2016 Highlights for the Unapologetic Nerd

Happy New Year, my lovely bloggeritas! 

 Christmas with La Familia, 2016

Christmas with La Familia, 2016

After taking a month off for the holiday season to be with family and download, I feel REFRESHED! Well… as refreshed as I can be before the dreaded spring semester begins, AKA every teacher’s personal hell. But I’m rallying - coffee has been bought in droves, gym membership is ready to use (insert Legally Blonde quote about how happy people don’t kill people), and I’m working extra hard to start the new year with an altered perspective

Perspective, I’m discovering, is everything. 

It’s the reason why 2016 has been branded THE WORST YEAR EVER. 

And while this year certainly had its moments (#presidentialelection2016 #SnapeandPrincessLeiadied #whatiswrongwiththeworld?!?!) it wasn’t World War III worthy. 

It’s all about perspective. 

It’s the difference between being unhappy with where you are instead of being grateful for what you’ve accomplished. It’s the difference between thinking about how many people died in 2016 vs realizing how many of those people got to live long, fulfilling lives. Or instead of lamenting/bragging about who won the presidency, praying for our leaders & hoping for a better future for ourselves and our children.

Okay. *steps down from pulpit* Sermon over.

Here’s my perspective on 2016, and it’s a pretty damn good one! 

2016 Highlights:

  • Blog Posts Written: 29 - not too bad, considering I took a break AND rehashed my entire site from a book blog to a creative blog
  • Most Viewed Post: Definitely my 10 Things I wish I had known as a Music Major article - over 1000 views that week!! 
  • Post I'm Most Proud of: Books that Influenced how I look at Diversity Today - I really struggled to find the right words to write this one, given the tense political situation at the moment... Now when I look at it, my heart swells. I want all my work to feel like that! 
  • Post I'd like to Burn: tie breaker between Je t'aime Original Design and Waiting on Wednesday meme... The original design post was poorly written and put together at the last minute, and the "Waiting on Wednesday" meme is (in my opinion) a filler for lack of content, and I totally bought into it at first. BURN THEM NOW.
  • Monthly Readers: 3500!!! WHAT?! For me, that's huge! I did NOT start this thinking "I'm going to reach thousands of readers"... Um. But I am. Very surreal.
  • Goals: My biggest goal is to continue producing quality content - content that I can proudly stand behind, rather then quantify my blog's success. It's easy to write drabble every week that takes up alot of space and makes your blog look "busy". 2016 made me take a giant step back so I could realize I was throwing a smokescreen of "busy" over a very empty website. CONTENT IS VITAL!!

Love & Travels

 Dressing fancy for anniversary dinner - #adultingwin

Dressing fancy for anniversary dinner - #adultingwin

The hubby and I celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary this year! 5 years married to this 6’3” Scandinavian giant, acting like complete goofballs while traveling the world together. 

In 5 years we’ve learned how to make homemade EVERYTHING (pho, alkaline pasta, beef bourguignon), produced an EP and recorded albums, traveled to 10 countries, bonded over our shared love of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, moved across the country, nearly gotten mugged in an Austrian subway, gone sea kayaking, swam with dolphins - okay, I'm being annoying... I’ll stop… 

But he’s my lobster!!

San Diego, California

 La Jolla beach with my seal babies

La Jolla beach with my seal babies

San Diego is seriously gorgeous, and these baby seals made my LIFE!! I almost smuggled one off the beach, even though it would have meant our plane ride home would've smelled like an overripe can of tuna...


 Biking down the causeway of San Diego downtown

Biking down the causeway of San Diego downtown

Universal Studios, California 

HARRY POTTER WORLD! HARRY POTTER WORLD! HARRY FREAKING POTTER WORLD!! The minute we stepped into Hogsmeade, I started crying big fat ugly tears of joy. Yes, I got Hermione's interactive wand, and yes I elbowed little kids out of my way to try "spells" throughout the park. I'm not ashamed.

 All the kiddos in the park with their wands... and then there's me.

All the kiddos in the park with their wands... and then there's me.

 This raptor was getting a little too close for comfort

This raptor was getting a little too close for comfort


  • Favorite Book: Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  • Favorite Author: Alexandra Bracken (Passenger, The Darkest Minds trilogy)
  • Favorite Series: Harry Potter (sorry ACOTAR… JK Rowling’s Cursed Child release sealed the deal for me. Hufflepuffs UNITE!)
  • Favorite Character: Inej Ghafa - AKA The Spider, AKA my child from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series
  • Favorite Ship: FEYRE AND RHYSAND ALL DAY!!!!! (ACOMAF by Maas)

Makers Gonna Make

This year has been an incredible journey for me as a creative crafter! This all started as a side hobby to help with the stress of "musical season", AKA spring semester when I assist in the annual spring production at the college where I teach. Now I'm about to launch my official Etsy store with embroidery, cross-stitch, and knit products!!!

I started by slowly easing away from cross-stitch and began designing my own hand embroidery -

Screenshot 2017-01-05 15.37.51.png

I also explored crocheting again after YEARS of not touching a crochet hook, which led to loom knitting! Not to brag, but I can make a bad-ass slouchy beanie in less then 2 days. Boom. *mic drop*

Now I have a room devoted to crafting of all kinds, an amazing new sewing machine - compliments of my dear mummy! - and a gorgeous craft table built by my amazing hubby to experiment with!! I’ve already managed to make curtains to go over my kitchen sink window, and my Pinterest page is exploding with potential sewing projects. I'm one happy crafter! :-)

  • Favorite Project: 2” mini hoop ornament of Christmas Pikachu (see photo above of mini hoops)
  • Favorite Etsy seller: Dandelyne & her über adorable miniature embroidery hoops!! <3
  • Favorite Medium (right now): Knitting (loom and round)
  • # of Christmas presents made: 30… Yeah. *ices poor, swollen hands*

2016, I know you've got a bad rap. Try to keep your head high. You haven’t sucked... not really.

Can’t wait to see what this next year has in store! 

Blessings, y’all!