Uncharted

Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

~30 aspirations for 2015~ January 6, 2015

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:42 pm
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~30 aspirations for 2015~
.1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
.2. Read at least twelve books and document
.3. Try at least 1 new recipe every month
.4. Complete some type of service every quarter
.5. Try at least one Acupuncture Session
.6. Complete a sewing project
.7. Learn to play 1 piano song beautifully
.8. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been before
.9. Attend the new church I researched at least four times
.10. Regularly practice Yoga & Meditation at least once per week
.11. Go see a play I’ve never seen before
.12. Complete at least one project per month
.13. Take a hot air balloon ride
.14. Take at least one class on Coursera
.15. Complete a scrapbook of my trip to NYC in 2013 with my sister
.16. Do a spa day including at least 3 treatments (and don’t feel guilty!)
.17. Host a themed party
.18. Learn to make my Nana’s sauce and ask her to critique it
.19. Attend a midnight premiere of a movie
.20. Plan a trip and meet out of town for a girl’s weekend
.21. Buy a Ukulele and learn to play a song
.22. Use my new planner effectively to stay organized
.23. Take a camera class to learn about my new Nikon camera
.24. Start a regular swimming routine
.25. Sell my current car and buy a new/new to me vehicle
.26. Try a new hair style
.27. At least 40,000 steps per week measured by the FitBit
.28. Start every week with a Ted Talk
.29. Prepare and give a great MOH speech in April
.30. Get my ear pierced

 

A Look Back At My 2014 Aspirations December 31, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 2:20 am
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Here is a review of how I did on my 2014 Aspirations.  Many of the updates link to posts throughout the year in case you want to read more about them.  It’s kind of difficult for me to put this review out into the world.  In fact I think its my least favorite post of the year because I feel like I am sharing my failures.  I do it anyway though because I am trying to stick with the attitude that I do more than I would considering that I do share these. And so even if every aspiration isn’t reached, I am still better off than if I had set none at all.  Next week I’ll post my 30 aspirations for 2015.

.1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night

I have my good times and bad times with this one, but I am really cutting down on the 6 hour nights of sleep.  If I get less than 7 I usually struggle all day and I remind myself of that when I try to do ‘just one more thing’ before bed.

.2. Read at least twelve books and document
I read my twelve.  Being in two bookclubs helps me reach this goal pretty easily and it helps me to try reading new things.  Never thought I’d be reading reality TV Star books.

Drinking & Tweeting by Brandi Glanville
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Local News by Miriam Gershow
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
I am Malala:The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
The Witness Wore Red by Rebecca Musser
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
.3. Try at least 1 new recipe every month
I have 18 new recipes I tried that were documented.  I am guessing I did more, but didn’t always remember to record it.  Here are links to the ones I posted on the blog:

Baked Broccoli Fritters
Zucchini Pasta
Shrimp Pasta
Egg Sandwich
Fast Chicken Fajitas
Cinnamon Biscuits
Fried Rice
.4. Write and post a on the blog every week

Yes!  This is my 52nd post this year.  This is one of the hardest ones I accomplished.
.5. Complete some type of service every month

I am back to only 5 months of service and some of these are a stretch.  The shoveling and babysitting are things I would already do just to help my family out, but I did include them because I told myself to relax and that every service doesn’t have to be an official event.

Jan– Resume Reviewer at Park District
March– Shovel Driveways
April– Babysit
May– MS Walk
Dec– Donated to Toy Drive for local town

.6. Try at least one Acupuncture Session
I need a recommendation for this. I’m too frightened to try out the Groupons at the local places.  Shouldn’t it cost more than $20 bucks to stick needles all over my body?

.7. Complete a sewing project

I did not even research or plan a sewing project.

.8. Learn to play 1 piano song beautifully

I recently found my Sara Bareilles song book, haven’t touched it in over a year I think.

.9. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been before
North Dakota!  It was a  business trip, but it still counts.

.10. Attend the new church I researched at least four times

I regret to say I did not even go once.  I’m a little frightened to try it and the location doesn’t help my reluctance

.11. Regularly practice Yoga & Meditation at least once per week

I started off very strong with Yoga and then as my stress went up at work that dwindled, but then I started in on Meditation and even downloaded an app to help me stay calm and relaxed.

.12. Attend a wine class
Katie and I attended a wine class in April.

.13. Go see a play I’ve never seen before
Karla, Lei, and I went to see Le Petit Prince at the Looking Glass Theater in February during Theater Week in Chicago!

