Happy 2012

A year can feel like a long time or a short time depending how you think about it and what state of mind you’re in. In the grand scheme of things though, a year really is a pretty short amount of time; they go too fast. I’m now 25, planning my wedding, my sister just had a baby, none of my siblings are even in the ‘teens anymore and the new year is 2012, yet I still feel like I’m in the 8th grade. What happened to the year 2000? Where did the time go?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the to-do lists of everyday life; the busyness of our schedules, the constant sense of being plugged in (checking Twitter, posting on Facebook, replying to an email), the amount of time we spend at work, among so many other things. We wish away the weekdays so we can get to the weekend. We pack the weekend full of things we couldn’t get done during the week, or “fun” activities so that we are sure we’re taking advantage of all that non-work time.

It would be easy to sit here and tell you all that I am going to take advantage of every moment in each day. That I am going to push all of the BS aside and appreciate Mondays the same way I appreciate Saturdays. I know this isn’t realistic. But I hope. I hope that I can teach myself to think more positively. To learn to appreciate every day that I am given. To wake up with a sense of joy because I am alive and healthy. To take on the day with a smile and a full heart. To find my passion. To show kindness to others. To make people laugh. To eliminate gossip and negative comments. To hone in on my creativity. To read and write more. To pay attention to the things that bring me happiness. To treat my body with respect; excercise  and embrace healthier eating habits. To (as they taught me at the MA Women’s Conference) live fearlessly.

I have had 25 amazing years so far. I must say, though…this year was a chart topper. Colin and I got engaged and we are planning (what I know will be) the happiest day of my life, because I am lucky enough to marry him. I also became a first time auntie this year. Our darling little Declan has brought more joy than I can even describe into our family. He is truly the light of our lives. 2011 was a wonderful year indeed.

I am a little late on my New Year’s wishes, but I do wish you a beautiful and happy 2012. xo

My resolutions for 2012:

1. To stop texting while I drive (so important!)
2. To write more
3. To become more of a morning person (this will be quite the challenge — but I’m up for it)
4. To take advantage of my gym membership, and utilize the My Fitness Pal app (it’s free and great!) to track what I’m eating and how much I’m exercising (mission wedding body in full effect)
5. To continue to rid my closet of things I don’t wear in order to simplify

Do you have any resolutions?

Lastly, here are a few quotes to help us start the year off right:

“I wake up every morning with a great desire to live joyfully.” —-Anna Howard Shaw

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” –Mahatma Gandhi

“No woman can control her destiny if she doesn’t give to herself as much as she gives of herself.” –Suze Orman

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” –Lao Tzu

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” –Lucille Ball

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” –Alan Cohen

“Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you’re going to do and just go do it. In one bold stroke you can transform today.” –Marilyn Grey

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

The perfect New Year’s Eve drink

If you’re still contemplating what you’re going to drink tonight, I have an idea for you; Infinium by Sam Adams. This cross-continental collaboration between good ol’ Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams, and Dr. Josef Schradler (managing director of the Weihenstephan Brewery, Germany) produced a champagne-like beer that can be brewed using only four ingredients – water, hops, malt and yeast. It’s very crisp and quite tasty.

This is available only around the holiday season, so tonight is the perfect night to pick up a bottle for your midnight toast (retail price, $19.99). I hope you all have a great (and safe!) New Year’s Eve. Here’s to a great 2012!

I had the pleasure of going to an Infinium tasting at Sam Adams recently and got to try a few different Infinium cocktails – all three concoctions were absolutely delicious. I truly couldn’t decide which was my favorite! In the end though, I think I voted for the Winter Shandy made by Bob McCoy over at Island Creek Oyster Bar.

Here are the recipes if you’d like to try them for your festivities tonight. :)

Winter Shandy

Created for Samuel Adams by Bob McCoy, Island Creek Oyster Bar

1 oz. cinnamon syrup*

1 oz. fresh meyer lemon juice

1 dash angostura bitters

2 oz. soda water

4 oz. Infinium

Add ingredients in a pint glass filled with ice and roll to incorporate. Garnish with a long Meyer lemon twist.

*Cinnamon syrup: 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 5 cinnamon sticks

Germania’s Toast

Created for Samuel Adams by Adam Lantheaum, The Boston Shaker

1/8 oz. (about 1 tsp.) of Jo Snow cardamom rose water syrup

2-3 dashes  Aphrodite bitters

About 5 oz. Infinium

Add the syrup and the bitters to a champagne flute. Top with Infinium and stir very gently.

Sowa Market Shandy

Created for Samuel Adams by Ran Duan, Sichuan Garden Restaurant and Bar

1 oz. cardamom pomegranate syrup*

1 oz. lemon juice

2 dashes Scrappy’s celery bitters

3 oz. Infinium

Shake and strain into a wine glass or flute, and top off with 3 oz. of Infinium.

*Cardamom Pomegranate Syrup (makes 3 cups): 3 oz. cardamom seeds (toasted and ground), 2 cups pomegranate juice, 2 cups sugar, 2 oz. pomegranate molasses, 1 tsp. orange blossom water

PS: Check out Gwenyth Paltrow’s hangover remedies. And if you’re still looking for a place to go tonight, check out my recommendations on CBS Boston!

Migraines stink (And 100 Days of Kindness, Day 62)

I started 2011 with a terrible migraine that unfortunately kept me in bed most of the day. It was painful and it stunk. However, I gotta figure that if that’s the way I’m gonna start the year, it’s gotta get better from here, right? :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Day. Happy 2011!

My kindness today: I didn’t have much energy for being kind to be quite honest. But Colin and I did get into a bit of an argument last night and so we both apologized to each other today. I’m pretty stubborn and it took me a while to say sorry, but I finally did because I felt bad! Plus he’s just so cute sometimes it’s hard to stay mad (lame, I know, but also true). It’s all good in the ‘hood!