Here’s a quick wrap up of my goals from 2014.
- Go on a grand adventure. Check! I’d say Korea has more than sufficed for a grand adventure!
- Make a quilt. Well I started a quilt, left it in the states unfinished. Bought more fabric as soon as I got to Korea and never started it. Guess what one of my 15 for 15 goals will be?
- Start something. Somehow Caylee and I started Get Messy and now we are starting something even bigger out of it! This was such a wonderful, unexpected turn of events from this very ambiguous goal!
- Project Life 2014. I started strong. Fell behind. Participated in Lets Catch Up on Project Life, fell behind again. Then I powered through and finished 30 spreads in 2 days! BOOM! Check.
- Blog (Design) Love. Hello Lauren-Likes.com!
- Create a recipe book. This is a more EHHH kind of goal. I officially filled up our recipe box by running out of cards and then created my own replacement ones, but I still should probably have some blank cards on hand. I was more intentional and remembered to actually write down recipes, which was the whole main goal of this goal. Now I just need to find a refill of cards to keep it going. So, check-ish.
- Learn to shoot in manual. Womp. Womp. Check back in for 2015…
- Read the Bible all the way through. I can’t even look at you right now. I’m so ashamed. BUT! For 2015 I’m armed with my Elise Habit Progress Tracker and this WILL be the year!
- Use up my craft stash. I somehow got an entire craft down to one suitcase and then built it right back up again once I got to Korea. Oh well, I’m an addict and I like it!
- Be an encourager. This is a hard to measure goal. The more I try to encourage others, the nicer people are to me. It’s like that episode of Friends where Phoebe tries to find a selfless good deed and it’s not possible.
- Dance like a fool at a huge concert. Check! I was on top of the world! See more here.
- Annihilate my wardrobe. I got rid of an entire closets worth of clothes, but I still moved entirely too many clothes 3/4 of the way around the world. I’ve gotten it down to one dresser and one wardrobe full. I would say that this was a success in having less, but now I need to hone it in to only perfect pieces. I’m toying with the idea of capsule wardrobe for 2015….
- Go to bed by 11pm. HA! Try 9:30 now. This new job has totally changed my sleep habits. My goal for 2015 may be bed by 8pm. But, seriously. So, unfortunately CHECK!
- Read 2 books a month. I read a ton this year and it was glorious. And I also learned a lot about my own reading preferences. I’m very excited about a very different reading plan I have for 2015.
Even though I made progress on all my goals, I would say that I didn’t feel like I made a huge accomplishment in achieving them. But I’m ok with it! It’s hard to create a set of ideas and tasks that are supposed to fit you for a whole year. I changed a lot this year and a lot has changed. So some things weren’t such a priority as they had seemed at the beginning. And I’m ok with that. Because it is about progress. Next week I will really break down what I learned about this theory and how I plan to apply it to 2015….
One of my goals for last year was to find a way to collect recipes. I have a standard 5×3 card holder with beautiful cards that I love. I have cookbooks. I have a recipe binder that you can add 4×6 cards in. And knowing my love for Project Life you would think this would be the avenue of my choice. But, having all three of these within reach in my kitchen, I found that the recipe box that is small, sits on the counter and allows me to only pull out one card at a time that takes up no counter space, was the one I used most frequently. So I decided this would be the main way I collected recipes. The only problem was that I forgot to actually write down the recipes and was frantically searching pinterest constantly. So I started being more thoughtful about writing them on the cards and was doing great…until I used all the cards. Now I had to find more cards, but that’s harder than you think in Korea. Then I had a great idea! I could just make my own. I love Liz’s designs, they are clean and beautiful. I had this set of cards for my Project Life album already and knew they would be perfect for this project.
(pancake photo credit)
I simply opened the files in Photoshop and dropped in my food photo and added a bit of text to name the recipe on the front. Then I made a new file with the text and formatted it the way I liked. I printed these on heavy, white cardstock, front and back, on my home printer. This project was super easy and now I have the most beautiful recipe cards that fit into my box! How perfect are the designs from this kit? You know I have a strange love affair with food, so saying things (seductively) like ‘you are my favorite’ to a pancake is perfectly applicable….
Recipes shown are the Orea Truffles from A Beautiful Mess (did you see they re-instagramed my photo of these!?) and Elise Joy’s pancake recipe. (these are possibly the best pancakes Ive ever made)
Products used: Pictures + Words No. 7
One of my goals for my 14 for 14 project (achieve 14 goals in 2014) was to read 2 books a month. I have already read than 13 books so far this year, some months I have read none, some I have a read at ton. It’s the ebb and flow of life I guess. So here is a quick rundown of the books I’ve read so far and my thoughts on them. I read exclusively on ScribD. Use this link to get two months free!
- The Fault in Our Stars: Please don’t hate me, but this book irritated me to no end. It wasnt terrible, I was ok with it. I still need to see the movie and see if it can redeem itself. Too much teenage angst for me. But a quick and easy read for sure.
- Bone House: I listened to this on audio tape and was constantly sitting in my car in the driveway trying to figure out what happened next. It’s a classic who-dunnit with tons of twists and love stories and flashbacks and back stories. These semi complicated plots are my favorite. The gist: a teacher is accused of having ‘relations’ with a student. Another student turns up dead and they all assume its him. You’ll NEVER guess who it actually was.
