Positive Momentum: 2015 Bucket List

IMG_4532Ladies and gents, I’m excited to present my 2015 Bucket List! I started crafting this year’s list in about August, and as you’ll see, have already made headway on a few items.

This year is about harnessing the positive momentum. 2014 was an incredible year, and I want to keep the positivity flowing.

Now to briefly backtrack, here’s my reasoning behind annual bucket lists, rather than resolutions: Resolutions start with the negative and then turn into proactive “resolutions” which are hardly resolute; they’re followed for the first couple of weeks of the new year, before they fall by the wayside and all you’re left with is a monthly gym membership fee.

Bucket lists are lists of action items, things I would like to do/learn/accomplish just for the sake of doing/learning/accomplishing them. I hold myself accountable, and regularly check in to share updates, accomplishments, even supplements. So without further ado, my seventh annual list:

TREAT YO’SELF
1. Have my DNA tested (via 23andme or another).
2. Have a real Christmas tree (even if I have to call it a Hanukkah bush). Did this this year :) It’s tiny, but festive!
3. Buy myself a bouquet of flowers.
4. Get a waffle maker☺. AB already got me one for our Secret Santa exchange!
5. Find a perfect purse (currently on the wait list for this one). I got a jumpstart and bought it over Black Friday weekend!
6. Buy a mirror for my living room.
7. Treat myself to a spa day.
8. Re-pierce my ears and buy a pair of earrings to celebrate (love these Kate Spades or a simple pair that goes with everything).
9. Find a new perfume that’s all me.
10. Buy myself new running / training shoes (probs these).

EXPERIENCE IT
11. Free kayaking at the Downtown Boathouse in Manhattan.
12. Travel someplace new.
13. Go to the pumpkin patch, or apple picking.
14. Ride a roller coaster.
15. Have high tea.
16. Shoot a gun.
17. Visit the Museum of the City of New York.
18. Eat a new protein – like reindeer or ostrich (I’m recruiting Captain America for his help on this one!).
19. Find a signature drink (French 75?).
20. Eat oysters (I tried my first recently; need to try more! Apparently there are habanero oysters?).
21. See Shakespeare in the park.
22. Attend an underground dinner.
23. Try dim sum in Chinatown.
24. Go to the Newseum in D.C.
25. Go to a festival / fair.
26. Learn a new card game.
27. Spend a day on the beach.
28. Recreate the balloon project on my birthday (or just for fun!).
29. Do something crazy.
30. Share some of my favorite sights with my soon-to-be-assigned Little!

GET MOVING
31. Go hiking (some great ideas here).
32. Run a charitable race (Fifth Avenue Mile, New York Underwear Run, Empire State Run Up, New Year Midnight Run).
33. Try the 100 pushups challenge.
34. Take a cult fitness class – flywheel or barre or kickboxing.
35. Sign up for ballet.
36. Do the splits.

CREATE
37. Read “The Artist’s Way.”
38. Read something by Proust.
39. Read “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons” before the “Game of Thrones” season 5 premier.
40. Publish something.
41. Host a brunch.
42. Craft something I found on Pinterest.
43. Crochet another headband / ear warmer.
44. Make fried okra.
45. Make homemade yogurt.
46. Do a standup comedy routine (via Peppercomm!).
47. Paint my room.
48. Take a photowalk.

MAKE A CHANGE
49. 12 Months of Meaningful Improvement:
January: Month of using zero disposable cups or bottles.
February: Month of drinking nothing but water (and protein shakes).
March: Month of no television.
April: Month of meatless Mondays.
May: Month of twice-weekly blog posts.
June: Month of morning walks.
July: Month supporting only small / local businesses.
August: Month without shopping.
September: Month without taking a cab.
October: Month without gluten. Just shut up and do it.
November: Month of daily gratitudes.
December: Month of random acts of kindness.
50. Implement Thursdays as a spend-free day.
51. Donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths again! This will also require buying a new hair dryer ☺
52. Learn a new(ish) language.

