A quick look back before moving forward…
Highlights from 2015
Left to Right: 1. My cousin’s wedding dress and wedding – more to come on this one soon, I promise! / 2. Growing my first crop of asparagus – harvesting the first spears after waiting 2 years! / 3. Tried quite a few new recipes, the Christmas marshmallows were a big hit / 4. Being lucky enough to meet new friends, spend time with old ones / 5. Hawaii – and watching the sunset from above the clouds 6. Learning new sewing skills, including making jeans / 7. and completing a dress sewn and embellished completely by hand / 8. Doubling the size and yield of my cut flower garden, despite the late start to summer, we enjoyed flowers late into the summer season / 9. Checking another Canadian travel destination off our list with our visit to PEI.
The things I’d like to do for 2016 are a reflection of things I’d do differently from last year, things I’d like to continue, and new things I’d like to try.
- Joining skills with passions. My job has changed a lot in the past year, and I wouldn’t say it’s always been for the better. I miss training and teaching, but I’ve found ways to channel those skills and enjoyment into other areas like sewing, knitting, cooking and gardening. I’ve got another round of knitting lessons coming up during lunch times at work in 2016 and I’m looking forward to it! I’d like to focus on more of these opportunities in the new year.
- Less clutter. I did a major purge of my closet and bookshelves mid year – donating anything I didn’t love or hadn’t worn since the last season. This included donating or giving away hand-made items and books that I’ve had for a while. This wasn’t easy but finding good homes for them felt pretty good. We’re moving on to ‘papers’ this month – which includes sewing patterns.
- Part of decluttering includes sewing from the stash along with continuing to knit from the stash. At the end of 2016 I want to have emptied stash of garment fabrics I’ve been hoarding! I’ll document this list later this month.
- Better sleep. This past year cemented some big changes in caring for Shakes. He’s showing a few signs of being a senior dog, and this includes waking up once or twice a night to go to the bathroom. I’m aiming to get at least 5 hours of solid sleep before his first wake up so that I don’t feel so exhausted when it’s time to get up for work. It will shorten the evening by about an hour, but make the mornings a lot less painful.
- I lost my cooking mojo for the better part of last year, poor planning and boredom resulted in buying breakfast and lunch way too often last year. This is a significant change I want to make for this year. Some goals – try 3 new recipes a week, one meatless meal a week (with a meat-lover husband, this might be a challenge).
- Not letting creative projects stretch out for weeks – or worse yet, have projects lie around unfinished for months on end. This means carving out time during the week and not sacrificing it for other less productive or less rewarding things.
- More movement. 2015 was the first year I’ve stuck with one form of exercise for the entire year – I think I finally found a groove with pilates reformer classes. There’s been a few blips where I didn’t go for a few weeks, but I’ve been fairly good about weekly classes. It hasn’t solved my knee issues, but it’s definitely made me feel better overall. I’d like to add something else to the mix, but haven’t found it yet.
The key to all of this seems to be using my time wisely. This is a big factor in achieving most of the things I’ve listed here, and I think I could make some pretty important changes this year if I work smarter vs harder at it.
I’m taking some small step towards some of these goals this weekend with:
- Setting up my planner for 2016 – After spending a year with the Day Designer, I’ve decided to go back to my Circa notebook planner and am enjoying all the inspiration popping up on social media. I stumbled upon the Scattered Squirrel and am going to try their weekly templates for a bit.
- Marinating meat for tonight and for the freezer with one of my favourite things to make, Korean Short Ribs. I’m using my take on this marinade for beef short ribs, turkey and porkchops.
- Breakfast for the week. I like savory hot breakfasts much more than sweet baked goods. For this week coming up I’ve decided to make a pot of chinese congee to eat at my desk in the morning. Thanks to T&T, it’ll be a multi-grain version instead of just plain white rice. Congee is one of my favourite things to eat year round, toppings for my breakfast congee includes sesame oil, spicy radish, nori, chicken and some greens, but you can top it with anything – like plain potato chips for crunch (maybe just for special occasions like on new year’s day, when congee is a family tradition). I’m planning breakfast sushi rolls for the week after.
What are your plans for 2016?