my april goals.

happy almost april friends- and most importantly, happy spring!

andrew & i are gearing up for a lot of professional changes this month & honestly, couldn't be more excited for what's to come.  if there's one thing we've become accustomed to over our lives together, it's change.  our life in the military was saturated in change- and even now, we march to the beat of an ever-changing drum.  but then again, who isn't?

so while embracing change this month, i'm taking on what i hope to be simple goals to keep me focused & steady.  again, i've been working on some big-picture changes (moving more, eating right, organizing our life, etc.) and while some of these goals (i.e. making a table) might seem random- the process of getting these little boxes marked will provide major motivation in upcoming months.

there's no doubt it's going to be a great month.  what do you have planned for april?


31 adventures.

last year, i attempted to go on and document 30 different adventures.  while i'd like to think i accomplished this, i didn't share any of these adventures and therefore, fell short of completing this challenge.  so, i decided to try this again.  i'm increasing the number (slightly) to 31 adventures to honor my 31st year.  much like last time, this challenge can include anything from day hikes to international travel.  as long as i'm exploring some place new or trying something new, it will count.

the mission of this challenge hasn't changed: get outside, try something new, and make some memories. how i'm presenting these adventures however, will change.  in order for the adventure to count, i have to document and share my experiences here.  this will not only help me take more pictures and hold myself accountable, but also get me writing a bit more.  i really want to have regular features on this blog, and i think this challenge could help.

also, to keep my one little word thriving throughout the year, i'm hoping that by embracing nature, travel, adventure & new activities this challenge will help me embrace where we live and all that i love (or think that i might love) to do.

i'm so looking forward to this challenge and can't wait to share all my adventures with you!


birthday celebrations.

yesterday was my birthday.  can you believe it?  part of me feels as though years have past while another part of me can't believe i'm already a year older.  it's the paradox of life.
this year, i spent my birthday in new york city.  it was a whirl-wind trip, but despite the massive amounts of travel, it was a great day.  some of my favorite people drove down from syracuse to join me for the night.  we had dinner at friedmans lunch- a trendy, urban restaurant and later settled in for the night with some cocktails, chocolate cake & catching-up.  there's no doubt, this was the highlight of my trip.
then yesterday, i went to a meeting in the morning and spent the rest of the day traveling home.  luckily everything was seamless and once in san diego, andrew and i met up with my mom & sisters for drinks and appetizers to celebrate the big 3-1.  it was a great trip, and while the day was very normal and low-key (in a jet setter kinda way), it still goes down as a wonderfully, memorable birthday.


backyard garden, take 2.

while living in syracuse, i became a huge fan of gardening.  we always had small container gardens, but once we renovated our backyard and put in a few raised garden beds, the gardening monster inside me went bananas (or basil, tomato, summer squash...).

so last year, needing to scratch my itch, i attempted a container garden once again.  we had a couple tomatoes, but mostly herbs and while it wasn't much, it was something & made our apartment feel a bit more like a home.  i boasted of my hard work capturing the one and only photo of my attempt of a garden & within a couple months, everything withered and died.  it was a sad day in san diego.
so while on this crazy spring-cleaning organization kick, andrew and i decided to tackle our back patio.  the space is super tiny with basically enough room for a grill, umbrella, surfboards and our four bikes (in all seriousness, who needs four bikes?).  while cleaning everything out of the space, moving our bikes into storage and rearranging the little space available, andrew suggested we try adding a couple raised garden beds.  i, needless to say, was thrilled.
that weekend we ran to home depot & after talking over our plan with my dad, decided to build the raised beds out of pine.  at $5 a pop (for each 1x6), we were able to get 2 raised beds made for a little more than $25.  with the help of a nail gun and a chop saw, the project took a little less than 3 hours to pull together and each box is about 3 feet wide by 1 foot tall.  they're compact, but perfect for the space we have.
once in place, i lined each box with landscape fabric and filled the boxes with about 3 cubic feet of soil & planted the veggies and herbs i picked up at our local farmers market.  since the garden is small, i tried to plant things we eat regularly (heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, basil, kale) and chose an "out-of-the-box" veggie to try...in this case, broccoli (out-of-the-box because i've never grown it, not because we never eat it!).
for now, the plants seem to be enjoying their little home.  they have plenty of sun & water & only time will tell if this little urban garden will be a success.  fingers-crossed!


my march goals: update.

things for march are on track.  i've deviated in some places sure- but for the most part, i'm doing pretty darn good if you ask me.

