101 Goals Update – The Places I’ve Eaten

It’s been a few months since I started tackling my list of 101 goals.  I’m still working on rounding out that list but I’m making progress on goals that have already been set.  One of my goals was to eat at 50 new restaurants and for a girl who loves to eat, this actually wasn’t as much of a challenge as I thought it would be.  Part of me feels like I should set that goal to a loftier number but I’ll leave it where it is and adjust in a future list of goals.  I thought it would be fun to recap my favorites from the first 25 and, if you live in Phoenix, recommend that you run (don’t walk) to try them out.

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(Pork ramen from Clever Koi. Best ever.)
  1. My favorite new restaurant of the year has got to be Clever Koi.  I’ve been twice in the past few weeks and I have a feeling I’ll be back pretty frequently.  The menu is full of extremely well-executed Asian cuisine and I cannot get enough of it.  My favorite dishes so far are the Steak “Cobb” Bibimbap and the Pork Ramen.
  2. Stealing the number two spot is Southport Grocery and Cafe in Chicago.  I finally had the chance to visit this sweet spot when I was in Chicago for Memorial Day weekend earlier this year.  I ordered their Southport Cuban and I’m confident that the meat on that sandwich is among the best-prepared I’ve ever had in my life.
  3. Coming in at three we’ve got Richardsons.  My dad hails from New Mexico so I grew up on green chili-centric comfort food.  Richardson’s and The Rokerij serve up New Mexican classics that give my childhood favorites a run for their money.  You really can’t go wrong here but one of my favorite dishes is the Carne Adovada.  Bonus if you’re young and broke – the food here comes in giant, amazing portions and could easily last you a few meals as leftovers.
  4. For a really unique spot, I’m throwing number four out to Nobuo at Teeter House.  I’m a little bit weird about eating meat and generally like things to be well done because too much pink makes me squeamish but the coconut curry lamb at Nobuo is REAL pink and REAL good.  This is a pretty pricy meal but worth every penny for a special occasion.
  5. For an excellent cup of coffee and rounding out my list at number five, I’m giving it up for 32 Shea.  I got a rosemary honey latte and now I think about it all the time.  I love a place that makes their own syrups and if 32 Shea was closer to me, I think I’d live there.

I’m loving trying so many new places and branching out from my normal path.  When I knock out the other 25 I’ll recap with the top 5 from the second half of this goal!!

101 Goals for 1001 Days (93)

I came across this somewhat unique goal setting idea on some other blogs and was completely inspired.  I’m big on goal-setting and I think that the time that has gone by without working towards a goal in my life has been wasted.  I love the flexibility of this list and I’m excited to start tackling these.  You may notice some repeat goals from those I set on my birthday but I wanted to include them because the timeline overlaps :)!!

My start date for this challenge was 1.11.14 so a few goals are already in progress.  I’m still working on coming up with the remainder of my goals but I think I’ve got a pretty solid start.  I’ll be updating and blogging as I chug along.  Any recommendations for things I should/could add to my list?

RELATIONSHIPS

Take a family portrait (05/2015)

Host a Sunday Dinner for a group of close friends (09/2014)

Host a Movie Night

Call my grandparents once a month (3/34)

Send out Thanksgiving cards to people who have made an impact in my life

Go out a few times a month.  Meet new people.  Conquer that introverted social anxiety.

Send out Valentines day cards (2014)

Send my friends cards for their birthdays (set reminders on calendar for these!)

Go on a date (or two)

Go on a hike with my mom

Learn to build a piece of furniture with my dad

Take a photography class with my dad

Ride motorcycles with Sean

Go shooting with Sean

Go to a football game with Brock

Take a mixology class with Brock

Take a cooking class with my mom

Run or walk a 5k with my mom (10.12.14)

HEALTH & FOOD

Learn to cook orange chicken (10.15.15)

Make a big batch of savory jam and gift it (2.22.15)

Master a difficult-to-create dessert (macarons?)

Learn to make kick-ass bread (both sourdough and rye)

Try acupuncture

Talk to a therapist or life coach (10.20.15)

Take a cooking class in a foreign country (France?  Spain?  Argentina?)

