A Year In Review

I have been looking forward to writing this post since the day I decided to start blogging. Is that crazy?

Although I am not quite at the one year mark yet (my first post was somewhere in mid-Jan), it is amazing how fast time flies and it has been such a treat to re-read (literally) every single post that I have written so I can compile this post. Now that I have went through all of them, I am amazed at how much more comfortable my writing has become, how much has changed in my personal life and how (dare I say) awesome this blog is now.

A ton of my friends came up to San Francisco to bring in the new year and a few in particular told me that they really enjoyed reading this teeny-tiny blog. It then hit me that people actually take time of their day to see what is going on with my life. I am so appreciative of these people.

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It is really hard for a blog writer to find the fine-line between what is appropriate to post on the internet for everyone in the world to see. This may seem a little bat-shit crazy, but I am really shy in real life and very protective over my privacy. I have went through periods where I felt that overexploiting my life will only be detrimental to my future education and career plans. However, while doing my yearly re-read, I like to think that I did a good job at sharing enough where it is still very light and I still have a thin veil that allows me to keep some things a mystery.

Without further ado, I would like to recap something awesome that happened each month this year. The first few months are kind of rough, but I promise that they get better the more you read down, trust me. 🙂


What would this recap be without my very first post? It might not have been the best, but I only had three to choose from so here you go! Toma had just opened and it was a very exciting time in our circle of friends. This year started off really slow and did not really pick up until June or July.

Runner-up: An eco-friendly day around town with one of my good friends, Jacque.


Lunch at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants ever. Can you just imagine eating all that hot oil? Before my Asia trip, I would eat here at least once a month because it reminded me when my mom and I would have mid-day lunches here whenever she was in town. Spices is not a place I would bring guests who are looking for a ‘San Francisco dining experience’, but it is one that feels like home.

Runner-up: My grandpa seeing his younger brother for the first time in years. There is nothing more amazing then seeing your grandparents genuinely happy.


Visiting the Asian Art museum to see the : Warriors was very special to me. The first time I saw them was in Xi’an, China in 2010 and it was absolutely breath-taking to stand at the excavation site and see them lined up in all their glory. Being able to see them in my hometown made me realize how privileged I am and very humble to be able to do half the things I have done/will done.

Runner-up: A Farmer’s Market kind of day with Abby. I remember that I was highly stressed in school during this time and just having a day to unwind with one of my best friends, surrounded by food, really helped me recharged.


I do not post very often about these two special girls, but they have been my best friends for over 10 years now. It is one of those friendships where we can not talk for months and pick things up like we just saw each other the day before.

April is also the month that I found out I got accepted to every school (but one) that I applied too!

Runner-up: The first and only time I have ever completed a a week of meal-planning. I felt so accomplished at the end and will have to do it again the week before school starts. Also as a nice plus is my delicious turkey stuffed bell peppers in the link above.


My very first steak tartare. Absolutely magical. Phenomenal, even. I do not know how I lived without trying it before. Now that I am a seasoned tartare diner, I notice that a lot of places add horseradish. Perhaps the reason I thoroughly enjoyed Marlowe’s version is because there was not any.

May was also a great month because I was finished with school and had a chance to enjoy my summer for the first time since I started college.

Runner-up: A write-up on Toma restaurant, one of the best in the city! A lot has changed since then, but I still support it 100% and think it is a necessity to go and eat some delicious and non-greasy Mexican food.


Mexican breakfast burritos will always be one of my favorite breakfast foods. There is something about the chorizo, potatoes mixed with the taste of fresh cilantro and raw onion. I order this version many times out but they always have to add salsa or the ratio of egg to potatoes never is perfect. Mine is.

Runner-up: Making potstickers with my grandparents! They had such a blast and it was such a generational thing I really wanted to do with them. I have tried recipes around the web and they never taste the same like these.


I think this is unanimous, but my Asia trip was one of the best things that happened to me this year. My mom and I, while close, do not see each other very often and both know without saying that this was one of the last big traveling we will do where it is just us two. In the future is serious boyfriends, husbands and kids added to the mix, which leaves me feeling bittersweet. I love her so much and am so thankful while reviewing all these pictures again.

Links for Guangzhou (where my family is from), Chengdu & Jiuzhaigou (one of the wonders of the world), Leshan & Mount Emei (biggest Buddha in the world) and Japan (one of the most badass countries I have ever visited).

No runner-up to cloud the epicness of Eastern Asia.


August left me in a bit of a daze. There was a rough transition for me from a change in July, but I met great people and it holds the best thing that happened to me all year. The Nespresso: Grand Chef Rendezvous event is one of the fanciest, delicious and astonishing event I have ever been invited to and I got to meet Thomas Keller. If that is not big news, then I do not know what is.

