Sunday, January 1, 2017

#ThankYouMiami for 2016

Wow! This year went by at lightning speeds and thank the lord because I am of the camp that 2016 was a terrible year overall. That said, I am extremely thankful for all of the blessings I received this year, including a flurry of new friendships, a renewed interest in running, new and better career opportunities, tons of trips around the U.S., and great times spent with friends and family. Before I leave the past behind, where it belongs, I want to take a quick moment to reminisce on my top 8 bests for 2016. Then, I invite you to look back at the new round of monthly photos from our year-long Instagram photography project. (ICYMI, like we did in 2015, the first day of every month we posted a photo of the same stretch of beach South of Fifth under the hashtag #OdeToMiami2016 to document how it changed from month-to-month.)
  • Best Bite: This one's a toss up between the sunchokes at Proof Miami and from black and white tonnarelli pasta with lobster from the Peacock Garden Café. I have not stopped fantasizing about both dishes since my first bite of each.
  • Best New Miami Band: The Magic City Hippies popped up everywhere this year and took Miami by storm with their indie funk sound. And while we jumped on the bandwagon the first time we saw them at Yelp's Big Bite in Little Haiti, it was the night we saw them cover "Somebody To Love Me" at Bougie's that we knew we would never get enough of them.
  • Best New Miami Hangout: You've heard me rave about the Wynwood Yard a lot this year for good reason: it's my new favorite hangout. I've been trying to make it off the Beach more often and the Yard's outdoor hangs, live music, and delicious and varied food options have put it at the top of my list when I want to go out.
  • Best Workout: This year I became a more confident person thanks to Vixen Workout. I did not by any means discover the Miami-based dance workout this year but I have felt the effects of showing up and slaying every weekend most this year. A huge thank you to Janet Jones and the rest of my instructors for making me a strong, independent woman (and a better dancer)!
  • Best Tool: Another tie between my Withings Activité Pop which was my lifeline during my office's summer step challenge and which, later replaced by a high-tech Garmin, helped me tally the total miles I logged during this year. It has been the key to keeping me moving and maintaining my bikini body all year.
  • Best Outfit: Our power outfit for the year was a combination of two Christmas gifts from 2015: the Alexandra in Red Star from Réalisation Par and the Aska Collection Trooper in Black and White Snake (which is no longer available for purchase but you can peep in this past travel fashion post). It was the one outfit that, as soon as we put it on, made us feel like a million bucks so we put it to good use all year.
  • Best Achievement: By far, my proudest accomplishment of the year was getting published. A huge thanks again to the team at Gatehouse Publishing for choosing me to author The HUNT Miami. That said, I have to honorable mention my fitness accomplishment of running one mile per day of the year because I have been trying for 5 years to achieve it and this is the first year I did.
  • Best Moment: For my birthday, I opted to have a smaller gathering than in past years because I've learned the value of quality over quantity. Being surrounded by friends who accept me for who I am and laughing with them uncontrollably throughout the dinner (primarily at Jamison's expense as he recounts in his Red, The Steakhouse story) was by far my favorite moment of 2016.
And now, behold our #OdeToMiami2016:

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