26 Things | Months Eight, Nine, & Ten

I have abandoned this little life project of mine. I started making these goals each year three years ago, when I decided I needed to strive for things in life. Since then, I’ve done plenty of striving and plenty of living. So much so that I’ve taken to hiding out in my bedroom on quiet, rainy days, like today, to recharge and reflect. And because of that, I feel like I’m succeeding.  Despite what this list tells us.

Create
1. Write a novel.
2. Knit a scarf.
3. Create a family tree.
I started working on this. I’ve been using this site. It can get so confusing though. My family is large enough as it is, and people keep confusing the matter by getting married and having babies. Sheesh.

Eat
4. Cook through a cook book.
5. Visit 13 new restaurants in Boston.

Learn – I have done none of these things, although I did purchase a study book for Philippians, so there’s a start.
6. Take a photography class.
7. Take an acting class.
8. Read Les Miserables.
9. Use a sewing machine.
10. Do a Philippians bible study.

Organize – I had crossed off #14, but I’m un-crossing it, as my bookshelf is now a mess again. And I hung frames up on my wall, finally. I just have yet to fill the frames with pictures…
11. Organize my music.
12. Organize my pictures.
13. Organize my bookshelf.
14. Hang pictures in room.
15. Organize computer documents.

Thrive
16. Reach my savings goal.
I’ve spent so much money this year! But I’m still close to my goal, and thanks to year-end bonuses, I think I’ll be able to make it.

17. Fly a kite.
18. Lose 26 pounds.
Does ten count?

19. Get new glasses.
20. Find a doctor in Boston.
21. Find a dentist in Boston.

Travel
22. Visit New York City.
23. See a broadway show in NYC.
24. Visit Washington DC.
25. Visit Philadelphia.

26. Go on a weekend trip alone.
Crossing this one off thanks to my Chicago trip. Even though I wasn’t completely alone, since I met up with Anna-Marie (and her now fiance!), but I was alone for most of it. It was very fun and I’m ready for my next solo trip.

Even though I still have a few months, I’ve been thinking about my goals for next year. I’ll be 27, but based on my progress this past year, I don’t think I’ll be making 27 goals. I want to set goals less goals so that I can maybe meet them all. Oh, life.

26 Things | Month Seven

How is August almost already over? How?

Create
1. Write a novel.
2. Knit a scarf.
3. Create a family tree.

Eat
4. Cook through a cook book.
Yeah I’m just gonna cross this one because I don’t wanna do it anymore… 🙂

5. Visit 13 new restaurants in Boston.

Learn
6. Take a photography class.
7. Take an acting class.
8. Read Les Miserables.
9. Use a sewing machine.
10. Do a Philippians bible study.

Organize 
11. Organize my music.
12. Organize my pictures.
13. Organize my bookshelf.
14. Hang pictures in room.
15. Organize computer documents.

Thrive
16. Reach my savings goal.
Still at ~93%–I’ve been spending more than saving, ha.

17. Fly a kite.
18. Lose 26 pounds.
19. Get new glasses.
20. Find a doctor in Boston.
21. Find a dentist in Boston.

Travel
22. Visit New York City.
23. See a broadway show in NYC.
24. Visit Washington DC.
25. Visit Philadelphia.

26. Go on a weekend trip alone.
I’m sort of doing this! I booked a spontaneous trip to Chicago for over Labor Day Weekend. I’ll be mostly alone–I’ll be meeting a friend and her bf for dinner and then we’ll go to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game, but other than that, I’ll be all alone and I’m so looking forward to it. Hello Introvert Time.

26 Things | Months Five & Six

I’m way behind on this update, so I figured I’d combine June and July because IT’S ALREADY JULY. How did this happen? Anyway, here is my lame progress.

Create
1. Write a novel.
2. Knit a scarf.
3. Create a family tree.

Eat
4. Cook through a cook book.
I’m so over the whole cooking thing. I really am. Maybe I’ll forward this one until I’m at stay-at-home Mom and actually have people to feed. But even then, someone remind me why I can’t just give people cereal for every meal?

