[Resolutions] – Family Ties

Thanksgiving is going to make this one seem simple this week, but we’ll just count that as a bonus.

20131124_165419

This one is hard for me sometimes because I live 100 miles away from either of my parents and all of my siblings. The majority of my family (grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins…) still lives within a half hour of each other near the town where I grew up, so they are able to get together more frequently than I am and I find myself missing out on movie nights, baseball games, birthday parties, and other smaller get-togethers.

Basically the distance means that spending time with my family involves an entire day trip planned in advance instead of a spontaneous visit, and when weekends seem to be so crazy during the summer and holiday season (which is pretty much like 3/4 of the year), it’s hard to set aside an entire day to make it out there and then try to see everyone in the short amount of time that I’m there.

I’ve tried to be better about this over the course of the year by inviting my family to breakfast or ice cream when I’m nearby, stopping to watch the Pats game with my dad, or changing plans to meet up with my sister when she came out my way recently. Every time ends up being a lot of fun, so I definitely want to make those times happen more often. I’m thinking of hosting a family game day, maybe planning a Christmas Eve meetup, or even looking into a family vacation for next year!

[Resolutions] – Wanna See My Feet?

I’m feeling only mildly pampered this week.

I did give myself that pedicure that was so desperately needed. I decided on a sort of holiday-ish plum color with gold glitter. This is about as close as I want to get to my feet to share a photo:

20131120_200456

Also, over the weekend this happened:

20131117_103013

You guys are going to owe me some serious embarrassing material after this. I mean, c’mon, feet and a face mask in one post?

I tend to use a face mask once a week, or maybe every other week, so that’s not really anything out of the ordinary and it would be a stretch to call it “pampering myself”.

I didn’t end up getting a facial, but the problem with those are that…I don’t really think I would like them. I know. Who says that? I just really don’t enjoy people touching my face, or being out in public without at least a little bit of makeup on.

I’m the same way with massages. I’ve only had one, and it took me about 31 years to even try it. I wouldn’t say it was a bad experience, but I haven’t had one since and I wouldn’t be sad if I never did it again. I find it hard to relax when I’m worrying about someone pressing too hard on my muscles or, the opposite of that, tickling me. It doesn’t even really have anything to do with the fact that it’s a stranger touching me because I don’t like them when Dan tries either. I just don’t find someone squishing on my muscles relaxing, I think it feels uncomfortable, and I would rather someone just play with my hair for 90 minutes instead. Why aren’t there any Groupon deals for that one?

So anyway, those weren’t really an option for me since who wants to be pampered by doing something that you find unappealing? I guess I will have to work on this one and find some other ways to pamper myself. For now, this is doing the trick:

20131120_194515

[Resolutions] – More Learning in Week 47

I feel like it might be Groundhog Day. Not yet? Well then these resolutions are definitely starting to repeat themselves.

20131117_201906

It seems like I already did this one, but I guess technically the resolution was to Take a Class. That was so long ago now, but I don’t know why I chose to learn a language that week if I knew that one of my resolutions was to do the same thing. Maybe I envisioned myself becoming tri-lingual by the end of the year? I’m thinking not, since spell check is saying that tri-lingual is not even a word, so clearly I haven’t even mastered English yet.

Since this one feels a bit repetitive, and I did already take an 8-week Italian class this year, I’m going to change it up a little. Instead of learning a spoken language, I’m going to be teaching myself a little bit of HTML.

It actually will be somewhat useful to me since I’m in the process of moving this blog over to WordPress. While a lot of functions are available by clicking a button, I only know some basic HTML (from my MySpace days – does anyone else remember that?) and I’ve used it a little bit to underline or position some of my text, but I’d like to learn a little more so that I can edit the layout and homepage as well.

Untitled

So that’s my goal for the week. That’s it. The end. Or should I say </blog post>?

[Resolutions] – Winter is Coming.

I never told you what I chose for my “wild” week! I meant to add it in to my post on Sunday, but…I guess this week was just too wild for my memory.

