TGIM! Here’s some fresh inspiration for a shiny new week:
Positive energy is the key to turning your dreams into reality.
Keeping it positive <3
I cannot be more excited that March begins on Sunday. February is always brutal. February is my least favorite month, filled with sharp winds and astonishing below-zero temperatures and a profound absence of leaves. But this year has been particularly harsh. The good news is that we survived! We’re leaving February in the dust. Spring starts in 21 days. Life is good. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, February.
So yeah. Feeling pretty Zen about things today. Which is why I’ve whipped up a top five (not enough for a top ten, but going with the flow is part of being Zen) to fit the mood.
1. We are getting so much closer (see what I did there?) to the release of City Love! The first book of the trilogy comes out on April 21. Advance copies are on the move. Some book bloggers and giveaway winners have emailed me pretty pics of their ARCs…including the shiny star confetti that came with!
That confetti makes me so happy. I mean, confetti in general makes me happy. But pulling a shiny new book out of an envelope with shiny star confetti? Takes the experience up a notch. And being gifted with confetti is way better than Ship Your Enemies Glitter. I hope everyone who’s reading City Love early is enjoying the book!
2. More ARC giveaways are coming up, but I wanted to share something special from the giveaway I did for Random Acts of Kindness Week. Super friendly neighbor and dedicated reader Catherine S. decided to spread the city love on campus by giving out bright, colorful flowers with warm fuzzies attached. The photos she posted on Twitter made me so happy I wanted to share this one with you:
One of the City Love giveaways my publisher is doing in March is all about showing your city love with some artistic flair. I’m really looking forward to seeing your entries! In the meantime, please show your #citylove and spread the #citylove on social. Beautiful scenes from your city, inspiring images, reasons why you love where you live or can’t wait to live in your dream city, new things you notice when you look up…all are welcome. Use the #citylove hashtag so I can retweet you on my Twitter and repost you on my Instagram.
3. Want to see the best Zumba choreo out there? And me busting a move all over it? Here’s a clip from my Zumba class with master instructor Kara Doyle. Kara is pretty in pink up front. I’m in the Keep Calm tank all up in the camera’s face. If you want to see me looking even more dorktastic, here I am shaking it in this hilarious Vine. Because, really, what’s the point of the Internet if not to embarrass myself in front of the entire world?
5. I will leave you with this gorgeous graphic by reader Kare Hui.
The Now from Waiting for You returns in City Love. Actually, you’ll see several familiar things from my previous books in City Love…including characters. Oh yeah. We’re taking this literary party up a notch.
Wishing you a peaceful, reflective weekend filled with moments of Zen <3
Happy Random Acts of Kindness Week! What better way to balance the negative energy of harsh February than with a flood of positive energy in the form of kindness? Sadie from City Love (and So Much Closer) adores this week. As a member of her local Random Acts of Kindness group, Sadie is all about spreading the #citylove with warm fuzzies and being the first to step up when she sees someone who needs help.
To celebrate this wonderful week, I’m giving away three advance copies of City Love on Twitter!
City Love is sort of a love letter to New York City. But City Love is also a love letter to your city. It’s about the infinite possibilities all around us. It’s about the people who make a city what it is, people who help improve their communities with kindness. For this week’s giveaway, I’m asking everyone to share their photos, artwork, images, quotes, and any other inspiration that shows how we can give back to our community by spreading the love. Spread the #citylove and show your #citylove to enter the giveaway. Everyone who posts inspiration for kindness with the #citylove hashtag and follows @susanecolasanti on Twitter during Random Acts of Kindness Week will be entered to win. And yay, this giveaway is international :)
How to enter the giveaway:
2. Show your #citylove by tweeting inspiration for kindness. This can be a photo of an act of kindness you do or see in your city. It can be an act of kindness from another community. It can be your own words of wisdom, encouragement, or motivation to inspire others to be kind. It can be your original artwork or an existing image that inspires kindness. Or even an inspirational quote that will encourage everyone to spread the #citylove. Any example of kindness is welcome.
3. Your entry MUST include the #citylove hashtag and @susanecolasanti to be counted.
1. All entries must be tweeted during Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 9-15, 2015. Entries must include both the #citylove hashtag and @susanecolasanti.
2. Three winners will be announced on Twitter on February 16, 2015.
3. Each winner will have until February 23, 2015 to email me their full name and mailing address. My email is susanecolasanti at gmail.
4. This giveaway is international. Anyone may enter.
5. Entries to this giveaway are unlimited. You may enter as many times as you’d like.
Show your #citylove, friendly neighbors!
Win! Book two of City Love has been turned IN. Which means I have some time off while my editor reads the manuscript. These are the first days off I’ve had in a super long time. So of course I’ve been tackling a to-do list that got crazy while I was on deadline. Must add to list: relax.
