2013 was an amazing year. Lots of adventures in New York, Atlanta, North Carolina, and Missouri. Cheers to the best of the best! (Sorry it's so long!) Best new game to play: Quirkle
This may have technically been in 2012, but we also played it at Christmas this year. It was the game that introduced our family to Christmas Game Nights, and adding 'Bitches' to every phrase (promise, it's just an inside joke).
Best balloons For a reason I can't remember, one of our friends brought a bunch of balloons to meet us at McCoys. Not only was it so random and hilarious, the balloons followed us around in a cab, to an apartment, and to other local bars.
Best local find: Kashkaval One Saturday (or Sunday - can't remember), Roman, Whitnie and I went out to a movie and brunch like we typically did. After brunch, we still wanted to chat, hang out and drink wine (duh). There was this local cheese store that I thought would be cool to just see what was available. Little did I know, there was a full bar and seating area in the back. Kashkaval has the most amazing cheese, meats, and wine to snack on.
Best concert: Mumford & Sons Because, well duh. It's Mumford & Sons. And if you know me, then you know that nothing will ever beat them.
Best snow day Caitlin and I went frolicking through Central Park on one of the early Snow Days of the year. We had a blast! This is Caitlin post-angel making.
Sweetest person I met: Laura Osnes If you don't know her, she plays Cinderella in Rodger & Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway. She was nominated for a Tony for Best Actress. Such a sincere and humble person - a true life Cinderella. Plus, Cinderella is amazing!
Best photoshoot: essie Looks I helped produce the first and second essie Looks photoshoot. Such a fantastic learning experience, and so much fun!
Best NYC art find: How I had never seen this before on any NYC blogs, Instagrams, or Twitter feeds, I have no idea. But the second time walking the High Line, I definitely noticed it. I'm convinced it wasn't there on my first walk, but who knows.
Best beer garden: Der Biergarte The beer was almost as good as the company.
Best final four: Atlanta 2013 In all fairness, I think the New Orleans Final Four of 2012 was my all-time favorite, this was a close runner up and the only one in 2013! The only thing missing was Kansas and hurricanes with my mom and Becky.
Best baseball game To be honest, I don't remember much about the actual game, but how can you not have a good time with 3 of your closest friends?
Best NYC people sighting I mean, come on. What else beats an old man in dresses, shawls, and a stroller full of who knows what?
Best flowers These flowers bloom every year at the building next to ours. The left over Christmas lights just made it magical.
Best street tacos: Smorgasburg Caitlin and I went to Smorgasburg in Dumbo for the first time. Adding to the list to go multiple times in 2014.
Best way to celebrate 1 year at L'Oreal: 50 Los Mas Bellos at Marquee With fellow coworkers, of course!
Best mini trip: Washington D.C. I was only in D.C. for less that 48 hours (and plan to return in 2014), but I had a blast with Mallory. She's seriously the best to travel with!
Best new TV addiction: Duck Dynasty If you've watched an episode, then you know.
Best nephew and niece: Owen & Callie Smouse Okay, they may be my only nephew and niece, but they're pretty great.
Favorite celebrity I met: Marina & the Diamonds I've been a big fan of her music for awhile, and we got the chance to work with her for a Garnier media buy with Alloy. She was so nice and sweet, and she killed it in front of the cameras.
Favorite brunch: Celebrating our NYC anniversaries Roman, Whitnie, Davis, Harry, and I went to Isabellas for brunch to celebrate our NYC anniversaries. Then Roman, Whitnie and I went to our favorite spot on the Pier.
Best volleyball view In 2013, I decided to get back into playing volleyball. Easily, one of the best decisions I've made since moving here. It got me back into being active, meeting new people, and having fun! I started with indoor volleyball, and during the summer, I added on playing outdoor sand volleyball. We played on Pier 23, which host some of the most amazing views of West NYC.
Best NYC summer sunset Kayvon and I went for rooftop drinks after work one day, and the sunset was just too gorgeous.
Best summer run It was hot. I was sweaty. But the sun and sweat felt amazing.
Favorite festival: Firefly Garnier sponsored the Firefly festival in Dover, DE in 2013, so I was able to attend for social media purposes. Mallory came along as my +1, and we had a fantastic time! It only rained once, and we saw so many great acts: Avett Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matt & Kim, Passion Pit, MGMT, Foster the People, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and many more!
