Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Great Resolution Update

So we're now in month 8 of 2011. Back in January I got a wild hair to actually make resolutions for the year. Now it comes time to update my progress, share my successes and admit my defeats. With four resolutions in the mix there has been a lot to keep track of and work toward. Here's how it's going so far...

Resolution 1 : Read 52 Books. 

I'm running a little behind on this one, but I think it's my favorite of everything I'm attempting.  I'm currently on book 26 of 52 (half way there - YAY!) and keeping track of my progress using the 2011 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I love this website.  I've used it to create a list of books I want to read and rate books I've already read. The site takes the books I've rated and provides me with recommendations on what I might like to read as well as notifications when a new book is released from one of my favorite authors.  I also check out the books read by my friends to find new authors or books I wouldn't have found otherwise. Right now there are 124 books on my "to-read" shelf.

I started the year by dusting off my library card and checking out stacks at a time. That all worked fine and dandy until I tried to read Les Miserables and wound up unfinished by the time the book had to be returned (my library limits me to one renewal...lame). Luckily, Collin's mom Carole was nice enough to give me a Nook for Mother's Day and I happen to have Les Mis available in ebook form. A new era dawned.

My Nook has made reading new books even easier. I'm currently reading 1984 by George Orwell. As for the ones I've already finished this year...take a peek :

  1. Mansfield Park - Jane Austen         
  2. Love the One You're With - Emily Giffin
  3. House Rules - Jodi Picoult
  4. Salem Falls - Jodi Picoult
  5. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
  6. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
  7. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  8. Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
  9. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  10. The White Queen - Philippa Gregory
  11. The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
  12. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  13. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  14. My Name is Memory - Ann Brashares
  15. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  16. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  17. The Red Queen - Philippa Gregory
  18. Dune Road - Jane Green
  19. The Constant Princess - Philippa Gregory
  20. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
  21. Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles- Margaret George
  22. The Beach House - Jane Green
  23. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
  24. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
  25. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Resolution 2 : Try 33 New Things.

This has been an odd resolution. Originally conceived to force me to branch out and things, it has morphed frequently. I told Collin the other day that it might as well be listed as Try 33 New Recipes. Looking at it that way, I've already kicked this resolution's butt. This month alone I will be doing seven new recipes.  Other than the food endeavors, here are a few things I've done :

  • Started couponing to save money - I'm not a genius at this, nor do I spend very much time actively pursuing it, but I'm proud to say that the endeavor has saved us an average of 30% every time we've gone grocery shopping since February.  It has also helped our family kick the Walmart habit. I'm happy to say that we have not entered a Walmart in nearly 8 months.
  • Started a new family tradition - We took Darian and headed up to the annual Winter Carnival. It was a nice family day out. We checked out the snow sculptures and had an awesome meal at The Pancake House. Their cinnamon rolls are crazy good!
  • Along with Collin and a couple of girls from the office, I enjoyed Brewforia for the first time. This place is ridiculous - it's like the Starbucks of beer. They have a gob of different craft varieties. I had the Morimoto Soba Ale made by Rogue. It was brewed in collaboration with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. It has a fantastic rice taste...I've never had anything like it.
  • We went as a family to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Utah while Collin was on his internship in Sandy. It holds the world's largest display of mounted dinosaur skeletons. Darian was thrilled and both Collin and I enjoyed it so much that I'm sure we may visit again in years to come.

Resolution 3 : Make 52 Scrapbook Pages.

Ya...I'm not doing so hot at this one. I just haven't had the scrapbooking vibe lately. I'm currently at 19 for the year...about 10 behind. But, I figure once the urge hits again I'll catch right back up. Generally when I spend an afternoon scrapping I churn out about 10 pages. It also doesn't hurt that I have about that many part way finished. I'm not calling this resolution a gonner yet. 

Resolution 4 : Take a Picture a Day.

Eek. I was doing really well on this one until our 4th of July vacation. Since then I've just plain crapped out. So...hey. I made it 6 months. Not bad for a daily item. I'll try again next year. In the meantime, the pressure is off and maybe I'll attempt Ali Edwards' Week in the Life project sometime in the remaining weeks of the year. We shall see.

And of course I've got this blogging thing going. I finally got smart about it and merged my two existing blogs together. That makes things SO much easier. I'm still working based on the one post a week goal, but there may be weeks here and there when I do a little more than the minimum. It's good to get the old juices flowing again. So far, so good.


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