8 Reasons Why I’m a Bad Blogger

This morning as I was driving to work, I started thinking about the fact that I didn’t bother to schedule even one post for this week over the weekend.  That’s so unlike me.  I usually try to at least get something scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, but this weekend I kept putting it off until suddenly I was out of time.  (Eventually I hope to get an entire week’s worth of posts written and scheduled during the weekend, but right now that’s just not happening.)

My time management skills have seriously been lacking as of late (though thankfully only when it comes to things outside of work!), and I’m really hoping that next month I can get my shit figured out and stop fucking around.  I had all of these great goals for 2015 (and for the month of February), and instead of being productive and actually completing some of these goals, I’m just wasting a lot of time.

As I was getting annoyed with myself this morning, I realized that my recent lack of focus isn’t the only thing that makes me a bad blogger.  So I’ve decided to list out the reasons why I’m a bad blogger … The habits I really need to break if I want to continue blogging (and want to gain more followers!).

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1.  Obviously my lack of focus is going to be at the top of the list.  I’ve been so scattered lately that it takes a ridiculous amount of willpower to actually sit in front of the computer and write for more than a few minutes at a time.  I blame this lack of focus on having too much on my mind lately, but I should be able to clear my head enough to write a few short blog posts.

2.  I run out of ideas for posts often.  This is pretty awful, considering I haven’t been blogging for that long.  (Divulge and Indulge isn’t my first blogging attempt, as I mentioned in my very first post here, but even if I include my previous blogs, I’ve probably only been doing this off and on for about 3 years.  Well … Unless you count writing in a LiveJournal as blogging.  I don’t, but that’s probably because I was uncomfortably candid about everything.)  I think sometimes I just try to write when I’m too mentally drained to come up with anything interesting, and then I feel like I’m a total failure who can’t come up with a simple idea for a blog post.  This is exactly why I need to write more often on the weekends because I’m usually more mentally refreshed when I haven’t been at work all day.

3.  I overthink every post.  I always imagine that a lot of bloggers come up with something they’d like to write about, spend some time writing on that topic, give it a quick scan, and then either hit “Publish” or schedule it for later.  I kind of do that, but I read it multiple times and make multiple edits before posting.  I also question whether it’s even worth posting at least 50% of the time (if not more), and, if it’s a particularly personal post, I spend an absurd amount of time agonizing over whether or not I should even be putting it out there for people to read.  Now that I’m reading this, I realize that maybe this doesn’t make me a bad blogger … Just incredibly neurotic.

4.  I don’t take enough pictures.  I’ve never been the kind of person who takes a ton of pictures at every event, but there have been so many times that I’ve been like, “That would have been a great picture!” hours after I’ve done something.  Most bloggers take a lot of pictures to help tell a story, but not me.  I’ll usually just slap a random picture of myself (possibly making an awkward face) on a post if I have nothing else to use.

5.  I don’t spend enough time on social media.  I never promote any of my posts, and my Pinterest account is just sitting there, naked without any pins.  I actually did make an Instagram account for this blog (you can find me here), but I rarely post anything.  That probably goes back to not taking enough pictures, though.  I haven’t even started following anyone on Instagram (mostly because I’m so embarrassed of my pathetic excuse for an account).  I also never use hashtags, but that’s mostly because I’m lame and don’t really get them.  I’ll figure it out … One day.

6.  I let myself get really behind when it comes to reading posts written by bloggers I follow.  I can guarantee that my Bloglovin’ account will tell me I have at least 100 unread posts right now.  I try to catch up on posts whenever I have a few extra minutes, but sometimes I won’t check Bloglovin’ for a couple of days.  When I return, the amount of unread posts is overwhelming and it feels like it takes forever to even skim through half of them.  (And, if I’m being honest, I usually want to do more than just skim.  I actually like reading other people’s posts.  That’s why I chose to follow them in the first place.)

7.  When I get behind with the reading, I also get behind with the commenting.  I’ve been trying to make an effort to comment on blog posts more often, but sometimes I feel stupid and don’t know what to say.  (This probably also goes back to my overthinking/neurotic nature.)  I obviously want people to know I’m reading their posts and that I actually care about what they’re saying (or find it funny, interesting, thought-provoking, etc.), but sometimes I’ll read a bunch of posts all at once during my lunch break at work and then forget to come back later to comment when I actually have some time to think about what I want to say.  Or, like I said earlier, I can’t think of anything good to say, so I just say nothing.

