Everyone loves a Boston girl. This is the story of one Boston girl's adventures in the city, in blogging, and in getting through those crazy 20-something years.

I'm a writer by trade. And by passion. I'm a lover of food, friends, and all things Boston. I listen to music pretty much 24/7 and idolize Martha Stewart. I love my job(s), my life, and this city. Follow me on Twitter! @Susie

Archive: December 2009

that article that told me how to live my life.

What’s an article that you read that blew you away?

Sometimes I hate myself because I read too much. OK, so I don’t hate myself because I read a lot, but because I talk about it a lot. I swear to God at least once a day, I’ll find myself saying in casual conversation, “I read an article…” To the point where I cringe when I say it. Because I am that girl. And nobody really likes that girl. Because where is she reading so many articles? And where is she getting them? And for goodness sake, why does she believe everything the articles are telling her? She needs to get a life!

So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw today’s prompt on The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge: What’s an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious’d and reference throughout the year.

And I COULDN’T THINK OF ANYTHING. Not a single article I read in all of 2009 was popping into my mind. I read articles all the time. I think about them non-stop and talk about them in situations where nobody else cares? So, why can’t I think of anything now? But then I remembered one article that I think of every day and try to implement into my every day life. Sort of.

It’s called 50+ Ways to Improve Your Productivity as a Freelancer (It’s really 51 ways, but I think they decided 50+ sounded better. I get it).

When I first saw the article, I though, “Pshh, like you can tell me something I don’t already know about productivity? Riiight.” I figured this article would actually decrease my productivity because just reading it would be wasting my time. However, I’m coming away from this saying it may have increased my productivity by about 2%. But with the potential for SO much more. And potential is what counts here.

Here are some of the article’s major gems:

#5. Organize Your Email Inbox (also related, #9. Empty Your Inbox When Possible): I’ve actually attempted this twice since reading the article. After my most recent attempt, I got one account down to 943 and the other to 324. But if you had seen the state of my e-mail accounts before this, you’d be giving me high fives all around right now. Anyway, give me two more sessions, and I’ll have my e-mail boxes empty. For at least 12 hours.

#11. Have a Daily To-Do List: I know, everyone already loves lists. I did too. But this made me realize I should start them again. So then I also decided to do this: #12. Evaluate Yourself at the End of the Day. But this all led to several problems because I NEVER finished the items on the list. And I’d get a pretty harsh self-evaluation. And end up going to bed crying. And when I woke up in the morning, the list was still there piling up. Until I ran out of room on the paper and had to just rip it up and throw it out. Only to start again. As you can imagine, this was good for nobody.

#23. Identify Your Most Productive Times of the Day: This is totally important to do! But my most productive times are early morning and late at night. Herein lies the problem. Please refer to #36 for more issues.

#27. Set Aside Time for Networking: Oh trust me, I DO.

#36. Get Enough Sleep: GREAT advice. And I’ve been trying. Getting more sleep means less time to do work, but it means you’ll hopefully be more productive and awake while doing so. Hopefully. However, there is no way to prove this. That I know of.

#38. Change Up Your Working Environment: It works! I can’t work in the same spot for more than 2 days in a row. I’m so much more productive if I go to Bruegger’s and stare at all the creeps that come in. No, really, I am.

And here are the things I just didn’t even bother trying:

#7. Work with Your Email Closed (OK fine, but can I keep my Blackberry next to me?)

#15. Allow a Specific Amount of Time for Surfing Online, but Keep it to that Amount of Time (But what if someone says something interesting on Twitter?)

#17. Reduce Your Feed Subscriptions (But where will my distractions come from? And what if I miss a really great article??)

#19. Reduce the Number of People You’re Following on Twitter (Oops. Can’t help it?)

#30. Hire an Assistant (OH REALLY? An assistant will help me be more productive. Well then, by all means, hook a girl up)

#42. Keep Your Workspace Clean (There will be absolutely no photos in this post. I repeat, no photos)

#50. Set Working Hours (Oh, you mean other than 24/7? But how will I ever be productive then?)

