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:
- Roma Lea’s Birth Story
- Avocado Goddess Chicken Salad Sandwich
- When living healthy becomes unhealthy
- 5 Things I said I’d Never Do as a Parent that I do now
- Blender pumpkin spice muffins
- Sheet pan egg sandwiches
- Spicy Thai Chicken Coconut Soup
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Chocolate Zucchini Almond Butter Squares
- Sesame Ginger Pork Stir-fry
- One pot Salmon in Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce
- Grilled Shrimp Skewers
- Sausage with Cabbage and Apples
- Recipes to make this spring
- Breaded pork cutlets with zucchini noodles
- Broccoli kale Caesar salad with Chicken
- 11 no cook spiralized summer recipes
- Sweet potato Noodle Breakfast Plate
- 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!