friday favorites – 2014.

Welcome to 2015! How’s it going so far for everyone? There is something so fresh and exciting about a new year, capturing an entire blank book of what’s ahead, the air eager with anticipation about what the next 12 months will bring.

Instead of doing Friday Favorites today, I thought I would take the lead of my friend Sweet Mama K and do a Favorite Things of 2014 list. THIS IS HARD! But without further ado….

Music: Tough category for me. I feel like there was some great music that came out this year and some great music I rediscovered. But the album of the year for me goes to Damien Rice for My Favorite Faded Fantasy.  The songs are raw and cut your heart out, prance it around for a bit, and then heal you back up. Beautifully done and after a long 8 year break, it was well worth the wait.

Honorable Mentions: YES! by Jason Mraz, Hozier’s EP’s, I am Mountain by Gungor and Magestic by Kari Jobe.

Food: 2014 brought in my first full year as a gluten free gal and much of the year I managed a paleo-ish/Whole 30 diet. However, there were some delicious cheat meals nestled in there! My favorite meal of the year was found at 45 Bistro in Savannah, Georgia. There were 3 unique and delicious salads tried, a caprese, a modern greek salad, and a beet salad. The main course was an espresso rubbed ribeye, topped with a mushroom medley, asparagus and served over whipped mashed potatoes.

Honorable Mentions: Melting Pot fondue, La Fiesta fish tacos in San Diego, and the Reuben omelet from Brian’s 24, also in San Diego.

Book: Shauna Niequist rocked my year and reading her words brought a lot of healing to my soul as well as helping me find my own words. While I loved all three of her books, Bittersweet is my favorite.

Honorable Mentions: Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth (I was late to the boat on this one).

Experience: This year was packed pull of beautiful experiences, all of them so different from one another. In the end, I have to say my favorite experience was my trip to San Diego with Josh in September. We did so much during this trip – seeing Jason Mraz’s opening tour concert (in his hometown too!), going to Sea World, roaming the beaches, seeing Planes on the USS Midway on the ocean, eating so much great food, biking all over Coronado – all with my best friend. It’s safe to say we both fell in love with the San Diego life while out there.

Honorable Mentions: visiting Savannah with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, being in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with family, and visiting my hometown of Chicago, catching up with friends and attending the Storyline Conference in October.

Podcast: I love listening to podcasts while I drive. It’s a great way for me to tune out the world and tune in to God. There were some great series this year, but my favorite was the #Struggles series by Pastor Craig Groeschel. There were 5 parts – Contentment, Relationships, Authenticity, Compassion and Rest, each one just as good at the other. (I even guest wrote about one of the podcasts on my friends blog here!).

Honorable Mentions: the Crash the Chatterbox series by Steven Furtick and Stronger by WillowCreek Church (Pastor Bill Hybels + others).

Discovery: This summer, Josh and I, along with some friends and family, decided to get healthier by joining a fitness program called Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping. I am so thankful for the opportunity and encouragement it has given us to get healthier and more active. I couldn’t have done it (or continue to do it) without the support and encouragement of my friends and family, specifically Courtney and Jana.

Honorable Mentions: Americanos, Amazon Prime, and the cooking inspiration of @whole30recipes (instagram).

That’s a wrap! I feel like 2014 was a good year. I am excited to see what 2015 is going to hold. As always, stay tuned for more!




11 thoughts on “friday favorites – 2014.

  1. Amanda says:

    Sounds like you had a great 2014. I love how you did your recap! :) :) Question – how do you listen to the podcasts while you are driving? I would love to start doing that during my 30 minute commute to work each morning.
    Happy New Year,
    ~Amanda from His and Her Hobbies

    • chels819 says:

      Hi Amanda! I have a tape player in my car and use my phone to download podcasts. I can then plug my phone into the tape player using a cheap piece of technology from best buy and it plays over my speakers! There are wireless options too if you don’t have a cassette player. The only thing is make sure to download the podcasts on your phone at home while on wifi and dont stream them as you drive because that would use a lot of data. If you have an apple phone theres a podcast app, if you have another kind of phone, im certain you could google how to do it on there! Enjoy! I really think you’ll love it! Time goes by fast, you learn a lot and it helps tune out other garbage. Let me know how it goes! Xo!

      • Sweet Mama K says:

        I’m so glad she asked that question because I always hold my phone up to my ear to listen them as I drive #awful.

        Loved reading this list! So many great moments from this past year. Way to go on accomplishing the one resolution that so many start out with and fail on–getting healthy!

        Onward to 2015. I hope it brings you the one thing you most deeply desire while still being full of so many other great moments. XO

      • chels819 says:

        Hey, I have so been there too! But thankful there are alternatives. :) Thanks for sharing your lovely blog and idea for format and such! I love reading everyone’s year recaps. Onward with 2015 … thank you for your prayers and love sent! XO!

  2. Caroline says:

    Y’all are so beautiful! You know I love me some Craig G as I mention that everytime you post about him! Love your food posts (going gluten free/whole 30 – rock it girl) and all the places you got to visit!! xoxo

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