Friday, July 22, 2011

(Pre) #27: Go to the Fair

Thanks to Groupon, it looks like I'll be heading to the Bolton Fair in August to knock #27 off my list, and saving 50% while I'm at it, horray!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

#9: Make a Summer Playlist

I have a long history of making playlists—so long that it predates the term "playlist" and goes back to the good ol' days of mixtapes. If we were friends in high school, I'm sure you can dig up an old Danne mix somewhere, and I'm even willing to bet that I gave it some funny name involving alliteration, at least 1 Silverchair song, and a "bonus" track from the Ultra Lounge Leopard Skin Sampler (which for the record is still my all time favorite album).

Back before Pandora and Genius playlists, if you wanted to hear a mixture of songs from different artists, you'd either have to put your 5 disc CD changer on shuffle, or sit down and mix them yourself, you know, by recording the songs you wanted off of a CD and onto a 60 or 90 minute cassette tape. Not only did I make a lot of mixtapes in my day, but I was lucky enough to receive a bunch as well (especially the year when I asked everyone to make me one for my birthday), and as much as I minimize my possessions, these tapes will always survive spring-cleaning.

What's so fun about going through them is that they take me right back to where (and who) I was when I made them. Like how a certain scent can immediately transport you back to a distant time and place, music can have the same nostalgic effect, which is exactly why I wanted to assign this summer a soundtrack.

So, after much hemming and hawing over the past few weeks here she is, the official 12 Months of Lent Summer Bucket {Play}List. As can be expected of any Danne Dzenawagis mix, you’ll find an eclectic collection of songs spanning many decades and genres of music, with at least a few questionable juxtapositions.

Below is a screenshot of the song list and I also published it on iTunes in case anyone is intrigued enough by my selections to take the plunge and purchase it for yourself. And hey, if you still drive a car with a cassette player like I do, you might even be able to talk me into sending you over an analog copy.

12 Months of Lent Summer Bucket {Play}List

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#32: Buy an Ice Cream from the Ice Cream Man

When I was growing up, one of the best moments of a long summer day was the second you heard the sound of the ice cream man coming down the street. At the first ring of his bell, the neighborhood kids would disperse at unimaginable speeds, running home to beg our parents for a buck or two (back then that actually bought you something) so we could spoil our suppers with Bomb Pops and Snow Cones.

I don't know if the ice cream truck industry has seen a steady decline over the years or if my parents' neighborhood just doesn't have as many children as it once did, but my dad says he hasn't seen the truck come down the street in years, and I certainly haven't seen it in any of the neighborhoods that I've lived in in Boston (well, except for the sketchy one that was always parked on Mission Hill at odd hours of the night that my college friends and I were convinced was a drug cover, that's another story though).

When I put "Buy an Ice Cream from the Ice Cream Man" on my bucket list, I was secretly hoping that the universe would make one magically appear on Thurston Road, but when I finally came to terms with reality, I headed down to Pleasure Bay in Southie with my best gals Amy and Jenny to hit up the truck that's reliably parked at the beach there. In our post bachelorette party delirium (Amy's tying the knot this Saturday), none of us managed to snap a shot of our tasty treats so you'll just have to take my word for it that I had a cup of vanilla soft serve with chocolate jimmies (sprinkles to all your non-New Englanders), Amy had a pineapple milkshake, and Jenny kept it classic with a Snow Cone.

Image from

In other bucket list news: My mom and I spent a good portion of Monday working on my sundress, but since I picked out an advanced level pattern (way to go, Danne), I'm pretty sure that it won't be making it's debut until at least Labor Day. Calling Sondra Hamnquist, I need your help!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#33: Have a Bonfire

Um, how did I forget to put this one on the original list? I pondered this question last Saturday night when I found myself sitting under the stars, enjoying an evening backyard bonfire with a couple of Powers, a Magnus, a Kaplan and a kitten (the most well tempered little kitten who contently snuggled up in my lap and didn’t move for the entire night, omg, I love kittens).

We’re in business now though, because “Have a bonfire” has not only been added to my summer bucket list, but also checked off. I even threw in a second one in the DzenOasis with my family on Sunday night, just because.

Next step: Beach bonfire. Who’s in?

