January 2011 Archives

Monday 5 Countdown #10

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It's Monday again, so it's once again time to do the Monday 5 Countdown that I got from Bookish Penguin.
Five Things I'm Grateful For:
  1. Weekends.  I had a really good weekend (and I hope you did, too).  Weekends are a much needed break from work and always seems to arrive just in the nick of time  :) 
  2. Delicious new recipes.  We made several new recipes this week and they were all a great success.  All were healthy and all were keepers.
  3. Having good shows on tv to help get me through my winter hibernation.  I've never had so many shows in one season that I enjoy watching.  It's nice to have at least one show to look forward to watching almost every night of the week. 
  4. Crystal Light Lemonade.  I have a bottle of this stuff almost every afternoon.  It helps me get my recommended daily intake of water and tastes really good.
  5. My boyfriend.  My rock.  He is always there for me and I should never take that for granted.  For the last 2 weeks he's eaten according to the very strict first phase of the south beach diet (essentially no carbs) along with me and has gone without having any temptations in the house just to make things easier on me.


Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About:
  1. Vacation, vacation, vacation.  We started doing some initial research on Hawaii and the Bahamas.  Woohoo!
  2. Cleaning the clutter.  I started going through some old bags and boxes in the basement this weekend and made a small dent.  This is a project that is going to take some time and will have to be done in small doses.  
  3. Finances.  In all honestly, I am in pretty good shape financially, especially considering the way the economy is right now.  But lately I keep thinking there may be other, smarter ways for me to be investing what I have.
  4. Carbohydrates.  My beloved carbohydrates.  And Sugar.  And my favorite food: pizza.
Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:
  1. Finish my Valentine's Day guest post for Christina.
  2. Post at least 3-4 times on my blog.  Monday seems to roll around all too quickly and suddenly it's here and I haven't posted since the previous Monday.  I apologize that the Monday 5 Countdown seems to be my only post for the week over the last several weeks. 
  3. Do an initial run-through of my taxes to see how much I can expect back or how much I'll owe.
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:
  1. Dieting.  Still doing well on the diet, but didn't lose as much this week.  In fact, I lost nothing.  But I didn't gain either.  I only have 7 lbs to lose so really, how fast can I expect it to come off.  It sure is a test of patience though.
  2. That we actually can and do follow through with finalizing our dream vacation, and that it lives up to expectations.  I guess my pessimistic side is showing through and part of me believes it's too good to be true and will never happen.
One Random Thing:
  1. My boyfriend and I cooked a bunch of different things last week that we've never made before.  I was getting a little tired of our usual rotatation and am very excited about the new dishes we've now added in.  There was Salsa verde chicken al forno, Thai chicken dumpling soup, beef stew in the croc pot, and a new garlic chicken dish.  We also made omelettes together on Sunday morning using a new technique from my Alton Brown cookbook I got for Christmas.  Apparently I've been making them all wrong, and Alton's way came out much better.  :)
What's going on with your Monday 5?  How was your weekend?

