Thursday, September 25

30 by 30: Goal 1

Well, last week I posted 30 goals that I wished to accomplish by age 30, and this week, I actually got started on one of them! Namely...

"...5. Learn and memorize an hour's worth of piano classical music"

 Yikes! An hour? It's a tall order! But, I've done it once before. My senior recital to complete my Piano Performance degree was 50 minutes of memorized music. (Between entering and exciting stage, applause, seat adjustments, and variations in tempo, this is a typical time limit for "hour" long recitals... After all, no one just sits down and plays their music through without pausing!) This week I have tasked myself with picking out the repertoire for my "recital". After listening to countless YouTube renditions of pieces and pouring through the books I already own (I didn't really want to buy more), I have chosen the music! Here's the result! It looks like a lot of music (that's because it is!) and I am nervous about trying to conquer all of it, but I am super excited! 

In case any of you music-types (or non-music-types, I'm not gonna discriminate!) are interested in looking up the pieces or just want to know what I'm working on, here is my recital program:

Hanon, The Virtuoso Pianist (this is not a concert piece, but I am going to learn the entire book for technique purposes, and that's a pretty big undertaking, so I thought I would go ahead and include it.)

Haydn, Sonata No. 58 in C Major, Hob. XVI:48
      I. Andante con Espressione
      II. Rondo: Presto
Beethoven, Sonata No. 23 in F Major "Appassionata"
      I. Allegro assai
Liszt, 12 Etudes d'executiones transcendente, S. 139
      VII. Eroica
Debussy, Preludes for Piano, Book 1, L117
      X. La Cathedrale Engloutie (The Sunken Cathedral)
Mussourgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition
     I. La Promenade
     II. Gnomus
Poulenc, Trois Pieces pour Piano
      I. Pastorale
      II. Hymne
      III. Toccata
Scriabin, Etude in E Major, Op. 8, No. 5

Yeah, if it looks intense, that's because it is. Honestly, this program scares me to death! But it's really going to stretch me and challenge me, and I am super excited about it at the same time. If you are interested in listening to the music, I've put a Spotify playlist together with everything: Piano Recital Playlist  You should be able to open this and log in with a Facebook account or email and not have to download the program.

Let me know what you think! Do you like the music? How long do you think it will take me to complete it? Any tips from other musicians out there? I look forward to your comments!

Thursday, September 18

30 by 30

I have to admit, I stole this idea. I shamelessly lifted it from a blog I follow --> Check it out, her list was great! I loved the idea of setting 30 goals to accomplish before reaching the age 30. As I am nearing my 25th birthday, 30 is closer than ever, but still seems a long way off. However, I'm catching on that life slips away faster than you can imagine, so I wanted to record some ways I want to grow and change over the next 5 and 1/2 years. I even got Hubs involved on this one! The ideas that were his are marked with an (*). Also, these are in no particular order (we are planning on paying off loans before getting a house before we have kids!)

  1. Have at least 2 children (or 1 and pregnant)
  2. Own a house
  3. Vacation in Seattle
  4. Obtain a blog following of 100 or more
  5. Learn and memorize  an hour's worth of piano classical music
  6. Have at least 15 piano students
  7. Host a major holiday with more than just Matthew and I
  8. Mentor a young lady
  9. Learn how to can fruits, veggies, and jams
  10. Eat "clean" 75% of the time (as opposed to the 20% we are currently at)
  11. And along with that, learn to scratch make the majority of the food we eat
  12. Plant and maintain a garden
  13. Own an animal (chickens, goat, etc)
  14. Host a Bible Study for at least one semester
  15. Visit at least 5 cities neither Matthew nor I have been before
  16. Memorize one book of the Bible (most likely Philippians)
  17. Help lead someone(s) to Christ*
  18. Develop a household organization system
  19. Compose at least two pieces of music (one modern sacred and one classical)
  20. Pay off student loans (hopefully way sooner than 30!)*
  21. Go camping
  22. Buy a new (to us) car (or maybe brand new, you never know!)
  23. Write and edit a novel with Matthew*
  24. Learn to use Essential Oils
  25. Make my own cleaning supplies and laundry detergent
  26. Develop a habit of regular Electronic-Free days
  27. Help Matthew publish and sell the game he created*
  28. Learn to play the violin or guitar (or both!)
  29. Set up an Etsy shop
  30. Grow to be more like Christ

Well, that's my 30! It seems like a lot, looking back over the list, but I am so excited about the possibilities that are in store for me and my adorable husband! God has richly blessed us in the last 3 months or marriage and I can't wait to see what amazing things He has in store for us.

So what are your goals in the next year or ten years? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 4

The Stuff of Pasta

I know I posted a recipe pretty recently, but this week Matthew and I are in California for his work and I have been watching Food Network all day and it is making me think about food! Also, sitting in a hotel room all week, I'm not able to actual make any recipes! Cooking has definitely become one of my favorite hobbies since getting married. It is so satisfying to start with simple ingredients and shape a delicious meal or dessert.

This is one of our favorite go-to dishes. We don't really have a name for it and I've never had a written recipe for it. Hubby made this as a bachelor and I have tried to make it a little fancier. We've only ever called it "Pasta Stuff". Enlightening, isn't it?

Pasta Stuff

1 box pasta (whatever kind you like. We enjoy shells, rotini, or spaghetti)
1 pound Italian style sausage
1 16-oz jar of Alfredo Sauce (I like to use Roasted Garlic)
1/8 cup milk
2 cloves minced garlic (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or whatever other spicy seasoning you may like. I often add cajun seasoning instead)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp parsley

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Brown the Italian sausage and drain the excess grease. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the Alfredo Sauce, then use the 1/8 cup of milk to rinse out the container and add to the skillet. Add remaining ingredients and cheese and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add the pasta and allow to sit for a few more minutes. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

Super easy and super tasty. This is a standard "it's-late-we-haven't-eaten-and-need-a-fast-meal". It's very filling. We eat off one batch of this for a week. I hope you enjoy! As always, if you try this out, let me know how it goes!