Top 12 of 2012

Remember local readers that Sunday I posted my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Mohegan Sun for their upcoming Restaurant Week (1/6-1/11). Entries close Wednesday night!

HAPPY 2013! Last night I went to J. Gilbert’s for dinner, came home, had a snack with my latest read, and passed out before 11pm. I woke up this morning at 7:30am bright eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to take on the new year. I knocked out a 42 minute home workout with the Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD, and here I am now, blogging at La Petite France which happens to be the same place I visited on New Years Day of 2012. Funny how that happens, huh?

Gettin’ my NYE on in Long Janes.

I’m home from Florida and have barely even blogged about my trip – too busy having a good time! I hope to get around to sharing the highlights (for sure I will be writing about my meetup with my girl Brittany), but today I want to be sure I stop and reflect on a longer period of time – the entire year of 2012! Props to Bianca, whose post gave me this idea (heck, I am just copying her idea, I will admit it).

Caitlin’s Top 12 Happenings of 2012!

1. Taking major steps in my journey of self-love and acceptance. From writing my Amazing Me list, to my chance encounter with someone who taught me that I’m too blessed to be stressed, to my discovery of Gabby Bernstein‘s book Spirit Junkie (I should make a 2013 resolution to finally do a vlog review), I have made major strides this past year in my mission (ongoing since August 2010) to overcome disordered food/fitness-related thoughts. Coming clean on this blog about the fact that they even exist in my mind was a huge step, and the support I have received from you all has moved me to tears on multiple occasions. I know there’s more work to do but I also know I’ve come a long way. I don’t think a year ago I would have been able to enjoy many of the special experiences this blog and life in general have brought me in 2012, that’s for sure.

Martini not labeled “skinny” by the menu, and a flatbread ordered without saying “light cheese”? Never would have happened a year ago.

Leftover pumpkin pie and Spirit Junkie – to me, these two things go together well.

2. Gaining an appreciation for my family I never had before. After this past year I can truly say that my family members are my best friends. I never truly understood how much above himself my father places me, my mom, and my siblings. I never truly the lengths my mom will go to make sure I am comfortable and as de-stressed as possible. My sister is one of the few people I know who I can count on to tell it like it is and be truly honest with me, even if it means saying what I don’t want to hear. My relationship with my younger teenage brother has even improved from barely exchanging any words to small conversations. We’ll get there.

Sup classy Croswell siblings?

Best friends, parents, and drinking buddies!

3. Making new friends… I could go on for an entire post about the new, wonderful people I have met (both virtually and in “real life”) due to my entry into the blog world. In fact, I already have. Yes, I started this blog in 2011, but 2012 was the year it really took off and hence the year I made the most connections. I met bloggers I’d known of since I started reading blogs myself in 2009, and had plenty of “starstruck” moments.

Courtney of Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life – she has a baby on the way now!

LITERALLY the 2nd blog I ever found…love you Carla!

Me, Katie of Healthy Diva Eats (now expecting!), and Heather!

Gettin sillay with Julie!

I met bloggers who ended up becoming close friends. I never thought I would share so many of my deepest feelings and thoughts with people I had met over the Internet, but I have and I am a better person for it.

You knew this would be the first pic, right?

Meeting my twino Meg was a dream come true!

Pretty sure I crushed these Canadian beauties with love when I met them at HLS!

Kelly is such a sweetheart and I’m so thankful to have met this fellow Greek lova!

I have connected with fellow CT residents with similar interests, passions, and lifestyles as mine. Meeting any new friend online is great, but meeting a friend online who I can meet up with in person on a regular basis? Even BETTER.

Me and Jenny the night we first met – brought together by our love Heather!

The General Manager (Jason) and Exec Chef (Adam) of Barcelona in West Hartford!

Kat is the BEST. She hooks me up with fun event opportunities and is always down to join me in foodie ventures.

My favorite bartender and good friend Andres!

Maria – my blend, friend, and twin!

Anna is a bartender at Barcelona and a fabulous, fashionable social media maven of CT!

4. …but keeping the old. I have also learned in my first full post-college year who the friends are that I am going to have for many years to come. Some still live ten minutes away from me (or even ten seconds when she’s home from school…hello Molly!), and some are several states away. But we will always find ways to reconnect, and when we do, we will feel no time has passed.

Lidia and I will NEVER stop taking pics like this.

Me and Jeff on one of our many foodie ventures. Source.

Kim and I before dinner at Chops N Catch!

Me and Joe at our fave spot, Market Grille.

My beautiful friend Rachel before our Boston booze cruise!

Best friends for years, finally of legal drinking age together!

5. Attending blog conferences. I was fortunate enough to have TWO major blogging conferences visit cities near me in 2012, and you bet I took advantage and attended both! Firstly, BlogHer 2012 showed me just how independent I really am and can be. I signed up to attend by myself, and found a room with 3 other total strangers, without any hesitation. Just goes to show you the courage that passion can give you; it was as if I had tunnel vision and all I could see what the excitement of the conference, and no uncertainties that may have surrounded it. I learned so much about blogging, myself, and of course, New York City restaurants!

Trying Physique 57 with co-founder Tayna Becker as an instructor was a once in a lifetime experience! Source.

The expo had plenty of fun moments with my favorite brands!

Attending panels with Natasha (Social Media for Physique 57) was a blast!

