Posts Tagged ‘2016 goals’

Final 2016 Goal Update!

Time to wrap up 2016 with a report on my yearly goals! I did pretty well this year with a total of 96%. There was only one goal I didn’t complete!

1. Cook every recipe in Sally’s Baking Addiction: 100%

The final recipe was crepes!

Not perfect, but I'll take it

Not perfect, but I’ll take it

I would say out of everything I baked, my favorite had to be the homemade granola. It’s so easy, and so much more delicious than store-bought. Here’s the recipe for you:

Maple Pecan Granola
Prep Time: 5 min
Total time: 50 min plus cooling
Makes: 2-3 cups
Ingredients
2 cups (160g) old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup (165g) pure maple syrup (one time I ran out and used honey!)
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (105g) chopped pecans
2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine all ingredients and stir until all oats are moistened.
3. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

2. Finish all 2014 Goals: 100%
The only thing I had left on our last update was the fancy drinks!
2a) Read T-Z in Brewer’s: 100%
2b) Make 7 pies: 100%
2c) Make a fancy drink every month: 100%
Every drink I made in the last three months has been great! In October I made a fancy crock pot apple cider with apricot nectar for my book club. It was so great I made it again at Christmas! I tried another vanilla apple cider in November, but decided the first one was better. And then in December I made spicy crock pot hot chocolate and my book club loooooved it. I have made it at least three more times since because so do I. It’s from a book I got at the library called Slow Cooker Family Favorites by Maggie Shi.

Spicy Hot Chocolate
Serves 8-10
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
7 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Put everything in the slow cooker and whisk together. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until the chocolate has melted. Stir occasionally during that time.

yourewelcome

2d) Get everything then on my to-read list off it: 100%
Of course, my to-read list now has 389 books on it, but whatever.
2e) Update my blog 7 times: 1005

3. Finish all my Craftsy Classes: 80%
This is the one I failed at. When we last talked, I only had Continental Style knitting to go. I gave it a shot but it was so awkward and frustrating I gave up. Maybe I’ll give it another shot at some point in the future.

4. Complete a temperature scarf: 100%!!
This is probably the goal I’m most proud of!! Here it is:

IMG_20170102_115651872

I haven’t woven in the ends yet, so eventually those will be gone. You can tell that summer was a lot more one note than winter on both sides. I averaged the highs and lows to get each day’s temperature. Here’s the color key:

Orange=80s
Yellow=70s
Green=60s
Turquoise=50s
Blue=40s
Purple=30s
White=20s

I was going to use Red for an average in the 90s but somehow the average never got there. Ditto black for lower than 20.

5. Read one book a month someone else recommended to me: 100%
I’m pleased to say that three of the books from this project made it onto my Best Books of 2016 list! In October I read this book recommended by a library coworker:

Rat Fucked by David Daley

Rat Fucked by David Daley


This book was really interesting and also sad. It had a big chapter on North Carolina, since we’re one of the most (the most?) gerrymandered states. Check out my district, friends:

North Carolina's 4th. Designed by a computer to cram as many democrats in as possible so as not to pollute our surroundings

North Carolina’s 4th. Designed by a computer to cram as many democrats in as possible so as not to pollute our surroundings

Which isn’t as bad as District 12:

Ta Da! What the fuck

Ta Da! What the fuck

In November I read this book recommended by another coworker/friend:

Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach


This one got 5 stars from me! I don’t normally go for heavy sci-fi space adventures, but I really enjoyed this one about a mercenary working on a cargo ship that’s ~not what it seems~

In December I read this book recommended by Rob!:

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


Rob often likes really angsty books so I was wary, but I really liked the voices of the main characters. They felt really honest and real. This one also got 5 stars.

Steven has vowed not to make goals for 2017 because he hated these quarterly reminders of his own failure. Here it is one last time!
1. Cook one vegetarian meal a week
“I was doing pretty good for a while there, and then I think I forgot. I still do it, but not on a regular basis.”
2. Learn a new violin piece once a month
“Yeah, I haven’t hardly picked up the violin outside of orchestra. Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
3. Finish all Craftsy classes
“No way. Nowhere near. I did finally get through the knife skills class I was putting off. It was useful.”
4. Make at least one bag out of leather
“I feel kind of bad about that one. I kept thinking about it, planning out different things in my head, and then never… I got distracted with Christmas presents actually.”

