Since this post is going out to the world on New Year’s Eve, it seemed like I should talk about my year in review rather than just December. So far this year I’ve:
• kept up with my blog, which I feel is an accomplishment in itself
• gotten MARRIED
• went to Paris and St. Malo, France
• made lots of Internet Friends
• met some of those lovely people in person
• made lots of amazing food
• become a better runner
• had my first Cake Over Steak art show
• tasted my first pumpkin spice latte
• started making homemade cappuccinos, which kind of completes my life
• been featured in my local paper
I could probably go on. Some of these things might seem small by themselves, but you add them all up and you realize that your life is kickin’ ass. Robert and I remark to each other all the time about how wonderful our life truly is and how lucky we are. Sometimes we feel like we’re about to spin out of control, but when we stop to look around at what’s going on in our lives, we usually have a “whoa” moment, realizing how incredible things are. I’ve never been a huge fan of making New Year’s resolutions – I think it’s because I’d rather not wait until the new year to start living a certain way and prefer to do things right away. For me it’s more like “I’m going to start running more often [starting now]” or “We need to eat more salads, starting tomorrow.” “I want to live a less-stressed lifestyle, save money, try yoga, travel somewhere new, etc.” That said, there’s no denying the fact that the start of a fresh new year can leave me feeling inspired to give my life a little kick in the pants. But I don’t really have any New Year’s resolutions for 2015, except to keep doing what I love, help my husband do what he loves, and enjoy the process. What about you? Here are some things I’ve been loving this month:
Delicious – Over the Thanksgiving break while we were visiting my in-laws in upstate New York, I took the time away from my normal routine to do something I don’t do often enough anymore: read a novel. For like four hours straight. I finally dug into Ruth Reichl’s best seller which I had bought over the summer, and I absolutely adored it. If you enjoy stories about food, pen pals, World War II history, old libraries and colorful characters, then this is a book for you.
Whiskey – This has become my new alcohol of choice, at least for the season. My mom is absolutely horrified because apparently a relative of hers was an alcoholic who drank whiskey and ginger ale ALL DAY LONG (which happens to be my new go-to drink at bars that don’t have fancy cocktails for my snobby mojito and moscow mule-loving self), and she is convinced that whiskey is some kind of gateway beverage into the world of alcoholism. (It’s okay, Mom – I’ll be fine.) But perhaps she should have words with my sister-in-law, who, after doing a tasting with me at the Finger Lakes Distillery, proceeded to get me drunk by taking me immediately next door for a wine tasting, and then to a local brewery for a beer. It made for an interesting Black Friday shopping experience afterwards, that’s for sure (and a super fun time with my SISTER!). Also – can we talk about how the Finger Lakes area is just SWIMMING with booze?! Either way, it was a lot of fun to taste a few different whiskeys next to each other to decipher the many nuances. I picked up a bottle of the honey whiskey at the distillery, and it’s amazing. Then on Totally Beverages, one of my favorite podcasts, I heard about Paddy’s Apple Cinnamon Whiskey, so I snagged a bottle of that at the liquor store on my way home from work, an hour after hearing about it. If you’ve had Fireball whiskey, it’s kind of like that but way less intense and with a nice apple finish. What’s your favorite whiskey? I want recommendations. After this bottle of apple-cinnamon whiskey is gone, I have plans to make the apple cinnamon-infused bourbon from Shutterbean.
Slate’s Serial Spoiler Specials – If you’re like me and most of the world, you’re probably experiencing some withdrawal now that season one of Serial has come to an end. (If you haven’t listened to it yet, what are you waiting for?) I decided to remedy this by listening to some Serial-related podcasts (as in, a podcast about another podcast, because that’s the kind of sensation that Serial was). It turns out that this was a perfect decision. I was what you might call a Serial “purist,” in that I avoided discovering more information about the story and decided to experience it all through the podcast itself, week by week. And now, listening to this spoiler podcast after hearing the whole original series, I get to RE-experience Serial from a whole new perspective. The episodes of this podcast always aired the same day as Serial, providing an analysis of that day’s episode. It’s been a lot of fun to hear these people discuss each episode of the show and how it affected them, what their speculations are/were, and their opinions on the narrative and reporting itself. They also talk to some other people, including Sarah Koenig, the host of Serial, and the man who composed a lot of the music for the show.
Illustration at top created with Photoshop.
Prints of my illustrations are available in my Etsy shop.