.14. Join a local CSA and visit the farm my produce comes from

I researched local CSA’s near my new town and I never found anything I was pleased with.  Either they were a great program that cost too much or a cost effective program that had questionable reviews.  I may need to search out an alternative to this method.  Perhaps a mail order subscription service?

.15. Complete at least one craft per month

I did not end up doing one crafts/project per month, but I did do twelve overall.  I fit a lot in at the end of the year preparing for Christmas and all the wedding festivities I’ve been involved in.  I haven’t shared all the items on the blog, but if I did there is a link listed below.

February-Camera Strap & Valentine Heart Boxes

March-Jewelry Display Board

May- Food Passport

June- Washi Pencil cups

October- Homemade Vanilla Extract & Homemade Lip Balm

November- Lamp Shade & Wooden Utensil Favors

December- Christmas Crunch Cookie Jars, Christmas Card Lights, and Oh Shit Kits!
.16. Take a hot air balloon ride

Haven’t had the opportunity for this one yet.

.17. Learn to use snowshoes

My Valentine’s present last year was a day of snowshoeing!

.18. Start the new blog I’ve been planning

In concentrating on keeping this blog up to date, I have not started a new one.

.19. Take at least one class on Coursera

There were a few different courses I was interested in, but I really lost sight of this one when things got insane at work.  I felt too tired every night to add this to my things to do.

.20. Collect pieces, Design a layout, and hang up a collage wall in my living room

This is one of the most challenging pieces of decoration I’ve ever put together, but it was well worth it!

.21. Complete a scrapbook of my trip to NYC in 2013 with my sister

I love the part I did complete, but the title of my post about this says it all: Halfway There….and I never did scrap anymore this year.

.22. Do a spa day including at least 3 treatments (and don’t feel guilty!)

I never had a whole day with three treatments.  I had a massage and some manicures throughout the year, but the intention a day at the spa with a bunch of treatments so I did not achieve that.
.23. Learn to apply liquid eyeliner and fancy eye makeup

Took a class at Goldplaited with my cousin Cassie in June.

.24. Become more of a morning person

I did research on this and worked on some of the techniques suggested.  I know my issue is lack of consistency.  Some nights I sleep 8 hours, others 5 or 6.  Then I let myself stay up super late when I don’t have work the next day {tonight is a great example!} and have trouble going to sleep on nights when I have work the next day.  This one is definitely a work in progress.

.25. Create a workspace in my new bedroom

I bought a new desk and chair (both from Target) and I also added some artwork.  I try to not accumulate junk on the chair and surface of the desk so I will have room to work, but that is a work in progress!

.26. Host a themed party

I had my girlfriends over for a Christmas get-together after going to see Holiday Magic at the zoo this year.

.27. Learn to make my Nana’s sauce and ask her to critique it

I did talk to my grandma about this, but she told me to wait until the weather was better?  I think the thought of making the sauce overwhelms her.  I’ll need to catch her at a good time for her.

.28. Attend a midnight premiere of a movie

Never did this one.  I need to have a movie I really just can’t wait to see.

.29. Plan a trip and meet out of town for a girls weekend

Once of my saddest ones!  I discussed this with a few of my friends and researched some different places and where we could stay.  It just wasn’t in the cards for us this year.  I’m starting to think if I plan it and send out the information, some people will be able to make it work.

 

Aspiration Update: #17 February 26, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:34 am
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Finally I got a chance to snowshoe!  Dave and I went together for Valentine’s Day.  We’re so romantical!  Technically it was the day after but who’s keeping track?  I was all worried I’d need to learn how to snowshoe.  I actually found a free class that REI puts on at their stores, but then decided it can’t be that complicated and to just go for it instead.  I’m glad I didn’t take the time to do that because it’s actually very easy!

We went to the The Vera Meineke Nature Center on Schaumburg Road  where you can rent snowshoes for $4.00/3 hours.  It’s a great deal!  Especially because they have a few different kinds of shoes to chose from.  The old fashioned wooden type or the more modern aluminum model.

shoes

Checking out the Choices

They had us watch a thrilling 5 minute video on how to snowshoe and soon we were fitting ourselves with our shoes.  Dave ended up with the old fashioned version because they fit his boots better and I ended up in the modern kind.  We headed out into the snow, had someone take our photo so we could document the trip, and started exploring the area.

us

There were a few other people around but it wasn’t crowded at all.  We explored a bit and found a little cabin on the grounds, a couple of bridges, and a quaint little farm.  Even though it was frigid out, we really worked up a sweat and the next day my legs were pretty sore.  Seems like a good way to stay in shape while enjoying the outdoors.  It was a nice change of pace for us because we really haven’t spent anytime outside since the fall.  We both agreed that even with the cold weather we should get out more often.

collage

tree

I completed an Aspiration!

