Top Five Friday : 2017 Favorites

Hi everyone!  And congratulations for making it to the first Friday of the year.  That's definitely something to celebrate!

Today I'm switching things up, and sharing all of my favorites from the past year in my five categories (plus a bonus category).  Here they all are- in no particular order!


Thanks to Spotify, I was able to see what my top songs were in 2017!  A lot of these were songs that I used while I was training for races, so they don't really come as a shock to me.  Here are my top five:
Greatest - Sia
Love On The Brain - Rihanna
My Shot - Hamilton Mixtape
Bat Out Of Hell - Meat Loaf
El Taxi - Pitbull


I listened to so many great podcasts this year that it's hard to pick just one!  I decided to pick one that launched in 2017, that I immediately listen to as soon as a new episode is released, and am never disappointed in any episodes.  For me, that would be the Ali on the Run Podcast.  I've mentioned this one a number of times on here but it needs to be said again- Ali is such an amazing podcast host, and has the best interviews.  She always has interesting people on the show, and I look forward to each and every episode that comes out.

My other top five podcasts would be:
The Girl Next Door
The Popcast
Ear Hustle
This American Life


When I was working on this blog post, this is definitely the category that made me think the hardest!  I was thinking back on what I watched this year and nothing really stood out that much (which is probably a good thing because I tried to cut back on what I watched in 2017).  

Then, I thought a bit, and realized that this year I watched the entire Game of Thrones series while I got my wisdom teeth out, so I would pick that as my show of the year.  It's something that I didn't want to enjoy, but got sucked right in and am now dying for the last season to come out.

A few other shows that I enjoyed this year include:
Top Chef
Big Little Lies
Dark (actually currently watching this and LOVING it!!!!)


This was the year that I stopped making small, frequent purchases and instead saved up to make larger purchases.  Dan and I also tried to focus on saving money for traveling and paying off our mortgage quickly, so the way we spent money definitely changed!  In the past I would have picked a clothing item or new pair of shoes as my best purchases, but I honestly can't remember buying any (non-running) shoes or clothes this year!  Instead, these are my favorite purchases from 2017:

Kayaks and Paddleboards - I absolutely love being on or near water, and we specifically bought our house because it's by a lake where people can kayak.  This year I took the plunge and got a kayak and a paddleboard, both during huge sales and stacked with coupons (so it ended up being a lot less than I originally anticipated).  It's been super cold lately, but I'm already wishing for warm days so I can get back out there!

Pittsburgh Winery Membership - This is the gift that keeps giving, because with my membership, I get 3 bottles of wine every 6 months, free tastings, winery events, and discounted bottles of wine.  This was the first year I tried out the winery, and absolutely love it.  Not only is the wine great, but it has a cool atmosphere and the people that work there are absolutely amazing!

Knife Block - As someone who loves to cook and cooks a lot, I decided to finally invest in a good knife set this year.  I've been using the same two knives that I bought from Marshalls ever since getting my first apartment, and decided this year to go for the real deal.  It's really incredible what a difference a good knife can make, and now I'm never going to be able to go back to my old knives.  I'm able to prep food so much faster, with such better quality in my cuts, and do it a lot safer.  

Subaru Forester - For the past 5 years, Dan and I have shared the same car (a Ford Focus) and it's worked out fine.  There were some times where we both needed the car or had to miss out on something, but in general it wasn't a huge inconvenience to share.  Then, Dan got a new job that required him to travel, and we finally decided to add a second car to the mix!  We ended up finding a used car on Craigslist that was in excellent condition, with four-wheel drive for an amazing deal and have loved it ever since.  It's definitely helped us out lately with the weather we've been having, and I would consider it our best purchase this year!


There were so many cool things that happened in my life in 2017.  I got to cross of a ton of items on my 30x30 list, and visit new places.  Here are a few of my favorite memories from the year:

Going to my first tennis tournament (and spending the week in Cincinnati)

Setting a new half marathon PR and training/racing with friends

Going to Expo East and Baltimore with Alexa

Going to Hawaii!


Today I also wanted to share five things that I'm looking forward to happening in 2018! 

Finishing a marathon!  In the past few years I've been really good about signing up for marathons and even starting them, but haven't quite finished one in a while.  Since this is my golden year I'm going to make it happen!

Visiting Ireland and Scotland.  So far, this is the only trip I have planned for the year and I. Can't. WAIT.  This is one of the first trips in a while that I actually planned out an itinerary (since we'll have a car), and it's getting me really excited.  If you've ever been and have suggestions on things to see/do/eat/etc let me know!

Winter Olympics.  I absolutely love watching the Olympics (I slightly prefer summer, but winter is cool too).  For the past few years, Dan and I have randomly been in Canada during the Olympics, so I'm kind of thinking about planning a quick weekend trip up to Toronto just to keep the unintentional tradition alive.

Weekend Trips.  To go along with that, I would love to take more weekend trip this year.  I tend to plan big, annual trips rather than smaller, more frequent ones, and this year I want to make it happen!  There are so many cool towns and campsites within driving distance of Pittsburgh and I want to see more.  I would also love to make it up to Penn State sometime this year!  It's been way too long!

House Projects.  There are a few things around the house that I want to work on this year, and I think it would be fun to share it on the blog!  We have some big things to do (like adding a second bathroom and replacing all the windows) as well as smaller things (repainting our final room and adding lighting to the kitchen).  Here's to actually accomplishing something in 2018!

What are some of your favorites from 2017?
What are your goals for 2018?


  1. Sounds like a wonderful year! I'm so excited you're going to Ireland..that's on my travel list too as my family is originally from Ireland (distant family).
    Favorite of 2017 was meeting my baby girl and holding her and watching her grow.
    Looking forward to more sleep and making new family memories in 2018. I'm hoping to plan a little getaway for just Daniel and I this fall once Aubrey no longer needs me to nurse her!

    1. I hope you get to visit Ireland one day! I'm looking forward to it :)

  2. I would love to see your house projects on the blog!
    Also I love your unintentional Olympics tradition. I am also a Olympic mega fan, who prefers the summer Olympics but I'll take what I can get!

    Oh and I recently discovered the Ali on the Run blog and started listening to the podcast and I think it's great as well. The only other one on your list I've listened to is This American Life, so I'll have to check the others out since we seem to have similar tastes.

    1. Happy to hear someone would be interested in house projects! Hopefully that'll motivate me to actually do some ;)

  3. I totally want to go with you on your next trip. YOU GUYS DO IT RIGHT.
    So take me? And Yoshi and Ridley?

  4. What a great trip you have planned. You two always do such fun things.

    My husband bought a set of Cutco knives a few years back and I thought he was insane for spending that much $ on knives. Turns out they are totally the best. The are the best quality knives I've very used! A good knife does make a difference. Enjoy yours!

    1. It's crazy what a difference a good knife makes. Now I can never go back

  5. So many good things in 2017 and so many things to look forward to in 2018.
    More weekend trips are definitely on my list for this year. Also, I hope to go skiiing again.

    1. Ohhh I should try skiing again soon. Good luck :)


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