As it turns out, the last time I did a 101 Things update was four months ago, back at the end of September. I've done a few bits and pieces since then, so thought I'd give you a quick update:
#1 - Year of the Cupcake: I got another five cupcakes under my belt... figuratively AND literally! September's offering was the Cupcake Project's Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes (GF); October's was Donna Hay's Short Black Cupcakes; November brought Cupcake Project's Pumpkin Cupcakes (GF) with Vanilla Icecream Frosting; December was Christmas Cupcakes with all sorts of really cute sprinkles from Bakingpleasures.com.au; and January was Gluten Free Chai Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting. No wonder my pants are so tight right now... but I don't think I'd change a thing!
#5 (learn to make meringue buttercream frosting) & #6 (make sweetapolita's ruffle cake): I knocked both of these over in one hit, by making the ruffle cake which requires you to make the Swiss meringue buttercream. I know, that's a little cheaty. Meh *shrugs* I'll have to make it again for the #7 rainbow cake challenge so I guess it's a skill I'll use again in the future - best I perfect it!
#9 - to make gnocchi from scratch: In late September I conquered this one. It's time-consuming, but it's nowhere near the pain in the bum everyone makes it out to be. I wouldn't consider it to be difficult. I was freaked out by all the hype about them turning out gluggy, which mine didn't. I don't know whether I got lucky or I just followed the recipe correctly, but again, not a big deal. If you're going to follow the recipe I linked to I suggest adding more vegies. I know that a butter sauce is probably a traditional way of serving it, but I prefer a bit more zing with a napoli sauce or similar.
#10 - to cook artichokes: I did this but haven't posted about it, mainly cos the hollondaise sauce you serve it with was a total failure. Once I get the hollondaise right I'll make it again and then post about it! Long story short, not as scary as the very complex instructions make it out to be. Very tasty, but very messy and fiddly and slow to eat!
#18 - to make a lemon tart: Done. The recipe promised all manner of miracles about it being the best lemon tart you have ever/will ever consume. The filling was amazing but the crust was a little meh. I probably overcooked it, and I don't think my tart case had quite the right dimensions. Definitely one to try again! (aww, shucks ;)
#22 - to learn to make cheese: Underway. My BFF Em and I are booked in to do a cheese course at Red Hill Cheese in May. We will learn to make feta, farmhouse cheese and yoghurt from goat's milk. Yum :) Hopefully they let me take photos. Hopefully I have enough hands to take photos! If both of those things pan out I promise I'll share it with you.
#24 - to blog at least twice per month for a year: Underway. I haven't done this consciously but it seems to be happening anyhow!
#31 - to build a Lego model. I made about half a dozen in one sitting and have written a draft post, but haven't published it yet. I'll get around to it!
#35 - to exercise at least four times per week leading up to the big hike. Done. And I still ended up in hospital!
#39 - to climb Mount Feathertop (the original goal was Mount Bogong but decided about a week before the event that I was being a bit silly, what with the dodgy ticker and all. It's not to say I will rule it out for the future, but I might wait until I'm being treated a bit more effectively). DONE!!! :) :)
#40 - to buy a good pair of sneakers to give my feet the support they needed. Done. This one was obviously added to the list at a time when my feet were sore from my old, cruddy sneakers. My new ones are way awesomer. You know, as opposed to being way more awesome. They're two totally different levels of awesome. Duh!
#45 - to take calcium tablets every day. Hmm, this one was going really well and then the Silly Season began and I went away and ended up in hospital and blah blah blah BAD NESSIE!!! Best I get back in the game on this one cos it's quite important.
