Seven Months into 30 before 30

30 before 30

1. Cook 30 new recipes 57/30
Japanese Vegetable Curry Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup Bombay Beans and Chutney Very Vegan Mac-n-Cheeze
gnocchi & marinara Strawberries and Cream Bread Pudding Ancho-Lentil Tacos Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Lentil-Mushroom Meatloaf with Ketchup Glaze Lentil, Chard and Sweet Potato Curry Southern Biscuits on Portobello Pot Pie

46. Japanese Vegetable Curry (One-dish Vegan)
47. Thai Coconut Pumpkin Soup (The Vegan Slow Cooker)
48. Bombay Beans and Chutney (One-dish Vegan)
49. Very Vegan Mac-n- Cheeze (from here)
50. Homemade Gnocchi (Vegan with a Vengeance) & Marinara (Veganomicon)
51. Strawberries and Cream Bread Pudding (Isa Does It)
52. Ancho-Lentil Tacos (Isa Does It)
53. Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes (Veganomicon)
54. Lentil-Mushroom Meatloaf with Ketchup Glaze (But I Could Never Go Vegan!)
55. Lentil, Chard and Sweet Potato Curry (But I Could Never Go Vegan!)
56. Southern Biscuits (But I Could Never Go Vegan!)
57. on Portobello Pot Pie (But I Could Never Go Vegan!)


2. Shoot 1 roll of film per month. 7/12 I knew we were going on a trip this month so I thought a roll in the Split-Cam would be fun!

7. Reach Advanced Level yoga with Erin Motz’s DoYouYoga courseI did some really non-yoga yoga to start the month, this 14 day shred with Sadie Nardini. Generally not my thing, but I’ve been wanting to do more real cardio, so I think it’s been good for me. I don’t regret doing it, but I doubt I’ll ever repeat it. I got knocked down by some bad allergies in the middle of it, which made breathing a struggle, but I made it through the 14 days. I decided to check in with Wii Fit yoga after I finished that challenge and immediately pulled something in my shoulders, so I had to take some time off to heal. Slow and easy stretching yoga for a week or so and I think I’ll be back on my feet.

8. Finish 5 video games. 2/5 I’ve left some visual novels off of this, but I am counting Gone Home, I don’t know why, maybe because it was so damned good. I also played through a couple of scenarios in Hatoful Boyfriend, but it’s so quick and silly, and I played The Yawhg with friends and with Shaun a few times. Mostly I have been playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for a couple of months and I beat it on March 5th, I clocked just over 100 hours in my first play-through and started a new character immediately. I need to mix it up a little because I’m not going to count it twice if/when I beat it again!

  1. Gone Home
  2. Dragon Age: Inquisition

9. 30 self portraits in 2015. 


12. Day trip to Norman.

March 17, Norman, OU Campus
We did it! Full post about the trip here.

21. Start a 365 photo set on my 29th birthday. Finish it! Here are some favorite photos from this project this month!

One-Hundred & Eighty-Eight

One-Hundred & Ninety

One-Hundred & Ninety-Four


Two-Hundred & Two

Two-Hundred & Eight

Two-Hundred & Twelve

28. Write a list of major cleaning projects and do them all!

  1. move all furniture and clean behind/under it. (fridge, dressers, couch, entertainment center.) (Progress: Kitchen, bathroom, living room done in month 6. Moved everything on the side of our bedroom where the bed is this month, still have a lot to do in there!)
  2. clean the fridge out. (Progress: I was in a bit of a rush the other day, but we were between groceries and it was pretty empty, so I gave the whole interior a good wipe down. I know there are some things in the back recesses that still need tossed, though!)
  3. take ALL THAT RECYCLING so the cozy system can start working. (Progress: Still need to take the paper. Also have another full load of cardboard boxes already.)
  4. take everything to Goodwill. (Progress: Added two boxes and one large tub to the piles of stuff that needs to go.)
  5. finish each room. If I still have to have stuff piled in a corner, at least let it be stored in a plastic tub. (Progress: Got curtains hung in the living room, I need one tension bar and 4 hooks installed to pull the curtains back with and the room will be done.)
  6. closet overhaul. (Progress: Just little bits here and there throughout the month in the bedroom closet. I really thought I would get it done this month, but other life things kind of got in the way.)

