Personal: September Update of My 2022 Goals

September has come and gone so fast! The start of the school year, a new role at work, and the return to in-person events has made for a really hectic month. My routines are non-existent and “what’s normal” is foreign concept.

  1. Write with my fountain pen. Yes! Mostly. I still love this pen. Bonus – to my surprise, one of my former students sent me another TWSBI fountain pen as a thank you gift, and I love it, too. Each TWSBI is just so beautifully designed. Even if you’re not a fountain pen user, you’d appreciate the design, I’m sure. Now that I have three fountain pens, can I call myself a collector?
  2. Complete house projects. We didn’t have any projects on the go in September.
  3. Stay active. Walking. But not as often as I’d like.
  4. Host people. Oh, yes. People are over at our place a lot. We’ve had coffee chats, dinners, pop-in visits, and kids hangouts. The house is being well-used!
  5. Travel. Sadly, no. We’ve stayed local throughout the month, visiting different areas in the Waterloo Region. The campaign trail (my beau is running for Mayor) has led us to awesome places.
  6. Read more. Yes. Audio books have been great on my long commute. I listened to Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen, Beach Read by Emily Henry, and Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. I’ve also restarted Barack Obama’s A Promised Land. It’s making even more sense now that I’m involved in local politics.
  7. Tame garbage. Reduce waste. Should I give up?
  8. Floss regularly. Yes. On it! My dentist had nothing but compliments at my September check-up!
  9. Stop procrastinating. Pretty much. There’s no time to procrastinate right now.
  10. Have fun! Yes. Mostly I’ve been having fun attending local events and meeting all sorts of people in the Waterloo region!

I now think I need to add things to my goals list before the end of 2022 arrives.

New additions:

  1. Do more things for me. I need to be a bit more selfish. I’ve been really busy with work and home life that some of the things that I used to do regularly have been pushed to the side. These include the simplest things like going to the mall and picking out a new mascara.
  2. Clean out closets. This seems like such a daunting task. My office and clothing closets need a clean out. I hope to tackle these two before the end of the year.
  3. Blog. I keep renewing domains and telling people about my White Cabana life, but should I continue? The next few months will either push me to blog more or to bid adieu.
  4. Buy art. I think I might cross this off my list before it’s barely been on. I ordered a Christi Belcourt print as well as a print from a young, local artist Ama Liyanage. Neither are expensive, but both are lovely. I can’t wait to get each piece framed and on walls. Maybe there’ll be another purchase before 2023. Still to be determined!

Wishing all of my Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving!

Previous updates: January, February, March, May, June, July, August

Personal: August Update of My 2022 Goals

So it seems that White Cabana has evolved into a goal update blog! Here we go with my August update:

  1. Write with my fountain pen. Yes! I still love this pen. I haven’t used it for my every day note-taking, but I do use it regularly. I love it especially for card writing!
  2. Complete house projects. We didn’t have much on our to do list in August. We maintained the garden. That’s about all.
  3. Stay active. I’ve just been walking here and there.
  4. Host people. People drop by all the time, but we didn’t host any specific events or large gatherings in August.
  5. Travel. It seems that August has just come and gone so quickly. We barely made it to the cottage. We’re postponing/cancelling our fall trip, which is a bit of a bummer, but it’s for a good reason.
  6. Read more. Sort of. On audio, I listened to Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang. It was great. I also listened to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and it was wonderful. Angelou narrated it, and her voice is so powerful.
  7. Tame garbage. Reduce waste. Heck no. Who has a solution? I very much dislike our indoor and outdoor garbage sorting processes.
  8. Floss regularly. Yes. On it!
  9. Stop procrastinating. Yes. Like Juy, there has been no time to procrastinate this month. I have too much on the go!
  10. Have fun! Yes. Work life and family life have both been fun…even among the stress of busy days getting ready for fall activities and work!

Previous updates: January, February, March, May, June, July.

Personal: July Updates of My 2022 Goals

A few weeks late, but here’s my July update:

July is definitely the best month of the year. Not only is the sun shining, but it’s my birthday month! Hooray! Every day is a reason to celebrate.

  1. Write with my fountain pen. Yes! I love this pen.
  2. Complete house projects. Yes. The kitchen makeover is just about complete (just need to decide on hardware), which makes me incredibly happy. The investment wasn’t large, but it has made an incredible difference to how our kitchen looks and how much more positive my mood is when I’m in it. Worth every penny. I’ll share photos again soon.
  3. Stay active. Sort of. Walking. Walking. Walking. That’s about all.
  4. Host people. Yes. People are constantly dropping by for a coffee, drinks, meal, or chat. We also hosted my birthday party, which was a lot of fun!
  5. Travel. We’ve continued to cottage (it is a verb, right) this month. We did book a trip in the fall, which I’m thrilled about.
  6. Read more. Yes. I continue to breeze through audio books. I finished This Time Next Year (easy rom com read) and An Object of Beauty. Read it. It’s a work of fiction by Steve Martin set in New York’s art and art auction world. It’s great. In my academic life, I’m prepping to teach a new course this fall, so I’m reading, reading, reading all about intercultural communication. I’ve also received a stack of books about Indigenous pedagogy, so there’s that, too. A lot on the go in my work reading life!
  7. Tame garbage. Reduce waste. Sort of. Ongoing battle to tame the garbage. I’m also now battling the garbage delivery team. Their work is unpredictable. Some times they decide to take our compost bin and sometimes they don’t. It’s very annoying.
  8. Floss regularly. Yes. Mostly daily still!
  9. Stop procrastinating. Yes. There has been no time to procrastinate this month.
  10. Have fun! Yes. Between a week of birthday celebrations and every day amusements, July was a very fun month!

