sparkfrost: (Angel Puppet)
So, I successfully completed my Lenten vow to not drink alcohol during the week. Go me! It was hard occasionally - I had a few networking happy hours during that time and had to explain why I was only drinking seltzer water. And there were definitely things that involved drinking that I would have liked to do, but didn't. But overall it wasn't too bad, and I was even thinking that I might want to continue cutting out weeknight drinking even once Lent was over. Making the occasional exception for a weeknight happy hour or other social get together.

I was thinking it, but I hadn't yet decided to implement it. Until this morning, that is. I had the day off yesterday and spent it exercising, reading, cleaning, and practicing Spanish. I felt very productive! (And the house looks really good!) To reward myself, I had a glass of bourbon while I finished reading Radiance by Cat Valente. Then I had another glass. Then I had wine with dinner. And then this morning when my alarm went off I didn't want to get up. So I turned it off and set a later alarm, which I did get up for.

Not the biggest of deals, but I'm annoyed at myself. I've gotten into the good habit of waking up at 6am and going to the gym each morning. Not only does that help me get my day started right, but I feel more energized and accomplished every day that I do it. So willfully sleeping through the alarm and not going to the gym cause I'd had one too many last night kinda sucked. And it really did illustrate that cutting out drinking during the week VASTLY improves my sleep. Like, by a lot.

So. Looks like I am going to try to cut out weeknight drinking fairly permanently. Again, I'll make exceptions for social stuff (like tonight, we're going to dinner and a movie with a group of friends, I'll have a drink) but will refrain every other night. I'm trying to think up a little reward or incentive for myself. During Lent I drew stars on the calendar for each day I was successful, and I'll probably keep doing that. But I wonder if I can, like, calculate the money I save and set that aside for something fun? Or just assign an arbitrary value (like $2) for each night and then put that in a rainy day account? I don't know. If anyone has ideas for little incentives, send them my way!

But seriously, my house looks so good right now. I kind of wish I had a free day every week to do stuff like that. Not a weekend, that's for fun stuff! (Ok, also chores.) But like, a day in the middle of the week where I could just double down and get shit done. One can dream...
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
I am officially obsessed with one-pot pastas. So! Apparently all of us who have been boiling water and cooking pasta in it have been doing it the wrong way! One-pot pastas are where you put all your ingredients together in one pot, add a bunch of liquid, and cook it all together until the liquid has reduced down to sauce and the pasta is tender. I am all about this. For one, it's a lot easier to clean up just one pot rather than two pots and a pasta strainer. Two, cooking everything together really lets the flavors permeate the pasta. So instead of having sauce and veggies and meat and then kinda bland pasta, you have this super flavorful creamy dish. LOVING IT! I've made two versions so far - one with tomatoes and basil (delicious!) and one with mushrooms and spinach. Oh. My. God. It was so freaking good, I can't even deal. I'm really excited that I have enough of almost everything to make it again in a few days. Hooray!

Been working to actually do meal planning on a regular basis. When I don't actually plan out meals and buy all the ingredients ahead of time, I fall into the trap of "I'm too tired and hungry, and this will take too long." But if I do actually get everything and write down what meals go on which days, its much easier to make myself cook. And I even like cooking! I'm just profoundly lazy, and I'd rather sit on the couch and have food brought to me. Sigh. I've also been trying my hand at freezer meals, which are ok. The nice thing is the ease of making them the day of - just pop it in the slow cooker! But it does take planning and prep on the weekend. Also a lot of the recipes aren't the most healthy... I did find a keeper in Salsa Chicken thought - basically what it sounds like, salsa and chicken breasts in the slow cooker for a few hours. Then you can shred the chicken and serve it over rice. This time I bought avocado and spring onions to top it and make it a bit more flavorful. Good times!

I am somewhat (ha!) obsessed with ModCloth. I just got two new skirts and a dress last week, and while I think one of the skirts is going back (its flimsier than I'd like and fits a bit oddly) the other skirt is my new favorite article of clothing. SO PRETTY.