#49 - to lose 1kg per month until under 75kg (but over 70kg): Um, well, you see... well, one way of looking at how that's going is that I now have a much rounder number that I need to lose before I reach my target goal (which is between 70 and 75kg). It's a very round number - I think you can figure it out! Not happy. I **could** use the excuse that I have a dodgy heart and I've been in hospital and haven't really been feeling up to exercising and blah blah blah, but that doesn't really excuse the inordinate amounts of utter crap I've been consuming. Seriously, it's terrifying. I could blame that veritable inhalation of calories on the emotional roller-coaster that is dealing with all this medical stuff, but that's a cop-out and I know it. I am perfectly aware that eating like a pig will only make things worse. But my knee is complaining about this extra weight, and I have a policy not to buy larger clothes than the ones I currently own (any distant, future, potential gestation notwithstanding), so I really have to lift my game here. Sigh. And I was doing so well last year :(
#65 - to read all my unread books before buying any more: Going well. Also, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT IS FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME TO STICK TO THIS??? ESPECIALLY WHEN I DO A LOT OF TRAVELLING AND SPEND A LOT OF TIME IN AIRPORT BOOKSHOPS AND I ALSO LOVE COOKBOOKS AND HAVE A NEED TO BUY NEW ONES ALL THE FREAKING TIME??? WHY THE HELL DID I MAKE THIS PROMISE TO MYSELF??? Ahem. What I mean to say is, I have now read Memo for a Saner World by Bob Brown, as well as Murder at Mansfield Park, A Short History Of the World, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and am currently about half way through Possession. I will get around to posting about them sooner or later but I'm afraid I'm not terribly good at writing book reviews. In case you hadn't noticed...
#66 - to read Gone With the Wind: Done it. Loved it.
Many of the rest of them are works in progress:
#74 (delete crap photos from SD cards) is an ongoing battle.
#78 (learn to blow-dry my hair) is something I did semi-successfully once but lack the patience for. I still don't own a blow dryer but I do own a ceramic brush now, so I guess if I'm having a quiet weekend morning once the weather turns colder I might give it another go. Obviously it's not high on my list of priorities!
#79 (use up the dregs of old beauty products) is actually going okay. I mean, I can't **not** buy new shampoo or daytime moisturiser with 15+ in it (even though I still have half a bottle of moisturiser that needs using, but I develop a sensitivity to it if I use it 3 days running, so I only use it on weekends), but in general I'm finishing off bits and pieces.
#80 (clean out my underwear drawer and get rid of the "uglies") is in progress. I have brought most of my personal possessions home from Adelaide (including my undies!) so I have quite a collection in Melbourne now! I divided them into "everyday" and "nice", and divided the "everyday" into "decent" and "dying". I am now in the process of wearing **only** the "dying" ones because I am a colossal tightarse and can't just throw things out unless they're really, seriously ratty. Hopefully I don't get hit by a bus... haha, also, I'm sure you all needed to know I'm wearing ugly undies. Sorry, but it's true. I'm all about transparency!
#84 (rent out the House at Ness Corner) has happened. Becoming a bloated capitalist has not and never will, because between all the exhorbitant agent's fees and gardening and cleaning costs and bills it leaves very little. But very little is better than nothing, which is what I was getting with the place sitting there empty. I'm renting it as a furnished holiday rental for now. Here's my baby here. It makes me sad to think of other people living in it :( The theory is that, eventually, I'll make enough off the rentals to complete #83, which is to fix the gremlins in the house. Wish me luck with that...
#87 (listen more attentively) is sort of happening. For example, since this began I haven't been caught out in a staff meeting or social situation for not listening and had to bluff my way through... but that could just be luck...
#88 (interrupt less readily) is happening. I still interrupt more than I should but I'm becoming better at backing down and letting the other person finish.
#89 (write more neatly) is kind of happening, I think. I've had a bit of practice writing and I think that part of my terrible scrawl was related to the fact that my writing muscles were wasted away from years of typing instead of writing. I will endeavour to do more by hand.
#90 (prepare properly for meetings) happens when I care about the meeting. When it's a boring weekly staff meeting and nobody is interested anyway, it becomes a little tricky to convince yourself to actually prepare. But I'm trying.
#91 (be auditable at a moment's notice) is more or less on the go. At least, I assume it is, because all my audits come through with a clean slate.
#101 (become friends with my cousins) is slowly happening. I have, over the last six months or so, been making more contact with three cousins in particular. A lot of it has been over Facebook or via SMS, but it's still nice to be in closer contact. I guess they're all building blocks.
And that's my update! Sorry it was a bit long-winded, and also a long time coming. Hopefully I'll remember to update on a more regular basis in the future.
Over and out.