Saturday, December 31, 2011

35 Things 2012: Ideas

(see my general tips here)

So, as promised, here's a list of possible "things to do" next year. This is just the list I've been keeping on my phone, jotting down any and all ideas as they've come to me. I'll probably end up using some of these and will probably come up with some different ones.

Some of them are pretty general; you'll have to add in the specifics on your own to make it what you want. Hopefully this list helps - even if it just gets you thinking!

Grow (something)
Learn a new song on an instrument you play
Run (a certain distance)
Have (x) vegetarian meals a week/month
Have a vegetarian month
Never go to bed with a dirty kitchen for a (month)
Try a new exercise
Try a new food
Wear a different color
Wear a trend you love but didn't think you could pull off (e.g. skinny jeans, a scarf, red lipstick)
Learn the rules of (x sport)
Play (x sport)
Take a (x) class
Create something to display in your home
Spending freeze
Eating out freeze
Clean/organize/wash a closet/cabinet/shelf/room
Save up for (x)
Try a new restaurant
Dance/sing in public
Read (x) books
Read a specific book (if there's one you've always wanted to read)
Read (x #) of books over (x #) of pages
Create a (meal, cleaning, activity) calendar every month
Candy/soda fast
Give up a TV show
Get up or go to bed at a certain time for a month
Get a facial/mani/pedi
Get a haircut
Try a home remedy
Try no-shampoo or oil cleansing
Start taking vitamins
Save up to buy something you want
Day of pampering
Donate to (x)
Make your own dish washing detergent, laundry soap, cleaning solutions
Work at the temple or cannery
Find a name to take to the temple
Be diligent about date night for a month
Read every article in every ensign
Throw a party
Plan (and execute) your perfect date night at home
Find your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe
Make tortillas from scratch
Visit a family member/friend you haven't seen in a while
Have a missionary discussion in your home
Be completely punctual for a month
Memorize a hymn, scripture, or poem you love (or several)
Get a fun appliance/pan for your kitchen
do (x #) of things from pinterest
Facebook fast
Have a formal date night
One day a month with no internet
Play all the hymns in the hymn book
Go ice skating
Go mini golfing
Visit a temple out of state
Pay for someone's food at the drive thru
Clean the dishwasher
Redecorate (a room)

Friday, December 30, 2011

35 Things 2012: Tips

So I've had quite a few people tell me that they want to implement the idea of having a "35 Things To Do" list instead of New Year's Resolutions.

First of all, awesome! I'm fully convinced that this is the way to do it. This is a list that I've been working on all year long. I don't think I've ever worked at something for a whole year before. It feels goooood.

Second, I wanted to leave some tips and ideas to those of you who want to create your own list. So here are some tips that I just came up with in about a minute. Which means that if you don't like them, I'll only have a minute's worth of heartbreak. I can handle that.

1. Don't forget the little things.

"Little" things count. In fact, they're awesome. Has the porch light bulb been burned out for months? Put changing it on your list. Do you have a whole bag of clothes sitting in the garage waiting to be donated? That is a "thing to do." Don't think, "Well, that light bulb is going to get changed whether it's on the list or not, so I won't put it on there." Um, if it's been waiting to be done for weeks/months/whatever, you need a kick in the pants. If a "little" project comes to mind, put 'er down.

2. Limit recurring things

Don't get me wrong - some of my favorite things from this year's list have been things that I do every month (e.g. bake a new cookie every month). BUT one of the best parts about making this list is being able to cross things off of it, of course. And if you're limited to the number of things you can cross off because they are things you have to do every month, it could get a little sticky. At least, it would for me. If you want to make it a "list of things to do every month," more power to you. Also, RESIST the "every day" urge. In my experience, saying you're going to do something "every day" (unless you're already VERY close to doing it every day) is recipe for discouraging disaster.

3. Things to do, not things to be.

To me, this is THE big difference between having a list of things to do and making "resolutions." My resolutions always ended up being things like "Get better at x" or "Be a better y." Worthy goals, to be sure...but not SMART goals. What are SMART goals, you ask? Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Time-bound. If you commit to be better at keeping your house clean, for example...well, what does that mean? Does that mean your home is spotless all the time? 4 out of 7 days of the week? And what is "clean," anyway? Is it mopped floors and sparkling bathroom mirrors? Or is stuff picked up off the floors good enough? How are you going to realize that you've become "better" at this?

If, on the other hand, you say that you're going to mop your floors at least twice a month, organize "that" hallway closet, and clean your ceiling fan blades for the first time since you moved in two and a half years ago, well, you've been "better" at cleaning your house.

So, in essence, you're becoming what you want to BE by DOING related things.

It makes perfect sense in my head.

So, if it makes perfect sense in your head, too, then I guess maybe you should start making your 35 Things for 2012 list. I know I'mma start mine.

***Side note: Correct spelling of "I'mma?" Anyone? Is the way I wrote it the English major's way? Should it just be imma?

I'mma/imma/i'mma/i'm-ma stop now. Side note over.***

Also, I have a list of possible ideas for your 35 things list. Anyone want it?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Better to give

You guys, I am so excited for Christmas this year.

Not that I'm not excited for it every year, because of course I am never not excited about a day that fails to never be filled with nothing that isn't joyful and triumphant. Except perhaps too many double negatives. I just wrote that first one and thought it would be fun to throw in three more. If you don't agree, don't worry - not finding humor in odd phrasing makes you a saner person than I am.

Where were we? Ah, Christmas.

I have a few things to say about Christmas this year. Three, actually.

1) I do not think I am going to have to shop (or wrap!) on Christmas Eve. Supremely awesome.

