2022 Resolutions: Year-End Report

Hello, friends. I have been sharing my New Year's resolutions here on Pop.Bop.Shop. for the past eight years. Typically, I publish my initial list of goals in January, a progress report around June / July, and then one final round up in December. This year, I didn't wind up sharing a mid-year update, so this post feels like a bookend to my original intentions from January. If you'd like a quick refresher, here is the 2022 resolutions list

This year was a mixed bag.

A lot of wonderful things happened.

  • I signed great clients at work.
  • I got to travel again with friends.
  • I became an aunt again!
  • I was able to be with my parents to celebrate their 70th birthdays. 
  • I visited the sleepaway camp I went to as a kid for the first time in over 10 years.
  • For the first time I ever, Scout came with me on our annual family trip to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.
  • I returned to Maine to celebrate a 10-year-long summer tradition with a group of friends I treasure.
  • I toasted to my 38th birthday with two weeks of events, including dinner with my besties at Faccia a Faccia, the Lizzo concert, and a slumber party weekend at the Hull house.
  • I took a full week off of work to spend time with family in Miami for Thanksgiving. 

And a lot of tough stuff happened too.

  • After two and a half years of caution, I finally got COVID. I tested positive the day I arrived in Miami to celebrate my nephew's third birthday. It was awful.
  • My mom got COVID at the start of the summer and has been experiencing intense symptoms ever since. 
  • After a year of mourning, we gathered as a family to spread my aunt's ashes.
  • Two of my closest friends lost a parent this year.
  • My bestie (who lives around the corner) lost her two cats, who she'd had for over 15 years.
  • Many of my clients, who have become dear friends, had to layoff their teams this year or got laid off themselves. 

It has been a rollercoaster year, which to be honest, is kind of what I expected. When I sat down to write my resolutions for this year, there were still a lot of unknowns. How strict would we have to be about COVID? What would travel look like? Would I got back to the office? 

I set these goals knowing that many of the variables would likely change as the year went on, but I would do my best no matter what curve balls the universe threw my way. 

Ready to see how I did? Let's get to it. 

1. Get back into journaling 

Status: Habit formed! When I was young, I loved keeping a journal. I have boxes and boxes of journals from ages 12 - 21. It's both hilarious and heartbreaking to re-read them and see what mattered to me then. 

When I made this resolution at the start of the year, it was to build on a self-care resolution I made in 2021. Last year, I resolved to commit to a meditation practice, which has become a huge part of my daily life. To add another tool to my emotional toolbox, I wanted to reignite my journaling habit.  

I started with this journal, which was a gift from my sister.

2022 Journal

I wasn't sure if I would fill it, or only wind up doing this a few times. In January alone, I wrote 8 entries. That slowed a bit as the year went on, but as of this moment, I've written 22 entries. 

While that may not seem like a lot, each time I did it I felt much better. I discovered that I get the most out of journaling when I feel angry. It gives me a place to release all of my honest thoughts, free of judgment and most importantly, free of impacting others. 

At work this year we had a guest speaker come in, a social worker, who talked about "focusing on the feeling, instead of the story you've assigned to the feeling." I had never heard anyone describe emotional processing like that and it felt like a light bulb went off. Journaling helps me to dissect why something is bothering me so much, instead of spiraling about the circumstances that brought me to that feeling. This is growth, people! 

I definitely plan to keep journaling into 2023 and beyond. 

2. Create the feeling of luxury at home 

Status: Spa-level bliss. When I originally wrote this list in January, I hadn't been to a spa since February 2020. Thankfully, with COVID vaccines and boosters, I have felt more comfortable to return to these spaces. 

That said, I have really dialed up my self-care routines at home. When it comes to getting ready, I have become obsessed with the Wander Beauty Baggage Claim eye masks.

Wander Beauty Eye Masks

I also use the Cleverfy Shower Steamers to make my my teeny tiny bathroom feel like a zone of serenity. The watermelon and grapefruit scents are bright and energizing. 

Shower steamers

In the evenings, I love to burn a candle while I watch TV. I discovered the Yankee Candle Dolce Delight scent at the grocery store. It smells like you've just finished baking sugar cookies. 

