Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My 12 Highlights of 2012

Happy New Year!!  2013 is here and the Mayans were obviously wrong, and I am so happy about that. There are so many more things that I want to do with my time on this earth.

Reflecting back on 2012, I accomplished much more than I thought I did and I can't wait to continue and add onto those things this year.

I already gave you the Top 12 most viewed posts of 2012 earlier this week, but now I want to share some highlights that may not be the most viewed or not read at all (as I didn't blog about all of them!). They are what made 2012 so awesome for me.

12. Camping & Dave Matthews Band
Dave on the jumbo screen at Alpine Valley
This summer was unlike any in recent years-- DRY & EXTREMELY HOT. We had drought warnings for well over a month which meant you couldn't grill out with charcoal or gas grills. My cousin and I planned our annual trip to Dave Matthews at Alpine Valley right in the middle of the drought. Camping was HOT and you were awake by 7 am if you wanted to be or not. Swimming wasn't refreshing because the lake was like a hot tub. We had to use extreme caution grilling out at the campsite and NO fires could be made. We even brought cold sandwiches to Dave to be on the safe side.

But as usual, Dave put on an amazing show and I wish I could have gone to both days. I am so in love with his music and him as an artist and I hope he comes back in 2013.

11. Volunteering

I love volunteering and sharing my skills with those that need them. This year, I continued my service to the United Way Marketing Board and #MKEFoodies Cookies for Kids' Cancer Bake Sale. In addition to volunteering for Good Friend Inc., I was also asking to join their board of directors this year! I attended my first board meeting in October and cannot express enough how awesome these ladies are with the message they are out sharing.

I also helped out with the Drug Collection of Waukesha County on a very wet day.
Robin and I freezing for a good cause!

10. Patio Parties

Although I have no pictures of this, there isn't much more to be said than grilling out on a summer night with some cocktails, great friends, good conversations and laughs. I hope that by the end of next summer, I will have a patio of my own to share with my friends and continue this (cross your fingers for me!!!)

9. CityTins

I am glad that I followed through on the use of my CityTin this year. I tried some great new restaurants in the area that I most likely wouldn't have without. I found new food faves that I can make at home this year, including hush puppies from Maxie's Southern Comfort, the potato skins at Cafe Manna, fried goat cheese from La Merenda, and olive tapenade from Cafe Lulu.
Potato Skins at Cafe Manna
I also was able to use the CityTin at Cafe Benelux and Swig. I didn't buy one in 2013 as I am really trying my hardest to save for a new home. 
Beautiful summer night at Swig.
   8. #MKEFoodies

Staying on the Foodie ride, I was able to attend quite a few events with the #mkefoodies group. I am so thankful to Lori and Paul and all of their hard work to make the events absolutely wonderful. Bartolotta's Rumpus Room provided us great food samples,explanations of why they do what they do and swag bags. I found out about the potato skins at Cafe Manna because of the group. I was able to check out Joey Gerard's in Greendale and found out that they make all of their own cocktail mixes from scratch. Ginger was another Milwaukee restaurant I was able to try with friends and baking for the #MKEFoodies Cookies for Kids' Cancer Bake Sale is always a blast.

7. Beerclub & Beer

Mondays nights at 8 pm on Twitter, a group of Milwaukee-area beer lovers get together and share a drink and their thoughts on it using #beerclub. I was able to participate quite a few times this year, even once while tailgating at Miller Park, and enjoyed most of the selections. I hope to be able to participate more in 2013, but I have a boot camp the first 12 weeks of the year that is held from 6-8 pm. I might just have to join late. This club and friends that really enjoy beer, have really opened my eyes to the world beyond Blue Moon and Spotted Cow!

My friend Jacob even had an Oktoberfest Birthday party and had a perfect beer & cheese tasting. I learned so much and have many new faves!
Bourbon County Stout - The super rare one!

6. Storm the Bastille

Again, with the summer being extremely HOT, running at night was about the only time I could get in a run without feeling I would pass out. So when my friend suggested that we Storm the Bastille, I was in. Some bars and stores even turned their hoses on us to cool us down. This will definitely be in the mix for 2013.

 5. The Color Run - Chicago

I hadn't been to Chicago in years prior to this run and man was it a blast. The weather was picturesque, we ran on the beach and I have never participated in such a fun event that involves fitness since I was on the Poms Team at Mukwonago (Go Indians!!). I was instantly hooked and signed up for Milwaukee one with my friends (and Mom) right after.
Color Run - Chicago

4. New Waukesha Restaurants

New stores and restaurants opened in Waukesha in 2012 and I was able to visit quite a few of them and enjoy a decent meal. I still haven't eaten food at Montecito, but they know how to mix good cocktails. I highly recommend the Huckleberry Lemonade.

O' What A Day Cafe has some scrumptious cupcakes in very unique flavors and now serves lunch--Best Butternut Squash soup I have had yet!

Bernie's Tap Room is really doing all it can to become a staple in Waukesha, and I think they have figured it out - gourmet bar food. The Duck pizza and beer cheese soup are sooooooo good.

Beer Cheese Soup at Bernie's Tap Room
Maid-Rite is really getting out there in the social media world to advertise the daily specials and suggest different options for lunch and dinner! I have to get back there for some soup.

I can't wait to try some more new places in 2013!

3. Green Bay Packers Game
I went to my first Packers Game in nine years this year and the icing on the cake....I won the tickets in an office drawing! My friend Tory had never been, so we met up in Appleton, drove in together and took it all in. I am ADDICTED to seeing in live and can't wait to go back. We are hopefully going to make it an annual trip!

2. Nephew Time

Little Alexander has completely stolen my heart and every time I see him, our buddy bond gets stronger and stronger. He turned one this year with a cookies and milk party and I think next year he will be out on the boat with his dad and grandpa fishing up a storm. He already wants to drive the boat as you can see.
Let's go people - I'll steer!
Family is so important to me and being able to spend time with my little buddy is something that I cherish sooooo much. I can't wait to see him so much more in 2013.

1.  Brewers Games
This year, my friend Tiffany and I bought a 10 pack of tickets that included Opening Day tickets for free in the pack. So my dad and I bonded while making the Jumbo Jenga for such an occasion as Tailgating on Opening Day. The game was a huge hit with all our neighboring Brewer Fans and for some cookouts I brought it too throughout the summer. I haven't found the right sized tote to carry it in yet as my trunk is small and the blocks are big, but I still love it.

And after Opening Day, Tiffany and I were able to enjoy some great food at Miller Park and some food  that was just ok.
Miller Park Poutine - AH-MAZING!

I even ran the Brewers 5k and Color Run, both held at Miller Park. I love my brew crew and the stadium appeal.
Brewers 5k - pre-race

Note To Self: Chalk drifts in the wind, watch where you park :)

Tiffany and I didn't purchase another 10 pack this year as we are both choosing to travel more in 2013, starting with a trip to LA for her for her 30th bday, and then we are both going to Salt Lake City in mid-February. After that....who knows!? Suggestions welcome!

Well that is all of them - whew what a year to review!! Of course there were other great things that happened this year (Grant Park, Foodie Penpal, Runner groups and cooking), but no one wants to read that much about me! Coming up later this week, I will give you my 2013 goals as I'm still tweaking them, but I want to thank all of you for the blog support in 2012 and hope you continue to read in 2013. If you have suggestion, lay them on me. I'm always up to making the reading more enjoyable!!! :)

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. I too am glad you purchased a CityTin for 2012 because I never would have known about them otherwise! I'm really looking forward to trying some new restaurants this year with my 2013 tin.