31 December 2014

Wrapping up 2014

Wrapping up 2013
  1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
    Bought a house!
  2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
    From Last Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Snacking mindlessly (NOPE)
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: Photoshop (like a pro) (MEH, although for work, I've had to step up my game)
    • A person I hope to be more like: My manager, who is patient and kind and outgoing (Sometimes I feel like I was starting to learn, but ...)
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate blood. It's been a while since I've been able to do this (NOPE. I also found out that I am AB, so in addition to any inability to donate on my part, it's also the least helpful blood type...)
    • A place I'd like to visit: The El Paso Mission Trail (I was not able to do this this year, but we did go to Carlsbad Caverns, instead, which was a really good trip)
  3. This Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Buying snacks from a vending machine
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: How to do a stunning cat eye
    • A person I hope to be more like: My husband, who is mindful and organized.
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate to one of the many public services we utilize
    • A place I'd like to visit: All of the conservation trails in my neighborhood
  4. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Indeed! We had a baby girl come into the world shortly before Christmas
  5. Did anyone close to you die?
    Thankfully, no.
  6. What trips did you take?
    Mexico! It was just Cancun for a few days, and it was for work, but hey! I got a passport stamp.
    Nashville—another work trip that was tons of fun
    El Paso—we went down for a family wedding and had a blast
  7. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
    A diet and exercise routine
  8. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
    June 1, the day we moved to our new house
  9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Getting our shit together and buying a house. There were a lot of obstacles and hurdles, and it was emotional and financially terrifying, but everyday we are in this house, I feel better and better about our decision.
  10. What was your biggest failure?
    My big mouth
  11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    Just the usual colds, allergies and sinus things.
  12. What was the best thing you bought?
    Our house!
    A 10' Tall Christmas Tree
    A new couch that J actually fits on
  13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    Our families all came up to spend Thanksgiving with us, and it was wonderful.
  14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    There was an incident of "baby name theft" that left me pretty angry.
  15. Where did most of your money go?
    Our house...I'm beginning to see a theme.
  16. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    My birthday present, which was a vinyl recording of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins album. Buying a house (HOUSE!)
    The potential of a whole new world in the kitchen when I got a stand mixer for Christmas.
  17. What song will always remind you of 2014?
    Let Her Go by Passenger (THANKS, BUDWEISER)
    Counting Stars by One Republic
    Argentina I, II, III by Tokyo Police Club
    I Wanna Get Better by The Bleachers
  18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    Taking advantage of our beautiful neighborhood and all of the trails near our house.
  19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    Being hung over—it's not like it was in my 20's. Now if I have a hangover I spend 3 days feeling like shit instead of one morning.
  20. How did you spend Thanksgiving?
    We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year
  21. How did you spend Christmas?
    With our MA family, eating a delicious dinner and drinking the best Old Fashioned I have ever tasted.
  22. How will you be spending New Years?
    Probably sleeping
  23. Did you fall in love in 2014?
    As always
  24. What was your favorite TV program?
    Gilmore Girls on Netflix
  25. Do you "hate" anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
    I think that I've come to decide that "hate," even the mild pretend "hate," is a completely wasted emotion. This doesn't mean that there isn't anyone that could have made this list, just that I choose not to participate in this question anymore.*
    *I have added an addendum to include the strong sense of dislike that I feel for people who mark up library books.
  26.  What was the best book you read?
    The Handmaid's Tale
  27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
  28. What did you want that you also ended up getting?
    The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness on vinyl.
    A new dining room table and a new couch
    Cowboy boots from Nashville
    An Aqua Stand Mixer
  29. What did you want that you did not end up getting?
    A greyhound, which happens every year. One day I will have a house and a schedule that allow for a dog, but right now it wouldn't be fair to a four legged family member
  30. What was your favorite film of this year?
    The Imitation Game
  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I turned 30, the big doble-quinceaƱera. We went ice skating, had some dinner at Border Cafe and then went to Harvest for some great dessert and cocktails. We had a piƱata, but decided to save it for the summer when more people were able to join in the fun.
  32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    If I had done a better job re-learning spanish
  33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
    Plaid and Flannel
  34. What kept you sane?
    Prozac and Klonopin, and allergy medicaiton
  35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Benedict Cumberbatch, Alli Speed
  36. What political issue stirred you the most?
    I got pretty riled up about our local ballot questions. Turns out we moved to a red zone.
  37. Who did you miss?
    I always miss my grandmother—buying our house and settling down up here made me think of her and her house quite a bit when I found myself trying to figure out what makes my house my home.
  38. Who was the best new person you met?
    Our neighbors are wonderful
  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014
    "Don't spend time with people who don't treat you well," among other things.
  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
    Two sips from the cup of human kindness
    and I'm shit faced, just laid to waste.

