Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

2015 Aspirations December 29, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 11:58 am
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I’m back on the wagon – at least in the sense that I am once again copying Kelly’s awesome idea of creating a list of 30 Goals for the year 2015!

2015 is going to be a crucial year in my life, especially when it comes to my health and happiness. As some of you may know, I was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is an auto-immune disease that affects more women than men and symptoms can creep up at any age, though they often creep up between the ages of 30 and 60. I won’t get too into it, but if you’re interested in reading more about RA, check out the Arthritis Foundation. Though I think I have been handling this news and the initial treatment pretty well, I consider my RA to be a huge inconvenience. It’s also a great motivator to be more conscientious of my health and happiness… so a lot of my goals this year will reflect a shift in my extra-curricular activities.

I hear making the bed on a daily basis plays a crucial role in overall happiness… though I’m a bit nervous about sticking with it. Did you make resolutions this year?

  1. Get healthy – cut back on bad foods/drinks and eat cleaner, get RA under control
  2. Golf a round with less than 10 strokes per hole
  3. Finish staining the cabinets in the kitchen and laying the tile at the fireplace
  4. Learn to use my new telescope
  5. Take more photos of friends and family, get them printed and organized
  6. Attend/Participate in a charity event for rheumatoid arthritis or auto-immune diseases
  7. Be more affectionate, tell/show people how I feel
  8. Read at least 12 books
  9. Go someplace I’ve never been before
  10. Save more money and invest some of it in stocks
  11. Attend Zumba, Yoga or some sort of class at least twice per month
  12. Do something that takes me out of my comfort zone
  13. Surprise 3 people with a thoughtful gift or hand written letter
  14. Learn how to use my camera in MF mode and take at least 1 amazing photograph
  15. Conquer a fear
  16. Do something kind for a complete stranger
  17. Keep a journal
  18. Buy a helmet and ride my bike instead of driving
  19. De-clutter our home. Anything not used within a year gets tossed or donated
  20. Make our bed every day
  21. Go to a sporting event
  22. Take a vacation
  23. Laugh and smile more – Be Happy and be contagious
  24. Get rid of the shoes – sell or donate them all
  25. Join the AMA
  26. Do something touristy in Chicago
  27. Do a spa day and don’t feel guilty about it
  28. Build a snowman
  29. Try a new recipe for vegetables each month
  30. Live in the present. Don’t wish away week days.

2013 Resolution Recap January 6, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 1:06 pm
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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


(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


(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?!


~28 Aspirations For 2013~ January 15, 2013

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:36 pm
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If you’ve been reading for a long time, you know the drill.  Each year I set the number of aspirations that match my age in that year.  Next week I’ll post how I did on my 27 aspirations in 2012.  You’ll notice some similarities from last year which means I still need to work on them.  Enjoy and share any goals you have for yourself this year.

~28 aspirations for 2013~
.1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
.2. Pack homemade lunches and eat out once every other week
.3. Compile a life list for bigger aspirations
.4. Visit at least two out of town friends
.5. Read at least 1 book per month and document
.6. Try at least 1 new recipe every month
.7. Complete a sewing project
.8. Learn to play 1 piano song beautifully
.9. Write and post a on the blog every week
.10. Attend at least two new churches of a new religion
.11. Complete some type of service every month
.12. Try at least one Acupuncture Session
.13. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been before
.14. Regularly practice yoga at least once per week
.15. Start a plan to buy property
.16. Go to a wine class
.17. Purchase a bicycle and ride it as much as possible
.18. Send one handwritten card per week for a year
.19. Go see a play I’ve never seen before
.20. Work to restore my foot to the best it can be
.21. Join a local CSA and visit the farm my produce comes from
.22. Complete at least one craft per month
.23. Take a hot air balloon ride
.24. Learn to use snowshoes
.25. Start a regular practice of meditation
.26. Start the new blog I’ve been planning
.27. Successfully renew my PHR (Professional in Human Resource) Certification
.28. Research and start education in order to receive a Real Estate license


~27 Aspirations For 2012~ January 10, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:51 pm
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Here it is, plain and simple.  No explanations today…after all I am already breaking my 1st aspiration!

