20 Things to Do (and Not Do!) Before 2012 Ends

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September is one of my favorite months. Summer is over, for sure, but nobody ever tells Portland that. So, like the last person to the party, Portland’s having a string of over-90-degree days, while Facebook tells me all about the heavy rainstorms in other parts of the country. This leads some of my friends to complain about the heat, but not me. I love it. It’s a bit of a long hug before the sun says goodbye for six or seven months. And I embrace it.

September’s also the time to head straight toward the last quarter of the year. So, now that I’m single, I have an opportunity to do all the things I maybe didn’t have time for when I was in a long distance relationship. Some of the things on this list are things I would do around this time of year anyway, and some aren’t. Some are pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, and that’s the whole point.

20 Things to Do (and Not Do!) Before 2012 Ends

aka: keeping busy helps fill the void
  1. Take a photography class. Learn how to use the really fun toy.
  2. Take a fall photo-taking adventure. Maybe to Hood River to see the colors change? Maybe somewhere in the north sound?
  3. Go to “sausage fest” and make fun, only one time, of the name that my sister’s Catholic school chose for their fundraiser. Oof, I guess this counts, so no more making fun of the name! Just go and have fun. Also do other fun fall things up there. Maybe a DIY project or two?
  4. Exercise five times a week for at least 30 minutes. Being physically tired at the end of the day helps shorten the nights.
  5. Do a frugal giveaway that helps promote Frugal Portland and Nicer Notes.
  6. Do a pull up. Dang it.
  7. Give away 100 Nicer Notes. All around town. Bring a friend or two, and have a grand time doing it!
  8. Abstain from alcohol until the pitcher is empty. A sober person cannot drunk dial.
  9. Wear makeup every day. Looking put together goes a long way toward being put together.
  10. Wear more of my jewelry. It’s pretty, and if I’m not wearing it, then it’s just taking up space in my house.
  11. Wear heels once a week or more. I’m a grown up, darn it, and I need to get better about dressing like one. Also I should learn how to walk in heels, I hear that a woman’s legs look better in them.
  12. Do not wear workout clothes to work. Bring workout clothes. They aren’t that bulky. There are no excuses, except that workout clothes are the most comfortable things on the planet.
  13. Keep the phone and tablet in the living room. The bedroom is for sleeping.
  14. Do another extensive cleaning after the “here’s your stuff back” swap.
  15. Rehang pictures. Right now, not a single picture is straight on my wall.
  16. Continue the tradition of Kathleen’s homemade Christmas. The theme this year is “sugar, and spice, and something nicer.”
  17. Continue the tradition of sending out a Christmas letter. I got good feedback from my family on this, and it was fun. It’ll be a bit of a let down for my readers to find me single again, but maybe my family will mail me some cats.
  18. Volunteer at the Humane Society. They want a minimum of 12 hours a month for six months. I can walk dogs and pet cats and help out without having to have one yet. Also I can scope out the really good ones and see if I want one eventually.
  19. Start cataloging fun, frugal Portland activities. Then, organize them somewhere on this space.
  20. Get the student loan under $1000. I’m confident I can get close to zero, but I’d really like this gone by the end of this year. I will not beat myself up over it, however.
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60 Comments

  1. Anne @ Unique Gifter
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 01:43:00

    Yes to taking a photography class. I NEED to do the same… or at the very least read my dummies book. I have now owned my DSLR for nearly two years and still prefer to use the green setting :-) My spouse makes a lot of fun of me for this.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 02:45:00

      DO IT — I sat next to someone who helped me change my P settings to come out better — and already I'm happier with my picture quality! At the community college in my town, a six week class is $100.

      Reply

  2. TacklingOurDebt
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 02:02:00

    I always think of September as a new beginning just like most people view January. I like your list and I think taking pictures at this time of year is a great idea. They will be beautiful with all the different colors.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 02:45:00

      Thanks, Sicorra! It's a motivating time of year right now — way more than January 1!

