A Fresh Start

If you know me even the tiniest bit, you know I love holidays a bit more than a 30-year-old should. You know I plan outfits that fit the appropriate theme (and much Luna), I decorate, celebrate, wear head pieces, the whole 9 yards. The truth is, I love most holidays simply because I love having a reason to celebrate (and perhaps purchase some new accessories). New Year’s Day is no exception, but I love this particular holiday for more than just the glitz, the glam and the bubbly. I LOVE a fresh start.

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The last month has been one hot mess. Well, I have been one hot mess during the last month. “Overwhelmed” is the word of the month, and 2 weeks ago I decided the only way I was going to enjoy the Holidays was to take a break. I took a break from writing, editing, reviewing, taking photos (mostly), emailing and anything else that did not involve keeping my house and family running and happy. With 5 house guests, plus a few extra pets, parties, playdates and get-togethers we haven’t had a moment to spare. I have missed my routine, and have truly missed my blog.

Over the last few days I have tried to come up with a list (yay lists!) of my new year resolutions, and uhhh, let’s just say it’s not hard to do. I’m beginning to think my resolution should just be “make shorter lists”. I need to improve myself in so many ways…better wife, mother, friend, writer, worker, neighbor, daughter, sister, planner, eater, sleeper, person-in-general. I need to stop eating dairy, floss everyday, stop wasting time playing on my phone and start using the word “no”, which I currently never ever do. I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed (there’s that word again) at the amount of improvement I expect in 2015, but the term “fresh start” kept coming to mind and it brought me much needed solace.

Today is January 1st, 2015. Today marks a new year. A time for resolutions, new dreams, new plans and new beginnings. It’a chance to start over, begin a new chapter and create a better version of the awesome person you already are. 2014 has come and gone. It had it’s ups and downs, more ups than downs (thankfully). At first glance, 2014 seems unimpressive. What did I do? Where did that year go? I see one failure after another. At second glance, I see much more. 2014 is when I became a Mother. It’s when I got sick and put on medications for probably ever. I learned that I am stronger than I ever imagined, yet more vulnerable than ever before. I fell more in love with my Husband than ever before. I made new friends, created new traditions, traveled, learned to cook, became a runner and learned A LOT.

There are lots of  things I failed to do in 2014, but when I focus on all I did do it gives me lots of hope for 2015. I have 365 days ahead of me and I am stoked to fill the pages with more goals, more love, more adventures and even more failures (that’s how we know we’re trying, right?).  Realistically, I know I won’t be able to check off every single resolution on my list this year, but there’s always 2016!

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Happy New Year to you all! I’d love to hear some of you resolutions for the new year.

Cheers!

L’Shana Tova!

Happy Rosh Hashanah/Jewish New Year!

family

Yesterday evening was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and today we celebrated with a big fancy pants lunch with friends and family. We have one friend of the family who keeps everyone in line when it comes to Jewish holidays. He organizes the dinners, serves the most beautiful meals, invites everyone and says at least one prayer in Hebrew. I may not be Jewish, but I do love holidays and learning about all religions so I make sure Husband and I never miss a party.

table

Luna is part Jewish so I think it’s important she learnt about her heritage and Jewish ancestors. I try to learn a bit more about the religion and the celebrations every year not only for my interest, but for her benefit. I guess I should start searching for some Rosh Hashanah children’s books.

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Today’s New Year celebration started with wine, cheese, smoked salmon and pate. Everyone caught up with one another and took turns complaining about long services at the synagogue. Lunch was pretty traditional…apples, honey, challah, matzo ball soup, potatoes, brisket and lots of sweets. This year, I am not pregnant and therefore able to drink the wine (yay!), or so I thought. I may not be pregnant, but turns out that taking care of an 8 month old also keeps you from enjoying a glass of wine. I was able to enjoy my dessert with coffee though, and they may have been even better.

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This whole week has been one weird week of birthday celebrations, fancy dinners, surgery, Jewish New Year and other random occasions. It feels a little like Christmas break, which is nice, but I’ll be ready to get back to routine next week. I’d love to share some funny anecdotes from today or reflect on the past year, but Luna is sleeping soundly, Husband is snoring next to me, Belle is snuggled in between the two of us and the cat is curled up into a sleepy fur ball. It’s time for me to join them, which sounds a lot like the end of last year’s post.

Luna's dress is from the Etsy shop, Aylinka. I'll be writing a review for you soon!
Luna’s dress is from the Etsy shop, Aylinka. I’ll be writing a review for you soon!

Cheers and L’Shana tova!

