Top Five Friday : Best of 2016

I think it can safely be said that 2016 was insane.  Not only was it was an Olympic and Election year, but there were so many ups and downs that Disney World might make a rollercoaster in honor of this year.  It was also the most amazing and life-changing year for me where my entire world got flipped upside down (in the best way possible).  I don't know if any year will top this one for me, personally.

Here are the top five moments of my year:

Getting married in Belize

This entire trip was so incredible!  We did a ton of fun things like snorkeling, exploring Mayan ruins, zip lining, horseback riding, and going through caves.  I don't think anything can ever top this trip, not to mention the fact that we got married in the most beautiful setting ever.

Buying our first house

It's crazy to think that at this time last year, we were barely starting our house buying process.  It's been a fun process and I love being a home buyer.  Our house might be tiny and nothing special, but it's absolutely perfect for us!

Becoming a vegan

I just passed the sixth month of being a vegan, and it's absolutely changed my life for the better.  I feel more energetic and healthier than ever, I get to try out fun new recipes every week, and I feel better about what I'm eating.   I'm also happy that I've been able to make this diet change with Dan, and it's inspired him to be more healthy.

Changing careers

It took me a while and a lot of interviews to get here, but I got my dream job last year!  Back when I was in high school and looking at colleges, I picked Penn State because of their College of Information Sciences and Technology.  I had a career in mind and worked really hard to make that dream a reality.  I started working in my current position right after I got married last year, and it's been so amazing.  Now I'm one of those people who is excited to go to work every day and gets to do something fun, new, and challenging every day!  I feel really lucky to have my job and it's definitely made a huge impact in my life.


Sure, this wasn't my best or most consistent year of running ever, but it was still a great year.  I set a PR in the half marathon, and got to race in Vancouver.  I also ran over 1,000 mile in 2016, which is my highest ever.  After a semi-disappointing year, I'm ready to bounce back stronger than ever!

Five Best Purchases

To round out the year, I thought it would also be fun to share my five favorite things that I bought this year:

Thug Kitchen Cookbook - I've tried so many recipes from this book and have loved all of them.  They're easy recipes to follow and everything has been delicious.  I'm planning on picking up the other books in this series and would recommend it to vegans, vegetarians, or even omnivores!

Hammock - I picked this up during Amazon Prime Day, and it was the most random but exciting purchase.  I used this every single day when it was nice out (ohh how I miss that).  Nothing was better than reading a book, sipping wine, and swinging on a hammock at the end of the day.  I can't wait for it to warm up so I can be out there again!

Nespresso Vertuo - Definitely the most splurge-y item on my list, but the thing that I get the most use out of year-round.  I love coffee and can not beat the taste that comes from this machine.  Not only does it make amazing coffee and espresso, but it also looks sleek and is really fast.

Polar Fleece Thermal Blanket - Maybe a silly item to share, but this has seriously been a life (or at least sleep) saver for me.  If you freeze at night like me, or just want to have something really soft and warm to cuddle up with at night, you need to pick up this blanket.  It's cheap and amazing.

Amazon Echo - I'm not the only person who's including this on my best purchases list, and for good reason!  I love the Echo and use it daily.  I keep it in the kitchen so that I can listen to music, a podcast, or the news while I cook.  It also has so many cool features that I could devote an entire blog post to it.  Basically put- I love this machine.

What are your favorite moments from the year?
Best purchases?

inking up with ErikaHeather, and Friday Five


  1. Kind of a big year for you... just kinda! I need that blanket. It is fucking freezing here, excuse my language. And I'm about to take the dog out in it. #holdme

    1. Ugh it's so cold here today too..I wanted to bring that blanket to work with me!

  2. wow what a huge year for you! Would love to see some of your vegan recipes on our Meatless Monday sometime if you'd like to share

  3. Getting engaged was a huge 2016 moment for me. + 2 x incredible trips. So it felt like 2016 was a huge year. I'm sure actually getting married will top it, but we shall see!

    Best purchase? I really can't remember a lot of what I've bought,even though it's not a ton, but I did splurge on some nice black flats with good soles and it's been LIFE CHANGING for work versus cheap Payless flats.

  4. You really had a successful 2016! I am so proud of you!! I wish I had all those items on your best purchase list. It's my birthday tomorrow--maybe I'll get drunk and order stuff online.

  5. Wow! You did have a great yr. That is awesome you gt your dream job. Congrats on getting married. That pic looks beautiful.

  6. Thug kitchen recipes are amazing and HILARIOUS. I always laugh when I'm reading them LOL

  7. Woah, big year for you!! You should be so proud of yourself!

  8. Happy to hear you had a wonderful 2016! I'm going to declare my best purchase all of my Project Life supplies, total game changer in the way I document life!

    1. That's great that you found something that works!

  9. What an amazing year you had! I feel like we're semi connected because of the whole PNC thing... ;) Also the CLE-PITT connection. Oh and Towpath!

    Congrats on all the big stuff for you in 2016. It's been fun following your adventures!

  10. You really did have such an amazing year!

    I feel like my best purchase for 2016 was a new camera - or our trip to NZ!

  11. I can't believe how exciting your year was! Wow! Also, I love that you highlighted your top 5 purchases - Great idea (and I'll be checking them out)! -- Lisa | Naptime Chai

  12. Sounds like this was a great year for you personally. I am glad to hear that.... because so many people just wanted 2016 to 'go away'.

    I've just recently heard about Amazon Echo. I need to look into this.

    1. Even if everything wasn't perfect, a lot of it was out of my control so I won't let it affect me!

  13. Wow! It was such a big year for you!

    One of my roommates just got the Echo and it's been so fun to have. Love it. And my best purchase for the year was yoga teacher training! It was quite an investment, especially as a college kid, but so totally worth it :)

  14. i totally forgot about the Olympics. bit ridiculous lol. you had a HUGE year. hope 2017 is as amazing for you! i am not sure about my favourite purchases in 2016. i was gonna say a mattress but i think we got that in 2015. my memory is shocking lol.


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