1. Start taking an exercise class at least once a week
- This one has definitely fluctuated, but I've been better than usual about at least getting myself to the gym.
2. Go on at least 2 hikes
- I've gone on one official hike so yay me! I'll have to ask Bettina what that place was called. I think it was maybe in the Palisades? Regardless, it was certainly pretty!
3. Cook at least 3 different recipes from 3 different cultures...ideas welcome!
4. Work on my writing at least 4 days per month
- Another one that has simply not happened, but I have been working on it a little so we have improvement if nothing else...
5. Try at least 5 foods I've never tried before
- 1. Fried green tomatoes (verdict: pretty good, but I mean, c'mon, it's fried.)
- 2. Caviar (verdict: not as bad as I thought it would be...)
- 3. Real Acai in Brazil - like a yogurty-sorbet-type thing eaten with bananas and granola. Super good!
- 4. Pamonha - both sweet and savory types exist (I had both) and it's kind of like a corn pudding or polenta of sorts. It's cooked and served in a corn husk and it delicious!- 5. Caju - this one is strange and you can only get it in Brazil or countries where they grow cashews. It's the fruit that the cashew nut comes from and can't be imported in other countries due to its delicate exterior. I will say, not my favorite, but interesting.
6. Successfully plant a variety of veggies in my vegetable garden and reap the "fruits" of my labor...
- This one is sort of a fail. I meant to plant some new ones this year, but just haven't gotten around to it. However, this random bell pepper plant that I gave up for dead last season, pulled through not being watered or even remotely taken care of and now has a large pepper growing on it! That is some serious determination to live. Either that or it's some freaky sub-species that subsists on smog and dust...maybe I should leave the little tyke alone and see what mutant form it takes on next...
7. Go Vegan for one week
- DONE! This was a total success.
8. Eat at (at least) 10 new places in LA
- 1. La Provence in Brentwood - love this place. An adorable French cafe with delicious brunch choices, but I even go just for their amazing lattes and macarons now.
- 2. Bigg Chill - froyo place that always has a line out the door. Not good! I don't understand. Give me Pinkberry or Yogurtland anyday.
- 3. Scoops - now this is what I'm talking about! An ice cream shop that sells amazing flavors - made fresh every day so you never know what you'll get. We've sampled quite a few now and they have all been delish! Not the cutest spot so I won't say go for the decor, but definitely worth stopping by for a yummy treat.
- 4. Bouchon - now this is gooood eats. Sash took me here for our anniversary dinner and not only is this place beautiful, but the food is fantastic and the bread...oh the bread. I think they've since opened a bakery and I can hear it calling my name.
- 5. Hokkaido - chain restaurant of Asian fusion in a buffet-style setting. Nothing overly fancy or fussy, but decent food. Good for big groups especially.
- 6. BAD Sushi - ok, I agree. Who the heck puts "bad" in the name of any restaurant? I know, they're asking for a beating. And while their sushi isn't the best I've ever had or anything like that, it was definitely good nonetheless.
- 7. Soot Bul Gui Rim 2 - worst name ever right? Well, it is in Korean so it's not very catchy and easy to remember for those with American vocabularies. That being said, the food was pretty delish if you are the Korean BBQ fan...which I totally am.
- 8. The Glendon - super close to my house so I can't believe it took me so long to get there, but of course, it took friends visiting and choosing to get me there. Anyway, nice ambiance, great brunch and hello sweet potato tater tots and bottomless mimosas!
- 10.9. Paint at least 2 paintings
10. Visit at least 10 new cities
- 1. Atlanta, Georgia
- 2. Savannah, Georgia
- 3. Charleston, South Carolina
- 4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- 5. Wilmington, North Carolina
- 6. Raleigh, North Carolina
- 7. Temecula, California
- 8. Pala, California
- 9. San Diego, California (can you believe that I don't think I'd ever been here before??!)
- 10. Goiania, Brazil11. Try acupuncture as a remedy for my allergies and acid reflux in hopes that I can ditch the pills
- Yup! I've gone to one appointment and have another coming up soon. Don't know if I can confirm it yet, but I went in for the first one during a particularly painful bout of acid stomach and by the end of the hour long appointment, I was feeling much better. Oddly, the acupuncturist said that the areas to treat allergies and acid reflux are quite similar. Coincidence?
- Update: have since gone again and found it relaxing and overall helpful. Hopefully I'll someday be able to go a little more regularly to see if the results can be longer-lasting, but I definitely think there is something to be said for it.
12. Learn how to more professionally use my camera in manual mode
- I've definitely had a little more practice, but I would like to still get better.
13. Study my family's genealogy and learn more about my own personal history
- Yes. In a big way. This is probably a post of its own...
14. Study Farsi and learn a little more than food terms and good manners ;)
15. Send 15 hand-written cards/letters in the good, old-fashioned post
16. Visit some sort of farm (thinking maybe cherries) where I can pick my own fruit off the trees
- Oddly, I did visit one (nearby a potential wedding venue), however, I forgot this was on my list and didn't pick anything! Shoot!
- Not in the way I meant to, but I did go back to this farm to get our pumpkins this Halloween and they were grown right there in the patch. Probably a stretch, but hey. Still a farm. ;)
17. Watch the sun rise...honestly, I don't know the last time I saw one.
- Have been up early enough to watch the sun rise three times already. I wouldn't say that it's a practice I like in general. ;)
18. Leave 10 anonymous "smiles" in 10 library books for future readers to find
19. Give five people one of my favorite books and tell them why I love it and why I hope they will too
20. Read at least 20 books in 2011
1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
2. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
3. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
4. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
7. Things I've Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi
8. Bossypants by Tina Fey
9. The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas
10. Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden
11. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
12. The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace
13. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
14. My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
15. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
16. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
17. Ape House by Sara Gruen
18. Incantation by Alice Hoffman
19. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak20. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
21. Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin
22. Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
23. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger24. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
21. Refurbish an old piece of furniture and turn it in to something beautiful
22. Take the hundreds of printed recipes I have, organize them and create a cookbook with my favorites
23. Go on a hot air balloon ride
- Oh did I ever! See the post entitled "engaged." ;)
24. Watch every movie that has won the Oscar for Best Picture
- This is definitely taking more time than I thought, but I've made a dent.
25. Find a new way to store and organize all of my books so that they don't succeed in their plan to take over our house.
26. Go horseback riding
- Yup and soooo fun! Definitely would love to go again.
27. Redecorate our bedroom
- Still in MAJOR progress, but our lovely new bed just arrived last week! Yay!
28. Pay off any looming credit debts
- Pretty good on this front and just hoping that wedding planning doesn't produce any new ones. :)
29. Go to the movies at a drive-in theater
30. Volunteer at least 50 hours in 2011
- I need to count these up, but I am definitely much more than halfway there! I've volunteered on two school murals and continue to volunteer weekly at the elementary school with The Young Storytellers Foundation.
- Update: Will do a bigger post on this, but I'm pretty sure I've succeeded on this front.
29 is turning out to be a pretty awesome year in life. :)