Week 4 of 52: My 19 for 2019

I don’t usually make New Years Resolutions, but this year I was inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s 18 for 2018 and one of my fave bloggers Mavis Butterfield’s weekly goals updates, so I’m going to try this out. Some of these items are long term, some are short term and could be completed in a weekend, and a few of them may not be finished at all. And that’s ok! This is just what I’m striving toward this year.

1: Focus on healthy daily habits: yoga, water, fruits and veggies, and activity

Holy Moses, I can’t believe we’re already four weeks into this year. And what a roller coaster it’s been for me in trying to work on this goal. I did well, then not so well, and then really not well at all. Such is life. I’ve got all year to really work on this and I’m not going to beat myself up.

I think I’ve finally got my cooking mojo back after a six week hiatus. I was completely burnt out in December so we decided (mostly unsuccessfully) to try a few meal kit delivery services for a while. One had large enough portion sizes but the food wasn’t great and the other had great food but we were starving after dinner and scrounging for ice cream and snacks, so I went ahead and cancelled those after two deliveries each. Then came a two week period of complete and utter cooking disasters. I’m not joking, every meal that I attempted to cook just didn’t turn out. The flavor was off, it was under or over cooked, or I didn’t properly prepare and in the middle of cooking realized that we were missing a key ingredient. I called them failure meals and we may have broken down and ordered Dominos delivery a time or two.

Earlier this week, though, I decided to venture back in the kitchen and give it another try. My chili and cornbread turned out, which helped my self-confidence. Then I made a chickpea and shrimp curry with homemade naan, which really rocked our worlds. And then last night I made some pretty tasty caramelized onion and black bean quesadillas to go along with some leftover chili. My cooking groove is back and let me tell ya, it feels good! So now I’ve just got to do some grocery shopping and plan some healthy meals and I’ll be on track.

2: Read 25 books

I didn’t do a whole lot of reading this week, minus a few children’s books when my niece stayed the night. We borrowed a bunch of new ones from the library, but didn’t get to most of them because we were tuckered out from hitting the swimming pool hard.

One new one that we liked was The Art Lesson, a sweet book about a little girl whose grandmother teaches her how to make papercuts, which are similar to the snowflakes that we all learned how to make in elementary school. Then we made a snowflake and my niece’s eyes were as big as saucers when she realized that we could make something so pretty out of just a piece of paper and a pair of scissors.

She was so fascinated by this little art project that we ended up making four of these, and she couldn’t wait to show my husband what “we” made first thing the next morning. I didn’t have kid friendly scissors in the house (rookie move!) so I’ve got to pick some up before her next slumber party because I have a feeling this is going to be a popular activity to do at our house.

We also read Pinkalicious and Dinosaurs Love Underpants from our home library. Hotel Bruce is another favorite, but we were too tired to get to it this time.

Four of my favorite children's books | Week 4 of 52: My 19 for 2019 Update

I didn’t do much reading on my own this week, but I have a few books on hold waiting for me at the library that I plan to pick up today. You can find my book reviews and favorites lists here.

3: Get dog barking and door behavior under control

The thank yous and ah-ah-ahs that worked a few weeks ago have stopped and we’ve got a full on barking situation that is raging in this house once again. I need to get around to calling the trainer, but I’m still dragging my feet. In the meantime, I’ve been focusing on finding the dogs a new food. Apparently the expensive grain-free food that we’ve been feeding our puppers might not be the best choice. I bought two other kinds to try, and the first one has been very popular. Maybe we should try a CBD-laced one to help with the barking? Joking, but only partly. HELP ME.

4: Get dressed up once a month and go on a date (with my husband)

No date yet, but a girlfriend passed along a beautiful red Ann Taylor dress that’s about three too many bowls of ice cream away from fitting me like a glove. I’m going to hang it up where I can see it to remind me to stay away from ice cream and make plans in a few weeks so that I can wear it out on a hot date. I even have a pair of heels that would go perfectly with it, so it feels like it’s meant to be. I only need to lose about three pounds and relearn how to walk in heels to make it happen!

5: Makeover master bathroom

Week 2 of 52: My 19 for 2019 update

Still at the “What’s with the paint on the wall?” stage. I have to go to Lowe’s today to get a replacement light bulb, so maybe I’ll stop in the paint section and stress sweat for a few minutes before walking away. Again.

6: Secret (for now) project

Still secret.

7: Write! Write! Write!

