Some of the things I want to do in 2010

by Wendy Copley on January 4, 2010

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Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fantastic December and enjoyed their holidays tremendously!

As is often the case, the new year has spurred me to do a little reflection on my life and look at some places I’d like to make some changes. Most people refer to these ideas as “resolutions”, but I much prefer to think of them as goals. In the past, I’ve had some grand ideas about how I would make change happen in my life — lose weight! spend more time with friends!  de-clutter the house! do more creative stuff! — but my follow through on those nice ideas has been less than stellar.  Last year I set some much more specific goals and I’m happy to report that I actually achieved (and even surpassed) many of them.

This year I want to get even more granular in my goals. One of the big things I feel like my life was lacking last year was self-fulfillment. My lay-off and the subsequent transition from career-lady to stay-at-home-mom left me floundering a bit. I could write a whole big post about this topic, but for now I’ll just say that I found myself dedicating the majority of my time to satisfying other people’s wants and needs and significantly less time doing things I enjoyed and that made me happy. So this year, I’ve compiled a list of small, achievable goals for myself. Most of them are fun and all of them will make me happy in some way. I’ve grouped them loosely into five categories: cooking, crafts, kids, organization, and personal projects.

There are a gazillion things on the list already and I suspect that I’ll add more from time to time. It’s possible that I won’t complete them all this year (though I hope I will) but even if I only get to half of them I bet I’ll feel happier.

So without further ado, here is my list:

  1. Actually make those pretzel crayon thingies for Wyatt’s lunch.
  2. Bake bread.
  3. Find five reliable, healthy, delicious soup recipes.
  4. Learn to make pickles and/or marmalade.
  5. Make a split the layer cake.
  6. Make a twinkie cake.
  7. Make macarons.
  8. Make red beans and rice from scratch.
  9. Assemble paper Christmas train with the kids.
  10. Assemble paper Christmas village with the kids.
  11. Assemble Project 365 scrapbook.
  12. Do another photo-a-day project.
  13. Etch glass.
  14. Finish my project 365 blog posts.
  15. Finish the fingerless mitts I started before Christmas.
  16. Knit August a cute hat.
  17. Learn to crochet.
  18. Make a Santa outfit for Wyatt’s Imaginext Batman.
  19. Make a softie for my niece-to-be.
  20. Make a special birthday hat and get a special birthday plate.
  21. Make at least 30 scrapbook layouts.
  22. Make Augie more felt food.
  23. Make car organizers for each of the kids.
  24. Make felt gingerbread men for the kids.
  25. Make some felt flower barrettes.
  26. May some air dry clay flowers.
  27. Set up a light box for photographing food and crafts.
  28. Take a letterpress class.
  29. Add five new foods to Wyatt’s eating repertoire.
  30. Do a potato stamp art project with the boys.
  31. Find a park with a splash pad for the kids to play in.
  32. Read more with August.
  33. Read more with Wyatt.
  34. Sign up for a “Mommy and Me” type class with Augie.
  35. Take Augie for walks around the block.
  36. Take August to ride the steam trains.
  37. Take my kids to Iowa in the warm months.
  38. Take the kids swimming.
  39. Take Wyatt to the King Tut exhibit.
  40. Use our zoo membership.
  41. Visit Little Farm with the kids.
  42. Buy a laundry hamper.
  43. Clear miscellaneous stuff off the top of the living room book cases.
  44. Clear out the basement storage room and Freecycle like crazy.
  45. Clear the clutter from my bedroom.
  46. Get rid of half the stuff in our horrible, scary office.
  47. Organize my crafting.
  48. Re-organize and purge my craft supplies.
  49. Re-organize and refresh bento supplies.
  50. Set up a desk for Wyatt.
  51. Attend BlogHer 2010.
  52. Buy an every day skirt.
  53. Double Wendolonia’s blog traffic and subscriptions.
  54. Find a babysitter.
  55. Find my copy of “Wreck This Journal” and wreck it.
  56. Find some kind of exercise I enjoy and do it regularly.
  57. Finish my book proposal.
  58. Get a new couch.
  59. Go on more than one date with Zach.
  60. Go out to a grown up restaurant with another couple.
  61. Go to Nordstrom for a bra fitting.
  62. Hold another diaper drive for Help a Mother Out.
  63. Make a bento box how-to video.
  64. Make more lists.
  65. Print and frame a “Get Excited and Make Things” poster for my office wall.
  66. Read To Kill a Mockingbird.
  67. Start Weight Watchers again.
  68. Stay in a hotel alone for a weekend to sleep late, scrapbook, blog, and do whatever else I want.
  69. Take a day (or weekend) trip to Santa Cruz.
  70. Take periodic “days off” from social networking.
  71. Take some naps.
  72. Volunteer in Wyatt’s classroom.
  73. Wean Augie.

