top ten, working it edition

1. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while might know that I like to work out. I’ve been working out since I was 16, doing aerobics in front of the TV with Charlene Prickett on a very 80s show called It Figures. We’re talking leotards, belts, and leg warmers. Then it was on to a lot of step in college. Other classes in grad school. Since then I’ve been into kickboxing, boot camp, yoga, Pilates, hip-hop dance, and total body with a few trainers. Currently I’m all about the Zumba, Bodypump, and core. In over 20 years of working out at many gyms, Kara Doyle is by far the most amazing fitness instructor I’ve ever had. She is in permanent beast mode. She is dorktastic in the best possible way. She has dazzling positive energy that motivates her students to work harder and inspires us to be better. I’ve only been working out with Kara for about three years, but in that time she has shaped me into someone who, for the first time ever, might actually be in rehearsal for the gun show.

So I was bummed to see that no one’s ever buying tickets to my gun show while Jim Wittig is working it:

Susane Colasanti and Jim Wittig

Muscles much? Jim is fierce. He does not play. Actually, he does play hard after he works hard. My BF/soul mate (who is Jim’s cousin) took this photo of us at Jim’s poolside gym. At his gorgeous beach house. That sleeps 22 people. Um, yeah. Jim wins.

2. Happy 20th Anniversary to my favorite comic strip of all time, MUTTS! Patrick McDonnell does such a beautiful job of creating sweet, sensitive artwork that raises awareness of animal rights while encouraging everyone to treat the world around them with respect and admiration.

MUTTS comic, pink bubble wishes

May your pink bubble wishes for peace and harmony blossom.

3. Some of you have been asking me if the reference to Red Bedroom Records in Now and Forever is the same Red Bedroom Records from One Tree Hill. They are absolutely the same! One thing I love about writing teen novels is adding the kinds of quirky details I love reading in books. I adore making connections that resonate with me and I am thrilled when you love them, too!

4. Speaking of Now and Forever, Jean BookNerd just posted a fresh interview with me and included a giveaway of three signed copies of the book! Thanks for being so awesome, Jean.

5. I really don’t want to admit this. But. After much denial, I have to say that it’s getting kind of chilly. Like dipping down into the 50s at night. I’m doing my best not to let the end of summer get to me. We officially have one more week of summer left. The autumnal equinox is September 23 this year. And you best believe I will be working it endless summer style until then. This summer girl does not want to put her flip-flops away. No one should ever have to put their flip-flops away. Unless, you know. You love fall. If fall is your season, then yay for you! I’m sure you will be working those sweaters and scarves like nobody’s business.

6. It seems that I may have developed a slight addiction to ModCloth dresses. If by “slight,” I mean “severe.”

Susane Colasanti in ModCloth

This was my summer fave. We called it the mermaid dress. See you next summer, mermaid dress. Tear.

7. An apartment one block from my place is being sold for $16 million. Of course it is on my dream home list. Don’t get me wrong. I totally love my place. Buying and renovating my apartment was when I turned one of my biggest dreams into reality. But this is my first apartment, not my last. There will be a lot of changes in the next few years. A lot of big, exciting, groundbreaking changes. Part of my practice of creative visualization involves recording my goals for the next three months, six months, year, three years, five years, ten years, and lifetime. A penthouse apartment here in downtown Manhattan is right up there on the goals list. The epitome of working it as a New York City homeowner is scoring the type of apartment that is so you it becomes this peaceful Zen retreat. My home is like that. It is a bright, streamlined writing oasis. But this duplex penthouse at 18 Gramercy Park? Is def on my goal list as a future Zen retreat.

8. You know how the models on my book covers never show their faces? I prefer it that way. When I’m reading a book, I like to imagine the characters the way my mind shapes them as the story unfolds. At the same time, it’s always interesting to see the cover models’ faces. They never look the way I thought they would! Friendly neighbor Ronni found this interview with the boy on the cover of Something Like Fate. Thanks, Ronni! Plus you can see what the cover boy from Keep Holding On looks like and read a short interview I did with him here.

9. For the first time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started keeping count, more than half the adult population in the United States is single. And into it. They’re the growing number of people putting their time and money into making cities vibrant. Only 22% of Americans were single in 1950. Today the number is just over 50%. One factor that’s contributing to more people staying single longer or making life changes to become single? The search for a soul mate. Refusing to settle for anything less than what your heart desires. The key to finding true happiness in a relationship is finding true happiness with yourself first. Snaps for everyone who has the confidence to work it and own it being single, confident, and happy.

