Monthly Archives: November 2011

Mmm, Mmm, Good!

A few days ago, I was in the middle of a not so great week. I was moping around and in a generally bad mood. It was really a culmination of things that had gotten me to that point, but I was being a brat to everyone anyway.

Then I decided to go out and get some dinner with a friend who was in town. It was an extremely short dinner (since I had to get back to work), but I was able to do a quick catch up over sushi. Halfway through the first roll I stopped and snapped a picture

I actually made my friend stop eating so I could take a photograph of our food. It was this action that made me realize I had a slight obsession.

Slight is an understatement, however, as I went through the pictures saved on my phone and found over 50 pictures of food.

I apologized to my friend and felt a little embarrassed. She was completely cool about it and said that she use to do the same thing. She showed me an album on her phone titled “My Secret Shame” which was filled with photos of food.

After my apology I asked her if she shared the pictures with anyone and she told me that she use to post them on Facebook and then realized it probably made her seem strange to potential guys so she stopped.

Should I stop? It doesn’t really do any harm, it’s just a little strange that I can’t sit through a decent meal without thinking, “I need to get a picture of this!” Maybe it’s because the food always looks so pretty and then is devoured so quickly. I’m not sure why I do it, but I have my own “My Secret Shame” folder on my phone now.

Questions: Do you take pictures of your food? What do you do with the pictures?

Gift Giving

I pride myself on my gift giving abilities. I am that person who stresses over each person on my list, not only when it comes to what I’m getting them, but also how I will give it. Over the years I have wrapped gifts in a lot of creative ways, but this year I fell in love with this:

I love the idea that you can use fairly simple paper to actually wrap the gift and it doesn’t need any kind of tag. I’m excited to personalize each person’s name with special paper and little extras.

In the past I have gone with sponge paint designs on wrapping paper for Christmas/Hanukkah, wrapping birthday gifts in newspaper from the day the person was born, hand drawing comics detailing how the couple met for wedding presents and even painted designs. Even though the wrapping paper is not the part of the present that everyone enjoys, I try to make it that way.

I absolutely love giving gifts and I find any excuse I can to buy them. First day of summer? Fall weather just starting? Going on a trip? I have given gifts to friends on all those occasions. I am also the person who buys cards throughout the year, for when I need to grab one for an event. I have a very organized box of greeting cards that has saved me more than once. I use to send out between 50-75 holiday cards each year, but with my schedule as of late it looks like I may only get to send out a few to my family.

Maybe I should just send eCards this year and be really lame.

As far as gifts go, I have yet to really start shopping. The only thing I know is that I am making “Apple Cider Caramels” for my co-workers. I plan on making boxes, à la Martha Stewart, and filling them with the caramels. I’m excited to do this and I plan on getting all the boxes done sometime after Thanksgiving. I will definitely take pictures of everything I decide to do, including all the wrapping!

**I apologize for not updating in a while. I was in Boston for a CELEST event and since my return to LA,  I have a wicked case of bronchitis.**

Planning Ahead and Not Giving Up

At the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would complete a set of goals by the end of 2011.

So far I have finished 4/10 goals in a 10 month span (almost 11). Now that it is the beginning of November, I decided to look back at my list of goals and see how I can improve upon them, complete them or realize that I have failed.

The problem with this is that I don’t feel like it’s ever alright to quit. The thought of not completing my goals upsets me and I really want to find someway to finish all of them by the end of the year!

Goals Completed:

-Read thirty (30) books in 2011 (officially completed 10/16/11)

-Buy a house in California (completed 7/19/11)

-Volunteer with Doctors without Borders (9/23/11, placed in pool for matching)

– Allow myself to be more artistic (blog posts, baking, sketching, began writing novel)

Goals I Have Partly Finished:

-Run fifty (50) miles a week following Runners World MPW Target Goals (Target: 2600;  Completed: 2300 -20 for sick days = 2280;  To Run: 320 miles in 7 weeks + 6 days)

-Complete two (2) detox plans (first plan completed on 6/20/11, second plan tentatively completed 11/25/11-12/16/11)

-Set aside time everyday to write (I have not been writing creatively everyday, but I have done it almost every other day. Between blog posts, writing a novel and writing a few short stories, I have really tried to complete this goal!)

-Take a cooking course in one of the following cuisines: Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Persian (Middle eastern), Spanish, Latin American
(signed up for an Indian cooking course held on 11/29/11)

Goals I Have Yet to Complete:
-Travel back to Poland to see family
-Learn to say “No” 

These last two goals have been the hardest for me to complete. I have been unable to find the time to fly back to Poland during the year, but I have seen family members periodically. I really want to travel back home to Łódź, but this goal may have to wait until I have more free time.

The second goal, which seems easy, is terribly difficult. I can never seem to find it in myself to say no to someone. I always volunteer for everything and it has worn me very thin. I will continue to work on this, but I have a feeling I will just resign myself to tacking this on my goals for 2012.

Speaking of 2012, I have thought about the goals I want to set for myself. So far I have come up with:

Possible 2012 Goals
-Strengthen my personal relationships by spending more time with those I care about.
-Finish my novel
-Keep a “365 Food and  Exercise” Journal for a year (make it a page on my blog)
-Take an actual vacation with someone
-Complete at least one (2) marathons (shoot for 4) or six (6) races (shoot for 10) in 2012
-Read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series
-Learn to do one of the following: sew, knit, screen print
-Host a dinner party once a month to meet new people
-Get back into photography
-Write more letters and thank you notes (emails do not count)
-Make a substantial blog post once a week or a small post once a day
-Try something new once a month
-Read 40 books in 2012
-Watch AFI’s 100 Best Movies in 2012
-Learn a programming language
-Take a course in something I know nothing about (and get an A!)
-Build a computer (desktop)
-Learn to surf, snowboard or ski
-Meditate once a day for one (1) hour

Goals to Continue
-Take more cooking courses (Persian, Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish)
-Read at least a book a month (shoot for 20, hit 30 if possible)
-Allow myself to be more artistic
-Write something, creatively, each day

Obviously I will not use all these goals. I need ten (10) solid goals, which do not include the goals I would love to carry over into the new year. I really need to make sure that I understand the time I have to invest in each to complete them on time. Setting the goals I did this year, really pushed me into trying some new things and I enjoyed the feeling of completion when I finished a goal!

Questions: Are you going to set goals for yourself in 2012? What are some of the goals you have in mind? What do you think of some of the goals I have in mind for next year? Have you completed a similar goal? Do you have any advice on completing any of the goals above?