***Side note: Somebody PLEASE tell me that I'm not the only person in the world that doesn't really "get" wrapping presents! Seriously, I kind of wish we would all just keep everything hidden until we were ready to give it and then just "TA-DA!" pull it out. That is probably way too practical of me because of coure wrapping paper and bows are pretty and such...but my goodness, wrapping kind of gets on my nerves. Don't send me hate comments. It's Christmas, people. Side note over. ***

2) I learned (and several of you that listen to the same Christmas radio station I do probably learned this as well) that Xmas isn't actually taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas." Turns out that "X" is a historically legitimate abbreviation for "Christ." You guys, Wikipedia says so, so it must be true. Of course, I don't think this means you should say/type/paint on your store window "Merry Xmas!" because seriously, it's not that much harder to say/type/paint on your store window "Merry Christmas!" But I guess if you live in ye olden days and have the Plague or something and you only have enough ink, firelight, and strength to write "Merry Xmas!" on the last Christmas card you'll probably ever send to your estranged father, I won't hold your "Xmas" against you.

3) I'm kind of intensely stoked to give presents this year. In fact, I'm going to come right out and say that I am significantly more excited to give presents than to receive them this year. I really think I done good. Of course, don't make me a saint or anything; I'm still looking forward to having some of these coming my way. (Don't judge; I hear they're super comfy.) But seriously - I can't wait to GIVE. It's awesome.

But I really should wait. Because, if I didn't, I'd have to find new Christmas presents, which would mean shopping (and wrapping!) on Christmas Eve, not to mention only having time to write "Merry Xmas!" on all the gift tags.

And then I'd have to delete this post - which, seeing as how it is a fine example of my best sleep-deprived ramblings, would be a real shame.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Senorita Madelyn

I do not like Dora the Explorer .

And not just in a "I'm totally sick of this show and wish my two-year-old would develop a taste for Psych and Doris Day movies" kind of way, but in a true "This show makes me want to throw puppies at other puppies" kind of way.

And Maddy loves it. I'm crossing my fingers for a "phase." Except when I use them to make air quotes for the word "phase."

But anyway, Dora's saving grace is the fact that Maddy has actually learned some Spanish from the dang girl.

I first discovered this a few weeks ago, during a car ride in which my sister was in the car with us. Maddy was jabbering away happily in the backseat, and then she started counting (in English). I guess my sister thought it would be cool to teach her to count in Spanish, because she said, "Maddy, say 'uno.'"

Maddy replied, "dos."

I was seriously blown away. I had no idea she could do that.

And now she can *pretty much* count to 10. It sounds like this:

"Dos. Tres. Taco. Tsinco. Seis. Sete. Ocho.....Noobe.....Diez! Ocho, ocho ocho."

She doesn't say "uno." You have to say that to get her started. And it's likely that "ocho" will get thrown in there several times. Which is kinda funny, because when she was learning to count in English, she wouldn't say "one," and "eight" would get added in wherever. Hmm.

Oh, and yesterday she said "Abre" at her booster seat tray.

So, I guess it's a good thing we watch Dora, because I wouldn't have known what "Abre" meant otherwise.

Friday, December 2, 2011

35 Things: November Update

I got A LOT done this month, so instead of a big intro about how we are almost done with the year and November just flew by and blah, blah...let's just go!

7. Create a meal plan. And yes, the week of Thanksgiving is totally free game. Bwah-ha-ha!

12. Bake a new cookie every month. This month I made these Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk cookies, which were totally disappointing if you ask me (Dallin will probably continue to insist that they were fine), and also these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies with a Maple Cream Cheese Glaze, which were good, although the glaze never set quite right.

17. Clean out bedside drawers. This took me all of about 45 minutes one morning. #whattookyousolong.

18. Go on a picnic. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we got some Chick-Fil-A and ate it outside at the Gateway Airport. I really don't like eating outside, so it's kind of a big deal that I would choose to do so. Which is kinda why I made it a "thing to do" this year.

20. Go on a hike. Camelback. No, I didn't make it to the top, seeing as how you had to scale a freaking rock cliff to do so, and my non-exercising self was already hating my exercising self, and I really like it better when my selfs get along. But hey, it was still a good hike.

23. Create a grocery budget. I am so not a budgeter. This is probably because I kind of have a built-in budget system, which is the deep, dark fear I have of running out of money. I have always been afraid of this. Like, actually afraid. It even bothered me when my parents would make big purchases because I was sure it meant we would run out of money. But I digress. I made the budget, and I stuck to it. Only time will tell if I continue to use it.

25. Read 30 books. Maybe I'll do a separate post with specific feelings on these books, because I read FIVE this month! Go me! For now, here are just the ratings and a one word review.

-Crossed by Allie Condie: 3 stars. Boring.

-The Death Cure by James Dasher: 3.5 stars. Underwhelming.

-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: 5 stars. Moving.

-Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling: 3 stars. Entertaining.

-The Sherlockian by Graham Moore: 4 stars. Intriguing. Also, elementary.

32. Watch 10 movies I've "always wanted to see." This month, I watched Casablanca, which I was totally disappointed in, and also Breakfast at Tiffany's, which I found quite charming and would watch again, even if it didn't quite live up to the hype (which was probably impossible anyway).

33. Send 10 thank you cards for no real reason. What better time than Thanksgiving? I just wrote some cards to some people who deserved to be thanked for just being them. It made me all toasty inside.

35. Complete an act of service every month.

As you can see, I was quite the busy bee. And in case you didn't know it, I am also a poet. (B'dum-ch!)

I'm freaking out a little bit about making everything on my list happen. There are 6 or so things that I'm really just not sure about. But I guess that means it's time to stop whining and time to start doing! Bring it, December!