2016 Highlights // 2017 Resolutions

Happy 2017 everyone!

This past year has been an interesting one for sure – ups, downs, challenges and victories. I’m so grateful for all the things that were thrown my way this past year. I thought I would compile a list of highlights from 2016 & talk about some of my resolutions for this upcoming year. I’m not sure where 2017 will take me, but I am looking forward to what’s in store!

Just me & my camera ready to take 2017 by storm


  • senior portfolio class – pulled together my graphic design portfolio and worked on a bunch of projects I was passionate about including creating branded materials for a wedding photographer and nonprofit organization as well as working on my hand lettering. We had a really great group of people in our class too, which made it all the more fun putting our senior show together. Our show ended up being one of the best the department has ever put on!
  • graduating college – this was a huge milestone. While I took a semester off in fall 2013, I was still able to graduate on time which I’m really proud of. I had a really awesome senior year, and I would say it was probably my favorite year of college, but it was 100% the most stressful one. I took on way too much (too many classes, being a full time student, and working 30+ hours a week while still trying to have a social life). But I wouldn’t have changed anything – it taught me time management skills for sure. And pretty much half of the materials I used in my portfolio class I bought from work (saved so much money but I never added up the final cost of everything…don’t really want to…) I am also the first grandchild in my family to graduate college so I felt a sense of pride when I received my diploma 🙂
  • graduation gift – as a grad gift, my parents bought me a plane ticket to go visit my freshman year friends in Nashville, TN. It was such a sweet trip: spending time with some really great friends, visiting all the places we used to hang out (new places too!), and reminiscing about our freshman days was such a sweet ending to this chapter in my life.
  • theclarissab’s business picked up a bit – I am very proud of all the progress I’ve made with theclarissab this year:
    • launched my official website
    • switched my blog over to it’s own domain
    • created branded materials for myself (business cards, marketing, etc)
    • started my official business instagram account
    • shot my first 2 weddings which was a HUGE accomplishment in my book!!
    • held more sessions this year than I ever have before, and many of them ranged in content: weddings, bloggers, headshots, families, newborns, etc.
    • a lot of my business has been through word of mouth, so I am so grateful for my friends, family and clients that have recommended me!
    • I launched a new service for theclarissab during the holiday season – gift wrapping! This was my first year doing this, so there are some things I need to tweak, but I loved doing it and hope to continue it next year as well.
    • I participated in another craft fair where I sold hand lettered journals, state string pallets, and hand lettered canvases and wall hangings. I had so much fun creating these pieces. The string pallets were a huge hit and I made a few custom orders! This aspect of theclarissab will be an ongoing project…more information to come!
  • started a new job(s) – no more retail for me! While I was applying for jobs in my field, I came across an opportunity to do graphic design work for a local church. I was able to create branded materials that I could add to my portfolio and I made some new connections as their intern while still working at the craft store that I worked at during my senior year of college. But I was very ready to get out of retail. Through a friend, I found a job as a decorator at a tableware company. I had the opportunity to learn a new skill, explore product photography, be in charge of social media posts, and learn different aspects of how a small business works. I met some really great people too 🙂 There was a little bit of a hiccup in the job department around the time of my birthday, and I had to start looking for a new job due to the fact that I needed to be working full time hours. There was a brief period of time during this transitional phase that definitely tested my faith and personal life, but as always, God provided me with a great new opportunity to work with a nonprofit based in Boston, where I am working currently.
  • some great memories with great friends – thinking back on the year as a whole, I had some really fun times hanging with new and old friends, visiting them at school, going to concerts, traveling, etc. I am so thankful for the group of individuals that I get to call my friends. We ended the year with another annual Christmas party that I have been doing since I was in 5th grade, and although many couldn’t make it, it made me really realize how blessed I am by each and every friendship that I have acquired over the years.


I’m still making my list of resolutions, but I figured I’d share some of them with you 🙂

  • invest more time and energy into my business – I want to really plan and create goals for myself to grow theclarissab!
  • save money (per usual) – I would like to invest my money in order to buy a new camera and eventually move closer to the city.
  • become more culturally and socially aware – basically, I live under a rock. So I want to make more of an effort to watch the news, andddddd also Netflix (just got it last month…I’m a late bloomer clearly).
  • this goes along with the previous resolution, but I want to make it a goal to watch as many classics or academy award winning movies this year as I can. I’m in the process of making a list of movies that I have not seen that I feel fall under the category of “classic” (like Grease, Forrest Gump, The Godfather movies….) any suggestions?! Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to my list!
  • invest more time and effort into my relationships with people. Time management is something that I feel I can work on, and I find it negatively impacts my relationships sometimes. So I want to work on spending more time with family and friends and investing my time in people. I tend to jam pack my schedule, but I want to do so more effectively this year.

Overall, 2016 was a good year personally, despite all the crap that happened in the world. I’m grateful for God giving me the life I live, even though I’m at a very weird point in my life. But hey, it’s all about perspective isn’t it? It’s all about #redefining23 for me. Here’s to 2017!

3 thoughts on “2016 Highlights // 2017 Resolutions

  1. Your creativity amazes me. 🙂 Hey, I think you are officially our family (hahaha the 2 of us) photographer. ❤ And I LOVE my "it is well with my soul" plaque you made. Your journey awaits, have fun traveling through it.

  2. All the best on your journey ….N u r certainly not a late Bloomer…. Coming from someone in early 30s still figuring out stuff… Lol

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