“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Once again, I find myself behind in updating everyone on the progress I have recently made towards completing my Day Zero Project. I think as part of my new years’ resolutions I am going to make a conscious effort to set aside a little time bi-weekly to ensure my blog is up-to-date! We shall see how long this resolution lasts 🙂

This post is going to take us all the way back to Thanksgiving day! My Aunt and Uncle who live in St. Paul hosted Thanksgiving for my mom’s side of the family. Now that I call Minnesota my home, this was perfect for me as it meant considerably less travel time. It also meant that I had to deep clean my apartment as my parents stayed with me for the weekend. It was definitely nice to have company and to have family to go do things with (or drag them to!)

My parents happened to arrive on their anniversary. Being the #1 daughter that I am, I took them out for dinner at Zaffiros, a little place known for its thin crust pizza, to celebrate. It was a good evening. I may have lost some brownie points the next morning when I made them wake up at 6:30 to go with me to a Turkey Trot! This fits into my Day Zero Project as preparation for Running a 5K. I had hoped to run the 5k, but since I registered so late the 5k was full, so instead I ran the 2 mile ‘race’. The thrower in me felt lucky to only have to run 2. 🙂 I ended up getting 3rd (keep in mind nearly everyone ran the 5k) with a time of 18.26. Definitely not an Olympic qualifying time by any means, but for me, I was pretty happy and content with it. Not to shabby for my first race and next up is a full 5K!

Since it was 22 degrees out when I was running, I was more than ready to get to a warm location when it was over. I’m not sure why I just used the cold weather as an excuse as I’m pretty sure it could have been a beautiful day and my favorite part would still have been when it was over 🙂 What can I say? I’ll forever be a thrower at heart. Thanks mom and dad for tagging along and for the awesome photos. Who knew I could make running look so good?!

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro's

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro’s

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro's

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro’s

Wishbone 2 mile Run!

Wishbone 2 mile Run!

Getting my run on! :)

Getting my run on! 🙂

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!

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“She had always been a fast driver, even before she could afford a fast car. It was impatience as much as anything: chafing at the fact that she couldn’t actually do anything while driving- except drive” Chico Kidd

Well, after an unplanned two month hiatus, I have returned to my blog! 🙂 I have been slowly chipping away at my Day Zero Project, but have not been very timely in updating my blog. So, prepare yourself for an influx of updates!

In early October, I went home for the weekend. This was a foreign concept to me as I have never really just gone home for the weekend. Being the typical overly involved college student, I rarely had a free weekend in college in which to go home. Then I moved to Indy, and let’s be real, if I didn’t go home for the weekend when it was a 5 hour drive it is safe to say I didn’t when I was 12 hours away either. This made going home just for the weekend special in itself. However, adding to the excitement, I learned how to drive a stick shift!! 

This is one of those things that I have always wanted to learn. Granted when I envisioned being taught I always pictured learning in a truck or an old beat up car, but go big or go home right? (right!) I learned in a semi! No worries, I was driving through one of the fields at home, not on a road 🙂 Big shout out to my dad for teaching me! Like the biggest shout out ever. Like the shout out of ALL shout outs! I have been known to pick-up on things abnormally quick, like when I first started throwing weight/hammer or playing piano, unfortunately, this was not one of those things. Not even close! I consider only killing it three times to be a huge success! Luckily, my dad was really patient. He even provided me with the excuse that it’s harder to drive the semi on softer ground. Isn’t he great?! I just know I would have done better on the highway 😉 I also know that if I had driven on the highway my mom would have had a heart attack so you’ll just have to take my word that I would’ve rocked it 🙂 Below are some super rad photos my brother took of me driving!

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That’s the point of working with one’s hands, you see. It gives the mind something else to do besides worry” Charles Todd

Well, tomorrow I head to Saint Joseph to get all settled in to what will be my new home for the next ?? however many years! I’ve been keeping myself busy while at home in northwest, Iowa. Partially due to the fact that I’ve had these projects in mind for quite some time and finally have some time to work on them, but partially to keep my mind from thinking too much about all the changes that are about to come my way! Here are some things that have kept me busy 🙂

1. Button Headband: My parents went to an estate sale a few months ago and ended up with a whole slew of buttons! All different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles so I figured why not take some of them and make a super stellar headband?!

