Monday, December 29, 2014

(Mostly) Bookish Goals End of Year Update

I did a halfway update earlier in the year and thought I should check back in and see how I did now that 2014 is coming to a close. I've copied below an abbreviated version of my (Mostly) Bookish Goals for 2014 with my results written in bold.

EPIC FAIL! Let's just say once I fell off the wagon a few months into the year, I never got back on. Shall I fess up to the number of books I bought this year? I was going to, but every time I tried to tally them up, I lost count. ::Hangs head in shame::

2. Get no more than 10 new cookbooks.
I was still on track halfway through the year with four new additions. Then it seems it all went to hell in a hand basket! I did some major splurging which landed me with 15 more new ones, plus four I won from a giveaway. Most of the ones I bought were used, purchased with the gift card that came with the giveaway, or Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. Still, I was definitely naughty with a grand total of 23 cookbooks added to my shelves. I did do a good clean out and traded in some old ones I don't use though, so maybe that redeems me slightly?

3. Diversify my reading selections with the guidance of the (many) challenges I've joined.
OK, I think I did pretty good on this one. I finished many of my challenges and have read all over the place this year -- close to 100 books! A new record for me for sure.

4. Read more books for the Classics Club.
I was off to a good start with four earlier in the year, then I read two more. So six in twelve months -- not terrible, but not a huge number either. There's always room for improvement!

5. Start reading some of the anthologies and collections on my Classics Club list.
The idea behind this goal was that I could dip in and out of these types of books while also reading other things, but I still haven't managed it yet. This may be the perfect thing to try next year after baby arrives since reading in bits and pieces may be all I can manage for a while.

6. Work on my time management and make time for reading every day.
I did great on this one. I have read more this year than ever before and have been loving every minute of it. Taking a blogging break and cutting down on reviews also helped me make more time to read. No promises on how this will carry over into 2015 though!

7. Go to bed earlier and get more sleep.
I've had a few short stretches where I fell back into bad habits, but have been able to get myself back on track. For most of my first trimester, I was completely exhausted and sleeping a solid 10 hours every single night, so that really helped establish a better routine. I don't sleep so well now, but I do go to bed at a decent hour and figure waking up in the night will be good practice for when baby arrivese.

8. Try at least 50 new recipes.
I did really well on this one making 97 new recipes! My recipe list from the fist half of the year can be found here. The remaining new recipes for the year are listed below (but only the ones you can find online in case anyone wants to try them.)
Award-winning zucchini bread and muffins from Sally's Baking Addiction
Chocolate chip zucchini brownies from Two Peas and Their Pod
Cornmeal-berry sheet cake from Martha Stewart Living
Dark-chocolate spelt brownies from Martha Stewart Living
Healthy strawberry oat squares from Sally's Baking Addiction
Roast plum sorbet from River Cottage Every Day
Salted caramel apple crumb bars from Two Peas and Their Pod
Salted dulce de leche bars from Spoon Fork Bacon
Stone fruit tea cake from Rustic Fruit Desserts
Strawberry and honey sorbet from The Kitchn
Brownie batter truffles from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
Chocolate Nutella fudge with sea salt from Cookin' Canuck
Chocolate chip cookie dough fudge from The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook
Peanut butter fudge from Sally's Baking Addiction
No-bake Thin Mint cookie truffles from Six Sisters Stuff
Speculoos truffles from Savory Sweet
Chocolate peanut butter bark from Love and Olive Oil

Caramelized onion and goat cheese pizza from Cooking Light The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook
Collard and pecan pesto from Bon Appétit
Farm Stand marinara sauce from Food to Live By
Fresh ricotta cheese from Bon Appétit
Garlic dill pickles from Food in Jars
Garlic-scape pesto roast chicken from The Farm
Hoisin pork with napa cabbage from Fine Cooking
Kale pesto white bean dip from Annie's Eats
Par-baked pizza crust from Vegetarian Times
Raspberry vinegar from Food to Live By
Santa Fe pizza from The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook
Spinach pesto fusilli from Mad Hungry Cravings
Swiss chard, onion and cheese frittata from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers' Market 

9. Choose one cookbook from my collection at a time and make several recipes from it.
Nope. Didn't manage to do this one. With too many cookbooks to choose from, I definitely had commitment issues! Also, with our CSA farm share, I needed to choose recipes that used up the fresh veggies we received before they went bad which was not compatible with cooking exclusively from one book.

10. No purchasing packaged sweets.
I did really well on this one... until I got pregnant. First, I lost my sweet tooth altogether and then when it came back, I only wanted plain, simple sweets like dark chocolate or dark chocolate peanut butter cups (OK and the occasional Hagaan-Dazs Sea Salt Caramel Gelato -- that stuff is GOOD!) I still wasn't buying cookies or baked goods, but store-bought treats definitely snuck their way back in.
* * * * *

Overall, I was successful with half of my goals. Some I did even better than anticipated on, while others were complete failures. You win some, you lose some, right? I'm not feeling up to making goals for 2015, especially since I anticipate it will be a year of the new and unexpected. I may give it a bit more thought, but for now I'm happy with going with the flow and just having a simple goal of making time to read on a regular basis -- not exactly earth-shattering, but I think that is realistic for my life right now.

