Monday, January 31, 2011

4 Things You Should Never Keep

I'm going to be moving soon, and while the majority of my belongings are still packed away, I have been wearing all of my clothes (duh) and using everything else besides my kitchen stuff. Of course, now that I'm moving, I have started to go through my stuff and get rid of things that I haven't used since I moved into this house. Throughout this purging, I've devised a list of things you shouldn't keep...ever.

1. Old medication. If you have prescriptions you didn't finish (and if you do, tsk tsk! Finish your prescriptions!), don't keep them. Medication has an expiration date for a reason and do you really want to run the risk of taking old drugs in a fever induced delusion? No. Please note, my expired pills include ibuprofen and aspirin that I bought a long time ago (because I always finish my prescriptions). Also, as a water guy's daughter, I feel compelled to tell you this very important fact: don't flush old medicine down the toilet. The waste water treatment plant isn't designed to treat water for drugs, it treats water for sewage. Talk to your local pharmacist about getting rid of old drugs.

2. Shampoo that didn't work. I just recently bought new shampoo that did not work miracles for my hair. In fact, it made my hair really gross and not good. So I got new shampoo again. And I'm not keeping the old shampoo. Even though it was really expensive and the bottles are basically full, I'm going to throw it away. Because it didn't work and made my hair gross. The same goes for other hair products that didn't perform as promised. Why would you want to keep something around that doesn't do what it says it will do? And why would you keep something around that makes you feel gross?

3. Old phone numbers. All of this "spring" cleaning has inspired me to go through my phone too. I have so many unnecessary phone numbers. Phone numbers for jerky boys from the past, phone numbers for people that I never talked in the first place, phone numbers for people who probably don't even use that number anymore. I've gone through my phone and have deleted extraneous contacts. Now if only I could apply this logic to my Facebook friends list...

4. Clothes that don't flatter. I have a lot of shirts and pants and some skirts that I rarely wear because they aren't flattering. I'm not sure why I keep them. Clothes should make you feel good and look good, and if they don't accomplish those two simple tasks, get rid of them. However, if you even THINK about suggesting that I get rid of any of my shoes, you should probably back off. Even though I know I have far too many pairs of shoes.

Other things I've thrown away that don't merit a bullet point include: a bad wig from Halloween, a ridiculously slutty Marilyn Monroe dress that went with the horrendous wig, and some jewelry procured in a White Elephant gift exchange. What can I say? I'm not a sentimental person.

What do you toss in the event of a move? Or what would you get rid of if you had to move?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Few More Things I'm Thankful For

Coming off of yesterday's snarktastic post, I thought I would list a few things I'm thankful for today! Because, as you all should know, I'm made of sugar and spice and everything nice (even though the sassy me comes out every once in a while).

6. Sunshine! After more than a few gloomy, winter days, the sun is peeking out through the clouds! It's making me want to burst into song, but for everyone's sake I'll refrain.

7. Sisters! By birth and by choice. I love talking to A and K, my biological sisters, and I'm so thankful for friends like M and P and L and E (keeping with the no first names theme...) who are also my sisters, except by choice.

8. Twining's English Breakfast Tea. I can't start my day without tea, and this tea is the best!

9. My car. I've put a lot of miles on my car since I got it, but I love it and it loves me back. I still don't have a name for it though.

What are you thankful for on this lovely Thursday?

Help me name my car! She's silver and very pretty.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

6 Things That Really Grind My Gears

There are a few* things I really dislike. Now, mind you, these are different than pet peeves. A pet peeve is, by definition, a minor annoyance that is only really annoying to one person. These things are more than minor annoyances, and you really don't want to get me going on these subjects in polite company, because you're likely to hear me utter a string of curse words that would make a sailor blush. Or, you know, sassy commentary like this.

