Hello, and welcome to the first blog post of 2017!
I can’t believe this is the third installment of my New Year’s Resolutions post. If you haven’t read last year’s you can view it here. It’s my most honest review of life (and love) and gives a glimpse of what goes on behinds the scenes on social media – as that’s only a small view of who I am. 
I know everyone says it, but where in the world did 2016 go? It seems to have gone as quick as it came and so many things happened in between. For me, 2016 was a big year in many ways. I quit my first job of three years, moved to California, started a new job, reevaluated my blog, made new friends, learned a lot about love…and also about myself. I hope this year will bring more exciting new adventures! 
As I did last year, I’d like to review my 2016 Resolutions first to see if they were successes (or not).
1. Take the risk. I would consider this a huge success. I do not consider myself a risk taker. I am not spontaneous in any way, shape or form. But last year I realized I needed change and I needed change in a big way. My time in Roanoke, VA was an impactful three yeas of my life – a time that shaped me and made me a stronger more motivated person, but it was only a stop in my journey. Early in 2015, I wasn’t sure where I would go, but I knew it would be life-changing. And then I met a boy. Queue Justin. Yes, I inevitably decided to move for love, but most importantly, I decided to move for me. And let me tell you…best. decision. ever. I have not one regret about moving and it has been an incredibly wonderful experience. I encourage everyone to take a leap of faith if you feel it is right for you!

2. Grow my blog & brand. I’m so proud to say my blog is officially a part-time job and am so happy with where Pardon Muah has come since it started. In the beginning of 2016, this little blog of mine didn’t have direction and was void of a true purpose. After moving, I reevaluated what I wanted this blog to be. For something I invested so much of myself and so much of my time, I wanted it to make some kind of difference. Now it serves as a place of not only fashion & beauty, but motivation. Pardon Muah still has so much growing to do and I have lots of exciting changes and additions planned in the coming months! One of which is getting a big girl camera! Until now, we’ve been using Justin’s smartphone camera…but hey, you work with what you’ve got!

3. Embrace Health & Wellness. Of all three resolutions, this one is still a work in progress. After I moved my workout routine took a severe decline. Well, basically it came to a halt. Other than walking Heidi around the neighborhood, I didn’t do much – and that was mostly to save money. Once I got a job I joined a local gym, but still, that wasn’t entirely motivating as I’m used to going to barre classes. Luckily, Pure Barre, my other true love, opened last month and I’m already getting back on track! I’ve been going to class at least three times a week and feel soooo much better! On a separate note, in 2016, I discovered I’m lactose intolerant and ended up cutting out any and all milk products cold turkey. In the end, I’ve felt like a new person – I’ve had more energy, have been more productive, and even lost some weight. 
Now that we’ve wrapped up 2016, onto 2017!
Something I’m not very proud of and something I have struggled with my whole life is looking at the glass “half empty.” “Hello my name is Amanda and I consider myself a pessimist.” Most people probably don’t know this about me, because I make it a point not to let it show. Moving to a new environment and making changes in my life have definitely helped, but recently I’ve been under quite a bit of stress. I’m currently working three jobs (blog, styling, marketing) and am constantly trying to get ahead, so the last couple of weeks it’s gotten the best of me. The other night Justin and I were talking and I made a comment about something to which he said, “You always think of the worst scenario possible.” It took me by surprise and I realized there was a lot of truth in what he said. It’s actually annoying to me that my mind creates such a negative spin on some of the best situations, particularly when I get super stressed. So I’m making it a goal to stop myself when I start to wind down a negative road. Like a light switch, I’m going to turn it off and think positive thoughts instead. It’s a lofty goal for sure, but it’s something I’ve needed to do for a long time. There are so many blessings in my life and people and opportunities I have to be grateful for. I have no reason to be a pessimist and every reason to be an optimist. So here’s to good times, good thoughts and good vibes!
Next to ridding my life of negativity is to stop wishing away time. I’m a planner by nature so I’m always looking ahead. This isn’t a bad thing but sometimes prevents me from enjoying the present. I want to look back and know I embraced all of the incredible moments life has to give. There were so times while I was in college I wished for the next day or the next year. To be finished with tests and papers and to be out in the real world making real money doing adult things. Oh if only I’d known! You don’t think about “adult” things like buying new tires, dealing with your insurance company when a deer hits your car, paying for all of your own groceries, doing your taxes, etc. And so I look at my life now and promise myself not to wish these days away. Lazy days at home with Heidi and Justin and not a place to go or a thing to do. Opportunities to learn new things at work. Brunches, lunches and dinners with California friends. Sleeping in. Staying up Late. Eating an entire tin of Christmas cookies. It’s time to start enjoying every second and that’s what I plan to do!
As I stated above, I am in no way spontaneous. I am the “safe” person and always have been. In college I played mom when guys and girls decided to “go big,” have always look both ways when crossing the street, overthink almost every decision, never leave a door unlocked, have a three (or two) drink minimum when going out…you get the idea haha. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can have a lot of fun and have had some amazing social experiences, but I rarely decide to do so at the drop of a hat. I’ve always been such a creature of habit and ever since I was very little, have had a lot of trouble transitioning. Story time: When I was less than two years old in daycare, we went outside on a walk in the rain. Usually, after a walk, we would play outside, but since the weather was bad, we did not. So being me, I refused to go inside and, instead, flung threw myself into a puddle while throwing a tantrum. It’s a funny story to tell, but it sums up my life long struggle to transition. As an adult, I recognize it and do my best not to fling myself into puddles – but it takes a conscious effort not to get a little bent out of shape sometimes when plans change at the drop of a hat. So, in 2017 I would like to force myself out of my comfort zone, even if it’s in very small ways – last minute dinners, quick weekend trips to Tahoe, spontaneous travel… and so much more. 
Oh, and lastly, I’m going to finish the Harry Potter series (that one’s for you babe)!

I hope that this post may be helpful to you as you think about the New Year and what goals you’d like to make and challenges you’d like to overcome. Make sure to congratulate yourself for what you’ve accomplished – even the small things. It’s easy to get caught up in what you haven’t done or should do, but there are always things to be thankful for and things you do well. Everyone shines bright in a different way, and that’s what makes us all so special! 
Here’s to a Happy New Year and a prosperous, exciting, wonderful 2017!
XO Amanda