~27 aspirations for 2012~

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

.2.  Arrive 5 minutes early to work

.3. Start or join a book club  that meets/discusses at least every other month

.4. Pack homemade lunches and eat out once every other week

.5.  Hire a personal trainer to get motivated on exercising

.6.  Compile a life list for bigger aspirations

.7.  Visit at least two out of town friends

.8.  Read at least 1 book per month and document for myself

.9.  Try at least 1 new recipe every month

.10. Complete a sewing project

.11. Learn to play 1 piano song beautifully

.12. Write and post a on the blog every week

.13. Attend at least two new churches of a new religion

.14. Complete some type of service every month

.15. Try at least one Acupuncture Session

.16. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been before

.17. Regularly practice yoga at least once per week

.18. Start a long term savings account and start contributing to my Roth

.19. Attend a wine class

.20. Purchase a bicycle and ride it as much as possible

.21. Send one handwritten card per week for a year

.22. Go see a play I’ve never seen before

.23. Get the foot surgery I need and have been putting off

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

.25. Find one craft per month on Pinterest and complete it

.26. Take a hot air balloon ride

.27.  Learn to use snowshoes


A Look Back at my 2011 Aspirations December 28, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:27 am
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Well since this is the last post of the year for me I decided to take another look at my 26 Aspirations for 2011.  I absolutely did not accomplish every single one of them, but I feel like I did more than I would have if I didn’t have the list.  Next year I plan on having 27 goals and document the details a bit better for myself.  For instance, I know I read a book each month, but I wish I knew which ones they were.  Here goes nothing:

.1.  Pack homemade lunches

{I eat a homemade lunch 4-5 times a workweek.  I only say yes to going out to lunch once a week.  I think getting down to twice a month would be a good goal to up the ante}

.2.  Arrive 5 minutes early to everything

{‘Everything’ is a bit extreme, but my sister (Queen of Organized and On Time) told me I’ve been much better since I made this an aspiration}

.3.  Hunt for treasures in antique & Thrift stores

{I did this!  I found a few treasures and a really awesome local antique mall I never knew was there before}

.4.  Grow and cultivate a positive spirit

{This is a hard one to measure, but having it on my list helps to keep it in the forefront for me.  Positivity isn’t always my first instinct, but I keep people around me that do have that instinct and I’d like to think it rubs off on me.}

.5.  Make exercise a normal routine

{Depends on what part of 2011 you look at.  I started off strong with my Lenten promise of working out every other day and have slid into a routine of completely no exercise.  Does climbing multiple flights of stairs a day count?  I didn’t think so.  This is going on the list again.}

.6.  Declutter and create a tranquil bedroom

{I completed my bedside table which helped me to have a much nicer space near my bed.  I also gave away a lot of clothes and items I no longer needed.  It’s a work in progress}

.7.  Visit out of town friends

{I visited my friend Lei –Charleston, IL in April, and Sarah and Jon-Denver, CO in October}

.8.  Read at least two one books per month

{This is one I altered because I think I was being a bit ambitious.  I don’t have a record of all the books I read, but I know I did complete this goal and some months exceeded it!  For Christmas my dad got me the new Kindle Fire.  I am super excited because I think this will only increase the amount I read.  I love real books, but the Kindle really is nice when you are traveling and don’t want to carry heavy books.}

.9.  Stop biting my nails and messing with my cuticles

{I have no permanent solution for this yet.  Getting a manicure helps, but can get expensive}

.10. Take a sewing class

{My sister and I attended a lovely class at The Needle Shop in Chicago and I wrote about it here}

.11. Learn to play 1 piano song beautifully

{I started researching this by contacting piano teachers in the area who could help me.  I also dug out my old keyboard from my dad’s basement.  Then I hit a dead-end.  The teachers either ignored my email or told me my request was strange and they didn’t agree with it.  They wanted me to go through proper lessons instead of skipping to one song.  This discouraged me and I didn’t get this one done.  Since I took piano as a child, perhaps I could revive this one by teaching myself?  We will see!}

.12. Curb my temper and anxiety while driving

{Leaving early helps, but I still have a temper when driving.  I tend to be aware of others and try to be thoughtful when driving- ie. Get out of people’s way when they want to go faster than me.  Why don’t others have this courtesy?!}

.13. Try attending at least two new churches

{I attended 3 new churches, but only 1 new religion.  I attended 2 Lutheran services, one that was a bit alternative and one that was pretty conservative and a new Catholic church.  What I actually learned was how similar the Lutheran religion is to Catholicism (which is what I was raised with).  However, I want to experience something completely different than what I’ve seen before.  Perhaps a Jewish or Hindu Temple?  This one will stay.}

.14. Complete service events every month

{This did not get completed every month, but I did complete a lot more service than I have in the past and I may have forgotten some things.  That’s why I said I need to document better:  There was donations in January, school painting in February, Relay for Life in April, MS Walk in May, Adopted a Kitty in August, Swap and Shoe Drive in November, Operation Blessing Food Drive in December}

.15. Solve the clutter on my home desk

{Umm, no comment…that desk looks worse than ever!}

.16. Travel to somewhere I’ve never been before

{Accomplished!  Went to Washington DC for the first time as well as Denver, CO!}

.17. Be clear on my yeses and nos

{This is a good one to keep in mind, but hard to measure.  A good exercise to practice with will be my new aspiration list for 2012}

