Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “Resolutions

Christmas Recap And A Plan For The Future

The last post I wrote was all about how I wasn’t feeling Christmas this year. I said how I wanted to just fast forward through to 2013. I must admit that feeling hasn’t gone away. But I have found the need to get some more balance in my life. Blogging is one of the ways I manage to feel balanced, and so I’m back to try not to depress the hell out of everyone in the last couple days of 2012. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas in spite of lack of money, a bit too many national tragedies, and a fiscal cliff threatening to pull all the news stations in with it.

On to not depressing you. My Christmas was lovely. We spent Christmas Eve night at the husband’s parents’ house just hanging. We spent Christmas Day early at my parents’ house for brunch. Then we all went up to Evanston for a Christmas dinner at the house of one of the husband’s aunts. Well, not all of us. One of the gifts my parents received for Christmas was Bulls tickets, so they went to the game instead of dinner with the rest of us.

I was so full from their Christmas brunch though, I barely had room for dinner. I mostly just ate the pot roast the husband’s mother made. It’s so good. I ate so much of it at Thanksgiving, my stomach was going through withdrawal. So I had my pot roast fix and my stomach is currently devising ways to get her to make more even though we’re past all the major cooking holidays for now.

If you read my last post, you’re probably wondering if I ended up getting potpourri drawer things for all the women in my world. The answer would be no, I did not. The husband and I ultimately decided to get house gifts for everyone. We got a house gift for my parents, his parents, one of his older sisters, and my grandmother.

We got actual gifts for three of our nieces and our one great-niece. Our lives were made easier because most of the adult siblings etc. still live at home for various reasons (read, not because they are going nowhere in life but because life’s circumstances are kicking them), so they got lumped in with the house gifts.

We still went over budget, which sucks, but we got gifts we really felt everyone could really use and love. My two favorite purchases were the area rug for the husband’s parents and the electric carving knife for my parents. No more big open floor space, though I will miss seeing the great expanse of gorgeous hardwood floors. And for my parents, no more questionably carved… everything. I must admit one of daddy’s strong suits isn’t slicing or carving any meat. Hopefully, that will change now.

Even though I wasn’t feeling Christmas, I still had the Christmas I wanted. I forced my Christmas playlist on myself and really found myself enjoying the tunes in the days leading up to Christmas. How many times can you say Christmas in one paragraph? Anyway, I had good food and good company, which was all I wanted. And neither set of parents had any trees or lights up, so I felt right at home. Maybe we’ll all do better next year.

So about this balance I’ve been saying I needed to find. It’s related to work.  Since I got my promotion at work, it’s just been work. Work. WORK. The job requirements are more than any human can accomplish in a work week. There are things I’m expected to do outside of the hours I’m at the building. Donation is a 24 hour business after all. That being sad, I hate being less than adequate at anything, so I was all about work. Then I realized I was getting no sleep, eating no food, having no sex. It’s a real problem. I have since recommitted myself to finding more of a balance.

In my head, I’ll be blogging more frequently, trying to re-focus my blog on the things I think my readers will actually find interesting. I think my life as a newly married woman in Chicago is pretty interesting. I’ve discovered some great places in this city through hunting for good food and music with the husband. I also really love my job and what I do, though I try not to talk too much about work, but maybe I can find something to share that doesn’t violate HIPAA.

Of course, I’d like to get back on the exercise bandwagon. I’m not a fan of my profile and I shudder to think how difficult it will be to get back in shape after kids if I’m out of shape before we even start. And no, that was not a sideways reveal of a plan to start having kids. It was more of a reveal of the true depth of my vanity. I’ve been so busy with work, I haven’t even contemplated doing anything else but sitting on the couch and re-charging after work. But no more! My life will  be more than spreadsheets, and one on one meetings, and auditing phone calls. It will include baking, and exercising, and blogging.The husband has been really patient with this transition. I think I owe it to both of us to turn back into a real person.

I don’t know if I can just wake up tomorrow and be this whole new person, but I’m sure as hell going to try. I know what I need to do, so it’s just a matter of doing it. I’ve tried making new year’s resolutions. I’ve tried scheduling everything in. I’ve tried self-determination. None of that works long-term, so perhaps now I’ll try a combination of them all. I’ve learned I need to gear up slowly.

