It’s time for my 2019 year-end review! The end of 2019 and the start of a new decade is the perfect time to reflect on what the past year has brought, the experiences I’ve had, the things I’ve loved and the new discoveries I’ve made.

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Year in Review: Travel

This year we had two amazing trips to Virginia (Williamsburg and Virginia Beach). Since we always love to travel to places in NC, we also explored the gorgeous mountains of Asheville and beautiful, serene Bald Head Island.

Our family vacations took us to family-friendly Kiawah Island in South Carolina, and Music City itself, Nashville, TN (blog post coming soon!). Each trip was special in its own way and it’s impossible to choose just one favorite.

2019: Favorite Movies

This year I chose my favorites based on the incredible performances that I am convinced will garner these actors Academy Award nominations.

Judy– Renee Zellweger WAS Judy. What an incredible look into this legend’s life.

Joker– Joaquin Phoenix in a career defining role with such depth I had to see the movie twice to take notes.

Knives Out -An all -star cast with fantastic performances all around.

Other favorites included The Irishman, Little Women and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

2019: Favorite Binge-Worthy Series

I might have overdone it a bit on the TV watching this year. I blame the streaming services that make it so easy to binge watch to your heart’s content.

These shows had me wishing for rainy Sundays just so we’d have an excuse to stay in.

Amazon Prime

  • Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Jack Ryan
  • Fleabag


  • The Crown
  • Ozark
  • The Act
  • Handmaid’s Tale
  • Killing Eve
  • Pen15

2019: Favorite New Spots Around Town

Life and the living in Raleigh was good this year. 2019 was the year that brought us a southern Wegman’s supermarket (Yay to the Woot!), fabulous new restaurants and great local shops. My 2019 Year in Review wouldn’t be complete with some of the new spots I discovered this year. I love them all.

Wegman’s– I can’t say enough about this magnificent store that makes shopping such a pleasure.

Spanglish– I fell in love with this adorable spot in Durham that is perfect for delicious and authentic Puerto Rican fare with a flare!

Raleigh Rolls– Rolled ice cream makes my heart go pitter patter and this spot located in the Morgan Street Food Hall serves up my favorite: Benelux Biscoffee!

Che Empanadas– Another food hall pick, Che, located inside Transfer Food Hall delivers scrumptious empanadas served up fresh and warm. They are craving worthy.

Kō än– A decadent fine dining experience and trylu inspires Asian cuisine. A great lunch and dinner option for foodies. Don’t miss the amazing desserts.

Dry Bar-This blow dry bar serves up great blow outs and a fun atmosphere that caters to stay at home mamas and corporate ladder climbing women alike. An hour here will leave you feeling like you can conquer the world.

Stir-This hot spot serves up delicious craft cocktails and artisanal ice that is hand cut to compliment each. I especially love the $1.00 Mimosas on the weekends from 10:30am-2:30pm.

2019: Career

This year had challenges and exciting opportunities. I was fortunate enough to make my first successful (solo) directorial debut with a David Mamet play that I’ve always dreamed of staging.

In my blogging life I’ve continued teaming up with amazing local partners. I have loved spreading the word about amazing events, venues and experiences in the Triangle and beyond.

I had the opportunity to learn from fearless local entrepreneurs and entertainers at conferences and even toured some of the most beautiful North Carolina farms with the NC Farm Bureau to promote their Gate to Plate initiative. My writing was also featured in published articles for ABC11 and Scary Mommy.

My 2019 Career: Year in Review ends with a huge bang; See Ya Tamara made a Top 20 Raleigh Blogs to Follow list! We made it by the skin of our teeth entering the list at #20 but I am ever so grateful.

2019: Personal/Family

2019 has been a difficult one as I have faced the illnesses of several family members as well as the passing of my dear grandmother. To say that my heart was broken by loss seems such an understatement and I learned valuable lessons about love and loss, the process of grief, and the importance of friends and family.

On a brighter note (or maybe not so bright)), my oldest has begun his college search in preparation for next year’s fall applications. It has been great fun visiting North Carolina college campuses with him and learning about the incredible resources each has. We are so lucky to live in a state that offers so many fantastic higher education options. I’m glad he won’t be too far from home.

My youngest danced in the Nutcracker ballet at Christmas time and my two other girls continued to surprise me all year with new interests and meaningful friendships with each other and with me.

2019: Life Summary

2019 hasn’t been the very best year personally, but it’s certainly been one of true growth. I’ve been stretched and challenged and tried both professionally and personally and have come out on the other side stronger, wiser and more motivated than ever. I am confident that 2020 and the new decade will bring many opportunities for new partnerships, new friendships and new successes.

Cheers to 2020!

Sign off See Ya Tmara

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PS-Did you enjoy my 2019 Year in Review? Which of my favorites do you plan on checking out in 2020?