I’ve already posted my list to the sidebar of this blog and I’ll be crossing them out (and likely blogging about many of them) as I complete them.

Did you set any goals for the new year? What fun, fulfilling activities are you planning for yourself?

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  • I want to take a letterpress class too! We could do it together!

  • rookiemomwhitney

    I love your list. I would be happy to do many of those things with you. Also, support you in another way like sharing recipes, craft supplies, or date night recommendations.

  • Poppyprint

    Oh. my. goodness. I am reeling from your list, but strangely inspired. I love how you have many small, seemingly achievable goals, plus many bigger-requiring-more-commitment stuff. I once took a 5-year planning course and one of the exercises was to make a list of “100 things to do before I die”. Sadly, I could only come up with about 45. You are about 3/4 there and you hope to do it all in one year!!! Amazing. Best of luck. Take it easy on yourself! I vote to start with weekend in a hotel by yourself. A girl needs some time to rest up and prepare for conquering her list!

  • Karen

    Are you soliciting soup recipes? I've got a couple you might like…

  • Kelly Ough

    I was on maternity leave for the first time in 2009…I had so many things on my mental to do list that I didn't get to. I did make some breads (from the fantastic Baking with Julia cookbook) and I did make marmalade, it was very easy. I am inspired to make a more detailed list for my to do's this year. Great idea.

  • 8. http://www.myazcomputerguy.com/everbrite/PageH2… <- my mom's easy and slightly unconventional red beans and rice recipe. it is oddly fabulous with fried sweet plantains.
    42. http://www.containerstore.com/shop/shelving/int… <-my secret laundry sorting method: one bin on each shelf, 3 shelves for red, dark, and white laundry. top it off with a smaller bin for delicates and dry cleaning on top!

  • Yes, please! I would love any soup recipes you can offer up.

  • You go girl! What a list! 🙂 I have to say that I've been admiring your bentos and decided to quit lurking and say hi, especially since you want to try to make edible crayons! We have a Daiso in town and I need to go check it out. I also love the idea of simply using food pens on the kids' lunches to practice reading words. Genius!

  • Karol

    You wore me out just reading your list. I need a nap.

  • Karen

    OK. Here's my very favorite — easy, healthy, kid-friendly.
    Tortellini Tomato Soup (adapted from a long-ago recipe in the SF Chronicle)
    Ingredients: 1 package tortellini, 2 cans diced tomatoes, 2 cans chicken broth, 1 or 2 chopped onions, 2-3 cloves garlic (or use a big spoon of crushed jarred garlic), some chopped veggies (I usually use a handful of grated carrot, a couple of sliced zucchini and a few chopped stalks of celery — but you can add spinach, bell peppers, whatever), 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme. 1/4 tsp pepper flakes (optional).
    Saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the other veggies and saute briefly (if using spinach, it should be added with the tortellini). Add tomatoes, broth, and herbs, and allow to simmer.
    Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to package directions. When finished, drain and add to soup. Allow to simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors.
    Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, if desired.
    That's it. This one's great, because it's so adaptable. You can use any kind of tortellini you like (or ravioli for that matter), you can use all kinds of different veggies (fresh, frozen…) — it's impossible to mess it up. You can even make it vegetarian by using veggie broth and no-meat tortellini.
    It keeps OK in the fridge, but it's better to freeze it as the tortellini keep on sucking up the broth.

  • Karen

    Here's another favorite, this one from Leanne Ely at Saving Dinner. You could always leave out the greens (and replace with some other veggie) if they don't work with your kids. My kid loves them, but his tastes are, shall we say, unusual for a kid.
    Italian Wedding Soup
    Serves 6
    1/2 pound ground beef, extra lean
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    2 tablespoons bread crumbs
    1 tablespoon Romano cheese
    1/2 teaspoon basil
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    5 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
    2 cups kale or spinach, thinly sliced
    1 cup orzo pasta
    1/3 cup carrot, finely chopped
    In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, meat, egg, cheese, basil and onion
    powder, shape into 3/4 inch balls.
    In a large saucepan, heat broth to boiling, stir in kale, orzo, carrot and gently drop in meatballs. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

  • Karol

    You wore me out just reading your list. I need a nap.

