Year in Review: 2017

December 26th, 2017

It’s not quite the end of the year yet, but my plans for the rest of the week is to be as lazy as possible, so I might as well sum up the year now! Here is my usual year in review!

Life in General

I’ve had a lot of crazy transitions at work throughout the year. Even though my title didn’t change, I went from managing a team of developers and a team of designers, to managing two teams of developers, and then finally got myself back to one team. At the craziest point, I had 14 direct reports. That is way too many for one person! Now I’m down to managing 7 developers, which is about the perfect number for me. (Can I just brag about how my team is made up of 4 women and 3 men? XD)

Even now, we’re still going through a big organizational rework, and 2018 is going to be a lot of new things for the development department. We’re looking forward to seeing changes though!


I continued doing my “hybrid” of cosplay and cosplay photography at conventions. I’m booking fewer photoshoots to make sure I actually have time to enjoy the convention I’m at. In the past, I’d book up the whole day and never really enter the convention. Even so, I still did 9 photoshoots spread across 3 conventions in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio!

See full photos on my portfolio!

As for cosplays I worked on:

  • completely made one – Tashigi from One Piece (Punk Hazard version)
  • put together one with bought pieces – Yuri from Yuri on Ice
  • helped a friend make one – McCree from Overwatch (Blackwatch version)
  • made a new item for an existing cosplay – longfall boots for Chell (Portal 2 version)

More details are on my cosplay blog!

The largest change to my hobbies was getting back into art. It’s a hobby I used to love when I was younger, and it’s felt really good doing it again. I did an art trade with Rezina, completed Inktober, and taught myself to use watercolors!


I didn’t take a major trip in 2017 like I normally do each year due to personal reasons. On the plus side, my husband and I still traveled a few times for weddings. I went to Pennsylvania twice for my brother’s wedding, and during both trips, I was able to meet Joy! The third trip was to Seattle for a friend’s wedding, where I was able to meet up with friends I hadn’t seen in 6 or 7 years.

Other Notable Events

  • I made improvements to my health. I got into the habit of exercising regularly and eating better.
  • I donated $1,880 to charity. Most of it are monthly donations to 6 different charities, and then I donated several hundred to help disaster recovery for Houston, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
  • I photographed the partial solar eclipse.
  • I got two invites to special Pokemon Go raids, in which I caught a Mewtwo both times!
  • We finally got around to replacing our kitchen appliances and bought a new range, microwave, and dishwasher during Black Friday.
  • We also purchased a Nintendo Switch!
  • I was interviewed by Georgie for her Hey Girlfriend series! Check it out here!

Favorite Entries

Yearly Progress

Last year, I made the choice to do away with resolutions and instead, stick to an overall theme for the year to work towards. Here’s the progress I made towards my theme of simplifying my life.

  • I made huge progress in decluttering my house. I cleaned up several rooms and made multiple donations of clothing, house items, and books.
  • As you can see in my life update above, I made improvements to my workload by lowering the number of teams and direct reports that I manage.
  • I let several domains expire and closed down a few websites that weren’t being updated anymore.

Looking Ahead

Since working towards an overall themed worked out for me, I’m going to continue doing that! Here are some things I’d like to focus on in 2018.

  • Continue decluttering and simplifying my life.
  • Continue healthy habits.
  • Figure out a proper balance of my hobbies, instead of spending too much time on one while neglecting the others.
  • Get my finances in order. I am pretty clueless when it comes to my investments and retirement funds, and it’s about time I did something about that.

And that’s mainly it! Better to keep it simple, right? I hope everyone is having a good holiday season! My gaming year in review will be next!

14 Responses to “Year in Review: 2017”

  • Joy says:

    I feel like I have been so behind on all of your post, I am so sorry. You now that my health has been a nightmare and I just got my hands back to about 50% (hooray!), please forgive me.

    I could say a lot of bad things about 2017 but meeting with you has definitely been a bright spot. I’m always shy about who I allow myself to call my friend because I don’t want to make assumptions, lol, but I’m fairly confident that we have made it to that point.

    Thanks for being a friend in 2017 and hopefully to being better friends for years to come. Congrats on accomplishing so much this year and I wish you all of the luck in the world with your future goals!

  • Nancy says:

    It’s amazing that you’ve been moving up within your company where you’re managing other people and reviewing their work. Congratulations on your progression! Haha, I giggle a little whenever I see my IT friends using your work’s product. Pretty cool that you dedicated a lot of time towards your hobbies! It’s a great way to keep your mind off a lot of things.

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve made big improvements to your health! Hope this will continue. Donating $1,880 to charity is amazing! Your effort helps big time :). Hope you will have a great 2018 and that things will continue to go up.

  • Holly says:

    I’m glad you now have a more manageable size team at work. 14 is ridiculous! And it’s awesome that you have more women on your team than men haha!

    You are so talented Cat! I’m glad you’ve got back into art because I love my picture of Isabelle.

    It’s awesome that you got to meet up with Joy! We had planned on meeting up while I was in New York but it wasn’t meant to be. It’s an incentive for me to go back again sometime in the near future.

    I also bought a Switch this year, and I think it was a wise investment. I’ve spent hours and hours playing Mario Odyssey and I still have so many moons to collect!

    I hope 2018 is an amazing year for you!