Monday, July 11, 2011

#24: Do Yoga Outside

I do a lot of yoga inside, but up until yesterday, I had never done yoga outside. It’s not that I haven't wanted to, it's just that I live in a city and I’m not really too keen on the idea of the entire neighborhood bearing witness to my sun salutations. Thanks to the beautiful backyard oasis that my parents have been hard at work on (I’ve coined it the “DzenOasis”), I was finally able to take my practice outside yesterday. Feeling the warmth of the sun shining down on me during poses and glancing over to see the gardens in full bloom was amazing, but my favorite part definitely had to be spending my savasana listening to the sound of chirping birds and the breeze running through the leaves. Ahhhh, that's more like it...


Thursday, July 7, 2011

#8: Go to the Beach, #31: Go for a Boat Ride, #14: Light Some Sparklers

Done, done and done. And in that order too.

Since the weather in June was less than ideal for fun summer activities, I was extra excited that the first weekend of July brought sunny skies and 4 days off in a row to enjoy them (an extra long weekend for me, woohoo!).

I spent my time wisely and managed to knock 3 things off my bucket list. Drum roll please…

#8: Go to the Beach
I spent my first beach day of the summer up on Plum Island, enjoying the amazing beach that’s just steps away from my good friend Marissa’s parent’s place. Not only is it one of the most beautiful beaches on the north shore (of Boston that is), but somehow it’s never crowded. Sound like a dream? It is. I love you, Plum Island.

Marissa and I enjoying a perfect beach day

#31: Go for a Boat Ride

Considering that I don’t own a boat or have any boat-owning friends or family members, I wasn’t really sure how this one would get crossed off the list. The universe answered my prayers though, and our friend Jud invited us out on his dad’s boat for some 4th of July water skiing (my code word for sunbathing) on Chebacco Lake.

Some action (See: Dan) and inaction (See: Danne) shots by Jud

#14: Light Some Sparklers
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Not when you live in Massachusetts and fireworks are illegal. Although we actually were in New Hampshire (where they're perfectly legal) on Saturday night, we somehow (I blame The Portsmouth Brewery for this) managed to forget to pick some up before we crossed back over the state line. Lucky for us though, the favors at the wedding that we attended on Sunday were gigantic sparklers and we lit them off in Gloucester the evening of the 4th.

More lovely shots by Jud

And what, it’s Friday again already?! This weekend I’m trading Cape Ann for Cape Cod for more bucket list fun.

July = Awesome

Saturday, July 2, 2011

#10: Get a Pedicure

Although I always have painted toenails, I'm more of a DIY girl than a "Pay someone $30 to do it for you" girl. Boy, is it nice though (especially when it's in a massaging chair too), so hey, I'll let myself splurge a few times a year. Now I have pretty holiday themed toenails that are perfect for the weekend, especially for #8 on my bucket list: Go to the beach, which is just where I'm headed right now...

A happy 4th of July weekend to all!

Fanne couldn't bear to see me taking a photo without her in it so she plopped herself right in there, what a ham...

Friday, July 1, 2011

#30: Make a New Flavor of Sun Tea

As the context clues (I'm a vegetarian, I do yoga, and there's an "Eat More Kale" bumper sticker on my car) might lead you to believe, yes, I'm a tea person. I'm not making a conscious effort to be a granola girl, I swear, I just don't like the taste of coffee and unlike most people, I really dislike the smell (I'm pretty sure that 5 years of brewing cheap coffee on a sweaty ferry might have something to do with that). Tea's another story though, and as anyone whom I've ever worked with can attest, I drink it all day long.

Although a hot cup of tea on a chilly autumn morning is one of my favorite things, I think I might enjoy a tall glass of iced tea in the summer even more—especially when it's homemade. Despite coming from a family of sun tea enthusiasts, I had never actually made it myself until last summer and I've been hooked ever since. Normally I just toss a few tea bags into a glass pitcher filled with water and let it brew in the sun for 4-6 hours, but I've been wanting to branch out a bit and try other concoctions.

I stumbled on this post on Design Sponge a few weeks ago about herbal infused vodka (yum), which then lead me to this post from DigginFood about herbal sun teas. After reading these, I made sure to include a few plants in my herb garden that I could incorporate into tea making.

Today I put my chocolate mint to use and sun brewed it with some orange slices. Although I was pretty sure that this was going to be amazing, I have to say that it was closer to mediocre than incredible. The mint was a little less chocolaty than I was expecting and it kind of just tasted like a garden (which is usually right up my alley, just not exactly what I was expecting). I think it's all about the proportions though, so I'm going try it out a few more times before I make my final judgment.

Any sun tea enthusiasts out there have any recipes or tips for me?