The easy way to start again…

The new year is always a great excuse to start up the regular blogging again.  After being MIA through the holidays, the new year brings an easy no-think idea for a first post to get back on the blogging horse as I like to say.  The new year always seems like such a fresh start but I’ve realized my resolutions often stay the same year after year, meaning I either haven’t accomplished them the previous year or am still working on them slowly but surely.  My “travel internationally” resolution still remains front and center as well as the yearly “write more.”  One clichéd resolution that I’ve actually been sticking to from last year is the committment to working out more.  I began running regularly this past summer and once the cold weather hit in November I joined a gym and actually go (gasp!).  It’s funny, when I lived in NYC and had a comped membership to a fancy gym 21 blocks from my apartment with every amenity I could imagine, I rarely went but now that I belong to a local YMCA going seems a lot easier.  Go figure…

I tried to find my last few years of New Years Resolution posts but as it turns out I’ve been more inspired to share my goals every year around my birthday than New Years.  One thing I wanted out of post-30 life was to find a new hobby.  While I’m not sure it’s the most glamorous one, I’ve become quite the chef recently and enjoy cooking up new recipes (mostly tweaked from Pinterest or food blogs and given a little zog twist!).  I’m thinking of beginning a section on here to share them so stay tuned.

In 2013, assuming I actually stay in one state for a full year, I’d like to get immersed in the New England/RI lifestyle and become as much as a localvore as I can.  (Sorry that I just used such a hipster word…)  I want to re-learn snowboarding because really, how can you live in New England and not have a snow-sport hobby?  Judging by my end of summer yearnings to learn to sail last August, I suspect that might be a possible summer ambition?

As small as RI is, I realized even though I’ve lived here off and on for the better part of 8 years now, I only really know small pockets of the state well (Newport, Narragansett, Kingston/Wakefield) and there are prized areas that remain unexplored.  Providence has recently won all kinds of awards for its restaurants and culinary delights yet shamefully my knowledge of the area doesn’t extend far beyond the Providence Place mall, Thayer Street and one recent trip to Federal Hill.  A few friends lived there after college and I remember visiting there cute apartments and getting coffee at a place called Zog’s Cafe or something similarly named after me (speaking of which, is that place still there??) but beyond that I think we sadly only frequented lame college bars, clubs, The Cheesecake Factory and not much else.

A new year, a new state, a focus on living local, living each day to the fullest, living out my dreams and living well.  Here’s hoping 2013 is my year and your’s too!

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5 Reasons Why I’m Blogging Again

Ok I get it.  I’ve been gone for months with no explanation.  I’ve completely ignored my personal blog and personal brand and I’ve got no good reason for it.  I’ve been tweeting and facebooking and instagramming and pinning (my latest obsession – view my boards here) and doing some blogging for work but I’ve been neglecting my often therapeutic, sometimes vent-y personal blog…until now! I’m not really sure why I stopped writing – the answer could be 1) I was busy (lame excuse) 2) I felt uninspired (depressing but true excuse) and 3) I am in a transitional period of my life (my personal life at least) and was waiting for a more permanent situational life change before resuming blogging and finding my voice and my niche.  What I’ve decided though, is my right now is worthy of some coverage so you can expect to find some action over here while I re-discover my voice. In true blogger fashion, here’s my top 5 reasons for getting back on the blogging bandwagon!

1) Post-30 life IS blogworthy! In my twenties, I thought my life was a lot more exciting, funny and blogworthy, but post-30 Allie Life is actually quite interesting and hilarious – maybe just in a slightly less obvious “crazy night out” kinda way…

2) THE LDR community needs a voice! I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for nearly two years which I thought left my in a sort of blogger purgatory, meaning I couldn’t really blog about the single life OR the couple life.  I realize now that I have LOTS to offer fellow LDR’ers and could totally start a whole new genre of relationship blogs!

