Wednesday, May 16, 2012

12 Goals for Summer 2012

Little tidbit about me: I'm a list-maker. I scribble lists on post-it notes, on the backs of receipts, beside already-made grocery lists. I like to check off each item I've accomplished. I like to cross through each item I've accomplished.

There. Done.

My husband is the opposite of me whenever it comes to this sort of obsession. He shops at Kroger without any sort of written cues; he lives his day-to-day life without a planner (this one is especially mind-boggling to me; I wouldn't be a functional, socially acceptable person without my planner. In fact, sometimes, I like to pencil events into my planner after I've already done them. And then I like to cross them off. shhh ... don't tell anyone).

So, this summer, I have a bit a lot of free time before I start the teaching job that I am crossing my fingers for come August. So, as usual, I have some goals that I hope to accomplish before the beginning of the fall semester. Here they are, here we go:

1) Train for the Baltimore Marathon

Next October, I hope to run in my very first marathon (I don't really have any speed goals; I do have some not-dying goals). This summer, I am starting a training schedule so that I can get ready to conquer. Salty Balty, here I come!

2) Read 50 Books

Not-so-secret: I am a voracious reader. I majored in English. Twice. I'm going to be an English teacher. At one point in college (when I was working two jobs and taking several lit classes), I no longer read with quite the same fervor. I wanted to end my days on the couch, with a glass of wine, watching Gilmore Girls with my roommate.

But then I got married. And I only needed to work one job, rather than two. And then I fell in love with reading again.

One social networking site that really fuels my reading habit is Goodreads keeps track of all the books you've read, allows you to rate and review those books, and compiles statistics about your reading habits. I've been reading like a crazy person, especially since I signed on with Goodreads.

I'm already up to six books so far. Only 44 more to go.

3) Cook new recipes

Last summer, I became obsessed with guacamole. Rather, The Only Guacamole Recipe You'll Ever Need.

I guac'ed everything up. Tacos, yes, chips, yes, but burgers, sandwiches, you name it, pretty much everything had guac on it.

I'm much less of an experimental foodie during the year, so this summer, I want to find the new recipe that will become The Only ____ Recipe I'll Ever Need.

4) Get Crafty

And not just look at crafts on pinterest. And not just throw craft nights as excuses to socialize and eat cookie dough dip. And not just make felt flowers, over and over and over and over because it's the only craft I know how to do.

5) Learn How to Sew Stuff

Because sewing is different than crafting. Sewing is domesticity. Sewing will save me mucho dolares on all of the clothing that I always inevitably rip.

6) Aprender EspaƱol

Because I'm going to Honduras (hola!). And I'm going to want to speak to people there.

7) Become a Not-Crappy-Texter-Backer

If I were to grade my ability to communicate via text, I would give myself a C. C-.

And that's probably being kind.

8) Become a Better Long Distance Friend

My texting communication habits are really similar to my voicemail return communication habits. Again, C-.

9) Write 100 Pages of Stuff (Hopefully Good Stuff)

I majored in English. English - Creative Writing, to be exact. Writing is not a hobby -- it is for some people, but it shouldn't be for me. You don't major in your hobbies. You major in what you want to make a living doing. Cooking? I love it. But there's no way I'd go to culinary arts school.

I'm going to write everyday, even when I don't feel inspired to write everyday, because not everyone feels inspired to do their job everyday -- and someday, I want this to be my job.

10) Bike More

I live in a bikeable town, and it's summer, and the best way to feel a summer breeze is while riding a bike, yes?

11) Frequent Starbucks Less

Chai Tea Latte? My wallet doesn't need you, my body doesn't need you, and the local coffee shops half a block away also make you.

12) Spend More Time with My Husband

Just because, there's no one I'd rather spend more time with.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life after the Masters

Hello to everyone who should have already given up on reading my blog and deleted it from their Google Reader.

If you're stumbling upon this entry, I'm assuming it's because you don't clean house (in the digital sense) that often. Thanks for not giving up on me -- even if that not-giving-up was accidental, rather than intentional.

This year, I've been working hard so I could do this:

Even though that "working hard" was often punctuated with frequent frozen yogurt trips and extended social media consumption [er, Facebook. Why can I not stay off of Facebook? Even when I log on to a computer to write, draft lesson plans, often my internet browser will magically go straight to Facebook. How?!). Even though all that, I made it.

