Monday, February 9, 2015

5 Monthly Goals: January, Part 1

Guys, I really like my New Year's Resolution so far!  I like that I'm still doing things and working on self-improvement, but have the freedom to choose within the categories.  

My sewing project this month was really simple: a bag for my plastic bags.  I followed this tutorial:

I used the same fabric I used for my kitchen curtains.  This project was so quick and easy, but also really useful.  Since the Dastardly Mouse Invasion of December 2014, I recycled all our plastic bags that I had been saving under the sink.  Who knows what got into them?!  I really wanted a better way to store them.

I keep it in our closet, so it doesn't matter what it looks like, but it is nice to have it kind of cute.

While that was my official sewing project for the month, I also did some smaller and potentially boring projects, but ones I'm really proud of.  I had purchased a really cute, nice backpack at Salvation Army for $2.  The only thing wrong with it was one of the strap adjusters was broken, so I bought some new strap adjusters from JoAnn's and fixed it.  I also found a pair of jeans from Goodwill that fit perfectly at the waist (rare!) but were 3" too short, so I hemmed them and made shorts.  Nothing earth-shattering, but new territory for me!

For my meal or side dish, I decided to make smashed potatoes from my leftover 101 Things in 2014 list.  I tried to follow the recipe, but our local Meijer didn't have the size of potatoes called for in the recipe, so I'm quite certain that's where these went wrong.

This is what they're supposed to look like:

For potato sizes, the original recipe calls for 1.5-2" diameter potatoes.  My options were tiny potatoes the size of shooter marbles, or smallish red-skin potatoes (3" diameter-ish, but not round).  I chose the smallish red-skin potatoes.  

Now, these did not actually taste bad.  They were actually really good, other than the burned bits.  I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and Tone's Rosemary Garlic seasoning (our favorite).  They had an awesome texture and good flavor.

However, they make terrible leftovers.  Like, really, truly awful leftovers.  And that is not the original recipe's fault.  That is the fault of using the wrong potatoes. :)

I will probably not be making these again, simply because I can't find the right potatoes around these here parts.

My health goal for the month was to lose 5 pounds.  I actually lost about 7, and hopefully taking a vacation immediately after didn't ruin that progress! :)  For next month, I'll probably choose something exercise-related, like a push-up goal.

For my challenge book this month, I chose The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.  I felt like I was cheating a little bit by choosing something by J.K. Rowling, because the Harry Potter books were very easy, enjoyable reads for me.  However, I've looked at The Casual Vacancy a lot while shelving and have never read it, so I finally decided to take the plunge.  I discovered that I was definitely correct that this book would be a challenge.  You can read my review in the pin below.

The book follows the lives of 18 or so people in a small town over the course of a few weeks.  A fellow library employee put it very well when she said, "I felt like there was no one I could root for."

My house project update is a bit lengthier, so I'll be sharing it in a separate post later this week.

Love and Plaid,
Leah Joy

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