3) To explore other interests! (also known as “get a life!”) The last few years I’ve pretty much been functioning in the typical NYC mode of “live to work” rather than work to live, which I’m not complaining about because I love my job, industry and coworkers but I do have have other interests besides social media that I want to write about and explore. Social media, marketing and branding play a big part in my life and will obviously be present on this blog BUT I’m excited to have a space to chat about random stuff which may include my travel aspirations, my relationships, this crazy city and anything else that moves me.

4) Personal Branding.  Ok this may sound a little “marketer-speak” to my non-industry friends but hear me out.  I bought the alliezog.com domain more than 5 years ago  and have been going by the nickname Zog (and Zogger, Zoggy, Zogette, Lil Zog, etc.) for as long as I can remember. For all my loyal Zog-supporters and for myself, I want to make sure I am harvesting my personal brand and keeping the Zog traditional alive!

5) For the writer In me. I majored in Journalism in college and thought I’d be a newspaper reporter or magazine columnist as a career.  I wrote my first “book” at age 7 which was infamously deleted from our old Commodore 64 computer never to be recovered.  One of my life goals has always been (and still is!) to write and publish a novel.  I can’t claim to be a writer unless I’m actually writing (more than just emails, to-do lists and occasional non-sensical ramblings in little notebooks).  Step one, write often, Step two, repeat!

I’m open to suggestions for future blog topics as well as words of encouragement to keep me going!  What do YOU want to hear about?

PS – what do you think of my redesign?

Back from Vacay…

I’m back! Back from a week of relaxation in the mountains of Arizona, where my biggest concern was how I wanted my eggs prepared each morning and whether I would prefer to ride bikes, go sightseeing, do something “sporty” or just lounge on the patio reading my new Kindle all day. It was a lot a different from life in the big city so for that reason, it was truly a vacation.

That being said, I realized the beauty of vacations – they are an escape from your normal everyday life and are meant to be temporary. When I lived in Newport, RI people used to tell me my life was like a permanent vacation (which was kinda true) but that got me thinking…what’s so wrong with that??

I think you can determine where your truly meant to live by where you’d vacation if money were no object. My vacation destination preference always, always, always would be a beach. It could be argued that if I lived by a beach I might choose to explore big metropolis’ or jungles or deserts on my vacations – not true. When I lived ON a beach, I still vacationed to other beaches. To me, beaches are like snowflakes in that no two are exactly alike. I dream about experiencing new beaches and beach towns and comparing them all one-day in some giant interactive info-graphic… (the nerd in me speaks)

Sure I want to see other cities (London, Paris, Sydney and Rio De Janiero top my international list), sure I love escaping to some fresh country or mountain air and there are definitely a few non-beach places on my list of must-go’s (Alaska and Central America’s rain forest region to name a few) but my ultimate win vacation destination is beach.

I understand why living at the beach may not be the most practical. I get why people flock to big cities. I obviously appreciate how “lucky” I am to live and work here. I just think that people who do live here aren’t always outwardly honest about how it really is (unless their rich, then yeah, their life probably rocks). If you’re like me and don’t have a trust fund, a rent-controlled apartment or a driver, then you probably do that thing NY’ers do where you convince yourself that your life is really awesome and it’s totally normal to spend $2000 plus a month to live in a glorified closet because yeah, you can tell all your friends that you live in “the city” (because to NY’ers there is only one!). <– *Editor’s note – I sometimes do this too…

I know how after a glorious NYC filled weekend of brunching and central parking and frolicking or even an excitement-filled weeknight adventure (complete with bar-hopping and bomb scares on a Tuesday night) you start to feel that “I love it here and could never live anywhere else” feeling. Despite all my whining on this blog, I’ve felt it often – I promise! My one difference is when I leave the city I am not filled with that “omg I miss it and need to go back” feeling that I hear others are (or claim to be). I am more often than not thinking how I could be happy in X-place and how if I lived in X-place I’d probably be able to have all the things I dream about but can’t afford in NY (little things like…say…a closet, or outdoor space, or somewhere to store my beach chair…)

So what do you think folks, is life meant to be a beach or should I stick it out in NYC just a little bit longer? Comments please!