So like I've mentioned but not really talked about, I've given up weeknight drinking for Lent. So Monday through Thursday I'm not having anything to drink. (Friday through Sunday I can go HAM!) Its been interesting. So far I've been successful, no cheating, and the health benefits are definitely there - I've lost 8 pounds so far! I think I'm going to try to keep it up past Lent, just less stringent. If I'm going to a networking happy hour, I'd like to be able to have a glass of something other than seltzer water. That being said, I was commended for my self-control at a recent young professionals happy hour. Apparently being able to attend a happy hour and not drink was a miracle of discipline.

Finally getting a haircut later this week, so hopefully I'll look less shaggy afterwards. That's the problem with short hair - stop paying attention, and you quickly look unkempt.
sparkfrost: Me! (Snake)
A lot has happened since my last post (checks, shudders) four and a half months ago. But this post is not for a life update! It is for a discussion of what I'd like to work on in 2015. Not a resolution (it's a trap!) but goals and aspirations. So!

1. Write more consistently. I think part of what has made me back away from updating so often is that I now do it for a living. It's hard to spend all day blogging on various topics and come home to do the same. But I miss writing on LJ, and I'm always a little sad that I don't write here more often, so in 2015 I'll be trying to write more consistently.

2. Get back on track, health-wise. Between house-hunting, moving, unpacking, and stress at work, I've gained back about half the weight that I managed to lose two years ago. It's not terrible, I still fit into my jeans, but I want to do better. Like, actually use that gym membership that I pay for, and take my energetic dog on nice long walks. This also means cooking rather than ordering. It's hard to get home after a long day and be motivated to cook, but I enjoy the results, so...

3. Improve my Spanish. I've forgotten a lot of what I once knew, way back when I was almost fluent. I have, and enjoy using, Duolingo, but I've been slacking for a while. So I'd like to practice more often, and improve/expand my vocabulary. This is a slow goal, but it'd be nice to feel a bit better about my comprehension by this time next year.

4. Keep crafting. I have fun when I do it, the trick is to find a project that fascinates me and will prove *useful* to me. Like, the magnetic makeup board was completed in a weekend, but the scarf I'm knitting has been a WIP for over a year. So - find projects that I like and will use, and do them.

I don't want to overwhelm myself, so that's it for goals. We'll see how I do. But hey, I wrote a post for the first time in four months, so that's going well already!
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
Once again, I'm trying to read one book per week this year. So I don't forget anything (or have a massive post on my hands come December) I'll be keeping track here throughout the year. Follow along, or wait til the end, whichever you like!

Books! )
sparkfrost: (Boom!)
Wow, it has been way too long since I've actually posted something. A TON has happened, so let's get cracking!

Hair Stuff )

We Bought a House! )

Cut for discussion of weight )

So that's the big stuff. Everything else is going well. Work is good. Cats are good. We'd like to adopt a dog shortly - probably in the next few weeks. With a huge yard like ours, we pretty much have to, right? :-)

I'll also try to update more often. 3 months is a ludicrous absence, and I love LJ. Even when they eff with the layout and other stuff.

sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
EDIT: BAM! Bingo! But I'll keep going, cause hey - maybe I can block off the whole thing!

So I have blatantly stolen this from [personal profile] channonyarrow because it looked awesome! Should be fun trying to fill it out (especially since I've already fulfilled some of the squares this year). 

A book with more than 500 Pages.A Forgotten ClassicA Book that Became a MovieA Book Published this YearA Book with a Number in the Title
A Book Written by Someone Under ThirtyA Book with Non-Human CharactersA Funny BookA Book by a Female AuthorA Book with a Mystery
A Book with a One-Word TitleA Book of Short StoriesFree SquareA Book Set on a Different ContinentA Book of Non Fiction
The First Book by a Favorite AuthorA book you Heard About OnlineA Best-Selling BookA Book Based on a True StoryA Book at the Bottom of your To Be Read Pile
A Book Your Friend LovesA Book that Scares YouA Book that is More Than 10 Years OldThe Second Book in a SeriesA Book with a Blue Cover

And wow, that table was a pain in the ass. Anyhow! As I fill the squares I'll change the color of the text, and then put the title below. Sound good? Awesome.

