*some of the links listed below are trusted affiliate links. I am proud to partner with these companies. Good news is if you click or purchase from any of these links, you are receiving the best deal I can provide, plus you are helping me in return (win-win), so thank you!
This year was everything to me and more.
I got married in Central Park and honeymooned in Paris. (I still need to blog about both of those events, eventually I’ll get to it - haha! I have so many photos to share with you!). It was a dream come true and my wedding absolutely was my favorite day ever.
In order to make that happen I took off 2 full weeks from work. I’ve NEVER taken 2 full weeks off before. Like, ever. It actually really freaked me out, but while it was happening I was so grateful for the freedom I felt.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re SO full of gratitude that you’re just completely overwhelmed? It’s like wanting to cry, laugh and tear up loads of paper all at the same time. haha! That’s how I felt this year. Completely overwhelmed by gratitude.
It was a very good year.
So in order to celebrate this incredibly wonderful year, I want to share with you my top 19 investments (both in time and/or money). These are the things that had the greatest impact on my business and life this year. I believe that time is just as much of an investment as money is… so keep in mind that you don’t always have to spend money as an investment. Where you spend your time is just as important.
Okay, let’s jump in!
These are the 19 things I invested in this year that had the biggest impact on my business and life. Here’s my list with my notes on how these things transformed my business/life.
1.) Getting Married:
This was my biggest challenge this year. I was scared to death to get married. For 7 years I put it off...even though Bradley knew within months that we would get married. haha! Shows who’s the smart one in this relationship. ;) Getting married turned out to be one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. It was not only my favorite day, but since we got married our relationship has only improved. Turns out, facing your fears (and taking Brave Fear action) really can produce the most incredible, unforgettable and life changing results. I cried just as much as I laughed on our wedding day. The amount of emotion I felt was overwhelming and I couldn’t do anything but cry… for so many years in my youth, I held onto a pride of never crying much and not being overly sentimental…and now I’m just a regular water works. My wedding day was VERY emotional and very sentimental. It was perfect. The most beautiful, wonderful, incredible and lovely day. If you want to hear more about this journey, I encourage you to CLICK HERE and listen to my Brave Fear Podcast episode all about “The Fear of Marriage”.
2.) Traveling to Paris:
This was my first ever international trip, (unless you count the time I went to Canada before you needed a passport), and it was to my dream city… Oh man! You don’t even know… I have dreamt of visiting Paris ever since I first discovered who Audrey Hepburn was. This trip was such a dream come true AND it had a huge impact on my confidence. That might seem strange to say, but here’s what happened. In Paris we did things just for the joy of it. We ate out, drank good wine, walked everywhere….and my favorite part - I wore whatever the heck I wanted. For the first time, I gave myself permission to dress up. To wear the things that made me feel beautiful...and it changed my life. I felt more confident, I took more photos, I shared more of my life. It felt vulnerable to show up this way, but I loved it. And what I mean by that is, I loved me. I loved myself in those moments. I loved who I am and I felt the shift happen. I had never so fully accepted and loved myself the way that I did in Paris. This might all seem ridiculous to share, but it’s the complete truth. I felt confident walking in that city (just not speaking… I need to take French lessons before returning. ha!) I looked people in the eye. I was told in French that I was beautiful and they loved my dress, from our local bakery (that was getting used to seeing me each morning). I felt at home in Paris, I loved the pace, I loved the culture, I loved the ambience. It broadened my view of the world to experience some place new and now I want to visit a new country every year!
Traveling to Paris was just as much of a dream as I thought it would be and then some.
3.) Photos for wedding AND honeymoon:
I now have wedding photos hanging on my wall and every time I walk into our living room I see those sweet memories and immediately tear up. Not only did we get wedding photos (of course!), but we also decided to get honeymoon photos in Paris and having these photos is my absolute favorite thing this year. Our wedding photos were by Casie Marie Photography and our Paris photos were by Rachael Laporte.
