Posts Tagged ‘Steven’

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
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
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.


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:


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:


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.
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%
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:

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
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

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 1.3

Episode 15: Staff Infection
Michael discovers everyone in the family has been on the company payroll and so puts them all to work. Buster and GOB get into a fight at the construction site, which the other workers insist they settle with a construction-equipment duel. The feds do a subpar job of installing new lighting in the Bluth offices while scoping out the place.


Episode 16: Missing Kitty
Michael fires Kitty, the secretary, for being awful, but George Sr. insists she knows too much. She flashes him a lot. GOB tries to get on a Girls With Low Self-Esteem video by “magically disappearing” i.e. blowing up his family’s yacht. That Kitty happened to be inside?!


Episode 17: Altar Egos
GOB convinces Michael to have a one-night stand (no real names!) and ends up sleeping with a blind woman while pretending to be a pirate lawyer. Surprise! She turns out to be the prosecutor on George Sr.’s case. GOB’s night also didn’t go as planned when he accidentally got married to Amy Poehler (RIP Will Arnett and Amy Poehler’s love).


Episode 18: Justice is Blind
Michael feels guilty about trying to one-night stand a blind girl, so he continues to pretend to pursue a relationship with her. He feels even more guilty about being Michael Bluth and eventually confesses. He takes her dog Justice to the vet and discovers that JUSTICE IS BLIND meaning that Maggie could see that whole time. Maeby is scamming her school out of my money by pretending to be her own sickly twin sister, Surely.


Episode 19: Best Man for the GOB
GOB is still married to Amy Poehler so Michael offers to throw him a bachelor party. George Sr. decides to throw one instead, using it as an opportunity to frame his accountant for murder to prevent him from testifying. Buster gets hopped up on juice.


Episode 20: Whistler’s Mother
George Sr.’s twin brother Oscar shows up to ask for money and pursue an affair with Lucille. He convinces Michael to buy his useless lemon grove and lets George Sr. take the fall when it turns out to be a bad deal. Eventually Lucille saves the day with her geriatric sexual allure.

Episode 21: Not Without My Daughter
Michael takes Maeby to Take Your Daughter to Work Day and makes a deal with her that the first of them to lie will pay the other $50. Then the police show up to question him about Kitty’s disappearance, since he was apparently the last one to see her ALIVE. Maeby snoops around the police station and finds Kitty very much alive and helping the police attempt to coerce Michael. Lindsey lies rather than confess she has a job at the mall, and ends up getting fired when GOB and George Michael release a bunch of mice.


Episode 22: Let Them Eat Cake
Kitty attempts to seize control of the Bluth company with the info she knows. She thinks it’s only unpaid taxes, but George Sr. confesses the Bluth company had been building houses in Iraq despite sanctions against doing business with Saddam. George Sr. fakes a heart attack during a polygraph test and subsequently escapes from the hospital.

Trish’s Review
Once again this disc was a mix of episodes I really like (“Not Without My Daughter”, anything with Maggie) and ones I would skip over if I could (“Best Man for the GOB”). This disc also saw the introduction of the Overly Literal Doctor who announces George Sr.’s escape to the family by saying, “He’s gone” and “We lost him”.


Rating: Four out of five blind seeing-eye dogs
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Kitty (by blowing up a yacht she was on), Fuck Maggie (while using a false name), Marry Amy Poehler (on a dare)

Steven’s Review
I absolutely love Overly Literal Doctor, who is one of the best running gags in the show, so this is an awesome time to be alive/watching the series. Maeby also starts getting more screen time and character development, which I’m anxious for as we get closer and closer to bigshot studio producer Maeby (one of my other favorite features of the show). Also tons of great Barry time, woo! He reminds me more and more of Jim Rash’s Dean Pelton from Community.

Poison oak, Laker's tickets. He's a busy man on the dating scene.

Poison oak, Laker’s tickets. He’s a busy man on the dating scene.

Rating: Four out of five Girls With Low Self-Esteemâ„¢.
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill George Michael, because it’s becoming clearer and clearer here that he’s some kind of shell of a human made of equal parts Tobias and his father (Tobias once more in second place here, fighting hard to win). Fuck Kitty, because we all know what happens to those who don’t by now… Marry Maggie. For Justice!

Next: Arrested Development 2.1
Previously: Arrested Development 1.2

ABC DVD: Arrested Development 1.2

Time for Arrested Development Season 1, Disc 2!

