Happy New Year! My Year in Blog.

Happy New Year! Last year I said that I had a good 2011 and was going to kick ass and take names in 2012 and so far, so good.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because it seems pointless. I make so many goals for myself all the time and that doesn’t stop at this time of year.

Last year was a big year for me. My blog grew exponentially and I met so many great new friends. I made big decisions and took bigger risks. I was happy and I was sad, but I wasn’t stagnant. In 2013 I want to take what I have started (both personally and professionally) and take it all to the next level.

2013 Year in Review Toronto

2012 was what you made of it – if it wasn’t your year, make 2013 yours! Start now!  

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2012 – My Year in Blog: 

January started off slow, but I went on a Dishcrawl and discovered some new restaurants and shared some optimism.

I learned how to code with some truly motivational women. I love the Ladies Learning Code format and hope to continue to learn with them in 2013. I have also registered for a certificate in Digital Strategy; 2013 is going to be inspiring and challenging!

I shared my current beauty must-haves (a post that I’m hoping to make a monthly feature in 2013) and went to Austin for SXSW. I showed you what I was packing, my entire day of buses, planes, and cabs to get there, and lots of fun from my trip including some share-worthy signage. I’m going back to Austin for a few weeks in 2013 to work from sunny Texas and go to SXSWi.

I shared my top tips to “Save in the City” in a contest hosted by My City Lives and won an iPad for having the tip with the biggest savings! Showing off my city-savvy living tips is a huge motivation for me to continue blogging because making the most out of city life on a budget is really important to me!

I started sharing my favourite event picks in my “RSVP” section of the blog starting with Osheaga, Edgefest, and NXNE. I also shared some fashion, beauty, and lifestyle events. I’m hoping to bring you more and more of the best events in the city, further helped by a fun partnership that came later on in October.

I started a new series on the blog called “Currently Coveting” that I am hoping to continue in 2013 as well, because let’s be honest, I always have a long wish list of things I want to buy myself.

In June things really started to heat up for me. I told you who I thought were the bands to see at NXNE and introduced you to some of my favourite artists playing the fest. I cheered on my friend Val as she launched Charming Dealights and shared one of the deals (my fave Nella Bella purses) with you.

I blogged about my adventures in laser hair removal (which I will be following up on in the New Year) and welcomed car2go to Toronto with their first VIP test drive in the city.

I also asked for your votes in the BiLLe’s Best Blogger competition (more on that later).

I took some much needed time off with a weekend in the country with my pup. I went on some adventures in a Smart car from car2go. I updated you on the BiLLe contest, which I lost a few days later. I never told you, but losing that contest actually opened up a world of opportunities for me that helped me make some major changes both personally and professionally.

And the thing I’m most proud of in the past year: I quit my job to start my own business.

In August some major changes were afoot, and I was happy and blogging way more. I went on a wine tour in Niagara with the wonderful folks at iYellow. I learned how to make my own sushi at Wabora with some great girls from Buytopia. A good friend and amazing musician played in my living room and I showed you my favourite Carly Rae Jepsen spoof.

I also started a new series called “Toronto Tips” which I hope to continue in the New Year and talked about my new work habits and my work with the Canadian Red Cross as I made the transition to working from home.

In September I shared a lot of fun experiences including Toronto Beer Quest, Toronto Beer Week events, and some more Toronto Tips.

I skipped TIFF and had trouble reconciling blogging about events while doing some really hard-hitting work with the Canadian Red Cross and I’m glad to have found a good balance between fun and making a difference in my work. I hope you get the same experience from this blog and if you’re ever sick of the lighthearted nature of this blog you can find a link to my work with the Red Cross on the right sidebar of this page.

October was a fun month for me as I announced that my Toronto Beer Week coverage was to be featured in Buze Magazine, the world’s first digital all-drinks magazine, shared my new logo and announced my partnership with Eventbrite, which I am also happy to announce will continue to grow in 2013.

I shared my suggestions for the best Halloween parties in Toronto and visited the Canadian Red Cross ERU to witness an immersive training exercise.

We all stood by with our palms on our foreheads for a social media gaffe a la Kitchenaid and I smacked my forehead on the table about some misconceptions about bloggers and product I use or feature.

November brought some changes to my budget with the help of Tiffany from She’s So Savvy and new Instagram web profiles. I announced that I would be working with Buytopia to bring you the best deals and reviews of deals they offer and saw Lord of the Flies at Lower Ossington Theatre. I was also asked to attend a U of T panel and networking event to discuss the question of whether or not print media is dead. I also got really excited about my Rdio membership (which for the record, is still awesome).

December was a bit of a blur with all of the holiday parties, planning, shopping, and a busy work load for me. The first issue of Buze Magazine featuring my writing was released and I shared some “year in social” reviews from the leaders in search and social. I tried a juice cleanse from Raw Juice Guru and made some major changes to my diet and lifestyle. I also shared my picks for the best New Year’s Eve parties and the best bubblies to toast to 2013 with.

I also hosted a 12-day contest series called #12DaysofContests and gave away tons of prizes including goodies from Kobo, Toronto Eaton Centre, Gelaskins, M for Mendocino, Cuisinart, Nella Bella, essence, Dermalogica, Hailo, Firkin Pubs, car2go, Raw Juice Guru, and Conair.

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One of the best parts about writing here are the people I get to meet and the brands and companies I form close relationships with. If you’re a regular reader you definitely know who these people and companies are. I hope to bring some more really great partnerships to the blog in 2013. I hope 2013 brings some more music, beauty, and fashion coverage for my readers.

I want to thank every single person who has ever read my blog in person, but I know that is impossible. But serious, thank you. Thank you to everyone who read, commented, shared a post, supported me and my accomplishments, and called me out when I was out of line. I still don’t know why anyone reads about what I have to say, but I am so very grateful you do!

I wish you all the very best in 2013!

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  1. January 1, 2013 / 1:43 pm

    I see you Tiny Bulldozer (it just popped in my head and may or may not ever be used again as a nickname). Looking forward to you clearing new paths to success in 2013.

    • JamieLeighTO
      January 2, 2013 / 12:27 pm

      Haha I like that nickname! I think that will be my mantra for ’13 🙂
      Thanks for coming along for the ride!!!

  2. January 1, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    Definitely an amazing year for you, Jamie 🙂 2013’s going to be ridiculously awesome for a ton of people, and I think you’re on that list for sure 🙂 Great blog to wrap the year up!

    • JamieLeighTO
      January 2, 2013 / 12:28 pm

      Thanks! You’re on my list of people to watch out for this year too 🙂 Let me know if you need a cheerleader.

      • January 2, 2013 / 12:31 pm

        “If?” You KNOW I’m never going to turn that down!

  3. ValTorontoGal
    January 2, 2013 / 7:08 pm

    well done xoxoox