- The In-Between: I really like Jeff Goins. I don’t know him personally, but know people who know him. He worked for a missions organisation I have worked with in Nicaragua. The book was more a collection of stories about his life and the time that he was ‘in between’ and what he learned. We all constantly feel like we are waiting on what is next in our lives and that can consume your whole life. His book pushes you to evaluate what you learned in those waiting periods and to really grab ahold of them instead of complaining or yearning and counting them away. Great for anyone in transition or someone who feels they are constantly waiting on the next big thing.
- Before Ever After: I randomly found this book by just perusing the library and the spine caught my eye. Treasure chest. The book tells 2 stories about a woman looking for her supposedly dead husband and then there are flashbacks to other stories that follow people all the way back to Roman times. The story is so intricate, beautiful, rich in detail and keeps you guessing. I love how the author weaves all the stories into each other, it is truly fascinating how she does it. But the ending, I’m kinda mad about. It just seemed too easy. But please read it so we can talk about it. This was one of my favorites this year!
- Prince of Tides: This was another audio book and the voice was so rich to listen to. It really gave the story more depth for me. This book was intense and long. It is told in flashbacks as the main characters sister attempted suicide again and he is telling their childhood stories to her therapist and obviously falling in love with her. There are some really traumatizing parts and as a therapist/social worker I need lighter reading. But it was SO intriguing. I HAD to know what happened to the characters, they were all so crazy/complicated/lovable. It was an amazing book and a classic, I know its old, but so worth the read. Also, I hated the movie. HATED it.
- Divergent: Obviously I was obsessed with this book, no need to tell you about it because everyone is obsessed with it too. This movie is possibly the best book to movie I’ve ever seen. I tend to pick out every single discrepancy but there were none. like for real none. I couldn’t find any. I’m sure someone can, but its the best representation I could have ever imagined of the book.
- Insurgent: This one was good.
- Allegiant: I thought I would NEVER make it to the end. Kind of like the Hunger Games, things get too complicated, the characters get all moody and it just goes on too long. But I am excited about the movies, I have a feeling they will make the books more entertaining in their Hollywood ways.
- Her fearful symmetry: This is around the time when I started my subscription to ScribD (I whole-heartedly recommend this to any reader!) and I was so excited about all the possibilities and started this book randomly (I hadn’t imported all my goodreads saved to read books yet). This book was weird. Like too weird for me. It’s about twins who inherit their aunts flat in London after she dies. She hasn’t spoken to their mother (her own twin) in 20 years. There are ghosts, slight incest and lots of angst and death obsession. No thank you. It was so strange that I had to see how it ended. Yep, ended weirder than I could have ever imagined.
- The Lone Wolf: You can’t go wrong with Jodi Piccoult. This book is about a man who lives with wolves but is currently in a coma and his estranged children have to decide whether or not to turn off his Life Support. It has flashbacks (see a theme here) to his life with the wolves and is FASCINATING! And it’s based on a real person! The problems between the kids go on a bit too long and they literally build up this ‘secret’ until the very end and it was a little anticlimactic. But, overall a good, quick read.
- The Good Thief: My last audio book (sniff, sniff) before moving. Another randomly found choice at the library. A little boy missing a hand is adoption by a con man who is running a long con. It is entertaining and has lots of crazy, fairy tale-ish characters. I never saw the end coming and it was kind of sweet. If you are a Sawyer fan on Lost, the con man character reminded me of him. He’s a jerk but you cant help but like him and you know he really is a good guy, just in a different way, underneath.
- Happy Handmade Home: I’m totally counting this as a book. I preordered this on Kindle and got it the second it was released (I totally regret not getting the hardcopy. Christmas present, cough cough) I read the whole thing, cover to cover, in a day. It wasnt exactly what I expected. It didn’t have as many tutorials as I thought it would, but has so many really great ideas and inspiration points to jump off of to style your home, have a party, bake, and more. It is beautiful and simple in the wonderful way everything the ABM girls do is!
- The Book Thief: This is possibly the most beautiful, heart-warming, heart-breaking story Ive read in a long time. I really love books about Germans hiding Jews (re: my favorite book of all time: The Hiding Place) during the war. This story is about a 13 year old girl who gets adopted by German family and they hide a jew. The story is told from the perspective of death himself. It is beautiful. Any creative person would love this book, there are drawings and so much imagination is used. The relationships in this book are so intimately crafted and depicted you can really feel the bonds between each character. I cried like a baby at the end. Its going on my list as favorite books Ive ever read. Also, Ive watched the first half of the movie and its beautiful so far, but they had to leave out a lot of details and events as the book is very long and intricate, so Ill forgive them I guess.
I’m currently reading these books: (side note, you should never try reading more than one book at a time. My brain can’t handle it.))
The Creative Habit: This is my second time reading through this, but the first time I didn’t finish it. I am addicted to this book. I am hanging on her every word and it is literally turning how I think about my creativity and habits upside down. Amazing. I plan on reading it about 4 more times (this year at least). Ive heard quite a few people say they cant get into it, but you have to keep going and keep an open mind as she uses all different kinds of creativity as examples, so you have to do a little of the work yourself to apply it to your craft.
The Living Reed: I joined a book club here and this is what were reading. It follows a Korean family, who are advisors to the king, through 4 generations to present (ish) day. It has lots of factual history and is rich in detail. I’m really enjoying the greater glimpse into Korean history, tradition and culture.
Next up on my reading que is: The Giver, Chasing the Dragon, Gone Girl, Still Alice, Eleanor & Park
What are you reading? Please share so I can add it to my list! If you’ve read any of these tell me your thoughts, I love discussing fictional characters as if they are real people!
For further reading: Other book reviews, ecourse reviews