1. ASPCA commercials. These commercials make me so mad. How dare they interrupt my time to be a vegetable on the couch and yank on my heartstrings? First of all, they play the saddest song ever. Then they go and show pictures of abused animals. Like that thought doesn't make me mad enough, they have to go and put it right in my face, during my relaxation time. Finally, these commercials are LONG. Even if you change the channel, you run the risk of underestimating the length of the commercial and switching right back into the middle of a montage of maimed kittens and injured puppies. But I think the thing that makes me the maddest is that they overuse ethos in their persuasion techniques. Shame on you, ASPCA. Shame on you.**

2. Reality shows. As if we don't publicize enough the fact that this country isn't smart, now we have to go and give the nation's biggest idiots their own TV shows. Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of {Orange County, NYC, Atlanta, DC, Spokane}, Bridalplasty, Teen Mom - all of these shows have one thing in common. They glorify stupidity. Oh, and the best thing? Snooki, Mike "The Situation," and JWoww have all written books. All of these people should go back to their normal lives and quit polluting the minds of America with flashes of genius such as "GTL." (That's gym-tanning-laundry, for those of you who are fortunate enough to not know.)

3. Rude boys. (And no, I don't mean the Rihanna song. I love the Rihanna song.) I'm talking about boys who think they're all that and a bag of chips, and boys who leave girls with jaded, cynical hearts in the wake of their paths of destruction. Nice boys, your day will come. Please be patient. Mean boys can only make a girl cry so many times before she wises up and realizes that a nice boy has been there the whole time.

4. 24 hour news. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC...seriously? Stop it. These news channels have a need to be talking about something all the time. Every day. So naturally, during slow news times, these channels latch onto something seemingly insignificant and make it big news, providing expert opinions and spirited, one-sided debates. Remember the Prius debacle? With the cars that wouldn't stop? Yeah, not a nationwide ordeal. I don't doubt there were some Priuses (what is the plural of Prius? Priuses? Prii?) that didn't stop, but for every one that sped uncontrollably down the freeway, there are a million that function perfectly. It was a slow news week and because CNN was talking about it, Fox News et al. needed to pick up on it too. Oh, and while we're on the subject, let's focus on Fox News for a minute. Fair and balanced? Who do you think you're kidding?***

5. Family Guy. I'm not sure why I dislike Family Guy so much, especially because there are some pretty decent quotes (which I referenced in the title of this post), but I think that the writers of South Park had it right when they suggested that a manatee picked out random balls with random subjects written on them to come up with ideas for the show. But really. Honesty time. Family Guy? Suck.

6. Kanye West. No tirade necessary. If you don't get it, visit Then you'll get it.

What makes you mad? What grinds your gears?

*More than a few.
**Mostly I hate that I don't have money to donate to the ASCPA.
***Please note, I am not a political person at all. My political stance is usually "huh?"

Also, please enjoy this sass while it lasts. We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming in a little bit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Collection of 5 Thoughts from Today

A collection of thoughts from the day. I spend my day talking to my dear friend HW on and off, in short bursts between her classes, so sometimes for fun I go back and look at the short back-and-forths that make up our conversations. I usually prattle on about myself and she listens to me, making her that much closer to sainthood in my book.

1. My hair is being really awesome. I don't know what's gotten into it, but my hair has been strangely cooperative lately. It does exactly what I tell it to do (after I beat it into submission with my straightener) and stays where it is put! This is a big deal, people.

2. Whoa. That person is engaged? It shouldn't come as a surprise to me, because I'm at the age where people start to make baby families (and babies, sometimes), but it still shocks me when people I knew in high school get engaged! I guess I still remember them at age 18, when we graduated.

3. Oh, shiny. A blog I follow is doing a giveaway and the beautiful bracelet being given away is from Erstwhile Jewelry Co., so I had to go look...and oh my. Those rings and bracelets and necklaces are to die for. I would literally die for this ring. Diamonds AND emeralds? Lord have mercy. (I wouldn't actually die for that ring, because then I wouldn't be able to show it off. I would probably do morally questionable things for that ring, though.*)

4. Designing is fun. I'm making HW's wedding invitations. I've already created the save the dates, and it came in the mail yesterday! I probably don't have a career in design, but I love small projects like this.

