A Year in the Life 2015

1.04.2016

2015 had a bit of a rough start. After heading home from Christmas vacation, I had a horrible toothache that ended up in a triple root canal and then more awful oral surgery due to complications. One of my best friends left the City for Philadelphia and my two year relationship ended, leaving me feeling very alone in the freezing New York winter. It was an incredibly difficult time. One thing that really helped me through it was work. At the time I was completing a very exciting project for Origins around the launch of our Original Skin serum targeted to millennial women. We planned an intimate panel at NeueHouse in Manhattan where I spoke with several other incredible young women about being a successful millennial in NYC!
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino} 
In February I went skiing for the first time up in Vermont. Okay, I went once when I was five but all I remember from that trip was peeing in my ski suit. I surprised myself by trying something new and definitely out of my comfort zone. I was really proud of myself! I skied two days straight and completed almost all the green and a few of the blue courses.
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino}
 In March I took an incredibly relaxing trip to the Bahamas with my parents. My mom had a work conference so I decided to join them for a few days and I'm really glad I did. Some sunshine and time with my folks really lifted my spirits after a tough winter in the Big Apple. 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino. Bahama's Mother's Day Post here}
When my close friend, Michelle told me she was moving to Philly in January to pursue a new job, I was really bummed. But her new job was an incredible offer, plus I had a fun new city to explore. I came up to surprise her for the 25th birthday and we had an amazing weekend traipsing around the city. If you're ever in Philly I highly recommend Federal Donuts which has amazing doughnuts and fried chicken! 
{Photo from blog post here}
I moved! For the third time in three years. What can I say? It's New York. My two previous apartments were in the same neighborhood, East Williamsburg (see them here & here). I decided I needed a change of scenery so I packed up and headed north to Greenpoint. It's a much quieter and family friendly 'hood but also has great restaurants and shopping. For me it's the best of both worlds and I absolutely love it. My place is a railroad-style apartment on a sleepy block. It's about 800 square feet so I have some space to grow put all my stuff. I'm a bit overwhelmed by decorating the apartment so I'm thinking of enlisting the help of Homepolish in the next few months - I'll keep you posted!
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino}
The best trip of the year had to be Bermuda. I was invited with a group of bloggers to The Princess Hamilton in beautiful Bermuda. The island is absolutely gorgeous it's hard to even describe (although these photos sure tell the story!) I loved being able to get to know the other bloggers especially Luanna of Le Happy who lived not to far from me in Williamsburg. It was actually on this vacation that I decided, in part thanks to the advice of the other incredible bloggers on the trip, to take my blog full-time. When I returned to New York I put in my notice!
{Photos from my Bermuda blog posts here & here. Check out Luanna's Bermuda posts here & here}
Here's a photo you probably didn't see! Not long after returning from Bermuda I met Gerhard at a party. We were introduced by Madison, a friend of mine who works at Small Girls PR, where I interned briefly before starting at Estee Lauder. This picture is from my snapchat (follow me @rachmartino!) and you guys were interested pretty immediately. I was so nervous that I'd scared him away when I started getting comments on my Instagram about this photo from my snapchat. That's a lesson in 'nothing is ephemeral, internet edition', but I digress. Here's our first photo together on Instagram! We've now been together for almost seven months and I'm incredibly happy. Gerry works in digital advertising so we always have a ton to talk about and he's so supportive of my blog. I could say a million more corny things about him but I'll spare him, for now. 
{Low-res photo from my snapchat. Add me 'rachmartino'}
I was born in Southern California and every summer for the past several years I head back to Orange County with my folks to visit my extended family for Independence Day. This year was very special because my aunt got married on the Fourth! It was a fun occasion to see all my cousins and celebrate the special occasion. I stayed in California for about a week and got a chance to see family, explore LA and, of course, get a tan before heading to Nashville for a few days. 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino
My old roommate and friend June was my first friend to get married back in 2012 and this year she became my first friend to have a baby! When she invited me to her Baby Shower in July, I jumped at the opportunity to head back to Nashville for the occasion. Let me say this was my first ever shower and it was quite the experience. I found out that I am, in fact, very bad at sucking milk out of a baby bottle. Shower games are so hilarious, and it was definitely a fun day. On that trip I also got the chance to meet up with Sandrea, a French YouTuber who I just adore who also lives in Tennessee. And I bought a ton of clothes at Imogene + Willie. If you're interested in visiting Nashville check out my Nashville diaries herehere & here 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino Nashville blog posts here, herehere & here}
This year I had the chance to meet and get to know a ton of great bloggers including my blogger bestie, Noelle of Noelle's Favorite Things. She lives near me in Greenpoint and we love getting together to shoot photos, work on emails and just hang. This is one of our first photos together from July when we were taking pictures and having a little picnic in McGolrick park smack in the middle of our two apartments. If you haven't checked out Noelle's blog yet - do so now, she's the cutest!
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino, Noelle's IG here.}