Have you ever tried to jump in with both feet into something new? Some people can do it, but not me. When I do it, I go strong for a bit, but eventually I fatigue. Whoever said three weeks was enough time to train people to new activity and habit was a liar and a fraud. It takes waaay longer. All I know is I need decompression time if I’m going to sustain an activity that sucks all my energy.

So what’s first up in my plan to re-gain balance? Well, duh, it was blogging. That’s why you’re reading this post. Once I’ve got blogging consistently back in my life, then I’ll add something else. My work out DVDs are calling, but I don’t know if they’ll be it. We’ll see. But you’ll get no new year’s resolution list from me, so stop asking. Oh, well, since you twisted my arm, I’ll at least let you know how I did on my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions.

Just over a year ago, I wrote my new year’s resolutions post. It was full of wonderful things I wanted to focus on for 2012.

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week. This is one I came pretty close to accomplishing. On average, I definitely did accomplish this one. Some weeks, I didn’t cook at all. Others, I cooked several times. I’d say this was a mission accomplished.

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater. Fail. I think I’ve seen three or four movies this year. I’ve been to no plays, no musicals, no orchestra performances, no ballets. It seems now the only live performance I see is when the husband has a gig. Thank God his music is good.

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga. Fail again. And to think I thought I’d still have time for yoga, or a desire for jogging. I hate running! I did find Tracy Anderson though. She’d be good to me if I ever popped her DVD into the player. But it’s on my to-do list for 2013. I will get back on track.

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week. This one is in between. I rarely eat fried foods. I’ve even managed to get more vegetables on the table at big family dinners. But my intake of potato chips and things like that undermines my lessened consumption of fries, fried fish, and fried chicken.

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April. Major Fail. I just really want to get out of Hyde Park, and I think not unpacking is a symptom of that. Some part of me never wanted this place to feel too home-y because then we’d never fucking leave. I realize that’s irrational now (though we are still here when we should reside in New York by now…), and I plan to ge it done. I have to actually unpack, so I can re-pack whenever we move the hell away from here.

6) Get another cat. This one I actually did! Jazz is a crazy cat, but she fits in perfectly with our family.

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity. Eh, except for when I got my promotion, I guess we sort of made this work. There are still a couple of things I haven’t used yet. But I just can’t imagine the cleaning afterward if I put on the candy underwear. I’m not ready for it yet.

So, I didn’t do so hot on my list. I did better than I thought I did though. I’ve learned setting firm deadlines means nothing if you don’t have the time or motivation to make it happen. Maybe I’ll look up motivation techniques to do things you hate the idea of. I’m not referring to exercise, I’m referring to unpacking this apartment. I just really don’t want to do it. This is the only place I’ve ever lived that never felt like home to me. Perhaps we’ll get it right next time, and we’ll live in a place I can’t wait to make home.

How was your Christmas?Any great plans for self-improvement in the new year?


New Year’s Resolutions: June and July

I’ve been trying to keep track of my new year’s resolutions, with varying success. If you make resolutions at all, you know how easy it is to lose track of them only a few weeks into the new year. I have an entire tab at the top of my blog dedicated to keeping track of my failure efforts to stay on track.

Here are my 2012 resolutions along with how I did:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé husband at least once a week.

Yeah… this one comes and goes. It really depends on what our schedule looks like. I’d say on average I cook for him a couple of times a week. That’s an AVERAGE though. Sometimes it is several times, sometimes it’s none.

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.

We’ve seen a movie at least once a month. Most recently we saw Ted. I found the movie not nearly as funny as anyone else until the teddy bear died and I was the only one laughing. The man behind me in the theater called me a monster. It was a teddy bear! Whatever. We had plans to go see a play last month, but I accidentally ruined those plans.

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.

Nope nope nope nope. But I’ve got a plan to finally do better. I’ve been biking about once a week, and with my new exercise plan, I will really step it up. Fingers crossed!

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.

I keep forgetting about this one. If I ignore the food I eat while at work, I stick to this resolution very well.

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April October.

So… I intend to make the goal of October. I have a plan to buy more shelves and that should go a long way for organization.

6) Get another cat.

We did it! There’s an upcoming post about Jazz.