Previously: Goals 2016: Home Stretch

2016 Goals: Home Stretch!

I’m a little late checking in with my yearly goal progress, since we’re already well into October. I was trying to give myself a little room to catch up on some things, but I’m finally calling it.

1. Cook Every Recipe in Sally’s Baking Addiction: 89%
I have 8 more to go! Unfortunately I haven’t been taking as many pictures, but here’s one:

Chocolate swirl pound cake

Chocolate swirl pound cake

I was really proud that this pound cake turned out because I have a terrible history with quick breads and pound cakes where the middle will be a soupy mess and the sides will be burned. Probably my favorite of the recipes I made this time was Maple Pecan Granola. I was expecting it to just be kind of whatever, which is how I usually feel about granola, but when you home make it and eat it fresh this “kind of whatever” food turns to AWESOME! It’s so much more flavorful and delicious than kinds of bought before.

2. Finish All my 2014 Goals: 95%
The biggest development here is that I finished Brewer’s!!!
2a) Read T-Z in Brewer’s: 100%
For some reason it took me forevs to power through those last 30 pages, so I live-tweeted it a little bit.
livetweets
2b) Make 7 Pies: 100%
Yep, still 100%
2c) Make a new fancy drink every month: 75%
This is the only one I’ve got left, but I think I’ll be fine. Last month I made a punch for my book club from my international cookbook. It’s called Gnamacoudji and is popular in West Africa. You make it by boiling pineapple skins with ginger and lemon grass. It was kind of weird but also kind of good? It received mixed reviews from my book club.
2d) Get everything then on my to-read list off it: 100%
I know I keep repeating the ones I’ve done every time I do these updates, but I like to inflate my own sense of accomplishment, okay?
2e) Update my blog 7 times: 100%
Ditto
3. Finish all my Craftsy classes: 80%
I tackled the Sewing Vintage class. I learned a lot, but apparently not enough, because the bodice part of the dress I constructed ended up being horribly deformed due to my attempts at adjusting the pattern for boobs. So instead I ended up with a nice skirt:
20160912_180928

4. Complete a temperature scarf: 79%
I was behind on this for a while, until one day I binge watched all the Harry Potter Musicals and knit like two months worth. Now that the temperature isn’t the same hot nonsense every day it should be more interesting to knit.

That big orange swath is the summer that wouldn't end

That big orange swath is the summer that wouldn’t end

5. Read at least one book a month someone else recommended: 83%
I had a lot of Shakespeare in my recommended books this time! In July I read:

Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

This was recommended to me by someone on facebook, and I really liked it! A short book about basically everything we know for certain about Shakespeare and then all the different theories people have proposed over time. It’s really interesting to me how little we do know about him–even what everyone “knows” about what he looked like may or may not be right.

In August I read:

The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan


Timothy Egan is a really engaging writer–he’s won both a Pulitzer and a National Book Award–so it’s no surprise that this book has a very compelling sense of story despite being non-fiction. It’s about Thomas Francis Meagher who was transported for life to Tasmania for his part in a failed Irish uprising during the potato famine. He eventually escaped to America where he fought in the civil war and became territorial governor of Montana. He was a supremely interesting person who never stopped fighting for what he believed in despite truly insurmountable odds. This book was recommended to me by a coworker at the library and I really enjoyed it!

In September I read:

Juliet by Anne Fortier

Juliet by Anne Fortier

This book is two stories interwoven: the “historical Juliet” and her modern-day descendant trying to uncover the truth about her and escape some bad guys who want to steal her ~buried treasure~. The historical Juliet story was a pretty interesting take on life in Italy in what would have been a plausible setting for the Shakespeare play. The modern Juliet was an idiot bumbling around various historical buildings and falling for a random hot guy who of course turned out to be ~Romeo’s descendant~ blah.

