2013 in Review

30 12 2013

One of my favorite things about blogging is that it’s like a virtual scrapbook. I can share stories and pictures from throughout the year and then look back on them and smile. I don’t look back often enough, because as I was preparing this post, I found myself saying “OH yeah, I forgot about that!”

Here’s a few of my favorites- I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them!

For my 30th birthday, I went FlyBoarding!

fly boarding(And um, I’m 30. WHAT!?)

I rode a motorcycle for the first time.


A weekend in the mountains with my favorite people was exactly what I needed in March.


I made some mouth-watering, decadent pancakes, if I do say so myself. (exhibit A, B, C)


I embraced the outdoors and went camping for the first time, followed by some Florida hiking, all in preparation for my big trip to ALASKA!!


My Alaska trip was BY FAR the highlight of my year. It was an absolutely incredible experience that I will never forget. You can relive the experience by reading my posts (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) (<–Clearly, I didn’t want to miss a single detail!)


I wanted to know what it was like to work in the food service industry, so I took on a part time job (in addition to my full time job) for a short time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t balance the two, so it didn’t last long. However, it was a great learning experience!


And, last, but certainly not least- my biggest triathlon accomplishment to date: I competed in my first Half Ironman.


Call me crazy, but I really enjoyed pushing myself through 70.3 miles- using my own two feet, pumping heart and burning lungs. I can definitely tell you there’s another 70.3 happening in 2014.

I had an absolutely awesome year, with fantastic friends and family to support me along the way. Thank you, my wonderful readers for joining me on my journey! Here’s to a 2014 that’s just as great (if not better) than 2013!



2012 Highlights

27 12 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and see all of the fun stuff I did this year. I had a great time writing this post, so I hope you enjoy it!


I took a cruise with Bill and added 3 more countries to my list of places visited.


I said goodbye to DC, and hello Tampa, FL!’



To say life was busy was an understatement. I was incredibly busy transitioning into my new job, getting plugged into the local community, and training for the marathon, leaving me with zero time to blog. I wrote exactly one post in February.

However, these two little guys came to live with me, and made long hours a little more bearable.


I also started training with XP Multisport, and my teammates have definitely become my Tampa family. I can’t say enough good things about them!




I went back to DC and ran the Rock N Roll USA half marathon. I saw many of my friends and I had a great race!


In preparation for my April marathon in Nashville, I trekked out to the only nearby place with hills. There, I banged out 17 tough miles with Meghann and Mary.


San Antonio Hills


My longest run of my training cycle was a 20 miler. I ran the first six on the treadmill before dawn and the last 14 with Meghann in Clearwater.



Since Bill travels a lot for work, we try to take full advantage of the times we do get to see each other. In April, he got us tickets to Cirque Dreams and we got all gussied up for our night out 🙂


At the end of the month, I headed to Nashville for the Country Music Marathon. I was very happy with my race and Bill was right by my side when I finished 🙂 <— Probably one of my favorite posts of the year!



One of my friends told be about the Tampa Bay Burger Showdown  and I had to go. I ate my face off. Ah-mazing.


After the marathon, the ball of my right foot started to bother me. I went to the doc and learned I had inflamed sesamoids.


I didn’t let the foot injury get me down; I filled my weekends with other fun activities like blueberry picking with Courtney.

blueberry picking

And hang gliding with Bill!  (Whoops, I never wrote a full post about it…All I can say is that it. was. awesome! )


The foot was feeling a little better, so I did my first triathlon in Florida- the Crystal River Sprint Tri with team XP!

xp multisport

Then we went floating down the river– Must do this again!!


I went to my first Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers meetup and I’m so, so glad I did! Love these ladies!


On Father’s day, Bill and I raced! He did the triathlon, and I did the aquabike!



I dropped a pretty penny on a new bike. But it is oh, so worth it!

Specialized Shiv

My foot was still bothering me, so I went to PT for sesamoiditis.


I spent a fun weekend in New Jersey for Chloe’s bachelorette weekend!

Chloe and Steph NJ

I got to try out my new bike at the Top Gun Triathlon. It was great to race with Bill again. And, it was Mary and Marcus’s first triathlon ever!



I biked 60 miles with Bill, and we saw some pretty cool wildlife on the trail!


Back in the spring, several of my XP teammates and I had registered for the USAT Age Group Nationals. Well race weekend was in August, so we roadtripped up to Vermont.  It was a great weekend, but it was The. Longest. Drive. Ever. Check out my recaps: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.




We surprised Meghann with a bridal shower!

surprised meghann

I went to my first ever blogging conference (Part 1, Part 2)! I learned so much, and got to meet a ton of bloggers IRL!

Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers

I rode 100K for brain cancer. Such an amazing event. I rode in honor of my best friend’s cousin, Lisa.



