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  • Writer's pictureTarah Cantrell

#19for2019 Spring Update: I Slay...?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

I'm going blonde!
A lot of twists and turns in just a few months. What will the rest of 2019 bring? Something that's not on this list: I'm in the process of going blonde!

Here we are in May, folks. A few unexpected things have happened and as a result I've had very little time to even consider my #19for2019, let alone properly act on them with any real intention. Despite this, I won't call this exercise a big fail just yet because these 19 resolutions have been lurking in the back of my mind even if I haven't been actively pursuing them most of the time. How have I shaped up, grown, or changed in that time?

If nothing else, I feel bad about dogging on The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin all those months ago. Maybe I should add a 20th goal to revisit that book. Anyway, let's dive in and see just how foible-prown I truly am. The entries will be ordered from those I've made the most progress on to those that I'm abandoning for now or maybe forever.

1. Begin Posting Consistently to this Blog

I've started blogs in the past, but I quickly stop posting them, typically because they fall to the bottom of my priorities list. I'm hoping that, by including this task here, I'll keep posting.

I can't say it's been consistent, but I've stayed the course thus far to the extent that my first ever emails to Old Fashioned AF's email list as well as Patreon's extra email goodies were sent earlier this week. They were also a lot of fun to write and send, so I can say with plenty of confidence that I'll be sending more in the future if you'd like to join us. Just enter your email in the top right hand corner of Old Fashioned AF's homepage and you'll get a round-up of posts as well as this week's best of vintage from around the web!

6. Consistently Eat At Least 5 Fruits and Vegetables Each Day

It wouldn't be a list of resolutions if I didn't at least try to eat a bit healthier. Rather than focusing on my weight or eliminating food groups out of my diet, which I have tried and failed to do in the past, I'm merely trying to think about fruit and vegetables first. If I can make it to 6 or more a day, even better!

I've been pretty good about this. In fact, today I've already had 3 of my 5 a day and it's not time for dinner yet. Some days are better than others, but I'm eating mostly fruit and vegetables more consistently than I ever did in the past. This is mostly a result of my cardiologist's insistence that I try to stick to a Mediterranean diet, something which I will definitely be expanding upon in future posts. Hopefully, starting a garden full of produce will help too. If you'd like to read about my extraordinary lack of experience with this, I just posted an email for my $5+ patrons on the subject. You can join and read it here.

3. Go to the Renaissance Festival of Maryland

It has been a really long time since I've seen my friends from college. One of my college roommates, whose podcast is hilarious by the way, has been asking me to visit and go to her local Renn Fest for the last couple of years. So here it is in writing, Paula. I'll be there!

This is something that is being planned for, but we still have to go to England first.

Further details TBA. Oh, and here's Paula's podcast. Laurence and I hope to collab during our visit too. I told you she was funny!

18. Make at Least One Dress

It's been a hot minute since I sewed anything besides the obligatory mending that never seems to end. As anyone who enjoys sewing can relate to, I have a box of unfinished projects under my bed just itching to be taken in hand, and I intend to finish at least one of these items--specifically, a dress.

Let the first project of the year commence! I bought some fabric and have since started on a skirt, which will hopefully be finished next week. I also have every intention of publishing a tutorial on how to make it at some stage. Also in the works is the huge undertaking of making a Medieval costume, which will probably include a dress, for Renn Fest. Undoubtedly there will be posts on Instagram to come, so feel free to follow along if you like.

8. Grow My Own Instagram Following to 1,000

I helped Lost In The Pond do it; now it's Old Fashioned AF's turn!

I'm over halfway there already! Thank you to those who are already following my kooky vintage adventures. If you haven't begun to follow me on Instagram yet, you can do so here.

2. Start a YouTube Channel

Just like this website, I've bounced ideas around in the past, but maintaining Lost In The Pond has increasingly become a two person job, so starting a YouTube channel has been on the back burner for over a year now. It's time to bring this idea forward and start creating!

Progress is being made on this goal, and when 25 patrons have joined the party, Old Fashioned AF's official YouTube channel will launch. Rest assured there will be lots of vintage-themed content that I've already begun planning: interviews with historians and vintage enthusiasts, tutorials and challenges, trips to interesting historic places, festival coverage, and so much more. Would you like to support this and many other goals? Become a patron today!

