things I've always wanted to do #1

So, I decided to have a "theme" of sorts for some blog posts - I'm going to write about things I've always wanted to do (well, for over a year) that I am finally doing!

#1 - Join the Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

When I was in 3rd grade, my dad had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. It's really hard to find matches for these transplants, especially if no one in your family is a match and you have to go to the national registry. Even though he passed away afterward, it wasn't because the transplant itself was unsuccessful - it was because the anti-rejection drugs lowered his immune system to a scary level, and hee got an infection. The transplant worked - and this was in 1992, when they had first started doing them. Now, they are much more common, but it's still difficult to find a match- enter the national registry. I always meant to join it once I turned 18, but it sort of slipped my mind. I got an email about it and now I am signed up!
All you do is sign up here, and they send you a kit to swab the inside of your cheek, and if you're a match they contact you. Pretty cool right?

What have you always wanted/meant to do that you haven't done yet? Want to start now?:)


happy (belated) valentine's day!

ok, so I know a lot of people are not fans of Valentine's Day, but I have a confession....
I have ALWAYS loved Valentine's Day.

This may be because I mostly associate it with yummy candy. As a kid, my mom always got us holiday-theme candy, and I loved the Valentine's Day ones. As we got a little older, she also got us little gifts (the most memorable being when she got me MAKEUP of my VERY OWN. I think I was 10 or 11? And, it was Jane brand - so it even had my name. Amazing day.) Once I hit high school, my friends and I always sent each other those kissgram things that had Hershey's kisses attached, so I basically just ate sugar all day. I think I just really like chocolate.

In college, I was in a long-distance relationship for the first half, but we usually did Valentine's Day over President's Day weekend - I remember trying to go for sushi in the Pru, never finding it, and ending up at California Pizza Kitchen one year. When we were studying abroad, we went to Paris for a long weekend - a trip that I wanted to skip because I had to miss class, but was convinced not to by the statement "Your boyfriend wants you to go to Paris. For VALENTINE'S DAY. Shut up and buy the plane tickets." I also got taken to a fancy hotel, complete with secret clues to get there and room service.

Oddly enough, I found those super-romantic Valentine's Day scenes to be completely and totally AWKWARD. I really disliked the whole idea of making a big production out of the holiday. A funnier memory for me is the year that my then-boyfriend cut part of his finger off trying to cut veggies for dinner, and our friend Bob had to trek down the street in the sleet/disgustingness to help us fix it, because we realized the roads were awful and we'd end up sitting in the ER waiting all night while they attended to people who'd been in car accidents and stuff. (PS, if you are reading this Bob, that was AWESOME.) We shared dinner with him in return.

Since Chris and I started dating, we've done the typical Valentine's Day stuff - the first year, he bought my flowers and candy and took me to dinner a few days before, but then we cooked at home on the day. This is because Chris is very traditional, to the extent that he got roses as part of my Valentine's Day flowers that year and said "I know you don't like them. But I wanted them because it's traditional." Last year we did the same thing but Chris got me an orchid that we still have instead, which I love, and it's blooming again now:)

This year, I made brownies and Chris cooked dinner. We watched a movie. He still got me a card and candy because he can't help himself, and I gave him a little kid Valentine. And the best thing? We're going to buy ourselves a programmable coffeemaker :) And you know what? I vastly prefer THIS kind of Valentine's Day to the awkward kind.

Hope everyone had a good day yesterday! Do anything fun?


what would you choose? (credit card rewards style)

Happily, my Bank of America credit cards that have been haunting me for years are PAID OFF (yay!!)
Also happily, they have accrued some points that I can use for rewards. There are a lot of options, and I'm not sure what to pick whenever I finally spend them.

In the running:
  1. Amazon. obviously. But I get those anyway from my day-to-day credit card, since it's an Amazon.com Visa. (Don't judge- I buy EVERYTHING on Amazon. Including groceries.)
  2. Starbucks. I go at least once a week with the 12 year old I babysit for - his request! But that's something that I'll buy myself once a week regardless.
  3. iTunes. I don't like to pirate music. And I have a gLee problem. But again, I tend to buy that anyway.
  4. P.F. Changs - my absolute FAVORITE restaurant. And we are trying to use gift cards for date night so that we can save up for this impending wedding. but, we already have 2 gift cards to other restaurants that we got for Christmas/our engagement (note: not to PFChangs, because we spent all $100 of that already....yeah). 
  5. Sephora. Do I really need a reason?
  6. J.Crew. Again, is a reason needed? I'm doing OK for clothes now, but seriously, it'll get warm eventually and then I'll want new clothes.

Now I just need input - what should I pick?!?


January Goals Recap

I meant to post this yesterday, but after my driving adventures (over 3 hours to school, 1.5 hour meeting, 1.5 hours home) I got a little distracted and spent the time cooking myself lunch instead. Which, by the way, came out pretty well on round 2 (round 1 = failure), but that's another discussion.

So let's see how I did on my January goals!

Even though last month I definitely did not meet all of my goals, I still liked having them, so I'm going to try again for January ---
  • keeping in line with my  New Years Resolutions: 
    • exercise at least 2.5 hours/week.
      • I'd say I got a 50% here - I was really good about exercising half of the time, and the other half of the time I was not. The snow is not totally to blame, but it is hard to stay motivated to go do anything outside when it just.keeps.snowing.
    • read at least 4 books, so that I'm well on my way to 52 in 2011. 
      • 4, no. 3 - yes. 75%?
    • drink water
      • I didn't do very well with this after the first week, but I did notice the difference on days when I was conscious of my water drinking habits. 30%. 
    • take vitamins
      • not.one.time. oops. 0%.
    • start the bedtime routine
      • umm... yeah, no, that didn't happen either. 0%.
    • blog 3x/week (at least) 
      • Not 3x/week - but I did blog 9 times in January, so that's another 75%.
  • update my CV/resume and track down recommendation letters for jobs
    • updated it mentally... didn't write it down. asked people about letters, but didn't actually get any yet. 40%.
  • make a dissertation submission timeline and run it by my whole committee
    • DONE! :) 100%.
  • have a wonderful MLK weekend celebration for Lindsay's shower/bachelorette celebration, and stay within my spending budget while doing so:)
    • I'm going to give myself an 85% here. I did in fact have a fantastic time at the festivities, and I did not go over my personal budget for the event, BUT because we used my credit card for some of the charges and I'm still a little short, in the long run I may go over my budget. But that's OK, because it was really fun - especially the karaoke part!
  • successfully plan most if not all of Anna's bachelorette festivities for February!
    • why yes, in fact, I did do this! I'd say I'm 85% done, which is 100% done with this goal:)
  • organize my recipes: when I saw Katie over last weekend, she gave me an awesome recipe binder instead of a cookbook for an engagement present, and since I absolutely love it I want to start using it. 
    • ....still in the plastic wrap. 0%.
  • finally finish decorating our apartment (mostly meaning pictures) - we've lived here for almost a year a half. it's time. 
    • nope. Didn't even start. 0%.
  • and, perhaps most exciting... I am on track to completely pay off my credit cards in January! since one of them has had a balance since I studied abroad in college (yes, I know that's bad. I paid for everything myself, and I don't exactly make bank as a graduate student. But I reformed and now am much better with money) this is a HUGE deal to me, and something I am looking forward to celebrating!
    • DONE DONE DONE!! Did I celebrate? Nope, unless you count mentally. But I don't care. :) 100%!
So fellow goal setters - how did you all do? Probably better than me, considering I think my average is somewhere around a 50%. But it's OK! It's better than nothing.