- 15 best romantic comedies.
- Someday, I hope that I can travel to here. And here. Or spend a few weeks on a boat like this one.
- Outfits I adore: 1, 2, 3.
- This list of things to do in the autumn is awesome.
- I am loving these pins. Now I just need some blazers…
- Why everyone needs to learn how to take a compliment.
- Top tips for staying safe with social media.
- Netflix has figured out which episode will hook you.
- How long it takes people around the world to buy an iPhone.
- I need to get better about this.
- These drawings are beautifully adorable.
- Weddings I love: 1, 2, 3.
- This interview makes me love Lena Dunham even more.
- Recipes I want to try: raspberry caramel chocolate cups, slow roasted cod with brown sugar pineapple glazed acorn squash, guiltless candy bars, caprese BLT balsamic roasted portobello mushrooms, caramel apple milkshake, expresso martini, gluten-free corn dogs, balsamic grilled pears with coconut-cardamom cream, and Thai chicken and broccoli salad with peanut sauce dressing.
Happy 26th Birthday, Dan!
- 60 simple rules of personal finance.
- Love this outfit and this coat.
- This list about the habits of youngest children is super accurate.
- Some nighttime rituals to help you sleep, and 4 steps to a healthy morning.
- How to make a long-term romantic relationship feel new, and how to stay close during a long-distance friendship.
- I adore these Cinderella-inspired pieces by Lauren Conrad.
- 8 life lessons from Leslie Knope. Plus, 23 girl power-filled Parks and Recreation moments.
- Weddings I love: 1, 2, 3.
- 25 things you should give up.
- Recipes I want to try: shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles, petite crust-less quiche, smokey chipotle dipping sauce, mini strawberry upside cornmeal cobblers, easy oven-baked sesame chicken thighs, lemon rosemary green beans, and gluten-free orange chocolate chip muffins.
Thanks for so many lovely memories, 2014.
I’m super excited for 2015. I’ve made a list of items from my 101 in 1001 list that I plan to check off year. I can’t wait to have fun and explore my hobbies and interests more. I’ve also made some resolutions:
1. Get enough sleep.
2. Successfully rehab knee.
3. Eat for health.
4. Compete in a triathlon.
5. Floss every other day.
6. Create and implement a set chore schedule.
7. Make and implement a joint budget every month.
8. Go to church more consistently.
9. Spend more time with family.
10. Be on time.
I think I’ve set reasonable resolutions, and I definitely selected fun activities to knock off my 101 in 1001 list!
What were your favorite memories of 2014? Do you have any resolutions or bucket list items for 2015?
- 40 ways to decorate a jack-o-lantern.
- How to start saving for retirement.
- A fall to-do list by Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling – definitely want to do all of these activities!
- 21 Halloween-themed cocktails.
- A love letter to Cleveland.
- Love this post on finding the blessings.
- Some great Hello Giggles posts: why living away from your best friend isn’t the end of the world, rom-coms based on true stories, and signs you love the library.
- Awesome fall shades by Zoya.
- Check out what’s streaming for Halloween.
- 8 ideas for organizing your kitchen.
- Recipes I want to make: shrimp fried farro, baked chicken and orzo, tart cherry-glazed brussel sprouts, bbq chicken french breads, brie and cheddar apple beer soup with cinnamon pecan oat crumble, roasted red pepper feta stuffed potato skins, stuffed turkey breasts with butternut squash and figs, and pumpkin beer waffles.
With it being New Year’s Day, I, like a lot of society, am excited for a new year and fresh start. I’ve written New Year’s resolutions pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Recently, in the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, I created and followed what I called the New Year’s All Year Challenge. It went okay for me in 2011, and pretty well for me in 2012, but I did not keep up with in 2013. A lot of changes occurred in my life this past year (like moving out of my parents’ house, getting married, a new job, etc.), and trying to stay focused on multiple goals every month on top of those changes started to feel very overwhelming for me. I eventually let go of them because I tend to be a perfectionist and my lack of progress on them (due to focusing on all the other big events and adjustments going on) was unnecessarily stressing me out. While my 2014 isn’t currently shaping up to have the type of life-changing events 2013, I have decided to forgo doing a 2014 New Year’s All Year Challenge for the similar reasons. I want to achieve my goals in life, but I want to make sure I am doing so in a balanced way that doesn’t put unneeded pressure on myself. I want to enjoy the journey and make sure I am having fun and spending time with those I love.
I am a longtime fan of Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, and I recently realized her 101 Things in 1,001 Days project is perfect way for me to approach the next year. Well, really, the next 2.75 years. As she described it, it’s a “happy medium between writing a to do list and keeping a bucket list. It’s a way to dream big and make regular progress toward meeting those longer term goals.” So, I have crafted my own list and will begin my journey today! I look forward to sharing my progress and experiences with everyone. Happy New Year!!! : )
Start: January 1, 2014
- Compete in a masters swim meet.
