One week down, only 51 more to go! How was your start to 2018? If you spent the start of the New Year in New England, most likely you were cursing the cold and wintery weather. Did the snow prevent you from making good on a New Year’s resolution? Have you yet to make a resolution?

If not, don’t feel so bad. In fact, we like to remind ourselves that New Year’s resolutions are not mandatory. In fact, if you’re looking to make a change, then you don’t need a new calendar to inspire you. Just look around at some of the amazing people in our world for inspiration.

In 2018, we’re drawing inspiration from the amazing people we met in 2017!

Let Your Creativity Flow – Tenzin Samdo

A child of Tibetian refugees, superstar bartender Tenzin Samdo taught us that everything can and should be an artform. The cocktail artist came to the US as a teenager without knowing any English and became an award-winning artist at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. He then took his skills from the canvas into the bar, creating some of Boston’s most beautiful drinks. What we learned from Tenzin is if you’re going to do something, do it right. Imagine a black and white world, one without any flair. That doesn’t sound like very much fun! This year we’re going to try to make everything we do a little extra special. Oh, and we’re definitely going to do it with passion!

Set Your Own Standards – Dawn Silvia Oates

Dawn Silvia Oates is a supermom. Although she isn’t comfortable with the title, we say too bad. Any mom who fights for the rights of her children is a supermom! That is exactly what Dawn did for her daughter Harper. Harper was born paralyzed. The Oates family quickly realized this meant Harper would be excluded from so many childhood passages. So, she founded The Play Brigade, an organization that seeks to create playspaces where children are included, not excluded. The Play Brigades Mission has progressed from the playground. Just this past fall, The organization held a 5K race in Boston where EVERYONE was welcome. That’s a pretty cool feat. We learned a lot from Dawn,  mainly not to let others set our standards. Dawn wanted a higher standard for Harper and she fought for it. We should all fight for higher standards, for ourselves, our families, and for those that we love!

If you would like to make a donation to The Play Brigade, please follow this link:

It’s Okay To Follow Life’s Path – Donna MacDonald-Rizzo

We loved getting to know the chef at Eataly’s La Scuola, Donna MacDonald-Rizzo.  Donna is clearly a type-A personality. A bit of a perfectionist and a former PC programmer and systems analyst, Donna would never have imagined during her suburban upbringing that she would end up learning how to cook at world-renowned wineries in Italy or dining amongst some of the best chefs and vintners in the world. Donna did something many of us cannot do, which is to brush aside the constructs in our mind and look at the path that life has laid out in front of us. It might be different than what we expected, but it might also lead us to our true passion. This year, if we see a path continually form, we’re going to trust and take it.

Would you like to take a class at La Scuola? Check out the schedule here –

Never Give Up On Your Passion – Rhonda Kallman

Rhonda Kallman is what we call one cool chic! The co-founder of Sam Adams is so warm you want to give her a hug. But, she also has that tilt-your-cowboy-hat demeanor that says she’s all business when it comes to her passion. What’s her passion? Alcohol! Halleluiah! Another reason we love this pioneering woman. Despite walking away from the Sam Adams label, fighting breast cancer, and dueling with the FDA, Rhonda still has a big smile on her face. That’s because she never gave up on her passion. Her new baby, the architecturally stunning and full of fun, Boston Harbor Distillery lets Rhonda live out her wildest dreams, distilling whiskey, rum, and serving fantastic cocktails. In 2018, are going to be like Rhonda and fight hard for what we love.

Interested in hosting an event or doing a tour of the distillery? Check out their website for more information-

Follow The Golden Rule – Josh Zakim

Treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s the basic code of human ethics, yet it still evades universal acceptance. Good thing there are great people like City Councilor, Josh Zakim. One would think that with the last name like Zakim, Josh could have done as much (or as little) as he wanted. Fortunately for the people in District 8, Josh grew up being taught the golden rule. And now he spends his time upholding it. When we met this kind-hearted politician, we got the sense he does things for the right reason. We were thrilled to see him get reelected this fall and are even more excited to see him on the ballot for Secretary of State. It’s his commitment to ensuring that all are given the same opportunity that inspires us always to follow that golden rule!

Please consider donating to the Lenny Zakim Fund and/or Josh’s campaign.

Learn From Life’s Lessons – Executive Chef Tyler Kinnett

There isn’t any doubt we value traditional education. Executive Chef at Harvest Restaurant, Tyler Kinnett, reminded us of a very important fact; our education never stops. From our first memories till the day we die, we are constantly learning. Kinnett absorbs everything from each life experience and then takes that lesson to improve himself. If he wasn’t such an introspective and motivated person, then he never would have ended up running one of the top kitchens in the country. In 2018, we are going to be more reflective. And, just like Executive Chef Kinnett, we’re going to use our experiences to better ourselves.

Read more about Kinnett and his wonderful menus at the Harvest Website.

Work Hard And Pursue Your Dreams – Irlan Silva

It’s very simple – if you want success, you need to work hard. Just look at Boston Ballet Soloist Dancer, Irlan Silva. Irlan literally came from nothing. Well, that’s not true, he came from the most important thing to have- love. But, he grew up in a very desperate place, a shantytown in Brazil. With the love that his parents gave him, he was encouraged to pursue his dream. That dream lived in the world of professional ballet and required hours upon hours of practice, traveling to foreign places, and leaving behind those two parents he loves so much. But that hard work paid off and the award-winning dancer has leaped into our hearts! Irlan’s dedication and passion are infectious. In 2018, he’s our inspiration to work off our butts and go after the things we love!

Please consider donating to the Boston Ballet to help dancers like Irlan continue to provide such beautiful performances to the Boston community.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

The Haute Life

Do you have a resolution or someone who inspires you? Feel free to share in the comments section!