I tossed around a few ideas, but then a friend suggested doing something that involved upcoming holidays – voting day, Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day. Since voting day was over before this week technically began, and since the city I live in didn’t have anything to vote on, I decided not to use that one.

Then I talked myself out of Thanksgiving because, frankly, I find it kind of a boring holiday. Obviously it’s nice to think about the things you’re thankful for, and I enjoy spending the time with family, but the day itself is just a lot of driving and running around for me, which makes me miss football games and prime napping opportunities – kind of essential Thanksgiving things. I also don’t like turkey. I know, WHO AM I??

I personally get much more excited for the Christmas season, but I feel like it goes in stages. There’s the “It’s starting to get cold and I love the excuse to drink hot chocolate and wear sweaters and gloves” phase that kicks off the whole season. That’s when it’s fun and exciting and magical and all that crap. Then it slowly moves into “These stores need to stop playing Christmas music so early”, quickly followed by “How am I supposed to buy everything on this list without elves and reindeer to help me?!” By the time it gets to “Next year we are skipping Christmas and going on a tropical vacation!”, I’m all done.

While I love that Christmas is a month-long (or longer these days it seems!) celebration and involves much more than just that one day of family and gifts, I want something to help me appreciate more of the “Christmas spirit” instead of the chaos. So what I chose to do for this week’s resolutions was create a new holiday tradition.

20131113_175241

And I used nearly every font in Microsoft Word to help me do so.

That, my friends, is my obnoxious-looking bucket list of 24 things for Dan and I to do from December 1st to Christmas Eve. Instead of stressing myself out by making it a rule to do one of these things every day, I’m going to say that there are NO rules except that by the time Christmas comes, I hope to have every one of these things checked off. The goal is mostly to just focus on and do the things that truly represent the joy of the holiday season to me.

Even though neither one of us are religious at all, Dan was brought up Jewish and celebrates Hanukkah with his family, so I felt like I should tie that in also. I’m currently on the hunt for one of these:

I60NJdWCR0616_P290612_500X500{source}

I kind of feel bad that Dan gets cheated out of a real holiday “season” since Hanukkah, even with it’s eight days, doesn’t get nearly as much fanfare as Christmas. And lets be honest, does anyone really celebrate Hanukkah for eight days? Right now we don’t even acknowledge it in our apartment, other than the one menorah ornament that we own and some Star of David garland, so this will be a nice way to represent both of our holiday traditions. Also, it’s LED and I’ve found that I can’t go wrong with anything LED for Dan. Plus I just realized that he actually gets to celebrate BOTH holidays with both of our families, so essentially gets double the holiday things, and now I don’t feel badly anymore.

Also, I may have gotten excited and already knocked 2 or 3 things off of that bucket list. Once it hits 32 degrees, all bets are off and Christmas things are totally ok in my book.

[Resolutions] – Hashtag TreatYoSelf

Not gonna lie, this one won’t stress me out or bore me at all.

20131110_140826

I have so many ideas for this one, but first on the list is to either get or give myself a pedicure. Right now I have flakes of purple nail polish left on 8 or 9 toes from several weeks ago. Except for my big toe, which has bright orange streaks as a result of testing out a new polish a few days ago. If you’re looking for a picture, you can just stop right now.

So yeah, that’s on the list. I’ve been thinking about getting a facial as well, but I’m a little nervous because I’ve never had one before. Does anyone remember the “Sex and the City” episode where Samantha had a chemical peel and looked like she was a burn victim? Kind of afraid of that.

Samantha-peel (1){source}

I watch too much TV and pretend that it’s real life.

[Resolutions] – Gift Week All Wrapped Up

I need to stop with the puns. I really don’t think I can though.

So gift-giving week was a lot of fun! I wish I could have done more (Halloween treats in people’s mailboxes at work, sending packages to friends, etc.) but that’s the biggest problem with smushing your resolutions into one week – there is not enough time to do everything! This is one that I will definitely be trying to continue throughout the year though.