25th of February – 25th of March is a short month! I didn’t get everything done this month that I had hoped to. I’m definitely starting to feel the crunch on some of these, I need to make a timeline list and work on some of the more ongoing things, like scanning my mom’s photos, more often.

30 before 30 #12: Trip to Norman

Day One, Monday, March 16, Norman via Oklahoma City: It’s only a couple of hours drive from our place to Norman, so we took a leisurely drive, stopping off for some shopping in OKC along the way.

March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

Two-Hundred & Four

March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

Plaza District (heads up, most shops here are closed on Mondays!) NW 16th St, District House, OKC:
March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

Misal’s Bistro, Carrot Halwa:
March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

Good ol’ reliable Hampton Inn:
March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

March 16, Road Trip to OKC/Norman

We spent the evening sipping hot tea and marveling at how abysmal cable television is. We watched an episode of Full House on mute.

Day two, March 17, Norman. We spent the morning at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, and then explored the OU Campus a bit. We got roped into some kind of filming that was happening on the street (which unfortunately involved “acting” on my part. He was like, you won’t have do do anything but stand here, except, maybe you, you’ll walk up and point. GRUMP.) and then we had a delicious lunch at Pepe Delgado’s.

New Converse. We both got our black converse 8 years ago and they barely functioned as shoes anymore. We generally get something we really need instead of souvenirs while we’re on vacation. The best way to remember a trip fondly is with something you will actually use.
March 17, Norman
This time around, Shaun got gray.

March 17, Norman
& I opted for red.

March 17, Norman
I also got this cardigan because I completely forgot to bring anything long sleeved, even though I knew it was going to get cold and rainy.

Sam Noble Museum of Natural History:

March 17, Norman

March 17, Norman

Two-Hundred & Five:

March 17, Norman

March 17, Norman

March 17, Norman

9: <3 March 17, Norman

March 17, Norman

March 17, Norman

University of Oklahoma:

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

March 17, Norman, OU Campus

We went back to our room pretty early to avoid any St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans.

Day 3, March 18, OKC Zoo.

On our way home we went to the OKC Zoo. I’d never been before and the last two-thirds of it was lovely. I hope that the rest of the zoo improves to that level because the older areas were very grim.

March 18, OKC Zoo

March 18, OKC Zoo

Two-Hundred & Six

March 18, OKC Zoo

March 18, OKC Zoo

March 18, OKC Zoo

March 18, OKC Zoo

March 18, OKC Zoo

3rd #100happydays, the last 50 days.

mosaic75 mosaic100

The last 50 days were great because of dragon age: inquisition, birthdays, delicious foods, snow, home improvements, spring, and, of course, Shaun, who gives me something to smile about every day. Definitely taking a break from #100happydays for a bit, I’m feeling super project overwhelmed. I hope I can still remember to find something good about every day.


Six Months into 30 before 30

30 before 30

1. Cook 30 new recipes 45/30 I cooked 4 new recipes this month!
Vegetable Lo Mein creamy noodle curry spicy vegan sausage and bean chili French Lentils, Sweet Potatoes and Chard

42. Vegetable Lo Mein (from One-dish Vegan)
43. Creamy Noodle Curry (from One-dish Vegan)
44. Spicy Vegan Sausage and Bean Chili (from One-dish Vegan)
45. French Lentil, Sweet Potatoes & Chard (from One-dish Vegan)

2. Shoot 1 roll of film per month. 6/12 I put another roll in the Canon Rebel 2000, this time I have my Sigma 28 – 70mm zoom lens on it. This is the first camera/lens combo I have done for this project that I can effectively shoot self portraits with, so that will be fun.

Save money for a new dSLR. camera. I settled on buying a mirrorless camera instead of a dSLR. My dSLR (Canon Rebel t2i) is still fabulous for almost every purpose, even if it is looking a little rough, replacing it completely with something nearly identical in size and function felt a little ridiculous. I’m always wanting something smaller and lighter to carry with me everywhere, so the name of this goal changed.


