Tag Archives: cooking

Setting Goals

Happy Monday my friends! ….. Just kidding. It’s Tuesday. And yes….I completely forgot it’s actually Tuesday. Long Weekend Problems.

Today, I’m talking about goals. Life goals, fitness goals, pretty much any kind of goal. I’m the type of person who sets a goal, puts her mind too it for about 3 weeks, and then quickly loses motivation because pizza sounds so much better running.

But I know having goals in place can keep one accountable. So with Labor Day behind us, and for some reason summer back in full swing, I decided that it’s time to set some good, attainable goals for the next four months (until the end of 2014).

1. Exercise more. This has been a much-discussed topic in my house for probably…. well, forever. So, it’s time to nip it in the butt and get moving. I go through such spurts with fitness. Insanity for 6 weeks last year (granted, I had to stop because I injured myself… but I could have done other things), Running for about 4 weeks, gym for about 3 weeks, etc. I’m a start and stop kind of fitness person. I want to stop being that kind of person, and start becoming the person who incorporates some sort of activity into their life everyday. It’s not about vanity anymore; it’s about my health. Especially as I close in on the big 3-0.

What am I doing to kickstart this?

For one thing, I signed up for personal training sessions with a good friend of mine who is local. She knows how much I have struggled with my weight and fitness through the years (since high school!) and really wants to help. So next Tuesday, it’s off to a local park for some serious one on one personal training. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. But I know she’s awesome at it, and will push me just far enough beyond my limits to make it count.

What else am I doing?

I plan on going to the gym every morning. Even with personal training twice a week in the evenings. Even if it’s for 20-30 minutes of cardio. Just to keep myself in that mindset. If I don’t go to the gym, then it’s a 2.5 mile walk at lunch. And during the beautiful fall weather, I’ll STILL go for a walk at lunch, even if I worked out in the AM. I need to keep myself moving.

2. Lose 15 pounds. Considering the amount of weight I have to lose (like nearly 60 pounds to my ultimate goal weight), this is minimal. But, it’s a smaller goal. And doesn’t seem so intimidating. I’m giving myself 4 months to lose 15 pounds. That’s 3.75 pounds per month. I can definitely do that. And I’m hoping in the next four months, it ends up being a bit more than that. But I’m focusing on 15. And whatever else happens, happens.

3. Try new things. I’ve always been the type to avoid trying new things because I was intimated. Or I was scared of what others would think of me. But now, I want to push that to the back of mind and start living. I’ve already signed up to learn to Paddleboard. Maybe I’ll consider trying Yoga. Or joining a running group.

4. Run a 5K. This one may not be attainable in the next 4 months. I’ll have to see how I’m doing fitness-wise by October/November. And how the weather is. But if I’m not ready, I’ll run one next year. This has always been on every goal list, bucket list, resolution list, etc. and I really want to focus on achieving it.

5. Blog more. I’ve really tried to be better about neglecting this blog. I have gotten better. But I want to aim to post more things of value. Not just ranting posts. Or posts where I’m trying to be funny. Legitimate posts that people want to read and are interested in what I have to say.

6. Meet my 100 books read goal. I’m SO far behind on this it’s not even funny. I’ve read 58 books this year. I have 42 more to go. That’s 10.5 books per month for the next 4 months to hit my goal. Le sigh…. it’s a good thing I have lots of good books ready and waiting on my nook! I’m currently reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer . LOVE.

7. Cook more. I love to cook. I’m just lazy. Which means we eat whatever is easy. Which usually ends up being take-out. Now that’s not 100 degrees out (except for this week), I plan on cooking more dinners. One, it’s healthier. And two, leftovers. Which are always the best for lunch. We also recently purchased a Ninja, and I’ve been dying to use it. And I haven’t yet. But the first thing I plan on making…. homemade hummus. YUM!

8. Frame some of my photography. And not for my own use. To have ready so that I can start proposing art shows to local places around town. I have SO.MUCH. personal work that I would love to be able to sell, but without really getting it out there, it’s not going to. Yes, I love my Etsy shop, but it’s also not doing what I had hoped. So, it’s time to frame my work and hope I can get it at some local coffee shops around town. Maybe even sell a few pieces during the holidays.

9. Stop worrying so much, and start living. Hence my goals. If you notice, they are pretty generic.

And if I don’t hit them all, oh well. I’m not fretting anymore.