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Yeah, haven’t cracked open an unused gift yet, but I do get great repeat use from some gifts. Who has time? I should check if that edible stuff people bought us has an expiration date.


New Year’s Resolutions: April and May

I stopped doing the weekly updates of my New Year’s Resolutions because it was the same thing week after week. But now that we’re nearing the end of May, I figured I’d do an update on how I’d done since my last post on April Fool’s Day.

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé husband at least once a week.

I’ve done an amazing job of this. On a bad week I’m cooking only once. That’s when our schedules don’t match up and I don’t see him for three days. On a good week, it’s up to three times.

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.

We’ve seen a movie at least once a month. Most recently we saw both Think Like a Man and The Avengers on the same day in the theater. Both great movies! We really need to expand out to more cultural events. I want to go to a concert or musical.

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.

Don’t even get me started. I’m lucky if I squeeze in some sit-ups and push-ups once a week. At least the husband and I play the Wii more so I get some aerobic exercise in once a week.

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.

Yeah, I’d forgotten all about this goal. If you count the multiple fried foods all in one meal, then I’m sort of only doing it once a week. I can improve this one easily though.

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April October.

April has come and gone and our bedrooms are still a mess. That’s why I’ve changed the finish date to October. For Project UnPack, we’ve got the bathroom, hallway, living room, closets, and kitchen done. Now it’s just the two bedrooms.

6) Get another cat.

We did it! There’s an upcoming post about Jazz.

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

It’s not always the lingerie, but I honestly do use one of those gifts once a week. Mostly kitchenware. Eventually though, we will move to the goodie drawer. Giggity.


Resolutions, Week 13

So here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the husband at least once a week.   

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.   

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.   

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.   

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.   

6) Get another cat.   

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Here’s how I did:

1) I definitely have been accomplishing this one the last few weeks. I’ve cooked dinner, and made breakfast, lunch, and dessert too. I’ve got a well-fed husband at home

2) I saw Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds and The Hunger Games in March. I expect the new American Pie movie (that does come out in April right?) will take care of me this month.

3) At the doctor, I was close the heaviest I’ve ever been. So no, no exercising.

4) I haven’t been eating a lot of fried foods. I should amend that for saucy foods. Pasta, pizza, smothered everything is not the best alternative to fried.

5) Well, not by the beginning of April. Maybe by the end. Cross your fingers.

6) Working on it.

7) Made cookies, used lingerie, and used other kitchen items. I used it an average of once a week, though not really once a week. Close enough?


Resolutions, Week 10

So here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the husband at least once a week.   

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.   

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.   

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.   

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.   

6) Get another cat.   

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Here’s how I did:

1) I didn’t cook dinner exactly, but I did make breakfast food a little bit after midnight. I’m quite sure that counts. One of our wedding gifts was the griddle I’d been wanting, so I’ve been hooking up bacon, home-made French toast, and perfecctly cooked sunny side up eggs this past week.

2) I went to the movies right at the beginning of the month with my mom to see Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds. Maybe I’ll get a chance to do it again since I have four days off in a row this coming week.

3) I don’t want to talk about exercise. Not yet.

4) I had a happy meal from McDonald’s and they had the world’s smallest box of french fries, that barely counts, right?

5) Now that Project UnPack has help, this may happen.

6) The husband wants to go get a cat this week! Yay!

7) I used some of the kitchen utensils with that griddle this week. Gotta love nonstick!


Resolutions, Week 9

I know I basically took a month off on the resolutions, but it was so I could gain weight and have a hilarious series of photos for my wedding with the hook and eye bursting as my maid of honor strapped me in my dress.

But I’m back now and trying to make good on my resolutions. Back to cooking my husband dinner, back to Project UnPack. Speaking of Project UnPack, that’s mostly just me trying to de-wedding my apartment. The husband has been a huge help with that.

So here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the husband at least once a week.   

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.   

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.   

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.   

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.   

6) Get another cat.   

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Here’s how I did:

1) I meant to cook dinner, I really did. but neither of us wanted to go to the grocery store. And then I spent a whole evening putting together a fantastic liquor cabinet our bridesmaids bought it. It fits everything: punch bowl, shot glasses, wine, wine glasses, etc. So we admired that while we ate take out barbeque.

