Decade in Review – Career, blogging, and personal

I’ll have favorite tips and products of 2019 up in the new year, but today I thought it’d be fun to do a ten year recap. Looking back, there were no overnight success stories for me – whether in career, blogging, relationships, or motherhood. While writing this post, I was reminded of how the only way to get where you’re trying to go is to take chances and persevere, on a path that’s sometimes long and winding.

2010

Although I loved fashion ever since I were a kid (even sewed and sold my own creations to classmates in high school), all my young life I thought a traditional, stable job would be my path to success. Started the decade trying to climb the corporate ladder at Deloitte financial advisory services while blogging on the side as a passion project.

Most popular post: How to look older


Before (left): Ready to get carded for a PG-13 movie.
After (right): A few changes make a big difference in age.

2011

Popular posts: Building confidence beyond stature, Chanel bag reviews

2012

Took Nick to meet family in my hometown of Guangzhou, China, and I met his in Cebu, Philippines. (And after 8 years of dating, he still didn’t propose😆)

After 3 years of intense studying, earned my CFA charter hoping it would be pivotal in my finance career.

Popular posts: DIY low-back bra converter, DIY sleeve slimming tutorial, Prada saffiano tote review.

2013

Was promoted to manager in my Business Valuation group at Deloitte, but increasingly found less and less passion in my work.

Continued blogging early mornings and late nights, which led to a pinch-me opportunity being on a Times Square display for LOFT!

Popular posts: Vintage Coach bag shopping, Purse base shapers

loft petites fit model

2014

Bought and renovated our first home, a small condo in the heart of Boston (cannot believe we still live in with an active toddler). Nick finally proposed on our roof deck!

proposal 2

While I was ecstatic to be planning a wedding, career-wise I felt absolutely stuck. It got to a point where I dreaded getting out of bed each morning and going to work in a field my heart was no longer in. I was unhappy but too afraid to leave behind everything that I had worked for up until this point.

Popular posts (aside from engagement): Ways to style a sheath dress, Womens vs kids Hunter boot review.

2015

Finally found the courage to make a change, and went to work at a footwear startup, M.Gemi.

Had the tea ceremony and wedding of our dreams at the Boston Public Library, with loved ones from around the world.

Popular posts: YSL wallet on chain review, Ways to style an oversized scarf, DIY flower crown tutorial.

boston public library wedding photographer

2016

Inspired by the people I worked with, made a leap of faith to work for myself. Focused on the blog, consulting, and on ideas that didn’t come to fruition but I’m not giving up and am very hopeful for 2020. While my previous jobs were not right for me, I had no regrets as I valued everything I learned from those roles (which I try to apply as much as I can to running my own business) and the relationships I built.

Popular posts: Lots of that are still some of the most read ones on EP!

camel pants petite work outfit

2017

Continued building Extra Petite and was over the moon at the chance to work with brands I’ve patronized for years including Nike, Theory, Ann Taylor, Sephora, and going to Shanghai with Lancome and Provence with L’Occitane.

One of our most memorable trips was London at Christmastime (just magical). We visited the year before too and fell in love!

Popular posts: Hair curling tutorial + tips for more volume, Burberry trench coat reviews

2018

Ended a travel-heavy two years with our most favorite trip to date along the stunning Amalfi Coast.

Welcomed our Nori after going through IVF. Became connected with the most incredible community through this journey, from infertility into motherhood.

Most read non-Nori blog postsDesigner handbag reviews, Lentil soup recipe.

amalfi coast lemon grove farm tour

postpartum belly recovery

From my post on postpartum recovery

2019

After dealing with postpartum depression, wrote one of my toughest blog posts on my struggles in motherhood, especially as it was something I had longed for.

Surprised my grandparents with the wedding they never had on their 60th marriage anniversary, and am ending the year spending precious time with them on the west coast.

grandparents surprise wedding 60th anniversary

Thank you so much for being on this journey with us. We wish you all the best in 2020, and sending you all lots of love and encouragement to continue forging your own path in the new decade!

 

68 thoughts on “Decade in Review – Career, blogging, and personal

  • Reply Betty | CHALK Academy January 2, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    I only found your blog this year but have gone back and read many of the old posts to catch up on advice that I needed over the years!

    As a petite Chinese-American mama who has changed careers and has a blog as a “side passion project” for now, I truly admire all of your candid sharing, passion, drive, and honesty!

    Congratulations on a beautiful journey! I’m excited to see what the next decade brings!