This has been a very productive writing week for me. Maybe not on this blog, but elsewhere. Rejoining my writing group is well worth the money, as it gets me back in that mindset and helps me get past my block. Writing begets writing, which begets more writing.

8: Be more social

This was a pretty social week for me. On Monday, I went to my book club — yay! — even though I didn’t read the book — boo, failure! — and these ladies really make me laugh. I’m hosting next month so I’m pretty excited about that.

My lovely dress friend from #4 above invited me over for a delicious dinner (and gifted me that dress). So overall, it’s been a wonderful week!

9: Post regularly on Instagram

Two posts this week:

10: Automate bill payments

I’ve got less than a week to get this done. Am I gonna make it?

11: Go on 10 camping trips

It always amazes me how quickly camping spots book up here in Oregon. We are months out from the summer season, and already nearly every weekend is booked for closer-by parks. People are very serious about their camping around here, but it’s understandable because Oregon State Parks are very nice and well maintained.

Getting an outdoor bubble bath at Harris Beach State Park near Brookings, Oregon

Getting an outdoor bubble bath at Harris Beach State Park near Brookings, Oregon

One down, nine to go! Here’s the write up of our trip to Northern California earlier this month.

12: Plant a garden and grow 125 pounds of produce

I’m going through my seeds this week to see what else I need to pick up. Last year I started seeds in a dome kit that I picked up from Lowe’s, but this year I’m thinking about trying out newspaper pots with a plastic tub of some sort underneath of them. The dome kit worked great, but then a few weeks later you have to transfer them to something larger. And the webbing that keeps the dirt compacted never really disintegrates so who knows what that’s about.

How do you start seeds for your garden?

13: Go on girls’ trip to the hot springs

Still working on this.

14: Perfect home cleaning routine

The zone system is working-ish, but one very exciting thing that I want to tell you about in the home cleaning arena is our new vacuum. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you know the very exciting journey I’ve taken in deciding whether to buy a cheaper vacuum or upgrade to the Dyson. Well, a few weeks ago I finally bought a Dyson when it was on clearance at Lowe’s, and let me tell you I’m obsessed with it. This thing sucks in the best way possible. The first few times I used it, I was fascinated and horrified by the amount of dirt that it picked up on rugs that I had just vacuumed two days prior with our old vacuum. Gross!

I’ve given this thing a workout and I’ve decided that it’s worth spending a little more on a vacuum to get this sort or performance. I went with an older model Dyson because it was on sale. The battery life is not as great as the newer ones, but we have a small house so it’s mostly not been a problem for us. I’ve officially added a vacuum — yes, a vacuum! — to my list of favorite things on the right side of this page because I’m that obsessed. I linked a newer model because the average house is bigger than ours and you’ll probably need the extended battery life. I don’t think it’s worth splurging on most things and happily cheap out on nearly everything, but I’m now a Dyson4Lyfe convert.

15: Fashion makeover

I need to make an embarrassing confession: a while ago (like a long while ago), I stuck a bag of clothing in my trunk to drop off at Salvation Army. It stayed in said trunk for a long time — truth time: it is still there. Stop judging me, Carol. Let me finish my story — and last week a shirt that I had stuck in there caught my eye. I decided to dig it out and wash it and give it another try and now I’m in love with the shirt. This story is Marie Kondo’s nightmare.

It is just a gray polka dot button down that I got second hand that really didn’t do much for me for a while, but now when I put it on I feel very pretty and put together. This is the same button down if you’re wanting a visual — see, it’s not that exciting! So I think I might get a few more button downs and see what happens. I would like to get more colorful ones, though.

And speaking of color, have you seen this profile of Lydia Fenet on Cup of Jo? I am drooling over this woman’s wardrobe. It’s too dressy for my day to day life, but I would like to add more feminine touches to my style and incorporate more whimsy. And what appears to be a major back tattoo on that second photo is actually detailing on the dress. I know, it threw me for a loop too.

Isn’t this dress to die for? The shoes, too!

16: Complete 12 craft projects

0 down, 12 to go! Unless you count the four snowflakes that I made with my niece. I’m not, unless I get down to the wire on December 31st.

17: Launch FOLL website and create email template

I didn’t make much headway on this project this week, but my goal is to wrap up the rough draft by the end of the month. So I need to hop to it!

18: Clean out and organize cabinets and closets (and keep them that way)

I made absolutely no progress on the cabinets or closets this week, and I went to Costco today so it’s perhaps even worse than it was before.

19: Spend less time on my phone

I’m down 14% this week!

What are you working toward in 2019?

I’d love to hear about your goals in the comments