  • Rezina says:

    I posted my review early too because I knew I wasn’t going to publish a post before the end of the year lol. I read a bit of Georgie’s interview (haven’t had the chance to finish it) but what I’ve read so far is really fascinating! Congrats on a successful year :D It’s amazing to look back at your year and realize how much you’ve accomplished over the course of 12 months.

    Also I’m so glad that you started doing art because it’s more fun to do something with someone, if that makes any sense, haha.

    I always like following your cosplay adventures! All the photoshoots came out really nice and your costumes look great! Congrats on all your accomplishments and milestones!

    I hope the rest of the year is amazing just like you and that 2018 is even better!

  • Hiro says:

    So much happened last year for you! It’s do great to see you getting back into and continuing your hobbies, too. I’ve been on a quest to finding my own hobbies, and one of these days I am going to get back into photography… It’s so weird how much I love taking photos, but how much I hate the process of using a camera. Lol. Your priorities for 2018 are similar to mine. I need to get my health and body back into gear, declutter my life and my apartment more, and generally get my life and living conditions to where I want it to be. Project make HIRO’S Apartment into a HOME is still on! Happy holidays!!

  • Kassy says:

    Managing so many people would have been such a nightmare. I am glad that you only have seven developers now. So cool that four are women! :D

    Having more time to enjoy the conventions would be great. You take amazing photographs, so I hope you might be more ‘in demand’. :D

    Your cosplays are brilliant! :D

    I am pleased that you have made a stronger connection to creating art! Your drawings are lovely and can’t wait to see more.

    Aww, I am happy that you were able to meet Joy twice. :D

    I hope you have a great 2018!

  • Tara says:

    I’m all for being lazy XD I was lucky to get a four-day weekend for New Year, so I’m going to totally relax :3

    Glad things at work toned down for you! 14 is a lot; 7 is definitely more manageable! Hope the new changes will be good in 2018!

    Yay for all your cosplaying photoshoots and cosplays. I still think it’s great you did Yuuri! As a YOI fangirl, I am still mentally squeeing at that cosplay :D

    Good on you for doing more art this year! I love how you did Inktober and did art trade with Rezina. I hope to see more of your artworks in 2018.

    I wish you nothing but the best in 2018. I’m with you on the investments and retirement mumbo jumbo. I started to really get into it this year, but I AM STILL CONFUSED. Let’s learn it together, haha!

  • Sakura says:

    Wow 14 developers! How did you manage all of them? It sounds really tough!

  • Amy says:

    That’s a lot of direct reports to have! My manager has four, and I sometimes still think that must be quite difficult. I’m glad you’re back down to seven now. That sounds much more manageable!

    Wow, I can’t believe how many photoshoots you’ve done! I’m glad you’re making sure you have time to enjoy conventions now as well. I couldn’t imagine spending the whole time shooting, and not having any time for myself. Glad you’re still enjoying it!

    I’ve loved seeing you get back into art this year. Your inktober pieces were seriously amazing, and I loved seeing them on Instagram! Can’t wait to see what you do next year!

    Hope 2018 brings you all the happiness you deserve!

  • Pauline says:

    I wrote my review posts a week before and just scheduled it for the new year as always! It always takes me a while to write them and I enjoy the process a lot 🤗

    It seems like you had a wonderful year! I’m super glad that you have fewer people to manage (and more women developers too, WOOHOO!) because managing a lot of people sounds difficult. Glad it’s more manageable for you!

    It sounds like you’re and have simplified a lot of things. I know the feeling of doing a lot of “work” when you’re supposed to be enjoying your time there too. Go you :D Your work is incredible as usual 😊

    I’m really glad to hear that you’ve introduced positive habits into your life and have stuck with them – being in control is so empowering!

    I wish you the very best in 2018!

  • Liv says:

    I read through your interview with Georgie and am so proud of you that you’re in a management position, even if it means coding less! One of the things I learned this year is that in the future I want to be a lead designer, but in order to do that I want to really focus on my skills at this point so I can set an example for those who I lead. :)

    I’m so happy that you took up drawing again this year – it sounds like a fun and relaxing hobby for you. I was never good at painting but there’s some pretty amazing stuff that can be done with watercolors so I’m looking forward to seeing more of it from you!

    I think resolutions are easier made than done – simply because life gets in the way of focusing on listed items. It’s definitely easier just to have a direction for the new year and put everything you do on that line! I hope you have a great year simplifying everything from physical clutter to everyday habits!

    Lastly, I moved my blog to, so just wanted to let you know before expires!

    Happy new year!

  • Vicky says:

    I’m so happy to read about all the awesome things that happened for you in 2017 :) And it’s always so cool to see your progress on all your hobbies. I’m still trying to figure out what hobbies I want/have, haha. But I definitely do get the whole getting sucked into one and ignoring the rest feeling.

    I think doing an overall theme for the year is really cool and a great idea! People seem to be very into “resolutions” at the beginning of the year and then drop them soon after, so it’s nice to have just overall life themes to follow.

    Happy 2018!

  • Chynna says:

    Happy New Year, Cat!

    Brag it to the treetops, girl ~ so amazing that your team is mostly made of women, ahh!

    You’re an amazing cosplayer, I bow down to you! Such an inspiration – I will need to come to you for tips the next time I cosplay!

    Also, I’m crying because you got to meet the sweetest soul on this Earth, Joy <3 I cannot wait until I get to meet her again!

    Good luck with your goals for this year <3

  • Ongaku says:

    So many things, you are a girl of many talents. I’m pretty sure I say this almost every time though. I really do admire you. ♥

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