A Book With More than 500 Pages: City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments
A Book That Became a Movie: The Maze Runner
A Book With Non-Human Characters: Zoo City
A Book by A Female Author: The Girl Who Chased the Moon
A Book With A Mystery: The Peach Keeper
A Book Set on a Different Continent: Roses Under the Miombo Trees: An English Girl in Rhodesia
A Book of NonFiction: Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile
A Book You Heard About Online: The Shining Girls
A Book Based on a True Story: The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival
The Second Book in a Series: City of Ashes: The Mortal Instruments Book 2
A Book That is More Than 10 Years Old: Morvern Callar
A Book of Short Stories: For The Relief of Unbearable Urges
A Book With A Blue Cover: If I Stay

sparkfrost: (Default)
Despite the warnings all over social media and Buzzfeed, once Palmer downloaded Flappy Bird I knew I had to try it. I am a bit obsessed. My current high score (achieved tonight!) is 58, which I'm quite proud of. I'd like to breach 60 in the next few days, we'll see how that goes. The nice thing is, I don't seem to have been overcome by the rage that has infested (apparently) every other person who has played this game. At least, judging from the reviews on the Google app store.

My books challenge is going well! I'm quite ahead so far, and would like to continue my pace so I more than meet my goal. I've been reading a lot of books by the same few authors; Sarah Addison Allen, Lauren Beaukes, and Cassandra Clare. Yeah, I know Clare has a shitty history in fandom, but it's not like I'm paying for her books. The miracle of e-book libraries! That being said, I read the first three of Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and found them enjoyable. I couldn't understand why there were in the series, and when I read the reviews, decided I didn't want to continue. Complete changes in characterization and a new narrative voice? Eh.

I fought a cold all last week, which was less than pleasant. I ended up staying home on Thursday, drank several gallons of water, and felt much better the next day. Saturday my company tabled at an internship fair. I attended the fair as a job seeker last year, and it was a little odd to be manning a table this year. Especially because of how young everyone was! Little babies! Ok, yes, young adults ready to enter the workplace, but still. Babies! Oh, especially this kid who I chatted with for a few minutes. So young and enthusiastic, I couldn't even deal. Precious!

That's about it. Watching the Olympics a bit, trying to cook more often, etc etc. Obviously I've failed at updating frequently in January, but I'll work on it in February.
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
Keeping on with my tradition of goals instead of resolutions, here are mine for the upcoming year.

1. Read One Book Every Week

I made this goal last year, and almost succeeded. 51 books read! This year, I'd like to try again. Because any way you cut it, that's a lot more books than I read when I didn't set that goal for myself. So yeah, read ALL THE BOOKS!

2. Lose Those Last 20-ish Pounds

Compared to where I was two years ago, I am really happy with my body and overall health. However, I gained weight after the wedding, and thus I am still about 20 pounds over my healthy weight range. (Ok, 15-20 pounds). Regardless, over the next few months I need to get back into the swing of working out and eating healthily.

3. Actually Use My Shiny New Toys

I got some excellent Christmas presents this year, including a DSLR camera and a Brother Free Arm Sewing Machine. So my goal is to regularly *use* them. I already played around with the camera, taking pictures of the Smithsonian sculpture gardens and DC sparrows. But I need to find a place to set up my sewing machine, and then actually get to sewing. No letting it gather dust!

4. Eat Homemade At Least 4 Nights a Week

Exceptions will obviously be made if we have a ton of evening plans and the like, but I'd really like to get back into cooking. Yesterday I made a slow-cooker beef and barley soup, and today I've got a pot roast in there. Tomorrow I probably won't cook, but there will be leftovers. And then Friday I can cook again! Basically, I'm tired of eating out at the same three places, and would like to improve my cooking skills and (hopefully) my health.

