welcome ... enjoy yourself

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

september goals check in

Before telling you how I did with my goals this month, I wanted to share a bit of how I've enjoyed doing the monthly four simple goals challenge this year.  For new readers: each month I set four simple goals for myself then recap my experience at the end of the month.  My challenges are inspired by the fabulous Elsie of A Beautiful Mess.  

I've realized that most months I will only achieve one to two goals, good months I'll achieve three, fantastic months I'll get all four.  So why do I keep doing this if I'm not achieving 100% of the goals I set for myself?  For one, I love setting goals.  It works well for me as a fun way to be productive.  Two, I think reaching 25-75% of my goals is better than reaching 0% of goals I don't set for myself.  Every month I end up getting at least something done that I wouldn't have if I didn't try making myself accountable by posting about in on the blog.  

So what about all those goals that I don't check off my list?  Sometimes it's something that I still really want to do and it gets added to next month's (unpublished) list.  Sometimes I realize it's something that I just don't actually want to do - it sounds fun while writing my list but in reality I don't actually feel like doing it.  

Maybe at the end of the year I'll do a round up post with all the goals that I actually accomplished this year.  Could be fun to see the outcome of this challenge.  And now, this month's recap.    

1. Buy new glasses: Didn't end up doing the online ordering like I thought I was going to, but I did find out I could buy glasses from Costco for a reduced price.  I'll be doing that (hopefully) soon!

2. 5k training: I hit an unexpected road block with this goal (see -- always need to be flexible with your goal setting and achievement!).  I realized the hard way that my alignment while squating and running was not right.  I started having a lot of pain in my left knee whenever I bent my leg (pretty much all the time).  I was really brave and went to see a physical therapist and was given some simple exercises that corrected my alignment and very quickly minimized the pain.  It wasn't in time for 5k training, but it will allow me to do more 5k training in the future because I'm taking better care of my muscles and joints.  

3. Raise money for AFSP: I am proud to say that I've been doing pretty well with this.  Paul and I will be walking in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention next weekend, and together we've raised a few hundred dollars.  We'll be walking for a family member and a friend, and we're hopeful our efforts will help the prevention of suicide.  

4. Close Wolski's: I had a day all scheduled to close Wolski's.  I had picked a Sunday evening, thinking that it would let me close Wolski's and get to sleep at a reasonable time.  And then I called them to confirm their Sunday hours.  And they said they close at 2 am.  2 am!!  Who can stay up that late???  Not this girl.  Closing Wolski's may eventually happen, but it's going to be on some night where I'm already feeling a little crazy - and I definitely do not have to work in the morning.   

Monday, September 29, 2014

hallgrímskirkja church

I love visiting churches.  I love seeing how people honor what they find sacred.  It says so much about the people and the culture who built it/them.  In Iceland we visited Hallgrímskirkja church, a Lutheran parish church designed by Guðjón Samuel in 1937 and constructed from 1945 to 1986.  The statue in front of the church is of Leifur Eiriksson (the first European to discover America!) and was a gift from the United States to Iceland in 1930, the 1000 year anniversary of the founding of their parliament at Þingvellir.  

I thought the starkness of the church was so interesting compared to the churches we saw in Europe last year.  It exemplified Iceland to me - so European but so different.  Iceland is a place all its own.  

Thanks for checking out my photos!  Hope you enjoyed them.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

goodbye summer 2014


Summer 2014, you were busy and wonderful.  I've done a round up of my favorite experiences from this summer, and I hope you enjoy looking through them!  Not pictured here: a blog design update (woot!!), lots of relaxing evenings hanging out in the living room with Paul and the pups, a job change, long weeks at work, roller derby practices, dog walks, and tasty picnics.  Here are the things (that I took pictures of) that made my summer:


7/15 http://www.findingjoyinallthings.com/2014/07/portland-farmers-market.html








Thursday, September 25, 2014

reykjavik part 1

Welcome to post three(ish) of our Iceland travel photos.  I don't think I've mentioned yet that we traveled to Iceland with five other friends Paul went to college with.  I was completely impressed that they were all able to coordinate this kind of trip, and now I'm inspired to plan a similar trip.   Probably not to Iceland, but anywhere would be cool really.    

We stayed at an Airbnb apartment in Reykjavik, about a 25 minute walk to downtown (5-10 minute drive).  During our first full day in Reykavik (after we recuperated from our trip to Blue Lagoon and went grocery shopping), we walked downtown along the ocean path.  These first two photos are of the views that met us when we got to the water about 10 minutes into our walk.  

Walking further along the shoreline, we came to the Solfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture.  It was unveiled in 1990 on Reykjavik's 200th birthday.  It's actually a dreamboat, not a Viking boat, and represents the "promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress, and freedom."  

Harpa: Reykjavik's concert hall and conference center. It's home for the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Icelandic Opera.
The Reykjavik Cathedral Hallgrímskirkja that can be seen around the city.  I'll be sharing a post on the church next week!

The best advertisement I saw: share a Coke with an Icelandic friend!  Will you share with Helga or Uglu?!

You can bet that we had to make a stop here.  Luckily they had some wine for me since my stomach doesn't seem to mix well with beer.  Sorry beer.  Sorry tastebuds.  

And now the rest of the this post will be dedicated to restaurants, food, and eating.  The best meal I had in Iceland was at Restaurant Lokjarbrekka (don't ask me to pronounce that for you - or any of the Iceland words for that matter!).  

This restaurant specialized in Icelandic delicacies like fermented shark, puffin, and whale (seen above).  I sampled the fermented shark, and I'll say that it earns its reputation as Iceland's most polarizing dish.  It had a squishy texture and smelled strongly like ammonia.  I won't go on.  (This was the table's appetizer.  I felt too guilty to eat the puffin or whale.)  My main course was arctic charr, and I had some kind of chocolate cake amazingness for dessert. 

We also tested the local grocery store, bakery, organic food store, and hot dog restaurant closer to our apartment.  The ability to visit these places was one of my favorite parts of staying where we did.  It felt like we got a more real taste of what Icelandic daily life is like.

This is the Mondlukaka we found at the bakery; it's an Icelandic almond cake.  We got one for dessert the night we ate a home cooked spaghetti dinner at the apartment, and everybody gave it two thumbs up. 

And finally: the hot dog restaurant!!  Hot dogs are one of Iceland's most popular foods.  Crazy huh?  After I saw what counted as a hot dog I understood a little better why they were so popular.  The kind we tried were closer to sausage than American hotdogs are.  They were super flavorful and smelled amazing!

Look how happy those hotdogs made them!  

Thanks for reading :)  More pictures coming in Reykjavik part 2.  

P.S. Have you been taking any autumn themed pictures?  Share them on Instragram with the hashtag #findingjoyinautumn to enter my autumn Instagram challenge!  More details here.