1/2 Year Recap

I can’t believe that we’re officially in the second half of the year. When I think back to where I was on January 1… it wasn’t pretty. Carter came to my parents’ house to shoot some stock photos for my blog, and the minute I got into her car, I broke down in tears. I was crying in between each outfit change, but thankful for the work distraction. I wasn’t looking forward to much, and I was stressed about how the year would turn out. After like a week of wallowing, I just decided to take matters into my own hands.

Eventually, I settled on “All In” for my mantra of the year. For the first quarter, it was more of a reminder, sometimes framed as a question. “All in?” I’d ask myself. From there, I started to feel a little more confident, and it turned into an undeniable “ALL IN.”

I think at times I was a little too aggressive with it and I was running on fumes at certain points. But overall, I’d say that it was the right attitude to adopt.

I have accomplished SO MUCH in the first half of the year, and I can’t wait to see what the next half holds. Here’s what I’ve been up to so far:


My fitness has probably been the best thing for the year. I had started my routine at the end of last year, but feel confident now. It’s been a journey, for sure, but I honestly feel so good about my health. I have noticed a significant difference in my body and mind from working out. Never thought I’d be the person to look forward to working out and here I am going to the gym three or four times a week.

Another health I’ve prioritized is my mental health. I got addicted to Headspace. I can’t say enough good things about the app. I never thought I’d be able to meditate and here I am doing it every day and loving it.

I also feel like I have to stop saying that I’m a “bad traveler.” I don’t consider myself a good traveler, but this year I’ve taken so many trips and gone to so many places…. that I think I have officially shed the “bad” label at least. I’m already on my thirteenth trip of the year!!!


DC, Aspen, Charleston, Bermuda, Palm Beach, Charleston again, Tampa, Baltimore, Paris, DC again, Nantucket, and San Francisco.

The thought of that would normally make me feel a little ill, but honestly, I’ve had the BEST time this year because of traveling. I totally get why people say you should spend money on experiences over things. I would take a trip to Paris over an expensive handbag any day.


This has also been the best year for my business, and I’ve had some incredible opportunities like being in a magazine, working with dream brands, and even getting to go back to my college to speak to a couple of classes there.

I just have been continuously pushing myself out of my comfort zone and rewriting, if you will, how I think of myself. It sounds a little dramatic, even as I’m writing it, but I think this year has been pretty transformative for me. I try to measure my personal growth every year and while I don’t think every year needs to have some giant curve, this year has been. I don’t feel like a completely different person, but I certainly feel like a better person.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds!

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I love how you completely decided to turn your life around this year to make it great! I’ve been loving seeing all your travels posts throughout this year by the way!

XO Alyson | My Life as Alyson


Way to go, Carly! It’s been so nice to see and read about your journey this year.

I also have to say thank you for continuing to talk about Headspace! I finally started using it recently and am in love with it. I only wish I had started it back when I was still in school!

Hope you have a great 4th of July 🙂

Sarah Smith

This post makes me so happy and inspired me to look back on my half year and I can relate in so many ways. I think it’s going
to end up a power year, that’s for sure. Thanks for sharing so much with us readers, it means a lot!


It’s so nice to read about your year so far. I have been so inspired by how you have been taking charge of your life and doing all that traveling! Experiences over things, for sure!


Thank you for sharing this – I actually love reading about what people have been up to, I find it interesting haha. I like your mantra and I also like how you’ve got stronger from saying it, that’s amazing 🙂 It sounds like you’ve had a very productive and busy year so far. I’m sure there is plenty more to come.

Have a great week 🙂

Chloe @


I’m so happy that you said you’d rather a trip to Paris over an expensive handbag. Sometimes I get caught up in everything following bloggers, being on social media, etc., but it’s so good to remember that experiences are always better than material things! So glad you made the point to say that, it’s something I think I needed to hear!

Keri Elaine

I think we all have been enjoying your transformation Carly. The work you’ve done with other brands has been amazing! I can’t wait to see what is in store for you in the next 6 months.
Keri Elaine


Thank you so much for sharing this! I am really glad you talked about the tough beginning and your “All In” mantra. I have definitely struggled with where I am at and where I want to go and it is so great to read your reflection on the year and how you have pushed through.

Ratanya Bowens

I wish I could say I have been as productive as you have been. I have the second half of 2017 to prove it. Thanks for the inspiration as always!!

Ali Koch

Old to the site, new to commenting, but I wanted to say that since the new year, I’ve come over to thecollegeprepster more religiously, and have gotten more out of your content than ever. Not sure if I’m just also going through as palpable a change as you are, but I’m lovin your writing and insight this year! It’s been hitting home and helping a lot ❤️🤗

Jen Kessler

Glad to hear things are going well! I definitely bought the magazine you were in! So exciting to see big things happening of bloggers I follow! Excited to see what else is in store for you this year.