Cheese, Chocolate, and Champagne Goals for 2020

It’s a new year, and a new decade, and it seems like *everyone* has been busy posting goals and resolutions and predictions for both the year and the decade. But it seems to me like rather than “New Year, New You” resolutions, everyone really sees the new date on the calendar as the opportunity to return to their pre-holiday season selves. “Eat healthier!” – we were all doing that before Halloween. “Work out more!” – even the best intentions somehow fall aside during the last few weeks of the year. So rather than set resolutions, I’m simply going to return to where I was before the holidays.

But let’s be honest – it gets tiring after a while, the same ole, same ole. The Mechanic and I were discussing goal setting, and how really, there are BIG goals and little goals, and they should be categorized differently. He objected to my Bronze-Silver-Gold level goals idea, so I suggested Cheese-Chocolate-Champagne instead. This sounds much more fun, doesn’t it?!

The Cheese goals are the smaller ones, like “Doing 15 minutes of yoga four days in a row,” or “Biking to work RT once a week.” And yes, that means I earn cheese for achieving these goals. The Chocolate goals are a bit bigger, like “Biking to work four times a week (or RT twice – I’m splitting my bike commutes with the bus these days),” or “Blogging once a week.” Champagne goals are, as you might now guess, The Big Goals. I’ve included in this category “Not buying any fabric in a month” as well as “Not buying any clothing in a month.” Ad yes, I am creating a big ole giant spreadsheet to track all this.

Not buying any fabric in a month might seem a bit radical to you, especially knowing how much I love to sew. But I have such a long list of lingering projects that I want to finish, and need to finish, before starting anything else. The other reason for this goal is the fabric buying spreadsheet I started in June. I was curious to track when I was buying fabric, and from where, since I couldn’t keep it straight. Then I noticed that not only was I spending a ton of money on fabric (not even expensive fabric!), I wasn’t making the planned garments as fast as I was planning.

June-Dec 2019 Fabric Purchases Spreadsheet

And really…. I don’t *need* any more clothing. Well, I always need pants. I can’t seem to find pants I like, #memade or store bought. But I have plenty of shirts and sweaters and skirts and things. So anything I make now is just for fun, “frosting,” if you will. Of course, this is why I sew, because it’s fun, but this past year, I was really trying to focus on things I need to have a more complete #memade wardrobe. I don’t think I’ll ever achieve a 100% #memade wardrobe but it is SUCH a satisfying feeling on the days it does happen.

My fabric stash runneth over! Yes, that’s bin is pretty much my only stash and many of the pieces are earmarked for things. I don’t tend to stash, but buy with a plan in mind. I just need to stop planning!!!

That being said… I have several trips in the first half of 2020, which means sewing for them. Doesn’t everyone do vacation sewing?! First up – a girls’ trip to Disney World; then a trip to Costa Rica with my husband’s family; then a trip to Germany with my mom and aunt in August. Naturally I have sewing plans for each of them! A glitter vinyl crossbody bag, a Spaceship Earth-inspired tunic, and a Maleficent skirt for Disney World; a shirt and skirt for Costa Rica (from some of the fabric I bought in West Virginia); and most likely pants for Germany. I’m not making any plans for that trip for a while, though!

Maleficent print for a skirt, for the Disney Villains After Hours event – hand for scale

So circling back to my goals – finishing up these projects are definitely Champagne goals! Thank goodness for some long weekends in January and February to crank out some easy projects. Of course, there are many more goals on my list for this year, but I feel like setting them out this way, with things I enjoy as the rewards, will make it much more fun. Have you made goals, set resolutions, or ignored the whole “new year” thing?

2016: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Happy 2016!

Yay, new calendars!

Yay, new calendars!

I love a new year. Like a blank slate, a brand new notebook, it has so much potential. What will happen in this new year? Some ideas floating around, but I have learned that no matter how I plan, things always seem to turn out differently…. Nevertheless, I love the feeling of starting over, of reinventing myself – who can I be this year?!

I love this "Line a Day" Five Year journal, and this year I get to start a brand new one. What will these pages hold at the end of it?!

I love this “Line a Day” Five Year journal, and this year I get to start a brand new one. What will these pages hold at the end of it?!

However, I, like so many others, find it hard to keep my resolutions. So this year I’ve decided that maybe a personal mantra will help me stay on track. I just need to keep repeating something to myself that will remind me of my goals.

I decided to adapt the phrase made famous by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” into simply “Healthy, wealthy and wise.” This reflects all the different areas of my life that I constantly strive to improve, so it’s easy to group my specific goals under these three topics.

Benjamin Franklin, portrait by Joseph-Siffrein Suplessis, circa 1785. Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Franklin, portrait by Joseph-Siffrein Suplessis, circa 1785. Wikimedia Commons

Healthy

I’ve been lazy with my healthy eating habits and regular exercise, and my pants are beginning to not fit quite as well, oops! Time to reset and get back on the bandwagon. There are many things I need to do to clean up my act, but two challenges in particular that I want to focus on:

  • Eight hours of sleep. More specifically, go to bed at 10pm, rather than 11pm or later. This is a bit of a struggle and The Mechanic and I practiced a bit this week (although not last night!). My goal is to be able to get up earlier and do some yoga before starting my day, and that means going to bed earlier.
  • Cut down on sugar. I’d love to say that I’m going to cut it out completely but I can’t give up lemon bars and pumpkin pie and chocolate chip cookies. I can, however, retrain myself to only eat them for true celebrations – Valentine’s Day, birthdays, holidays… I don’t want to eat it everyday anymore. I know it’s addictive, so this won’t be easy.

    Right after I eat all these champagne cupcakes that I made for New Year's Eve...

