The Summer Set and The Cab

The Cab & The Summer Set 2/1/12

In high school I used to frequent Arizona’s local music venues. I loved the smaller bands that toured these underground venues and always felt so cool being one of the people who listened to them (or KNEW them). I had a TON of friends in bands (still do) so many shows my friends opened for ended up introducing me to new amazing music. My senior year of high school my friend Matt’s band was playing at The Summer Set’s first CD release show. For about $5 I scored their EP and got to see some great bands.

The Cab & The Summer Set 2/1/12

Almost four years later and The Summer Set is one of my favorite bands. Not only do they give me those warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia but their music is so upbeat that I can’t help but do a little dance to it as a smile creeps across my face. Honestly, they’re just FUN.

The Cab & The Summer Set 2/1/12

I went to one of their shows in Chicago last year and spent the whole night telling anyone who would listen that they were from my hometown. When my brother told me they were going to be in town with The Cab I was thrilled! I ended up having a blast at the show. There’s something to be said for live music and somewhat obnoxious dancing in a bar with sticky floors and too many underage kids with crazy colors in their hair (and their parents monitoring them from the back of the crowd).

The Cab & The Summer Set 2/1/12
Going to this concert was part of my commitment to say “yes” to positive social outings. Normally I wouldn’t have gone because of money or class the next morning or just sheer laziness, but I decided to set all of my excuses aside and just GO! Absolutely worth stepping out of my comfort zone, if you ask me :).

January Goals (And Looking Ahead to February)

In January my goal was to create more. My three main goals were to create a painting, finish a knitting project, and create something to give away. I’m really proud of myself for finishing ALL THREE!!

I have a whole post dedicated to my blanket as soon as I have the chance to photograph it, but here’s a sneak peek. I’m so so so in love with it.
knit blanket

I painted this abstract little fella for my bathroom. The wall was so empty and the poster I had originally hung there was getting ruined by the steamy showers I like to take. I love it because it matches with my shower curtain.
bathroom painting
bathroom painting
I’m in a letterpress class right now and we have to create prints for the whole class when we do projects. I don’t know if this is cheating on my goal but I am pretty proud of the prints I’ve made so far and I’m happy to share with my classmates so I’d say it definitely counts as my third goal :)!!

February is dedicated to my relationships. I want to spend time with my wonderful friends and experience some new things. My specific goals are listed below and I’m excited to say I’ve already gotten a jump-start on two of these goals!! I think I might try to letterpress a birthday calendar. Hopefully I’ll have the time!!!

-create a birthday calendar for friends/family (or buy one!)
-make quality time a priority (aka schedule “work days” and “social days”)
-say “yes” to positive social outings

You might also remember that I made a commitment to quality this year. I’m working on some posts that go along with that goal and I cannot wait to share them with all of you.

Have you set any goals for this year? How are they coming along? Have you been blogging about them? I’d love to read about what you’re all up to!!

xoxo
Mal

Commitment to Quality

One resolution I didn’t mention in my post the other day is something that’s been on my mind for a while. In the next year my life is going to go through some dramatic changes. I’ll be moving across the country, graduating from college, becoming financially independent, etc. etc. In this next stage in my life I have decided I want to make a commitment to quality.

This commitment stems from a few different issues that I’ve come across in my life. I’m tired of owning cheap clothes that pill/tear/fray after only a few washes. I am sick of going out to eat and coming home feeling lethargic from the excessive portions and questionable ingredients. I’ve grown weary of spending money on trinkets that are supposed to make my life happier when they only create clutter and stress. It makes me sad to think about all of the things in my life that are poorly constructed. In a way, it makes me feel unstable.

So to combat this, I’ve decided to make a commitment to quality in my life. When I buy clothes I want to shop brands that take care to choose good fabric and construct my garments in a way that makes them timeless. I don’t want to own trendy pieces that I will tire of by the time the next season rolls around. I want my shoes and clothes to be classic pieces that I can wear time and time again. I’ve finally found my style so I feel comfortable buying higher-end pieces that will last years instead of weeks in my closet.

When food shopping I want to steer clear of canned and over-processed foods. When possible, I want to buy local and sustainable products. I want to buy LESS food. Less per-packaged goods like canned beans, pre-chopped vegetables, and instant rice. I want the food I eat to be whole and healthy.

When I move and furnish my new apartment or home, I want to buy quality furniture. Even if that means I can only afford one piece a month, I would rather be surrounded by a strong foundation than broken drawers and chipped particleboard. I’m tired of living in a page from an Ikea catalog.

I also want to commit to quality in my social life. I want to surround myself with people who bring me up. I want my friends to love me whether I dress up or down, wear glasses or contacts, am sad or happy, etc. Life is too short to be surrounded by anything less than unconditional love.

