The end of the year is always a confusing time for me, personally. Those days in between Christmas and New Years Eve - there's a reason everyone jokes about not knowing who you are, what you're doing, and what day it is. There's truth to it. The beginning of something new is approaching, and whether you believe in resolutions or not, there's a freshness to the new year that has an impact on everyone. So, with the influx of #bestof2016 posts flooding on my Instagram feed, I thought I'd take the time to reflect on my absolute favorite things that have happened this year before it's over.
January 2016: An in-motion shot from the first blog post of this year. Reflecting on this blog post, I had said 2015 was the craziest year of my life (oh, how wrong I was). This year, 2016, definitely takes the cake.
January 2016: At the beginning of 2016, I had the opportunity to be featured on the Urban Outfitters blog (you can find the article here: http://blog.urbanoutfitters.com/blog/uo_interviews_dream_rooms). The title of the feature was "Dream Rooms," and truth be told, it really was a dream.
February 2016: I was fortunate enough to speak at MAGIC with @WWDMagic on panel about my experience as a blogger and the different aspects of social media. It was truly an incredible experience as I had no idea what I was doing half the time (ha ha), but it also made being called an "online influencer" much more real for me. In case you haven't been following me from the beginning, I never really set out to start a blog. I started out sharing my outfits on my personal Instagram, which led me to wanting to try out making YouTube videos at the end of 2014, which led to the start of my blog at the end of 2015, which has led to everything I'm doing now. Realizing that others valued my take on this "digital age career" was an awakening of sorts.
February 2016: While I had started making YouTube videos at the beginning of 2015 - I was also working a standard 9-5 job in Dallas, Texas at the time. For personal reasons, my husband and I ended up moving back to California (where he originally grew up) in September of that year - which really took my focus away from making videos and led to a pretty long hiatus. After attending MAGIC, I realized that making YouTube videos was something that I loved and I really missed creating content for that platform (as it's vastly different from creating content for Instagram). So, I stopped being lazy and posted my first video in a very long time - a tutorial on the hairstyle below (watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljfQOkyvgLI&t=2s).
April 2016: Raleigh and I have been together for 6 years now, so I always struggle with what to get him for his birthday (always looking to top last year's gift) - so, I decided to cross something off of his bucket list: seeing the cherry blossoms bloom in Tokyo, Japan
April 2016: While we were there, we had the opportunity to work with an old colleague of mine's backpack company on Instagram - you can see me sporting the backpack in my Tokyo Travel Diary video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIdPm_umi9Q&list=PLWaviZc81Xr-I61-D_UCjgUFMb8nCfblD&index=5.
May 2016: As there's no shortage of bohemian influence on my wardrobe, I ended up collaborating with Minnetonka Moccasins and being featured on their blog here: https://www.minnetonkamoccasin.com/blog/myminnetonka-audrie-storme/.
May 2016: The babes from @Bloguettes reach out to me to teach classes on product styling for their Instacamp. Read up on the interview they did on me here: https://bloguettes.com/meet-instacamp-product-styling-director-audrie-storme/ and see snippets of my time there in my Palm Springs Travel Diary here:
June 2016: I finally decide that I'm blonde enough to dye my hair purple (to see how I did it, watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85Ax4sx96EA&t=11s&list=PLWaviZc81Xr9Tl20MyxxU5DvaqhT--KQ2&index=3).
August 2016: Raleigh takes me to Belize for my birthday (and I can honestly admit that San Pedro is probably the most naturally beautiful place I've ever been).
September 2016: I collaborate with @crystalj_beauty and she gives me a stormy grey hair color.
September 2016: Raleigh and I move to an apartment in Belmont Shore in Long Beach.
October 2016: I hit 10,000k subscribers on my YouTube channel.
October 2016: I collaborate with Adore Me for my very first sponsored video (which is currently at 179,000k+ views)!
November 2016: I collaborate with @crystalj_beauty once again and she gives me a bubblegum pink hair color.
November 2016: Raleigh and I elope and take our third international trip this year to Paris, France for our honeymoon. See my Paris video playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWaviZc81Xr9yuu371KHZxX2di0ETxryB.
December 2016: As our Christmas present to each other, Raleigh drives us up to reconnect with nature and gain some much needed inspiration in Lake Arrowhead, California. While we're there, I hit 1 million views on my YouTube channel.
Now: While these moments are all my personal highlights of 2016, there's also a lot that I haven't shared. This year has honestly been the best year of my life, but also the worst in some ways. Looking for and finding success as a blogger, YouTuber, influencer (whatever you want to call it) can seem glamorous from the outside, but behind-the-scenes, there are a lot of late nights, disappointments about missed opportunities, feelings of self-doubt, and failures - all the while trying to maintain a personal, private life.
Looking back, I'm incredibly grateful for everything I've achieved this year, but there's also a lot that I wish I had done differently. I haven't been as active on this blog as I've wanted to, I've kind of gravitated away from fashion/beauty and become more of a lifestyle content creator (which isn't a bad thing, but I definitely want to take on more projects in that realm in the near future), I haven't really been taking care of myself health and fitness-wise (I don't talk about this too often, but I need to get back to a healthier diet and more active fitness routine as I haven't really been happy with my body image since I've been focusing more on YouTube, traveling, and the holiday season lately), and lastly - while I know that I've been up to a lot this year, I still feel like I can do better. Like I can do more. And I will.
So, here's to you, 2016. You have truly been the most incredible year of my life, and I hope to feel like this at the end of every year. Thankfully, I have a lot of things already planned for next year, and I can't wait to share what I'm working on. All I can say is that I promise to give it everything I have. Come at me, 2017.