Hello and Happy New Year, friends!!

It’s my favorite time of year! The time to reflect on the year that’s just eeking behind us and set forth big goals for the new year.

This past year has had its ups and downs for me.

In March, our families joined us at the courthouse to officially welcome Riley into the family when her adoption was finalized! She had been in our care for 581 days after arriving home from the hospital while we awaited the court to make it official. Kyle and I were completely overjoyed and overcome with the amount of love shared for our little girl.

Riley's Adoption Day 2019

Just a few days before Riley’s adoption date, I was informed that I was being laid off from my job. It didn’t come as a huge shock to me since I’ve known for years that my position lacked research funding but the timing was fairly poor.

Kyle and I made the decision that day that I would not return to work so that I could work on this site full-time. And what a wonderful decision that has been!

I was completely burned out of working a 9-5 office job with a 2 ½ hour round-trip commute each day. My job no longer filled me with excitement and I had been desperate for a change for some time (i.e., years).

It thrills me to say that my time spent at home over the past 7 months working to create recipes for you on Smells Like Home has been nothing short of fantastic!

I’ve been able to tap into a creative side of myself that has been neglected for years and I’ve pushed my boundaries further than I thought possible while focusing on improving my photography skills.

In addition to working on SLH, I’ve taken on a few blogger clients for whom I now cook/bake and photograph recipes for their sites. This has become a great “side gig” to the work I do for my own blog and I’ve absolutely LOVED working with these bloggers to bring their recipes to life in photographs.

Kyle and I have also made a gigantic life decision to sell our home in Connecticut and make the move to coastal Maine that we’ve been dreaming of for years. We’ve almost exclusively vacationed in Maine since 2009 and we truly cannot wait to make the Pine Tree State our home in 2020.

We’ve been back and forth to Maine a few times in the last year visiting and researching areas we’re considering for our next home. We’ll put our house on the market in a couple of months and hope to be in Maine by the summer!

Our plan for this move was also a result of my layoff so it’s like the stars aligned for us in 2019. We’ve decided to take risks that will change the course of life for our family and we could not be more excited for where the new decade will take us.

As we bounce our way into 2020 this week, it’s also time for me to wrap up my year on SLH with the 10 biggest reader favorite recipes from the past year.

These are your favorite NEW recipes from 2019. Most of the top 10 most popular recipes on the site continue to be older recipes, so rather than continuing to pepper you with those older recipes, I always think it’s fun to see what new recipes trended best with you from the past year.

I wish you joy, peace, and delicious food in this new decade ahead of us. I hope you love what you’ll be seeing here and have fun with your families and friends making these recipes in your own kitchens.

And as always, THANK YOU for being a part of my life here, for making and sharing my recipes, for leaving reviews and asking questions, and for being a fantastic group of readers. You are the ones who make blogging so much fun and I appreciate you so much! Cheers!!

2019 Top 10 Reader Favorite Recipes

These are the top 10 favorite NEW recipes with Smells Like Home readers in 2019! The list below is in descending order of popularity from #10 to #1.

Reader Favorite Lists from Past Years

we love to see what you make!

tag what you make with #smellslikehomeblog on Instagram and follow along with me in my New England kitchen!

@smellslikehomeblog
  • Maryam
    January 3, 2020 at 10:18 AM

    Congrats on an exciting year! I am loving all of the new and more frequent recipes from your blog, it’s great you have a job that makes you happy and you can stay home with your daughter!

    • Tara
      January 3, 2020 at 11:24 AM

      Thank you, Maryam!! So happy to hear you’re loving my new recipes! I’ve got LOTS more coming in 2020!!

  • Alex
    January 7, 2020 at 12:33 PM

    I just wanted to say how happy I am that we’re getting more posts from you these days because I love your writing, stories, and recipes! Congratulations on your exciting year from another person moving to coastal NE this year—Cape Cod to be exact!

    • Tara
      January 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM

      Thank you so much, Alex!! And congrats on your move too! I’ve never been to the Cape but it looks SO beautiful! Where are you moving from?

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