10. Begin Doing My Hair and Makeup At Least 5 Times a Week

When I was working as a teacher, my routine was basically set from Monday til Friday. I got up, brushed my teeth, did my makeup and hair, ate breakfast, and left for the day. This went on during the school year for at least the last few years. Unfortunately, working from home has helped me to fall out of my morning routine, and it's been pretty bad for my skin because wearing makeup everyday meant that I had to wash my face everyday. I've been suffering from sheer laziness when it comes to my own personal appearance the last few months, and it stops now. Back to wearing my face, higher self-respect, and fewer zits again.

I'm better about the washing part of my skincare regime than ever before. The next step is to wear makeup most days. It honestly just helps me set the tone for the day when I already have my face on, so to speak. After my makeup is applied, I feel like my skin is ready for whatever I throw at it, and moisturizing it first helps it to feel supple throughout the day. In fact, I'm going right now to take a moment to do everything I just mentioned.

11. Visit the UK At Least Once This Year

Every year we say we're going to, and every year we start saving, and every year something comes along to smash that savings into the ground. Not this year! The cards are finally starting to move in our favor financially, and we're going to take advantage of this to go and visit the UK this year. We might even get to Paris, too!

Wow. First off, let me say that the generosity of our subscribers and patrons on Lost in the Pond is just so incredible. Laurence and I are both moved and humbled by the donations and patronage we've received as time has gone by, but last month completely floored us when it came to our new YouTube live streams. Thanks in large part to those of you who have followed us, shared Laurence's work (and sometimes by extension my own work too), and supported us in a multitude of ways, I am happy to announce that we'll be leaving for England in just under 2 weeks. I can scarcely believe that it's happening, but it is! Only the smallest preparations are still being worked out, like where I'm going to get a massage for instance! (See entry #9 of this list.)

Of course, if you'd like for Laurence or me to send you a postcard, you still have a week left to become his patron here. As an avid lover of writing postcards, I can't wait to share our journey with you!

13. Maintain a $1,000 Emergency Fund Throughout the Year

As stated earlier, we've had a lot happen in the last 10 years, and I may go into some of those details in future posts. For now, my goal is to maintain an emergency fund of at least $1,000 so that we can still travel and live while continuing to pay down our debts. The plan is to keep $1,000 at minimum in our savings account and replenish the emergency fund as soon as possible whenever emergency strikes.

I just used it to pay part of the first of many hospital bills resulting from my heart surgery, but it won't take long to build our newly minted emergency fund back up. I'm not sure I'd have been so confident about that a year ago. Does that mean I'm actually better at adulting nowadays? You tell me!

14. Sell My First Vintage Item

Over the last year, I have begun accumulating beautifully maintained vintage and reproduction clothing, accessories, and other items. Some of them fit, and I wear them all the time. Others don't, but they're still beautiful and should be loved by someone who will wear them. It would be amazing to see those items go to good homes where they'll be worn and appreciated.

I have given a couple of items away to people whom I thought would look amazing in them, but I haven't sold anything yet. Eventually I have plans to do so either on this website or Instagram. For now, though, I'd like to keep focusing on writing and engaging with you!

17. Empty My Email Inbox

I have a tendency to become... distracted, shall we say? by bloggers, MeetUps, and online courses. A self-professed extrovert, I love meeting people and learning things. Unfortunately, email subscriptions keep my inbox cluttered and me from meeting my goals, so I'm using to get rid of them, one by one.

Emptying my email inbox is still very much a work in progress, but I've gone from having thousands of emails to just under 400 in the space of four months. It feels like for every deleted email, there are two new ones that come in almost instantly. Does anyone else have this problem?

9. Get a Massage At Least Once a Month

I generally get a massage maybe three times a year on average. They make me feel great, well-rested, and ready to take on any challenges I may have in the coming weeks. This is an investment in me, and I couldn't be more excited about it.

I got one in January and February. Then I honestly just forgot to in March. April was so incredibly busy with videos everyday on Lost in the Pond as well as my heart surgery and family visits that there was no time to go! I'm hoping to get a well-deserved massage while we're in the Cotswolds later this month. If you have any recommendations as to where I should go, let me know in the comments below!