- Complete a triathlon.
- Meet my goal weight.
- Do yoga every day for a month.
- Stop biting my nails.
- Complete a Bible study.
- Try every fitness class offered at my gym.
- Take a self-defense class.
- Give up swearing for Lent (and see if it lasts after that!).
- Complete a plank challenge.
- Floss every other day for a month (and see if I can finally maintain the habit).
- Go to the eye doctor.
- Eat as a vegetarian for a month.
- Complete a squat challenge.
- Try 20 different workouts from what I have saved from magazines over the years.
- Practice meditation/mindfulness every day for a month.
- Attend a musical I’ve never seen before.
- Revisit the major museums in Cleveland (4).
- Go to a Blue Jackets game.
- Go apple or berry picking.
- Attend a live comedy show.
- Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
- Eat at five new-to-me restaurants in the Cleveland or Columbus area.
- Go on a tour of a brewery.
- Attend a professional orchestra concert.
- Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
- Go camping.
- Visit the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati.
- Obtain a passport and use it, even if only to travel to Canada (the only other country I have ever been in besides the U.S.).
- Visit the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton.
- Take Madison to the dog beach.
- Visit Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Attend Dinner on the Diamond again.
- See a major league baseball game in a stadium I have never been to before.
- Go to a BGSU home football game.
- Send Christmas cards to all of our family and friends before the holiday.
- Host a book club meeting.
- Prepare a meal for my family using an outdoor grill.
- Do something extra special for each member of my family.
- Host a fancy brunch for my friends.
- Mail my closest friends and family cards for each birthday during these 1,001 days.
- Throw a party for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.
- Donate to PAWS in Madison’s name.
- Donate toys to kids in need.
- Donate to BGSU.
- Complete 25 random acts of kindness.
- Donate blankets or coats to those in need.
- “Pay it forward” at a coffee shop or at a tollbooth.
- Donate books to an organization that distributes them to those who need them or volunteer with a literacy organization.
- Complete 40 service hours.
- Sponsor an athlete at PSH or donate to scholarships offered through PCSD.
- Read 75 books I have never read before.
- Bake a pie from scratch.
- Make a pizza (dough and sauce) from scratch.
- Complete compiling and order a full wedding album.
- See a classic movie in a movie theater.
- Knit a scarf.
- Make 15 recipes out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
- Be inspired by Pinterest 10 times to either create/bake/cook something or utilize a cleaning/organization tip.
- Back up all my photos.
- Make a T-shirt quilt.
- Watch 10 Best Picture winning films I haven’t see before.
- Back up all my music.
- Create Snapfish or Shutterfly albums for each year since high school.
- Bake 12 different recipes of cookies and cut each recipe into an unique shape using our Year Of Cookies cookie cutters we were gifted for our wedding.
- Spend at least two months blogging consistently (five days a week).
- Watch Gone With the Wind again.
- Organize all my workout and recipe clippings from magazines into navigable binders/digital files.
- Start a history podcast and publish at least three episodes.
- Organize all my previously written swim practices and planning into navigable binders/digital files.
- Obtain a full-time classroom position and/or begin earning my masters degree.
- Learn all of the world’s capital cities and the names and locations of major rivers, mountains, etc.
- Develop my Honors Project (from college) into a full book.
- Organize all my lesson plans and resources into navigable binders/digital files.
- Find a way to combine my loves of social media and the field of education into something that serves a resource and/or community for either teachers or students.
- Truly study (not just skim/index through) all the swimming books I own and organize my notes on them into navigable binders/digital files.
Things That Scare Me
- Sing karaoke
- Buy a bikini and wear it in public.
- Get another tattoo.
- Pay off the Honda Civic Dan and I purchased in March 2013 ahead of schedule.
- Save at least $5,000.
- Create a solid budget and begin cultivating spending/saving tracking habits by following it successfully for at least two months.
- Finish changing name on all accounts/relevant records.
- Write a will and a living will.
- Buy big plastic bins and use them to organize the storage space/seasonal decorations.
- Set up a home office.
- Create and implement a rotating cleaning schedule and follow it for at least two months straight.
- Do an intake of my belongings, donate or toss what I don’t need, and organize what I am keeping.
- Find a more effective system for receiving mail, disposing of it/filing it, and responding to it.
- Style our bedroom.
- Style our living room.
- Buy an actual address book and use it.
- Clean my car and keep it tidy for at least two months.
- Find a skincare regimen that works for me and follow it for at least 30 days.
- Buy a grown up watch, and wear it regularly.
- Learn 5 new ways to style my hair.
- Get a pedicure.
- Find the perfect little black dress.
- Get grown-up luggage and use it (instead of using my backpack from high school!).
