What a year!  For me personally it was one of unbelievable growth in my professional career.  I spent 15 months with a team of colleagues designing, developing and building from scratch a brand new office, while still doing my fulltime job.  It seems unfathomable now that it could be done.  I can honestly say if you had told me a year ago I could read and understand elevations on architects drawings, be able to confidently talk to the construction crew about building an internal staircase, data ports, lighting and IT infrastructure, I would likely have laughed hysterically.

We moved into our new space on December 1 to a general sentiment of “wow” echoed  by everyone who walked through our doors.   As much as 2013 was filled with a lot of tears, far too much coffee and a little more wine than I normally drink, I feel so unbelievably proud of this achievement and all of the work that went into it was truly worth it.

The other thing I am proud of this past year is the redesign of my new site.  I love it and cannot thank DLukeDesign enough for really understanding what I was trying to create in a new look.  I am hoping for a more work forgiving 2014, which will allow me to dedicate a little more of my spare time to writing my blog, which I did neglect a little this last year.

I wanted to share some of my favorite posts from this past year.  I hope you enjoy this little look back.

My Favorite Restaurant reviews of 2013

A farewell to an institution.  Upstairs on the Square, Cambridge, MA

After more than 30 years the amazing Upstairs closed its doors on December 31.  It will be missed.  I had a fantastic evening of dining and wining.

A single item menu.  Café du Monde, New Orleans

There is one reason I head to Café du Monde each time I am in New Orleans and that is their fabulously awesome beignets.

Shhh it’s a secret.  Lounge 10 in Manchester, England

A trip home brought me to this little cozy speakeasy.  Password required.  A saucy and sassy experience awaits.

My Recipes

Restaurant Worthy Wonton Soup

The first time I had ever tried to make this soup and I have to say it was absolutely delicious.  I was very impressed with myself.

Lauren’s Family Sweet & Sour Chicken

A true labor of love goes into making this dish, which is a family hand-me-down recipe of my good friend, Lauren.  She made the mistake of asking what I wanted for dinner when I visited KC.  Of course it was Sweet & Sour Chicken with Special Fried Rice.

Favorite Wines

Opus One, Napa Valley

It absolutely goes without saying that Opus One remains at the top of my list.  Especially after finally getting to visit their winery in Napa this past December.  I will be enjoying the 2012 vintage in 5 to 12 years if I can wait that long before opening.

Anthony Nappa Anomaly, New York

My obsessive find this past year is Anomaly, even though I reviewed it originally in 2012.  An outstanding white Pinot Noir that I have been recommending to anyone who will listen.

Masut Estate Pinot Noir, Mendocino County

This is the Pinot I have been looking for.  The finish is smooth and tantalizingly long, ending with sweetness on the tongue.

Thursday Thoughts and Short Stories

A Moment of Peace

How I felt about the Boston Marathon Bombings.  I allowed myself the tears we all deserve to have for something so unjust.

Unrequited Love and a Cup of Tea

This is a short story I wrote which became the feature story on Readwave.  A little story of young love and all the heartache it brings.

Thank you to everyone who keeps reading my little fun blog and sharing your thoughts and ideas on what I can do to improve and enhance it.  Keep your ideas coming, I love them!

Wishing all of you a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous 2014.