My 2012 Favorites

These posts are always my favorite. I get to do a mini-reflection and they serve as fun reminders of what has (or hasn’t) changed over the years.
In no particular order, here are my top 10 favorites of 2012.

1. Georgetown University | Leaving Georgetown was bittersweet. While I was absolutely more than ready to venture into the new chapter of my life, I grew so much at Georgetown. There were certainly lots of not-so-fun parts, but on a whole, it was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t give back for the world. Senior year was particularly difficult, but I really really enjoyed second semester. I was finally okay with not being on the rowing team. I made new friendships. I had wonderful professors and interesting classes. I think I liked that last semester more than all of the other semesters combined. It was a great way to end my four years, that is for sure.

Photo by Carissa Gallo for Kate Spade

2. New York City | Is it a coincidence that the city made it on the previous two years’ lists as well? No. I have absolutely known I was going to move here after I graduated and to see it come true has been almost like a dream. I had been picturing it for so long that sometimes it’s hard to remember that this is my real life!!! I was making trips up here nearly every weekend (a guy may or may not have been a driving force behind this one) and was so ready to just live here. Then there was a brief stint where I was convinced, absolutely convinced, that I did not want to live here (again, a guy may or may not have been a driving force behind this one). But I quickly snapped out of it after a month-long NYC hiatus and found myself applying to jobs in the city. The rest is history…

3. Levo League | It’s hard to believe that I was introduced to the company only nine short months ago. It seems like Levo has been a part of my life for, well, a very long time. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the whole experience has been. Trust me when I say that it is a very interesting job for a “first job.” Frankly, I cried every night on the way home thinking what had I gotten myself into!!! But, over time, things smoothed out. I figured out my own routine and really made it work. It was really important that I work for a company with a good mission and vision, and Levo League could not be more perfect.

4. IRL | One of the strangest things about being a blogger is that you build friendships online. It may start off with a tweet or two, but then before you know it you’re friends. I met so many of these friends in person this year and it has been fantastic. They’re just the same– if not better in real life. This is definitely not a conventional way of going about making friends, but it works. I value every single one of my online-turned-offline friendships a great deal. 

5. Colored Denim | Well, I had to throw in one of my favorite trends!!! I love love love colored denim. I started embracing this during 2011, but I took it to heart this year. I mean, it’s awesome. Jeans…. in bright colors. You can’t go wrong.

6. Mexico | This was so out of my family’s comfort zone, but we survived the trip and had a blast. We ditched our cell phones and laptops for the entire week. Repelled, cave-dived, and zip-lined liked pros. We ate, drank, and was merry while soaking up (or hiding from, in my case) the sun! It was also my only “spring break trip” because it was the first year I didn’t have to attend a crew training trip! Plus, it was great family bonding!!

7. Mumford & Sons | This hardly requires an explanation. I have only recently begun to enjoy music and “play favorites.” But let me tell you… Mumford & Sons seriously speaks to me.

8. Pinterest | This was Pinterest’s year. Yea, Instagram was pretty awesome too… but Pinterest nailed it. It’s one of my blog’s #1 traffic drivers and it’s also one of my #1 time-suckers. (I would say ‘time-wasters,’ but learning how to make incredible recipes and decorating imaginary houses and shopping with invisible money is pretty much the coolest thing, ever. 

9. Photo booths | It all started with the infamous Instagram Photostrips. It got picked up by Martha Stewart, Apartment Therapy, and other pretty awesome sites. Plus, Elana and I have been hunting for photo booths everywhere we go in the city! They’re such a fun way to capture memories. And unlike digital cameras, and Instagram for that matter, there are no re-dos! (And those funny, uncensored, captured-in-the-moment shots end up being the best!)

10. J U M P | I wasn’t really sure how to title this one, but I think that “jump” sort of captures it. I took so many chances and did things that were way out of my comfort zone this year. Considering my general desire to remain in control of any and all situations I find myself in, I was really proud of myself for doing the things I did. One of which was to be casted on a reality television show. Thank goodness the show was ultimately not picked up by the network, but the experience was C-R-A-Z-Y. I mean, Crazy with a capital C. The whole “casting” process lasted around six months, with dozens of phone interviews, casting reels, and being grilled on super tough personal questions. I also packed my packed my bags and moved to New York City by myself. It was scary, but obviously worth it. I gave a little bit of my heart to someone and it didn’t really end well. But it’s not the outcome that is most important, it is what I learned about life and what I learned about myself that really was valuable. I wouldn’t trade the experience because of everything I learned from it.

2012 is a year that I know I will look back and say was a defining one. I took risks, explored new opportunities, learned so much about myself, grew up in so many ways, and really had a lot of fun.
How was your year? What tops your list of favorites?

PS Click below to see my favorites from years past:

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Julia D.

I still love that first picture. You've definitely had a big year, and it looks like 2013 will shape up to be just as amazing!