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new year's resolutions, half-year progress

1.  Go without buying a single item of clothing.
This has been going surprisingly well! With all my downsizing and wanting to live minimally, I haven't been as tempted to buy frivolously. It feels good to not even waste time digging through clothing racks when I'm near a cute shop (which there are a ton of in Portland!) However, there have only been a couple times when I've caved, either out of necessity (my first raincoat) or cuteness ($10 Lauren Conrad sweaters?!) but Burton bought them for me as a gift, so I felt less guilty. Still counts, right? ;]
2.  Successfully finish my 3rd year of teaching. No longer a rookie! DONE!

3.  Create at least 10 small crafts or DIYs from my Pinterest boards.
This is a work in progress, of which I'll post more about once I'm done with all ten crafts. But here's a sneak peek: painted salt & pepper shakers!
 

4.  Make the meal represented in each month of this calendar. Going strong!


5.  Prepare at least one meal from this cookbook each month.
While we are using this cookbook, it's not as often as I would like. This month, we'll be making a somewhat healthier version of their chicken pot pie.
6.  Put at least $5K into our house fund. DONE!

7.  Drive across country, see some sights, and… DONE!

8.  Move to Oregon! DONE!


9.  Delve into my new work life & make good first impressions.
While I did land a teaching job(!!), I won't really be able to make this goal happen until the school year starts. But I'm ready :]
10. Learn to live minimally. We're now living in 350 square feet, so DONE!


11. Exercise at least three times each week. 
We're doing pretty good! Burton & I were going on 5k walks every day before we moved, but now that we're teachers with the summers off in Portland, it's a little trickier. While we are walking & biking to get around & hiking for fun, it doesn't feel like exercise. We just hope we do enough to counteract all the delicious calories we've been consuming out here :]

12. Read at least 10 new books.
  • Wildwood Imperium
  • When We Were Older
  • When I Found You
  • The Joy of Less
  • One More Thing
  • The Goldfinch
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Greyhound
  • The Moviegoer
  • Ham on Rye
13. Learn to crochet.
I bought the tools, now I just need to devote the time. I'm probably going to join a creative meetup group or attend a couple classes at nearby yarn shop (you can crochet AND drink wine, amongst fellow crafters!) 

14. Get a new tattoo??? It's been 8 years since my last tattoo, but I've actually been craving getting another lately. Just need to actually sit down & design something!

back from hibernation!


Hello, to anyone who might still read this! I hope the past six months have been treating you well :] They have been hectic & wonderful for me, hence my absence. Not only was I busy, but I was strongly contemplating just giving up on the whole blogging/journaling thing & in turn, try to live a much more technology-free lifestyle. But stumbling onto an old livejournal account I had during high school & college made me change my mind. I really love documenting special times in my life & being able to go back later & reflect on the person I was at different stages of my life. This wouldn't be possible without my journals & photographs, so I decided to dive back in, even if nobody reads this thing ;]

Soon I'll be catching up with posts about my favorite moments of the past six months, the pinnacle of this being my cross-country move to Oregon! At the start of this new chapter, Burton & I are happier than we've ever been, buuut more on that later. First, we'll pick up where I left you in February & slowly move toward the present. Are you excited? I'm excited :]

I'm 26!

     

My birthday was this past Friday & it was the best. birthday. EVER. I'm not a superstitious person, but for years, I've had this suspicion that my 26th year was going to be PHENOMENAL. So it's really exciting to be here & see what it's all about :] And this new age seems to certainly be off to a great start!

My hubby & I took the day off & headed over to Disney for our first time together. We met at Universal Studios, where we worked together, so it was fun to discover a new theme park with him. We had a blast, & when we were done, Burton started driving me to "dinner" which actually turned out to be my first surprise party ever!! I was FLOORED. Burton & my mom had been planning this for over a month & I had not even the tiniest clue. My family & friends had even come from out of town to surprise me at a house my mom rented for the weekend! I don't think I've ever felt so special in my whole life. Well, except maybe on our wedding day :]

Birthdays are seriously the best. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever reach that point when I dread birthdays. Getting older & improving a little bit each year is such a fun adventure to me. Can't wait for what 26 brings!

first date anniversary!

