31 Before 31  October 24, 2014

31 Before 31 Goals List

As promised yesterday, here is my new list of goals to (hopefully) accomplish before my next birthday.

  1. Take a vacation with just Ian (I’ve pretty much decided this will go on the list every year).
  2. Get to see my little sister.
  3. Create a lookbook for the screen printing shop.
  4. Query 6 local shops about stocking my work (breaking into wholesale!).
  5. Pay off my credit card debt.
  6. Open a retirement account.
  7. Make this blog responsive.
  8. Reach 200 sales in the screen printing shop, and 75 sales in the digital shop.
  9. Design a calendar for sale.
  10. Launch a digital papers section in the digital shop.
  11. Complete my 2014 50/50 challenge and up the goal for 2015.
  12. Clean out my office closet & desk.
  13. Paint my office purple.
  14. Come up with packaged service offerings for my freelance business – descriptions and prices.
  15. Add 6 new digital prints to the digital shop.
  16. Create 6 new screen designs.
  17. Write one new Yelp review per month for local places I love.
  18. Make tortillas from scratch and/or bake bread from scratch (not banana bread type thing, but actual, honest-to-goodness-yeast-needing bread).
  19. Apply to 2 big craft shows.
  20. Find 6 local business I want to work with and approach them about design services.
  21. Complete the Duolingo programs for Spanish and Irish.
  22. Finish my two hand lettering classes on Skillshare.
  23. Go through all of my bookshelves and make a pile of books to give away or trade in.
  24. Stainless steel-ify the fridge (finally – I’ve had the stuff to do this for awhile).
  25. Wear my Lumo Lift posture coach more consistently (3x per week minimum).
  26. Buy myself an HP Envy x360 without increasing debt.
  27. Save $1,000 for a deposit on a new car.
  28. Sew 6 new items of clothing (use that fabric stash!)
  29. Go to TxSC 2015 Camp.
  30. Find & acquire the perfect purple necklace.
  31. Make all of the hand-me-down recipes (from my mom and grandma) in my recipe box that I’ve never tried.

Specific, hopefully manageable. We shall see.

My birthday itself was low-key – just wine, pasta and the Project Runway finale. :) Our getaway to San Antonio this past weekend was my big celebration, and we’ll be having friends over this coming weekend for game night party. So birthday celebrations have been had and will be had. I told you I was milking this birthday for all it’s worth. :-D

What do you think? Good mix of personal and business goals? Did I bite off more than I can handle?


30 Before 30 Goals Recap  October 23, 2014

30 Before 30 Birthday Goals Recap

Well, as of around 5:30am this morning, Mississippi time*, I am officially 30 years old. Yup. The big 3-0. Three whole decades of life. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like that long, or that big of a deal (though that won’t stop me from milking this milestone birthday for all that it’s worth – hence 2-week staycation :-D ). A birthday means lots of things, but here on the blog it means looking over the goals I set last year for things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. So here we go:

  1. Host 6 brunch gatherings. I hosted 5 of these, which is pretty good. I also hosted some movie nights, so I’m going to count this as complete.
  2. Make jam and/or flavored butter and/or applesauce from scratch. Yes! This happened, too. I made strawberry jam with Ian’s mom, and crockpot applesauce from scratch on my own. The jam was better.
  3. Pay off debt! I have made progress on this, but it isn’t complete. Still work to do.
  4. Paint at least 2 rooms in the house. Yes! I did 3, technically – master bedroom, master bathroom, and the loft. Still have to paint my office.
  5. Reach 100 sales in my shop. Nope. Still inching up there. I’m VERY close, if you count in-person/show sales.
  6. Be completely moved to made-to-order items in the shop, rather than one-offs. Nope, still working on this, too. I’m hoping to move some of my OOAK shirts at November’s craft shows.
  7. Start saving for a deposit on a new car. I have a savings account, and there is an amount in it. But it’s already earmarked for something else, not a car, so nope on that.
  8. Take a garment sewing class. I took several, in fact!
  9. Complete alterations on 12 items of clothing. Yeha, nope. I did make a few pieces of completely new clothing (2 skirts and a pair of leggings) and hemmed a pair of jeans. So sort of?
  10. Do a photo shoot with models for shop items. Partially done. My model for the small sizes had to reschedule to next Monday, so that didn’t happen yet. But the mediums are all done!
  11. Compete in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge again. I competed, so yes. But I wasn’t happy with my story, and unsurprisingly didn’t make it past the first round.
  12. Consistently work out twice a week minimum. Ooh. Consistently? Why did I have to put that word in there? When I do work out, it is usually twice a week… but that hasn’t been happening consistently.
  13. Find the perfect recipe for empanada dough and master it. Nope. Kind of forgot about this one, to be honest.
  14. Go on a vacation with just Ian. Yes! Our little trip to San Antonio this weekend.
  15. Get a 50mm/1.4f lens for my camera. Ian actually got me that for Christmas.
  16. Try out Supper Friends, Eden East or Restaurant Jezebel for a unique dining experience. Nope. I’ve wanted to, but haven’t quite talked Ian into it yet.
  17. Launch a digital prints section in my shop. Yes, I did this in the digital shop.
  18. Launch a blog templates section in my shop. Nope. This got put on hold once I decided to embark on craft show madness.
  19. Open a retirement account. I did start an investment account, though it’s not specifically a retirement one.
  20. Learn to drive stick shift. Nope. The boy still needs to teach me.
  21. Create 1 new screen design per month. I got 4 completed, and have two more sketched out but not finalized/made into screens.
  22. Try out other methods of screen-making. Yes! I did this. I’ve been doing photo emulsion and stencils.
  23. Get 5 new freelance clients on retainer. Nope.
  24. Design a freebie to go out with shop orders. Yes! Did this. All orders from the screen printing shop now ship with a free bookmark.
  25. Do a cool mailer promo for my freelance business. Nope. But I did just revive my business blog, so… ?
  26. Go to 6 networking events. Yes. More than 6, even. This introvert has been stretching her networking muscles, you guys.
  27. Visit a foreign country. Nope, didn’t happen this year.
  28. Volunteer at the library. Yup! Still doing it, in fact, every Monday.
  29. Figure out how to do hair stuff (braid my own hair, curl my own hair). Braids are still a no-go (my fingers just canNOT figure that out when it’s my own head) but I can sorta do flat iron curls successfully.
  30. Find & learn some contemporary classical piano music. I found some and played some, but it’s not really memorized. But I know it well enough to play easily with the sheet music, so I’m counting that.

