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!