Psst. Guess what... Today is my birthday! Happy birthday to me! Sadly, in order for me to have a day off with Antoine (who doesn't get into town until tomorrow morning) I'm actually working today. Boo. But, I've got dinner plans tonight with my sis and brother-in-law, which I'm really psyched about! And today I have a little something special planned for my post...a birthday list.
A couple months ago I stumbled across a blog called A Beautiful Mess and while I was perusing the various posts I came across a birthday list. The idea was that you'd create a list of goals that you want to accomplish before your next birthday. Now, I'm not one for finishing things (we all know that by now), but I was immediately drawn to the idea. Kind of like a life list, but a little more specific and not as grand. So, I started writing down goals and projects that I'd like to finish by the time my next birthday rolls around (a year from now). I didn't want to go too crazy with the list, I wanted it to be full of very attainable things, things I could realistically make happen in the coming year. So here you have it, my list of 27 things I want to do before my 28th birthday...
1.) Read Jane Eyre: I am notoriously a Jane Austen hater, and for years I scoffed at Jane Eyre as something very Austen-y (I have a bad habit of stereotyping all female writers from that era because I despise Jane Austen so very much). Then last year, when the Mia Wasikowska version of Jane Eyre was released and I saw the trailer for it, I was like "WTF!? That actually looks good!" But I knew before I could see the film I'd have to read the book, so that's #1 on my reading list.
2.) Go to Midpoint Music Festival: Midpoint is a local three-day music festival that takes place downtown. For the last 3 or 4 years my sister has been begging me to go with all her friends. But I was always either a slave to my Sbux schedule or busy. But this year, I am free from Sbux and I desperately want to go.
3.) Romantic cabin weekend with Antoine: Antoine and I are in need of a weekend away together. And since we didn't have my family's annual cabin weekend last November, I'm craving some good, relaxing cabin time.
4.) Start jogging: I need to get out and get moving, it's so easy to stay at home and cuddle up with the Cheese-man in the evening. But when daylight savings time rolls around and it's actually light outside when I get home I am going to start jogging. Period.
5.) Make at least 4 LP books for Etsy: A couple months ago I bought a stack of old records to use as covers for books, but I haven't gotten around to actually making them...so that needs to happen.
6.) Finally watch Casa Blanca and Citizen Kane: Though I consider myself a bit of a film buff, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've never seen either of these classics. So, I hope to finally remedy that this year. I plan on watching Casa Blanca with my hlp, Amanda, and watching Citizen Kane with Antoine.
7.) Go camping with Amanda and her boyfriend, Aaron: Antoine and I have been camping several times now, and I love it! Especially since we can take Cheese with us. And since my Amanda and Aaron have both never been camping before, it has become my personal mission to introduce it to them.
Kaylah's Colorful Cupcakes tutorial I've been dying to make some of these vibrant cupcakes!
9.) Go canoeing: For a while there, going canoeing was a summer staple for me, my sister and a bunch of friends. But over the last couple years either my sister or I have been too busy to organize a day of canoeing, so we haven't done it. And I miss it. So it needs to happen this year, I just hope I don't get sun poisoning again!
10.) Visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park: The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the only National Park in the state of Ohio. And it happens to be 4 hours from Cincinnati and only 20 minutes from where Amanda lives....and I've never been! WTF?!
11.) Learn to shoot photos manually: I'm ashamed to admit it, but since I got my DSLR I've been coasting along taking most of my pictures on automatic. Sad but true. Sometimes I will switch my lens to the manual mode, but I desperately want to stop being so lazy and learn how to take pictures manually. This will involve me reading my camera's instruction manual, something I do not enjoy doing. Instruction manuals and I don't usually get along, I tend to ignore them completely.
12.) Embroider/needlepoint something: A couple months ago my grandparents were cleaning some stuff out of their house and my grandpa gave me a bunch of his old needlepoint floss. My grandpa has been cross stitching for as long as I can remember, and he's the one who taught me to cross stitch when I was young. So I want to pick it back up. I've got a little project in mind already.
13.) Gather, scan, and print family photos: Our house is severely lacking in old family photos. A couple weekends ago I finally hung a picture of my dad and aunt when they visited Mexico in their twenties. It felt good to hang it and made me wish I had more families to hang.
