A Serious Case of Writers Block

HEY YA’LL! How ya’ been!?

It’s been a while since I last sat down with my ancient MacBook (year 2010, 10lbs heavier than the MacBook Air and currently showing a time of 8:01PM, when it’s actually 7:46PM) and let my fingers do their thing. I’ve been experiencing some major writers block, not wanting to write about anything, not even lists with links I love.

I haven’t wanted to write about the sunshine or the warm air, or the tulip beds that have replaced sky high snow piles that I truly never thought would shrink. I never wrote about #AnniesDayOff; my trip to Southie, during which I did nothing but walk around and window shop, wearing boyfriend jeans and debuting my pineapple tote for the very first time. I had a lovely, lonesome lunch at a new wine and cheese bar, Formage, enjoying and sandwich and soda pop by the window, but I didn’t want to write about it. I stumbled into Neatly Nestled, Pretty Reckless and Ku De Ta, browsing handmade gifts, sniffing lilac and verbena candles and perusing trays of trendy jewelry, racking my brain for any excuse to buy a little something for me or for a friend. I never wrote about mint juleps or mother’s day mimosas, never typed a word about my exploration of Jamaica Plain, where I tracked down City Feed and as a result, found the perfect place for Sunday bagels and an iced coffee (because a home isn’t home until you’ve found your spot for good coffee and a good bagel). I didn’t write about the Boston Marathon, mainly because it might very well be impossible to put into the words the feelings I felt while meandering Boylston St. on the morning of April 20th. I didn’t write about the crowds of onlookers or the pack of runners or the positive vibes that filled the air, despite rain clouds, sporadic downpours and chilly temps.

I didn’t want to write about my recent discovery of avocado toast with an egg on top (embarrassed by how long it took me to figure this one out) or about the Boston Bloggers “Meet Up” that I attended, during which time I spent a lot of money drinking a lot of drinks with salt on the rim watching enviously as these photo-booth pros posed in perfectly chaotic arrangements all night long; silly and sophisticated at the same damn time in classic #BosBloggers fashion.

I was invited to and delighted to attend the Red Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the new PAUL in Downtown Crossing, wearing my (now famous) LOFT “party pants” (only I call them that, but I mean…see for yourself) and rubbing elbows with some pretty fancy folks from France. But how would you know? I never wrote about it. I devoured too many chocolate croissants and tasted each and every colorful macron, snapping photos of everything else; cream cheese and lox, fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil, something delicious made with portobella mushroom, something even better made with ricotta and espresso…I could go on and on, but I don’t want to write about it.

As noted above, I become famous on loft.com, paid a visit to the original site of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival of 1969, spent 3 glorious days on the beach with mom, won $15 betting on a horse race (ok, ok, so maybe it was a fight not a horse race but what kinda blogger bets on a fight?!), bought a REALLY adorable coffee mug with yellow stripes and bikes at Brookline’s local book store, watched 400 episodes of Mad Man (give or take), got a sunburn, signed a lease on an apartment and ate lots of ice cream in sugar cones with rainbow sprinkles (and summer has only just begun).

…but I didn’t want to write about any of it, because I’m struggling through a serious case of writers block, and I’m hoping this might help.

TGIMonday 

Not a phrase you hear often. 

It’s been one entire month since my last post and I’ll be honest, I don’t have a whole lot to say in this one. I’ve been experiencing some serious writers block brought on by a wide variety of less than ideal situations; a mixture of below 20 degree temps in April, not enough time in the kitchen, a determined yet discouraging search for the perfect 2 bedroom Fenway apartment, and a sad, sad realization that summer is coming and there will be absolutely no change in my current 9 to 5 daily grid (i.e no three month summer vacation). 

But please hold your “poor Annie!”s because I’ve gotten my fare share of sunshine and vitamin D this weekend and I’ve given a lot of thought to the beauty and the goodness in everyday. I’m feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and healthy and happy. And this morning, as I’m sipping Nauset Blend from Sam’s and soon headed out to the door to explore Welfleet in the sunshine, I can’t help but think, life is pretty damn good, even on a Monday.

So here’s a Monday Mantra from me to you…

“What if we woke up today with only the things we thanked God for yesterday?”

I’m thankful for a job. Period. Even if they won’t agree to give me every Friday and Monday off from June to September. And I’m thankful for a roof over my head, whether that’s in Brookline, Fenway, Charlsetown or Cambridge. I’m thankful for a rain jacket to keep me dry when there’s hail falling in April and I’m thankful for my health and for the health of my family; for bike rides with dad, zooming up and down sea side hills and for challenging, new fitness classes like Barre and hot yoga. Thankful for my friends, both down the street and a few states away and thankful for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and every day in between. 

So Happy Monday, people! Make it count. 

Dear Philly 

phil

FYI this kinda ryhmes and it kinda doesn’t and it’s kinda sappy but it’s also kinda cool so…enjoy.


Dear Philly,

I love you. I’ll just come right out and say it.

Sounds shocking, I know, but I swear to you, I mean it. Maybe I fled from your grid too soon, moved on to Beantown without thinking things through. I thought I was ready, thought I’d had enough, thought I’d seen, heard, tasted and explored every block and every corner from Front Street to 30th, Walnut to Spruce.

