You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

Welcome to the frozen tundra.

The first month of the New Year has been a challenging one in the Big Apple.  Let me declare how challenging it is to strut through the city streets feeling sassy and cute when you are outfitted in clunky Ugg boots and a trapper hat, while you are braving gigantic puddles of dirty semi-melted slush.  Every day.  But, you do what you gotta do when the thermometer reads 6 degrees.

I heard on the news last night that the normal amount of snow for New York City in the winter is 21 inches.  We’ve gotten 56 inches so far.

And winter is only a month old.

As I said, it’s been challenging.

So, I’ve been feeling nostalgic for spring, for daylight, for cool breezes that hold the promise of warm air on my skin.  Serendipitously, and surprisingly, I found that feeling in a candy bar.

The Amalfi Bar from Vosges Haut Chocolat – an innovative company that pairs chocolate with unique flavors such as curry, balsamic vinegar and bacon – evokes springtime, in all of its luscious creaminess.  Imagine white chocolate infused with the bright and slightly tart flavor of lemon zest.  Lest you think this sounds too sweet, the crunchiness of pink peppercorn lends a spiciness that keeps the bar from ever being cloying.

It’s sunshine in a candy bar.

More snow is expected tomorrow.  And a few days after that.  And perhaps a few days after that.

Clearly, I’m going to need to order a case of these.

Vosges Haut Chocolat: www.vosgeschocolate.com.

Tonight as I walked home from work, I noticed how much the midtown neighborhoods have changed since I first moved to New York 15 years ago.

The rundown and decrepit Coliseum in Columbus Circle is now gone.  The empty courtyard in front of the building was home to a flea market where I bought my very first cashmere scarf for $20.  About a week later I realized it only cost $20 because it was “cashmere”.  The space is now home to the Time Warner Center, where many people buy real cashmere for much more money.

The Coliseum Bookstore on Broadway is no longer there.  I would spend hours in its aisles, entering new and different worlds every time I thumbed through another book.  My very first purchase from the store was Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.  I still have it on my bookshelf.

The building that housed the D’Agostino supermarket on 57th Street where my mother and I walked to on September 11 now has another store’s name hanging above the entrance.  I remember walking through crowded yet eerily quiet streets on our way to the store, only to find that the grocery chain’s shelves were strangely empty.  The end of the world made people hungry, I suppose.

Walking through Rockefeller Center, where I worked my first big-city job, I remembered the diner just off the Plaza where I ate lunch by myself before I’d made any friends at work.  It is now a J. Crew and infinitely more palatable than the food that was served up.

The nostalgia of what was conjures pieces of you, bits of memories from a different time.  Those places that are no more helped shape us, certainly me, into the people we are today.  The stories always remain, and they add to the layers of who you are.  Wherever you go, there you are.

What was leads to what is, and there is grace in the transformation.

My dear friend Kirsten declared that 2011 will be the Year of Living Consciously. I love the idea of dedicating an entire year to being fully present and embracing what is in front of you. It is the essence of this blog, so it gets my full support with goodness and grace.

I love the thought of intentions instead of resolutions. Because, honestly, none of us will give up sweets forever, or go to the gym seven days a week, or create world peace overnight. Intentions aren’t wishy-washy. They indicate that you mean business.

Personally, I intend this to be my year of Love & Connection. The world needs a little more love, especially my world. That extends beyond relationships with family and other loved ones to myself. It is easy to put oneself last on the list of things to take care of. This year, my intention is to be kinder to myself more, to mother myself more, to tend to my own needs more.

With that in mind, I also intend…

…to limit work to work hours as much as possible to be able to more fully focus on enriching my personal life.

…to only buy things that I really love.

…to do the things that I love and I don’t do enough, like immersing myself in books, wandering through museums and trying new recipes.

…to have friends over more often.

…to stop trying to squeeze into skinny jeans, ’cause they’re just wrong. For me at least.

…to spend more time in nature, especially to venture outside to watch the moon rise.

…to tell people how much I care for them, even if it is for no reason at all.

…to spread the love like fairy dust.

…to dream a bigger dream for myself. I’m excited to figure out what that means.

Intentions are a great way to be focused about what’s really important in life. What’s extraordinary is that the clearer the intention, the more likely the pieces are going to fall into place to bring them to life. I’m excited to see the array of love that shows up in my life throughout the year.

Here’s to a spectacular 2011!

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