Life, style & food in the District
Instead of making one major resolution this year, I’ve resolved to work on several seemingly little, and thus more attainable, habits and tasks of my daily life. And to make sure that each one is tackled with at least a valiant effort, I’ve acquired a few new tools to help me along my journey.
#1: So first and most importantly is to save more money this year. Full disclosure: As someone who pieces together a career with a bunch of part-time jobs and freelance writing, this can be a bit hard. Luckily for me, my husband loves his (what I think must be boring) government job, so that gives us in some financial stability. Well, that and my pathetic little IRA that I threw together cashing in 401Ks from previous jobs. (I’m not that old, so you do the math on how small that baby is.)
But a life of varying paychecks and buy-your-own health insurance is totally, totally worth it to be doing what I love. Doesn’t even come close.
Another thing I love is living in D.C. – so much so, that I want to stay. For-ev-er… or at least for the foreseeable future. And that, my friends, is why we are starting to look into buying – something that is a whole new world for us young-and-hungry urban dwellers.
A lot of my free time now is spent educating myself on the home buying (well, apartment buying) process. Everything from how much money we need to scrape together, to how to get a loan, breaks for first-time homebuyers and the next up-and-coming neighborhood of D.C. (read: dodgy and cheap now, but trendy and safe in several years). One website/blog that has helped me tremendously is a local site, called DWELL. If you haven’t checked it out, you should.
However, if there is one thing that this process and research is telling me, it is that buying an apartment might be further down the road than we think. Thus, I need to save money and cut back on any frivolous spending.
One area of my spending that needs a total makeover is my “coffee habit.” I can’t help it, I like coffee. And not just coffee, really – I can choke that down – but what I love is espresso. I love it as a shot, I love it with steamed milk, I love it over ice, I just love it any which way. And guess what the big man brought me for Christmas? An espresso maker! No, not the kind in the Penelope Cruz commercial that comes with a $400 price tag. Santa brought the old school kind you make on top of your stove. And I am obsessed.
With a hand-held milk frother, I am my own barista. Every morning I wake up and make my own cappuccino, iced espresso or latte, and then do it again in the afternoon. It’s changing my life. (Well, that’s a bit dramatic, but it’s already helping to change the numbers in my bank account.) And I found some cute little teal espresso cups that I bought years ago at Anthropologie for $1 each (and currently use as soy cups for sushi) that are perfect for entertaining with espresso.
Checking off resolution #1 will be easier than I imagined. Get your buzz at home. Done.
The other goals on the list are less exciting from a lifestyle perspective, but important to me, nonetheless.
#2: Take the dog on more walks. She’s cute, she deserves it. Plus, I could use the fresh air.
#3: Get the mail everyday. This may sound incredibly strange, but I hate getting the mail, and so I have a tendency to let it build up for a week or so. I think it’s because it means I have to go through everything, shred certain documents, file others, read magazines, etc. It’s a time-consuming endeavor that I just need to approach more often.
#4: Update my computer when the update prompts me to do so. I always push “save for later,” and one day my Mac is just going to throw it all in my face. Literally. Bye bye data.
#5: Create more: Do you ever have a cool idea and think, “I should actually do this?” I do. (Well, they may not be cool, but they are ideas that I think are good enough to pursue.) But I never do anything with them. It’s called that DIY Pinterest board to which I just pin and don’t act on. Well that is going to change. Check out this cool tool I received as a gift. The book offers prompts to get your creative writing flowing. I can’t wait to dive into this… after I learn how to knit.
#6: Take advantage of all the free cultural things this city has to offer. I need to go to more museums. Period.
#7: Drink my greens. As much as I make an effort to eat healthy (I think I am pretty good), sometimes a busy schedule means that I just have cheese and crackers for dinner. Or better yet, a beer and potato chips. And while that may taste good, it doesn’t do my body much good. So if I can’t find the time to eat them, I will at least drink them. For breakfast.
#8: Be a bad-ass yogi: Done. Registered for a 200-hour yoga teaching certification program.
#9: Donate more (time) to local charities. Just because I don’t have a ton of extra income to donate, doesn’t mean I can’t donate my time. There are so many wonderful organizations that do amazing things, locally. And I want to be more actively involved.
#10: Write more. (Check)
Happy New Year, folks! 2013 is going to be amazing… and super caffeinated.