EXCLUSIVE | Thursday Top Ten Conclusion: Ten Things To Accomplish In 2016

This will be our final Thursday Top Ten feature. While we’ve enjoyed the flexibility and the fun that comes with writing about anything you want every other week, we’ve come to realize that we’re just too darn busy putting together the newspaper you all love to read to waste time working on anything else. Our previous TTTs will all remain available on our website—you can find them here. So, with that in mind, we’re doing one last New Year’s installment of things to try, do, or accomplish in 2016. Some may be repeats, but only because we sadly let another year go by without trying or doing some of the things we said we would in 2014 or 2015. Our advice to you is to make your own list and chip away at it throughout the next 365 days! Happy New Year! —Cat & Danielle

Drink More Smoothies


I neglected my brand new NutriBullet blender last year all too soon, as I sadly suspected I would, but I blame poor recipe choice and newbie status. I started mixing things that really didn’t go well together and some of the frozen fruit I was using didn’t break down all the way, creating some really gross textures. But this year, it’ll be nearly impossible not to make yummy smoothies, as I give Shakeology a taste. I got a month’s supply in a combo purchase from Beachbody which included a starter kit for the new diet I’m trying. The testimonials give it rave reviews and the few people I know who have tried it swear by it. I’ve been told that even though it’s great on its own, there are all sorts of different combos and fresh ingredients to add to make it even more delicious. I ordered Chocolate and Greenberry and I can’t wait to try it out!—DT

Make An Ocean Stone Floor Mat

Tattooed-Martha-Ocean-Stone-Bath-Mat-10I love anything and everything beach-related, so creating an ocean stone bathroom floor mat is at the top of my to-do list for 2016. It is actually extremely easy and affordable; it’s just gluing porous ocean or river stones to a floor mat that allows water to drain. I can’t wait to try it and have such a cool new addition to my bathroom!—CS

Cook More

Girl-Thumbs-upThe new diet I mentioned will all but make this an inevitable necessity. It’s called the 21 Day Fix and it’s all about eating clean and portion control. I’m going to have to join the masses over at #mealprep and invest in a lot of tupperware. I recently ordered a cookbook that goes with the diet and it’ll be time to try my hand in the kitchen, for real. (Don’t get the wrong idea—I can feed myself, I just don’t get that imaginative.) But it’ll be a fun change of pace and hopefully it works.—DT

Try The Paleo Diet

urlI have been throwing around the crazy idea of attempting the Paleo Diet, or at least to shape my eating patterns around the Paleo Diet. What is the Paleo Diet, you ask? It is eating only foods that can be “hunted” or “found,” foods that are only in nature like animals, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc. I do not view this as a “diet” per se, but a lifestyle change. I would just like to eat more natural and not such terrible refined, processed foods. However, I do believe that occasional cheat meals are necessary.—CS

Try Knitting

intro_to_knitting_PI_1024x1024This is a repeat from last year for me, since I didn’t once lay a finger on a knitting needle in 2015 and I still want to try. Once pigeonholed as an old granny hobby, knitting is making a comeback. I have quite a few friends who’ve recently tried their hand at it and enjoy it immensely. I’d like to give it a shot, mostly because I love busy work for my hands (like typing!) and it would be so much better on my eyes as opposed to playing games on my phone while watching TV in bed at night. Now someone teach me, because I foresee a lot of frustration in my future when I don’t know what goes where and I start wildly stabbing at balls of yarn with my needles.—DT

Make Bread Pudding

bread-pudding-with-sauce-recipeI have yet to make (or eat) bread pudding before, so those are things I plan to do soon. I found a recipe for red velvet bread pudding so that may be my first concoction. Pretty much anything involving bread is a safe bet for me. I’ll have to eat this before starting the Paleo diet…—CS

Read More

I wanted to do this last year as well. I believe I read one book in 2015. ONE. BOOK. (Paper Towns by John Green.) I went on a cruise, a time I would normally break out the beachy paperbacks and read to my heart’s content, and I think I only made it through a back issue or two of Entertainment Weekly. I also read a compilation of short stories towards the end of the summer, if that counts. My to-read list is still a mile long and it’s making me incredibly sad. I need a nice snowy weekend to just sit by the fire and dive into a big fat novel.—DT


book-a-week-challengeI would like to start completing a book a week for 2016. It makes me sad to even say a book a week is a goal, as back in the day I would read about three or four books a week. The one book a week challenge is definitely doable, even working full-time, I just have to make sure I sit down with it for at least an hour at a time to really delve into it. My problem lately is to just read for 15 minutes here and there and before I know it, it’s been a month and I’m still on the same book. I’d also like to start writing down and keeping track of every book I read, like a book journal.—CS


11Also leftover. (I clearly didn’t do much last year.) For 2016, I’m trying to combine my love of journaling and my love of blogging into one, with a blog aimed at fellow journalists about the struggles of the industry, tips and tricks of the trade, work pet peeves, and personal anecdotes. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it does have a home. Now I just have to fine tune it and start writing. My goal is to write at least twice a month.—DT


url-1I need to start walking more often! I used to walk miles everyday but all those miles went out the window as soon as I landed myself an office job. It becomes a bit challenging getting in that half hour to an hour of walking on workdays when the sun is setting as I am leaving the office. This won’t be a problem as soon as we turn the clocks forward again. After that, I’d like to make hourly walks a daily thing, especially with my pup, Daisy.—CS


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