Happy New Year! I wanted to share with you a few final reflections on 2012 before we go too far into 2013. I was inspired by Ann marie Houghtailing (a mentor and founder of the Millionaire Girls Movement) who shared her favorite things in a recent blog post. So as we start off the new year, here are a few of my favorite things from 2012.
Starting my Own Business — It’s safe to say this event was the highlight of 2012. In March, I left my stable, full-time job as a presidential speechwriter in higher education to be a freelance writer and marketing strategist. This has been the best decision I’ve ever made. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, I work harder and more now than I ever did before. But I’m loving every minute of it!
50/50 Challenge — I decided to embark on the 50/50 Challenge last year with the goal of watching 50 movies and reading 50 books by year’s end. I ended up reading 33 books and watching 49 movies (most of which I’d seen before). The movie part of the challenge was fun because it forced me to sit on the couch and relax while tuning in to a comforting movie.
Paper Products — I think paper and stationery is making a comeback, my friends! And I for one am all about that. I love my new calendar from Paper Source, and actually hand-wrote all my business holiday cards. And there are so many great Etsy shops and online sites that have hand-drawn stationery and cards. Next step: Will I go back to the paper planner in 2013??
My Travel Mug — I love my travel coffee mug by Creative Travel Mugs that features my business logo. It’s a great conversation starter! So many people have seen the logo and then asked about my business. And the gal who owns Creative Travel Mugs is a San Diego mom. Gotta support local mom-prenuers!
World Book Night — I was a book giver for World Book Night in April 2012, which meant I had the privilege of giving away 20 books to college students who were formerly in the foster care system. It was an amazing experience (read about it here)– free book to great kids? How much better can you get? If you’re interested, consider applying to be a book giver this year. You won’t regret it!
Photo Sharing and Editing — With the purchase of my iPhone this year (another great thing), I started using Instagram and quickly realized why everyone loves this photo-sharing service. It’s so much fun! You can follow me on Instagram at @leahsthoughts. And speaking of photos, I’m a huge fan of Picmonkey to edit all my pictures and make awesome collages. I used Picmonkey to make the 2012 Year in Photos collages on my last post.
Harry Potter — Books are really a theme here, aren’t they? … Last year was the year of Harry Potter in our house as Sophie made her way through the movies (she stopped at Half Blood Prince as Bryan and I finished off the last three movies). I admit that I had just as much fun watching all the movies again (and again … and again) with her as I did when I first viewed them. You really do learn more each time watching/reading the stories. Sophie’s favorite: The Chamber of Secrets. My favorite: The Sorcerer’s Stone (can’t go wrong with a classic). I can’t wait until she’s old enough to read the books together.
Writing Classes — I was also lucky enough to take some amazing writing classes this year. In January, I attended the SDSU Writer’s Conference. I made at least four trips to Writing Pad in Los Angeles, Ca. for several classes. If you are anywhere near LA (or two hours away, like me), I HIGHLY recommend the Writing Pad classes. You won’t get anything else like them. I also took classes from author Drusilla Campbell at The Inkspot (of San Diego Writer’s Ink). And I finished the year with an intense writing class from writer Amy Wallen, also here in San Diego.
Words Alive — This year I started volunteering with a local non-profit called Words Alive last year. Once a month, I visit an early childcare center and read to three classes of kids who are 4 – 5-years-old. These kids are far from privileged and are not lucky enough to have a library of books at home. Reading to these kids every months – and seeing their faces light up when I appear – is the best high you could experience. In October I got to give each of the kids their own book to take home. It was a magical day!
Of course, 2012 was filled with so much more and many wonderful experiences. These are just a few “of my favorite things.” Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings! What was the highlight of 2012 for you?