As this is one of my all-time favourite dishes, I figured I should perfect it first. I choose a couple different recipes and combined them to my liking.
The one I mainly used was from www.smittenkitchen.com. this recipe has really delicious elements (but I made some changes – like I did not make my own noodles – heck no) although I loved the sauce and ricotta/spinach mix (i used 1 cup ricotta). I simmered the sauce for about 40 mins, so it thickened. I also used regular dry lasagna noodles (9 noodles, boiled 8mins). I fit it in a 9×9 dish; piled perfectly, used all the sauce, lots of cheese (approx 200g / half a brick). sooooooooo good, the leftovers are to die for.
Layers: sauce, 3 noodles, ricotta, mozza, parm, sauce, 3 noodles, ricotta, mozza, parm, sauce, 3 noodles, sauce, mozza, parm (be sure no noodles are peeking out the top – they need the sauce to finish cooking). 25mins with foil, then 25mins without foil.
yum-a yum-a. Seriously. The best.
I feel this was a very productive week.
• I finished my kitchen and entryway…. they are still not quite perfection, but the loose ends will be tied up along the way. For now, they are far more fun/functional than before.
• I’ve continued to get rid of magazines, books, cds and dvds. This is a major project, and one of the most cleansing for me.
• I also (finally!!) finished the curtains. This is something that I have been putting off for a very long time, and it has made an enormous difference. They definitely elevate my apartment to the next level – it looks less ad hoc, more finished.
As I go on to next week, I will continue to declutter, focusing on the living space. I suspect I won’t have to buy anything else (maybe a lamp shade and fabric for a table cloth… also still considering paint). But, I’m really mostly focusing on getting rid of stuff and reworking things to make them more useful (budget is happy right now!).
I have officially finished my kitchen. Whew. Im excited to do more cooking now that everything looks soooo fantastic!
Although, I would still like to buy a few things for the kitchen – a new tablecloth, curtains and a mat in front of the sink – but I don’t like to buy spontaneously, I’d rather wait until I find things I love… so, I will have my eyes peeled whenever I go shopping.
I’m sort of going back and forth between week 2 and 3. I was totally motivated to work on my entryway, so… why not?!
Accomplished this week:
- I cleaned most of the kitchen. I’m not quite done yet, but I did clean all the surfaces, I threw out old food, and I reorganized most of my cupboards, shelves, fridge, freezer. Everything looks/feels so great! I also changed the drawing on my chalkboard and put up an adorable little picture.
- I already have a Brita water filter, which I enjoy using.
- I have an outbox, a large cardboard box. It’s pretty full.
- I cleared several surfaces, but then I started moving things around and I haven’t finished yet, so I will have to clear the surfaces again.
- I already pretty much know my style – elegant, inspired, contemporary.
- I started to rearrange my living room, inspired by the one-room remedy.
Headstart on week 3:
I created a landing strip. I now have a spot to drop my mail, which is divided into 3 sections. I also have a spot for important stuff and everyday items that I always seem to lose. And I have a special dish for laundry coins.
Leftovers; things from week 2 to be carried over to week 3:
- Go through pots and pans and tupperware (match lids!)
- I still have to buy flowers. I don’t know why I’m resisting this.
- Cook a new recipe. I’ve collected recipes, just haven’t cooked yet.
- Figure out what to do with the stuff in the kitchen that doesn’t have a place. Either I need to create more storage or I need to put more stuff in the outbox…?
- Organize front of fridge and top of fridge.
- New curtains. I’ll do this with the other curtains in my apt.
Things I didn’t do, and probably won’t:
- Run my hands over all the walls. I paint often, and my place is small, so it just doesn’t feel necessary.
- I’m not having an official housewarming, but I do plan to constantly invite people over.
What I have done so far:
- I have made a complete list of repairs.
- I have vacuumed and mopped and cleared all the floors.
- I have looked into earth-friendly cleaning products – I am very interested in making my own, and will be switching over as I use up the old stuff.
- I have also gathered pictures of rooms I love, even though this task is for the one-room remedy, I think it’s fun and worth doing in the long run.
I did not remove anything from my apartment, but I did set aside a load of books, cds and dvds. I am going to sell them on ebay or craigslist. I’ve decided that any money I make from my outbox will be donated to my “apartment therapy fund.”