Episode 7: My Mother, The Car
Michael keeps planning surprise birthday parties for his mom, and the rest of the family keeps not showing up. Lucille gets in a car accident and frames Michael.


Episode 8: In God We Trust
George Sr. is released for the afternoon to take part in a living art pageant where he plays God. Lucille goes on a date with the family’s prospective new lawyer. Tobias is a never-nude, and George Michael tries to impress Maeby with a muscle suit.

no god

Episode 9: Storming the Castle
Michael schemes to get Marta and GOB’s ex on stage at his magic act together so Marta will see how GOB is awful. George Michael has smooth, feminine legs.

Episode 10: Pier Pressure
Buster asks George Michael to buy some pot from GOB for him for Lucille 2 and her vertigo. GOB tells Michael, and they decide to “teach him a lesson” using GOB’s hot cop friends. George Sr. ends up teaching them a lesson about teaching lessons.


Episode 11: Public Relations
Michael hires a publicist to help make the family look better. Tobias takes an acting class from Carl Weathers.

Episode 12: Marta Complex
Marta begins to fall in love with Michael, and GOB and Michael think she is sleeping with someone else on the cast of her show. Buster falls in love with Marta too.


Episode 13: Beef Consomme
Michael and Marta want to be together, but feel guilty. GOB continues to hunt for the man Marta’s been sleeping with. Buster hires a mariachi band. Marta finds the three brothers fighting over her and says goodbye to all of them.

Episode 14: Shock and Aww
George Michael has a crush on his ethics teacher. So does Michael. She has a crush on Saddam Hussein. Lucille adopts a Korean boy out of spite. They think his name is Annyong but that really just means Hello in Korean.


Trish’s Review
A few of these episodes are less strong (“Pier Pressure” and “Marta Complex” def), but “Public Relations” and “Shock and Aww” are two of my faves. They both have running jokes that quietly play throughout the whole episode, and “Shock and Aww” introduces Annyong who is pretty great.
Rating: Four out of five pictures of Saddam Hussein in a swimsuit cut out of a rare library book.
Kill/Fuck/Marry: Kill Michael because he starts to annoy me in these episodes, especially with his convoluted plans to get with Marta. Fuck Beth Baerly, the ethics teacher, because she’s played by Heather Graham and seems up for whatever. Marry the hot cops. All of them at once. ALWAYS A PARTY.


Steven’s Review
Honestly I think this is the part of the series where I really start to love Lucille (1, obviously, not 2-aka-Austero). She seems more and more genteely sociopathic, but in such a fun way that it’s hard not to love her for it. Michael and Lindsay swim in and out of likability, with Tobias sinking deeper and deeper in psychopathy-inducing awkwardness “as an actor” (which is honestly a huge credit to David Cross’s abilities as an actor in real life).
Rating: Four out of five tweaked undercover informant nipples.
Kill/Fuck/Marry: My kill vote is evenly divided between GOB and Buster, but leaning toward GOB. Fuck is obviously Beth Baerly i.e. Heather Graham, because who doesn’t want to hook up with Felicity Shagwell? Honorable mention goes to Jessie the publicist here, because girl knows what she wants and isn’t afraid of going for it! Marry… I’m still going to have to go with Marta on this one. She’s somehow managing to continue a healthy adult relationship from her end, even if she has terrible taste in men.

Previously: Arrested Development 1.1
Next: Arrested Development 1.3

ABC DVD: 10 Things I Hate About You

Recently Steven and I decided to watch all the DVDs we own in alphabetical order. It’s similar to that time I decided to cook out of every cookbook in the house, but less practical. The first title is that 90s classic based on a Shakespeare play, 10 Things I Hate About You.

I'm not over how cute Heath Ledger is in this, I'm not

I’m not over how cute Heath Ledger is in this, I’m not

Based on Taming of the Shrew–and even sneaking in a surprising amount of direct quotes!–this story follows new kid in school Cameron as he attempts to date the beautiful Alex Mack despite her father’s rule that she can’t date unless her older sister Julia Stiles does. Cameron and his bff David Krumholtz trick rich douchebag Joey into paying scary outsider Heath Ledger to date Julia Stiles, and of course there’s the typical relationship begun on false pretenses turns to real love/”IT WAS ALL A LIE” dramatic climax and reconciliation denouement. In the end, Alex Mack beats up Joey at prom, David Krumholtz hooks up with a hardcore Shakespeare LARPer, and I downloaded the soundtrack.