Life after deadline also means I get to write another top ten blog post and include all the fun stuff I’ve been wanting to tell you about. Fun stuff like…
1. City Love comes out in two months! Hard to believe that April 21 is almost here. Especially now that we’re dealing with stark, cold, unrelenting February. Submitting book two of the City Love trilogy was a good way to retaliate against February rolling in. That and warm chocolate chip cookies. You can typically find me hiding out under several fluffy blankets for the entire month of February, a sort of hibernation involving many mugs of green tea and many piles of good books. But I have decided to own this February. Wintry mix has nothing on me.
So instead of hiding out during my least favorite month, I will be looking forward to the release of City Love on April 21. You can read the synopsis and find pre-ordering links on the City Love page of my website. Please stay tuned for lots of related funtivities and my book tour schedule. The events page of my website is always the best resource for where you can find me at upcoming book events. More events will be added soon when the final tour schedule goes up, but so far events in New York, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, and Charleston have been confirmed.
2. In other book news, the first book blogger review of City Love is up! Thanks to Confessions of a Bookaholic for this sweet review. Five hearts <3
3. Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while may remember that I bought an apartment in 2012. Then I did a gut renovation and was psyched out of my head over every detail (fixtures! floors! faucets!). What is more fun than drooling over before-and-after photos of gut renos? Not much. That’s why I shared my own before-and-after photos of my place with you. The links to all of those home life posts can be found here. However, setting up a sweet space does not mean I don’t continue to dream bigger. Which involves more drooling over gorgeous apartment pics. Like my future bathroom at 432 Park Avenue.
Any view that makes the Empire State Building look small is a view I wouldn’t mind having. Plus this place is a steal at only $82 million! Like I said. Always dreaming big…
4. Did you see Wild? I did and was blown away. Wild is an outstanding movie on its own, but what makes it even more amazing is that it is based on a true story. Cheryl Strayed is a perfect example of how you can become the best version of yourself by turning negative experiences into something immensely positive. Cheryl is a role model to us all. And Nick Hornby (who you can catch me rogue fangirling over in 2009 here) wrote the screenplay, so hello film perfection!
5. Speaking of role models, Mean Stinks is spreading the #citylove by collecting your ideas and mantras to help stop girl-to-girl bullying. You can submit your theories, insight, and visuals here. One idea that I use when I hear a group of girls talking trash about another girl (who is usually their friend)? Retaliate against the negative energy by bringing positive energy to the conversation. A good way to diffuse girl-on-girl trash talk is to speak up and defend the girl being dissed. Saying something nice about a person who is being attacked can have a huge impact.
6. How hard was I book nerding over this fortune?
A house without books is like a room without windows. Word.
7. Feeling bummed about New Year’s Resolutions you’ve already broken? You are not alone. Check it: 90% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken by January 15. Ninety percent, yo. The good news is that you can make resolutions any day of the year. Including today! The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. But on average, people fail seven times before trying to break a habit. Do not let that scare you. Do not give up. Keep working for it and you WILL succeed. When you feel the urge to do whatever that bad habit is (A), have a plan ready for a replacement routine (B). Plan on telling yourself this: If I feel like doing A, I will instead do B. Eventually B will become part of your new lifestyle and A will be a thing of the past. Work it and own it, you rock star.
8. My daily email from NPR had the best subject: Look Up. That is so City Love. And you know it’s one of my main mottos.
NPR just ran a week of challenges on New Tech City involving your phone. Actually, your lack of phone. The challenges were all about putting the phone away and experiencing real life as it happens. Snaps to this NPR segment for encouraging everyone to put the phone away and see the world through your own eyes. To be in the moment. To enjoy the Now.
10. Finally, I’ll leave you with this screenshot from the City Love cover shoot video. Remember this when you are feeling dark and twisty. Remember this when you are feeling alone. Most of all, remember this when you want to give up.
Never, ever give up.
Much love. xoxo
Happy NewYorkiversary to me! Nineteen years ago today, I moved to New York City to start a shiny new life, build my dream career, and find love. Not just any love. True love. The love of my life. I’d always had a Knowing that soul mates were real and I was determined to find mine. New York City was actually my first true love and the inspiration for my upcoming City Love trilogy. All these years later, I still feel the city love every single day.
Growing up across the water in New Jersey, I knew New York City was my true home. I could feel the pull of this magical kingdom even before my first visit. New York is a place where everyone is free to be exactly who they are. No more feeling like an outsider. No more feeling like I needed to escape. When I finally turned this big dream into reality, I knew my whole life would feel completely different in a way I’d always hoped it would. I practiced a lot of creative visualization: imagining my ideal life, writing out my goals, and taking steps every day to turn my dreams into reality. When you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, it’s easier to recognize once you find it. And having that calm clarity allows the things you want to manifest.
