Tag Archives: National Blog Posting Month ’11

New Year’s Resolutions Progress Report

photo credit

ONE MORE MONTH! One more month to get as done as I can be with my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions. Financial goals, I failed you this year.

Here’s the progress report.

Personal Finance

  • Reach $2,000 in my Vietnam fund. As of today, the balance is $1,161.76. I’m at 58% completion.
  • Max out my Roth IRA. I contributed $475 for 2011. Uh, only at 9.5% completion.
  • Make $3,000 extra income outside my full-time job. As of today I’m at $1808 which translates to 60%.


  • Complete 10 sewing learning tasks. 5/10. I used a sewing machine for the first time last week and made my dog a bed.
  • Publish three food blogs a week. I had almost a 2 month streak! Sadly #NaBloPoMo derailed me in November.
  • Try to make 10 Vietnamese recipes. 9/10.
  • Try to make 10 slow cook recipes. 10/10.
  • Visit two new states. Visited three new states!
  • Have a new experience once a week. Still going strong. This is almost a cheater goal as I’ve been doing this for 5 years and it has become habit.
  • Visit best friend in Boston.
  • Take a trip with Alan.
  • Leave the country.
  • Read 40 books. 40/40. Finished my 40th book last weekend!

Relationships and Well-Being

  • Drink 24 oz of water every day. Mostly good.
  • Have an active date with a friend twice a month. Have been exceeding twice a month!
  • Donate to every sponsorship for charity my friends take part in. So far, so good.
  • Start a shared gratitude journal with my little from Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America. Bought the journal but haven’t started. I keep forgetting to do this!
  • Run a 5K for charity. I mostly walked but I’m counting it as completed.

Questions: What do you want to accomplish in the next year?

Weekend Recap

Saturday, I spent the entire day with Kim, Thomas, and company.

I surprised Kim with glitter tattoos.

Then we proceeded to brand all of our friends.

(this photo by Thomas)

And gave our tattoos life by making them dance and drink.

(this photo by Thomas)

We had one of our progressive meals and ate at five places and aspired towards seven. (Two of the places were closed!)

We helped put up Kim’s tree and then made paper cranes to decorate it.

After our dinner, we parted ways and I was going to end the perfect day having a pajama party with Kim and building a fort. On our way to her place, my car started to make this terrifying thumping sound while we were on the freeway. I inadvertently exited into a tollway without having the necessary tag and it took us quite a while driving with this noise before feeling like it was safe enough to pull over (i.e. not on a highway shoulder or into a seedy dark gas station.) Turns out my bumper got loose and was flapping against my tire. We drove at a crawl to Kim’s place and accidentally drove deep into a very dark and wooded area off of the freeway. TERRIFYING. There was another lone car with us that felt sketchy!

I canceled fort night with Kim. It didn’t feel right being out in Houston with a maimed car. I was really disappointed to miss the pajama fort party but it was still an awesome day. We played hard and didn’t get killed. I like Kim’s pithy recap.

Kim 11:11 PM to me

one of the best days, for sure.

and so simple! good food, company of friends (old and new), listening to records, driving in the rain, sparkly tattoos, taking pictures, putting up christmas trees, cracking jokes, almost getting murdered in the secret woods next to the freeway…

I was supposed to drive back to Austin on Sunday (yesterday) but had to stay so I can take my car in today. I was too nervous to drive my car so I canceled what little plans I had and spent the entire day reading. I finished A Beautiful Boy, a memoir of a father navigating his son’s drug addictions. Captivating and depressing. Thus the chocolate milk.

Aside from the car troubles, I really had such a wonderful weekend. There were many great moments I just want to memorize so I can revisit on gloomy days. I hope my car troubles get fixed today. I can’t wait to get back to my bed, dog, and boyfriend.

Question: What is your favorite memory from the weekend?

Letter to BFF

Dear BFF,

I was hoping to write this blog post when I get back to Austin. It’s just easier to blog when in Austin. Unfortunately, I ran into some car problems and am stranded in Houston at least another day so here I am writing an open letter to you from Houston. The good thing is I was able to dig up in my old bedroom photos of you from high school! Look at you over 10 years ago!

I had no idea how lucky I was in high school. To share a city with you and be able to see you at least 5 days a week. We haven’t been able to do that since. With the way things have gone the last decade, I don’t think we’ll ever live in the same city again. When I think about this, it makes me feel a little hopeless. How can we get through never seeing each other? But then I quickly remember we’ve managed to talk for hours most days and are blessed to be able to visit at least once a year. I’m so thankful for this.

It’s also kind of awesome how well we get along despite our glaring differences. I think if we itemize everything, our list of differences would vastly outweigh our list of commonalities. I think my life is made richer not only by our friendship but the difference in perspective you always give me.

I’m so lucky to have grown up with you! Here’s to more growing up. Happiest birthday to you!

Lots and lots of love,

Do-It-Yourself Fail

Martha Stewart had this fun and easy looking craft on her site. You basically just adhere lace to tiles and then spray paint. I had visions of making these beautiful coasters for a few people on my Christmas list.