See? This article is chock-full of useful advice. I may not use all of it, but I think about all of it. A lot. And I talk about it too. Which all likely makes me less productive. But at least I have the information in my head. You can lead a horse to water…

i ate a lot in 2009.

Best of 2009: Restaurant Moment

You’d think choosing my favorite restaurant of 2009 would be easy… I am a food blogger after all. But it’s really not. Especially since I hate writing posts with no photos. And I don’t have photos (especially good photos) for all my fave restaurants. I can’t pick just one… I have to choose a few!

Exhibit a) The Fireplace

If you follow me on We are not Martha (or have ever had a conversation with me in real life), you know how obsessed I am with The Fireplace. If my wallet permitted, I’d be eating here every single night. And then just sipping martinis and hanging out by the fireplace (the actual fireplace). But alas, I’m a freelance writer and my income doesn’t allow for such extravagances. However, I was lucky enough to dine here several times in 2009 and every meal was an amazing one. I even had my birthday dinner here and indulged in the cheese plate for the first time (omg I want one every night). Here are a few pretty photos from one dinner with my mom:

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Exhibit b) Top of the Hub

I have no photo evidence, but my birthday dinner with my family was at the Top of the Hub. My mom told me I should take a break from photographing everything since it was my birthday, so I did. But I wish I didn’t heed her advice because dinner was heaven and so pretty too. Basically this restaurant has a bad name because people think it’s an overpriced tourist trap. But, if you haven’t been in a couple years, I’m begging you to head back because it is SO worth it. Yes, it’s expensive and yes lots of tourists love the view. BUT IT’S WORTH IT. The service is always impeccable, the food is amazing and pretty and perfect. And the drinks? Well, they have a huge and unique drink menu and I’ve never ordered a drink I didn’t like. Worth it. The following photo is not of me nor my family (come on, like I have 90s hair like that?), but it’s kind of what eating at the Top of the Hub feels like (in 1993 at least):

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Exhibit c) Don the Beachcomber

Maybe it was the setting. Or maybe it was the company. Or maybe it was just the fact I was totally relaxed and on vacation, but this was definitely one of my favorite restaurants in 2009. I seriously think I melted a little as I was eating the Caesar salad with crabcake. In fact, I could have one every day for the rest of my life and it wouldn’t be enough. If they delivered, I would happily pay the delivery fee from Hawaii. YUM. The following photos don’t do the food justice. Just yum.

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I’m totally leaving out about 2497 million other amazing restaurants I’ve been to this year… there have been tons. And even more awesome home-cooked ones (Rattlesnake’s Chef Poe cooking at Chels’s apartment? THE BEST). And now I’m crazy excited for 2010 because I will hopefully have tonnnns of new restaurant experiences. Yay food! 2009 was definitely a good one for that.

the beginning of the best of 2009: best trip on earth.

Best excuse to reallyy start blogging… ever! I’m clearly having difficulties getting into this whole Boston Girl blog thing. So, even though it’s 10:30 p.m., when I saw Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge, I knew I had to jump on it. After all, this first day is so freaking easy for me. What was my best trip of 2009? Funny you should ask because I recently (as in one week ago) returned from 10 stunning days in Hawaii.

I actually took several amazing trips this year. Including a cruise to the Bahamas for my sister’s bachelorette party, a few days in NYC, an awesome work trip to Chicago, and a fun food blogging festival in San Fran. Yup, life was pretty amazing this year.

But nothing can beat Hawaii… Visiting my sister and her husband in such a breathtakingly beautiful place. Not to mention, being with my love on our first realll vacation together.

Some of my favorite moments from that trip? Because even though I’ve been trying, words really can’t describe.

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And that’s not including the actual swimming with the manta rays part and the actual seeing dolphins jump out of the water over and over again part. Ahhh life was so good for those 10 days. And now I’m back in reality. Which is still really good, don’t get me wrong. But busy and a bit stressful. I don’t know when I’ll be on a vacation quite like Hawaii again. And these pictures are going to be MUCH needed to get me through.

Anyway, hello December, it’s nice to see you. 2009 has been SO good to me and I’m actually a little bit sad to see you go. Which is why this whole month of looking back and reflection is going to be oh so good. Now… let’s see how long I can last 🙂