The Best of the Best of 2013

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Warning: This post will contain more than just books and food. Don’t worry, it will have those things but sprinkled with some other entertainment mediums, memories, and hot guys!

As most people when New Year’s is approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year. 2013 has been a year of ups and downs for me. Unfortunately, this year will always been known as the year I lost my favorite person in the entire world, my grandmother. But for all the heartache 2013 brought, there are also a lot of great things I have to look back on. I went on an amazing trip to Mexico with my sisters, nephew, and brother-in-law. I also went on a 9-day road trip with a good friend to six states I’d never been to before. It was an exhilarating trip. I recommend everyone go on at least one road trip in their life.

I’ve also seen a lot of great movies, read some terrific books, and ate some delicious food throughout the year. Here are some of my bests of 2013.

Top Movies

This list may not necessarily contain the best films of the year but it does contain the best films that I’ve seen this year.

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1. Gravity – This movie is fantastic but it is not what I would classify as an enjoyable one. It is beautiful but so realistic that it gave me a bit of anxiety. I felt like I was actually trapped in space.
2. Blackfish – Oh boy! Be prepared to cry. This documentary about killer whales will make you never want to go to SeaWorld!
3. The Heat – How can you go wrong with a film starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy? You can’t. This movie is hilarious!
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – By now you guys already know how I feel about Catching Fire. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to!
5. The Wolf of Wall Street – This movie is classic Scorsese. If you’ve loved any of his other films, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Top Hotties

Sometimes we all need to be a little shallow. There isn’t much substance to this list. But I will say that while I am adding all these guys to the list because of their hotness, they are all extremely talented as well.

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1. Tom HiddlestonThis. Guy. I. Can’t. Even. Deal. I don’t even need to say anything. Those links speak for themselves.

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2. Henry Cavill – I’ll admit that I had no idea who Henry Cavill was before he was cast as Superman. Well I came out of that movie theatre thinking, “Where the heck have you been all my life?” He is beautiful.

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3. Justin Timberlake – JT will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve been a fan since his ramen noodle hair days.

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4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Joseph Gordon-Levitt just seems like an all around awesome guy. He’s charming, talented, and adorable!

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5. Ryan Gosling – Hey girl, it’s the internet’s favorite hot guy! Internet, you and I definitely agree on this one.

Top Books

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1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon – This book is awesome! It’s one of those books you want to keep going and going. If it never ended, I would have been OK with that.
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – So it took me a really long time to finally read this book. I guess it was never required reading in my high school English class. But I’m glad I finally read it, and I loved it. It’s a classic for a reason.
3. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn – This book was not only one of the most imaginative books I read this year, it’s one of the most imaginative books I’ve read ever.
4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – This book is pure, unadulterated geek candy and I could not get enough of it!
5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – This book is friggen nuts. The ending is crazy, all the characters are insane, but I could not put it down. It was probably the most addictive book I read this year.

Top Meals

I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I love food. Whether I’m cooking it myself, enjoying a home cooked meal prepared by someone else, or dining out, I cannot get enough of food! Eating really is one of my favorite pastimes. Here are the best things I’ve made this year.

1. Spinach Artichoke Chicken 
2. Vanilla Pecan Cake with Buttercream Frosting 
3. Wonton Jalapeno Poppers
4. Crème Brûlée
5. Pepperoni and Soppressata Pinwheels

Top Moments

1. Watching Under the Dome. This show was actually pretty ridiculous. The writing was horrendous and the acting was comical. But I loved every minute of watching this show throughout the summer. I randomly sat down to watch it with my grandmother when it first premiered. We both hated it but couldn’t stop watching. Every week it became our thing. We would DVR it Monday night, then watch it when I came home from work Tuesday. By the summer, my grandmother’s cancer had gotten worse. She rarely left the house. Spending every Tuesday night watching Under the Dome is one of the last memories I have of my grandma, and for that it became so much more than just a cheesy summer show.
2. Rocking out to real country music. I was born and raised in the city. For the longest time New York didn’t even have a country station on the radio. But somehow I grew up to LOVE country music. Nashville, TN was the third city on my road trip and I immediately fell in love. We were only there for one night but made the most of it. I ate some real BBQ and rocked out to real country music in the many bars along Broadway. There were a lot of memorable moments of my road trip but Nashville stands out as one of the best.
3. Mother’s Day. I never give gifts for Mother’s Day. My sisters and I started a tradition a while back to take my mother and grandmother out for Mother’s Day instead of buying a present. The memories we’ve made during these outings have lasted a lot longer than flowers ever could. This year was probably one of the best Mother’s Day outings we’ve ever had. A few days after Mother’s Day, we took my grandmother and mother to Bayou, one of the best restaurants on Staten Island. It was one of the last few times I can remember my grandmother going out to eat and enjoying a full meal.
4. This Blog. While I’ve worked on blogs before, this was the first time I created a blog of my own and stuck with it. I want to thank everyone who has ever visited my blog, commented or followed. It truly means so much to me.  It has been so much fun and I cannot wait to bring you even more books and food in 2014.

Happy New Year Everyone! 

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