Friday, December 31, 2010

Do You Make a New Year's Resolution?

New Year's is one of my favorite holidays. I don't need to go to giant, fancy New Year's Eve party, although champagne is a must. What I love about it is waking up on New Year's Day and getting a chance to change or start over. It is a day of great opportunity.

What I have been surprised to find is that many people don't make New Year's Resolutions. I've been asking lots of people what theirs are, and more ofter than not have heard the following: "I stopped making them years ago" or "I never stick with them, so I stopped making them." I absolutely subscribe to an "to each his own" policy so I didn't push them further but I was curious to know more. Do they never resolve to do anything? And if so, how do they bring change into their life. I'm not criticizing! But for me the only way to make a change is to pick a start date and focus on the change wholeheartedly. I'm not saying this always works but that is how I roll. Or maybe they do make resolutions but they don't like the pressure of having to make them on January 1st.

So tell me! If you are making a New Year's Resolution I would love to hear it. And if not, tell me why?

Song of the Day
Today's song is Prince's 1999.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Book Club: A Year In Review

For all of you who are still enjoying time off, got an e-reader as a gift, or are stuck in the airport, I thought I would post a list of the books we read in our book club this past year. Many were absolutely fabulous reads (Adventures of K & C), some weren't really my taste (South of Broad), and one I didn't actually read (After River) Oops!

After River by Donna Milner
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Piano Teacher by Janice Lee
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What great books did you read this year?

Song of the Day
Today's song is Mika's We Are Golden, which he said was inspired by book The Magic Toyshop. Check out more songs inspired by literature here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Come Cleanse With Me

I try to start each year off with a challenge. I like to remind myself that I'm in control and can accomplish what I resolve to do. In 2009 I didn't have any sweets for six weeks and in 2010 I gave up alcohol for the month of January. My challenge for 2011 is going to be a whopper! Starting January 1st, I'll be doing the Quantum Wellness Cleanse, created by Kathy Freston.

During this cleanse you don't eat any of the following for 21 days: gluten, animal products, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. I know it may sound like I'll be starving myself but I can eat grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, and as much as I want of all of them. I was telling a very healthy friend about the cleans and she said "Cool. It is like you are pretending to be a vegan who has celiac's disease." Simple as that.

Since I've never done a cleanse like this (or any cleanse for that matter), I will be closely following Freston's book, which I have already found immensely helpful. This cleanse is not just about eating better but also includes mediation, visualization, and exercise. I want to invite you all to do the cleanse with me, although no pressure. I'll leave you with a quote from The Quantum Wellness Cleanse that got me very excited about this big challenge:
Here is the thing about wellness: it's a continuum. We get better at it as we go. We get informed, build esteem, and find what works as we keep putting one foot in front of the other. We develop new tastes and discover different and interesting foods, and move into a new rhythm. And with every day we say, "Okay, I'm bigger than my old habits," we rise to our greater selves. We soar.
Song of the Day
I keep singing this song as "Come Cleanse with Me." Please enjoy Frank Sinatra's Come Fly with Me.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How the Post Office Almost Stole Christmas

At the beginning of November I signed up for Winter Wishes, a program organized by New York Cares that provides you with a Christmas list of a local child whose family may not have a lot of money to buy presents. When you sign up they make it very clear that you are making a commitment to a child and that they don't do backups, so if you don't send a gift the child may not receive anything at all.

I was really excited about Winter Wishes. So I waited for my wish list. And I waited and waited. My letter finally arrived on December 16th. "Cutting it a little close, Winter Wishes" I thought. When I opened the envelope I was horrified to find that all gifts were to arrive by December 10th. Oh no! Little Shamel of Long Island City wasn't going to get a present and it was all my fault! Wait! It was all the Post Office's fault. The letter was post marked November 17th. It was a month late! Now I'm not usually one to call customer service and complain. I know mistakes happen. But I have to draw the line at mistakes that threaten to ruin Christmas. Not on my watch! So I called the Post Office and calmly explained how they had destroyed the holiday hopes and dreams of a little boy.

Actually holiday hopes and dreams were not destroyed. The Christmas spirits were smiling on me and Shamel. The letter with his wish list also included the phone number of his after school program. Luckily a nice woman named Veronica was still in her office at 7:30 PM. I explained to her what happened and she said that if I could get the gift there the next day I might not ruin Christmas for Shamel. Ok, that isn't what she said but that is what I heard. As I said, the Christmas spirits were smiling and I luckily had the next day off of work so I was able to buy Shamel the number one thing on his list, a ripstick (I had to Google what this was. I had no idea. Shamel is much cooler than me). I raced it out to Long Island City, arriving 30 minutes before gift opening time.

