A Look Back at 2014.

There are just 1.5 days left of winter break, so, naturally, I'm reflecting. Enjoy a recap of 2014 and expect edits as I remember other awesome moments that are just begging to be worked in. Also, consider this fair warning: I totally did not even proof this.

I kicked off the year with a few of my favorite things, a detox, a recap of 2013, a list of bloggers to follow and a massive NYFW calendar shared with a few of my favorite people. I also teamed up with Pulitzer Arts in promotion of Re-Set and discovered one of my favorite watch brands, Rakani, through a fun collaboration.

White Watch Leather Band Surreal Watch Face

The usual trip to NYFW became a family affair when my Dallas-based bestie Michelle was able to join me, Felicia and Marisa for some close-quarters fun. We stopped by one of my favorite NYC show rooms, Style House PR, for a quick inspection of Spring collections from Oasis and Warehouse. Felicia and I went backstage with Tommy Hilfiger for an exciting Instagram collaboration and I sat behind Anna Wintour, which was a NYFW first for me. Another first was a visit to Milk Studios, which I hadn't done in 5 seasons attending!

Anna Wintour Tommy Hilfiger Front Row NYFW FW 2014

Later that month, I hosted Business of Blogging 101 where I got to share what I look for from the brand/client perspective and what I've learned in what little blogging I've done. It was such a success and I'm so excited to help launch a series of quarterly workshops in 2015. More on that soon!

To wrap the month, I teamed up with Testosterone Footwear and Bronx/Diba to show off their incredible boots.

Saint Louis Fashion Week planning took over in March and I spent most of my time in Nikes and a cozy tweed coat courtesy of Oasis and Style House PR. One little thing that made a HUGE impact, was the discovery of The Emerging Designer, an amazing website that led to Harbison hitting the STLFW runways twice in 2014. The Founder of TheEmergingDesigner.com, Melissa Hall, also made an appearance in STL in 2014, after helping select the finalists for the Emerging Designer Competition.

In April, I managed a quick interview with Ela & Martin Aldorsso before launching full-force into STLFW's Spring season. We welcomed Harbison and Novis for a beta test on the runways of Union Station. The season was merely a prelude to Fall.

Sometime in April, ALIVE also launched a weekly segment on Show Me St. Louis in collaboration with KSDK Channel 5. I started as a sub and now, for a while, go on every Friday to share what's happening in STL over the weekend!

May brought some downtime and warm weather, which I happily spent with some fellow bloggers, snapping looks on the streets of beautiful Downtown STL. I rounded out the month with a quick collab with Levi's 501.

easy weekend outfit - cashmere and chambray

Things got a little heated in June and personal style fell to the wayside as I tried to keep my cool and not look like a hot mess. It almost worked.

I took a break in July and spent a week in Michigan with my love and our pup, which was heaven-sent. No blogging, just reflection. It was glorious.

I also had the chance to work with Ruth's Chris on a couple great influencer events, including a 5-course dinner for 30 at their Downtown location. It was such an awesome night and I'm so excited to do it again in 2015!

On August 9, just 20 minutes away from Downtown St. Louis in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death by a police officer and left in the street for over 4 hours. This changed everything I canceled two collaborations and postponed one in an effort to focus on raising awareness. I did what little I could (although never enough) through protesting, blogging, helping get the Reinvest North County fund online and encouraging all of my friends to consider getting involved.

It was admittedly difficult to think about anything other than Michael Brown, his family and the countless black youth affected by implicit, institutional, societal, systemic racism every single day. Later in August, I found a bit of balance in choosing to leverage what little online influence I have to, if nothing else, keep the conversation going. Work, the blog and a little bit of play, although they now seemed trivial, found their way back into my life.

Ways to Help Ferguson Right Now #JusticeForMikeBrown #NoJusticeNoPeace

In late August, I collaborated with Madewell to help St. Louis get ready (and dressed!) for LouFest. After 3 years of hosting and managing LouFest's official Best Festival Wear program (Remember when we brought Tres Awesome in?!), I decided to watch from the sidelines. It was fun to team up with Madewell - a brand that I LOVE - and to actually get to think about my own outfits! We hosted an event where 25 of my favorite buds and about 50 of Madewell's loyal shoppers noshed on Salt + Smoke, sipped on Skinnygirl Prosecco (Thanks Skinnygirl!) and styled each other for the festival.

