2012 goals and bucket list final update

Well, 2013 is here and 2012 is over – can you believe it?  It’s so cliche but every year seems to go by even faster than the previous year.  I didn’t get every single thing done on my bucket list, nor did I meet all of my 2012 goals, but I did complete some of them which is more than I would have if I hadn’t made this list so I’m calling that a win.

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober, and November)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - We did it!  We read the whole entire Bible out-loud to each other in one year.  We didn’t read every single day, we got behind a few times, but we just doubled (or tripled) up on other days and got caught up.  I am so so proud of us!
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - Well I lost about 10 pounds twice over the course of the year but then gained it back each time so I’m basically starting 2013 at the same place that I started 2012.  So I guess I’ll try again next year.  However, we did transition to a much healthier lifestyle by switching to mostly real, local, organic foods.  So even though I didn’t meet my weight loss goals, I’m still happy with how to adjusted our diets.

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch – I used this recipe and it turned out pretty well – the apple chunks were a little too big for my liking but the crust was amazing.

apple pie

  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).  I had a blast, learned a ton, and I’ve already gotten to use my new skills to make cakes for other people, too!

cake

  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies – Never did get around to doing this – our Christmas holidays were very unusual this year so we didn’t get time to make cookies together.  Maybe next year!
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars – We never got around to this either, but now that we’re in our house and actually have places to store these kits, we are definitely going to get this done in 2013!
  • make my own laundry detergent - done and I also made homemade cleaning supplies and hand soap.

laundry

bread

finished Craftsy block of the month quilt 2

  • grow something - tomatoes and herbs…check!

garden

  • can pickles - It was quite possibly one of the stinkiest things I’ve ever experienced, but we now have 7 quarts of sweet lime pickles canned (plus 7 quarts of tomatoes, 11 pints of green beans, 13 pints of tomato sauce, 17 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of pizza sauce)

cans

  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!

chicago

  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s – Finally!  I’ve had their pictures for a year and a half and still hadn’t gotten around to scrapbooking them (although in my defense, we moved to an apartment shortly after I got the pictures and there wasn’t a very good place to scrapbook).  I finally sat down over Christmas break and got one scrapbook done – starting with Michael’s brother’s birth in 1983 and going up until right before Michael’s birth in 1985.  There are still many years and pictures to get done, but I’m glad I at least got one done.

scrapbook

  • ???start an Etsy shop??? – This one was a big maybe when I wrote this list and I’ve definitely decided not to start one, especially at this point in my life.  Maybe someday, but not now.

So now that I look through this list, I actually got more done than I originally thought. Our of the 14 goals and bucket list items I had listed, I got all but four completed.  I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to lose, we didn’t get our 72 hour kits made, and I didn’t learn how to make Mom’s Christmas cookies, and I decided not to start an Etsy shop, but I did read through the Bible all the way, go on a vacation, take cake decorating classes, make a quilt, start a garden, canned pickles and more, made a scrapbook for my in-law’s, made homemade bread, made an apple pie, and made my own laundry detergent.  Pretty impressive!

Christmas 2012

Time to start working on my 2013 goals and bucket list!

2012 in review (aka The Year We Became Crunchy)

bowl of fruit

Just like last year, I’m putting together a list of the things that happened in 2012.  The running theme from 2012 seems to be “The Year we Became Crunchy” since many of the things we did this year veered on the edge of crunchy (“crunchy” is the term I use to refer to all-natural, organic, homemade, hippie-type, people).