5. Chicago Chicago Chicago. I'm moving soon but I don't have an apartment (yet). I'm going there this weekend for a few days that promise to be full of fun. I start my job in less than three weeks. I've got Chicago on the brain. Enough said.

What was on your mind today?

*Joking. Totally joking.....................................mostly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

6 Things I'm Really Good at in the Kitchen

One of the things I really like to do is cook. And bake. And I'm pretty good at it, if I don't say so myself. I like to experiment in the kitchen, but I also have some standbys that I'm pretty darn good at. As the Dalai Lama says, one should "approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." Tonight's post is about cooking...I'll save love for a different post.

1. Macaroni and Cheese. Not the kind from the box, but homemade macaroni and cheese. The nights my mom made this for dinner were always good nights, because it is so good!

2. Pumpkin pie. I have my great-grandma's recipe for pumpkin pie and with a cup of heavy cream, it tastes as good as it is bad for you. I've made it for the past three Thanksgivings and also around Christmastime. I would feel weird eating pumpkin pie when it's not a holiday.

3. Salmon. It's hard to find good salmon in the Midwest, but I'm hoping Chicago will have better salmon than Monmouth! I'm sure it will, and then I can make salmon all the time.

4. Spaghetti. I know it's not hard, and I usually don't even make my own sauce, but I'm pretty incredible when it comes to boiling a pot of noodles. And I doctor the jar sauce to make it better. I haven't had any complaints about it yet.

5. Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have the Toll House recipe memorized and could make these cookies in my sleep! 1 cup butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla... These cookies are the best when they're right out of the oven and you have a glass of ice cold milk to go along with. Don't eat all of the dough before you can make cookies though.

6. Full meals. Ok. I know this isn't anything specific, but I'm good at making all of the dishes come out at the same time. When I was home for Christmas, I made a pot roast with mashed potatoes, a green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. It all turned out wonderfully (with only a few slip ups here and there...but I took them all in stride. Ok. I cried. But we're going to pretend like I didn't.)

Of course, I'm good at making other stuff too, but this isn't meant to be an exhaustive list!

Are you any good at cooking? What's your favorite thing to make?

Only a few weeks left in Monmouth! I start my job 3 weeks from today!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Things I'm Thankful For (A Running List)

This will be an ongoing list, of sorts, as I'm sure I can come up with various things, small and large, all the time that should be added! Seeing as 2011 has just started, we'll see what number I'm on come December 31. Sound good?

1. Friends. I'm so thankful for my lovely, wonderful, beautiful friends who are always able to talk me off of whatever ledge I've managed to situate myself on. They also let me know when my crazy is hanging out, which I greatly appreciate.

2. Seriously. I LOVE this website. I can type (almost) anything in and get a variety of reviews about it. Take most of them with a grain of salt, because there will always be the overly chipper ones and the depressingly bad ones, but by reading the reviews I can generally get a good sense of whether or not that company deserves my money or time! Check it out here.

3. Fridays. I'm so glad it is Friday. It's been a whirlwind of week for me, and I'm so glad I could throw on some jeans today and come in for a more relaxed day of work.

4. My winter coat. Temperatures in western Illinois have plummeted to the negatives, so I'm happy I have my new Columbia winter coat. I generally overheat when I wear it, but on days like today, I'd rather be too hot than too cold. Because, as I mentioned in my last post, I intensely dislike cold.

5. Eyeshadow primer. One of those small things, but eyeshadow primer has changed my life for the better! I no longer worry about my eyeshadow creasing or fading or ending up all over my face throughout the day.

That's all for now! I'll be adding to this list periodically, and will keep a running tally going. :o)

What are you thankful for today?