And now I'm a Master.

Whatever that means.

Oh, wait. Here's what I think it means: it means I'm elegible for salaried jobs. It means I have time to cook good dinners (that's right, Rio Grande. You're going to be seeing a lot less of me). It means I'm less cranky (or at least James hopes so).

It means that, now that I'm an English master, I can finally spend some time mastering what I get to write.

Right now, I'm working on my first novel (don't be too impressed [not that you were] -- it's not even ten pages yet). I'm making it my summer goal to crank out (or carefully craft?) a book length novel. You know, with a plot. And character development. And length. And heart and soul.

For those of you out there who are writers, what is your favorite genre to write? Typically, I am a fan of nonfiction (but this summer, I'm going out of my comfort zone). Have any of you ever stepped out of your writing comfort zone successfully?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

hiatus? check!

After a long hiatus, I am back and ready to blog. It is now almost July, and I have been married for just over a month.

You know what's better than getting married? Being married.

thank God I am no longer planning a wedding

I no longer have to think about seating charts. About linen colors (except for our apartment!). About playlists. About aisle decorations.

That is, unless one of my unmarried friends get engaged sometime soon -- then, I am more than excited to think about it!

This summer, I am working a measly 35 hours a week (where, 20 of those hours are spent at a pretty cushy job), and on my (many!) off hours, I am enjoying the sunshine and being married.

I am soaking it all in until the craziness of this fall sets in.

One of disciplines I am trying to make a habit of is making a weekly menu. On Monday, I look at the Kroger sales online, and from there, I make my grocery list.

Last night, James and I had black and bleu burgers topped with homemade guacamole.

Or, as Jenna calls it, the only guacamole recipe you'll ever need

It's so true.

from Eat Live Run

It's easy-peasy. Just chop 1 jalapeno pepper, 1/2 an onion (or red onion) and 4 avocadoes. Put it all in a bowl, smoosh it all together, and mix in salt and the juice of 4 limes. Ta-da, you're done! And it's mmm-mmm good, and spicy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

paint chips and dream decorating

I could barely sleep last night -- why, you ask? Because James and I may have found the cutest, most affordable place to live when we get married (and it's not a drafty cabin!).

Seriously, all night long, I tossed and turned, thinking of paint colors for the walls, and ways to dress up old furniture and make it look chic.

Right now, I'm really loving grey walls. Powder blue, grey, white, and either a blush or a soft violet.

Grey, white, and lavender from paloma81

This powder turquoise blue is also nice from paloma81

Ah! All I need to remember is, if you think the paint chip is too light, take it one shade lighter still. I've made my mistake with blue -- deep blue. And I will not make that mistake again.

Maybe we need to make some poster-board paint chip mock ups? Maybe we need to sign that lease? :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a pop of color

I think on cold, spring days, sometimes you just need a bit of color:

A less-messy, confetti alternative.

A little "surprise" of color

Both from Say Yes! to Hoboken

A rainbow of a bridal party

Monday, March 28, 2011

fly away home

My spring break was essentially the week of all things wedding.

And because each day was all wedding, all the time, I feel like I am thinking about the big day more than ever.

But, alas, I have twenty, thirty, fifty page papers and portfolios to write. C'mon April. Let's just get through you as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Right now, I am loving all the different ways you can use bird cages as decorations (you may or may not see one utilized at our wedding).

A birdcage covered in green and white blooms (see at

a birdcage with a functional use (see at

How else would you like to use birdcages?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

to Ireland, with love

Although I'm not that big of a St. Patty's day celebrant, I do have a special place in my heart for Ireland.

During my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to visit the Republic for about a week.

Let me reminisce for a moment ...

Dublin flats

Ballybunion Beach at sunset

I capture the Cliffs of Moher's castle

A little cozy corner I found while on a walk

Street flowers

A crowded Dublin

The Ring of Kerry

I've always been fascinated with Ireland -- with the Troubles, the religious and political divide, the authors (raise your hand if you love James Joyce! and Oscar Wilde), the people, the coffee, the chocolate (Butler's Irish Creme Liquer, anyone?), the music (I could listen to Bill Whelan's Riverdance for days).

Happy St. Patrick's Day, all!

I leave you with the Pogues (a Christmas song -- but still, one of my favorite Irish songs):