  • Reply Betty | CHALK Academy January 2, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    I’m not sure if this part of my comment went through, but I wanted add that EP is the only fashion blog that I follow, and I really appreciate the detail in your comprehensive advice, tutorials, videos, and how-to guides! Thank you again for your wonderful blog!

  • Reply Bela Anzu January 3, 2020 at 12:32 am

    Wow, what an adventure-filled decade Jean! It’s so touching how you’ve found success in different areas of your life through patience, persistence and hard-work. It’s kind of you to share your journey with us, to encourage and cheer your readers on. I remember hunting for pearl necklaces after reading your blog for a while, and being thrilled when I ordered the ASOS sheath dresses you recommended because it must’ve been the first time I ordered something via your blog. I was studying at that time, but I loved your sense of style for work and enjoyed reading something outside of my textbooks. I still remember feeling happy and star-struck when I had the chance to meet you; it was honestly the highlight of my trip. Your blog remains my favourite and I hope you continue to find much fulfillment and happiness in your career, relationships and family life.

  • Reply Amy January 3, 2020 at 1:02 am

    I’ve been a follower for more than a decade and you have come so far. I’m not that petite at 5’4″ but I’ve always enjoyed reading all your tips on what to splurge on and when things are on sale. And your outfits are always so smart. You have also been such a kind blogger. I had a blog quite a long time ago and you always returned my comments and were so sweet. I’ll never forget that.
    I became a mom just a couple of months after you did and it has been so nice to see you go through the same things I have. I love reading about your recommendations on baby products. Your stroller race was hilarious. I really appreciate how honest you have become on your blog and Instagram. Anyway, I just love your blog and all that you do for your community.

  • Reply Maureen January 3, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Thank you for sharing your journey as well as your style. I’ve been following for a year or so, and thoroughly enjoy your posts. Happy 2020 to you and your family.

  • Reply Amy January 3, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Thank you for a decade worth of useful contents. Hoping for more youtube videos. That was how I found you.

  • Reply Anon January 4, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    My blog-reading has dropped off since I, too, became a mother but I stay constant with EP because of your wonderful and authentic voice. Keep working and dreaming!

  • Reply Jennifer January 5, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve been following you since I was a freshman in high school, and feel like you’ve been such a grounded, mature voice over the years as I struggled with reconciling my identity and body image. I’m now a young professional starting law school this fall, and I’m so grateful for your example of being a genuine, kind, brave, hard-working person. I’m so happy for everything you’ve accomplished and the joy and love in your life this decade, and you best believe I’m going to be looking to your work outfits for inspiration as an attorney!

  • Reply Corinne Merriman January 5, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Jean,
    Thank you so much for sharing your honest reflection of what you have achieved and where it all started! I also started my career in Business Valuation in the Big Four and got my CFA Charter two years ago, and I know unmotivated and uninspiring experience many of those roles can have. Your blog is not just one of my favorites as it so relevant to my style and body type, but my periphery exposure to your story has been a major inspiration as I sought out a job that I knew I would be more satisfied by (even if it meant not following the standard route for someone that had taken my career path so far). So thank you for bravely sharing your stories, and thank you always for the much needed fashion tips. Happy new decade!

  • Reply Nasim Mullen January 6, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    So cool to see your decade in review! I started following your blog in 2011 & reviewing this post also made me reminisce about my decade :-).

  • Reply Angie January 7, 2020 at 12:06 am

    Jean, thanks for sharing your story over the past decade . It’s so encouraging ! It reminded me that we can do anything we set our mind to do. It requires hard work and perseverance. I admire you honesty and vulnerability . It’s such a beautiful thing in women. ♥️

  • Reply Becca January 8, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    I absolutely loved seeing this post. It brings me back to the day I stumbled upon your blog page while on a google search on how to alter oversized clothes for petite ladies. I have been following your blog and instagram for years and am so impressed by your growth. Your blog posts are always written so beautifully! Thank you for taking us on this journey of fashion, lifestyle, and even sharing personal bits of your life. I always take your recommendations to heart, and (no shame) definitely bought things right after you rave about them (eg, H&M tote bag, OTK boots, Express sweaters, etc.). I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next decade 😀

  • Reply Gemma Storley January 14, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Jean . Slightly odd question here. Your hair always looks smooth and never frizzy. Can we ask what hairdryer brand you use?. Do you stick to a particular brand etc.

    Thanks x

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