I invest a lot of my time (and money) into my own Brightly Immersive Mastermind, and it’s by far one of the most life-changing things, but it’s only #4 because, you know, getting married and Paris. ;) Every year I experience more growth (personally and professionally) from hosting this Mastermind. Not only do I create a safe space and supportive community, but this beautiful community challenges, supports, loves and encourages me. I am more grateful for getting the opportunity to host this Mastermind than any other thing I’ve ever done. It was this year that I decided to pursue the Mastermind entirely and dissolve my one-on-one coaching practice, because I believe in the power of a Mastermind so much and this freed up my time to spend even more time masterminding with some of the best and brightest women on the planet! For 2019 I’ve opened up a new Mini-Mastermind track for those of you who are just getting started, and/or are only able to pursue your business part time. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Still one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve struggled with an anxiety and panic disorder my whole life (PTSD even), and therapy… oh therapy has been my saving grace. There was so much I hadn’t dealt with, discovered, uncovered or even acknowledged. And therapy helps me face it all with grace, compassion for myself and love. I have the best therapist ever. I love her. She is gentle, but direct. She truly cares about me and my well being and she allows me to show up, completely myself. I will never stop preaching about the benefits of therapy. In my opinion, every human on the planet needs therapy. You don’t have to have a past of emotional trauma like I’ve had to need therapy. Everyone needs therapy. You need to work through your issues and get to know yourself better, always. The most important part is finding a therapist you connect with. Don’t be afraid to keep trying until you find the right one.
I signed up to be a part of Heather Crabtree’s Savvy Inner Circle Mastermind, and I’m SO GRATEFUL! Not only is Heather one of the most amazing, kind and gracious women, but she is also strategic. Within one call with her I received the best advice I’ve received in a long time… In fact, it was Heather that recommended I dissolve my one-on-one coaching to focus all my energy on my Mastermind, and I am so grateful for that one idea alone. She helped me see that the biggest transformations were happening inside of my Mastermind and that’s where my heart truly was. The group of women who are in this group are some of the most incredible, driven and smart women I’ve ever met. I feel so lucky and grateful to be a part of this Mastermind for myself, and it’s be far one of my favorite investments (time and money) of 2018.
See? Masterminds are important! I don’t just host one, I’m in my own too. Trust me that I practice what I preach.
It’s hard for me to slow down and just be. My personality is driven to take action (and I actually really love that about myself), but even so, I’ve noticed that I feel better, think better, make better decisions and ultimately do better when I take the time to meditate. It helps me show up better for others and I feel like I legitimately have more… head space. I struggled to pay for the headspace app. There are so many free meditation apps out there, why the heck would I PAY for this one? Well, let me tell you why… because it’s teaching me how to actually meditate. This app reads my mind! In the last lesson it was teaching me about what to do when my mind is wandering off to Never Never Land and I’m fighting to get it back. Pretty much, don’t fight it. ;) I have never felt more clarity when it comes to meditating and I have never felt like a successful meditater until I downloaded this app. I always love how I feel after I meditate, and I can feel my own overwhelm sneak up on me quickly when I don’t meditate. If you struggle to get into the practice of meditation, I highly recommend using the Headspace app. I mean, it’s #7 on my 2018 list! So, you can tell how I feel about it. ;)
*Fun fact; before I even went full-time with my business, this was one of my first business investments (and I’ve been hooked ever since). I adore Powersheets. These are the most meaningful, thoughtful and intentional goal planning sheets I’ve ever used. I’ve bought Powersheets for 4 years now, and it will probably ALWAYS be on my best investments list. This little beauty helps me balance my business with my life, helps me reflect and get to know myself better, and helps me stay on track with what truly matters most to me. Besides all of the incredible inner work and goal setting Powersheets provides, it’s by far one of the prettiest things ever. I just love looking at it! And going through each page. Is it just me, or is it one of the best things ever when a product is not only useful, but it’s also really beautiful?? I think it makes the whole experience so much better.
9.) Meaningfull Foods:
Say hello to my little friend… I’m just going to own this fact. I hate cooking. HATE it. I think a whole lot of it has to do with not having the energy to cook at the end of the day, this is something I’m working on...but I get no enjoyment out of cooking my meal. I want to just eat a good meal and relax. Because, like I said, at the end of the day I’m usually just freaking TIRED! So with that said, enter my saving grace = Meaningfull Foods. They are located in Portland, Oregon and deliver home cooked, healthy meals (that I choose) straight to my door. It’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made because now I’m actually fed well. Where as when left to my own devices, it was boxed Mac N’ Cheese for dinner. I made a goal to be healthier this year, which included eating better...but knowing myself and my habits meant I wasn’t going to cook better food magically, so instead I found a solution. Meaningfull Foods is gluten and dairy free (every meal). They also have Whole 30 and Vegan options. If you’re in the Portland area, I’ve got $20 off your first order. You’re welcome.
