Looking Back at 2010

Anastasia | Site News, interviews, journalism, profile | Tuesday, 04 January 2011

As seems to be customary these days for those who have blogs (or are generally into social media and being transparent) the beginning of the year is a great time to look back at the previous year’s successes, meditate and be grateful for them, and to start working on goals in the year to come.

Inspired by my good friend, Irene’s, 2010 re-cap, I thought I would write down some of my 2010 highlights as well. Take it from me, putting it all in writing like this sure puts things into perspective and makes it a whole lot easier to give yourself that pat on the back that perhaps you don’t do often enough.

So let’s reflect, shall we?

-Perhaps my biggest achievement this year was planning and implementing Women’s Post’s 2nd Annual Charity Fashion Show. Proceeds went towards the Women of Baycrest (an incredible organization focused on women’s brain health that REALLY should be getting more press in my opinion) and it was a glamourous and fun evening full of vintage fashions, high-end catering, tons of swag and a whole lot of schmoozing for 400 people. Coming from a journalism background, event managing wasn’t something I was entirely confident in when I was hired to do the job, but considering how much I learned about building business relationships, negotiating deals, promoting ticket sales, managing employees and interns and simply making sure the job got done as smoothly as possible regardless of inevitable bumps along the way, this event was the most challenging yet most satisfying thing I’ve done all year. I am so proud of myself for successfully throwing my biggest party ever:)

-A show I’ve been producing over the last couple of years, Naked Wine Show, was picked up by Food Network Canada for its digital property and re-branded as “Grape Notes.” Instead of a weekly show, we’re now producing about 20-25 episodes a month, ranging from wine reviews, How To’s, Top 5 lists and even Memory Notes (where our host, Susan, teaches you how to find certain scents and tastes commonly found in wine, like apples or dirt). Needless to say, I’m loving all the wine knowledge (and tastings!). TOTAL job perks.

-Interviewing and profiling interesting people is one of my absolute favourite things to do. I love getting to know individuals and hearing their stories. It probably explains why I enjoy reading memoirs as much as I do. Luckily, I’ve gotten to interview a lot of interesting people this year, but my two favourites have to have been Marvel’s Stan “The Man” Lee and Nadia G (host of Food Network’s Bitchin Kitchen). They both have such distinct personalities and twisted senses of humour:) Although, getting serenaded by Matt Dusk comes at a close third!

-Among my bag of tricks, PR seems to be something else I have a knack for and really enjoy. Between my social media experience, journalism background and understanding of PR, I worked as a freelance publicist with CL Communications and helped strategize and implement a national publicity plan for speed dating company, FastLife.ca. We obtained international coverage through Reuters, CP24, NOW Magazine, CanadaAM, Dragon’s Den and even Rachel Ray for a fun Valentine’s story about “Flitter.” It certainly snowballed into something bigger than we started with, but that’s always the goal with PR, isn’t it? The more buzz, the better.

-On a journalistic level, I’ve expanded my reach by freelancing for various publications and networks. Some of my favourite experiences have included blogging for CBC.ca during TIFF 2010, profiling indie filmmakers for BlogTO, interviewing and getting a piece picked up by the Financial Post.

-Visited British Columbia for the first time…in my life. Sad, I know. But I got to check out Vancouver, Whistler AND Okanagan and I am SOLD. I’ve always been a sucker for gorgeous scenery (ie. mountains and oceans) but being in the Okanagan visiting numerous wineries definitely solidified the fact that my one of my future businesses seriously might have to include owning a winery. No jokes.

-Through the help of my dearest Walid (my inspiring fitness guru and source of willpower), I have taken my fitness to a whole new level in 2010. Given, I still have ways to go in making 2011 my most fit year ever, but 2010 is where I began to build a foundation for trying to make health and fitness a more integrated part of my life. And not just aerobics classes. I mean, weight-lifting, hardcore conditioning. It’s been painful. But SOO satisfying.

-Last but not least, my partner-in-crime, Marie, and I started “Nat&Marie,” a weekly live streaming talk show focused on online and pop culture. Ever since meeting her through Twitter almost 2 years ago, our creative energies have come up with numerous project ideas from female-oriented scripted-reality shows and portals, to travel shows, to marketing campaigns and now to a project that I believe has the potential to go very far based on the traction and interest that has been stirred in such a short period of time. Nat&Marie has grown very organically and has great plans in 2011 that involve engaging show ideas, unique social media marketing and much much more.

All in all, 2010 was a pretty awesome year. More grandiose than I thought, to be honest. As the good Doctor once said, “Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! (98 and three-quarters percent guaranteed).” And with advice like that, how can you not look at 2011 with a grin. Excelsior!


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