And here comes in the Samsung NX3000, it’s super cute and the image quality is really quite good. It’s a bit cheaper than the other cameras I was considering so I was able to get it right away. It’s got lots of gimmicky bells and whistles that I’m super keen to try out. Here are some of the first photos I have taken with it:

One-Hundred & Sixty-Six

One-Hundred & Seventy

One-Hundred & Seventy-One



It also takes truly excellent food photos, as you can see on my recipe update above.

7. Reach Advanced Level yoga with Erin Motz’s DoYouYoga courseI did some back pedaling over the winter holidays. It’s so hard to get motivated! January was a bit of an off month as well but towards the end of the month I started redoing Erin Motz’s 30 day yoga challenge (this one) and it was a great way to ease back into practice and get used to the daily routine of it. I finished last week and haven’t missed a day of yoga since, between cycling through the moderate classes and catching up on some of Erin Motz’s Bad Yogi offerings (I’m kind of a fangirl) I haven’t missed a day of yoga in 37 days. I also managed my first headstand (not quite pictured below) and hung out in a super solid crow pose for the first time. Getting a picture of yourself in a headstand in not the easiest thing to do. ;)

02110290 16195637689_c864f5b55e_z

9. 30 self portraits in 2015. 

one:One-Hundred & Fifty-Four


three: Untitled

four: One-Hundred & Seventy-Four

five: Untitled


12. Day trip to Norman. We booked a hotel room last night and decided to stay two nights. We’ve already planned where we’re going to eat dinner each night. Shaun matriculated at OU and we were pretty excited to find that his favorite Indian and Mexican restaurants are still there. We haven’t been to Norman in about 10 years. Mostly we’re just gonna walk around leisurely and decide what to do spontaneously.  I love to plan and research, but I hate the stress of micromanaged trips, when you’re tied down by an itinerary I feel like you’re living between the experiences, and rushing is the worst. I’m looking into all of the possibilities but the only concrete goal is to go to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History because Natural History is my favorite. Love it SO MUCH.

14. Try 5 new cocktails. 4/5 Went to Yokozuna in downtown Tulsa at the end of January to fete my January & February babies. My brother’s birthday is January 5, my mom’s is January 20 and Shaun’s is February 8. I had a Hello Sumo, Hello Kitty, which is Malibu coconut rum, mango juice, and a splash of grenadine on the rocks. No more cocktails until after Lent!

hello sumo, hello kitty

19. Try 5 new ways to style my hair. 1/5 I learned how to fishtail braid at the end of January! You can kind of see it in photo two of my 30 self portraits in 2015 goal above. I’m hoping to get a massive trim pretty soon which will make my hair a bit easier to style. I have snaggledy snarled ends right now.

20. Get everything boxed or bagged to donate. Amazing progress on this. I’m probably going to keep stockpiling stuff until Spring Break when we’ll have the time to actually take it to a donation center. We’re about to have 3 pieces of furniture that will need donated as well, and no good way to store them, so I guess they’ll just get shoved into our least used room to give me anxiety until we can get rid of them! I also need more cardboard boxes, which is a bit ridiculous because we just took a bunch of them to the recycling center.

21. Start a 365 photo set on my 29th birthday. Finish it! Here are some favorite photos from this project this month!

One-Hundred & Sixty-Three

One-Hundred & Sixty-Five

One-Hundred & Seventy-Six

One-Hundred & Seventy-Seven

One-Hundred & Eighty-Two

One-Hundred & Eight-Four

25. Organize all of the closets. I took some Before pictures of the library closet (I am very bad at remembering to take Before pictures, see below where  I took In The Middle Of pictures of the living room!) They are actually after pictures for my big organize the closets project of 2013 but I put too much stuff on one of the shelves and it fell a bit and it’s just not as accessible as I would like. Prepared to be a lot more ruthless in tossing/donating stuff, too. I make a little progress all the time and it’s super gratifying. I’ll post those pictures when I have some real Afters to go with them!

28. Write a list of major cleaning projects and do them all! I wrote a list. I feel like there must be more, so I consider it a work in progress. Here it is so far, though. I feel a bit… sheepish? that it encompasses some of my other 30 before 30 goals. I’m not gonna kick myself for making a list that is do-able when it is also a list that is going to improve my life so much.