I’m going to have a lot more to say on this special little/big brand soon, but first I need to tell you a story:
3 months before my wedding my face broke out...bad. I’d never had a breakout like this before, in fact, I’d never really had breakouts before. Yes, I was one of the blessed adolescents who had nice skin and no acne. Just the occasional zit here and there...but before you think I’m just being whiny, please know that after living over 20 years without any acne, I was shocked and scared and had no idea what to do when my face (specifically the chin area) was a full blown acne machine. (I now have the scars to prove it too). Once the acne kicked in, I realized my normal (very minimal) skincare routine wasn’t going to cut it anymore...and my acne was getting worse by the day. Yes, a whole lot of it had to do with stress. But I discovered my skin was also rebelling against the toxins I was putting on it every day, because I was also going through hormonal changes. I was clueless on what to do. A dear friend of mine who sells Beautycounter sent me an email talking about the strain of chemicals on our faces and in our bodies and how Beautycounter’s mission was to get cleaner and safer beauty products into the hands of everyone. They want to (and are) changing the beauty industry… so I started researching, and article after article I found talked about the toxicity of the products I was currently using. So I started to make the switch over to Beautycounter. It’s been slow because their products aren’t cheap, but it’s been worth it. First of all, my adult acne breakout is gone (hallelujah!), and I’m currently working on building up my skin's moisture barrier and decreasing the look of my acne scarring, but the most beautiful thing that happened was that these products worked AND they’re safe.
This alone is what convinced me to sign up as a Beautycounter partner now. I will proudly promote these products because of their safety and the excellent results they provide. I will always be a customer first and foremost, but making the decision to partner with them was one of the best business decisions I’ve made this year. If you want to try some products yourself, click here. Or, if you want to join this movement, click here. Either way, I believe in this company and I am a proud promoter now, plus I can help you choose the best products for you too.
P.S. I still had some of the acne and some major scarring on my wedding day, I was sooo disappointed, but I’m proud to say you can’t even see it! And I’m very glad to have worked with an incredible makeup artist who also used safer products and who worked her magic at covering up my zits and scarring. If you’re in the NY area and need your makeup done, contact Jenna of Jenna Wren Makeup.
11.) An Assistant:
Preparing for my wedding and during that 2 week wedding vacation, I knew I would need help and I wanted to be prepared. I hired the best and most expensive assistant I’ve ever hired. She can crank out work in what seems like seconds flat. She’s an incredibly bright, wonderful person and her work ethic is off the charts. I highly recommend you go check out her content, because she is a content creating machine! She kept the company running for me while I was gone, checking my email and scheduling guests for my podcast that was coming out almost as soon as I got back. I’m so grateful I got the chance to work with her while I did and though we didn’t continue our time together, she was by far one of the best investments I made...she gave me the opportunity to take 2 weeks off from work, without a worry in the world! Because I knew she would be able to handle anything that came up, and my clients knew WELL in advance that I’d be away. If you haven’t yet, hire an assistant, it will teach you how to delegate and it will change your life.
12.) Date Night Friday’s & Weekends Off:
I very intentionally take weekends off, because this is the time I get to spend with my new hubby! and my family. I love this relax/fun time with the people I love. It’s given me the time I need to travel and see family and stay at home to relax with my guy when he’s home from work. PLUS, date nights have been a HUGE help in reconnecting with him and making us both feel special. We have a particular wine bar that we adore and to help us both shut down “work mode” we’ll go there on a Friday night to enjoy new wine, chatting and a delicious cheese plate (this is one of our favorite days now). Our relationship has grown and it helps us to calm down and just enjoy the moment.
Not only did I get to meet and connect with the wonderful Caroline Kelso Zook, I also bought her journal. This woman oozes creativity and so does her journal, and I was grateful for both this year. They got me out of an old limiting belief loop that I didn’t even realize was playing in the back of my head. For years now I’ve been telling myself that I’m not creative. Now, I’m not telling you this for pity, I’m telling you this because it’s the truth...but I didn’t realize it was even happening. I used to have my hands in creative ventures all the time. I used to write songs, paint, create (and write) cards, make clay animals, scrapbook, and more… but something happened. (Still working those details out). But whatever it was, I started telling myself that I somehow wasn’t creative. Now, you and I both know that just isn’t true, but I needed something to show me this was a repeating loop and help pull me out of it. Enter: Your Brightest Life Journal. The prompts, exercises and encouragement in this journal caused me to notice that negative repeating loop and break it by getting back in touch with my creative side. Caroline doesn’t know she did this for me, or that I consider her journal to be one of the 19 best investments I’ve made this year...but the impact she’s made on my life is beyond words. If this is hitting home for you, and you’ve been feeling the same way. Go get yourself a journal ASAP. It’s worth every sweet penny. But don’t just buy the journal, do the work. Challenge your comfort zone and let it all go as you get back in touch with your creative side.
