2011: A Year In Review

2011: A Year In Review
January 2, 2012 Leslie Juvin-Acker

Where does the time go? When we’re in the moment, we think of how time can go by so sluggishly slow, but when we look back, we ask ourselves, where does all the time go? 2011 proved to be productive for me professionally, personally, and for the blog. I met all sorts of new people, learned a lot about a variety of topics, had a lot of fun, explored new territory, and grew as a person. Here is a year of my life in review!

January: Is she forreal? I interview author and internet sensation Katherine Chloe Cahoon and review her book The Single Girls’ Guide To Meeting European Men and I find out, indeed, Katherine is forreal and absolutely lovely on the inside and out.

My Best friend, Ana, comes to visit for two weeks. We had a blast sight seeing in Annecy and Geneva and introducing her to all my French friends so later on, she’d know who I was talking about on our two hour phone conversations. Ate at La Ferme for the first time and got tipsy on Orange Coffee vodka and a pitcher of wine, which made for an interesting attempt to slide down icy hills at La Clusaz.

February: Further exposing myself to French design, food, and culture, I begin meeting small business owners like jewelry creator Sara of Pas De Samedi Sans Bigoudi and designers, like Lucie of Little Boxes, here in Annecy, which leads me to write reviews of their business. I review Andy Brabon’s book Savoie Fayre with much success as it’s the perfect time for such hearty and delicious recipes here in the Alpes.

March: My brother, Lou, visited France for the first time and was inspired by France’s beauty and simplicity of life. Imagine brother and sister scooting around Annecy on a Peugeot scooter, running to the bus station after getting tipsy on European beers, snapping photos of Annecy’s Venetian Carnival and trying Savoyard cuisine together. Lou learns to snowboard for the first time and kicks butt just after a couple tries on the bunny slopes, which simply reminds me how crappy I am at snowboarding!

I join Andy Brabon on his photo shoots and tastings for his next book, Provencal Recipes. Mr J is in love with the bouillabaisse and the tarte Tropezienne.

April: A new friend I made in photography class, Tom, took me on a private tour of the United Nations in Geneva. I got to see his office where he’s head of archival for all their exhibits and books.

I interview Gregg Hubbard, celebrity makeup artist on makeup, beauty and his work behind the scenes at the Banana Republic fashion show. He’s a gentleman and thoughtful. I have the pleasure of telling the inspirational story of Tara Swicicki and her garden featured on her website, thegardeningmom.com. I interviewed the inspiring and passionate, Gail Crowder, on her Bringing Sexy Back conferences aimed at helping Christian women improve their marriages and intimate relationships with their husbands.

May: I take a tour of a family friend’s chateau which takes the family 18 years to restore and renovate. What a labor of love!

I interview New York City based career coach, Obi Okere, and how he helps professionals get their lives on track through finding purpose in their lives with their careers.

June: I’m entertaining out of town guests practically all of June, not without enjoying meals in my garden, shopping at the farmer’s market, and taking long afternoons on Lake Annecy’s beaches, however.

July: Hired on by Bringing Sexy Back Conferences to write their website and print copy. Great project and experience.

Start of vacation season. Taking things slow, real slow!

August: Vacationing in Cavalaire in the south of France is exactly the kind of mid-year break Mr J and I  need! Our little video on Cavalaire explains it all.

September: A busy month! Starting interviews with companies throughout the region. It comes at no surprise later on that most companies are freezing hiring in 2012 due to the fear of another global recession.

My interview with QuestionsForLiving.com is featured on their site. My interview is about life coaching and my work as a coach.

I finally get to review Andy Brabon’s second book, Provencal Recipes. We tried so many recipes and must have eaten at least 20lbs of tomatoes and garlic.

Mr J tries fly fishing for the first time and the video footage is hilarious.

I find “lost” videos of one of Mr J’s business trips, filmed on our Flip camera by his then intern, Emeric. What I find is some of the world’s best snowboarders hanging out and at play.

I review Tricked Out Media’s digital scrapbooks, they make great gifts for end of year recaps, family events, wedding photos, etc. I had fun watching my life in photographic motion.

October: My home projects pile up! Time to get on it before the year ends!

Mr J and I go with some friends to see how Gruyere cheese in made in Gruyere, Switzerland. Despite getting a ranging migraine, I did enjoy the sights and the tastes of Switzerland’s fondue cuisine before I was confined to the backseat of the SUV for the rest of the day!

November: Some French family move back to Annecy after living in the U.S.A. . It’s great to have them around, especially French family who understand both American and French mentalities!

I interview Paul Holowko, host of the TV series, Gardening Rhythms. This guy is the Alton Brown of gardening, combining science and practical know-how for smart, nature friendly gardening. He makes gardening fun and educational.

My friend Tom turned 50 and we celebrated on the plateau of Glières in a skiing refuge. I partied like a rock star and nursed a massive hangover the next day. Worth it, though.

December: A slow blogging month as I’m preparing for Christmas, our first annual Christmas party here in Annecy, and a week in Reims with the family. Ordering presents, designing gifts, doing all sorts of running around as time is quickly ticking away. I make it, though, and the 2011 ends with success!

Did you get everything you’ve wanted to accomplish done? What interesting twists and turns have you experienced? Anything memorable you want to share?