Flashback Friday

Auf Wiedersehen, 2011

Nearly a year ago, I made some goals for 2011. They were pretty SMART. They were certainly detailed. And I’m fairly certain I never looked at that post again, until January 1, 2012. Whoops.

Needless to say, I didn’t accomplish all the goals on my list, mostly because I didn’t remember they were my on my yearly goal list. In spite of my lack of attention to my goals list I did accomplish some great things this year.

Here’s a run down of my (itemized) goals list from 2011 (check the link above for detailed descriptions if you are interested), good, bad, accomplished or otherwise.  

1-Use my words. Frankly, I forgot this was a goal for 2011. That being said I have been much more contentious about employing good writing skills on a regular basis. I still have plenty of room for improvement in this department, however.
2-Make a move to self-hosting. I’ve always said that I’m true to my word, I just operate on a slow time schedule and that is very true of this goal. I have actually purchased my domain and am working on setting up my very own webpage/transferring everything over. I hope to have everything live by February of 2012!
3-Up my photography skills. This too is a work in progress. I am getting much more comfortable with all the settings on my camera and have been doing some research on setting up a small light studio at my house, since most of my time in the kitchen is spent in the evenings.

Food and Cooking
1-Cook one new meal a week. Considering I do this 90% of the time, I’m calling this goal a tasty success that I hope to continue for the rest of my life. I love learning new cooking techniques and experimenting with flavor profiles.
2-Buy more local/organic foods. Not unlike the cooking one new meal a week, I follow this rule about 90% of the time. I do have a very strong love of Hass avocados from California, so that is one local rule I can never follow. I’m a Florida Gal, but Hass trump Florida ‘cados every time! 
3-Bake more bread. Didn’t happen. I didn’t even remember this was a goal. Whoops.

Health and Fitness
1-Be consistent with workouts. Still a work in progress, but I’m feeling better about this goal over all after a year of trial and error in 2011.
2-Master the 5k. I ended up focusing on training for my first triathlon this year, not running. But I also came to grips with my battle between running and racing.
3-Manage my food portions. Like most of my life, and apparently all my goals of 2011, this too is something I will continue to work on long past the close of the year, but I feel like I’m developing a better balance between worth it splurges on a second helping and eating just for the sake of eating.
4-Consistently floss and whiten teeth. A huge check on the flossing…still working on finding a whitening treatment that doesn’t hurt my apparently sensitive teeth.

1-Balance my checkbook monthly. Hahaha, thank goodness my Mommy loves me and still is willing to do this one for me 2x a year. (Just a note-I do keep up with my fiances both in my checkbook and online, I just don’t “reconcile” my accounts each month against the bank statement).
2-Save 10% of my income. I did pretty good on this. Of course I spend a good deal of those savings in Europe over the summer, but that was totally worth it, and likely the trip would not have happened without the additional cash I scrimped away.
3-Watch less tv. I still watch a lot of TV, but I’ve gotten away from getting sucked into repeats of shows I’ve seen before, so this is a success in my book!
4-Brush my dog’s coat weekly. My baby boy is beyond spoiled, but this was another goal I was not successful with. In my defense (aka an excuse) he doesn’t really enjoy being brushed, so this wasn’t a total loss for either of us. Now, my clothes being fur free is another story.
5-Travel, hardcore. Check. Seriously.

Now, what would a good post be without some photos? Enjoy a visual reminder of the year gone by.

2011 will always stand out in my memory because it was my first trip abroad. 

While those three weeks in Europe will remain prominent in my memory forever, I was a busy gal in the entirety of 2011.


2011 may have been a tough year for us as a nation and a global economy but it was a pretty incredible year for me personally, and I cannot wait to see what 2012 will bring.

Love to all,
~the “it’s best to reflect on the messes, successes and everywhere in between” gal, Jess

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Good Bye to 2010….

….you were a good friend.

It’s that time again….to reflect on the past, get ready for the future, and drink more champagne in the present. New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday, because as I’ve said before, it is the one holiday that unites the entire world in celebration. For this one night, it matters not what race, religion, gender, sexual preference, taste in music, style of clothing, or beverage of choice defining us. We all bid adieu to the previous year and lean hopefully into the next, longing for new beginnings, fresh adventures, and more memories.

Um, and it’s also time to check in with those goals I set 365ish days ago, for 2010. Let’s just say I was a little insane lofty.  I blame it on the peace and serenity that comes from Christmas Vacation. Well, that and I’m a born overachiever….but I didn’t achieve quite as much as I planned in 2010. Let’s tally up the damage: 

The Semi Abnormal Goals from 2010 (read the full descriptions here, if you are so inclined)

1. Be more charitable
2. Practice more yoga
3. Get a passport and use it
4. Run a 5k and a 10k
5. Read a new cookbook each month
6. Go riding more often (both horses and bikes)
7. Take better care of my hands and nails

So, how did I do?

