What I’m Looking Forward To This Year

Today’s Challenge prompt makes me think of all the places I want to go. I logged into TripIt yesterday and saw that screen. It’s been such a long time since I didn’t have a trip on the horizon. So of course, I started planning! Continue reading

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35-for-35 Progress Report

It’s now been two months since my birthday (seriously – what the hell?!), so I thought I’d check in with where I am, what I’ve done and what’s left to go.

The Books challenge is going the best at the moment. With two weeks off at the holidays and less stress at work, it’s been easier to stay ahead on this challenge. I figured this part would be the easiest for me to accomplish, which is why it’s here. I want to feel like I’m making some progress in this ridiculous challenge!

The Recipes challenge isn’t going as well as I thought it might. Turns out, when I get home at night (or when it’s time to cook on the weekend), I’d much rather make something that I know I like rather than experimenting with something that might not turn out well and then having to eat it for a week. And since I’m not much of a cook, a lot of even the “simple” recipes call for ingredients that I just don’t keep in the house, making this a bit more expensive than I had anticipated. But I’m hoping I can branch out into some new and different recipes (mug cakes or other microwave-related things), instead of just concentrating on dinner things.

The Places challenge, well, it really hasn’t started yet. Due to family things, I wasn’t able to travel during the holidays and it now seems like I probably won’t be going to Oregon for Spring Break like I had originally planned. So I’m going to have to get more creative during the weekends (which are already filled with errands, chores and other local stuff) to take day trips within California. I still hope to go on my summer vacation, but that will only knock off a couple of new cities, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. I need to visit 3.5 new places a month from now on to stay on track. Yikes!

35-for-35 Begins Now!

With my birthday approaching on Wednesday, I’ve been thinking about my NEXT birthday, which is a bit of a milestone. And while that milestone could be a downer, I’ve decided to make it a challenge instead. I had originally thought about making a list of thirty-five things to do (like this one), but it turns out, I’m just not that creative on short notice. So, I’m challenging myself to complete the following before my next birthday:

1. Read 35 Books
Every calendar year, I try to read 50 books and I’ve failed miserably every year since I’ve been keeping track. So in 2014, I decided to try for 25 books, and I think I might actually get there. In 2015, I’m planning to up this to 30. So, I think this is a pretty doable goal, while still being a challenge.

2. Visit 35 New Cities
I was inspired by this post to expand my horizons with travel in the next year. My upcoming road trip to Oregon should help knock off a few spots, but I hope this will get me out of my comfort zone without breaking the bank.

3. Make 35 New Recipes
I know, I know! I’m afraid of my oven and I haven’t turned my stove on since I moved in, but I do have a slow cooker and a microwave. Between the cookbooks my mom has given me and Pinterest, I feel like I can add some variety to my diet without getting too crazy.

I’ll be documenting my progress on these challenges here on the blog as a way to stay motivated and accountable. Here we go!

UK: “And since we are in England, I suggest you make some tea.”

I arrived in Cambridge about 5p. Having not had time to notify Katia before leaving Kings Cross, I was on the lookout for a payphone to let her know I was in town. I was set with the change from the Most Expensive Twix Bar Ever, but of course, the first set of payphones I found didn’t take coins. They did take my credit card for the Most Expensive Five Minute Phone Call Ever ($5). Katia was clearly frazzled when I called as I was two hours earlier than we thought I might arrive. But more importantly, she had just discovered that her flat was invested with bees.

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UK: “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.”

The last time I went abroad was in May 2008, when I visited another good friend from high school (Ellen) in South Korea. I spent six glorious days exploring the Land of the Rising Sun with Ellen, including a powerful trip to the DMZ, briefly setting foot in North Korea while under visual and video surveillance. Four years later, I set off for England with the same luggage, but a new brand-spanking new passport, ready for visa stamps.

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