Excuse my language in the title, I don’t usually curse here, but sometimes you just need to to accurately sum something up and 2014 deserves that word. With three big exceptions (my intense blues in January, a good friend passing away, and my grandma being sick) my 2014 rocked. In no way, shape, or form did my 2014 shape up to be anything like I imagined it 365 days ago. I couldn’t be happier or more thankful for how things shaped up and I’ve never been more happy that, after kicking and screaming for many years, I’ve really learned to embrace change.
I thought I would take this post to recap some of my favorite moments of 2014, in real life and on this blog.
I still passionately believe that these buffalo chicken phyllo rolls are the best thing I cooked in 2014.
My post about Honest, Criticism, and Blogging remains one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written. Another of my favorite posts this year was this one about Kristen Higgins and Sarah Dessen secretly are the same person; I love it, but pretty much no one read it, haha.
These chocolate peanut butter brownies were probably my favorite thing I baked in 2014.
I am so happy I went to the New York City Teen Author Festival and I am so excited for a second visit in 2015.
I was lucky enough that my birthday this year included pretty much all my favorite foods, my all-time favorite workout, and two very great friends. I can only hope my 2015 birthday (a big one!) is just as great. (Actually, I had a terrible cold on my actual birthday in 2014, but whatever.)
One of my favorite things I heard this year was something I mentioned back in August. I was talking to a man at an event I was working and he was telling me how he had been sick and wasn’t doing so well and then he said, “None of us get off this earth alive” and that just really resonated with me and remains something I think about often.
In August I took a whirlwind vacation to Philly, Cincinnati, and Washington, DC. It was chaos, but so much fun.
My vegetable garden is one of my favorite parts of 2014. It turned out so much better than I imagined and I cannot wait to start gardening again this spring.
Oh and Pub Date! I can’t forget Pub Date and the lovely ladies who I work with on the feature: Brittany, Estelle, and Andi. I’m not always the best with features and partnering with people, but Pub Date is easy and fun.
Sadly what I wrote in September about managing my new job and reading, blogging, and blog reading holds true: “This was the first month I worked full time since last April and it’s a lot more difficult in terms of time management than I expected. The last 14 months of working part-time and going to school part-time were hard, but, much like my former full-time job, I had lots of time at work to read, blog, and read blogs. At my new job that just isn’t the case. I am busy pretty much every minute of the eight hours I work five days a week. And getting up at 5:30am, getting ready for work, driving 40 minutes to work, working 7am-3:30pm, driving 40 minutes to the gym, going to the gym for an hour or two, driving home, and eating dinner doesn’t always leave me excited to read, blog, or read blogs.”
One of my favorite things remains the sunrise on my way to work. It’s been too dark for them the last month or two, but I’m eagerly awaiting their return.
I know I just posted this picture yesterday, but it is my favorite ever from my iPhone so it deserves another shout out.
Favorite things from the Internet:
– How I Learned to Love Exercise: Can’t hurt to post this again at this time of year.
– Why Yoga Pants Are the Only Pants Worth Wearing: I have a job where I can wear them every day! (But I don’t.)
– Eightball, MJG, and Rap from Memphis 20 Years On: I listen to a lot of Morning Edition, but this story has really stuck with me.
– How America Fell Out of Love with Orange Juice: If you’re interested in marketing or cultural shifts in general this is a truly fascinating read.
– 10 Mister Rogers Quotes to Remember on Bad Days: Is there anyone better than Mr. Rogers? I don’t think so.
– Miranda Kenneally’s Peep’s Diorama: Still completely remarkable to me.
– 3 Ways to Challenge Your Personal Narrative: You don’t challenge yourself, you don’t change yourself.
– NPR Style: In May I called it the best thing ever and it still pretty much is.
– 26 Perfect Ways to Respond to a Text From a Huge Douchebag: Sadly I have yet to have the opportunity to try these.
– Dr. Dre letter about Burning Man: Just a classic.
– Why I’m Listening to Jerry Seinfeld: “You wanna be on the water? How do you wanna be on the water? You wanna be on a yacht or you wanna be on a surfboard? I wanna be on a surfboard. I don’t wanna deal with a yacht. That’s a yacht. Some people want a yacht to say See my yacht.”
– The 38 Absolute Best Yearbook Quotes from the Class of 2014: These are the people I like to read books about.
– The Muscle-Flexing, Mind-Blowing Book Girls Will Inherit The Earth: In such a polarizing year with race and gender and economic inequality I especially love this article.
– Japanese Soccer Fans Cleaning the Stadium: A lesson in losing with grace.
– Why you should (really, seriously, permanently) stop using your smartphone at dinner: I think I might go on an anti-smart phone campaign in 2015.
– Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photo Leak Isn’t a Scandal it’s a Sex Crime: It’s sad that people don’t understand this.
– The Only Coverage of George Clooney’s Wedding You Need to Read: And then yay women!
– In Colorado a Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum: Gives me hope for these kids I love to read about.
– The Secret Life of Passwords: Mine is actually the password of my friend who passed away earlier this year. I inherited it for a system when we used to work together and I started using it even before she passed away and now it’s a really nice way for me to remember her every day, multiple times a day.
– 20 Texts From 2014 That Will Make You Laugh Every Time: I just love these. Especially #11.
I thought of posting all my 2014 reviews by rating, but that seemed like it would be way too long of a post so I’m just going to post my five-star reviews because I’m super picky about giving out five stars so anything I gave five stars to you should 100% go read right now.
– Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
– Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
– A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier
– The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
– Noggin by John Corey Whaley
– Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
– The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
– Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
– Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park
– The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
– After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
– Hold Still by Nina LaCour
And here are my favorite Top 10 Tuesday posts from 2014:
– Characters I’d Never Want to Trade Place With
- Reasons I Love Being a Blogger/Reader
- Books That Would Make Great Book Club Picks (My post popular Top 10 Tuesday post this year.)
– All Time Favorite Books in the Grandparents Genre
– Things on My Bookish Bucket List
– Most Unique Books I’ve Read
– Characters Who Drove Me Nuts But I Still Loved the Book
- Books If You Like Dreaming of Southern Life
– Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t
– Books That Stayed With Me
- Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Read New Adult
- Underrated Realistic Contemporary Fiction Authors
– Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Book
I ended up reading 201 books in 2014, more than my Goodreads goal of 150, but in line with my goal of reading fewer books in 2014 than in 2013 (I read 222 last year). 120 of my 2014 books were read between January and June, which makes sense because it was before I was working full-time. I’ve been thinking about a goal for 2015 and I will probably leave it around 150, maybe increase slightly because who knows what 2015 will hold?!
I hope YOU had a wonderful 2014 and I wish you an amazing 2015. Thanks for spending part of your year with me (even if this is your first time here!). And I hope no one is too hungover
One Year Ago: Book Review: Roomies