2013 in Review

It was a monumental year. I turned the dreaded Thirty, ended a long term relationship, fell in love with Paris, and faced tiny and giant fears.


I rang in the New Year with Alan and the same friends I’ve celebrated New Year with for the last 6 years. I treasure traditions. Little did I know this would have been the last year of our six year streak. More on that when you get to December.


Sometimes being a food blogger affords me some awesome opportunities. In February I had the opportunity to be a tasting judge for That Takes the Cake for the second consecutive year. I also visited the little rescue zoo in Austin for the first time with my little from Big Brothers and Big Sisters.


Alan and I celebrated five years together. We did not make it to the end of the year. Our relationship has shaped a lot of who I am today and for that I’m grateful.


I celebrated being matched with my little from Big Brothers and Big Sisters for five years by going to the new racetracks in Austin and watching the MotoGP Races. I can’t believe it’s been almost six years with this not so little little of mine. I worry about her a lot because I find growing up in today’s society is a lot harder for young people now than it was before technology has changed how we interact. That said, it has also been a pleasure to see her become a young lady. I realize I’m talking like an old person.


May was such a life changing treasure. I visited Europe for the first time since high school. Kim and I spent almost a week in Paris, a couple of days in Amsterdam, a day in Brussels, and a night in Istanbul. When I think about this experience my heart aches with bittersweet longing.


I spent a lot of this month acting as a silent auction chair for a charity event that the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance hosted in July. It was a lesson in rejection as I cold called businesses requesting donations. When I skim my Instagram feed in June I see a lot of food. I went to a lot of restaurant tastings, cooked and plated many dinners, and tried 16 pizzas from four restaurants in just a day.


I scratched off Oregon on my states goal by spending the weekend in Portland at the World Domination Summit with Anita, Treavor, and Jennifer. It was a magical and inspiring weekend that still makes me smile when I think of it. We had one of the best Thai meals I’ve ever had and delightful cupcakes and saw so many great speakers. I ended the month by celebrating my 30th with a birthday potluck party centered around ball shaped foods. It was a ball!


We had a Cookbook Book Club meeting and actually cooked. We are all busy women so our Cookbook Book Club meets more like every two-three months and every other meeting is so late on a week night we sometimes opt to eat at a restaurant instead of cooking. I have loved getting to know these ladies over good food.


I spent a weekend in the country outside of Dallas with Kim and her friends. Anita and Treavor joined us during the day. We rented a darling cabin and roasted marshmallows over an open fire. It was romantic and evoked feelings of autumn nostalgia. I then spent just a day in Miami painting my friend’s new house for hours and hours on end. I did manage to steal ten minutes of beach time on the way to the airport. It made me think of my dad.


A month of loss. I lost two friends to illnesses and with a heavy heart walked away from my almost six year relationship with Alan. October was also the first month of a new year of attempted monthly projects. For October I took at least 10 shots with my new DLSR.


I blogged every day in November. It was a difficult month. I moved out of the apartment I shared with Alan and cried for hours on end for days straight. It started to look up when I self-medicated with lots of dates with friends, including a third annual Thanksgiving potluck picnic pictured below.


I called December my Fear Factor December and I tackled my fears almost daily. I took a bee keeping class, spent an hour in a sensory deprivation chamber, started to release anger I’ve hung on to for four years, used a blow torch, boiled a live lobster, donated blood, and went on a police ride-along all in an effort to face my fears. December was hard, fun, and amazing. I scratched out three new states in two days and met a couple of my Internet friends. For the first time in six years I will not be spending my New Year’s in downtown Austin dolled up. I decided to honor the life changes that occurred toward the end of this year with a change of scenery. Instead of of heels and sparkles, I’m going for comfort and sparkles with a night in with my best friend, Kimmy. We will have our New Year’s tradition on the actual first day of the year for the first time in a few years.

In short, 2013 was both so hard and so lovely and I don’t know what to expect of 2014. But I’m ready.

Previous years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Question: What are five highlights and one “lowlight” from your year?