everyday food made simple

I know we’re a good month into 2014 already – is it too late to start a list of new year resolutions? In case it’s not too late for me to hop on the new year resolutions train, I have compiled a list of things I’d like to improve on during the remaining 11 months of 2014.


On a side note – can you believe 2014 is already 1/12 over?! I can’t. I also can’t believe Target already has Easter candy out on their shelves. I mean c’mon, February isn’t even here yet. We haven’t even had Valentine’s Day either. And what’s up with rack fulls of summer bikinis? Seriously – Target does know that this is Minnesota, the land of 30-degree weathers up until May, right?

Oh yeah. Back to resolutions… unlike some of my friends, I didn’t come up with this list on New Years Eve. These aren’t necessarily the “typical” things people put on their list (i.e. stop smoking, go to the gym more, get in shape, etc… <— although those are good too!)… These are things that have been on my mind for quite some time now, and since I’m done with school and will be having a “regular” schedule to my life, this will be the year that I accomplish some of my goals that I’ve always wanted to do.

So in case you were wondering what goals I have for 2014, here they are:

  • Be better at creating photo memories of our lives. I have always had the tendency to go a little shutter happy (I get it from my mom) – I had to upgrade to a 16G iPhone because I simply had too many pictures on my old 8G phone that I didn’t have enough space to update my apps. However, I haven’t been developing pictures and creating photo books as much as I would like either, so all the pictures of our past 3 years together have been kept on my phone. Now that I have more time on my hands, I want to spend more time creating tangible photo book memories for us. As great as the digital age is, there’s still something about flipping though actual pictures and reliving memories that makes it better than looking at pictures on your computer screen. This leads me to my next resolution…
  • Project Life. After reading multiple other bloggers rave about how simple and easy this system is, I took the plunge and bought myself an album, a core kit, and some photo pocket pages! Once upon a time, I attempted the traditional scrapbooking thing, but quickly realized that 1) I didn’t have time to sit around cutting and pasting and designing a single page, 2) I found out that buying all the supplies quickly drains your bank account, and 3) I simply was not creative enough to come up with cool ways to “decorate” a page. My analytical, logical left-sided brain just was not capable of being creative. I’m also hoping the simplicity of PL will motivate me to take more pictures, develop more pictures, and take time out every month to document big things that happen in our lives.

              Project life

  • Be more adventurous. This year marks the first year that I officially enter the real world and no longer have to worry about homework, school, exams, and papers. I’m (optimistically) hoping that this means I will have more free time on my hands. Now that I can relax and enjoy my days off, I want to go out and do fun things outside…. things that I’ve always wanted to do for years (and things that I haven’t been able to do because of school). I’ve always wanted to go rock climbing. I’ve always wanted to go to a shooting range. I’ve been itching to go snowshoeing. I’ve always wanted to go for a long drive up north in the fall and take beautiful pictures of the fall colors. I want to go pick a pumpkin and carve it – I’ve never carved a pumpkin before (can you believe that?). I want to go mini golfing, lay out in the sun, have barbeques with friends, and take my bike out for a spin. The list can go on and on, but you get the idea.
  • Menu plan. Although we do a pretty good job at menu planning every once in a while, I would like for it to be more consistent, since “what’s for dinner?” seems to be the world’s most difficult question in our house. I recently created a Menu Planning binder after a little inspiration from Pinterest, so I’d like to put that in use more and plan 1-2 weeks worth of dinner menus ahead of time to make life a little bit easier. This is what my menu planner looks like – of course, a little bit of colorful sticky notes doesn’t hurt either :)

             Menu 2

             Menu 3 

             Menu 1

  • Improve my food photography skills. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I know my photography skills have come a long way since SEF started a year ago, but I know I still have a long ways to go. It’s quite funny how much food (blogging, styling, photographing, and the making of food) has taken over my life – I think about it almost every single waking moment. When I wake up, I think about what I’m going to make today. Before I fall asleep, I think about what I need to make the next day. I also think about food nonstop throughout the day. When I watch TV, it’s usually about food. Even the books I read involve some aspect about food. I want to learn more about the lighting and styling of food, since we all eat with our eyes, right?
  • Learn how to make macarons. This actually has been on my bucket list for quite some time now. I have a few macaron recipes, but I just never really had the time courage to attempt them. Maybe this will be my year…
  • Learn how to make bread. The only bread I have ever made are my mom’s banana bread. I’m hoping I can expand my horizons and learn how to make homemade bread that isn’t just plain old banana bread.
  • Be better at brushing Bentley’s teeth on a regular basis. No one likes brushing their pet’s teeth. And 9 times out of 10, the dog hates it just as much as we do. Bentley’s definitely one of those dogs and brushing his teeth is a two-person job. All he does is lick the toothpaste and gnaw on the toothbrush. I swear most of the time his teeth isn’t properly brushed, and everybody is left annoyed and frustrated. I know how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth. I know that periodontal disease is the #1 dental disease in canines. I know boxers are especially prone to certain dental problems. And most of all, I know how much it can potentially cost (financially) if your pet’s teeth are not properly taken care of. For all those reasons, I want to be better at brushing Bentley’s teeth on a regular basis this year. Even if it seems like all he did was swallow the toothpaste, I have to remind myself that anything is better than nothing, and that plaque and tartar can form within hours of eating. Hopefully diligent teeth-brushing will save us some dental cleaning bills in the future.

So that’s it, folks! Those are my major goals for 2014. Do you usually come up with new year resolutions? What are they? Do you follow them?

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