A New Year

Another year has come and gone and what an eventful year 2010 turned out to be.  If life continues to climb this uphill trek of love success and happiness I may consider myself to be the luckiest person in the world, but let's not jinx it quite yet.  Though the year seemed to have flown by in a blink of an eye, I am thankful for the memorable events that have occurred along with the many life lessons learned to benefit me for a lifetime.

A goodbye to a special man who's kindness inspired others, a rekindled friendship I could never live without, a new chapter through adulthood (yes, it is scary).  A new home to call our own, a discovery of my love for teaching music, a farewell to my mother who finally returns to her home (Shanghai) after 25 years. An exploration of my true self and turning my passion into an actual career, an awareness of the importance of eating good food and a realization that life is what you make it to be.

I've had Joylicious for about a year now and every day I am thankful for Collin, because if it weren't for him I would've never started this blog.  This blog has resulted in so many opportunities for me in 2010 -- a trip to New York with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter,  a year's supply of eggs from Eggland's Best for my recipe, a publication in the December issue of Elle Girl Korea, and being one of the grand prize winners for the POM Party Contest.  But it's not the prizes or money that drives me to nourish this blog week after week but for my awesome readers and for all the people I've met and become friends with as a result.  Because of this blog I've not only made friends with many people in Dallas but all over the United States and the World -- so thank you all for your continued support, inspiration and love.

I apologize for my month long hiatus, between traveling, family and the holidays -- it left little time for my mind to calm down and photograph and write something meaningful. (Btw, all photographs shown on this post is from my cruise through the Caribbeans during December) But now I'm back and ready to attack and I've set some resolutions for my blog this year.  I will begin featuring more basic tutorials to help beginners feel more acclimated in the kitchen, I will also try to increase my posting schedule to 2x a week opposed to 1 (keep your fingers crossed on this one).  I've also set goals to update things around the website so look out for new changes as well as feature healthier recipes, sadly this may mean less desserts.

As for my personal resolutions, Collin and I will begin our first organic garden in the Spring and begin to raise our own chickens so I look forward to sharing my journey with that.  I've also begun a new project called Project 365 where a photograph is taken everyday to showcase events,inspirations, etc I will encounter throughout the year.  I've made a promise to myself to treat my body better through exercise, meditation and healthier eating habits.  I will push myself to generate a bigger positive influence in my community through educating others about the importance of eating well as well as volunteering as a piano player at local organizations.  Last but not least, I will strive to become a better partner, a better daughter and a better friend.

I am really looking forward to discovering 2011 -- through photography, through travel and most importantly through love.  After 3 years of being engaged, Collin and I have finally figured out what we're doing for our wedding.  The result is completely out of order but in my opinion it's what makes the entire experience freaking awesome.  In April-May we'll be embarking on a 2 week European tour through Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands which will be our honeymoon.  THEN we'll be having our wedding Oct 29,2011 -- that's right folks Joy Zhang and Collin Wells are having a freaking HALLOWEDDING, get ready for it because it's going to kick ass :) (All guests are REQUIRED to come in costume).  Somewhere in between we'll be sticking in Shanghai, Los Angeles, Napa Valley, Lapeer and possibly Boston and Denver. WHEW it's going to be a great year!  

It was nice to have a prolonged break -- sometimes we all need time to ourselves to free our minds to clear and reset our energies.  Our cruise through the Carribeans surely did help -- we embarked on a 7 day cruise and stopped at St.Maarten, St. Thomas and Turks and Caikos.  The beaches were absolutely stunning and the local food was lovely.  The crew (Shout out to Aleksander!) was friendly and it was fun hanging out with them and the food on the cruise ship had beautiful presentation.  I went on the galley tour through the cruise ship kitchens and was blown away by the size of the kitchens and the amount of food that the cruise ship goes through in a single week.  On an average day, the Ruby Princess will use 18 tons of food a day, yes A DAY!  I was probably responsible for consuming half a ton of that amount... -_-

It's good to be back guys, let's start the year off right :)!