Cue the countdown…Happy (almost) New Year!

Another year, another month, another lent—just like that. I remember reading the quote, “The days are long but the years are short”, in The Happiness Project and thinking just how true it really was. Am I really 30 years old already? Was it really 14 years ago tonight that I was hosting a Y2K “mocktail” party in my parents’ basement for all my teenage friends? Holy smokes…

What a year it was though. In addition to making a million smoothies, learning new vocab words, controlling my portions, taking 10,000 steps a day, taking a walk down memory lane, becoming a ukulady, taking a breather, setting daily intentions, sweating once a day, and making it through the holidays alive, I moved to a new state! And I went to Wanderlust! And the Pacific Northwest! And started training to be a yoga teacher! Oh, and I survived a shootout in my neighborhood when the Boston Marathon bombers decided to take over my town, remember that?

2013, you were a good one. Thanks for the memories ❤

From the afore mentioned mocktail party

From the aforementioned mocktail party

In addition to sending 2013 on it’s way tonight, I’ll also be closing out this month’s challenge: The Holiday Survival Guide. Although my participation wasn’t as stellar as it was last year, I’m entering 2014 feeling pretty darn good so I’m going to consider it some sort of success. I didn’t have a week where I checked off every single item on my to-do list, but I put forth my best effort to, I pushed forward through the setbacks, and as always, I learned a thing or 2 along the way. Here’s my list of top 10 learnings/life reminders that I’m taking away from this month:

  1. When you set an intention to do something you’re about 10,000 times more likely to accomplish it. I am reminded of this again and again after each of my monthly challenges.

  2. Do it now. Do it now. Do it now. Read: Meditate, practice yoga, or go for that run first thing in the morning. If you put it off until the end of the day there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find a (bad) excuse to skip out.

  3. And speaking of meditation, it’ll wipe out the stress of your entire day in just a few breaths. This is something I’m constantly reminded of.

  4. Just do it. You’ll never regret squeezing that workout in. Ever.

  5. You can’t always prevent stressful situations (that time I moved 2 weeks before Christmas), but you can always choose how you react to them.

  6. The holiday spirit starts with you. I was away from my family for Christmas this year so it was up to me to make things feel festive. Even though there was a lot on my plate, I made time for the fun stuff like getting a tree, decorating, and my personal favorite, playing Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album (ok fine, and Hanson’s too) on repeat.

  7. Cut yourself some slack when you slip-up. Negative self talk only yields negative results.

  8. Every day is a chance to restart and recommit—in all areas of your life.

  9. Attitude is everything. If you go into a stressful situation with a negative attitude a positive experience is highly unlikely.

  10. Smile—even if you have to fake it. It might sound cliche, but it’ll lift your spirits in a second.

But now it’s time to pop open some bubbly and hit the town. Wishing a very happy New Year to all—cheers to a happy & healthy 2014 full of peace, love, and adventures.

xoxo
Danne

p.s. Check back tomorrow for the unveiling of January’s lent—which I may or may not have started tonight because I was too excited to wait. That’s all I’m sayin’…

Memory #15: 14T Does NYE or, The Most Epic New Year’s Eve Party of All-Time Ever

It’s time for another favorite life memory involving a New Year’s Eve Party—if you thought my Y2K NYE Mocktail party was wild, get ready for this one…

2007 was one of the best and most filled-to-the-brim-with-fun years of my life, so it only made sense that the New Year’s Eve party that my roommates and I hosted that year would cap things off with an undeniably epic time (and I’m not one to use the word epic lightly). Having grown tired of the post-college, stupidly expensive and crowded NYE bar scene, we decided to throw our own shindig and invite all of our favorite people over to ring in the new year with us.

At the time, I was living in a house lovingly referred to as “14T” with my boyfriend Tim, a good-friend Kim, a friend-of-a-friend Mike, and Lindsy, one of my all-time favorite Craigslist roomies. The 5 of us had collectively amassed quite an eclectic group of friends over the years, and for this party we pooled our friend resources to create a guest list that pretty much guaranteed the best time ever. The days before the party were filled with last minute shopping and decking the 14T halls in metallic gold New Year’s glitz, and when the night finally came and we put on our party dresses and tiaras, we were perfectly set up for party perfection.

The pre-midnight portion of the evening consisted mostly of mingling amongst friends—both new and old—and consuming the fancy, grown-up appetizers and holiday cocktails that we had prepared. When the time came though and Dick Clark counted us down to midnight, we all gathered in the living room to watch the ball began it’s descent to 2008. At the exact moment—literally, the timing was beautiful—when the clock struck midnight, Tim cued my NYE dance playlist, cleverly titled “Danceachusetts”, and all of our attempts at feigning adulthood went out the window as a wild dance party ensued.

Before I knew it it was 6am, we had listened to Danceachusetts probably a dozen times (putting Synthia by FM Belfast on repeat for at least an hour), our futon—not to mention the majority of the living room plants—was in pieces strewn about the living room, the house was littered with abandoned champagne corks, I had somehow obtained a serious injury to my right big toenail (read: the majority of it had mysteriously disappeared), and I was covered in a mixture of sweat and Pinto Grigio. Success.

The next morning I woke up with one of the most “that was totally worth it” hangovers of my life and went downstairs to assess the scene of the crime. I was met in the kitchen by Kim, whom I found examining a carton of orange juice that had clearly been the victim of some serious arson. After we gave each other the “are you serious? I don’t even understand what just happened” look, we rounded up the remaining party survivors and made our way to Ihop, where we spent the entirety of breakfast recapping the best of the night and reliving every single amazing moment.

It. Was. The. Best.

and there are far too many pictures to post so this one from when the ball dropped will have to do:

happynewyear!

Memory #7: Y2K Mocktail Party

While the world was bracing for the Y2K technology meltdown (which ended up just being a massive case of hypochondria), I was planning my first epic New Year’s Eve party. In 1999, I was in my sophomore year of high school and knee-deep in my newest obsession: lounge and exotica music (Read: I was exclusively wearing leopard print and I had a 6′ tall fake palm tree in my bedroom that I would lay under while listening to Les Baxter on repeat. True story, I was a weird kid).

In this funny new counterculture world that lounge music introduced me to, I became fascinated with the idea of the cocktail party, and decided that I needed to have one of my own to ring in the new millenium. Since I was 15 and straight-edge at the time though, we dubbed it a “mocktail” party—which was fine by me.

On New Year’s Eve of 1999, all my besties and I gathered in my parents basement and had the best time ever. I don’t think anyone even noticed that there was no alcohol because we were having such a fun time wearing cute cocktail dresses, drinking fancy looking non-alcoholic drinks with little umbrellas, and listening to the Ultra-Lounge Leopard Skin Sampler on repeat. It was perfect.

Y2Kmocktailparty

Friends who were there: Anyone have any photos you wouldn’t mind sharing sharing? It appears I only have a few.