April 2013 Goals

It’s finally spring! Temperatures in the next 10 days will be in the 70s! I am so ready for it to warm up. Especially because it means more outside activities :) Here are my goals for April!

-Running: run 35 miles. I want to get in the habit of running 2 miles four times a week.

-Other exercise: do core work 3-4 times per week. I’ve gotten some core exercises from my physical therapist that are easier for me to do with my hip problems. I want to commit to doing them 3-4 times per week.

-Gardening: move everything outside! It’s finally spring time and I’m ready to move my sprouts outside! I can’t wait to get my garden going :)

-Furniture: get rid of the extras! This was on my March goals and I made a little bit of progress but I need to get rid of everything we don’t need this month.

-Budget: stick to our budget better. Last month, we spent a lot on food, overspending in both our grocery and restaurant budgets. We need to have better control and awareness of what we are spending.

-Puppies: we are planning to start Cody in class on April 11th but we are going to wait to make sure other people have signed up for the class since he is very well behaved at home but when other dogs are around he tends to have selective deafness ;)

-Eat more fruit! This past week, I bought a bunch of fruit and I ate all of it during the week. I had tons of oranges, apples, bananas, and strawberries and I pretty much only snacked on fruit. Not only did this cut back on my snacking on unhealthy foods, it made me feel great. I definitely want to keep my fruit intake up.

-Cooking: four more new recipes! And making sure to take pictures of new recipes, as well as old favorites, for blogging.

-Crafting: since I didn’t manage to do a craft last month, I would like to try for two this month. One I want to be a menu board for the kitchen, since this would help us to eat what we’ve already bought in groceries, rather than going out to eat. The other one can be something smaller, but I’m not sure what yet.

What are your goals for April? Happy spring!

March 2013 Goals Update

I originally posted about my March goals here. I would say I did okay, considering I was sick, but I certainly need to do better next month.

Running: my goal for running was 40 miles (52 before April 6th). Unfortunately, I was sick for three and a half weeks and couldn’t run, which not only meant fewer miles, but losing the progress I had made before getting sick. I was only able to track a lousy 6.2 miles this month. But I’m back to running and I will definitely do better next month since it’s finally going to be
spring and I shouldn’t get sick again!

Furniture: working on this one still. I have gotten our spare room cleaned up quite a bit, got the desk we bought a long time ago built and set up the corner for Chris to work on so he doesn’t have to work out in the dining room. I still have quite a few things to get rid of, and those will be a part of my goals for April.

Garden: I got my seeds
planted almost a month ago and they’re growing great! I haven’t yet gotten the seeds that start outdoors in early spring in the ground, but hopefully I will get to those this week. It’s been really rainy lately and when it hasn’t been raining, we’ve been playing tennis, running, and taking the dogs to the dog park so I haven’t gotten to them yet.

Signing the dogs up for classes: my goal was to sign each of the puppies up for obedience classes but neither of them are signed up. Chris expected to have a big grant due at work in early April and was working a lot this month so we decided to put off the classes until we knew we could both commit to them. I think we’ll be starting April 8th but we still have to register.

Budget: unfortunately we didn’t do a good job of sticking to our budget this month. We went over our grocery budget, due to our St. Patrick’s Day dinner, so I don’t mind overspending on that a bit. The other place in the budget we went over on was eating out and we went way over our budget. This was partly due to birthday celebrations, partly due to poor planning, and mostly due to laziness. We went out to dinner a couple times when I should have cooked but just didn’t feel like that and one of my April goals is definitely going to be to cut back on that. A lot of the reason we overspent though, was because it was Exotic Meat Month at one of our favorite Durham restaurants and we couldn’t stay away. We got to try alligator (which both of us had had before) and antelope burgers! It was fun, but I’m glad March is over because that’s one fewer excuse we have for eating out! Besides our eating out and grocery budgets, we did really well
with the rest of our March budgets.