The picture is awfully random, I know, but it's a gloomy day in Monmouth and that looks cheery! (If not a bit strange...)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

3 (of the many) Reasons Why I Hate Snow

I know my friend HW isn't going to like this. But I'm just going to come out and say it: I hate snow. That fluffy, white stuff makes me mad. Even though it has the potential to cancel school or work, I still hate it. Anyway, here are some of the reasons I hate snow. (I can't list them all, or we'd be here all night.)

1. Footwear. I am the QUEEN of inappropriate footwear. I love my ballet flats, my pointy heels, and my flip flops (only during the summer, sadly). I own "sensible" shoes, but I don't enjoy wearing them.

2. Cold. I dislike the cold. Especially the kind that chills you to your bones. The kind where it takes you 10 minutes to warm back up inside. The kind where, no matter how many layers you're wearing, you always get cold. Snow is cold.

3. Driving. I really enjoy driving, and snow makes it next to impossible to safely drive. Even though I learned how to drive in the snow, not everyone else did and people drive like morons when there is even a small amount of snow on the road. Also, I hate cleaning off my car. And I really really dislike it when it never gets warm enough to melt the small amounts of snow that end up in the car.

Do you like snow? Do you hate snow? Rant or rave.

25 days until I start my new job! Getting excited, people!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

5 Things For Which I Have No Natural Talent

There are a lot of things I'm awesome at. Like...baking. I'm really good at baking. And making lists. I kick ass when it comes to writing (or so I've been told...) and apparently I give really good back massages too. However, there are some things I wish I was better at. These are things for which I have no talent, whatsoever. No amount of time or practice will make me better at these things, and trust me. I've tried.

1. Knitting. Or any crafts, really. Try as I might, I cannot draw. I cannot paint. I cannot sculpt. I've made two scrapbooks (if you can call them that) and both times it was a long, drawn out process that made me grumpy. I've made a scarf, but not without lots of help from others when I managed to make 10 stitches into 15. And don't even try to get me to crochet. I'm sorry, but you all are destined to receive store bought cards and gifts from me.

2. Dancing. When I dance, I look like a special needs epileptic person in the middle of a seizure. And no amount of practice will make me any better. I've been going out dancing (hello, Bijou!) since I turned 21 and I haven't figured it out yet.

3. Patience. Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not really a very patient person. I present a patient and collected exterior, but on the inside, my crazy is hanging out all over the place. This flaw is exacerbated by the unknown. I'm trying very hard to be patient with the moving situation (I start my job on February 14!), but the fact that I don't know what's going on is very frustrating for me.

4. Reading maps. This one surprises me because my dad is a map person. (We call him Map Boy.) Confession time: I have NO sense of direction. I use my GPS to get around Monmouth and the surrounding area. If you were to take me in the middle of a field, spin me around a few times, and leave...I'd be royally screwed. Please don't do this to me. (Note: Lacking this skill has made me incredibly useless in corn mazes.)

5. Parallel Parking. I'm thinking I'll get better at this while I live in Chicago, but for the past six years, I've sucked at parallel parking.

What do you have no natural talent for?

Please note, this is not a cry for help or pity. Merely an observation.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

4 Current Stressors

In an attempt to make this blog less about my thoughts and more about my activities (and my thoughts about said activities), this post is about 4 things that are currently stressing me out (happily and unhappily). (Also, I love parentheses.) So, here we go:

1. Moving. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been hired. I have been hired for a job in Chicago. (Well, Skokie. Close enough for jazz.) However, that means I need to pack up all of my belongings from Monmouth and find an apartment in Chicago. And now I need to decide if I want to risk finding a wacky roommate on Craigslist or if I want to live by myself (in an apartment found on Craigslist). And figure out my finances and start the journey of life as an adult.

2. Work. Now that I know I'm leaving, I need to wrap up all of my projects. I have loved my job in Monmouth and have been given a lot of responsibility and freedom to develop and work on my own projects. However, that means I have a lot of stuff to finish!