I'm very happy I was able to hold up my end of the Winter Wishes bargain. Thanks to no help from the Post Office. Merry Christmas Shamel!

Song of the Day
Today's song is the best modern Christmas song, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Gift Tags

I finished my Christmas shopping early this year so I thought I would spend a little extra time with the wrapping. I created monogrammed stickers which I used on small cards for those that I won't be spending Christmas with.
For those I am blessed to be with, I used them as gift tags.
They are not difficult to make. I used Micron pens (any marker or pen will do) to draw the letters on Soho Round Labels. I stuck the labels on scallop round cards (both the labels and cards can be found here) and glued that to the gift cards. For the gift tags I used a glue stick to attach them directly to the wrapping paper.

Song of the Day
Today's song is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." I prefer Judy Garland but James Taylor does a fabulous job.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our First Christmas Tree

Matt and I got our first Christmas tree this year! Because we are feeling very settled in our apartment and because it is impossible not have to the Christmas spirit while in New York, we got a little tree.
We picked one out at Andy's Bodega, which is a whole lot like the Christmas tree farms back in New Hampshire.

We both agreed that we prefer decorations that mean something so we started a tradition of buying one ornament together each year. This tree looks a little sparse but in a few years we will have a tree decorated with a butt load of meaning.
We bought our first ornament at the Union Square Holiday Fair from Mure Designs. The angel is made for Tagua, which is the nut of a Palm Tree. Fun fact about Tagua: It is also called "vegetable ivory" because of how it looks and feels. So our first ornament helps prevent elephants from being killed for their tusks. Our little elephant angel!
The whole tree trimming event only took three minutes, but we drank some great wine and started a new Christmas tradition.
Song of the Day
Don't worry. I'm not going to try to be different and not play Christmas music. Heck! I like it just as much as you do. Please enjoy Bing Crosby's "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Talented Friend: Sheena

I usually like to surround myself with no-talent losers, but everyone once and a while a really creative friend will sneak in there. I can think of nothing more positive than celebrating your friends, so I'm creating a new segment called "A Talented Friend," where I will highlight one of my gifted buddies.

Sheena and I grew up together and while I have always known she was incredibly smart and funny, I had no idea that she was a baking artiste! Sheena has been dabbling in cake decorating and here are some of my favorites.
This is a butter cake with raspberry filling, Swiss meringue buttercream and covered in ivory fondant.

This cake cracks me up! Sheena calls it "Terror on the High Seas."

This cake makes me melt. I think it is beyond cute.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Cake's "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Speaking of Spice Racks

All that talk about spice racks put me in the mood for one of my favorite dishes, Sausage Stew! This recipe includes several dried herbs and lots of other very simple ingredients. It makes a huge pot of one of the most tasty, hearty stews on the planet. But be forewarned! This dish requires a ton of chopping, so I would recommend recruiting a friend who is handy with a knife. One of your ninja friends should do just fine.
Song of the day
Few voices lift you up the way Aretha Franklin's does. Lets hope for her full recovery. Please enjoy "Say a Little Prayer."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days: 63

Almost everyone living in New York lacks the same two things: space and money. Some would argue we also lack manners but I disagree. JERKS! I included Buy a Spice Rack on my 101 list because my ragtag collection of spices were taking up too much valuable cabinet space. I also could never remember which spices I had so I kept buying more of what I didn't need. At one point I had four jars of cinnamon. Spices are expensive! My dad came to the rescue. Always willing to help a fellow cook in need, he got me this great spice rack. It can stand on it's own or hang on the wall so it is a great space saving device. And I can always remember what I have in stock because I can keep all the spices in fabulous alphabetical order. That's right...I alphabetically order my spices.

Another problem solved by Dad!

Today's Song
This was a bit of a no brainer. Today's song is the Spice Girls' "Wannabe."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Go To Your Reunion

This past weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. Reunions are something you are technically supposed to dread, and I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to mine. I was a class officer in high school, which evidently means I’m a class officer for life. This time last year, my classmates started mentioning our 10 year reunion. Our fearless leader and class president, Curtis, took the lead and did an amazing job planning the event. I provided support where I could but he was really the mastermind behind the whole thing. I think the reason I wasn’t looking forward to the reunion was I was afraid people would not show up or would be critical of the event. But I was pleasantly surprised to find the exact opposite. About 70% of our class showed up and everyone had wonderful things to say. I had the best time! I can’t remember when I laughed that hard.

