Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Goals

I had actually compiled an ambitious goal list for 2012 with specific things I wanted to target for the year, just as I have in the past. However, having written my 40 before 40 list, as well as having the Master (bucket) list, those goals are already written down and displayed for me to pick and choose from at will.

So, for this year, I am keeping it simple:

1. Try something new every month.

2.  Live each day to the fullest.

3.  Take more pictures.

I have read so many goal lists, resolutions lists, 101 in 1001 lists, the 365 project, and of course bucket list posts.  It's always interesting to see the array of different goals, hopes, and dreams people have for themselves.  Some are very simple tasks while others want to accomplish extraordinary things.  I say, more power to you whatever your choices are, be it small (boring) goals or crazy, time-consuming, lofty goals.  As long as the effort is put in to reach your goals, you can accomplish anything and to hell with the haters.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

40 before 40

As many people know, I am list maker.  I love to-do lists and goal lists and have also created my bucket list so it should come as no surprise that I have come up with my 40 before 40 list.  Many of these items are taken off the bucket list and then there are some small ones sprinkled in here and there...things I've always wanted to do but usually forget about when I have the spare time to do them. So, with a solid six years to go, I feel I can make a big dent in this list.  There may be times when I do some editing as time passes, but for now this will do. It's never too late to start!

40 before 40
1. Take surf lessons
2. Get scuba certification
3. Take pole dance classes for one month
4. Learn a new language enough to carry on a simple conversation
5. Write a novel
6. Reach and maintain my ideal goal weight
7. Take a trapeze class
8. Get certified as personal trainer
9. Weekend trip to Las Vegas
10. Go white water rafting
11. Have a baby
12. Forgive past wrongs
13. Swim with dolphins
14. 2 week trip to Italy
15. Travel to Australia
16. Run a marathon
17. Enjoy an expensive champagne, i.e. Dom Perignon or Cristal
18. Get a professional pedicure (that's right, never had one before)
19. Cross country vacation
20. See the musical Wicked
21. Have a drink at each “country” in Epcot in one day
22. Hot air balloon ride
23. Throw a hotel birthday bash
24. Learn to knit
25. Host a costume party
26. Buy a REALLY EXPENSIVE pair of shoes or boots
27. Buy myself something from Tiffanys
28. See the Nutcracker
29. Plan a 5 year wedding anniversary bash
30. Complete the 100 push up challenge
31. Zipline baby!
32. Create wedding scrapbook (coffee table book is done)
33. Complete 4 half marathons
34. Establish 3 family traditions now that we are married (New Year's day steak/lobster dinner; midnight mass on Christmas)
35. Try eating mussels or oysters (1/25/12)
36. Eat at 5 of the food locations featured on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives
37. Become active in my community
38. Be able to do 5 pushups while in a handstand pose
39. Run a race/raise money for the American Cancer Society
40. Throw a kick-ass 40th birthday party!

There is also a 2012 Goal list in the making. See, I really am a list-loving girl.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Reflection

With 2011 ending in a few short days, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the goals in January and see how I progressed. Here’s how those goals panned out:


1. Run another half marathon. I really enjoyed running the Princess half early last year and I would like to do another one this year. I have been thinking about the Chicago Rock n Roll half in August but it may depend on how wedding plans/costs are going. At least Brian's family is there so we could visit and stay for free...I just wish it wasn't in August! (Did not complete this one. With wedding plans and everything else going on, I barely ran enough to even attempt a half marathon, let alone actually run it).

2. Get through all wedding plans with my sanity intact. (Completed…and so happy for that. Some people may like to do all that planning stuff, but I am not one of them).

3. Make more time for friends and family. (Completed. With the wedding there were lots of phone calls and family time this year than in the past so this one is a go).

4. Take the LSAT. I'm thinking the June one sounds good to me. (Not completed. I was busy and didn’t want to).

5. Lose 40 pounds. (Not completed. Busy eating cake).

6. Do something daring and/or exciting. (Completed. Got married!)

Overall, I did pretty well. When I make these lists, I never expect to finish everything on the list (although that would be nice one of these times) so I think I fared pretty well. I have already made my 2012 goals and there are several more to choose from for next year. I’ll probably post them in the next day or so.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

We had a pretty good holiday weekend. I had Friday off so we headed down to the beach on Thursday night and ate at Flanigan’s restaurant for some yummy rib rolls and shrimp and followed that up with a walk on the beachfront.



Friday we ran some errands and headed to the Village Tavern for dinner for some prime rib while I had steak marsala. Food was excellent and the atmosphere was beautiful. That whole shopping complex is very nice but it being the next to last shopping day, it was crazy busy and the traffic was ridiculous. Good thing we left early and made reservations.


Saturday we watched football, I read a lot, and we had dinner over at our neighbors’ house followed by drinks and some chit chat. Sunday was a big turkey dinner, presents, and lots of pie. Yesterday I did some cleaning and we hit the mall for some shopping…lots of good sales out there.