3. My skin. I've had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with my skin. When it's not sunburned (which is all summer) or breaking out (not so often anymore), I love it. But right now it's breaking out. Probably caused by some of the stress in my life and also by the fact that it is super dry here.

4. The timeline for the next month. By this time next month, I will have moved and started my job. My mom is coming to Monmouth next weekend for a big birthday party with a lot of her friends from high school, and I've volunteered to help with Alpha Xi Delta's Area Wide Training on February 5 (in Monmouth). Also, I need to find time to go to Chicago to look at apartments and still sleep and eat. I don't doubt it will all get done, but I do worry about my temporary sanity throughout!

What is stressing you out? Any advice for getting through my next few weeks?

I'm thinking chocolate and wine...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Top 3 Pet Peeves

Pet peeves. Everyone has them. Some are mildly irritating and some are enough to make me leave the room or the building or the city. I don't think I need to defend myself too much on these because they are all pretty understandable and if you're reading my blog, then you obviously don't hate me too much. Off we go...

1. Bad grammar. Your/You're. There/They're/Their. It's/Its. Really? Is it that hard? I mean sure, I still haven't quite figured out when to use lay, lie, laid, lied, or who and whom, and I can only tell when to use that instead of which (or vice versa...) when I read it out loud. Also, I tend to be comma happy. But seriously? We use your/you're, there/they're/their, and it's/its EVERY day. Every. Single. Day. On another note, I understand using "u" instead of you or "r" instead of are in text messages, but when you have an entire keyboard at your disposal, there is no excuse. (Also, are our. Just saying.) (Another also. Things taste good, you do things well. Therefore, "I did good" is not a grammatically correct sentence.)

2. People who interrupt. Is what you have to say really so important that you have to talk over me? Or make me stop talking? Unless my hair is on fire or the building is about to fall down, I doubt it is. It's called being civil. Wait until I'm done talking, and then talk. Listen to my whole point and then make a comment. Because I bet your comment would be different if you listened to my entire remark.

3. Nails on a chalkboard. That sound is like...well...nails on a chalkboard. Enough said.

Of all of the things that could be pet peeves, I suppose only having three is pretty good.

What are your pet peeves?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5 Books That Have Impacted My life

I love reading. When I'm asked about my hobbies, I always list reading (along with cooking and baking) at the very top. Books are some of my very favorite things in the whole world.* I've been this way ever since I can remember, and I have memories of staying up very late to read Farmer Boy or Anne of Green Gables in grade school. So here, in no particular order, are 5 books that have impacted my life:

1. The Wheel on the School. Written by Meindert DeJong. This is the book that I have the earliest memories of my mom reading to A** and I before bed. It is a wonderful story set in the small fishing community of Shora, where the children wonder why there are no storks in the village. I won't ruin it for you, but this book is definitely one of the best of the 20th century! (PS-It won the Newberry Medal in 1955.)

2. Little Women. Written by Louisa May Alcott. I can't even count the number of times I read this book. At least four, maybe five. I think I love this book so much because I identified with the trials and tribulations of having sisters. I still remember the one chapter I dislike - chapter 10: The P.C. and the P.O. It's about a secret society the girls form called the Pickwick Club, and it's a total snoozefest.

3. Anne of Green Gables. Written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. By the time I was in fifth grade, I had already read all eight of these books at least once. Thanks to these books, I made it onto Mrs. Kijima's list of people who had read the most pages. I love Anne (with an E) and her auburn hair and I still drive past houses that I think are "Anne of Green Gables" houses. They're the ones with wrap around porches and turret style corners. I refuse to watch the movies or television shows because I have the image so perfect in my head.

4. Little House on the Prairie. Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This is another set of books that my mom read to A and I when we were little. We made it through Farmer Boy (the third book, which is about Almanzo) before I started reading them on my own. I loved these books because they transported me to a time unknown, where people had to live in log cabins and worry about bears and cougars, and where hard candy was a treat enjoyed very rarely, usually after a trip by Pa into town.

