Back in January I shared with you my list of new year's resolutions for 2015. A few weeks into the year I started to ask friends and family, "Do you think people would be interested in quarterly checkins? Hearing about how it's all going?" And each and every person responded with a resounding, "YES!" So here I am, checking in.
As I mentioned, I originally planned to do these posts quarterly, but the end of March came and went, then the end of April, and now here we are in the first week of May. Whoops.
As we head into the fifth month of the year, I'm feeling really good about the progress I'm making. There is still a ton to tackle, but with seven months left to go, I am confident I'll be able to cross every one of these bad boys off the list!
Let's get right to it, shall we?
1. Find a new job
Status: Complete! On January 5th I started a new job with a public relations agency in Kendall Square in Cambridge. The first few months have been tough. Those who know me well know that I'm not so great with change. Making the decision to leave my previous job after four years was very difficult and being new again has also been difficult. I also started during the worst winter in Boston's history, making the daily commute a challenge for my first three months on the job.
On the plus side, the people at my new office are absolutely wonderful and have been so welcoming and supportive. Here's what I walked into on my first morning - a brand new laptop, a hot pink water bottle (how did they know?), a Starbucks gift card and a ton of movie candy!
I have also been working less hours and traveling less, so I have a lot more time to enjoy adventures and celebrations with family and friends.
If you're interested, you can check out my profile on the agency's Tumblr blog and my interview on the corporate blog.
2. Spend more time with family and friends
Status: Ongoing. Thanks to the schedule at my new job, achieving this resolution has been a cinch! I started the new year off right by spending four days in Puerto Rico with two friends.
Since coming back to Boston that first weekend in January, I've been able to attend multiple birthday parties, spend Sundays at the movies, try new restaurants, spend a girls weekend in New York City, fly home to Florida for a long weekend and spend a lot of quality time with my family here in Massachusetts.
Two weeks ago I was able to join all my cousins (minus my sister, who was in NYC) to celebrate my grandfather's 91st birthday. Pretty special. (Excuse the horrible iPhone photo)
I'm looking forward to continuing to make this resolution a priority.
3. Adopt a dog
Status: In progress. I had originally planned to begin my dog search in February. Well, Mother Nature had other plans. Due to the extreme weather all winter, the first time I could make a trip to the dog shelter was two weeks ago.
I visited Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA. My cousin came with me and we immediately fell in love with a Lab/Pitbull mix named Cadi.
We waited over two hours to meet with the adoption counselor and get the chance to play with Cadi outside of her cage. Unfortunately, once we got alone time with her, she was a little bit nutty. She was much more interested in trying to escape the room, open the doors and press her face into the windows, than noticing us. After a heartbreaking conversation with the adoption counselor, we all agreed that Cadi wasn't a perfect match (for me or for her).
I'm traveling the next three weekends, so I'll resume my search once I'm back mid-month. In the meantime, I bought these two adorable dog toys at Target.
I couldn't resist!
4. Redesign the blog
Status: In progress. During Passover I had my cousin and his girlfriend over for a matza pizza party. Over dinner we were talking about the blog, and my cousin asked if I was still interested in a redesign. I said that I was, and he connected me with a friend who does web design on the side. We had an introductory call and he submitted a scope of work. We are meeting up this week to discuss. I'm feeling optimistic!
5. Celebrate the blog's next birthday in style
Status: Baby steps made. As I mentioned in the original new years resolution post, on January 4, 2016 Pop.Bop.Shop. will turn seven. In years past I've had grand plans to celebrate the blog's birthday, but due to its proximity to the holidays, it's hard to pull off without planning ahead. Like, way ahead.
I have an idea in mind for a seventh birthday celebration and it would involve a pretty killer giveaway. To pull it off, I needed the PR contact for a super cool place in New England and thankfully I have procured the contact information!
I also tried on a sweater with a number seven on it last week at Banana Republic in case I wanted to do a little seventh birthday photo shoot. Sadly, I looked a bit like Sandra Dee in her Ridell High letter sweater.
6. Plan a trip to Portland, Maine
Status: In progress. Now that spring weather has arrived, I am itching to head up to Portland!
Every Thursday night I have dinner with one of my best friends from college and on a recent dinner I asked if she'd like to be my plus one for this Portland adventure. She happily agreed, so I hope we'll be picking a summer weekend very soon.
If you have suggestions for places we must visit, tour or eat, please leave them in the comments below!
7. Enroll in a cooking class at the BCAE
Status: Haven't even looked into it. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't given any attention to this resolution. I was in full hibernation mode this winter, so I am blaming it on that.
As many of you know, my friend Dustin is a cooking and baking instructor at BCAE. He is always posting tantalizing food photos on his Instagram account. Such as:
Needless to say, I have to register!
Though I haven't yet been to BCAE for a class, I did take a cocktail making class with Booze Epoque and it was a blast! After a history of cocktail making in the U.S., we each created our own signature drink. Mine was pink, naturally.
I would highly recommend their classes.
8. Experience a farm dinner
Status: False start. When I first made this resolution, my hope was to attend one of the events hosted by Outstanding in the Field. They released their schedule in late March and they are making three stops in Eastern Massachusetts:
- Allandale Farm in Brookline, MA - August 24, 2015
- Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, MA - August 29 & 30, 2015
As soon as the times and locations were revealed, I sent the list around to a few friends. Due to the hefty price tag, I couldn't get anyone to go with me. All three events are now sold out.