Yankee Candle Dolce Delight

My favorite is one my mom gifted to me in October, the Voluspa Pumpkin Spice Latte candle. It smells like pie (in a great way, not a sickeningly sweet way). 

Voluspa candle

When I'm ready for bed, I spritz my pillow with the OSEA pillow mist. The scents of lavender, chamomile, rosemary and lime drift me off to dreamland. 

OSEA pillow mist

I used to feel like using products like these were only for special occasions. Now, I love creating that luxurious feeling as often as I can. 

3. Make takeout fun again with donuts 

Status: Holy delicious. At the beginning of this year, I was a bit OD-ed on takeout. Because many of my friends did not feel comfortable eating indoors at restaurants, we often met at my place or theirs for takeout. There's only so many times you can eat out of a to-go container and feel good about it. 

I was looking for a way to revive my love of carry out and there only seemed to be one solution: donuts. 

The shop I frequented most this year was the Donut King in Weymouth, which is on my drive from Watertown to Hull. They have outrageous flavors and it was my absolute pleasure to sample as many as I could. 

Donut King WeymouthDonut King Weymouth

As you can see, I could never resist the Frutty Pebbles donut.

Here in Watertown, I also made regular trips to Linda's Donuts, which is at the top of my street. Their honey dip is the best I've ever tasted. 

Lindas Donuts

Each year during our summer trip to Lake Winnipesaukee, I hit up Yum Yum Shop. This year, the chocolate raspberry donut was my favorite. I was so excited I forgot to take a picture. 

While this didn't become a weekly or even monthly tradition, any time I craved a donut I thought to myself, "This is for my resolution! I must." 

4. Watch 10 movies from before I was born 

Status: Paused. This idea was hatched when I heard one of the co-hosts of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast state this as one of her intentions this year. I thought this was so fun and a great way to pass the dark, cold, winter nights. 

Well, you know what? It turns out that old movies are kind of hard to watch. The film quality isn't as sharp, they tend to be slower, they're longer, and did you know that the entire credits used to roll at the start of the movie?! 

I didn't watch 10 movies, but I did watch four. That list includes:

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) - An Audrey Hepburn classic. 
  • Funny Girl (1968) - I finally understood so many references.
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) - Filmed in Boston! 
  • Annie Hall (1977) - Given its place in pop culture history, I wanted to love this, but I just didn't. 

I have many more saved to my Amazon Prime watch list, but I just wasn't enjoying this as much as I expected too, so I stopped. The one I do still want to watch is 9 to 5 (1980) with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. 

5. Spend 30 minutes of solo time outdoors each week 

Status: Epic failure. I made this resolution out of an existing frustration. Because most of my outdoor time is with Scout, and he's now 10 years old, he walks very slowly. Sometimes it makes it hard for me to enjoy the fresh air or my surroundings because he simply will not move. Or he will move, but at a glacial pace. 

Once I made this goal public, I was like, "This is it! I am finally going to walk at my own speed again." Well, turns out, I don't like being outside without Scout.

Every time I thought about doing a solo walk, I would think, "Nah, I should bring him." Or if I was in Hull, preparing to walk down to the bay for sunset, even if I had just walked him, I would convince myself, "He deserves to see this pretty sunset too." 

I took exactly one walk by myself in all of 2022. One! 

Turns, I want to be with Scout more than I want to walk faster. 

Walking with Scout

6. Explore four new outdoor spaces 

Status: Baby explorer. This intention sprung from my deep feeling of wanderlust. Travel was so limited in 2020 and 2021 that I was seeking new ways to feel that sense of adventure, even if was just a short drive away. 

One of the places I went for this first time this year was Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, MA. The entrance to the park is about 15 minutes away from my house in Hull, but I'd never been. When my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece were visiting, we decided to talk a long walk there together. 

Wompatuck State Park

The parking is free, the trails are wide, and we got to see some beautiful fall foliage. We also discovered it's very close to Hornstra Farms in Norwell, MA, which apparently has amazing ice cream. Can't wait to check that out when the Dairy Bar re-opens in the spring. 

I also went to a winery this summer, which had amazing outdoor seating. It's called Spring Hill Vineyards in New Preston, CT.

Spring Hill VineyardSpring Hill Vineyard

My college bestie took me there and we had the most delightful experience sipping rosé on Adirondack chairs. 

