January 02, 2020

Journey through 2019 ... Year In Review

East Village New York NYC

So it's 2020. Are you psyched or a little hesitant about the New Year?! I feel mixed things. On one hand, I have the overwhelming feeling that this is going to be a really great year 😎  I'm not sure why! On the other, there's always this nagging notion that time is moving too fast. I wish I could pause the world sometimes rather than feeling like I'm just bouncing from moment to moment. But 2019 sure was an interesting year!


First of all...




It's the year I'll always remember that I fully embraced adult things and started taking myself seriously. Most people equate this as settling down in their marriage, trying for babies, going after that promotion, and investing in their 401k (not that I'm NOT thinking about/ doing those things...)

But this is ME we're talking about. So how did I take myself seriously in 2019?

✨πŸ“·✨ Instagram ✨πŸ“·✨ 


It started off as a hobby, just to see what I could do with it. Then it turned into a kinda-serious hobby. Then I started making money from it. I started getting invited to events and trips. So I decided to invest more. I invested time, energy and money into a platform that most people think of as a vain distraction. But you know what? It worked! Sometimes it's hard for me to believe, but it's taken me places I couldn't have dreamed of even last year at this time.

If you told me a few years ago that I'd make more money and gain more respect by posting daily photos of myself on a social media platform, I'd tell you that you were crazy! But it's true!! Instagram, Youtube, blogging etc. are legitimate career paths now, and I'm fully embracing it.

Obviously, I've had this blog for a very long time. But Instagram has given me more traffic and amplified my voice than I could've ever gotten on my own. I know there are mixed feelings about Instagram, but I'm personally very grateful that it gives so many women opportunities to grow economically and be heard.

I'm super excited to see where this takes me this coming year, and excited to share with you everything on my journey! ❤️❤️❤️


I didn't do a great job of documenting everything that's happened here on the blog, but I hope to change that this year! In the meantime, I wanted to do a little review of some of the moments that I felt most proud of this year!


JANUARY

The Saguaro Palm springs
Cabin camping Vermont



We started off New Year's with a bang in Palm Springs!

I've always wanted to go. To make it even better we stayed at The Saguaro, which is basically Blog Central... it's so colorful and happy looking in photos, and was that way in person too!!


We also celebrated Matt's birthday with an annual trip up to a cute little red cabin in the Vermont woods. This place is the real deal... There's no electricity, no running water, no heat (except for a wood stove), and you have to hike up a huge icy hill to get there... it's too steep and treacherous for a car.

It sounds really intimidating, and I'll be honest... I don't love being away from a hot shower for long. However, it's really peaceful to be truly disconnected from everything. 


FEBRUARY

Jax

We adopted a new kitten- meet Jax!

I'm not sure how long you've been reading my blog, but Matt and I used to have four cats, most of them adopted from the streets when we used to live in Brooklyn. Over the last few years, 3 have passed away, the last leaving us before Christmas in 2018. It was absolutely devastating, and we decided to add a new baby to our family to ease the pain of our loss. So we got little Jax in February at a cat rescue in the city.

Thelonious is the only kitty from our original crew still holding on. She was skeptical about Jax at first, but now they get along fabulously. I suspect she really likes her new role as Queen πŸ±πŸ‘‘


MARCH

Backing vocals


Lots of music stuff happening!

My friend Tamar has a songwriting publishing deal, and I had been working on writing a song with her for a couple of months. Well, it finally got the green light from her publisher and she went into the recording studio! I went in for a day to put down background vocals for it.

I'd also been working on another song that I'd been commissioned to write on my own. It was for an independent film called Batsh*t Bride, and I went into the studio to record that song as well!


APRIL 


Three Olives rosΓ©  Vodka


I got my first big Instagram collab with Three Olives Vodka

I was super proud of myself, as it was the most I'd ever been paid at that time for collaboration! When I was blogging years ago and had lower amounts of traffic, the most I'd been paid for a sponsored post was $100. This was definitely more than that πŸ’°  I felt vindicated!

They were awesome to work with and had a super cute theme where we were going to "RosΓ©velt Island" to celebrate their new rosΓ© flavored vodka. It was so fun coming up with a concept for it & shooting with my husband!


MAY

Tulum Mexico Ruins
Matcha Mama Tulum Mexico



Matt and I went on a dream vacation to Cozumel and Tulum

I'd never been to Mexico before, and had been wanting to go to Tulum since I saw it popping up on my Instagram feed the previous year. It looked like a paradise on earth to me, and definitely lived up to the hype 😍It was everything my boho heart has ever dreamed of. Our hotel was right on the beach, and felt like our own private jungle. Plus it was so easy to get everywhere, and people were super friendly.

Matt wanted to add Cozumel in, because he's been getting into scuba diving in the last few years, and apparently, this town is a great spot for it. Oh yeah! I almost forgot... I went scuba diving for the first time as well!

We really loved Mexico in general, and hope to go a lot more, since it's so easy to get to!


JUNE

Bermuda Carnival Cruise
Mccarren Hotel and Pool Brooklyn NY


Paid cruise to Bermuda with Carnival!! 