Crunchy things we did:

  • We grew some of our own food (herbs, tomatoes, and aloe) in a small container garden on our apartment patio.
  • We did a 100 day challenge where we ate only local, real, non-processed, organic food for 100 straight days (then continued that type of eating once the challenge was over)
  • We also did a 100 day challenge where we went 100 days without watching tv (well actually, watching less than 2 hours per week).
  • We started shopping at the Farmer’s market each week in order to get more natural, local produce.  We now buy most of our cheese, milk, eggs, bacon, honey, maple syrup, fruit, and vegetables from local farmers.
  • We canned 7 quarts of sweet lime pickles, 7 quarts of tomatoes, 11 pints of green beans, 13 pints of tomato sauce, 17 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of pizza sauce.  We also made and froze about 9 pints of sugar-free crockpot apple butter.
  • As a result of our real food lifestyle, we started making and cooking things that we normally would have purchased pre-made.  We now cook whole chickens in our crockpot, debone them and use the chicken for sandwiches or cooking, then use the chicken bones to make homemade broth.  We make our own whole wheat biscuits, whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, whole wheat pizza dough, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, and cream of chicken soup.  We also now shred blocks of cheese instead of using bagged shredded cheese, soak dried beans to use rather than buying canned, make our own popcorn using kernels and butter rather than microwave popcorn, and make our own red wine vinaigrette dressing.
  • I made homemade laundry detergent using this recipe.  It made a ton and we haven’t even made a dent in it.  The total cost was $20 and will last us at least a year, based on the rate we are using it now.  I haven’t had any problems with it cleaning our clothes; I think it works just as well as the store-bought stuff.
  • I made homemade cleaners.  I use a 50/50 vingear+water mix one on our counters, sinks, and mirrors, and this one on our laminate and tile floors.  Both work very well and are cheap and easy to make.  I used the vinegar and Dawn tub cleaner that is all over Pinterest to clean our tub and fell in love with it – works better than any other cleaner I’ve ever tried!  I also use baking soda and vinegar to clean the toilet bowls.
  • I made homemade hand soap.  This one is the most disappointing homemade project I’ve tried so far.  It wasn’t hard to make, but the soap is a very weird texture – very slimy, kind of a snot-consistency.  Neither Michael nor I like it so I think we will be going back to store bought soap.  I’d like to find some that is natural and doesn’t have a ton of chemicals, but we’re definitely going to have to find a better option.  I like saving money by making my own, but sometimes saving money just isn’t worth it when you end up with a yucky result.
  • I learned to hand quilt and made my first quilt.  I pieced the blocks on my machine, but the quilted the whole quilt by hand.  It was laborious but satisfying.
  • I quit using the facewash and face lotion I’ve used for years and started using a combination of the oil cleansing method (olive oil and castor oil), coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar.  I still haven’t figured out the very best combination that works for my face (which is why I haven’t posted about it yet), but I’m working on it.

Other notable things from 2012

  • I worked as a graduate assistant for the library media education program (January to April).
  • I participated in one of the best Bible studies I’ve ever done through BSF (January to May).
  • I turned 25 (February)
  • I took cake decorating classes (March – April)
  • We finally settled on a church home (April)
  • I sewed a dress (my first piece of clothing) (April)
  • We sold our house in Lexington (May)
  • Michael went to Gatlinburg for a work trip and I got to go with him (May).
  • Michael also travelled to Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Alabama, Ohio
  • I finished my last graduate school class and graduated with my Masters in Library Media Education (May).
  • We went to Chicago for our anniversary/my graduation/vacation (May).
  • We celebrated our third wedding anniversary (May)
  • I got a job as a library media specialist at a local elementary school (June).
  • I went to church camp with our church here and my old church in Springfield (June and July).
  • I overcome my fear of heights and ziplined at camp (July).
  • I switched my blog from being hosted by wordpress.com to self-hosting with wordperss.org.
  • We bought a house in Bowling Green (October)
  • We got to move out of our rather unpleasant apartment (October)
  • Michael turned 27 (November)
  • Michael passed his Principles of Engineering?? exam and is now a professional engineer (December).
  • Michael and I read through the whole Bible together (January – December)

While 2012 was a great year for many reasons, it was also a very sad year for us due to some family issues and deaths of friends.  I pray that 2013 brings a smoother, happier year.

my favorite posts from 2012

I thought I’d do a little round up of some of my favorite posts from 2012 for those of you who might want a little light reading this weekend ;). There’s nothing super special about each of these posts, I just happen to like them. Some are humorous some are serious, some are just recipes or tutorials…enjoy!