      Reply

  3. Mrs PoP @ PlantingOu
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 03:15:00

    heels = overrated. At least that's the new fashion trend I'm trying to start since I likely won't be able to wear heels for a very long time (if ever!) =)

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:25:00

      HA I wore heels all day today! I was so proud of myself. :)

      Reply

  4. Veronica Hill
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 03:18:00

    I gave up on most of my goals. However, I am starting one – even though
    the new year is not here technically, but heck, who needs a new year :)
    I'm trying to learn Ruby on Rails programming – starting with tutorials.
    Best of luck on your goals!

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:25:00

      oooo that's a great goal! You can totally do that by the end of the year.

      Reply

  5. Suba Iyer
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 03:54:00

    As someone who pretty much lost her summer, I have too many things on my to do list this fall. Top three would be to start my volunteering job, pick up my blog from the dust and finalize our plans to move to Portland. I didn't get to meet you @ FINCON12, hopefully next year (or if your schedule allows it, during one of our feelers trip to Portland).

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:25:00

      OH! Yes, please let me know when you come to Portland — I would just LOVE to meet you!

      Reply

  6. Sustainable Living (
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 03:56:00

    sounds like you've got a lot to keep you busy this month. Good luck with the student loan.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:24:00

      oof! Jeff, I have till the end of the year! :)

      Reply

  7. Michelle
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 04:01:00

    Good luck with your goals! I need to look at mine.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:24:00

      psssh you are doing just great, lady!

      Reply

  8. bogofdebt
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 04:49:00

    Good luck with your goals! I hope to hear more about your photo class and see some more awesome photos. I need to learn how to wear make up-I have it, it's somewhere in a drawer….hmmm I think I do anyways. I also need to start having girls nights again. I had them a bit ago but then that friend moved away so I've been lazy.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:24:00

      Thanks — good thing you're excited b/c that's what you're going to get! :)

      Reply

  9. See Debt Run
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 05:40:00

    I don't know if I've ever been able to do one pull-up. EVER. And I used to be a fitness trainer and really fit! I've been close, but never without cheating. :( Good luck on all your goals! I like the not drinking one. I think it's a great idea! It will be hard, no lie…but you are so strong, I know you can do it!
    -M

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:24:00

      I did not know that about you Michelle! A trainer!

      Reply

  10. Mo' Money Mo&#0
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 05:52:00

    I think because I was in school forever that September always feels like the new year, which means new goals, and you've got some great ones!

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:23:00

      Thanks! I agree, it's always going to feel like back-to-school time.

      Reply

  11. Kayla
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 08:15:00

    I'm a new reader here and love this list! I am also in the Portland area and was so excited to see a frugal blog from the area!

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:23:00

      Hi Kayla! Thanks for visiting — hope you stick around!

      Reply

  12. Mackenzie
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 10:00:00

    I like your Christmas goals. I've never done a Christmas letter. That's a good idea!

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:22:00

      They're fun — my dad does them every year!

      Reply

  13. MyMoneyDesign
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:06:00

    You are really taking this breakup well! Hell ya, take some photography classes! Wear some make-up! Now's the time for you – you're a tiger on the prowl!

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 15:22:00

      Thanks, dude! Can't really tell if you're being sarcastic, so I'll assume not! :)

      Reply

      • MyMoneyDesign
        Sep 24, 2012 @ 20:22:00

        Ha – Sorry about that (its hard to tell in blog comments). No that's not sarcasm. I don't usually joke about someone when they've broken up with somebody and may be in a fragile state. I'm being for real, and I think its good that you're finding all these positive things to do for yourself. If I was in your situation, I would hope to do the same thing.

        Reply

        • frugalportland
          Sep 24, 2012 @ 23:46:00

          Thank you!

          Reply

  14. SWR
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 23:39:00

    That's a lovely list. I should probably steal one from you- wear heels once a week. I'm so bad at wearing them. (And at dressing like a real grown-up – different issue.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 23:47:00

      Yep I already want to break the workout pants rule. Let's wear heels together!

      Reply

  15. Jason @ WorkSaveLive
    Sep 24, 2012 @ 23:51:00

    I sooooo want to do the photography class! My wife and I were supposed to travel to a winnery this weekend and take some pictures with our new-ish camera. But with my allergies we had to bail on the plan. Keeping busy is the best way to keep your mind occupied!

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 01:08:00

      Wineries are fun, and lovely in September!