As always, time to check in with Steven about his goals for the year:

1. Cook one vegetarian meal every week
“Yeah that’s fucking lost”
2. Learn a new violin piece every month
“Also lost. Although I suppose some of the stuff for orchestra kind of counts? It’s still not really”
3. Finish all craftsy classes
(laughter)
4. Make at least once case or bag out of leather
“The plan is there I haven’t done it yet. I need to get on that. I’m thinking a knife roll. It’s an extremely simple case but a great piece of practice work.”

Previously: Halfway

2016 Goals: Halfway

The year is half over! So time to check in with my yearly goals.

1. Cook every recipe in Sally’s Baking Addiction: 67%

I have 24 more to go! My favorite that I made since last time is the peach pie! Something about adding vanilla to the filling made it nicer than my usual recipe.

Lattice could use some work

Lattice could use some work

2. Finish all my 2014 Goals: 79%

Killin it

2a) Read T-Z in Brewer’s: 43%

W has been taking me a while.

2b) Make 7 pies: 100%!

Besides the handsome looking peach up there, I’ve also made both a lemon meringue and a coconut cream pie recently! These pies marked a huge accomplishment for me, since I previously have sucked at custard-like-things.

2c) Make a new fancy drink every month: 50%

I tried to make another green smoothie, which went about as expected (disappointing), but the raspberry smoothie bowl recipe worked out pretty good! Then last month I tried to do blackberry lemonade, but it just ended up tasting like seltzer.

2d) Get everything then on my to-read list off it: 100%

I knocked this one out early.

2e) Update my blog 7 times: 100%

Ditto

3. Finish all my Craftsy classes: 60%

At this point, I have two left: Knitting Fast with Continental Knitting and Sewing Vintage.

4. Complete a temperature scarf: 48%

I’ve fallen a little behind on this one. I tend to leave it for a week or so, and then knit everything I’ve missed at once. Here’s what it looks like right now:

Orange an average temp in the 80s

Orange an average temp in the 80s

5. Read At Least One Book a Month someone else recommended to me: 50%

In April I read:

The Core of the Sun

The Core of the Sun

Recommended to me by a coworker at the library. It was an interesting dystopian novel about gender issues and pepper addiction.

In May:

The Thief

The Thief

Recommended by someone in my penpal club! It was a nice fantasy about a small band of various sketchy people trying to steal a mythic artifact.

In June:

My Little Pony comics humble bundle

My Little Pony comics humble bundle

Guess who recommended this. It was fun!

Total: 61%

And, because I made a promise to the Internet, here is Steven’s assessment of his own goals:

1. Cook one vegetarian meal a week

“Badly. I’ve given up. I love meat too much.”

2. Learn a new violin piece every month

“(sigh) I got like two months in and then forgot.”

3. Finish all Craftsy classes

“Pffffffffffff”

4. Make at least one case or bag out of leather

“Ummmmmm year’s not over yet. Still on track. I mean, I made a shower case thing. Whatdoyacallit. So yeah, I’m totally on track. Made my first small one. You’re not writing this verbatim are you?”

Previously: Jan-March

2016 Goals: Jan-March

Time for my quarterly update on mymy yearly goals! I’m pretty much rocking it.

1. Cook every recipe in the Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook: 52%

I started this one strong, and I have only 35 more to go!

These gingersnaps were pretty great:

Mom's Ginger Snaps

Mom’s Ginger Snaps

But so were these blondies:

So yum

So yum

It’s hard to pick a favorite

2. Finish all my 2014 Goals: 56%

I already feel better about this.

2a.) Read all of T-Z of Brewer’s: 29%

I finished T, which was fairly long, and U, which was fairly short. W is the longest section left.

2b.) Make one pie a month 7 pies: 29%

I’ve made two pies this year! One was a traditional apple pie for Pi Day (with apples from the farmer’s market, so a little nicer than normal), the other was a carrot pie!

Carrot pie?!?

Carrot pie?!?

It was kind of a weird experience, but ended up tasting pretty good. Carrots have a natural sweetness to them, and if you think about it, it’s no weirder than sweet potato pie.

2c.) Make a new cocktail mocktail once a month: 25%

During the ice storm in January, I tried to recreate me favorite cold-weather cocktail, the hot toddy. The recipe used rooibos chai tea, apple juice, and lemon juice:

And ginger!

And ginger!

The key ingredient turned out to be cayenne pepper for a kick. It was no hot toddy, but it was okay.