8.  I’m horribly inconsistent.  Everything I’ve ever read on how to be a better blogger says that consistent posting is vital if you want your blog to grow.  It makes sense, of course, but this is so hard for me.  I usually stick with posting a recipe every Tuesday, but the rest of the week is very random.  In a perfect world I’d be posting at least 3-4 times each week (and everything I posted would be amazing, obviously).  In reality, I’m lucky to churn out 3 posts a week, and I’d hardly call everything I post “amazing.”  I know it takes time, dedication, and a lot of organization, but sometimes I get really annoyed with myself for not making more of an effort to work on this blog.

I’m sure I could think of more reasons why I’m a bad blogger, but I think this post has gotten long enough.  I’ll leave you with a few silly pictures of me from Saturday (since I’m trying to remember to take/post more pictures and all):

Weekend1

If you checked out my Instagram via the link in this post, you probably noticed this picture already.  I participated in Trek Up The Tower on Saturday morning for the third year in a row, and this is me showing off my medal.  (You get one for making it to the top, so it’s not quite as awesome as it seems.)  It’s definitely a challenge, though, so I’m proud that I’ve been able to do it for 3 years in a row!

I know that a few cities have a Trek Up The Tower challenge, and while Omaha doesn’t have any insanely tall buildings (like Chicago or NYC), I think it’s pretty hard.  In Omaha, Trek Up The Tower takes place at the First National Bank Tower downtown.  You’re required to go up 40 flights (870 steps) in order to complete the challenge.  That may not sound like a lot to some people, but I think I’m in decent shape since I work out regularly and I was definitely wheezing pretty early on.  (Oh, and my ass and thighs were burning.)

After the race, I asked Eric to take some silly pictures of me jumping around at home.  This is the result:

Weekend2

Yes, I’m a huge dork.  I’m also pretty sure it’s obvious that I used to dance based on the picture on the far right.

And now I’m going to go obsess over whether I should have put such embarrassing pictures of myself on the internet for all to see because, well, that’s what I do.

Tasty Tuesday: Crockpot Pepper Beef Goulash

I love the simplicity of a dinner that can be made in the crockpot.  It’s just so nice to be able to toss everything in and then go about your day, knowing that in just a few hours you’ll have a perfectly cooked delicious meal waiting for you.

I know I’ve mentioned several times that we’ve been trying to use more beef because we bought 100 lbs of beef from Eric’s cousins who own a farm in western Nebraska.  While it’s not impossible to come up with meals using beef, I occasionally find it difficult to come up with new and interesting ways to use it.  I mean, sure we could have pasta with meat sauce and shredded beef burritos multiple times a week, but, as much as I enjoy those things, I need variety.

Enter today’s recipe.  It uses beef, and it’s made in the crockpot … So basically it’s the perfect lazy day meal for us.  It’s seriously so easy to make, and the flavors are rich and a little tangy.  While it isn’t a traditional goulash, it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a new way to use beef in your cooking.

PepperBeefGoulash

This is definitely one of the better crockpot meals I’ve made!

Crockpot Pepper Beef Goulash

Adapted from a recipe on Taste of Home.

Ingredient List:

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp dry ground mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups cooked rice (I used long grain white rice)

Instructions:

  1. Spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray.
  2. Add the beef stew meat, tomato paste, diced white onion, diced green bell pepper, water, white vinegar, garlic salt, cornstarch, dry ground mustard, chili powder, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to the crockpot.  Stir a few times to make sure the meat and vegetables are well coated with the sauce.
  3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours.  (I wouldn’t recommend cooking this for longer than 6 hours because you want the meat to be tender, but not falling apart.)

And that’s seriously all you have to do.  I served this over long grain white rice with a side of Steamfresh green beans.

Random Valentine’s Day Thoughts

As I’m sure everyone knows, Valentine’s Day was last Saturday.  If you’re curious about the way we celebrated (or, more accurately, didn’t celebrate), the day began with Criminal Minds on Netflix and bowls of cereal.  I later finished reading The Pilo Family Circus, then took a shower and got ready.  We went to Half Price Books for some book shopping (I had a 20% off coupon), and after spending about an hour or so in the store, I found 4 books and Eric found 1.  It was only about $32 for all 5 books, so I was pretty happy about that!  After the bookstore, we went to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  Eric made some delicious bacon guacamole burgers for dinner, and I didn’t take a picture because I’m a bad blogger.  We watched several episodes of Friends (somehow we’re already on season 5!), and then I had a Skype date with a couple of my girlfriends who moved away last year.  I drank way too much wine (1.5 bottles, to be exact), and had a blast catching up for 6 hours.  I went to bed around 3:00 a.m., drunk and happy.