5. Blog More Regularly

I don't want to set myself impossible goals, but I really slowed down on the blogging this year. I'd like to aim for once a week - it isn't too big a commitment, but gives me something solid to work toward. Yeah. Once a week is a good goal.

Alright! Those are my goals! Like in 2013, I'll be keeping track of my books read in a forward-dated post here as well as over on Goodreads, if you want to follow along. And if you have any book or sewing project suggestions, I'm all ears!
sparkfrost: created by Yuki_Onna on LJ (Firebird)
One of my goals for 2013 was to read one book for every week of the year. Ambitious, yes. And since I didn't trust myself to remember every book I'd read throughout the year, I kept track both here and on Goodreads. All my mini reviews are below, as well as their Amazon links. Just in case I piqued your interest!

Keeping Track )
sparkfrost: (Ophelia)
After a few weeks of not reading and then a few weeks struggling to catch up, I'm really excited that I'm now ahead on my goal of "Read 1 book per week" - granted, not by much, but still! I'm sure this week I'll get even more ahead, as I'm in Mt. Kisco, NY because Palmer has an IBM training thing that he's not at all excited about. He was pretty bummed, in fact, until I offered to come with him. So now he's happy, and I'm doing some work from the hotel room, and anticipating a lot of reading. Now, as in right at this moment, I'm also quite annoyed, because housekeeping just buzzed open my door without knocking. After they'd already come by earlier and went away. AFTER KNOCKING. Who doesn't knock before entering? What the actual hell?

Anyhow. New York. Bored. Don't want to work, but have to. Some stuff I can't get to because I don't have the answers I need, and no one is responding! On that one, if I don't get a response in another hour, I'll ask someone else, cause this shit has to get done. However, it'd be nice to be able to communicate with my contact person!


Had my early birthday dinner on Saturday, which was lovely. Both my sisters were in town, which was awesome. We all went to Core Power Sculpt that morning, and two days later I'm still sore. Seriously, ouch. But yeah, my parents got me a gift card for 5 classes at that yoga studio, after which I'll hopefully be signed up for Work for Yoga and get classes FREE! Well, in exchange for four hours of work/week. :-P My sisters got me a gift card to New York and Company, and Palmer got me a Po Campo bike bag. Excited! We'll go into NYC tomorrow night to celebrate, should be cool.

Sunday was Mothers Day brunch and then traveling up to NY. Brunch was great, traveling not so much. Sore legs and bad traffic. But at least the company was good!

Ok, time to go figure out the lunch situation around here. Which likely involves walking some distance. Whatever. Good for me. Hopefully by the time I get back, my contact will have returned my email.
sparkfrost: (Silly Fluff!)
My previous apartment had no balcony and no yard access. Technically I was supposed to be able to use the yard, but I was never given a key. Oh well. Our current apartment, however, has a nice little 5x15 balcony outside the living room, facing east. So not the best sunlight, but good enough that we were able to grow a tomato and a pepper plant on it last year. This year, we're doing it again! But getting a bit more ambitious. Palmer picked out a jalapeno pepper, so we're going to try our hand at starting a plant from seed. Once it warms up some more, we'll buy a tomato seedling, and we're also planning to do a bunch of herbs. The basil went wild last year, so we'll likely do that again - I just need to be more on top of plucking it regularly. The rosemary and chives wintered over, and we're planning to add on thyme and parsley, and maybe a few other herbs. Basically, I want a lush little container garden for our balcony, and dammit, that's what we're going to have.

Also worms. I've convinced Palmer to try composting, and apparently vermicomposting is the easiest and least smelly option for an apartment. So over the next few days I'm going to buy a container and drill holes in it, gather up newspaper to shred, and see about getting my hands on some red wrigglers. And then compost! We might have to keep the bin inside the apartment, since they're not supposed to go in direct sunlight. But everything I've read says that worm composting bins don't really smell at all, and since it'll have a lid, its not like the cats will be able to get at them. Now I just need to figure out where to buy worms from. I want to start small, like a half pound or less, because I don't want to risk starving the worms if we don't generate a ton of food scraps. I guess we'll figure it out.