5. Visit 13 new restaurants in Boston.

Learn
6. Take a photography class.
I haven’t done this, but I’ve been reading up on some things. Eh, we’ll see.

7. Take an acting class.
8. Read Les Miserables.
9. Use a sewing machine.
10. Do a Philippians bible study.

Organize 
11. Organize my music.
12. Organize my pictures.
13. Organize my bookshelf.

14. Hang pictures in room.
I have hung up on item, but I used a binder clip and a nail that was already in the wall. It isn’t even framed. I’m a mess.

15. Organize computer documents.

Thrive
16. Reach my savings goal.
Went back to about 90% thanks to my lovely MacBook purchase, but should be done with this by the end of August!

17. Fly a kite.

18. Lose 26 pounds.
I think I’m down like ten since the beginning.

19. Get new glasses.
My eye appointment went well. My prescription only changed slightly. Now I just need to actually make it to the glasses-buying place.

20. Find a doctor in Boston.
I still haven’t done this, but I did visit Urgent Care a few weeks ago when I thought I may have strep throat (I didn’t). Baby steps.

21. Find a dentist in Boston.

Travel
22. Visit New York City.
23. See a broadway show in NYC.
24. Visit Washington DC.
25. Visit Philadelphia.
26. Go on a weekend trip alone.

I’m already half-way through being 26 and have barely made any progress on my list. But I’m alright with that. I’ve been doing so many things, that I’m feeling adequately fulfilled. And that’s the whole point of the goals anyway.

26 Things | Month Four

I’m still way behind on my blogging on some of the things I’ve been doing. I’m promising myself I’ll get to all that soon. My current project (besides all the stuff on this list) is to come up with a morning routine that won’t bore me back to sleep so that I can break my habit of waking up twelve minutes before I have to be out the door. The problem is that I can efficiently be ready in twelve minutes, hence my lack of motivation to stop doing so. Anyway, it’s already May and I just don’t understand how, but here is my “progress.”

Create – I’m not doing so well in the “create” area of my life.

1. Write a novel.
2. Knit a scarf.
3. Create a family tree.

Eat
4. Cook through a cook book.
Ok so here’s the thing–while I haven’t really been cooking, per se (I acknowledge that boiling pasta and stirring in milk and cheese powder cannot count for cooking),  I have been studying the cooking. Sabrina got me a subscription to Food & Wine magazine for my birthday, so I’ve been reading through that for inspiration. I’ve also been reading through my Alice Waters cookbook. Little did I know just how famous and admired Alice Waters is in this strange world of food, so I made an excellent choice, cookbook-wise. It’s just the cooking part I need to get to. I did come across an ad for a Cuisanart food processor (in aforementioned magazine) that kind of spoke to me (this is a safe place so you can’t judge me for sharing this):

“You love the whole process. Discovering that perfect recipe. Carefully selecting your ingredients. Adding those special touches to make the meal uniquely your own.”

Well Cuisanart, sadly, I do not share in the above sentiments of your ever so inspiring ad, but the whole “loving-the-process” idea to sell a food processor pun was not lost on me and I appreciate it. Also, I would LIKE to love the whole process of finding recipes and buying foods and then cooking them. At least, I think I would. So I’m getting there.

5. Visit 13 new restaurants in Boston.

Learn – the “learn” aspect of my life is also currently at a slight standstill.
6. Take a photography class.
7. Take an acting class.
8. Read Les Miserables.
9. Use a sewing machine.
10. Do a Philippians bible study.

Organize – I’m getting closer here; I just got a new laptop, so that will help aid in the virtual organizational process. 
11. Organize my music.
12. Organize my pictures.
13. Organize my bookshelf.
14. Hang pictures in room.
15. Organize computer documents.

Thrive

16. Reach my savings goal.
93%-ish!

17. Fly a kite.
18. Lose 26 pounds.

19. Get new glasses.
Guess what everyone–I made an eye appointment! It’s next Tuesday. Here’s hoping I’m not nervous for this whole next week. I just hate when they put stuff in your eyes. Ugh I need to stop thinking about it as my eyes are already watering.

