Sunday, October 2, 2011

September Goals: Review.

+ Not go TOO over-budget on vacation. Get to hang out with everyone we want to see!
Hey, well, I don't know about that budget thing, because I think we forgot that we were visiting some of the most expensive places that exist in the country. BUT, we did get to hang out with so many people! We saw Jill D. and Joe, and Keegan, and Lou, and Stacy, and all of my freaking amazing cousins and siblings and mommy and family, and Allie, and Sam and Steve, and Siobhan, and Kerri, and wowzers, just a lot of people. But even with all that, we missed out on seeing Nick, and Aileen, and Carey, and Manda, and other people I'd like to see next time.

+ Get back on the Spanish train, hardcore.
Right. The Spanish train choo-chooed for about three days, and then came to an abrupt halt. Need to refuel for next month.

+ I feel like I was only a half-assed PDX biker in August, so I want to get more disciplined this month. So: I'm only allowed to drive to work ONCE a week, every other day I should be biking. And each week I go to the library to volunteer, I should either be biking or taking the bus.

+ Save $1,000 towards the wedding. This is a big goal, and will probably require me to be a transcribing fiend once we get back. Also, do all those wedding things I said I'd do last month: website, save the dates, dress stuff, etc. Also, after visiting Boston--get our ceremony site nailed down.


I did, however, finally, finally make a wedding website. And I absolutely love it. If I do say so myself.

+ Stretch more. Once a day.
I've actually been pretty good at this. It's a small thing, but it feels good.

+ Be better with what I shove in my face at work. I can only drink water or unsweetened iced tea during my shifts. No bringing expired pastries home. Bring and eat own snacks on breaks. Keep frappuccino sampling to the bare minimum.
I'm going to give myself a 80% on this. A solid B-. I was good at only drinking water or iced tea while there, although I did indulge in a couple fancier drinks just on my off-work time. No pastries were brought home, and I was better at not drinking 20 frappuccino samples a shift. However, with all the pumpkin goodness coming around (see how it slays me: here and here), it was hard to refuse a whole bunch of bites of pumpkin bread and other good stuff while there.

+ Read three children's/young adult books.
Fail. I read Graceling by Kristin Cashore, which was wonderful, but that's it.

+ Start planning something fun for both my birthday in October and our anniversary in November.
Yes to the first part! We headed up to Seattle this weekend so that I could attend the Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice (I wrote about my experience at it last year here when I was feeling really rah-rah about things, and this one was also just great and rekindled a bunch of my rah-rah emotions). Kathy came along so we could stick around Seattle for the rest of the weekend to get some fun meals and in general just enjoy a mini-Seattle-vacation as a birthday present. And we got to drink beer  and eat Mexican food with Ashley, who is the awesomest. It was a great weekend. All around win.

Still haven't made a plan for something fun for November yet, but I really want to. But we have time.

+ Go see the swifts!
Check! And we got to see Grey at the same time! Awesomeness abounds!

Hard to see, but there are thousands of little birds here!

+ Hopefully get to hang out with Kim & Cliff when they move back to Oregon!
OMG they were just here a few nights ago and we ate thai food and drank beer together, and then they headed to Eugene. AND OMG WE GOT TO MEET THEIR DOG. AND OMG EUGENE IS SO CLOSE. OMG I can't believe they're back. It is such a wonderful thing.

+ Make three new meals.
Check, although there's only one I'm truly proud of.

#1: Due to the busy-ness and financial restraints of this month, I tried to get creative with a bag of quinoa we've had for awhile. This was a garlic-lemon thing that I threw some spinach and some fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden on. The cherry tomatoes FROM OUR GARDEN were the most exciting part--we planted one little plant that's seriously produced so many of these things:

Growing something yourself and then eating it is seriously the best thing ever.

I also made another quinoa thing with black beans, corn, and onions that I didn't take a picture of. Both dishes were decent, and hearty and healthy, but overall just tasted kind of eh to me. Basically, I really like quinoa, but I don't think I've figured out the best ways to cook it yet. Any quinoa recipe suggestions?? I would love them.

Man, what a sloppy lookin' picture!

#2: Balsamic bruschetta chicken. This was the one that I was proud of--the only real, satisfying full dinner type of meal I accomplished this month. It was also pretty easy to do, especially since Kathy helped me chop up all the tomatoes (one of the most horrible things to chop, in my opinion). We used some more of the cherry ones from the garden, and also one or two bigger ones, along with a Willamette sweet onion, that I all got super cheap from the farmers market. Let's be honest--I got a couple tomatoes, an onion, and a mini-pumpkin at the farmers market for $2 one day and it was like, the complete highlight of my week.

#3: Baked pumpkin oatmeal. So super simple I don't know if it should count, but yeah, this was real good and a kind of genius solution to what to have for breakfast for at least a week. Also, this is almost shockingly fulling, so when you break some off for yourself to heat up or just eat cold in the morning, you really don't have to take that much. Since I'm a sweet tooth, I think I would actually up the cinnamon and brown sugar a bit next time I make it.

Also, I mentioned last month that I had leftover pizza sauce that I had made for a recipe then. And this month our friends Scott and Kelly just conveniently had a pizza-making party, where Scott made a bunch of pizza dough and we brought toppings. In addition to the sauce, to keep it cheap, we just brought some mozzarella cheese and a few snips of fresh basil from our kind-of-sad-at-the-moment basil plant. And many other peeps were able to partake in our massive amount of leftover sauce. So none of it went to waste, we ate delicious pizza, and didn't have to go through that whole time-consuming project of making our own dough. So win!

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