- drink more water: I've continued to do well with this and see this as being something I've come to adapt as a normal, everyday thing. Positive lifestyle change for the win!
- read at least 2 books per month: I only read one book in November; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, which was highly recommended all around the internet. I have to admit, I wasn't as sold on this as others were. A good read, but I don't know if I would necessarily recommend it to a friend.
- make three vegetarian meals per week, one of them being carb-free: We've been working on being more conscious about the food we put into our bodies for several months now. We realized after Thanksgiving that really haven't been eating any grains for lunch/dinner for a while. We're happy with this change - it's not that we've completely taken it out of our diet (I could never do it - I'm too much of a pasta/bread lover) but overall we've significantly decreased the intake. We have quiet a bit of pork and ground beef (low fat percentage) in our deep freeze, so I've had to adjust this 'goal' a bit, but I feel that although we may be eating meat more consistently than before, what we're eating it with is typically healthy and light. Because of that, I'm not going to consider this a loss for this goal.
- try a new recipe once a week:
- Korean Beef Bowl: We really loved this dish - it was easy and quick to prep, cook and clean up which is always a win in my book (especially for a weeknight). Had a great amount of spice in it, so if you don't like things too spicy I would lessen the crushed red pepper flakes it calls for.
- Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken: Slow cooker meals are always nice to have on hand. I really enjoyed this dish although I have to admit I probably would enjoy it even more in the spring or summer, when I'm craving a lighter, more citric-y tasting meal. If I were to make this again in the colder months I would just lessen the amount of lemon used.
- Autumn Chopped Salad: We've had this salad every week for the past 3 weeks - so that's saying something. It's SO easy to make and so delicious! I won't add bacon every time (subbing chicken breast during those times) and I've been using pecans over peanuts, which we prefer. We've also jumped around with dressings - using a combination of what we have on hand, so feel free to mix it up! (we've done olive oil + apple cider vinegar, the combo in the recipe and recently used a champagne vinaigrette - so good!)
- start a savings account: This has still gone undone.
- practice yoga at least once every other week: With the change in my gym's schedule I haven't been going to yoga. I miss it terribly. I did purchase a two-week pass to a hot yoga studio in town, though. I'm both absolutely terrified and excited to try it.
- become more patient: I'm continuing to work on this and continuing to improve (at least, I hope I am!).
- become more comfortable with letting things go I cannot control: I've continued to work on being aware when I'm in situations that things are out of my control. It's still difficult for me, but I really do believe I have come a long way.
For our House:
- paint all the trim white: I've had to take a break from the trim, but I know how good it would feel to just get done with it already! Hoping that I can work on tackling a decent portion this upcoming weekend.
- paint the kitchen cabinets: Finished!
- finish painting the doors: We haven't gotten any more of the doors done - the 2 that are left upstairs are also where there is trim that needs to be painted, so they will probably be done around the same time.
- finish the laundry room: This is something that will need to be pushed into 2014. There is just no way we had time to do this in 2013, nor will we with the few weeks that are left.
- install new shelving in the laundry room: Same as the laundry task above, this will not be completed until 2014.
I have felt myself slipping on keeping up with tasks this month. The dark, cold evenings make it hard to want to be productive after work. The addition of the hustle and bustle of the holidays always make things a little more chaotic. Overall, I feel much better about where I was a year ago, so I think that's the biggest thing to take away from these goals.
For our House:
It's been a process making our house feel like a home. A long process. I envy those who can throw things together creatively and make everything seem perfect within a year. That just isn't Russ & I. We throw ideas around and then sit and think about them for way too long and then once we think we knew what we're doing, we question it and sometimes start all over again. In addition, this past year we've done a lot of work to the house, it just isn't work you see. Things that have to be done to keep up the house but that aren't necessarily "pretty". It's frustrating, but goes with owning a home. The positive thing is that we're proud of the work, since all of it has been done by us - along with our very helpful and supportive parents - who we couldn't have done anything without!
August, September & October 2013