Again, it helped that it was an ice storm

Again, it helped that it was an ice storm

Then in February I made a much more successful crock pot hot chocolate!

But March let me down again with a weird celery/cucumber/pineapple/lime smoothie. The recipe came from a magazine.

Still not as bad as the time Rob made me drink strawberry-pickle juice

Still not as bad as the time Rob made me drink strawberry-pickle juice

It wasn’t awful, but it was too weird to finish.

2d.) Get everything (then currently) on my To-Read List off it: 100%

Since I’d done some work on this in the intervening time, I only had two books left, and I read both in January!

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran was funny and real, mixing stories from the author’s life with feminist analysis.

The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb seemed like a cool premise: family secrets, potentially haunted house etc, but was really sloppily written.

2e.) Update my blog once a week 7 times: 100%

My book wrap up posts really helped me knock this one out:

1. 2015 Goals wrap up
2. 2015 Books: The Good
3. 2015 Books: The Bad
4. 2015 Books: The Ugly
5. 2015 Books: The Pretty
6. 2016 Goals
7. Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves review

3. Finish all my Craftsy Classes: 40%

I finished Tunisian Crochet! I also finished 40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know. Three more to go!

4. Complete a temperature scarf: 22%

I decided to average the high and low temp for the day to determine what color I should work with, using this chart I made:

The average hasn't been less than 20 degrees, so I haven't had to figure that out yet

The average hasn’t been less than 20 degrees, so I haven’t had to figure that out yet

Here’s what it looks like so far:

Data visualization!

Data visualization!

5. Read at least one book a month someone else recommended to me: 25%

In January I read:

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

It was recommended to me by someone in my penpal club. It’s kind of like urban fantasy but with Russian folklore, set during the Russian revolution. So like communist house elves, basically. It was pretty good. Narratively kind of weird, but pretty good.

In February:

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

This was recommended to me by a coworker. It’s historical fiction about a girl who rides one of the orphan trains from New York City to Minnesota. It switches perspectives between her growing up and the present day old-her cleaning out her attic with a troubled teen assistant. It was a quick read, but I liked it.

In March:

The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

I assume this book was recommended to me by my friend Roque since he mailed it to me. The star of the book is definitely the pseudo-olde-englishe language Kingsnorth developed to better reflect the setting: England 1066. The protagonist, a Saxon whose entire village is destroyed by Norman invaders, is unlikeable, and the plot spends a lot of time meandering, although it seems well-researched (not that I’m a great judge). The language just makes it really hard to get through, at least for me. I felt like I was back in high school.

Total: 38%

Not bad for March!

Steven’s Goals

Steven doesn’t keep spreadsheets like me, so I had to verbally interview him about how his goals are going.

1. Cook one vegetarian meal every week

“Failed. Totally forgot about it.”

2. Learn a new violin piece every month

“2/3 right now. It’s too late for March.”

3. Finish all Craftsy classes

“Pretty much done no work on this. I made popcorn once.”

4. Make at least one case or bag out of leather.

“Actually just bought another Craftsy class to help me out with that.”

So, not that this is a competition, but clearly I am winning

Previously: 2016 Goals

2016 Goals: The Fabulous Five

I’m only setting five goals for myself in 2016, but one of them has many parts.

1. Cook Every Recipe in the Sally’s Baking Addiction cookbook

It's definitely my favorite cookbook

It’s definitely my favorite cookbook

I had already started this goal before I realized what I was doing, just because there are so many good looking recipes in this book. Before the year even started, I had completed 28 recipes, meaning I have 45 more to go.

2. Finish my 2014 Goals

It’s always bothered my that 2014 fucked me up so much (for a variety of reasons), and I regret that stupid health things kept me from completing my goals. So I’m going to finish them up two years late. Here’s what I have to do to complete them:

2.a) Read All T-Z of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

I made it through S in 2014, so I only have seven letters to go.

2.b) Make a Pie Once a Month 7 pies

I managed to make five pies in 2014! So I just have to make 7 pies this year at some point, preferably kinds I’ve never done before. Which should help me tackle some recipes from Goal 1 too!

