Goals

Here is a list of personal goals.
I will add more as I think of them.
Goals will be marked as they are completed.

Start date: October 2, 2016

(This list was inspired by Idzie Desmarais.)

ask-yourself

Writing

  • Take one photo and write one haiku about it every day for at least one month (A “secret” side project I am working on!)
  • Handwrite and mail three letters
  • Write five travel posts
  • Keep up with WOWW for at least one month
  • Keep up with FLF for at least one month
  • Write five reviews on TripAdvisor
  • Perfect my resumé

Skills

  • Crochet an afghan
  • Learn to play the banjo
  • Learn to drive & get my license
  • Play with my camera every day for at least one month
  • Learn to ice skate on a real frozen lake
  • Learn to cross-country ski
  • Learn to weave a basket
  • Take a pottery/ceramics class
  • Read three books by the end of 2016
  • Give something I do not like doing a second chance

Food and Drink

  • Make and can ketchup
  • Teach Nico how to make grandpa’s potato salad
  • Roast a whole turkey by myself
  • Make pasta from scratch
  • Keep up with a sourdough starter

Money and Work

  • Have $500 in savings
  • Have $500 in a travel fund
  • Work for a historical society or heritage museum
  • Consistently volunteer for at least one month

Health 

  • Keep up with my Mood Diary every day for at least one month
  • Do yoga at least twice a week for at least one month
  • No phone/computer after 9pm for at least one month
  • Climb Mount Lamborn
  • Climb a mountain over 12,000 feet
  • Hike at least 10 consecutive miles
  • Donate blood (won’t be until after August 27th, 2017 because of recent tattoos)

Travel

  • Visit five alpine lakes
  • Explore Canada (cross-country road trip? YES PLEASE!)
  • Arches National Park, Utah
  • Go see Heather in NYC
  • Take Nico to Italy
  • Eastern Europe
  • South America
  • Southeast Asia

Finger-lickin’ Friday: Homemade Mayonnaise

Every Friday I share a recipe I am curious to try, have tested (approved or disapproved), or have developed myself.

This is miscellany‘s thirtieth installation of Finger-lickin’ Fridays!

Homemade Mayonnaise

Today’s recipe comes from one of my most favorite chefs in the world, Alton Brown. I love his scientific approach to cooking/baking/etc. It really helps to understand how it all works at that kind of level. I have transcribed this recipe from Food Network. On the website there is even a video of the process! Although I’ve tried another handmade mayonnaise, I look forward to trying Alton’s recipe sometime soon. And honestly, mayonnaise is so easy to make there becomes no need to buy it at the store any longer! (This is perfect to use in last week’s coleslaw recipe, too!)

Status: Curious to try

Makes: 9 fluid ounces

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 2 pinches sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup oil, safflower or corn

Directions:

  • In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk and dry ingredients. Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture. Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit, (which means you’ve got an emulsion on your hands). Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little (but just a little) and increase the oil flow to a constant (albeit thin) stream. Once half of the oil is in add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.
    Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

So… I’m moving to Colorado.

It has been awhile; I’m sorry to be MIA for so long.

But, now I am finally back!! And will be working harder than ever on miscellany.

My life changed in February, but when one door closes another opens. I have found my true happiness… and that happiness resides in Colorado with a young man named Nicholas.

The story of my boyfriend and I isn’t typical. We went to high school together, although we were never close, never hung out with the same crowd. We have been Facebook friends forever and have liked each other’s posts and images periodically, but never really spoke. In April 2016, he messaged me looking to become pen pals and to catch up. I received a classical, beautifully handwritten letter from him shortly after. It took me so long to respond (one month plus) that he contacted me on Facebook again to make sure I had even received his letter. I suggested we FaceTime and ever since that first night, after not seeing each other in TEN years, we each knew how things would turn out. I’ve fallen for Nicholas, and I’ve fallen hard. I’m eternally thankful the Universe has sent him to me. I’m so in love and so incredibly happy.