I’m no longer trying to use the gym for my appearance, but rather my health (although the vanity benefits rock too!). I’m not letting my fear or intimidation get to me, and allowing myself to try the things I’ve always wanted to try. I’m not worried about what others thing about this blog, instead I’m writing for me. That’s what this has always been. I’m enjoying reading, as opposed to trying to fill a quota. Yes, I’m trying to reach 100 books, but if I don’t do it this year, I’ll try again in 2015.

Setting goals is simply to help me organize what’s next for me in the coming months. To help keep me focused and know that I’m always doing something to better myself.

What are you doing in the next four months to better yourself?

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A weekend of relaxation and productivity

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I certainly did. It was relaxing and productive.

Friday: After work, I headed to the gym and ran. I upped my running time to 15 minutes today and I felt great. My muscles were pretty sore though, so one I got home I indulged in a good stretch before hopping in the shower. It was amazing how much better my body felt after a good stretch. Note to self: Stretch more often. The other half and I got salads for dinner from our favorite pizza shop in town and enjoyed a few beverages.

One of my photos in the Etsy shop
One of my photos in the Etsy shop

Saturday: Typical morning for me. Off to the barn I went to clean stalls and enjoy the company of the horses. Once I got him – we headed up to the Kittery Outlets. I wanted to head to the Under Armour Outlet to pick up some more of their HeatGear Running Shirts. I’m obsessed. And thankfully they were on sale for 2 for $30. Added 4 more to my workout arsenal! Now I just need to get some more running pants! After we did our weekly groceries and stocked up on things I needed for my planned cooking frenzy for Sunday.

My only goal for Saturday night was to finish my taxes. In fact, I made it clear to N to not let me do anything else until my taxes were done. He even made dinner during that time (Mexican Taco Bake!).  Once I completed my taxes we watched Frozen (I’m obsessed!) and I got my eryn e photography Etsy shop up and running. The Etsy shop will have all photos from my personal collection (think flowers, landscapes, the beach, etc.)

And now for Sunday.

Sunday was…. a kitchen adventure. I got up early and got a few more things loaded into the Etsy store and then went to get a mani/pedi before the frenzy began. Now, this was a pre-planned frenzy. Knowing N was going to be working all day, I decided to cook dinner and try out a few new recipes.

First up – Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it has easily become a new favorite. To keep it a bit healthier, we made sure to get lean chicken breasts, and low fat ranch dressing and cheese. Obviously not the healthiest meal, but it sure hit the spot!

The finished product
The finished product

While those were baking, I started working on Creamy Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese. Also not super healthy, but definitely a good comfort food. And the Greek Yogurt gave it such a different flavor. Yum! (I brought a little for lunch today….)

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After that was done, I went to work on some No Bake Energy Bites. I have to say – these were probably the hardest to make out of everything! However, they are delicious!

My parents decided to stop by during the cooking frenzy, so I took a quick break and threw together a Sugar-Free Banana Cream Pie for my dad. I had the crust and pudding in my cabinet already so it took no time at all. He was pretty excited.

The final meal of the day – Healthy Turkey Chili. I cook this A LOT. We both love it, and it’s super hearty. My decision to make this was super last minute so I was missing the chipotle chilis it calls for, so I improvised. I added jalapenos (1 1/2 cups), sriracha sauce, red cayenne pepper and chili powder (to taste). It gave it an entirely different flavor, but was still yummy. I’m excited to dig into it for dinner tonight!

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Enjoy the recipes! I wish I was created enough to come up with these on my own, but thank god for Pinterest.

A weekend full of fun.

Happy Monday my friends!

Wait… just kidding. It’s Tuesday. I had yesterday off for the MLK holiday so today totally feels like a Monday to me! Hope you all had a nice weekend! My weekend was great.

I read. I discovered my new favorite author, JoJo Moyes, and managed to finish ‘The Girl You Left Behind’ and ‘Me Before You’ this weekend. I HIGHLY recommend ‘Me Before You’. It grabbed me and would not let go. I felt like I started to really know the characters. Stay tuned because I am planning on doing a book review of it!

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I shopped. My best friend was home visiting from Spain where she is currently living. So we spent Saturday together shopping and visiting our haunts. It was so nice to spend time with her and see her. I’ve missed her mucho!