How did you do on your goals for the year?
Are you setting new goals for 2015?


  1. For 2015, I'd say "survive" is about all I can shoot for.

  2. Wow, I'm incredibly impressed by all your cooking this year! That's fantastic!

    1. Thanks! I do love trying new recipes, especially when they turn out well :)

  3. Looks like you reached some of your goals. Congrats and good luck for next year!

  4. 97 new recipes, that is so awesome! Well done with all of your goals, and good luck for next year :)

    1. Thanks Sam! I don't think I'll be trying that many new ones next year, but it really was fun this year :)

  5. Wow, that's a lot of new recipes to try. I'm hoping to try a few new recipes I have stored up in various places in the New Year although I'm not making it an actual 'goal', just something that would be nice.

    It sounds like you did great on your goals to me... You took steps to achieve them and that in itself is great, some goals just easily fall to the wayside.

    Also, regarding sleeping... I was terrible at sleeping when I was pregnant, I'm quite terrible with sleeping in general so you can only imagine what 'fun' I was pregnant. Haha! I hope the sleep situation improves for you, it may well come third trimester, because once the little one is here shut eye is few and far between!
    Bits & Bobs

    1. I was so spoiled by how well I slept the first 15 weeks or so! I do hope it improves a bit since, as you said, it gets even harder when the little one arrives. I hope you get a chance to try some new recipes -- I always think it's fun to mix things up a bit and always a nice bonus when the new recipes come out well!

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa! The sweet recipes in particular were very delicious :)

  7. You are very wise to accept that next year will be hectic. I actually found that setting the bar really low and having very few expectations made me a lot happier, as depressing as it sounds. Babies are crazy little time sucks.

    1. I also would be much happier reaching a very low goal than to be overambitious and feel like I failed. That's why I won't even set a number of pages or amount of time -- just a generic "regular basis" -- so even if that means 10 minutes or 1 chapter or whatever, I can feel like I have accomplished something!

  8. I really need to read more classics too - I should find a challenge for 2015 to keep me motivated!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
    Enter my blog birthday giveaway!

    1. The Classics Club is a pretty big commitment (50 books in 5 years), but I also really like the Back to the Classics Challenge, especially with the changes that have been implemented for 2015 -- you might want to check it out!

  9. For whatever reason after reading your number one I just pictured you sitting around a big pile of books hugging them/crying. lol (or maybe I was picturing myself since I feel guilty when I buy a bunch of new books before reading the old ones...but I love them so much) No one can be perfect, and buying pretty shiny new books is always so tempting.

    You did so well reading a variety of books and a lot of them at that! Congrats! I also am happy to hear that you have made little time here and there to read more and that you are loving it. I'm glad you switched things up with your reviews so you could focus more on your love of books. :D I may do something similar to that in 2015. We shall see.

    I'm not big into cooking but I do enjoy it a good amount when I'm in the mood, especially now that my husband works late and it makes more sense for me to be cooking. Either way, what I am trying to say is thanks for all the recipes! That is so awesome that you tried that many new ones!

    1. I don't think I have actually done that, but I can SO picture it! lol Pretty shiny books are indeed very tempting.

      Good luck with deciding how to go forward in 2015 - it's not always easy to make a change, but is often for the best.

      I hope you do get a few good recipes from the list! I haven't been cooking much lately, but I really was on a roll earlier in the year

  10. OMG I am so hungry now. I have never ever counted the number of books I have purchased. Between my bookshelves, audio, kindle and nook the numbers I am sure are mind-boggling. I am hoping to become more fit this year, and have some life altering changes coming my way..which I will begin sharing this weekend on the Sunday Post..all good but I want to get in better shape because of no junk food.

    1. It's just better not to know sometimes, I think! We all know we have more books than we really need whether we have a number or not :)

      Good luck with getting in better shape -- maybe the savory recipes might come in more handy than the sweet -- I do have quite a sweet tooth, but I always think it's better to indulge in something really good (& homemade when possible) than to bother with most store-bought junk which is why I have so many sweet recipe on my list :) Though the candy ones were mostly for Christmas gifts -- I am a bad influence!

  11. Regarding the cookbooks if you're using them, and that you've had a clear out, that's not so bad. It is easier to use a cookbook, time-wise, than read a novel. Well done on the challenges and book count :) I love that you have anthologies on your classics list (I think I'm going to have to have a look).

    Hope you get more sleep at some point, and given you did well on the sweets goal before getting pregnant you can count that as achieved ;)

    My goals were okay; I'll be doing pretty much what you are this reading year.

    1. You're right -- it is easier time-wise to make use of all those cookbooks than to read a novel -- once I've actually decided on a recipe, of course. lol

      ith the craziness that has been life lately, I think I may be pulling out those anthologies sooner rather than later to try in 2015. Sometimes I just need my reading in smaller doses I think -- I can always read a novel a chapter at a time, but it's sometimes nice to go for something that is intended to be many shorter pieces instead.


I'd love to hear what you think :)