Hey everyone! My name is Alex Berger and I am a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer at The Berger Bungalow. I write about travel, food, home, and married life in general. Over the past year, I have made The Berger Bungalow my full time job (even though I still nanny 2 days a week on the side) and it has been amazing being able to break free from the typical 9-5 that most people have to work. Now, I manage my house, play with my two dogs, travel with my husband (when he is able to), eat at amazing restaurants, and document all of my experiences along the way.
I really am living my best life, but just like anyone, I always have room for improvement and I hope to do just that in 2018. Today, I want to share with you some of my best improvements and/or accomplishments in 2017 and then I am going to share with you a few of my many goals that I hope to accomplish in 2018!
2017 was a fantastic year, but also a year of struggles. My husband and I purchased a house in August 2016 and we were (and still are) thrilled about it! But, we learned that there are many expenses that come with owning your own home. So, this year was all about growth for us. Growth in our jobs (so that we could afford all of the crazy expenses), growth in our relationship as we battled to balance everything together, and growth in our knowledge as we both went through job changes, schooling, exams, and more.
Some of my favorite moments and accomplishments from 2017 were:
- Ian graduating with his Masters in Accounting
- Ian passing all four sections of the CPA exam the first time (we just got these results yesterday!!!)
- “Retiring” from my full-time 9-5 job(s) and now being able to work mostly from home
- Growing my freelance business and writing for The Knot Magazine
- Being able to work with many, many bloggers on writing campaigns
- Watching many of our friends get married
- Tackling all of our house issues that came up throughout the year
- Purchasing new items for the house
- Our Italy/Amsterdam Trip!
- Exploring Florence, Alabama
- Being able to rest more
- And many, many other memories. The list is just way too long to write here!
But, now, we are focusing on 2018. A lot of people have words to represent their goals for the year. I don’t have one. Instead, I have a long list of goals that I want to accomplish. Here are a few of them (I will post a full list on my blog within the upcoming two weeks):
Ian and I are hoping to possibly start a family in 2018 (or at least start thinking about it). Our families (mostly my family) have been pushing for grandkids and nieces and nephews for a while now, but we really wanted to focus on travel for a while. Now, I think we are ready to possibly start a family, of course, while still traveling. I don’t think I will ever give up traveling!
- Grow our businesses
My blog and freelance work have both been lifesavers to me this year. While Ian was in grad school, even though he was working full time, I seriously have no idea how we would have afforded everything that came our way. We spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on unexpected house issues, car issues, and phone issues. Ugh here’s to hoping that 2018 is a bit more smooth than 2017, but with that being said, I want to be prepared for any unexpected rough patches, so I really want to continue pushing my blog and writing work to the next level. I would love having enough freelance work in order to do it full time. Ian is going places with his work, too. He just got his CPA, so hopefully, he will be able to spread his wings and fly soon!
- Spread joy
This is simple and doesn’t need much explanation, but there is just so much hate and bad in this world and I just want to be here to spread positives.
- Our kitchen
We really want to replace our countertops, paint our cabinets, and change out the flooring.
- Our exterior
This year, I want to paint our entire exterior, replace our shutters, replace the mailbox, spruce up the patio, and work on our landscaping some!
- Our fireplace
Our fireplace isn’t the most attractive fireplace (but it’s not that bad, either). It just has a plain black surround (as you can see below), so I am hoping to fix that up a bit! I don’t want to spend a ton of money on it, so I was extremely happy when I found Faux Brickwork online. Based out of Clearwater, Florida, Faux Brickwork is committed to providing exceptional and authentic looking brickwork, without the need for expensive and timely work. This is exactly what I am looking for! Theirhigh-quality materials make it easy and affordable to create a luxurious atmosphere for your home or work. I am really loving their London Stock – Raw Brick, but the great thing about Faux Brickwork is that if you do not see exactly what you are looking for, they have a comprehensive design service for custom designs. I reached out to Faux Brickwork’s Instagram page in order to find out if I could apply it on a fireplace and they gave me the green light! I cannot wait to order a few samples from them in order to find my perfect panel style!
I have been terrible at eating healthy this year. I don’t know if it is because of stress, or just bad motivation, but I really need to work more on this!
- Working out
I take Pure Barre classes, so I am hoping to keep those up and also start the couch to 5k.
- Work on paying down our debt
We have credit card debt from being dumb college students (WHY?!) and also Ian’s grad school loan, so we really need to pay those down in order to save for a car payment because Ian desperately needs a new one!
- Get our savings account up
I really want to get our emergency fund up for house stuff and maybe future baby stuff. This is useful to everyone!
Thank you so much for having me here today, everyone. I really appreciate it!! I want to know – do you have any goals for 2018?