Madewell St. Louis Location Fashion Blogger LouFest Festival Fashion

After August, things get fuzzy. Michael Brown's death surfaced a lot of feelings. Feelings like "Why am I talking about my outfits?" and "Are all of these people in my Facebook feed really that racist?!" or "Why does ART feel so IMPORTANT right now?!". Our city is still reeling and so am I. I think a lot about love, health, art, peace, compassion, empathy, equality, human rights, civil rights, conversation, resources and the list goes on. I decided in August that it was time to take a break from the blog. The blog has always been entirely secondary to everything else in my life (namely work and my little family), but it was time to cut the cord, at least for a while.

Despite the hiatus at HU HQ, the year went on...

September kicked off Saint Louis Fashion Week with the St. Louis Fashion Blog Awards presented by Well Dressed Midwest. The local lifestyle blogging community grew; not in numbers, but in energy. This video from the second annual awards really captures the closeness. We are LUCKY, STL! Through just the awards, bloggers sent over 15,000 unique visitors to SaintLouisFashionWeek.com, playing a HUGE part in making this season so groundbreaking.

The event featured a presentation from Craft Alliance Artist-in-Residence, Grace Kubilius. She blew everyone away. Also, we ALL own her famous block and tassle necklaces. All. Of. Us.

Photo by ALIVE Magazine

Speaking of a groundbreaking season, I can hardly put into words, so instead just watch. In collaboration with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund and Brown Shoe Company, STLFW awarded emerging designer Daniella Kallmeyer $15,000. To read more about STLFW and all of its special guests, check out this feed from ALIVE Magazine.

With STLFW underway, the blogger events had just begun. Shirt Kong always does an incredible job capturing STLFW, and I just love this video from the second bi-annual Well Dressed Midwest VIP Blogger Lounge. Naturalizer gifted some lucky ladies a few pairs of free shoes before sending them to lunch at The Restaurant at The Cheshire. To wrap STLFW, the team produced the first ever Midwest Fashion Conference hosted by Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts (which was so good I might cry just thinking about it). To wrap the week, I joined the blogger ambassador crew and special guests Tracy Kennard and Melissa Hall for dinner at Basso.

Before it all ended, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission hosted a tour of St. Louis (transportation courtesy of the amazing Fun Tyme Limo!). It was a GREAT day and you should DEFINITELY check out these posts from Plan-T-Style, Pretty Connected, TF Diaries, The Wanderlust Girls and ALIVE Magazine. (Don't forget to check out posts from 2013 by Keiko Lynn, Calivintage, Delightfully Tacky, Selective Potential and Orchid Grey!)

I could go on and on with STLFW... but I will spare you. Just click through the above links for plenty of amazing content!

With STLFW wrapped and nary an ounce of sanity left, I dove into ALIVE Magazine's last signature event of the year: Well Crafted (AKA my work baby). A passion project to say the least, Well Crafted was inspired by an event Patrick and I started in 2012, Gentleman's Emporium. It continued in 2013 as Beer, Bourbon, Bikes and Bacon and was reborn this year as ALIVE Magazine's Well Crafted: A Carefully Curated Experience for the Refined St. Louisan. It was AMAZING and all thanks to a long, long list of influential city dwellers that keep STL on its toes. See the list of featured presenters, speakers and fellows here and watch this video by Shirt Kong to get a feel for the event.

November also held a fun collaboration with the Contemporary Art Museum through ALIVE's Midwest Influencer Network. It was fun to work with 15 local bloggers in promotion of Art:314, CAM's Young Friends Fundraiser. If you're not a member, stop by the museum of join here!

December brought a series of fun events (as usual) including ALIVE's Holiday Party, the Thirteenth & Washington Holiday Party (which Patrick sponsored!) and Nelly's Black & White Ball. December also included the launch of the first ever nameless networking friendworking event I hosted with Kristen Linares at her Creative Space. Making friends with amazing women, eating pho and mixing up cocktails? It was my favorite.

I ended the year with a 12-day break and I'm feeling relaxed and energized - and ready to take on 2015! I'm so grateful for my family - my little trio, my parents, my sister, my pseudo in-laws. I'm lucky beyond belief.

Wishing you warmth, love, light and perspective in 2015.