Boy oh boy, does podcasting take up a ton of time, but let me tell you what… starting the Brave Fear podcast is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. I realized that this was the missing link when it came to me creating content, and I seriously ENJOY recording these episodes, not so much the editing part... haha! Telling these stories and sharing so vulnerably in this way is challenging, and yet the most joyous experience. I can’t hardly believe it took me so long to start it! I’ve been able to chat more candidly with dear friends of mine and really dive deep into our fears. Stay tuned for some super fun changes coming in 2019!! And if you haven’t yet, please go listen to the Brave Fear podcast and leave a review. I hope you find it as helpful as I have.
15.) The Start Today Journal:
Speaking of journals… can we just talk about the amazing Rachel Hollis for a moment? If you’re not a fan, you may not want to read this number, because I’m about to dote on this woman. I love her tough love talk. I love the motivation I feel listening to her. I love the way she thinks… but most importantly, I LOVE what she’s achieved. It’s easy to dismiss people when they haven’t accomplished much. But this woman?? She has. And she gives me hope of what can be accomplished. So when she came out with her own journal, you know I was all about it. When I received it (for Christmas), I opened it up the very next day and jumped in. The clarity I feel around my goals is not only wonderful, it’s focused. I feel as though I’m starting 2019 with more focus than I’ve ever had before. I love the simplicity of this journal. If you want to set goals, but don’t want to spend A TON of time in prep work (like Powersheets), use this journal as your grab n’ go. Click here.
16.) Bone Broth (with Collagen):
I’m including this because I drink it every morning instead of tea (sorry, not a coffee drinker here), and the healing this has brought my body (and stomach lining) is astronomical. It kickstarts my metabolism, helps me get the protein I need for the day and by adding collagen makes my hair and nails grow like crazy! (Plus, the amino acids in the collagen help keep me healthy and ward off viruses). I’m so grateful that this habit has stuck with me for over a year and now it’s a staple in my diet and morning routine. If you want to know my trick? Add himalayan sea salt to your bone broth...gives you some great minerals and tastes WAY better. ;)
This book will forever be a staple on my shelf and in my ear buds. After reading/listening I felt such a good kick in the pants that it immediately motivated me to action and to challenge my way of thinking. It’s a big read, but worth it.
I believe in God. You probably already knew that, but if you were questioning it, allow me to dispel any misbelief. I happily believe in God, Jesus the Holy Trinity and I am very grateful for the relationship I have with God. Part of that relationship is due to the author of this book. Wm. Paul Young wrecked me this year. I read his newest novel, Eve, and bawled my little eyeballs out (I also highly recommend this novel), then I re-read, The Shack, and bawled my eyeballs out, then I read another novel by him called, Cross Roads, and bawled my eyeballs out, and finally finished with reading this little beauty - The Lies We Believe About God. It, just like the book, Love Wins, by Rob Bell, reached me at my core. It challenged my beliefs and thinking in such a beautiful way that I… you guessed it, cried again. WM. Paul Young made me cry a lot this year, but I’m totally okay with it. In between business books, I read novels to engage my brain better. I never thought I’d ever be a reader, especially since I have dyslexia (and had it pretty severely as a child - no one ever picked up on it though, which was frustrating, but taught me lessons in perseverance), but here I am reading up a storm!! The Lies We Believe About God, is a book all about love, if you struggle to love yourself or you see God as some big angry entity somewhere above glaring down at you - read this book. This book helped me love myself, others and God better this year. And for that, I will forever be grateful.
Call me what you want, but I LOVE Disneyland (and always will)! This place brings me so much joy and I get to go for fun AND business now. Spending time here is a dream come true in these later years of my life, plus getting to spend them with my Mom and the women inside of my Brightly Immersive Mastermind brings me more joy than I can possibly express in words. Want to go to Disneyland with me?! You totally can!!! Click here.
Okay, this feels silly, but I’m crying...
…right now as I write this because I’m so overwhelmed with the beauty and joy of this year. It was hard narrowing this list down, there are so many incredible investments that I made this year, but these 19 had the biggest impact on me and I am so grateful for every one of them.
Now, I want to thank you for being a part of it.
Thank you for supporting and encouraging me.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for reviewing.
Thank you for Masterminding with me.
Thank you for being a part of my life (whether in a small or big way).
I treasure you.
This year has been my favorite. Ever.
I’m proud of you for sticking with me this whole time, I know 19 things is a lot, but I hope this list helps you better your business and life as well. I hope that by sharing my experiences you gain insight, hope and help. And I hope you share with me some of your favorite investments this year (either with money or time) that have helped transform your business and life! Comment below and let me know what investments you’ve made this year that have helped you. You don’t need to give me a list of 19 like I did. ;) haha! But I’d love to know at least one!