That’s 13 completed, 6 partially completed, and 11 incomplete. That’s success or at least progress on two thirds of the goals list, which is not too shabby, and better than last year’s results. Being more specific in my goal setting definitely helped. Stay tuned tomorrow for my new list of goals

Do you do an annual goals list? What’s something you want to accomplish before your next birthday?

*I was born in Mississippi, for those curious.

Tuesday Treasure Trove  October 21, 2014

Tuesday Treasure Trove: this week's round-up of read-worthy links.

Things of Note:

We had an AWESOME time in San Antonio. It was a great little weekend getaway. Lots of food was eaten, lots of walking done, possibly too many drinks drunk. I had my first time ordering room service in a hotel, my first ride on a water taxi, and my first time eating in a revolving restaurant. And of course, all of this was done with my favorite person. Not a bad way to kick off turning 30, amiright?

Now I’m in staycation mode, which has so far involved sleeping in, binging some Netflix, doing some screen printing, and installing the Yosemite OS update. And then immediately uninstalling/restoring from a back-up because it was horrible and sort of made my computer not work. Gonna take a pass on that and stick with Mavericks, thanks Apple.

What are you up to this week?

On the Road  October 17, 2014

On the Road

Today marks the start of a two-week vacation for me, and the boy and I are kicking it off by heading down to San Antonio for the weekend. We’re going to stay in a fancy hotel, eat in the revolving restaurant at the Tower of the Americas, check out El Mercado and the Riverwalk, and just in general relax and have a good time. It’s a sort of early birthday present trip to me, as I turn 30 next week. !!! I’ve officially finished all of the work stuff I needed to get done before leaving this afternoon, and so now I just need to shower, pack my stuff, and get Sienna ready for her doggy day camp weekend. Yes, I’m writing this unshowered, don’t judge.

The rest of the two weeks is just a staycation, but it’s a much needed one since I didn’t really have a vacation this summer. I’ll pop in on the blog here and there, but mostly you’ll find me on the couch reading or Netflixing. It’s going to be awesome. :-D

When was the last time you had a vacation or staycation? Tell me about it!

Currently Reading  October 16, 2014

Time for some book talk! Here’s a few reads I’m currently working my way through:

New Reads

revelation spaceRevelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. The first book in the series. This one was recommended to me by a friend as sci-fi worth reading. I’m about halfway through, and I think I agree. It’s a little slow to get started, but now I’m definitely hooked. It reminds me a little bit of Jack McDevitt’s Academy series, in that there are some mysterious ancient alien ruins hinting at disaster, but the society Reynolds envisions (complete with humans of varying degrees of cyborg/AI-ness) is very different. I’m eager to finish this and see what the rest of the series has in store.

the mother tongueThe Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. This month’s book club nonfiction pick, all about the history and morphing of the English language. I suggested it, as I’ve read Bill Bryson before and enjoy the humorous tone he brings to things which could otherwise be really dry. This had been on my to-read list for awhile. It is an older book of his, comparatively, (1990) and I’m beginning to suspect he hadn’t fully developed his voice yet when writing this. It’s still interesting, but it hasn’t quite made me chuckle like his other books I’ve read. We’ll see what the other book clubbers think at the end of the month.

Major PettigrewMajor Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. Aging, widowed Major Pettigrew begins a new romance with the widowed Pakistani shopkeeper Jasmina Ali, and their small British town and families throw a hissy fit. This is actually a lovely book, and I like the characters of Pettigrew and Jasmina. But I’m having a hard time pushing through; it has the pace of life in the English countryside – slow. And I really just want to skip to the end and avoid all the unpleasantness I know is coming in the middle. I want it to be like Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (which has nothing to do with this book other than the main character name) and be full of romance with a happy ending.


The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I read both of these years, years, years ago, and loved them, but the recent movie and TV show respectively have made me want to re-read them and compare. There will probably be some forthcoming Book vs. Movie/Show posts coming once I finish.

What are you reading lately? Any recommendations?

Tuesday Treasure Trove  October 14, 2014

Tuesday Treasure Trove: this week's round-up of read-worthy links.

Things of Note:

I had breakfast tacos for dinner last night. To illustrate how much Texas has changed me, you should know that a) I’m a fairly picky eater in general (super taster in the house!) and b) when I first moved here 8+ years ago, I did not know what a breakfast taco was and was plainly skeptical when I found out. Eggs in a taco? Weird. And now I eat them all the time– for any meal, not just breakfast. Side note: they should probably have a name other than breakfast taco, but egg taco just doesn’t sound as appetizing, amiright?

If you had told the me of 8 years ago that in the future I’d be happily eating a taco that contained both eggs and cheese (two things I still don’t like together when not in taco form) I would’ve said you were crazy. I would also not have believed that I’d become a dog person, or run a blog that anyone anywhere could read, or that I would get used to not having actual buttons on my cellphone.

This is all just to say that time is a crazy thing and can work all sorts of changes, big and small. Ruminations while writing this last night.

Have you changed in any ways that surprise you over the last few years?