A Day in Gatlinburg

On New Year’s Day we were staying in a cabin with friends in Pigeon Forge, TN (where the Great Smoky Mountains are), and after sleeping very late (thanks New Year’s Eve!), eating a large breakfast and debating whether or not we even wanted to leave the cabin, we eventually decided to check out downtown Gatlinburg, which I have never explored.

day in gatlinburg

Downtown Gatlinburg is a very touristy cheesy small town full of souvenir shops, gimmicky shows and over the top attractions. So, basically, it was right up our ally. We started off the day in a little village that offered a ridiculous amount of free moonshine samples (“First legalized moonshine”). There was also crazy amounts of free jams, salsas, sauces, dips, pickled things and hot sauces. I stuffed my face while everyone else got tipsy.

free moonshine samples

Someone is enjoying their moonshine
Someone is enjoying their moonshine

sauce samples

You’d think that everyone would need a chaser for the moonshine more than anything, but turns out there’s one hot sauce that had everyone (well the boys mostly…girls were much tougher) begging for milk or more pretzels.

hot sauce

We ate lunch at Bubba Gumps (I know, I know…but God their seafood hush puppies are SO good), shopped, got more free samples, drank very hot coffee to warm us up and took photos all over town. It was really nice to just be on vacation with friends, which I think is a rare opportunity for most.

downtown the group new year's day the girls

Two of our favorite stops were the Jerky Shop and Doc’s Magic Shop. The Jerky Shop had deer, beef, boar, ostrich, alligator AND vegan jerky. Of course, the shop owner offered samples of his jerkys because that’s apparently the rule in Galtinburg. It works by the way, we each left with a bag of jerky. Doc’s Magic Shop doesn’t have free food, but they did offer free magic shows which we soaked up and ooh’d and aww’d over for far too long… and many of us left there with a bag of magic tricks as well.

jerky shop magic shop

Right as we decided it was time to go home (i.e. back to the cabin) we passed a whisky shop offering a big round of free whiskey samples. Once again, I had to sit out on the activity, but I made my own fun…

Worst cowboy faces ever!
Worst cowboy faces ever!

Everyone must have been feeling reeallllyyy good after their round of drinks because this photo session happened minutes later…

love

It was a really good first day of 2014!

gatlinburg

Cheers!

My 2013

Happy New Year’s Eve! We made it back to Nashville last night, unpacked, re-packed and are now getting ready to drive up to the Smoky Mountains to ring in the New Year with a small group of friends in a cozy cabin. At this moment, I am actually sitting under a big warm blanket on the couch.. I am trying to enjoy every peaceful quiet second because it will be about a week before I get this moment again. As I sit here, I am reflecting over the last year…

Every year brings its great and its terrible moments. The bad times aren’t always forgettable, sometimes I don’t want to forget them, but for today I want to focus on why 2013 was a great year, and why every year just seems to keep getting better. You know I like to focus on the positive!

My 2013 in Review

The year started off with a little New Year’s Eve Party in Nashville.

1 new year 2013

My nephew, Micah, was born and I got to meet him for the first time when he was a month old. Being an Aunt is the best.

2 meet micah

Not only was my sister’s baby boy born, but a few of my closest friend’s had their baby boys this year. Being an honorary Aunt is also the best. 

3 danica

I learned to swing and flip on a trapeze!

4 trapeze

We made the decision to buy a house, and ended up buying a house in the country in Middle Tennessee… a huge move and decision after years of moving and traveling from city to city.

house

I left my job, which I loved, in NYC and have changed my entire idea of what I want to be when I grow up.

5 yoga

After spending the last month in NYC alone (Husband was already in Tennessee), I said “good-bye” and prepared for a new adventure. 

5.1 bye nyc
me in the cab on the way to the airport

*Our BIGGEST news this year! We announced at 10 weeks that we are expecting our first baby!

6 zimbickijr.

We found our Duckie abandoned and abused on the riverbank while canoeing and made her the newest addition to our family. 

meet duckie

We found out our first baby will be a little girl!

7 it's a girl

I met Taylor Swift at a fun and fancy awards dinner for Aunt Amy. 

8 taylorswift

I started a new website/blog with my friend Chris and am having a lot of fun learning to make it better and better each week. 

Get Kidz Fit

This was the first year we did not take an International trip in a very long time, but we still made time to travel in good ol’ America. Husband, surprised me on our 8 year dating anniversary by taking me to Disney California…completing our goal of visiting every single Disney park in the world!

9 disneyland

We had our annual trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina with the family. 

10 hhi

Spent some time in Pittsburgh visiting more family. 

11 pittsburgh

Went to a beautiful wedding Chicago.

12 chicago

And, OF COURSE, we made our annual trip to Disney World. 

13 halloween

There are dozens more good times I could write about from 2013, but this sums up the year pretty well. I’m getting anxious about what 2014 has in store (more good and more bad), but it’s exciting to think that some of our best memories and adventures have yet to happen. 2014, you have a lot to live up to, see you soon!

Cheers!