14.) Make a miniature book: I've been wanting to make a miniature book for a while now, but now I have a little project in mind.
15.) Make blueberry jam from scratch: Blueberry picking in July has become a summer tradition for me and this past summer my sister and I said that this year we should make jam. When I was growing up on the farm my mom canned vegetables, made her own grape juice and whipped up batches of apple sauce like nobody's business. She would also make the best blueberry jam. So, that's our goal this year, when blueberry picking rolls around, to recreate my mom's stellar blueberry jam. Yum!
16.) Have another drunken, long-distance tweeting party: You may remember months and months ago Antoine and I had a drunken tweeting party, complete with Commando themed drinking game, with my hlp who lives in Cleveland. As insane as it was, it was also a blast! This time, no shots of vodka though!
17.) Make most of the Xmas gifts I give this year: The reasoning behind this is part frugality and part craftiness. I always feel like I spend way too much during the holiday season, but I also loved making an abundance of scarves this year and giving them out as gifts to my loved ones! This year I'd like to branch out and try to make other things besides scarves and cookies! It should be fun.
18.) Get a pedicure this summer: Now I don't claim to be a girly-girl. I never wear skirts and I only rarely put on a dress or even dress pants. I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of lady. But I like painting my nails and toenails, and while I'm extremely ticklish, I find a certain joy in getting a pedicure in the summer time when my feet are screaming for some tlc. But pedicures aren't cheap, and while I'm okay with occasionally buying myself a top or a pair of jeans, a pedicure is completely frivolous and something I couldn't justify spending money on the past few summers. So, I think I'm due for one!
19.) Try 5 new (or new to me) Cincinnati restaurants: Many new and interesting Cincinnati restaurants have opened up in the last couple years. And while we've been to a couple of them, there's so many I'm dying to go to; including the Senate, A Tavola, Taste of Belgium, etc.
20.) Have an unplugged day with Antoine: That means no electronics, no tv, and no smart phones. Sometimes we are so fixated on our phones or the tv that it's easy to forget about each other, you know, the person we're sitting right next to.
21.) Learn to French braid: Growing up my mom didn't know how to french braid. No one in my family really knew how to french braid. I had to go to school and con one of my friends into braiding my hair. So I never learned, but I always wanted do. And that's where you tube tutorial videos are going to come in handy.
22.) Buy yarn from a fancy yarn store: There's a couple of really fancy, local yarn stores in Cincinnati and every time I pass one of them I have this huge urge to go in to oogle at and feel all of the gorgeous yarn. But every time that thought crosses my mind it is immediately followed by the thought, "No, that yarn is too fancy for you! You are not worthy of that yarn. You must buy your yarn from Michaels, where the normal yarn is sold." Dammit, I'm buying myself some pretty yarn this year! And maybe I'll go completely crazy and make something for myself with it!
23.) Blow dry my hair less: My goal is to blow dry my hair only 4 or 5 times a week; not only for the health of my hair but to force myself to do more interesting/creative/girly things with my hair as it grows.
24.) Go to the "World's Longest Yard Sale": The Highway 127 Corridor Sale is billed as the "World's Longest Yard Sale", running from Michigan to Alabama. And it happens to run right through Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky! Yet, I've never been. So this year my sister, Antoine and I have made a pact to go and check it out, August 2nd-5th.
25.) Learn to make latte art: You know those flowers and hearts that some baristas make in the foam of a latte, just by free pouring the milk and foam into espresso!? Yeah, I'm jealous and I've always wanted to try it but never have!
26.) Plant a better garden: I feel like Antoine and I did a fairly decent job planting our veggie garden last year, but there were several things that I'd like to tweak for this year. For instance, the type of tomatoes and lettuce that we planted didn't really work for what we wanted to use them for. And we planted more banana peppers than we knew what to do with, so maybe I'll try canning and freezing things this year.
27.) Hang more of our Rob Jones prints/posters: When Antoine and I moved in together he brought with him an array of Rob Jones (mainly known for his work on White Stripes and Raconteurs poster art and videos) posters, which I welcomed with open arms. Over the years we've been slowly framing and hanging up some of the prints and posters, but there are still so many that remain unframed sitting in the guest room. I'd like to remedy that this year and find happy homes on our walls for a number of them.