It’s almost the end of the year, which always makes me a little sad – as well as excited for what’s to come next year. Today I thought I’d write about my favourite moments of the past year. It was not an easy year, but there were plenty of great moments. Some small, some big, but all really amazing. Here they are: my top 50 highlights of 2016.
1. My boyfriend and I celebrated 8 years together in February (almost 9 now!)
2. I restructured and improved my blog which gave me so much joy this year.
3. This summer I upped my blogging game by posting 5 blogposts a week, every week.
4. I started the final year of my PhD – both scary and exciting.
5. I started Emmelync.com.
6. I had a really fun trip to Ibiza in June – perfect timing for a trip to the sun!
7. I visited Barcelona for the first time and completely fell in love with it.
8. I had my first stress-free summer in the South of France in years – no family drama.
9. I finally learned Photoshop.
10. I had vegan camembert for the first time and loved it.
11. I bought my first Spanx and wish I had done so sooner!
12. I also bought my first vlogging camera and made my first videos.
13. A very difficult and painful family situation was resolved.
14. A bond with another family member became much stronger.
15. I barely ate any animal products this year.
16. I had so many exciting blogging events – too many to write down and more than ever!
17. I conducted my last – and most exciting – experiment at the university: a speed-dating experiment which was really fun.
18. I visited Veggie World for the first time and loved it.
19. I joined a vegan Facebook group and had dinner in Amsterdam with 6 complete strangers – so cool.
20. I took my longest vacation ever – almost four whole weeks.
21. My first paper was published: Croes et al 2016 wooohooo (find it here)!!
22. I took my first solo trip to Rotterdam – definitely not the last time!
23. I went to Flying Dutch for the first time and it was amazing; one of the best parties I’ve ever been to.
24. I’ve never read more self-help books than I have this year – and they have really helped me.
25. I finally started dreaming again – it has been a while.
26. I completed three 1000-piece puzzles. No, it’s not nerdy. It’s soothing and fun.
27. I threw all my ceramic crappy so-called healthy pans away and went back to Teflon (best decision ever).
28. I discovered vegan mayonnaise at my local supermarket.
29. I perfected my vegan spaghetti Bolognese recipe and my boyfriend, the carnivore, loves it too.
30. I made a new vegan recipe every week this year.
31. I discovered Cliff bars (vegan and oh my gawd).
32. I perfected the dairy-free cappuccino: oat milk, soy or cashew milk is the way to go!
33. I finally bleached my teeth – yes I’m vain, no I don’t care. They are pearly white and it’s awesome.
34. I realized how much I love gin & tonic – no matter how bad the hangover is the next day.
35. I visited my first food blogger conference and it was really cool to spend time with so many like-minded people.
36. I got my very first flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s Day – all the way from Japan (long story).
37. I discovered a great coffee place close to home where I can work and who serve soy cappuccinos!
38. I got a hula-hoop and it’s the most fun workout I’ve done in years.
39. I got SO much better at taking food photos (and I’m still improving!).
40. I stopped using stock photos in my blogposts: all photos are now mine!
41. I started watching vlogs during my cardio time at the gym – so much more fun!
42. I got three new piercings in my ears and I did them all myself. I am so cool.
43. I discovered vegan pizza.
44. I successfully started and finished therapy for the first time in my life. Not fun, very difficult, but also very much worth it.
45. I became closer to my siblings than ever. They are my heroes.
46. I watched my sister apply and get into a master’s program in Sweden where she now lives and studies. Bittersweet for me, but such an amazing accomplishment for her.
47. I downloaded the app Duolingo and finally committed to learning French – something I’ve been wanting to do for years.
48. I worked out 4 times a week, practically every week (yay me).
49. I laughed many more times than I cried.
50. Probably at the top of this list, but still coming up: our first family trip in about 15 years to Sweden next week – with hopefully many more highlights!