Of course you know I love your food, your cheesesteaks wiz witout, George’s water ice, roast beef and broccoli rab, late night soft pretzels and Chickie’s crab fries. Fountain sodas taste better from a gas station called Wawa and I know for a fact that a hoagie is not a cold sub or hot grinder.

But it’s been great to be back and I’m thankful for that. For the home that you gave me and the memories I would never give back. For the beauty in your buildings and the history in your paths, for even your dreariest grey days and terribly noisy traffic delays. You’ve taught me to love and to accept, to understand and to care. I’ve embraced your deep forest greens and your bright red and blues, your mediocre Dunkin Donuts and your Meek Milly tunes.

You’re one of a kind, unlike any other. You’ve got attitude and spunk, grace, glory and Nutter. Your run-down old neighborhoods each tell a different story, from the tattered, yellowed pages of an old book with a spine that is sturdy. Your parks, schools and gardens each vibrant and lively, are home to the children who will soon make your streets mighty. Each urban mural painted proudly with love, tell of histories and dreams, surely seen from above.

You’re rough around the edges, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your potential is great, your people complex; artists and dreamers, musicians and students and workers and teachers. And to the guys in the windows at Pats, Genos and Larrys, I’ll tell you right now, you’re really not all that scary.

Philly, You’ve made me strong; confident, fearless and tough. For that and so much more, I can’t thank you enough. You get a bad rep, that’s certainly true, some love to hate you and I’ll admit there are times when even I hate to love you.

But I’m not done with you yet. I’ll be back soon enough. For a stroll by the Schuylkill or a StrEATfest in ‘Yunk. For a visit to Hawk Hill, game 1 in Hagan Arena, to see family and friends, and drink margs at Cactus Cantina.

And Boston’s been great, please don’t get it twisted. Forever a dream that very quickly came to fruition. I’m seeing new sights and meeting new people, exploring new paths, eating soup dumplings and meatballs, lamb shawarma and pizza. I’m learning the lingo, I’ve mastered the T, discovering quaint coffee shops from Cambridge to Southie. Rittenhouse or Beacon Hill, clam chowder or cheesesteaks I really can’t complain, you’re different but the same.

So Philly, I love you and Boston, you too. There’s room for you both in my heart, as my home.

With (brotherly) love,

Anne

oh and PS, here’s an article you should read about love and support and a program that Will Never Die, even after they lose.

a green smoothie that doesn’t suck

This month I’m keen on green and if I can’t get my fix from grassy fields and leaves on trees (you know, because snow), I’ll have to get creative. From Mint Mojito nails to frothy green shakes, I’m loading up on green stuff where ever I can (yes, that includes McDonald’s Shammy Shakes. There’s always next month to start a real diet) and channeling some seriously positive spring time vibes.

After far too many failed attempts, I finally found a green smoothie that surprisingly tastes nothing like a liquified version of my grandmothers vegetable garden (dirt included). Better yet, it’s my own concoction so you’re not finding it anywhere else but here (maybe).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups partially chopped kale (no stems)
  • 1 serving vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana frozen or fresh
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Almond milk
  • 1/4 cup (handful or more) frozen pineapple
  • Scoop of honey fresh from the farm

Blend it all up, pour it a mason jar, store it in the fridge overnight and enjoy in the AM as desired! I had a little bit before my morning ride for a quick boost of energy and saved the rest for afterwords to enjoy at my desk. It’s certainly no Shamrock Shake, but it’s a close second. Yes, that’s right, I’m saying I’d much rather be drinking a Shammy for breakfast, is anyone surprised?

Happy March people, spring will be here before we know it, hang in there!

5 Things: Red Carpet Edition

These 5 photos sum up my evening of champagne, oysters and ball gowns at the 19th annual Ellie Fund Red Carpet Gala.

shoes

The evening began just as those who know me well could probably imagine: with a major wardrobe malfunction, of sorts. Is anyone surprised? I sure was when I walked straight into a deceivingly, ankle-deep puddle after exiting the Copley T stop. For those who don’t know what this experience is like, once you’re in, you’re in. It’s truly all or nothing, no turning back now. You’re either in or you’re out and I was in. So I waded my way through the murky waters, poured the puddle from pumps, and hit the red carpet as if  “City Grime” was the next Christian Louboutin.

photo 1 (9)

Amongst some of Boston’s best dressed, again, I’m sure it’s no surprise, that the only bar I really bellied up to was The Island Creek Oyster Bar. I was happy to see I wasn’t the only one out of my element at this event. Scruffy oyster shuck-ers in button-downs and neck ties? Not a good look.

photo 2 (6)

A beautiful venue for an unforgettable evening in honor of The Ellie Fund; an unbelievable non-profit organization that fights breast cancer by easing its effects on patients and families. In doing so, The Ellie Fund provides critical support services, free of charge with help from volunteers, donors, friends and events like this one.  It was a truly humbling and moving experiencing to be, even a small, part of such a big organization.

photo 5 (3)

Following a silent auction and a touching video, we sipped champagne and watched (with heart eyes) Neil Patrick Harris on the big screen (This photo captured while standing in the back, posted up at the Bostonia Public table devouring grits and slow cooked beef. The best meal I’ve had in a very long time.)

photo 3 (5)

All said and done, it was an evening of good drinks, good food (kinda) and great company.