Tuesday 30 January 2018

Looking Back 2017 & Looking Forward 2018: A Collection of Collages & Ideas

2017 - A glance back at what I did, saw, ate, loved, etc.

2018 - A glance forward at what I want to try, do, and try to do.

Disclosure: This post contains links to a number of previous Cathy Thinking Out Loud posts, 
some of which may contain sponsored content. As always all opinions are my own. 

WOW! 2017 flew by in what seemed like a blink of an eye, and before I knew it I was smack dab in 2018. A new year always means reflecting on the highlights and disappointments of the year before, and things I did or didn't accomplish. What people, experiences, or things impressed, inspired, or disappointed me, and what thoughts and memories will stay with me. Those reflections and thoughts have a huge impact on my goals and hopes for the new year. Some things will continue into 2018 and beyond, others will be fondly (or not so fondly) remembered but discontinued, or have simply run their course. Which brings me to the list of things I want to try, do, or try to do this in 2018. The list is long, and I know not all on the To Do list will get ticked off, but now in January it's kinda exciting so see all the potential the year holds. Because as far as I'm concerned until the clock strikes 12 on December 31st, 2018 the possibilities for this year are endless. 

It's plain to see 2017 was a busy year ...
I Went to ...
Clearwater, Florida, and various Ontario destinations including Toronto and the GTA, CasinoRama and Orillia, Gananoque, and Parkbridge Resort at Wasaga Beach.

I Attended ...
The Hockey Exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History (very Canadian and appropriate to mark Canada's 150th), a live taping of an episode of Cityline (with my Big Sis and Julie), Floral Crown and Wreath Making Workshop at Place d'Orleans (with Julie - fun with friends!), a Picnic with Ann and Julie in Gatineau Park, Vogue Darling - Style and Lifestyle Influencer Networking event, Taj Blogger night, Chatime blogger tasting event, Anne screening at the NAC - Netflix Streamteam, Supperworks Ottawa Blogger night, and the Ottawa Blogger Holiday lunch. 

As well the 4th BConnected Conference (for Digital Influencers) that was relocated to Toronto from Ottawa's final year. I was very sad to see the end of this conference, having attended all 4, with each one getting bigger and better. 

I Saw ...
The Mechanical Giants of La Machine (amazing HUGE mechanical creators), the Ottawa Chinatown Night Market in Ottawa's Chinatown, and PINK perform at Ottawa Bluesfest. During Doors Open Ottawa 2017 I managed to fit in a tour of the Canadian Aviation and Space Reserve Hanger and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Facilities, both of which were fascinating in their own way.

I Ate at ...
In OttawaTaj Indian Cuisine (delicious ... need I say more?), Morals Village Hot Pot (a dining experience), and other Ottawa eateries such as Jericho (filled with art and colour), Baan Thai (get the lunch special that comes on a lazy susan), Kanata Noodle House (for my favourite "birds nest chicken" aka F8), and Shawarma Palace (another family favourite) are just some of the local Ottawa establishments I had the pleasure of dining at in 2017. 
In Toronto: Arriba Restaurant & Lounge at the Renaissance Toronto, The Senator Restaurant (for pre-Cityline taping breakfasts) and Trattoria Mercatto (for post-Cityline taping lunches).

Other locations: CasinoRama and Orillia area eateries (there are so many great dining options at every price point), and in Clearwater, Florida - Frenchys Rockaway Grill (great food, friendly staff, and the view ain't too bad either).

I Tried ...
My first Barre and spin class during a 30-day fitness challenge. 
Beer again for the first time in at least a decade ... and liked it! 

I Embraced ...
Fruit in the way of an Apple Watch, iPhone and Apple MacBook. 

Indulged in ...
Some Retail Therapy ... because if the shoe fits ... 

I Watched ...
So many great movies, and shows. Last year was my 4th year as part of the Netflix Streamteam. And the quality and quantity of content was outstanding in 2017. (Be sure to check out my What to Watch posts for suggestions.) In addition to Netflix I found plenty to watch on Amazon Prime, and on local and Canadian TV channels. 

I Loved ...
I refer to myself as a tech-challenged tech-enthusiast. I love technology as long as it is easy enough for even me to use, and makes life better in some way. The Kingston Technology Data Traveler microDuo 3.0 (that works with both standard USB and micro USB ports) makes it easy to store or transfer data from my smartphone or tablet to my laptop. Given I use my phone almost exclusively to take pictures for my blog, storage, convenience and ease of use is why this easily made my Love List. The Belkin Road Rockstar 4 -port car charger (4 Ports!!!) If you have ever done a long-distance road trip with teens you'll know why this is a travel must-have and sanity-saver. My selfie light for my phone (not for selfies) I actually rarely use this for selfies, but it works wonders when trying to take pictures in low light such as a restaurant. Honourable mentions go to my Nordic Ware microwave egg cooker. It just works, and is easy to use with virtually no cleanup required. And the Instant Pot is worth every penny. It makes weekday meal prep fast and easy. 

Well hello 2018! Good to meet you.
This year I'm looking forward to ...

  • A soon-to-be-announced collaboration with Julie from Try Small Things in April. A first for both of us that we are excited about. 
  • A trip to Florida in the Spring. Just starting to look at dates and flight options. Always fun to do on a cold Canadian winter day. 
And I'm hoping to ...

  • Redesign my blog and switch to WP.
  • Take courses on coding, WP, photography. 
  • Perfect my pitch, and pitch more of my ideas. 
  • Embrace video and create live or taped video content to share both on my social media channels and on the blog. 
  • Hit 10,000 followers on twitter.
  • Write more, and more consistently on my blog. 
  • Read more ... books, articles and posts about marketing, blogging, writing, photography.
  • Learn how to use my new Apple laptop and phone. In the past I have used Android and PC's so this should be an interesting transition. 
  • Discover all the functions of my cameras, and how I can use them. 
  • Declutter my house, workspace, life, mind, and anything else that can be decluttered. 
  • Be more active and eat healthier. 
  • Manage time better.
  • Increase my Mindfulness & Focus. There are many apps, techniques and tips to increase mindfulness and decrease stress. So I'm looking to discover which ones work well for me.  
  • Travel to places I've never been before. 
  • Take chances and step out of my comfort zone ... at least once or twice. 

So I bid a fond farewell to 2017, while looking forward to an amazing 2018. 
What was the best part of your 2017, and what are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Yep, just me Cathy thinking about a looking back over the last year, and looking forward to a what I hope is a spectacular 2018.   

1 comment :

  1. Loved reading this, Cathy! Wow! You did a lot in 2017! One of my favourite things you did was our road trip to Orilla. So fun...although, as our driver, I'm not so sure the road trip part was as fun for you! Wishing you great success in 2018! I can't wait to see what you and Julie are up to! And yes...go for the blog redesign and move to WP. You won't regret it! As someone who just went through a big change, all I can say is, it's worth it!