  1. move all furniture and clean behind/under it. (fridge, dressers, couch, entertainment center.) (Progress: I moved everything movable in the kitchen and bathroom and cleaned the floors completely on the 19th. I moved everything in the living room except my desk and cleaned underneath them on the 20th, I also cleaned the baseboards and crown molding with method oil soap. On the 23rd I pulled out my desk, shoved it into the library and cleaned the floors before replacing it with a much nicer desk.)
  2. clean the fridge out.
  3. take ALL THAT RECYCLING so the cozy system can start working. (Progress: We took everything but paper on the 13th!)
  4. take everything to Goodwill.
  5. finish each room. If I still have to have stuff piled in a corner, at least let it be stored in a plastic tub. (Progress: The living room is SO CLOSE to finished. I need to do some work in the bedroom to make space for some stuff that’s currently piled in the living room corner and move Shaun’s PC tower by the TV. We’re going to hook it up to the TV and get rid of his desk in the dining room. He’s now working off a little laptop at the dining table that can be stored super easily.)
  6. closet overhaul.


living room
new desk!

All in all this was a super productive month and I’m really happy with my progress.

Now for a quick halfway-point rundown! I haven’t finished half of the list, but I shouldn’t have. A lot of it is quite ongoing and won’t be finished until the last month, in fact, #30 won’t be done until I go to bed on my birthday. I’ve finished 5 items completely and I’ve started working on another 19 of the items on my list, I feel pretty happy with that. I’ve already experienced a lot of general improvement to my day to day life from what I’ve accomplished. Maybe I would have done some of this stuff without this list, and maybe I wouldn’t have, I can’t say, but I wouldn’t have tracked it like this, which has been a lot of fun for me. I love lists and I work so well with self-imposed deadlines.

a day in photos: February 7, 2015

I got a new camera on Friday so I decided to shoot a day in photos on Saturday to get a hang of all the new bells and whistles.

8:12 am
8:12 am: morning face.

8:15 am

8:22 am
8:22 am: morning mister. Continue reading

3rd #100happydays: the first 50 days

1 - 2526 - 50

I only took a brief break between my second and third #100happydays sets because I wanted to capture as much of Christmas as possible. I picked it back up December 1st. This project has really cheered me up. I feel especially happy looking back on it when I am blue. The past 50 days included lots of Christmas cheer, cooking, Dragon Age and tea.

2015 Projects – stuff that isn’t part of my 30 before 30

1. Shoot more video. Now that my computer is working well, video editing is feasible. I didn’t shoot much when it was hard to edit and I’m kinda sad about that. Shaun is shooting lots of video so far this year as well, which is super exciting. An aside to this is that I’ve been enjoying going through older video I have shot. The footage above is from our 2012 trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium.

Day 51: Tidied the cupboards. #100happydays Day 53: Got a box for all of our Tylenol and cold medicine that was piled on top of the fridge. #100happydays
2. Extreme organization! Sure this falls under a few of the things (4. Hardcore cull my wardrobe, 20. Get everything boxed and bagged to donate, 25. Organize all the closets, 28. Write a list of major cleaning projects and do them all!) I have on my 30 before 30 list, but I feel like certain things just don’t work into those updates. Though I guess they would if I got around to making that list of major cleaning projects. I should do that this week! Anyway, prior to getting that list written:

  • I cleaned off the top of the fridge and tucked all of our first aid/vitamin stuff into a cute box.
  • I went through all the kitchen cabinets and sorted our appliances. I have a few to get rid of and organized what we actually use to be easily accessible.
  • I started organizing the pantry. That’s definitely a project that involves more dry good storage containers and cute labels than I currently own.

3. Update this blog… weekly? This feels awfully ambitious.

St Louis, 2009

Shaun, Missouri Botanical Garden, 2009 Kodak Cameo 35mm

4. Scanning negatives. All of my plans for timely film development ultimately fail. As such, when I finally get film developed it costs upwards of $50 for processing only (I never get prints.) and then it takes me months & months to actually scan all of it. I got a dozen rolls developed last summer and I’ve scanned… maybe half of them. Honestly I just have so many little creative projects going on, I’m only working on a few of them at a time and it’s hard to find the time for every little thing I want to do, especially for these things that don’t fit into my 30 before 30, if I’m going to be scanning, it should be my mom’s photos for that project. It’s fun to spread it out, though, it’s interesting to see photos I took 6 years ago for the very first time.