I opted to defer from my half ironman, so instead I got to go to Busch Gardens with the family that weekend!


That same weekend, Hurricane Sandy hit my hometown. She wreaked havoc on the coastline of New York and New Jersey, but the outpouring of love and support from the community and others around the country was astonishing. My family was incredibly lucky, and damage was minimal to our home. But, as I drive around the area this Christmastime, the reminders of the storm are still there. The people are trying to rebuild, but it just takes time. Be strong, Jersey.



I participated in my first Mud Run, and had the MOST fun I’ve ever had at a race. It certainly didn’t hurt that I got to experience the race with my favorite blogging buddies!



I spent my first thanksgiving away from home, instead spending it in Orlando with Bill. I prepared my first Thanksgiving Turkey, and it was a success!



I cheered on Bill and AJ at Tough Mudder! Still no real desire to do this race…


I did something really, really stupid. And it cost me a lot of money.


The Eagles were playing in Tampa, so I was able to go to the game with my friend Kristen. The best part? They WON!


A 5K in December? Only in Florida! It was awesome!

Santas 5K

Phew, what a year! Here’s to many more memories in 2013!

How was your year?

2011 in Review

30 12 2011

Wow, is it really December 30th? Where does time go?

Yes, just like every other blog, I’m going to do the obligatory end of year reflective post. Ready or not, here goes!

2011 was a special year, because Chloe and I started this here blog!  Over the course of the past 10 and a half months, we’ve had the pleasure of sharing our lives with you. We’ve met some pretty awesome people, and watched our readership grow. We’re so excited to see what 2012 brings!

I thought a fun way to reflect on the year would be to bring back a trend from this summer. Remember that whole 7 Links thing going on in the blogging community? Well, here’s mine 🙂 (And yes, I’m cheating a bit, and adding multiple posts for each category!)

Most Beautiful

So I could pick a post which has the prettiest pictures in it, which, if I had to, would be this one or this one…or maybe this one. I really like my DSLR:-)

But if I was picking for content, I’d go with the post I wrote about how my mom’s creativity has greatly influenced my life. You can check it out here.

Most Popular

I’m going to share our top three here 🙂

321delish was lucky enough to be featured as a WordPress “Freshly Pressed” blog, not once, but twice this year! The two featured posts were:

So You Wanna Be A Triathlete?


You Know You’re Part of a Foodie Family When…

They’re our first and third most popular posts ever. What’s the second you ask? Well, our dear blogging friend Lauren wrote us a guest post called the Queen of Ice Cream. That’s our second most viewed post! Thanks for the great post Lauren!

Most Controversial

We keep things pretty quiet around here, and don’t try to stir up trouble. But, one post that sparked a bit of conversation was Chloe’s discussion about the realities of serious triathlon training, and how it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. It’s tough stuff, and Chloe was open and honest about some of the struggles she had throughout her training for a HIM.

Most Helpful

I’m gonna be a little silly on this one and say that the most helpful post this year has been a recipe post. Everyone needs some cake balls in their life, so I’m just spreading the love by sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Cake Balls. Nom Nom Nom. I need to make these again before all the pumpkin gets put away for the season!


Post Whose Success Surprised You

So Chloe wrote a post entitled, 10 Workouts = Burger Cookie Reward, which she wrote when she was in the middle of intense training for her HIM. I remember excitedly gchatting with Chloe on the day this post came out, constantly clicking “refresh” and watching the stats rise. Um yeah. We don’t do that anymore…

Some key words in the title, Burger Cookies? Whaaaat? probably contributed to its success, but it’s posts like that one, which summarizes Chloe’s training for the week, which are fun to look back on and think, “Whoa, I did ALL THAT during the week??” And, now I want some Berger’s cookies!

Post That Didn’t Receive Enough Success

I wrote a post shortly after we started blogging about Google Reader —what it was and how to use it, yknow, the basics. I had no idea what Google Reader was until my ex taught me about it 5 years ago, and it is probably the single greatest factor contributing to my interest in blogging. So, I thought telling others about it was a great idea. I realize now that I was probably just preaching to the choir, becuase blog readers often follow other blogs, and already use their Google Readers to keep up. Oh well.


Post You Are Most Proud Of

Though I didn’t write this one, I’m super proud of Chloe for finishing her first half Ironman. Her post brought me to tears, as she recounted her struggles and successes from that race, all the while maintaining a positive attitude. It’s an inspiring story!

So, this wasn’t your typical “Year in Review” but I sure had fun taking a trip down memory lane and trying to pick posts to include here!

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year! See you in 2012!!

Question of the day: What was your favorite post of 2011? (Yours, mine, or another bloggers! Feel free to leave a link in the comment section!)