2013: A Year-End Review

Hot fun in the summertime!

First things first people, I’ll have you know that none of these lists are in any particular order. As in real life, I just name the things as they come to me.

Secondly, 2013 was pretty rad. There was a new apartment to be decorated (an ongoing process) and yoga to be practiced. There was wine to be drank and a surplus of treats of every kind (I’m talking to you, red velvet petit-fours still beckoning me from the fridge). And while I love looking back, we’re already three days into the new year so we’ll keep the remembering brief – I’m ready to look ahead.

3 Favorite Meals:
1. A very impromptu date at Aria, a wine bar in the West Village. Such a cozy atmosphere, such delicious food and wine, and my favorite part? Deep conversation with my guy.
2. Dan’s surprise at-home date night! Delicious cheese, salami, olives – all of my favorite things. Surprises are the best.
3. Thanksgiving. I cooked a 12 lb. turkey that was 100% edible – even, dare I say, good? Dan and I made such a great team that day and I am so proud of us.

Fear of inversions: be gone!

6 Favorite Moments of 2013:
1. Getting Gus! Our new cat is the sweetest boy any fur-parent could ever ask for. I mean, have you seen his nub-tail? Cutest. Shelter animals rule.
2. Hosting our very first Thanksgiving – we were so proud of ourselves! Not only was the meal delicious, but we made an awesome team of cooking and cleaning and actually enjoying the holiday.
3. Releasing my fear of inversions (a.k.a. how I learned to stop worrying and love having my feet in the air and my head on the ground).
4. Celebrating our one-year wedding anniversary with a romantic dinner and stroll through the West Village (plus lots of gorgeous flowers from Dan!).
5. Turning a crappy dresser found on the street into pretty, campaign-style shelving. I taught myself  how to properly sand and spray paint furniture and now it houses our DVDs as well as a few travel souvenirs.
6. Christmas Eve/Day. The holidays can be super stressful but everyone was in such a great, easygoing mood this year and we enjoyed it so much. Thank you, family!

5 Things I Learned (About Myself & Other Things):1. I really love making and growing things: fixing up furniture, creating new dishes, growing an herb garden. 2. Making compromises isn’t the same as making sacrifices. 3. One lavish treat is better than three middling ones.4. Pasta salad is better the day after you make it.5. A pet really makes a house feel like a home. 

Heirloom kale: part of my indoor garden.

4 Goals for 2014:
1. Seek out what’s special about living in Manhattan and celebrate it. I get easily caught up in the daily frustrations of this city (crowded trains! Constant noise! In summertime, the sidewalks smell like pee!), but there are lots of unique advantages to living here that we could never enjoy anywhere else: authentic international food, world-class museums, Broadway. I’m going to make the effort to do one special “only in New York” thing each month.
2. Try at least six new recipes that require making something completely from scratch. I’ll be using two specific cookbooks along the way: Lost Desserts by Gail Monaghan (to recreate classic desserts that are rarely found nowadays) and The Art of Italian Cooking by Maria LoPinto (because everyone is always hungry for good Italian food).
3. Be a little more glamorous. Prior to my yoga teacher training, I was the girl working out with a full face of makeup and red lips. After? You couldn’t find a stitch of makeup on my face for, oh, a year or so. I’ve found that there’s freedom in both ways: with makeup, you can be anyone you want for an entire day. Without? There’s a special kind of honesty in presenting your actual face to the world – especially as a woman. I think the true me likes to put her best foot (face?) forward, even if it’s just a little tinted moisturizer and a bit of mascara. Besides, lipstick rules.
4. Read more actual books. I have subscriptions to great literary journals (The Paris Review, Glimmer Train) and serious magazines like Harper’s (not to be confused with Harper’s Bazaar – which I also love and subscribe to but fluff doesn’t count as real reading in my book), but I miss holding a book in my hand. Send me recommendations!

This Gus. Gus has a nub tail. He’s the best.

3 Reasons Why I’m Looking Forward to 2014:
1. Seeing friends more. It’s really easy to allow work/school/pie-eating to get in the way of seeing buddies. But buddies are so important! Plus, you can just eat pie WITH them. See how easy that was?
2. Creating family traditions with Dan. This past year as newlyweds was a great time of figuring out what’s important to us as a family unit (even if it’s just the two of us and Gus the cat), and I can’t wait to create new holiday rituals together.
3. Taking more pictures. Both 2011 and 2012 were super photo-heavy years, so I grew a little tired of it and fell off the wagon in 2013. This might be silly, but I’m psyched to take lots of pics this year – we’re only young and fabulous once for chrissakes.

Psst! If you’re interested, here are the 2012 and 2011 Year-End Reviews. Have a great weekend!

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