2013 Reflections (plus a BIG recipe collage!)


Looking back at 2013 and a collage of 123 recipes

2013 Reflections from Chocolate Moosey

2013 – where have you gone? Here I am, sitting here reflecting back on these past 12 months. I grieved, I laughed, I traveled, I struggled. All emotions I’m sure we all experienced this past year. I’m not sure what to expect in the next year. Maybe I’ll figure out what to do with my life. Maybe I’ll start a new chapter in a new town. 2014 both thrills and scares me, and I’m not sure what to do next. While I figure that out, I wanted to reflect a little on 2013, mainly so this time next year I can look back and see how far I’ve come. And I thought it would be fun to put together all 123 recipes I made this year into one GIANT collage.

I think I’m justified in saying that 2013 has been one of the worst years ever for me because in January, we had to put Murray down. It still feels like yesterday, telling him goodbye and trying to beat the snowstorm. We almost didn’t make it to the vet that morning because the roads were getting icy. Every day I think about him. Every. Single. Day. Christmas was quiet this year. No playing Catzilla under the tree or eating the tree skirt. No sitting in Baby Jesus’ manger or chewing tree branches. No walking on all the gifts just so he can get to the other side on Christmas morning. It’s almost like losing a child.

Life Upside Down

2013 also brought me some high points. Chocolate Moosey is really taking off. As you probably noticed, I’m starting to work with brands on sponsored posts. I know that can be a slippery slope for readers, trying to judge between honesty and spokesperson. Truth is it’s all genuine and won’t do a sponsored post just for the money. I do it because I believe in the products and the companies behind them. Some products I used before the brands approached me – PAM, Kraft, Grandma’s Molasses. Others are new to me and I’m willing to try – Frei Brothers Reserve (I enjoy wine and they believe in sustainability), American Family Insurance (not a food company, but they believe in family time around the dinner table). I can’t tell you how many products I own by OXO because they honestly do last.

I have to monetize my site to help me earn money to pay for server costs and ingredients, but that won’t change the content or my voice on CM. I want to thank every single one of you reading this, whether you read every new post or whether you quickly stopped by from Pinterest, for your support. Every time you visit, every time you comment, like, share, or pin, every time you make one of my recipes, it makes me want to keep making and sharing.

And could I ask you all a favor? Come talk to me. Tell me you made one of my recipes or that you have a question. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to get to know you more. After all, I wouldn’t be growing without all of you.

Biggest Design Project

With that, I thought it would be fun to do mini collages of all my posts for the past year. I counted, and there’s 123 recipes! That sure is a lot of butter.

Chocolate Moosey's 2013 Recipe Collage

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  1. Happy New Year, dearest Carla! I know 2013 has been a tumultuous year for you. I’m here for you, girl, and I know that 2014 is going to be better. This is your year. Believe, keep doing what you’re doing and things will fall into place. You are so incredible and talented. Hell, look at this amazing collage! That’s a lot of flour, butter and sugar. I wish I could eat my way through all of it! All the best, Nancy.

    • Maybe 2014 will be the year for both of us! I hope 2014 becomes the year of change for me because we both know I need it. Hope you’re having fun on vacation. Happy New Year, Nancy!

  2. No apple cider cinnamon rolls in the collage???? These were the best. I bought the small disposable loaf pans and placed two rolls in each pan and baked them in sets of two. They made the perfect little hostess gift at Christmas for my friends who live alone. They freeze well also.

  3. Way to go, Carla! I know you’ve had struggles, disappointments, and grief but your perseverance will pay off in the end.

  4. So many lovely recipes. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  5. Carla *hugs* i adore you and this blog post!

  6. Cheryl illinois says:

    You ask us to keep in touch so here goes. I know very much what it feels like to lose a beloved pet. I was not ready (or so I thought) when 2 new 3 year old cats that had been raised together presented themselves to us thru a series of not so coincidental incidents,. We have fallen in love and so have they, It WILL happen for you,too. I love your site! It was the first blog I ever went to when my Daughter told me about cooking blogs.I have tried several of your recipes with great success.I do understand your need to hook up with some companies and I trust you when you say nothing will change.So there it is…….keeping in touch. Thanks for everything and a great healthy and happy new year to you and those you love.

    • Thanks for sharing, Cheryl. I know someday I’ll get another cat, but my goal for 2014 is to move closer to a more populated area, so I want to wait until after that happens. Hopefully soon. Thanks for your support! Happy New Year :)

  7. Looks like you had a delicious year, all things considered. Here’s hoping 2014 is much better to you, Carla!

  8. 123 recipes of awesome! Not surprised you included Murray, as I did about Ebi. Oh, what an impact they have on our lives. Here’s to another delicious 12 months! Happy New Year, Carla!

    • Yes, I read yours about Ebi as well. I don’t think there will ever be a day we won’t think about them. The pain will lessen, but the memories will never go away. Here’s to us in 2014. Happy New Year, Amy!

  9. Noe THAT is a collage – awesome! Losing a pet is like losing a member of the family, I lost my Moses this year, too. Hopefully they’re playing together in kitty heaven. I’m excited to see what 2014 brings. Happy New Year, Carla!

  10. Carla,
    A very thoughtful and real post, Carla! Peach pie filling is my favorite of yours this year–and I was able to feed my spouse a summer peach pie after he redeployed last month.
    I’ve enjoyed following your work in 2013. Looking forward to 2014!

    • That makes me smile, Kirsten. Happy New Year! And I’ll be stopping by your blog more often to incorporate more vegetables into my diet :)

  11. wOOt!! I love seeing your posts and your inspiring recipes on #SundaySupper. You’ve been an amazing friend and colleague and I wish you nothing but the best this year – you deserve it!

  12. Love the picture of Murray! Such a BEAUTIFUL cat!! Hope 2014 is a great year for you! Can’t believe you had 123 recipes this year!! OMG I feel like such a slacker! LOL

  13. Wow Carla I love seeing all your posts in one collage! What an incredible accomplishment and trip down memory lane. Wishing you the best of everything in 2014 and can’t wait to see what you’ll whip up next!

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