5. Brave New World. By Aldous Huxley. I can confidently say that this is the only book that has ever given me nightmares. I can't read books about dystopian futures, apparently. (Hey, I never said this list of books impacted my life in a good way!)

Most of the books I buy now are in airports, and some of the most recent books I've read are The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and Secretariat.

What books have impacted your life? What are your favorites?

*Even though I want a Kindle, I'd still buy books. I love the way they smell. And don't look at me like that, you smell books too.
**A is my sister. I'm trying not to use too many first names.

Monday, January 10, 2011

4 Ways I Stay Sane on Car Trips

I just recently returned from a short trip to Chicago, in which I drove there and back (3.5-4 hours each way) in a little more than 24 hours. In the past, I've also driven from Monmouth to Spokane (and back) which consisted of two, 14-hour days in the car (each way). If you're like me, too much time sitting still and too much time alone pushes you to the limits of your sanity. However, I have devised several methods of staying mentally sound on car trips longer than 15 minutes.

1. Sing. Loudly. I'm that person that you see rocking out by herself as you drive past. You can tell that she's doing more than talking into a bluetooth because she's also dancing a little bit (okay, more than a little bit) and drumming on the steering wheel. Some new favorite songs include: "Anything, Anything" by Dramarama, "Another White Dash" by Butterfly Boucher, and "They're On to Me" by Ari Hest.

2. Bug all of your friends. When singing just doesn't do it for me, I put in my bluetooth (I'm a safe driver!) and start bothering all of my friends until I find someone to talk to. I also bug my family until they politely ask me to stop calling or I lose reception.

3. The alphabet game. This is the game you've probably played on family car trips, where you try to find every letter in the alphabet, in order, on road signs. License plates and the sides of trucks don't count. We used to play this on the way back from the lake, and whoever saw the Gonzaga University sign first usually won, as Z was all that was left. It's not as fun to play by yourself, but it keeps you awake and prevents tunnel vision.

4. Try to beat your GPS. My Garmin gives an estimated time of arrival, and I like to try to beat that time. I watch the ETA like a hawk and do a small happy dance every time the time goes down. Of course, when I'm playing this game, I'm usually speeding.

What do you do on car trips?

In other news, I had an interview today and I think it went well! I'll know whether I got the job or not soon...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

5 Professions I Admire But Could Never Do

There are a lot of professions out there and I happen to have chosen marketing. I love marketing, and I'm good at marketing. However, there are a lot of professions out there that I could never, ever do. Here are my top 5:

1. Teacher. I thought I wanted to be one. Turns out I can't do children. Especially ill mannered children who would be forced to go somewhere for 8 hours a day. I'm very thankful for people who want to be teachers, because we need them, and I would not be where I am today without a well rounded education, but I could never be a teacher!

2. Nurse. I'm very thankful for nurses. These are people who love helping others so much that they are willing to encounter bodily fluids all day and sit with worrying families all night. I love my friend K* who is in nursing school because she can tell me when I'm being a hypochondriac and when to actually worry. I could never be a nurse, though, because I can't do blood or pain and get squeamish when I think about sticking someone with needle.

3. Driver. More specifically, a truck driver. Think about it. They get the stuff we need from point A to point B. They drive. All of the time. They live in the back of their truck. I get claustrophobic in a house. They're away from their families for days or weeks at a time as they drive the things we want but probably don't need from distribution centers to stores. I know get frustrated with trucks, but I really am thankful for the drivers!

4. Construction. I love buildings. I love being in buildings, and I love looking at buildings but I have spatial reasoning issues and could never actually build a building. I realize it's mostly following instructions, but it's like the most complicated puzzle ever. Also, I'm a wimp and have trouble carrying 2x4s for more than a few minutes.

