2016 Personal and Blog Reflections 

Feels, Holidays
Happy New Year from PSL


Monti’s Reflects on 2016

Monti Wishing You A Happy New Year

Keanna and I have many faults, but lack of self-awareness is not one of them. In fact, we both probably over do it when it comes to reflecting upon where we are in life. When Keanna and I thought about this post, I started reflecting on my year, and I started thinking about the dark, dank, wretched place I was in earlier this year.

I was in a weird place where from the outside, it looked like I should be happy. I had a beautiful apartment, a loving family, amazing friends and a good, well-paying, and fulfilling job. But inside, I was lethargic, moody, and lonely. Finally, I asked for help and realized that I was in a depression. The fog of depression did not slowly fade away. In fact, it was as if one day, I opened the blinds and the light truly came in.

I think that this was a really important experience for me to relearn the importance of asking for help. With some treatment and intense self-care regimen, I am in a much much better place and hope to stay here. I am nowhere near perfect, but still trying to live my best life every day.

That’s basically what we are trying to do with the blog. As Keanna says “we are aren’t gurus; we are Googlers.” I don’t have all the answers, Sway. We are striving to do better every day and share what we have learned with you.

Keanna Reflects on 2016

Keanna Wishing You a Happy New Year

I, Keanna, turned thirty this year, and after freaking out about not being where I thought I’d be in life and buying a whole range of anti-aging skin care products, I had a moment of clarity. I realized that sometimes by holding on to something, you hold yourself back. 

We have these ideas about who we should be and what we should be doing with our lives by a certain point in time. It’s hard to let go of those expectations even when they don’t turn out the way we thought they would. But when you spend all your energy focused on where you aren’t in life, it’s hard to appreciate where you are. 

This summer I went to Montreal with Monti and our friend J. Our first night there J and I wanted to go out for dinner and drinks. We looked up a place, put the address in Google Maps, set off following the directions it gave us, walked for 20 minutes… and then realized we were nowhere near where we intended to go. Basically, we were lost and didn’t know how to get back to where we wanted to be. We were in desperate need of food and wifi so we stopped in the first place we saw that could offer both – a Vietnamese restaurant. It was one of the best meals we had the entire trip! Eventually we did end up at the bar we originally intended and it was completely underwhelming and didn’t live up to expectations. Moral of the story, and one of the most valuable things I learned in 2016 – even when you lose your way, appreciate and take advantage of where you are, there may be something amazing right in front of you. Don’t hold on so tightly to where you were going that you don’t enjoy where you are. 

I’m not where I thought I’d be at 30. But where I am has lead me to starting an amazing blogging journey with my best friend.

Keanna and Monti Refect on 2016 and The Conception of It’s A Pretty Simple Life

Monti is easily the optimist between the two of us, and our project is far beyond where even we thought we would be. We read somewhere that most blogs last for 4 months, and most bloggers go their first two years before making $10. Well, we have easily surpassed that. 

It was easier than expected to make blogger friends and have around 20 amazing people who have been incredibly helpful on our journey. One amazing blogger, even nominated us for a Blogging Award. Even in our wildest imagination, we thought that we would mainly be talking to our mamas for the first couple of months, but we have already reached a few thousand people. Moreover, about a thousand of those viewers, keep coming back for more content. We are slowly, but surely building our squad.

We never wanted this to be a vanity project, and wanted to treat this like a business from the beginning. We could not have imagined that we would already be at a place where we are turning partners down though.

Looking Forward to 2017

With our blog, we try to show the best version of ourselves. Not because we are trying to only show the good parts or because we are doing it for the ‘gram, but because this is our goal in real life- embracing the little moments, creating a pretty and simple life, and living as our best selves. It isn’t always easy, but would we appreciate triumphs without the trials and tribulations?

We want to close out by letting you know what to expect from us in 2017. We have a good thing going here, so we are not going to be changing too much. 

Our 2017 Blog Goals: 

        • Increase the number of blog posts to 3 per week. It is amazing. When we post, people come to our site to read it. When we do not, they don’t. Funny how that works.
        • Being more consistent. That not only applies to how often we are posting, but we want us to be known for certain things. So, that means that many of the recipes that Monti has been developing have to go for now. When Monti is only doing one recipe every week or two, he has to focus on a couple themes and stick to them. That way, when you become a part of the squad, you know what to expect and you know that everything that we present is easy, affordable, and will wow your friends and family.
        • More engagement. We do not want to be a reference blog, where people come for one page and then never return. We want the right readers at the right time to connect with someone and become a member of a larger community of people looking to live their best lives. In that vein, we will be focusing more on our Facebook Page and Email List. That way we can have more two-way communication with people like you. Also, we love that we have readers who are interactive and give us positive feedback. But with both of us having regular jobs, it can be overwhelming at times. We have to find a way to be more engaging without being overwhelmed. Anyone who has suggestions, please send them our way!
        • Maintaining our Balancing Act. We have broken down what we do into: “content, community, and coins.” This is no vanity project for us, but we also do not want to be selling you miracle teas. We have been blessed to work with amazing partners. We want to balance this in the future to make sure that every partner we tell you about will add value to your life while also growing our blog into a full-time job at the same time. While this is just a side project for now, we know that it can be something bigger. We know that we can do it with your help.

And with that, this year has been amazing. We have traveled together, attended festivals, and were invited to events as press. While 2016 in America was trash in many ways, we are happy that we got a chance to connect with you. We would love to take our friendship to the next level and have you join our community on the Facebook Page and on our email list below. We have some amazing surprises for both in the new year.

Our hearts are so full. And from those full hearts, we wish you and yours a Happy New Year! Let’s slay 2017!

Keanna and Monti Toast to the New Year

Keanna & Monti


By Keanna

I'm the crafty half of It's A Pretty Simple Life. I love a quick and easy DIY and live for a good home décor hack. I like to consider myself an amateur wine critic, but professional wine drinker; give me a bottle (or box) of Zinfandel and I'm a happy girl! There's a quote that I love that says "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated". My goal with this blog is to embrace the simple, to focus on the small things that bring a little bit of beauty and joy to an otherwise overwhelming and chaotic life. I hope you stay tuned and come along for the journey! xo, keanna


  1. Reply

    I really enjoyed this post. As Confusion said, “Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.” It looks like you’ve reflected and learned a lot in 2016… I’m excited to see where PSL goes in 2017! Happy New Year!

    1. Reply

      Thanks so much. Onward and Upward! Happy New Year!

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