Tuesday, January 06, 2015

2014 :: a year in review

There's a first time for everything ... I don't usually do end of year reviews, but even if I haven't been the most frequent of bloggers it helps me realize how much has happened in a year, and how much I've actually made.
Also, it helps me to make a few resolutions for 2015, which is another thing I rarely do.

1. Places we traveled

  • february: Les trois vallées - we went to a new ski resort and loved it. I especially enjoyed staying in La Tania, a very family friendly resort and perfect for staying with small kids.
  • june: visited Budapest with some friends, and really enjoyed myself there. My first visit years ago was so disappointing that this time was a nice surprise
  • august: we went back to Iceland to visit the West Fjords. It is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Ever.
  • september: a short trip to Ulm, and our first time in Legoland
  • december: our year would not be complete without a final trip to a German Christmas market. Our choice this year was Hamburg (trip report to come soon)
  • in Portugal: our discovery of the year was the Imani Country House Hotel, near Évora. But we still went back to our favorite place in the Alentejo, with possibly one of the best swimming pools we know - Herdade da Cortesia.
For next year:
  • revisit a city I haven't been to in over 10 years: Paris
  • discover somewhere new: maybe to finally explore one of the few places in Portugal we haven't been to (and supposedly one of the most beautiful) - the Azores. 
  • And if we can make it, it's probably time we took Sara to visit her cousins in Canada.

2. Things I knit

  • 2014 was the year of the shawl. I knit 8 of them, 2 of which were Christmas gifts. I think I'm officially obsessed now.
  • I made my first (but definitely not last) lopapeysa with some of the Lopi yarn I brought back from Iceland (will post about this soon)
  • Knit 3 Madelinetosh garments for myself: 2 cardigans and 1 sweater. This yarn is seriously addictive.

Next year ? Maybe 2015 will be the year of the sock, who knows ...

3. Things I've sewn

  • A lot of summer tops were done, especially with this and this pattern.
  • And two more Tova shirts. But I'm not done with this pattern yet.
  • Plus a much needed spring jacket for S, a summer hat and a bat costume.

For 2015 I really want to sew Dahlia and a couple of Deer + Doe Bruyére shirts.

4. Books I've read

The Count of Monte Cristo
One Plus One
The Summer Queen
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
The Door
A Morgadinha dos Canaviais
Golden Boy
The Goblin Emperor
Dreams of Gods & Monsters
The Stranger You Know
The Last Girl
The Sunbird
River of Smoke
The Empty Kingdom
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
The Lion Hunter
Slash and Burn
The Merry Misogynist
The Sultan's Seal

Final count: it seems I've read 135 books in 2014. I'm really happy about this, and I hope 2015 will continue in the same way.

If you're curious, I keep a record at Goodreads, but my 5 star and best 4 star ratings were:
    • A constellation of vital phenomena, Anthony Marra               
    • Golden boy, Abigail Tarttelin                    
    • The Door, Magda Szabó                    
    • One plus one, Jojo Moyes (made me cry a lot)                    
    • The summer queen, Joan D Vinge - the third of a fantasy trilogy I only discovered recently
    • The luminaries, Eleanor Catton                    
    • The pastor's wife, Elizabeth Von Arnim (in audio)                    
    • Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty                    
    • 11/12/63, Stephen King                    
    • The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2), by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling                    
    • And some classics that I revisited with my online bookclub: The count of Monte Cristo (Dumas never disappoints me) and A morgadinha dos canaviais, by Júlio Diniz               

This was also the year I discovered or continued a few great series:
    • Dr Siri Paiboun series, by Colin Cotteril - cozy mysteries with a bit of humour by a 70 year old pathologist in communist Laos - comfort reading at its best                    
    • Lacey Flint by S. J. Bolton and Maeve Kerrigan series, by Jane Casey - I seem to enjoy police mysteries with strong female characters                    
    • Kamil Pasha series by Jenny White - makes me want to go back to Istanbul soon

And finally, my disappointments of 2014: The name of the wind and The wise man's fear, by Patrick Rothfuss and We were liars, by E Lockhart (in audio)

I've set myself a challenge to read at least 100 books in 2015, and would like to read more non-fiction, a few more classics (Moby Dick and Washington Square are on the top of the list) and probably revisit one of the Dorothy Dunnet series I love so much (probably Lymond, which I last read almost 8 years ago).

5. Other things I've made

2014 was the year I finally embraced the making of natural cosmetics.
I've started making my own body creams and lotions, as well as lipbalms and a few other items. I've finally attended a soap making workshop in late November which left me with no doubts about wanting to start making these in the future as well.
My goal is to replace all our current organic cosmetics by handmade ones, so hopefully 2015 will be the year I can finally make it happen.


fantasma said...

Parece-me que 2014 foi bom! :)

Maria Nunes said...


Também fui a Hamburgo em Dezembro, também motivada pelos mercadinhos de Natal);-)

E em 2014 também fui à Islândia (ver as auroras boreais ;-)

um grande abraço e desejos de um bom 2015!

Virgínia Otten said...

Como, mas como consegues ter tempo para tudo?! Acredita que és uma fonte de inspiração para mim :)
Desejo a toda a família um óptimo ano!

Dims said...

It looks like a good year :) How did you manage to read 135 books while doing all the other activities + taking care for the family and perhaps working? I can use some tips in this field :) And sharing some recipes of homemade cosmetics would be nice, too :)

trigueirinha said...

Olá Tania :)

Gostei muito desta ideia de fazer um resumo do ano, dá realmente uma prespectiva do que fizemos no ano que passou e o que queremos para 2015.

Este ano tenho de acabar com a lista do "Tenho que Fazer" e passar para "Feito" :)

beijinhos e bons sabonetes


Tania Ho said...

Olá Maria, que coincidência mesmo !
Ainda não consegui ver as auroras boreias (fomos em2010 à Finlândia de propósito mas não tivémos sorte). Em que altura do ano foste ? Quero tentar outra vez :)

Tania Ho said...

@Dims, I'll try to share some homemade cosmetic recipes soon ! And I do work, a full time job as an IT project manager :)

Tania Ho said...

Olá Carmen, que engraçado ver-te por aqui, gostei muito de te ter encontrado no outro dia. Um bom 2015 para ti!

Maria Nunes said...

estive na Islândia nos últimos 2 dias de Janeiro e nos primeiros 2 dias de Fevereiro de 2014 :-)

Eu tinha lido online que o período mais forte em termos de actividade de auroras boreais na Islândia seria entre setembro de 2013 e fevereiro/março de 2014, e mais probabilidades de serem vistas no Inverno (dias mais curtos) e em períodos de lua nova (menos luminosidade).

Fui e ... tive sorte! :-)