(click on the link under each picture to take you to the post)

parmesan lemon basil broccoli

Parmesean Lemon Basil broccoli

card keeper book tutorial

Card-Keeper Book Tutorial

fear

My Struggle with Fear

me

25 Random Things About Me

baby name blocks

Baby Name Blocks

welcoming-church

How to Be a More Welcoming Church

sticky note surprises

Sticky Note Surprises

star bellie sneetch tutorial

Star Bellied Sneetch Shirt Tutorial

Life Planner review

How I Use my Erin Condren Life Planner

icing bag trick

Mess Free Icing Bag Trick

pain scale

Scales of 1 to 10 don’t work for me!

book-themed-party

Book Themed party

petals

Pictures from Our Wedding

file50shadesofgreycoverart

Regarding Fifty Shades of Grey and Magic Mike

zipline

If you told me I’d be ziplining I would have laughed at you

facebook

My Top 10 Facebook Pet Peeve’s

0512-motherlode-elisabeth-badinter-mdn

The Motherhood Double Standard

banana-mocha-smoothie

Banana Mocha Smoothie Recipe

classroom-organization-tips

Classroom Organization Tips

school-pictures

School Pictures

love

Unconditional Love

customized-teacher-plan-book-tutorial

DIY customized lesson planner

how-does-she-coconut-oil-hair-treatment

Coconut Hair Oil Treatment

DIY-Kindle-case1

DIY e-reader case tutorial

pizza-sauce

Homemade Pizza Sauce

cats

What I Don’t Miss about Apartment Living

how-not-to-sell

How NOT to Sell Your House

poodle skirt

Funny Things My Students Say

kids

Family Rules

Gap-Long-and-Leans

The Gap Conundrum

What I Wore Wednesday – best of 2012

Merry Christmas!  I hope everyone had an amazing day yesterday!

I’ve slacked off a bit on taking outfit pictures the last week or so, so for today I decided to do a Best of 2012 post instead.  I love to look through my old WIWW pictures to remind myself of outfits I wore in the past that I really liked and to get inspired to try new combinations.  I did that recently and found that these are some of my favorite outfits from 2012 – whether it was because they were flattering or daring or fun colors or what, I’m not sure, but I know these were the ones that caught my eye.  Enjoy!

winter outfits 2012outfit details: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

spring and summer outfits 2012outfit details: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

summer outfits 2012outfit details: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

fall 2012 outfitsoutfit details: 1, 2, 3, 4

fall 2 outfits 2012outfit details: 1, 2, 3

Hopefully next week I’ll start 2013 off with a bang with some new outfits for your perusal.

Linking up to What I Wore Wednesday

 

2012 goals and bucket list update – November

Is is seriously December first already?  How did that happen?  This year has flown by!  I haven’t gotten as much done on my goals and bucket list as I’d like, but I have completed quite a few so I’m happy with what I’ve done.

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember, and October)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - We’re almost done!  We got behind during the move, Halloween, Michael’s two business trips, and Thanksgiving but we are working hard to get caught up.  We’ve gotten this far and we will finish reading the whole Bible by the end of December!
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - Sigh.  Trying to lose weight stinks.

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergent - done!
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread - Done!  I’ve now made some Amish friendship bread and whole wheat honey sandwich bread.
  • make a quilt - Working on it!  I made all my blocks (see JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember, and October), I’ve pieced the top together and basted the backing and filling together.  Now I’m quilting it.  I’m doing it by hand so it is taking a while, but I think I’m making pretty good progress.  I should have it done by the end of the year!
  • grow something - tomatoes and herbs…check!
  • can pickles - It was quite possibly one of the stinkiest things I’ve ever experienced, but we now have 7 quarts of sweet lime pickles canned (plus 7 quarts of tomatoes, 11 pints of green beans, 13 pints of tomato sauce, 17 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of pizza sauce)
  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop??? – This one was a big maybe when I wrote this list and I’ve definitely decided not to start one, especially at this point in my life.  Maybe someday, but not now.