Runner-up: The celebration of Jacq and Michael having to spend the rest of their lives together. This would have won if it was any other month, so I will call this an extra honorable mention.


Receiving my Nespresso Gran Maestria made me feel like I have ‘made it’ as a blogger. (I know I have a long way to go, but having fresh espressos does not hurt the journey either). It was so humbling to receive this token of appreciation. Blogging started as a hobby to document my dining escapades and now it has turned to much more than that.

Runner-up: Labor Day Weekend was really fun with all the friends in town. I love days where I can just lay at Dolores Park all day and not have a care in the world.


Sriracha broccoli wins the prize for October because it is my most viewed post, by far. Somehow it caught the Pinterest bug and I am just riding it for as long as I can. Other than the cruciferous veggie, I really started setting into my new school and this is when I was confident that I can pull in all As for the semester.

Runner-up: The day I found out that the Creme Brûlée Cart opened a brick and mortar store. If I had a top 10 happy moments list, this would be on there for sure.


Um, would it be weird if I chose a post that did not recap my birthday? I spent it at the LACMA, which is a great museum and there was nothing else I wanted to do that day besides look at famous paintings and hidden gems.

Runner-up: Eating at Park Tavern with Abby for my birthday. I think I would be really disappointed in myself if caviar-topped, soft boiled egg was not on this list. (Yes, that really happened).


December was a little slow on the blog, I regret not focusing on it but I would not change a thing because every second I was not on the blog means I was working hard during school. The month came and went a little too quickly than I wanted, but what are you going to do?

I think we can all agree on breathing the same air as Beyonce aka Queen B aka Bow Down was another top 10 moment of the year. She is so perfect I just can not even.

Runner-up: My cheesy smile and brand new Kitchenaid sitting on my lap. Do not ask me if I opened it yet, or I will have to lie to you. Still waiting until the perfect moment.

And that is it! I hope you enjoyed hanging out with me all year as much as I was fond of checking in and writing this blog. 2014 is going to be a great year, I know it.

TL;DR me the highlight reel of your year in the comments, please!

16 thoughts on “A Year In Review

  1. Oh! ..such a tough but totally valid question.. (and a fun drinking game I may add).
    Highlights were (in no particular order)
    1. Spending my birthday in Rincón, Puerto Rico. Staying at a bed n’ break literally on the shore and eating+sleeping+sipping cocktails out-a-coconut+reading+dreaming.
    2. Writing two business plans for two potential new ventures = brain expanding, heart ache inducing, endless tears, skyrocketing to the moon with sheer possibility.
    3. Eatin’ real good like. Big props to Denver for putting your big-city foodie pants on (and also your ass-kickin Superbowl winning pants on) and inspiring me all the time. Supper club on Fridays to tackle one new restaurant a week. Really, there are that many new foodspots poppin’ up about town.
    4. Discovering this blog. Really, such good things here. A lovely read every single week. Thank you!

  2. I have the same exact problem about sharing. I’m pretty shy in real life and especially don’t like that people I went to high school with can read so much about my current life…I’ve always thought it was just me, but glad to hear I’m not the only one that struggles with it! That’s why I haven’t shared really any wedding posts…lol.

    Happy almost 1 year of blogging! Looking back is one of my favorite things about blogging.

  3. Congratulations on your one year anniversary Tara! You have a beautiful blog and should be proud of your achievements, well done! Also I really like the photo of you looking the monument in the Chinese art gallery.

  4. Love this! I always find it so fun to go back and read through my posts from the past year. It really is amazing how much things change from just 12 months ago!

  5. This is such a great recap!! I love looking through my old posts to see where I’ve been. I wish I’d kept up my blog a little more during the school year… hopefully this year I’ll be able to, but only time will tell! 🙂
    I hope that your 2014 is filled with just as many (if not more) wonderful memories that 2013 had! Happy [almost] blogiversary!

  6. You had an amazing year (full of way too many gorgeous food pictures I might add!). I can’t believe you got to see the Queen (Hopefully you know that I mean Beyonce 🙂 ) I found your blog a couple months ago, and I’ve loved it since! I can’t wait for another great year!

  7. Have you only been blogging a year? I had no idea. You are so good at it, seems like you’ve been doing it forever.

    You got into every school you applied to…phenomenal. Definitely wish I could say the same thing. 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh, I love the way that you recapped the year. Awesome post! I didn’t find your blog until later in the year, so I enjoyed reading your highlights from the earlier months. My blogiversary is this month too!