Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Navel Jewelry

I've been wanting a new piece of navel jewelry for a few months now. Don't get me wrong, I still really like the old piece, and I'll probably put it in again someday, but I felt the need for a change.

Luckily for me, Rich listened, and then he told his parents. So for my birthday, they gave me a gift certificate to Saint Sabrina's, and today I went in and used it. I didn't make an appointment; I didn't think it would be terribly busy on a Saturday around 4:30, and I was right. I waited only about 20 minutes after I picked out my jewelry and filled out all the paperwork. The procedure itself was painless and took about 5 minutes. So, bing bang boom, I have a new pretty piece of jewelry on my bod, and there's the really horrible picture to prove it (yeah, still need to get that camera, and now I realize I really need to start my wellness goals too).

Finished Goals: 8/101
Days Left:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Donate blood

Today I donated blood for the first time ever in my life. I have to say, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It helped that I had a friend with me too. Margaret came, and we popped our blood donation cherries together. And then we ate Cheez-It crackers and Oreos while chatting and drinking Sprite.

I didn't realize it would be such a process, though. When all was said and done, I had been at the Red Cross for almost an hour and a half. The actual blood-letting only takes 10 minutes or so, but all the questions and preparation before, and then the resting and eating after, take a long time.

But, in the end, I feel pretty good. And I'm really proud of myself. I didn't totally freak out (or pass out or throw up) like I thought I would. I'm even considering making that a part of my regular routine (you can donate every 56 days).

So, if you are interested in doing a good deed for the day and possibly saving someone's life, I highly recommend it. You can make your appointment online. And you don't have to find a blood drive to do it; you can just go to the blood donation room at the Minneapolis Red Cross (which is what I did). I think they may even take walk-ins if you decide to do it on a whim.

And by the way, Margaret and I got a chuckle out of this little nugget at the elevator as we left:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bake Something New From Scratch

Today I tried a new baking recipe for zucchini bread. I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that has a recipe in it, and I've been meaning to try that for a long time; however, instead of digging out my book, I went to the website and found one that looked good (for all I know, it's actually the same recipe as in my book).

I already had most of the ingredients except the zucchini, ground cloves and vegetable oil, which Rich gladly picked up for me at the store while he was shopping for dinner ingredients.

As you can see from the picture (despite still not having a decent camera), the zucchini bread turned out delicious.
Some might even call it scrumptious. And it's ridiculously easy to make.

If you'd like to have a go at this yourself, I included the recipe below. I also highly recommend checking out the Betty Crocker website for other variations including pumpkin and cranberry.

3 cups shredded zucchini (2 to 3 medium)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins, if desired

  1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 (8x4-inch) loaf pans or 1 (9x5-inch) loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, stir zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until well mixed. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts and raisins. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter evenly between 8-inch pans or pour into 9-inch pan.
  3. Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling rack 10 minutes.
  4. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft):Heat oven to 375°F.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Make Homemade Salsa

This is a horrible picture of the yummy salsa I made tonight (I really should focus on 45. Purchase a Camera). I got the recipe from Ang, who served this at a little soiree we had a while back. I liked it so much, I asked her for the recipe, but then never made it. Hence, it's inclusion on this list.

I'm not really sure why I chose to make it when we don't have any chips to eat it with, but I found that it is just as delightful right off the spoon. The recipe is below if you'd like to give it a whirl. And by the way, when they say it should be highly seasoned, they really mean it.

1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ripe red tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 ear sweet corn, shucked
1 scallion, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper or serrano chilies, seeded and minced (for a hotter salsa, leave seeds in)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

Place the avocado in the bottom of a nonreactive mixing bowl and gently toss with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Spoon the tomato on top of the avocado.

Cut the kernels off the corn. The easiest way to do this is to lay the cob flat on a cutting board and remove the kernels with lengthwise strokes of a chef's knife. Add the corn kernels to the
mixing bowl.

The salsa can be prepared to this stage up to 2 hours ahead. Refrigerate it, covered.

Just before serving, add the scallions, jalapeno and cilantro to the mixing bowl and gently toss to mix.

Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice as necessary and season with salt and pepper to taste; the salsa should be highly seasoned.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nintendo Wii

I got a Wii!
While I had planned on saving the money and buying it myself, instead my dad gave it to Rich and me as a Hanukkah gift (Hey, it still counts!). He also got us a couple of games: Mario Party 8 and Boom Blox. I have yet to open Mario Party, but Boom Blox has been fun. I highly recommend it. Here are some awful pictures I took with my phone while I was playing.

On a side note, I've also added a couple of other items to the In Progress list:
7. Get 10 Massages
48. Replace passenger-side mirror on car
93. Send cards to family for every birthday/anniversary (1/28)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Update Name & Beneficiary Info on Investments/Life Insurance

Today I finished my first goal! It's actually really good to get this one out of the way right at the beginning of the year.

Unfortunately, this task has now brought with it some baggage. My advisor informed me that it is time to write a will and assign my power of attorney and health care directive. So I guess I have that to do now. Just another item for my ever growing To-Do list that I need to finish at some point (#50). Or rather, I suppose I could take #12. Write 101 Things list off and put those things on instead. I guess I'll do that. Technically I finished writing my list before my start date anyway, so it shouldn't count.

It's acceptable to modify the list after starting, isn't it?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day One!

Happy birthday to me! And welcome to Day One of my 101 in 1001 project! Finally! I actually have been really excited to start, and it's been difficult to wait for today. Alas, I made it, and I already chose many of the things I want to tackle first. They are, in no particular order:

17. Finish an entire Sudoku book
29. Pay off dryer
36. Save $1 for every day of the project
37. Save $10 for every goal achieved
69. Watch AFI's Top 100 (27/100)
86. Finish every gig in Rock Band 2
87. Reduce Netflix queue to less than 250
91. Complete 101 Postcrossings (8/101)
93. Send cards to family for every birthday/anniversary (0/28)
95. Donate 500,000 grains of rice (13,550/500,000)
99. Make 3 scarves for Knit Your Bit (0/3)

I can't wait to start accomplishing them. And while I've purposely chosen these tasks to start with, I have a feeling I may be surprised at which tasks I conquer next. I'm going to make an effort to blog about each one as I finish them, so stay tuned for more updates.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day Zero

I learned about the Day Zero project from a girlfriend recently, and felt compelled to participate. Besides the fact that I'm a sucker for lists, it seems like a great way for me to set some goals that I can actually achieve, and then watch myself achieve them. Wish me luck!

Start Date: January 17, 2009 (My birthday!)
End Date: October 14, 2011

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.