January Wrap-Up

January was quite a month for me.

Books-wise, I did all right. I finished four. Two of those had been nagging at me to read them for quite some time, so I was very happy to finish.

  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • I May Regret This by Abbi Jacobson
  • The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
  • Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik

I also started and made great progress on:

  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  • Unprocessed by Megan Kimble
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

I definitely would like to finish these in February. I read bits and pieces from other books, but not a significant amount.

I received some good titles this month, including Becoming by Michelle Obama, The Best American Short Stories 2006 and 2007, If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin, and The Martian by Andy Weir. I’m going to try to work these in in the near future as well.

According to my Goodreads Challenge, I’m two books ahead of schedule. I set a modest challenge for myself–32 books–with the hopes that I’ll actually hit the mark. I’ve never done a Goodreads Challenge before and I typically suck at reading challenges (once I commit to reading a book, it becomes an obligation that I avoid at all costs). So we shall see.


Cooking-wise I did pretty well too. I know I cooked quite a bit more than this, but I can’t remember everything and my planner isn’t revealing what I cooked. I do know that I made crockpot butter chicken, which Steve and I both really liked. My dad liked the leftovers. I made BLTs and turkey chili (I changed the recipe slightly, like using Rotel instead of plain diced tomatoes) and Chrissy Teigen’s Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf. I made Iowa Girl Eats Cheesy Taco Soup the other day and there were no leftovers. And I found an amazing and easy recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo.

I’ll get better about taking pictures and posting what I’m cooking. I love cooking and I’ve been doing a lot more experimenting and tweaking recipes that I find to make them more of a fit for my life.

I got to eat some pretty good food this month. I was fortunate enough to go to Torchy’s Tacos twice this month! I also got to eat at Chelino’s in Bricktown. Both are favorite restaurants of mine.

I rediscovered my love of just plain sipping bourbon by buying a bottle of Maker’s Mark to make Tennessee Ritas (margarita with bourbon instead of tequila). The Tennessee Ritas didn’t quite pan out, but that’s OK. They’ll be a special treat at Torchy’s. I decided to go on a break with dirty martinis after a rough night. I found a sweet white wine that I like. I can’t remember the name, but I recognize the bottle.


In other news, I’ve done a lot of wedding planning. I picked a dress, booked a photographer, picked venues, sent save the dates, picked a cake, talked to the caterer, and a bunch of other stuff. It’s pretty exhausting! I’m enjoying parts of the process in small doses. I am very much looking forward to marrying Steve, but the actual date seems so far away! I’m trying to pace out the rest of the planning so that I don’t get overwhelmed.

I participated in Yoga with Adriene’s annual 30 Days of Yoga program. I didn’t do every single day, but I was on the mat more days than I wasn’t. Some days it was easier to get to the mat than others. Some days I just wanted to shut the video off and do something else, but I stuck with it. My goal is to keep up the progress in February with her next monthly calendar.

I’ve rediscovered my love and passion for writing. I’ve been doing quite a lot of work on that. I can’t wait to figure out next steps for myself in this regard. The hardest part for me is that I love both fiction and non-fiction, so I have struggled to focus. I found a website that I think will be a good resource in helping me plan and prioritize–Om & the City. She also has a great Instagram account. I’ve also pulled out my writing books, particularly DIY MFA by Pereira. I’m discovering other resources that will be helpful along the way. If you know of any, I would love hearing about them in the comments below.

I made the decision to leave a work situation that just wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t bad situation, but it didn’t play to my strengths, so I just wasn’t successful. I am very proud of myself for recognizing that and taking action instead of sticking with something that simply wasn’t working.

So that I can end on a positive note–Steve and I went on a great sleeping vacation. We had to run to Oklahoma City for a meeting mid-month and he had the next day off work, so we decided to stay over. We found a hotel that allowed us to check in early, ran to an alcohol store to get some beverages. We watched a couple of episodes of The Sopranos before going to Bricktown to eat at Chelino’s. Then we took a glorious nap. We watched some more TV. I took another nap. Watched more TV. Slept like I hadn’t slept in ages and I slept in late, which I never do. It was the best. We both left feeling so relaxed and refreshed. We decided to extend the vacation vibe by stopping at Bricktown Brewery in Tulsa on the way home for lunch and a couple of drinks. I was riding high from that overnight for several days.


 

Next month I’ll remember to take more pictures for my wrap-up!

What did you do this January?

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