Eric and I aren’t really fans of Valentine’s Day, so this obviously wasn’t treated as a special day for romance.  It was, however, a really great day spent with a few of my favorite people (even if I only got to see 2 of them via Skype).

ValentineSelfie

The lighting is terrible in this picture, but it’s the only one I took on Valentine’s Day this year.  I took this right before the Skype date began.

I wouldn’t say we’re anti-Valentine’s Day, but we’ve never considered it to be a special holiday worth celebrating.  I know that a lot of people love it, but we just … Don’t.

Eric and I made our relationship official in June 2007, so we’d been dating for 8 months by the time our first Valentine’s Day together rolled around.  (You can read all about how we met here, if you’re interested.)  Even then, we weren’t really interested in making a big deal out of it.  Back in 2008, we agreed to just make cards for one another.  That’s it.  No flowers, no candy, no special candlelit dinner, and, most importantly, no pressure!

Unfortunately, other people felt the need to make up for this lack of pressure by providing pressure of their own.  Every time someone asked what we were doing for Valentine’s Day and I said, “Nothing really … We’re just making each other cards,” I’d get a response like, “I would be so pissed if my boyfriend didn’t do anything for me!”  I’d then explain that we didn’t really want to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, so we’d agreed that making something small for each other seemed like the best way to celebrate.  It’s weird that other people cared so much about what we did (or didn’t) do for Valentine’s Day, but, for whatever reason, they did.

Eric put it best when he said, “Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of love, but I think you can show love any day of the year.”  I obviously managed to snag a smart man!

I guess my main point here is that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a big thing, regardless of whether or not you’re in a relationship.  I get that some people just really like holidays or enjoy any excuse for a celebration … But some of us don’t.  And that’s okay.

I realize this post was mostly a bunch of random thoughts about Valentine’s Day (and a selfie because, well, why not?), so I’ll leave you with this very old picture of Eric and me.  This was taken in the summer of 2007, about a month or so after we made things official.  It was his first trip to visit me (if you’ve read some of my older posts, you may remember that we were in a long distance relationship for a little over 2 years before I moved to Omaha), and I’d taken him for a walk in my favorite park.  Aww, young love (and proof that I should probably always have bangs!).

EricandKristenJuly2007

Eric doesn’t really like this picture because he’s squinting, but it’s one of the earliest pictures of us I could find so I wanted to share it in this post.

If anyone feels like commenting, please feel free to share your thoughts on Valentine’s Day.  Are you a fan, or is it just another day for you?

From the Bookshelf: Recently Read – February 2015 Edition

It’s once again time for the Show Us Your Books! link-up (yes, I know the link-up started on Tuesday, but I really wanted to finish another book before posting), and I’m happy to say that I’ve been keeping a pretty consistent pace with my reading this year.  It took me a little longer than I thought it would to finish a couple of these books (especially The Pilo Family Circus), but I still think I’m on track to finish 50 books in 2015.

TheContortionistsHandbook

The Contortionist’s Handbook by Craig Clevenger – 199 pages

Completed on 01/20/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

I first read this book about 8 years ago.  I thought I remembered a lot of the story, but as I began reading, I realized that I actually remembered very little.  So while this was a reread, it was almost as though I was reading it for the first time … And that was kind of nice.

The main character in this novel is John Dolan Vincent, though he goes by a variety of names throughout the book.  He’s a master of forgery, constantly reinventing himself in order to escape mental institutions, legal authorities, and, most recently, some pretty hardcore criminals who hired him for his talents.

The novel rapidly flips between the past and the present, giving readers insight into John’s past and his need to remain on the run as well as his intelligence as he tries to convince the psychiatrist currently interviewing him that he is not suicidal and does not require further evaluation in a mental institution.  Unfortunately for John, this psychiatrist is a little better at his job than some of the others he’s fooled in the past.