But I am excite!
sparkfrost: (Default)
So, remember that potentially good news I hinted at before Christmas? Well, it happened! One of the incubator companies at my internship is hiring me part time to do writing, website content management, and social media. There is the further possibility of doing some writing for an upcoming film project as well! The job starts at 10 hours a week, and can move up to 20. So I've already told my manager that I need to cut a day off my schedule, and warned him that he should be looking for a replacement for me. If this works out, I'll be there three days a week, and there is a distinct possibility that the internship will turn into a second part time job as well. Between the two of them, I should have 40 hours a week, paying better than the coffee shop, in my field, and not forcing me to wake up at 4am daily. So. Hooray!

The "book a week" thing is going well so far. I've created a post to keep track of the books read, so we'll see if I keep it up. Right now I'm reading three books, though I should probably just pick one and commit. It won't be Les Mis- that one is definitely a "read steadily for several months" type of book, not a "devour in three days" book. Because my god. It is LONG. But Catch 22 and Guns, Germs, and Steel are both interesting, and I'm about 100 pages into each- so it is time to choose! Probably Catch 22 first, then Guns. But who knows? After that I'll pick out some other stuff from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, cause I still have gift cards for them. Then I have a few books on my shelf that I should read. Then, the library!

I have FINALLY found a pannier for my bike. It is a Jandd Laptop Pannier and seems like the perfect solution. I can get the weight of the computer off my back, and still carry stuff in my messenger bag besides. This way, if it gets colder, I can actually wear and pack my windproof bike pants! Hooray!

Tonight is Tex-Mex and a movie with friends. Tomorrow is sushi with former coworkers. Then right back to the grindstone. But after this week and next, my early morning days will be down to 4. And hopefully even less shortly after.

Palmer and I have been looking at venues, and we've found a few promising ones. I'm going to email a few of those tonight, and try to get things rolling. Then once we have a date, its photographer, dress, etc etc etc. Wish me luck!
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
Sometimes it felt like 2012 dragged on and on. Other times it felt like it was rushing past too fast to handle. But its over, and 2013 has begun, and its time for that hallowed tradition of a New Year's post.

So last year's resolutions were as follows: Lose 5 pounds per month, Find and complete DIY projects, and Put $20 of each paycheck into savings. Well. I've lost 50 pounds since January 1st, 2012, have completed another knitting project, and have been putting 5% of each paycheck into savings. Not bad! Getting back into shape was my biggest success. I still have some work to do, but I'm so so happy with my progress. (Less happy with how much money I have to spend on clothing now, but hey- I'll deal!) I didn't do as much DIY stuff as I wanted, but I'm going to blame school and work for that. :-P And I'm going to continue putting 5% of my paychecks into savings, because its working and it isn't a hardship.

So! New resolutions!

1. Run at least two 5k races, and one 10k over the next year. I'm not a huge fan of running, but it is good exercise, and the races themselves are fun. I'd like to be able to run the 2013 Turkey Chase 10k, and by continuing to run throughout the year, I'm giving myself a better chance of actually doing it.

2. Read one book a week. I've tried and failed in the past to do the 100 books challenge. But I really do miss reading, and haven't been doing as much lately. So this is an effort to change that. They don't have to be great classics or anything like that, but I do want to try and read 1 book every week for this year. I have a bunch that I own and haven't read, so I'll likely try to start with those. And then we'll see!

3. Plan a wedding without going out of my mind with stress Did I mention?

On December 21st, 5 years (and 2 days) after we'd first said "I love you" Palmer asked me to marry him. Obviously, I said yes. We've declared a two week moratorium on planning, just to give ourselves some time to enjoy being engaged. But we're thinking a fall wedding, so in the 2nd week of January, planning will begin in earnest. We want to keep it fairly small, and to be as low stress as possible, so that is my goal for this year- plan a nice event without going crazy from stress and pressure. We'll see how well we do.

