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Archive for the ‘The Great Birthday Resolution’ Category

So back in October, I made my great birthday resolution. Like it or not, feel it or not, I am an adult. I should have nice things. And I deserve nice things. So I vowed to start investing in nice things and new experiences. I’ve done new art on the walls, taken cooking classes. And made some purchases. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera and was less able to document it all for you. So here’s a rundown.

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In December, I bought myself a pretty damn nice coffee maker at Crate & Barrel. Since I bought it around the holidays, the cashier assumed it might be a gift, but when I gleefully declined gift wrap declaring “That is for ME!” I amused not only her, but the customer behind me in line. Every weekend since I have enjoyed coffee from Starbucks in the mornings.
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For Christmas I got new, very soft and comfy sheets and in January a new comforter set. So this is my “new” bed. And yes, there is a top sheet. I’m a girl. We like the whole set, and hey we paid for it. I like a dust ruffle because, frankly, it hides the mess under the bed. It’s really the equivalent of sweeping the dust under the rug. Nine times out of ten, half of those pillows are, admittedly on the floor. I put them on the bed for guests or when I do laundry. There. I said it. I sleep on two pillows and if I am reading or watching a movie I will add a pillow. I now think you know entirely too much about my bed.
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And finally, for my newfound enjoyment on cooking, I bought myself a nice, eight inch chef’s knife. The most ironic thing about this purchase? I am very afraid of knives. “What?” you may ask. Despite my fear of knives and vivid imagination (I seriously had visions of what would happen if I stored this in a cupboard and it fell out of the cupboard, then slipped out of its box and THEN landed on someone’s toes), I am most comfortable cooking with a good knife. Most kitchen injuries happen when people are trying to use a less-than-stellar knife. Plus, I wanted to get myself something nice for this new hobby of mine. So I got the knife I really preferred.
That’s all from Birthday Resolution Land. Hope everyone’s livers are recovering from this St. Patty’s weekend.

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I’ve never been one to proclaim myself a domestic goddess. Quite the opposite really. Other than cleaning, when matters of hearth and home arise, I start running. As for cleaning, well that’s more about my need for some order than a love of the domestic.

Needlepoint and crocheting have both long since been abandoned. And cooking, well I never really went there. My dinners are usually ones that can be warmed, either in a microwave or an oven. My baking usually involves eggs, water and a mix of some kind. I just told people I wasn’t interested.

It started to change on my trip to Denver. On my last day, just before we headed off to the airport, Kendra, Amber, Karen and I all went to Sur La Table. Chefs that they are, they seemed quite familiar with the establishment. I was not. Yet as I looked around at gleaming pots and pans, cookware, bakeware, mixes and more, I realized that I’ve always liked all the stuff that goes with cooking. I like a shiny mixing bowl, nice appliances, serving wear, no stick pans. And maybe, I’ve just been intimidated by cooking.

And while, until recently my “cooking” has been more like mixing, I liked it too.

Monday night, in line with The Great Birthday Resolution, I decided to tackle my cooking demons. I took a cooking class. I learned to make roasted red pepper crostini, roasted chicken, risotto, and tiramisu. And know what? I liked it. I liked the process, the cooking, and especially the eating. I’ve always liked the eating.

For close to two hours, we chopped and sliced and stirred and mixed.  There were a few snafus along the way.  Like when I proceeded to try grinding pepper upside down.  Oops.  But we had some really good food at the end of it all.  Truthfully, cooking seems less scary now.

Well buy me an apron!  I can’t wait to start buying cooking gear, taking more classes and cooking for my friends and family. Yes folks, you heard it here. I’m being domesticated. But I still think I’ll hold off on the knitting needles. One step at a time, after all.

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So, a few of you have asked to see the pictures I put up on my wall. Far be it from me to deny you all what you want…or myself the chance to show off. Here they are, in order from left to right, top row then bottom.

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I took this picture a few weeks ago, in Golden, Colorado. Creek, mountains, pine trees. It’s picturesque, I think. Which would, in fact, explain why I took a picture.

 

 

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This is Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna. I went there two years ago over Thanksgiving. As people in Europe rightfully couldn’t care less about our Thanksgiving, they were already Christmased out-as you can see by the tree to the right.

 

 

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This is a shot of the cliffs in Northern Ireland. If the top third or so of the picture looks familiar, it should. It was at the top of my blog until just a few weeks ago.

 

 

 

 

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This is a sculpture in Chicago called “Cloud Gate” but we all call it The Bean. Can you guess why? I know I said I was doing travel photos, but I like this because you see part of the skyline reflected in the bean’s shiny surface, and I do want my adopted city in the mix. Plus I needed a vertical shot to achieve symmetry cause I just had to have…

 

 

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…this shot, from Red Rocks. I loved this shot as soon as I saw it. I knew from the start of planning my project, this was going to be one of the photos, and that there had to be either three or five photos (decorating tip I learned long ago: always display things in odd numbers) and symmetry. I enjoyed my project and products so much, one of my goals is to get a nice camera and devote some more time to photography. Watch out scenery, here I come.

 

 

 

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is worth two thousand. More, actually because not only are there two pictures, there are the words you’re now reading.

In accordance with The Great Birthday Resolution, I present: my new wall. My framed photographs. I get happy just looking at them.

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And here, in keeping with spending money where it matters, and making myself look good, is a photo of my new haircut.

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New stuff all around.

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Yesterday, I looked upon my birthday with a new perspective. I’m 28. As much as I don’t want to be, I am. And part of the reason I think I don’t want to be is that I don’t feel it. I don’t feel like I should be 30 in a few years. It’s true to some extent, part of what bothers me is that my life doesn’t look like what I thought it should or would by now. Yet I need to embrace that instead of using it as a means of resistance.

It’s time for me to grow up.

And so, I made a birthday resolution. I’ve always said if you’re serious about making a change do it. Yesterday was the optimum time. My resolution is comprised of multiple resolutions rolled into one: act and feel my age.

I’m not going to worry about money so much. It might sound like that is the opposite of growing up, but as a money hoarder, I’ve prevented myself from moving on into really being an adult. So instead, I am going to start to use it.

I am going to buy myself nice things, and new things. I am going to take the time and resources to develop hobbies I’ve always wanted to have but for some reason or another, haven’t pursued. I’m going to take classes and be involved in the world.

I will invest in myself and my future.

I decided to do at least one thing each month that will fit into this plan. This month I decided to begin with a small change in the home. I have some filler art in my room that doesn’t feel like me any more, doesn’t fit. But I never replaced them, because of the cost.

As we speak, five travel photographs I took, in black and white, are on their way to my house. Five large black frames with white mats are coming from somewhere else. And when we meet, I’ll have a new display for the wall. One that is more me and, more importantly, one that shows off my work.

In the future things as simple as new bedding or complex as cooking classes could loom; who knows? Yet be it large or small, I’m ready to put my best feet forward, and keep going. It’s time for lots of things new.

And in the end, I think I will discover myself. I will develop Cheryl. And in doing that, maybe, just maybe, I will start to shape that life I had once pictured, only better. Cause it will be real, and tangible and truly mine. Won’t you join me?

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