August Goals and Highlights

Not going to lie- July was not a great month! There were definitely some great moments, but it was mostly just disappointing and got me in a bit of a funk. But- since it's a new month I decided to get a fresh perspective and make sure that August is going to be a great one.


Like I said, there were still some great moments of the month. Dan and I went to two small concerts (a local funk band was playing at a record shop, and a candlelit string quartet at an old chapel). My mom, sister, and nephew also came down to visit for our housewarming (which we'll get to...), and I made my first trip back to Pittsburgh since moving away! I also had an amazing "Beerlympics" with my book club that was basically all the fun games we used to play in college and was so nostalgic and the best way to end the month. 

Let's start with my annual goal check-in.


Spend More Time Outdoors



  • 1000 Hours Outside -
    • January - 54 total hours, breaking down to 41 hours running/walking/hiking, 5 hours reading, and 8 hours socializing/misc. 
    • February - 52 total hours, breaking down to 31 hours running/walking/hiking, 7 hours reading, 13 hours socializing/misc, and 1 hour biking. 
    • March - 97 total hours, breaking down to 47 hours running/walking/hiking, 17 hours reading, 32 hours socializing/misc, and 1 hour biking.
    • April - 103 total hours, breaking down to 41 hours running/walking/hiking, 20 hours reading, 37 hours socializing/misc, and 5 hours biking.
    • May - 94 hours total, breaking down to 26 hours running/walking/hiking, 19 hours reading, 35 hours socializing/misc, 13 hours biking/kayaking/SUPing, and 1 hour swimming.
    • June - 103 hours total, breaking down to 22 hours running/walking/hiking, 11 hours reading, 47 hours socializing/misc, 12 hours biking/kayaking/SUPing, and 11 hours swimming.
    • July  - 80 hours total, breaking down to 23 hours running/walking/hiking, 7 hours reading, 23 hours socializing/misc, 15 hours biking/kayaking/SUPing, and 12 hours swimming.
  • 2,022 Outdoor Miles - 1,035 total miles so far. 
    • January Running - 106 miles, Walking - 25.97 miles, Biking - 0 miles
    • February Running - 101 miles, Walking - 22.4 miles, Biking - 10.7 miles
    • March Running - 106 miles, Walking - 37.82 miles, Biking - 10 miles
    • April Running - 65.15 miles, Walking - 41.43 miles, Biking - 32 miles
    • May Running - 64.62 miles, Walking - 40.72 miles, Biking - 52.9 miles, Kayak/Paddling - 10 miles. 
    • June Running - 45.82 miles, Walking- 28.22 miles, Biking- 72.44 miles, Kayak/Paddling - 19 miles. 
    • July Running - 25.91 miles, Walking - 27.09 miles, Biking - 62.83 miles, Kayak/Paddling - 15 miles, Swimming - 6.2 miles (decided to start tracking that as well since I'm spending so much time swimming lately)
  • Visit all the gardens and free museums in the Triangle
    • In July Dan and I got to see the Juniper Level Botanical Garden. This is at a nursery and only has open garden days a few weekends of the year, so luckily we got to visit this month. It was such a beautiful place, and much larger than I expected! There were so many different areas that were so meticulously taken care of and I couldn't stop wandering around. They also gave out free cactus clippings on our way out! I'll definitely be back when I want to buy some plants and hopefully visit for another open garden day.

Donate to a Different Charity Every Month


January - Autism Center of North Carolina - improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities. 

February - Black Girls CODE - builds pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology.

March - GlobalGiving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund - supports humanitarian assistance in impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions where Ukrainian refugees have fled.

April - Amputee Blade Runners - I heard about Jacky Hunt-Broersma's attempt to break a world record by running 102 marathons in 102 days in order to raise money for other amputees. Her story is so inspiring and it's been a lot of fun following along with her journey (which included the Boston Marathon!)  

May - Everytown for Gun Safety - the largest gun violence prevention organization in America. 

June - Carolina Abortion Fund - operates a confidential, toll free helpline that provides financial, practical, and emotional support to callers in North and South Carolina trying to access abortion care.

