Simply Scratch : 2013 a year in review

What a way to end the year… to say it has been crazy is an understatement.


Last Saturday we were hit by a huge ice storm that did a lot of damage in our area and knocked our power out until the morning of Christmas Eve. So for two whole days I did whatever I could to prep for Christmas in the daylight and played a gazillon games of solitaire at nighttime by firelight. Then when the lights came on at 7 am Christmas Eve morning I hit the ground running making homemade rolls, pie and prime rib. Then the whole Christmas thing happened, presents, family gatherings and brunch and I haven’t had a moment to sit down and write a post, until now.

So while I get a few recipes I’ve already made, edited and put together I thought I’d share with you some highlights from the past year. It’s been an amazing 365 days and I can’t believe all that has happened. Even though this blog is sort of like a journal for me, there are a few things that I didn’t have a chance to work into a post.

So here we go… a year in review.

SS collage

The first and biggest accomplishment for me was leaving my job. For some of you who don’t know; for the past 14 years I’ve worked as a unit coordinator in a very busy emergency room. I started working there when I was 19 years old, it was either this job or to be an undercover shopper and take down shoplifters at Macy’s {or was it Hudson’s or Marshall Field’s then?}. Well, since I’m not one to tackle someone to the ground, I took this job with zero medical knowledge because of the health insurance. Then Pat and I had kids, the hospital offered twelve hour shifts and with the help of my mother-in-law I avoided daycare for my girls the whole time. Then in 2010 I started this little-o blog and since have been working three twelve’s a week, juggling a family and blogging on my days off for just about four years. It was crazy… but blogging gave me a creative outlet that I never knew I needed.

Then this June, I went part-time at the hospital. It was a tad scary, but going from three twelve-hour shifts down to two helped tremendously so I could focus more on doing what I loved, cooking and blogging.

Then this fall/winter I handed in my letter of resignation. Simply Scratch has become so much more than just a creative outlet. I can proudly say it’s officially my full-time job. For my fingers to even type that is unbelievable. Because honestly, it’s been a goal and dream of mine and I’ve worked so hard to achieve it… which is thrilling. Just to be home, enjoy my family and do what I LOVE to do is worth all those late nights and spelling and grammar errors ;).

So with a heavy heart I said goodbye to a HUGE chapter in my life, but one I will never forget and will always be grateful for.

BlogHer 2013

Another huge life experience was just this past June when I hopped on a plane and flew by myself to Austin, TX to meet up with friends for the 2013 BlogHer Food conference. Between the conference, parties, meeting lots of amazing bloggers {and a few margaritas} I walked away making some pretty amazing friendships and overcame my fear of flying {I think}. It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but I never had so much fun with so many amazing girls.

2013 Collage 2013 Collage 2

The rest of the year rounded out by…

1. Us enjoying the first winter in our new home. 2. Feeling overwhelmingly proud watching my oldest daughter pitch in her girls fast pitch league. 3. The marriage of our great friends Lynne and Dave. 4. Pat and I becoming godparents to our close friends Mike and Heidi’s new baby boy, Will. 5. I was featured in my first Magazine! 6. My youngest daughter lost her two front teeth… and for those who know me, it was a very sad day. 7. I traveled with my friend Heidi across the mitten to see one of our favorite up-and-coming singers in concert. 8. I planted an herb garden… and kept it alive. 9. Pat and I took the leap and went zip-lining. Probably my worst picture ever {the blue helmets really don’t help}, but the thrill is all over our faces! 10. I experienced Whole Foods for the first time {what took me so long?}. 11. I partnered with Simply Organic and made some pretty delicious food. 12. Then the year came to an end with a power outage and a new Dyson.

2013 has been so kind to me and I can only imagine what 2014 will bring. I’m excited to give this full-time blogging thing a go because as my oldest daughter would say, YOLO! {and I happen to agree}. So thank YOU all for stopping by day in and day out and making my recipes, sending me emails and sharing the food you make with loved ones. I couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to do this without you!

new year

I hope you all have a safe, fun and delicious New Year and I look forward to starting my 5th year of blogging with you!




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34 Responses to “Simply Scratch : 2013 a year in review”

  1. #
    Antonia @ Health Inspirations — December 30, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Congratulations on becoming a full-time blogger. I love your blog and all your recipes and can’t wait to see what the New Year will bring. I wish you all the best for 2014 🙂

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

      Thank you Antonia! Happy New Year!