5. Read 30 books. Last year my goal on goodreads was 25 and I skated in with 26. I miss reading. I miss sitting on the porch waiting for Shaun to get home from work with my feet up on the rail and a book in my lap. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the bath with a book too. I used to freak out that people did that, but I’m pretty careful and there have been no mishaps thus far! I’m less caught up in keeping things for best, I guess, so the pages get a little steamy, it’s okay. I still wouldn’t do it with a borrowed book, though!

Five Months into 30 before 30

30 before 30


1. Cook 30 new recipes before 30. 41/30 I made 3 new recipes this month!
Perfect Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Pureed Split-Pea and Rutabaga Soup One-pot Cheesy Mac
39. Perfect Vegan Gingerbread Cookies (from here)
40. Pureed Split-Pea & Rutabaga Soup (from Isa Does It)
41. One-pot Cheesy Mac (from One-dish Vegan)

2. Shoot 1 roll of film per month. 5/12

This month I shot a 36 exposure roll in the Canon Rebel 2000 with a lensbaby lens attached. Really excited to see the results! It’s much harder to shoot 36 exposures than 24 and I wasn’t going to photograph random stuff just to finish out the roll so I’m shooting to finish on the 31st instead of the 25th. (I usually give myself end of the month wiggle-room on this one, anyway. Most things here I track 25th-25th because the project starts and finishes on August 25th.)

One-Hundred & Fifty

10.  Fill my first Smash journal. There are probably 8 blank pages left, but it’s SO stuffed with things now it’s hard to cram anything else in. I’m only putting scraps from 2014 and prior into it at this point.  As I clean and tidy the house and find little saved slips of paper and mementos I’ll smash them in. I started a new Smash journal to be my 2015 scrapbook. The 2015 book will be more organized and linear. After that I expect I’ll switch to Project Life or whatever the newest thing is.

One-Hundred & Fifty-Two
Another thing I plan on doing soon is scrapbooking some of this stuff from my bulletin board.

21.  Start a 365 photo set on my 29th birthday. Finish it! Since I finished my 365 self portrait set I feel like I’m not posting photos here often enough. Obviously I started this project in August. Here’s the set so far: [link]

Here are some of my favorite shots from this project in the past month:

One-Hundred & Thirty

One-Hundred & Thirty-Two

One-Hundred & Forty-One

One-Hundred & Forty-Seven

One-Hundred & Fifty-Three

24. Scan my mom’s family photos. My mom’s birthday was on the 20th, so I scanned a few more that day for her. I try to just scan some here and there, because it’s pretty exhausting to sit down and do large batches. I’m not cleaning or straightening them up, much. The priority is to get them backed up a couple of places so that the physical copies aren’t the only ones in existence.

mom's family photos

My parents and my brother, 1978 probably.


mom's family photos

My great grandma Mildred when she was 17 years old.


mom's family photos

My Grandma Winnie.


mom's family photos

My mom on her 10th birthday.



Acorn Squash Stuffed with Cranberry-Pecan Rice317. 116. les temps sont durs pour les rêveurs.

Last year my greatest accomplishments were probably meal planning, house organization and yoga. It wasn’t just that I did all of those things consistently, it was how great they made me feel. Shaun got me this magnetic dry erase calendar for the fridge and it’s one of those things you really like the idea of but you don’t actually think is going to work. But it did. I scheduled all my chores and exercise and planned my cooking a week in advance with it and my life is completely different than it was a year ago. It’s so tidy and we eat so well and I’m in the best shape of my life, now, approaching 30. I almost feel like an adult.

monthly calendars

I also kept up with some photo projects. I finished a self portrait 365 and started one that isn’t self portrait based. I feel roller coaster emotions about my art. No matter what’s going on, I always think I was better before (whatever that means, a year ago, five years, 2 weeks?) than I am now. I don’t know what causes that, but looking through photos to put this post together, I feel especially happy with the things I was doing this time last year.


64. then turns around and it sucks you in

100. but she's too rough and i'm too delicate

Seattle Pride 2014

July 19





One-Hundred & Fifteen
Best of 2014 on flickr.