1. Success!  Even though I didn’t end up blogging about specific charities, I contributed to multiple causes over the past year, plus as the Beta Club Sponsor at the high school I teach at, I organize drives for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and Relay for Life (American Cancer Society).
2. Fail. I was attending one vinyasa class at my gym semi-regularly over the spring and summer, but once that class was canceled, my mat hasn’t left the trunk of my car.
3. Major Fail.  I just applied for my passport two days ago! But the good news is my bestie Ash and I are doing a 3ish week tour of Europe this summer…stay tuned!
4. Semi-Success. I ran the 5 mile leg of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Relay back in October, but haven’t really run since, just little 2 mile jaunts around the neighborhood.
5. Major Fail. I still haven’t finished reading that Top Chef cookbook that Jenna gave me for Christmas last year! I did start subscribing to both Cooking Light and Food and Wine, in addition to all the blogs and dailies I get via email, but reading the books didn’t happen. I’d like to re-approach this goal again in the future, but not until some of my education certification things are finished.
6. Major Fail.  I bought a bike rack. It’s still in the box. Yep. Also, I haven’t seen a horse in the past year either.
7. Success! While maintaining nail polish chips (because chipped nails irk me to no end) is a little time consuming, my hands look much nicer, I can’t chew my nails anymore because of the polish and my nails are much stronger now, too.

What else did I do this year? Enjoy the review:

Traveled: (stateside, of course!): to Charlotte (x2), DC, Orlando and WPB (countless times)
Celebrated: birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, engagements, life!
Built: an abarnment, aka studio apartment from the studs up
Taught: my crazy, but wonderful science students
Read: some really great books (I promise you a separate post on this one!)
Lived, Loved, Cooked and Ate (and drank!): ’cause that’s what I’m all about, and I don’t think you can have those 4 separately

What are my goals for 2011? You will just have to stick around and find out! Happy New Year, my friends. Let’s make it a great one!

Love to all,
~the life loving gal, Jess

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September 26th and 28th, 2006

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

 So I was just walking home from class and I cut through the towncenter and was thinking how nice it smells, just some tropical flowers, spiciness from the restaurants and cigar smoke from Angry Moon when I get a wiff of dog shit….that was unexpected and unwanted….when we get a dog I vow to always clean up after it.  But seriously the towncenter does smell good, minus the shit and dumpsters. But I guess that is life in general right? It’s great expect for the shit and garbage!

Love to all,

Thursday, 28 September 2006

What good is comfort? I mean we have all these comfort vices….mac’n’cheese, ice cream, cigarettes, alcohol, cozy blankets, mindless television, sleeping ridiculous amounts.  But what are they but a distraction from the problem at hand.  What if that problem could be eradicated.  But what if that problem was part of your dream.  Then what? Do you give up? No way right.  Follow the American Dream….be what no one else can.  Be an individual. Do something that no one else with your background ever could.  This is supposed to be a comfort too.  Right, I’ve always found endless pressure to be the best comfort ever.  That’s all I’ve got.

Love to all,

Yep, that was me, Junior year of college, being a deep and thoughtful. Possibly angsty? I hope not…I prefer philosophical? ha. Cause we all rememberhow well that philosophy class went for me!

I’m actually glad I stumbled upon these posts though, cause just like then, I’ve been having a war with my thoughts recently about how long I can work in a self-less career like teaching, because while I usually love my job, I’ve been incredibly drained for most of this term and am struggling with that feeling. I have a really hard time balancing selflessness and selfishness. But I just have to remember that life is great, minus the shit and garbage! 

 If you have had enough of the deep and dreary stuff, check out a more recent flash back: Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival circalast year!

I’ll be F&W bound with my college roomies is just a few hours, so enjoy 2009’s antics, while we nibble and sip our way to new memories for 2010!

 Love to all,
~the, “this is why it’s good to reflect, because life is circular” gal, Jess 

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Monday, August 8th 2005

It’s the start of the school year for us teachers at Your Local Friendly High School, so I thought for this Flashback Friday I would share my return to college as a sophomore. Yes, last week was my return home from college and now we are headed back-it wasn’t a very eventful summer I’m afraid to say. Enjoy! 

So hope everybody had a good weekend.  Mine was fair.  Or rather un-intresting.  I worked Saturday night, it wasn’t even that busy and I made 100 bucks, that was cool.  Yesterday the main events were, go to church and decide that I am no longer going to attend St. Mad’s.  Now I know this sounds trival considering I won’t be home to go to church for almost 4 months but when I am home I won’t be going there.  It is all bullshit and no longer religion and that is what upsets me so.  I just see all these little people who are on their stupid little power-trips and it just makes my blood boil.  Church is supposed to be about God and learning and following the life of Christ.  Not what we should sell in the gift shop and who the choir director is and I can go on and on.  So I will be content w/ St. Peter’s at school and when I am home I will figure something new out.  Getting off my soap box now.
Ok, so other than that I have just been packing, etc.  I’m leaving Friday to stay w/Ash that night (yea! thanks so much girlie!) and then we move in on Saturday morning.  I still have to work this week but I guess the extra money will be good.  Lastly I finished my scrapbook for freshman year.  Very exciting.
Love to All,

