Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Look Back at 2019

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful time ringing in 2020.  I am so excited for 2020, but first, I'll reflect a bit on 2019, a year that had a major impact on my life.

Twenty-nineteen was a year of adventure for me.  I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and tried to read, watch, and listen to books, TV, and music that expanded my horizons and tastes. 

The year started out bitterly cold, so escaping to Havana was sweet relief; however, it was a challenging place to travel to, and we definitely didn't have a luxurious vacation.  We stayed with locals in a Casa Particular and had an incredible learning experience.  My number one must-do in Havana would be Fabrica de Arte.  This is one of the coolest places I have ever been to in my life, and I'd go back to Havana just to spend more time exploring, dancing, and enjoying every aspect of Fabrica de Arte.  It is an absolute must if you ever travel there.


I ventured overseas for the first time ever, when we went to Chiang Mai, Thailand in April.


It was the trip of a lifetime, and we made some incredible memories.  Climbing up the face of the Bua tong waterfall, participating in the largest water fight in the world, and nurturing elephants at an elephant sanctuary were the highlights that we'll remember forever.  In addition to our favourite food, we also had some new delicious eats in Thailand, including mango sticky rice, and souffle pancakes.


We spent May long weekend in Edmonton.


We had an incredible VR experience, went to a concert, went water sliding with family, met up with Christopher's aunt, and also discovered a delicious restaurant, Biera.


In the summer we had a great time camping, and spending as much time as possible in our backyard.  We focused on being present and in the moment and enjoying the quiet, simple pleasures in life.


I celebrated 10 years of Everyday Foodie!


On that note, some of our favourite foodie finds of 2019 include:

Local and Fresh - an awesome new market in town for all things local and delicious.


Teff - a really delicious and healthy grain.


Smoking all the foods - we got a smoker from Christopher's parents this year, and LOVE it!


Thirteen Pies - delicious sourdough pizza in Saskatoon.


Mexican Street Corn - this will be a new summertime staple in our house.


Low Country Boil - this will also be on regular rotation for all summers to come.


Chili Verde - a new fall favourite.


Linguine with Green Olive Sauce and Zesty Breadcrumbs - we're addicted, and this has been added to the regular rotation.


I had some items on my To-Do List for 2019, but I didn't do too well with them.  I've graded myself below:

1) Try floating in a sensory deprivation tank.   
F - didn't do this.  It will be on the list for 2020.

2) Have more casual/ low-key get-togethers with friends and family.   
C - we definitely did this more than we had in previous years, but it's another one that will be on the list for 2020.  I loved our casual get-togethers with Matt and Alissa recently - exactly the type of thing I had in mind.

3) Go on a day trip to a small town near us that we've never visited before.   
F - didn't do this. Add it to the 2020 list!

4) Read more.  (I also wanted to read some books outside of my typical choices, which are usually food/ nutrition science, or behavioral/ brain science, non-fiction books.)
C+ - I read about 20 books this year, which is quite low for me, so this will be another one for the 2020 list.  My favourite reads of the year were: "The Molecule of More", "Everything is F'd", and "The Culture Code."  I did do some reading outside of my typical genre choices, but not as much as I'd like.  Christopher's favourite read of the year was, "Letters from an Astrophysicist".

5) Learn a new skill.  
D - I did learn some more Spanish at our Spanish classes and on Duo Lingo, and took a cooking class in Thailand, but I don't know if I learned a specific new skill.  I did learn a lot in general, so that counts for something though!

I might not have done well with this to-do list for 2019, but I am totally okay with that, as it's often the things that you can't plan or prepare for that turn out to be the best.  I learned so much this year and had so many new experiences.  I grew personally, and my marriage, career, and health flourished. I came away from 2019 feeling on top of the world, and you really can't ask for more than that.


Farwell to a year of adventure, learning, and growing. 

Farewell to the most unpredictable, exhilarating, and wild decade, with the lowest lows to the highest highs, and everything in between. 

2020, let's do this!

4 comments:

Ian Schofield said...

Have you found anywhere to buy Cotija cheese in Regina?

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Hi Ian! Not yet :-( Although I haven't looked since summer. I'm going to keep an eye out.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a great year! You packed in some great adventures! I am excited to hear where you are going in 2020! We are going to FL in February with my parents which I am really looking forward to. But I am hoping to do our first Paul-free trip in May or June. Hopefully my parents have retired by then so we can make that happen as we need them to help with Paul in our absence (although we plan to go during the week so he can go to daycare).

Amber said...

Hey, I think ending 2019 feeling on top of the world is the best you can really ask for! We might be doing a combo Varadero and Havana trip this year so I will have to go back and read all your Cuba posts if we end up booking that trip!!