Monday 5 Countdown #9

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It's Monday again, so it's once again time to do the Monday 5 Countdown that I got from Bookish Penguin.
Five Things I'm Grateful For:
  1. Successfully being able to stick to my diet for the last week and losing 3 (of 10) pounds!
  2. Above 0 temperatures.  It's been bitter, bitter cold here for several days in a row now (talking negative temps and -20 windchill) and it makes me appreciate the slightly warmer days.  Expected high of 20 today!  Mid-30's tomorrow!
  3. Having people to swap recipes with.  I got a couple of recipes from my mom yesterday and swapped one with a friend today.
  4. Ambien.  For helping me get a good night sleep last night so I could start the week off right.
  5. The opportunity to work at such a wonderful company.  I was hired 11 years ago next month while finishing my last semester in college.  The company was only 4 years old at the time and just celebrated its 15 year anniversary with a big party this past weekend.  I am blessed to work with and for such wonderful people. 
Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About:
  1. Germs.  Lots of people around me have been sick lately.  It's that time of year whenever everyone seems to catch something.  I'm a bit of a germaphobe and get a little nuts when surrounded by people who are under the weather. I'm constantly worrying about what I'm touching.
  2. I've agreed to write another guest post, centered around Valentine's Day, for Christina and when I find myself with a few spare minutes I keep pondering what to write and partially composing in my head. 
  3. Keeping warm.  The house has felt colder than usual this week so I've been using extra blankets and turned the heat up a couple of extra degrees.
  4. Food.  I have been extra conscious of what I've been putting in my body this week and trying to plan out most of my meals ahead of time.  This eating well thing is kind of a lot of work (but well worth it).
Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:
  1. Clean the oven.  The kitchen got a good cleaning this weekend but we didn't get to the oven.
  2. Write thank-you notes.  I can't even believe how late I am on these  :(  Must get done early this week.
  3. The scarf I've been knitting for my mom is now 60 inches long.  I thought this was a decent length and so asked her how long she wanted it.  She said 70 or 75, which means it's still not done.   Hopefully I'll get the last 10 inches done this week.
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:
  1. My diet will go as well this week as it did last week.
  2. I will see temperatures above freezing again, and I will see my grass again, right?  Right.  
One Random Thing:
  1. I saw True Grit this past weekend.  I don't really go to the theater much these days, but this was one movie my boyfriend and I, and another friend, all wanted to see and felt it was worth the $10 to go see in the theater.  It definitely was.  If you haven't seen this movie yet but have been thinking about it, I recommend going.

Monday 5 Countdown #8

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It's Monday again, so it's once again time to do the Monday 5 Countdown that I got from Bookish Penguin.
Five Things I'm Grateful For:
  1. Patching up/resolving some of the family drama from Christmas.
  2. There wasn't much snow this past week and I only had to do a light shoveling once. 
  3. The hat I knit for my sister fit her perfectly and she loved it.  I am still not so hot at getting the gauge exactly right on hats but in this case I was dead on.  I was really worried, but it turns out I was worrying for nothing.
  4. That we almost always have dinner leftovers for me to take to work for lunch the next day.  I could easily go out to lunch with people from work every day of the week but that is tough on the wallet and very tough on my waistline.  Having a variety of meals and something yummy to eat helps me keep on track with bringing my lunch every day.
  5. Comfy fleece pajamas.  :)
Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About:
  1. That we need to start researching/planning our late winter/early spring vacation.
  2. Spring.  I pretty much can't stop thinking about this all winter. I love when the weather starts to warm up and the earliest spring flowers start to bloom.  It makes me very, very happy.
  3. Buying a Kindle.  I keep thinking about it, but continue to put off actually buying one.  What do you guys think... kindle or nook?
  4. My mom bought me a book on knitting afghans and now I can't wait to finish up the scarf I'm working on and the scarf in the queue so I pick out a pattern and start on my very first afghan project.


Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:
  1. Reorganize and declutter the kitchen.  This is part of #5 on my 2011 To Do List.  I figured this would be the best place to start.  We need to go through the cabinets and get rid of things we don't use and organize better to make more room.  I have a ridiculous amount of cabinet space and not really all that much stuff but somehow it's all filled -- mostly due to poor organization.
  2. Complete my work item that is due on Friday before the deadline.
  3. Finish the scarf that was supposed to be finished last week.
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:
  1. That regular use of melatonin will help with the insomnia.
  2. My weight, which has been going in the wrong direction lately. 
One Random Thing:
  1. I wrote a guest post back at the end of December for my friend Christina's series on the 12 days of Christmas.  I was Day 3 and totally forgot to link to it here until just the other day.  Go check it out and stay a while to read the other posts in the series as well as some of Christina's latest posts.

2011 To Do List

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When I sit down to come up with New Year's Resolutions I ask myself, "What do I want out of life?"  Well, the basic answer this year is, "I want to be happy."  This tells me that I am not currently happy, or as happy as I believe I could be.  I am happy-ish, but there are things keeping me from being the best me I can be.  So here's what I want to do in 2011 so that at the end of the year I can say I am happier than I was at the end of 2010:

1.  Stop being such a perfectionist.  Basically, I have close to impossible standards for myself and I get really upset/frustrated/down on myself when I don't reach perfect.  I am setting myself up for failure and this causes me a lot of unhappiness.

