In an effort to actually maintain my 2020 goals, because they are in fact good for me, I figured I would blog about them. This seems to be a good medium for reflection and accountability for me. Soooo let’s see how I did in February, shall we?
1. Find a morning prayer routine
Same prayer routine as January. I’m pretty good about the weekdays, I seem to slide it in nicely right after my shower, but I cannot seem to remember on the weekends! Right now I open the prayer from a book on my night stand but I think maybe I should have something printed on my bathroom mirror to remind me.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.
And then for Lent, which started on Ash Wednesday (February 26) I added the Memorare to my daily routine.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
2. Travel internationally relatively cheaply at least once
I have technically not “accomplished” this yet but I am SO READY for my Spring Break Trip to London & Paris as a chaperone.*UPDATE 3.12.20 – trip cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak
We just bought our tickets to Dublin for a family trip to Ireland for 2 weeks, AND then right after Ireland I have 3 weeks in Oxford to study. ahhhhhhhhhhh yayayayayayyyyyy!!!!!
3. Finish our master bathroom renovation
Um well I still need to buy a hamper, towel hooks, and a bathroom mirror…but yeah we’re kinda finished. We’ve actively measured & are ready to order a mirror, it just hasn’t happened yet. And we’ve looked a hampers we like.
4. Work out at least twice a week
- does cleaning my house vigorously count?
- 30 minute walk with the hubby
- I ended up getting sick in the middle of the week so it put a dent in my progress
- Vinyasa Yoga for Lower Back Care: Stability 43:46 minutes
- I did clean the house Saturday morning for about 2 hours…
- Wring it in, Wring it Out 40:37 minutes (my throat is still really sore so I didn’t want to go crazy today)
- I got a crazy tension headache on Wednesday & actually had to stay home from work on Thursday so I safely shelved working out for resting up
- 30 minute walk on a lazy Sunday afternoon
- BodyRock HiitMax: Work Out 1 – Fully Body Skipping (19:15) & Standing Stretch (7:51) (I was reaaallllyyy not feeling it today, just got home from grocery shopping & still had to cook dinner but I figured, ehh dinner could be late)
- My usual 3 mile run/walk on Tuesdays
- Will has started doing weights with the tennis team on Fridays afternoon and I thought it would be fun to pop in to a) workout and b) help the girls with their form. I’m definitely keeping this a part of my spring routine!
- On Saturday, I ran/walked out school district’s “Walt Walk” 5K
5. Build a bookcase for our library
I’m still trying to convince Will to buy these bookcases that we both LOVED at IKEA but he’s convinced we’re going to build our own. I will let you know who wins this discussion.
However I did find a place for the rest of our books on a super high niche above our great/dining room table wall. It’s not exactly a permanent solution but that’s cool with me. Plus it adds much needed color and personality to the room.
6. Do not purchase new clothes unless I get rid of something first
- I purchased new mid-calf boots from Macy’s (30% off!!!) for my Spring Break trip for about $90 & got rid of a pair I have only worn twice that I actually dislike and are not comfortable. Totally needed.
- I’ve been meaning to toss 2 ill fitting bras and I finally got around to it when I purchased two new ones (also Macy’s 30% off).
- I purchased a few “fun” items from Jane.com. I got a rich teal maxi dress, a soft ivory/tan lightweight sweater for spring break, and the BEST grey midi skirt with pockets in the world (I already own one in green and I had to have another one in another color, that is some dedication there!). I got rid of a purple mid-maxi dress that is ill fitting, a too-fancy dress I have not worn in years, and a top that has been sitting in my closet to balance out these purchases.
- This month I am also getting rid of a super cute yellow peacoat I got from a friend YEARS ago and have NEVER (ever) worn, and removing a bright green raincoat because I’ve never worn it (I have a much better black one) & a printed top I have not worn in about 2 years because it rides up awkwardly. Notice the running theme here.
- I did a *little* splurge shopping at TJ Maxx Thursday & got a gorgeous midi-white dress, a top to go to the club while in London that is still appropriate for a chaperone, & a midi black dress to replace one that is really worn. Total cost at TJ Maxx ~$50.
7. Reduce our grocery bill by $100 a month (it’s like $800 right now!)
*Note: We typically do 2 shoppings a week, one on Mondays & usually a second on Thursdays to buy the produce for the weekend
- $28.21 at Publix on February 2 (we needed a quick stop to hold us over until my usual Monday shopping)
- $64.83 at Winn-Dixie on February 3
- $5.34 at Publix on February 8 (I needed a snack while Will & I were out walking so I bought a hand roll)
- $22.36 at Winn-Dixie on February 9
- $75.44 at Publix on February 10 (this was actually way higher than I thought it was going to be, I got sucked into some good BOGOs)
- $21.90 at Publix on February 12 (Will has a potluck tomorrow and insisted I put the materials he bought on our budget)
- $54.43 at Sprouts Farmers Market on February 14 (I was buying fancy stuff for our Valentine’s Day dinner)
- $14.75 at Public on February 14 (Will was buying stuff to make homemade pasta for Valentine’ Day dinner)
- $139.76 at Winn-Dixie on February 17 (this included 6 bottles of wine)
- $36.37 at Salata on February 19 (I thought I was going to get 5 salads for meals for free with gift cards…but obviously not)
- $42.56 at Publix on February 21
- $90.63 at Winn-Dixie on February 24 (this was a “light” week because of Ash Wednesday fast and leftovers for Friday)
Grocery TOTAL for February: $596.58
Restaurant TOTAL: $271.49
So this amount is actually WAY higher than I expected considering “we don’t go out to eat.” There were a few special meals but I think in addition to my grocery budget, I need to bring this number down below $200 for sure.