I haven’t done a great job at keeping in touch with people from high school. I went college out of state and then moved straight to New York,
so I lost touch with all but a small handful of friends. After the reunion I was kicking myself for this. I went to school with some really fabulous people! Some super hilarious, some very interesting, and some incredibly kind. I realize that everyone has changed some since high school, but my classmates have blossomed into awesome people that I would like to again call my friends. I watched guys who were tough as nails 10 years ago absolutely glow as they showed me pictures of their baby girls. And girls that were once painfully shy tell me jokes that made me laugh so hard I cried.

If you have a reunion coming up,
GO! It won’t be like Romy and Michelle’s. I know high school was not all rainbows and lollipops. But if you go to yours with a positive outlook, remembering the good times and people from high school, I can positively guarantee you'll have fun.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Dave Matthews Band's "Ants Marching."

Monday, November 29, 2010

One Year Left!

Eek! As of yesterday I only have one year left of the 1,001 days to complete my 101 list. I need to step it up. Should make for a hectic and accomplished year. And I only have 364 days to plan a fabulous party to celebrate completing my list.

How are your 101 lists coming?

Song of the Day
You kind of saw this one coming, right? Today's song is "Seasons of Love" from Rent.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

101 Things in a 1001 Days: 65

Today was the perfect day for me to complete number 65 on my 101 list: Make a pie from scratch, including the crust. With the help of the rest of the family, I whipped up an apple pie. We haven't tasted it yet but I'm really happy with the way it came out. Can I get a high five for the lattice work!?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have a great day and get to share it with people you love.

Song of the Day
My brother Ben got to pick today's song. Please enjoy Pearl Jam's "Given to Fly."

Monday, November 22, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days: 82

I was being a very bad New Yorker. I had never walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, number 82 on my 101 list. I thought it was going to be like walking over the Golden Gate Bridge, which requires a camel pack and several carabiners. But my friend Kate assured me it is a much shorter trek and we walked across a few weeks ago on a beautiful, early fall day.
Well "walk the Brooklyn Bridge" has shot to the top of my list of things to do when I have guests in town. It is a super manageable walk and the views are amazing.

If you haven't walked over the Brooklyn Bridge what are you waiting for!? A friend to do it with? I'll be your friend!

Song of the Day
Today's song is the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days: 19

#19 on my 101 List was "Go to a country music concert." I've loved country music since high school and have always wanted to go to a concert. However, most of my friends don't share my affection for the songs of the South and that type of music is not very popular in New York City. But you know what makes finding a country music concert a lot easier? Making a friend from Texas. My new Texan friend Jackie took one look at my 101 list and said "I'm taking you to a country concert. My favorite musician, Robert Earl Keen is coming to town and we are going. Done and done!"

So a few months later a bunch of us, along with every other native Texan in New York, headed to Terminal 5 to see Robert Earl Keen. This was legit country. There were even people in real cowboy hats, not girls trying to bring Coyote Ugly back. It was a blast! The concert embodied everything I love about country music. Fun tunes about the good and bad in life that everyone can sing and dance too.

Thanks Jackie! You are country strong.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Jackie's absolute favorite. Please enjoy Robert Earl Keen's "Feeling Good Again."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Good Reason To Have Your Picture Taken

When do we have professional photographs taken? School pictures, then your wedding, and maybe a few family portraits in between. The item on my 101 list was to have my picture taken for my blog, but now that I have these photos (taken by the fabulous Katie Jane Parker), I'm so happy to have this time in my life captured. I'm feeling very lucky these days. I have someone in my life that I'm crazy about and we share an apartment that we adore. I love my job. My family and friends are healthy. Things are good! I will always remember these great times when I look at the pictures.

So don't wait until your wedding to get a nice picture of yourself. Things change and times are not always good. It is a nice to have a picture to help you remember when they were.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Jamie Cullum's "These Are the Days".