2) I went to see Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds with my mom on Thursday. I find myself enjoying his movies more and more as they start to feel more like real rom-coms and less like new age church-y minstrel shows.

3) Yeah, I’m almost back up to the highest weight I’ve ever been. Thank God for stretchy jegging pants because my jeans do not fit.

4) I may have had french fries like 3 times this week. Sigh.

5) Well, I finally put up all our wedding gifts that are already at our house. That’s the first step in our effort to de-wedding our apt.

6) Working on it.

7) I’m wearing one of the gifts right now. Or at least I was when I got home from work. Wink.


Resolutions Week 5

Edit: Feb 6th
I decided that I need to keep myself motivated to actually follow my resolutionsthis year. If you’re feeling motivated, join me! Write a weekly post where you share how resolved you are (or how resolved you wish you were!). To refresh, here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week.    2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.    3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.    4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.    5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.    6) Get another cat.    7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

1) I’m quite sure I didn’t cook. Let me just say that with that big ass wedding so close, these Resolutions fell to the backburner.
2) No Feb. movie yet. We’ll prolly handle that during the honeymoon.
3) Not even close.
4) Only at fried foods once. Lot me some buffalo wild wings.
5) The place actually looks worse as it gets taken over by wedding deliveries, clothes, and crafts.
6) Moving on…
7) I used some of the bath products. It was like a spa up in here.


Resolutions Week 4

I decided that I need to keep myself motivated to actually follow my resolutionsthis year. If you’re feeling motivated, join me! Write a weekly post where you share how resolved you are (or how resolved you wish you were!). To refresh, here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week.    2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.    3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.    4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.    5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.    6) Get another cat.    7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

1) I made a delicious and healthy dinner that included poached tilapia, oven-roasted glazed carrots, over-roasted broccoli, and white rice. With a glass of white wine, it was a great dinner. I also made baked macaroni one night. The fiancé said it needed more cheese, but I purposely made it with less cheese so it will be healthier. We’ll never be vegans, or even vegetarians, but we can at least take a meal that has 1500 calories and cut it down to 800, you know?

2) We’re good for January. I wonder if Mission Impossible will still be in theaters in February.

3) Not even close. I just haven’t been feeling motivated. And motivation tips?

4) Other than bacon, I’ve had no fried foods. I believe I will go fried foods crazy for the Super Bowl though. I’ve already decided.

5) I think I can do this. I’ll have motivation to get it done especially if I know we’re staying in Chicago for another year.

6) Still assessing if my crazy-ass cat can even handle the introduction of a kitten to her home.

7) I used some of the cooking gear I got at the shower when I made the fiancé dinner. No giggity.


Resolutions Week 3

I decided that I need to keep myself motivated to actually follow my resolutions this year. If you’re feeling motivated, join me! Write a weekly post where you share how resolved you are (or how resolved you wish you were!). To refresh, here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week.    2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.    3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.    4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.    5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.    6) Get another cat.    7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

And here’s how I did:

1) I really don’t know where the whole week went, but I don’t think I cooked dinner for the fiancé. Foodie Fail. I’ll have to do it twice next week. 2) We went to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D! I’d like to see Mission Impossible 4 and that Tuskegee Airmen film, but who knows if that’ll happen. But at least I made it to the theater before January was over. 3) Yeah, don’t even ask. I was mentally exercising, which is why my wedding dress fits better now, without actual exercise… Yeah, that’s my story… 4) I almost ate fried chicken Thursday night, but I ended up not doing it. That made the salt and vinegar potato chips I ate on Friday possible. 5) No progress. Don’t judge me. 6) The fiancé is fully convinced our attention whore of a cat needs company that can be with her all day. Now we just have to assure ourselves of the low statistical probability that the second cat will also be emotionally needy. 7) I used some of the bath products. Tangerine scented lotion, yum! I may intersperse that in with my regular lotion a couple times a week.


Resolutions Week 2

I decided that I need to keep myself motivated to actually follow my resolutions this year. If you’re feeling motivated, join me! Write a weekly post where you share how resolved you are (or how resolved you wish you were!).

To refresh, here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week.    2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.    3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.    4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.    5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.    6) Get another cat.    7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

And here’s how I did:

1) I Cooked dinner twice this week. And if you count midnight snacks, I’ve cooked four times this week. I like taking care of my man and he’s definitely a way-to-his-heart-is-through-his-stomach type.

2) Still working on this. I figure I’ll go see the 3D Disney movie coming out next week. Beauty and the Beast!

3) Yeah… um… I went to yoga on Saturday. And there was snow so I couldn’t jog. Just fill in another 3 generic excuses for me so I don’t have to.

4) No fried foods this week! So proud of myself. I’m not gonna talk about carbs (and how many I ate), and just focus on meeting my stated goal.

5) Haven’t made even a bit of headway, and I don’t expect to until after my wedding, so there will be four more posts of no progress on #5.

6) Also waiting until after the wedding.

7) I used two of the gifts last week. And only one was a bottle of wine. Giggity.

I still need to do better in the exercising department. It’s so hard to find the time and energy to make it happen. But making that time is increasingly more important as we get close to the wedding day and stress piles on.

How are you doing on your resolutions?


Resolutions Week 1

I decided that I need to keep myself motivated to actually follow my resolutions this year. If you’re feeling motivated, join me! Write a weekly post where you share how resolved you are (or how resolved you wish you were!).

To refresh, here are my resolutions:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week.    2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.    3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.    4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.    5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.    6) Get another cat.    7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

And here’s how I did:

1) I meant to cook. I swear I did. At first I didn’t have all the ingredients. Then he had gigs two nights in a row and didn’t get home until after I fell asleep. Then I had to work two nights in a row. And then the week was over. But I have a plan. I can cook before he gets home. I know that seems like a “duh” realization. But, usually when I cook, we eat together. If I cook for him to eat alone, I should be able to get this done even with our schedules. That, and I will cook twice next week to make up for being a bad fiancée

2) I still have another three weeks to make this happen. The procrastination fairy told me to tell you that.

3) Um, well, I did make it Saturday afternoon before work to yoga. I have no excuse. I’m lazy and I’ll never fit into my wedding dress and eat and breathe.

4) I had fried foods on the 1st and the 2nd, but that was it. Maybe I’ll try no fried foods from the 8-14 to make up for it.

5) I’ve made no headway. But procrastination fairy says I’m good on time.

6) Skipping this one. See #5.

7) I finally got my bridal shower gifts from my parents’ house. I decided not to get all freaky just yet and just opened a bottle of wine. I got four bottles, so I need to get to drinking!

Did you keep up with your resolutions or did you fold only one week in?


My New Year’s Resolutions

I wrote my post about New Year’s resolutions that went up two days ago last week. In that time, I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I’ve come up with some good ones.

A good set of resolutions include things you’ve been meaning to work on, but haven’t found the motivation. It should also include something you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t been able to make time for. With that in mind, here’s my list:

1) Cook dinner for the fiancé at least once a week.

2) Go to some sort of production/media thingee once a month. This can be as extravagant as the opera, or as simple as a movie theater.

3) Exercise an average of 3 times a week. This can be going jogging or yoga.

4) Improve my diet to a point where I’m only eating fried foods once a week.

5) Finish unpacking my apartment by April.

6) Get another cat.

7) Use one of my bridal shower gifts at least once a week. Giggity.

Did you come up with New Year’s Resolutions? If you did, link to your post in the comments or list them below.


A New Year’s Resolution

I’ve got a great idea. It was inspired by a blog I read by Silverneurotic. She’s one of the first bloggers I started reading back when I started blogging consistently over at blogger. Her last post mentioned New Year’s only very briefly. She said she was going to work on her resolutions.

Then I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be a great idea to do that myself? I’d been thinking about it here and there, but I think I’m going to actually do it.

How many years have you written out a list of admirable and possibly achievable New Year’s resolutions only to forget all about the list a few weeks later? You only think of it around the next New Year’s when you’re wondering if you should even bother to make another list.

So on to my great idea.

I say we all make a New Year’s resolution list. Write a blog post about it. It can be just your list or your list and an explanation or a plan of action. Then post it on your blog, but make it a sticky post. That way, you can’t forget about it.

We could even do a monthly meme that checks in on the progress. I don’t  know about that one. I’ll probably feel more committed to it if I cross something off my list before January is over.

So what do you think? Who wants to join me in coming up with a fantastic list for their New Year’s resolution? I’m going to start right now.