I typically share a progress update on my New Year's resolutions sometime in April or May, but here we are in June. Better late than never, right?
In case you want a quick refresher, here is my original list of goals, as stated in January. For the fourth year in a row, I recommitted to staying home one night per week during the work week. So far, I have a perfect record - 23 weeks straight! Last year, I was able to hit 50 out of 52 weeks. This year, I am hoping for all 52.
I have two resolutions from 2018 that I didn't achieve, but hope to this year - checking out Short Path Distillery in Everett, MA and taking a trip to Charleston, SC. Though I haven't done either yet, I am going to.
I am also hoping to revisit three events from resolutions past:
- The Revere Sand Sculpting Festival (July 26 - 28, 2019)
- The Hull Harbor Illumination (July 27, 2019)
- The Brimfield Antique Show (July 9-14 and September 3-8, 2019)
Ok, now onto the status report!
1. Send my grandmother one piece of snail mail every week
Status: Pen pal perfection. At this start of this year, I decided I wanted to send my grandmother one letter every week. My motives were two-fold. First, my grandmother is 90 (she'll be 91 next month) and she is very hard of hearing. When we talk on the phone, it's clear that she can't really hear what I'm saying, so she doesn't really know what's going on with me, and can't understand when I am asking about her. Two, over Martin Luther King weekend, my grandmother moved from Jupiter, FL to Miami, FL, leaving a home she had shared with my grandfather for 30 years. I knew starting over at her age would be incredibly difficult and lonely, so I hoped receiving this mail would bring a smile to her face.
I have successfully sent her a letter all 23 weeks of the year. It's a fun project for me. When I travel, I am always looking for postcards I think she might like. If a postcard comes with a check at a restaurant, I'll send it to her and describe who I was with, the atmosphere, and what we ordered.
When I visited her over Mother's Day weekend, I saw she had several of the cards I had sent on display in her living room, which warmed my heart.
In the most wonderful and surprising turn of events, on May 19, I got my first letter back from her! She had lunch at a restaurant in Miami she knows I love, called The Icebox, and she sent me the postcard that came with the bill.
I'm excited to continue this weekly ritual (and secretly I hope she keeps writing me back!).
2. Get TSA pre-check
Status: Complete! And total game changer. This was the very first resolution I completed on my 2019 list, and I did it all in the month of January! I applied online, scheduled my in-person appointment, and received my traveler number all before January 31.
Not only did I feel a rush from crossing something off the list so quickly, but it has completely changed my travel experience. I don't feel as panicked about getting to the airport super early, because I know I will be in a shorter security line. I also know everyone in that line is a frequent traveler and knows what they are doing. And perhaps the best part - I never have to take off my shoes or take my laptop out of my bag.
Honestly, it's pure bliss. The best $85 dollars I've ever spent.
3. Take a tropical vacation (year two!)
Status: Complete! One of my 2018 resolutions was to take a tropical vacation (which I did, to The Shore Club in Turks and Caicos), and that trip was so fantastic, that I resolved to book another warm-weather getaway to help survive the Boston winter in 2019.
This year, my BFF and I flew down to the Bahamas to stay at the SLS Baha Mar.
We had beds that felt like clouds, the fluffiest robes, access to multiple pools, and a private beach front.
For me, the best part of the trip was the incredible restaurants. Here's a look at our meals:
- Dining Out: 4 Lunch Spots at Baha Mar
- Dining Out: Fi'lia
- Dining Out: Katsuya
- Dining Out: Cleo
- Dining Out: Costa
A few photos of some of the highlights:
While I wouldn't stay at this specific hotel again, it was an awesome trip, including two celebrity sightings: Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics and Robyn and Juan Dixon from The Real Housewives of Potomac!
4. Go back to Israel
Status: Planning on October. I have spent a fair amount of time in Israel over the course of my life. The first time I went was the summer before my bat mitzvah. My parents took my sister and I on a two week trip, and it was amazing to be in the country I'd learned so much about in Hebrew school and summer camp.
The summer before my junior year of high school, I spent six weeks in Israel. It. Was. Hot.