Spring Hill Vineyard

I wish had ventured out a bit more, but once the summer weather hits, it's very hard to resist sitting on the beach in Hull! 

7. Take four local road trips 

Status: Zip trips completed! Are you sensing a theme here? In January of this year I was very eager to shake up my routine. I was bored of working from home, hosting friends at home, and watching endless hours of TV at home. I needed newness! 

Since I didn't have any plans to travel (at the time), I thought hitting the road across New England would help scratch that itch. 

In January, I hopped into the car with a friend to travel about 40 minutes west to Maynard, Stow and Hudson, MA. We started at Kind Goods, a gift shop that has become a real go-to. I've been back multiple times this year. Here are a few of my favorite photos from those shopping trips: 

Kind Goods MaynardKind Goods MaynardKind Goods MaynardKind Goods Maynard

That same January day we also went to Nan's Market in Stow, which makes incredible hot drinks, sandwiches (don't sleep on the vegan 'chicken' sandwich!) and has a fully stocked freezer of New City Microcreamery pints. 

Nans Market

We ended that road trip with dinner at Less Than Greater Than, the speakeasy owned by the New City guys. 

On one of our later trips to Maynard, we started the morning in Sudbury, MA at The Farmer's Daughter for brunch. I had been wanting to check this place out for a while. They also have a location in Easton, MA, near by alma mater, Wheaton College. 

The Farmers Daughter

This year I also explored the South Shore a bit more. My best and most delicious discovery was Mrs. Mekler's. Mercantile in Cohasset, MA, also known as the Sugar Shack. I have been many times on my own and have also started to bring friends when they come to visit me in Hull.

Sugar Shack Cohasset Sugar Shack Cohasset

I also had dinner in Scituate Harbor for the first time at place called Vine Bar. They have very fun themed wine flights and the most adorable charcuterie board. This size (below) is called "The Little Guy." 

Vine Bar ScituateVine Bar Scituate

Downtown Scituate is very charming and I'm excited to spend more time there in 2023. 

8. Dine at MIDA 

Status: Polenta paradise. For many years, I have included making my way to one single restaurant as one of my resolutions. In 2015 it was Barcelona Wine Bar. In 2016 it was Giulia. In 2017 it was Eataly. In 2019 it was Pammy's. In 2020 it was Orfano

This year, I set my sights on MIDA. Chef Douglas Williams has gotten incredible praise for his Italian cuisine, as well as his charitable work in the South End. 

When I learned he and his team were opening a second location in my hometown of Newton, MA, I knew I had to get there. 


I went with one of my college besties in July and we arrived hungry. We were excited to order multiple things and see if MIDA could live up to the hype. 

We agreed that there were three stand out dishes: the arancini, the pizza bianco and the polenta topped with gorgonzola cheese, honey, black pepper and lemon zest. I have had dreams about that polenta. 


While I don't see MIDA becoming a part of my regular dining out rotation, I was very glad to finally experience it! 

9. Finally make it to Charleston, SC 

Status: Southern Charm unlocked! If you've been a Pop.Bop.Shop. reader for a while, then you already know that getting to Charleston has been a resolution of mine three times. First in 2018, next in 2020, and then again at the start of this year. 

I am elated to share that I finally made it there! My mom turned 70 in April and her one wish was for her whole family to gather in Charleston to celebrate.

We stayed in a beautiful rental house on Folly Beach. We got lots of time on the sand, and drove downtown several afternoons and evenings for meals. We also made it to the Gibbes Museum and on a walking tour with Tommy Dew (a highlight of the trip). 

Here are a few of my favorite photos: 

Charleston Folly BeachCharleston BuildingsCharleston ChurchCharleston Walking Tour

And you can't talk about Charleston, without talking about the food. Our first meal out was at Leon's Fine Poultry and Oyster Shop. The fried chicken platter was devoured, and I hit the jackpot with the Siam salad, topped with half an avocado, red cabbage, slices of Mandarin oranges, fried onions, peanuts and a mountain of fresh herbs. 

Leons CharlestonLeons CharlestonLeons Charleston

We had a girls-only birthday dinner for my mom at Stella's, which reminded me so much of Metropolis Cafe in the South End in Boston. We ate salads topped with giant blocks of feta, rich spanikopita, and ended the meal with chocolate cake garnished with brandy-soaked cherries and fresh whipped cream. 

