New Jersey Tree

Top Fives in Photos of 2010.

A recap of 2010.

Well it’s the last day of 2010! I can’t believe how quickly this year flew by! In the grand scheme of things I guess it was an OK year. While I didn’t do anything completely amazing I managed to survive the year without any catastrophes. Well, unless you count having to get all of my wisdom teeth removed.

Usually I end the year with a massive recap of everything I did. And I put together a slideshow of all my photos that I am sure I am the only one who watches.

This year I was lazy. Or maybe I just decided to use my time a little differently, so instead I will present to you my year in top fives…



A tree in New Jersey

I loved this photo I took of a tree in New Jersey. Simply because I often pay too much attention to composition and not enough to light. And I saw the light on those leaves.


MattyK on his birthday

You can’t forget this classic shot of MK from his birthday…he may have been a little inebriated…


Street Photography around Wrigley Field

I ended up not finishing this class because I never felt like going out and doing the homework for it… But I loved this photo I took for Street Photography.


Mucca Pazza at Renegade Craft Fair

I have to admit that this photo was a total mistake. I also have to admit that I totally love this photo of Mucca Pazza at the Renegade Craft Fair.


Light painting with a light up frisbee

Took this while camping at Turkey Run in Indiana. Jen and Andrew had a light-up frisbee so I set up my camera on a long exposure to capture their game.




Pan Roasted Chicken

This pan roasted chicken will forever be my favorite recipe.


BBQ Mushroom Sliders

I made these mushroom sliders when I ate vegetarian for a month. They were so delicious they kicked any burger cravings.


Chopped Salad

This may be just a salad, but this chopped salad, another vegetarian month entree, has become one of my favorite go to meals.


Thanksgiving Turkey

Successfully making a Thanksgiving turkey is always an accomplishment.


Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel — because I still can’t believe I made wiener schnitzel correctly and deliciously on my first try.




Smoked goat pizza at the Girl and the Goat

Girl and The Goat has to top my list! This is the smoked goat pizza. But all of their food was amazing.


The Three Little Pigs sandwich at The Silver Palm

Anthony Bourdain called the greatest sandwich in America. He was right. The Three Little Pigs sandwich at The Silver Palm might give you a heart attack…but at least you will die happy.


Big Slugger Nachos at Wrigley Field

I hate the Cubs…but kind of love that they offer two pounds of nachos in a helmet at Wrigley Field! I failed miserably at finishing, but it was kind of awesome to try!


Just like with Girl and the Goat, everything at The Purple Pig was delicious. And much of it fried! My favorites were the fried mussels and the Fried Manchego.


Cheddar, apple, and grilled onion on cheddar bread grilled cheese sandwich

I really don’t think I can leave off the best grilled cheese sandwich ever (cheddar, apples, and grilled onions on cheddar bread) at RedBone Willy’s Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival.




Me and Heather at our Lincoln Karaoke Birthday Party.

Started the year off with a song at Lincoln Karaoke for my and Heather’s birthdays. Private room karaoke — amazingly fun.


Baconfest Chicago

A whole festival devoted to bacon? Yes please! Baconfest Chicago was my porky, greasy heaven.


City Museum

The City Museum in St. Louis was just a giant playground…that I enjoyed despite my fear of heights!


Virginia North Carolina Road Trip

9 days. Over 3,000 miles. Driving through Virginia and North Carolina. Hanging out with the Hungry Sisters and Will. Watching Bluegrass and eating BBQ. It was one of the best road trips ever.


Kurt Halsey at Rotofugi Gallery

My favorite artist, Kurt Halsey, (who actually once drew a portrait of me) had a showing in Wicker Park so I dragged Mat along through a crazy storm to see.




Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest

Joey Chestnut winning the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest. Even though he hates me. And Kobayashi getting arrested! Even though I didn’t see it.


Ribs eating contest at Ribfest Chicago

Pat Bertoletti getting messy and winning the Chicago Ribfest ribs eating contest.


Battle of the Bhut wings eating contest

Major League Eaters taking on wings made with insanely hot Bhut Jolokia pepper.


Loose meat eating contest

Driving six hours in one day to watch a loose meat sandwich eating contest.


Vegan cupcake eating Contest

My favorite bakery hosting a cupcake eating contest down the block.



So there you have it. My 2010 in twenty-five photos, ten food experiences, five great places, and five eating contests. 2011 is just a day away and I am so ready for this new year to come. Believe me. It’s going to be a good one.

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • wendyvee
    December 31, 2010at1:35 pm

    A great re-cap. Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings 🙂

  • sadie
    December 31, 2010at6:41 pm

    awesome post & pics!

    I’m happy to have been there when you had the best sandwich ever, best grilled cheese sandwich ever, best bottle of water ever and best glass of water ever haha

    I could totally go for that grilled cheese sandwich RIGHT NOW!

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