Learn how to bake & ice the perfect cake (10.2014)

Find a way to work out that makes you happy (YOGA! 9.2014)

Read a book about the science behind baking/cooking

Learn how to properly sharpen a knife

Make and use my own chicken, beef, and vegetable stocks

Learn to make an excellent cocktail (05/2015)

Make a s’more over a campfire (06.2015)

Make one new cocktail every week for 52 weeks (10/52)

EXPERIENCES & HOBBIES

Move away from Phoenix (08/2015)

Drive to the country and go star-gazing for a night

Walk a total of 1000 miles through the duration of this project (75/1000)

Watch 100 Ted Talks (45/100)

Take a tango class

Go to Sears Tower (I refuse to call this Willis Tower….)

Visit 6 new cities (6/6) [cottonwood 2.2014, big bear lake 7.2014, tucson 7.2014, portland, OR 8.2014, St. Augustine, FL]

Print all of my pictures

Shoot a gun

Host a kick-ass party

Take a pole-dancing class

Take a photography class

Gamble in Vegas

Take an art class (7.2014)

Learn to sew a quilt

Learn to fair isle knit

Go to the International Balloon Festival in Albuquerque

Visit the Phoenix Art Museum (4/2014)

Go to a strip club

Sew a quilt with my tee shirts from high school

Read 10 books (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Finish knitting my mom’s throw

Go to 5 concerts (or shows in dive bars) (1/5) [The Lucky Dutch 1.2015]

Do 5 DIY’s from my Pinterest board (2/5)

Buy or make a headboard

Eat at 50 new restaurants (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50)

Paint a picture (2.2014)

Go on a picnic

Do a cartwheel on the beach (07.2015)

Photograph my apartment (10/2014)

Go to a drive-in movie

Clean up my Facebook friend list (7.2014)

Brush up on my calligraphy skills & use them to make cards for 10 friends (0/10)

Knit a blanket with yarn I spun by myself

Take a weekend trip to Sedona (Feb. 8, 2014)

Take a weekend trip to Prescott

Take a weekend trip to LA

Pet a giraffe

BUSINESS

Learn to use In Design (Sept. 2014)

Learn to use Illustrator (Sept. 2014)

Create and sell a typographic print

Start a floral subscription service

Take a floral design class (Feb. 1, 2014)

Create a Kickstarter for Hoot & Holler

Go to Alt Design Summit

Be the florist for a wedding (September 13, 2014)

Host a floral workshop (May 1, 2014)

Style an event (2.14.15)

Make 25 flower crowns to brush up on my skillz (25/25)

Pick up three social media clients for my freelance life (3/3)

Finish the curriculum for and teach my Social Media 101 class

Write 200 blog posts (34/200)

Write and deliver a speech (ignite phoenix?)

FINANCES

Start a 401k (2.2015)

Spend only cash for 1 month

Save $15,000

Go one month without buying any new clothing or jewelry (April 2014)

Create a specific budget and stick to it for at least a year

Invest some of my money (2.2015)

Set a budget for Christmas gifts and actually stick to it

**Updated: 10.20.2015**

Where was I?

I recently read a blog post about change and thought it might be fun to reminisce with all of you. One of the ways the article suggested tracking change is by noting where you were one year ago, five years ago, and ten years ago so I’ll do just that!

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One Year Ago I Was…

living in Chicago taking three online summer school classes and working with FanFueled (my first internship). I was spending my days off reading, cooking, taking photographs, and taking walks by the lake. I was complaining about how many tourists were crowding the streets and making me late for work. One year ago I was wondering whether I could really graduate a full year early and working really hard to meet that goal. I was talking to the boy I had been dating through school and missing him being so far away for the summer.
One year ago I dyed my hair back to blonde. I started spending time with my sweet friend Alex and trying to explore more restaurants in Chicago with my friend Cody. I decided partying wasn’t really my thing and that I’d much rather spend my time creating and learning. I was 20 years old and enjoying my last summer as a student.

