With January quickly coming to a close, I think it’s time for an update of my 18 for ’18 list.

List Item Number 1: Bake Cookies Once a Month

I crossed this monthly item off the list on January 16, when I made Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (here’s the recipe I used). They were definitely a hit!


I almost forgot to take a picture! Thankfully, I got a photo just before they were all gone.


I modified the recipe slightly, using Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Kisses, and Rolos – all leftovers from Christmas. Personally, I liked the Rolos the best.

List Item Number 10: Buy Proper Makeup/Toiletry Bags

For years, if we’ve been going on a plane trip, I have just stuffed all my toiletries into Ziploc bags and tossed them in my suitcase. I do have nice bags for car trips, but they’re far too large and heavy for plane travel. Also, I am NOT one of those people who can travel with just a carry-on bag, in part because of the number of toiletries I tend to bring with me; if I was this sort of traveler, a Ziploc would be appropriate.

As we take multiple plane trips every year, this bag situation has not been ideal. However, as it was easy and cheap to use the Ziplocs (if a little inconvenient once we reached our destination), I never bothered to remedy the situation, even though it would be so nice to have a legitimate toiletry/makeup bag.

I put this item on the list because I knew I could put off purchasing a legitimate toiletry bag indefinitely; this would force me to just spend $20 and take care of it. After initially ordering the wrong color, I returned the first attempt at ordering a makeup bag and got what I wanted on January 24. Here’s a picture of Choppy modeling it:


I can’t wait to use it on some upcoming trips – I’m sure it will be a vast improvement to the Ziploc bags and I will wonder why I waited so long to purchase it.

List Item Number 12: Go Out to Lunch with Paul Once Per Month

Paul and I went to lunch together on January 23, to Bel-Air Cantina, which is a small Wisconsin chain of taco places, with six current locations. Right now, they’re in the news around here because the new stadium for Milwaukee’s NBA team, the Bucks, bears a striking resemblance to one of the Bel-Air Cantina restaurants.

List Item Number 15: Eat at 6 New-to-Me Restaurants

When I put together this list, I tried to be reasonable about what I could and couldn’t do over the course of a year. I figured eating at six new-to-me restaurants would require a little effort, but it wouldn’t be terribly difficult, particularly as we travel and have chances to try new places regularly.

It turns out, I went to four new-to-me restaurants in January and barring something unexpected happening, I’ll be done with this list item by this time next Sunday.

This list item was helped by having traveled up to northern Wisconsin one weekend; it’s much easier to eat at new restaurants when you’re on the road, particularly if you’re someone who doesn’t eat at many big chain restaurants when traveling (like me). Three of the four new-to-me restaurants were visited when we were up north; only one was at home.

  • January 12: Kusek’s Red Steer Supper Club – Minocqua, Wisconsin
    • We had a very nice meal out with my parents here – I would definitely recommend it if you find yourself in this part of northern Wisconsin.
  • January 14: Shamrock Pub & Eatery – Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin
    • We drove here on snowmobiles – not your typical way to arrive at a restaurant unless you are in one of a very few parts of the country/world.
  • January 15: Rib Mountain Taphouse – Wausau, Wisconsin
    • Neither Paul nor I was feeling great this day, but it didn’t stop us from trying somewhere new on our drive home from our snowmobile trip up north.
  • January 24: North & South – Madison, Wisconsin
    • I met my mom here for lunch – it is somewhere which has been around awhile, but I just hadn’t eaten there.

List Item Number 16: Do 6 Wisconsin Travel Related Blog Posts

This is one people already saw – I posted on the Isthmus Beer & Cheese Festival on January 21.

The Verdict

Things are going well so far! Here’s the updated list:


On to February!