After spending a two-week “trial period” (haha) in July, I realized I needed to be with Nicholas in Colorado as soon as possible. I had the most amazing time working on his organic farm and exploring the beautiful outdoors with him. The original plan was for me to move to Colorado in October, but we couldn’t wait that long, so now my one-way flight is August 17th. We’re not quite sure where we’ll end up after his season ends, other than a road trip back to our families in Florida during November. We’re considering staying in Colorado for a season or two, but who knows? There are so many options for us; the world is our’s for the taking.

tldr;
I’m moving to Colorado to begin a new adventure with my person, my partner, my better half.

Blogs You Should Follow

I love finding new blogs to follow and I have decided to share these wonderful blogs with you.

I have VERRRRY varied interests. Therefore, just like the nature of my blog (miscellany: a collection of different things; a mixture), this list is a little unorganized. I’ve tried to clarify what some of the blogs are about by categorizing them the best I could.

(If you’re interested in exchanging links, please e-mail me at info.miscellany@gmail.com!)

So, without further ado, here is my curated list of great blogs worth following…

scholarly

 

travel

 

food

 

personal/lifestyle

 

blogging + business

My Golden Birthday!

When it comes to birthdays, I’m a low-key kinda girl. I don’t like all the attention and hustle of a big birthday celebration.

Yesterday was my golden birthday – 28 on the 28th.

keep-calm-it-s-my-golden-birthday-

I slept like shit overnight; tossed and turned. Anxious about turning another year closer to 30, I guess. Thankfully, I had the entire day off from work.

First thing I did was take a forever-long hot shower. Ah. Water had always been my element. After getting ready I went down to our apartment’s leasing office to pick up a package from my family. I carried it back up stairs, sat on the couch, and fought with boxes inside of boxes and loads of tape (thanks brother) to get it to the good stuff. And boy oh boy did they spoil me. Lots (not kidding) of thoughtful little gifts and practical ones, too. A couple sweatshirts, a few candles (with amazing scents), spices (love to cook), comfy slippers with little panda heads (my middle name is Amanda aka Amanda Panda), a great floppy-ish hat for fall, another Alice in Wonderland doll to add to my collections, and so much more.

I got the day going by having brunch with a few girlfriends, light fare and several MIMOSAS! After that I went out shopping and found the rest of what I needed for my halloween costume (Poison Ivy) at Jo Ann Fabrics, then picked up a few new earrings and a ring at Forever 21. Nothing extravagant. I had lunch at Maggiano’s. I had never been; it was good. It is still weird eating Italian food in the US after having been to Italy.

Anyhow, I came home and took a nap (WINNING!), trying to catch up on the lost sleep from the night before. Finally Austin got home and took me for a mystery drive…. to BEST BUY! We’d looked at Macintosh products last week and considering future options for me, as my macbook had began the bad habit of crashing. We looked at desktops, the mini mac, and the macbook air. I first went with the mini mac…. far cheaper and we already had a compatible display (not mac), but I like the slickness of everything matching. I have my beloved iPad mini, so I initially brushed off the laptop. Last week we left with nothing because I couldn’t decide. Last night we left with a new macbook air! YAY! Austin is so incredibly good to me. I like the portability of the laptop, and that it is so light to carry (aka easier to travel with). And since I’ve been blogging, I needed something more user friendly/more power than my iPad mini and obviously something better than a six year old crashing macbook.

This morning I work, but tonight is Thirsty Thursday…. $1 house wines and $1 Yuengling. I plan to spend my evening sipping on cab with maybe some friends. Tonight is the night almost everyone can go out, but I don’t know that I want to celebrate big. We’ll see.

tldr; I’m two years from 30 now. And my boyfriend it too good to me & bought me a new macbook air.

#365grateful Challenge

I completed the #100happydays challenge a while ago and it really helped me zone in on photographing the little things that made me happy. It really changed the way I viewed each day and I starting realizing I could find multiple happy things for each day.

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” -Dr. Robert Holden

365grateful

After watching a friend work on the #365grateful challenge, I have decided to do it for myself. Each day, for one whole year, I will post a photograph of something I am grateful for. While I really wish I had a polaroid camera to do so, I will be sharing my 365 day journey on my personal instagram and twitter account. I’m so happy to have inspired friends to start the #100happydays challenge and thankful to have now inspired a few other friends to do the grateful challenge with me.