20. Find a doctor in Boston.

21. Find a dentist in Boston.

Travel

22. Visit New York City.
23. See a broadway show in NYC.

24. Visit Washington DC.
25. Visit Philadelphia.
26. Go on a weekend trip alone.

I need ideas for quick weekend trips that are good for solo people so that I can fulfill #26. I’m going to Vermont with Heidi in a few weeks and while she’s running a half-marathon (ha, yes), I’ll have some time to explore Burlington on my own for a bit, so that should be a nice preview to what kind of company I keep.

26 Things | Month Three

I’m ready for it to really be spring. Here in New England, we’ve been kind of stuck in an eternal winter. So I’m going to blame the weather on my lack of progress (and motivation)… Even though I haven’t completed much from my list, I have been doing many things. Things that I shall be writing about soon, lest I forget all the good times. Ha.

Create

1. Write a novel.
2. Knit a scarf.
3. Create a family tree.

Eat
4. Cook through a cook book.
Oh how I despise the cooking. I have not been making progress. Maybe I’ll start this up again soon.

5. Visit 13 new restaurants in Boston.
14–so it is now only April and I’ve surpassed my goal on this one. So that’s good… Ha.

On my birthday, a bunch of us went to brunch at BOMA. Morgan had made a reservation, and it was so nice to be able to walk in and not have to push our ways through the brunch crowds. This place didn’t start getting busy until we were getting ready to leave, so that was nice. The food was good, although everything seemed to have been cooked in duck fat. Not sure how I feel about that.

Saturday night Heidi, Erin, and I had dinner at Mela. I had very good chicken tikka masala, chai, and garlic naan. It was a tad bit expensive, but the chicken was quite tender. It was tendoori. Do you get my joke?

Dumpling Cafe
After celebrating Laura’s birthday, Megan, Brian, and I roamed the streets of Chinatown, tired and hungry. I’d been wanting to try this place for a while now, since I walk by it all the time, and I’m glad we did.

Brownstone

Some friends from our NG went and got brunch a few Sundays ago. Sunday brunches stress me out. There are always so many people and you never want to exclude anyone so you end up with a huge group for brunch with no place to seat you all. We walked in and they had all ten of us seated at the most perfect table very quickly, and then I got to eat the best chocolate chip pancakes I’ve had in a while.

Mike’s City Diner
This place is right down the street from my apartment. Franklin and I started our morning here for breakfast. Just your typical diner, so that was kind of nice.

Sweet Caroline’s
On Sunday Franklin and I took a tour of Fenway Park. I can’t wait for baseball season to start. I spotted this place from Fenway, and since it’s a nod to Neil Diamond’s song, which has made its way into Fenway Park when the Red Sox are in town, I wanted to try it. They serve Sam Adams Brick Red there, which can only be found in Boston, so that was good.

The Tip Tap Room
A few weeks ago NG met here for dinner. It was pretty good. It was Casey’s sort of going away dinner, so that was bittersweet.

Falafel King
Oh my goodness, Falafel King, how I love thee. Some of my co-workers needed a meatless alternative for lunch the other day, so we decided on falafel. Their falafel is so crispy and the meals are pretty inexpensive, and they give you a falafel as you wait in line and order, so that’s a big falafel plus.

Max Brenner

Little Laura’s mom was visiting her so her mother, her roommate, Laura, and I met for dinner here. It was very loud in there, but I really like the story behind the start of this chain. And it’s focus is all on chocolate–very important.

Tremont 647
As part of the Casey Farewell tour, a bunch of us from NG met here for brunch. I got honey oat pancakes which were alright, but the best part was the blood orange syrup that came with them. And they give you endless coffee and the servers wear their PJs on Sundays, so that was cute.

Anthem
We hired a new person on our team so we went here for our team lunch. They didn’t have a chicken strips, but I was still able to keep to my six year old diet by ordering a grilled cheese.

