Mari's Notebook

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

In all, I'd say 2013 was a spectacular year. The past few days I've spent writing down 100 of the greatest (for better or for worse) moments of the year. I'm sure there's a lot that I've missed, and I'll think of them in the days to come, but for now I'm very happy with all the memories that 2013 holds.

I was never much into new year's resolutions until about last year. And I think this goes back to my partiality for odd numbers. I was never impressed with the sound of 2012. But when I woke up on January 1, 2013, I could not contain my excitement. 2013: a fresh new start in what would have to be a wonderful year. I mean, it was an odd number with 13 (one of my favorite odd numbers), after all. I started making plans right away.

So I did what I do best: I made a list. I wrote down academic goals and health goals. I made a list of all the things I would do for my blog on a daily basis. I outlined a brand new budget to stick to, how I'd spend my free time, what I'd accomplish in my workouts, even my morning routine. It was my ideal lifestyle (for a sophomore in college, anyway). And my commitment to that long list of things was my new year's resolution. In 2013, I would stick to the plan. The plan of productivity, non-laziness and everlasting good behavior.

But as I look back at this list, one year later, I realize I have accomplished very little on this list. I'm proud of the progress I've made, but I haven't hit my ideal levels. And some of the stuff on my list were things I really didn't want to do in the first place but thought I should do anyway.

I don't regret making this list. I think it is rather healthy and refreshing to sit down for a good amount of time and reflect on your ideals, wishes, fantasies. I'll always keep them in mind, and I think my new year's reflection did help me in how I approached everything that went down in 2013.

For 2014, I'm doing something a little different. In these next few days I'll definitely be revisiting my ideals. But I do want to make new year's resolutions that I know I can achieve in the next 365 days. That doesn't mean my resolutions won't be a challenge--it means they will be possible. This year, I am resolving to make five changes in my life. These changes will help me in my journey to realize my ideals and will help me become remarkably different from and more improved than my 2013 self.

So, a toast to my five New Year's Resolutions!

Happy New Year, everyone. What are your resolutions?

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Wishlist, 2013

It wasn't until I made this set on Polyvore that I realized how dark and neutral-colored my Christmas list is. Especially when you compare it to my list from last year. Is this a reflection? An omen? 

My Christmas list:

1. Chunky knit sweaters. Mornings during winter, all I'm really thinking about is staying warm. I love being able to just pull on a thick sweater, a pair of jeans and some boots and be all set to go. I especially love this one and this one, both from Loft.

2. An iPod Shuffle in gray. I don't like using my phone to play music while I work out--I'm always afraid it will fall and break. The shuffle would be perfect, since all I need is a good workout playlist.

3. Black ankle boots. Something classic and on the dressier side that I can wear with everything from jeans to dresses.

4. A barrel hair curler, preferably one with interchangeable barrels to make different size curls. I know I say this practically every year, but I really do want to do something more than just put my hair in a bun or topknot everyday.

5. This Bianca Green art print for my room. It's so pretty.

6. Bioderma micelle solution. I've heard such great things about this cleanser and make-up remover, and I do want to get into the habit of removing my makeup before I start washing my face.

7. A black Northface rain jacket. The rain jacket that I have now is something I've had since around the 8th grade. I think it's time I get a new (cleaner) one.

8. A black Longchamp Le Pliage bag. This would be perfect for school.

What's on your holiday wishlist?

P.S. I use Grammarly for proofreading online because I heard Santa puts lazy proofreaders on the naughty list. And I really do want a pair of ankle boots.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

December in the City

Just a few scenes from our time in the city the other day. We went to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, an (almost) yearly tradition.

Of all the days to go into the city, it was probably the most wicked of days, weather-wise. It was snowing all morning, so I spent a good couple hours outside shoveling the driveway and clearing the snow off the car. If anyone happened to walk by or drive by incredibly slowly, they would have seen just this one big purple blob fighting the elements and shoveling snow. I was wearing thick purple corduroys, a purple coat, a purple hat and a purple scarf. Also, three pairs of socks and two pairs of gloves. The city was just as cold and even wetter, as it stopped snowing for a bit and just straight-out rained. The wind was crazy and, well, we didn't linger long outside. My feet weren't properly warm and dry until the next morning.

But we were determined! This was actually our third attempt at seeing the Christmas Spectacular this year, as the first two times we had unexpected family obligations. So, a couple sketchy craigslist interactions and a stubhub (or two) orders later, we finally made it to see the Rockettes. And to see Santa walk out into the audience right up to my brother's seat, it was all worth it.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Break Reading List

Okay so I've had about four and a half days now to recover from those end-of-semester shenanigans like final exams, final papers and getting up at five in the morning to write papers. All that silly stuff is behind me, and each semester I find myself vowing that the next one won't be like that. I'll be able to manage my time better, I'll take more manageable classes--the stress of finals won't even be a thing. Ha.

But now I'm looking forward to four wonderful weeks of winter break. Days filled with lots of baking, barking contests with Doc and Mack, catching up with friends over hot chocolate and, of course, good reading.

I am always pretty ambitious with my reading lists for school vacations, but let's see how much of this I can get through...

The first on the list was A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. However, a few days ago, Audible offered its subscribers a holiday gift--a free audio book of one of Dickens's Christmas short-stories. So I think this year I'll be spending the days before Christmas listening to The Cricket on the Hearth. Audible calls it "a delightful vision of Victorian Christmas" -- I can't wait. I think I'll start listening tonight.

I still have to finish The Book Thief -- it's very good so far and I would love to see the movie soon!

Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollack. Three semesters of college to go. Time to really start prepping for the real world.

Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. It's been recommended to me so many times.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

 All of the October, November, December and January issues of Glamour, Marie Claire and Women's Health. I have a pretty nice pile right next to my desk. Oh, did I mention I still have some issues from last year that I haven't gotten through?

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

Well, better get started! 

lots of love, 

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December Goals

So many holiday decorations at the nursery where we bought our wreath. I love picking out new ornaments (though we really don't need any more!).

GUYS IT'S MY FAVORITE MONTH OF THE YEAR I CAN'T DEAL. I have super big plans for December, but really all of that is pretty much on hold until I get in these three papers. Everything will be done by midnight the 13th but I really just want to pound them out, go home and forget about school for a bit and focus on other things. Blogging, for instance.

This December, I'd like to...

buy thoughtful gifts for my family
bake gingerbread men/women cookies
read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
craft a game-plan for the summer internship search
make a list of my 100 favorite and most important moments of 2013 
find a project to keep myself busy (and productive) during winter break
prep for my new position in Kappa
read lots and lots of books (for fun!)
watch classic Christmas movies (I've never ever seen It's a Wonderful Life -- I need to get on this)
think about my goals for 2014
go into the city to see the Rockettes
enjoy the moment. 

Have any fun plans for December? What do you hope to accomplish?

P.S. the puppies say hi. 

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