Even though Burton & I have a wedding anniversary now, we still like to celebrate the anniversary of our first date :] On January 20th, we spent the morning reminiscing about how long I spent getting ready, how nervous we felt, what we talked about that night, and whether or not he knew that we were going to have our first kiss that night.
We spent the afternoon in the park where we had our rehearsal dinner picnic. We brought blankets, books, wine, and even cheesecake! It was perfect and the weather was gorgeous. It was so fun to just relax and enjoy the moment. There was even a playground nearby, so we people watched a little bit, and talked about how we can't wait to have kiddos & be a bigger family one day. I'm just so excited about our future, which I'm sure will include many more wonderful days like today :)

hitrecord, episode #1

If you haven't heard of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's project HitRecord yet, you should check out the first episode. I love the creativity & collaboration behind each project. Watching strangers work together to make something beautiful is, well, beautiful! I can't wait for more episodes to come out!

PS; if you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy Soul Pancake's feel-good videos :]

hello, 2014!


 
Starting a new year is always hectic & exciting! Burton & I rang in the new year with fancy clothes, good friends, & yummy food. I actually wore my prom dress & Burton wore his wedding vest! We like to recycle ;]

Did you make any resolutions for 2014? I don't care much for them because they can sometimes set you up for disappointment, but I do like making to do lists! I try to make a list of things I anticipate accomplishing for each new year, but dropped the ball in 2013. Probably because Burton & I were honeymooning in Costa Rica at the time & just forgot (but you can see 2012's here!) Anyhoo, here are my goals to turn 2014 into a kick ass year:

14 THINGS TO DO BEFORE 2015
1.  Go without buying a single item of clothing
2.  Successfully finish my 3rd year of teaching. No longer a rookie!
3.  Create at least 10 small crafts or DIYs from my Pinterest boards
4.  Make the meal represented in each month of this calendar
5.  Prepare at least one meal from this cookbook each month
6.  Put at least $5K into our house fund
7.  Drive across country, see some sights, and…
8.  Move to Oregon!
9.  Delve into my new work life & make good first impressions
10. Learn to live minimally
11. Exercise at least three times each week
12. Read at least 10 new books
13. Learn to crochet
14. Get a new tattoo???

I've already started working towards some of these by throwing away clothing catalogs & coupons that come in the mail. We've also been decluttering like crazy, selling things on eBay & craigslist, & donating the rest. It feels GOOD. I'll check in at the end of 2014 & see how well I did. Hope your year is off to a great start! I don't know about you, but I've got a really, REALLY good feeling about 2014 :]

married xmas #2, part 2

 
 A bit delayed, but I just had to share. I love this man :]

married xmas #2


 I can't believe we're already past our second Christmas together as hubby & wife! Burton & I have been developing a mix of old & new holiday traditions, such as buying one new ornament for each other & opening it on Christmas Eve. Or putting beer & chocolate in each other's stockings, unlike the fruit I used to get in mine growing up! I'm sure our traditions will morph a lot throughout the years, & it's funny to think that our "someday family" (when we have a few kiddos running around) can really be whatever we make it :]

We had a wonderful time with family in south Florida for the holidays. Burton & I got lots of fun games we've been eying & a few warm winter clothes. It's crazy to think that next Christmas, we'll officially be Oregonians! My new boots, leggings, & scarves will definitely come in handy then :] I hope anybody reading this had a fantastic holiday, got some goodies, ate plenty of yummy food, & spent lots of relaxing time with your loved ones. Now let's start counting down to the new year! 5 more days until 2014!

mini PB choc chip cookies with reese's recipe!

If you have a ginormous sweet tooth & consider peanut butter one of your favorite things, you need to try some of these FANTASTIC cookies. They are Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Reese's Cups melted in the center!! Here's the best recipe ever :]

YOU WILL NEED THIS STUFF:
1 stick of melted butter                                              1.25 cup flour
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter                                 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar                                                   1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar                                            1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips                                          About 36 mini Reese's PB cups

THEN HERE'S WHAT YOU DO WITH ALL OF IT:
Mix together butter, sugars, & peanut butter until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt until well mixed. Add mini chocolate chips. Lightly spray cooking spray to two mini muffin trays. Roll the dough into spheres about 1" in diameter & place in the muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes. Right after taking them out of the oven, add one PB cup to the center of each. Allow to cool completely before taking them out of the tins. Then OM NOM NOM NOM!

our anniversary cruise!

We've been back for a couple of weeks now, but life has just been so HECTIC. You know how it is, especially around the holidays & all. Lot's of shopping, cooking, baking, Secret Santa-ing. Not to mention all of the normal non-holiday things like cleaning, working, yada yada. It was nice to get away from it all & just relax with my hubby on our week-long cruise! Here are some of my favorite photos from our anniversary vacation. Of course, more can be seen on my flickr :]

Our first anniversary :]