Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Simple Pleasures

It's 2011 now. How did that happen?! I turned around and the year was over. 2010 was a solid year. But 2011 has arrived and I still have yet to write a post about our holiday travels and New Year's Eve festivities, will I? Eh, probably. Mostly because the abundance of adorable nephew photos and family togetherness needs to be shared. I'll get there.

Instead over the last delightful days of vacation, I've been pondering what I want for 2011. That whole Reverb 10 project promised lots of manifesting for 2011, but it was much more focused on thinking about the year past. So I've decided. No resolutions. These aren't the tedious and easily dropped: save money, lose weight, learn French. I've got just three simple goals, all aimed at bringing more pleasure and creativity to my 2011.

Goal #1 - I want to read 52 books in 2011. I read 46 last year. But I want to make sure I'm reading a book a week in 2011. We've dropped our fancy cable, and have dialed back to just the basic, including ditching my beloved DVR, in part to save money and finish off some credit card debt, and in part to help Joe and I both focus on our other interests. We still will watch TV, we will still collapse onto the couch and delight in several back to back episodes of 24 or Dexter or some other fantastic Netflix instant watch show. But we both plan to cut back on the TV watching. This should free up some reading time, and I will probably pass that 52 mark, but that's my goal. And I'm planning to write a quick 3rd grade inspired book report on each one.

Goal #2 - The other 52 that I hope to reach this year, is cooking 52 new recipes. That sounds daunting to me today. But in an effort to become a more versatile and skilled cook, I need to cook more. And I really like cooking, but I get lazy. I also want to eat a bit healthier and eating at home, even if I use my beloved butter, is still healthier than eating out. So I'm cooking a new recipe at least once a week. I'm not a real chef or particularly adventurous cook, so we'll see what happens. And these 52 recipes are going to be heavier on the main course and side dish end rather than desserts. I love baking and dessert, but I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone a bit. I also want to master some basics like fried chicken, biscuits, roasted potatoes, roasted chicken, brisket, homemade spaghetti sauce, gnocchi and a few others. Not everything will be straight out of a Weight Watchers cookbook, but I do want to explore some veggies I've never cooked with before. Like eggplant, they are richly colored, shiny, lushly curvy and yet I have no idea what the hell to do with one. So I might give the aubergine a go.

Goal #3 - I don't want to tie myself down to learning to knit or painting or anything specific, but I want to make 52 things this year. Not just writing, or jewelry or photography, but things that I'll have to struggle to try and learn. Maybe a little sewing, a little drawing, a little painting. I haven't decided what these things might be yet, I'm browsing but I think learning calligraphy is high on the list. Mostly I want to make more beauty in my life. So I'm going to.

What do you want to do in 2011 to bring more pleasure to your life?


catiecake said...

Lady! That is a lot, but totally doable and I am thinking very seriously about copying you. Excellnt goals!

bethany actually said...

I want to successfully finish the homeschooling year despite having an infant to keep alive. I want to get through Elliora's first six months gracefully, with my sense of humor intact. (Babies, in my opinion, get a lot easier and more interesting and pleasurable right about the six-month mark. Before that, for me, the ratio of stress to pleasure is high.)

I have a recipe for you to try! It's one of my favorites, it's easy, and it's soooo worth it. It's for roasted baby potatoes, but you could totally use the same recipe with cut-up regular potatoes. The recipe calls for fingerlings but I usually use little red potatoes.


I should do the 52-new-recipes thing along with you. That sounds like fun! Though it might be a bit ambitious considering how many times we've eaten cereal or PB&J for dinner in the past 5 weeks. :-)

kassie lou said...

Ooh, Catie, copy me, copy me!

And Bethany, I'm making those tonight and blogging it. Thanks for my first new recipe of the year. There is nothing I love more than potatoes and rosemary.

Nae said...

Calligraphy!!! Boy how was I obsessed with it in hs. Didn't reach my goals of a super fancy poem written in super fancy script, but did all my greeting cards like that for a while. Love the idea. And pen shopping is FUN. :)

I will dig out my indian recipe for my no fail eggplant - I hate 'mature eggplant' ie. larger with too many seeds. But I won't be bossy and throw tons of recipes your way, I promise. :)

All your 52 things have got me thinking!! Wonder if I could pull off 52 recipes with that pile of mags on my counter. hmmmm....Cool post!

Snowfairy said...

All the talk of food has made my hungry. Great goals, achievable but even if you don't reach your target it will be fun to try. I seem unable to do long term goals, life is too changeable.
But I am mulling over few short term ones.

catiecake said...

Technically I have my own blog, but I never use it, so I post my things right here.

I'ma read 2 books a month, 2 new recipes a month and one creative project a month. I'm also doing one video or photo tutorial a month and one awesome photo of Murray a week. So, that's a lot and I'm already tired.

kassie lou said...

Perfecto, Miss Catie! What's your first book?

Katrina said...

LOVE this idea....I think I want to copy you too....well, except the cooking part of it. :) That doesn't excite me at all. So instead I will add that I want to exercise 52 times this year. :) So I am going to try and read 52 books...do children's books count too? If not, I am going to have to reduce that number. I am going to try 52 new crafty things. And am going to exercise 52 times. :)

Kat Walsh said...

This is awesome! Can't wait to hear what you do with 2012! You are my blogging hero.