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2017 Recap : Top 11 Moments of 2017

"Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than your are to your comfort zone."

Hey sweetie pies! First post of 2018! I can barely wrap my mind around it! 2017 has definitely been a whirlwind of a year! I have grown, learned about myself, tried new things, had deaths in my family, stepped out of my comfort zone and went for my dreams. 2018 has already been a whirlwind with rehearsals, working and fighting the ickies. :( No worries, I am feeling much better now. I know I said that I would give you guys review posts from my various performances this year but I figured that I would just include it in today's post! Make sure to continue reading to see my top 11 moments of 2017 through various photos and videos as well as my fave looks. I hope you sweetie pies enjoy!
Feeling Feminine with Chunky Knits

10: Participated in a SuperBowl pop up shop(Feb 17)
I was asked by a fellow blogger to participate in her pop up shop - of course I couldn't decline! Coordinated by Erin Creeks of MsIndependent, I was selling Chloe + Isabel as one of Amanda from Positively Beautiful Life fave brands. It was so fun filled with handsome shirtless men serving yummy desserts and the opportunity to get a massage - all while shopping? YES PLEASE! I was so elated and met so many people - locals and out of towners here for the game.

9: Perform backup for Akilah Nehanda at a fashion show(Apr 17)
It is always a pleasure performing with Akilah Nehanda - a true artist with a unique message is definitely worth lending an ear to. I love live performances especially when your music is also live. It creates an entire different vibe! Plus she is super sweet and I love working with the other dancers!
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8: Hosted my first blogging event at Charming Charlie(Mar 17)
I hosted my first blogging event this year and I definitely learned a lot in the process! I opted to have a laid back shopping event at one of my fave retailers Charming Charlie. We opted to do an event to highlight new spring inventory. It was a great event and the ladies at CharmingCharlieChampions were super proactive through out the entire process! I actually have a review post  so feel free to go check it out! I definitely want to plan things a little better this year if I decide to host an event. If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram.

7. Perform In the Groundwork choreographer's showcase "America: The Beautiful and the Ugly" (Mar 17)
This production was put on by Groundwork Studios and Destyne Fulfilled Productions where artists can submit a piece to be performed at the showcase. In this case the piece had to align with the theme of the showcase. I had the pleasure in being in two dances - one choreographed by Brent Smith and one choreographed by Damion Sam. It was so much fun to help bring their visions to life and they are such blessings to work with. It was held at MATCH Theatre in downtown Houston so it was pretty nice. The venue is complete with multiple small stages so that multiple shows can be happening simultaneously all under the same roof. The show was well received and David even got to make it to a show!

6: Choosing a Graduate chapter and participating in an alumni stroll off (Apr 17) 
I graduated college in the spring of 2014. I hadn't been affiliated with a chapter in my sorority since then, well until now. Most of you already know that I am a member of a black Greek lettered organization. One thing that we feel sets us apart from other Greek lettered organizations is that membership in our organizations is a life long commitment. A commitment that goes beyond your undergraduate years. I was experiencing serious FOMO once we moved to Houston. I had to get used to a new environment and that also meant learning about new people. And that was the thing, I had no problem meeting people but getting to truly know someone is an entire battle itself. That requires being extremely vulnerable with the possibility that they may let you down but you have to take that gamble. The chapter that I am a part of was that gamble and I have been loving it. I don't always get a chance to be as proactive as I would like due to work and blogging conflicts but my sorors are super supportive and fun! I have made some special friends since choosing a graduate chapter and it's been awesome. 

 Flirty Romper and Glam Sunnies! - Summer Style 2017

5: Work with BVSpa USA (twice!) (Mar 17 & May 17)
I have worked with other brands but this brand was special for a plethora of reasons. Not only were they super friendly and flexible, but they reached out to me which was huge! That was such a confidence booster for me. I have never thought of myself as that big when it comes to my blog. So the fact that anyone would be taking an interest in my blog was mind blowing to me. I have my two posts linked here and here if you want to check them out. BV Spa is a great brand that sells body scrubs, body butters and lotions. This brand is pretty accessible through their website, secondhand retailers such as TJMaxx and Marshall's and some HEB stores if you're in Houston. (Seen that personally) So plenty of options to check them out.

