Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm back!

A lot has happened since the last post. I really hope I can gather up the time and patience to put something together. In the meantime, I've created another blog for the newest "project" in my life that might help me attain another goal (and make me a much happier person). Check it out and hopefully I'll have more to update here very soon.

Also, I have restarted the 365 Day Photo Project and really hope I can stick with it this time, especially after starting my other new project. I'll definitely want to see how I've changed over the next year. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Broadway, Goodfellas, Flossing, Garage, Veggies

So many things to update! I've had this post in my drafts folder for a while so it's about time I finish it and post it already.

I've been wanting to see the Broadway musical "Avenue Q" for over 4 years so I think I hyped this up too much so I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. Also, because I scored a great deal on the tickets, we sat in the 2nd to last row and had to rely on binoculars to see the details. I was extremely happy that there was nobody sitting to my right though because I had some room to stretch out a bit. And the girl in front of me was short so that made it easier to see. :) Anyway, as for the musical, it was cute, but I think almost too cute for me. In a nutshell, the characters are both puppets and humans, just out of college, dealing with the hardships that come with the real world. My favorite characters were the Bad Idea Bears - they would give...well, bad ideas. For example, they'd suggest buying a case of beer instead of just a couple because you know, buying in bulk saves money in the long run! That's my kind of thinking, haha. It was definitely worth the tickets and I look forward to checking out other musicals as they come through town. The following video has a lot of the same actors we saw.


I finally watched "Goodfellas"! I had seen parts here and there so some parts were more familiar than others, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It essentially narrates the coming of a boy in a troubled neighborhood who gets involved with the Mob and moves his way up the ladder into bigger and badder things. It shows the highs and lows of the life and how it can affect the people around you. I was already a big fan of Ray Liotta so his performance in this was very believable and enthralling. If you don't mind the occasional gangster/mob movie, I'd definitely recommend this! The cast is phenomenal, the story is touching and it's mindblowing to think this is based on a true story. I feel young when I watch this. :)

After we had to deal with filing a hail-damage claim on our car, we decided to get in gear and clean out the garage enough to at least fit one car. We spent a full day in April and took as much out as we can and sorted through a ton. Aside from being a little windy, it was a beautiful day so it wasn't as bad as we anticipated. Here's a picture of during the cleanup:

We ended up with a car FULL of things to donate to Goodwill and barely enough room to fit the car for another storm that had hail potential. It felt so good to be able to close the garage and see the car safely sheltered from the elements. I will say though, that we recently bought a hot tub and a piano from a garage sale and now both items are pretty much taking up all the space. I still consider a goal done, but we're anxious to get the car back in the garage soon.

Moving on... I flossed every day in the month of April! I've had a few cavities pop up lately and I've had some sensitive teeth so I really needed to be careful and floss regularly so that motivated me to get through the month. It amazed me how quickly it became a habit and I didn't feel the need or urge to make excuses not to do it. I'm proud of myself and really hope I don't make it seem like such a chore anymore. I value my teeth and really need to start taking care of them better so I hope this will stick with me. Oh, and this is my floss of choice. It's thin enough to fit between my tightly packed teeth...and it's quite cheap! :)

In regards to the 365 day photo project, we had some camera issues in April so we weren't able to consistently take pictures, but we will definitely be starting again on June 1st.

We're halfway through the month and I'm still going strong with the vegetarian gig. There were a couple times I had to catch myself before picking off a piece of sausage off a pizza I was cooking or eating a small bit of ham while making Chris' sandwich. I've really learned to appreciate and rely on Morningstar and Gardenburger to get my protein. I also picked up a 12-pack of frozen single-serving edamame bowls from Costco. It's somewhat of a pain to have to pop them out of the pods, but they were super cheap and it's convenient so it's well worth the light hassle.

Well, I'm sure I had a few more things to update, but I just don't have the time right now and I'd rather get at least some post up than wait yet another week or however long it'll take to get back to this.

Friday, May 1, 2009

(35) Operation Sansmeat

It's May 1st and I've decided to become a vegetarian for the month. It's going to be tricky, but as long as I can have dairy and eggs, I'll be fine. I bought a plethora of veggies and cheese as well as some tortillas and tofu so I'll have to experiment with random ingredients this weekend. I already have some Morningstar stocked up so that'll get me through the weekend and I will do more planning on Sunday. I'm starting the new day with a bowl of low fat Bryers ice cream and some sweet strawberries.

Wish me luck! I'll post some progress updates and probably some new recipes periodically. I hope to come out of this healthier, wiser and ready to make some changes in my diet permanently. :)

Also, I'm in the process of another lengthy update so expect that this weekend!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

(2) Guitar Lessons & (79) Flossing

I started guitar lessons with Mike yesterday and love it so far! Having learned piano at a very young age and after playing flute for the past 18 years, it was such a weird concept to have to relearn music from a different perspective. New hand placement, different method of reading was such a great feeling. I'll keep you guys updated as I learn more...