This flashback is actually quite fitting since we are experiencing some major changes at St. Augustine’s right now, which is the church I started attending with my parents when I was home from college and am a member of now that I’m living and working in the area again. Having my blowup with St. Madeline’s was actually a blessing in disguise because it forced me to find a new church. St. Aug’s is the smartest, most liberal Catholic church I’ve ever attended and I’m so proud to be a part of it. That is why it makes me very sad to announce that Father John Gillispie is no longer our Pastor. Because of some finical mumbo-jumbo with the dioceses the Bishop is transferring him to a new parish in St. Augustine, Fl. This is tragic, since Father John is the light at our church and the very reason it is so smart and liberal. He was ordained at St. Aug’s and has been the pastor for the last 30 years! Now I’m not going to be leaving St. Aug’s since our other 3 priests are just as wonderful in their own ways, but it makes me sad how political the higher ups in our church (I mean as a global church, not my local church) can be.

Love to all,
~the “always frustrated with the men that run our churches” gal, Jess

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Friday, May 6, 2005

As I hinted the other day that I wanted to add a few more “columns,” or types of posts, to my blog, so today I want to debut “Flashback Fridays.” I’ve mentioned on several occasions that I’ve been blogging on and off since 2005! I’ve always kept a journal/diary and then went “live” in college to share my thoughts with a small group of friends.

I really enjoy looking back at how my life has changed (or not) and how my writing has improved (hopefully, a little? ha), and thought that perhaps you all would enjoy seeing some of my old posts too. Enter “Flashback Fridays.”  I’ll be pulling a little gem from my old blog every Friday or so, for your entertainment. The title of my current post will be the date of my original post. I don’t have enough just “Fridays” to share, since I didn’t really have a blogging schedule back then (hell, like I do now? ha.) but you get the idea, right?

A few quick disclaimers: I orginally wrote a “semi private” blog, which means only my real life friends could read it, so in reposting I will take the liberty of changing or removing names if nessary as well as removing anything that is overally personal. I’m sure you understand.

Enough will the baloney, let’s Flashback!

So its 8:55 pm, I’m home and I have this unsettled feeling…..it could be because I have an entire dorm room (oh,ok,ok most of a dorm room) sitting in boxes and bags on my bedroom floor but I really don’t think that is it.  It’s more that I was so gung ho to get home and now I’m like ok, I’m home….so this is it?  And I knew this would happen, just not 4.5 hours after I got home.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be home and I’m not ready to go back to South FLA and the HC just yet but…..I don’t know, I guess I was expecting a more exciting home coming.  I know that me and Mom will have plently to talk about later but right now things proceed as if I never left or actually as if I never came home.  Mom and Dad have gotten used to me not being here, again, not a bad thing…..its just change and when it comes right down to it folks, I don’t like change. 

And that’s probably why I feel unsettled, I have a mess to sort out, I have to start classes on Monday at SFCC, I have to go see Mrs. Kim and get a work schedule sorted out, I have to decide if I am going to volunteer at BCGC and what all I have to do w/that and I have to find some social life.  I don’t really have one in Bell.  I never really did come to think of it but Aaron really pointed that out during our most recent argument; when he came up here during winter break I didn’t introduce him to anyone our age, I took him to meet Anni but that was the extent of our social engagements.  Does this mean I live under a rock? No. But I think it might mean that I really never made any long term friendships in this town.  Maybe that’s my fault or maybe its just circumstances (ie I can’t walk to a neighbors house, etc) regardless, just something I’ve been thinking about. 

Other Random Thoughts I Had Today (or recently):
~Packing equals three F’s:  Fun, Frustrating and Where the FUCK did I get all this stuff?
~People should get ticketed for taking up 2 parking spaces.
~People should get ticketed for riding on the brakes.
~People should get ticketed for driving too slow.
~Dial up internet sucks, seriously.
~I don’t have a puppy anymore, I have a huge, solid, beast-of-a-dog.
~I have made a lot of typos in my old entries, sorry guys.
~I miss riding horses, I think I will start again this summer.
~Philosophy has nothing to do with deep thought, its all bullshit.
~I can write better than N. Sparks, this book is cruddy.
[I was reading The Notebook]
~My car is a trooper, it can hold a dorm room and still zoom,zoom (ohhhh, I made a funny rhyme!)
~I HEART IHOP!!! (Jenna don’t forget the fund!)

Ok, So I had some way better ones but I have currently forgotten them. I’m going to go do something productive, I hope. Later,
Love to All,

This was from the first night home after my first year in college. I came home that summer to take some classes locally, basically because I didn’t have any other plans. That was the first and only summer I did that! ha.  Oh, and the little rant about philosophy? I think my grade for my Philosophy of Human Nature course had just posted and I wasn’t to thrilled about it. That class was VERY subjective.

So, what do you guys think of 19 year old Jess? haha. Let me know if you enjoy these Flashbacks, if not I won’t torment you with them!

Love to all,
~the 19 turned 24 year old, Jess

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