July - Make a Wish Wheels for Wishes - operates car donation programs that benefit a variety of important causes including children’s charities and hospitals, and veterans programs. (This is where we donated our car once we decided to not keep it. The process was so easy so I would highly recommend if you need to get rid of one as well).


Read all the Goodreads Best Books of 2021




This month-

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner - Best Memoir or Autobiography - 5/5. Such a beautiful story talking through grief of losing a parent and the memories that food can give us.


Previous months-

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid - Best Historical Fiction - 5/5. Fun story told in flashbacks and culminating in a disastrous star-studded party in a Malibu beach house.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir - Best Science Fiction - 4/5. Good starter sci-fi book for people who want to get in the genre! Gets a little tedious in the middle but fascinating book about a scientist who tries to save the earth from extinction.

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman - Best Poetry - 5/5. The inauguration poem for President Biden. Beautiful words but even better to watch Amanda perform! Makes me want to get more into poetry.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry - Best Romance - 5/5. Lovely, sweet book to satisfy your wanderlust and just enough cheese for any rom-com lover out there.

Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson - Best Humor - 3/5. Some parts were laugh out loud funny and it was an engrossing (and sad at times) story- I just didn't enjoy the stream-of-conscious writing style or the disjointed chapters.

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas  - Best Debut Novel - 4.5/5. This book seems to be very hit or miss (according to Goodreads) but I really enjoyed it!  A little slow and repetitive at the beginning, but once it got going I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave  - Best Mystery and Thriller - 2.5/5. Great, twisty start that had a disappointing and weird ending.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix - Best Horror - 3/5. Slasher-style horror book that felt like a fast paced movie. A little too much going on and too many characters for me to keep up with.

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney - Best Fiction - 1/5. Not a fan of the writing style and was not an interesting story line for me.

Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe - Best History or Biography - 3/5. Very in-depth book detailing the history of OxyContin and the family who started the opioid crisis.


Re-launch Etsy!


Probably going to delete this goal- it's just not been the season of life for me to focus on this at all.


Here's how my monthly goals went in July-



Triathlon Training

I've done really well with this goal! I've definitely been focusing most of my energy and time on swimming since that's where I'm weakest, and I'm really happy and proud of my progress. I can do 300 yards without stopping with no problem, and did my first open water swim. I also started documenting my training on TikTok which is making me more accountable to actually go and do something every day.


Update Spare Bathroom

Did this! We replaced our light fixture, changed out all of the hardware, and added some art. It's still a bit boring but that's ok.


Host a Housewarming! 
Ugh, this didn't happen. Unfortunately Dan got Covid just a few days before the party so we thought it was best and safest to cancel. It was so disappointing but in the end I'm glad we didn't get anyone sick and he was able to focus on recovering. 



Here are my goals for August!


Finish Decorating Dining Room
This one is kind of dependent on getting our last pieces of furniture that were ordered months ago, but after they've already been delayed a few times I'm holding out hope that the latest date we got will stick! (UPDATE! Just got scheduling notice so fingers crossed we'll get it soon!) I have some art I want to hang and also have a project idea for a record player stand that I think would look great. We might also change out the light in here as well from an overhead fan to something more modern.


Swim One Mile
I'm trying to push myself with how much I'm swimming, and I think this one is very doable (even if I will have to take a bunch of breaks). The longest I've swam is 1,250 yards and a mile is about 1,760, so I think it would be a tough but something I can push myself to do! Plus- it would be cool to say that I swam a mile!


Go on Two Hikes
Ever since we moved it seems like we've been so busy that I haven't been able to prioritize the fun outdoor things that I love to do, so now that I have more time I'm hoping to get out and start hiking again! I have a backpacking bag that I got a while ago and haven't used, so maybe I'll make it a long hike and practicing going with my pack so that I can start doing some backpacking trips in the fall.


Paint n Picnic
Last year I made it a goal to go out and paint (with a picnic to make it more fun!) and I want to get back to it now that it's - hopefully- starting to cool down a bit. I'm only going to make it a goal to go once, but I'm hoping to make it a weekly thing again! Maybe I can even incorporate biking as well?

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