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Posts tagged ‘shopping’

To Do: Spring is…Here?!

With the wonderful passing of Chapeau Weekend (“Easter” to the uninitiated) this past weekend, Spring is officially here. In my mind, actual real legit Spring starts on/after Easter. And boy, is the weather cooperating. Well, mostly.

Easter itself was sunny and warm (albeit a bit windy), perfect for chapeau wearing and outdoor day drinking. Yesterday–Monday–was 75F and sunny and glorious, and I walked both to and from work. Today is low to mid 70s, but humid and threatening rain/thunder all day, so the bus had to do. But walking to/from work took the same amount of time as waiting for the bus, riding the bus, and then walking home from the bus, so as long as the weather holds out (and by “holds out” I mean “isn’t an intolerable swampy DC mess”) I’ll aim to walk to work and back a few times a week.

My power meal prep of two weekends ago was super helpful last week–we ate nutritious easy lunches and dinners every day!–but it didn’t hold up this week, because we spent the weekend reveling. So, a little prep tonight is in order, as is trying to use up some of the more random things in my fridge.

So, the list!

  • Make a scooter plan. The roads are looking significantly better, so perhaps I’ll brave a quick parking lot lesson this weekend. Baby steps scoots.
  • Stop focusing on what to get rid of, focus on what to enjoy. This is hard, but I’m progressing. I’m trying to look at it this way (specifically with re: my closet): the crap that I’m ambivalent or meh about is blocking my way–literally–to the clothes I like. Or, the meh stuff is giving me too many choices when I simply don’t want or need them. I don’t need three meh green dresses, I need one great one. So, the process of culling the closet goes along. It’s helped me to see the true holes in my closet and fill those, and only those, with purpose.
  •  Get a pedicure. This weekend, seriously. I’ve been avoiding slingbacks this week, and I can’t do that much longer.
  • Weekly meal prep. Prepping the steps for a great meal has been helpful: roasting some chicken thighs and lean pork, cooking a big batch of a whole grain, having chopped and portioned veggies and cheese on hand, hard boiling eggs at the beginning of the week. I can prep some good lunch parts tonight for the rest of the week, but this should really be a Sunday morning task.
  • Round up donations and drop off at Opp Shop. I have a huge pile of clothes–mine and Steve’s–that needs to go, but unfortunately we’ve accumulated a larger pile on top of that of stuff that simply needs to get put away. So, I need to do that. And I need to pull out summer-ish stuff, finally. I think the fleece-lined leggings have seen their last wear this year…!

This, I realize, is all “To Do” items and no “Done!” items. Which is motivating and a bit daunting, for real. But none of these items is world-stoppingly-important, so that’s nice. But I still should do them!

Off to do!
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To Do: Where Did January Go?

How is it already the end of January? My flabbergasted reaction to the passage of time really has to end, but come on.

Last week was super short, and significantly less productive than I had hoped. I came home from work a little early on Wednesday with the beginnings of a migraine, which I was able to sleep off until dinner time. Well, dinner time came, and I was still feeling miserable, and then my stomach started to ache and my back was on fire…so I moaned on the couch while Steve ate his dinner and wondered what type of music I would want at my surely-inevitable funeral (kidding, I think, but I was hurtin’). I did not sleep one single wink all night, as my back and stomach were warring. I stayed home from work on Thursday and slept on heating pads and drank water and chicken/miso broth, until I finally felt a modicum better on Friday morning. I went to work, but hid in my office and did a lot of catch up work. Useless week, I swear.

This weekend, I tried to make up for it and be more productive, which I mostly was. I had a work commitment on Saturday for a few hours, but after that, Steve and I hit Rodman*s and Paul’s and stocked up on the essentials: 5 kinds of beer, 13 bottles of wine, all the liquor, and sriracha sauce. We came home, Steve took the monkeys for a walk, and I put everything away. Then I got my second wind and tore through the rest of my closet, making piles and being a ruthless decluttering machine. I made a delicious dinner, we drank some beer and watched some TV, and that was that. Sunday, Steve had some obligations for the fire department, so while he was gone, I hit my clothing piles again, sorting by brand and weeding out the things that were not savable. I’m going to send a whole bunch of the better stuff–many new with tags or new in box shoes–to ThredUp and Twice, and the rest is getting donated. I’ll update you on what I send and how that goes.

Dinner was a disgusting disaster. I tried to use up some things, but that simply did not work out. Steve was kind, and sincere, when he said “this is a rare miss,” of course only after I was so disgusted that I stopped mid-bite, said “this is terrible,” and proceeded to order out on GrubHub.

That all brings us to a snowy, windy Monday. A fresh, clean, cold start to the last week in January.