One of the best things about The Contortionist’s Handbook is that it allows the reader a true escape.  What if you could just completely start over without leaving a trace of your old self behind?  Would you do it?  And how many times could you do it before you started to crack?  Before your new reality and the truth began to run together?  Before someone figured you out?  These are just a few of the questions that might arise as you’re reading, and they’re all (at least in my opinion) interesting things to consider.

I loved this book the first time I read it, and I was happy to find that I still loved it the second time around.  It’s one of those books that starts strong and doesn’t let up until the very end (and even then you want just a little more).

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Deranged by Harold Schechter – 303 pages

Completed on 02/01/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

Like The Contortionist’s Handbook, this was a reread.  I read Deranged for the first time during my senior year of college (sometime between the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006) while I was researching serial killers for my Honors thesis.

Deranged is the only nonfiction book I read during January.  It tells the story of Albert Fish, a harmless looking elderly man who was guilty of some of the most shocking and brutal crimes against children in the 1920s and 1930s.  While he’s not the most famous American serial killer, he’s certainly one of the most terrifying.

There are things that I really appreciated about this book, such as the obvious effort the author put into researching Albert Fish and his crimes and his ability to paint a vivid picture of the era in which these crimes took place.  On the other hand, I had a love/hate relationship with the way he presented the story.

The author attempted to make the book read like a work of fiction.  This isn’t a terrible thing, since I wouldn’t want to just read a book full of dry facts.  Schechter was obviously trying to keep the story fresh and interesting, and I could definitely appreciate that.  Unfortunately, there were times when it felt like he was trying too hard to make it seem like a novel.  I don’t know if it was an effort to gloss over the horror (I mean, you almost want it to be fiction) or if he just thought it would spice things up to write it this way, but it kind of annoyed me at times.

This is one of those books that you’ll probably appreciate if you’re a fan of true crime and/or you’re interested in learning more about serial killers.  If you’re not into either of those things, Deranged is definitely not the book for you.

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The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott – 300 pages

Completed on 02/14/2015 – Read more reviews on Goodreads

This book has been sitting on my shelves for at least 2 or 3 years.  I was actually really excited about it when I bought it, but, for whatever reason, I never got around to reading it.  Since I’m really trying to get through 50 books in 2015, I knew I’d pick it up at some point this year.

The Pilo Family Circus is, in a word, bizarre.  I’d venture to say this book would fall under the “bizarro fiction” category (the only thing I could even remotely compare it to is Satan Burger by Carlton Mellick III, which, despite the strange title and odd premise, is actually very good), though it’s also been described as “horror.”  I’m terrified of clowns, so when I originally picked this book up, I thought I might be in for some nightmares.  (If you’re curious, the only novel that has ever given me nightmares was A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans.  It’s scary as fuck, but I loved it and would definitely read it again in the future.)

The Pilo Family Circus wasn’t nightmare fuel for me, though.  While there were definitely some creepy scenes (and a lot of death!), it was also full of dark humor and interesting characters.  On the surface the book seems like it’s just a weird work of fiction, but the underlying themes are much deeper than they appear.

The novel follows Jamie, a young Australian man in his 20s just trying to get by.  He lives in squalor with a few roommates (mostly drug dealers and/or addicts), and goes to a boring job he hates every evening.  One night as he’s heading home from work, he sees something very strange: 3 clowns in his neighborhood.  He hides in order to watch them, unseen, and subsequently picks up a small velvet pouch filled with some kind of powder after one of the clowns tosses it into the night.  This later proves to be a very stupid move, as the powder is much more valuable than he ever could have imagined.

After toying with him for a while, the clowns eventually capture Jamie, taking him to The Pilo Family Circus to work with them.  This isn’t a typical circus, though … It’s in a strange area of space that’s essentially a borderline between Hell and Earth.  It’s a dark place filled with violence and insanity, and, as Jamie is initiated into the group of clowns, he realizes it is also a place filled with magic.  When he applies his white face paint, he not only looks like a clown … He becomes someone else entirely, a wild, dangerous clown named JJ.

I don’t want to share much more about the plot than that, mostly because I hope that at least a few people who read this will want to pick up the book themselves.  I hate when books (or movies!) are spoiled for me in a review, so I really try to avoid doing that.  I will say, though, that The Pilo Family Circus takes many common themes (good vs. evil, power and corruption, etc.) and twists them into something fresh and interesting.  Although it took me a while to finish it, it wasn’t because it was boring.  (It wasn’t at all.)  I just got kind of busy this month (and, if I’m being totally honest, a little obsessed with watching a bunch of shit on Netflix), and reading got pushed down on my list of priorities.

