What I Learned: March 2017

Wondering what “What I Learned” is all about? Check out my first post for details!

Here’s what I learned in March:

  1. How to make Chinese pepper steak, thanks to the Sycamore Presbyterian Cookbook from our Grandma. This was our new recipe for the month and it was delicious! A fun and tasty date night at home 🙂 photo-mar-05-6-32-03-pm
  2. How to make Oreo cake ballsThey got rave reviews at the Match Day open house, so I highly recommend this super simple recipe!
  3. How the Match algorithm works. During dinner one night leading up to Match Day, Nate drew it out for me and it actually made sense! Very genius and reassuring to understand how it all works.
  4. How to play Blackjack. Nate showed me while we were at the Match Day Party and I won a few rounds! It’s a lot more fun when you don’t play (aka lose) with real money 🙂
  5. “Crossroads of America” refers to highways, not railroads. I always thought Indiana’s state motto referred to the numerous railroads criss-crossing the state, but turns out, it refers to highways. I’ve lived here my whole life but better late than never to figure that out!
  6. How to re-pot a Spider Plant. Granted, there’s not a lot that goes into re-potting plants, but this was my first time doing it without parental supervision. Success (so far). Our little plant, Zeke, got a new home just in time for spring.
    Photo Mar 25, 10 31 53 AM
    Before
    Photo Mar 25, 10 34 54 AM
    After!

    7. New podcasts this month: Fresh Air, The Minimalists (episode on Moving – super helpful and great timing!), Runner’s World

What did you learn this month?

What I Learned: February 2017

Wondering what “What I Learned” is all about? Check out my first post for details!

Here’s what I learned in February:

  1. How to renew my license plate and registration online. Conveniences like this are why I ❤ the modern world. Not having to deal with people (#introvertsdream) nor wait in lines (#impatientgirlsdream)? Yes, please!
  2. The expression is card sharp, not card shark. I always thought it was “card shark” but apparently card sharp is the original phrase and is still used in the UK! I learned this while reading The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood.
  3. What SASE means. This is shorthand for “self addressed stamped envelope,” which I learned because my dad entered one of my poems in a magazine contest (so cool of him) and needed to include one.
  4. President Benjamin Harrison used to live in Indianapolis, as discovered on our field trip downtown one day.
  5. Ahi tuna poke is actually delicious…and certainly not like the tuna from a can that I’m used to in Indiana.
  6. How to play backgammon, thanks to Dad! He brought his set up during their last visit and showed Nathan and me how to play. Now we want our own!
  7. How to caramelize bananas. This was a delicious experiment! I’ve seen bloggers caramelize bananas before and talk about how it really amps up the flavor. So when we had a slow Sunday morning, I tried it out and was very pleased with the result! I made caramelized banana french toast for Nathan and me. He approved! It was so easy…I will definitely be doing this again.Photo Feb 26, 9 34 05 AM.jpg
  8. How to make homemade pizza. This was our new recipe of the month in keeping with our resolution, and we used up some of the leftover ingredients from last month’s recipe. We had leftover chicken from earlier in the week too, so all we needed to buy for this was the crust and mozzarella cheese. Other toppings included pesto, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. SO good! Definitely a new regular in our house 🙂

    photo-feb-26-6-40-56-pm
    Terrible kitchen lighting but you get the idea 🙂
  9. New podcasts for this month, per my resolution in case you’re interested: Freakonomics and How I Built This.

What did you learn this month?

What I Learned: January 2017

At the end of 2016, I spent some time journaling the goals I met and what I learned over the course of the year. In the weeks since, I’ve returned to that entry a number of times to add to it – little skills or tips I learned in 2016 that I want to remember.

In an effort to be more mindful of these tidbits of wisdom/personal growth and to have a small period of reflection more regularly (which I realized I truly enjoy while writing my year-end recaps), I have decided to attempt a monthly “What I Learned” post this year. (One of my new favorite blogs also inspired this habit!)

First, a few favorite things I learned in 2016…

  • Learned how to rent library books on my Kindle – Thanks to Nathan! This will immensely help my resolution for this year to rent more books than I buy.
  • Regularly washed my makeup brushes and cleaned my rings – This was a habit that finally stuck thanks to regular reminder alerts on my iPhone and easy access to the supplies needed.
  • Started listening to podcasts – My dad showed me how to access and download them and he has been recommending them to me ever since. I’ve loved listening to them on my commutes, during my walks, and while I clean the house. One of my resolutions this year is to listen to 2 new podcasts a month.
  • Gave up chewing gum – For those who know me, you KNOW this was a diehard habit. I was the girl who always had a pack of gum in her purse (and several more in the pantry at home). This is a habit I kicked by going cold turkey. I’ve tried weaning myself off it before and it just didn’t work, so one day in April I decided – no more! And I haven’t chewed gum since. I’m trying to convince Nate the money we save on gum is worth a few extra dinners out…don’t ya think? 🙂

And now for what I’ve learned in January. Here are some of the random things I’ve learned during the first month of the new year:

  1. How to use a wax seal on envelopes.
    • This was a work project that brought out my crafty side. So fun! Now I want a wax seal to use on our letters at home for that extra flair 🙂
  2. I Uber’d and Lyft’d for the first time!
    • Two trips to Florida and one trip to Texas meant making good use of these apps which every other millennial ever (including my husband!) has used before. Now I have too!
  3. Stopped using Benadryl and ear plugs to sleep at night.
    • My nighttime routine was getting a little excessive. I went cold turkey because I hated being so dependent on extra things to help me sleep. Now it’s just my mug of chamomile tea at the end of the day and an eye mask which seem to be doing the trick so far!
  4. You can put lotion on to help with static cling.
    • Thanks for the tip, Nate!
  5. Using a planner works for me.
    • I fought my Type-A’ness for so long and was against having a paper planner (the last time I used one was senior year of high school I think.) I regret holding out so much! Having a planner has been KEY to staying organized and less stressed during this super-busy start of the year. It’s my new favorite and I am all about embracing my Type-A now ❤
  6. Three new-to-me podcasts.
    • Side Hustle (thanks to my brother in law, Luke)
    • A great episode of On Being with Krista Tippett with Mario Popova of Brain Pickings (thanks to my dad). Highly recommend this podcast and also recommend Brain Pickings as a regular read!
    • Plus I started Serial, Season One (recommended by pretty much everyone at this point).
  7. New recipe, per our joint resolution. This was delicious and easy! Definitely going into our regular rotation.photo-jan-26-6-32-38-pm
  8. I learned what a 360-degree rainbow is from the pilot on my flight home from Orlando – I even got to see one out the window!
  9. Why I always get goosebumps after I sneeze.
  10. How to simultaneously sync photos from my camera to my laptop or cell phone as I take them. Eye-fi Card to the rescue! Another discovery after some research for a work project.
  11. Unroll.me. Am I late to the party on this? Probably. Do I care? No! Better late than never. This was the best and most freeing thing I did for my inbox all month. If you want to easily unsubscribe from the bajillion junk emails you get every day…unroll.me is exactly what you need!

What’s new for you this month? Any tidbits of wisdom to pass along?