PROGRESS / SAVE
53. Build up a three-month emergency fund.
54. Ask for a raise / promotion.
55. Invest in something, even if it’s just Kiva.
56. Start contributing to my 401(k) (I haven’t reached the minimum time limit yet).
57. Improve my credit score by 10 points.
58. Join a professional group (PRSSA, New York Women in Communications).
69. Attend 5 networking events.
70. Set a date for my next big trip. Contribute $100 (or ideally, much more) to the fund each month!

Have any ideas for future lists? Want to join me for a few? Leave comments, ideas, and share your own lists – I’m always hungry for new ideas and inspiration!

My Week Off in New York: Part 3 (Fri & Weekend)

See parts 1 and 2 of my week off here.

Swept up in the rush and excitement of starting a new job, I didn’t finish recapping my week off (silly me). I’ll get to additional updates shortly, but first…

I started my Friday by walking to 59th street to pick up the tram to Roosevelt Island (free for those with a monthly metro card, and #15 on my bucket list!). The view from the tram was stunning.

(Note: In the interim between adventuring and writing this post, my iPhone was wiped, so pictures are mostly what I posted during the day on Instagram. Womp.)

I putzed around Roosevelt Island a bit – it’s a really residential haven amid the hecticness (hecticocity?) of New York. But a real winner. There’s an old insane asylum still standing (sadly, behind fences and totally off limits. You know me and haunted old buildings), and a funky little park as well.

05asylum_600From there, I hopped on the subway for a long ride out to Coney Island, where – despite less than ideal weather – the rides were running and the ice cream parlors were open. So naturally I had an ice cream cone. Before riding the famed Cyclone (which in retrospect seems like the wrong order).

Stomach in tact, and with wind-blown hair, I last visited the Brooklyn Aquarium. Much of the aquarium is closed to visitors while they rebuild post-Sandy, but the fishies were adorbs and I made a friend of this little guy.

I spent the weekend relaxing, walking around my own neighborhood, reading, and hanging with my Kappa sister Dani before starting my new job – crazy to think it’s already been a month since I started (clearly I’ve been busy) :)

A love letter to New York

We tried this once, and it was rocky at best. I was more infatuated with Snickers bars than you. But aint it funny what a little maturity (me) and hygiene (you) can do. Sparks. Oh, what love can do. I never meant to fall in love with you. I feel like I’m 12 all over again, meeting you and declaring “we’ll end up together someday.” I’d only seen your sparkle then. And though I’ve seen you fall apart (hello, 4,5,6 train) and mistreat me (hello, 2011), I only love you more now. I know your worst and love you for it. I love you for what you’ve made me.

This may not be a happily-ever-after story, but I know I’m better for having met you. Every time we spend time together, it’s like I’m meeting you anew all over. I forget the bad, blinded by the good. I never imagined myself with someone older, but you… dating you is like living vicariously through you. You cook French, and I see the Rue de Cler. Your pizza makes me see Naples. You cook Chinese and I see…whatever China looks like.

This is the most beautiful relationship ever. Maybe it will last, maybe not. Maybe I’ll miss you if I leave, maybe not. You’re not the clingy type and neither am I, but I know you’ll always be here if I come back—ready to fall in love all over again, ready to catch me, ready to wrap your rich arms around me.

Oh, it’s love. For now.

While You Were Out

I’ve been kinda caught up in a project lately, throwing myself into research and lists and flow charts and making everything organized and pretty (read: I’m a perfectionist sociopath). I can’t quite spill the details yet, but there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in my life :)

On a completely different note, Jenny is leaving town this weekend and I’ll more or less be on my own. So I’ve decided that (weather permitting) I want to be a total girly tourist and see a bunch of things in the city. This site had a lot of good ideas! I’ve started compiling a list (shocker!) and The plan for the weekend is::

SATURDAY::

  • Run along the water
  • Go to the New York Public Library and get a card :)
  • Go to Housing Works
  • See “The Roommate”

 

SUNDAY (Instead of watching the Super Bowl)::

  • Go to the Booklyn Flea Market
  • Go to Parlor salon for an evaluation
  • Walk on the Brooklyn Bridge

Menhattan

I had lunch on Friday with an editor for Esquire magazine that I met through an extended 6-degrees-esque connection. Over lunch, we discussed writing and journalism and life and general “brain barf.” And he mentioned that he walks to work every day because the 2+ mile walk provides him an opportunity to sort through that brain barf and compose it into well-organized story ideas.

