2017 was quite a year! Personally and professionally it has been such a whirlwind for me. I graduated with my masters in International Relations from Oklahoma University this summer, and this fall I started a new job (yay!).
The new job meant less business casual and more smart casual for my work wear, so my closet has done a huge flip from pencil skirts and heels to jeans and boots. That’s definitely had an effect on the style posts on CTF, but I still like to buy versatile pieces that can work both ways! You can expect to see more affordable, flexible pieces in 2018 🙂
I’ve also done A LOT of traveling this past year, starting with winter walking in Austria with Rascal, indulging in a spa vacation in the Czech Republic, visiting the bluest Lake Bled in Slovenia, biking the Appian Way in Rome, exploring castles and fairy pools in Scotland, and even more that I won’t get into right now.
And with CTF I’ve made so many changes that make me even more proud of this space and hopefully more enjoyable for readers! Thank you to everyone who has followed along and supported this blog. It means a lot to me that you take time out of your day to read a blog post, like a photo on Instagram, or send me a message.
My heart flips when someone tells me they appreciated some travel advice I posted or loved a style recommendation ♥
Now I know that the word ‘resolution’ is very controversial nowadays. Some people say you should make a New Years ‘intention,’ or that you should instead make a ‘dedication.’ Honestly, those words all mean basically the same thing to me. You’re making a promise to yourself to do things differently. There’s no need to get more complicated than that!
And if you don’t want a New Years Resolution, you do you and keep being fab just the way you are 😉
I personally have some resolutions for 2018, one each for style, travel, and fitness. And I thought I would share them with you so you know what to expect on CTF this coming year. You may even decide you want to join me on some of them (I’m hoping the last one in particular).
Style Resolution: No More Suede or Leather
You may know that at the beginning of 2017 I became a pescatarian. I plan on doing a post where I talk about the why and how of it all, but for now I’ll just say that I don’t agree ethically with the treatment of animals in the meat industry.
(For the record I think you can eat meat ethically, but the factory farms that provide your grocery store meat are not it.)
When I started this diet, I did not immediately make the follow on connection of the negative treatment of animals in the fashion industry. It sounds silly to write it out, but it’s true. Of course I always knew where leather and suede products come from, but I did not begin the diet with the intention of changing this part of my life. I just wasn’t thinking about it!
I ended up doing a bit of research and deciding that ethically I couldn’t continue to buy these items. I own some suede and leather pieces that I’m going to keep until they are worn out or I decide it’s time to donate them, but I am no longer going to purchase new products.
This is a bit of a struggle since typically we associate quality with leather, and sometimes good vegan leather can be just as expensive as real leather! Have you heard of Matt and Nat handbags? They’re gorgeous and look so much like the real deal, but are a bit of splurge.
Since I like affordable fashion, I’ll be on the lookout for the best vegan leather and suede for your money. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments!
I’m also going to be slowly transitioning my makeup to cruelty free options. I’m not throwing everything out at once, but I’m going to start doing some research so I replenish my makeup bag with products I’m happy with functionally AND ethically. Again, any and all recommendations welcome!
P.S. CTF is not going to become a platform for animal rights, I just wanted to explain this decision since it’s definitely going to affect what kind of style and beauty stuff is posted in the future.
Travel Resolution: Plan and Sacrifice
Goodness that sounds so boring when I write it out! But let me explain. Eventually I’ll be leaving this beautiful country of Germany, and my chance to explore Europe so easily will be gone.
In the past my husband and I would plan our long weekend travels at the beginning of the month. We’d see what was cheap, or not too far to drive, or what someone else had said was cool, and we’d go for it. Besides our week long trip to Scotland that was planned months in advance, most of our travels were planned without much lead time.
But thinking about all that we haven’t seen over these past 2.5 years has us changing our style.
We’ve planned our travels out for the next 6 months (!) with budgets in mind and everything.
And we’ve both decided that we won’t wait for a long weekend to see something special. We’re going to visit the Black Forest and Auschwitz over normal weekends, even though it means a bit of driving. That’s the sacrifice part.
Of course we can’t see everything, but we’re already making more of an effort to see what we can realistically.
Fitness Resolution: Run a Half Marathon
I am registering for the Prague Half Marathon that’s happening the 7th of April and am SO excited! Since I’ll be posting my program and updates about preparing for the race on the blog, I thought it might be fun if some of you joined me.
You may not be able to make it to Prague, but you can find a race in your area that might be around the same time.
I have run two half marathons before (both several years ago), and I figure training for one will help balance my love of carbs with my clothes fitting 😉
I developed this plan after looking through several online and not finding one that met two criteria for me: a) the rest day needed to be Saturday, and b) workouts during the week needed to be doable in under an hour on my lunch break.
This plan is a modified version of Hal Higdon’s intermediate half-marathon program, and I highly suggest looking at his plans whether you’re a beginner or expert. He has detailed explanations of the types of runs and lots of great tips for getting your best time. He even has some apps! And if you’re not ready for a half marathon he has plans for other race lengths as well.
I plan on sharing my workout wear and gear (surprisingly I don’t have a running watch!), how I motivate myself on lazy days (still don’t have this figured out), and if I’m able to balance the blog, work, travel, AND my training program (yikes). We’ll see!
Whether you made some resolutions, dedications, voodoo chants, a sacrifice to the flying spaghetti monster, or said #newyearsameme, I hope your 2018 is a good one, and I hope you’ll keep reading Countdown to Friday ♥