Other notable things:

  • Michael turned 27 and we had our first little get-together in our new house for his birthday.
  • I was contacted twice about doing reviews and giveaways on my blog – I’ve never done that before and that was really exciting.
  • I had my very first bookfair at school and it went better than expected.
  • I made my first “for hire” cake for Nora’s Wizard of Oz themed first birthday.

Now I guess it’s time to get cracking on finishing up this list before the end of December.  And getting decorated for Christmas.  And buying presents.  And making tons of food for all our holiday gatherings.  And deciding what’s going to be my goals and bucket list for 2013.  It’ll be a crazy (but fun, I’m sure) month!

2012 goals and bucket list update – October

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugust, and September)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - New Testament: check.  Old Testament: only the major and minor prophets left!
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - Sigh.  Trying to lose weight stinks.

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergent - done!
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread - Done!  I’ve now made some Amish friendship bread and whole wheat honey sandwich bread.
  • make a quilt - Working on it!  See JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember, and October
  • grow something – tomatoes and herbs…check!
  • can pickles - It was quite possibly one of the stinkiest things I’ve ever experienced, but we now have 7 quarts of sweet lime pickles canned (plus 7 quarts of tomatoes, 11 pints of green beans, 13 pints of tomato sauce, 17 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of pizza sauce)
  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop???

Other notable things:

  • We bought a house!  We’re moved in (not necessarily settled yet, but we’re living in it!)

Yep, that’s pretty much it.  Not much new to add to (or check off) the list, although buying and moving into a new house is pretty big in and of itself :)

2012 goals and bucket list update – September

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJuly, and August)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - New Testament: check.  Old Testament: working our way through the Psalms
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - 10 to 15 ish more pounds to go – I’m not sure if I can do that in the next three months but I sure am going to try!

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergent - done!
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread - Done!  I’ve now made some Amish friendship bread and whole wheat honey sandwich bread.
  • make a quilt - Working on it!  See JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugust, and September
  • grow something - Our popper tomato plant is bursting with tomatoes!  They are so sweet and delicious and I love eating them on my salads.
  • can pickles - It was quite possibly one of the stinkiest things I’ve ever experienced, but we now have 7 quarts of sweet lime pickles canned (plus 7 quarts of tomatoes, 11 pints of green beans, 13 pints of tomato sauce, 17 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of pizza sauce)
  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop???

Other notable things:

  • We completed our 100 days of real food and no tv challenge – you can read the results and recap here.  It went really well and I’m so glad that we did it.
  • Still no house, but we’re getting closer.  Nothing definite yet but we’ve found one we like and might make an offer this week.  Fingers crossed!

2012 goals and bucket list update – August

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, June, and July)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - New Testament: check.  Old Testament: currently reading Esther (one of my favorite books!)
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - Well, nine months in and I’m finally almost 10 pounds down (plus the 5 extras that got added on later)…now only 10-15 more to go.

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergent - done!
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread - Done!  I’ve now made some Amish friendship bread and whole wheat honey sandwich bread.
  • make a quilt - Working on it!  See JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJuly, and August
  • grow something - Our popper tomato plant is bursting with tomatoes!  They are so sweet and delicious and I love eating them on my salads.
  • can pickles – It was quite possibly one of the stinkiest things I’ve ever experienced, but we now have 7 quarts of sweet lime pickles canned (plus 7 quarts of tomatoes, 11 pints of green beans, 13 pints of tomato sauce, 17 pints of salsa, and 9 pints of pizza sauce)
  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop???