Damn Punctual Rock Stars

The other day I mentioned the new driving force in my life: to ignore inconvenience in the face of potential. (Thanks MightyGirl). And I can say in all honesty that I am embracing it and that it is making a huge difference in my life. This driving force made me say yes when Matt asked me to come to a concert at the last minute. Slow service at the restaurant and touchy feely bouncers made us miss that concert. We literally made it for the last 30 seconds of the show. What band goes on exactly on time!? Evidently, the Local Natives.

I’ve been surprised how much more fun I’ve been having lately. And it is 100% because I’m more open. I’m not saying that everything I have said yes to in the past two weeks has been amazing, but I allowed myself to see the potentials, looking past the inconvenience and I’ve been positively surprised. I encourage you to do the same.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Chicago's "Baby, What a Big Surprise".

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days: 80

Today I had the pleasure of completing #80 on my list: Vote in local NY election. I love voting! I really do. Between each election I forget how much I enjoy it until I fill out a ballot. How much I feel a part of something big. I think my opinions are important, and I am excited about the opportunity to voice them.

Facebook is doing something really cool. They are keeping track of every member who clicks "I voted". Already up to 10 million! Well done America.

Song of the Day
Today's song is The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again. Click here for more songs that will make ya want to vote!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The New Driving Force

The other day I read something on MightyGirl, one of my favorite blogs, that really jumped out at me. Maggie was talking about a friend saying that she taught her "to ignore inconvenience in the face of potential."

I feel like lately (OK the past few years), I've passed a lot of things up because maybe I was too tired, or it was too expensive, or I didn't have anything to wear. But when I really think about it, I said no because I wasn't sure exactly how things would go. WTF Anna! That is the opposite of Positively! Sure maybe my feet will hurt, or maybe I won't have fun, but maybe I'll end up having a blast or meeting some amazing new friends. Who knows!

Earlier today Matt got some Local Native tickets for a show tonight. I was going to pass because I have been working a lot, I had planned on just staying in, and I don't know a lot of their songs. But then I remembered my new driving force: to ignore inconvenience in the face of potential! So I'm off to a concert for what has the POTENTIAL of being my new favorite band. And dang it, I'm excited!

Song of the Day
Here is one of the Local Native songs that I do know. Please enjoy Airplanes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days: 70 and 71

My teeth!

Yesterday I pulled a little-two-birds-with-one-stone action. I completed #70: Get a mouth guard for sleeping, and #71: Improve my teeth through straightening or whitening. Double whammy on the 101 list!

I'm not one of those crazy people who claim they like going to the dentist (you know who you are). I hate it. I have a small mouth and a tongue that refuses to get out of the way. In short, I'm a dentist nightmare. And I'm not such a big fan of yours either Dentists! They stick needles into your gums, drill into your brain, and then make you feel bad about not flossing. Actually I finally found a dentist in New York that I like and trust. I've been going pretty frequently over the past two years and yesterday was the big day. I finally got retainers! Ya hoo! I know it sounds silly but I have been looking forward to this for some time.

It turns out that since I was a kid, I have had weak enamel, which makes me very susceptible to cavities. I need to continue to take better care of my teeth but my dentist said the retainers, which I have to fill with paste every night, should make my teeth stronger. It will also make them whiter and will help with the grinding. She said if my grinding breaks the retainer, she will give me a new one. I obviously want to avoid that but it does sound kind of bad ass. Teeth of steel!

Song of the Day
Today's song is Death Cab for Cutie's Crooked Teeth.

Monday, October 11, 2010

If Oprah Says It's Ok

#26 on my 101 List is No swearing for a week. I'll admit, I haven't even attempted this one yet. I do believe swearing is trashy and that 90% of the time it is inappropriate, but what can I say? I like a good F-bomb.

An article on say that swearing is not all bad. And hey! If Oprah says it's ok...

Using your favorite four-letter word at the right time can alleviate pain. A recent study published in NeuroReport found that participants who immersed their hands in icy water and were allowed to shout expletives experienced significantly less prickly, numbing pain than when they repeated neutral words. Researchers speculate that cursing activates the stress response, boosting the body's pain threshold to deal with crisis. By Melinda Wenner

Song of the Day
This song is way too catchy not to be on this blog. Heads up! This song is all F-bombs all the time. Please enjoy Cee Lo's Fuck You.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Great Blogging Date

I'm still relatively new to blogging and I've only dipped my toe into this giant community. One thing that I have learned about bloggers is that while their content may live within the internet, they love to meet face to face. Back in January Amber, of The Amber Show, reached out to me offering to help on #81 on my 101 list: Visit the MET, the Guggenheim and the MoMa. Back then I still thought that people from the internet = stranger danger, but since meeting Katie I've think differently. So a few days ago I reached out to Amber, apologizing for never responding to her invitation, and asked if the offer still stood. Amber is an old school blogger and also very sweet so she agreed to meet me at the MET later that week.