I also did not buy flowers, although I plan to for week 2. I love buying flowers, but I really think that buying them every week is a little too indulgent for me and my budget. Btw, I’m also looking into plants, perhaps ones with flowers! – they last longer.
I’ve just ordered 5 beautiful linen-covered binders, each in a different bright color. I also ordered tabs, pockets, paper… It was a hefty bill, but a monetary commitment always gives me that extra push. And the fact that I really really love the items ~ they are soooo beautiful ~ I will want to use them! I am so excited about this, I don’t see how it couldn’t help.
Anyway, each binder will represent a different category, probably finances (green), health (red), social (pink), career (black), and home (blue).
This is going to be the perfect way to get all the important stuff in order. It will take a while, but it will look/feel so great. Even just thinking about it feels liberating.
Then, after I have organized everything I need to keep, I will hit the recycle bin and throw out ALL the leftovers. No mercy.
eat breakfast and make my own coffee
put on great music and do 10 minutes of exercise
work on curing my home (apartment therapy!)
prepare a delicious lunch for the next day
meditation and/or yoga before bedtime
Lately I’ve been reading several articles on getting fit on 10mins a day. So, I figure, why not try it? Maybe it’s not the activity that I keep resisting – maybe it’s the length of the activity. I will try it through the entire month of January. I don’t track my weight or anything, but I will be watching how I feel, and how motivated I am to keep this up, what time of day works best… Hey, 10 minutes is better than nothing, right?
I am also happy to say that I have continued practicing yoga – I really enjoy it, and I feel “off” when I haven’t done it for a while. I’ve been doing it at home, which is easier than trotting off to the gym (especially in this weather). I even bought a sitting block, which I love more than I ever thought I would – I even sit on it while watching tv!
Although the yoga has been great, I prefer hatha/meditation-type yoga, which is great for stretching, toning, and relaxing, but I need more of a cardio element. So, we’ll see what happens.
To LOVE my apartment.
I’ve had the book for a while – I even started to work through it – but I guess other priorities got in the way. So, I’m starting it again. Today. It is technically 2 months, but I’m really going to focus on it in January. Then in February, if there is still a lot to do, I will overlap it with another goal.
Anyway, I’m doing the deep treatment and my ultimate is to have a home that inspires me, and a home that I want to invite people over to all the time, without ever wanting to apologize for the messes, the pile of papers, the oddities.
I’m really looking forward to this!
Btw, I’ve been collecting projects I would like to work on:
DECIDE WHAT TO SELL. This is the gut of it all. This question is what is holding me back. I have been crafty all my life, so I’ve got several options up my sleeve, all of which I would looooove to tackle into a money-making venture. How do I decide? I will probably make a pile of pro/con lists. I’m sure one option will be more viable, more productive, more lovable than the others. I really want to take this all the way, go through all the steps, write up a business plan… Also, from a long-term career perspective, a venture like this would look amazing on my resume and in my portfolio (I’m a graphic designer).
So, setting up a shop on etsy = working on something I love to do, expressing myself creatively, hopefully inspiring others, perhaps making a small profit, all while furthering my career as a designer! What’s not to love?!?
Now I have to figure out what I want to do! I can’t wait to start!
First step: I have combined all my stacks into one very very tall, life-size stack. It didn’t take long, and it made such a huge difference in reducing the visual clutter.
Next step: (it’s gonna take a while) going through each magazine, tearing out the good stuff, and organizing it into respective binders: recipes, home, art, beauty, fashion…. (will make the categories as I go along).
Step after that: donate magazines that are still in good condition.
And after that: find a nice place for the magazines I choose to keep and STOP BUYING SO MANY MAGAZINES!!
Today I started working on ideas, themes, research, concepts…. I’m really excited about this. I’m a graphic designer, so I know it will add an extra dimension to my portfolio, and I can definitely use the extra little income, and I really just want to get my stuff out there!
So, right now, I’m working on the actual designs. Next, I have to work on my own branding, the name of the store, prices…. This part will probably be the most difficult for me. I’m so indecisive!
Then I will work on promoting. I think etsy has become so huge, it’s probably common for people to get lost in the shuffle.
I think this is going to be a lot of work. But worth it!
So, I’ve decided to start going to this little cafe near my house, to write, every morning before work. I’m proud to have found a little place, with lots of character, whose atmosphere is miles better than certain coffee chains.