  • Karen

    OK. Here's my very favorite — easy, healthy, kid-friendly.
    Tortellini Tomato Soup (adapted from a long-ago recipe in the SF Chronicle)
    Ingredients: 1 package tortellini, 2 cans diced tomatoes, 2 cans chicken broth, 1 or 2 chopped onions, 2-3 cloves garlic (or use a big spoon of crushed jarred garlic), some chopped veggies (I usually use a handful of grated carrot, a couple of sliced zucchini and a few chopped stalks of celery — but you can add spinach, bell peppers, whatever), 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried thyme. 1/4 tsp pepper flakes (optional).
    Saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the other veggies and saute briefly (if using spinach, it should be added with the tortellini). Add tomatoes, broth, and herbs, and allow to simmer.
    Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to package directions. When finished, drain and add to soup. Allow to simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors.
    Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, if desired.
    That's it. This one's great, because it's so adaptable. You can use any kind of tortellini you like (or ravioli for that matter), you can use all kinds of different veggies (fresh, frozen…) — it's impossible to mess it up. You can even make it vegetarian by using veggie broth and no-meat tortellini.
    It keeps OK in the fridge, but it's better to freeze it as the tortellini keep on sucking up the broth.

  • Karen

    Here's another favorite, this one from Leanne Ely at Saving Dinner. You could always leave out the greens (and replace with some other veggie) if they don't work with your kids. My kid loves them, but his tastes are, shall we say, unusual for a kid.
    Italian Wedding Soup
    Serves 6
    1/2 pound ground beef, extra lean
    1 egg, slightly beaten
    2 tablespoons bread crumbs
    1 tablespoon Romano cheese
    1/2 teaspoon basil
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    5 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
    2 cups kale or spinach, thinly sliced
    1 cup orzo pasta
    1/3 cup carrot, finely chopped
    In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, meat, egg, cheese, basil and onion
    powder, shape into 3/4 inch balls.
    In a large saucepan, heat broth to boiling, stir in kale, orzo, carrot and gently drop in meatballs. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

  • I have a few good soups to my recipe box because I had the same goal to find some healthy and yummy soups last fall. I wanted to share one because I think you would like it and it's so yummy and so healthy!

    http://www.recipezaar.com/Carrot-and-Ginger-Sou

  • allie

    Instead of browsing back through your blog I thought Id ask here… Can you give me your recipe for your pork tenderloin or point me to where I can find it? It always looks so yummy! I love your blog!

  • That sounds yummy! Definitely going to have to try that one.

  • Karen — both of these sound great! Adding them to my list of soups to try!

  • I would love to take a class with you. I'm probably going to have to wait until a little later in the year because they're kind of expensive though.

  • Yay! Thanks Whitney!

  • Hi Allie — are you talking about the garlic-peppercorn pork tenderloin I sometimes put in my son's lunches? I buy that from Trader Joe's pre-marinated, brown it off, and then finish it in the oven. I've tried to reproduce it a couple times and though the results weren't the same, they were still pretty yummy. I just rubbed the pork with enough olive oil to make the other stuff stick and then mix together some chopped garlic and lots and lots of coarsely ground black pepper, rub it on the pork and cook it. Super delicious!

  • allie

    Yep! Of course its from TJ! I live in KC and they dont have those here that I am aware of… one thing I miss about the west coast… It does look yummy!

  • “My lay-off and the subsequent transition from career-lady to stay-at-home-mom left me floundering a bit. I could write a whole big post about this topic,”

    I wish you would! I would love that blog post, I just know it!

  • Catia

    More bentos! We want more bentos!

    Well, I do, anyway O_o

  • shaeirving

    Help! I can't find your camera strap post. I want to cover my old strap for my new camera.

    When you get to #4, I have a great bread & butter pickle recipe also just found a recipe for really yummy Clementine Marmalade. (Now's the time of year for that one!) I also make a lot of Meyer Lemon Marmalade and when that works out there's nothing better — but I'm still grappling with how to get a more consistent outcome from my recipe. Happy to share any or all.

  • Hi Shae! I don't think I ever actually showed the camera strap cover I made (or if I did, I can't find it either), but this is the tutorial I used to cover mine:

    http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/06/diy-w

    It's fast and easy and hecka cute!

  • shaeirving

    Oh, maybe you posted it on Facebook? I know I saw it somewhere — and I'm glad to have it again. Thanks!

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  • Anh

    I am so digging your blog, bentos and everything in between! You are inspiring me in many ways. I understand what you are going through with being a stay-at-home mom after working full-time in a challenging job. I had chosen to stay at home two years ago and was surprised to find how difficult it was to make the transition. But I started to really own my time and love it after about a year. Now I am returning to work and it all seems like a dream! So enjoy your time at home with your darlings, and good luck on achieving your goal list!

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  • I love this list! You've inspired me to do one of my own. And I loved meeting you this weekend. I really hope we can get together in October for the BlogHer Food conference.

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