On the day of my blog date, I arrived at the MET 20 minutes early because that is how I roll when I'm nervous. I realized immediately that the MET closes at 5:30. WTF MET! How the heck are we supposed to get freakin' cultured if you ain't open late. I immediately panicked because I was sure that Amber, once she realized the museum was closed, would think that I was a total creeper and that my blog was just an advanced plot to trick her into an unmarked van. However, Amber still met me, didn't mace me in the face, and agreed to get a bite to eat instead.

What a fun night! There is something so fascinating about sitting down with a perfect stranger and having them open up to you. This is of course much easier when it is a blog date and not a real date. Amber's life does not mirror mine at all. It is hard to find friends like this but it is really important. Also she is a very talented blogger, pod caster, and photographer. Hello inspiration!

Thanks so much for meeting me Amber and trusting that I wouldn't shove you into a van.

Song of the Day
Saturday was John Lennon's birthday so today's song is Imagine.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days: #50

When I was born in New Hampshire in 1982, there was no Red Sox nation. Just a bunch of sad Red Sox fans. And then after the Bill Buckner debacle of 1986 there were a lot of depressed fans. The only good thing about The Curse was that you could get tickets to Fenway. I went a bunch of games as a kid and loved it. But since the Red Sox started winning, and then finally won the World Series in 2004, Sox ticket have become hard/impossible to come by. As a lifetime fan, going back to Fenway was one of the first things I added to my 101 list.

I was so excited when my best friend Mandy invited Matt and me to a game. I was pumped to return to Fenway and also to show it to Matt for the first time. Because the only baseball fields I have been to in the past few years are the gargantuan City Field and Yankee Stadium, I forgot how classic and intimate Fenway is.
We had an absolute fabulous time at the game. We got rowdy with the rest of The Nation.
Drank Sam Adams and ate sausages from the Sausage Guy.
A perfect night at the perfect park. Thanks Mandy!

Song of the Day

When Papelbon runs on the field to close out the game, every speaker in the stadium blares Dropkick Murphy's Shipping Off to Boston. And even if you didn't know you were a Red Sox fan, you feel an energy run through you and you have to stand up and cheer with the rest of the crazies.

Friday, October 1, 2010

You Need To Be Here To See It

You have all heard of the increase of teenagers commiting suicide linked to bullying about their sexuality. The most recent trajedy of Tyler Clamenti has brought this issue into the spotlight. An old friend of mine killed himself a few months ago. I think about Ryan every day. And while he was man who was not haunted by the taunting of his peers, the result was the same: an absolute end of life.

In response to these trajedies, author Dan Savage started It Gets Better. It Gets Better is a YouTube channel where you can watch and upload videos from LGBT people who explain that while they were mercilessly teased and perhaps not accepted by their families when they were teens, things did get better. They share beautiful stories from their post-high school lives, letting the viewers know that things change and life can hold amazing adventures that you never expected. The main message of these videos is to hold on. Make your way through high school. That you can't take your life because you have so much to offer the world and the world has so much to offer you.

Here is Dan's video.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Pearl Jam's Just Breathe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Everything You Don't Want To Do Day: Because No One Else Will

Every time Becca and I “celebrate” Everything You Don’t Want To Do Day we find another reason to love it. On today’s list I included submitting receipts to a benefits program I enrolled in when I started my new job. I hadn’t taken advantage of the program because, to be honest, it was a pain in the ass. I was having trouble logging into the specified website, so I called customer service. They had no record of me even though they had been taking money out of my account for the past four months. WTF! We got it sorted out but still...WTF!

Your life, and more specifically your money, is your responsibility. You have to keep an eye on it because no one else will. I can empathize with anyone who is intimidated by money matters. It can be confusing and you may be inclined to put it off. But add it to your list, set aside time to figure it out, and before you know it you will be back on top of your finances.

So what are you going to do on Everything You Don’t Want To Do Day?