Other notable things:

  • Our 30 day real food challenge and our 30 day no tv challenge (that has since been extended to 100 days) is going amazing.  We will complete this challenge sometime soon (maybe September 18 or around in there) and I can’t wait to update you!
  • School has been in session for a full month now and it is going quite well.  I love the kids at our school and I’m having so much fun.  I’ve also learned a ton in my short month as the school technology coordinator.
  • Speaking of learning, I decided to finally move my blog from chocolatemoments.wordpress.com to my chocolatemoments.com.  I did the move mostly by myself (the support people at HostGator and WordPress helped me some) and now I’m in the process of creating my own blog design.  This whole process has been a ton of work but I’m having fun and proud of what I’ve learned.
  • On a not-so-exciting note, we still have not found a house yet.  We’ve been looking forever it seems (only about 3 months I guess, but it still seems like a super long time).  I’m just trying to be patient, but boy is apartment living frustrating!

I’m hoping that September brings in some cooler temperatures (and maybe a new house!)

2012 goals and bucket list update – July

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, and June)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - New Testament: check.  Old Testament: currently slogging through the “so and so son of so and so’s” in 1 Chronicles, but sticking with it
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - We extended our 30 day real food challenge into a 100 day challenge (we’re a little over halfway through).  I’ve lost 10 pounds since we started this challenge, but that really only means -5 pounds in relation to my goal of losing 20-25 this year (because I had actually gained 5 more than my starting weight before we started our real food challenge).  So 20 more to lose is my goal (and what my doctor instructed).

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergentdone!
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread - Done!  I made some Amish friendship bread in May and whole wheat honey sandwich bread this month
  • make a quilt - Working on it!  See JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, and July
  • grow something - We’ve gotten quite a few popper tomatoes (the little ones) from one of our tomato plants, the other plant (big ones) has yielded three tomatoes but I think we have it in a too small pot so it hasn’t done very well.  I’ve used chives, basil, parsley, and oregano from our garden, too.  Our aloe plant has shown some improvement, and I actually used it last week on my sunburn!
  • can pickles – not yet, but I have canned tomatoes
  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop???

Other notable things:

  • I spent another week at church camp
  • I conquered a HUGE fear of mine and did the zipline at camp!
  • We completed our 30 day real food challenge and our 30 day no tv challenge and decided to extend it to a 100 day challenge
  • I started my new job, the kids haven’t been there yet since school hasn’t started but I’ve been at school for a week and a half working on library-type stuff.
  • We celebrated our 9 year anniversary (9 years of dating/being together, not 9 years of marriage)

August is here, school starts today, and life is about to get real busy…buckle up!

2012 goals and bucket list update – June

(to see previous updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril, and May)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible - New Testament: check.  Old Testament: we’re in 1 Samuel now.  Since this is the end of June, then this marks exactly halfway through our Bible reading this year!  I’m still just so surprised (and proud) that we’ve stuck with it and have read through half the Bible so far!
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. - We started our 30 days of real food challenge this month.  I’m focusing mostly on eating foods that are good for me, learning to only eat when I’m hungry and until I’m full (rather than when I’m bored and until I’m stuffed), although I’m hoping for some weight loss, too.

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes - I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergent
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread - Done!  I made some Amish friendship bread in May and whole wheat honey sandwich bread this month,
  • make a quilt - Working on it!  See JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, and June
  • grow something – We’ve gotten quite a few popper tomatoes (the little ones) from one of our tomato plants, the other plant (big ones) has several but they are still green.  I’ve used chives, basil, parsley, and oregano from our garden, too.  The only thing that hasn’t thrived is our aloe plant, but we Michael hasn’t given up on it yet (I help a little but he does the majority of the gardening)
  • can pickles
  • take some sort of vacation - Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop???

Other notable things:

Can you believe we are halfway through 2012?!?!  It is flying by!  We are doing great on our goal to read the Bible through this year, but I’m really stinkin’ it up on my goal to lose weight.  I have 12 items on my bucket list; I’ve completed four and one is a work in progress (the quilt).  I need to get on these and try to knock a few more out before summer is over and I go back to work!  Yikes!