19. Empty My Mending Bag

As I said, Laurence goes through socks more quickly than anyone I've ever met, and I'm a giant procrastinator when it comes to darning. This means my mending bag is forever full. While I never let it overflow, I never get to the bottom either. I'd like to make more of an effort to venture down into its depths so that the feeling of guilt doesn't creep in when I create other things.

Well, this entry has backfired in the worst way. First, one of my coats came apart in January. Then there was my lack of energy from my heart problems, rendering basically useless for a couple of months. Finally, a second coat threatened to fall apart. Add to it the mending that still hadn't been done up to that point plus a few more socks, tops, and a pair of pants since both coat debaucles. Now I have more than twice as much mending to do as I did at the start of the year! Thankfully, I've slowly but surely started getting through it all. I've also started making that skirt from entry #18.

12. Move To a Larger Apartment

When we lived in Indianapolis, our apartment was spacious at 900 square feet. As a result, the last two years living in just under 450 square feet have been challenging to say the least. We've done it, but it's been hard, and now that I'm working from home full time we both need our own spaces to work and live. When our lease is up, it's time to move into something more reasonable for our lifestyle.

This goal may have to wait a bit longer, unfortunately. We found out that our beloved little Kafka the Cat will have to undergo tooth surgery when we get back from England, and it won't be cheap. This means we'll probably be signing the lease in this tiny apartment for at least another year. I suppose there's always subletting. Anyone looking for a reasonably priced 1-bedroom apartment in a nice area of Chicago? Message me for details! 😉

16. Consistently Practice and Post Sims 4 Recolors At Least Once Per Week

Of course, The Sims 4 already boasts a lot of amazing content, and since I'm only just getting my feet wet when it comes to making custom content, I'd like to post some of the recolors that I've created and continue improving.

This might actually happen at some point this year since I've played around a bit more with recolors recently. I can see myself being able to work on them more frequently when it comes time to get a new computer with better specs for creative work. Of course, the prime reason for the new laptop would be more to do with our YouTube channel, writing, and editing pursuits than gaming.

7. Begin Exercising At Least 4 Times a Week

Exercising tends to be hardest for me when winter begins because my skin chaps pretty severely when the temperature gets below freezing. While it's not impossible to exercise in our tiny apartment, it gets harder and harder to find the motivation to continue waking and picking up the dumbbells as the days get shorter and shorter. I'm planning to continue to be active, even indoors during the winter, regularly from now on.

Given that this was written just before I saw the doctor about some CHD issues that were sorted through my subsequent heart surgery, I suppose there was no way to know that this goal would quickly become an impossibility. Thankfully, I've begun the healing process and intend to kick this goal in the pants in the latter half of this year. #CHDaware, ya'll.

15. Make My First Sims 4 Mesh

Before adulthood came calling, my first love was The Sims. I have played the game since its inception in 2000, and my love for it has only grown with each new release. I'd like to begin creating meshes with historic themes now that I have the technology to do so. Hopefully they'll be available for download on this website once I start creating them.

I'm sure this will happen someday, but probably not this year. My life has gotten a lot busier, so free time is more scarce than it was when this list was written.

4. Grow My List of Clients for My Business To At Least 20

Wouldn't it be great if my business partner and I could make lots of small businesses grow their online following and convert them into customers? I hope to grow my clientele to 20 so that I can help even more small businesses gain success online.

This goal is one of the unfortunate victims of the events of this year. For now, my online business is on hold because of some emotional trauma + heart surgery that I am currently recovering from. It's okay though; I still have plenty to focus on.

5. Publish Better Branding Bureau's Website

It's time to share my business with the world. By the end of the year, Better Branding Bureau will begin attracting new clients on the web via SEO and SMO solutions that we have already used with positive results.

Yeah, no. Not happening any time soon. I'll let you know when/if I ever return to this.


So here we are. Given that I've devoted basically zero energy to maintaining a few of these goals, it's still pretty amazing that I'm slaying at least a couple of them so far.

Did you make a #19for2019 list? How's that going so far? Are there any goals that you're making big headway on or maybe any some that you've since abandoned? Let me know down below!


My inspiration to make a list of 19 resolutions came from Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast. Want to learn more about Happier? You can listen to her podcast on #19for2019 here.

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