13 Goals – Winter 2014/2015

Well, I didn’t do so great with my autumn goals (so much so that I’ve carried over a few of them to work on this season).  It’s probably not even worth reviewing what I did and did not accomplish, so I’m just going to go ahead with my list of goals for this winter.

  1. Find a new job.
  2. Save at least $100.
  3. Donate to a cause I care about.
  4. Make Thai Yellow Curry – Will be trying this for the first time!
  5. Undetermined social thing.
  6. Undetermined social thing.
  7. Complete a winter writing challenge.
  8. Make some paper snowflakes.
  9. Take advantage of some winter/after holiday sales.
  10. Write 10 non-TiLT blog posts.
  11. Get a nice new haircut.
  12. Go to the movies.
  13. Work on my happy play list.

There you have it!  Wish me luck!  What are some of your goals for this season?

Also, hop over to Petticoat Pedaler and Strangely Chantel to check out Lilian’s (who first came up with the idea of doing a seasonal goal list) and Chantel’s lists.  Maybe you’ll get some ideas for your own list of goals and join us for the challenge!

Five Senses – Winter Edition

Back in October, I posted an entry listing my favorite fall things as related to the five senses.  We’re a good way into winter, and a few cold days have reminded me of some of my favorite winter things.  So, here are some things I love this winter!

Sight

1. The wing print on my favorite sweater.

sweater

2. The moon shining in the sky on a winter night.

3. Skeletal trees.

Smell

1. Peppermint.  I think peppermint is a quintessential winter scent, and one I always enjoy throughout the season.  Right now I have a peppermint scent in my Scentsy warmer and peppermint hand soap in my bathroom.  Also, it’s such a cheery fragrance, so uplifting!

2. Philosophy’s Spiced Gingerbread Cookie 3-in-1 shower gel, shampoo, and bubble bath.  Perfection!

3. The fireplace.  A log burning on the fire is such a comfortable and comforting scent.

Touch

1. Snuggly blankets.

2. Nice, rich hand and body creams to keep my skin moisturized during these cooler months.

3. Cool weather!  We’ve had some really cold days (for South Texas), and even though it’s warmed up over the past couple of days, the cool breeze feels amazing!

Taste

1. Hot cocoa.

cocoa and tea

2. Apple cider (and apple cider cocktails!).

3. Spiced teas.

4. Chocolate.

5. Gingerbread.  Made some yummy gingerbread muffins recently!

Sound

1. The wind blowing.

2. Charlie Winston.

3. Kings of Leon.

4. Pearl Jam – Sirens.

5. Midwinter Masquerade [2012].

6. Kpop!  After not keeping up with much Korean music over the past year or so, my interesting in and love for it was somehow reignited last weekend.  :3

Alright!  Next up…spring!  Hope you’re all having a magical winter!

Reflections, Resolutions, and Winter Goals

Reflections

We’re a week into 2014 now, and I’m a bit behind on the whole reflecting on the previous year and stating resolutions thing, but I figured now is as good a time as any.

In general, when I think back on 2013, I feel like I didn’t really do much, like things sort of just stayed the same and I didn’t really move forward in any way.  Additionally, there have been a few rather rough spots for me.  Aside from fighting off the occasional brief bought of depression and anxiety, I lost my grandfather on my dad’s side of the family and an uncle on my mom’s side of the family.  Also, I found out late in the year that Hide, my 9-year old cat, likely has a tumor/cancer.  It’s very difficult to think about, but something I must acknowledge.

However, as much as I may not be 100% satisfied with, and may be a bit sad about, how my year went and where I was at as it came to a close, more happened than I thought, and I accomplished a really awesome thing!

I got my Bachelor’s degree in English!  It felt so good to be finished with school and know how much hard work and dedication I put into earning that degree.  Sure, I have yet to put it to good use, but it’s something I am incredibly proud of!  A few other good things I remember are as follows:

1. Making Jambalaya, which is time consuming, but oh so worth it!  In fact, I made it twice:  once at home and once in San Antonio for my dear friend Cynthia’s birthday.

2. Having LOADS of fun at A-Kon in Dallas!  Going on a music-filled road trip with my sister and spending time geeking out with Liz and Bobii is amazing, and I somehow always feel more confident when I’m spending time with these lovely ladies.