I need a new vision. It was super tricky! If you wait too long for the paint to dry, you end up pulling off the paint when you remove the lace. Too soon and it’s blotchy!

Brandi used die cut stencils and they worked out a lot better.

Question: What is your favorite handmade gift to make?

Friday 7 Quick Takes (vol 69)


This week on Totes Awesome Channel, we gush about the Internet.

Youtube Link

In this video, I talk about all the neat things I’m able to do because of the Internet. Things like meal plan and grocery shop but most importantly, maintain friendships. If you watch, you get to see Bob show off his skills.


I’m in Houston for the long weekend! I had a fantastic Thanksgiving day. My cute friends organized a picnic outside. I then followed that up with catch up time with my college roommate and then a late night dinner with my family.


Here’s a video of Thomas announcing our picnic spread. The audio goes out in the end and I’m at a loss at how that happened. Luckily, the good stuff is all there.

Youtube Link


Weekend To Do List

  1. Make a dog bed
  2. See a billion people
  3. Learn how to make a chicken dish from momma
  4. Build a fort
  5. Blog (Damn you, National Blog Posting Month!)
  6. Drive back to Austin from Houston
  7. Eat a ton
  8. Write 2-3 letters
  9. What’s on your weekend to do list?


    Yesterday, I finished Thérèse Raquin (published in 1867) and loved it. It was a random find; I picked it up not knowing a lick about the book or the author. Zola turned out to be a major historical figure in French literature. I read up on his life and was riveted. I recommend the book. Some warning, it’s dark. It’s a good read but doesn’t make you feel good.

    What are you reading these days?


    Spray painting lace is hard.

    More about this abysmal craft project tomorrow. Suffice it to say, Martha Stewart lied to me!


    This week’s moments of bliss: Suki had a dream where she ran into Ryan Gosling, took pictures with him, and then had him tweet me ♥ reading in bed with dude ♥ only 5 more days of #NaBloPoMo ♥ scheduling out a few posts to help time management in Houston ♥ reading time with Alan ♥ fort making date with Kim ♥ momma’s food ♥ catch up time with Aishah and sister ♥ guest vlog on TAC ♥ performing a successful group random act of kindness that involved throwing about a 100 ice cubes ♥ sewing lessons from mom ♥ hugging mom ♥ starting to read a collection of short stories on Thanksgiving day and having the first story take place on Thanksgiving day

    Question: What do you love about the Internet?

Stream of Consciousness

It’s 9:15 p.m. and I haven’t blogged yet for National Blog Posting month (posting every day in November). I have a morning post for tomorrow planned which is kind of a cheat since it’s just announcing the winner of my giveaway (ends in less than 3 hours!) So I’m opting for my first ever stream of consciousness blog post because I am out of ideas on what to divulge. I wonder if posting every day is making you bored with me. I worry about that.

Alan is away watching football with his friends. He’s reading Hunger Games and it’s the first time we’ve ever discussed books we’ve both read. He’s not done with the first book yet. I’m loving that I can talk books with him even if it’s just for Hunger Games.

I’m really excited about going to Houston. I’m not sure how I’m going to see everyone I want to see and eat everything I want to eat. I really miss my mom.

Have I told you that posting a blog post every day of the month is so hard? I guess it’s apparent since I’m recording my stream of consciousness.

A few of my friends are going through a really tough time right now and I am at a loss of what to do to help. I feel powerless.

I really like the Totes Awesome Channel topic for this week.

I’m hungry for a dream.

Actually, I dream to get paid to eat.

See you tomorrow.

Question: What’s on your mind right now?

31 Stress Busters

Last weekend, Barb Steinberg, LMSW lead a workshop on how to empower girls. One of the ways she mentioned was to have them make a list of “stress busters.” Stress busters are things you do to relax and self soothe. And even though the workshop was catered to young girls, having a tool box of things that calm and relax you is a life skill everyone should have. In an effort to remind myself to take time out, here’s my list of stress busters.

31 Stress Busters

photo credit

  1. Reading
  2. Cuddling
  3. Dancing
  4. Preening
  5. Taking bubble baths
  6. Taking hot showers
  7. Baking
  8. Journaling
  9. Dancing
  10. Playing with pets
  11. Playing with children
  12. Decluttering
  13. Exercising
  14. Cleaning
  15. Connecting with friends
  16. Breathing
  17. Performing random acts of kindness
  18. Watching favorite TV shows
  19. Saying no when feeling overextended
  20. Saying yes to only the things I truly want to do
  21. Paying down debt
  22. Creating something (even if it’s just a napkin doodle!)
  23. Meal planning to reduce amount of money and time spent at grocery stores
  24. Getting enough sleep
  25. Staying hydrated
  26. Treating myself
  27. Admiring scenery (e.g.: look up at the clouds, notice the sunset, appreciate the beauty of flowers)
  28. Getting the hard action items off my to do list first
  29. Dating myself (e.g.: solo trips to movies, restaurants, and museums)
  30. Laughing
  31. Sipping on a warm beverage

Question: What’s on your list of stress busters?