    Right after I eat all these champagne cupcakes that I made for New Year’s Eve…

Wealthy

Saving money, or rather, not shopping, is a huge struggle for me, and it partly stems from the constant need for excitement. New clothes, after all, are quite exciting! But I don’t need much, and I want more savings. So there are two things I want to do to help myself:

  • Rein in impulse shopping. I want to only make myself things, or buy from my Stitch Fix subscription, or buy really cool shoes, not all the cool shoes. I tell myself I’ll behave and then I find myself with something in hand. Stop it, just stop it!
  • Set up a “Family and Friends” savings account. I love buying stuff for family and friends, and this year I want a dedicated savings account and have money automatically transfer into it, so when birthdays and holidays and vacations roll around, I have funds specifically to spend on them. Having it separated will work better for me; I know from experience.
This is the Boden skirt that inspired my color blocked dress that I made this fall. The skirt was on clearance so I ordered it. I love it! Last purchase, I promise!!!

This is the Boden skirt that inspired my color blocked dress that I made this fall. The skirt was on clearance so I ordered it. I love it! Last purchase, I promise!!!

Wise

Wisdom comes from different sources. I’m thinking not only of being knowledgeable and fluent in current events, but also of being wise when it comes to my actions, especially in regards to sustainability and my purchasing power. I want to think about what I do and buy and how it impacts the planet. For example, I recently read that bar soap is more environmentally friendly than shower gel, and although I don’t really like bar soap, it is making me consider trying some. The Mechanic and I are already pretty green, so now it’s time to take it up a notch.

Sometimes a different perspective is all that is needed to want to make a change. Here, the National Mall as viewed from the Washington Monument, on a recent, perfectly clear day.

Sometimes a different perspective is all that is needed to want to make a change. Here, the National Mall as viewed from the Washington Monument, on a recent, perfectly clear day.

Even if you don’t create formal resolutions, do you find yourself resolving to do things better or differently in the new year? Or do you make resolutions at another milestone, such as a birthday? What prompts you to make changes or improvements in your life?

Here’s to a healthy, wealthy and wise 2016!

 

 

Making Plans for 2015

My mother swears I was born with a notepad and pencil in hand, making lists from the beginning. The Mechanic will tell you that he’s demanding I only plan 50% of all our trips from now on. Basically, I love to plan. I’m happiest making lists, buying a brand new notebook, and turning over a new page to start a new list. Nothing like a fresh start!

So it is with great joy that I sit down to make my New Year’s goals. A whole new year, twelve months of exciting possibilities! What will 2015 bring?! 2014 was definitely momentous, but I think The Mechanic and I are agreed about this year being much calmer and quieter. This, then, is my list, things I want to accomplish in 2015.

Blogging

  • Biggest blog goal for 2015 is to improve my photos! I especially want to try to get better photos of the clothing I make, and me wearing them whilst biking, but I also need to set up a better “studio” at home to take pictures of products.
  • I want to do more product reviews, and find good options for women like me who are interested in functional bike fashion, clothing they can wear in the office as well as on the bike.
  • I’d like to write more about the women in bike fashion who inspire me. I think listening to their stories can teach us all about the industry.

    I love this cork from Irony Wine

    “What’s your story?” from Irony Wine

Sewing

  • First and foremost, I need to get my equipment cleaned up. Maybe I’ll finally get my machines serviced, and my scissors sharpened. And I need a new invisible zipper foot, and I lost my regular zipper foot.
  • Then I think it is time to do what my sewing instructors always told me to do, and focus on my technique. Maybe I’ll take some Craftsy classes. I’d like to learn more about stitching knits and fine fabrics like chiffon. Well, maybe not chiffon.
  • I want to take my wedding dress apart and turn the chiffon and satin layers into a midi skirt. I love the print and want to rewear it, maybe to a friend’s wedding this spring. Stay tuned for that adventure! Ulp.
  • I need to find a new source for reflective fabric.

Biking

  • I can’t believe 2014 slipped by and I never once touched my road bike! That’s embarrassing. I want to do two half centuries this year, one in the spring and one in the fall. (I’m not interested in training for a full century; I have other things to do with my weekends, too.) Definitely the CASA River Ride in Shepherdstown in May, but what in the fall? The Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival always looks fun, while the RABA Heart of Virginia ride is a section of VA I’ve never explored. Then again, there is always the Great Pumpkin Ride, and I do love pumpkin. Any other ideas?
  • I want to try more mountain biking. The one time I tried it this fall I was a nervous wreck, and I’d like more experience to get more comfortable. I like the idea of biking in nature, so I really want to like this!
  • I’d like to do some local events as well, even though I had claustrophobia attacks the last few I did a few years back. Still, everyone seems to have a good time, and I want to support local biking, so I’ll see which ones I can add to my list. Or be talked into. And I should also attend a few Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee meetings, especially now that it’s headed by a woman, woot!

In Addition…

  • I want to take classes at the TechShop in Crystal City. They have the coolest equipment! I am kind of obsessed with their 3-D printer. Who wants to take an injection molding class with me?!
  • I also need to get back into my German language skills. I’m so rusty, yikes! Our trip this summer proved that. Luckily, The Mechanic wants to learn, so helping him will help me out as well.
  • I want to get more serious about the ballet classes at Adagio Ballet Studio, and get more serious about yoga (ie, find a class to replace the one at my gym).
  • And I really want to visit Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg!

So basically all of 2015 could be spent in classes. Even sewing will involve classes! Luckily, learning is what I love to do most, so this should be a good year.

Whether or not you make goals and set resolutions, or avoid the whole song and dance, I hope you will join me on my adventures as I attempt to achieve some of the things I’ve outlined here! I look forward to another year of story telling and story swapping, and hearing about your adventures as well. Here’s to 2015!

Happy New Year's from Edgar!

Happy New Year’s from Edgar!