I watched football. Like everyone else in New England, I was glued to my TV watching the Pats/Broncos games. While I’m sad that the Pats didn’t win, it’s incredible they made it as far as they did. I mean with all of the injuries they had with key players, and they still made it to the AFC Championship… come on, that’s pretty awesome.

'High-five? Anyone? No? Okay.'
‘High-five? Anyone? No? Okay.’

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I crocheted. In my previous life, aka before I aimed to read 100 books a year, worked full time and had a photography business, I crocheted blankets like a madwoman. A good friend taught me a single blanket pattern in college and that’s the only thing I know how to make. I figured out scarves at one point, but I mean, that’s crocheting in a single line. Anyways, I decided it was time start again after almost a 2 year hiatus. I was so scared I forgot how. Thankfully, it was like riding a bike and it all came back to me. I do sell them, so if you’re interested in a custom blanket, let me know!

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The start of a new blanket
One of the many blankets I've made - back in 09/10.
One of the many blankets I’ve made – back in 09/10.

I spent time with my parents. I have dinner with my parents like once a week. Yesterday, I spent nearly the entire afternoon and evening at my parents house. It was nice to just kick back and hang out with them, as well as the cat. The sky was unreal as I drove the 20 minutes to their condo. The clouds were amazing. The sun was shining in all the right places. It was just a cool day.

photo 1As much as I love my parent’s cat, and he sometimes loves me, yesterday he was not amused when I tried to take my scarf and mittens home with me. He found them on the couch and immediately claimed them as his own. Needless to say, I don’t think I left on good terms with him…

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I cooked. And so did my fiance (who is quite the baker!). I made a healthy turkey chili, he made pulled pork in the crock pot, and he made pineapple upside down cakes with coconut frosting.  AMAZING.

Today it’s back to work! We’re facing another 5-10″ of snow between tonight and tomorrow. Should be an adventure. At least we’re having an actual snowy winter this year. Hopefully we’ll be lucky and have all four seasons!

How was your weekend?

I’m terrible at blogging.

Yep. It’s official. I can’t keep up with my own blog. I keep saying I’ll do it. Then suddenly, three months have passed and I’ve written nothing. But I want to keep up with this. It has become a good outlet for me to write, to be accountable for things and just be me. It’s my little place on the web that I call home.

Lucky for all of you, my inspiration is back and I’m ready to start writing again. After a failed attempt at a ‘healthy living’ blog, I decided to end that one and bring everything back here. In reality, my goal of healthy living is part of my world, therefore, it should be here.

For the record, my weight is still an endless struggle. But I’m working on it. I’m trying to focus on it as a lifestyle change, instead of a diet. That’s the only way I can keep my focus. So here is what’s up!

On July 8th, 10 of us began a DietBet. If you haven’t heard of DietBet, it’s a website represents themselves as social dieting. It’s not gambling, but simply people putting money on the line that they will lose 4% of their starting weight in 28 days. Everyone that loses at least 4% takes home a piece of the pot. When I heard about it, I was immediately interested. So, I managed to get people to join. If you’re interested in joining, here is the link. We’re on Day 3, so there is still time!

In other news, last night was one of those nights where the craving to cook just hit me. After work, off to the grocery store I went where I loaded up on tons of fresh fruits and veggies, and other healthy things. I got home and suddenly, the motivation to cook was gone. I almost cooked one of my microwave dinners because I was so not in the mood. But instead,  I sucked it up and sauteed some delicious summer vegetables in olive oil and herbs (basil, oregano and rosemary) and put them in a low carb torilla with two slices of provolone cheese. It was HEAVEN. So delicious and only took me about 10 minutes to cook.

imageA little before and after – left: the veggies cooking… smelled so delicious! and right: ready to devour in my plate!

The leftovers are lunch today. I can’t wait to dig in!

In other news:

1. Currently reading – “The Beach House” by Georgia Bockoven. One of my cheap finds on Barnes and Noble. So good. Read it. You won’t regret it.

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2. The photography business is booming – those who may have followed this blog previously will remember how this is where the business started out. It’s been really exciting to watch it grow. Check it out here and here.

3. We’ve slowly started planning our wedding. I never blogged about it, but my other half and I got engaged in November at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. It was super romantic and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to be marrying such a wonderful man. We’re planning very slowly. Like not rushing at all. But would love any advice on planning on destination wedding (think warm summer sun, sandy beaches and turquoise water!)

I think that’s about it for now!

See y’all soon!