My tracking excludes bars & coffee shops…which I am now probably going to add next month.
8. Finish decorating the living spaces in our home
So our dishwasher broke – like the heating coil burnt a hole in the bottom (we knew it was going to happen soonish) – and we were prompted to purchase all new kitchen appliances. The previous ones were original to the house (1994) and well they all need to match and we’ve been itching to get new ones! So we used the bonus Will got for Teacher of the Year to buy new appliances. But don’t worry, I’m selling the old, perfectly functioning ones on Facebook Marketplace.
Now…the cabinets really look like they need to be painted…and the backsplash is so outdated. 😉
9. Read and/or listen to at least 30 books
I do a big book review at the end of the year but these are the books I have read or listened to in February:
- Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary: Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah
- My Life in France
- A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master”
- Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Fulton J. Sheen (Lent started on February 26 & this is my Lenten study for this year)
- Every Sacred Sunday Year A: 2019-2020
- The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (just started this audiobook so I am only 10% of the way through)
10. Blog at least once a week (or 52 times over the year)
I was quite busy this month, I probably should have spaced these out before I gas out in March. 🙂 For the 4 weeks of February, including this post, I have blogged 12 times this month:
- Playlist: 2020 Spring Break Trip
- Best Year Ever! Oxford Summer Program
- 2020: My Political Stance
- And there was no one else to speak for me…
- Photo Diary: Cumberland Island
- 2019 Charleston Road Trip Planning: Budget Reflection
- Travel Style: Thanksgiving Charleston Road Trip
- Best Year Ever! Ireland Summer Trip
- Catholic Culture: 2020 Ash Wednesday & Lent
- Purim & Mardi Gras
- Best Year Ever! SCPS Teacher of the Year
11. Transform part of my backyard into some kind of garden
Ummm I can pretend I can’t grow anything yet because it’s “winter,” however I did receive a HUGE load of Birds of Paradise from our neighbors that I need to find a spot for. Will and I also discussed garden matters…that’s as far as I got this month.
12. Practice yoga at least once a month
Here are the following times I practiced yoga:
- Wednesday, February 12: Vinyasa Yoga for Lower Back Care: Stability 43:46 minutes
- Monday, February 17: Wring it in, Wring it Out 40:37 minutes
13. Cook a meal 100% out of my pantry at least every other week
Oh I am getting GOOD at this!!! I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge presented to create something all on my own. I also like incorporating the things already in our pantry/fridge when meal planning. Hoping it helps to reduce our grocery bill!
Will RAVED at one of my pantry meals in week 2: shrimp pesto pasta with capers – he was floored when I told him I made it using random leftovers and frozen shrimp. SCORE!
14. Apply to (& get accepted) to one summer program
I most certainly accomplished this one! I am studying at Oxford through a scholarship from the English Speaking Union of Central Florida for three weeks in July. I get to pick 2 courses from a list of 8 and I choose one about refugees post 1918 and another on conflict in the Middle East as my top two!!!
15. Host someone over for dinner at least once a month
We did not host dinner at our house for anyone BUT I had a girlfriend over for a wine & movie night and actually treated this same friend to a birthday happy house & tapas. We also invited a friend out to eat out with us when we used a gift card at PF Chang’s.
16. Write a letter (& mail it!) at least once per month
Oh nooo totally forgot about this. Surprisingly this is my LEAST kept 2020 resolution. I think because it’s so out of sight, out of mind.
17. See at least 5 artworks from the AP Art History 250 Curriculum
Not yet! But you bet I am looking ahead to my spring break trip to check some of these off!*UPDATE 3.12.20 – trip cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak
Any images in the 250 in London I don’t get to see over spring break I am going to try and hit up when I am back this summer before my Oxford program.
18. Have a cheap date with my hubby at least once a month
FREE is cheap! We had dinner at Will’s award ceremony for Teacher of the Year where he WON!!!!! My darling husband is now the 2021 Seminole County Teacher of the Year!!!! You cannot imagine our excitement and overwhelming emotions over this. 🙂 So proud of him. Now for lots more free & cheap dates using the stuff in his gift bags. Score!
For Valentine’s Day this year we made homemade pasta 🙂 – totally perfect date night win in my books!
19. Get at least a 65% pass rate for my students in AP World History
I’m starting to feel comfortable here, my students have had so much more document & writing practice than last year and I have done a careful job of realigning my course to the new curriculum. But so much of this goal depends on the curve of the national test…soooo fingers crossed???
20. Vote Trump out of office (!!!!)
I wrote a few politically-minded blog posts this month (2020: My Political Stance & And then there was no one left to speak for me…). I don’t think anyone will be magically politically transformed by them, but the outpouring of amazing comments and discussion from the political stance post blew me away. The conversations I have had both electronic and in person over this blog post gives me hope for our country.
I also voted in the Democratic primaries so I guess that helps the cause!