Ten New Things 2010 – 1

I’m sure most of you are familiar with my Ten New Things project, where I do… well, if you can’t figure it out I’m not going to tell you.

I’ve started basing each year around a theme, 2009 was the Year of Adventure, this year was the Year of Others.  I tried to do most of my Ten New Things for people in need, or my friends or family.  Here is how the year played out:

1. Kiva – This website lets you give over and over again to small businesses in third world countries.  You don’t make any interest off your loan but you do get your money back once they pay off what they borrowed over a scheduled amount of time.  I turned my initial donation of $100 into $250 in donations by relending each time I was payed back. I helped farmers, shop keepers, and other entrepreneurs expand their businesses to provide a better life for their families.  I highly recommend trying this.

2. Feasts for Friends – At the start of the year I had hoped to make a new meal for a friend every month.  This worked out for a couple months,but as the year went on it fell apart, so I switched to a couple of dinners for large groups.  My friend Meaghan and I love to experiment in the kitchen so we put on a couple big feasts.  We called it Dana and Meaghan’s Grocery Bag.  We bought all the ingredients the week of and gave ourselves a limited amount of time to cook on the day of the dinner.  Some of the best things we made were a Bailey’s souffle, red wine risotto, lemon pudding cake and an amazing couscous.  Just don’t ask how the yorkies turned out.

Prepping dinner
Our first feast for the salsa group.

3. Hotel Sloan – Over three months I hosted 14 people at my apartment.  July was almost fully booked, but I loved taking my family and friends around Vancouver, showing them all my favourite places and letting them in on the secret as to why I can’t move back to Ontario yet.

Sam and I
Sam and I taking our first diving into the "ocean".
Sheena and I
Sheens and I at Calhouns
Mom and Dad
Mom and Dad by the Olympic Torch. First time west of Ontario and I think they liked it.
Shane and I
My brother Shane and I at the top of Whistler mountain.


4. TOMS – TOMS is a shoe company who donates a pair of shoes to someone in need every time someone buys a pair of shoes.  I bought a pair and they are amazingly comfortable and it is nice knowing that someone else is walking in comfort too.

5. Oregon and California Trip – This wasn’t giving, but it was a big experience I had this year.  My friend Meaghan and I drove all the way to San Diego stopping in Portland, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and LA on the way.  We had an awesome time going biking around Napa, doing hill repeats in San Fran, making out with Mickey at Disneyland, and buying up the farmers market in San Diego.  I had a couple great runs in Santa Barbara on the beach and along the waterfront in San Diego as well.

Welcome to California
Finally arrived!
Getting crazy on the bike.
Biking around Napa looking for wine...or perhaps I already had some wine. Hard to tell. :)
San Fran San Francisco
Kissing Mickey
Getting a little fresh with Mickey...he didn't seem to mind.
Because I know this is a lot of reading in one sit, I split this post in two and will post the other half in the next couple days.  Stay tuned!

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