20th new yorkiversary

I’m just going to say it.

2016 sucked every which way a year could possibly suck. Seriously with that ish? What even was that? You know it’s not a good year when you set your alarm clock to NPR every morning at the start of a major news hour so that the second you wake up you can find out where a shooting was and/or who died. I mean…I cannot EVEN.

Focusing on good things helps. One good thing about 2016 (that automatically included lots of other good things) is that January 6 was my 20th New Yorkiversary. I moved to New York City for grad school on January 6, 1996 in a blizzard with no money, no friends, and no job, just big dreams I was determined to make reality. So all this year I have been celebrating 20 years in my dream city, the city that makes me feel alive every day. Even when I woke up day after day to horrifying news, I was grateful to live in the city where I belong. And right now I am relieved that, as of December 22, daylight time is increasing a little every day. That is a very good thing.

Winter solstice

Some good things that happened in 2016? I got engaged. A scene from City Love manifested with Claire Danes on the street. The second book of my City Love trilogy, Lost in Love, came out and Epic Reads did an author fun facts video to celebrate. I got to be Maddy from Nicola Yoon’s spectacular Everything, Everything. I went to YALLWEST and chilled with author rock stars and fangirled all over the place. I made some dorktastic YouTube videos. I shared one of my favorite hidden West Village areas with you. And every day, no matter what sad things were happening in the world, I was feeling the city love. The past 20 years have been filled with magical New York City moments that have shaped the person I am today. I am forever in love with my home and the infinite possibilities it brings.

Something tells me you are looking forward to 2017 as much as I am, if not more. I am here to tell you this: You can turn your big dreams into reality in 2017. How do I know? Because dude. I went from having 73 cents in my bank account in college to becoming a homeowner in downtown Manhattan. With enough kitchen counter space to bake my annual 200+ Christmas cookies.

Christmas cookies by Susane Colasanti

That journey was not an easy one. Anything worth achieving requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and the passion to keep going when it feels like everything is falling apart. And I have to say, time is a wild thing. You are just living your life one day at a time. The next thing you know, 20 years have suddenly gone by. 20 years.

Where do you want to be in 20 years? 10 years? 5 years? 2017?

One technique I have used since I moved here is creative visualization. I picture my goals with clarity, then take steps every day towards achieving them. Try writing down your biggest goals for whatever timeframe you choose. Then write down one thing you can realistically do every day to take steps closer to achieving each of them. This process, the passionate dedication of working hard to achieve your goals, is how big dreams become reality. It worked for me. And if I could do it, you definitely can.

Happy New Year, friendly neighbors! Much love to you from New York City. xoxo

Empire State Building at Christmas

serendipity day

Happy Serendipity Day! Every year on December 20, I repost my annual Serendipity Day reflections to celebrate the power of this auspicious day with you. Here’s to positive energy, following your heart, and the magic of soul mates. Much love xoxo

*

Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.

You would probably like an explanation.

If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then not to be bossy? But you really need to go ahead and do that. It’s all about fate and destiny and positive energy and has some amazing New York City scenes. Films like Serendipity take city love to a whole other level. But even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. Being obsessive about those kinds of details, I totally did. Then I immediately made an executive decision that December 20 will always and forever be known as Serendipity Day.

When they meet, Jonathan and Sara are in Bloomingdale’s trying to grab the same pair of gloves. You know how sometimes you meet someone and there’s this instant intense connection? That’s what happens to them. So of course they can’t just go their separate ways. They have to go to Serendipity 3 (which is only a few blocks away – love the accuracy) for frozen hot chocolates. And then they go ice skating in Central Park. It’s one of those magical New York nights, filled with excitement and possibility.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Serendipity

But then.

When Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, the wind blows it away. She thinks it’s a sign that they’re not meant to be together. Or at least, not right now. She’s all about fate and destiny. So she makes him write his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.

Good, right?

If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you can understand why I love this movie. I love it so much that my friend Joe and I used to celebrate Serendipity Day by reenacting the original Serendipity Day’s events. First, we put our names in at Serendipity. There’s usually a three-hour wait for a table around the holidays. I am not exaggerating. Serendipity is a gorgeous winter wonderland right now, all sparkly lights and trees and tinsel. Everyone wants in. But it was perfect because we needed those three hours to reenact scenes from the movie. We would head over to Bloomingdale’s, where we both grabbed a pair of gloves at the same glove counter. That counter doesn’t have gloves anymore so we had to bring the gloves over from the gloves section, but it still counted. Then it was off to Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was always the Coldest Night Ever when we did this. I don’t know how to ice skate, so we would kind of just stand there shivering and watching the glittery skyline and sending positive energy out into the Universe.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Wollman Rink in Central Park

 

Then our table was ready at Serendipity 3 and it was frozen hot chocolate time! In the movie, Jonathan and Sara get red and blue straws in theirs. But we always got regular straws. So I asked about the red and blue ones. I was monumentally disappointed to discover that they don’t have those red and blue straws anymore. But then I got over myself because their frozen hot chocolate is the best in the world, regardless of straw color.

