It’s funny that I often forget about reading, considering it’s such an essential part of being a writer. I’ll go through spells where I’ll collect a bunch of books and read them one after the other, then I’ll go weeks if not months without reading. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of blogs and magazines and online articles. I read daily doing research for clients or simply staying up to date in my industry, but I mean reading (a book).
Reading a book seems pretty self-explanatory, right? But there are a few ways you can make a habit of reading books in a more creative way. I’ll give you a pass if you absolutely adore your Kindle or the like – they do make things quite convenient, particularly for those who travel often or commute on public transportation and need a one-handed approach. However, I encourage you to read a physical book whenever possible. We look at screens all day, and many of us are conditioned to certain habits when reading on a screen. You may associate reading on screens with work as opposed to pleasure, and you may tend to skim to get through the material more quickly. When you read a book, it should be a ritual – you should slowly slip away from the world around you and into the pages. I believe physical books help facilitate this practice – they help to ensure reading is a leisure activity, and they help you to slow down and really take in each and every word.
What you read also impacts the creative habit of reading. I had such an “ah ha!” moment when I heard Cyndie Spiegel, a business strategy coach for creative entrepreneurs, talk about the benefit of reading fiction versus non-fiction. In one of Cyndie’s newsletters she discussed “turning down the noise” and reminded us that constantly reading non-fiction books on your industry or interests or stage of life can influence your connection to yourself. When you’re disconnected from yourself and more vulnerable to outside influences, your creativity is impacted. You may be more judgmental or less inspired. So, I love Cyndie’s suggestion to read more fiction. Escape into another universe, dive into the life of a character, and allow yourself to fantasize.
The holiday season and end of the year is an incredibly hectic and stressful time for almost everyone. Now more than ever, we need a creative outlet, particularly one that can easily be carried in a pocket or purse. Pick up a book this holiday season. When you need a break from the bustle or family, drift away into a story without even leaving the room.
If you’re just joining the creative habit series, be sure to look back at the challenges for the past four months for more creative inspiration and learn about the book that sparked the series, Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. Finally, don’t forget to share your experience making a habit of reading (a book) using the hashtag #AOCBlogCreativeHabit.
Each holiday, nearly every blogger and business crafts a curated guide of their top gifts for the season. In the past, I too have composed my fair share of gift guides. I’ve even written a post addressing whether these lists, infographics, and collages are actually helpful or hindering. Last year, I felt truly passionate about my shop small gift guide, which focused on supporting local businesses during the season of giving, but this year, I couldn’t bring myself to create another. Yes, most of us have to give a gift or two (or three or a dozen) during the holidays, but I think we could all use a reminder that the most valuable gift we can give is our time.
I’m sure your grandparents will make good use of the newfangled Keurig coffee maker you got them, but wouldn’t they love if you sat with them for an hour and worked on a puzzle? Every mom adores a new piece of jewelry for the holidays, but wouldn’t she love for you to join her in the kitchen and bake a batch of cookies from scratch? Your brother may desperately need a new wallet after he accidently washed his in the laundry, but wouldn’t he love to go out back and build a snowman like you used to as kids?
So, this holiday season, I don’t have another gift guide filled with fabulous suggestions for all the friends and family on your list. This year, I’m challenging you to think about how you can give your time to the ones you love. Take a post-Christmas dinner walk with your boyfriend, gather your cousins for a card game, or get together with your girlfriends and have a gift wrapping party. This holiday season, make a memory that will live on for holiday seasons to come.
The holidays are a time to come together with the special people in our lives who we don’t see often enough throughout the year. This season, ditch the typical holiday happy hour, break tradition, and think outside the box. Spice up your seasonal get together with some festive fare and a healthy dose of holiday spirits. Wine tastings at Osteria Mattone are a stylish way to gather your closest friends, family, or co-workers this holiday season.
Nestled in the heart of Osteria Mattone is an intimate wine room stocked wall to wall with dozens of bottles, each of which have been hand-selected by in-house sommelier, Dan Pernice. To develop the wine collection at Osteria Mattone, Dan coupled his knowledge from the James Beard Award-winning wine program at The Modern in New York City with his time spent in Italy, all while following a simple, guiding principle: the wine has to match the cuisine. This is the same fundamental idea behind Osteria Mattone’s wine tastings.
Bundle up (the wine room is kept at a chilly 62° !) and cozy up to a group of your friends, family, or co-workers for a night of eating, drinking, and being merry. Osteria Mattone currently offers three Wine Tasting Packages, each of which include carefully curated wine and food pairings.
1. Tour of Italy Tasting
$50/person*, limit 8 people
Package includes: 1 White Wine, 2 Red Wines, and Chef’s selection of Salumi and Formaggi
2. Advanced Italian Tasting
$75/person*, limit 8 people
Package includes: 1 Sparkling Wine, 1 White Wine, 2 Red Wines, and Chef’s selection of Salumi, Formaggi, and Antipasti
3. Custom Tasting
Price dependent on wine and menu selections*, limit 8 people
Package includes: Working directly with the in-house sommelier to curate a list of wines that are exciting for their innovative styles, off-the-beaten-path regions, or unique personalities.
*For each package, there is a flat fee of $100 to reserve the private, temperature-controlled wine room.
To purchase and book a wine tasting or to discuss further details of a custom tasting, email Osteria Mattone to start the process!
Please note Osteria Mattone’s holiday hours:
Tue-Thu, Sun: 5:00pm – 9:30pm
Fri-Sat: 5:00pm – 10:30pm
Lunch, Tue-Sun: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Christmas Eve: 1:00pm – 6:00pm
Christmas Day: Closed
New Year’s Eve: Closed
New Year’s Day: 5:00pm – 9:30pm