The Blog
A dream come true

I grew up in Syracuse, New York and this place is known for it’s loooong, gray winters. But there is one thing we have that always seems to get us through the roughest part of the year… basketball.

I am a serious Syracuse University basketball fan. Every March I become a little crazy about my Orange.  We love to have friends over to watch SU games, to yell at the television, eat junk food, and share in our loathing of Duke (and still Georgetown) 😉

This season was fully of adversity and we (don’t you love how fans insert the word “we” when talking about their favorite team?) were not expected do well, or to even make the NCAA tournament.  It was sort of an off year, a rebuilding year. Well much to the delight of my cold, slightly depressed little city… Syracuse made the NCAA tournament. And we made quite a run, again. Despite the hardships they faced, the team and coaches got us all the way to the Sweet Sixteen!!!

Every season I listen for a quote or phrase of some sort from the team, that sums up their season. I then design an inspirational print and share it with my fellow Orange nation. This year I kept hearing this phrase pop up regarding the Orange, “We do not quit.”  So, I went to work.

Once the season came to an end, I was invited to come to the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center for a tour and to have THE coach himself, Jim Boeheim, sign my print. I took the boys along with me and we got to see the ins and outs of all things SU basketball. We got sneak peeks into the coaches offices, the locker room, the weight room and conference rooms. All the kids took turns shooting baskets on the practice courts. It was a dream come true for these Orange fans. I hope it’s a memory the boys remember forever.

Signed! ATD is also donating a signed copy to the annual Boeheim Basket Ball auction. Proceeds benefit cancer research and programming for children in need within the CNY Community.

Nolan taking note of the great players to come from this amazing program; Carmelo Anthony, Sherman Douglas, Derrick Coleman, Gerry McNamara, Pearl Washington… to name a few.

Lincoln, scoping out the joint.

View from coach’s office.

This guy. Posing by Carmelo’s famous jersey 🙂

I spy ATD around the office!!!  Love this so much.

I owe a HUGE thank you to my friend Kelly Taylor (no relation) for putting this together. Kevin, Nolan, Lincoln, Sully and I were so honored. And thank you to Coach Boeheim for your generosity. You truly helped make memories for the five of us that we will never forget.

Go Cuse!!!!

Thanks for letting me brag, friends.

Do more things that make you uncomfortable.

“I don’t like to ski anymore.”  “I hate being cold.”  “I loathe the schlepping of all the gear.” These are just some of the things I have told myself for the last ten, no… twenty years. I think a lot of this was/is probably true, but by not forcing myself out of my homebody comfort zone, I was missing out on some seriously awesome family bonding time.

My three (well, four) boys all love to ski. But I was fine with letting this activity fall on daddy’s list. I handle lots of others things, and this one can be for the boys!

However, every time they would come back from a day of skiing; happily exhausted and wind burned, I would feel a little left out of the fun. My day of getting laundry done, errands and groceries was suddenly less satisfying.

So one Sunday morning, not so long ago, I forced myself to get out there. Lincoln and daddy left early to claim “first tracks”.  Meanwhile, I packed up the rest of us to surprise them at the mountain.

I was fully expecting to put on a happy face and enjoy it for the kids. But much to my surprise, I didn’t have to fake a thing!  I was truly having fun. Skiing. My ski legs came back, and not once did I check my phone for the time. #winning

We had so much fun in fact, that we planned a weekend getaway to Vermont to… wait for it… SKI! Below are the highlights of the weekend in photos.  But just five words can summarize this weekend of memories;

Family. Great friends. Awesome skiing.

Welcome to Okemo Mountain! A skiers paradise.

I found these two posers on the mountain.

Link is totally in his happy place 🙂

My (spring) skiing motto… Buy the ticket. Take the ride (or lift.)

From beginner to Olympic prospect? My humble boy. “Mom, i am a reeallly good skier.” 

See you on the slopes, friends. Well, in the spring anyway 😉


The best part of a homemade lunch…

Ever since they started preschool, I have packed my kids lunch with a note from home. It’s hard to send your little ones off to be in someone else’s care! I wanted to remind them that I was thinking of them, proud of them, and that I would be waiting with open arms when they got home. My kids really love this tradition.

I decided after going through several post-it notes, and random scraps of paper from the junk drawer, that I would design my own.  I created Lunch Notes with five different prompts to help me keep them fresh.

Several years later, I am still writing them little notes for their school lunches. If I forget, I get a gentle reminder 😉 My youngest will even write one to himself if need be.

The goofier the note is, the better!

This kid 🙂  Love him so.

Happy packing, friends! Order your Lunch Notes here!

We do not quit.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were treated like an outsider? Like you didn’t belong? This post may be geared towards my fellow Orange fans, but I believe the message is for all of us who need a little motivation to keep going when we have already been counted out.

My beloved Syracuse men’s basketball team has once again surprised everyone (and ticked a lot of people off!) by making the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Well to that I simply say…

Feel free to download for your desktop 😉

My husband ever so eloquently reminded me to keep my expectations in check. That “our season is a success already, no matter what happens tonight.” Such a good reminder. Thanks honey.

I still believe we have a really REALLY good chance tonight. Who’s with me?




Invest in your well-being, and survive the long winter…

I made a choice this year to invest in my overall health and well-being. Daily life is filled with ups and downs… and charting them is a great way for me to spot trends affecting my wellness. At least I have discovered this for myself!

In addition to using my Back on Track notepad, I find that having a human (or two, or three) to keep me accountable is also crucial for my success. I need a buddy to text me and ask “Hey, see you at yoga at 9:30 tomorrow!”  Especially on the gray days of Syracuse winters when I want to stay home. So, thank you for helping motivate me friends.  You know who you are 😉

Using the space on the back of my notepad, I write down go-to ideas for motivation. Ideas like; an audio book or podcast I have been wanting to listen to on a walk. Or fun throw back music that puts a little pep in my step (like me and my rediscovery of 80s Cyndi Lauper.) How about meeting a friend for coffee after that morning yoga class?

I would LOVE to hear from you guys, on how you use your Back on Track Notepad. Send me a photo, or tag @annietaylordesign on Instagram with the hashtag #backontrackATD!

I’m here with you, cheering you along!