I’ll be honest: 2018 been an especially challenging and exhausting year for me. So much so that my current NYE plans involve a bubble bath, glass of bubbly, and an early bedtime. My divorce brought out the best and worst in me, and now that I’ve settled into a more peaceful state, I look forward to what the universe has in store for me in 2019. But first, here are some highlights from 2018:
Travel & Food Festivals
My year started with a trip to New Orleans. This was my first time there as a vegan, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying NOLA favorites from gumbo to beignets. In the fall, I went back to NYC and ate my way through the city. I’m still amazed by how much I managed to pack into those few days. My favorite trip this year though was to LA for Seed Summit, Seed Grand Tasting, and Eat Drink Vegan. Top 3 eats from that trip: Monty’s Good Burger, The Herbivorous Butcher’s Double Down, and Pura Vita’s lasagna.
Speaking of food festivals, we had our share of festivals here in Portland. This was the first year VegOut! came to Portland, and of course, there was the one and only Feast Portland. I was lucky enough to cover Feast again with all the perks of a media pass and offer a unique perspective on a festival that isn’t exactly known for being the most vegan-friendly. The best Feast surprise of all was when Patrick McKee of Perlot (formerly SouthFork) brought a late summer vegetable dashi with smoked tofu.
Restaurants & Popups
In 2018, I decided to fully embrace the Portland Mercury’s food weeks. For Pizza Week, I ate every $2 vegan slice on the eastside. Burger Week was a letdown, and ironically, the best vegan burger of the week was a vegan cheeseburger pizza. In response to Wing Week, I assembled a list of 20+ Portland restaurants that offer vegan wings/drumsticks.
Veganizer PDX has been going strong in 2018 with popups at Quaintrelle, Stella Taco, MF Tasty, Doug Fir, and Stella Taco. We also hosted a vegan dumpling popup featuring dumplings for every course, and I was back on KGW News with Cassidy Quinn to talk vegan dumplings. I can’t wait to announce the 2019 calendar in a few days!
Life & Love
Over the summer, I waited for my yard to have all the colors of a rainbow, and it finally happened in time for Pride. It’s nature’s way of celebrating love. Despite the heartbreak and disappointments of this past year, I still believe in love. I’m currently focusing on my relationship with myself.
Summer 2018 marked one year of home ownership, and I also found myself living alone for the first time in over a decade. It took some time to adjust, but I’m finally comfortable and happy in my own space. Speaking of home ownership, my 2019 is going to start with a moment of adulting: buying a new roof. Sigh.
This year, I checked an item off my bucket list: a boudoir photo shoot. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but it takes a while to find the right photographer at the right price point. The bright and airy quality of Juniper & The Sea’s work spoke to me, and I’m so glad I booked a session with them.
So, what’s next for me? I need to do a lot of soul searching and think about whether or not staying in Portland is right for me, what direction I want to take my brand/blog, and what other projects I’d like to launch in 2019. I have no shortage of ideas, but my biggest challenge is prioritizing and fully committing to a project. Now that my personal life isn’t a mess, I’m ready to make 2019 my year. Let’s do this! Happy new year, friends!
PS. I didn’t like my Instagram best nine. It was a random mash up of photos that had garnered a lot of likes, but didn’t fully represent the major highlights of my year. So I made my own. :)