A belated Happy New Year to all of you.  This is my 100th post and as I’m just back to blogging after a few months off, it feels like an apt time to review 2012.

Coffee & Cakes (and all things food related) aka 50 Shades of Pleasure :

Over the last year I’ve had the pleasure of eating and drinking in some stunning venues – from local eateries in Karama and Satwa to the splendors of a desert retreat at Al Maha and fabulous camp cooking eaten in a mess tent on Mount Kilimanjaro.  I’ve cooked at home and taken part as a contestant at a few external events, I’ve also been to quite a few food demonstrations and cooking competitions.

I’ve visited some great trade shows as well as attended events open to the public including the International Fine Food Festival and the Tea and Coffee Festival as well as Taste Dubai and been amazed at the range and variety of food and treats available.

I’ve met Antonio Carluccio – he’s cheeky and charming, as well as met the team at Coffee Planet and Retro Coffee who are even more passionate about coffee than me.  I’ve made numerous banoffee pies for various events and functions and of course for my gym buddies, and was even cheeky enough to take some to Al Maha for Chef David Miras and his team to sample.

I’ve been an Ambassador for the Meridien Hotel and Barakat and attended many events organised by Tweetup Dubai which has joined up my love of eating, drinking and meeting new people and of course tweeting.

Running (and exercise) aka 50 Shades of Pain

The year started off with a 10k and half marathon with both times being quicker than the year before and both events bringing me some new fitness friends brought together through the power of twitter.  My quest to get fitter continued mostly at MMA Fitness Centre where I took part in various classes from yoga, ClubEnergize Fitness Kickboxing, Boxing, Muay Thai and TRX.  Outside of the gym I’ve done various boot camps on the beach (JBR at 6 am rocks !), Pilates and Bikram Yoga.  My fitness journey peaked literally when I summited the 4th highest peak in the world – Mount Kilimanjaro in August.

I also shared with you details of my transformation from how I got fat through to my surgeries and how I got fitter.

Fill a Blue Belly

One of the major highlights of the year, has to be the project started by @MotiRoti which harnessed the power of twitter, Facebook and our contacts as the team raised funds and food/drink donations to feed 175 + labourers every day throughout the month of Ramadan.  Inspirational, rewarding, humbling, thought provoking – words aren’t enough to cover the month we spent working on that project.  I’ve made friends for life through that experience and hope we can do something again in 2013.

Social Media

From a blog point of view, I’ve published 100 posts.  Had over 20,000 views and you guys have left over 200 comments.  It seems that I’m most active on my blog at 11 am and that you equally like reading my food and exercise articles as much as reading about days out and about.  The RTA, MMA Fitness Center, Juan’s Salon, Coffee Planet, Sino Chai, The Meridien, The Address and Gok Wan’s websites being the most visited after you’ve read my blog as well as links to Facebook and Twitter.

And all of this from a challenge I gave myself – to set up a website and start blogging whilst recovering from some major surgery.  To be honest, I never thought anyone would read what I wrote so I’m flattered and honored that people do.

Aside from my blog I’ve set up a few Facebook pages – CoffeeCakesAndRunning and also DiMoja (a Kilimanjaro team page).  I’ve also been fairly active on Twitter and my 25,000th post will be coming up shortly.

I was also honoured to join Fooderatia Arabia a place for food bloggers across the UAE and have met some great foodies at various events as well as read some amazing food blogs from passionate foodies from across the globe.

Throughout all of this I’ve come across some great people, made some great friends, made some great contacts.  Tasted some amazing food, drunk lots of amazing coffee, wine and champagne and have had fun to say the least!

Here’s to another year of Coffee Cakes and Running

or should I say another

                      year of 50 Shades of Pleasure and Pain         

  • I’m Back ! From the Heart (coffeecakesandrunning.me)

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