Song of the Day
There isn’t a single Glee fan who isn’t rocking out to Britney right now. Please enjoy Stronger.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How To Be Alone

My positive energy has always been just that, ENERGY! Loud and coming at you from all angles. Cheerleader style. But I have always admired those people with a more subdued optimism. Their positive energy just shines instead of hitting you in the face like a pompom.

I'm in LOVE with this video. It is calming and understated but also hopeful and inspiring. Makes me want to curl up and enjoy some alone time.

Song of the Day
Now back to being a cheerleader! My friend told me this song always makes her happy. And dang it! That is what the Song of the Day is all about. Please enjoy Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now. Tell me what songs make you happy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Little Place in Greece

One of Matt's favorite things to do online is to check out the real estate section on, specifically Great Homes and Destinations. When he comes across one he thinks I will like he sends me the link. When I opened the link to this house it took my breath away. I mean look at this place!

The light!The view!And that table, which comes with the house!!! (Yes, that table deserves three exclamation points)And as incredible as that house is, what really took my breath away when I opened it was that Matt was thinking of me. He not only thought it was a place where he wanted to be, but a place he wanted to be with me. I don't think I'll ever get sick of having that wonderful boy wanting me to be apart of his life.

See the rest of the picture of this house here. Photography by Eirini Vourloumis

Song of the Day
Today's song is Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait's Lucky. Perfect!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Everything You Don't Want To Do Day

We all have them. The things on our to-do list that we never actually do. We push them off for months, even years. We never make the Dr's appointments or call the credit card companies. We aren't sure why we put them off. Maybe because we are scared of the process or scared of the results. But no matter what the reason, you still need to do it. That is why my friend Becca and I invented Everything You Don't Want To Do Day!

Becca and I created this day out of the desire to help support each other even though she lives across the country. Every Monday night we send each other a list of the things that we aren't going to put off any more and resolve to accomplish on Tuesday. We breifly check in throughout the day to report what we have accomplished or to give each other crap for not getting the list done. I know this seems a little intense (OK a lot intense), but it is actually great. We have FINALLY gotten some things off our to-do list and they are always surprisingly easy. Whenever you put something off for a long time, it grows into something much worse than it is.

Becca and I love Everything You Don't Want To Do Day! We stay in touch, we feel less overwhelmed, and we do it together. That's right, we are the most organized losers ever. And you can be too!

How to make your own Everything You Don't Want to Do Day:
  1. Pick one day a week to make The Day. Don't do Monday because, well, Monday's suck enough already.
  2. Find a way to hold yourself accountable. If you don't have a friend as dorky as me or Becca, you could write the list in large print and post it on your mirror or some place where you will see it repeatedly. Don't let yourself off the hook! Just get it done!
  3. Keep the list short. We limit our list to four. If the list is too long, you will feel overwhelmed and may not finish it. You have to complete the list in one day. We don't want to ruin your whole week with this crap.

Let me know how you do! I promise that the amount of time you spent feeling bad about putting something off is 300% more time then it will take to fix it. Thanks Bec! Love ya!

Song of the Day

Today's song is Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition.

Monday, September 20, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days: #39

#39 "Get a professional photo for PositivelyAnna" has probably been my favorite thing to accomplish so far because it encompasses every reason I created this list: to meet new people, to do things that I am scared of, and to try something new.

A few months ago, fellow blogger and list maker Katie Jane Parker found my blog and very graciously offered her services as a professional photographer. As traffic to my blog is low, I had never received an offer like this and I was hesitant. But I looked into Katie's blog and she seemed legit and she wanted to meet in a public place so I was pretty sure she wasn't going to kill me. We emailed back and forth and set up a time to meet.
I met Katie in Central Park on a beautiful afternoon. I was very nervous. I have never been photographed on my own before, outside of the awful and inevitable school pictures. Plus I was going to be shot in front of the millions of people in the Park. But as anxious as I was, I smiled at myself and thought "This is exactly why you created your list."

All the nerves flew out the window as soon as Katie introduced herself. She is a sweet young woman who started her own photography business (so cool). She has a list, and like me, believes it has changed her life. People had helped her accomplish things on her list and she wanted to do the same. She saw #39 on my list and I'm so glad she did!

We had a great time. She made me feel so comfortable. We just walked and chatted. Katie would point out a spot that would work well and I would pose how ever felt natural. Here are a few of my favorites.
Katie Jane Photography specializes in engagement and elopement photos but I would recommend her for any photography needs. She was very professional, fun and relaxed. Thank you so much Katie! I hope I can help you with something on your list someday.
Song of the Day
Today's song is The Cure's Pictures of You. For more songs about photography and pictures, check this out.

