Posted by: Grub | January 15, 2011

37 before 37

So, this is an idea that I have borrowed from several blogs that I follow – rather than doing New Year’s resolutions, I decided to do a list of things I’d like to accomplish before my next birthday.  I actually did this list back in November (before my last birthday), and so I have accomplished a few things on the list already, but I am hoping that by publishing it, I will add an extra layer of accountability to my goal-setting!  I will try to do an update post once in a while too, to keep track of my progress.  I am excited, because a lot of these are things I have wanted to do for a long time!

There are actually 40 things on the list, but I have opted to keep three of them private for now, for various reasons. I will at least let everyone know at the end of the year whether I accomplished these three extras as well.

Lana’s 37 before 37

  1. Start blogging again – I am counting this as already done (two posts in 2011 already!), although I will re-evaluate my progress at the end of the year!
  2. Update and restart working through my cookbook list – As some of you know, I have an obscene amount of cookbooks.  I have made, and now updated,  a list of them, and am going to work down the list, trying to cook out of at least one book each week.  I have already made my shopping list for the first two! I am not going to pledge to blogging about everything, but I am going to try to at least do that more often.
  3. Try a new fruit and a new vegetable – Candidates include persimmon, quince, rutabaga and escarole.  Any other suggestions?
  4. Bake bread – Harvey, Chad’s dad, showed me how to make his famous bread while he was here, and now that Chad’s parents have gone home, I guess I have to try it out for myself!
  5. Watch Chad finish a 100-miler – We have a lot of races on tap this year, so hopefully we can make it to the finish line for at least one (you’d be surprised how challenging this can be to time properly).
  6. Plant herbs on deck – if nothing else, I want to try basil and thyme.  I pretty much have a black thumb when it comes to indoor plants, so I am hoping that trying something outdoors might be the key.
  7. Take Sam to the farmer’s market – apparently, we have already done this, but I don’t remember (first few weeks sleepless mommy syndrome).  Oh well, I hope to do it lots of times.
  8. Go camping – I didn’t get to go camping all last year – combination of being very pregnant in the summertime and Chad selling Blue (yes, I am still harbouring feelings of bitterness and heartache over that one).  This year, we’ll get to take Sam, which makes it infinitely more exciting!
  9. Get new pots and pans – Although this was already on my list of things to do this year, Chad got me gorgeous new copper pots and pans for my birthday (my parents also contributed), and I am not exaggerating when I say that they have already transformed my cooking experience. I don’t even mind having to wash them by hand every time I use them!
  10. Make a dessert with avocados in it – I love avocados and I love chocolate and so I am not sure why I haven’t tried this yet, hence it is on the list.
  11. Take Maxy for a run – I really need to get back on the exercise train, and so this will likely be my first step.
  12. Try out a new recipe for Christmas dinner – I made an apple and cranberry strudel as my “second dessert”, which was also an exercise in veganization.  I was reminded that phyllo is truly my cooking nemesis, even more so than pie pastry.  I had intended to make the Voluptuous Vegan gingerbread recipe, but decided that it was too close in flavour profile to the pumpkin pie I was already making, so I made the gingerbread later in the week and it was truly amazing – I think it will be my go-to Christmas dinner dessert from now on.
  13. Take homemade cookie packages to the Fondon’t – last year, I was feeling too tired and crummy to make individual packages, so I promised myself I would persevere this year, and I did!
  14. Veganize 5 favourite non-vegan recipes, including Great Grandma Patterson’s Butterhorns – So far: 1. Mom’s Dutch Apple Cake; 2. Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Strudel for Christmas; 3. ; 4. ; and 5.
  15. Take a class/lessons with Sam – I guess I could include our library songtime here, but we would also like to try to get him into swimming lessons, and maybe even a baby gymnastics class. (Updated since I originally drafted this to say that we have registered him in both swimming lessons and a baby sign language class, but I won’t count this as done until we are finished!)
  16. Write a letter to Grandma – I really need to get over my dislike of writing letters – I always manage to get halfway in and feel like I have nothing interesting to say, so I scrap it.  My Grandma doesn’t check email or read blogs, so I really need to write her a letter and send her some photos of Sam.
  17. Get back to doing yoga – I did my first downward dog in a year the other day, and although my arms felt pretty good (lugging around a 17 pound baby will do that to you), my core was a big ball of mush and trying to do a cobra to downward dog transition was hilarious (in an “I want to cry” kind of way).  I am going to try to start doing some yoga at home once Sam starts having somewhat regular naps (fingers crossed), and will hopefully get back to going at lunch once I am back to work.
  18. Make a train cake for Sam’s birthday – we found a cool cake on the Internet last year when my friend Cheryl was trying to decide what to make for her son Dax’s first birthday.  I kept the video and am hoping to make it for Sam this year!
  19. Fill up Sam’s baby book – Terri made me a beautiful, hand-made baby book for Sam for his baby party (you should seriously hire her if you would like one), and so I am planning to fill it up with pictures, hopefully before his first birthday, but at least by the end of the year.