Anyway, I really enjoyed The Pilo Family Circus overall.  I kind of wished it had more horror elements (but I’m weird and actually like to be scared shitless by books, movies, and TV shows) and a better editor (I found multiple typos, which really annoyed me), but I’d read it again in the future.

Tasty Tuesday: Stir Fry Spaghetti

Today’s recipe is something I threw together after searching Pinterest for meal ideas featuring ground beef.  I couldn’t find anything that sounded good, but I did see a recipe for an Asian style beef and noodle dish (even though it didn’t use ground beef).  After looking over the recipe, I decided I could easily change it to fit our tastes (and what we had on hand) … And “Stir Fry Spaghetti” was born.

StirFrySpaghetti1

It may not look like much, but this meal is packed with flavor.

I decided to call this meal “Stir Fry Spaghetti” because it’s not a traditional stir fry, lo mein, or spaghetti.  It combines elements of all three types of dishes (along with flavors similar to those found in this Spicy Thai Beef Rice Bowl), to make a delicious, slightly spicy meal.

This is a great all-in-one meal, and, as an added bonus, it’s super quick and easy to prepare.  If you’re looking for a great dinner for a busy weeknight, give this a try!

StirFrySpaghetti2

It’s really hard for me to plate long noodles, but at least the colors make it look a little nicer.

Stir Fry Spaghetti

Adapted from a recipe on KitchMe.

Ingredient List:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 16 oz. box linguine noodles
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 12 oz. package frozen sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic paste

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks.
  3. While the meat is cooking, add the linguine to the boiling water.  Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente and drain.
  4. Stir the garlic salt, curry powder, black pepper, Sriracha, and chili garlic paste into the meat.
  5. Add the sliced white onion, sliced red bell pepper, and sugar snap peas.  Cook with the meat until just tender.
  6. Mix in the drained linguine and soy sauce, stirring several times to combine everything thoroughly.
  7. Allow everything to cook together for about 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Since this dish includes meat, vegetables, and starch, I didn’t make any sides to go along with it.  It doesn’t really need anything else, but you could always serve it with a side of steamed broccoli (or another steamed vegetable if broccoli isn’t your thing) if you think you’ll need something else for a more filling dinner.

And Where Was I Before The Day That I First Saw Your Lovely Face?

I mentioned in last week’s Tasty Tuesday post that I’d be featuring several posts that fall under the “Love and Relationships” category this month.  When I was trying to decide what I wanted to focus on in today’s post, I decided I’d start with something happy and positive (and probably a little mushy).  It’s Monday, after all, and most of us probably need a little boost for the start of the work week.  (I know I usually do!)

As anyone who reads this blog on an even somewhat regular basis probably knows, I love music.  When Eric and I were planning our wedding, this was the one aspect I was most excited about (and probably also the most controlling/Bridezilla about).  That being said, it may come as a surprise to many of you that Eric and I don’t really have a song.

Since we didn’t have a special song, it probably should have been difficult to choose a song for the first dance at our wedding … But it wasn’t.

When we first started planning our wedding, there were very few things I was certain I wanted.  Of those few things, the two I felt most strongly about were related to music (which probably isn’t surprising).  I knew that I wanted to walk down the aisle to the VSQ version of Elliott Smith’s “Say Yes” and I knew that I wanted our first dance song to be “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.

Listen to “The Luckiest” here:

 

I was in college the first time I heard “The Luckiest.”  I remember very clearly listening to it, really listening to the lyrics, and thinking, “I want a love like this.”

“The Luckiest” is, in my opinion, the perfect love song.  The music is lovely and the lyrics are sweet without being cheesy.  The last verse is actually really sad, but it’s also romantic in that “love that will never die” kind of way.  (If you’re not familiar with the song, that verse tells the story of a couple in their 90s.  The man dies, and his wife dies only a couple of days later because she can’t bear to live without him.  As I said, it’s sad … But that’s honestly the kind of “depths of my soul” kind of love I always wanted.  And now I feel so lucky because I’ve found it.)

I like a lot of songs by Ben Folds, but “The Luckiest” is by far my favorite.  And now it will forever be one of my favorite songs because it will always remind me of my wedding day and how happy I was in that moment, dancing with my new husband.

FirstDance

This was my favorite wedding photo.  It was taken during our first dance, and we didn’t even realize our photographer was taking pictures at the time … We were just lost in the moment.  We ordered a large print of it, and one day we’ll actually frame it and hang it up!

 

The Worst Enemy To Creativity Is Self-Doubt: My February Goals

I keep saying that I really don’t like posting on the weekend, but I’ve been doing it a lot lately.  I guess sometimes it just works better with my schedule (especially if I haven’t been able to plan ahead and schedule posts throughout the week, which is definitely my preferred method of blogging).  I don’t have the kind of job that allows me time to blog, so I have to use whatever free time I have to write.  While I admittedly have quite a bit of free time right now, I’ve been using large chunks of it to go to the gym, cook slightly more time consuming meals, read, and spend time with Eric or friends.  And, if I’m being honest, I’ve also been using large chunks of my free time for less productive things, like watching Netflix and playing Trivia Crack.  This obviously doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging (or writing creatively, for that matter).  When I started considering how I was using (or, in some cases, wasting) my time, I was able to decide what I wanted to focus on for this month’s “create” personal challenge.

Back Camera

I’m proud to say that I took this photo back in 2012 when I went to Seattle with a couple of my friends.  (And, believe it or not, this is an iPhone photo!)  I didn’t even have to edit it in any way (other than to add the incredibly appropriate quote and my blog’s name).  I don’t often take such great pictures, so I had to brag a little!

My February 2015 Goals:

1.  Create a blogging schedule for at least the next 2 months.  I’m listing this goal first because I think it’s a really important one to stick with.  (It helps that this was also one of my New Year’s resolutions, so it’s definitely something I want to work on!)  As is probably obvious from my frequent weekend posting (and my introduction paragraph in this post!), I haven’t been planning ahead very well.  I’ve basically just been posting whenever I have some quiet time to myself to put something together and, unfortunately, that hasn’t been happening that often lately.  I know everyone doesn’t work this way, but I can’t write if I’m around other people.  (The only exception is taking my laptop with me to a coffeeshop or Panera, but even then I sometimes find it difficult to concentrate.)  Since this is the case, I really need to start figuring out the best times to work on my blog, which days I want to post, and keep more detailed lists of post ideas to help me when I’m feeling uninspired.

2.  Make an effort to write creatively at least once a week.  This was also one of my New Year’s resolutions, and I’m sad to say that I haven’t been sticking with this at all.  It shouldn’t be that difficult to find at least an hour of time each week to sit down and work on a creative writing project (even if I only manage to get a few plot points organized or work on character development), but for some reason it has been.  I’m still not sure if I want to continue working on a novel I started a couple of years ago, or if I want to start something completely new … But I really need to start writing something.

3.  Come up with a new way to list out the week’s meal plan.  While we don’t always stick with a meal plan 100% each week, I always try to have some dinner ideas listed in a note on my computer in an effort to stay organized and avoid eating out multiple times because we can’t come up with something to make at home.  While it’s not a bad way to make a list, it’s kind of boring.  I’m not great with graphics, but I’d like to make something a little more fun using PicMonkey (my go-to site for photo editing and graphics for my blog).  If it looks nice enough, I may even start sharing our weekly meal plans.

4.  Create an original recipe.  This is yet another one of my New Year’s resolutions (well, I want to create at least 3 original recipes over the course of the year), and since this month’s personal challenge theme is “create,” it seemed like the perfect time to start chipping away at this goal.  I actually already have something in mind, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it actually turns out the way I want it to!

5.  My last goal for this month is something I can’t share right now because it’s a surprise for Eric and he reads my blog.  I’ll just say that it definitely fits with the “create” theme, and it’s a (very!) long overdue wedding anniversary gift.  (Yes, I know that’s sad … Our anniversary was November 9th and I still haven’t finished his gift.  I suck.)

I consider myself to be a pretty creative person, but it was kind of hard to come up with some goals for this month.  As I mentioned in Thursday’s post, I’m not a crafty, DIY kind of girl.  I think if I were, it might have been a little easier to come up with some projects for February.  I could have decided to paint a room or knit a scarf or work on a scrapbook (though scrapbooking is actually something I would like to eventually get into, especially after Eric and I start a family) … But, since most of my creativity is related to writing and cooking, I decided my best bet was to just incorporate those passions/talents into my goals.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make better use of my free time and accomplish all of these goals this month!