2.  Get more sleep.  I am a terrible sleeper.  I have bad insomnia where a lot of nights I won't be able to fall asleep until 4 or 5 am which is a big problem during the work-week) as well as PLMD and feel like crap most days due to lack of sleep.  I get grouchy and impatient and feel very sloth-like.  I hate being this way.  I honestly don't know how much control I have over this but I need to keep working towards getting more/better sleep.  Sometimes I get working on something or really into a tv show and don't go to bed as early as I should.  I want to try taking a natural supplement called melatonin every night for a couple of weeks which is supposed to help with sleeping and go to bed at 10:30 pm every week night.  I want to try eating dinner earlier, maybe knitting in the evening to help wind down by doing something fairly mindless. Maybe some therapeutic writing.

3.  Learn a new skill/hobby.  I like to do this every year.  Learning something and feeling like I've progressed/grown as a person makes me happy.  Feeling stagnant makes me unhappy.  In 2010 I learned to knit.  In 2011 I want to buy a sewing machine and learn to sew.

4.  Take a late winter/early spring vacation somewhere warm and new to me.  I have 1 day shy of 5 weeks of vacation next year.  I had 4 weeks and 2 days to use in 2010 and ended up taking 2 weeks off at the end of the year just because I would lose it if I didn't use it before the end of the year.  We have the vacation time and money to travel now, so we shouldn't waste the opportunity.  Right now we're thinking maybe Hawaii!

5.  Decluttering.  I am a bit of a packrat and have saved so much crap from my past that I really just don't need.  Clutter makes me feel very unsettled and like my life is a mess, which is obviously undesirable.  I made some good progress last year but there is still a ways to go.  Also, my boyfriend now lives with me and really needs some more space to call his own.  I hope to have this done by July 1.

6.  Lose 10 pounds by July 1.  Being a little overweight and feeling frumpy bothers me.  I will concentrate on diet and putting good things into my body but exercise will be a part of this, too.  I have osteoporosis at a VERY early age due to my Turner's Syndrome and I really need to make sure I an doing whatever I can to keep as much bone density as possible.

7.  Expand upon the number of meals I know how to cook.  I want to start small here and start with just learning one new meal a month.  I just got a great new Alton Brown Good Eats cookbook for Christmas so I think that sounds like a good place to start.

8.  Put more effort into my appearance.  Don't want to go crazy here but I want to look my best, and professional, when I go to work. I want to make sure I manage to get a little makeup on my face in the morning more often than I do today.  I want to look and dress like the 32 year old professional that I am.
9.  Blogging.  This one needs some more refining, but essentially making it more of a priority and improving my writing.  I'd love to greatly increase the number of readers/commenters and even make just a little bit of money.   I need to come up with specific, smaller, measurable goals for this one.
10.  Open an Etsy Shop.  I am still not entirely sure I can accomplish this or that it will remain something I want to do, but right now it is something I'd like to see happen in 2011.

I want to look back ay all these goals every quarter.  When you have goals that are set for an entire year I think it's important to look back and check on progress and re-evaluate and  re-prioritize every few months to keep on track and maybe drop some items off the list and/or add new ones.


What are some of the things on your 2011 To Do List?

Monday 5 Countdown #7

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It's Monday again, so it's once again time to do the Monday 5 Countdown that I got from Bookish Penguin.

Five Things I'm Grateful For:

  1. A fresh start, a new beginning.
  2. Not catching whatever awful illness my Dad had over Christmas.
  3. My 2 week break from work to rest, relax, recooperate and catch-up on things around the house.  It was very much needed.
  4. A forever forgiving, understanding, and patient significant other.
  5. The fact that although I was on-call for work during both Christmas and New Year's, I did not get a single call. 
Four Things I Can't Stop Thinking About:
  1. Recent upsetting family drama.
  2. What I want to accomplish in 2011 and how I'm going to do it.
  3. My boyfriend and I recently started talking about taking a late winter/early spring trip to Hawaii and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it (or other possible places to go) since.
  4. How fast time seems to be passing.  The older I get, the faster it goes.

