My friend, Lydia, just did a recap of 2011 broken down by the month and I loved the idea and format so much, I decided to borrow the idea for myself. Much better than a “Top 10″ list, right?
After returning home to Seattle from a two week Christmas vacation in Florida, I was thrown straight back into the whirlwind at work by taking on additional job responsibilities. I know I was more than a little stressed in the moment by the additional workload and additional hours in the office it required. But, looking back on things now, I can see that January was the start of a pretty exciting and rewarding period of work for me. Between January and May, I was probably at my most happiest with my career (overall, not just for 2011).
Also in January, I made a Sweet Potato and Veggie Quesadilla, which has become the second most popular recipe on More Fruit Please. With good reason too, I would say. It really was delicious and I’ve had it on my list for a while now to make it again.
In the second week of February, I decided on short notice to fly to Connecticut to visit Mister E for his birthday and Valentine’s Day. This was quickly followed up by a 24 hour business trip to Arizona. I was really beginning to feel like a jet-setter with all of my travels. Maybe it was because I was on the go so much, but in February, I started to experiment and branch out more with healthy snack options including an easy pistachio nut trail mix and Coconut White Chocolate and Pistachio Covered Apricots. Actually, I don’t think my pistachio nut snackage had anything to do with my travel plans, but rather that my grocery store continuously had pistachios on sale for the month of February.
In March, I shared a little bit about me with you guys, including the fact that I’ve been on MTV and got to touch Akon. I also had an amazing visit from my friend Jenny where we went on a black bean burger binge (say that five times fast!). Behind the scenes, there was a lot of stuff going on the job front that I was keeping hush-hush from you guys. Also in March, I made what has become the most popular (and most searched) recipe on More Fruit Please – Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad.
In April of this year, I didn’t blog once! But here’s all the juicy details of what was going on that I didn’t tell you at the time. I had been job searching in Connecticut for a very long time (over an entire year!). Finally in March, I had received a call back from a recruiter for a position that I very much wanted. I went through the interview process and got the job! A few days before I was about to put in my notice at my current job, I got a call saying that the position I was being hired for fell through. I was crushed. Thankfully, the company was still interested in hiring me, so they scrambled around to find a different position for me. In April, I had to go through the interview process again, and was successfully hired (again).
While all of that job drama was going on, I had the pleasure of getting a weekend visit from a college friend that I never blogged about and a visit from Mister E where we ate at what would turn out to be one of my favorite places in Seattle, Alexa’s Garden Cafe. Also in April, I went on another business trip to Arizona. This trip was a much welcomed break from Seattle’s gray skies and the stress I was feeling from the job interviews. It didn’t hurt either that the food there was basically awesome.
May was a pivotal month for me this year. With many tears, I heart-wrenchingly put in my two weeks notice at my company. I publicly announced my decision to move to Connecticut. I packed up my entire apartment that I had called home for the past three years. With the help of Mister E, I drove across the country (read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4). And by the end of the month, I had started my new job in Connecticut. Oh, and somewhere in between all of that, I wrote on of my favorite posts to date, How to Indulge.
June was another month that I had taken off from blogging. There were lots of growing pains as I adjusted to my new life in Connecticut. It was tough making the adjustment from a long distance relationship (that had lasted four years, nonetheless) with Mister E to a normal relationship. I lived with my uncle for almost the entire month of June until I finally found an apartment that I was happy with and that was within my price range. I also turned another year older and definitely another year wiser.
By July, I was really settling into my new life in Connecticut – especially in the kitchen. I kept a strong focus on summer produce like strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes, and corn and turned out some pretty delicious results, if I do say so myself. I was also adjusting to cooking meals for two now that Mister E was coming over for dinner pretty frequently. And I made what would be the fourth most popular recipe on More Fruit Please, Jell-o Fruit Slices, for a family Fourth of July celebration. I also locked myself out of my place of residency for the third time since moving to Connecticut.
In August, I killed my fourth basil plant. I explored new restaurants with my cousin. I got my first glimpse of Pinterest and made Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries, which are the third most popular food item on More Fruit Please. I also went through a hurricane without sustaining any damage thankfully.
Just kidding. My mother came to visit me for Labor Day weekend where we really stuffed ourselves silly with blue corn tortilla chips and Curry Chicken Salad that was healthified with the substitution of Greek yogurt. I watched almost all seven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix while Mister E was doing quite a bit of travelling for work. I also tried being fancy by making Mini Blueberry Clafoutis.
While Pinterest was being blocked on my work computer, that didn’t deter me from forging ahead with some DIY fall decorations inspired by Pinterest. I also took my obsession with Pinterest to a new, unhealthy level by throwing a party for it. My fall wish came true when I got to go apple picking, not once, but twice. The month ended on a low note when I experienced my first snow storm on Halloween weekend that caused me to go two days without power.
November was another busy month in the kitchen. I put all of my apples to good use by making Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Cinnamon Apple Butter which I spread on Whole Wheat Breakfast Biscuits. I went to a Fall Dinner Party and took a stab at my first photography post. And somewhere along the way, I professed my love for breakfasts.
December managed to pass me by far too quickly, it seems. It was only a few short weeks ago that I was decorating for Christmas and attending holiday parties. I found my new favorite party appetizer in Sun-Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade. December also marked a full six months of living in Connecticut. To celebrate the new friendships blossoming and old friendships being nurtured, I threw a holiday brunch for friends. And before I knew it, I was in the car with my dad, on our way to Florida for Christmas.
And here I sit, on the last day of the year, reflecting back on the last 12 months. Dozens of new recipes, several new friends, 24 states traveled through, 2 jobs, and 1 new apartment. It’s funny to think that exactly 1 year ago, on the brink of 2011, I had no idea that I would be living in Connecticut by the end of the year. It makes me excited for all the things to come in 2012 that I can’t even possibly imagine happening yet.