Happy New Year!
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
One of my general goals is to be more organized. I'm great at work, or (formerly) about school, but I feel like in my every day life I can be a bit scattered. Writing lists tends to work, but I tend to lose them if they're not bound into something. I do have a paper planner, but it is a bit bulky to shove into the bag I bike in. Various apps that I've tried haven't worked well, including one (LedgerList) that was just confusing and unhelpful. But today a customer recommended Cozi, an app he and his wife use to keep track of their calendars and shopping lists. I looked it up, read the description, and decided to give it a shot.

And, so far so good! It is incredibly user-friendly, easy to navigate, and sends reminders to your phone for events in your calendar. You even get to X things off your To-Do list, which is quite satisfying. So, all gung-ho about it, I wrote a To-Do list for my afternoon. It was all planned out, I was going to be so productive it would blow your mind. And then my bike tire exploded.

Let me back up a moment. My beloved bike is an 8 year old K2 Bayside, that (other than some add-ons and a new rear gear sprocket) has never had any major work done on it. Not even tire replacements. Let me also add that for about 5 years, this bike saw barely any action. So we have old tires, sudden prolonged stress upon them after several years passivity, and the owner's tendency to forget to pump tires regularly. Add those together and apparently you get a tire that goes "BANG!" right when I'm heading toward my parents' driveway.

So I yelled fuck a lot, and then took the rear tire off to assess the damage. It was clearly ripped open, no way to fix it, so I realize I'm going to have to go the bike shop. Which just completely blows through my afternoon plans. I was going to be so productive! But now I have grease all over me, and a bike that is in for repairs. (Full disclosure- the tire is already fixed, but I wanted them to check out my pedals and front derailleur because something funky was going on there. They figured it out, and they'll fix it, but the part takes a day or two to get here.) So I am bikeless.

But! Afternoon somewhat salvaged- I still managed to go grocery shopping, do the dishes, and mop the kitchen floor. Doubt I'll get to laundry tonight, and I certainly won't be going to buy a box and bubble wrap to ship my books off for re-sale, but hey- some progress is better than no progress! And that leaves me with more fun things to tick off my list tomorrow!
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
Weight Loss )

In other news, I have successfully cooked fish! I've never cooked fish before, and was nervous about doing so, but I rocked it, if I may say so myself. I did blackened tilapia with steamed carrots. It was mad tasty! In fact, we're having the leftovers tonight. But not with steamed carrots. Palmer is grabbing a microwavable side, because I should not be on my feet today. And why is that?

Clicky! )

I have no idea how to wrap up this entry so I'm just going to stop writing. There! That solves that!
sparkfrost: (Boom!)
I believe I mentioned that I've started experimenting with nail art, and that I would post pictures at some point. Well, this is that point!

Nail Art: A Progression )

Dieting is going well. My friend Lauren recommended an Android app called My Fitness Pal. You input weight, height, and desired rate of weight loss (between .5 lbs a week and 2 lbs a week) and your daily level of activity. It then calculates the calories you should be consuming to reach your fitness goal. The app also has a pretty large database of standard foods, plus you can create your own listings as well. So far (what, 4 days in?) its going well. This weekend I'll probably enlist Palmer's help to take "before" pictures, and on Sunday I'll post an update on actual weight loss.

Tomorrow I have an advising appointment, so I'll make sure that I'm set for graduation at the end of the semester. Wish me luck!

Also, I need a tag for nail art. Suggestions?
sparkfrost: (Boom!)
So I just read an interesting article on called 5 Reasons Your New Years Resolution is Going to Fail. It is pessimistic, but while the author is being sarcastic and mean, he is also giving suggestions on crafting resolutions that aren't doomed to fail. And that got me thinking about my resolutions. In the past they've always been vague (one of the no-nos, according to this article) or overly ambitious. So! This year I am being specific and realistic.


