Monday, I turned 29 years old. I didn’t blow out 29 candles (in fact, I didn’t have any cake!) but I did put a single candle in a cube of watermelon to blow out, mostly to entertain my nephew.

Turns out, no one wants to bake a vegan cake when it’s super hot and humid out, so I settled on Ben and Jerry’s dairy-free. Gotta say, I really love the coffee caramel fudge flavour. GET IN MY BELLY!

For someone with as chronically low self-esteem as I have, it should come as no surprise that I don’t think of myself as someone who’s accomplished much. But looking back at what 28 has brought my way, here’s a basic summary:

  • I started my ADAPT dance teacher training (which I will continue this summer);
  • I met my new friend Lena, helped her open a dance studio and began teaching at that studio (and the kids have seriously changed my life);
  • I’ve taken up serious tap training again;
  • I got married!! (how was that not the first thing I wrote?);
  • I went to New York and Chicago with my husband (husband!!);
  • I watched my nephew learn to walk, go to daycare for the first time, start to talk, share his love of trains with my husband and develop his own little sweet personality;
  • I took on more opportunities for leadership at my job;
  • finally shrunk my wardrobe down to the size I am comfortable with – small enough to get rid of my dresser;
  • I spoke, presented and moderated at about a half-dozen conferences and award shows;
  • I’ve seen about a dozen vegan restaurants open in Toronto (okay, this wasn’t really an accomplishment for me or anything, it’s just so cool);
  • I’ve devoted myself more to reducing waste and being environmentally responsible;
  • I started lifting!;
  • I’ve started my no-new-clothes challenge;
  • I’ve finally started (and stuck to!) bullet journaling; and most importantly
  • I’ve improved Urban Garlic and become more dedicated to it.

I went from being basically ready to shut my blog down to totally willing to give it another shot, become more dedicated and disciplined. Actually remembering to write things down? Huge plus. Planning ahead and testing multiple recipes? Booyah. Setting a schedule and (mostly?) sticking to it? Hell yep!

Some of my favourite things to come out of the blog this year:

A few other non-blog faves from the year.

  • Favourite movie: Lady Bird (I was so in love with it I watched it twice in one day)
  • Favourite TV show: Still Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Jake and Amy getting married was great, Holt’s red hat was better)
  • Favourite new vegan joint: Rosalinda
  • Favourite new vegan product: Ripple pea milk hit Canada this year and I love it!
  • Favourite podcast: A tie between The Baby-Sitters Club Club and We Hate Movies
  • Favourite comedian/special: Riley Silverman, John Mulaney (Kid Gorgeous)
  • Favourite cookbook: This year I tried to pull back on new cookbooks, but I did manage to grab Fuss Free Vegan by Sam Turnbull (It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken) for some great Vegan 101 recipes my husband loves!

Finally, here’s some goals for 29. They’re lofty!

  • Become an editor;
  • Pitch a cookbook;
  • Host another Friendsgiving;
  • Have my nephew for a sleepover;
  • Perform tap live;
  • Have one whole week of absolute-zero waste;
  • Create more raw dishes;
  • Create more desserts;
  • Finish my guest room;
  • Dye my hair.

Thanks for reading (always)! Love food and love yourselves!