to-do list

Hello 2014!

Happy New Year! - Jackietara blog

Well, 2014, here we are.  A new year, a new start.  There are so many things to look forward to, to plan, to do.  I’m at a good, steady, happy place in my life: we aren’t moving any time soon, and since we are renting, we have no real home improvements to make.  However, I’m constantly looking for ways to organize our space.  Our living room wall is in need of some face-lifting with a new frame design [it’s been virtually nonexistent since we moved in a year and a half ago] and the cabinet in our bedroom needs some serious organizing for all of my art and craft supplies currently floating about freely.

2013 was a crazy busy year with work, for both me and T.  I transitioned into a new role as a facility rentals coordinator and T was full speed ahead with building client relationships and creating beautiful photographs for them.  And it isn’t stopping!  He’s been asked to join the ASMP 8×10 panel in January to talk about some of his work and I am so excited for him!

On the leisure front, we are taking our first vacation with just the two of us at the end of January to… Mexico City!  I haven’t taken a vacation in a year, so this will truly be exciting and relaxing.  A whole week of exploring and eating our way through the city, and documenting it all of course.  T has a new camera and micro lens to test out, so Mexican cuisine will be the perfect subject to photograph.

2014 already has a lot in store for us, but here are some other goals I hope to accomplish in the new year:

A bad habit I’d like to break: Laziness
Usually after a long day all I want to do is sit down on the couch with a glass of wine and watch TV or a movie.  I think it’s OK to do this sometimes, but my time can be used so much more productively!  Instead of plopping down, I’d like to do a quick 10-minute workout [like Popsugar’s 10-Minute Tush-Toning Pilates Workout], read a book, practice my violin, or paint.

A new skill I’d like to learn: How to speak Spanish
Our trip to Mexico at the end of the month has spurred me to learn a little Spanish.  T has basic Spanish under his belt and is brushing up on vocab, so why not learn a word or two?  I’d also like to brush up on my Italian [I was fluent as a 4-year-old and re-learned it in college], but I need to take it one step at a time.

A craft I’d like to do: Transferring photos to wood or canvas
This is a craft I was hoping to get to this year, but alas, time did not allow for it.  A Beautiful Mess has a great tutorial and I’m really looking forward to trying it!

A restaurant I’d like to try: Little Serow
A local D.C. favorite, Little Serow is on the top of our list to try in 2014.  As a no-reservation and set menu restaurant it can be a little difficult to get in, but I’ve heard the food is well worth the wait.

A good deed I’m going to do: Volunteer in D.C.
I haven’t decided which organization to volunteer with, but I’d really like to give back to the city I live in and NeighborGood is a good place to start looking.

A book I’d like to read: This Is Not the Story You Think It Is…
I have always grappled with the question “what book should I read?” and this time it has been conveniently answered by my sister who has this particular book available for me to borrow.  She hasn’t read it and doesn’t have a recommendation to offer, but I trust in the instinct she had to pick it up.

Personality trait I’d like to bring out: Adventurousness
This year is for trying new things! I’m going to try to not let anxiety and apprehensiveness get in the way of new experiences.

Don’t forget to follow my 2014 adventures on Instagram @jackietara!  What are you looking forward to in 2014?  What goals are you hoping to complete?  Please share, and here’s to the new year!


Fall To-Do List Update

I have had the craziest last couple of weeks.  Between work, friends, projects, quartet rehearsals, and family obligations, it’s hard to find a moment to slow down and reflect.  Saturday was the first day in a while that I was able to sit down and think about how I have been coming along on my fall to-do list, so cheers to the weekend!

Even though I have been incredibly busy, I have been happy.  I am the sort that gets a huge amount of gratification from accomplishing things, and that’s what fall has done for me.  Here’s what I have been up to lately:

1. Keeping up with appearances.  I am now into my second month of Birchbox, and loving it!  Since I’m not adventurous enough to buy a full-sized bottle of product to try, it’s nice to get a few samples to see what works.  I’m currently loving the Dr. Jart+ tinted moisturizer from the September box and still getting a feel for a few items in the October box.


2. Exercising.  I joined a running club in Shirlington and it has done wonders for my energy level.  It’s also a great way to release stress after a long day at work, and to socialize!  It’s hard for me to motivate myself to work out, but so much easier with a great group of friends.  My goal is to be able to run the entire 5K loop without stopping to walk, but I must say I am quite proud that I have even completed between 3.1 – 3.7 miles AND I am no longer a running hater!

3. Getty crafty.  After a realization that I need to channel my younger more crafty self, I decided to host a monthly craft night.  There’s nothing too much more relaxing and comforting than creating art, drinking, and laughing with friends.  Our first craft night featured one of my childhood favorite crafts: Sculpey.  In addition to some creative planters, we decided to make a few octopi friends for our rooms and offices.  DIY steps and photos to come!

4. Practicing. Strike Quartet is keeping me busy with rehearsals and preparing for our first performance on October 18th at the Fridge.  It has been awesome getting the group together to do something that we all love.  Our show at the Fridge was a great first gig (check out our mention in the Capitol Hill Corner blog!) and I’m looking forward to performing more and more.  And look at this awesome poster that my friend Dan made for us!


If you have any suggestions for crafty night projects or have great fall “to-do’s,” please share!