Back in my teens and early 20s, I thought that once certain things changed in my life I would finally be happy. I really believed those things had to happen first before I could find happiness. These were some of the big ones:
But I was wrong. I had it backwards. It wasn’t that those things had to happen first and then I would be happy. I had to be happy first and then those things would happen. I had to build my own internal happiness, to love myself for exactly who I was, to allow those external things to happen. When you are at peace with yourself, you are able to attract the positive energy necessary to turn your dreams into reality.
Ever notice that negative people who are constantly complaining about their life never seem to get what they want? Negative energy attracts negative energy. You get what you give. If someone is spewing a lot of negative energy out into the Universe, that is exactly what they will get back. Being happy first is key to achieving your goals…and then your happiness grows even larger once those goals are achieved.
How can you be happy when there are so many goals you want to achieve? By appreciating what you do have instead of fixating on what you don’t. The decisions that you make earlier in life shape your future. Being the best version of yourself ensures that you are creating the best possible future for yourself and your loved ones. Being on your game as often as possible opens so many doors of opportunity for you. Everything from recommendations to internships/jobs to special favors someone in power decides to do for you because you are so sweet/awesome/intelligent. The possibilities are endless. Including the possibility of finding a soul mate.
I refused to settle for less than finding the love of my life. Even when people told me that I needed to settle if I ever wanted to get married because I was in my late 30s and this is New York City where the probability of a woman getting married over 40 is smaller than the probability of being struck by lightning while simultaneously having a piano dropped on your head. Even when people told me I was being unrealistic, that the total package didn’t exist, that true love was a myth, I had a Knowing that the love of my life was out there. I allowed myself to find him by never giving up.
How do you know when you’ve found the person you’re meant to be with? You have this feeling of clarity you’ve never had before. The feeling is undeniable. The feeling tells you the search is over. Of course there are more specific details that are evident to the whole world. One way you know you’ve found a soul mate? Is when you get each other the same holiday card. Like these adorable Papyrus cards my BF/soul mate and I got each other this Christmas:
To clarify, finding the love of your life does not mean finding a perfect person. No one is perfect. It’s just that the love of your life is perfect for you. Soul mates have flaws just like the rest of us. The love of my life doesn’t rinse the dishes before he puts them in the dishwasher. He struggles to maintain the closet organization systems I have established at his place. Sometimes he doesn’t read emails carefully and misses important information. But so what? If I listed all of my flaws, there would not be any more room on WordPress for anyone to blog about anything else. So please don’t misinterpret “soul mate” to mean “perfect person.” Soul mates are real, just like anyone else.
You can find the love of your life. Love yourself first. Build your own happiness. And refuse to settle for less than what your heart desires. Your dreams deserve to become reality. You deserve as much happiness as your heart can hold.
Here’s to infinite possibilities in 2015!
Happy Serendipity Day! Here’s my annual Serendipity Day post to celebrate the magic of this auspicious day with you. Yay for soul mates, positive energy, and following your heart.
Today is Serendipity Day, aka Serendipity Do Da, aka Do Da Day.
You probably want 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. Even if you did see it, you probably didn’t pick up on the fact that Jonathan and Sara meet on December 20. I’m obsessive about those sorts of details, so I totally did. Then I immediately made a note 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.
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.
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 and watch the glittery skyline and send positive energy out into the Universe.
Then 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 and found out that they don’t have those anymore. Which is fine because those frozen hot chocolates are 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 them 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 took action to create more possibility for finding true love. New York City is magic. This city makes magical things happen.
So. How can you celebrate Do Da Day if you’re not here in New York? Well, if you’re 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 things will help you get closer to turning your big dream into reality.
Oh, and PS? Serendipity 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 23K edible gold leaf. Just in case you weren’t sure what to order.
Happy Serendipity Day, friendly neighbors! Let’s make magic happen.
How sweet is this flyer?
I’ve been gathering examples of people spreading the #citylove in their communities. Some of these spectacular images will be posted on the shiny new City Love Instagram. Have you entered this month’s City Love giveaway yet? The first 500 citylovetrilogy followers on Instagram will be automatically entered to win an advance copy. Five advance copies are up for grabs! And yes, this giveaway is international!
Acts of kindness via notes are adorable. They’re like these little treasures scattered around the city just waiting for you to find them. You feel so special when you come across notes like this:
Have you seen examples of people spreading the #citylove in your city or town? Are you spreading the #citylove yourself? Please share! Show your #citylove by posting your images with the #citylove hashtag. I’ll be sharing some of them on my Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.
Peace, love, and happiness <3