Didn’t cut it

Here are the 20 for 20 goals that didn’t make the cut this year:

  1. Read 32 books. I’m at 31 this year and probably could do this, but I like the 12 nonfiction better. I’ll still set a Goodreads goal.
  2. Sell $1,000 on Poshmark. I’ve sold about $300 so far, so this is quite the goal and would mean I’d have to start buying things to sell, whereas right now I just sell things I no longer wear.
  3. Do a weekly home blessing (Fly Lady). Still hoping to do this. I love keeping my condo in a pretty clean state so that when people say they’re going to stop by I don’t freak out.
  4. Buy washer/dryer. Once my big closet is cleared out, I may reevaluate the buying a washer/dryer, but for now I have a few people letting me use theirs and I don’t have the space carved out in my condo for it. Besides, I think it was on my 18 for 18 list and didn’t happen.
  5. Get down to a size 6. I’m hoping my WW venture will hope with this goal.
  6. Buy a bus pass and start riding the bus a few times per month to work.
  7. Perfect my pizza making skills. This might ruin the WW.
  8. Buy diamond earrings. I’m trying to save money right now, so this doesn’t work very well with that goal.
  9. Increase 401K contribution to 15% (did earlier this month).
  10. Attend a yoga retreat.

I still may do any and all of these, so if I find I can do all of it, so be it. One thing I’ve enjoyed doing the last few years was watching an entire TV series of something, but I couldn’t think of anything to watch. Last year was Game of Thrones and the year before was West Wing, so if you have any suggestions, make sure to let me know—It may not be too late for me to add something!

Early Start

I started early on one of my goals for 2020, which is to join WW (Weight Watchers for the uninitiated). It feels like a very middle aged thing to do, but since I needed something to track my food, progress that isn’t going to take up too much time, I think this may be a good plan for me. You get points per day and week and get to spend them however you want. The plan I’m on have some 300 “free” point foods, such as salmon and veggies, so I don’t have to be too in the weeds. Yesterday was my first day of using the app and I only used 6 of my 16 points by having a zero count dinner of lettuce, celery and a can of salmon. It wasn’t too bad (I love salmon and sprinkled salt and pepper on top). Where it’s going to get me is sweets. I bake, so I always have goodies on hand, which is true at the office as well. What I like about it so far, though, is that I can save up my points for when I really want something so I decide when and how to splurge. So, is it important to have sugar in my coffee everyday or can I just save those points and then eat a cupcake? Day 1 was a success, and even though it’s just water weight, I’m down two pounds already. The whole goal is for me not to have to go up a size, which relates to my goal of trying to buy fewer clothes, especially new ones. I’ll keep you posted on my results.

20 for 2020

Here’s my goal list for 2020. I started with about 30 goals and narrowed it down to 20.

Some of these I’m hoping to knock off right off the bat, so I put them at the top. Most of the 30 I took off were going to be expensive and since I’m trying to save and not spend, I didn’t want to pressure myself into doing them. If I have the money, great, but otherwise, this year I’m going to hunker down and play catch up for retirement.

  1. Get passport renewed.
  2. Join WW.
  3. Get TV hooked up with cable.
  4. Take a photography class.
  5. Use up vitamins and find a better solution.
  6. Increase flexibility (be able to touch my hands flat on the floor and work on splits).
  7. Enter cake show.
  8. Get clothes tailored and shoes resoled.
  9. Set up projector.
  10. Find stylish, comfortable shoes.
  11. Brush, floss, swish (all three—already brush this much) three times a day.
  12. Volunteer with SXSW.
  13. Take care of nails weekly.
  14. Clean out/organize my big closet.
  15. Contribute max to Roth IRA.
  16. Read 12 nonfiction books.
  17. Get new glasses.
  18. Find a new revenue source.
  19. Read all books I currently own/have.
  20. Make a T-shirt quilt.

19 for 2019

In 2019, I attempted to reach 19 goals, creating more success than I did in my previous 18 for 2018. Here’s the list, along with how I did.