2. c) Make a new cocktail once a month

I didn’t make any cocktails in 2014 given that I couldn’t eat anything besides english muffins for most of it. I still don’t drink, so these are going to probably be non-alcoholic fancy drinks.

2. d) Get everything (then currently) on my to-read list off it

I’ve been kind of doing this anyway, since maintenance of my to-read list is basically a professional concern. At the end of 2014, I had 7 books to go, mostly ones my library doesn’t own. I’ve done pretty well on them since then:

Fair Coin by E.C. Myers: deleted from list because so-so reviews
Apron Anxiety by Alyssa Shelasky: ILLed, abandoned after the second chapter because of poor writing
Beyond: A Ghost Stary by Graham McNamee: deleted from list because of reviews
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst: read in 2015 and LOVED
The Night Watch by Sergei Lukanenko: deleted from list because could it live up to the Terry Pratchett novel with the same title?
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb

So this list now sits at a grand total of 2 books that I either have to ILL or buy.

2. e) Update my blog once a week seven times

I only missed 7 weeks in 2014 despite all the shittiness. Unless something even more dramatic happens to me in 2016, this one shouldn’t be hard to finish either.

3. Finish all my Craftsy classes

Craftsy sends me emails whenever classes are on sale, and I often cave. I currently own 5 classes, 4 of which I’ve never even opened. Here’s what I’ll be learning this year (hopefully):

craftsy

40 Ways to Cast On and Bind Off

I know like two of each, so I definitely need more study in this area.

40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know

Ditto.

Sewing Vintage: The Flirty Day Dress

I’m not even sure why I bought this one, because I could easily go to the store, buy a pattern, and make a dress myself. I guess I know I take a lot of shortcuts and half-ass things when I’m making stuff, and I’d like to stop. Or at least know how to stop.

Knit Faster with Continental Knitting

I bought this class while I was making that sweater in 2015 and was SO SICK of stockinette stitch for a million rows. Anything to make that go faster.

Tunisian Crochet

This one I am about 50% done with, although I’ll probably have to go back and redo some of the videos since I’ve forgotten so much.

4. Complete a temperature scarf

Temperature scarves are data visualization + fashion so I’m kind of surprised I’ve never done one before. There’s lots of ways to do them, but I plan to knit one row of a scarf every day, the color determined by the temperature. For example:

There are a million of these online

There are a million of these online

I’m going to try to use only yarn I already have, so mine won’t be these colors.

5. Read 1 book a month someone else has recommended to me

I want to talk to my friends more about books. You can recommend a book to me here. I already have some from posting on facebook, many of which I’ve already read.

Bonus Addendum: Steven’s goals!

No, one of them is not to act less stupid

No, one of them is not to act less stupid

For the first time ever, Steven agreed to let me record his goals for the year too! Maybe he’s hoping the pressure of competition or the shame of disappointing the Internet will motivate him.

Steven Goal 1: Cook one vegetarian meal every week.

Steven says he feels his skills in this area have been left relatively untested, and he wants to branch out from his meat-centric cooking. And I always want to eat more vegetables, so it’s basically a win-win.

Steven Goal 2: Learn a new violin piece every month.

Steven plays in the Really Terrible Orchestra of the Triangle, but he never practices outside their once a week practices, because it’s hella easy (for him, what a nerd). He says he feels like his skills have atrophied and he wants to counteract that by working on music at his actual level.

Steven Goal 3: Finish all Craftsy classes.

Steven is even worse than I am about buying things when they’re on sale that he might want someday. His list of classes is longer, but tastier than mine:

Homemade Italian Pasta
Artisan Cheese Making
Danish Pastries from Scratch
Miniature French Desserts (Macarons, Madeleines, and More)
Homemade Salty Snacks
Artisan Bread Making
The Art of Stir-Frying

Unlike me, Steven has actually successfully completed one Craftsy class, the one that taught him to make his amazing homemade croissants. He also has made the macarons and madeleines from Miniature French desserts, so really he just has to tackle “and More.” I’m pretty excited for the results.

Steven Goal 4: Make at least one case or bag out of leather.

Steven’s hobby of the moment is leatherworking, and since he has a lot to use up, he wants to tackle something harder than a belt.

I’ll give you updates on our progress throughout the year, whether you want to know or not!

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