Fire & Ice

Our manager retired, so as a farewell we had lunch here. There are little stations set up where you can fill a bowl up with all your ingredients and then you take your bowl over to the big grill and they cook your food for you. I’m glad we went for lunch because it was pretty empty, and going during dinner time just seems like it’d be very stressful.

Papagayo
Last week I went and saw The Book of Mormon with Caitlin and Colby, so we stopped here for a quick dinner beforehand. Still not into the Mexican food here in Boston, but it was still a good time.

New Dong Khanh
Little Laura and I came here for dinner last week. I had been craving pho, and they have milk tea too, so that was wonderful. Side note, if I ever own a pho restaurant, it’s going to be called We Are Pho Real.


Learn
6. Take a photography class.
7. Take an acting class.
8. Read Les Miserables.
9. Use a sewing machine.
10. Do a Philippians bible study.

Organize
11. Organize my music.
12. Organize my pictures.
13. Organize my bookshelf.
I finally did this!! I rearranged my room on Sunday and I love love love the new layout. So much so that it pains me to be away from my room haha. Since I was rearranging, I decided it was time to finally organize the bookshelf. So I did a bunch of purging and now it’s all nicely organized.

14. Hang pictures in room.
Now that my room is rearranged how I like it, I’m ready to put pictures up. I just ordered this from Etsy, and I even stuck a few things onto my corkboard.

15. Organize computer documents.
I’ve started this. I finally moved most of my pictures off of my laptop and onto my external hard drive, and I’ve started sorting through some of my old Word documents, including required poetry writing from the 10th grade. Eck.

Thrive

16. Reach my savings goal.
Still at 80%-ish.

17. Fly a kite.

18. Lose 26 pounds.
Well I haven’t gained anything so that’s good, ha. Maybe now that #5 is done I can focus on this one.

19. Get new glasses.
I really need to do this. Just need to make the time to make an eye appointment. Eck.

20. Find a doctor in Boston.

21. Find a dentist in Boston.
Travel

22. Visit New York City.
23. See a broadway show in NYC.

24. Visit Washington DC.
25. Visit Philadelphia.
26. Go on a weekend trip alone.

Baseball season has begun. So I’m happy that it’s April. I’ve already been to one Red Sox game, ha.

26 Things | Month Two

I cannot believe that it’s already March. This year is already flying by! Here’s my progress for Month Two.

Create

1. Write a novel.
2. Knit a scarf.
3. Create a family tree.

Eat
4. Cook through a cook book.
I have been cooking! I’m not exactly cooking through my cook book, but I’m making progress. Which you can read a little about here.

5. Visit 13 new restaurants in Boston.
6/13–since Franklin was here this past weekend I tried a few new places within the last few weeks.

On my birthday, a bunch of us went to brunch at BOMA. Morgan had made a reservation, and it was so nice to be able to walk in and not have to push our ways through the brunch crowds. This place didn’t start getting busy until we were getting ready to leave, so that was nice. The food was good, although everything seemed to have been cooked in duck fat. Not sure how I feel about that.

Saturday night Heidi, Erin, and I had dinner at Mela. I had very good chicken tikka masala, chai, and garlic naan. It was a tad bit expensive, but the chicken was quite tender. It was tendoori. Do you get my joke?

 
Dumpling Cafe
After celebrating Laura’s birthday, Megan, Brian, and I roamed the streets of Chinatown, tired and hungry. I’d been wanting to try this place for a while now, since I walk by it all the time, and I’m glad we did.

Brownstone

Some friends from our NG went and got brunch a few Sundays ago. Sunday brunches stress me out. There are always so many people and you never want to exclude anyone so you end up with a huge group for brunch with no place to seat you all. We walked in and they had all ten of us seated at the most perfect table very quickly, and then I got to eat the best chocolate chip pancakes I’ve had in a while.

Mike’s City Diner
This place is right down the street from my apartment. Franklin and I started our morning here for breakfast. Just your typical diner, so that was kind of nice.

