The 2019 Year In Review

We’re in our final couple weeks of 2019 and boy, has it been quite the year! I thought it would be fun to recap the year a bit, talk about what 2019 was for me, and visit some old popular (and not so popular!) posts.

Personally in 2019

Well, I had a baby! That pretty much took up our year. Between being pregnant, preparing for the baby, having the baby, recovering postpartum and raising the baby, my year personally was defined by Roma. While the labor, delivery, and postpartum healing were all pretty easy (contractions, hospital, epidural, pushing, baby), Roma was a bit complicated as a baby, which made the first few postpartum weeks difficult.

Roma had a tough time nursing because of her tongue tie (you can read more about that here and here), she was extremely stiff and had to go to physical therapy for the first few months of her life, and she was often overtired in the beginning and cranky (then I discovered Taking Cara Babies and that all changed miraculously and now she’s a great sleeper!)

The hardest part was adjusting to life as a mother of two, and I’m still figuring it out, but it’s getting a lot easier. I had my first postpartum tears shed after a moment where Luca wanted me and I couldn’t be with him because of the baby. It really took a toll on me in the early days, and I found myself feeling like not the best mama. I’m so thankful for the support system around me that softened all of this and made it more manageable.

However, unlike with Luca (he was a winter baby and I was a hermit), I made an incredible group of friends in a “mom group” that I started from a local Jersey City moms Facebook page. It was 8 of us ladies (it grew to something larger, but started as 8 of us) and they really made my maternity leave so much more enjoyable! I was definitely a more relaxed mom, because #secondchild, but it was so nice to have people to hang out with and meet up with while we were all on maternity leave and lament about the same things.

As for Luca, he started speaking so much this year and although he has moments of Terrible Twos, he is just at such a fun age. He makes us laugh hysterically and he’s so capable, that there are so many more activities we can do together on weekends and trips. We’re having a lot of fun.

In 2019, Luca started at a Montessori school in a toddler program and he has flourished so much. The teacher said during a kindness activity, he was awarded “most kind,” and at our parent/teacher conference, Lu almost broke down in tears, the teacher was so complimentary! We couldn’t be prouder of him – AND we potty trained him this year too! He’s a loving, generous older brother and we’re so proud of all the change he’s gone through without a problem.

Lu’s business is thriving and I’m so proud of him. He’s grown nothing (he literally started the business with one other business partner) into an industry-leading company! He works harder than ever and bears a lot of stress, but I love seeing his confidence grow and the pride he feels when someone recognizes all he’s built, whether a media outlet or a friend.

As for us, we’re stronger than ever, but it’s hard to find time to focus on the little parts of marriage. Sure, it’s easy to get a babysitter and go out to dinner, but working through little issues is hard to find the time to focus on. It’s something we want to get better on in 2020 and more to come on that.

Work in 2019

Frankly, work slowed down big time for me in 2019. I decided that I wanted to truly be there for Roma and not be tempted by already having a nanny to jump into work before I did with Luca. Our nanny joined our family when Luca was almost 6 months old! So, before having Roma, I knew that I would be on maternity leave for the second half of 2019, as she was born in mid-June!

At times, this made me insecure about my business – was I out of touch with what my audience wanted, because I wasn’t content creating as much? Were the decrease in page views and loss of Instagram followers going to affect my confidence as a brand owner? At the end of the day, I realized, through having Roma, that my family comes first. I realized that if I’m happy with my family life, everything else falls into place.

Also, I started cooking a certain way that wasn’t spiralized, because that’s just… what I was cooking. Luca doesn’t like spiralized veggies (or noodles of any kind), so it was hard to make recipes for the blog and just have them myself because a) I’d end up wasting food and b) I’d have to make something else for Luca for a meal and that was hard to do when I also have an infant.

My Inspiralizer definitely sat on the shelf more than it ever has, but I’m okay with that, because it reflects my true life, and I would never claim to eat food that I’m not eating. Luckily, you all have been very supportive and LIKE this new way I’m eating (basically, super simple!), so it was a blessing in disguise! Clearly, you’re ready for something new (and so am I!)

I’m excited to move into 2020 with more #inspiralizedandeasy and #inspiralizedbutnotspiralized meals to inspire you all. I talk more about this new direction in this post. Having said that, I have some great recipe ideas to reinvigorate our love for spiralizing, together!

Moving into 2020, I am really excited to get back into work. I love what I do, and now that I’ve found my true niche – cooking creatively with vegetables, I can’t wait to get into it!