And I've decided to pick this month to start flossing every day. It's something I need to do anyway, but I really need to make it a habit. There are some people that can get away with not flossing as often, but I've come to learn that my teeth are so tightly packed together in some areas that I need to do it. Period. I think my dental bills last year speak for themselves and I don't need to go through all that again anytime soon. 3 days down, 27 to go! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

(84) 365 Day Photo Project

Happy April Fools!!

I've started a new 365-Day Photo Project today that will be uploaded to the flickr photo set in the right sidebar. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tons of Updates

2) Guitar lessons - I scheduled guitar lessons in April so I'm really looking forward to that. I have a basic Yamaha acoustic guitar so it will be a decent start.

19) Write a will - I get a nice discount through a financial service I use for a will, a living will and a spouse's will - ~$35, give or take. We'll look at doing that in the next few weeks, I expect.

23) Start a garden - Spring is here, time to pick out some herbs, veggies and maybe fruits from a local nursery. I made the mistake of trying seeds last year; I just don't have the discipline for it so I need to make things easier and buy the plant. :) Give me a week or two to buy them and post some pictures. :)

24) Start a budget - Chris and I are going to Dave Ramsey's Money Makeover Live event in Dallas next weekend. From there, we'll be making some big changes to our spending habits and starting a solid budget and savings plan. I'm looking forward to it! We've already closed and cut up a few store credit cards that were recently paid off. It feels so good and we're ready for more. :)

42) Join a community band - It's been over 2 months since I joined Band of the Hills and I love it! We had our first concert of the semester a couple weeks ago and it was a blast. I forgot how amazing it can sound on a stage in a well-designed space, sound-wise. We were invited to play at the Association of Concert Bands Convention in Houston on April 15th so we (including Chris) are going to hop on a bus that morning, perform in Houston and then head back to Austin late that night. It should be fun, considering the people in the band are from all different ages and backgrounds.

45) Habitat for Humanity - After doing some searching, I think I'm going to change this one to a general volunteer gig. There are so many causes and projects to volunteer with, I don't want to limit myself to just one. I was reading a magazine that had a few 100+ year old people give advice and one of them said to volunteer because it takes your mind off your own problems for a little bit. I definitely need to explore that avenue and stop dwelling on, what I think are, problems.

46) New glasses - My contacts are definitely not up to par anymore, prescription-wise, so I think I'll be scheduling an eye exam within the next month. Then, I'll look at getting glasses and contacts and recycling my old glasses. I love that frame, but they're just too old now. I think I got more than I could have out of those things. Time to let someone else benefit from them.

73) Farmer's Market - We haven't been in a few months so we're definitely overdue. We ARE picking strawberries this weekend, but that doesn't quite count in my book. Maybe we can go to one in April; there should be some good food to pick from now that spring is here.

84) 365-Day Photo Project - After a failed attempt to start on Jan 1st, we're going to try to restart this one on April 1st (no joke!). Here we go...again. :)

88) See Broadway musical - Tickets bought for Avenue Q on April 16th! I can't wait!!

96) Go camping - It's getting too warm too fast (why am I not used to that yet??), but maybe we can find a weekend in April to go camping one night. If not, we'll just have to wait until the fall. Ugh.

Ok, those are my quick updates for now... With Chris working an earlier shift than before, I'm hoping we can get back in the routine of watching 2-3 movies/week so we can start knocking off more IMDB movies. We've been behind on so much lately. Ok, until next time!!

Thanks for reading...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

(99) Multi-family garage sale

Another goal done! I really wish I had taken SOME sort of pictures, but I totally forgot. Our garage sale was this past Saturday and let's just say it definitely had its share of work. Some friends helped us price stuff late into the night Friday and I was still setting stuff up well into the garage sale. But, I'm super thankful that it didn't rain. It rained constantly for 3-4 days prior and the day after. For how cold it was (low 40's), we had a very steady turnout from about 8-10am. Sadly, that meant I didn't get much of a break that whole time. It was really neat to see things constantly sell though. I volunteered to sell some things for a few friends so I had 3-4 other families' things there so this definitely falls under multi-family. :)

We came out of it $250 richer and with a lot more closet space. While we still had a bunch of stuff leftover, a friend of ours went through it and took several things that night (Christmas in March at his house! Haha). Then on Sunday, we piled the car with clothes and several other items not worth selling on ebay/craigslist and headed to Goodwill down the road. It felt so good to just be done with it all and have that tax deduction receipt.

I've learned that it's a lot of work for a successful garage sale and if we do it again (probably in 2+ years), I'm getting more help for during the festivities. Chris unfortunately had to work that day so it took a toll on me after 6 hours in the cold. I also learned that it's much better to take low-ball offers than to have to deal with the stuff afterward. :)