Today I am celebrating my 24th birthday! With a glass of chilled Prosecco in hand, I will be saying, “Cheers” to a new year. These past few days I have been reflecting on the year’s highlights and learnings.
Last year was my golden birthday – I turned 23 on the 23rd of June. The idea of golden birthdays has been exciting to me since I was a little girl. I was looking forward to my 23rd year of life for more than a decade, imaging all the possibilities that would make it truly a golden year. Would I have an amazing job? Would I be living in a super cool city? Would I go on the trip of a lifetime? What would make year 23 truly special?
When I celebrated my birthday last June 23rd, I optimistically and eagerly awaited for the ah-ha moment that would make this year one-of-a-kind.”
As the year developed, I could see the special moments begin to unfold before my eyes. Many of you got to follow my adventures across the country as I traveled for work. I went from coast to coast for several weeks in a row and was lucky enough to add-on vacations days to the trips so I could explore the city. Some of my favorite stops of the last year include: Seattle, WA, Charleston, SC, Tampa, FL, Washington, DC, Chicago, New York City, Louisville, KY and Santa Monica, CA.
Once these travels began, I dubbed my 23rd year “The Year of Adventure.” I feel genuinely blessed that I got to see so many places across the country and take time to explore place I could call home in the future. I ate incredible food, experienced the different culture of each cit, and saw beautiful parks, buildings, museums and monuments. Countless flights later I can say I made a dent into my goal of visiting all 50 states in my lifetime.
My adventures stretched beyond just traveling. I’ve learned to navigate adulthood in this post-collegiate chapter of life. I’ve learned about budgeting and saving money, lived in my very own real-life apartment for a year, established an amazing group of friends in a new city, lived through my first snowy winter, and kept a plant alive (okay okay, it’s only been 2 weeks so far)!
What also came with this year of real adulthood was adventures in the kitchen. During college I tried a lot of new recipes for the blog, but would always resort back to simple and quick favorites for on-the go meals. Lunches would be turkey sandwiches or anything inexpensive and still nutritious.
Over the last year, I can say my confidence in the kitchen has increased dramatically! I made a new recipe almost every week whether it was for lunch or dinner. Many of these new recipes have been documented on Snapchat, which has quickly become my favorite social media medium. It has been amazing sharing recipes with you along the way and seeing you try new foods. Thank you for watching my stories and for sending me your snaps! If you don’t follow yet, add me: GourmetGab.
Speaking of Snapchat…I still can’t believe that I get to contribute videos to Food Network Snapchat Discover! If you missed the four ones I did in June, here are Green chile tacos, roasted shrimp and broccoli, s’mores burritos and how to eat ramen noodles. I usually try to play it cool, but AHH!
I am so excited for more to come and cannot thank my friends enough for being my crew, audience and taste-testers. Being featured on Food Network Snapchat Discover felt like the golden firework ending to the year I already thought was turning out magical.”
Looking back on the year makes me certain that it lived up to it’s golden expectations. 24 has a lot to live up to! I have big dreams for Gourmet Gab this year and can’t wait to bring you more recipes, more video and (fingers crossed) more exciting partnerships. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me. You all make this so fun. Cheers to another golden year!
Love food. Love self. Love life.