Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Trying Something New - August

Still plugging away at trying something new every day. Not everything is necessarily something I wouldn't have otherwise done, but quite a few are:
  1. Sample wine at Mattebella Vineyards. Loved the garden setting for tastings and the snacks provided with them. The next one I want to try? Coffee Pot Cellars.
  2. Sign up for the McCormack product/recipe panel. I've tested lots of beauty products; it will be fun to be a food tester.
  3. Try a pesto burger. What a fabulous combo, especially with a slice of fresh summer tomato! Bonus new thing today: I made burgers for all four of us, including K, who learned to like them at summer camp.
  4. Buy pink ear buds. Not only does the color discourage other family members from borrowing them, but they look snazzy with my pink running shoes and More Half-Marathon tee.
  5. Sign up to earn extra income at Seems like a great place to share all the knowledge from my Insider days.
  6. Have dinner at Il Mulino. Fun to know that on his 17th birthday, our son is now giving us restaurant recommendations.
  7. Revisit Smart LoveI'm divesting myself of most of my parenting guides, but this one still has a bit of value (unlike all the books devoted to baby and toddler issues).
  8. Plan low-carb menu for YS. I'm proud that he's foregoing the food group that is probably his greatest weakness in order to loose a bit of weight for football.
  9. Attend NYC's car-free Summer Streets. I was excited to try the zip line, but too many people beat me to it and there were no more spots available. But DH and I traversed the whole length of the event, trying the various freebies and enjoying the luxury of car-free streets. I was especially jazzed by the Make It Happy folks - a dedicated team of optimistic rebels who want to make the planet better through happiness.
  10. Fly to Austin. This is one Texas city I've never seen before and it is just exploding in business and cultural significance.
  11. Visit University of Texas. Yup, just what I expected: big in every aspect.
  12. Visit Washington University in St. Louis. Pretty campus but otherwise not really outstanding in any one way.
  13. Investigate TaskRabbit. Originally I was thinking that there was great variety in the tasks you could sign up for - more of a general freelance site - but TaskRabbit still might be useful to me for finding help for household chores.
  14. Try something on Skillshare. Took the free online class on creativity, read the suggested articles and watched the related TED talks.
  15. Replace Ikea hardware. YS assembled some new furniture (by himself - I'm so proud!) but broke a piece in the process. It looked like an impossible-to-replace doodad -- and yet my local hardware store found one just like it! 
  16. Buy an eyelash curler. Just about every beauty expert I've ever heard of recommends these - and yet I've never ever owned or even tried one!
  17. Go to a bloodmobile. Yes, I've given blood before so perhaps this stretches the idea of "new" but I have never been in an actual bloodmobile before - I've always donated in a gym or similarly large space. So I was impressed by how everything - private space for questions and preliminary blood screening, beds for those donating, and even a recovery/refreshment area - were squeezed into a mobile unit.
  18. Watch Annie. I've known many dogs in my life, but none so timid as poor little Annie. It's gonna take a bit of time before she trusts me, I think. Update: it took 2 days before she let me rub her belly; 3 before she'd sit on my lap.
  19. Go stargazing on the High Line, Every Tuesday night at 7:30 pm (until October), the Amateur Astronomers Association sets up their high-powered telescopes on the High Line. We saw Saturn through the telescope and Mars with our naked eye - awesome! And we had a pleasant walk from one end of the High Line to the other - I do see now why folks are so jazzed about this park.
  20. Save big on doggy doodoo bags. I'm always trying to save money in painless ways. Here's my latest coup: bought a year's worth of poop bags online for about 70% less than I usually pay when I buy smaller quantities.
  21. Buy Downy wrinkle release spray. I really hate ironing. As a result, I do it so infrequently (thank Heavens for no-iron shirts and the local laundry service!) that I haven't even bothered to replace the ironing board we lost in the fire/flood. I've heard good things about these new sprays and so bought two small bottles (one for OS to travel with).
  22. Start to create a list of books about dogs as both research about the book I hope to write and in preparation for seeing the children's book exhibit at the NYPL.
  23. Take YS to CityMD. I first encountered this service when I had shingles last year. I now like it better than the pediatrician's walk-in hours for the kids - it is generally faster, more flexible, and the boys don't feel they are talked down to by a staff used to infants and toddlers.
  24. Finish reading a book about investing. Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel (5th Ed) was actually a b-day gift to my OS. I started to read it during our travels together earlier this month, when flight delays meant that I finished my planned reading far earlier than we reached our destination. This kind of book isn't my usual thing, but I enjoyed seeing how the proof of the author's thesis played out throughout the 24 data-filled chapters.
  25. Attend YS 20014 football practice. Actually, what's most remarkable about this "new thing" is that I've only been to one practice this year. He's been walking back and forth and really wants DH and me to step back from the involvement we've had in the program in previous years.
  26. Celebrate National Dog Day with lots of love for J. and pix of cute dogs online.
  27. Read a book on a Kindle. My YS did indicate that his Kindle has become a little slow (and it is) but otherwise I liked the experience. Read a couple of light comedy books; next might use it for a book club book.
  28. Commit to regular tweeting. Time to up my social media use for myself, not a consulting client. Find me @VOFranzese.
  29. See the children's book exhibit at the NYPL. Really well presented; loved seeing the procession of children's literature and our guide's enthusiasm for literary artifacts.
  30. Get more serious about freelance writing. Learning more and more about how I can earn some money getting published. Started to listen to The Periodicalist’s podcast about freelancing; I recommend it. 
  31. Shop at the 1st Avenue Greenmarket. Bought 4 kinds of hot peppers (anaheim, banana, jalapeno, long hots) to garnish chili for dinner.
Want learn about all the new things I've tried during the first half of the year? See my lists from JanuaryFebruary, MarchApril, May, June and July.

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