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: 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: (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: (Squee! \o/)
My Kindle arrived! Hooray! It is so very shiny and new, and I'm so damn excited about it! Currently it is charging (well, I think it is, it may be done, I haven't really looked at it in an hour), and sitting snug in its neoprene case. After reading the User Guide I immediately had to get several books onto it, so I took the easy way and went for those that are out of copyright. So far I have two Austen books, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and a collected works of H.P. Lovecraft. I mean, I've been reading Something Positive for years, and you know Randy loves himself some Cthulu jokes, yet I've never read any Lovecraft? Travesty! So yes, I got four books, and for those books I paid a total of $0.99. Apparently Amazon doesn't offer Lovecraft for free, and I was too lazy to check out Open Archive. Soon, my pretties. Soon.

Loki is cuddled up next to me on the couch (I think he missed me over the past few days) and is trying to sleep but failing. The failing is mostly due to the determined kitten bathing his face. Goblin just won't stop licking him! It is pretty adorable, I gotta admit. On that note, I'm really glad that Palmer and I got Goblin back in July. Loki is a much happier cat with Goblin around, and while he'll still bat at frames to wake us up and yowl for food when he decides its dinnertime, he's much more well-behaved. He just seems really happy with Goblin, and Goblin clearly adores him. I'm glad my cats like each other.

Randomly, I appear to have lost my sweet tooth. I'm finding that I much prefer savory foods, and even having the Georgetown Cupcakes right across the street hasn't tempted me into indulging. What is tough, though, is resisting the siren song of the bagel store. I decided to give up bagels for a while because I had plateaued in my weight loss efforts, and I'm pretty sure the daily morning bagel was the reason for it. So I've been resisting, and eating apples and drinking smoothies for breakfast, but its hard, let me tell you. Especially when my coworkers get bagels and I can smell them. GAH!

Tonight I'm asking Palmer to grab us some frozen stir-fry stuff, but tomorrow I'm making a slow-cooker dish I just looked up, a Sausage Vegetable Medley. It looks delicious, and I would like it to be in my mouth ASAPt. I also bought myself a recipe book so I can write down and keep those dishes which we want to repeat. Nothing super fancy, just a binder with dividers and a pretty cover, but hopefully it'll come in handy and I'll make use of it.

That's all I can think of for now. Let me know if you've gotten your Christmas cards, yeah?
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!

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