My dear friends, I can’t believe how quickly this year went by, but at least it was awesome! So many things happened. We moved to a new rental. We traveled a lot and have been to many new places. Our apartment was finished, and we started to brainstorm how to furnish it. I found and follow many home design websites, Instagram accounts, and podcasts. I cooked often and baked almost every weekend. And I bought, borrowed or received many fantastic, engaging, inspiring, and educating books, many of which I shared with you throughout the year.
Every year in December I spend a lot of time thinking about others, about my family and friends when I do Christmas baking, look for gifts for everyone, and search for charities I would like to support. I also spend a lot of time looking back, on my year, what went well, what I did for the first time, whether I’ve overcome a fear or an anxiety, whether I’ve learned something new. Usually, I don’t write anything down, and it’s just a mental check-up, decluttering and organizing, but this year I listed my top 10 memories.
As I went through the blog, pictures, and my calendar, I realized there are so many things that went right this past year. There were awesome books I read, series and movies I watched, new recipes I tried. We’ve been to places we’ve dreamed about for years. And finally, we got our apartment, which led to many hours spent with planning, shopping, and putting it all together. Below are top 10 memories that pretty much summarize this year.
1. Our apartment
We got the key to our apartment on a sunny March day. At that time, we didn’t have much time to think about design, shop for, or furnish the place. We left with wide grins on our faces, full of optimism and ideas. Since then, we discussed, searched, planned, shopped and assembled. And so far, we had just positive experiences. At the moment, out apartment is almost fully furnished, and ready to be lived in.
I shared some of the inspiration boards, images, and sources in several posts. You can find the posts home design, small apartment inspiration, sofas we were considering, living room mood board, and small bedroom inspiration. ideas for a tiny entryway
2. Zion National Park
Back in May, we went on our first road trip, and it was a blast. For almost two weeks we traveled around the west coast of the USA. We visited many places, most of them for the first time. We loved it so much, driving for hours, watching the country change in color, shape, and climate. The most beautiful place that had the biggest impact on us was the Zion National Park. As we were leaving, we decided we need to come back one day and spend more time in this breath-taking park.
You can read recaps from our US road trip here.
3. Venice, Italy
We’ve been dreaming and talking about visiting Venice for years. And even though, or maybe because of, it’s so close and easy to get to from Brussels, it took us years to finally buy tickets and go. The weather and temperature in late June were perfect for a city trip, and the only downside of Venice are crowds of tourists everywhere. But we enjoyed long walks on the streets along the canals, lots of Italian food, and gelato.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
After too many years, we finally visited Prague again. It’s one of the cities that feels close and still has something new to offer. The history, old town, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, an abundance of good restaurants, cozy cafes, and stylish shops. Visiting Prague never gets old. This year our trip was special because I visited a friend who moved from Brussels to Prague and I miss her in Belgium a lot. It was nice to meet in a new cafe and effortlessly continue in a conversation. If you’re looking for Prague related recommendations, you can find them in my Prague trip recap.
I finally faced my fear of making a sourdough starter in August, and I can’t understand why I waited so long! It’s so much easier to make and keep the starter than I thought it would be. Since our first attempt to make the starter and bread, we’ve been baking a loaf of bread almost every weekend. We even started to make sourdough pizza which was a hit as well. I’m currently looking for more recipes to make, such as cinnamon swirls, which I still haven’t figure out. You can find the recipe for bread and pizza in blog archives.
6. Zucchini noodles
New favorites on our menu. I first made these zucchini noodles in early summer, and since then, we make them regularly. It’s an incredibly simple, easy to make, and delicious dish. And since it’s hot I happily enjoy it even in colder months. You can find the recipe here.
7. Chocolate truffles
These chocolate truffles are another favorite of ours. A dessert which isn’t as unhealthy as many traditional sweets. And I actually consider it healthy 😉
I made these truffles one weekend afternoon as an attempt to make something quick and easy, with simple ingredients, which will be chocolatey, yummy, and good for us. And it was a hit, and not only in our kitchen. If you haven’t yet, give it a try, the recipe calls for four ingredients only! You can find the recipe here.
8. Chasing slow by Erin Loechner
I’ve been admiring Erin’s writing style for years on her blog Design for Mankind, and I couldn’t have waited for her book. I read it too quickly and plan to reread it soon. It’s one of the books that’s worth to keep, reread, and leaf through. It’s a personal story, but very relatable. For my review of the book, click here.
9. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, and I never miss a chance to read her book. I already read all available in my local library, so when I spotted this new addition, I was very excited. She didn’t disappoint, she never does. Picoult’s stories are profound, attention-grabbing, and so well written you don’t want them to end. Small Great Things is a page-turner which I consumed too quickly.
10. Chris loves Julia podcast
I added several new podcasts to my playlist this year, and this one is one of my most favorite. The only downside is that they publish new episodes only every other week, which means I need to wait. But then, I enjoy it even more. Their discussions, games, and laughter are priceless. It’s an ideal show for a run, only a bit dangerous because it’s quite tricky to run, laugh, and catch a breath at the same time. But that’s a good problem to have 😉
I would love if you shared your top moments of 2017 in the comments below. What made you happy this year? What did you accomplish, try, experience? I hope your 2017 was as enjoyable as mine and that 2018 will be even better! See you next year!