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2013 Wrap-Up & Musings

Posted Dec 29 2013 4:50pm

Hello, friends! I hope the holidays treated you well this year. These past two weeks have been very restorative for me as I slowed down my blogging pace and took some time to re-group .

As I’m sure for most of you, 2013 was another year full of ups and downs, goods and bads. I like taking the time to think about how the year went and do this type of wrap-up post. Overall, I’d have to say that I feel satisfied with what I have accomplished, grateful for my friends and opportunities, and excited about the future. I also feel like I’ve grown a lot and feel more confident in my ability to handle stress and the challenges of life. <—- I can say this after my first year of mindfulness training that has made a huge difference in how I process my emotions.

I re-read last year’s wrap-up post  and thought it was interesting that I wrote “As we say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in a new year, I am already excited about upcoming events including finishing my MPH degree next fall (finally!!!), getting closer to finishing the coursework for my dietetics program, furthering my health and doing my best to remain cancer-free, working on my emotional eating habits and overall mental health, making more connections and more like-minded friends, doing a little traveling and connecting with each of you through this blog.”

I think I did a pretty good job of ticking off those boxes, although not without plenty of blood, sweat, and tears. :) My most precious accomplishment by far was getting through my first year of . While I continue to have regular blood tests and exams, things seem to be going pretty well on that front and no news is definitely good news. I’ve had some other health challenges this year with my female hormones related to PCOS  (insomnia, ugh!!!) and some recurrence of emotional eating habits , but I’m actively addressing those issues and feel confident they will continue to diminish.

Travel: 

Wow, I feel so lucky that I got to travel so much in 2013, made even more fun by the amazing people I encountered.

Blogging & App:

This was my busiest year of blogging by far. I joined the network, BlogHer , and I’m now calling myself a professional writer and blogger (yikes!).

My recipe app, Vegan Delish , has been another huge part of my life. The app went from including 50 healthy recipes to over 150 this year, thanks to my Featured Contributors . Vegan Delish ranks consistently in the top 50 Food & Drink app on iTunes and that makes me so proud and motivated to keep making it bigger and better. I’ve actually been hard at work behind the scenes in putting together a brand-new website for the app. I’ll be launching a dedicated news feature, so please check out the Vegan Delish website now and sign up to receive the updates.

Other fun projects I worked on in 2013 included in September and the  Virtual Vegan Potluck in May where I brought my Strawberry & Vanilla Bean “Nice Cream” and again in November where I brought my Smoked Paprika Corn Crackers .

Recipes:

I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss more about the recipes I’ve created this year. I was going to do a wrap-up of my favorites, but there are simply too many to review. In fact, one of the other projects that I’m slowly working on is going back and reviewing my old recipes, and updating them to a more user-friendly printable format, plus updating the photos whenever possible. I’m keeping my favorites indexed on my Vegan Recipes page where they always remain free and available to everyone.

On that same note, I’ve also been keeping my Vegan Resources page fairly well updated, along with a list of my freelance writings and links, so please do check that out. I have tentative plans to give my blog a design update this coming year, but that is likely months away.

I had mentioned in a previous post that I’ll be focusing on recipe development and my food photography skills this next year. That will be my priority, along with incorporating my story and thoughts along the way. I will be debuting a focused recipe project soon so please stay tuned for that, too.

Upcoming Projects:

Along with what I’ve already mentioned, I’m doing some new stuff in 2014 that I’m both terrified and ecstatic about. I’ll be doing my first professional food demo at Whole Foods Market in Los Angeles in less than two weeks  and I’ve been asked to speak on a panel at the BlogHer Food conference in May.

In fact, these new opportunities and challenges make me think about a recent Our Hen House podcast where my dear friend Jasmin shared a quote that “everything you want is on the other side of fear.” This statement truly spoke to me and made me think about how much time I’ve spent being afraid of the unknown.

2013 was a year when I felt like I’ve been more courageous than I’ve ever been. I have no doubt that 2014 will be filled with newness, adventure and excitement, counteracted with heartache, disappointment, and tragedy. That is the nature of life, no? But, what I’ve learned is that being afraid of what might happen is just a waste of energy and my time is better spent on living life right now.

My Hope for 2014:

In an already too wordy post, I suppose I could I could say that my hope for 2014 is that I continue to follow my passion and use whatever gifts or talents I’ve been given to do what I think is right. I do believe that it all comes down to kindness, including to ourselves, other humans, and animals. I couldn’t do any of this without you, and I’m so, so grateful to be here. In this last post of 2013, I send you my upmost respect, sincerity, and love. See ‘ya next year!

Want more of Carrie on Vegan? Connect with me on  FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram , or  Google+And, if you have an iPhone or iPad, be sure to download my recipe app,  Vegan Delish , featuring over 150 healthy, whole food recipes.

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