 

2014 Goals for Happiness January 20, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 12:18 pm
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Last year, I decided to copy Kelly (copying is the highest form of flattery, they say) and make a list of 28 goals for 2013. I’m so thrilled I was organized with my list and kept it in front of my face all year long so that I could continually work on achieving them. This year, I’ve decided to change up how I do my goals to not only make them more manageable and less daunting, but also create a little more organization. Recently I’ve been reading, “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin and am incredibly inspired by her and her story (I highly recommend this book). Basically, Ms. Rubin takes a look at how she has been living her life and makes specific goals to focus on for each month of the year. The goals are supposed to increase her overall happiness. Her book not only provides honest and candid feedback on her successes and room for improvement, but she also weaves in research from studies that support her theories on happiness.

So here we go: my list of goals for 2014, January – June. The second half will come later after seeing how I do!

January – Get Healthy

Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, Get back into Yoga (go once a week), Eat fruits or vegetables at every meal

February – Explore

Travel to a place I’ve never been, Take a vacation, Plan camping trip for summer, Try something new

March – Learn

Take a class to learn something new and unexpected, Learn how to use my new camera in MF Mode

April – Save

Meet with financial advisor for investment portfolio, Create 5 year financial plan

May – Have fun

Go to a White Sox Game (my favorite!), Plant a garden, Discover new interests

June – Reflect

Refocus my energy into something positive, Do something thoughtful for friends/family, Keep a journal, Take time to smell the roses and appreciate little things

 

Ideas for how to achieve some of these are definitely welcome! What goals do you have? What kinds of things do you do to achieve them? I’d love to hear from you.

 

~29 Aspirations For 2014~ January 14, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

~29 aspirations for 2014~
.1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
.2. Read at least twelve books and document
.3. Try at least 1 new recipe every month
.4. Write and post a on the blog every week
.5. Complete some type of service every month
.6. Try at least one Acupuncture Session
.7. Complete a sewing project
.8. Learn to play 1 piano song beautifully
.9. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been before
.10. Attend the new church I researched at least four times
.11. Regularly practice Yoga & Meditation at least once per week
.12. Attend a wine class
.13. Go see a play I’ve never seen before
.14. Join a local CSA and visit the farm my produce comes from
.15. Complete at least one craft per month
.16. Take a hot air balloon ride
.17. Learn to use snowshoes
.18. Start the new blog I’ve been planning
.19. Take at least one class on Coursera
.20. Collect pieces, Design a layout , and hang up a collage wall in my living room
.21. Complete a scrapbook of my trip to NYC in 2013 with my sister
.22. Do a spa day including at least 3 treatments (and don’t feel guilty!)
.23. Learn to apply liquid eyeliner and fancy eye makeup
.24. Become more of a morning person
.25. Create a workspace in my new bedroom
.26. Host a themed party
.27. Learn to make my Nana’s sauce and ask her to critique it
.28. Attend a midnight premiere of a movie
.29. Plan a trip and meet out of town for a girls weekend

 

A look back at my 2013 Aspirations January 7, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Here is a review of how I did on my 2013 Aspirations.  You’ll notice there are a lot of links in this post and that is because I tend to post about a lot of the items on this list.  If you click on the links, it will open up a new window with the post that goes along with that goal.  Check some of them out!  Next week I’ll post my 29 aspirations for 2014.  That number just keeps getting higher and higher.  Ugh, aging!
.1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
When I moved I cut my commute time in half.  This definitely gives me some more time to sleep.  However, I’m not very disciplined at going to bed at a prescribed time.  This is a work in progress for sure.

.2. Pack homemade lunches and eat out once every other week
I don’t eat out very often at work so I accomplished this goal as long as we only look at lunches…

.3. Compile a life list for bigger aspirations
It’s a ongoing list but it’s getting longer and longer.

.4. Visit at least two out of town friends
Took a trip to New York and met up with my cousin Brian in April
Visited Sarah & Jon with Dave in October

.5. Read at least 1 book per month and document
I read 12 books this year.  It wasn’t exactly one per month, but there were 12 overall!