Pinterest Recipes: my goal was to try 4 new recipes and I definitely reached that, though not all were from Pinterest (but I’ll count them anyway). The ones I blogged about were Pork Chops with Apples and Onions, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Butterless Creamy Veggie Mac and Cheese, and Seasoned Smashed Potatoes. The other recipes I tried were for chocolate Guinness cupcakes and Bailey’s cream cheese frosting, which were served for dessert on St. Patrick’s Day but I didn’t get any pictures so I didn’t post about them :)

DIY Craft: I did not get to a craft this month. Next month I will have to do two!

I hope to post my April goals tomorrow!

Starting my garden indoors

It’s only March 3 and one of my goals is already complete! Today I planted the seeds for my garden that needed to be started indoors. These included tomatoes, peppers, and Brussels sprouts. I used to help my mom with her garden when I was younger but this is my first solo garden and I’m pretty excited. I’ve been really into making a lot of foods from scratch lately and I can’t wait to use ingredients from my own garden! Since it’s my first time, I’m starting pretty small and next year I plan on expanding. Here’s what I worked on today:

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On the left is an upside down tomato planter I got from Lowe’s for $5 (the brand was Buzzy). I’ve never used one before but it was pretty cheap so I’m going to plant some in the garden and some in the planter and see how each works out. The kit was really easy to use and so far, I recommend trying it out :)

The other seeds I planted today were cherry tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers. I planted them in K cups! This is a genius idea I got from Juanita’s blog, which I found on Pinterest. They’re perfect for starting your garden, as they are nice and small, and also have a hole in the bottom for excess water to drain out. All you do is cut through the foil with a knife, remove the coffee, foil, and filter, and then wash the empty K cup with hot soapy water! I love this idea because I hate how bad K cups are for the environment and now I’m at least getting two uses from them :) Also this way, I don’t have to get starter containers.

I just labeled the sides of each with what seeds were in them and planted 3 seeds per cup. I planted 4 cups of cherry tomatoes, 3 cups of large tomatoes (left over from my planter), and 2 cups each of jalapenos, bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts.

Have you ever heard of Sprout Robot? I found it on Pinterest and I love it. It gives you detailed instructions for the different plants you want to grow such as when (and if) to start indoors, how to plant them, when to thin, when you should expect to harvest, etc. It’s a wonderful source of information for us first time gardeners :)

tucker and cody smelling plants tucker smelling pot

Today was nice enough that I could do all of this outside so I wouldn’t get dirt all over the house. The puppies were quite curious about what was going on. They love to eat dirt (they won’t leave one of my indoor plants alone) so I had to keep a close eye on them but eventually they just laid in the sun.

tucker blur

I brought my plants inside and placed them at the far end of our dining room table, right by the window. I can’t wait for them to start sprouting!

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What are you planting in your garden this year?

March 2013 Goals

I started this blog mainly to track my daily, monthly, yearly, and long term goals. Here are my goals for March:

-Run 52 cumulative miles – this goal actually extends into April and it’s my goal before April 6, when I’ll be doing the Color Mania 5k – I’m breaking this down into 2 weeks of running 2 miles 4 times a week and 3 weeks of running 3 miles 4 times a week

-Get rid of all our extra furniture – since moving in together, Chris and I have way more furniture than we need. I’ve been meaning to put the extra stuff up on FreeCycle for a while but haven’t gotten around to it. I will this month.

-Plant my seeds indoors – I’m planting cherry tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, onions, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and garlic and most of those should be started indoors this week!

-Sign each of the dogs up for training classes – both Tucker and Cody could use some more training and socialization and I plan to sign them up this month.

My puppies: Cody, 2, on the right, and Tucker, 6 months, on the left

My puppies: Cody, 2, right, and Tucker, 6 months, left

-Continue to stick to our budget – Chris and I did a pretty good job of sticking to our February budget. This weekend we’ll sit down and work on a new one for March.

-Try 4 new Pinterest recipes – I love finding new healthy (and sometimes not so healthy) recipes and trying them out. I plan on trying a new one each week this month.

-Try 1 new Pinterest craft – I’ve tried a couple but it seems I keep adding more DIY pins and not trying them out! I want to find time to start and finish one this month.