10. I’ll end with this reminder:

You are of infinite worth

You are of infinite worth. Never forget that you matter, you are making a difference in this world, and you are loved <3

best version of you

A soul mate is someone who inspires you to be the best version of yourself.

Even more important? Being the best version of you for YOU.

Best version of you

When I was in high school, summer always symbolized a second chance. It was the time when I promised to reinvent myself. Every year I wanted to go back to school as a shiny new version of myself, the better and brighter version I knew I could be.

But my summers of reinvention never quite worked out. Why? Because I didn’t realize that I already had the strength, knowledge, and passion to be the best version of myself. I thought reinvention would come from outside sources. That I had to look a whole different way in order for people to see me differently. This was back when I cared way too much about what other people thought. When the end of summer came and I still pretty much looked like the same person, I was always disappointed. Then I would start looking forward to next summer…

If I could have given myself a memo, it would have said this: Don’t wait for next summer or the summer after that to be the best version of yourself. Real life doesn’t start when you graduate from high school. Real life is happening right now. This is your real life and you have the power to shape it into the life you want. True, there was a lot I couldn’t control back then. But there was also a lot I could have controlled.

Change what you can. Accept what you can’t. And strive to be the person you want to be every single day.

Hope the rest of your summer is spectacular <3

rooftop city love

TGIM, friendly neighbors! I hope your summer has been a spectacular one. Here in New York, we’ve been enjoying happy summer days and romantic summer nights. Including some rooftop city love, soul mate style.

Susane Colasanti and Matt Huntington

Looks like a book cover? It’s actually me and my BF.

Thanks to Jayd Jackson for capturing the magic. Jayd also shot the cover of All I Need, which features a very similar pose. You know how I love a good full-circle moment <3

fabulous at 40

Birthday Week is a thing, right? I’ve been going with yes. My birthday is May 1, which is tomorrow. Which means my time as Fabulous at 40 will be coming to an end.

On my final day of Fabulous at 40, I’d like to share some philosophy that has inspired me. Straight up: It is outrageous that I am 40. My internal age is 16. My internal age will always be 16. Not in a creepy vampire way (although I would love to sparkle). In a way where I have a Knowing that I will be forever young. And in a way where I get super excited about funfetti cake.

Susane Colasanti's Fabulous at 40 birthday cake

This was my Fabulous at 40 birthday cake. I had been visualizing this cake for a long time. Everything from the hot pink script Fabulous to the vanilla buttercream frosting the the old-school sprinkles. And of course the cake had to be funfetti. I pictured this cake with such crystal clarity in my mind for months before the party it was like the cake already existed.

The party venue recommended a bakery. When I called that bakery to order the cake, there were some glitches with my vision. They couldn’t do hot pink icing. They didn’t have old-school sprinkles. And funfetti was not an option. Despite these inconsistencies, I ordered the alternate cake anyway. It was a good bakery. I felt bad not ordering the cake after the person helping me had been on the phone for so long. The cake would be delicious. It just wouldn’t be my vision. I told myself that was good enough.

Then I realized it wasn’t. Why should I settle for less than my heart’s desire? My heart’s desire was the cake I had been visualizing. There was no reason I couldn’t manifest that vision. So I called the bakery back and canceled the order. Later that day, my cake vision was manifested with Sugar Sweet Sunshine. I was so happy I kept searching for exactly what I was looking for. That’s the thing about creative visualization. You don’t have to settle for less than your heart’s desires. When you can imagine what you want to manifest in your life so clearly that it already feels real, when you carry that vision in your heart every single day and never let it go, you are on your way to turning your dreams into reality.

Like when I had a vision of my grownup self back when I was a teen. My biggest dream back then was to eventually be living a happy life. I wished that I would be healthy. I wished that I would be loving my career, living in my dream city, and sharing my life with the man of my dreams. Oh, and that I would be rocking a bikini when I’m 40.

Susane Colasanti, Fabulous at 40

Fabulous at 40 means being confident enough to chill infinity pool side with a fruity drink in South Beach. It means doing everything you can to make the world a better place. It means taking care of yourself so you can better take care of others. It means refusing to settle for less than your heart’s desires. Fabulous at 40 means visualizing your biggest dreams, then taking steps every day to turn those dreams into reality. These are things you can do at any age. These are things you can do starting right now.

