I really do think I end up thinking each year is better than the last when I look back, but I do think that 2011 took the cake, even more so than 2010. Many big changes and in the best possible ways. If 2012 even comes close to 2011, I’ll be super happy to be so blessed.

2011 was also a year of big changes in, well, just about every major possible category. After 10 years of corporate HR work, I switched over to working in Social Media in March – a wonderful change I thought I’d never see be a reality. I’ve spent the rest of the year learning a whole slew of marketing acronyms I’d all but forgotten along with a list of a bunch of new ones. And in February I went to celebratory drinks after I got the big job offer, a night which lead to a wonderful relationship – one of the biggest surprises in 2011, something which really shaped the remainder of the year for the better and made the time frame around Valentine’s Day seem less arbitrary of a reason to celebrate. I made one of the biggest switches a Manhattanite can make – equated by many as crossing to the dark side – and decided to move in October to Brooklyn. In June, I chopped off all my hair because I figured why not?

It was quite the musical year. I started the year with seeing the Dance Party and Charlotte Martin in January with my MeeGee friends (read: fellow Tori Amos lovers). I went with Ms JB to see her man, Bon Jovi, at Madison Square Garden. I was lucky enough to see Tori Amos three times in December during her recent Night of Hunters tour, getting to snag another photo and get in my first ever request, Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You. Still glowing. I was also lucky enough to get to accompany my friend to the 300th Guinness Book of World Record breaking show of the 30 Seconds to Mars tour (“Mars 300″), where I learned that I am not a crowded rock concert kinda girl and where I ran out of the theater to come face to face with Jared Leto – literally. Why hello Jordan Catalano. I lucked into winning some tickets to see the taping of Florence + the Machine Unplugged. Amazing night.

It was also a year of so many fun events. I went to see the PeeWee Herman Show be filmed for an HBO special in January as a part of a Foursquare promotion. I finally saw Swan Lake in February at Lincoln Center. In March, I made my first trip to SxSW, and learned all about the beauty of the breakfast burrito, how much of a luxury sleep can be sometimes, and how to properly fit yourself in cowboy boots. In April, we went to the Bootlegger Vodka Launch party, held in Andy Warhol’s former townhouse, which was transformed into a prohibition era style jazz club for the evening. There were several fun events on Governors Island – the Polo Match put on by Veuve Clicquot and the Jazz Age Party – both in June. In June, we also got all dolled up for the Webutante Ball. I was so happy I got to see Zarkana just before it closed its run at Radio City, an evening paired with the amazing tasting menu at Respite.

And, as always, I spent one night a week flying through the air. It was the year of bigger tricks and seemingly smaller progress. This though was my attempt to get back to the fun stuff and de-stress for a bit – and it work. (Note, I’ve since caught this – just haven’t had the chance to upload video yet).

And, of course, there were many food events. I enjoyed more homemade elk sausage from Montana thanks to my friend Andrea. I attended another one of Artisinal’s excellent wine and cheese classes. I went to Village Voice Choice Eats in March, learning the best way to enjoy the ‘feast” was to map out your game plan in advance. I went to this year’s Hudson Valley Food and Wine Festival in September, finally making it to sample many of the prominent Hudson Valley wineries. Eventually I’ll make it out to try them in person.

There were lots of fabulous food events affiliated with GooglePlaces – such as the Nacho bus in August, Miracle Fruit tasting party in October (where I learned my taste buds are super stubborn) and the pizza bus in December (post to follow shortly). I won tickets to Zagat Presents: Chef Akira Back’s Meal of Memories – an amazing eight course paired meal. A bit later and just before Thanksgiving, I was lucky enough to also win tickets to Zagat Presents: A Taste of Long Island on the East River, at the Water Club. It was a really gross night, but the food more than made up for the sideways wind and rain.

I entered a food competition for the first time ever for this year’s Seventh Annual Brooklyn Casserole Party in October. I baked cupcakes again for this year’s 140Sweets, benefiting the American Cancer Society‚Äôs DetermiNation Program. This time, I did peanut butter cookie cupcakes.

As always, 2011 was a year of visits and a but of travel, mostly with friends. My friend JP came up to visit in July. My Bama girls came to visit in November, cheering on a heartbreaking Alabama/LSU game. My friend A came up to go to the Tori Amos shows with me in December and embraced exploring my new hood in Brooklyn over going back into Manhattan the whole weekend. Nice. For the first time, I went on a trip over my birthday week with my family and my boyfriend. We rented a lovely house (belonged to the captain back in the day) in Woods Hole, MA and relaxed in Cape Cod. I’d never been to Cape Cod and it was a welcomed change of pace from the bustle of the city. Perfect.

I also am proud to have conquered some fears this year. During the month of November, I accomplished one of my biggest goals for the year – participating and finish NaNoWriMo while doing fiction. To keep myself honest, I opted in to be interviewed by the Huffington Post throughout the process, one of the things which I credit with helping me cross that finish line. I also took a day long fiction writing class to prepare me for round next in 2012 – tackling my next idea for a writing project. In October, I had the tremendous honor of photographing a friend’s wedding – simultaneously terrifying and exciting. In June, I also survived live band karaoke. So much fun, though a whole new level in comparison to traditional, that’s for sure! (Especially when it’s rock/punk karaoke…)

Only 365 little days, but what a year. Can’t wait to see what adventures 2012 holds.

Happy New Year!

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