Happy New Year!

adventure ahead

Another year, another life, another adventure ahead. Cheers to you, 2015. I’m ready for you. Wishing you all the happiest new year! Hope this one is off to a great start.


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Image: photo by Jay Mantri via Magdeleine, with additional photo editing and text graphics added by Victoria McGinley

"All we wanna know is where the stars came from, but do we ever stop to watch them shine?" - Jon Bellion

The Year in Review

be resolute

I think this is going to be my resolution for next year — to be resolute. The definition of the word is “admirably purposeful, determined, unwavering.” That’s something I can get behind! I feel like with a lot of the stress of this last year, it was incredibly easy to feel sapped creatively, physically, and emotionally. In 2015, I’m hoping for calmer waters ahead — which makes having admirable purpose and determination a whole lot easier! My resolution is for resolution, both in life and in attitude.

Do you have any resolutions for the coming year? I’d love to hear about them!

I really can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of the year! In both 2013 and 2012, I shared a photo-based look at the year that was. This year, I thought I’d share a month-by-month roundup, inspired by Meg’s idea. It’s been both the shortest and the longest year, don’t you think?



What I remember most: The funny thing about the incessant chill from the Polar Vortex is that having grown up in Texas and lived in California for the previous 11 years, I had no basis for comparison. So the daily 8 degree temps just seemed like a normal winter. How little I knew…

Favorite moment: Going for the coldest New Year’s Day morning walk with Joe and Lucy.
Favorite recipe I made: This colorful pasta salad. I need to make it again!
Beauty moment: I highlighted my hair. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, nearly a year later.
I watched: a lot of documentaries!
We talked about: feeling stuck.


What I remember most: The last big blizzard of the season and how we nearly didn’t make it to California to celebrate Joe’s birthday in Napa. It took us about 22 hours total to make it to our destination, but it was worth it, times 1000. That might have been my favorite weekend of the entire year!

Favorite moment: Sitting around the fire at Ma(i)sonry with dear friends.
Instagram moment that blew my mind: how much damn snow was at the airport. The image doesn’t even do it justice — the piles were as tall as some of the planes!
Favorite recipe I made: Definitely this mac and cheese with prosciutto. But for the record, I also revealed our family margarita recipe in honor of National Margarita Day.


What I remember most: Just how badly everyone wanted it to get warm. I remember spending weekends downtown with Joe roaming neighborhoods, wandering into bars and restaurants. It felt like we were waiting — for spring to come.

Favorite moment: It’s a toss up between visiting the Union Square Farmers Market for the first time (I know) and also hosting a ridiculously fun game night with friends.
We went black tie super fancy!: We also jetted to my hometown of Austin for the weekend to attend a wedding.
Favorite project I shared: This DIY Business Card Scrapbook artwork project. Still one of my favorite items in my home!
We talked about: whether you watch the news. Do you?


What I remember most: How happy I was to plant our patio garden and see everything come to life (I remember our pansies were out of control gorgeous). Everyone started emerging from their winter caves and there was this general feeling of relief and gratitude in the city!


Favorite moment: I remember having a great time with Julia on our patio, drinking rosé in the sun, and gabbing for hours while we listened to tunes.
Favorite recipe I made: Without a doubt, this pea, pistachio, and mint pesto. It remains one of my favorite spreads to make, any time of year!
Favorite project I shared: These little gold leafed place cards I prepped for a Cinco de Mayo party. I really loved them.
We talked about: learning a foreign language when you’re an adult, and also how to manage an Inbox that’s out of control!


What I remember most: Our Cinco de Mayo party! Or rather…hmm, perhaps I don’t really remember it, if you get what I mean. Damn, that was a fun night. The other fun memory from this month was a visit from some good friends of ours from San Francisco. We had a blast playing tourist in the city (and having a second Cinco de Mayo celebration with them that was also…memorable). Really though, this month was chock FULL of fun moments. I walked the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time, and attended the Veuve Clicquot Polo Match (I even had my picture taken by Bill Cunningham and was in the New York Times!)

Favorite moment: The two dance parties that happened during both Cinco de Mayo dinners. And the videos and texts we woke up to the next day.
Favorite project I shared: How I like to prep for house guests.
I wrote about: the peony. I remember enjoying playing around with this graphic!
I reflected on: One year of living in New York.


What I remember most: Paris. And how after we returned from our vacation, this was kind of the turning point for our year, when some really tough personal things happened from which we are still recovering.

Favorite moment: Walking home to our apartment after the most incredible dinner at Spring, and admiring the evening light in Paris. The sunset that night at the Louvre was unforgettable. Also, when we ordered a chocolate mousse at a café and ended up sharing it with all the tables around us, because it was so big! It was such a funny, human moment to share with strangers.
Favorite posts I wrote: There were a lot of them this month! I really loved making this little graphic about Veuve Clicquot — that kind of history is my jam. I also loved sharing our journey to France with you, and these sandals that ended up being my go-to’s all summer.


This is the most liked image from my year, on Instagram!


What I remember most: That mid-summer feeling, when it feels like life slows down and you’re swimming through it — but in a good way. Our garden was super green, and we spent a ton of time outdoors. I also remember being stoked about harvesting our first heirloom tomato!