Sweet Caroline’s
On Sunday Franklin and I took a tour of Fenway Park. I can’t wait for baseball season to start. I spotted this place from Fenway, and since it’s a nod to Neil Diamond’s song, which has made its way into Fenway Park when the Red Sox are in town, I wanted to try it. They serve Sam Adams Brick Red there, which can only be found in Boston, so that was good.
 

Learn
6. Take a photography class.
7. Take an acting class.
8. Read Les Miserables.
9. Use a sewing machine.
10. Do a Philippians bible study.

Organize
11. Organize my music.
12. Organize my pictures.
13. Organize my bookshelf.
14. Hang pictures in room.
15. Organize computer documents.

Thrive

16. Reach my savings goal.
I’m at a little over 80%, so that’s good. It’s only March!

17. Fly a kite.
 

18. Lose 26 pounds.
I spent the last few weeks eating way too many french fries, so I’m still at 5/26 down.

19. Get new glasses.
I dropped my glasses on the ground on Friday, so now there’s a chip right in my line of view. More motivation to actually go and get new glasses!
 
20. Find a doctor in Boston.
21. Find a dentist in Boston.
 
Travel

22. Visit New York City.
23. See a broadway show in NYC.

24. Visit Washington DC.
25. Visit Philadelphia.
26. Go on a weekend trip alone.

And onward to month three I go.

Rachel Ram Cooks

Step aside, Rachael Ray–Rachel Ram is here.

I’ve been cooking.

This week marks my fifth week of cooking. The process to begin cooking wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would  be. It only took a few steps to get me there:

Step One: Choose to cook.
Step Two: Buy cookbook.
Step Three: Open cookbook.
Step Four: Buy foods.
Step Five: Cook aforementioned foods.

As I sat reading my cookbook and eating my cereal (no, the irony was not lost on me), I realized that my cookbook was written by the founder of Chez Panisse, a lovely place that has its roots (see what I did there?) in Berkeley. The founder and author of my book, Alice Waters, focuses on using fresh ingredients and supporting local farmers. In California, I had farmers’ markets at my disposal all the time. Now that I’m on the east coast, and in the midst of winter, no less, I’m faced with the challenge of finding fresh ingredients in a place where cooking (and living) seasonally is a thing. Anyway, as I read on, I felt more and more inspired to just step into the kitchen and create things.

Just as many marvel at the existential question of which came first (chicken or egg, chicken or egg?), I had to ask myself if the desire to cook would come before the ability, or if the ability was already innate inside of me, ready to be cracked like an egg.

I’m sorry, I can’t help the puns sometimes.

Anyway, before I dove straight into the cooking thing, I decided to start small and easy. For my birthday, my mom sent me lavender scone mix from the lavender farm in Maui, which we visited back in June 2010. All I had to do was pour the mix into a bowl, add water, and mix and form it into scones to bake. So I did. And they were goooood. Oh how I miss that farm. And their scones.

For my next creation, I made steak with mushrooms, roasted Brussels sprouts, and rice (which came out quite mushy–not pictured). This provided three sad desk lunches for that week. I also learned that three is probably my cut-off for how many days in a row I can eat the same thing.

At the end of last month, Sabrina and I took a cooking class at Sur La Table. It was really fun, and our class fee included an immersion blender. The biggest thing I learned was how to cut an onion more efficiently. I even made a stew this past weekend based on one of the recipes we used in class.

The following week, I randomly put some things together in a pan and made a stir fry. It even smelled like real stir fry, thanks to the snap peas and soy sauce.

That same weekend, I had the inspiration to make my own pizza. I bought some pizza dough and ingredients from Foodies and put everything together. And it was good. I may never buy restaurant pizza again. That actually is probably not true, but it’s a nice thought.

For my third week of lunches, I went back to simpler days and made some pasta, Italian sausages, and broccoli. Because I had a lot of leftover pasta, I concocted a pot of the pasta, tomato sauce, mushrooms, olives, and more meat for week number four.

I’ve accepted that because I’m now someone who cooks, I will probably never get the smell of raw onions off of my hands. Onions have become the essence of life. Here’s to many more months (and dare I say, years?) of cooking!