I have been meaning to write this resolutions update for about a month, but I just couldn't seem to find the time to sit down and really reflect. 2018 has been a challenging year so far. The winter in Boston was brutal - long, cold, unrelenting. I transitioned into a new role at work in early December and while I'd love to tell you that it's been smooth sailing, I'm finding my new responsibilities pretty overwhelming. I've been doing small things to try and lower my stress level, like putting my phone on "Do Not Disturb" at night, listening to podcasts instead of the radio (let's be honest, the news is pretty depressing right now) and carving out time to just do nothing. The sunny spring weather has certainly improved my mood and I'm optimistic we'll fully transition into outdoor mode by the end of the month. You know how I love a patio.
I have four resolutions that I've carried over from past years and have recommitted to for 2018:
- Spend at least one weeknight at home every week - I first made this resolution in January 2016 and of all the goals on my lists the past three years, this one has had the biggest impact on my daily quality of life. In 2017, I was able to stick to this resolution for 42 out of 52 weeks (not bad!). This year, I'm at 18 out of 19 weeks. A pretty solid start if I do say so myself! And yes, it did kill me when my perfect record was shattered last week, just days before sharing this post.
- Use my gift cards - If you've been reading Pop.Bop.Shop. for a while, then you already know I really struggle to use my gift cards. My friends and family have been so generous over the years, providing me with these cards, but they just sit in my purse, sometimes for years at a time. I've been actively trying to swipe them or donate them for two years now. In 2018 I have used one gift card . . . to the Cheesecake Factory. Thanks, Grammy!
- Attend the Revere Sand Sculpting Festival - I went to the festival for the first time in July 2016 and felt like I'd uncovered a true local gem. I missed it last year (due to family being in town), but I'd really love to go this year. The festival dates were just released and it will be Friday, July 20 - Sunday, July 22. Details here if you'd like to learn more.
- Experience the Hull Harbor Illumination - As you may recall, I tried to go this event last year, but Scout got incredibly sick and I had to cancel on my cousins on the day of. I am very much looking forward to experiencing the Illumination this year. The 2018 date is Saturday, July 28.
Now, onto my progress toward my 2018 resolutions!
1. Take a tropical vacation
Status: Complete! Thank you to the Bomb Cyclone, which was the final push my friends and I needed to book our tropical getaway. In March, I flew to Turks and Caicos with two of my closest gal pals. Turks had been on my bucket list for years and I was ecstatic about finally making the trip.
The resort was stunning, the beaches were picture-perfect and we loved it so much that we've already been talking about making this an annual tradition.
2. Visit Charleston, South Carolina
Status: Considering for a birthday trip. It's no secret that I'm obsessed with my birthday. Though it's not until September, I've been noodling on what I might like to do to celebrate and since my actual birthday is on a Saturday this year, a weekend getaway feels like a great choice. I've been wanting to explore Charleston for years. My cousin's husband grew up there and they've both been encouraging me to go for about . . . 10 years?
I follow two bloggers who are based in Charleston, Kristin of Color By K and Julia of Gal Meets Glam, and I've been paying careful attention to their local recommendations lately. If you've been to Charleston and have suggestions on where to eat, drink, explore or relax (translation = spa), please let me know!
3. Get back to New York City
Status: On the radar. I haven't been to the Big Apple since August 2017, which is just nuts to me, considering how often I used to travel there for work. I keep hoping I'll be sent for business and be able to extend to the trip to see friends and explore, but so far this year there hasn't been an opportunity.
I miss walking on the High Line, people watching in Madison Square Park, the fried greens beans at The Smith, the veggie meatballs at the Meatball Shop, the epic cookies at Levain Bakery and brunch at Buvette.
4. Spend time on Cape Cod
Status: Coming up in July! Last year I didn't make it to Cape Cod at all, not even for a day trip. This year I am so excited my family is renting a house for a full week in Truro, where we spent many summer vacations growing up. As my mom likes to say, "We're definitely Outer Cape people."
I can't wait to swim beneath the towering dunes of Long Nook Beach, watch the sun set over Great Hollow, stroll along Commercial Street in Provincetown, eat fried food and soft serve at PJ's in Wellfleet and sip wine at Truro Vineyards.
This year our trip will be extra special because Scout gets to come! He has never been to Cape Cod, but something tells me he's going to love it.
5. Revisit my favorite downtown restaurants
Status: Improving! At the start of this year I committed to making time to return to my favorite downtown restaurants. Now that I live in Watertown and work in Cambridge, I dine out plenty, but I hardly ever cross the river anymore.
