In the recap of my 2019 challenges, I said I would soon share my plans for 2020. As usual, I’m probably overly optimistic about what I can achieve. But hey, if we don’t stretch ourselves a little, what’s the point? Even if I can only do 90% of this, I think I’m still accomplishing quite a bit.
I’ve upped my reading goal for the year from 30 books to 35. Considering I was able to read 32 books in 2019, I think 35 is realistic.
At the beginning of last year, I created a list of 20 books I wanted to read, in addition to those selected by my book club throughout the year. I read all but four on that list. I also read some that weren’t on the list. So those four carried forward to my 2020 list.
I again created a list of 20 books for this year. All but four are in my stash of books to read, so I shouldn’t have to purchase much. Always a good thing.
I’m currently reading my third book of the year and I’d like to finish it by the end of January to stay on track. However, I picked “Insomnia” by Stephen King and if you’re a fan of his, you know his books are long. This is a paperback with small print and 663 pages!! But I can already tell I’m going to like it. I’ll just need to find time to read other than before bed!!
I haven’t been doing so well so far this month, so I need to pick up the pace to meet my goals for the year.
I’m participating in an ABC Challenge where you pick projects for every letter of the alphabet. My plan was to pick 12 of the 26 letters, but I ended up with 14. Fourteen is still a lot of projects!! I tried to find large and small ones, as well as a few kits, to make it more manageable. I’m also not very good at working on more than one project at a time. I think I just don’t like a lot of loose ends.
I’ve actually now increased the number of projects to 15. My friend Mark’s live-in girlfriend passed away at the end of December and he wants me to finish a project she started. He said my blog inspired her to pick up cross-stitching again, so how could I say no? 😢
She was working on a Sticks design called Play Golf. (If you remember, I’ve done a few of their designs myself.) It’s really an honor to be able to finish it and even though he said “no hurry”, that’s all I’ve stitched on so far this month. I’ve managed to put in somewhere around 12 hours and it’s looking good. I’ll share before and after pictures once I’ve finished it.
This upcoming weekend is the first #24hoursofcrossstitch weekend. I’m excited about it as I’m expecting to make great progress and make up for my lack of stitching earlier in the month. Maybe I can get Play Golf finished. Except there are beads too. I’ve come to dislike beads. 😣
A new challenge for myself this year will be baking a few things I’ve never had the nerve to try. My list so far is pretty small and we said “no baking” in January and have managed to stick to it. (We both need to lose a few pounds.)
So, here’s what’s on my baking challenge list (so far). I may add some things to it. We’ve been watching “The Great British Baking Show” and I’ve learned about all kinds of different things to bake. So many things I’ve never heard of. Wow!!
- Cinnamon rolls – I don’t know that this is a huge challenge but I’ve always wanted to make these and for some reason, have shied away from it. This is the year and will probably be the first thing I make.
- Macarons – When I was treadmilling regularly last fall, I caught up on the “Kids Baking Championship”. That show really makes me feel inadequate!! This seems like something I need to try. I’ve already purchased a silicon mat with marks to help make them uniform.
- Eclairs – This has been on my list but just the other night we watched an episode of the above-mentioned baking show and they made eclairs. Theirs were much fancier than I intend to make but I think I might have picked up a few tips.
- Ciabatta bread – I recently made focaccia bread, so how hard can ciabatta bread be? I also want to try an artisan bread in my dutch oven. Does that count as two challenges?
- Crepes – I want to try these stuffed with Nutella. Ooh, might have to be a reward if I can lose those pounds!! I also need a crepe pan before I can make these.
- Lobster ravioli – I guess this is more cooking than baking, but it made the list. The first time I ever had lobster ravioli was when I attended a conference/class in Charlotte, North Carolina. I will never forget how yummy it was. Now I want to replicate that. I’ve learned how to make my own pasta plus I got a pasta maker for Christmas. Is that cheating? Regardless, I can’t wait to try it out. I think the secret will be the sauce and I hope I can find a good recipe. Any tips?
I’ve created a Pinterest board (actually, a section within my Recipe Box board) with one recipe for each of my baking challenges, except the cinnamon rolls because I’ve been collecting those for years (in the Breads section of my board Recipe Box). If you’d like to follow along, I’ll post to that board/section as I find new recipes or add new challenges.
If you have any suggestions for something else I should try, let me know!! It’s fun to try new things.
I don’t have defined challenges in mind for my sewing, knitting or card making, but I do have plans, mostly in my head.
For sewing, I need to finish up the four project bags I have planned. I need those for all those cross stitch projects!! This will be my first sewing project of the year, once I finish the cards I’m making for February. Maybe later this week?
Tim has also asked me to make him a t-shirt quilt, which I talked about previously after I went to a class. The biggest challenge with this will be to figure out how to cut and organize the t-shirts and then determine the additional fabrics I’ll need. It’s kind of a daunting project, but probably one I just need to start.
No definite plans for knitting, although I am currently making a baby afghan for my oldest niece who is expecting her first baby in May. Time in the car helps me make progress. Tim finally has his surgery next Tuesday, so I’ll need to decide if I knit or read while he’s under the knife. I’ll take both and see what works the best!!
We also decided to make scrapbooks for the grandkids through their 18th birthdays. That’s a ways away, but we need to catch up. Almost five years for Carly and almost eight for Brady. We’ve been working on choosing the pictures which is a nightmare because there are too many!! The book could end up being a foot thick!
Tim has been working on the pictures (after I had about 200 printed at Walgreens, fortunately with a coupon for ten cents a picture) and he’s given me creative license with the scrapbook itself. It will be tough picking the right pictures but I guess we can’t really go wrong because they’re all good. Not sure when I’ll get started on the actual scrapbooking part. I just feel good that we finally have the pictures.
Every year, I try to make gifts for my friends and family. I’m still searching for ideas for this year. I have a few but I need to refine them and then figure out what I can realistically do. Hey friends and family – what would you like?
I want to make sure whatever I make is wanted and needed by each recipient. I suspect I get more pleasure out of giving them than they do receiving them. I know they appreciate the effort, but I want them to be excited about what I give them.
Well, it’s a busy year ahead and I need to get going.
But first, I have to finish those February cards. 😍