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
The Acupuncture Handbook by Angela Hicks
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Sliding Into Home by Kendra Wilkinson
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Every Day by David Levithan
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling
Night Film by Marisha Pessl

.6. Try at least 1 new recipe every month
I have over 20 new recipes I tried that were documented.  I am guessing I did more, but didn’t always remember to record it.  Here are links to the ones I posted on the blog:

Shrimp Alexander
Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti
Classy Ramen
Ghost Peep Smores
Portabella Mushroom Cap Pizza
Lazy Cake Cookies {this post is one of the most popular ones I’ve ever written!}
Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Baked Zucchini
Butternut Squash Soup/ Homemade Veggie Stock
Southwestern Chopped Salad

.7. Complete a sewing project
Not at all.

.8. Learn to play 1 piano song beautifully
Last year I bought a Sara Bareilles piano book and this year I maybe practiced twice?  Not beautiful by any means!

.9. Write and post a on the blog every week
Yes!  I take a lot of pride in this.  Also this would be easier if I would try writing ahead of time.

.10. Attend at least two new churches of a new religion
Researched a non-denominational church.  Did not attend any new churches except for weddings!

.11. Complete some type of service every month
I’m not proud of this one, but I only completed five service events.  Each one was rewarding, but I expected to do better in this category.

Jan- Girl Scout Rally
Feb- Pennies for Patients
May- MS Walk
Nov- Leaf Raking for Seniors with Global Hope
Dec- Science Fair Judge at Agricultural High School

.12. Try at least one Acupuncture Session
Did not try this yet.  I’m just a little unsure of where to go.

.13. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been before
When Dave and I visited Sarah and Jon in Denver, we went to a couple towns I hadn’t visited before. Golden, CO and Idaho Springs.

.14. Regularly practice yoga at least once per week
I started off practicing some yoga and meditation and let it go.

.15. Start a plan to buy property
I set a goal for a certain amount of savings and I am still currently on target to meet it.

.16. Go to a wine class
Not to make excuses or anything, but I’m going to!  I bought a Groupon for a wine class for four and then they stopped offering the class.  I emailed back and forth with them a couple times and was so angry about it I gave up and didn’t look into a class elsewhere.  I guess that is where stubborn gets me.  This reminds me to contact Groupon about getting a refund.  I just tried to go to their website and it doesn’t seem to exist anymore!

.17. Purchase a bicycle and ride it as much as possible
I purchased a bike in the late spring and my dad helped me put it together.  It was a bit of a pain to take it up and downstairs at the Oak Park apartment, but I did it quite a few times.  I’ll continue in the spring with this one!

.18. Send one handwritten card per week for a year
Absolutely not.  Ugh this one stresses me out.  Do I even know 52 people to send a note to?

.19. Go see a play I’ve never seen before
Dave took me to see The Book of Mormon for my birthday.  It was too funny!

.20. Work to restore my foot to the best it can be
I went for a second opinion on my foot earlier this year and found out everything is as it should be.  I have not babied this foot and been back to wearing normal shoes which feels like a big accomplishment to me.

.21. Join a local CSA and visit the farm my produce comes from
The CSA we used last year did not continue their CSA and this kinda killed my spirit.  Karla and I ended up deciding not to join a different one.

.22. Complete at least one craft per month
I did a total of 10 crafts this year.  I was so close to the goal and much closer than last year, but I was a little shy of the 12 I was after.  Here is a listing:

Valentine Glitter Jars
Glitter Chevron Canvas
Easter Centerpieces
Quote Posters
Vintage Soft Tees
Blanket Crate- Hmm just realized I never posted about this!
Ombre Bracelet
Card Catalog Look-a-like
Bathroom Art
Ugly Sweater

.23. Take a hot air balloon ride
Sadly, again the answer is no.  But I got one stop closer by going to Eyes to the Skies this summer with my cousins.  Also Dave has given me some type of gift involving a hot air balloon every year since I set this goal…

.24. Learn to use snowshoes
Another Groupon gone bad.  I bought it last year and there was never enough snow on the ground to use it.  Anyone else remember how it would snow and melt a day later?

.25. Start a regular practice of meditation
I got the DVDs and I did utilize them, I just wouldn’t call it ‘regularly’

.26. Start the new blog I’ve been planning
Plans are still there, just haven’t executed yet.

.27. Successfully renew my PHR (Professional in Human Resource) Certification
Submitted everything in the beginning of the year and got the confirmation in the Spring.  Now I am certified for another three years!  Guess it’s time to start completing education for the next renewal.

