2014: Keep good going

Tis the season for resolutions!! Whether you’re a fan of them or not…we’ve come to that very special time of year when we are all inundated with a flurry of ads for self-help books, weight loss programs and gym specials – and sweeping promises of going cold turkey on whatever vice you have while simultaneously (not to mention miraculously) dropping 50 pounds by March.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I don’t think resolutions…goal setting…aiming to better oneself… are bad. In fact, I think having goals is an essential part of growing and changing, but I do think success lies in how you go about it. And, personally, I don’t think that success lies in picking apart your life and focusing on what you think sucks…whether that’s a relationship, your salary, weight,  job, habits, hobbies, commute, social life… your… hair? Whatever!

What if we spent time reflecting on the good…instead of focusing on what we don’t like or didn’t accomplish? I mean…shouldn’t we be moving into a new year with a renewed sense of hope? Not … “Uhhhg, okay, I’m a whale…why can’t I look like [insert your favorite celebrity here]??? 2014 will be way better if I drop like 30 lbs, right?”

I know that’s not necessarily easy to do, but wouldn’t it be great to look at what made you happy in the last year and create goals that will keep you moving in that positive direction?

So keeping that in mind, here are some of my goals:

  • Run again. The feeling of accomplishment from my races this year was incredible. Time to grab that adrenaline rush again.

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  • Give back. I was involved with a few non-profit organizations through work this year, and I’d love to expand upon that and really get involved with a cause I’m passionate about.

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  • Get social. Like in real life…with real people. Let’s be honest, it can be daunting to make new friends as an adult. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some pretty amazing people this year by going outside of my own comfort zone and joining events/groups filled with people who geek out about the same stuff I do.

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  • Segue that to…embrace my inner nerd. Embrace what I’m passionate about…who cares what other people think about it. I mean…I can love dessert and running, or high heels and Chucks. I can love bopping around to Top 40 AND any number of Joss Whedon projects. They’re not mutually exclusive. Seriously.

  • Schedule time for myself. Pen to planner. and make it happen.

  • Travel. I was finally able to get some travel in this year through work. I’m lucky enough to have friends and family in amazing cities across the entire country…time to plan, pack and take off.

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  • Appreciate it all. We live in a world surrounded by social channels filled with posts that would make you think everyone’s lives are simultaneously super exciting, glamorous, hilarious, perfectly styled and manicured, delicious, filled with storybook love and romance, busy but zen, and fat-free (spoiler alert! they’re not..) – it can be really easy to get caught up in that, and while none of those things are bad, snapshots of other people’s lives shouldn’t influence whether or not I’m happy with mine because… I have a lot to be thankful for.

  • Be happy.

So, tell me, for you… what’s good in the coming year?

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Fall with favorites!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.

Fiery foliage and jumping into leaf piles… crisp mornings and warm spices… comfort food and oversized sweaters. I’m technically December-baby but fall in New England is my jam.  There’s nothing else quite like it.

Oh and apple picking. Can’t forget apple picking.

One apple-picking-perk? Apple crisp. There’s nothing quite like sweet and spicy warm apples topped with an super crispy, crumbly crust, right? Last weekend, I got together with a couple of my favorite people (…and can’t forget my fave pup, Pebbles!) to tackle crisp-making.

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We worked with a super simple recipe from A Family Feast that Amanda found on Pinterest – and doubled up the recipe to up all of the (20+) apples that we had.

Pebbles was super helpful with peeling…

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We had fun peeling, chopping, mixing and crumbling — and followed the recipe almost to the tee. We added more oats than it called for – and I’m glad we did. It was definitely a sweet recipe, but not TOO sweet…but it could have gone there reallllly fast. I think if I use this recipe again, I’d use less brown sugar and add more oats.

I mean…c’mon you can’t really go wrong with a buttery, sweet crust? Really buttery…like Paula-Deen-would-approve buttery.

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After 40 minutes of hanging out in the oven, it came out golden brown, bubbly and crunchy….

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Not too shabby for a Sunday night??

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….and breakfast the next morning. Whoops.

Everybody's workin' for…

THE WEEKEND!!!!

Happy weekend, lovahs (not gonna lie, I first typed out something that resembled “lobstahhs”)…ahh, lobsters reminds me of Friends. “She’s your lobster!!”

Anyyyway, I am so happy that it’s the weekend…it’s amazing how such a short week could feel SO long!

I got to bed pretty late last night – thanks to lotttts of work…thanks to my amazing ability to procrastinate. Caffeine was definitely necessary — 5 or less hours of sleep? Yah, I wouldn’t have functioned today without it. A leftover latte stepped up to the plate – caramel with cinnamon.

Caffeine powered me through my first two classes – but I was starting to feel the lack of sleep around lunch time. I got the classic combo of a coffee and a salad..hah. Yar. Still delicious though. I didn’t take a pic cuz I got caught up in chatting with this lovely lady, who I discovered HAD a blog during our chat-fest!

I will “recycle” a photo…for the purpose of keepin’ it interesting. …is it technically recycling if I took the pic but it never made it to the blog? haha Anyway, double the size of the salad and that was my lunch.

I munched on Animal Crackers throughout my last class — necessary and FUN! haha

Got home…chatted on the phone…all that boring stuff. Oh – had a cheese stick, but that’s pretty boring, too.

And then I made the most amaziiiing dinner I’ve had in a while.

“Pizza”

This pizza was made of a whole wheat wrap, 1 Tbsp. bbq sauce, mozz cheese (there’s more on there than it looks…it’s all hidden under the greenery), spicy peppers, red onion, mixed greens, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

I browned the wrap first and then did just bbq sauce, cheese, onions and peppers. After that was heated through I added all the greens and cheese and heated it for a few minutes. Seasoned with salt, pepper & red pepper flakes. Pretty standard pizza-making procedure. My stomach is so, so happy.

It’s like a pizza and salad in one! A Za’lad? haha Okay, that was lame.

  • Anyone have any amazing weekend plans??

My dad is coming into town tomorrow so I’m looking forward to that. Other than that, I am really looking forward to a chill weekend.

Off to stretch away tension and relaaaax. 🙂

"Friends" & Ethics?

Hola my friends! Today has been a really good day. 🙂 We ended up watching an episode of Friends in my ethics class (specifically the episode “The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS”). Too funny. It was a welcome “mix up” to the class, and it made me realize how much I miss/love that show.

Today, my eating was once again — less that stellar — however, I won’t sweat over it. Tomorrow is a brand new day — that hopefully involves some grocery shopping. haha For lunch, I had an Odwalla Bar – banana nut.

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Then for dinner, I had some tempura shrimp “sushi” and a teeeeny, tiny bar of dark chocolate!

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I put it on my phone just to emphasize it’s petite-ness. haha 🙂 It’s just been one of those weeks, in terms of cravings. Oh well. Onward and upward.

Hope everyone’s day went smoothly (and that you ate better than I have been! haha).

Peace, Love & Munchies.