all so here we go.

I’d like to start off with thanking everyone for the support on the blog. I have a lot of plans for the blog and I’m excited to grow and share it all with you guys.

But for now let’s review …

JANUARY

I started off 2018 two months post op from having gastric sleeve surgery. At this point I was down 35 lbs and was beginning to start truly loving myself for me. I was beginning to feel more confident and finally comfortable in my skin. I also made a big decision with my schedule at the salon to create more work/life balance and removed working Saturdays from my schedule. This was a very scary decision for me because the people pleaser and workaholic in me was scared I would lose clients and make people mad, but not being there to have time with my son meant more. And so I ended my Saturday run at the salon and I can happily say my clients adjusted and I was even more busier this year!

FEBRUARY

My pivotal moment of February was attending Nancy Ruffin’s Manifest Your Vision workshop. This is her annual vision board workshop and the way she facilitated her workshops is life changing. I just adore and look up to Nancy and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her events I highly recommend it.

I also started working with a spiritual healer Vida. I have had two readings with her this year and they are life changing. She has a real mess to her that helps you see situations and yourself more clearly. She also sells amazing products my favorite is her protection sprays.

MARCH

March was filled with events and family. I had an amazing Easter with Luciano and my family. I did a lot of mom group activities with him and we had so much fun.

My on-site hair and makeup company Bella Rococo Hair & Makeup Artistry had a productive yearly team meeting with a guest speaker that got us charged for the upcoming season.

I was promoted to Senior Designer at the salon. This was a huge accomplishment for me as I was able to move up three levels in four years. I also celebrated working ten years at the salon with a ten day giveaway that my clients loved!

I also attended the International Beauty Show on NYC with my friend and coworker Lena and we got to do some shopping and support a friend who was doing platform education. It was a great time.

APRIL

At this point in my weight loss journey I was down 50lbs! The halfway point as my end goal is 100lbs. I decided to do a real Photoshoot for Mother’s Day and take some professional pictures with Luciano. As moms we are the one always taking the pictures and are rarely in them and I’m so happy I made this decision. I have always been the “behind the scenes” person. Never fully confident or comfortable with taking pictures, but working with Digna Toledo helped ease my nerves. It was also the first I celebrated how much weight I lost at this time. I also loved this shoot because of the cherry blossoms. There is something so pretty about cherry blossoms and the beautiful pastel colors. I plan on doing a Mother’s Day shoot every year to celebrate being a mom and the bond between my son and me.

MAY

May was very full and in a good way!

Salon business and Bella Rococo was very busy. I began working with Ashley Wallace on rebranding both this site and the Bella Rococo site. This was huge game changer in me asking for help and delegating which I still have trouble doing lol!

I attended the Makeup Show NYC and had a great time there! I love that show it’s one of my favorites.

I also coordinated a prom dress drive with my team and collected over 50 dresses for girls in Union County. I plan on getting even more initiatives like this in 2019.

In addition I attended a styling event with one of my hair icons the one and only Ted Gibson! I just love Ted and how he maneuvers hair with such finesse and ease! It was so cool to be in such a private space with him, ask him questions and see his tricks and tips.

JUNE

The summer was in full gear once we entered June. I have to say this month was full of fun and instrumental moments.

Munchkin, my Chiweenie pup turned two years old and of course I had a big cake and party for her lol! That dog just makes me so happy and I’m so grateful I have her in my life.

So much great things happened for my family. My nephew graduated preschool and was on his way to Kindergarten. My niece performed and killed it in her first dance recital. My brother graduated from plumbing school. Insert proud sister and aunt screams lol

I began to start working with a life coach. I am beyond grateful for my coach Sarah Wahiba Senan. She has been instrumental in changing my thoughts, helping me create boundaries and removing my limiting beliefs. I plan on writing another whole post on her and working with a life coach, but I will tell you it is the best investment you can do for yourself.

Other family fun this month was taking Luciano to his first zoo and we went to the Philadelphia Zoo. We had a blast and he loved seeing all the animals.

JULY

The summer fun did not stop here as the memories kept being created. Luciano has his first beach day and trip to the Aquarium. He loves all our adventures and seeing his smile just lights me up.

My Dad hit a milestone and we threw him a surprise 70th luau. He was totally surprised and we had an amazing night with family and his close friends.

I decided to join a moms club in my hometown as a way to connect with more moms in my area and learn more about the community. This group has been very helpful and the women are so nice. It’s hard to attend a lot of the events because of my work schedule, but I try as best I can to participate and so far it’s been a really nice experience and I’ve met some great ladies.

A major highlight was being selected by Frida Photography for her website. Luciano and I trooped over to Pennsylvania to the famous Sunflower patch in Elverson for a Photoshoot. The images she captured were amazing I have no words. It was such a great experience and I will truly cherish those pictures for the rest of my life. And Luciano was like a professional model lol

AUGUST

I ended the summer strong and with a lot of FUN! Luciano has his first trip to New York Coty and Brooklyn as we got to experience several fun pop ups. In Brooklyn we went to Into The Dream and in NYC we went to Candytopia and The Color Factory.

SEPTEMBER

I am a Fall person. I just feel that Fall is such a transformative to shed. I also tend to get super busy between the salon and Bella Rococo jobs. Booked, busy and blessed is always best lol !

