Happy New Year! We did it! We survived the first week back at work.
Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, know that I try to keep the focus on the goods - the best shows, movies, books, restaurants, hotels, fashion finds - and not on me. Today's post is a departure from the norm. Today's post is very personal. Today I am sharing with you my new years resolutions.
In honor of 2015, I have made exactly 15 resolutions. Some are big. Some are small. Some are serious. Some are delicious.
My hope is that by sharing my resolutions, you'll feel encouraged to create a list of your own, stick with them and make this year the best year yet.
Without further ado, here we go!
1. Find a new job
For the past four years I have worked my butt off at an amazing advertising agency. I gave 200 percent to every project I worked on and it was very rewarding. I had the opportunity to work on dream brands, doing truly innovative projects.
Part of the job was jumping on planes at a moment's notice and often being away from home for weeks at a time. While the opportunity to travel and take part in these events and conferences was incredible, it also took a huge toll on my personal life. I missed a lot of really important milestones and celebrations.
Around my birthday in September, I resolved to find a better work/life balance in 2015, and just before the holiday break, I did. I gave my notice the Monday after Thanksgiving and this Monday, January 5th, I started a new adventure at a new company.
Resolution #1 - complete!
2. Spend more time with family and friends
This resolution correlates with #1. With significantly less travel on the horizon, I plan to enjoy a lot more face time with my most important peeps. I missed a lot last year and this year I want to be present for as much as I possibly can.
3. Adopt a dog
I have wanted a dog for my whole life. When I was little I used to beg my parents for a pup. They always told me we couldn't have one because my mom was allergic.
Well, several years later at my college graduation party, when she thought I wasn't listening, my mom confessed to a table of my friends that she was never allergic, she just didn't want to have to clean up after a dog! I was horrified.
Since graduating from college, I have been fixated on adopting a dog. In my first apartment we used to dog sit for my roommate's parent's dog, a sheltie named Simba, and I just fell in love. Those weekends confirmed to me that I was meant to be a mama to a pup.
For the past two months I've been following the Last Hope K9 Rescue, getting to know all the different breeds of dogs and reading up about the adoption process. Thankfully I have a lot of friends who grew up with dogs who have been helping me think about everything I'll need - crate, dog bed, dog walker, veterinarian - the works.
I have a bit of travel (for fun, not for work) over the next two months, so I am hoping to make this dream a reality after that!
4. Redesign the blog
I think I've been saying for at least two years that I am going to redesign Pop.Bop.Shop. I know I mentioned it in May during the My Writing Process Blog Tour. I have wanted to sup up this site for quite a while. My issue has been two fold: one, finding a person I trust to do it and two, making the time to review that person's work, give feedback and keep the project moving forward. If you know of any fantastic web designers, please send them my way!
5. Celebrate the blog's next birthday in style
While on the subject of the blog, every year the blog's anniversary sneaks up on me. It's January 4th, which is dangerously soon after the holidays. I never really start thinking about it until it's too late.
For example, for year five I wanted to throw a party. I didn't start calling my favorite bars and restaurants until mid-December and they were completely booked with holiday parties through the second week of January. Fail.
This year, for year six, I wanted to partner with a candy or chocolate company to make custom sweets to give away. Since the sixth anniversary gift (according to the traditional gift list) is candy, I thought that would be such a fun way to mark this milestone. Well, again I waited too long.
On January 4, 2016 the blog will celebrate seven years. As in, lucky number seven. There is no way I am dropping the ball on this one!
6. Plan a trip to Portland, Maine
Speaking of birthdays, this past year I turned 30. Oooof. Per my request, all my family members chipped in to help me take a trip to a place that has been on my bucket list for a few years, Portland.
I know with Portland being so close to Boston you are wondering, "Why don't you just go up there?" Well, I plan to. This year I am going to take that very generous gift from my family and plan my long overdue trip north to food and beer mecca!
7. Enroll in a cooking class at the BCAE
I have a few friends who are instructors at the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE), several of whom teach cooking classes. Every time they share photos of what they're whipping up with their students I get a twinge of jealousy. This year, I am just going to take a class instead of suffering extreme cooking FOMO.