08 January 2014

31 Things to do Before 31

  1. 100 Pushups
  2. Do another 28 or 30 day challenge
  3. Log my food and exercise every single day for a minimum of 3 months
  4. Go ice skating
  5. Run a 10K
  6. Go to sleep early
  7. Improve my posture
  8. Buy a house
  9. Knit a sweater
  10. Schedule "me" time at least once a week. Strive for at least two hours of solitude
  11. Meditate
  12. Visit a new state
  13. Visit a new museum
  14. Go to at least one lecture or creative performance
  15. Read Four Classics:
    The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
    The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
    The Stranger (Albert Camus)
    The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  16. 52 Weeks listing Things for which I am Grateful
  17. 52 Weeks to an Organized Home
  18. 90 minutes of Yoga at minimum once a week
  19. Learn about my family tree
  20. Make cheese souffle
  21. Buy a watch
  22. Make hot buttered rum
  23. Take a stunning photograph
  24. Write a haiku
  25. Make a pair of earrings
  26. Get my eyebrows shaped professionally
  27. See a Penn State Game at Beaver Stadium
  28. Letterpress
  29. Buy number or letter balloons for an occasion
  30. Find a new shade of lipstick
  31. Buy It's a Wonderful Life on DVD

07 January 2014

30 Before 30 List Update

Up until 30, for some reason it made sense to me that I wanted to to x-1 things before I turned x. But 29 before 30 seemed kind of...silly. 30 is big. 30 is...thirty. So without further adieu, my list of thirty things I wanted to do before 30:
  1. Visit Fallingwater
    Frank Lloyd Wright's PA treasure was beautiful, and definitely worth the wait. We got tickets for the in-depth tour, and we learned some really interesting facts about the house, plus I was allowed to take some really great pictures with a wide angle lens that I rented from borrowlenses.com.
  2. Visit a new state
    I was not able to do this this year. We made it up to Maine, out to California (twice), Nevada, and back to PA, but we've been to all of those places before.
  3. Visit a new museum
    I visited the Andy Warhol museum while I was in Pittsburgh over the 4th of July weekend. It was pretty awesome, and although they didn't allow photos, I was too mesmirized by the David Bowie interview to really pay attention to anything else (well, besides the silver clouds)
  4. Make my own flavored vodka
    I made cherry flavored vodka with a mini-bottle of Bully Boy and some in-season black cherries. Sonic ain't got nothing on my homemade cherry limeade slushes!
  5. Make ice cream
  6. Find a piece of good furniture
    I feel like I did one better and got a very beautiful rug by Austin artist Alyson Fox (from West Elm). It is gorgeous and I love it. We even bought a vacuum cleaner JUST BECAUSE I love this rug so much, and want to take care of it properly forever. We also finally got around to getting a cube Expedit for our vinyl collection.

  7. Grow tomatoes
    Yeah, baby
  8. Add a lens to my camera collection
    After some deliberation, I decided to rent the lens I wanted whenever I needed it. This worked out for the best, financially. Although I'd still like to add it to my collection eventually, the cost for this one was prohibitive.
  9. Take bird pictures
    Done! Got a photo of a hawk a week after I posted this, which was more than I ever could have dreamed! Now I need to use the good old telephoto lens and get some "real" bird pictures as the telephoto intended.
  10. Make a lightbox
  11. Finish knitting a blanket
  12. Sew a skirt
    I will update with this project soon!
  13. Make a travel book for guests/Scrapbook about Boston
    I collected some maps from the airport, and gathered all of those plus soaps, shampoos, and a list of suggestions for things to do.
  14. Take a haunted trolley tour
  15. Ride the Swan Boats
  16. Learn to play guitar
    Ha. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking.
  17. Take spanish lessons
    I didn't really follow through on this, even after I looked it up and asked around.
  18. Read Three classics: War and Peace, Persuasion, and Crime and Punishment
  19. Start waking up early
    I had to start waking up before 6:30 for my new job. So...done!
  20. Visit a national monument
    Turns out that Symphony Hall is a National Monument, so check!
  21. Run another 5K
  22. Repaint/refinish our kitchen chairs
  23. Overhaul the sh*t out of my closet
    My intentions were good, but I did not have time for this.
  24. Overhaul the sh*t out of my online portfolio
    I kind of did this, but not to the depth or extent I wanted.
  25. Serve on a Jury
    Okay, this wasn't strictly on my list, but I did finally get to serve jury duty. It felt great to do my civic duty, even though the trial was pretty abysmal and left me with little sense of justice. Innocent until proven guilty, though, right?
  26. Get my first tattoo
    I decided I'd rather have a house. We'll see what happens after we save all our extra $$$ and buy property.
  27. Do 30 days of yoga
    I did this challenge
  28. Keep a Therapy Journal
    I never got around to this, but I do jot down some of the more important things when I think of them or when they help me more than usual.
  29. Set a measurable goal in therapy
  30. Eat a cleaner diet
    J and I started doing Paleo in July. We hoped to make it a lifestyle change instead of something we did for a few weeks. I think it made us more aware of where our food was coming from, and how lazy we had become since I started working full time. We're still making adjustments, but it was good for us, and we both lost some weight and learned some things.
Total: 20/30