Monday, September 13, 2010

If PositivelyAnna Isn't Doing It For You

Picking the right music to match your mood is key. And that can be tricky. But it has gotten a whole lot less tricky thanks to Stereomood. Stereomood provides fitting playlists for a wide range of moods and activities, from Sexy, Quiet and Groovy to Writing, Road trip and Dressing up. Right now I'm listening to the Optimistic play list and wouldn't you know it! I feel even more optimistic than I did four songs ago.

Check out Stereomood and tell me about your favorite playlist.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard by Paul Simon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

#2: LA

I had said that our trip to California felt like four different vacations: San Francisco, Big Sur, Paso Robles, and finally, LA. One of Matt's best buddies from college, who I have grown to love too, Dennis, moved to LA a few years ago so we wanted to make sure we saw him while we are on the west coast.

We were in LA for less than 24 hours but Dennis showed us his city. We rented bikes and rode up and down the beach. Santa Monica was beautiful and tasteful. And Venice Beach was, well not exactly tasteful. I live in New York City and I was still surprised by some of the characters in Venice. Some of the best people watching in the world.

Matt and I both wanted to make sure we got some good Mexican food while we were in town. And LA did not disappoint. Dennis took us to TiTo's, which you should definitely check out. A small menu of simple dishes that taste like heaven.

I want to thank all our hosts, old friends and new ones we met in California. We had an amazing vacation, one of the best of our lives. I urge you east coaster to head over there ASAP and if you need any help planning your trip, I would be happy to be of assistance.

Song of the Day
Watching the skateboarder in LA reminded me of Tom Petty's Free Fallin video. Well with a lot less spandex.
For more songs about LA, check this out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

#2: Paso Robles

After a few days in Big Sur, we headed back to civilization (ie a place with cell phone service). We had been told about Paso Robles by some local Californians, promoting it as a smaller, less tourist-filled wine country. And it sure was! It is a picturesque town surrounded by hundreds of wineries and vineyards.
Neither Matt nor I had ever been on a wine tour and it didn't occur to us until the day before to organize anything. I would have been embarrassed to say that we went on the Grape Line Vineyard Tour, but it ended up being great. We were afraid that it would be very commercial and that the sommeliers would groan when they saw our large tour group coming. But we were pleasantly surprised to find that there was only two other people on the tour, Myrna and Jeff. A nice couple who were great company for the day.

Our tour guide, Fritz, was friendly and very knowledgeable about the area. He took us to four different vineyards: Adelaida, Justin, Tolo and Rotta. Each was very nice but Adelaida and Tello were our favorites as they were smaller, with staff that clearly took great pride in their work.

We also had a picnic lunch.

And pulled over to pick apples and pears.
Few things on earth are better than an apple right off the tree. Although a good glass of wine is right up there.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' Home. I'm thinking of changing the name of this blog to Positively Anna and the Magnetic Zeros.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#2: The Lucia Lodge

Our hotel in Big Sur, The Lucia Lodge, deserves its own post. It was that lovely! We stumbled upon it on the internet and were pleasantly surprised. Check out this view from right outside our room. I still can't believe it.
The hotel is made up of 10 tiny cabins/rooms. They were small but very clean with nice bedding.
All around the lodge grounds they have set up little sitting areas so that guests can take in the unbelievable views. We took advantage and enjoyed some wine and amazing goat cheese from Harley Farms.
So during your trip to Big Sur that I'm forcing you to take, I recommend you check out The Lucia Lodge.
Song of the Day
Today's song is Rod Stewart's Rhythm of My Heart. Just 'cause.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

#2: Big Sur

Because I love hiking I wanted to make sure we got to do plenty on our trip. And Big Sur was the place. I don't have the writing skills to tell you how absolutely incredible Big Sur is so...

While in Big Sur we stopped at Pfeiffer Beach.
And hiked around Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.
And while they were both unbelievable, Matt and I both agree that few things on earth can compare to McWay Falls. The falls spill directly into the ocean from the cliffs in a secluded little cove.
And because I couldn't resist...behold my favorite picture of the trip.Book your trip to Big Sur now!
Song of the Day
Matt was playing this song while I was writing this post and I thought it was pretty catchy. Please enjoy Yeasayer's Ambling Alp.
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