8. Experience a farm dinner
Have you ever heard of Outstanding in the Field? They are an organization that plans beautiful dinners on farms, showcasing the best of the farm's meat, produce, flowers and more. There are several farms in Massachusetts that do these types of dinners and I have always wanted to attend one.
9. Donate my hair
In the summer of 2013 my little sister got engaged. I immediately took to Pinterest to start exploring hair styles for my role as the maid of honor of the century. Once I settled on this look, I knew I had to grow my hair.
I did indeed grow my hair long enough for the desired style, and on that day, I had never felt more glamorous. Since then, I've continued to grow out my hair and it's now down to my lower back, almost all the way to my butt. I know.
I am keeping the long locks through the winter (every little bit helps to block the wind. Am I right, ladies?), but once we get to spring, my plan is to chop it off.
10. Organize my jewels
Every woman has a shopping weakness. For some it's shoes or jeans or dresses, but for me, it's jewelry. Over the past eight or so years since graduating from college, I have amassed an insane amount of baubles. I have them on coffee tables, in nightstands, in giant Rubbermaid bins, on closet shelves - you name it, I've tried to store it there.
For over a year I have been looking for a solution to this storage problem. Then my friend Marie, who writes the blog The Curvy Fashionista, posted this Instagram photo of her jewelry storage system. Hot damn! I need this.
11. Throw my best Oscar party yet
Since graduating from college, I have always hosted awards show viewing parties at my house. I invite friends over for the Golden Globes, the Emmys and the Oscars, and some years I toss in the SAG Awards and the Grammys too. No matter how many awards shows you watch, it's an undisputed fact that the Oscars are the creme de la creme.
Last year I was very proud of my Oscar viewing party (you can see that here), but this year I am challenging myself to make it even more creative and memorable. The show isn't until February 22nd, so I have about two six weeks to whip up something spectacular.
12. Take the Taza Chocolate factory tour
If you support local vendors in the Boston area, then you are already very familiar with Taza Chocolate. Though I have been a fan of theirs for years (I once had a guy make me hot cocoa from scratch using their chocolate), I have never gone on their factory tour. It's right in Somerville and I've been wanting to do it for at least two years. This is the year!
13. Visit Aeronaut Brewery
One of my best friends from growing up went to Rutgers University and while he was studying there he had a few roommates in an apartment. One of those roommates would go on to grad school and then become one of the co-founders of Somerville's Aeronaut Brewery.
Since opening in June 2014, Aeronaut has hosted a slew of amazing events from movie nights to food truck dinners to music festivals. Despite my personal connection to the founders, I still haven't been!
14. Sample the Bloody Mary bar at Barcelona Wine Bar
A few weeks ago one of my Boston blogger friends, Chelsea of Chowing Down by the Bay, posted an Instagram picture of a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar at the Barcelona Wine Bar in Brookline. I've been to that restaurant several times for dinner, but I never knew they were open for brunch, let alone a brunch with DIY Bloodys! This is happening.
15. Embrace my birthday again
For my entire life I have been obsessed with my birthday. If I could make it an internationally observed holiday, I would.
Last year however, with my 30th birthday looming, I went into hibernation. I wasn't interested in marking the occasion in any way. All of my friends were shocked and dismayed, as this was not the behavior of the Molly they know and love.
While my 30th was hard (despite all the outrageously thoughtful celebrations planned by family and friends), I've put that b-day depression behind me and I'm ready to return to my thrown as Little Miss Birthday.
And there you have it! My complete list of 2015 new year's resolutions. If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post, I owe you a cookie.
Tell me, have you made any resolutions? Want to jump in and join some of mine?
*Image sources: The Best Year Yet courtesy of the supremely talented Julie Mancini of Posh + Prep, baby Bella courtesy of Last Hope K9 Rescue, lucky number seven courtesy of Pinterest, Downtown Portland courtesy of Foundation House, pumpkin fondue courtesy of @madyago, farm dinner courtesy of Outstanding in the Field, jewelry organizer courtesy of @mariedenee, Taza Chocolate courtesy of Groupon and Barcelona Wine Bar courtesy of @chowdownusa.