Best festival performance: The Avett Brothers They were just amazing. So, so good! And we were so close!
Nicest celebrity met: Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes Garnier styled her hair, so I was able to take behind the scenes shots for social media. She offered me a Red Bull from her fridge, and I loved her for it.
Best musical: The Book of Mormon This was a complete and unexpected night out. It was hilarious, entertaining, offending, and magical all at once. I loved Cinderella, but this took the cake.
Best meal I cooked: Chicken and Veggie Kabobs Marinated in yogurt. Yum!
Best bar personality He looked just like Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, and he was dancing to his own tunes.
Best roadtrip: NYC to Surf City, North Carolina 8 hours in the car with Whitnie and Jake. Best road trippers.
Best Vacation: Surf City, North Carolina That was what we did for 4 days, at the same spot everyday. Amazing, hilarious, and fun trip with the best people!
Best birthday night Best friends, best drinks, and there was a dog.
Best accomplishment (& surprise): Young Gun Award A big thank you to my wonderful L'Oreal MIM & PR Teams!
Best london reunion Well, technically this was the only London reunion, but it was still great!
Best face: Owen's No words.
Best google hangout: Anna, Craig and Jake
Best martini night: My first time to try a martini in fact. And then we signed the Jameson bottle at McCoys.
Best restaurant find: Bobo in West Village We went out with an agency here, and it was adorable. It's an old apartment building converted into a restaurant. We had the second floor apartment to ourselves. The night following was also priceless, with lots of piano sing-a-longs and a snarky piano player.
Best random day
Allie and I decided to be tourists one day. It started by accident, because
we I was craving Applebees, and she was a good sport. Not just Applebees, but the Times Square Applebees (feel free to judge). Then we decided to capture ourselves doing Touristy things: taking photos of squirrels, in front of cheesy monuments, with tour guides, stopping at the top of Subways, etc. We then made up a rap song. Look for it to go viral in 2014.
Best last beach day: Coney Island I'm a sucker for Coney Island, going to the beach, and reading National Geographics.
Best fashion week show: Kate Spade Spring/Summer 2014 Showcase I was fortunate enough to go backstage to take photos for social with our stylist, Tommy Buckett. The models and clothes were amazing.
Best dress and hair I know, selfies. I felt like a 13 year old taking this photo, but the dress and hair turned out so fantastic, and lighting was great, so it was an obvious choice.
Best learning experience: Being a Juror I won't go into specifics, but I served as a Juror for 5 days in early November. It was truly the best experience I've done. I learned so much about people, our court system, and myself.
Best cocktail: The Dead Rabbit
Best night at McSorely's Anna got sassy (in a fun way), we met friends and were super loud.
Best family trip: A Roadtrip through Connecticut It was a small family trip, and we missed the remaining 7, but we had Gertie, the GPS, for company - ha!
Best sangria: Pier Cafe on Riverside Park It was consumed multiple times in 2013.
Best Halloween Costume: Orange is the New Black
Best Fall Photo: From a Run
Best Apple Picking Adventure We thought we could pick the apples from trees. But apparently we were late. The bins were the next best place.
Best Photostrip: With Anna and Clare
Best time Adam Levine & I will be on a billboard together It's like we're friends now.
Best new tea discovery: Kusmi Tea
Best Thanksgiving Craft A Happy Thanksgiving banner from all of our hands and decorated differently.
Best trip to Boston For Thanksgiving with these wonderful friends. Couldn't have asked for a better way to spend Thanksgiving away from home. Complete with a fried turkey, a still standing apartment building, and a wicked dance party of 4.
Best do good of the season The people below, and many, many more, contributed to Adopting a Family for Christmas. So great to be able to give back!
Best NYC Christmas View
Best Meal: Public Rabbit, duck, and the best brussel sprouts.
Best Missouri View
Best Christmas Memory It's a rare, rare thing that all 7 sibilings and brother-in-law get together to play games for 3 hours without parents or kids. And by rare, I mean it has never happened. You know the planets aligned for this one. Thank you to Becky, Bryan, Lindsay, Mike, Kate, and Jen for playing until midnight. Truly miss and love you all.
Best way to ring in 2014! Sparkles, champagne, and great friends!
If you survived until the end, I wish you a very lovely and fun 2014! Cheers!