During the past school year, my time was pretty much 100% devoted to schoolwork. I literally came home every day from school to simply sit on my couch and read books or write papers for school. If I wasn’t doing that, then I was in the painting studio trying to finish paintings for my art exhibition. It was tiring and exhausting. My house was constantly a mess, I rarely had time to cook dinner anymore, I didn’t do my hair or wear make-up to school a single day the entire year. It was definitely a year with a lack of any sort of “me” time. I think life should have a healthier balance than that. I didn’t have a choice however, so over the past year, whenever Drew and his friends would go play Frisbee at the park or I saw others making time for movies and other fun events, I would jot down in a notebook things that I wanted to make a priority in my life once my college years were behind me, when I had a “real life.”

Thank goodness that day has come. I’m a listy person and I loved the challenge of my 20 before 20 list I did a couple years ago, so I thought it would be fun to do something similar again. This list however is much more general and doesn’t have any particular end date the things have to be accomplished by. It is a list of self improvement, things I want to make a bigger priority in life, things I want to do for “me” time, things that need to get done around the house, things I haven’t had time to do in the last year, etc. Let’s get started, shall we? Introducing the now-that-I-have-a-real-life list:

real life list header

Listed in no particular order:

1. Try to read at least one book a month (of MY choosing!)

2. Make time to actually read the magazines I subscribe to.

3. Make time for more DIY/home projects. (fabric roman shades for the kitchen, refinish Drew’s dresser, paint/stain Drew’s desk, makeover our coffee table, makeover white cabinet in foyer, style office built-ins, hang art in the rest of the hallway, etc.)

4. Re-arrange and organize my home office/studio. (Set up a spot for painting, work on storage solutions, fabric storage, etc.)

5. Make a list of goals for what I want to accomplish next in life. (Keep the school momentum going!)

6. Plan a vacation that doesn’t fall on a typical school break.

7. Make an entryway area in our foyer. (mirror on wall, bench seat, baskets for shoes, coat hooks, etc.)

8. Update resume, figure out how to write a cover letter, start looking for jobs. (already started!)

9. Research potential grad school programs?

10. Spend time reading through the cookbooks I have and try more recipes outside my typical taste.

11. Have a picnic in the park, play frisbee, relax.

12. Develop a better exercise routine in addition to my Pilates classes. Take a yoga class, evening bike rides, morning jogs, more time at the gym.

13. Garden!

14. Journal/write/blog more. (Poetry image notebook)

15. Visit more flea markets and estate sales! Can’t beat great vintage finds!

16. Plan weekend trips to explore Louisiana and the surrounding areas. (Monroe, Shreveport, etc.)

17. Plan a trip to Texas! (Other than a layover on a flight to Cali, I’ve never been to Texas and it is super close to Louisiana!)

18. Work on keeping our marriage healthy. (more date nights, time for each other away from the computer!, etc.)

19. Frame and hang more of my own artwork.

20. Add more interest and pattern to our bedroom decor. (It is still a little “blah” right now! Bring in some pattern/color/texture! Hang art, find nightstands, get new lamps.)

21. Make nightly Bible studies more in depth and find a home church in New Orleans.

22. Sign Drew and I up for a ceramics workshop class!

23. Work with gazelle-like intensity on our budget/debt pay off! (Dave Ramsey plan)

24. Learn Adobe Illustrator to the max! (I know how to do a lot in it, but I’m mostly self-taught and there is much more I want to know how to do!)

25. Start on surface pattern design self-education! (Illustrator, Start sketching patterns, finding inspiration, designing repeatable patterns, coming up with color schemes, working with my Wacom tablet, etc.)

26. Make a quilt!

27. Plan a trip back to Europe (hopefully sometime in the next few years). I want to visit Kristine in Denmark and Jacky in Germany/Switzerland, would also love to go to Italy, Greece, Ireland/Scotland (where my Wallace ancestors came from forever ago), and a million other places. Drew wants to check out the craft beer selections in Belgium.

28.  Spend more time watercolor painting, series of sketches, finished works, etc. (It was my first love!)

29. Redesign Icing on the Cake blog (already started on this too!)

30. Work on putting together P.S. Designs Portfolio (graphic design, logo/branding work, print products)

31. Take classes in calligraphy and letterpress.

32. Open an Etsy shop?

33. Get better at gluten-free baking.

34. Design stationary for myself.

35. Continue to paint, exploring more fabric paintings.

36. Watch Downton Abbey. (and other shows I haven’t had time for in the last few years!)

37. Read my Papaw’s book. (I’ve read most of the stories in it, and went around with him reading them at book signings when the book first came out, but I’ve never taken the time to sit down and read it cover to cover, plus its been a while since it was published, so I should read them all again anyway!)

38. Next 5 years– hopefully buy and start remodeling a house!

I’m sure these will continually be updated and added to, but it is a start for now!

  1. Well, after reading that list I need a coffee break and a nap!! I am totally exhausted just reading the list!! lol I am not a listy person…I think that is the problem! 😉

    1. Haha! I don’t know what I would do without lists! I feel like my head would explode having to remember that all in my head! Try it! It is nice to have a written list of goals you would like to attain. I think you are more likely to achieve them if you see them written out and are motivated to actively start working towards them! (Not to say it won’t also be exhausting along the way…) 🙂

  2. Great list! I know a thing or two about Illustrator if you have any questions! Hope we can meet up soon. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I hope we can too! I know how to do a lot in Illustrator, like everything I need to do to design logos/graphics/branding stuff, but I really would like to get into fabric/pattern design, which means I need to start designing repeatable patterns. That I don’t know how to do yet, but I mostly haven’t even had time to try yet either. I’m sure I can figure it out by watching a couple online tutorials. Have any tips for that? 🙂


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