I am currently keeping my eyes and ears open for any upcoming farm dinners hosted by other organizations or the farms themselves.
9. Donate my hair
Status: In progress. As you all know, I've been growing my hair since the summer of 2013. Last month, for the first time in over two years, I finally got it trimmed.
On the recommendation of a few friends, I went to Judy Jetson on Mass Ave in Cambridge. I had a great stylist who helped me step away from the hair straightener and treat my wavy locks with a bit more respect.
She guided me through straightening my hair with just a blow dryer and here was the result:
We have another trim set for June and then I am planning the big chop for September!
10. Organize my jewels
Status: Complete! You may remember back in the first resolutions post I shared a photo of a jewelry organizer I was coveting. Well, I tracked it down, ordered it and it prompted me to finally organize my jewels!
I was so excited when the jewelry organizer arrived, that I frantically started re-doing the whole set up. Regrettably, I forgot to snap a "before" photo of how out of control and unmanageable the situation was.
Now there is an entire wall in my bedroom dedicated to bling and it looks like this:
The jewelry organizer, found on HauteLook, is the anchor of the whole set up. When I ordered it, I was positive I'd be able to fill it right away. Well, apparently I have big eyes, because this thing isn't even half full!
I feel like I just showed you organizational porn.
I love having one place to store most of my baubles, but I still had a few other pieces that either didn't fit into the organizer's pre-determined size compartments, or I just wanted them to be more prominently displayed.
To feature some additional items, I am using a refurbished coffee table to house jewelry trays, boxes and knick knacks.
At the back of the table, I have a bangle bar that I found in the sale section of the Urban Outfitters in Faneuil Hall. It's designed to show all your bracelets at once, while keeping them just far enough apart that they aren't always noisily knocking together.
Two years ago I bought this regal gold and mirrored tray from Pop & Circumstance. It's become my go-to for my current favorites, which are changing week to week. At the moment, it's a pair of hot pink earrings from The Mindy Project + Bauble Bar collaboration and a simple pendant necklace from Folklorica in Newton Centre.
I also have a few smaller trays, including one that's home to my favorite fortune ever received.
And one that's monogrammed and stores my zillions of stud earrings (in about 10 different colors).
I seemed to have developed a Parisian theme. On the right side of the coffee table is my jewelry box with the Eiffel Tower printed on the inside, as well as my Paris Hotel & Casino souvenir (this used to hold 1.5 glasses of frozen strawberry margarita).
With all the space freed up by the huge organizer, the coffee table now has room for my perfume, which of course, is also topped with bling.
Lastly, my parents knew I was on this jewelry organization kick, so they bought me this fun twist on a jewelry tree. My dad installed it for me (chipping a ton of paint as he did it!) and I use it to hang my longer necklaces.
I feels so good to have this resolution checked off this list! This is a change that actually saves me time each and every morning when I get dressed, when I plan for a special event or when I pack for a trip. Now that I think about it, this really should have been in the top five.
11. Throw my best Oscar party yet
Status: Over, but not complete. Obviously the Oscars have already come and gone, and I did throw a party, so in that sense, this resolution is complete. However, it definitely wasn't my best Oscar party.
Let me explain.
By the time the Oscars rolled around, we were in the midst of the worst winter in Boston history (are you noticing a theme here?). The day of the Academy Awards, the forecast was for more snow. Beginning as early as 9:00am the text messages started rolling in from friends that they didn't want to risk being stuck in the snow, or losing their on street parking spots, on having their bus not show up, or have to pay surge pricing for Uber.
In addition to the cancellations, I hadn't been able to make it to all my usual spots for party supplies because the roads had been in such rough shape and a lot of stores were closed during the really bad weather days.
Despite Mother Nature's cruelty, as they say in the theater, "The show must go on!" I did indeed have the party. Complete with special Oscar cocktails, movie themed hot tea, a popcorn bar and a concession stand.
My friend Stephanie also made an epic mac & cheese dish (recipe here) that kept us nice and warm on that very arctic night.
Despite there being only three of us, we still had a great time.
You can see all the decor details in the party recap.
12. Take the Taza Chocolate Factory tour
Status: Zero progress. Though I still really want to do this, I haven't felt motivated to put a date on the calendar. I have two friends who live in Somerville who have volunteered to come with me on the tour, so with their nudging, I'm sure I'll get to it in the next few weeks.
13. Visit Aeronaut Brewery
Status: Nope. Same as above with Taza.
14. Sample the Bloody Mary bar at Barcelona Wine Bar
Status: 0-3. Wow, I am really sucking on these last few items! I love Bloody Marys and I know I will get to this. In fact, I was just at a company-wide dinner at Barcelona Wine Bar last week. This is another case of just needing to schedule it. Bloodys, here I come!
15. Embrace my birthday again
Status: Consider it embraced! After wanting to avoid any birthday celebration for my 30th last year, this year I am back in the spirit. My college friends and I have been talking about a possible trip to Mexico. I've never been there, so for that reason alone, it feels like an extra exciting b-day prospect.
And there you have it! Four months into the year and the tally is:
- 4 resolutions complete
- 6 resolutions in progress
- 5 resolutions still to be tackled
So tell me, how are you doing with your new years resolutions? Crossed anything off the list?
*Contributed images via Posh + Prep, @Madyago on Instagram, Outstanding in the Field and @MarieDenee on Instagram.