I went this morning, and it felt really good. It was enough to wake me up and inspire me – it really made me feel good and optimistic about the day ahead. I have coffee every morning anyway, why not make it enjoyable?!
1. Friends like T who inspire me to just be me.
2. Going to the movies to see The Dark Knight, with a couple friends, and a big bucket of buttered popcorn. The big-ness of everything is so fun.
3. Farmer’s Markets ~ getting local, in-season blueberries! yuuuuuuum!
4. Meeting new people, sharing laughs, finding commonalities – I love realizing that people are actually quite alike – it reminds me of a quote (by I-don’t-know-who): “the deeper you go, the more universal you become.” (May Sarton, perhaps?)
5. Helping A with her project. I love the collaborative process – there’s something kind of magical about the ideas of two different people coming together to produce something greater.
I have found some useful sites over the years. The Mondo Beyondo: http://www.superherodesigns.com/journal/archives/000452.html probably jump-started it for me, years ago, but it was all in writing. Lately I’ve been using Kaboodle.com to record my dream purchases and things I’d like to experience, but it’s all on the internet. Although these are good tools, I think printed images are still the best. So I will probably be combining printed images with finds from magazines. Also, I really want to hang the finished board where I will see it several times a day, so it really becomes ingrained in my head.
And it will probably be expensive. And addictive. Once ya start…. there is no stopping! Nonetheless, I have decided to take it on. I think a good perfume is like a good pair of shoes!
I’ve bought Juicy Couture (last year) and Guerlain L’Instant (last week). I like them both, Guerlain more-so, but I do not consider either to be my “signature scent.” I like flowerbomb too, but I’m already tired of it – it’s too trendy. Prada Iris is tempting – I have to try it again.
I would like to look into more inaccessible lines, like Ormonde Jayne and Parfums de Nicolai and L’Artisan Parfumeur.
Since I’m just starting out in the world of fragrance, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, unsure of exactly what I want. www.nowsmellthis.blogharbor.com and www.basenotes.net have been very helpful. NST introduced me to samples!
Well, this goal is not exactly turning out the way I want. My last entry was all about getting up early, but it just wasn’t in me. I guess I wasn’t really feeling it.
SO, the next 30 days, May 24 – June 24 will be devoted to exercising every day (and another goal of mine, to “find an enjoyable form of exercise”). Excessive? maybe – but, I need this. And, I know it’s in me, because I’ve already started. The trick is to keep it up! I can do this! I feel that if I can really make exercising a habit, then anything is possible.
This is definitely a goal that parallels many of my core values, and I think that is enough to make it work, I just have to keep reminding myself. And, who knows, maybe exercise will help me sleep better, thereby getting up earlier! Things have a funny way of working out sometimes…
I dont know how it happened, but I got in about an hour of good exercise EVERY NIGHT THIS WEEK – happily – without struggle! It felt really good.
Monday I went for a very long power walk. Tuesday, yoga – it was actually a more challenging class than usual – more like power yoga, I think. Wed and Thursday, I made it to the gym for cardio and weights! and tonight, fri, I went on a short power walk.
How impressed am I?! I suddenly feel like I have the exercise thing under way. I’m actually looking forward to my next visit to the gym, which is yoga, tomorrow morning! And, tomorrow afternoon, I will be walking the seawall with a friend. We’re planning a big hike for our next outing.
This is seriously something of a miracle. I’ve been trying to pinpoint the moment where motivation hit. It could be difficult to keep this up, so knowing where it came from could help.
Basic black dress
Classic dress pants
Classic white shirt
A comfortable alternative to a sweatsuit
I’ve been back and forth with this goal for a while. Although I think I dress ok – my closet is still not in line with my best self. So, this time around, I think this is a pretty good place to start.
Whenever it’s nearing my bday, I always like to find things about Taurus. Maybe it’s a tad hokey pokey, but I still find it inspiring! Actually, this one is frighteningly accurate.
Lucky Color: Teal
Personality Strengths: Peace, Talent
Personality Weakness: Weak-heartedness
Successful Career Path: Art
Sense of Humor Style: Obscure
Adjectives to Describe You: impulsive, adventurous
The quintessential dreamer – your head is always in the clouds. You dream big and think different – and want to truly achieve something great in your lifetime. You are highly motivated and driven, while surprisingly laid-back and fun-loving at the same time.
This upcoming year is going to be devoted to relationships and adventure! I’m excited!