  1. Pay off car. Well, I wrecked my car, so technically it got paid off, but now I have a new car payment, so not really sure how to judge this one. Sometimes things just work out a bit differently than planned.
  2. Visit Hawaii. Done! I went on a vacation with a friend to celebrate my 40th birthday and her upcoming 50th birthday. I also swam with manta rays and took a helicopter ride for the first time!
  3. Meet up with friends for coffee, lunch dates (weekly or at least 52). I surpassed this in November, so I stopped keeping track. I didn’t feel that it brought me any closer to friends and I spent a lot on lunches eating out more, so will probably not do this one again. I probably should have made a rule that they couldn’t be repeated, but then I’d need 52 people to meet with, which seems like a lot. 
  4. No brand new clothes. This was one of my favorites. I still bought a few used things on Poshmark and I decided to allow myself to buy clothes on vacation as a souvenir, but ultimately, I only bought one brand new thing and that was because I bought my boyfriend something from TJ Maxx and had to return it, so I had a gift card that needed to be used and I ended up buying pajamas with that money. Technically, I haven’t worn them, so I may post them on Poshmark.
  5. Earn an extra $100 a month. This one was easier than I thought it would be, since I get paid to take photos at the farmers market and can decide how often I do it, so I just made sure to pick up at least 4 shifts to cover the $100. Many months, I signed up for 5 and sold things on Poshmark, so I ended making slightly more. I also picked up a few cupcake and cookie orders. I’m hoping to increase this goal in the next year.
  6. Read 44 books. OK. I’m just going to have to finally admit to myself that I’m just not in a place anymore where I can just hunker down and read, read, read, ignoring everything else in my life. I like to keep my condo cleaner these days and I spend a lot of time at my boyfriend’s place and, yes, I often choose Netflix over reading, so while I still read more than the average bear, 44 is just too high right now. I’ve read 31 so far and just don’t think I’m likely to finish 13 in the next two weeks.
  7. Take a self-improvement class. I didn’t define this very well, so I’m going to count the empanada class I took a few weeks ago, because, while it may not help my career or anything lofty, it definitely adds to my baking skills, which I use a lot for mental health. Whatever. I’m counting it.
  8. Volunteer at least once per month or 12 total. I didn’t change this up as much as I had envisioned. I had thought I might try a variety of volunteer activities, but I mostly did the same ones I typically do. A friend and I bake cookies once per month and her husband drops them off at The Christie Center. I did help my boyfriend and his company with a few of their volunteer activities as well as took part in some at my own job, so that was a fun change of pace, but I still want to find my volunteer “thing.”
  9. Start a cooking club. Absolutely did not do this. I even thought I might do a last minute cookie exchange, but time is running out!
  10. Take 20 hikes. Also, did not do. I did a few for sure between Hawaii and meeting up with friends, but I think I still did fewer than usual. I definitely overestimated my desire to hike and needed to do more planning if this were something I really wanted to do. I can see this being better at communing with friends than lunch/coffee dates if I were to plan it, though.
  11. Switch from a particular bank. I still have an account at this particular bank, but the majority of my checking and savings are held elsewhere now. Once I am sure I’ve moved everything over, I’ll close the account, but it takes a while to slog through all the payments to ensure you’re not dropping the ball on any bills.
  12. Become a Poshmark suggested user. Totally crushed this early in the year. You can check out my closet at https://poshmark.com/closet/tyoungsteratx.
  13. Enter Queen of Hearts cake in a cake show. Won third place in beginners at the Austin show. Definitely need to keep practicing and learning!
  14. Electronic door lock. This was done mostly thanks to my boyfriend, who helped pick it out and install it. He also recently installed a Nest thermostat, so I really cannot thank him enough for all the help he’s been in getting these weird things done at my condo that makes it that much nicer.
  15. Clean out car. I had done this before I got a new car, but much easier to keep clean in the Prius since it’s four doors.
  16. Watch Game of Thrones. Ha … well, that was pretty much how we spent February and May, but totally watched all of Game of Thrones this year (had never seen any of it before). I like to watch everything back-to-back, so this was definitely the way to go for me.
  17. Use pasta maker. So much easier than I expected and a delicious way to spend an evening.
  18. Use ice cream maker. Made this into a date night, where we made strawberry ice cream. So yummy and creamy.
  19. Learn a song on the ukulele. I’ve been working on Jingle Bells and think I should be able to cross this off by January.