  20. Introduce Sam to his cousins, Claire and Violet – Not sure when these are going to happen, but we are working on our schedules.
  21. Make Father’s Day brunch – I will not promise that this will actually happen on Father’s Day, given Chad’s ambitious race and training schedule for June, but there will be a brunch to celebrate around that time!  Sam has already requested tofu scramble.
  22. Make 5 new recipes from food blogs that I follow – I collect recipes like crazy and then save them, forgetting to ever come back to them.  My goal is to start using some of these recipes.  So far I have made: 1. Peanut Butter Cup Oats for One from Peas and Thank You; 2. ; 3. ; 4. ; 5.
  23. Comment on a stranger’s blog – with all of the blogs I read, this is something I should be better at.  Although I already did this once (to report a typo in a new cookbook), I am going to try to do this at least a few more times.
  24. Pay off student loans – I think this speaks for itself. Although I am always grateful for the credit I get on my taxes every year for interest paid on student loans, I have to stop and think about why I am happy that that credit is so big – it is INTEREST for crying out loud!
  25. Take Trish out for lunch – I have the greatest assistant in the world, and this is something that I always plan and want to do and have a hard time actually doing due to the unpredictability of my work schedule.  Rather than waiting for a quiet time to make a plan, I am going to try to just set a date to do this once in a while and then we can always reschedule if necessary.
  26. Go for a massage – I suspect if I drop the ball on anything, it will be this one, because it is probably the hardest to justify spending the time on.  But, I would really really love a massage!
  27. Host a dinner party for friends – I actually have a couple of plans in mind, but since we didn’t actually get around to doing this with our new table last year, this year it is!
  28. Play football – I don’t want to jinx anything, but man do I ever hope we get to play football this year.  I miss it SO much.  I also hope that I remember how to catch a ball and can actually keep up with people now that I have no core strength (see the note on yoga, above).
  29. Play Ultimate – I am not sure how this will work this year, I may just plan to sub for a team rather than committing full-time.  We have a pretty full travel schedule and it will also be hard to have overlapping football and ultimate.  However, since I go back to work in August, this may be the only year that I will actually be able to continue playing both sports at once.  We will have to see.  The goal is simply to play!
  30. Wear a bathing suit – see the note about swimming lessons above.  I haven’t bought a bathing suit in easily 15 years, so this one is daunting.   But, I really want to go swimming with Sam and so I am hoping that will be the push that gets me into that dreaded, horrific store!
  31. Go on a road trip in the US – Chad got into Western States this year, so we will once again be heading down on a California road trip, which I really missed last year.  We are planning to hit all of the usual haunts, including Seattle (Mighty O!), Portland (Vita!) and Ashland.  Hopefully Sam likes road trips, because that is a lot driving! We are going to start practising soon, with a trip to Fairhaven in March for Chuckanut (I don’t know the whole name of the race but I think it’s 100k?) – I can’t wait for Village Books, Boundary Bay Brewpub (we’ll be restaurant-goers this year for the first time) and hopefully Pepper Sisters too
  32. Visit a farm sanctuary – if it was all up to me, we would be going to Farm Sanctuary in California this summer, but they only do regular tours on Saturdays and of course, Western is also on a Saturday.  I am going to try to set something up, but if I can’t, I am going to try to get to one that is closer to home (maybe Pigs Peace in Seattle?)
  33. Eat at a vegan food cart in Portland – in all the years we have been going to Portland, we still haven’t managed this – I have terrible luck with things being closed when we try to visit them (last year the cart we tried to visit was closed due to a 21st birthday the day before – are you kidding me??)
  34. Make 50 recipes from Appetite for Reduction – this is Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s new “low-fat” cookbook and after a long, flour and sugar-filled holiday season, I am diving in head first.  This was originally a 30-recipe goal, but since I have already made 13 recipes, I thought 50 would be a more challenging goal.
  35. Make homemade baby food for Sam – we got the steamer for Christmas from Chad’s parents, and I have bought the squash, sweet potatoes and carrots – now I just need to get working!  I am going to try to make as much of his baby food homemade as possible, so we will see how it goes.  I’ll try to blog about it a bit too.  His first solid food is coming up in less than a month, so I am very excited!!
  36. Start a “Sam journal” – this kind of goes along with the baby book from Terri.  We have heard lots of stories from our parents since we had Sam about when we started walking, talking and getting teeth (ask Chad about being a baby vampire!).  I thought it would be neat to keep a hand-written record of these kinds of things for Sam so that he can read about them growing up, and so that I remember things in better detail than when he starts asking questions years from now!
  37. Learn to use my camera – I would love to say “take a photography class” but I am feeling like there is a lot of that kind of thing on my list right now, and I think I would honestly rather hang out with Sam!  I am going to make a concerted effort to at least work through the various parts of my camera manual and learn how to use non-automatic settings and how to use lighting better, all while taking a million pictures of Sam.

