Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to 2012 (+deals)

Hello all and welcome to 2012!  I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and that so far your 2012 is a-okay.  I’ll be back to recap our New Year’s Eve with some pics, but in the meantime, I’ll share what I’m looking forward to for 2012 and my “resolutions”.

I’m definitely most excited for our Europe trip and really have spent a lot of time on the internet and reading books trying to plan already.  I’m just that obsessive-type personality who always likes to have a project, so right now I’ve engrossed myself in the trip planning.  I’m even more excited to start booking things like flights, trains, and accommodations.

Along with Europe, I’m really excited and anxious for my sister’s experience of moving to the UK.  For anyone joining in reading, my sister has a job opportunity in Reading, England (30 min train-ride west of London) and is moving there, THIS Thursday!!  She’ll be there through the beginning of July, but obviously it’s going to be a big change.  As she’ll have to adapt to the new life-style, I’ll have to adapt to not having her around.  We’re two years apart and in recent years we’ve become fairly close.  We chat every day after work, send each other pics of item’s we’re debating on when out shopping, share movie, book, show rec’s, etc.  It will be bizarre to have a 7 hour time difference.  However, my dad gave us a camera for skyping, so at least we’ll still be able to “see” each other.

I’m also excited for our trip to Texas in July and to be a part of one of my dear friend’s weddings!  We met the guy in September at another friend’s wedding and they are absolutely perfect for each other.  It’s going to be a really fun trip and I’m looking forward to spending several days with her instead of the two weekends here or there when she comes back to our hometown.

I’m looking forward to trying to spending more time improving my photography skills and buying my DSLR camera.  (I actually have decided that I will buy it today during lunch, woowhee!).

I’m anxious to see what the future has in store for Ben and I this year.  We’ve kind of talked here and there about changing things up and trying something new – like jobs and city.  I’m not sure if we’ll really go through with this, but I said that after the Europe trip, I would like to spend 2012 increasing our savings and then considering a change of scenery.

Lastly, my resolutions.  I’m typically not one to make them, or if I do they’re vague…so this year really isn’t that different, but here they are:
·    Run a half marathon under two hours:  After my incomplete marathon in October, I really don’t have my heart into the idea of training again for another (well at least not right now); but having successfully run half marathons, I would love to train to and break the two hour mark.  My half this year was 2hrs, 7 min, so I need to shave 30 seconds per mile off.  I can do this!
·    Increase Oscar’s social skills: The first year of Oscar’s life, we tried really hard to introduce him in a variety of social situations – dog parks, dog beach, Bulldog meet-ups, walks to the grocery, outdoor restaurant dining, etc.  However, this past year, we haven’t taken Oscar to the dog park or meet-ups more than a handful of times; partially because he gets so excited in this circumstances that he tends to act up.  I’d love for him to “fine-tune” his play-skills with other dogs because sometimes his playfulness is read by other dogs as aggression
·    Read more books: Recently I’ve been really bad with book reading; not to say that I haven’t been reading, but it’s just been a lot slower than usual
·    Let loose:  It’s funny because Ben and I can sometimes be so alike, but sometime’s we’re so different.  He’s much more go with the flow, whereas I’m more regimented (for example, I can pretty much tell you without even looking in my head which weekends from now to July that we have plans for already).  Rather than being such a planner, sometimes I need to just let myself relax and see what happens.
·    Update my resume and increase my professional skills: As in, a few weeks ago my dad asked me if he could pass my college resume on to an intern as an example of an engineering resume and I could not find mine.  Yep, I currently don’t even have a resume (and including internships, I’ve worked for 3 companies totaling up to over six years of experience). Yikes. Plus I’d like to join a professional society to increase my awareness of the field and also improve my networking skills.
·    Get to the gym more: self-explanatory
·    Eat more veggies/well balanced diet: ditto
·    Purge my closet:  I have a ton of items that I hardly wear just taking up space but mentally have memories associated.  I really just need to weed things out (maybe have a blog sale?  I’ve seen some others who do this)

I think that’s all for now.  Since they’re in writing, hopefully that will help me stick to it?  Nothing on my list is impossible, but it will take some focus and conscious effort.

Lastly, here are a few sales:

·    Banana Republic: 25% off already reduced items online only through 1/5 with code BRSAVE25
·    Gap: in store and online through 1/5; take extra 30% off men’s and women’s sale and 25% off kid’s and baby with code GAPSALE
·    J. Crew: extra 25% off of sale items online only with code SHOPNOW
·    Kate Spade: Through 1/25; take an extra 25% off sale items in store and online with code newyear25
·    Pottery Barn: One-time use for 10% full or sale priced online purchase through 1/08 with code X9NG-NR3L-6SZ7
·    Victoria’s Secret: Semi-Annual sale is going on now in stores and online

·   Iron out our budget and start saving: Money is always a good and smart thing that you can’t have too much of, at least for a middle class couple like us.  I hope to spend January tracking all of our spending and then revamping our budget based on the results and also decide on some practical saving goals for us.

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