I have to admit, 2018 hasn't been off to the most pleasant start. The year began with nearly two weeks of freezing temperatures here in Boston, tying the record for the longest cold snap in the city since 1918. Within the first 10 days of the month, my car overheated, an issue I had already spent two months dealing with last summer. Three days after the car trouble, someone stole my credit card number and made a series of fraudulent charges. To be completely honest, it's been tough to stay positive.
That being said, a new year always brings the promise of a clean slate and the excitement of new adventures. I've spent the past few weeks really thinking about my resolutions for this year, and what would make me the most happy and motivated. I am looking forward to sharing my progress over the next 12 months.
There are a few resolutions from past years that I intend to keep:
- Spend at least one weeknight at home every week - I made this resolution in January 2016 and it has been my most powerful one yet. Last year, I was able to stick to it for 42 out of 52 weeks. I am hoping to achieve that same total (or higher) this year.
- Use my gift cards - Over the past two years I have been sharing my ineptitude at spending gift cards. Financially, it makes great sense to use these instead of cash, but I seem to carry them around for years. In December, when I shared my 2017 resolutions recap, a friend made an amazing suggestion. Amazon allows you to convert gift cards like AMEX or Visa into Amazon gift cards. With those Amazon dollars, you can purchase items on the wishlists of families working with Miry's List, an organization dedicated to helping refugee families settle into their new lives when they arrive to the United States.
- Attend the Revere Sand Sculpting Festival - I went to the festival for the first time in July 2016 and I loved it! I missed the 2017 event because I was hosting family that weekend, but I'd love to make it this year. The date hasn't been released yet, but I'll share it as soon as it's available in case you'd like to go too.
- Experience the Hull Harbor Illumination - You may remember my sob story from last year. I resolved to attend the Hull Harbor Illumination for the first time and that morning Scout was super sick. I was bummed, especially because I am so committed to my resolutions, but as my mom reminded me, "There's always next year." This year's event will be on Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Now onto the main event, my 2018 New Year's resolutions.
1. Take a tropical vacation
I have been incredibly lucky over the past few years to have taken some magnificent beach vacations. I spent a week in the Dominic Republic, swam in the clear blue waters of St. Thomas and St. John, rung in the New Year in Puerto Rico and have spent two amazing long weekends at Atlantis in the Bahamas. I didn't take any kind of beach vacation in 2017 (not even a local one) so this year I'm determined to make it happen.
For the past few years, my friend Stephanie and I have been talking about a trip to Turks & Caicos. Neither of us have been and the beaches look spectacular.
Along with another girlfriend, we decided this is the year we will travel there. The Bomb Cyclone may have lit a fire under our butts . . .
2. Visit Charleston, South Carolina
I keep both an international and domestic travel bucket list, because I always seem to have the wanderlust itch. Two years ago I was dying to see Chicago, IL and I finally made it there in June 2016. This year I have my sights set on another city with a "C," Charleston.
I have been to Savannah, GA many times, which people say has the same southern charm as Charleston. However, Charleston has a major food scene. In January 2017, The New York Times travel series "36 Hours" published a feature on Charleston, making me want to go even more. On the culinary side of things, my short list includes Husk, FIG, Long Island Cafe and The Ordinary.
JetBlue (the undisputed best airline) now flies non-stop from Boston to Charleston, so I'm keep my eyes peeled for cheap tickets. If you have been and have recommendations for things to see and do, please share!
3. Get back to New York City
The last time I was in New York was in August 2017 and it was for about 26 hours. I traveled in for a client event in Queens. We never left the event location (we even slept there!). This year I want get back to the Big Apple, but just for fun.
Four of my closest friends from summer camp live there and one of my favorite girls from college. I'll likely wait until the spring, as New York is really a walking city and that is much more pleasant went the wind isn't whipping you in the face.
4. Spend time on Cape Cod
If you've been reading Pop.Bop.Shop. for a long time, then you know I grew up spending at least two weeks on Cape Cod every summer. First in Dennis with my grandparents, and later in Truro with my parents and sister. Since graduating college, we've been back to Truro on and off, depending on the other family trips and weddings we had each year. In 2017, we didn't do a family trip to the Cape and I didn't even manage a single day trip.
This year, my family is recommitted to Truro and I cannot wait.
If you know of anything new that opened in Wellfleet, Truro or Provincetown last year, please let me know.
5. Revisit my favorite downtown restaurants
From 2011 - 2014 I worked on Broad Street in Boston, right behind Faneuil Hall. It was an amazing location because you could easily walk to the North End, the Seaport, Downtown Crossing, the Theater District or Beacon Hill. Our office was also close to both the red and green line trains, so you could zip to any other neighborhood quickly.