 

Last post before 30…

The next post you read I will be 30! I’m sure you’re all pretty sick of hearing about it by now so you are off the hook for a while…until 40 approaches 🙂

Tomorrow I head to AZ to visit an old friend, spend time with my family & the boyfriend and do a little relaxing and soul searching in between. I plan on spending my 30th at the Grand Canyon! Coincidentally, it will probably be cooler there than it is currently is NYC (it’s close to midnight here but the temp is still triple digits!). They’ll be lots of pictures and reflection to come – but you’ll have to wait a whole week since I am digitally detoxing and will likely not touch a computer for the next 8 days. *GASP*
Disclosure – I WILL still have my iPhone so I won’t be totally out of touch. Stay well NYC – see ya in a week!

30 ’til 30!

Yup that’s right. In 30 days, I’ll officially be the often-dreaded, newly celebrated age of three-oh. Thankfully I have some good stuff planned in the next 30 days to ease the blow…and more importantly, I have a great feeling about my 30 PLUS chapters…

Upcoming cool things!
  • Celebrating the 4th in my “happy place” of Newport, RI (with a detour to visit the old sorority house at URI and a day spent “down the line” in Narragansett)
  • NYC-joint b’day party/commiseration with some of my same-aged gals
  • Birthday week trip to Arizona (Grand Canyon! mountains! nature!) with the best people in my life
To fully enjoy the last 30 days of my twenties – I plan to post (nearly) EVERY DAY – even if it’s just a short excerpt or photo! (Except for when I’m away because who wants to bring their laptop to the beach?) See ya tomorrow!

Sunday night somethings…

The big 3-0 is getting closer and my mind is racing! So many things to start doing and stop doing and focus on and not worry about and places to see and people to meet – oh my!

Some random summer focuses…
1) Run, run, run – and get new running shoes from The Super Runners Shop where they let you run around for them and then they tell you the best shoes for your stride – however awkward and “Phoebe-like” it may be (Friends reference number 4,864…)
2) Take advantage of the coveted rooftop deck of my apartment building – anyone want to join me for sunset cocktails? (weather permitting!)
3) Beef up my international travel fund (so I can stop spending so much time loitering in the Travel section of Barnes and Noble living vicariously through Frommers and Lonely Planet…)
4) Decide where I should live for the rest of my life (or at least for the “early thirties – no kids” chapter of my life…)
Oh, and in honor of the Tony Awards that I am watching LIVE while writing this (from the Beacon Theatre a few blocks away) I’ll add “see more Broadway Shows!” to this list too… 🙂

Love…

One thing I decided my blog is lacking is photos… I’m really more of a words person than an artsy picturey type person but I do love taking pics and hope that I am getting more artistic with age! That being said, I’d like to integrate a lot more photography or at least fun moment-capturing pics into this blog. I also think it will help me “cheat” on days I don’t have a lot of time to type a lengthy post – I’ll just post a cool pic and a caption and be on my way 🙂

Anyway…

This picture might not seem like anything great but it was a moment in my weekend worth sharing so I thought I’d do so here.

My few and proud loyal readers know that my boyfriend currently lives in a far away land called Buffalo, NY. The long distance thing is hard and sometimes I turn all winey girl and admittedly make it even harder. Last night was one of those nights…

This morning I woke up to a rainy Sunday and my mood wasn’t much better than the night before. But then I got a text from the bf telling me to check my twitter (editors note, FF is NOT a frequent tweeter by any stretch…) When I checked it this was the tweet I saw:

About 30 minutes later, french toast and coffee arrives from Big Daddy’s. This little gesture made my heart melt (something I normally don’t admit) because it was thoughtful and perfect and one of those “little things” that is really a big thing.

Also major bonus points for incorporating social media into it all! 🙂