4: Perform in RED - A Burlesque Experience for the 2nd year in a row! (Oct 17)
I definitely believe that I can confidently put burlesque dancer on my resume', I had such a wonderful time being a part of this production. I got to work with some familiar faces as well as perform alongside amazing dancers! I got a chance to do my solo again from last year as well as perform new numbers. I did a review post sharing my experience from last year's show so feel free to check that out! Working with a group of confident and supporting ladies is such a blessing. Everyone working on this production has an appreciation for the arts and that is so refreshing!
**Backstage waiting for the show to start**

**Action shot - Can you find me?**

**Action shot from my solo**

 Floral Bardot Dress for the Frills

3: Work with Thinking Boutique (Oct 17)
Back in November, I had the pleasure to work with Houston based boutique Thinking Boutique. This was amazing for me as I learned about this boutique shortly after moving here. This boutique is well known in the blogging community due to Thinking Boutique's support for the Houston blogging community. I also became familiar with this particular boutique through local high profile bloggers who would often showcase products from the boutique. Once I heard about the opportunity to work with the brand, I jumped right on it! Alicia the owner was super nice and helpful throughout the entire process. I am definitely grateful. I decided to do 2 Day to Night Looks for this collab and it was so much fun! I loved the fashion and thoroughly enjoyed creating unique looks. Feel free to click here to check out those looks!
 Feeling Sexy in Chunky Knits - Outfit Inspiration

2: Landed my first character role in a musical! (Nov 17)
Well technically I landed a very small character role in the musical Guys and Dolls while I was in college. (I literally only had one line) But when I auditioned for Liberators the Musical I just wanted to dance. I showed up for the dance call because I was under the assumption that I only needed to attend the dance call. Well when I got there, they asked your girl to sing. Fun fact - I am terrified of singing in front of people. When it comes to dancing, I am super confident but singing is an entire different story. But nonetheless I had to sing, they taught me a small section, just a few lines of music from the production and then I had to perform it. When I tell you that I felt like I did everything wrong in this audition - I definitely did. I fidgeted during my singing, barely made eye contact - afterwards I was prepared to accept my fate that I didn't make the cut. Some time passed and I get an email - not only did I make the cut but I had a character role! I was so geeked! I was also anxious about singing but after working with some of my fellow castmates I felt so much better!
I was a little weary at first joining this production because I didn't know anyone. However the reality is that in this industry that happens a lot so you just have to be flexible. Ideally you want to get along with everyone and you hope that everyone is nice. Or at least that was what I was hoping. I am so happy to say that I got along with my cast mates very well! I still keep in touch with a lot of them today. I am currently working with one of my cast mates in another project. You know who you are boo! I made a lot of memories not to mention the musical was amazing! It touched on a lot of issues that are prevalent in history but significant to the current times. I am so grateful to everyone involved and this experience has taught me the importance in investing in myself and my talents. Check out some "behind the scenes" photos below!
**Cast photo after the show with our director**
***silly photo with some of my cast mates after the show. The "Lee" family :)***

1: Perform in a burlesque show at a supperclub/bar here in downtown Houston (Dec 17)
Back in November I went to an audition the day after my musical finished up. I had actually heard about the audition from one of my musical cast mates. She informed me that it was for a burlesque show at a club downtown. As tired as I was, (need I mind you I had been rehearsing for the musical as well as the previous burlesque show for weeks on top of working) I went to the audition. The audition consisted of two rounds where we learned different choreo for each round. We then had to perform in small groups. The audition was so much fun! I treated it like a class and just told myself to have fun. It definitely took the pressure off. You would be amazed at just how free it can be once you let go out of thoughts and fear. A lot of the times it is just us getting in our own way...but I digress. 
It took some time for them to back with us or at least it felt that way for me. I was super anxious because I felt so confident about my audition. It can definitely be nerve wrecking waiting on that call or email but I got it! In this case, it was an email. My email stated that not only I had made the first cut but they wanted me to perform in a few numbers with the current cast members that same week! So I literally got my email on a Monday and was in rehearsal Tuesday. (Talk about Favor!) The performance went great and was well received. I was complimented on my performance so that was definitely a plus. It was so much to be on stage again getting to do what I love. Plus the costumes are fabulous! Some of you have already seen this pic before but for those who haven't - check out this pic of me in one the costumes below!

11: David and I joined a church!  (Aug 17)
My boyfriend and I joined a church together and I am so happy! After frequent visits to this church and discussing together, we chose a church to join. We attend every week and honestly it is something that I look forward to now. We love to go worship and learn together. Afterwards, we go eat and we share what we got out of church. It is such a needed refresher for the week and out of all of my accomplishments, this is what I am most proud of! 
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What is your top moment/memory of 2017? Accomplished any goals? Stepped outside of your comfort zone? Let me know in the comments below so we can celebrate your success! I want to thank you sweetie pies so much for another fabulous year! Throughout everything you guys still support me and that means so much to me so thank you guys and let's rock 2018!
As always, XO and Stay FAB! ~ Stormie J 

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