2016: A Year in Review


It's been a long time. I shouldn't have left you, without a dope post to read to (Timbaland voice). If you're reading this post sometime in the distance future, that line won't make much sense to you. But just know that Aaliyah's "Try Again" is one of the best R&B/pop songs of ALL TIME. I will fight you on this.

Moving on...

It goes without saying that this year has been a complete and utter s*#t storm. From senseless tragedies (Orlando, Brussels and Aleppo, to name a few) to countless celebrity deaths (David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, etc.), 2016 was rough. And I'm not sure we'll recover from this year's brutal presidential election anytime soon.

But, for all of its suckiness, there were still some great ... no, WONDERFUL, moments as well. So as not to dwell on the doom and gloom, I went back in time to review and relive all of the awesomeness of 2016.


Kicked off the year with my best friend's wedding, doubling as both the witness and photographer. It was the first time I'd met her fiance IRL (that's Internet speak for "In Real Life") and it was also the happiest I'd ever seen my BFF Brenda. Love truly conquers all.

A photo posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on Jan 31, 2016 at 6:12pm PST


I traveled to New Jersey for my friend's baby shower. I hadn't seen Dore since my wedding in 2014 and she was positively glowing -- quite possibly the best dressed baby bump I've ever seen!

A photo posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on Feb 28, 2016 at 1:50pm PST


Traveled to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for my family's second annual Spring Break trip. This year's rental house was bigger and better than last year's, plus it was on the beach. And we got the entire family to dab (well, almost everyone, here's looking at you, Uncle Thomas! #SquadGoals


I also participated in my very first panel with SheSays Chicago. Eek! I was super nervous (hello, imposter syndrome), but my husband, Jeff, and friend Marissa were there to cheer me on (thanks, guys!).



My baby sister turned 25 ... guess she's not such a baby after all. My in-laws came to visit and I finally got to take a Chicago architecture boat tour, which I highly recommend, especially when you get to see views like this ...

A photo posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on Apr 17, 2016 at 5:15pm PDT

And Beyoncé dropped Lemonade, her second visual album, and I was all the way here for it!


Jeff and I celebrated our five-year dating anniversary with a pseudo-surprise trip to Las Vegas. I say pseudo because I accidentally spilled the beans days before our departure.

Later in the month, I got to see Her Royal Highness Queen Bey in concert. I lived.

A photo posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on May 29, 2016 at 8:31am PDT


I traveled to New Orleans for my friend Teena's wedding, what a beautiful bride! Also, I can't tell you how much I LOVE this city. It captures my heart, my soul and my stomach ever time. Plus, we got to meet up with some of our friends who were in town for another friend's bachelor party. So much fun!

A video posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on Jun 25, 2016 at 2:12am PDT


We celebrated the Fourth of July in Ohio after another friend's bridal shower (there were a lot of wedding festivities this year). Here I am with almost all of my cousins-in-law ...



My sister and I intended to visit Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia for our second annual #SisterTrip; however, our trip coincided with the hottest heat wave in recent history. So we chillaxed (literally) in the air-conditioned hotel room and soaked up all the glorious #BlackGirlMagic in the 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as cheered on our fellow Marylander Michael Phelps in his final Olympic race.


Jeff and I spent Labor Day weekend in Minneapolis visiting family and friends and attending perhaps the most delicious state fair I've ever been to!

A photo posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on Sep 5, 2016 at 5:39pm PDT

Plus, I had my first essay published on HelloGiggles, one of my favorite websites!


I kicked off the month with a road trip to Minneapolis with Marissa, where we got addicted to the first season of Serial, to celebrate our friend Sarah's birthday. Here we are being divas.

A photo posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on Oct 2, 2016 at 10:38am PDT

Halfway through the month, I chaperoned one of our council's Girl Scouts to the United Nations headquarters in New York City, where she delivered a rousing slam poem and speech on International Day of the Girl. Oh, and we got to visit the Teen Vogue office as well. Whoop whoop!

A photo posted by L'Oreal Thompson Payton (@ltinthecity) on Oct 11, 2016 at 9:47pm PDT

And I ended the month with the most magical and wonderful Harlem Renaissance-themed #GoldenBirthday party I could have hoped and dreamed for. I'm still humbled that so many people came out to celebrate little ol' me. #blessed

L'Oreal Golden Birthday
L'Oreal Golden Birthday


Jeff and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, yay! I got an IUD (woohoo!). And I interviewed the one and only Pam Grier for EBONY. My dad, aka her biggest fan, was so excited and I'm pretty sure I made his day (maybe life?) when I got the Blaxploitation actress to chat with him after our interview.


This month, I started therapy and it's probably one of the best decisions I made this year (next to getting the aforementioned IUD). We also celebrated Christmas in Ohio (aka my first Christmas away from home) and it was quite relaxing.

I'm excited to start 2017 with a bang! I've got some exciting things in store for this here blog AND I'm launching a weekly newsletter. That's right, you can get a midweek dose of LT in your inbox by subscribing here. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement this year. Next year is going to be LIT AF, as the kids say.