  2. #
    danielle — December 30, 2013 at 7:51 am

    my life is better because of your salty pretzel crust cookie bars, chipotle fajita bowl, spicy ginger cookies . . . the list never ends. happy 2014!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

      You made my day! Thank you Danielle and Happy New Year!

  3. #
    krissyw — December 30, 2013 at 8:25 am

    You’ve been my favorite food blog, so glad you get to do it full time and spend more time with your family, well deserved…congrats and happy new year!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

      Thanks Krissy! Happy New Year!

  4. #
    Robby — December 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Congratulations on the career change! May it be all you hope.

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

      Thank you Robby!

  5. #
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — December 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Congrats on an amazing 2013, and moving to blogging full time….yay!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

      Thanks Kelli! Happy New Year!

  6. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — December 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

    What a fabulous year you’ve had!! Congratulations on leaving your job!!!! I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes you and I sure as heck hope it involves our paths crossing again!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

      Thank you Liz! Fingers crossed it’s in FL. this year 🙂

  7. #
    cassie — December 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

    LOVE this, Laurie. And it was a highlight of my year meeting you. Cheers to 2014!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

      Cassie!! You were the highlight of my year too! I will always remember our photo with the fire fighters! Haha! Happy New Year friend!

  8. #
    Megan — December 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

    It’s been one heck of a year girlfriend!! I’m so happy to have FINALLY met you!! I can’t wait to see what next year brings!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

      Absolutely! It was definitely a long time coming:) Happy New Year Megan and hopefully we’ll see each other again this year!!

  9. #
    Maya @ Alaska from Scratch — December 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Great post. Big congrats on such a wonderful year. Wishing you and your sweet family many more. Hugs from Alaska!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

      Thank you Maya! Happy New Year! XO

  10. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — December 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I didn’t know you had quit your job of 14 years! That must have been a huge change! Congratulations for working so hard towards something you love that it is now your full time job. 🙂 I’m sure 2014 will be an exciting year for you! Happy New Year!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

      It’s pure craziness! But I never want to wonder ‘what if’… ya know? Thank you so much Kelli and Happy New Year!

  11. #
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — December 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Congrats on being a full-time blogger! It still blows my mind when I read that bloggers have quit their jobs to blog because I can not even foresee that happening anytime soon with mine. Very excited for you and I wish you the best in 2014!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

      Don’t give up… it’s totally possible Christina! Thank you so much and Happy New Year!

  12. #
    Jen — December 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I love your site. I love your recipes. I am a mom first always and also the main bread winner in our family. Aside from stalking your site I also own my own business that I run from home. Your life will never be same as you never have to miss a single moment of your kid’s lives again. Congrats!

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

      Jen you are the BEST! Thank you so much for your kind comment, it really means so much! Happy New Year! XO

  13. #
    Amy Ray — December 30, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Congrats on a great year. Good luck on the next one!!

  14. #
    Brenda McNamara — December 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm


  15. #
    MCS Gal — December 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    What an accomplishment to be able to quit a job and be a full time blogger. Congratulations.

  16. #
    Chantal — December 31, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Congrats on so many great accomplishments this year! I just love your recipes and the clever/funny way you explain them. My 4 yr old daughter loves to bake and is obsessed with your Homemade Blueberry Muffins…says “they are the best she’s ever had!” Which means the world!! Thanks for helping me create amazing memories with my children!

  17. #
    Laura @ My Friend's Bakery — January 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Congratulations! What great accomplishments and Happy 2014!

  18. #
    Maria | Pink Patisserie — January 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    What a wonderful and fantastic year you’ve had! Congratulations on blogging full time! It’s been lovely to connect via FB this last year, looking forward to all the good things to come in 2014!

  19. #
    Lori L. — January 16, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I read it religiously and enjoy your witty posts, your BEA-UUUU-TI-FUL photography, and of course, your scrumptious food! ANNNNNDDD, I so appreciate the from-scratch approach! Everything that I’ve made so far has been so so delicious and I really think you should do a cookbook so I can have all of your recipes in a hard bound book on my kitchen shelf instead of printouts, three-hole punched, and placed in a binder. Congrats on your career move. Your blog has been my comfort food, warm and cozy! Thanks for sharing.

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 19th, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

      That really means a lot Lori! Thank you SO much for your kind comment! Happy New Year!

  20. #
    Shannon — January 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I am late to the party, but I wanted to say Congrats!! I hope you blog forever. I just love your way of “teaching” your recipes. I learned to cook from you. Cheers!

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 27th, 2014 @ 12:03 am

      Thank you so much Shannon! Happy New Year!

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