1. Lose 5 pounds per month. More specific than "get healthy" or "lose weight", I'm hoping that setting a small specific weight loss goal like this will help me keep on track. Keep in mind that for those who want to lose weight in a healthy manner, 2 pounds a week is average. 5 pounds a month gives me some leeway, but still demands that I work on losing weight and getting healthy. In order to achieve that goal, I am going to rejoin Weight Watchers. I realize that I need both the structure and the group setting in order to stay motivated, and there is a meeting several blocks from my apartment. And since their current promotion involves waving the registration fee, why not?!

2. Find and complete DIY projects. A little vague, but I didn't want to be so ambitious as to say "knit one thing per month" or anything like that. Basically, I'd like to continue knitting, but also locate and work on other projects, like the jewelry case that I've begun, or various other things that look interesting. I want my hobbies to extend past loitering on the internet.

3. Put $20 of each paycheck into savings. Again, this isn't a huge goal, but I would really like to begin adding to my small savings account rather than withdrawing from it. And $20 per paycheck is manageable, and not a hardship. And since I'll be graduating in June (knock on wood) and hopefully get a better paying job, this resolution may be up for adjustment come summer.

So. Not a huge amount of resolutions, but goals that I am invested in, and will hopefully be able to stick to. I won't be posting specific info about money, but I will update about my progress on the other two goals. I will also probably take some "before" pictures, and update those as well. Wish me luck on these, and best of luck to all of my friends making goals and resolutions of their own!
sparkfrost: (Boom!)
So, my Christmas cards went out disgracefully late, my apologies. I had them all written out several days before Christmas, but it took me a while to get stamps. So uh, they may arrive next week. Sorry! (I did receive several suggestions that I just wait and send them out next Christmas, but that is too absurd even for me.)

Christmas and the surrounding days were quite fun. Serena and her husband Ed were in town, as was Clarissa. Serena and Ed are expecting twins, due in April (which I've not mentioned here before), and we got to see the sonogram images and make noises over her expanding midsection. Ed kept calling her Godzilla, which she took with good humor.

I got a lot of bike gear for Christmas, shirts and pants and headlights for the bike itself. Just yesterday my dad helped me install the front and rear headlights and a rearview mirror, so hopefully I won't have to twist around to look over my shoulder anymore. Also got a Redskins shirt which I'll wear to the game on Sunday, and Palmer got me some sweet noise cancelling headphones. Considering that I'm taking at least two flights this year, those will come in handy. I also bought myself a Kindle. Over the past month I've saved up both my tips and gifts from customers, and I had over $400. $210 of that went into savings, but I decided that the time had come to buy myself an e-book reader, so I did! It is, of course, taking forever to arrive, but oh well. It should be delivered early next week, and then there will be awesomeness!

This past week has been a bit rough. I opened Sunday through Thursday, and by last night was just freaking exhausted. I apparently fell asleep sitting up, which is when Palmer escorted me to bed. Today has been relaxing, and tonight we're going to our friends' new years party.

So. Goals for the coming year!

-Get in shape. Vague, I know. I have lost some weight over the past six months due to walking and biking into work 4 days a week. My goal for this year is to combine that with restarting the gym and eating more healthy, home-cooked meals. Palmer and I are looking into CSAs and there are several farmer's markets in the area, so hopefully we can also incorporate eating locally into this.
-Pay off my credit card debt. Its not a huge amount, but it is several hundred dollars that I would like to be free of. So, for the next several months I'll work towards paying it off. Once it has been paid off, I'll put that money into savings. I have about $1000 in savings now, I'd like to increase that amount.
-Be more social. I spent alot of time this year holed up in my apartment, studying or sleeping. I'd like to get out a bit more. Not at the expense of my schoolwork or my health, but make an effort to see my friends more often, and go out to concerts or movies or the like. Just be less of a shut in, basically.
-Finish my degree. If I work hard and take classes over the summer, I should be able to complete my Bachelor's by this time next year.

And that's it! Happy New Year to all!


sparkfrost: (Default)
Roulette Girl

May 2016

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