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2. I also did a few home improvement projects in my room! I started with having Dad help me take down my loft and then repainted the walls. I painted three of the walls grey and the remaining wall white with the intent of stenciling it yellow and grey. Unfortunately the stencil I ordered did not come in time, so next time I am home I know what I will be doing! I also took some old shutters that my grandma gave me the go ahead to take out of an old garage at the farm in northeast Iowa and made a headboard out of them! Big shout out to my brother for helping me to assemble it! When I initially asked him for his engineering advice as to whether or not the way I was thinking of assembling it would work, his response was that I needed to not be so ambitious… after that though it was smooth sailing 🙂002 009 (2) 012

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3. This last project I made for my parents as a combined Mother’s/Father’s Day present! I got the idea from a friend in Indy (shout out to Jay!) who made one for a bridal shower for our great friend Jacqui with one of her engagement photos. I used a photo from my master’s hooding ceremony of my parents and myself and used deco pauge and resin to transfer portions of the photo into bottle caps fastened to a canvas. Big shout out to the guys who let me have their bottle caps so I could make this (you know who you all are!). Took a long time and I think I liked it better before filling the caps with resin, but such is life!! This picture doesn’t do the canvas justice, but because of the shine on the resin it was difficult to get a good photo. Hopefully you get the jist of it anyways 🙂

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“Just pick a goal and stick to it―no big complicated secret.” -Richelle E. Goodrich

As you may know, or may have figured out by now, I love inspirational and motivational quotes. So much so that I keep a word document of quotes I run across so I can reference them or use them someday. Kinda weird, right? haha, well I finally started using some of these quotes when I started this blog as all of my blog entries are titled with a quote that some how ties into what I am writing about. Some topics are easier to choose quotes on than others and some quotes relate better to the topic than others. As I was looking through the quotes I have collected over the years and feel this fits for a journey I started a year ago!

On June 1, 2012, I took a pledge to not buy any new clothes for a full year – I made it!! I allowed myself only a few exceptions which were undergarments and bridesmaid dresses for the weddings of my near and dear friends Jerrad/Jacqui and Jake/Alyssa. I also did not count the Maurices gift card my grandma gave me for Christmas which I used to purchase a few dresses for work which were on clearance. My goal or reasoning for taking this pledge was to not spend money on clothes so that I could save it and ensure that I did not have to take out any loans for graduate school, and it worked! I saved a lot of money by not buying clothes I normally would have thought I ‘had’ to have or by mending/altering clothes I did have instead of just buying new when there was wear or tear.

Once I took the pledge to not spend money on buying new clothes for a full year, it was relatively easy for me. There were only a couple times in which I came really close to breaking my pledge, one of those times was as I was preparing for my job search and interviews as I usually would have bought something new for such an occasion. Clearly I was able to impress without a fancy new dress! The other times stemmed from the emails I received from different stores about sales they have going on. Once I sent all of those to spam the temptation was no longer there.

No pictures this time as there really isn’t any photo evidence other than some patched up jeans or hemmed/altered dresses (thanks Mom and Dad for your help with those!) However, now that it has been a year, who is ready to go shopping with me?!?!

“Eat diamonds for breakfast and shine all day!” Unknown

I spent the last two weeks in the glorious state of Iowa. It was a much-needed break from work and school. It was also the first time in twelve months that I made the trek all the way home. I had been back to Iowa for several weddings and to see friends, but never quite made it all the way back to good ol northwest Iowa. As I was siting in the Indianapolis airport waiting for my flight to depart at 6am, it dawned on me that I would have all this free time to work on my Day Zero Project. Of course, most of that free time that I thought I had was spent instead with family and friends doing holiday-esque type activities. However, I was able to work on it a little. I was also able to catch up on my blogging (as you may have noticed with my sudden increase in posts).

I crossed Make Someone Breakfast in Bed off my list over break. Turns out it wasn’t just someone who I made breakfast in bed for but…(drumroll please)… my dad! 🙂 It actually turned into breakfast on the couch as I did not get up early enough to be able to make it while he was still in bed. I’ll just say I had trouble adjusting to the time zone difference or that he just gets up way too early. Either way, at least it was still breakfast time when I awoke so I was able to make it for him. Below are some pictures of the scrumptious breakfast I made for my dad which included bacon, egg, and cheese mcmuffins, banana slices, and a glass of cranberry apple juice. Although I didn’t actually serve him diamonds for breakfast, he seemed to still enjoy it!

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