I have gone back on my own every other year since graduating college. My last trip was in October 2017, and I am planning to back this October. Now that we're half way through the year (gasp!), it's time for me to start planning this in earnest.
5. Secure a reservation at Pammy's
Status: Pasta paradise! My first visit to Pammy's in Central Square in Cambridge, MA was in August 2017 and it was love at first sight (and bite!).
Since then, the restaurant has been recognized with a slew of awards, which is well-deserved, but has also made it impossibly hard to get a table.
Despite that challenge, I was determined to get back to the restaurant this year, and in March, I did! Here's a look at some of the dishes from my recent visit:
I was thrilled to be able to go back once, but it looks like I'll get the chance to visit a second time this year when my parents come to Boston in late July. My mom requested Pammy's as the dinner spot for their first night in town.
6. Order a Freak Frappe at Boston Burger Company
Status: Dude, where's my frappe? I am embarrassed to admit that I have already been to the Boston Burger Company in 2019, but didn't order a Freak Frappe on that visit. I was with a friend who isn't that into dessert, and I want to do this with someone who will obsess over it as much as I will.
My game plan is to ask my twin cousins to go with me. They are always up for a restaurant adventure (especially when it involves ice cream).
Here are a few of the frappes Boston Burger Company has been promoting on Instagram over the past few months:
Just looking at these is getting me excited all over again!
*All three frappe photos courtesy of @bostonburger_co on Instagram.
7. Frame and hang more artwork
Status: Frameless. Every year there is always one resolution where I drag my feet. The 2019 "I swear, I do really want to do this" resolution is definitely this one.
I have so many beautiful pieces of artwork that I am dying to frame, and I just never seem to feel that I have the time to really attack the project. I am stating right now, that during the month of June I am going to frame at least one piece.
8. Read two books per month
Status: On book 10 out of 12. At the start of the year, I set a goal to read two books per month, 24 total. I read two books in January, two books in February, three books in March (!!), and then came April. That month, I started The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown (former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and the founder of The Daily Beast). It was 419 pages, tight line spacing, tiny font and it took forever! It gobbled up that entire month, and most of May too.
Here's my list so far:
8. The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown
10. Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
Last weekend, I popped into Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA, which is one of my favorite independent bookstores, to stock up on new reads for the summer. I had been making a list in my Goodreads app and came ready to shop.
Here was my haul:
I have a lot of travel coming up, and can't wait to devour these by the beach / lake / pool.
If you've read something great this year, that you think I should try, please leave your book ideas in the comments!
9. Share top 10 lists
Status: Listicle love. Back in January, when I celebrated the tenth anniversary of Pop.Bop.Shop., several readers suggested that I share top 10 lists of my best discoveries from the past decade. I loved the idea so much, that I added it to my resolutions list.
The creation process for these lists has been much more fun and nostalgic than I was expecting. The research usually resurfaces posts I haven't seen in years and years, and reminds me of past adventures or decadent meals or great reads. It's been such a treat to go back in time and relive some of my fondest memories.
Here are the lists that have published so far:
- Top 10 Brunch Spots
- Top 10 Viewing Party Moments
- Top 10 Favorite Books
- Top 10 Outdoor Dining Spots
- Top 10 Dog-Friendly Spots
I already have themes in mind for June, July, September and December. If there is a theme you'd like to see, please let me know in the comments!
There you have it! My six month progress report. Here is the current tally:
3 resolutions complete
#2 - Get TSA pre-check
#3 - Take a tropical vacation
#5 - Secure a reservation at Pammy's
3 resolutions in progress
#1 - Send my grandmother one piece of snail mail every week
#8 - Read two books per month
#9 - Share top 10 lists
3 resolutions yet to be tackled
#4 - Go back to Israel
#6 - Order a Freak Frappe at Boston Burger Company
#7 - Frame and hang more artwork
If you'd like to join me on any upcoming resolution adventures, leave a comment below or email me!
I'm also curious, did you make any resolutions for 2019? How is it going so far? I'd love to hear from you.