- Find my “signature scent.”
- Purchase a monogrammed bracelet or necklace.
End date: September 27, 2016
I’m not sorry.
I’m not sorry I love learning so much that I listen to history podcasts and share facts from them at weddings. I’m not sorry I think education is a misunderstood career and I know what I’m talking about when I discuss it. I’m not sorry I am obsessed with the Cleveland Indians and get passionate when I talk about them. I’m not sorry I choose to look on the bright side and approach challenges in life from a positive perspective. I’m not sorry I’d rather be proven wrong than be proven right. I’m not sorry I like beer and that drink my coffee black. I’m not sorry that my dog is my best friend or that I take and share lots of photos of her. I’m not sorry about my values and beliefs. I’m not sorry I enjoy cheesy books, Top 40 music, or Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I’m not sorry I forgive too easily. I’m not sorry I love my hometown and college. I’m not sorry that most the time I’d rather spend a night in rather than out. I’m not sorry I act honestly when I have the option to do otherwise. I’m not sorry I prioritize safety, spending time with my husband, or doing right by my students. I’m not sorry I’ve never done drugs and I’m not sorry my wedding was untraditional. I’m not sorry for my tattoos, my student loans, or my anxiety. I’m not sorry about my early bedtime, my sense of humor, or my singing voice.
I’m not sorry about being me.
Photo above: sunset over the Target parking lot. Beauty in the simplest of places!
- I will never be able to see enough of the NSYNC reunion.
- The best time of the year to buy electronics, furniture, and more
- I loved seeing one of my favorite bloggers featured on the Glitter Guide! And the women of Georgetown Cupcakes on The Everygirl!
- This list of 25 things to know at 25 is amazing.
- This old map of Washington, D.C., shows the Lincoln Memorial would have been underwater!
- I’m excited for this new series on Tulips & Flight Suits!
- These Zoya shades are definitely on my wish list.
- I was surprised by this list of songs written by Carole King.
- Check out these photos of the Beatles in the U.S. in 1964.
- Pit bulls are my favorite.
- Be sure to read this amazing article about work-life balance.
- Recipes I want to try: salmon omelet, peach coconut almond meal muffins, peach, chicken, and gorgonzola balsamic quesadillas with arugula pesto, and cheesy zucchini enchiladas.
For the month of March, I am participating in Fabulous Finds by Tiffany’s 31 Day Blog Challenge. Today’s prompt: What’s your biggest accomplishment?
This question is hard for me. I’m not entirely sure which accomplishment is my absolute “biggest,” but these are the ones that run through my head when I try to decide upon one:
- The progress I have made (and continue to make) with coping with my anxiety. I know a lot of people probably think that I still get overwhelmed unnecessarily, and I agree that is true, but the change in how I react, both outwardly and inwardly, when that happens is substantial.
- Earning my bachelor’s degree with honors. It took a lot of tears, naps, caffeine, notecards, highlighters, and summer classes, but I did it.
- As a member of PCC (now ECCO), I created and executed a curriculum night for a Toledo elementary school from scratch, led two more, and then passed it on to someone else to chair. It is still an event ECCO does regularly.
- Paying off my student loans. I’m not done yet but I feel a sense of accomplishment with every payment I make now since I had to defer them for the first year out of college.
- Being a district substitute. Not only is it a valuable position to the district, but it’s a great opportunity at this point in my career, and one that I truly feel like I had to work hard to gain.
- Buying a car. Ever since I started driving, I have driven 10+ year old Buicks passed down from my parents. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for those cars, and actually really enjoyed driving them. But last week, I found out I either had to buy a new motor for the current old Buick I was driving, or buy a new car. Dan and I went car shopping and bought a 2010 Honda Civic. It was thrilling. We handled the whole process without aid from our parents. Most importantly, we did it together. It was exciting to do something so big as a couple, and it was exciting to have the power in determining my vehicle choice.
I look forward to being able to add things like, “building a strong swim program,” “getting healthier,” “creating a home together,” “paying off the Honda,” “earning my masters degree,” and “getting hired as a full-time teacher” to my list in the future : )
What are your biggest accomplishments?
- 15 ways to stay married for 15 years
- 5 resources for launching a small business
- 13 ideas for making extra money
- 6 ways to slim down a restaurant order
- 22 rules everyone should live by
- 5 tips to stay on track with exercise goals
- 10 love lessons from elementary schools
- 26 slang terms from the 1920s that we should seriously consider reviving
- 5 hints for waking up earlier
- 13 ways Lisa Frank predicted the future
- 20 Instagram accounts to follow
- 8 habits that promote heart-health
- 10 adorable dogs who are also superheroes
- 5 ideas for cheering up during the weary winter
- 26 ways to have an awesome weekend
Have a wonderful weekend, my dears : )