November is here, and has brought along its brisk weather as well. Last week it snowed a little and we turned on the heat for the first time. Sigh. At least that means that Christmas is around the corner, which I am really really excited for. As always. But for now, it’s still fall, and time for a look back at my October goals…
1. Plan a trip. I guess now would be as good a time as any to say that we are going to Charleston, South Carolina in December! Danny has a work retreat there for a few days, so I’m meeting him there after his co-workers leave and we’ll spend four days exploring the city. There’s so much I’m looking forward to: warmer weather (hopefully), being at the ocean (although I know it won’t be warm enough to get in the water, it will still be fun), all of the history, and seeing it all decked out for Christmas.
2. Go to a pumpkin patch, see the fall colors in the mountains, and carve pumpkins. I felt like this goal was a little optimistic, but somehow, someway, we got to do all three of them! Although I am counting going up Pikes Peak as seeing the fall colors in the mountains which is probably cheating a little, but I’ll take what I can get. We carved pumpkin with Wes and Ashlea last week which was really fun but we had to send Danny’s pumpkin out with the trash last night because it was getting seriously moldy…in its spot on the kitchen table, and, well, that’s where we eat and not really a good combination.
^^ Mine is on the far right and Danny’s is next to it. Obviously Wes and Ashlea forgot to mention that they are professional pumpkin carvers and ended up making us look like real beginners for not printing out something to trace and then executing it like it’s no big deal. ^^
3. Read 6 books. I counted this morning just to make sure, but I did indeed read 6 books.
4. Finish blog posts about our trip. I blogged about little else this month, but IT IS FINISHED. I enjoyed doing the posts but I’m really glad to be done. I hope to do one more summary-type post but that’s just a little bonus I thought of as I was finishing up with my Paris posts. Check out our London adventures here and our time in Paris here.
5. Go for walks as much as possible. Well, this is admittedly kind of a hard goal to measure, but we did try our best to go for a walk in the evenings when it was nice enough and not too dark out. Now it’s getting dark at 4:30pm, which is kind of tough when we’re usually working past that time, so we’ll have to capitalize on the weekends I suppose.
And now for some November goals…
1. Complete (most of) my Christmas shopping.
We’re going to be out of town every weekend in December leading up to Christmas, so I need to get serious about getting my shopping done now so that I’m not stressed about it then and can enjoy sitting around our tree and watching Christmas movies and being with friends and family when Christmas time is actually here. I ordered our Christmas cards last night, so that’s one thing that can be checked off the Christmas to-do list, but I’d also like to get the actual gifts and stocking stuffers out of the way as well.
2. Get better at the whole crock pot thing.
I sort of dabbled in crock pot cooking last year, but this year I want to get serious about it, because how wonderful is it to get home from work to dinner ready to eat? I mean, Danny already does this for me without a crock pot on the days I work till 6pm, but there are days when we’re both working late and it’s really nice to have it ready to go. Soup is my go-to in the crock pot, but I’m trying to hold out on doing soup all the time because I remember getting tired of it last year sometime around January because I had been making it like four times a week, and winter often sticks around until April around here, so until it’s consistently cold, I’m going to try to steer away from soup. We’ve made pasta dishes and stuffed bell peppers in the crock pot with great success recently, so I’m on the hunt for more recipes that aren’t soup but are made in the crock pot. I’m aiming for using the crock pot once a week – which is a big improvement from once a month (my current average).
3. Decorate for Christmas.
I don’t anticipate this being a difficult goal to accomplish since I’m usually chomping at the bit to do this as early as possible. Last year we decorated before Thanksgiving (gasp!) but this year I think we’ll wait till the day after unless we’re getting so bored with all these long, dark evenings that we can’t think of anything else to do but put up the tree. We’ll see, but regardless, I definitely want to do it in November sometime.
4. Finish Charleston itinerary, book hotels and rental car, and pick out a few restaurants to try.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t want to be doing a lot of ‘stuff’ in December – now is the time to get it done. I already have a rough itinerary done for our trip, and my eye on a few hotels, so now we just need to make decisions. One thing we learned from Paris was that, for us at least, it’s worth it to pick a couple of restaurants ahead of time and go out of your way to go to them. Being vegan isn’t always easy when traveling, and while I think we’ll have an easier time of it in Charleston since we’ll still be in the U.S. and we’ll have a car to get around, it can still be frustrating when we’re not at home and we’re hungry and tired and out of our element. So I want to pick two or three places that have been recommended by other vegetarians/vegans so that we can at least try to visit them while on our trip and have that to look forward to.
5. Read seven books.
I hesitate to make another reading goal this month because I’m going to read no matter what, but it’s nice to have a goal that I’m almost certainly going to accomplish without much effort, and since last month I read six books, I’m upping the ante a bit this month.
6. Start (and with any luck, finish) a photo book of our London & Paris trip.
I made a photo book of our trip to Alaska last summer and it’s been on a table in our living room ever since. Since I don’t really print out a lot of pictures and mostly just hoard them on my computer (until it inevitably breaks and and I lose the pictures and I wish I’d done something with them), I won’t regret having a nice coffee table book of our trip. I bought the book last month, now I just need to put it together. It feels like such a daunting task, but it’d be really, really nice if I can get it done this month, especially since it’s the thing I’m looking forward to the least on this list.