And… there they are!  There are a lot of things on that list, so I had better get cracking! I’ll try to blog about these things as I cross them off my list, but I am not making promises, because that is always how I fall off track.

What are YOU going to do this year?



  1. Great post Lana! I’m trying to come up with something similar (although I was thinking more along the lines of “11 Things to do in 2011”, so I admire your 37!! I hope to be involved in a couple of these (i.e. camping! football!). And, thanks for the plug on the baby book… you are sweet!

  2. Somehow this list is a little overwhelming! Maybe I’ll go with Terri’s 11 things in 2011 instead:) Looking forward to hearing how you do with these and I’m thankful that one is to start blogging again!

  3. LOVE IT!! But, being the responsible auntie that I am, I feel that I need to add one of your crossed out updates to#20 – Sam has four cousins, two of which he has already met!!!

    • Sorry, Ange – that was poorly worded. Sam had already met Kailey and Garrett before my birthday, so the original item on my draft was “introduce Sam to Claire and Violet”, but then I added the qualifier “his cousins” for anyone who didn’t know who C and V were. Didn’t mean to imply they were his only cousins, but I could see how it could be interpreted that way, and probably should have explained that in my explanatory note. K and G get a mention in this year’s cookbook – does that make up for it? 🙂

      • Haha I was just teasing but they will be super excited about the cookbook mention!! Speaking of……when do we get it:-)?!!

      • The template one is ready but it needs to be printed, which is actually a bit involved given the “homegrown” way that I set them up. I am hoping to maybe get them set up and dropped off for printing this weekend, and then hopefully I will have them back next week some time. I’ll send you yours.

  4. Yeah for you, Lana! Let me know when you get that bathing suit…we can go to aquasize!!

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