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Three Years Ago I Was…

a fresh high school graduate. I was spending time with all of my friends in a house one of them was watching over the summer. I acted as a designated driver for my friends who liked to drink and enjoyed dreaming about the future with my other friends before we all headed away for college. I was RAKING in the dough because of graduation money and WASTING it all on clothes, shoes, and other frivolous purchases. I was packing and trying to say my goodbyes to the place where I grew up.
Three years ago I was 18 and had never lived outside of Arizona. I was afraid of starting school and living with a stranger. I was nervous about moving to Chicago but imagining my life would be more Sex and the City and less Two Broke Girls (spoiler alert: it was more Two Broke Girls). I was having a summer fling and holding on too tightly to my past. I was hoping to meet someone special in school and dreaming about being an adult. I was getting ready to be a fashion design student and spent my time reading magazines and watching Gossip Girl in preparation. I was young and couldn’t wait to get a taste of my future.

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Five Years Ago I Was…

feeling lost. High school is such a tough time for so many kids. I had lost many friends after quitting Speech club and was struggling with the idea that most of my friends (who were a year ahead of me in school) would be graduating and moving away soon. I was depressed and spent many days by myself watching TV. I felt like things would never get better (they did) and that I would never find new friends (I did). I felt like I had missed my chance to date a nice guy (turns out he wasn’t really a nice guy…) and was wondering what I had done wrong. I started rocking heels and pretty dresses in an attempt to feel better about myself and thinking about going to school in California. I spent a lot of time researching various California art schools that had Interior Design programs. I couldn’t wait to get my creative degree and start getting paid to “move furniture around and paint peoples houses”. I was… reallllllly young and quite the dreamer.

Ten years ago I was 11 so I’m going to go ahead and skip that one. It took me 20 minutes to think back over the past five years of my life and realized just how far I had come. I’m stronger than I ever used to be. I’ve lived on my own, experienced new cultures, graduated from both high school and college, achieved far-fetched goals I set for myself, and grown so much as a single lady.
I’ve gone through times of heartbreak and loneliness and dark depression and come out the other side brighter, stronger, and surrounded by more love than ever before. I’ve learned how to better maintain the good relationships in my life while letting go of the people who want to bring me down. I’m finding that I prefer I night in with a glass of red wine and a good book over a bar. I’m learning that I want to expand my skills and always be trying new things. I’ve learned that it’s really okay to not fit in with the people in your age group. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be sad and that you can control the effect sadness has on you. I’m also learning that life is just going to keep getting better and better for me. I’ve always felt that I’m an old soul and I really can’t wait to see what the future holds for me.

How have you guys grown in the past five/ten/twenty years? Link up and share!

xoxo
Mal

WINTER BREAKKKK

Who’s done with finals?! THIS GIRL. My god has this semester been a trying time for me. Like I vaguely mentioned in my last post, I’ve had some events in my personal life that have been tough on me. I also worked at an internship, had a full 18-credit-hour schedule of classes, and worked part time at United Colors of Benetton. I had a few breakdowns. You know, the ones where you can’t find a paper clip and start crying hysterically? But most of that is over now–FOR A WHOLE MONTH! I’ll be in Chicago for another week(ish) working then I’m heading home for a while to spend time with my family and the sunshine in Arizona.

(that’s a picture of me being done with finals)

Let’s just say that I desperately need a break.

In order to really take advantage of my break time, I thought I’d set up a few fun challenges for myself now that school is out. I know a lot of you might not get a winter break (and this is probably my last one) so feel free to play along even if life isn’t slowing down for you right now.

Winter Break Goals:

1) Read for pleasure. I already pulled four books off of my shelf to take home with me. I love nothing more than snuggling down in front of a fire and getting my read on. Let’s see if I can finish all of the books I’m taking home!

2) Have (at least) two sleepovers with childhood friends (Kristina and Mattie, I’m looking at you!) When I was little I was all about the sleepover. They’re just so much fun. Now that I’m a sort-of-grown-up my sleepovers can involve booze and well-made food. Obviously this is something that should make a comeback.

3) Cross some restaurants off of my list. Since I left Arizona they’ve been doing some awesome things in the foodie world. I’ve started making a list of the places I need to try while I’m home and there’s really no excuse to not.