      Reply

  16. Miss T
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 00:27:00

    I really like the diversity of these goals. You have a bit of everything. I like the exercise goal. It is so important to be active every day. It helps with sleep, energy, and brain power.

    I would like get back into volunteering more. My husband and I talked about volunteering at our humane society but we just haven't had a chance to sign up yet. Thanks for the motivation.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 01:08:00

      You're welcome! Something about writing goals down and hitting publish really made me not wear workout pants today. :)

      Reply

  17. Budget & the Bea
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 00:58:00

    Good for you! Those look like great goals! I was just thinking to myself this morning that despite the heat in LA, fall is here because I'm falling asleep watching TV around 9:30 and my body is naturally waking a little after 7. Normally in the summer it's 11pm-6:30am. I love the extra sleep! Good luck with all your goals, and damn I wish I could go to sausage fest with you. :)

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 01:09:00

      HA that would be a silly silly trip! You are going to visit me in Portland one of these days, I can feel it!

      Reply

  18. AverageJoe
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 04:13:00

    What a fun list. I need to make one. Sadly, with kid's events, I feel like I'm on an escalator to the end of the year, with not much time for detours….

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 11:40:00

      All you need to do is wear heels once, Joe. The rest are irrelevant.

      Reply

  19. Stonalino
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 06:59:00

    OMG, "they can mail me cats"! Thanks for my laugh of the day. :)

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 11:16:00

      :) It's funny to see what tickles other people.

      Reply

  20. greg
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 08:15:00

    This is Holly- some sites make me post as Greg. Ugh! I need to do alot of the same things as you…..including the dreaded Christmas letter! I hate sending them and receiving them!

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 11:17:00

      FOR REAL? They are my favoritest part about the holidays! No, that's not true but I love love love getting mail. You hate getting Christmas letters, really?

      Reply

  21. Jordann
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 08:48:00

    These all sound like very positive developments! I know you can do it. Let me know how the volunteering at the humane society goes, I know I couldn’t do that without taking home a kitty or two.

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 01:54:00

      I'm only a tiny bit worried about that — I'm protected by my small living space! :)

      Reply

  22. TB at BluecollarWorkman.com
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 10:41:00

    I think goals are great and I think that a lot of these goals are things you’ll be able to acheive. Can’t say I’m with you on a lot of these, I’m not sure the guys would be too happy if I showed up at the job site with makeup and heels on, lol, but I have some other goals that I’m hoping to knock out before 2012 ends. Good luck on yours! (Oh, and you have to make fun of the sausage fest more than once. You just have to)

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 04:40:00

      Well you can wear your makeup and heels while doing a pull up?

      Reply

  23. Jackie
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 22:57:00

    You'll have to let us know how many cats arrive :)

    I love getting Christmas letters, and you've inspired me to at least *think* about making a list like this for myself…

    Reply

    • frugalportland
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 23:43:00

      Yay! Some are easier than others. Let me know if you make a list!

      Reply

  24. retirebyforty
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 06:39:00

    Wow, great list! I am way too tired to make a great list like that. It's day to day for now. Hopefully next year will be better.

    Reply

  25. OutlierModel
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 01:44:00

    Good luck with your list! I'm terrible with my exercise goals – if it's a class that I paid for, I'll go, but I'm super sporadic when it comes to just going for a run or something.

    Reply

  26. Shannyn
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 01:57:00

    Haha, I'll mail you the cats when I'm done with them…I already have 4 pugs so hoarding cats doesn't seem that far off! ;) Loved this list!

    Reply

  27. Briana Myricks
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 07:15:00

    I also want to take a photography class, but I hear it's such an expensive hobby. I don't want to love it :( lol

    Reply

  28. SB
    Sep 29, 2012 @ 13:32:00

    You sure have inspired me. To utilize your time, to become good citizen, the list will sure help you. You will get new meaning of your life. All the best in fulfilling those.

    Reply

  29. Aloysa MyBrokenCoin
    Sep 30, 2012 @ 08:18:00

    Love the list. I am inspired by a photography class. I would LOVE to take one but never have time. By the way your photos of Cleveland are great.
    Working out 5 times a week is a bit much. I can handle 3, barely.
    And I wear heels at least 3-4 times a week. :)

    Reply

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