.18. Organize my finances- so I can start saving

{I have been saving, but I’d like to get more organized.  Every time I start to do this, the details bog me down.  That’s a pattern I have and I need to realize that good enough is good!}

.19. Get 8 hours of sleep always

{Hahaha, I laugh at this one because I am not very good at it.  I did just get a cool new app for my phone called Sleep Cycle that I turn on at night and it measures my sleep for me.  You can also set an alarm that will wake you up at the optimal time in your sleep cycle.  I haven’t decided if this works for me yet, but it does encourage me to get to bed faster because it records the sleeping time!}

.20. Purchase a bicycle and ride it as much as possible

{Did not purchase a bike or ride one for that matter.  I did do a lot of research and headed to a special bike shop in town.  In the end the prices were high for the amount I’d probably use it.  I think I will probably keep this goal and opt for something lower end that will still do the job}

.21. Use natural products in my beauty routine

{I have used a database that rates products on the market to try and week out the real harmful products.  I wrote about it here.  It’s pretty cool you should check it out and improve your beauty products}

.22. Go see a play I’ve never seen before

{Girls and I went to the Shakespeare Theater in June and saw Murder for 2 on Navy Pier!}

.23. Refrain from using the F word

{ Shut the Front Door- Orbit Gum is helping me!}

.24. Start a new ‘Green’ habit every quarter

{Let’s see: Stop running water while brushing teeth, 5 minute showers (with a timer to test me), using reusable bags (and only paper and plastic if necessary and then can reuse those), and doing the clothing Swap every year so we don’t waste clothing and can help others}

.25. Go to a movie by myself

{I read and then went to see The Help by Kathryn Stockett, I bawled my eyes out.  It was probably good I was alone.  Then again everyone in the theater was crying and I didn’t feel alone at all.}

.26. Take a hot air balloon ride

{I failed to do this, but it will still stay on my list cause I really want to go}

And because I’m a visual person I have color coded each aspiration to help me easily see how I measured up.  Green means the goal was completed.  Yellow is a work in progress and Red is a failure.  As I completed this look back I realized it was easier for me to accomplish the aspirations that were specific and  measurable.  I think I’ll use that new knowledge for my next list.  Have a Happy New Year everyone!  Yay 2012!


A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words January 11, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:15 pm
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I guess you can say great minds think alike because just as Kate put up her post last night about vision boards I was getting to work on a vision board of my own.  As I was brainstorming for my list of 26 aspirations, I stumbled across this blog post: Create your Own Dream Board by Shauna Stacy.  I decided that if I am going to achieve all my aspirations I need all the support I can get.  I am a visual learner so what better way than to see my goals in picture form every day?

I had an extra-large bulletin board laying around, but needed something to fill it.  I got to work finding pictures and words online and in magazines that spoke to me.  I’m sure I will mess around with it some more before it is truly final so I put it together with plain ole’ tape.  Here is the for-now-final product:

I tried to pick visually pleasing items because I plan I hanging this up in my bedroom where I’ll be seeing it everyday.  Here is a close up picture so you can get a better idea of how it looks.  Can you tell which pictures match up with the aspirations I posted last week?

Small Update: Two days after I posted my 26 aspirations I was having lunch with a friend of mine.  She was telling me how she really wanted to go see Les Miserables, but her husband was not as eager as her.  She had already given up on seeing the play.  When I heard about this, I cheered in my head and told her about my list and how number 22 is to ‘Go see a play I’ve never seen before’.  All of a sudden we have a plan to go see the play in February.  I wanted to share this small story as an example of what can happen when you keep your goals and aspirations at the forefront of your mind.  In just two days I already have a plan to tackle one of my aspirations!


Update January 10, 2011

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 1:21 pm
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When I typed up my first blog entry for Uncharted, I disclosed my shopping habits and lack of saving sense. Last week, I unveiled a big resolution… to lose 20 lbs. Here are my updates:

First, I am reading the most wonderful book. It’s called, “Live it, Love it, Earn it.” This book is not only a great piece of advice for financial freedom and savings, but it is also a motivational and inspiring book for life achievements. My favorite part is when you are encouraged to create a “Vision Board.” This board should contain pictures or memorabilia to represent all of your life’s goals. IT should be hung somewhere where you can see it often to remind you of what you are striving to be. My vision board (yes, I took the time to make one) has a picture of my hunny, my family, some items to represent where I want to take my shoe business and my half marathon medal to remait fit and healthy. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for some inspiration to organize your goals and to strive to achieve them.

Last week when I posted my resolutions, I had no idea how difficult it could be. Kelly even posted 26 of them! It’s difficult to remember everything I want to fix and dedicate a part of each day to each of my resolutions. I have, however, lost 6 lbs! There’s still more work to do, but it’s a start!

Are you still keeping your new years resolutions?


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