Overall, I think I did pretty well. I’d say I count this as 15 and a half complete. A lot of stuff on there I probably wouldn’t have done without my list and deadlines, so I’m definitely going to make a 2020 list. I’ve made a tentative one, but it has about 30 things on the list, so I need to whittle it down a bit before finalizing it.

If you’ve got any fun goals for the new year, let me know! I’d love to hear them.

Winter is Coming

Editor’s Note: Posting late again! This was meant to post Tuesday, Nov. 13.

It’s bitter cold here in Austin, Texas, which is highly unusual for November. It’s 35 degrees and cloudy outside, while we’re used to balmy days and nights much of the year.

I’ve finished reading “The Nest” and have begun making my way through “Every Breath” by Nicholas Sparks. I’m enjoying the novel’s jump between Africa and the East coast.

Yesterday, I had the day off because of Veteran’s day, but stayed at home except for one doctor’s visit because of the rainy, cold weather. Instead, I cooked one of my Blue Apron meals and watched the “Sex in the City” movie. I had never seen it and did not think it was all that great, but it was easy to watch while doing other things.

 

 

Planning an Island Getaway

Hawaii planning
Bobbie Jill & I planning our trip to Hawaii.

Editor’s note: This posted two days later than I had planned.

Surrounded by travel books, my friend Bobbie Jill and I spent yesterday pouring through books on Hawaii at Book People planning the perfect trip to Hawaii this summer. I bought one book on the Big Island, where we’ll see lava, a green beach, waterfalls and botanical gardens. Her book is on Oahu, where we plan to see Diamondhead and visit Pearl Harbor. Planning trips are so much fun, and, although we have a lot of tiny things to organize, I love the process of figuring out which day to do what.

IMG_4207.jpegTo prepare for our big day of planning, we visited Magnolia Café, to make sure we had the energy. We love their garden room on the right-hand side at the Lake Boulevard location. The delicious Magnolia omellette with black beans and a blueberry pancake was so much food, we skipped lunch. Bobbie had the lox and bagel.

I was so worn out by the end of the day, I crashed around 7 p.m. and slept through the night. Today I’ll take photos at the farmers market, which will be really cold, followed by laundry and posting on Poshmark.

Don’t forget today is Veteran’s Day!

 

Patriot Act, Magic Erasers, Kale and Hourglass

I’m on a comedy kick on Netflix right now. Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is fairly timely, although it is pre-midterms (so three days ago!). Minhaj covers Amazon as a monopoly, your state legislators and more. I just got started but plan to continue watching.

Last night, I brought out the magic eraser, which doesn’t happen often—I was a late adopter and tend to forget how useful they are. But after attempting to clean my bathtub with a broom (I broke my broom, but it worked OK), I found this other article on new ways to use your magic erasers, which led me to walking around the house looking for things to use it on.

On Wednesday, I got the chance to take photos for Texas Farmers Market, which led to buying kale from a vendor that was delicious. The seller gave me the tip to sauté the kale in butter, which I wouldn’t have thought about. It tasted delicious with a little garlic salt sprinkled on top.

And finally, I got a sample from Sephora called Hourglass vanish seamless finish foundation stick. I tried each of the colors, none of which was a great match for my skin and I felt like it was way too much coverage for me. If you’re looking for something thick, it does blend in fairly well, but I like to see my skin through my products, because I love my skin, even though there can be some redness around my nose and on my cheeks. It wasn’t for me, but I know some people really like a full coverage and it actually looked quite nice in photos (see the photo from a wedding in my last post).