The fact that I had a friend with a birthday this week made it almost too easy. I would also like to point out that this friend is older than me and always will be older. It wasn’t so fun when she was 16 and I couldn’t drive yet, or when she was 21 and I couldn’t drink, but it certainly is fun now! For me.

20131102_073744

Then the Red Sox won the World Series this week and made my gift-giving even easier! I bought one of these t-shirts for my friend and another for Dan to wear to the parade.

20131102_073921

I didn’t go to the parade because I was visiting some high school friends back in my hometown (as a result of a previous resolution!), but I used that as an opportunity to bring another gift to my mom. There is a bagel chain with a store down the street from me, and people wait in line for 30+ minutes just to get a bagel and coffee in the morning. I’ve done it myself many times, including this past weekend. Instead of bagels, my mom really loves their pickles, so I brought her a few of those.

20131102_113015

The last gift is the one I mentioned here as part of a little giveaway. Only three people commented, so the odds for the three of you were very good! I wrote all three names (can I say “three” a few more times?) on little slips of paper, folded them up, and then stuck them in the cookie jar because shockingly that happened to be empty.

20131105_193444

I think the winner will really appreciate my choice of container.

20131105_193718

Congrats Kel!!

Gift-giving week wasn’t totally selfless however. Starting today, Nordstrom was giving an 8-piece gift with any $30 purchase at Clinique, so I got a few presents for myself as well! Hmm, there’s gotta be a pun there….presents…presence….presentable….nope, can’t think of one. I’m not that gift-ed. Ha.

Sorry.

[Resolutions] – Week 45 Gone Wild!

I’m liking this one.

20131103_191315

I have no idea what I’m going to pick. I was kind of thinking that I should decide before I post this so that I can tell you what I chose, but I’m too overwhelmed by all of the possibilities to narrow it down right now. I’m going to think about it for a couple of days and decide Tuesday night so that I can start my wild* week on Wednesday!

Here are a few of the things I’m considering:

  1. Finally learn Photoshop or Lightroom (at least a few basic things) now that I’ve been taking a lot more pictures.
  2. Do one thing every day that excites me.
  3. Sell all the things on eBay that I’ve been throwing in a pile to get rid of.
  4. Take a week off?

I probably won’t do that last one because I’m pretty interested in all of the options before it, but I threw it out there as an option to take a little break from always having something to do or accomplish.

*Is this a good time to let you guys know that “wild” is kind of a relative term for me? A wild night for me is using the real dinner plates that aren’t made of plastic or paper, or not washing my makeup off before bed because I’m so badass (lazy). Yeah. It’s going to get crazy up in here…

And not that I want Kellye or Michelle to have any less than 50% odds, but if you want a chance at a $10 gift card to Target, check out this post. I will be drawing that on Tuesday night and letting you know Wednesday who won!

[Resolutions] – I Don’t Do Windows

Earlier this week I had visions of a sparkling clean apartment, kind of like the ones in commercials where you can see yourself in every surface and a trail of cartoon flowers follow you around from room to room.
Yeah that didn’t happen.

But I did clean a couple of things that don’t normally (or ever) get touched during routine cleaning sprees. I wish I could have tackled more, but it’s just so discouraging to clean things that end up dirty again a few weeks, hours, or minutes later. I used to clean my first apartment from top to bottom every weekend, but slowly I began realizing that the dust bunnies were always going to win.

I gave them a good fight this week, though. I wiped down each and every one of our kitchen cabinets, as well as the microwave, dishwasher, and oven doors. Those usually only get washed when something spills on them, which actually happens fairly often, but this is the first instance since we moved in where they have ever all been clean at the same time.

20131027_112014

I frequently wipe paw prints off of our windows (and everything ever), but I have never cleaned the outer side of them since our apartment complex has them power washed every year. Unfortunately, this year they ended up looking like the photo below after the power washing. Yes, after.

20131027_111810

Even more unfortunately, I wasn’t able to clean that off since only the bottom half of our windows fold in and that’s on the very top. I’m sure there may be some way to reach it, but I wasn’t in the mood to fight with a stuck screen and dangle 4 stories up with a bottle of Windex and a paper towel.