If Joe and I were at a point in our lives where we were single, we would each take out a five-dollar bill and write our name and number on the back (in red pen for accuracy). Then we’d give the bills to the waiter as part of his tip. Not that anyone ever called us. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put positive energy out there. We made a choice to create more possibility for finding true love. Anything is possible here in New York. This city makes magical things happen when you take action to work towards your goals.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager, reunited

How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you are already with your soul mate you can make frozen hot chocolates and call it a day. But if you are still searching, send positive energy out into the Universe today. Take some time to write down your goals. Visualize what you want your love life to be like. Then make a plan to take steps every day towards finding your person. All of these actions will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.

Oh, and PS? Serendipity 3 is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.

Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity

Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Go make magic happen.

epic reads author fun facts

When Epic Reads said they wanted to do an author fun facts video with me, I was psyched out of my head. We all know Epic Reads is the biggest and best book lover community out there. And they do the most adorable videos.

You should not be surprised to discover that my author fun facts video is dorktastic to the max. Watch me geek out over David Letterman, The Office, and my Top Five Husbands List. Oh yes. The list is featured.


In other book news, this Barnes & Noble Readout gives you a taste of what happens in Lost in Love after City Love. Spoiler alert! If you haven’t yet read City Love and are considering it, you might want to skip this excerpt.

Epic Reads posted a fun summer paperbacks feature and 40 Perfect Paperbacks for Summer, including City Love and a bunch of other hot reads. If you are looking for summer reading recommendations, check out the books featured there. And it looks like there’s still time to enter their Summer Reading Prize Pack giveaway. You can win TEN BOOKS, a beach towel, a water bottle, and a tote bag. Get it!

Epic Reads Summer Reading Prize Pack
In the book blogger world, this Lost In Literature review of Lost in Love is super cute. Love the buddy chat! Thanks for spreading the book love, Lisa and Becca.

Happy summer reading, friendly neighbors ❤

believe in love

Valentine’s Day is here, which could mean one (or a combination) of a few different things for you. Either a.) You will be spending at least part of today with someone you love, b.) You are fighting to not get sucked into a downward spiral of depression, having been accosted by annoying displays of hearts and chocolates and flowers everywhere you go, and will be self-medicating with discount Russell Stover’s tomorrow, c.) You could not care less about a commercialized holiday that puts an enormous amount of pressure on everyone involved; your day will be business as usual, or d.) You will be taking back VDay with your friends, celebrating the love you have for one another and the love you are developing for yourself.

If you are in a b.) situation, please know that I hear you. Loud and clear. Like, we could be binge watching The Office and baking chocolate chip cookies together right now. I cannot even tell you how much day-after-Valentine’s-Day discount chocolate I have drowned my sorrows in over the years. My comfort chocolate of choice has always been Russell Stover’s Assorted Creams. Their Nut, Chewy & Crisp Assortment was backup, followed by their milk chocolates. Because really, who wants to deal with dark chocolate when you’re depressed?

During those years of Valentine’s Day sorrow, feeling like I would never find true love and would not only die alone, but would die one of those miserable urban deaths where nobody would even know I died and my body would not be discovered until days after when the smell of my decomposed, Russell Stover’s rotting corpse would seep out from under my apartment door and someone down the hall would smell me and be like, “Is the garbage chute backed up or something?”

So yeah. I know all about being depressed on Valentine’s Day.

But here’s the thing. I refused to die that way. Not finding my soul mate was just not an option for me. Now, if you are in a c.) and/or d.) situation and are totally cool with being single, enjoying a girl or boy break or savoring the tingly anticipation of your first relationship to come, you freaking rule right now. I wish I’d had the confidence to be you. Maybe you don’t even want a relationship. I am impressed with your swagger. No matter which situation you are in today, I want to share something about my own process of dreaming big and making that dream reality. I have shared lots of these examples over the years. Today the story is about my fiance, but this is an example that will hopefully inspire any of you with big dreams, no matter what your dreams are.

This magazine ad of a snowman holding a Tiffany’s ring bag was on my dream board for years, then on my scrapbook treasure map.

My Tiffany's vision...

I looked at my Tiffany’s snowman on my dream board every day and visualized finding my soul mate. While the snowman was in my scrapbook, I didn’t see it every day, but the power of creative visualization was still at work because I had put that positive energy out there and was taking steps every day toward making that dream a reality. This photo shows the actual Tiffany’s ring box and bag that Matt (I never told him about the snowman, FYI) gave me when he proposed…in the winter with snow on the ground and the New York City skyline glittering in the background. And this is my engagement ring!

After years of dreaming big and putting those dreams out there in verbal, written, and artistic form, it never ceases to amaze me when I go back to one of my goal lists and can check something off I’d written years before that I’d totally forgot about. Although I never completely forgot about my snowman, I hadn’t looked at him in a long time. That winter Tiffany’s part of my vision was already manifesting in way more specific detail than I expected it to. I mean, why did I put that particular Tiffany’s ad on my dream board? I don’t do winter. Why not one from spring with pretty flowers, or glowing in the summer sun? You can’t just cut something out of a magazine, glue in on your treasure map, kick back and expect a Tiffany’s ring box to knock on your door. You have to work toward achieving your goal, no matter what your goal is, every day. But it is fascinating how powerful the visual components of your dream can be, and how closely they can manifest in real life.