So what’s your Fabulous at 40 cake? What vision do you want to manifest?

Imagine the type of sprinkles you want. The flavor of the frosting. What your icing will say. Who you will share it with.

Then make your vision reality.

the new resolution

I started working out when I was 16. I could not have possibly hated gym class more (see my detailed rant on gym in When It Happens), but I liked my dance lessons and badminton and the idea that I could do things that were actually fun for exercise. We only had a few TV channels in Middle of Nowhere, New Jersey. Channel 13 was PBS. Channel 13 ruled for two reasons: Degrassi Junior High and these random 15-minute science shows that came on in the morning. Oh, and The Write Channel, this instructional writing show for kids. Check out this ep for some 1978 flavor. I obsessed over those shows whenever I was home weekday mornings. The next channel after 13 was 52. Channel 52 was a bootleg public broadcasting station that had an aerobics show called It Figures. I forget if it was on after school or if I taped it on the Betamax (you read that right – no fancy VHS for us!), but that’s when I started working out on my own. Pounding around in my leotard in front of our little TV.

After I left for college, I started taking gym classes that were awesome. And by awesome, I mean classes in which dodge balls were not maliciously whipped at me. I took step when step was hot. I joined a gym when I was 20 and have had gym memberships continuously ever since. Which means for the past 20 years, I’ve been a dedicated gym member. And for the past 20 years, I’ve observed the same phenomenon every January. Right on schedule the first week of January, the gym gets packed. So packed I can barely find a space if I don’t get to class super early. The gym is back to normal by March. Because March is when people usually give up on their new year’s resolution to work out more.

New year’s resolutions come with a lot of pressure. You want to make your life better. You’re riding on that renewed surge of energy the first few weeks of January. But by the middle of February, we’re all dragging. February is gross. Of course you’re craving pasta and nights in snuggled up with a mug of tea and a good book. Those new year’s resolutions are more daunting than ever now. Especially if you got smacked down with that nasty cold everybody had where all you want to do is sleep and watch Felicity for two weeks. You know, The Worst Cold Ever? The one I caught when I was saying how everybody had it? Getting sick or being otherwise impaired right when you’re starting to make a change in your life is depressing. I don’t want you to be depressed. There’s a way to achieve your goals without confining your efforts to a small section of the calendar.

For those of you who are still sticking to your new year’s resolutions, congrats! You go with your fine self. But for those of you who are having a hard time, I want to offer some inspiration in the form of a new resolution. This kind of resolution involves a change in lifestyle. The premise is that, rather than being chained to the calendar or only motivated to make positive changes every January 1, you can take steps to improve your life every single day of the year. You can start anytime you want. Like right now.

My biggest challenge is finding balance. For example:

Christmas cookies before

These are some of the 300 Christmas cookies I baked in December. It took me a total of 13 hours to bake and decorate the cookies. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love doing. Most of my friends aren’t into baking. They really appreciate the love that goes into these cookies. I don’t usually make such a large amount. The increase is to include my BF/soul mate and instafam. Will I bake 300 Christmas cookies next year? Will I be up all night decorating them again?

Christmas cookies after

I don’t know. This is all part of the balance thing. Baking Christmas cookies is something I absolutely love doing. Maybe I’ll decide that I want to keep this tradition alive. Or maybe I’ll decide that 150 cookies is enough. Time will tell. In the meantime, I will be working on achieving balance every day. I will be mindful of times when I should say no. Saying no is really hard for me. I want to accommodate everyone’s wishes. But I have to accept that it’s just not possible to say yes to everything. I have my priorities and those are the things I need to make sure receive the most time and attention. Balance is something I must be aware of every time I make a decision. Once I get used to that routine on a daily basis, my lifestyle will include a better sense of balance.

When we work towards achieving our most important goals every day, we are creating a permanent lifestyle. A lifestyle in which there is no need for resolutions.

Every single day is a new opportunity for change. Screwing up is okay. Don’t be discouraged by a bad day. One step backward today can easily be erased by two steps forward tomorrow. The key is to make positive choices in the Now that will shape your ideal future. Visualize the life you want. Then take steps every day to move toward achieving your goals. That is the way to turn dreams into reality.

You can do this thing. And if you get sidetracked? Today is just as good a time as January 1 to try again.

You always have the power of today.
You always have the power to change your life.
You are the architect of your own destiny.

Let the change begin.