2023 Year in Review

Can you believe it's the end of the year? In some ways this felt like the fastest year ever, and in other ways it dragged. I'm looking forward to 2024 for a number of reasons (and will share some of my goals and plans for the year in another post) but for now I'm excited to recap 2023! I'll be sharing how my goals went, as well as some highlights and favorites.

Annual Goals

Korean Vegan Cookbook

I started this really well at the start of the year, and it kind of trailed off towards the end. Going back into the office, working on house projects, and general winter laziness made me get way worse at meal planning, so I didn't finish up this goal. But- I did try a ton of new recipes from this cookbook and I'm excited to keep trying it when I get back into the groove of meal planning! My favorite recipe that I tried was the Curried Tteokbokki skewers from June - they were so flavorful and unlike anything I've ever made or tried before.

Temperature blanket

This was a fun project to work on all year and got me really into crochet. I'm glad that I do it, but also understand why people don't recommend that you do it! For one thing- you use up so much yarn, and it's impossible to know how much you'll need ahead of time. So, I would run out of colors and have to make too many trips to the store (and towards the end the colors were just a little bit off since they use different dye lots throughout the year). Also- it gets kind of boring after a while! I did two different stitches- alternating each month- and it just got very repetitive and boring. I would put it off for weeks and then catch up in one day. 

On the other hand, I loved always having a project to work on if I wanted to do something but didn't want to think too hard. I also love how it looks- the colors are so cool together. It's such a cozy blanket that Selma and I both love!

Here are some stats for the entire year-
- The blanket ended up being over 9 feet long.
- I used a total of 6 colors.
- The highest daily temperature was 97 on July 27, August 25, and September 6 and the lowest was 42 on March 12. I ended up not using one color at all (purple), because it was for temperatures 39 and below. It also never got above 100 which was crazy to me!
- My most-used color was yellow, which was for temperatures between 80-89 degrees. I used this 92 times! My least-used was cobalt, for 40-49, and was only used 15 times. 

And for the final reveal- here's my blanket!

Hike 100 Miles + Check Out 10 New Parks

I ended up hitting 121 miles for the year! I wish I kept track towards the end because I would have made myself hit 125, but I'm really happy with that number. I also went to way over 10 new parks (I stopped counting once I hit 10) but my favorite (local park) was Grandfather Mountain. I went for a backpacking trip and it was so beautiful and not too far away! I definitely want to go back sometime soon.

Read the Goodreads Best Books

I finished all the books for the year! It was an interesting mix of things that I already read and things that I would never think to pick up. My average rating was 3.25, and I gave out two five-star reviews. The first was I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, which won for best memoir, and Heartstopper by Alice Oseman which won best graphic novel. 

Work from a Coffee Shop Once a Month

I was doing really well with this goal until September, when I had to go back into the office. Since I started this to get out of the house and find a new environment, I got that from being in the office! Unfortunately there's not many people on my floor at work, so when I go in I'm usually by myself. But- towards the end of the year I met some people on other floors and will try to start being more social with them to make it more fun going in. 

While I was going out for coffee, I got to try some really fun shops. My favorite one to work from was probably Meeples Brew. It had the perfect combination of fast wifi, good service, good food and drinks, and not busy. Plus- parking was super easy since it's in a shopping complex! It didn't have the best atmosphere, but when you're trying to work anyway that can be distracting. So- this was perfect for me!

Now let's get into some favorites of the year!

Favorite Moment

This was the easiest to come up with- going paragliding for the first time was the best moment of the year, if not my entire life! The whole lead-up was so magical, from thinking we weren't going to be able to go at all to having the most beautiful weather and views imaginable. This was so incredible and I'm hoping to go again this year on one of our upcoming trips!

Favorite Purchase

My Oru Kayak! I bought this back in March because my inflatable kayak got a hole in it, and I'm so glad I got this foldable kayak instead. It's very lightweight and easy to set up/take down by yourself. It's also SO comfortable to use and feels very sturdy! I absolutely love it. My only piece of advice is to be prepared for tons of questions when you use it- everytime I'm out with it people want to know all about it which is always fun!

Favorite Project

Dan and I did a lot of projects around the house this year, but by far my favorite (and most expensive, most time consuming, toughest, etc etc etc) was our primary bathroom. I'm so proud of what we did for this and don't regret all the long hours and stress it took to finish this. I absolutely love it and it just makes me so happy to look at it every day. Here are some more views of the bath (with my favorite purchase- the shelves. Absolutely love them)...

Our vanity! The only "professional" help we got on this entire bathroom was having the vanity delivered to our upstairs. We installed it by ourselves and did everything else too!

And another look at the shower. Love this space so much.

Favorite Concert

I didn't go to too many concerts this year but heard plenty of live music (hoping for even more in 2024!). But- I did go to the Trans Siberian Orchestra's holiday concert this year, which was a big item on my bucket list. It was absolutely incredible and was a full scensory experience. I loved it so much and could see this becoming a tradition to see every year.

Favorite Race

My favorite race of the year wasn't one of my own, but it was a race that I helped to pace and crew for a friend. She did a 100 mile race in West Virginia, and a group of us went to support her! It was such an amazing experience, and I really enjoyed the miles that I got to run with her. Definitely a highlight weekend for me!

What are some of your favorites this year?


  1. You have so many great favorites here, but I especially love that blanket! It's quite a commitment, but you did it, and it looks great!

    1. Thank you!! It was a fun but very long project :)

  2. I am so impressed with the grit it took to finish your blanket. I'm also laughing about no temps below 39. It was 31 when I walked the dog this morning and I found myself saying, out loud, to the dog, oh, it feels warm today. LOLOLOL. We live in different worlds.

    I had a few highlights for the year. I got a new job, quit a volunteer gig that was making me miserable, and hosted a successful book club on my blog. I feel good about these things!

    1. Just remember those are the highs of the day! We definitely had a few days with lows in the 30s but it usually gets up to the 50s. Definitely lucky to have our weather (and the main reason we moved down here from Pennsylvania!).

      Great year for you!! Those are all huge life changes!

  3. Wow, I am so impressed with your Temperature blanket. I have never heard of that before. Did you knit one row each day ( with the corresponding color of the temperature)? Lacey also went to see the Trans Siberian orchestra this holiday and said it was amazing! Have a happy 2024.

    1. I did crochet but yes exactly! One row every day :)


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