Overall it was a really nice weekend but I think we both agree that we want to spend next Christmas with our families since we haven’t done that since we moved down here. I would actually look forward to some cold and snow if it meant chilling with Xander and Morgan next year. Today it’s back to work through Thursday and then another four-day weekend. Not too shabby!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I found my jump start...

It’s funny how things fall into your lap when you want them to. I have been looking for a bootcamp style workout for the last month but refuse to sign up for any long-term contract with a gym cuz everytime I sign my name to something, I cease to attend the establishment. Yes I know…I know…



After a lot of searching I found a nice 2 week post Christmas bootcamp class to get me back into the exercise routine. Then, depending on how it goes, maybe I’ll pick up some other classes after that, or start doing my own exercise videos at home, or run a marathon, my options are limitless.


The classes are from 5:30-6:30am on M-W-F, which would normally be a deterrent for me as this cuts close to me getting ready for work in the morning but this place happens to be walking distance from my house. Literally just around the corner...it’s like it was meant to be. That and I only have to work 3 of the 6 days of class. I got this.


So, here is hoping I have found the jump start I need to get back into “skinny bitch” mode. Cuz that’s one of my goals for next year…reach my skinny bitch status.

Skinny bitch = lean, mean ninja machine

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Shopper

Since I’ve used up the majority of my time off for the wedding, I only have a few days left for December, which I am using this Friday and next Friday for some 4 day weekends. Yay! However, because of this, I have not gotten my Christmas shopping finished yet. Both sets of parents are done (wedding albums-they were easy), and there is no gift exchange with the siblings so that leaves my niece and nephew along with a few gifts left for Brian.



Yes, I do realize there have been weekends I could have shopped but I don’t do crazy-ass crowds and weekends seem to be so much worse than evening shopping. Plus, it’s a tradition for me to push some things to the brink of the Christmas deadline, why buck tradition?


So, this evening I will probably be venturing out to pick up these last few items on my list and get everything under the tree. The kiddies’ gifts will be shipped later on as they are enjoying Christmas with my family this weekend and will enjoy more presents upon their return home. I also want to whip up some cupcakes to bring to work tomorrow but we’ll see. Baby steps….baby steps.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughts on Poetry

Sometimes it’s funny to think how we end up thinking about certain topics throughout the day. For instance, this morning I was listening to Jen Lancaster’s book, My Fair Lazy, this morning on my way to work and she was talking about poems. If you haven’t read it, this book focuses on Lancaster realizing her life has revolved around too much reality TV and she is trying to “better herself” by becoming more cultured. This particular part of the book was her talking about how she hates most poetry and her search to find some poems she likes, which she does find.



It made me think about poetry and how I don’t have a lot of experience with it myself. I don’t dislike it, I just haven’t really given it much thought. So, I did a little research on some poems and did manage to find several that I like. With many changes on the horizon, this one caught my attention.



My Comfort Zone
Unknown


I used to have a comfort zone
where I knew I wouldn't fail.
The same four walls and busywork
were really more like jail.



I longed so much to do the things I'd never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn't matter that I wasn't doing much.
I said I didn't care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn't let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you're in a comfort zone,
afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.


Reach for your future with a smile; success is there for you!



Sometimes we all need a swift kick out of our comfort zone, whether it’s willingly on our own or by someone else’s hand. Sometimes it turns out to be the best thing that could happen.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Recap

For starters, a weekend recap: Nothing too exciting was on the horizon over the weekend. In fact, we pretty much kept it low key, which was nice. Friday Brian was out of town so I spent the evening watching Christmas movies, which then morphed into horror movies as the evening progressed. I’m guessing there was just too much cheeriness for me to handle!


Saturday was cleaning day and I got most of my weekend chores done i.e. laundry, floors, and all that other fun stuff I just love to do on Saturdays. We spent the afternoon running some errands, checked out some Christmas lights around the surrounding neighborhoods and then came home with some DVDs of Dexter. Love that show!

Sunday was pretty relaxing. I went for a long walk and read a book for the majority of the day but did manage to finish up some photobooks of our wedding for our parents so I did feel like I accomplished something at least. Of course there was football playing in the background for all of this as well.

As for this week, I have some shopping I still need to do and hopefully the Xmas cards will arrive so I can send those out in the next day or so. I am looking forward to having 2 four-day weekends coming up and can’t wait to not be at work. I’m sure there will be more Xmas movies, shopping excursions, and good food to eat throughout the week as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Hint of Gratitude

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes we let the mundane aspects of life take over. We go through the motions, focus on the negative things that happen to us, and forget to remember all the good things that are in our lives every day. With the holidays here and Christmas fast approaching (which reminds me, I need to start shopping), I find myself thinking of things I am grateful to have in my life already. There are many that are big and small…here are some I can think of right now:


