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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B.A.A. 5K & Playing Catch Up

Hi guys! Ahh, I’ve been such a bad blogger as of late.

Things have been busy, busy – and I haven’t been on top of my game.

In March – I am aware we’re halfway through April…oy – I had the opportunity to go to this great event at Whole Foods in Wellesley, MA with Chef Chad Sarno. Katie at K is for Kale invited me, and it was so fun. We ate amazing food – all vegan – and learned some pretty cool stuff (like smoking mushrooms and that jack fruit can totally pass as pulled pork…so good!)

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Plus, we got Chad’s cookbook – and y’all know how I feel about cookbooks.

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Now….fast-foward to present. Today, I ran the B.A.A. 5K. It was a blast…a picture-perfect spring morning, and a great run for me.  As someone who really only recently ramped up her running game, I was happy with roughly 10.5 minutes per mile and 32 overall. I hit the pavement at 8:00am with about 5,600 other runners and walkers. I kinda wish I was further up in the pack as I got stuck behind some groups at certain points…but I can’t complain (plus, it’s my fault for running late in the morning!) It was nice to dominate the normally traffic-filled streets of Boston – plus the cowbells didn’t hurt either. 🙂

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Plus, I got to see the lovely Becki from Fighting for Wellness! 🙂

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I’m bummed I have to work Marathon Monday (technically it’s a “holiday” in Suffolk County)…with all of the road closures – getting to work in the a.m. will be interesting, but I’ll definitely be following the race from work!

If you’re in Boston – what’re your Marathon Monday plans?

Drenched

It’s official. I love running in the rain. It’s just sort of…freeing.

The child in me loves to splash in puddles.

My lungs appreciate the clean air and the cool temps and cloud cover are more than welcome.

The only “downside” is that your clothes end up soaked…but I can deal with that.

Yes, I realize I wore a white shirt to run in the rain… don’t worry I wasn’t going all “spring break” – multiple layers, multiple layers.

Needless to say, I walked away from my workout feeling refreshed from head to toe.  🙂

It’s been a busy one – so honestly, my dinner tonight is probably some tuna and some salad greens…nothing fancy. What’re YOU having? 🙂 

Butternut, Babe

Hola, lovelies!

Today I became a runner!

This is how I imagine that I look..so obviously accurate. 🙂 and click for source

[with walking at regular intervals…shh] 

Seriously, though, I had a great first day for my lil’ training. With pre-determined intervals of walking and running, I completed 2.1 miles and came away feeling great.

I think it was the first time in forrrever, that I haven’t cramped while running – my bod is notorious for side-stiches. Plus, though while my breathing wasn’t fantastic (my lungs just suck…I was in the hospital as a babe because of ’em), it wasn’t terrible (aka I didn’t feel like anyone I passed looked at me like: “Hey, whooo is that wheezing chick?”). #WIN!

It really pumped me up for the day – and I was phenomenally productive – which is always great.

One of my productive moments? Dinner.

Okay, so I’ve been craving butternut squash ravioli like crazy. I know it’s not really the season yet…but it’s been on my mind for the last few days now. Perhaps it’s those wonton wrappers that stare me in the face every, single time I open up the fridge.

Today I was determined to make them…and not fill them with tonnns of cream and cheese (though some cheese 🙂 ).

So I simply played it by ear and soon I had Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Sage “Butter” Sauce. Happy Monday.

I first roasted the squash (salted them and used some spray oil) – 400 until they were brown and then lowered it to 375 so that they would cook through without burning. Not sure on time.

When the squash was done, I threw it in the food processor along with 3 (or 4, I can’t remember exactly) Tbsp of Part-Skim Ricotta, a half-teaspoon of cinnamon, and a little sage and salt, to taste.

I then spooned approximately 1.5 (pretty generous) teaspoons into each wonton skin. For the record this makes way more than just 10 wontons worth of filling. I plan on using it as a pizza “sauce” sometime soon.

Closed them with the help of just a little water.

Boiled them in salted water super quickly (these look so little time that I honestly can’t even guestimate). Then drained them and threw them into a sauce pan with some melted smart balance and a few sage leaves.

Let them soak up the goodness in there for a sec and then split it into two, super delicious servings.

These were gone in… mayyybe a minute (and that includes me gabbing about randomness). Soo good. These will be made again soon. 

  • What makes you super productive? I was surprised at how running really got the day rolling for me.

Renewed

Ohhh my goodness. How did over a month get away from me here on BCLK? It truly seems like just yesterday I was sitting down prior to my beach vacation. The first week of July seems forever ago.

Regardless, I’mmmm back. Not sure if y’all are still here? I hope so…even if you’re not…I’m gonna keep talking. Normal.

Truthfully, I know that this month or so has gotten away from me due to a number of circumstances that have/had made my life quite, quite busy.

In mid-July, I started a consulting Marketing/PR position at a local bakery that was awesome (freeeee cold-brewed iced coffee, k thanks). I quickly found that after spending the day surrounded by deliciousness/hectic kitchen life and in front of the computer screen…cooking was not on my agenda and blogging wasn’t either. Even Twitter and Facebook went to the way-side. *shock*

I was able to spend July with a never-ending flow of visiting relatives for which I am forever grateful.

Unfortunately, I lost my dear cousin to melanoma on August 15th. I had written a post about him and the Go To Hell Mel organization sometime last year. The time I was able to spend with him at the beach this summer is something I will forever cherish.

Our 16 year age-difference which is so evident in the photos of my childhood is nothing but of a distant memory now.

