Monthly Archives: January 2013

Organizing Challenge!

My friend Julia over at Julie Do It All has been organizing her friends to do challenges for the last few months. In November, it was the Aqua Adventure, in which we tried to drink 64 oz. of water a day. I didn’t do it all the days, but it was great to be more hydrated than usual. In December, we did a Yoga Challenge and I actually did 31 days of yoga in a row! I got to pick this month’s challenge, and decided to dub it The Get Your S@*t Together Challenge. We’re trying to organize one thing every day for the month of January.

I’d already been on an organizing kick that started when putting away wedding presents. Here are a few things I did then:

Kitchen Utensil Drawer Before

Kitchen Utensil Drawer After

Crazy how much better dividers made it look.

Laundry Room Before

Laundry Room After

The buckets and baskets are from Dollar Tree.

Dishes Before

Dishes After

This isn’t really organizing, but I love how happy this cabinet looks now with our new Fiestaware!

So far for the January challenge, I’ve organized my desk drawer, our holiday decorations, our pantry, and lots of other things. The tea and vitamin cabinet is the only think I’ve taken pics of so far.

I’m really enjoying these challenges and having more time to spend working on our house.

My 2012 Reading List

Here’s what I read in 2012:

Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges

A student recommended this book to me and it was really interesting. It was pretty depressing but had a hopeful ending. If you’re interested in social and political commentary and thinking critical about popular culture, I recommend it.


Offbeat Bride by Ariel Meadow Stallings

This book and the Offbeat Bride website were so helpful in wedding planning.

 A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene

The same with this book and site.

To the Wedding by John Berger

This book is sad, but beautiful. It is beautifully written and reminded me a bit of Milan Kundera, one of my favorite authors. It’s a fantastic story about the power of love.

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

I loved this novel. It’s about punk and growing up and all kinds of things. I really liked the way the author used time and the way the characters’ stories were connected but still separate.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

This book is hilarious! I cracked up reading parts of it and it was really cool to learn more about the improv comedy scene and how it can be a challenging scene for women comedians.

Beginner’s Guide to Community-Based Arts by Keith Knight and Mat Schwarzman

This one was also recommended by a student. It tells the stories of several community-based arts projects through illustrations and text. Cool!

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

This is the first book by Chuck Palahniuk I’ve read and  I’ve heard it’s not as good as some of his others, but I enjoyed it. The ending did seem kind of rushed and weird though.

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James 

I wanted to see what the hype was about so I read the first book and was not impressed. It is pretty poorly written. Oh well.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 

I read this book on our honeymoon and I LOVED it. It is sooo romantic but still such a good story. I got so sucked into the characters I kept thinking about it even after I was done reading it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Comics- Volumes 1-3

I read the first three volumes in this series and enjoyed them. I’m currently on volume 4. The dialogue is written so well and sounds so much like things the characters would say on the show that I can hear them saying it when I read it.


Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami 

I love everything I’ve read by Haruki Murakami and this was no exception. This wasn’t as explicit with the magical part of magical realism as some of his other books, but still a love story meets detective story like he often does.

What did you read last year?

Trip to Ojai

We went to Ojai, CA from December 29th-January 1st.

Saturday was a lazy day, waking up, doing laundry, and then leaving in the afternoon. When we got to Ojai, it was time for dinner so we stopped at The Farmer and The Cook, a cool restaurant where they grow a lot of their own produce for the food. The decor was cute and it was nice to sit and relax.

On Sunday, we started the day at a place called Hip Vegan Cafe. I had a bbq seitan burger and Jer had a reuben.

We walked around for a little bit, and found the awesome farmer’s market, went wine tasting, and then went back to the hotel for naps. That night we went to a bar called Barrel 33 for some drinks and then spent the evening enjoying some bad tv since we don’t have cable at home.

Monday, New Year’s Eve, we went to the Ojai Coffee Roasting Company, then back to Hip for lunch. We walked through a big park, and then to a really cool outdoor bookstore called Bart’s Books. It was like a maze– books everywhere. I could have spent hours there. After our afternoon nap, we had a dinner of way too much sushi.

The place we had planned to go to celebrate that evening was closed, so we went to a bar called The Hub that had a live band playing. It was fun– not too crowded, and there were free New Years favors.









Happy 2013!