3. Enjoying many a wonderful afternoon having tea and snacks and chatting with the wonderful Lilian Brennan.

4. Reading lots of good books and discovering some great new music!

Resolutions

I’m really bad about keeping my resolutions.  I’ll just put that out there from the start.  However, I always find myself wanting to set goals and try my best to improve, be better, and do more with each year.  I’ll keep this simple, with just a short list of some of my goals for 2014:

1. Find a new and better job.

2. Write A LOT MORE and spend less time doing unproductive things on my computer/the Internet.

3. Be more active and eat healthier.

4. Work on my confidence.  I need to love me more.

5. Save money (in my 52-week savings jar and elsewhere).

6. Be a better blogger.   Perhaps I could use some ideas or advice on this one, but I really want to blog more and about more things than I am currently.   If you have any tips, send them my way!

Sure, there are more things I’d like to do throughout the year, like travel and see friends and practice/relearn German, but that’s the simple list of the things I’d most like to do.

13 Winter Goals

Despite being two and a half weeks late in starting this, I’m going to go ahead and set 13 goals I’d like to achieve between now and the end of the season.  I’m posting this as a simple list, but you can click here to view the guidelines according to which I set my goals.

1. Stick to a mostly Paleo diet.

2. Buy a new mattress.

3. Make a donation to a cause that is important to me in some way.

4. Bake Paleo-friendly bread.

5. Attend Anime Matsuri.  One of my favorite Japanese bands will be performing! (This will be an additional finance-related goal as well).

6. Undecided group/social activity.

7. Write a winter-themed story.

8. Read a selection of winter-themed poems.

9. Find/listen to some winter play lists on 8tracks or Spotify.

10. Draw/scribble/doodle in a sketchbook.

11. Paint a canvas.  (I carried this over from my autumn list since I didn’t do it last time.)

12. Start a Radical Self Love Bible.

13. Make a play list of some of my favorite happy songs.

There we have it!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and started 2014 with lots of love and sparkles!

Holiday Activities and Traditions

Today I want to talk a little about the holidays, particularly holiday activities and traditions.

Here at my mom’s and step-dad’s house, the tree is decorated per their tastes.  Therefore, it is covered in tropical and beach-themed ornaments.  There are Santas in Hawaiian shirts, on surfboards, and in beach chairs, glitter-covered shells, glass whales, crabs, seahorses, and fish, flamingos, a cruise ship, a sand castle, and lots of other things.

Christmas 2013 013

For many years now, we’ve drawn names to see who we will each buy for.  I know a lot of people with big families do this, but it began for us out of financial necessity, and is something we’ve just sort of stuck with.  That may change in the future, but for now it’s become one of our traditions.  There’s a budget we’re all supposed to stick to, but we can buy as many or as few gifts as we want with the set amount (and of course depending on what the person we each buy for has on his/her list).

My twin sister Chantel and I are particularly enthusiastic about finding small gifts and snacks for the stockings, so most of the stocking-stuffing is done by us.

On Christmas Eve we gather, five of us including my step-dad’s mother, and have a simple meal or a variety of appetizer-type foods.  Chantel and I are usually in charge of desserts, and we also typically like to do a festive drink as well.

After we eat, we get to empty our stockings, open presents, and enjoy our time together.  It’s a simple and quiet affair, but one that is enjoyable and fun.  Besides, Chantel and I also have our dad and his side of the family to visit as well.

Christmas day is usually reserved for just spending time together, relaxing, and having a special meal.

Besides the family festivities, there are certain things I like to do every winter/holiday season.  Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve already done or plan on doing to celebrate Christmas/winter:

  • Drink hot cocoa
  • Bake yummy desserts
  • Go Christmas shopping
  • Mail Christmas cards
  • Listen to my Christmas music play list (I love holiday music!)
  • Wrap presents
  • Watch holiday movies (some of my favorites are Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Elf, Love Actually, Look Who’s Talking Now, Jingle All the Way, How the Grinch Stole Christmas [the movie with Jim Carrey], and Scrooge [the musical version with Albert Finney]).
  • Drive around looking at lights

What about you?  Do you and your family and/or friends have any special holiday traditions?  What are your favorite things to do during the winter?  Got any favorite holiday songs or movies?  I’d love to hear about them!