Monday, January 24, 2011

The MyBrownBaby 2011 Bucket List

Here’s the thing: Resolutions just aren’t my thing. I mean, I’ve made them before—promised to stop cursing (I curse like a New York City reporter—which is, like, five gazillion times worse than the raunchiest sailor), promised to be better about my finances (I’m not Suzie Orman, trust), promised to dress up and wear make-up more often (seriously—Lawrence from the Real Housewives has better M.A.C and ready-to-wear game on the daily than I ever will), promised to stop eating junk and work out more (uh huh—yeah. Chocolate and cake will always be my BFFs—aerobics and that doggone treadmill, my mortal enemy).

What I’ve found, though, is that resolutions have been a big fat waste of time for me. Like, seriously—they fade away faster than my Chocolate Martini-laced New Year’s hangovers. So over the past couple of years, I haven’t bothered. Near Year’s comes, I toss a few back and I head on into the next 365 days with no expectations—simply happy to be me. After all, at this age, at this station in my life, I’m good. I like exactly who I am, I’m happy with my hustle and I’m living my life like it’s golden—chocolate, cusses, comfortable clothes and all.

But this year, after being asked by Weight Watchers to write a post about my personal goals for 2011, I decided maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing to set my sights on something more than writing, blogging and doing my everyday thing. So I decided to put into words some of my biggest wishes for the year—things that I really want to do for myself and my family. This list isn’t about fixing or giving up anything; instead, it’s about rewarding myself by promising to do things that I know will add to my happiness. I call it Denene’s 2011 Bucket List. My plan is to tick off each one of these bad boys over the next 12 months and give you updates here on MyBrownBaby as I accomplish them. If they happen, great. If they don’t, *shrugs*. The sun will still rise, the Earth will continue to spin and I’m still going to be all right with me.

So, without futher ado, my 2011 Bucket List.

  1. I’m buying myself a piece of art. I absolutely adore it—particularly works by African-American artists. I’ve been itching to buy a piece from one of my favorite Georgia-based galleries—Avisca Fine Arts. Maybe something by CharlyPalmer? Or Karen Powell? Or maybe I’ll take up a collection and write, like, 50 eleven more books so I can afford me one of those Romare Bearden pieces. Whichever it’ll be, I’m getting me a piece of art this year.
  2. I’m going on vacation by myself—even if just for a long weekend. Sometimes a lady just needs a little time to herself to think, reflect, plan, and be quiet. No kids. No man. No phone ringing every second. No dinner to be cooked. No deadlines. Just me, my iPad, some spa treatments and… peace.
  3. I’m taking two Mommy/Daughter sleep-away weekends—one for each daughter. This one is a no-brainer. One-on-one time with my daughters would be an awesome way for us to really enjoy one another sans the drama that comes when there’s a sister around competing for mommy’s attention. I’m thinking a night at a fancy Atlanta hotel, room service, a movie, pedicures and a little shopping. Oh yeah!
  4. I’m going to the beach. Last year my family and I traipsed all over Paris for a super fantastic vacation. But this year, I want to go lay out on the beach, get chocolatey and have cute boys bring me cocktails. Oh. Yeah. (And yes, Nick can have cute girls bring him drinks, too. I'm generous like that.)
  5. I’m going to a Broadway show and a Summer Stage concert in NY. I don’t know what I’ll be seeing on Broadway—maybe Driving Miss Daisy with James Earl Jones or  Black Angels Over Tuskegee or something else good on the Great White Way—but I know whatever play and concert I choose, I won’t be disappointed. I miss the theater and especially those free concerts in Central Park.
  6. I’m going to a concert at Chastain Park. I don’t need to fly into New York to get some good entertainment; the open-air concert hall here in Atlanta is gorgeous and, with its generous policy allowing concert-goers to bring picnics and tables and candlelight and liquor, it’s the perfect venue for a romantic night out with Nick. We saw Stevie Wonder, George Benson and Raul Midon there a few years ago, but last year, I missed Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Dwele and a few other favorites. Won’t happen this year, though. I’m going to a good concert with my super awesome picnic basket. Word.
  7. I’m going to watch more sunsets. I truly am in awe of the wonders that God creates every morning and every evening. I see the sunrise every morning while I’m getting my kids to school, but I never take the time to enjoy the wonders of the sunset. It’s beautiful, it’s free, and it's an awesome reminder that God brought me through another day.
  8. I’m taking a photography class, doggonit. I’ve been threatening to do this for ages, seeing as I have a fancy camera and don’t know how to use it. I take decent pictures thanks to the tips at one of my favorite photography sites, I Heart Faces. But if I knew what all those buttons and knobs and things are for on my Nikon D50, I’d be cooking with oil.
  9. And after my class, I’m going on a photo taking tour of New York City. It’s my favorite city in the world and I can’t think of a better place to test out my skills than the Brooklyn Bridge and Harlem and Broadway and Central Park and more.
  10. I’m going to plant a container garden on my deck. I’ve been doing this every year with my babies, and this year will be no exception. We do herbs, cutting flowers, plants, and even a few vegetables. This year, we’re going to do it up big and actually plot and plan it out so we can get some hummingbirds and butterflies to make our garden home. I can’t wait to see the beauty.
I’m super glad I have all of my 2011 things to do written down so that I can remind myself to have a little fun this year. Good looking out for the encouragement, Weight Watchers! I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, if one of your New Year's resolutions was to lose weight, I have a special treat for MyBrownBaby readers: a 14-day free trial to Weight Watchers Online! After the free trial, you'll be charged for a three-month subscription unless you cancel before the trial ends. After the first three months, subscription automatically renews monthly at standard rules. Click here to sign up for this great offer from Weight Watchers. The offer ends on January 26, 2011. 