4) Photograph something cool with my dad. Vague? Yes. But still something I want to do. My dad and I are both learning how to use our cameras the right way (he’s learning much faster than me) and I love taking pictures with him when I have the chance. There’s so much beauty in Arizona. Maybe we can capture some of it!

5) Take a day trip to Prescott. Why? It’s just pretty cute up there. Danielle of Sometimes Sweet lives there so if you follow her blog I’m sure you’ve seen little peeks of her cute little town.

6) Take a day trip to Sedona. I love Sedona. It’s a pretty quick drive to get there and the red rocks are gorgeous. I think it would be a lot of fun to walk around for the day and take some neat pictures.

7) Cook meals for my family. When I’m at school I cook a lot (as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Especially if you follow me on twitter) but when I go home I almost never cook. Part of the reason is my mom and brothers are EXTREMELY picky when it comes to their food but the other reason is simply that I wasn’t confident enough to cook for a crowd. This year I’m going to try and plan some meals and overcome that fear!

8) Get a little shitty with old friends. I know a lot of bloggers don’t drink but I do. I don’t drink often and I rarely get drunk but I think the holidays and having a designated driver at your service is the perfect time to do that. It’s going to be a little classy and a little trashy and a lot of fun.

9) Update my resume and make some post-graduation decisions. I’ve been putting this off for a while but it’s time to get the ball rolling on my future. I don’t have much time to figure things out!

10) Knit something fun. I have not knit in so long. It’s about time. I think I might try to make this scarf I saw on Rae over at Eclectic Heap. We met up for some tea a couple weeks ago and she told me how to make it so I’m pretty excited about it :)!

I’m sure I’ll come up with more goals because even in my down time I don’t like to be lazy. How about all of you? Any big plans for the holiday season?

xoxo
Mal

Old Goals, New Accomplishments

My birthday passed a while ago but I never got the chance to do a post about my goals from last year. I also haven’t had a chance to post about my birthday cake so we’ll see when I get around to making that post! Anywayss….

Birthday Cake
(makin’ wishes for the future!)

What’s funny about these goals is that I really didn’t complete too many of them. Not too far after my birthday I realized that I could graduate a year early if I put in the time/work so my schedule and goals drastically changed leaving less time for things like quilting and keeping up with my etsy store.

1) Read 25 Books
2) Sell 20 Handmade Items (4)
3) knit or crochet a blanket
4) Do one DIY from my bookmarks every month (aka 12 DIYs) (1), 2, 3, 4

5) write down one prayer a day
6) Participate in 12 activities that are out of my comfort zone
7) Spin a skein of my own yarn
8) Finish two embroidery projects
9) fill a sketchbook
10) sew something cute and fabulous in my spare time
11) Food Journal for One Month
12) Find a cute way to keep track of the completion of these goals
13) reach 250 blog followers

14) Save $1000
15) Come up with 5 original recipes and share them on the blog
16) Paint 5 pictures
17) Make a Quilt
18) Host two giveaways on blog
19) Start offering sponsorships on blog

20) Take two cooking classes
21) crochet something from a pattern

Bonus Goals
1) Advertise Sunday Morning Sugar on a high traffic blog.
2) Start making a bucket list

I don’t want to do a whole rundown so I’ll just say that I’m really proud of the things I did accomplish! The skirt I made over the summer qualifies as both “cute” and “fabulous”, all of the books I read were great, and I’m shocked I was actually able to save some money even though I didn’t have a job all summer. I’m so proud of meeting my blog goals such as advertising on a high traffic blog, reaching 250 followers, offering sponsorships, and posting original recipes. In addition to those goals I completed some great things that were not on my list. I had my first internship at an amazing company and a SECOND internship with another great company. I worked out consistently over the summer and got a retail job that makes me pretty happy. I learned how to cook many new things and experimented with my personal style. I made some true friends in my new city and started building professional relationships that will help me after I graduate.

So, I might not have found the time to make a quilt, but the things that did fill my days were just as enriching as any quilt could ever be.

Do any of you make yearly or monthly goals for yourself? I always like to see how other approach this or if it’s just me being the crazy planner that I am.

I’ll be back later with details about next year’s goals. I’m changing up my format a big from previous years but I think it is going to yield much more successful results.

xoxo
Mal