Previous updates: January, February, March, May, June.

Design at Home: Our Kitchen Mini Makeover

Do you remember when I shared our kitchen mini makeover design plans? The faucet really started the whole project. Its lack of functionality was driving me nuts. Then I learned that the sink was driving my beau nuts. Then we decided to do a mini remodel by replacing the faucet, sink, countertop, and backsplash but keeping the existing cabinetry and layout. We added an antique French armoire for an additional pantry, which has been functional and beautiful. Slowly but surely, this mini makeover is taking shape.

I know some people will think that a mini remodel is a waste of money, but I’m not one of these people. I’d rather spend a bit of money now and enjoy a space for the next few years (or longer!?) until we finalize plans and budget for a larger remodel.

As you may recall, I am working with BLANCO Canada on this project. They have provided me with a BLANCO UNIT – a faucet, sink, and accessories combination that coordinate seamlessly together. Now that everything has been delivered, I’m getting even more excited about the change.

Getting here took some time. While I thought I was the only one with strong opinions about design (and function), my beau proved me wrong. He has strong opinions about function (and design).

When creating our BLANCO UNIT, specifically selecting the faucet and sink, we discussed:

  1. What we liked and disliked about our current faucet and sink.
  2. What we needed and wanted in a future faucet and sink (e.g., a sink that would fit in our existing cabinet).
  3. What the pros were of the BLANCO Canada faucets and sinks (that matched our needs and wants).
  4. What potential accessories would add value to functionality with our faucet and sink combo.

My beau is mostly all about function. He disliked the existing shallow sink. On his wish list: a deep sink, two bowls, a high faucet, a high-pressure faucet.

I am about design and function. I disliked hated our faucet (too low and the spout barely returns to its position). I also disliked the shallow sink, the 3/4 size bowl, and the cut-out to house soap/sponge. On my wish list: an undermount deep sink, one bowl, and a high-pressure, stylish faucet that makes me feel like a chef. I also wanted to experiment with a white sink (BLANCO Canada is known for its SILGRANIT), which I envisioned working well with a white stone countertop.

Luckily a BLANCO UNIT offers both design and function. We were able to select a sink and faucet combo that met my design needs and my beau’s desire for increased functionality! Here’s the BLANCO Canada faucet and sink combination we settled on:

the PRECIS U2 sink in white
the BLANCOCULINA faucet in chrome

Sleek, right?

Both items as well as a few accessories (i.e., the sink grid) have now arrived at our house. The next step for us will be to finalize the countertop and get everything installed. Eek! These improvements are going to make such a difference to how we enjoy and use our kitchen!

Personal: June Updates of my 2022 Goals

The sun is shining, and I have been enjoying the warmth of summer. I’m happy to share this update of my 2022 goals.

  1. Write with my fountain pen. Yes. Last month, I thought my TWSBI fountain pen was broken, but after contacting a TWSBI representative, I was able to get all the parts in place. Yahoo! It really is a beautifully functioning pen.
  2. Complete house projects. Yes. This month marked the one year anniversary of our home purchase. Yay! We celebrated with a dinner of Popeyes and Veuve Clicquot. While sometimes I think that we haven’t made many drastic changes over the last year, in fact, we have. We have made each room a little bit more functional and aesthetically pleasing for us. Each room feels a bit more settled, and while the design process is slow, we have made movement. This month, I focused on my veggie garden. I check on my plants every gosh darn day, and I’m so pleased to see growth. My plant babies are doing well, and I hope they’ll be producing veggies soon. Patience, grasshopper, patience. (This has been very hard for my impatient self). I have found doing any work in the garden very calming and relaxing. Nature heals, as they say, right? My beau hung the hammock recently, and it’s a really perfect place to relax. We also have a new kitchen counter, sink, and faucet, which makes me so happy. What a difference this change has made. We’ve also ordered a few new light fixtures, which my beau will install soon. Finally, the toilet roll holder I ordered in February has finally arrived; this was the last necessary piece in our powder room refresh.
  3. Stay active. Sort of. Walking. Walking. Walking. That’s about all.
  4. Host people. Yes. One of my longest friends came for a visit at the end of May, which was great. We hosted our first outdoor music night. It was an intimate gathering on a beautiful evening.
  5. Travel. We’ve been fortunate to spend time at my beau’s family cottage regularly. We also took a tour of Port Credit on Father’s Day (it honestly felt like a vacation!). That said, I’m itching to escape Ontario!
  6. Read more. Yes. I’ve been enjoying audio books on my long drives and walks. I just finished Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. It was excellent. Read it. In my academic life, my book club is reading Academic Ableism by Jay Dolmage.
  7. Tame garbage. Reduce waste. We are trying. This is hard, but we are trying.
  8. Floss regularly. Yes. Daily.
  9. Walk regularly. Since I’ve got “stay active” on my list, I’m going to cross this one off to avoid repetition.
  10. Stop procrastinating. Yes. I think writing down my to do lists and having a lot on the go at work is keeping me accountable.
  11. Have fun! Yes. Seeing family and friends and making some plans for the summer had made daily life fun!

Previous updates: January, February, March, May.