What Are You Looking Forward To?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

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The last few months have been weird. Is it a cop-out to say that? I mean, when it comes to feeling a little "off," a few days or a couple weeks - even a month or two - is one thing. But a weird six months? At what point does it stop being a phase & start being, just... life?

Still, I have faith, that things are starting to go back to the version of normal with which I am most comfortable. After a lot of travel & some big shake-ups at work & the health issues I've experienced thus far in 2020, life is finally starting to feel familiar again - & one of the ways I'm trying to help it along is by putting some things on my calendar that I can be really excited about.

Here are a few of the things I'm looking forward to in the coming weeks. What about you? Do you, like me, try to stay positive by having stuff to look forward to?
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How to Send Long-Distance Love to a Friend Who's Struggling

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

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As I recover from a few weeks of medical bullsh!t, I feel extremely grateful for the love & support of the friends, family, & coworkers, who have sent that love & support in various ways. Some have visited, bearing flowers & frozen dumplings, while others have texted from afar, sent Instagram messages, & even deposited a little something extra into my Starbucks account.

Anyone who knows me knows that sending gifts is my Love Language®, not sorry - & while I am far less accustomed to receiving gifts, I have been, truly, blown away by the kindness & creativity of some of the ways people have reached out to us. I thought I'd share with you some of the ways people sent things - so that you know that these services exist, too, should you ever want to support a friend in a similar way.
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Going Full Hufflepuff: Taking a Wreath-Making Class with Friends

Friday, February 14, 2020

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I recently complained to Mike, "I don't make anything! I have no creative output! What are my hobbies?!" Fine, I might've been a few drinks in - but my point stands. I don't do that much.

My friend Erin, pictured second from right above, makes a lot of things. She knits sweaters. She recently gave me a bag of homemade marshmallows. She has a little home garden. And she's an artist. "I want to be more like Erin!" I told Mike. "I need to find things to make!"

Conveniently, that week, Erin invited a few friends to an air plant wreath-making class at Lakewood Plant Company. I was enthusiastically on board, happily shelling out the $50 even in the midst of my "modified no-spend month" because this counts as "activities with friends."
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Second Annual BFF Trip to Bal Harbour, FL

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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Last January, my friend Rebecca's dad passed away. I told her I'd be wherever she needed me to be - Minnesota, where he lived, or Brooklyn, she she lives - but they weren't having a memorial ceremony until spring.

Instead, she asked, would I be willing to come on vacation with her for a long weekend? She had her annual solo trip planned, but she didn't want to be alone.

Of course I said yes - because I love her & I love a sunshiny vacation, especially during mid-winter in Cleveland. It was such a nice, relaxing, rejuvenating time, & it didn't hurt that we stayed in a very fancy hotel.

So this January, we decided we should do it all over again.
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Second Thoughts & Paper Hearts: Remembering Dave, 15 Years Later

Monday, February 10, 2020

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"I always thought it was weird that you wrote about him so much," a friend admitted to me recently. "I just felt like... it was so long ago, hasn't she moved on? But now I feel guilty for ever thinking that. I get it now."

My friend's words, just a few months ago, frankly spoke to one of my deepest fears when it comes to my writing about my late boyfriend, Dave, who died by suicide in 2005: "Hasn't she moved on? Why does she still have so many feelings?"

I worry, sometimes, that I look like a crazy person for talking about it over & over again, year after year, 15 years later.

Fifteen years later. Today.
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Sipping, Swapping, & Shopping Out of Other People's Jewelry Boxes

Thursday, February 6, 2020

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Shibani of Bombay Taxi Boutique & Kimberly of Modern Musings - two of the most glamorous bloggers in the CLE - teamed up to host a jewelry & accessory swap! Even though I'd just given three biiiig bags of stuff to Goodwill, I managed to scrounged up... well, an appalling amount of stuff I still didn't want or need.

Armed with two bags of stuff, I showed up at the GreenRoom, a co-working space in Gordon Square, promptly at 9:30 a.m. Shibani & Kimberly were hard at work, setting up everyone's stuff & putting out a spread of seltzers, juice, champagne, & snacks, including tiny donuts (my fave). My friends Lilly & Stephanie were already there, too.

The group was small, but between us, we brought a ton of stuff to the (literal) table(s) - literally three big tables, laid out with all kinds of goodies.
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I'm Doing a No-Spend Month... Sort Of.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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Hellooooo, February! Inspired by the ever-stylish, world-traveling Priya over at Priya the Blog, I've decided to take on a modified no-spend month. 

Yeah, yeah, maybe you wouldn't call that a no-spend month, but... bear with me, OK? Life isn't black & white! I'm trying here!

So what does a "modified no-spend month" mean to me? As Priya outlined in her recap of a "no-buy year" - that's right, she did this for all of 2019 - I've set a few rules for myself. I'm not saying I can't buy anything because A) that's absurd, & B) that's setting myself up to fail, like suddenly starting a celery-only diet when all you've been eating is pizza.
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What I Read: January 2020

Sunday, February 2, 2020

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One month of 2020 down, & I'm six books in - & they were all damn good!

I also started the 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, which I've tried to do in years past & not completed. In these monthly recaps, I'll be including which challenge prompt each book fulfills (if any), & you can follow my challenge progress on my designated 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge page. (P.S.: If you're doing the challenge, too, I'd love your recs for any of my incomplete prompts!)

Without further ado, here are the six books that kicked off 2020.
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