I’m not quite crazy enough to walk 20 blocks in the freezing rain-slush fiasco that currently plagues the streets of Manhattan, but the weekend’s weather wasn’t quite so atrocious and I spent my Sunday meandering through the city. I walked up to Times Square and took pictures and reoriented my internal compass and let myself be a tourist in my new home. Tip to travelers: if you walk around alone, you don’t get hassled by the ticket peddlers :)

Anyway, as I was wondering the streets and perfecting my people-watching skills, I realized something about dating in New York that Sex in the City never fully covered. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of men on this tiny little island. They’re just not 10s. And there are even more women, and many of them are 20 feet tall and stunningly gorgeous. Given the scales, men can easily date up in this city. And they do.

Ladies, turns out the key to a happy relationship in this city is to simply lower your standards! Ta-da.

But gents, beware that that 10 you just scored likely towers over you when she dons her stilettos. Try not to let it get to you. Napoleon syndrome is never sexy (trust me).

2011 Bucket List

Remember that first post in July? This may look familiar…

Jumping right in, I’m not a believer in New Year’s resolutions. I just think they tend to revolve too much around losing weight and looking better and petty bullpucky that sparks a temporary spike in gym and diet industry revenues and doesn’t budge the scale a notch. Plus, I’m don’t have enough will power to diet, so I take a different approach to the New Year.

If you haven’t noticed already, I’m kind of a freak about lists. I read once that writing lists is the best way to naturally combat ADHD… maybe I’m undiagnosed? whatever. Anyway, I write lists all the time because it makes the brain clutter (which sounds something like “BZZZZZZZZIHAVETODOALLTHISCRAPANDICAN’TSORTTHROUGHMYTHOUGHTSENOUGHTOCOHESIVELYFIGUREOUTEXACTLYWHATI

NEEDTODOBZZZZZZZZZ”) and it makes it all pretty too. When I write lists, I’m more proactive. Case in point? Lists=shit gets done.

Anywayyyy, for this year’s bucket list, I compiled 80 things I wanted to do and am already working on many. Given my new address, there’s much to explore. I’m determined to fall in love with this city, even if I have to trip myself to get to that point. Bygones.

