Wow, 2019. Wow… When this year started, I was ready for a relaxing year to coast, focus on my mental health, and get organized. We had no big life changes on the horizon… and then we were like hey let’s just go ahead and buy a new house in a new town and put Amalia into a new daycare! NBD.

The move was unexpected, overwhelming, and wonderful all at the same time. But what really put things into overdrive was the fact that Anel’s business was blowing up beyond what we could have ever imagined and we had to expand his studio at the same time. The Dzafics have had an exciting year, to say the least!

The fall was financially and emotionally intense but we got through it and the whole family is thriving in our new home. Anel and I were saying just last night that our relationship is somehow better than ever despite the fact that we’ve been through so much change lately, something that used to pull us apart. A lot of that has to do with a new system we’ve put into place for domestic tasks which I’ll be sharing more about, in full, early next year.

2019 has brought overall success on the anxiety-front but there have been some setbacks over the last few months which is a good reminder that we’re never really done working on and bettering ourselves. It’s easy to get lazy and feel “done” with the hard work that goes into staying mentally healthy, but not worth it in the long run!

I started 2019 with some lofty goals for series and content here on Lemon Stripes, not knowing how much we’d have going on in our lives outside of the blog. So I want to apologize for not holding myself accountable for all of the content I promised that never made it here. I’ve heard you on that point and I promise to work on it going forward. One of my biggest goals for 2020 is to work on accountability and following through with the promises I make. So when I’m back next year (!) to announce the direction of Lemon Stripes, I will be keeping that in mind.

Another big goal for 2020 is to better myself with education on topics that I feel passionate about. Watching The True Cost in May was a big eye-opener for me and sharing the changes that I’ve been making has been incredibly rewarding but also quite challenging. The amount of backlash I’ve received because I’m not “doing enough” or I’m “doing it wrong”  or (my favorite) my dedication to sustainability is “fake,” has been a bit of a tough pill to swallow. For a while, that made me second guess everything I wrote or said because I was so scared to say or write the wrong thing.

But then I started the #LSWaterBottleChallenge and saw how many of you not only participated but spread the word to your friends and family, I realized that none of that matters. Because together, we’re making waves. Small waves, yes, but waves. And I intend to continue sharing attainable, affordable sustainability challenges in 2020 so that our waves can grow, and so that we can do our part in saving what can feel, at times, like a very morbid situation on this planet of ours.

On a lighter note, I’d love to hear from you about what resonated this year, what didn’t, and what kind of content you want to see next year. If you fill out this survey, you’ll be entered to win one of three $100 Amex gift cards, and it will only take you two minutes or less!

I’ll be back here on January 2nd with all of my 2020 goals and ideas for Lemon Stripes with the help of your survey responses. In the meantime, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to all of you for your love and support this year and for keeping this site alive. Sending you so much love and the happiest of holidays. See you in 2020!

Most popular posts of  2019
We Bought a New House
The True Cost
What to Buy at Trader Joe’s
How to Support a Spouse with Anxiety

Most popular posts of 2018
My Anti-Inflammatory Diet
My Post-Partum Body
Not all PPD Looks the Same
How I Weaned My Baby


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  1. Ashley said:

    Love following along with you and your family, thank you for another year of wonderful content! Have a wonderful holiday season!

    12.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thanks so much, Ashley! I hope you had a great holiday!

      1.5.20 · Reply
  2. Becky said:

    I really enjoy your content and think you have a lovely family. I follow along because your photos are beautiful, I love the items you feature, and the things that you share are interesting to me. I also admire your work ethic and your honesty. Keep it up and thank you for challenging me to work harder. Merry Christmas!

    12.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Thank you so much, Becky. That means a lot to me!

      1.5.20 · Reply
  3. Karen Koehler said:

    Hi Julia, this is a great post. I love the pictures but I am shocked at how many people who follow your blog have expectations of you that I feel are unreasonable.
    I haven’t been receiving your blog entries via email for awhile now, though I am signed up. I am sure it is nothing big
    Thank you for your time!

    12.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I was behind on sending out emails at the end of the year but back at it this week! Let me know if you don’t receive one on Friday.

      1.6.20 · Reply
  4. Trixie said:

    20/20 one of modern humanities fav representations of acuity. 2020 will rule! Thanks for a great year of deep, meaningful and super cute content!

    12.18.19 · Reply
  5. Jessica @marksguardian said:

    I’m excited for the new year . I’ve been a follower for a while but I deleted Instagram off my phone and took a much needed break . I came back and Amalia was a teen ! She’s so cute . Thank you for sharing even when it hard

    12.18.19 · Reply
  6. Jen said:

    You should check out ‘because I said I would’. A beautiful way to hold yourself accountable 🙂

    12.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I will, thank you for the rec!

      1.6.20 · Reply
  7. Cat said:

    Thank you! Personally, I find your honesty and humanity refreshing in a sea of blogger posts that sometimes feels like a sea of Barbie perfection and pushing “this amazing product I’m obsessed with you need to buy!” Thank you for being more and for sharing style, truth and grace. Keep it up – you’re awesome.

    12.18.19 · Reply
    • Margoulette said:

      Cat, you’re literally taking words out of my mouth. Julia is genuine and LS is so refreshing!

      12.18.19 · Reply
  8. rachel said:

    I started following you when you were in NYC, then at some point I stopped, and recently started again. And I am glad I did. I find your content honest, useful, and intelligent. I appreciate you making efforts to “do better” because thats all any of us can really do and its important to remember that “perfect is the enemy of the good”. Seriously, once I started watching your instastories, I realized you were more real and relatable than I had previously assumed. And I appreciate that you, along with a growing number of bloggers/influencers, aren’t afraid to wear your politics proudly. We can only be heard if we speak up!

    12.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Perfect is for sure the enemy of the good. That is my motto this year!

      1.6.20 · Reply
  9. Emily said:

    I always look forward to your posts and enjoy the well-rounded content! You always come across and genuine and I appreciate seeing reality, not perfection. Would love to see/hear more about Anel on the blog next year (if he wants to). Cheers!

    12.18.19 · Reply