With the start of a new year, an opportunity for growth is upon us.
On a personal level, my 2018 goal is to experience the world with my husband and daughter. It’s easy for me to get caught in the live-to-work cycle, but I’d much rather hang out in a work-to-live pattern. This is a goal for me every January, but as I get deeper into the year– I often put life on hold and work until I’m fried. Life completely passes by me. I take on more projects than I can handle and end up saying yes to anything that flies in my inbox. I have total control over it, I have the ability to say no, but it happens every year.
As a new mom, my priorities have changed and *work-to-live* is on the forefront of my mind. But even if you aren’t a new parent, 2018 is a wonderful time to begin treating yourself with more grace, allowing for breaks, and really putting a work/life balance into practice. For me, this means doing anything that makes me feel alive. Travel, exercise, hiking, photography, finding new running trails, reading, concerts, girls’ nights, mommy & me classes, working on Noelle’s baby book, starting traditions, cooking new foods with my hubs, broadway shows, decorating cakes and cookies for fun (rainbow piñata cake!), date nights, play dates, volunteering, dog parks. And I find the more life I experience, the more I have to write about on my blog!!! So this whole work/life balance thing is a win-win situation. 🙂
And, like the past couple years, I hope to push through life with a positive attitude while leaving the negativity and self-limiting behaviors in the dust.
And for work? My main work-related goals for 2018 are to (1) keep my content organic and (2) step outside of my baking comfort zone. I’ve already started testing some completely fresh, new, and challenging recipes. A lot of them are on your request list, too!
Of course we can’t look ahead without glancing back. And if I could sum up 2017 in one word, it would be hustle. 2017 was an increasingly challenging year for me as I faced two major deadlines (book! baby!) but as I reflect over the past year, I’m immensely grateful that I kicked my own butt!!! Forget the “work hard play hard” mantra, I’d rather live by “work hard rest hard.” Who’s with me?
Hustling allowed me to kick up my feet and take time off. And you know what I learned? Taking a break, from whatever it is, helps you stay inspired and invigorated. Again, a win-win situation. ♥
And, finally, here are the top 10 recipes of 2017! I gathered these popular recipes from looking at the page views of my posts as well as the positive reviews/comments. If you’re looking for the best of the best on SBA, these 10 recipes are it.
10. Chocolate Lava Cakes
I’m happy a recipe published in 2017 made the top 10 list. It’s usually older recipes that get more page views! And, as a bonus, this was the 1st baking challenge recipe. So it’s extra special. Chocolate lava helps too. Get the recipe.
9. Red Velvet Cake
Much more than a vanilla cake tinted red. Get the recipe.
8. Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
4 years going strong. One of my personal favorites too! Get the recipe.
7. Soft Sugar Cookies
My go-to!!! Get the recipe.
6. Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
Another one that I posted in 2017! These are the cupcakes pictured above on the green backdrop, too. Get the recipe.
5. Best Banana Cake
The best I’ve ever had. Get the recipe.
4. Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
So many cookies in the top 10. And I’m not surprised these made the cut.
3. Lemon Blueberry Cake
Always a favorite! Get the recipe.
2. Honey Garlic Shrimp
This simple dinner recipe shows up on the top 10 list for the 2nd year in a row. Always makes me giggle seeing a shrimp recipe in a sea of popular cakes and cookies.
1. Salted Caramel
Because it’s LIQUID GOLD!!! Get the recipe.
As always, thank you for making this dream career a reality. I’m sincerely grateful for this uplifting community!