It’s Christmas morning, and I’m still in shock that in six days, it will be 2017.
2016 was a whirlwind year to say the least. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many high’s and lows in one year, but I’m grateful for all the lows, because they changed me for the better. 2016 started out like any other year- school, tennis, friends, etc. Around February, I got super into my blog and started putting more time into it. I slowly began to learn what “manual shooting” was, and how to edit my photos (correctly). I remember when I got my first Foodgawker acceptance, I jumped for joy and told my entire family “I’VE MADE IT!”
Around March, I realized that the stress school was causing me was hindering my overall health. I go to a college prep private school, so you can only imagine the pressure I feel 24/7 to get A’s. Getting a B at my school feels looked down upon, and a C? Please, I should just transfer to the local public school. I wasn’t sleeping because of stress, I was grumpy all the time, and in the end, all this was doing was making my grades worse. My teachers started to notice the changes in my mood and my grades slipping. I’ll never forget my AP US History teacher pulling me aside and telling me “somethings wrong with you.” Thank god he did, because that moment changed everything.
I took a three week break from exercising to refocus myself (if you know me, you know I love fitness and the thought of this makes me cringe), and I’m so glad I did. I fell in love with all the flaws I hated about myself, and found a new purpose: health and wellness. I became focused on overall wellness, not just in terms of food. I started going to yoga, and taking more rest days. The sleepless nights I used to have weekly because of stress were gone, and I began to get nine hours of sleep regularly.
2016 brought me lots of happy memories. In May, I had my Junior Prom (fun fact: I got my $600+ dress for $105!) and had the time of my life.
In June, I got to go to Ohio and visit Maddie (@thedancingfoodie27) for a week. We explored her town, ate some good food, and had a relaxing, eventful week. Team internet!
We ate at Alchamy and met Alexis 🙂
At the time, the blog and Instagram weren’t paying me super well, so I got a job at a local grocery store, which was a learning experience to say the least. If anything else, it motived me even more to turn the blog into a full time job 😉
I turned 17 in July and became a camp counselor at the summer camp I’ve been attending since I was 10. I have met some of my best friends at the camp, and we all got to be counselors together for the first time, which was an absolute blast.
Yeah, I go to camp on an Island and sleep on the beach in an open villa. Paradise.
A few weeks later, I went on my yearly trip to our family cabin and enjoyed a week full of hiking, sleeping, and RELAXING. My mom and I went on 8-10 mile hikes everyday (it’s our tradition) and the only time of the year we truly get time to ourselves. Thankfully, we were able to get the Olympics while we were there, so we spent most of our afternoons watching that and reading.
A GORGEOUS view from one of our hikes.
Besides travel, friends, and work, my summer was filled with blogging. I spent every free day doing multiple recipes, because I knew as soon as school started, I would need to focus on my college apps and school work. Oh, that’s another thing- college! I haven’t really talked about it much, because I have no idea what’s going to happen. So far, I’ve gotten into two schools and I’ve heard back from a few more. Since I haven’t decided where I’m going yet, I don’t want to give that away, but I’ll probably do a full blog post about it.
Oh, and I got my senior portraits done. This feels weird.
I think the biggest thing 2016 brought me was a new outlook on my diet. I started out the year anti-red meat, and now I am fully vegetarian. I didn’t intentionally cut out meat- it just naturally happened. I feel great, and barring some strange situation, I think I’ll be sticking with it. If you eat meat, I am in no way judging you or shaming you- everyone’s diet is their own! A more plant based, vegetarian diet works for me, but everyone’s body is different.
In 2017, I have so many goals for the blog. I have some great content coming, and I can tell the sky is the future. I’ve discovered that blogging is something I want to do for the foreseeable future, and I’m going to work my ass off to make sure I get to where I want to me. This is where the perfectionist and go-getter in me comes in handy. Get ready for BIG, YUMMY things related to the blog and Instagram 😉
2016 brought tons of new recipes, and here are my top five FAVORITE recipes that I make all he time!
These One Bowl Vegan Apple Muffins are crack, and I’ve made them three times in the past month.
This Black Bean Tofu Scramble is my favorite easy meal any time of day.
These Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats are like dessert for breakfast!
Yeah, this gingerbread banana bread is actual crack.
With all that being said, I am going to college, so the type of recipes I post will be different. Right now, I’m working my ass off to get as far ahead as I can so when I go to college, I have tons of recipes and content for you. There will probably be more crockpot, no-bake, overnight oat type of recipes coming soon, but we’ll see. I can’t wait to share the college experience with you guys (and tell you where I’m going!)
Thank you for your endless love, support, and kind words. You guys make me so grateful to blog every single day, and I can never thank you enough. Here’s to a year full of new experience, happiness, and love.
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