My Five Favorite Things – Dana Kowalsick

dana thangs

Peanut Butter – It’s the simple pleasures in life that make me happy. Peanut Butter has got to be one of the most simple foods (yes, it’s a food) and yet it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. I eat it swirled into my oatmeal with bananas, on Ezekiel bread with fresh strawberries, in stews, thai dishes, on a spoon straight out of the jar… yes, I went there. Peanut butter flows through my veins and my life wouldn’t be the same without it.

Passport – The first trip that I ever planned for myself was a 2 week trip to Italy in 2012 with one of my girlfriends from college. It was my first time out of the country and the place that I had dreamed of visiting since I was a little girl. Since then, I have vowed to travel someplace new once, or twice, a year. I am so grateful for the opportunities, experiences, adventures and memories this little booklet allows me to have and I will never take that for granted. I’ve been to Ireland, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, Peru and CANNOT WAIT for my upcoming trip to Greece in April! The world is my oyster and I can’t wait to see even more of it in the coming years.

St. John – Now, I just said how much I love to travel and explore the world but this place has stolen my heart. Our first family vacation was in 1997 to one of the US Virgin Islands, St. John. Since then, my family and I have gone back to our “happy place”, as we like to call it, 4 times. The snorkeling, the food, the beautiful aqua blue waters, the friendly people, being on “island time”… it always resets me and helps me to find my zen. It gets harder to say goodbye each time we leave. Maybe I’ll have to move there one day…

Weights – I was never an athletic person growing up. I played softball and volleyball in junior high but quickly gave those up to focus on my real passion which was singing. I cringed at the thought of gym class and being out of breath just running around the soccer field or gymnasium for warm ups. I always joked that you would only see me running if I was running for my life. It wasn’t until around March 2015 that I really started thinking about bettering my health for the long run (pun intended). I started off small by forcing myself to wake up early to work out 3 times a week before work and I started to improve my diet. Three cardio workouts a week turned into a desire to start lifting weights. Well, that desire turned into a full blown passion and now strength training is one of my absolute favorite things of all time! Now, I wake up and start my day with strength training, HIIT (high intensity interval training), or a run. Running?! Me? Where did this person come from?! I still am not a morning person but I can’t see myself starting my day any other way. And I feel the strongest and healthiest I have ever felt.

Music – As many of my wine club members know, I’ve been singing since I was 6 years old. It’s who I am. I know I didn’t wind up pursuing an opera career after completing my Masters but music and singing will always be what keeps me going (and peanut butter). Singing arias from this book, and the countless other books I have, takes me to different worlds where I get to be someone completely different. And singing on a stage in front of countless people is so exhilirating! I don’t sing as often as I used to but I cherish every opportunity that I have to sing and will continue to sing until I’m 90.