5. Mechanic. I enjoy having a car, but when it comes to doing more than turning it on or changing the CD, I have no idea how it works. Nor do I really care to know how it works. This is why I'm thankful for mechanics. You need to get your oil changed? No problem! Make an appointment. That buzzy sound is back? No problem! Make an appointment. (Or turn up the radio.) Your check engine light's been on for the past 3 months? No problem! Make an appointment. (And soon, please. Before your car spontaneously combusts or falls apart on a highway.)

What jobs do you admire but could never do?

*K is one of my dearest friends. I'm trying not to use too many first names.

11 ways I'm going to be awesome in 2011

True confession time. I'm resolutionally challenged. I make them, forget them, remember them, and then it's already October and "too late" in my mind to do anything about them.

Another confession: 2010 sucked. For lots of reasons, and it wasn't one even that made it especially sucktastic. But the one thing I already know about 2011 is that it's going to be awesome. And it's going to be awesome because I'm going to make it so. So here, on January 5, is my list of 11 ways I'm going to make 2011 awesome.*

1. Take risks. For the last 22 years, my life has been safe. Not safe in a plastic bubble kind of way, but safe in a I don't take risks way. If I wanted to keep living this way, I'd stay in Monmouth and work for the college until they either hire me or kick me out, and if they kick me out then I'd go home. But the new taking risks me is going to be the kind of person everyone wishes they had the balls to be.

2. Enter the real world. Right now I'm living with my uncle and not paying rent. My parents pay for my cell phone. I have no bills to speak of. To make this year awesome, I'm going to find a job, move, get an apartment, and be an adult. I'm going to figure out insurance, retirement funds, and learn how to live in the real world. Because even though I live off campus doesn't mean I'm out of the Monmouth bubble.

3. Dress up for me. If I didn't have to work, I'd probably hang out in sweats all of the time. I get home from work and if I'm not going anywhere, the sweats come out. And once they're on, I'm not going anywhere. This year, I'm going to put together real outfits. I'm going to do my hair (almost) every day. I'm going to wear makeup for more than just going out on Friday or Saturday nights. I'm going to dress up for me, because it makes me feel good.

4. Appreciate my friends. I want to stay in better contact with my friends. I'm going to write more letters. I'm going to make more phone calls. I'm going to do more than write on a facebook wall once a year for birthdays. I'm going to let my friends know that I appreciate them.

5. Read more books. Now that I'm not in college, I actually have time to read. (Ironic, isn't it?) But I've been working on Emma since 2009, and this is going to be the year I finish it. Perhaps my friend Paige over at paiges [of] books can make some recommendations?

6. Listen to more music. More confessions: I love Ke$ha. And Trey Songz. And Katy Perry. Basically, I love music that has the relative worth of abc gum. But I'd like to expand my musical horizons. I was a music major, for goodness sakes. And just because I can appreciate Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky doesn't mean that I get to rot my brain with Ke$ha.

7. Create less drama. I'm really quite good at creating drama. Maybe I find it subconsciously exciting? I really don't like being in the middle of it though, so I'm going to stop (or at least try to stop). No more worrying about things I can't control, no more complaining to friends unless it is at least somewhat I have a fever or I'm homesick. Then I can complain. Otherwise, it's just drama.

8. Get a cat. Or some other living thing. Like a fish. Or a plant. Maybe I'll start with a plant.

9. Find my passion. I thought I had one, but as soon as I made it a major I stopped being passionate. So I hope to find a new passion in 2011. Is it cooking? Baking? Writing? Who knows, but hopefully I'll find it and explore it!

10. Don't stress about being awesome.** I already am awesome. Why would I need to worry about being awesome? I'm just going to live the best I can.

11. Live a good story. I hate cliches. Hate hate hate cliches. But there's one I've been mulling over for a while, and that is "Life is not a dress rehearsal." Why would I want to live the rough draft of my life? It's not like I can go back and edit it when it's all said and done to make it more awesome. I'm going to live awesome now.

*Ok, maybe not all of them are life altering, but they're things I'd like to accomplish!
**Courtesy of my dear dear friend HW