Another dream come true! I grabbed my friend Tamar to help with photography (the same songwriting friend), and we had quite an adventure!

I'll admit, it was a lot more work than I thought it would be... I was basically working the entire time since I was also hired to take photos of the ship. However, I was so happy to be able to spend more time with my friend, travel to a new place I'd never seen, and have a really cool experience that I'll never forget.

ALSO, my birthday happened on the same weekend that I got a paid collaboration to do a staycation with HotelTonight.com!




JULY

Goat yoga
Wittenburg Mountain Catskills New York


Fun roadtrip to Maine for the 4th of July!

My brother lives in Maine, and we've started to make this an annual family tradition to go see him. #1 because my brother works a lot and can't always take time off to visit. #2 because 4th of July is my husband's favorite holiday! He loves to shoot off the kind of fireworks that are illegal in our state (but legal in Maine!) So it makes perfect sense. This year we also made a short trip to Acadia National Park and ate copious amounts of lobster rolls (of course.)

This was also the month that I had another fun project with with a brand-  Herbal Essences  had me doing goat yoga in Connecticut for one of their products featuring Argan oil!

Matt and I closed out the month by going camping in the Catskills. We climbed Wittenburg Mountain and hung out with a deer up-close! 

AUGUST

Maine


More music! Movie and album release! 

The movie I'd been writing and recording for- Batsh*t Bride - was finally released after 2-3 years of production. I went to the premiers and was even part of a Q&A that they set up with the director & crew after the screening!

The song had to be put on Spotify as part of the marketing efforts for the film. So I decided to take the chance to combine it with a previously recorded EP. This was the month that I finally decided to release my 6-year-old album (old enough to be in first grade, WOW πŸ˜‚)  that had been sitting on the shelf.

At the time when I had recorded it, I was really proud and felt that it was an advancement in my artistry. But I got caught up in the pressure of trying to release it the "right" way. Time kept sliding on, a big move and a marriage happened. Then after a while, the music became associated with a time in my life I couldn't bear to look at anymore, and feelings that I just didn't want to deal with.

It felt really good to finally be confident enough to just put it out there, no matter who was or wasn't listening.

You can listen to it here!!


SEPTEMBER

BlogHer 2019


BlogHer conference and FOX collab!

I got the chance to attend the BlogHer conference in NYC as a guest! If you've never attended a blogging conference before, I recommend it! It's a really great way to meet other bloggers, connect with brands, and keep on top of industry trends.

I also got a collaboration with FOX through it as well, who was promoting a new show!


OCTOBER

Golden Harvest Farms NEw York Pumpkin patch
Halloween girls NYC
Painted Ladies Full House Houses San Francisco


Fall festivities and San Francisco!

I don't know if you're aware, but fall is really big in the blogging and Instagram world πŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒ In part, I think because it's the perfect launchpad into the holiday season for brands. Everyone starts ramping up their content, and you'll notice an uptick in sponsored posts gradually increasing from October to December.

Either way, I decided to fully commit to the fall content craze with several trips to the pumpkin patch, the Great Jack O'lantern Blaze, and Halloween decorating parties (see the my shoot with Vicki, Lauren, Ivy, and Martha!)

Matt also took a business trip to San Francisco and invited me along! We got to see the Painted Ladies, where I geeked out over Full House nostalgia. The highlight was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge ❤️


NOVEMBER

Dunkin Donuts
Top of the Rock NYC


Collab with Dunkin'!

This month I was super excited to work with Dunkin' for a campaign introducing their new flavors for the holiday season! I'm a coffee lover through and through, and am mildly obsessed with Dunkin' so this was a dream collaboration for me. I got to go to a breakfast event and wear this amazing onesie ❤️

Also, I went to Top of the Rock for the first time and witnessed the amazingness of NYC from a perspective I'd never seen before.

DECEMBER 

Rockefeller Center NYC
Holiday Presents
Happy New Year


Holiday overload and working with more cool brands!

So like I was saying before, this month IS IT for the online/ blogging world. I did ALL the holiday things in order to get great content and document it for my blog.... ice skating at Rockefeller Center, eating at Rolf's German Restaurant, Bryant Park Winter Village... to name a few!

I have to say Rock Center was my favorite. Especially since I'd been invited by a friend to go as part of a VIP blogger event πŸ€© I got to see/ skate with lots of blogging "celebs" and I'm not gonna lie... I was a little starstruck (and I'd like the name of their dermatologists... all of them had PERFECT skin.)

I also did some really cool campaigns with Amazon and Whole Foods... both brands that I use and shop with all the time, so I loved coming up with engaging content for them!



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WOW. Writing all that out, I can't believe everything I did last year! This year will be even better 😊 I'm hoping to write out a big masterlist of goals that I'll post on the blog soon!

I hope your year was amazing too, and maybe you want to share some of your big moments! Tag me on Instagram @chantillysongs so I can see what you've been up to.

Lots of love!

♥♥♥ Follow me on Instagram!  @chantillysongs
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