Happy 2014!

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope that it’s off to a great start! Have you set your resolutions for 2014?

As I may have mentioned, I’m a lover of lists and as I’ve been thinking about resolutions for this year I decided to step away from the lists, even if I do have pages of them, and try to approach them differently than I have in the past. With that,

Make my health and fitness a priority.

While I try to live a healthy and active lifestyle I haven’t really ever made it a major priority. It’s always just been there and, in all honesty, I’ve usually taken it for granted. I’ve run when the mood has stuck but haven’t been consistence since college. For the last couple of years I’ve been backpacking, camping, and hiking more thanks to Abby and Lexi. I average three to five miles of walking everyday because of them as well.

In the past couple of months, I’ve returned to running and am training for the LA Marathon. Running a marathon has always been on the bucket list and I figured now is the perfect time to tackle it. This year I’d like to learn to surf, link my snowboarding turns together consistently (Hello Denver), go hiking and/or camping twice a month, and maybe even find a dance class. I really miss dancing and being able to fold myself into a pretzel. I’d also like to try new activities as well like paddle boarding, hang gliding, and sailing. There are also a few short (as in two-day) back packing trips I’d like to take and a couple of possible road trips . I’m definitely not lacking in the activity department. I really want to appreciate it even more. I want that sense of wonder, that sense of accomplishment, to be awe-struck by nature and by the capacity of the human body more often. To both get outside of myself yet focus on those small things within.

Cook, Cook, Cook

I’ve always loved to cook and try a new recipes but there for awhile I got stuck in a major rut. Thankfully, it has been a year since I last worked at a really crappy company that left me uninspired. Because of this, and the fact that I would spend hours job searching and driving back and forth from Grass Valley to Los Angeles, I just didn’t have it in me to spend much time in the kitchen. Also, during that time I was certain I would be moving and proceeded to eat everything in my house. I ate vegetarian chili everyday for almost three weeks in order to make sure I wouldn’t have to move canned good. Those damn things are heavy!

Now, though, I’m feeling settled and have worked on restocking the kitchen and I’m spending more and more time in there these days. It feels like home, even if I really need to buy a toaster that works so that I don’t have to hold the leaver down or if I don’t have an ice cream maker…yet. It’s familiar in all the same way riding a bike is familiar but the possibilities in the kitchen are endless at least for me. Because of that, I’m itching to test out two or three new recipes a week and one new project a month such as making bread from scratch, pasta dough, preserving, mozzarella, cider, etc. While I consider myself to be a great cook there’s still so much to learn. Plus, there are so many foods I have yet to try and I live in one of the best cities for such experimentation.

Cheers Susan

It’s time to get more serious about this blog. I’ve been toying around with what I want this place to be and what I want to say and to that end, it’s time to step it up. The plan is simple, at least for now, post more by chronicling my successes and failures in the kitchen, sharing my training runs, weekend hikes and backpacking trips, bringing you along as I head out to explore, sharing projects like refurbishing furniture or building bed side tables. Also, I want you guys to be able to find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and to update this blog to just cheerssusan.com. I feel it’s time to take this to the next level.

New Stories

For the last few years, I’ve signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge and have done pretty well. 28 out of 24 in 2011, 78 out of 75 in 2012, and 40 out of 52 in 2013…so I fell off the wagon a bit there last year. I blame my 7-10 minute commute. You don’t get very far in an audio book, and yes, audio books totally count as reading, in such short amounts of time.

Anyway, this year I’m shooting for 52 again. I think one a week should do it. I’ve already loaded some new books to my iPhone so that as the girls and I continue to run I can listen to my little hearts content. There are hours of training still ahead of me for the next couple of months so this should really help me to get a head start on the year.

If anyone has any suggestions as to what I should read, or listen to, let me know. I’m always up for something interesting.

Capturing the moments

It might be time to upgrade the camera and to actually learn some of the processes behind taking great photos instead of blessing you with snapshots. There are several books that my uncle, who happens to teach photography, let me borrow and it’s time to dig into them and learn about F Stops, composition, ISO, aperture, metadata, etc. I’m thinking, as I learn, I’ll share my trials and tribulations with you guys. And feel free to chime in with suggestions.

Wanderlust

There are so many really great places out there and I’m itching to continue checking them out. Whether it’s a long weekend in Big Sur hiking, backpacking in the Sierra’s (I can’t seem to get enough of Yosemite, I might need a 12-step program involving quiet alpine backcountry to counter act it’s intoxication), snowboarding in the Rockies, roadtripping through the southwest, taking trips back east (Boston and Rhode Island) for work, running the Austin Color Run, exploring Marin county, or the thousands of other places on my ever growing list. I’m up for an adventure. Are you?

Home Sweet Home and Fiscal Stability

I’m putting the final touches on the annual budget and with it I’m looking to continue to work towards a few large goals such as paying off student loan debt, increasing my emergency savings fund, contributing to my retirement fund, and buying a little place that I can call home. There are also a few projects I’d like to tackle this year:

  • Back of car dog protection thingy – gotta contain the fuzz and slobber
  • Dog Beds – I think it’s time for an upgrade
  • Dog Jackets – should make winter hiking and camping more enjoyable
  • 24 hour quilt – thanks Katie Did for the inspiration
  • Finishing the bed side tables and adding a couple of lamps

And a few things I would like:

Gratitude, Priorities, Time, Family, & Friends 

Last year went by so fast! This year, I’m setting different priotrities. I’m setting new goals with new timetables. I’m looking at the interconnectedness of what I want to do this year. I’m also getting back to the basics and will be focusing on not letting this year slip by. Life can go by quickly and I don’t want to take things for granted. So, here’s to the best year yet!

Cheers-

Susan

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