A Much Delayed Memento

I realized that I never properly sat down and reflected on 2013.  Adventurous would almost be an understatement.  Trekking on copious journeys has only added to my personal narrative and book of life lessons. For the first time in 3 years, I grew deathly ill in January.  I was reminded of how I'm still my parents' child even at this age.

I explored the culinary scene in Evanston and Chicago whenever possible.  My most memorable and favorite experiences took place at Mercat a la Planxa, NoMI, Union Pizzeria, Avec, Slurping Turtle, m.henry, Carnivale, The Cellar, and Delbe's Corner.

I celebrated my 22nd as well as last undergraduate birthday with some high tea at the Drake Hotel in May.  Upon walking into a room with 11 of my dearest friends, I stood speechless and stupefied.

I graduated from college in June.  An odd mixture of relief, bittersweetness, and excitement surged in my soul.

I finally mustered the courage to give Zumba a try, and I feel grateful to have instructors who patiently watch me progress from tango-ing like a stumbler to crunk-ing like slight fumbler.

I mastered the art of peeling fruit skins beautifully with a knife.  Truly, I deem this to be a commendable achievement.

I proved myself to be an excellent whisker when it comes to baking bread.

I learned in late December that my editor's words hold much truth: "Christine, your persistence will get you far.  It's what landed you this internship, so if anything, keep being persistent."  Thanks, Peter.

2013 clearly scintillated and exploded with a glamorous bang.  I can only wonder and wait expectantly as to what new stories will unfold in 2014.  Already, great things have happened.  My parents' anniversary dinner at the renowned Scarpetta in Beverly Hills.  Scott Conant understands the beauty of each ingredient and elevates the flavors to a whole new level.  Needless to say, everyone enjoyed the dining experience and service.  More importantly, my brother and I felt honored to be able to celebrate our parents' 25th anniversary together.

{Credits to LA Times; Chef Conant's highly regarded spaghetti}

I met up with a close sister of mine the day after our night out at Scarpetta.  I hadn't seen her in over a year, yet our interactions and conversations seemed so organic.  From updating each other about our personal lives to sharing our struggles candidly to worshipping freely, everything fell into place perfectly.  She even surprised me with a gift (gifts, really)--silk blouse, bracelet, hand sanitizer, knee-socks, and a hand-written card.  I will forever treasure them.

Bracelet{A gift symbolizing our sisterhood and friendship}

A new year calls for new adventures.  I won't be lofty and set unrealistic resolutions, but ideally, I'd like to take a trip to Portland with my mom, finish reading a book each week, visit Seattle, and become somewhat proficient in another language (maybe French? Japanese?).  In essence, the ultimate goal of 2014 is to live each day with gratitude and to let go of any worries.  What a challenge...

1389121965007{A beautiful snapshot of Oregon taken by a dear friend}

Well, I'll  be posting regularly, again, so make sure to tune in!  Get ready to see the highs and lows of Golden Globe fashion tomorrow.  I'm rather excited myself.  See you back in less than 24 hours.

LOVE, pristine christine