I also joined an elite group known as the #notsoglamorous 5am club. This group of women are some powerhouse boss babes! We commit to waking up everyday at 5am to work on ourselves and our goals everyday from 5am-7am. We get motivational content, advise and it’s a true sisterhood! By joining this group I have gained so much insight for my business and myself!

Picture from our first #NSGNYC meet up

OCTOBER

I love October and I love Halloween!! This year my sister decided on the Wizard of Oz as our group costume and I have to say we did a damn good job! Check us out

Also, October is also Bike for MS in NYC. This was my fourth ride, however it has been two years since I participated. Last year I was having my sleeve surgery and 2016 I was pregnant. I was so scared because I didn’t train as much as I would have wanted to prepare my body for the race and it is a 30 mile bike ride throughout NYC. However, I showed up and completed the race. It was a very chilly and windy day and I had to take some breaks, but I got through it! I also raised over $500 for the MS foundation which was higher than my goal. I love doing this ride and look forward to it every year.

NOVEMBER

My birthday month!!! And one of my other favorite holidays Thanksgiving! November also marked a one year anniversary of getting the gastric sleeve surgery. I have officially lost 93lbs to date! I was very hard on myself because I didn’t reach my 100lbs goal this year, but after my supportive friends and family I decided to change my view and celebrate the fact that I lost 93lbs in one year! I know my end goal is near and I will be working very hard to make my health a priority and make fitness a non-negotiable in my life. But I have to say I am feeling so proud and comfortable in my skin. Losing the weight was not just about looking good for me. It’s about shedding weight that was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually holding me back and down. It’s about taking care of me and making myself a priority and truly falling in love with myself. I’m proud to be a work in progress and look forward to falling more in love with myself each and every day.

This picture below is my favorite picture from Thanksgiving. What I am most grateful for in this world is my son. He has taught me so much, made me work harder, love more deeply and made my life so much better. I am so grateful to be a mother and the bond we have is so strong. We are our own dynamic duo.

November 27 is my birthday! I turned 37 this year and I am a true Sagittarius through in through. After much back and forth I decided to have a birthday dinner with close friends and my family to celebrate this year and their love and support. We went to Lola’s Latin Bistro in Metuchen, NJ and had a fabulous family style dinner, lots of laughs and wine! I Am obsessed with my sequin jacket I got from Rainbow because it just sums up feeling fabulous!

DECEMBER

The final month of the year in one word was HECTIC! First this month is not only special because of the holidays, but Luciano turned two on December 5th! He had a birthday party at the Little Gym and had so much fun.

I also am proud because at this time Mike and I have made major strides in our co-parenting and are at a place where our communication is at an all time high, we have a schedule in place and Luciano is happy. Our main concern is to raise the best human being and each day we get closer to that goal. Co-parenting definitely has its highs and lows and it’s not always easy. A tip I can share is keeping communication lines open and always being respectful. Keep the main focus at the forefront which is your child and their happiness. Never argue in front of them or talk negatively about the other parent around them. It’s a constant work in progress, but I am very proud of us and how far we have come.

When you have children the holidays just get better. You get to relive the magic of Christmas in my opinion and there are so many fun activities to do with the kids. Luciano went to the Sugar and Spice Holiday Pop-Up in Brooklyn and the magical Polar Express with his cousins in Whippany, NJ. Seeing his face light up with Santa and the lights is just the best sight to see.

I wanted to do a give back project for the holiday season. I participated in the Frosty Letter project with my mom group. A child writes a letter to Frosty with their Christmas wishes. I had two twin brothers who were soccer fanatics and got them everything on their list ! The first thing they asked for was a winter coat. This broke my heart because no child should have to ask for that for Christmas. This was a great initiative and I was so happy to be apart of it. I also teamed up with Luciano’s day care The Learning Experience in Woodbridge, NJ and collected toys for their toy drive. I had a goal of collecting 50 toys and doubled that by collecting 102 toys! The school was able to donate over 300 brand new toys to Catholic charities for their annual Christmas party.

Christmas was great this year as we had matching pajamas, seven fishes Christmas Eve dinner and family time.

As I reflect just on this last month I realize that I need to better prepare for this month especially since it’s Luciano’s Birthday, the holidays and the busiest time of year in the salon. I decided to work extra days this month and literally worked almost everyday with only a day off here and there. The financial gain doesn’t always match the effort and I’m left leaving the year exhausted and run down. Always feeling rushed and unorganized. I will not be doing this to myself anymore. I will continue to work hard but making sure there is enough rest time in between.

It’s about the journey… the transformation. As I reflect on this year I feel proud and I feel ready for the next phase of my journey into becoming the woman I need and am meant to be. For every low there was a high and a lesson.

I see a lot of posts about their year in review and I feel it is important to celebrate and review your year. When you sit down to do this you will actually surprise yourself on how much you actually accomplished.

My word for 2019 is FOCUS! I plan on being laser focused on all areas of my life. Truly loving with passion and purpose and giving each day 100%! I look forward to elevating and sharing my story with you all.

I’d like to wish you all a very happy new year and here’s to 2019!

Feel free to share your celebrations of 2018 or your word for 2019 below. I’d love to hear from you!

Xoxo

Stefanie

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