Now that I work in Cambridge, I rarely cross the Charles River. It's sad, but true. This year I want to revisit some of my favorite Boston restaurants.
6. See Hamilton when it comes to Boston
True time. When Hamilton first premiered on Broadway in New York, I didn't quite get it. I saw the cast perform on the Tony Awards that year and while it was very cool, I still didn't understand the hype.
Now that I've been able to listen to more of the soundtrack and grasp the brilliance of the lyrics, I'm dying to see it. The tour is coming to the Boston Opera House from September 18 - November 18 and I am really hoping to score tickets.
7. Tour Short Path Distillery
I've been following Short Path Distillery on Instagram (@spdistillery) for over a year now and every time they post a delicious-looking cocktail or a shot of their new outdoor patio I think to myself, "I really have to get there." 2018 is going to be the year.
Short Path is located in Everett in what is being called the Fermentation District. The area is also home to Night Shift Brewing, Bone Up Brewing and Village Bar & Grill.
If you're interested in joining me on this cocktail quest, give a shout!
8. Go treasure hunting at the Brimfield Antique Show
Three times per year Brimfield, MA is home to the largest outdoor antique market in the country. The show began in 1959 and now attracts over 6,000 vendors. SIX THOUSAND.
I have watched as designers, shop owners and bloggers have posted live on social media as they made their way through rows and rows of stalls and tents. This year I hope to attend and find some new treasures for entertaining.
9. Become a plant lady
I've been noticing recently that when I visit family and friends who have plants in their homes, the space feels more airy and alive. I've been in my place for five and a half years now and at times it feels a bit stale. I've moved artwork around, but I'm feeling the need to infuse some new elements and I think plants might be just the thing.
I was really inspired by this house tour on Cup of Jo (my favorite blog), where the woman featured, Amira, filled her house with 35 plants. The greenery just made every room feel brighter.
Full disclosure: I had a bamboo plant my freshman year of college and even though the woman who sold it to me assured me they were extremely hard to kill, I managed to do so in six months. If you have a green thumb, I'd love your opinion on plants that are beautiful, but also fairly easy to care for.
10. Feature more female-owned businesses
I kicked off this goal on January 4, celebrating Pop.Bop.Shop.'s ninth birthday by featuring nine of my favorite businesses owned and run by women.
Throughout 2018 I plan to continue putting these female businesswomen in the spotlight.
If you are a woman who owns and operates her own business, please reach out. If you know a badass female running a brand or boutique or coaching program, I'd love to meet her.
If the Golden Globe Awards were any indication, 2018 is the year of women. Let's all support each other and lift each other up.
11. Hire a Pop.Bop.Shop. intern
My final resolution is a goal I've actually had for the last three or four years. As you know, since starting this blog on January 4, 2009, I have always juggled creating content for this site with spending over eight hours per day working at my full-time job. I was recently promoted to Vice President at my PR agency, so I expect finding that balance to be even more challenging this year as my work load increases at my day job.
The time has come to hire a collaborator! I've toyed with the idea of bringing on an intern for several years. I would love to mentor someone who is interested in learning the ins and outs of blogging and creating a branded digital presence.
I could use help planning ahead for special occasions. For example, there are hundreds of food theme days throughout the year and I always seem to be reminded of them on the day of, rather than having the time to mark them on the calendar and work on content in advance. Of course I want to acknowledge National Grilled Cheese Day, but when I learn about it via Twitter on my way into work, it's already too late.
I'd also love another person with great taste to help me curate my gift guides. As much I love hand selecting each item for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, the holiday season and more, it would be wonderful to have a fellow gift hunter.
And most importantly, on January 4, 2019 Pop.Bop.Shop. will turn 10 years old. This is a huge milestone that I want to celebrate in a big way. I will need a partner in crime to help make this epic.
If you know a young, talented college student or recent college graduate who might be interested, I am working on a formal job description and would be happy connect about it.
And there you have it. My 11 resolutions for 2018. Confession: the odd number is kind of killing me.
As I have done for the past few years, I will keep you updated on my progress by sharing quarterly reports. If you'd like to join me for any of these meals or adventures, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I love hearing from you.
Tell me, did you make any resolutions for 2018? 16 days into the year, how's it going so far?
*Image credits: Turks and Caicos photo courtesy of Shore Club, Charleston photo courtesy of Business Insider, New York photo courtesy of TIME OUT, Hamilton photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune, Short Path Distillery photo courtesy of Short Path Distillery, Brimfield photo courtesy of Rainy Day Magazine, Plant lady photo by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. All other photography by Molly Galler.