2011 BUCKET LIST

  1. Move to New York.
  2. Do something crazy.
  3. Visit the South.
  4. Dance on a table.
  5. Host a dinner party.
  6. Write a letter to a political figure.
  7. Raise $500 for a charity.
  8. Sing karaoke.
  9. Send poetry in to get published.
  10. Find the best coffee house in the city.
  11. See a show.
  12. Try speed dating.
  13. Learn to photograph.
  14. Buy myself a Michael Kors watch.
  15. Spend a weekend in D.C.
  16. Take a roadtrip.
  17. Find an excuse to wear a tiara.
  18. Read 5 books on my list.
  19. Design an outfit.
  20. Make business cards.
  21. Volunteer a week in Costa Rica.
  22. See Austin.
  23. Have a shower beer.
  24. Perfect my dougie.
  25. Have frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity III.
  26. Go to a concert.
  27. Skinny dip.
  28. Spend a Sunday volunteering with The Breakfast Club.
  29. Picnic in Central Park.
  30. Toast our Sep. apartment with champagne.
  31. Skateboard to class.
  32. Get a Boston Athenaeum membership.
  33. Go to a BRUINS game.
  34. Go to the top of the Empire State Building.
  35. Slow dance.
  36. Visit every Manhattan bridge.
  37. Learn something new.
  38. Have lunch on the Staten Island Ferry.
  39. Wear fake eyelashes.
  40. Waitress.
  41. Have three differently themed dinner parties.
  42. Buy myself some letters.
  43. Visit Canada.
  44. Get better at French.
  45. Send Amanda a care package.
  46. Take a dance class.
  47. Spend a day on the beach.
  48. Watch all the epic movies that I never did.
  49. Plant an herb garden.
  50. Write my number on a bathroom stall.
  51. Help make Thanksgiving dinner.
  52. Send in a Postsecret.
  53. Write a note and leave it in a book.
  54. Learn to master a stick shift.
  55. Do a cartwheel.
  56. Kiss someone under the mistletoe.
  57. Pay for the person behind me in a drive thru.
  58. Sneak someone into the Webster.
  59. Get a massage.
  60. Bartend.
  61. Create a poster memorializing random quotes.
  62. Take a CPR course.
  63. Take a ride in a town car.
  64. Make something for the apartment.
  65. Start a journal (again).
  66. Create a drink.
  67. Give someone a piggy back ride.
  68. Shake hands with the Editor in Chief.
  69. Take myself on a date.
  70. Talk someone into going to school.
  71. Buy myself a dress without a reason to wear it.
  72. Find a place to wear said dress.
  73. Dress like Jackie O.
  74. Play an intramural sport.
  75. Try a new Ben N Jerrys flavor.
  76. Blog once per week.
  77. Get to know someone in every Greek organization.
  78. Force a guy to come over and put up shelves (ha).
  79. Start a tradition.
  80. Read every night M-Th.

Here’s to an awesome year!! Happy New Year!

In case you didn’t get one… Happy Holidays!

The insert from my Christmas cards this year… a pretty comprehensive update on the goings on of my life :)

My family tends to send out the obligatory “Daniells Family Update Letter” in July, but there’s been so much going on lately that I thought I’d send out my own little update. I haven’t formally briefed many of you on my goings on since my high school graduation. In short, my time at Northeastern thus far has been amazing. After a slow first semester, I joined a sorority—Kappa Kappa Gamma—and started writing for the school paper. I made Dean’s List both semesters my freshman year and spent May of this year in Europe with my mom. We crammed four countries into three weeks and managed to survive vespa crashes and washed out trains. Mom loved Belgium and The Netherlands, and I fell in love with Paris, changed my language to French and scheduled time in my school trajectory to study there (Fall 2011?). I spent the rest of the summer reading, blogging and researching law schools (I decided to drop my second major and add a pre-law minor).

Since March, I have served as the corresponding secretary for Kappa and this past semester, I was elected the arts editor for my paper. Between those responsibilities and a full class load, I learned to survive on an average four hours of sleep and a diet of Raman and PB&J sandwiches. Despite the difficulties, this past semester has by far been the best four months yet; I became much closer with my sorority sisters and friends and managed to make a family and a home for myself on the east coast.

On January 3, I move to New York. I start my first co-op (a school-encouraged six month stint when I stop taking classes and work full-time) a week later, working as a features intern for Marie Claire magazine. It was a difficult decision to make (I had to turn down The Boston Globe and Vogue, and leave my beloved Boston), but it’s been a dream of mine to work at Marie Claire since I started shaving my legs and I figured I would give the city a shot. I will be living in Midtown Manhattan in an all-women’s building (my mother’s dream) with lounges, a library, a roof deck and a maid service (my dream).

As far as everything else goes, family life is great; I talk to my parents almost every day and am enjoying my first couple days back in San Diego. I signed on for an apartment in Boston in September with three of my friends and am excited to move in there. On a spontaneous whim, I recently died my hair red, and am now trying to rework my wardrobe since everything clashes with my hair. I just wanted to thank everyone again for helping me get to where I am. I’d love to hear from many of you and wish everyone the best this holiday season. Merry ChrismaHanukKwanzicaFestivus and a bubbly, wonderful New Year.