.28. Research and start education in order to receive a Real Estate license
I did do the research on this one, but I did not realize how expensive it is to take the courses necessary for this.  Coupled with the fact that I was not ready to purchase property, I decided to put this off.

 

2013 Resolution Recap January 6, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 1:06 pm
Tags: , ,

With the new year underway, it’s time I revisit my list of 28 goals from 2013 to see how I did. Let’s see, shall we?

(1)    Lose 30 Lbs.

Ok, I didn’t lose 30, but I lost 10, which is pretty exciting stuff. The most important thing is that I get myself healthy!

(2)    See an opera

Hollice and I saw La Boheme last year in January. It was glorious.

(3)    Visit Sarah in Colorado

On this one, I know it might not be fair to color it green because I didn’t do it in 2013, however, I bought my flight in 2013 (and we’re headed to Denver in February).

(4)    Train Oakley to be a therapy dog

This may never happen. Oakley is learning some helpful tricks though. She already knows if I say, “Bring me ____” what to bring me.

(5)    Visit the Wrobel’s in Madison – use our gift certificate

This… didn’t happen.

(6)    Save at least $10K

I’ll keep this one private. 🙂

(7)    Read at least 7 books this year

So close! I read 6 in completion and am in the middle of the seventh but I can’t bring myself to finish it, it’s not so great. Here’s the list of what I read:

  1. Home Front Girl
  2. Insurgent
  3. 13 Reasons Why
  4. A Kiss Before Goodbye
  5. Gone Girl
  6. The Wonder in Our Stars
  7. John Dies at the End

(8)    Play the piano at least once per week

I started playing again, but not as often as I would like. To be continued!

(9)    Do my own nails

I did very well with this. In 2012 I was getting my nails done almost every other week. In 2012 I bought the materials to do them myself and I did (Except for special events)

(10)Plant my garden (and flowerboxes)

This was done. I blogged about it too!

(11)Renew my PMP Certification

Done in February! I even got my name changed on the certificate.

(12)Attend church every other Sunday

So although I didn’t attend church as much as I should’ve, I did join a church and go on occasion. I am now a member at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Barrington.

(13)Attend yoga every week

I started out great on this but then I hurt my wrist, so I haven’t been at all in the last 4-5 months of the year. Hopefully I can resume sometime soon!

(14)Pay off student loans

MAJOR Done. I’m really proud to say this one is off my list forever!

(15)Purchase all family members bday and xmas gifts on time and deliver them on time!

I was doing so great until the end of the year. Let’s just say three of Eric’s family members got “Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas” presents.

(16)Do what I say I am going to Do

This is vague and hard to achieve, but I achieved quite a bit in 2013, so I’ll say it was done.

(17)Travel to a place I’ve never been

I did – Fabulous Baltimore!! Granted it was for work, but I had a great time. I also blogged about this one!

(18)Begin planning for a book I want to write

Nope.

(19)Be more thoughtful with friends and family – notes, gifts, phone calls

Ehhhh, if I asked my friends and family, they’d probably call this a fail. Although, I did send xmas cards this year, which is pretty thoughtful!

(20)Get Kate Dabkey Shoes up and running again –sell a pair a month

I am up and running again – katedabkeyshoes.com (check me out!) and I did sell shoes!

(21)Tile foyer in house

On the list for 2014!

(22)Update all doctors, service providers to Barrington – doctors, hair, etc.

Done! Well, except for my hair stylist, who I can’t leave because she’s been doing my hair for 10 years.

(23)Throw away a bag of old stuff every week for a year

I wouldn’t call this complete, but I did throw a lot away!

(24)Eat at Girl and the Goat and/or Modo

Nope.

(25)Go to a sports event

I went to a White Sox game in April with Hollice and her husband, Kevin. Hopefully they play better this year.

(26)Earn my Bonuses at Work

A Mystery? Yes, for you, readers it is!

(27)Volunteer/Donate for ALS Foundation

In 2013, I participated in a 5K (it was snowing!) AND gambled at a fundraising gambling event. More to come in 2014!

(28)Listen more and Talk Less. Ask more Questions. Learn.

This is another fail, but a constant goal on my list. If I’m being honest, I made a joke in my speech at Hollice’s wedding about not being a big talker… and all my friends yelled, “LIES!”

Only 5 red ones – not too shabby! And what a year it was! How did you all do on your 2013 goal lists?!

 

 
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