1. my loving husband

2. my wonderful family

3. Wilson

4. my ipod, or else I’d never be able to run longer than 1 mile

5. a nice home, clothes, food, all that good stuff

6. good friends

7. living in the U.S. where there are endless possibilities

8. clean water and fresh air

9. cupcakes. Lots and lots of cupcakes

10. iced coffee

11. shiny things

12. scary movies

13. smart phones

14. being able to have received an education

15. Morgan and Xander

16. hugs

17. weekend trips

18. post-it notes. they are totally awesome

19. Lots of laughter

20. health and happiness

It’s the little things that count in life. Sometimes we just need a little reminder to be grateful for what we have in life instead of constantly looking for more to come our way. Even with life’s little curve balls, life is good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Experiences vs. Stuff

With everyone in the Christmas spirit of giving, I often think about the idea of giving and receiving gifts. The vast amount of stuff that we accrue over the holidays can be crazy, especially all the things we get that we don’t want and then have to spend our time in the return line at the department store. I am one of those people who would much prefer spending money on experiences rather than stuff. I would rather spend a weekend at Disney or go on a cruise over the holidays and forego the gifts rather than receive a bunch of stuff I don’t want, need, or will tire of in a couple months.


For example, we bought ourselves a Wii a couple years ago…so exciting to play all these games. Now we use it for Netflix only and if it weren’t for that, that baby would be collecting dust right now. Even with my siblings, we don’t exchange gifts with one another and haven’t for the past couple of years. Now it’s just gifts for the kiddies, which I find more enjoyable to shop for anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to get gifts now and then, but only when I need or really want something that I’ll actually use more than once, like a camera or new clothes or running shoes. Overall, I’d much rather spend the money travelling and experiencing new things and places. That and I’m sure my future children will be much more excited to hear about all the cool places I’ve been and things I’ve done than the new shirt I got in 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Randomness Take 2

1. Enjoyed a lazy Sunday yesterday watching football and topped the evening off with a steak dinner. Yummy!


2. I haven’t started Christmas shopping yet. Guess it’s good I don’t have too many people to buy for this year and I know what I’m getting my niece and nephew. Hopefully I get to it this week.

3. Exercised 5 days last week with 3 of them being running.

4. Haven’t touched my to-do list in 2 weeks. It’s been GLORIOUS!

5. Have been looking at the 2012 running schedule across the U.S. Have found some good choices for races, now just need to see where we land…

6. There are 101 things on my bucket list now. Maybe instead of New Year’s resolutions, I’ll just plug away at that list. Well, maybe just a few of them for starters.

7. Still addicted to McDonald’s iced coffee.

That about sums things up for the last week. Now I’m ready to tackle this week. I’ve already done my studying for today and I plan on doing a 3 mile run this evening. Maybe I’ll get ambitious and get those Christmas cards done too. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Good 3 Miles

With the beautiful weather we are currently having here in south Florida, I felt last night was a good night to get back out there for a run. So, around 8pm last night I laced up the running shoes, got the Garmin warmed up, and did some stretches to talk myself into running. That first run after taking a break is always tough. It’s hard to get back into the whole running routine and finding my rhythm all over again but I told myself to just go out there and enjoy the nice weather and see what happens.



I am definitely a “winter” runner down here. I completed my 3 miles with no difficulty and actually enjoyed them. That’s not to say my time was great. I think the first mile was a 12 minute mile which is fine with me. Time was not important, just enjoyment. Today I feel pretty good, only a little sore in the legs but that’s just cuz they were not used to exercises beyond my couch exercises I’ve been doing lately.


Even Wilson got to partake in the running. After my run I took him for a run/walk. He ran ½ a block in the beginning, walked a half mile, and finished with a run. Such a trooper!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

This week's random thoughts:

1. So proud of one of my good friends for getting accepted into law school. All those years of studying and LSAT tests finally paid off!



2. I have also been doing some LSAT practice tests and have fared pretty well so far so I guess I will keep plugging along with them until I get some perfect scores. I want to avoid taking one of the overpriced courses if I can avoid it.


3. I’ve decided to hit up the exercising again. What better time to start eating healthy and exercising than a few weeks before Christmas, right? With my birthday looming, I always do some reflection at this time, as opposed to around new years day, and feel this is as good a time as any to get some exercise and healthy eating in….I will still partake in the yummy foods but may have more of a healthy balance on the side.


4. The inside and outside of the house are completely decorated for Christmas. Now I feel like I should do some baking. Maybe I’ll get ambitious over the weekend and whip up some goodies…after I run of course 


5. I need new books for the Nook and new songs for the iPod. Any suggestions?


6. I think it’s time to dust off the Christmas movies and start enjoying them again. My faves are definitely: A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, and Elf. How about yours?


7. Lastly, a big happy birthday to Erin!!










Well, that’s it for today. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Congrats!

Congratulations to my brother, Mitch and his girl Becca.  Today they got hitched! I am very happy for the both of them, as they have been together for over 10 years and finally took the plunge.

Hope they have many wonderful years to spend with one another.