September Goals and Highlights

A little late with my monthly goals post, but life has been busy lately! Plus- it doesn't feel like it's September yet. It's been a busy month and it feels like it went way too quickly! I'm not ready for fall yet- summer's been too fun.

Speaking of fun, this was a really good month full of a lot of highlights. Dan and I had a bunch of spontaneous date nights, visiting new places in downtown Raleigh and in Apex/Cary. We also spent a day in Durham with some friends that culminated with watching a baseball game (or some of it..we were having too much fun and missed most of the game). A big highlight though was being at one of my good friend's baby shower, and then watching her dogs when she went into labor a few weeks early (she and baby are both doing great- we got to see them this past weekend!). I'm not sure how September will be able to top this month, but with my triathlon and a beach trip on the schedule it will at least be memorable.

Here's how my annual goals are going!

Spend More Time Outside

  • 1000 Hours Outside - 668 hours so far.
    • January - 54 total hours
    • February - 52 total hours
    • March - 97 total hours
    • April - 103 total hours
    • May - 94 hours total
    • June - 103 hours total
    • July  - 80 hours total
    • August - 85 hours total, breaking down to 26 hours running/walking/hiking, 16 hours reading, 28 hours socializing/misc, 8 hours biking/kayaking/SUPing, and 7 hours swimming/pool time.
  • 2,022 Outdoor Miles - 1,330 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 
    • August Running - 24.5 miles, Walking - 37.4 miles, Biking - 73.2 miles, Kayak/Paddling - 9 miles, Swimming - 8 miles
  • Visit all the gardens and free museums in the Triangle
    • I didn't get to visit any new gardens or museums this month, but we did take another trip to the Natural Sciences museum to check out the special exhibit and 3D movie. Both were about dinosaurs and the time before dinosaurs. It was so well done and I really enjoyed it!

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).

August - SPCA of Wake County - is an animal welfare agency headquartered in Raleigh, NC. Donations keep families together, make frontline rescue work possible, and save pets and people in crisis across NC.  

Read all the Goodreads Best Books of 2021

This month-

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe  - Best Graphic Novel - 3/5. Beautiful graphic novel chronicling the forbidden relationship between Hades and Persephone and featuring many Greek Gods gone wild.

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.

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.

Now let's get to monthly goals, starting with how my goals went in August.

Finish Decorating Dining Room

Right after I wrote this post, I got an alert from West Elm that my dining room furniture was ready to be delivered! I was so excited, and then when it was the actual delivery day, not everything was included. I now have dining room chairs, a table base...but no table top. So unfortunately this one did not get completed but I'm blaming West Elm!

Swim One Mile

I did this one! I definitely took a lot of breaks to get this done, but I finished the distance. I followed a fun workout from Colleen Quigley that helped to break down the distance into manageable chunks.

Go on Two Hikes

I technically did this- I went for a hike at Hemlock Bluffs and at Bond Park, but those are places that I go to pretty frequently so not sure if I should count that. This was such a busy month though so I'm glad I at least went out for those and hope to get to go on more fall hikes in different places soon.

Paint n Picnic

I did this once but definitely wish that I went out more frequently! This month I also got really into crochet so now it would be fun to go crochet outside with some snacks...I just need a catchy name for that and try in September!

Here are my goals for September.

Finish Tri Training

It's race month! I want to finish off my training strongly- the race is towards the end of the month so I just want to feel ready for the race. I'm feeling pretty good all around, just don't know what to expect for the open water swim. I'm trying to just enjoy it since I've loved the training so much, but I will be relieved once the race is over!

Decorate for Halloween

Our new neighborhood is apparently really into the holidays, and I've never been much of a holiday decorator, so I need to up my game this year. I have a few ideas for Halloween so I just need to do some shopping and start getting some ideas done before it's too late. Excited to share more.

Finish a Crochet Project

Like I mentioned above, I've been learning how to crochet, and I have a few projects that I'm working on. I want to finish at least one of them so I can justify buying more yarn :) I would also like to leran how to knit so I can make a cute beanie for the winter. Looking forward to lots of cozy time once the temperature starts to drop.

Start GBBO Bake Alongs

It's the best time of year when Great British Bake Off is back on Netflix! The past two years I've baked along and I'm planning on doing it again this year. Can't wait!! If you want to see my past bakes you can see them all here.


  1. I think it's brave of you to read all the Best of Goodreads books. I have found that Goodreads and I are not always in agreement about what makes a good book and your star ratings show me that you've spent some time with books you did not enjoy! I have decided to add Crying in H Mart to my TBR, though, because everyone I've heard who has read it has liked or loved it. Seems like it might be worth my time!

    I'm impressed with your hours outside/miles outside goals, too. I think the goals themselves are impressive, but the tracking that it must take! You must be way more organized than I am!

    1. Definitely agree with you on that, but it's been interesting for me to try new genres that I wouldn't always pick out! And I've had a few winners so I'm happy about that :)

  2. Oooh, so how did you learn to crochet? YouTube? Book? Friend? Tell me more, please! I used to know how but... that was a long time ago now.
    You did great on your goals - and I hope the race goes/went well! (I am so far behind...)

    1. A little mix of everything- I found some good beginner tutorials on TikTok, then looked up some specifics on Youtube to get more info on what I was doing wrong. Then once I was comfortable with that I joined my neighborhood group and got some of my questions answered and got help from the ladies!


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