That ridic highschool building, tho

That ridic highschool building, tho

Trish’s Review
This movie is still hilarious. The characters are really well-written and all four of the main protagonists grow throughout the story. The script writers, Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith, are so clever in the way they use Shakespeare’s plot and lines but also update and turn it on its head. This movie is a feminist take on one of Shakespeare’s more misogynistic plays. Plus, it’s infinitely quotable and the music is amazing.


Rating: 5 out of 5 butterfly hairclips

Kill/Fuck/Marry: Definitely kill Joey. He’s incredibly conceited, boring, and, worst of all, only tries to date Alex Mack because he has a bet with his friends. Fuck Heath Ledger. Duh. Marry David Krumholtz because he solves everyone’s problems for no reason other than he’s a really great guy.


Steven’s Review
Somehow it wasn’t until well after the first watching that I discovered it was really just a re-telling of The Taming of the Shrew, and I’m honestly stumped at how I didn’t see it at the time. Thankfully, it’s just as good in the re-watching, years later. It’s pretty much everything I expect and want out of the teen comedy genre; typecast high school cliques, unrequited and inexplicable romance at the drop of the hat, ridiculous lack of parental oversight (apart from the main character ladies, apparently), and teens with all the apparent legal and fiscal means to do pretty much whatever a drunken 20-something might get up to. Bad guys get punched, scatological humor gets played, and all with plenty of one-liners to keep things interesting. Oh, and everyone’s favorite White House Press Secretary moonlights as an unapologetic bad erotic romance writer while apparently running a high school? Love it!


Rating: 5 out of 5 hole-sawn textbooks


This one’s hard. Like, really hard. Like, if it weren’t for the few characters I honestly like, I’d be inclined to say “Just nuke the school from orbit and spare the rest of us.” Joey’s an obvious front-runner, but I honestly had a hard time choosing between him and Cameron, the lackluster starry-eyed “nice guy.” Honestly, just let them both get hit by the same car.
Ms. Perky, Alison Janney’s school counselor-cum-de-facto-principal character. She sounds like she at least knows how to describe a good time, so chances are at least even that she could back it up with the real performance.
The crotchety obstetrician Dad (Larry Miller). He’s clearly given up on life, but he’s also clearly got the disposable income to live comfortably, plus he’s gone most of the time, leaving you with that palatial house to yourself.


Next Up: Arrested Development!

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%


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


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

New Bern!!

Steven and I went to New Bern for a weekend! It was the original capital of North Carolina back when it was a royal colony, so there was lots of historical things to do with people in period costume!

Tryon Palace!

Tryon Palace!

Fancy period gardens!

Fancy period gardens!

Tryon Palace's back lawn

Tryon Palace’s back lawn

And then there's this nerd

And then there’s this nerd

We stayed at a bed and breakfast that ratcheted the fancy up to 11! This was our room:

The King George III room!

The King George III room!

Here's King George III preparing to watch me sleep

Here’s King George III preparing to watch me sleep

Look at this fancy-ass bathroom

Look at this fancy-ass bathroom



Honestly it was hard not to spend the whole weekend in the bathtub. But I made other plans. Like a tour of town in a Model A Ford!

So rickety!

So rickety!

Of course there were costumes

Of course there were costumes

New Bern was an important port city back in the day because it lies at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers that lead out to sea.

Selfies by the water!

Selfies by the water!

One of the best parts about bed and breakfasts are the elaborate breakfast, and this place did not disappoint! Every morning there was a fruit-crumble-like appetizer followed by a choice of 3 entrees. I was usually all about the pancakes:



The menu changed every day.



Steven's French toast was good too

Steven’s French toast was good too

New Bern is also the birthplace of Pepsi! I talked Steven into going in. It was WAY less fancy and ridiculous than The World of Coke we went to in Atlanta. Basically just a soda fountain.

Steven begrudgingly experiencing history

Steven begrudgingly experiencing history

But the best thing about New Bern are the bears!!!! They were decorated and put up all over town to celebrate the town’s 300th anniversary in 2010. I tried to get my picture with all the ones we passed, but there are way more:

"Bearer of Rights" bear lol

“Bearer of Rights” bear lol

Mitchell Bear (he works in a hardware store)

Mitchell Bear (he works in a hardware store)

"Flag Bearer" I hope you like bear puns because New Bern is all about that

“Flag Bearer” I hope you like bear puns because New Bern is all about that

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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