Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Year of Goals in Review...

It’s that time of year when you look back at it and figure out what you really did with it. Often times this can be a bit disappointing in that you don’t always reach those goals that you would have liked to. So here I am almost to year end and reviewing over those goals that I had set for myself at earlier this year.

It looks as though I hit my goals at about 40% of the time but I’ll let you decide. Here’s my goals and here what I did…

1.) Save more money. This I did accomplish but I only managed to save about 65% of the amount that was my saving goal for the year. 15 to 20% of this was due to no new increase in my work wages, in fact my yearly bonuses were down 18%. It was a tough year economically and I must admit that I’m grateful that I have a job. The other part that didn’t help with my saving over the year was my car repairs. But overall, I have enough in savings now for almost 6 months. Not a bad place to be considering how the economy is at current.

2.) Do a half marathon and maybe work towards a full marathon. I did the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in the Spring and then I did the Park City Half Marathon in August. After doing the half marathons I just really do not feel that I have a FULL marathon in me. It’s just too much, and I’m thinking I stick to the half’s or shorter distances. In fact, I’m really finding that I’m enjoying the 5K fun runs. I may try to do more of those in the coming year.

3.) Survive the Slow Salty Dog Tri. Well, we did not do the Slow Salty Dog this year. So this goal did not happen.

4.) Do at least one century bike ride. I didn’t do this. I got as far as a 75 mile bike ride with the intention of riding farther but had bike mechanical issues.

5.) Ride my bike up & over Little Mountain then Big Mountain to East Canyon and then all the way back. The day I attempted this I had a REALLY off day, and later I discovered that I had a rear brake pad that was rubbing BIG time. I made it to the top of Big Mountain and turned around.

And here are some interesting stats from the year….

384.75 miles running

1472 miles cycling

4.5 miles swimming

57 books read --- Oh how I am enjoying my Nook!

By the way..... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays!

This morning it finally snowed a bit.  I was getting concerned about having a white Christmas.  For the last week it has been rainy and gloomy and there's some snow up in the mountains that you can see in the distance.  But it kind of feels like a snow capped gloom.  So this evening there's a light dusting of the white stuff.  I just hope it holds out until Christmas.  Please, please, please...

Why is it that for some of us Christmas just isn't Christmas unless we have the white stuff?  Have I been conditioned by some marketing company in some northern exposed area of Minnesota or maybe farther up north? Christmas and snow just go in hand for me.  I'm not sure how I would do to be in a southern area where snow just doesn't come.  I think I would probably be buying a bunch of white felt and putting layers out on the front lawn.  I could see the neighbors thinking I was some "Damn Yankie!" that should have stayed up North. 

Next week I'll be using up the last of my vacation days out of necessity-- use them or loose them.  I hope to be spending my time at home relaxing and possibly painting.  If you get the chance check out my "100 Salt Lake City Porches" project that I recently started on my other blog Allgood Art.  I've managed 6 porches so far.  I hope to have all 100 done sometime in November 2011.

But anyway, here's wishing you Happy Holidays to you and yours! May you receive some good presents and hopefully keep your sanity around the family!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Gift Card Christmas!

This year I've decided to take the easy way out by choosing to give the plastic card no wrap option.  It's partial because things are a bit more financially tight this year and partially that I'm having a hard time deciding what to give some people on my list. 

For the last 7 years I've been giving out my Christmas booklets.  These booklets have had photos of my artwork combined with my poetry and recipes ( favorites that I've created or passed down from Mom, etc.).  The booklets have become too much for me both time wise and financially.  Lat year, I ended up making 100 + of them.  I had a great deal of people that just LOVED them but I just can't continue it.  It's getting to be TOO MUCH. 

So, this year I've had to budget myself and I decided not to put them in the budget.  Sorry Mom!  My list of retail locations this year are Walmart, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Barnes & Noble, Target, Paradise Bakery, Wendy's, and McDonald's.
Here's 6 reasons I'm REALLY liking the gift card giving.....

1. No Wrapping paper involved.  No messing with scotch tape and the scissors to try to make the present look presentable.  I would highly recommend this for all of you that are all thumbs.

2. Time Saving!  You can go straight to the shortest line and the store and while waiting in line choose which plastic decorative card you want.  Most stores put them right up by the cashier.  Bonus!  No time spent wrapping presents, or picking up gift bags that are the right size.

3. Pawning off the decision making.  This is probably bad of me, but that way you are leaving the responsibility of the decision on to the giftee.  You can't choose the wrong size, color, or what not.  It's all on them.  I don't know how many times in the past I've gotten what I thought was the perfect gift and the giftee returned it.  It rather hurt my feelings.  (I guess I could add another reason in that it's emotionally more safe to do gift card too.)

4. A Guaranteed Perfect Gift.  By pasting the decision on, outside of making sure it's the favorite store of the person you JUST can't go wrong.  It's a given, and how many times in life does that happen?

5. It's easy to ship!  Put it in an envelope with their Christmas card and voila!  It's done!

6. It's easy to plan you budget.  Figure your total budget for Christmas and divide it among your Christmas list.  Put your prioritize at the top of the list and work your way down.  Increment it out by $5 rounding until you've budget has run out. 

Sorry if you've been down graded to a $5 gift card from McDonald's... please don't take offense, and do not think that it the valuation that I put on our relationship.  You just may have been at the near the bottom of my list? ;-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rearranging- Third Times the Charm~!

The weekend project was accomplished.  I managed to get the Christmas tree up.  It only took three attempts of rearranging my living room.  First the rocking chair was moved to my bedroom, and I stood the undecorated tree in that corner.  It just didn't feel right there.  So then, I moved the chair and table with lamp from the other corner.  Nope, that wasn't working out.  There was too much space.  Then, it was the final attempt in front of the window.  I moved furniture just a bit here and there to leave room to open the sliding glass door.  I also had to move my only plant- a snake plant (the only plant I haven't killed!)  So here's where it is this year and I even put a new set of lights on the balcony.  Nice!
Now it feels Christmas-y!
Here's a close up of my musical Christmas tree!

I also decided to move the peacock feather Christmas tree that was a present from Mum to a table other than the dining room table like I usually do.

Peacock Christmas Tree  up close.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh,The Christmas Tree Dilemma!

Oh decisions, decisions, decisions! Where to put the Christmas tree this year? I’ve been procrastinating this decision. When you live in a one bedroom apartment space is often an issue. Regardless of where I put it, I’ll end up moving furniture into the bedroom. So will it be this chair and possible table with lamp…

 Or the rocking chair…..Or will I just put it in front of the sliding glass door and not go out on the balcony for a month? Hmmmm…. Decisions, decisions!   It sounds like a weekend project!