Favorite moment: Celebrating Lucy’s 2nd birthday with a ladies lunch! It ended in lots of (perhaps too much) rosé.
Favorite recipe I made: I was cooking up a storm with all the summer produce! Joe and I loved this Seafood Chowder so much we made it again after the first batch. I also couldn’t resist making a berry crumble, with ice cream.
We talked about: 30 things I’d learned in 30 years.


What I remember most: My birthday! And the long anticipated re-launch of my blog and business sites, under a new name.

Favorite moment: Seeing this sunset on my birthday. And the day the site launched with no glitches!
Favorite recipe I made: One weekend, I made these little gravlax tartines that I unfortunately never wrote a recipe for. They were so good — I might have to recreate it! I also enjoyed making fresh ricotta to eat on crostini.
We discussed: my minor obsession with Outlander. I’m hoping to visit Scotland as my next big vacation!


What I remember most: Escaping the city and taking a road trip down to Washington D.C. for a long weekend. We were able to catch up with some of our oldest college friends, and enjoy some seriously good weather!

Favorite moment: Taking an afternoon for myself at Aire, a day spa here in New York that’s modeled after Roman baths. This is also tied with standing on a rooftop bar in D.C. and watching the sunset. So incredible!
I shared tips on: how to clean out your closet and make some money at the same time! This service has continued to be a favorite of mine, even after sending in a couple bags.
We discussed: the wisdom of insecurity and meditation.
We had: more basil than we knew what to do with.


What I remember most: Jetting off to Palm Springs for a much needed long weekend with close girlfriends! Joe and I also escaped upstate again for another weekend in the country, and I was completely captivated by the fall foliage.

Favorite moment: It’s a toss up between putting Lucy in her Halloween costume, the color of these leaves, and drinking Bloody Marys poolside with friends. All very good moments!
Favorite recipe I made: This butternut squash soup with white bean, sausage and kale. It’d still be good given the cold temperatures!
We discussed: What you want to do in your second career.
I tried: HIIT workouts. Damn, these are effective! (Sadly, I have not kept up because of what would happened in November…)


What I remember most: What happened to Lucy. I don’t think I can ever forget it!

Favorite moment: The feeling of relief when Lucy was out of surgery and we spoke to the doctors. I remember we ordered a large pizza and drank it with an entire bottle of Champagne, then went straight to bed and collapsed with exhaustion. I’ll also always treasure our walk the morning of her injury. It’s definitely a before/after moment in her life.
Favorite recipe I made: my classic spinach and artichoke dip, during Thanksgiving. It’s still the best thing ever! On a lighter note, I also really liked this Israeli cous cous pasta salad.


What I’ll remember most: Feeling like I was ready for 2015! I also will remember my visit to Austin and Houston a couple weeks ago, to spend some much needed time with family.

Favorite moment: Doing absolutely nothing over the Christmas holiday and enjoying every second of it. I also really loved the moment I opened my grandmother’s gift to me — it was a set of mid-century tea glasses that I had been searching for for years. She found one for me, and surprised me with it (I’ll share a picture of them soon).
We talked about: the madness that can be Instagram.
I’m looking forward to: going out to dinner tomorrow night with Joe and celebrating with a bottle of Champagne (from a house I haven’t tried yet, of course).


Thank you so much for being a part of this year with me. Onwards and upwards and to the new year ahead!



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Palm Springs or Bust…


Week/End will be taking a little break today for…well, the weekend! I’m headed to LA today, to meet up with friends and make the trek out to the desert. I haven’t been to Palm Springs in a little over two years; the last time I was there was for my bachelorette weekend! Time is flying. I’m really looking forward to reuniting with California girlfriends (some whom I haven’t seen in a few years!), having a glass of wine or two, taking a private yoga class, and soaking up the desert heat. And, if we’re lucky, we’ll make it back over to the Parker for cocktails and a little stroll around the garden (seriously one of my favorite hotels ever). I’ll definitely be sharing weekend snaps on Instagram, so be sure to check in there!

Ok, so you know I can’t help myself. Here are a couple links to share:

+ Two articles that New Yorkers will enjoy (or be appalled by, as the case may be). What will be moving into the old Pastis space down in Meatpacking? You’ll never guess. Also, subways are disgusting, but also kind of hilarious.

+ If you need another kick in the pants to give meditation a try…

And in local news…

+ I’m working on making my newsletter better. Do you subscribe yet? If not, you can sign up here, and pop over here to take a quick 4-question survey I sent out this week — the sole purpose of which is to help create newsletter content that you (yes, you!) will find informative, helpful and interesting!

+ Fresh new candy is up! Pop on in to be delighted. Can my links there serve as additional Week/End links for you?? Down the rabbit hole we go…

+ Over on The Well, the last couple weeks we’ve been talking networking (even for the introverted), and I also shared a bunch of great blog/business reading links too.

Any fun plans this weekend? I can hardly believe we’re heading into late October. My mom asked me about items on my Christmas wishlist this past week and I was all, “What are you talking about, it’s like, August.” Happy weekend, everyone!

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Image via: Could I Have That