for example, i participated in lent & decided to give up sugar.  i made it a little over a week & then a friend got married, had an amazing sweets table with the cutest desserts and itty-bitty bamboo spoons, and i caved.  but then i jumped back on track only to lose my mind over a chocolate milkshake after our weekend of sailing.  sugar is crack.  no doubt about it.  for the most part, i'm really good during the week & then over the weekend- i give in.  next week i'll be diving into a delicious homemade rhubarb pie to celebrate my birthday (!) & if that's not reason enough to fall off the wagon one last time, i don't know what is.  regardless of the falls i've had a long the way, the fact that i'm saying no to sugar more than yes, is making me feel pretty good about this challenge.

as for the other goals i set for march: i'm running, swimming & biking at least 4 times a week.  i'm super happy with that.  my sister decided to join me for a triathlon this year so we're going to start training together.  we're thinking about doing a big one in september which gives us plenty of time to get our butts in gear.
cooking is becoming fun again!  i rearranged our kitchen so we have more counter space to prep dinner.  it's not a huge improvement, but it's something.  i've been making a point of going to the farmers market a couple times a week as well and am finding lots of inspiration in the seasonal produce.  making my heart & our tummies happy campers.

as for the bedroom- well, this spilled from the bedroom to the bathroom to the office.  on the plus side, we have 2 totally new & functional spaces that are a million times better than what we started with.  i'll just have to roll the bedroom project over to next month.

and surfing.  this hasn't happened yet- but there's talk that we might go this weekend.  the forecast is calling for sun, sun & surprise, more sun, making for an otherwise perfect weekend that much better.

so there it is, my monthly progress report.  i'm really happy i was able to stay on track this month.  there have been quite a few distractions, but there's something so rewarding that comes from getting things accomplished & crossing these mini-goals off my list.  making the effort of staying focused, totally worth it.


anza borrego, ca.

one of my goals for february was to go on an adventure.  and one of our goals for 2014 was to go backpacking.  well, check & check.

andrew and i decided to get out of dodge and go on a much overdue backpacking adventure for a weekend in february.  backpacking is something that we love doing but for some reason, have neglected to make time for it over the years.  it is in fact, one of the first things andrew and i ever did together.

that being said, we opted to head to one of southern california's secret gems, anza-borrego.  anza-borrego is one of california's largest state parks.  granted, it's mostly a barren desert- but even deserts have their charms.
one of the coolest things about anza-borrego is that you could be walking for miles and miles in the sand & heat and as you turn a corner, you'll spy a palm tree...then another...and another!  soon, you'll be standing in a gorgeous stream surrounded by lush plants, smooth rocks & if you're lucky, little critters who make these streams their homes.  the diversity of the desert is amazing.
we backpacked for 2 nights and 3 days- each night staying near a stream so we had plenty of access to water (the less we had to carry, the better....water's really heavy!).  we woke to spectacular sunrises and heard coyotes in the evening.  we saw snakes & plenty of animal tracks.  we walked in silence & told each other stories by the stream beds.  it was wonderful to get lost in nature.  we loved every minute of it & can't wait to make plans to go backpacking again.


my march goals.

unlike last month, i'm sharing these goals early so i can not only hold myself accountable, but also share on my progress.  i'm really wanting to make a couple habit changes (eating dinner at home more often & moving more) throughout the year, so there will be some repeating goals month after month and despite a busy schedule, i really need to hold myself accountable to finish a few projects (i.e. our bedroom)- so there will be some repeating with those big projects as well.

all and all, march is such a fun month for us.  andrew and i both celebrate birthdays- one at the very beginning and one near the end of the month- so we do our best to celebrate this life and partake in as many adventures and reasons to celebrate as possible!  while i'm always excited for goals, i'm really hoping these will help keep me on track this month.  i feel really good about february- if only i can carry over my productivity into march as well.

how are you hoping to get organized this month?

ps. i used the rhonna designs app to make this image.


weekly letters.

to the most-handsome birthday boy, i hope you're having a super-wonderful weekend.  dear army, thanks for making said birthday boy work on his special day- you sure made up for it with that swanky hotel in downtown la.  dear tandoori salmon, you were a pleasant surprise.  i can't wait to replicate you for dinner one of these nights.  dearest rain, please keep on keeping on- you're making san diego much more enjoyable (minus all the traffic of course).  happy, happy birthday hubster!  may 32 be everything you ever dreamed.

hope you're having a wonderful weekend friends!