As one year comes to an end and another one begins, it’s always good to reflect on the year gone by so here are my personal highlights from 2013. It’s all about creating memories.

The Gathering went well and was hailed a roaring success as tourist numbers increased by 291k.

I accomplished all of my goals for 2013 – well they were rather achievable – I joined a union, went to the dentist and gave Bikram Yoga a try as well as lots of walks with Baxter.

Some of my favourite things included:

Music this year has been pretty good with Haim; Chvrches; Kodaline; Villagers; Biffy Clyro; Little Green Cars; Walking on Cars; London Grammar; Hozier; James Vincent McMorrow and many more being top of my playlists.

All the many gigs I attended even though I thought I was being quite restrictive….I actually clocked up 14 gigs but only 1 festival! Some of my highlights included Biffy Clyro and Tom Baxter in March; Little Green Cars in May,The National and Robbie Williams in June and Blue October in November. Another highlight was the new Festival Longitude in Marley Park where we were bathed in sunshine all weekend. I didn’t blog about it mainly because I got strep throat back in July right after but it was the best organised and laid out festival I have been to! I would totally recommend it especially if we can order the sunshine!

Also theatre-going featured strongly for me this year from musicals like Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and Once to Irish-produced plays such as Singlehood, A Wine Goose Chase and For Love. With the Fringe Festival and Dublin Theatre Festival and many others, theatre and creativity is fostered in Ireland. I even attended Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the beautiful setting of Malahide Castle.

Travel also featured with a few trips around Ireland including to a cat show in Limerick in February, an overnight to Brooklodge in Wicklow in May and a boating trip down the Shannon in August. I also made it further afield to Vienna in September and a mini-break in Birmingham in November but the big highlight was spending the October bank holiday in Iceland. It is definitely in my top ten places that I have visited.

2013 was also about connecting with other bloggers. Back in March, I was thrilled when Rincy from alittlebird asked me to do a
Paddys Day Playlist. I also attended two lifestyle blogger meet-ups organised by Emily, From China Village – one in Avoca in April and one in Peperina in October where I met some lovely, inspirational bloggers. In June, I was honoured to receive a Leibster Award from Edwina Smith of The Life of Stuff. And in October I had the French Experience in Dublin and met Ketty of French Foodie in Dublin who has taken blogging to a whole other level. I continue to be impressed and inspired by my fellow bloggers – here are “Some Must Reads” that I wrote about in November. I hope this continues in 2014.

Another highlight was meeting inspirational female authors such as Dawn O Porter; Caitlin Moran and Helen Fielding of Bridget Jones fame. I love the Dublin Writers Festival and how reading is encouraged and fostered in Ireland.

Lastly, to round off the highlights from 2013, some of the other things I have enjoyed included the Breathe Expo, Bark in the Park and awesome summer sunshine; learning to meditate; making chocolate fudge and The Christmas Cookbook Club with Donal Skehan.

I also bought a bike last year and am hoping 2014 is the year of the bike. 2014 – bring it on!