My family and I traveled down to North Carolina to celebrate him just a week ago…which was a mix of sadness, tears, lots of hugs, laughter, fond memories…and Makers Mark. 🙂

I came away from NC with a renewed appreciation for my family, my amazing cousins, and for how Ted lived his life. I also came away having agreed to run a half marathon in 15 months. haha ..neeeeeeed to get on that.

In comes Couch to 5k.

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While a half marathon is nothing to laugh at, I am determined to make myself, at the very least, a runner. For Ted. For myself.

Where is the food coming into this one? Briefly…with Irene storming towards us (though apparently weakening slightly)… I decided it was the perfect time to make some shelf-stable baked goods to “tide-us-over”…aka I just needed an excuse to break out the mixer.

On the menu? Corn bread.  

It’s nothing fancy. In fact, it’s a doctored up mix – with my own addition of (canned & frozen) corn which keeps it super moist and sweet. – This is literally the only appropriate place for canned corn in my life. haha

However, one thing I have realized is how much this blog is an important part of me – and how much you guys are a part of my life, too.

So much love to you all (whether you are still reading or not).

Welcome to my life. Renewed.

Yoga DVD (for beginners) suggestions??

Evening all. Today has just been one of those days where I woke up with all the intention in the world to be healthy and active, and it just didn’t happen. Whoooops!  haha

On my way home from class this morning, I found myself suddenly in a lot of pain – I walked myself home, but I spent most of the afternoon lying down. Luckily those pains are gone, and I’m feeling much better and much more like myself.

I really, really wanted to get out for a run, but that didn’t happen…I need to remember that I have to go EARLY or I won’t go at all…not only due to dwindling motivation, but also…sure as hell, I’m not running at night. J Either way, I need to get my butt moving, literally! haha

Oh! Also, all of the muscle spasming I’ve been having (I think due to stress?) has made me think that I should start doing some yoga. Anyone have any good suggestions for a good yoga DVD…a BEGINNERS one preferably or one that builds or something. I used to have a good DVD, but I went to open the DVD case last night and poof that DVD itself is missing!! No good, no good. I’m guessing a former roommate of mine has it or something.

Oh well. Despite not feeling 100%, today has been good. I got an ‘A’ on my French midterm…hooray! I got some grocery shopping in. The walk to the grocery store was nice…the fresh air was so necessary. I also went looking for a hot drink tumbler at Starbucks, but, to be honest, the stuff they had didn’t seem like it would really keep my drink hot…sure it looked pretty but, no insulation, and mostly plastic. I’ll keep looking. J

For lunch I had a chicken pesto sandwich from Shaws. It was really yummy; I don’t remember the last time I had a brioche roll, but it was divine.

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I had some of my delicious green sludge (haha it really looks like sludge in this photo) while waiting for my pizza to crisp up!

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My abnormal eating patterns have continued tonight – pizza.pizza. A small BBQ Chicken Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen to be exact. haha Not a lot of it, but I’ve just been craving it. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had it!  I’ll be back to my normal eating habits tomorrow, I promise. haha

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I don’t have much to do tonight, which is awesome. I should probably start thinking about the print ad that I have to make for my advertising class. What to choose, what to choose…

I hope everyone’s Monday was a good one! This time change is throwing me off!! I’m hungry way too early – I got out of class at 10 and was craving lunch foods. I made myself wait though, just to get my bod used to the change of time.

Talk to you all soon!!

Peace, Love & Munchies!

Life Changes

Today was the epitome of lazy days. I really did nothing (except for the fact that I’m watching the dog and the cat for my mom), but it gave me a lot of time to reflect on my life these days … which is something I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do as of late.

I did hang out with this kitty though:

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Now, for the last few weeks I’ve mostly felt like this:

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After doing a lot of thinking today, I’ve realized that I need to make some big life changes (some of which I can’t talk about at this exact moment but soon enough, I promise), and that I need to start a workout routine. Granted, I DO exercise. I walk (swiftly & with purpose!! haha…and mostly uphill) everyday, at LEAST 4.5-5 miles)…but I want to start a designated routine, separate from my daily routine of walking to and from class.

Angela, at Oh She Glows, has really been an inspiration. Today she left a vlog talking about her running, and getting back into it after her half-marathon, and about running outdoors in the winter. One thing she mentions is the endorphin addiction. I think I’m in desperate need of that. haha It will just be a matter of getting my body back into running — it’s been a LONG, LONG time (let’s say since I was on the cross-country team in 7th grade…yikes).

Now, I mean obviously, I’m not a person who is perpetually down in the dumps — a “debbie-downer” shall we say? But I know how I work, and with winter coming and the days getting longer, colder…and darker — I think endorphins are my key. I would honestly love to run outside, even in the winter (Any of you Bostonians do this…or anyone who lives anywhere with really cold winters, too??) because…putting it mildly…the treadmill and I are not friends.

I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

Food this evening hasn’t been the healthiest in the world — but considering I’m working out of my mother’s fridge and not my own…it’s not too horrible.

I made a frozen pizza and had a couple (small) pieces. It’s a white pizza with mushrooms and spinach.

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I also had a glass of Diet Coke — and I never have soda. haha 🙂 And yes, I know it’s in a Smuttynose Beer glass…but yep, it’s Diet Coke. haha

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Talk to you all again…probably tomorrow night, considering I work ALL day tomorrow. I will keep you posted on any changes happening, too. 🙂 Enjoy your Saturday nights!!