Three Things I Want To Accomplish This Week:
  1. Finish knitting a scarf I started.
  2. Lose 2 pounds.
  3. Survive the work-week.  I expect the transition to be a wee bit rough since I haven't been to the office since December 17th and my sleep schedule is all out of wack.
Two Things I Am Working To Be Positive About:
  1. That 2011 is going to be an amazing year!
  2. The upsetting family drama mentioned above.
One Random Thing:
  1. In my gift idea post I published in late November I mentioned an ice cream maker.  Well, I did decided to buy the one I mentioned for my boyfriend for Christmas.  He also had the same idea and bought me the exact same one.  We exchanged one and used the other for the first time this weekend.  We made reeses peanut butter cup ice cream and it was delicious.  Very, very delicious.

ice cream.JPG

2010: A Look Back

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I was going to write up a nice long article neatly wrapping up my year.  I was going to go month by month talking about what happened and include a pretty picture that was taken each month.  There were 2 main problems with that: 

1.  My life in 2010 was very, very boring.  I don't think I could come up with something interesting to say about most months.

2.  My photography skills pretty much suck and I don't have pretty pictures taken from each month.


Well, consider that your warning because I decided to write that post anyway.  Boring life and crappy pictures and all.



I tend to hibernate in the winter and so January was pretty boring.  We bought our first flat-screen t.v. and sat on the couch enjoying that most of the month.  Also enjoyed Netflix for the first time thanks to my younger sister giving me a subscription for Christmas.

January 2010.JPGFebruary

Again, nothing very exciting.  I did bake some nice cookies for my boyfriend for Valentines Day. I also decided to learn to knit.  One Sunday evening I was sitting alone at home and decided it was time for me to finally learn.  So I ran out to the craft store and bought my first pair of needles and some yarn.  I knit my very first scarf.

_February 2010.JPG 


Lots more knitting.  I learned a lot and even learned how to make hats.  I made a really cute strawberry hat for my friend's daughter.  We also got a much needed new oven.  I started getting really antsy because I hate winter and there were just a couple of days where Spring was in the air and I could feel it coming.

March 2010.JPG 


I was really happy that the snow was melted, the temperatures were warmer, and the daffodils and tulips sprouted.  Not much else happened. 

April 2010.JPGMay

I started a vegetable garden.  It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it all summer.  I put it in a different location from last year and it did a lot better.  I also planted lots of annuals which I managed to keep alive until the cold weather and frost hit.

May 2010.JPG 


I got a promotion!  And a raise!  I also had my 10 year anniversary at my place of employment. 

June 2010.JPGJuly

Somehow July seemed to come and go without making a sound.  I really just enjoyed the nice weather and my garden, which continued to grow far beyond my original expectations.  My parents meet my boyfriend's parents for the first time at a small BBQ at our house.  We bought a really nice patio set that we love and a fire pit.

July 2010.JPGAugust

My boyfriend and I took an amazing trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto the first week of August.  It was my frist time to Toronto, and my frist time taking a trip with another couple.

August 2010.JPGSeptember

Other than turning 32 and enjoying the nice fall weather, not much happened in September.  It passed far too quickly.

September 2010.JPG 


We made our very first Halloween costumes.  We were Goombas!  They were a big hit with our co-workers.  I also went apple picking for the first time and baked my first apple pie. 

October 2010.JPG


I was challenged pretty hard at work.  I was temporarily moved to another department to help them out.  I was very much out of my element and had to learn a lot in a very short amount of time.  It was tough but I think I rose to the challenge.  My boyfriend and I went with another friend to an awesome Matt Nathanson concert where we sat alone in the reserved front row.  I also started knitting again and knit a really cute watermelon hat for my friend's daughter.

November 2010.JPG  


I only worked about half of this month because I didn't use a lot of my vacation time.  I finished up that challenging project at work.  I enjoyed my time-off but there was also a lot of stress and family drama.  We also had around 50 inches of snow this much which, ick.  While stuck inside with all the snow, I continued to improve my knitting skills by learning how to knit cables.

December 2010.JPG


Overall, looking back I feel a little bit depressed.  I didn't really do much and not much really happened.  I learned a new skill/picked up a new hobby, the promotion at work was great, and I really enjoyed the trip in August, but mostly I feel like I just got a year older and wasted most of the year.  I think I really just need to put it in perspective that not every day/month something huge and exciting is going to happen.   

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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