Happy Year of the Snake!

flowers

 

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, and you know how much I LOVE holidays! Husband and I have been pumped about celebrating the New Year in the city! After eating a hearty brunch with Grandma we began our festivities.

First off: Bloomingdales. This famous department store was not on our original list, but Grandma told us they were giving out red envelopes filled with coupons and giveaways, so we decided to make a special stop. Giving out red envelopes with cash is a Chinese tradition during holidays and special occasions, and I think Bloomingdale’s take on the tradition was genius.

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We won a free frozen yogurt and a tote bag. Woo! They also had an entire China themed shopping section.

snake

After our quick shopping trip we hopped on the 6 train to Chinatown! The festivities were being held at Roosevelt park. Sadly, we missed the parade, but we still got to experience lots of singing, traditional costumes, fireworks, and even a lesson in Chinese writing.

IMG_4459 park writing result

 

The festival was great and we took a nice walk through Chinatown afterward so we could shop through the markets. They always have the best produce…and the uh, most unique food options.

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Dried caterpillars anyone?

Happy New Year everyone! I plan to continue the celebration tomorrow by ordering fried rice and egg rolls for dinner!

Cheers!

 

 

My Resolution

For the last week I have been racking my brain for the perfect resolution. My ideas are pretty typical…workout, eat healthy, write everyday, be nicer, get over irrational fear of going to the doctor, travel more, stop going to Starbucks so often blah, blah, blah. Everything just sounded so boring, so overdone, and so typical. I decided I needed one simple not too unrealistic resolution.

Stay positive.

After all, I do write a blog titled “Positively Panicked”. Everyday (give or take a few) I write to all of you about my daily adventures, the good and the bad, and do my best to focus on the positive, the silver linings, and the humorous sides of every little event. Outside of my virtual life though, I forget where I should focus. In my reality, my negative thoughts have been out weighing the positive, and it is time for a change. I want to adapt a more Zen approach to life.

Like Luke, when it comes to all things life I’m adopting a Zen attitude.

On January 1st, we flew home and I did not think a bit about resolving anything. I slept late, ate fries for lunch, and drank coffee after 4pm. Everything was fine and dandy until our flight. When we got to the airport we had a 45-minute delay, which turned out to be the perfect introduction to the rest of our trip.

In one day of traveling my computer crashed, my Nook crashed (every single book was deleted), our plane seats were malfunctioning, the airport tram broke down three times, the third time we were forced off, we stood in the cold to wait for a bus, missed our train, waited an hour, took 5 more trains to get home, ordered dinner at 1am, and they were out of my entrée.

Somewhere between getting kicked off the tram and waiting for our missed train I remembered my New Year’s resolution. “Stay positive”. I was extremely pissed off at this point, especially since I had nothing to read, but I did my best to search for a silver lining.

That silver lining turned out to be a hidden box of Triscuits in my backpack and some quality conversation with Husband. We talk a lot everyday, but during the 8-hour trip home we had real quality conversation, and made real adult like decisions about our plans for the next year.

Another benefit from our unlucky trip is that my willpower to keep this resolution was quickly put to the test, and I am happy to say I made it home without throwing a fit or taking a very expensive cab ride. I even had a few laughs.

I just have to keep reminding myself: deep breaths, think happy thoughts, everything will be okay. I can do this.

Is anyone else adopting a positive New Year’s resolution?

Cheers!

Happy 2013!

Happy New Year!!!!

2012 was a pretty good year for me. I got married, re-started this blog, started loving my job even more, discovered Momastery, saw about a zillion Broadway shows, played with monkeys in Costa Rica, visited New Fantasyland, and so much more.

I am certain 2013 will be even better, because so far life has continuously improved as each year passes. It is not that 2012 was without its faults. I had my fair share of shitty days, but when I average it out, the awesomeness far out weights the negative moments, and I do my best to focus on those positive shiny  moments.

We had BIG plans to ring in the New Year with one of our famous epic house parties in Tennessee. However, we discovered that the older we get the more difficult it is to get all of our friends together for a giant bash. When did everyone grow up and get so many responsibilities??? Instead of our huge party we had a little faux New Year’s Eve party on the 30th due to some friend’s going out of the country and what not on New Year’s Eve.

All dressed up and ready to countdown...just 24 hours early.
All dressed up and ready to countdown…just 24 hours early.

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On actual New Year’s Eve we had dinner at an Indian restaurant, and were home by 9pm. We had a very quiet night sitting by the fire, drinking wine, and watching the ball drop. When did we get old? This was possibly the most calm New Year’s Eve I have ever had, and I got to say…I liked it.

In our pj's by 10pm.
In our pj’s by 10pm.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1.... Happy New Year!
5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. Happy New Year!
Why on Earth did I give Husband a can of silly string?
Why on Earth did I give Husband a can of silly string?

Happy 2013 everyone! Let’s make this the best year yet!

Cheers!