I’ve already started the challenge; today is day twelve.
Here’s my grateful photo.  


Day 12 | #365grateful | Inheriting my Uncle Joe’s big, tacky duck. I LOVE this thing, always have. So grateful to have it as my own now.

JOIN ME IN THIS CHALLENGE!!!

Resale Groups on Facebook

My six-week backpacking trip taught me to live with less, and I’m incredibly thankful for that lesson. Therefore, I have been going through my belongings and setting aside a TON of stuff to sell in a yard sale. Whatever doesn’t sell, I will donate.

Sure you can list your unwanted things on eBay or craigslist, but I have found listing my items on Facebook resale groups far more profitable. Think of them as online garage/yard sales. The groups are generally local, working within smaller geographical areas, a few cities or maybe a county, (but I have also seen groups for an entire state). People post photos, details, and a price of the item they are trying to sell. Then, someone comments on the photo to ask questions regarding the object(s) or to show interest in purchasing the item. Once an item sells, the buyer and seller agree on a place to meet and exchange goods for money.

Some groups are wide open, with no organization, and anything goes (camping equipment, firearms, baby clothes, accessories, you name it, you can sell/buy it). These aren’t for me. Nothing seems to sell, for anyone, in these types. I tired multiple Facebook groups before I came across one that works. My current resale group operates verrry efficiently. In order to get into the group, you must already know someone who is a part of it. This helps keep things local and potentially more safe. There are group moderators, strict rules on buying and selling, and they even organize a group meet once every week. The group meet is probably my favorite part. It allows to my make my transactions in a safe environment, in a crowd of people doing the same thing I am doing. Sellers park in specific rows (A-F, G-N, O-Z) so buyers can easily find them. It’s all very organized, and more importantly safe.The group itself is very active and things are constantly selling! I listed a few items and sold one within the first day of listing! Sometimes you get multiple people wishing to purchase that you have to go in order of who commented first! How great is that!

Now, here are a few tips on reselling your items through facebook groups:

  • Find an active group(s). Browse the group, read comments, see if things are actually selling. Read the group rules and see if you like the way the group is run. Find a good fit for yourself. And it’s totally okay to sell within multiple resale groups, just remember not to cross list!
  • GREAT PHOTOS! I cannot stress this enough. There are plenty of times I’m interested in purchasing an item, but the photo is off putting… there’s a dirty room in the background, the lighting is bad, someone’s holding a small item in their hand and their nails are disgusting, they’re selling a patterned blouse and photographing it on a patterned couch, etc. These types of photo do not make me want to purchase their item. Take the time to photograph your things is well-lit areas (preferably those lit naturally by the sun). Have a neutral background that doesn’t take attention aways from the object you are trying to sell.
  • Accurate descriptions. Don’t lie. Be honest. Disclose if the item as scratches/stains/tears/etc, if you are in a smoking household, or if you are in a pet-friendly home. The more details you share, the more information the buyer will have. Who want to ask a tons of questions? No one. You’re more likely to sell and item if you provide all the information up front. Include things like size, color, and dimensions. There are also all kinds of fancy abbreviations and specifications. Here are the ones I’ve learned…
    • NWT = new with tags
    • NWOT = new without tags
    • NIB = new in box
    • GGC = gift-giving condition
    • EUC = excellent used condition (no real visible wear or damage, but has been used)
    • GUC = good used condition (shows some wear from intended purpose, i.e. washing of clothes, reading, playing, but no damage)
    • Used = shows wear and (may) have minor damage but still able to be used for intended purpose
    • As Is = obvious overt wear or some damage but can be repaired or used for parts
    • SF = smoke free
    • PF = pet free
  • Be kind. Handle yourself like an adult. Be polite. Karma is a bitch.
  • Patience. Sure you think your things are grand, but that doesn’t mean they will sell quickly. Follow the group rules, only “bumping” as many times as is allowed. If you’ve had your item up for some time without any luck, try reducing the price or listing it in different resale group (but do not cross-list).

Happy Resale Selling!