20131027_111719

So while there are no trails of flowers or sparkles, the rest of the windows are squeaky clean inside and out, as is all of our bedding, including the mattress pad and extra blankets.

For about 5 minutes.

[Resolutions] – From Me to You!

It’s like Christmas this week on my blog!

20131027_195445

Don’t worry, I nearly choked on a mac & cheese ball when I wrote the word “Christmas”, so that’s probably punishment enough. Let’s just call it a very giving week and stop rushing things.

I’m really excited about this week though! To kick it all off, I have a gift for one of YOU! I have a little $10 gift card to Tar-Jay (“Target” for the less weird) that will be going to someone reading this. Here’s all you have to do:

  • Leave a comment either here, or on my Facebook page, under the link where I put up this post, and let me know what the best gift you’ve ever received was. Or you know what? If you want to tell me the worst gift you ever received, that’s fine too! Just make sure Great Aunt Bertha isn’t reading about that macrame tissue box cover.
  • After the end of the blog week (Tuesday night at 11:59pm) I will put the names of everyone who commented into a cup and pull one name. You may comment multiple times, but only one comment will count. If it’s your name that’s drawn, you get a gift!
  • If you’re someone who is not local to me, make sure you’re ok with giving me your mailing address for me to send the gift card to if you win.

That’s it! I’m looking forward to some good stories to get us all in the mood for the Christm….er, gift-giving season!

[Resolutions] – Spontaneously Combusting Week

Let’s talk about being spontaneous.

It’s expensive, but fun! It keeps me up late on work nights, but is totally worth it. It’s hard for a serial planner to get the hang of, but a great way to change things up.

Earlier last week, before this resolution began, I heard the tail end of an interview with Seth Meyers on the radio. Like the absolute tip-of-the-tail end because they were saying goodbye to him and throwing in a plug for his upcoming appearance in Boston.

Untitled{source}

I have loved Seth Meyers for years, and I try to catch him on SNL’s “Weekend Update” every Saturday night, but I didn’t pay too much attention to the fact that he was coming to Boston. It registered, but celebrities I like come to Boston all the time for concerts or shows and I just don’t have the time or money to see them all.

Fast forward to a few days later when I opened up Boston.com to see him staring back at me with a link to buy tickets for his appearance that night. THAT night. And then fast forward again to about ten minutes later when I messaged Dan saying “um, we have plans tonight.”

Honestly, the tickets were not really that expensive, even though it was something that I hadn’t really budgeted for that week. The thing that gave me second thoughts was that the show started at 9:45 on a week night in a venue about 25 minutes away and we didn’t know if there was an opening act at that point either (there wasn’t)! If you’ve been following along, you know I’m normally in bed at this hour, so the spontaneous plans involving a late night and more than $20 were HUGE for me!

20131017_213501

It was definitely worth it though and I would probably do it again if he ever comes back around. He was hilarious and both Dan and I laughed the entire time.

Then the weekend rolled around and we were driving back from a day trip thinking about what we would make for dinner (stir fry?) when I had the spontaneous idea to stop at Whole Foods and grab dinner from their prepared foods department.

We’ve both been there before and had even taken a tour of the newest local store, but we had never eaten there before, other than me putting together a small salad for lunch. I knew it could get expensive fast (it’s charged by the pound), so I kept mine fairly small, but I also added cookies, soup, and a drink. Dan did the opposite and filled his tray to the brim, but didn’t get any extras.

20131019_180908

$48 later we left with full stomachs and happy mouths. Mm hmm, $48. For one meal. See, spontaneity is expensive! It’s also delicious and neither one of us regretted it.

Ironically, I “spontaneously” lost my debit card the next day (does anyone ever unspontaneously lose things?). (Is unspontaneously even a word?) (Is it even legal to use parenthesis this many times?) I think it was my card’s way of saying “settle down!” and it definitely worked.

Until Seth Meyers comes around again. Or this?