  • Started an IGTV series called “Cook the Cookbooks” where I cooked recipes from my three cookbooks! You can check it out on Instagram.
  • Worked with some of my favorite long-standing brand partners like Bob’s Red Mill and worked with some new ones, like Primal Kitchen and Bugaboo.
  • Launched the Mint Inspiralizer and have nearly sold out of the color! It’s the first color we’re selling exclusively on our site! You can use code MERRY20 right now to save 20% off (that code is valid for the white one as well!)
  • Meaghan has worked with us since 2015 when we launched the Inspiralizer and she joined us back full-time (she was working part-time for awhile, because she moved!)
  • Redesigned our website and consolidated all of our brand verticals in one place – Inspiralized, Inspiralized Kids, and Inspiralized Ali! I love our new website, what do you think?

Worst and Best Posts of 2019

To end 2019, I’d love to take a look at our most popular and least popular posts of 2019, based on page views:

Most Popular

  1. Roma Lea’s Birth Story
  2. Avocado Goddess Chicken Salad Sandwich
  3. When living healthy becomes unhealthy
  4. 5 Things I said I’d Never Do as a Parent that I do now
  5. Blender pumpkin spice muffins
  6. Sheet pan egg sandwiches
  7. Spicy Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
  8. Chicken and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole
  9. Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
  10. Chocolate Zucchini Almond Butter Squares

Least Popular

  1. Sesame Ginger Pork Stir-fry
  2. One pot Salmon in Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce
  3. Grilled Shrimp Skewers
  4. Sausage with Cabbage and Apples
  5. Recipes to make this spring
  6. Breaded pork cutlets with zucchini noodles
  7. Broccoli kale Caesar salad with Chicken
  8. 11 no cook spiralized summer recipes
  9. Sweet potato Noodle Breakfast Plate
  10. Baby Registry Must Haves

Thank you so much for being part of Inspiralized this past year, we really appreciate your support and time! Happy New Year and best wishes!

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Melissa R. says:
Loved the post! Excited to see what 2020 brings. One of my favorite series was your New Years resolution that changed (I think monthly) hope to see that in 2020 or 20201.
Meaghan says:
Thank you so much!
sarah says:
I enjoy the easy recipes!! I strive to lead a healthy lifestyle starting with what I put in my body, but being a business owner and working long days, sometimes it's hard to stick to it! your IG stories/recipes give me inspiration for meals!!
Meaghan says:
That's so amazing to hear! Keep it up!

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making a batch of this VEGAN PUMPKIN SNACKING LOAF today 🍞! I love to have a few mini loafs in the freezer to easily defrost for breakfasts or snacks for the kids, but also for myself - slathered with nut butter and a little sprinkle of hemp seeds 🥜 or some honey, butter and cinnamon for the kids 🍯🧈  ⁣

grab the recipe on the blog! happy monday! 🙌🏼⁣

#Vegan #veganfood #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #bestofvegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #veg #vegetarianfood #plantbased

went for a nice long walk outside with the kids (we haven’t been able to do that for a while, because it’s just been so freezing and/or snowing) 🥶 and then we decided to pick up some to-go sandwiches and while we waited, the kids had some banana bread and juice 🍊🍌🍞 luca said, “mama I want to stay here alllll day!” which made me feel sad, because we haven’t felt comfortable dining indoors yet, and I’m sure he misses the people watching at restaurants on the weekends 😔 it’s okay, I’m just filing this under “things we get to look forward to when it’s safe again” 💋 #jerseycity ...

a year and 5 days ago, I started @invisalign to correct my cross bite and fix some crowding on my lower teeth. 👄🦷 a few weeks into treatment, my dentist gave me some extra aligners (the clear trays that you wear that miraculously shift your teeth) “just in case” the Corona virus came to the US and the office has to shutdown. well, a LOT has happened in this past year (my teeth and bite have corrected and Corona certainly made its way here!) and today was the final appointment to perfect my teeth and bite with some veneers (which I haven’t quite gotten used to yet, but all of the stories you shared and kind compliments you gave in my DMs has made me feel A LOT better.) 😬⁣

in two weeks, I get my overnight retainers, which I’ll wear forever (but only to sleep.) aside from that, I’m done with #invisalign and it feels SO good. I cannot believe how drastically it has changed my face, and when I watch myself talk in a video or look at a photo of myself, I no longer cringe at my lisp or how crooked my face looks. it wasn’t something I was self-conscious of every day, but it’s definitely something that I noticed when looking at photos and it secretly bothered me. it’s silly, but it did! ⁣

now I can proudly say that I love my smile, and I feel more confident than ever. it’s a shame I’ll have to wear a mask and cover up this expensive smile 😂😂😂😂 but hopefully in 2022, I’ll be able to fully whip it out. right?!! 🤞🏼💉 ⁣

I’m going to write a blog post all about the process, share a ton of before and afters, but I wanted to ask.... are there any questions you have specifically that you’d like me to include/address? leave a comment below and let me know! and in the meantime, you can check out my Invisalign highlight for the whole journey!