The small gap between Christmas and New Years has always been a time of reflection. A time to sit back in awe and amazement that another year has gone by. A time to shuffle through all the things you’ve clung onto for the past year. And a time to let go of all the items on your list that weren’t checked off. It’s even easier for us bloggers to do this since we’ve got a whole website dedicated to documenting our year – whether its through the food we ate or the clothes we wore or the products we lusted over..these actions tell a story that make up a chapter of our lives.
I’m very pleased to report that my reflections this year have been SO much more positive than last years. 2012 had been a year of huge change and a complete year of doubt. I had graduated from college halfway through and had spent my whole life in confidence before that point. After graduation, I was left feeling lost and vulnerable – left with complete doubt in everything I did (everything from where I was living to what food I was putting into my body to coming to terms with getting older). But – let’s stop there and not reminiscent down that rabbit hole.
It feels so good to read that old post and know that I’ve grown into my ‘adult’ skin so much in this past year. Yes, I still have a lot of growing to do and I still have a long list of irrational fears (who doesn’t?) but it’s been such an improvement since then. I’ve come to really love the small Midwest town I call home – not because there is that punk house that used to serve us drinks underage during shows or those spider-ridden rocks where we could day drink on the lake all day without being bothered. No, I’ve learned to look at this city with fresh eyes and appreciate being able to walk a few blocks to our local co-op grocery store to buy ‘hard to find’ flour blends and local produce. I’ve learned to love the lake for it’s beautiful trails that you can spend a whole Saturday afternoon getting lost in (sober!) and making your dog’s day by taking him for long walks through the centuries old neighborhoods.
I don’t think I’ve changed too much in 2013 but my outlook certainly has. I’m so very excited to evolve more come 2014. Here were my 2013 goals:
1. More adventures close to home 2. Less doubt, More Risk 3. Less processed foods 4. Work on photography 5. Keep moving forward & always improving 6. Continue to surround myself with positive people
I think it’s safe to say I can check all of those off my list. Although, everything on that list are all things that are still a ‘work in progress’ and I do want to continue with these goals in 2014. Here are a few more light-hearted goals to add to the 2014 mix:
7. Get our asses to Montreal. It’s time – this IS our next big trip.
8. Spend as many lazy Saturdays as possible on the vintage turquoise boat I inherited
9. Rent a summer home on Lake Michigan and spend a weekend on the beach
10. Make my own print magazine / zine (whether it be a collaboration or just all VV – it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and needs to happen)
10 feels good. 6 BIG ongoing goals from last year and 4 new fun ones. Yeah, I feel good about this. I’m ready for you 2014!
And finally, as I continue with my reflection of 2013, I thought I’d share some of my favorite VV memories with you..
TOP RECIPES OF THE YEAR:
How to pick? They were all soooo good. But I must and this is what I came up with (in no particular order):
1. Chickpea Dumplings In Curry Tomato Sauce (this stuff is SO good and one of my favorite go-tos for dinner)
2. Vanilla Bean & Fig Shortbread Drizzled with Honey Glaze (nothing will ever top shortbread. EVER.)
3. Baklava Ice Cream (one of my better ideas, for sure)
4. Kale, Tomato, & Garlic Breadsticks (playing with natural dyes is always a good thing)
5. Mini Strawberry Chocolate Tart with Whipped Goat Cheese & Basil Micro Greens (why was this the first time discovering micro greens?)
6. Chickpea Cobb Salad Cups (if you are going to eat salad then you might as well do it right!)
7. Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Sage Gravy (our usual go-to on lazy Saturday mornings)
8. Homemade Mascarpone (no better way to feel independent than to make your own cheese!)
9. Dark Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes with Brandied Strawberries (these are really freaking good, guys! More of you need to make these)
10. Coriander Hummus (it’s hummus so it’s obviously amazing)
TOP POSTS OF THE YEAR:
This was super hard since I posted 125 times this year. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE TIMES! I already featured the recipes so these are non-recipe posts:
1. My first online zine I posted! Dang – I am still so proud of that (and 15,000 of you have read it! That is really rad, guys! For real!). I should really make some more.
3. The Wanderlust post where I realized I do still actually like music. Or at least I think I do?
4. Our trip up to Wisconsin – it’s a whole other world up there and it’s absolutely gorgeous!
5. On Being Vegetarian – damn there were SO many wonderful comments and feedback from this conversation. It was truly awesome!
And this is just for fun because I am a HUGE indie-rock nerd.
TOP FAVORITE ALBUMS THIS YEAR
Man, the Pacific Northwest girl-rock scene really hit me hard this year. Totally into it.
1. La Luz – It’s Alive (Hardly Art / Burger Records)
2. Various Artists – Forte Label (Numero Group)
3. Neo Boys- Sooner or Later (K Records)
4. The Courtneys – S/T (Hockey Dad Records)
5. Mikal Cronin – II (Merge Records)
Well…that’s it, 2013. Thanks for one hell of a year! And thank you to all of you who have followed along this past year. It’s been a wonderful time and I can’t wait to kick it up another notch in 2014.
What are you most excited for in 2014?!