This post was written as part of a web-wide conversation around Weight Watchers and New Year’s resolutions. To participate, Weight Watchers gave me a free three-month subscription to its online program. 

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  1. Love these! I'm sending you light and love in support of your delicious to-do list!

  2. Denene - this post is right on time. You DEFINITELY do not want to miss Swann Gallery's upcoming Black Fine art auction. Amazing pieces of history and memorabilia. Feb 17th I believe... check it out online at

  3. @Donna: Wow! When I was a reporter, I wrote about Swann Galleries and its black history memorabilia. The man who ran the gallery (?) had found some original stories by Zora Neale Hurston at a random yard sale, and I penned a piece for the NY Daily News. It was a HUGE inspiration to me! I'm definitely going to check it out—thanks for the head's up!

  4. Oooooo this is good!! I love this;)))! I no longer make resolutions either,but this gave me the inspiration to make a vision board(for myself)& put five things on it I want to accomplish and five things I want to do for myself within the next twelve months. If I complete all that'll be awesome, if I miss a few-I won't kick myself, I'll just put it on the side until I can! Thank you for this-I needed this!

  5. I did a vacation by myself a year ago and honestly I didn't know what to do with the peace and quiet! I think I made a mistake in planning...I went to a Ritz-Carlton Biscayne Bay and while it was lovely and I loved being on the beach, it was too remote for me. I forgot that I don't "do nothing" very well and was antsy after a day of lying on the beach reading. Next time a beach that is also near shops, art galleries and such would be better, like Ritz in South Beach. But I hear you....we all need some time away!

  6. This is awesome and definitely an inspiration for me to create a list as well!! Have fun with your 2011 bucket list!

  7. You are a Hipstamatic Beauty Queen Mama in the self portrait! Gorgeous. Great list-love to see such creativity in the "bucket". How refreshing. I'd love to sign up for the WW deal too, I'll look back and figure out how you told us to do that!

  8. Sounds like so much fun! Cute boys bring drinks on the beach (I am always one for the beach even in the middle of winter - Monterey this weekend), girls weekend out, buying a piece of African-American art, sunsets and sunrises, but sunsets would be easier for me and the vacation by myself, well I am going to London, Ontario, Canada this year by myself, but will be meeting friends for the first time!

  9. Hi Denene, I do not make New Year's Resolutions either. However, I do set goals, write them down and do a periodic check to see how I am coming along.

    I love your list. I smiled through the entire article. You're funny when you write.

    Thanks for sharing...

  10. I'll take number 2 and number 4, please, with an extra helping of cute boy.

  11. Wow this is awesome. Can I be in the purse that you takes to all these lovely places? Sounds like a great year ahead. I hope you get to achieve them all.

  12. You deserve all of this, Denene--all of it!

    And I'm sorry girlfriend, I'd have to actually hear you curse to believe it! LOL

  13. Great list! Love it.

    Oh, and how about a second try at the girls night at Chastain?

    Just sayin'.

    Winks & Smiles,

  14. Great ideas! I love the thought of you going away one-on-one with your girls. That's great for bonding. And Summer Stage in NY... LOVE! You'll enjoy it.

  15. So spiritual! My list for this year is a bit more crazy! I might have to add watching sunsets to mine.

    My list is at


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