  • Renew our passports. Just have to mail everything! This week!!!
  • Cull even more household goods. More piles made this weekend, as mentioned above. I’ll drop it all off this weekend when we head out to the ‘burbs for a housewarming party.
  • Assess closet…again. I detailed this above, but I made some awesome progress here. Once my ThredUp and Twice bags arrive, I’ll send that stuff off (and I’ll share here!). I have identified a few things that need an impartial outside vote–Hala!–mainly two gray suits that are competing for space in my closet. One is charcoal, three pieces (pants, skirt, jacket), and a bit more modern, but the jacket is a one-button deal (I have a huge chest, this does not work) and it’s a relatively cheap suit. The other is a gray pinstripe in a nicer quality material/construction–jacket and skirt only–and the jacket is three button (hallelujah!) and it closes (a minor miracle for the large-of-chest among us). My perceived problem/drawback is that the suit is relatively conservative/square (not boxy, necessarily), but maybe that’s not a drawback?
  • Make a visible list of what we need/want for the apartment. Ok, I found and ordered new living room pillows, and I’m putting the dining room chairs on the back burner. So, this is basically done.
  • Plan and execute a mostly-vegetarian menu this week–lunches and dinners–and stick to it. It usually works when I plan, but I was lazy/trying to be economical and didn’t buy any more food so that I could use up what was in the fridge/pantry. That backfired (see: Sunday dinner disaster). So, I need to hit the grocery store for a few things and make a plan. Right now, it looks like farro-stuffed acorn squash for dinner tonight, a coconut-spinach cream soup on Tuesday, and some bright and tropical cous cous–with a grapefruit vinaigrette and avocado–topped with seared scallops on Wednesday. Beyond that is beyond me.
  • Work out twice in the gym this week, and take the stairs up with the dogs at least three times this week. Two forty-minute blocks of cardio, plus twenty-one flights of stairs…overall, not enough exercise, but I’m also forcing myself to walk to and from the bus/metro this week, barring actual rain, so. It’s a start, especially after last week’s back issues.
  • Listen to podcasts on my commute. Again. I was doing this for a bit, and it was so nice, but I forgot to keep with it. It definitely encourages me to walk home from the bus!
  • Find a raincoat for Steve. Need to locate a classic, stylish, non-belted, knee-length slim macintosh for him, replacing a massive oversized dated trench that will get donated. Budget: under $100.

Ok, I think I can round out January now. Hopefully, my ThredUp and Twice bags come this week, and I can make a dent in my closet progress. Then, the fun can begin: organizing what’s left, taking stock, and seeing what kind of space we gain back (that we will not fill!).
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To Do: The Longest Haul

So here it is, the longest haul. The stretch between Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and Memorial Day. No time off, five day work weeks, work work work. It’s always a slog. And a bummer.

This year, I have a few little things breaking up the time. A day off in February to get admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar, some hours off in April (hopefully!) for Chapeau Weekend and some days off for a work trip, and then it’s May. May, I can do. By May, school is winding down (therefore work is shifting), the weather cooperates, and I can see Memorial Day weekend–and my birthday!–in sight. But still, it’s a long time.

And so I break up the time into little chunks–I think we call them “weeks”–and just deal with those, one unit–“day,” I believe–at a time. Snark aside, I have to look at it that way. I’m baffled enough as to what day and month it is…EXHIBIT A: the absence of last week’s To Do post. Oops, I had no idea it was Monday (also, work was insane). So today–Tuesday, not Monday–I’ll catch you up, and we can look forward.

  • Renew our passports. We got photos yesterday–Monday–before heading downtown for brunch, so I can finally send everything off! I’ll cross this off when the applications are mailed.
  • Menu plan for this week, with a focus on vegetarian mainsThe menu I planned here a few weeks back was a hit. Well, I think that’s a generous over statement with regard to the tofu (Steve ate it but asked me to please not serve it to him again. Fair!). Last week was a mostly-vegetarian dinner and lunch week, too, and it’s easier than I thought it would be. Because I “allow” eggs, fish, or a touch (1oz or less) of salami or bacon, it’s working out. Not missing much. This week? Simple mushroom udon soup and salad for dinner tonight, maybe some broccoli cheese pasta later in the week…then I probably need to go shopping. I’m trying to only make pasta once a week; I don’t want to load up on worse-for-you simple carbs just because I can’t have a slab of meat (…which we wouldn’t do anyway).
  • Hit the gym twice a week. We did this Week One, ellipticalling (yes, it’s a word…now) and tread milling and biking our way to Jan Plan success. Week Two, our schedules kept us from getting together twice, so we met once and worked out on our own the other day. This week, two nights in the gym! On the days when I go to the gym, my FitBit steps are double my usual goal (modestly set at 7500).
  • Keep up with my Cook’s One Line a Day diary. This has been a fun one. While I don’t always remember to make an entry at the end of each day, I’m finding that the reflection and awareness of what I’ve eaten, who with, where, etc. has been nice.
  • Cull even more household goods. I’m not planning anything, I swear. I know this time last year, we knew we’d end up leaving our house–not sure where to at that point–for an apartment somewhere, so I began a massive purge. And I suppose I never got over it! It’s refreshing to pare down and pick only the things that we love, that make us happy, and that we need or would need to replace/would be more expensive to replace. I have a stack of things on my dining room table right now that can go: drapes that I swore I’d hang here (…I love not having drapes here with these big windows!); a random set of sheets that has seen whiter, squarer days; four placemats that, while lovely, are not really our style anymore and can serve someone else better; a few books that I read and seriously don’t need to keep. I’ll probably go through the kitchen soon and see what’s bogging me down in there (honestly, probably won’t be much).
  • Assess closet…again. As I posted a while back, my wardrobe is also in perpetual cull mode. There are some things that are easy: I hate it (it goes), I love it (it stays), it doesn’t fit and never will (it goes), it’s so far out of style, despite my feelings toward it (it goes), I haven’t worn it in forever (it goes). But what about the stuff that I simply like, that fits or is close, and/or the style status of the piece is undetermined? Enter: the honest best friend. I’m too close to the problem, as I like to say, to make a judgment, so I need Hala to come and say Yay or Nay and let it be final. In order to do that, I really need to corral the middling pieces. I have a feeling that I’m going to have fewer shoes at the end of this…!
  • Make a visible list of what we need/want for the apartment. Don’t get me wrong: just because I’m in cull mode doesn’t mean that I don’t want to or need to shop. Some of the things getting culled need replacements. Somethings, too, just need a refresh. I want to re-pillow the living room (old pillows will probably be moved to my office) in a new color scheme, I’m considering new dining room chairs…nothing is decided.

This is a short week (well, it’s the regular length but I’m all kerbobbled with time) so I have to make it count. Aside from a short work obligation on Saturday, I’m plan-less this weekend. I foresee a lot of time in my closet then…!
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