Stellas CharlestonStellas CharlestonStellas Charleston

On Folly Beach, we were blown away by our lunch at Lowlife Bar. The avocado toast was next level and all the sandwiches came with waffle fries. #winning 

Low Life Folly BeachLow Life Folly BeachLow Life Folly Beach

We loved Rita's Seaside Grille so much that we went twice in one week. They have a huge outdoor patio that just screams, "I am on vacation!" The sandwiches and burgers are delicious and come with a side that tastes like the love child of a French fry and a potato skin. 

Ritas Folly BeachRitas Folly Beach

Now, for all you Southern Charm fans, I did make it to Miss Patricia's house. And I did stand outside her gate and take photos like a crazy person. I also went to Craig's pillow store, Sewing Down South. And I walked by one of Leva's bars, Republic. 

It was such a joy to finally be in Charleston after so many false starts. I now have a note in my phone where I keep a running list of all the places I want to go next time. 

10. Take a girls trip to St. Lucia 

Status: Wheels up! One of my happiest memories of this entire year was going to St. Lucia with my best gal pals. Pre-pandemic, we used to try and take a big trip together every year. We've been to Palm Springs, Turks & Caicos, the Bahamas, and in February 2020 we went to Curacao. We tried desperately to make a trip happen in 2021, but a new COVID variant crushed those dreams. 

This year, in June, we boarded the plane and arrived to the most majestic place I have ever seen in real life, St. Lucia. This island is a jaw-dropping combination of the beauty of Carribean beaches, mixed with the height and lush greenery of a rainforest. About 10 times a day we would say, "Are we at Jurassic Park?" 

Sugar Beach St LuciaSugar Beach St LuciaSugar Beach St Lucia

We stayed at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy resort. We had our own private villa, with a private pool and an on-call concierge. His name was Gus and he was awesome. 

Sugar Beach St LuciaSugar Beach St Lucia

We dined at every possible location on the property (The Terrace, Bayside, Jalouise Grill, Cane Bar), and we booked appointments at their spa. 

Sugar Beach St LuciaSugar Beach St LuciaSugar Beach St Lucia

We also ventured out to enjoy a dinner at the Hotel Chocolat and an evening at a restaurant called the Tree Top. It puts you eye level with the Piton mountains. 

Hotel Chocolat St LuciaHotel Chocolat St LuciaTreetop St LuciaTreetop St Lucia

Here are some of my favorite snaps from the trip:

Saint Lucia Girls TripSaint Lucia Girls TripSaint Lucia Girls Trip

I can honestly say this was one of the most memorable trips of my life. Because we had spent two years not being able to travel together, we woke up every morning feeling immensely grateful. On top of that, the resort was spectacular, the setting was gorgeous, and we felt truly relaxed. 

We already have our 2023 trip booked and I can't wait to be reunited with these ladies. 

There you have it! My year-end report. After 12 unpredictable months, the final score card is:

7 resolutions complete

#1 - Get back into journaling

#2 - Create the feeling of luxury at home

#3 - Make takeout fun again with donuts 

#7 - Take four local road trips 

#8 - Dine at MIDA 

#9 - Finally make it to Charleston, SC

#10 - Take a girls trip to St. Lucia

2 resolutions in-progress 

#4 - Watch 10 movies from before I was born 

#6 - Explore four new outdoor spaces 

1 resolution abandoned  

#5 - Spend 30 minutes of solo time outdoors each week 

If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post, you deserve a cookie. Thank you for following along on my resolutions journey, whether you're tuning in for this year's updates or have been with me since the very beginning. I love sharing about these goals and intentions, and hearing from you about what you're manifesting. 

As we head into the final few days of the year, I am wishing each of you a wonderful holiday week and a happy and healthy new year. May 2023 bring everything we're wishing for.  

*All photography by Molly Galler. 


Molly Galler

Welcome to Pop.Bop.Shop. My name is Molly. I’m a foodie, fashionista, pop culture addict and serious travel junkie. I’m a lifelong Bostonian obsessed with frozen confections, outdoor patios, Mindy Kaling, reality television, awards shows, tropical vacations, snail mail and my birthday.

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