Archives for the month of: December, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010, and I can’t wait to kick its ass to the curb.  2011 is looking so much brighter ALREADY.  Can’t wait!  But here’s the final report on how I did on my 35 things in 2010 list I created at the beginning of March.  I think I should get some special consideration since I started 3 months into 2010 and became a single, working mom.  Just sayin’…But accomplishing half ain’t too shabby!

And to preemptively answer your question, whilst in Seattle, I created my list of things to do in 2011.  Will share in the new year.  That’s tomorrow.

DONE-ZO!! (18/36)

1. Change my look. LOVE LOVE LOVE my fringe.  Never going back!

2. Do manicures (at home) once a month.  That means polish, too!  I repeated a few fav colors (hello, mink brown with super subtle sparkle), but every month for at least one week, I looked super put together.

4. Get a job to pay for big trip.  I miss working.

6. Make five new good friends.

8. Do another portrait session with August. Jacob’s photos perfectly capture August’s quiet side.  I will always, always treasure them and the memory of that day with my dear friends.  Sniff.

10. Chat up strangers more. That’s how I made some of my new friends!

11. Sell or donate all the extra or unused stuff in my life. Between Cambridge and my basement in Provy, I could set up that charity shop in Cam that Lily and I talked about opening someday.  That was before our husbands left us though.  🙂

12. Listen to NPR on my computer while I’m getting things done at home during August’s naps. Now that I’m working again, I get to listen to NPR on my commute to/from work with August.  But we do also tune in to 95.5 WBRU, Brown’s awesome student radio stations.  And I still love my fav hometown station, WKNC and free, online radio goodness at Viva Radio.

14. Volunteer. Does all the extra, on-my-own-time teaching prep count?  I think so too.

17. Wear a dress or skirt at least once a week.  Even if the highs for the week never go above freezing.  What can I say?  I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart.

19. Road trip.  I’m thinking Montreal to visit this little lady and her new brother, Alexandre!  We did go north, but not all the way to Canada. New Hampshire‘s pretty close though!

23. Visit the best, I mean, West coast. Christmas in Seattle was AWESOME even though I had to spend the night alone in Minneapolis on Christmas Eve.  It’s ok though–that Christmas morning flight made up for it!

24. Get into at least ten new (to me) indie bands.  Easy!  NC bands: Megafaun, Birds and Arrows and The Avett Brothers.  Non-NC bands: The Temper Trap, The National, Anberlin, Cat Power, Rjd2, Florence and the Machine and She and Him are just some of the newbies added to my playlists.

25. Organize my notebook system.

26. Get magazine subscriptions instead of paying for them individually.

27. Have tea every afternoon when it’s cold outside.  With sugar and milk like a good Brit.

33. Make a short film.  I made a video with my third graders as part of a positive PR campaign for my school.  Not a dry eye in the house.  I WISH I could post it here, but it violates students’ privacy…blah blah blah.

36. I’d like to have more joyful photos in my portfolio. This photo says it all:


3. Go on or at least plan (more likely this year…let’s be real) a big trip.  Possibilities: Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Buenos Aires, Istanbul/Turkish Coast (this one has been at the top of my travel list since I was 20).  This didn’t really happen in 2010 like I’d hoped but I’m doing a tour of California in April to go to a friend’s wedding in San Francisco, staying with Alanna and then going south to LA to visit Andrew and Amy.  CAN’T WAIT!!!

5. Visit all five boroughs of New York City with a local.  Well, I got to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.  Next year: the Bronx!

7. Get that Blurb book about teaching made already!

9. Throw four parties.  Bonus if costumes are involved.  One party down: August’s birthday.  Does having friends bar crawl with me on my 31st birthday count.  Indeed!  And I know what my next two parties WILL be.  Just you wait!  And don’t worry: you’ll be invited!

13. Take an artsy class: photography, bookbinding, screenprinting, flower arranging, calligraphy.  I REALLY REALLY want to do this in the new year.  Have to find a way to make it work.

15. Do something entrepreneurial. Bonus if it makes me extra cash. I do actually have an idea for this.  But it’s low on the totem pole of tasks.  Someday though…

16. Host regular (monthly?) movie nights.  Bonus if they are outside.  WILL DO ASAP. I’ve already decided the first three films to show.

18. Visit MOMA.  Dammit.  Soon.

20. Put together photo albums.  I know the albums I want to buy.  I saw them ONCE at Target, and I’m hoping that the brand spankin’ new Target near my school will stock them.

21. Make a budget, and stick to it.  Working on it.  I got a roommate.  Still waiting for reliable child support payments.

22. Get loans and computer sorted. Working on it.  I got a roommate.  Still waiting for reliable child support payments.

28. Make zuccoto from scratch.

29. See American Idiot on Broadway.

30. Get Photoshop back on my computer, and learn how to use it (take a class?).  I discovered Pages on my Mac.  I’ve been watching tutorial videos on

31. Find my signature scent.  Never reveal it to anyone.

32. Perfect my Scottish and Irish accents.  I’ve got the British accent down pat.

34. See an opera.  Get super dressed up.  Something vintage. This one.  Totally.  Or this one.

35. Make an air band video.  I think I’ll be able to recruit August’s skillz by the end of 2011.


Set up Christmas tree.  You know, my rad, vintage silver tinsel tree I got for our first Christmas in the UK.  You can be damn sure that when I had to pack up my Cambridge life into four measly boxes, this Christmas tree made the cut!

Here’s the play-by-play of Christmas tree set up:

“OK, August, your job will be to take the tinsel branch wrapped in paper for protection and…

…take the silver branch out of the protective paper…

…and put the silver branch here on the floor…

…good job, August!”

“Oooooh, Mama!!  A STICK!!!!

I can bang it on things!!”

“Whoa.  Cool your jets, buddy.  Can you help me set up the tree now?  Hand me the silver branches, and we’ll stick them in the holes in the pole.”

“Wait a minute, Mama.  If we put them IN the pole, then we can take them OUT!!!

More STICKS!!!!

I like banging sparkly sticks on the front door!”

Last week, my dear and crafty friend, Alanna, came over for what she thought was an evening of vino and girl talk.  I put her to work instead.  I knew I wanted to do an Advent Calendar like I did two years ago in Cambridge, but wanted a different format.  I found these small envelopes (2″x3″) in my basement from my-gasp-high school graduation announcements.  So I wrote my holiday activities on paper, stuffed them in the envelope, had Alanna tape on the numbers, found blue velvet ribbon in my treasure trove basement and attached the activity-stuffed envelopes to the ribbon with these heart shape paperclips I made following these simple instructions.  Total cost: $0.

Since I wasn’t able to enjoy Thanksgiving last year, I was very thankful to spend Thanksgiving with family down south.  Lots of great food from Mom, fun stories with Aunt Carla and Dad and snuggles from August.  It was a whirlwind trip, but oh so lovely.

Mama and boy enjoying juice.  One=alcohol.  🙂

I *love* this photo.  Aunt Carla’s face and August’s responding expression=priceless!

I brought a hat that August made at school to add to the festivities.  He refused to wear it at first, but he warmed up to it eventually.

My little boy was sick the whole time we were there…

…but it made him EXTRA snuggly.  Sigh.


I think I’ve figured out August’s doppelganger (with some darker locks thanks to Mom’s Photoshopping):

They have the same soulful eyes and cute nose!  What do you think?