I got to conclude my NYC trip with a visit to Chobani Soho and a pilates class with Meredith!

And of course the Healthy Living Summit in Boston was made all the more special by the fact that I experienced it all with Heather by my side, and had the chance to give HUGE hugs to some of the bloggers I mentioned above who have become such sturdy pillars of support in my life.

After a delicious dinner hosted by Chobani!

Hangin’ with the Reebok trainers 😉 after our Crossfit WOD.

Meeting Becki and hearing her honest, genuine thank you for my Amazing Me post was one of the best moments of my life!

6. FitFluential events. In the same whirlwind week in May, my position as a FitFluential Ambassador brought me two special opportunities that made me really realize how far my blog had taken and would continue to take me. Firstly, I attended Fitness Magazine’s first ever Meet ‘n Tweet in New York City. I met the Editor-in-Chief and many of those aforementioned “big bloggers” I’d been admiring for so long. I found out that many of them are just as genuinely sweet and caring as their blogs portray.

So glad my first hug ever with Katie was documented!

Me, Heather, and Meredith at the event! Thanks Meredith for the pic!


Heather, me, Nicole, Michele, and Cat the genius!

Secondly, I visited Reebok’s World HQ in Canton, MA and today can say that few other days have ever made me feel so special. As a marketing nerd, I got a HUGE kick out of being asked my opinion by such a major brand about both current and future product offerings. Winning a $100 Reebok gift card wasn’t so bad either, and I got to try two new-to-me workouts, Crossfit and a hip-hop cardio dance routine! Reebok also gifted us all with an incredible amount of swag.

Caleb may or may not have been my favorite part of the Crossfit WOD.

After learning cardio dance from Ilyse Baker!

7. Celeb status. I cannot tell a lie, I ogle over celebrities. They do not even have to be big-time stars (SPEAKING OF WHICH, I just have to express my shock over the Kim/Kanye pregnancy…OK I won’t mention it again, but $1000 says the baby’s name will start with a K…okay now I’m done). If they are just stars in my often-nerdy eyes, that’s all that matters right? I certainly had the chance to meet some amazing people this year, and one of them even read my blog!

I met an NPR god, John Dankosky, at the CT Forum!

He even read my blog!

He even read my blog!

I never thought during the elementary school days of reading about Mia Hamm in our weekly readers (anyone else have those?) that I’d meet her!

Silly pic session with Neil DeGrasse Tyson before the CT Forum!

Met Audrina of The Hills at MGM Grand Foxwoods Liquid Sunday!

I happened to dine at Jasper White’s Summer Shack in Mohegan Sun on a night Jasper himself was there!

The Tone It Up trainers, Karina and Katrina! I met them at the Oakley store in Times Square!

And do you recall…the most famous Kate Plus 8 of all….

KATE PLUS 8 meets CAIT PLUS ATE. Blowin’ your mind.

8. New foods! I added plenty of food to my ever-expanding list of veggies, fruits, meats, everything that I like. There’s the “weird” stuff, like tongue…


…and sardines.

There’s also the stuff you probably can’t believe I didn’t like already, like apples….

Apples were part of the last thing I ate in 2012!

….raspberries and blackberries…..

…and ahi tuna.

Monstrous tuna at Perro Salado in Newport!

9. Major, major MBA progress. 2012 is the year in which I found out that I will be able to graduate with my MBA in May 2013! That’s due in large part to my drive and willingness to take as many classes as I could during both summer and winter breaks. Now that I’ve got an end-date on the horizon, I can’t help but feel tempted to do lots of pondering about what the future holds for me post-graduation. I have to consciously reel in my future-tripping and focus on doing well in my remaining classes! Currently I’m taking a Marketing & Communications class online and obviously am loving it. The textbook is a blast to read.

I owe it all to Daybreak coffee.

10. Being officially recognized as a cocktail connoisseur. I am a self-proclaimed cocktail snob, but being asked to help judge the Coventry Farmers’ Market Farm-to-Shaker CT Bartender Challenge was like being told I have a “rep” as a girl who knows a good drink. Having confidence that you are good at something is wonderful on its own, but having that confidence validated in some way is a-freaking-mazing!

The judges – Signature David, Adam of Onyx Spirits, JD of Ripe Craft Bar Juice, and moi!

11. Getting some official blog recognition. I’m currently nominated for the Best of Hartford 2013 awards as Best Twitterer and Best Blogger. This blog was recommended in Whole Foods Magazine, and featured on the Fitness Magazine website. All of that STILL shocks me but is also pretty damn cool 🙂

My feature and me!

12. Fab-to-the-ulous vacations. From Newport to Baltimore to Orlando to Palm Beach…I was fortunate enough to travel to many cool places to wine, dine, work out, tan, shop, and just explore.

Me and Jeff at Fluke Wine Bar in Newport, about to eat rabbit and octopus!


Enjoying my family’s new Florida condo’s backyard…the Intercoastal Waterway!

Chillin with a Bubba Gump Shrimp in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Outside of Emeril’s Choup Chop in Orlando!

This post took me way longer to write than I thought it would. Just goes to show you that it’s easy to forget HOW LUCKY you are. So all I want to know is…

Tell me the best three things that happened to you in 2012. I bet you’ll have trouble coming up with just three.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *