Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Non-Beauty Projects and Goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Did you have a good new year celebration? We did - we relaxed at home, had good food, played some board games, snuggled with Dennison. Good, happy times.

And back to business! I'm going to do another short post to share some of my beauty-related ideas and aims for the new year, but today let's take a break from that. Here are some of my other interests and projects! These aren't necessarily things that I'm going to start all of a sudden or hope to accomplish, just projects that I want to devote more time to and enjoy. In no particular order:

1. Knitting & Crocheting
I made a few passing attempts at it over the years, but it wasn't until last November that I really decided to give it a serious go. I made a scarf and a hat! Both are pretty crude, but the little successes make it easy to keep going and learning. I'm having fun! And it's nice to make something useful!

2. Baking: New Projects!
I like to bake and do it quite often, but now that I've had a bit more experience, I want to tackle some harder projects that have always been on my to-do list, like macarons and english muffins (I've tried to make english muffins a few times now, and they never come out right. I think it's the skillet business. I suck at proper cooking methods). And fancier yeast breads!

3. Learning More French & Korean
In Annecy. Ah, France.

At one point in time, I could hold up my end of a basic conversation in French; I studied abroad (for just a month, though) in Annecy and placed in the highest level of class at an international school for French. I've forgotten most of it, though, and my vocabulary was never the largest, as my French background comes only from college - I minored in it. I do love the language, and want to learn it again. Though really, the best way is to have someone to practice with. S. said he would learn it with me even though he has no background in it (he took German in high school), but I'm not sure how much of that was genuine interest and how much of that was "Sure, sure, I'll do anything you like, but not right now." Harrumph. At the same time, I want to pick up more Korean. I took Korean and French concurrently in college and the contrast of the two was actually really fun. Does anyone have any favorite resources for learning languages? I've heard things both good and bad about Rosetta, but I don't have the money for that right now.

4. Training Dennison

We don't need him to do anything fancy, but it would be nice to have a polite, well-behaved dog. He's not a rascal by any means, but he can get excited (SQUIRRELS) and doesn't have a lot of experience with other dogs. Now that he's much better (i.e., less petrified) of other people and dogs, we want to work on getting him to pay more attention to commands when he's outside, and to be less distracted. It's also fun to work on tricks, like "shake." He can do most of the basic things - sit, stay, down, leave it, etc., but it's a constant process. Dogs need intellectual stimulation and it's also part of being a responsible dog owner, you know? It's also a good chance for me to practice patience and firmness...as I sometimes collapse into giggles when he does something incorrect.

5. Be Better About Budgeting and Managing the Home

We want to travel and also be able to make the right investments in the future (home, etc.), so we need to be better about this now. We're not terrible, but we could make better decisions sometimes. We already do a lot of cooking (every night, usually) but it's the impulsive splurges that can kill us. With some goals in mind (possibly moving, job hunting, traveling!) it should be easier to make better money decisions.

Five sounds good, right? (Oh, also - I want to write more, but that's a more personal thing). Of course, there's also my dissertation work and job hunting, but that's stressful right now so let's not talk about that.

What are your fun projects and goals for the new year?