I think 2021 will go down as a year that truly passed in such a blur. As I write this I can hardly believe 11 months of 2021 have already passed.
2021 Year in Review
This year was a big one for me. It was the year I bought my first apartment. The year I invested in my future in more ways than one. It was the year I met my niece. The year I surpassed a business financial goal substantially. It was a year of major growth.
And yet 2021 seemed to still carry so much of the hardship and fear of 2020. It felt like we all were operating with a level of post-traumatic stress disorder from all we endured last year. And yet still the pandemic persisted this year. It continued to make reunions hard. It made decision making even harder. It continued to permeate our day to day and the unknown and the uncertainty of 2020 still felt all too familiar this year.
Amidst that uncertainty, I was grateful every day for the COVID vaccines and my family all being able to be vaccinated so that we could finally reconnect. This year brought a lot of joy with my family. I went to Colorado three times. And spent two weeks there in the summer with my brother and sister in law whom I hadn’t seen in nearly two years and I finally got to hug, kiss and hold hands with my niece. It was time I will always cherish.
And we celebrated my other brother’s thirteen person pandemic wedding while we look forward to the postponed affair next year. So much of this year didn’t end up looking how we imagined it – but in the end it was good to have the time together and to know there’s more to look forward to on the horizon.
On the professional front, this year I published 263 blog posts (over 40 more than 2020!) The year’s most popular posts were:
- Revealing My Brooklyn Parisian Apartment
- Westman Atelier Review
- Things I’ve Bought and Loved Recently – Fall Edition
- Nap Dress Review
- The Best Sezane Essentials
- Vuori Joggers Review
I surpassed a lot of the goals I set for wit & whimsy this year and found a lot of drive from consistently checking in through the year with those goals. I continued to make strategic investments in Search Engine Optimization and I hired a consultant to help me re-design my newsletter strategy and change the platform on which it lives.
I also re-branded the site! I worked with a designer to re-design the logo, how I market the site and myself and introduced everything from new templates to new design concepts. I am so proud of how it all turned out and every day it feels great to have a brand that is a true reflection of me.
I continued to push myself in video this year. I launched a channel on TikTok where I’m teaching myself how to make fun, less polished short form video content and I worked hard to teach myself how to make Reels for everything from styling videos, to travel diaries and quick recipes.
This year I carried out more brand collaborations than ever before – many with repeat clients which makes me feel really proud. They included Ann Taylor, Ibotta, Sarah Flint, Equilibria, Talbots, Barbour and Vuori. And I landed some amazing new partners like Cleancult, NIGHT, Beauty Pie, Blue Apron, Native, Target, Brooklinen, Urbanstems, Bloomingdale’s, Hulu, Cole Haan; among others. When I type these brands out I have to pinch myself to remind myself it was all real. These partnerships are what allow me to create the content I want to create – and your support of them is what makes them possible. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for supporting my collaborations – commenting on them, liking them, sharing them – they allow me to write all the unpaid, unsponsored work you see on wit & whimsy five – sometimes six -days a week.
2021 was a banner year for wit & whimsy for so many reasons and when I look back I feel really proud of how I grew my channels and how I stepped out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways. 2021 was the highest trafficked year since I began the site back in 2006. It was also the most profitable year since inception. It saw the most engagement its ever seen, I tripled my newsletter following, had my highest months of earnings and I worked hard to think about how to do things differently and how to consistently show up with value and as my authentic self.
Thank you all for being a part of this year’s success. Growing this community drives my sense of purpose with creating content that not only makes me excited but more importantly, that resonates with all of you. Thank you for making me feel heard, for all your encouragement and for opening up with me through your comments, DMs and emails. Hearing from you guys is why I continue to put my heart and hard work into my content day after day. You are the reason I get to do what I love every day. And for that I am forever grateful.
2021 was the year I grew Paris, Perfected in new ways. I started a Membership program to connect further with the Francophiles in my audience and I introduced a new product – The Paris, Perfected Guides. And the site got a brand new look and feel and logo! I also added a checkout functionality and introduced gift cards. I absolutely love how the refresh turned out.
It is my sincere hope the world can reopen more in 2022 and I can get back to planning dream trips to Paris for people.
In 2021 I turned 36 and I celebrated 10 years in New York City! I designed an apartment and then moved out of it! I wasn’t planning to buy an apartment this year but as we all know – God sometimes has other plans. And I think He played a hand in a kismet situation that had me experiencing first time home ownership this year.
The process of becoming a homeowner in a Brooklyn Co-Op drained me. It was a lot. But having closed and moved in now I get to enjoy the process of making it feel like my true home and I am loving bringing you all along on the process so far. It still doesn’t feel real that I own a one-bedroom in my beloved Brooklyn Heights – but I know one day it will.
And in the meantime I am soaking up leaning into the chaotic process of making a place your own. With every passing day, the place feels a bit more *me*.
This year I practiced my French every day and I took a Google Analytics course and a Pinterest course. It was nice to revisit feeling like a student again!
I enjoyed New York City as it reopened and began to visit old favorites and new spots joining the landscape of the concrete jungle.
I spent time with good friends in DC, in California and in Idaho. I finally met my goddaughter! I bonded with my godson. I spent time Upstate New York and went to Newport, RI for the first time.
I finally returned to Paris! And oh was it good for the soul. I was so, so happy to be reunited with my favorite city. I shared a lot from the city to take you all along with me. And this year I also shared my history with the city.
I also had an amazing trip to the UK in November. I caught up with friends in London and took in all the holiday decor and then finally got to visit my brother, sister in law and niece in Scotland! This trip – albeit stressful and tricky with a lot of moving parts due to the ongoing pandemic – it filled my soul.
In 2021 I practiced gratitude for things large and small. I celebrated small victories. I leaned on my faith. I recognized my many blessings often.
As I did last year, I end this year with deep gratitude for my health, for the health of my loved ones and for the deeper relationships forged in the face of continued uncertainty and struggle.
This year, while a successful one for my career, has left me totally burnt out. I feel tired in my bones as I write and prepare this post to schedule it for publication. Q4 had me flailing a bit and I fell off all my good-for-me habits. It’s been months since I worked out regularly, took regular walks, did my Five Minute Journal or meditated. And I miss all those things. Your girl really needs some R&R and a good, proper reset.
If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve announced taking some much needed time off. I’m grateful this job allows me to take time when I need it and I finally am going to do so. I have already started plotting all sorts of posts for my return in mid-January and know I will look forward to reconnecting with you all when I sign back online after a period of rest. In the meantime, I’ll be spending time away from my screens – reading, baking, going on walks and being with family.
I want to say a heartfelt thank you for following along with me, engaging with me and being such wonderful readers always. I am so grateful for each and every one of you.
May you and yours have a wonderful new year and I look forward to reuniting with you all soon!