2014 was the year I finished my year abroad in London, traveled to Greece and Italy, spent a summer in Tokyo interning for a NGO, and started my last year of University back in Baltimore. I’ve pursued so many of my passions in 2014, it’s surreal this whirlwind of a year is coming to an end. Throughout everything, starting eatprayjade (and buying my coveted camera!) has been a concrete reminder of places I’ve loved, food I enjoyed, and why it’s worth pursuing all your passions–even if it’s the desire to start a food blog!
I’ve always believed in the cliche ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ so here’s my 2014 in review through a collage of photographs.
Top Moments of my 2014:
1. Turning 21 in London
My birthday brunch at Duck and Waffle with girlfriends that made my year in London incredible! Girls that love to brunch are always the best ones right? Check out my fabulous fellow blogger Lilybelle and her blog post on our brunch here.
2. British Afternoon Tea with a Twist
Celebrating Talia’s birthday with afternoon tea at Bake-a-Boo in London was such a fun experience. It’s hard to find gluten free and dairy free afternoon tea sets so imagine how excited we were to find Bake-a-Boo! (I can’t seem to escape birthday celebrations for my top moments–maybe because I equate all festivities with great food?)
3. La Dolce Vita in Italy
Living the good life in Italy is like spending every moment of your time indulging in great food, wine, and music! Over the course of two weeks, I fell in love with the beautiful Chianti region, open-air food markets, pistachio gelato, and passionate Italian culture.
4. Waiting 5 hours for Sushi Dai 寿司大
Making my way to Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market at 4am and waiting in line to eat Sushi Dai was the most dedicated I’ve ever been to having sushi for breakfast! Every single piece of sushi was phenomenal–after all, every single bite tasted like a sweet victory. This was definitely a check off my bucket list!
5. Eating My Way Through Tokyo
From indulging in croissant taiyakis (who knew these wonderful japanese desserts existed!) to having traditional Japanese sukiyaki in Tokyo’s glamorous Ginza area, I was lucky to have spent a summer in Japan experiencing amazing food. It wouldn’t have been the same without the old friends and new friends I had in Tokyo with me, so cheers to you guys for making it so special!
My favorite Tokyo posts include:
– Sukiyaki at Kakiyasu
– Matcha Eclairs at Sadaharu Aoki
– Finding Croissant Taiyakis in Shinjuku
– Sushi at Midori Umegaoka
– Ricotta Pancakes at Bill’s
– Lunch at Daikanyama’s Ivy Place
– Wandering Tokyo’s old geisha quarters: Kagurazaka
– Soba noodles at Michelin Star Tamawarai
– Weekend trip to Gero
– Tonkatsu at 75-years old establishment Tonki
– Coffee breaks at Omotesando Koffee
6. Back to America: Cafe and Restaurant Hunting in Baltimore
Adventures abroad are always fun, but it’s even better when you go back to where you started and remind yourself how many good friends and good food you have around you! Celebrating my roommate Lauren’s birthday at Ouzo Bay was a highlight, and so was finally blogging about my favorite cafe in Baltimore, Carmas. I have half a year left in Baltimore so I have to hurry up and explore more!
New Year Resolutions 2015:
I recently came across an article on Elite Daily on New Year Resolutions that I really liked (http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/how-to-break-into-the-new-year-the-36-resolutions-that-actually-matter-for-2014/). This quote really resonated with me: “You always hear that life is short, but it is the longest thing that you will ever know. Why should you be anything other than happy?” This and all the inspirational Instagram posts I keep seeing make me feel like I should make my own list! So here are my three resolutions (I’m keeping them simple!):
1. Keep crossing things off my bucket list. In 2015, I want to travel to more countries I haven’t been to, and challenge myself more–whether it’s finding my next step in life or going out of my comfort zone. I’ll be traveling to South Asia for 2 weeks in January, so I’m starting early!
2. Work on the ‘pray’ and ‘jade’ part of eatprayjade. I’ve been writing a lot on food and eating, but not so much on things that have inspired me or even about me in general. I’m not about to embark on a trip to India to pray like Julia Roberts, but I’ll work on myself more in 2015.
3. Polish my cooking skills. Reading my favorite recipe blogs always inspire me to cook more. So maybe 2015 will be the year I cook more and even develop my own recipes!
Finally, thanks for a wonderful year everyone! From friends I go restaurant hunting with to everyone that walked in my life this year, you guys made it an unbelievable adventure. Also, thank you to all the readers that have helped me continue this blog–it’s always such an inspiration to read your comments!
If tomorrow is the beginning of 365 blank pages, let’s make it a great one!
with much love,