On that note, I want to watch my mouth. I don’t want to participate in gossip or negativity. This will be difficult but the reward will be so great. I want to tone down my sarcastic comments and practice being more genuine. I want to speak up when I’m feeling overlooked. I want to find the balance of honesty and humility. When I apologize, I want it to come from my heart.

Over the next year, I will be revisiting this post frequently. There are minor and major projects I want to complete that will help contribute to the overall quality in my life. I would love it if you joined me in my commitment to quality. I’m considering making some blog buttons that can serve as little reminders of this commitment. If I made some, would you take the pledge?

xoxo
Mal

My New Years Goals

Over the summer I read a truly inspirational book called The Happiness Project. After I was finished with the book I did a series of posts about actions I was taking in my own life that were geared towards making me happier. You can see my book review here and all of my happiness posts here.

Anyways, after summer ended and my life picked up pace I lost sight of my happiness project goals. To be honest, I don’t really remember any of them off the top of my head anymore. That’s alright because I have completely revamped my project and used the framework from the book to create my own year-long project.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what principles are the most important to my life and my long-term happiness and how I could translate that into quantitative goals. All of that has led me to the following 12 months of learning, growing, and happiness. Feel free to follow along with the goals I have set for myself or make your own goals and just share the experience with me!

New Year, New You

January: Create

-paint a picture to hang in my new home
-create something to give away
-complete one knitting project

February: Build Relationships

-create a birthday calendar for friends/family (or buy one!)
-make quality time a priority (aka schedule “work days” and “social days”)
-say “yes” to positive social outings

March: Simplify

-purge
-organize

April: Exercise

-Find an exercise regime that suits me
-Try a new form of exercise (or two!)
-Try to incorporate stretching or yoga into my routine at least once a week

May: Eat

-learn a new food preparation technique
-eat out at a new restaurant
-host a dinner party for good friends

June: Experience

-take a class that teaches a skill or enhances a skill
-take a trip somewhere new
-do one thing that terrifies you

July: Indulge

-enjoy a spa day (or create my own spa day)
-take off one day a week and do whatever you want to do..guilt free!

August: Finances

-Create a budget based on my current income
-Organize bill paying
-Set up a “tax station”

September: Connect

-volunteer at a kick-ass organization
-join a group (book group? knitting group? culinary group? bible study?)

October: Be Present

-do one thing at a time
-create a concrete “work space” in my home

November: Learn

-learn a new skill (rope tying? furniture building? crochet?)
-brush up on my French
-watch two classic movies a week
-read at least two books

December: Plan for the future

-develop a better way to keep track of my bucket list
-set goals for next year

Of course, there are a few overreaching goals I’d like to accomplish this year.

One project I want to do throughout my year is a little something I saw over on Bri’s blog. Each night before I go to bed I’m going to write down my favorite part of the day. I think it’s going to be a really wonderful memory for me someday and a great reminder to focus on the positive in life.

As usual, I want to set a reading challenge for myself. I’m going to try to read 30 books before my birthday. I have a pretty good start so I’m confident that I can do it!

I know I’ll end up adding more goals to this list and elaborating on the meaning behind some of them but I wanted to get a preliminary list up so you all can follow along. I’m also sure that this plan will evolve as my year progresses but I’m happy to have the basic blueprint set up and ready to go.

xoxo
Mal

Summer Goals

As an avid goal-setter, I can’t say anyone will be surprised to know that I set some summer goals for myself. Since it’s summer I kept them somewhat minimal, but I’m happy to say that as of last week, I accomplished all of them!

1) Eat at Haute Sausage (or any food truck)

My dad and I ate at Haute Sausage and I’m happy to say I was pleased with my first food truck experience! I got half of a Boerewors Chakalaka (YUMM!) and half of another one that isn’t listed on their site so I’m not sure which one is was anymore. I’ve been really excited about this sausage truck all summer so I’m glad I finally got the chance to eat there!

2) Go to the beach
IMG_5069
I went to the beach a couple times and I hope to make it out a few more times before the cold settles in. You can read about one of the beach trips here.

3) Decorate my apartment
Cropped Living Room
I can’t wait to start sharing the tour with you! I’m so close to being finished and I absolutely love the new look of my home. It doesn’t even look like the same place that I lived last year :)!

4) Get straight A’s in summer school

Online classes are a LOT of work. I remember when I first blogged about the idea of taking online classes in the summer and one of you lovely readers warned me that they were very difficult. I appreciate that warning because it was totally accurate. The classes kicked my ass and took an extraordinary amount of work and time but I’m happy to say I finished with straight A’s!

5) Get an internship

I love my internship! I get to do all sorts of fun stuff and this job just strengthened my belief that marketing is the career for me. Sometimes I wish I was creative enough to support myself with fashion design (or any sort of crafty career) but it’s just not my calling! I’ll always be able to explore creativity on the side AND I’ll still love my job. That’s lucky.

Did any of you set summer goals? Did you accomplish all of them!? I’d love to hear what you got done during the fabulously warm months.

xoxo
Mal