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recap 2010: musing on a year past

December 31, 2010

2010 boils down to this: One (and a half) out of two.

I can officially check off one (and a half) of the two items on my 2010 New Year’s Resolution list.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.  I began 2010 convinced that if I was going to check off anything come January 1st, 2011, I’d better make the list compelling enough to actually coax fantasies to life.  No diet or exercise commitments that would only last as long as I could keep my nose from sniffing a butter croissant.  No.  I determined that 2010, the year I turned 3o, was going to be different.  In two big ways.  I resolved to:

1.  Run a half marathon. And I did.  (I’m the most surprised of all.)  And I liked it (in a sadistic, self-flagellating, who-in-their-right-mind-runs-13.1 miles-for-fun kind of way).

2.  Write a novel. So, okay.  No manuscript exists as of 9:17 pm on December 30.  Unless inspiration strikes during tonight’s REM sleep, and I spend New Year’s Eve cranking out a prize-winning tome, I can’t give myself full credit on this item.  But I get a little credit.  Around April, when I should have had at least a vague novel concept floating in thought bubbles above my head , I had nada.

Until I had Belle Squeaks.

The blog wasn’t a novel.  But it was something.  It was a start.  It was practice writing.  And now nine months later, I’ve invested approximately 285 hours in composing 95 posts.  Whew.

In this half-fulfilled New Year’s Resolution of a blog, I’ve found a voice for my satisfaction (and, if I’m totally honest, sometimes dissatisfaction) with being a stay at home mom.  I’ve connected with some amazing people just because I found a way to say I loved their products.  I’ve fallen a little more in love with Little Friend.

Thanks to inspiration from Jo Lynne at Musings of a Housewife, I’m looking back on 2010 by snagging the first line of the first post from each month of the year.  Turns out I was pretty sleep deprived when I started (anyone else out there with a 16-month-old who still didn’t sleep through the night, or am I a lone, sleep-starved soul?).  In between then and now, I discovered some great restaurants, had some great adventures across the U.S. of A., and preserved otherwise fleeting thoughts of life and motherhood in Pittsburgh.

As for my burgeoning resolution list of 2011…well, I’m having a hard time topping 2010.  Then again, maybe there’s a novel bobbing in a thought bubble somewhere in the next twelve months.  Or just a tray of gleaming croissants…

April 2010

My daughter woke up three times last night.

Never a good scenario, but at least this sleepless night resulted in the start of Belle Squeaks.  This is my first blog entry, and it makes me smile to remember how doubtful I was of this writing endeavor (and just how frustrated I was during those sleepless months!)

May 2010

Dust is the only thing getting sleep these days in my house.

Sensing a theme here?  This is a lemons to lemonade sort of post.  With a couple of great homemade cleaning product recipes to boot.  Go ahead and skip my moaning about lack of sleep and head straight to the recipes.  They’ll change the way you polish up your house!

June 2010

Last summer, I balked when it came time to slather up my seven month old daughter’s body with sunscreen.

So glad this product review made the year’s recap.  I can’t stop raving about Dr. Robin’s Sunscreen.  Trust me, this is one product you want in your medicine cabinet.

July 2010

Geraniums nodded in wrought iron window boxes.

Oh, how I love every single French delicacy on display at La Gourmandine bakery.  I’d venture to vote the croissants (the perfect combination of flake and dough) my favorite, but what about the simply divine raspberry tart?  Or the pucker-up-and-kiss-me-now lemon tarts?  Then again, the warm brie tart or the quiche lorraine may tempt me into a wanton feeding frenzy.  This is one Pittsburgh bakery that deserves every ounce of gushing praise I can lavish upon it.

August 2010


Well, that may be the shortest sentence I’ve ever composed.  Usually my faults lie on the long-winded side. This command begins one of my favorite personal essays on the ups and downs of being a stay at home mom.  Two years into this homemaking experiment, and I’m still alternately grieving my old life and joyful with my new.  I suppose if you read any one post from this year in review, make it this one.

September 2010

My prayers last night included a special shout out to Lauri Toys for the incomparable, parental face-saving grace packaged compactly and advertised as the unassuming “Toddler Tote.”

A product review that helped me endure a cross-country flight with Little Friend.  The only thing that stood between Little Friend’s kicking feet and the seat of the poor traveler stuck in front of us was, luckily for the fellow passenger, this highly entertaining, compulsively creative toy.

October 2010

“Simplify, simplify, simplify,” penned the great Ralph Waldo Emerson in Walden.

My current obsession: Real Food.  Homemade from scratch using ingredients that I could have found in my great-grandmother’s Illinois farmstead kitchen.  This post details my conversion from skim milk to fresh whole milk.

November 2010

The fact that I only know the words “Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope…” (do something, roam maybe?) from the song didn’t stop me from singing that partial phrase over and over, mostly in my head, during the two weeks that I spent in Colorado Springs, CO.

Two great things about this post: a trip down memory’s lane with great friends and a two-week meal plan that will have you stuffing your freezer with make-ahead meals.

December 2010

It’s high time I introduce you to a good friend of mine: The Recession Cookbook.

The year has come full circle.  What began in April with my dear friend Anna encouraging me to start Belle Squeaks closes with me being a chipper, eager cheering squad for her as she returns to her own affordable gourmet cooking blog, The Recession Cookbook.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Big Friend permalink
    December 31, 2010 12:53 am

    Brilliant as always. You get full credit in my mind for 2010 accomplishments. I’ve so loved every single word of your blog this year and can’t wait for what 2011 brings!

  2. December 31, 2010 9:36 am

    Congrats on your new blog and doing great with your resolutions. I’m visiting from Musings of a Housewife, but I can’t wait to go read some of your entries! Hope you have a very Happy New Year.

  3. January 1, 2011 12:11 pm

    Happy New Year from N Ireland.

    I have joined in the bloggy recap too 🙂

  4. January 1, 2011 2:54 pm

    How I have loved Belle Squeaks–PLEASE keep it coming!


  1. The new year of the cup | Belle Squeaks

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