Matt Huntington and Susane Colasanti

It’s okay to have bad days where everything is going wrong and you feel hopeless and alone. Feeling like your dreams are out of reach, or worrying that you won’t be able to achieve them, is a natural part of the process. But then a shiny new day comes and you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on your creative visualization track. Visualize your big dream. Take steps toward achieving it. Put positive energy out into the Universe. And refuse to give up.

Believe in your dreams. Believe in love ❤

serendipity day

Happy Serendipity Day! Every year on December 20, I repost my annual Serendipity Day reflections to celebrate the power of this auspicious day with you. Here’s to positive energy, following your heart, and the magic of soul mates. Much love ❤

*

Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.

You would probably like an explanation.

If you didn’t see the movie Serendipity, then not to be bossy? But you really need to go ahead and do that. It’s all about fate and destiny and positive energy and has some amazing New York City scenes. Films like Serendipity take city love to a whole other level. But even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. Being obsessive about those kinds of details, I totally did. Then I immediately made an executive decision that December 20 will always and forever be known as Serendipity Day.

When they meet, Jonathan and Sara are in Bloomingdale’s trying to grab the same pair of gloves. You know how sometimes you meet someone and there’s this instant intense connection? That’s what happens to them. So of course they can’t just go their separate ways. They have to go to Serendipity 3 (which is only a few blocks away – love the accuracy) for frozen hot chocolates. And then they go ice skating in Central Park. It’s one of those magical New York nights, filled with excitement and possibility.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Serendipity

But then.

When Jonathan writes down his number for Sara, the wind blows it away. She thinks it’s a sign that they’re not meant to be together. Or at least, not right now. She’s all about fate and destiny. So she makes him write his name and number on the back of a five-dollar bill, which she immediately uses to buy mints. Sara’s idea is that if the five-dollar bill makes its way back to her, then they’re meant to be together.

Good, right?

If you’ve read Something Like Fate, you can understand why I love this movie. I love it so much that my friend Joe and I used to celebrate Serendipity Day by reenacting the original Serendipity Day’s events. First, we put our names in at Serendipity. There’s usually a three-hour wait for a table around the holidays. I am not exaggerating. Serendipity is a gorgeous winter wonderland right now, all sparkly lights and trees and tinsel. Everyone wants in. But it was perfect because we needed those three hours to reenact scenes from the movie. We would head over to Bloomingdale’s, where we both grabbed a pair of gloves at the same glove counter. That counter doesn’t have gloves anymore so we had to bring the gloves over from the gloves section, but it still counted. Then it was off to Wollman Rink in Central Park. It was always the Coldest Night Ever when we did this. I don’t know how to ice skate, so we would kind of just stand there shivering and watching the glittery skyline and sending positive energy out into the Universe.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager at Wollman Rink in Central Park

Then our table was ready at Serendipity 3 and it was frozen hot chocolate time! In the movie, Jonathan and Sara get red and blue straws in theirs. But we always got regular straws. So I asked about the red and blue ones. I was monumentally disappointed to discover that they don’t have those red and blue straws anymore. But then I got over myself because their frozen hot chocolate is the best in the world, regardless of straw color.

If Joe and I were at a point in our lives where we were single, we would each take out a five-dollar bill and write our name and number on the back (in red pen for accuracy). Then we’d give the bills to the waiter as part of his tip. Not that anyone ever called us. But that’s not the point. The point is that we put positive energy out there. We made a choice to create more possibility for finding true love. Anything is possible here in New York. This city makes magical things happen when you take action to work towards your goals.

Sara Thomas and Jonathan Trager, reunited

 

How can you celebrate Serendipity Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you are already with your soul mate you can make frozen hot chocolates and call it a day. But if you are still searching, send positive energy out into the Universe today. Take some time to write down your goals. Visualize what you want your love life to be like. Then make a plan to take steps every day towards finding your person. All of these actions will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.

Oh, and PS? Serendipity 3 is also home of the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae, served in a Baccarat crystal goblet (which you get to take home), made with the world’s most expensive chocolate, and covered in 23-carat edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.

Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity

Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Go make magic happen.

back to the future day

So here it is. October 21, 2015. The day Marty and Doc time traveled to in Back to the Future II.

There have been no reports of a mysterious Delorean appearance today. Which doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Time travelers are slick that way.

Yeah, we’re still using fossil fuels in cars instead of garbage. And bullying still happens for some stupid reason (actually, lots of stupid reasons). 2015 wasn’t so bright we had to wear shades back in the 80s. But I am relieved that we’re not wearing those weird oversized sweaters with geometric shapes anymore.

Oh, and I’ve made a discovery. As you can see from this photo I took of John Mayer in 2010 compared to this pic of Marty McFly in 1985, JM is the new MM.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 02.25.10

Marty McFly

Watch out for anyone in a red puffer vest. You just never know.