In January I shared the six places that were on my short list: Blue Dragon, Trade, Nebo, Ocean Prime, Cafeteria and the Marliave. So far, I've only made it to one of those, Ocean Prime, but I did make it to five others: Earl's at the Prudential Center, Eastern Standard, Eataly, Myers + Chang and The Paramount.
If you'd like to join for one of my five remaining downtown dinner spots, let me know!
6. See Hamilton when it comes to Boston
Status: In need of a miracle. It took me a while to buy into the Hamilton hype, but now I am overcome with jealousy when I see people sharing Instagram photos under the marquee. The show is coming to the Boston Opera House from September 18 - November 18 and I'm really hoping to find a way in (though people keep telling me it will be impossible).
If for some reason I can't get into Hamilton, I already have tickets to Moulin Rouge at the Emerson Colonial Theater in August, which I am very excited about.
7. Tour Short Path Distillery
Status: Picking a date. My cousins and I have been on a great roll, meeting up monthly to catch up over dinner and drinks. In April we did a matza pizza party for Passover, in May we did a game night for Cinco de Mayo and I am hoping to find a weekend day in June for all of us to go check out Short Path Distillery. It's been on my list for a long time and now that the weather is improving, their outdoor patio is calling to me!
8. Go treasure hunting at the Brimfield Antique Show
Status: Rained out! My friend Stephanie and I were planning to hit up Brimfield this Saturday, in search of furniture and decor for a house she's staging. We'd both been looking forward to it, but all week we saw that the forecast was for rain. We hoped the clouds would move in another direction, but when we woke up Saturday, we knew we'd be drenched if we went.
Thankfully, Brimfield has two more sets of dates in 2018: July 10 - 15 and September 4 - 9. We will definitely find a new day for our treasure hunting!
If you went this past week, I'd love to hear any notable vendors you met or pro tips you have for making the most of the road trip.
9. Become a plant lady
Status: In search of my perfect plant match. In January I shared my desire to add some plants into various rooms in my home. I find when I visit someone who has plants, I notice that their space feels more vibrant and alive.
I haven't tackled this resolution yet, but as all the spring flowers have started to pop up, I've been feeling more excited to pick out some greenery.
I live near a Mahoney's garden center, so I think I'll start there. My game plan is to walk in and say, "Hi, I'm Molly. I don't have a great track record with keeping plants alive, but I'd like to try again. Anything that has a good reputation for survival?"
10. Feature more female-owned businesses
Status: Embarrassingly slow start. When I made this resolution in January, my hope was to feature at least one female-owned business per month. Though I've been meeting with tons of lady bosses for work, those conversations haven't made it here to the blog.
In January, in honor of Pop.Bop.Shop.'s 9th anniversary, I featured nine of my favorite female-owned businesses. That strong start fizzled pretty quickly, unfortunately.
In March, I spoke at Greentail Table, my favorite shop for cards, gifts and entertaining supplies. That gorgeous store is owned by Linda De Valpine.
If you know a woman running a fantastic, creative, inspiring business. Please send her my way!
11. Hire a Pop.Bop.Shop. intern
Status: Seeking candidates! Now that the spring semester has wrapped for most colleges, I am kicking my intern search into high gear. I'm excited to find a collaborator who shares my love of discovering new things and would be game to help me plan my editorial calendar, celebrate theme days, showcase my best entertaining ideas, hunt for the perfect presents for upcoming gift guides and work together on an epic celebration for Pop.Bop.Shop.'s 10th anniversary, which will be on January 4, 2019.
If you know a talented college student who is interested in writing, content creation, social media or photography, please send him or her my way!
There you have it! My May progress report. Here is the current tally:
1 resolution complete
#1 - Take a tropical vacation
4 resolutions in progress
#2 - Visit Charleston, South Carolina
#4 - Spend time on Cape Cod
#5 - Revisit my favorite downtown restaurants
#10 - Feature more female-owned businesses
6 resolutions yet to be tackled
#3 - Get back to New York City
#6 - See Hamilton when it comes to Boston (help!)
#7 - Tour Short Path Distillery
#8 - Go treasure hunting at Brimfield Antique Show
#9 - Become a plant lady
#11 - Hire a Pop.Bop.Shop. intern
If you would like to join me for any of my upcoming resolution adventures, leave a comment or email me and we'll plan it!
*Image credits: Charleston photo courtesy of Kristin Chambless, Hamilton photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune, Short Path Distillery photo courtesy of Short Path, Brimfield photo courtesy of Chateau Chic and Plant lady photo courtesy of Hey Mama Blog. All other photography by Molly Galler.