Is it becoming incredibly obvious to you guys that summer is 100% my favorite season and that the vast majority of these photos are from May-August? That's because they are! In fact today I had a very 'chilling' thought on this very cold January afternoon that it won't be warm again for another, say 4 months. But let's focus on this photo, eh? I love going to the beach and, while it's certainly not known for it's stunning beaches, it's pretty easy to get out to water in the NYC heat. It is an island! This summer, more than any previous in New York, I spent many gorgeous weekend days at Rockaway Beach and Fire Island. I mean with a bikini this cute how could you not? Not pictured, Gerry complaining about me dragging him to the beach. 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino. Bikini: ModCloth}
My last official day at Estee Lauder was August 1, 2015. It still seems weird just saying it even though it's already been 5 months! After 3 incredible years as the Social Media Manager at Origins, an Estee Lauder Company brand, I decided to resign and pursue blogging & YouTube full-time. It's been an incredible journey so far and I'm glad I made the decision. It was certainly not an easy one. My years there taught me so much and I am incredibly grateful for the experience to have worked for such an wonderful brand with great leaders. 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino. Read more about my job at Estee here and my new life as a freelancer here}
In 2015 I hit a quarter century! I decided to have a low-key birthday with close friends at one of my favorite Brooklyn bars, The Drink. They serve yummy cocktails by the punch bowl, 'nuff said. It was certainly a night to remember. Here's a video from my YouTube channel {ENG or FRE}
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino. Blog post here}
My aunt Laura scored an extra corporate ticket to the US Open for me and I had such a blast watching tennis! My dad is a big tennis player so it was a treat to check out one of the most important tournaments of the year with family. We had great seats and some great drinks (thanks, Grey Goose!) 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino}
Fall Fashion Week in New York is always a good chance to meet up with blogger friends and check out the shows and parties and this year was no different. It was so hot I remember feeling insane for even draping that suede jacket over my shoulder (but not for sitting on the edge of an incredibly tall building for some reason). I always love the rooftop views overlooking the entire city. It makes you remember why you love New York oh so much. 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino}
In September I joined my Dad at his work conference in Chicago. He had texted me a few weeks prior saying if I wanted to tag along there would be some fancy restaurant dinners I would be invited to, so of course I was game. Also now that PTO wasn't really an issue AND I found an $80 round trip ticket it was definitely a no-brainer. It was fun exploring Chicago as a 'grown-up' checking out the different neighborhoods like Logan Square and Wicker Park. I also had the chance to catch up with Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins who was previously based in NYC but recently moved back to Chicago. It really is a beautiful city - I hope to go back to visit this year. 
Not long after coming back from Chicago I headed on my next adventure to Miami with Noelle. We were invited by Hyatt to check out their newest Hyatt Centric location in South Beach. It was a couple whirlwind days of amazing food, incredible art and poolside cocktails. I still have not posted my photos from the trip (I know, I know) but I will be putting up a little Miami adventure guide soon! 
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino}
November was a crazy month with three trips; Miami, Richmond & Paris. After a couple sweaty days in South Beach I packed my winter coat and headed to Richmond with Gerhard to spend a few days with his parents and celebrate his dad's 60th birthday. It was fun to see his hometown and spend a few relaxing days off the grid in the countryside before heading off to Paris.
{Photo from my Instagram, @rachmartino}
Back in August, I got the news that I was again invited to the unveiling of the Christmas Windows at Printemps in Paris (2013 post & 2014 post). In November, when we heard about the terrorism attacks on November 13th I was so upset. My heart still goes out to everyone affected in this travesty. We learned a few days before leaving that the event had been postponed until March and we had to decide if we still wanted to go to Paris considering the circumstances. My heart never wavered. The Parisians had been so incredibly resilient in the face of such atrocity. In my mind, allowing terrorist to keep us from Paris would only be letting them win in their battle against liberty. The trip was amazing. I had a very intimate meet-up with my French fans at the Paris Opera Starbucks. Gerhard and I had an incredible week of sight-seeing and enjoying everything that is great about Paris. Our friends Madison and Cullen surprised us by showing up. They managed to keep it a secret for months and we spent a few great nights together in the City of Lights, most notably at Le Derrière and Pain Vins Fromages in Le Marais. I still have more Paris photos to share soon so stay tuned!
{Paris Blog posts so far here, here & here}
Once we got back from Paris it was already December. In the few weeks before leaving for Holiday vacation I decided to take full advantage of Christmas-time in the Big Apple. It was unseasonably warm so I was able to do some of my favorite festive activities without freezing my butt off including ice skating and checking out the Rockefeller tree (here)! It really is a sight to see! 
I went home to Lexington Kentucky to spend time with my family on December 21. It was great to take a little time off and get some quality time with my folks. On Christmas Eve we visited my nieces Gabby and Maria in Lawrenceburg, KY. They are at such a cute age and you can really see their personalities start to shine through! After spending Christmas with his family Gerry headed to Lexington to meet my parents for the first time. I can't say I wasn't nervous, but it turned out to be a great visit. We visited a few distilleries, played cards and even went biking in a cave in Louisville. I can't believe it's already January, but what an incredible year 2015 was. Thanks for reading!

If you want to check out my previous "Year in the Life Posts" check out 2012, 2013 or 2014.

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