And so it goes – 2014

January 2, 2014

Ah.  The obligatory – “NEW YEAR NEW ME!” post.    In all honesty – these are some of my favorite posts to read that are written by others and some of my favorite to write.  I’m a New Years Resolution junkie and am constantly bugging my friends and family with “whatcha gonna change? How are you going to change it? Huh huh huh??”  – so here goes.

2013 was a tricky one for me, it took a lot from me and my family.  So, I’ve decided that 2014 is my year.   

In the spirit of rising to the challenge, I went to town on resolutions for myself, but since this is a lengthy post as it is – I’ve decided to break down the resolutions over the next week or so, hopefully interspersed with legit posts to get back on track.  So lets start with list number 1:  probably the easiest and most relevant to this blog.  Fitness resolutions.


1.  Be active each day.  Whether or not its a scheduled day of training or just getting out for a long walk, doing yoga or a hike – I want to feel like I’ve moved each day.

2.  Be committed to lifting.  This year I re-discovered my love for traditional weight training and I started to put some efforts into creating an at home gym that I could  workout in, in lieu of a gym membership.   I slacked off a bit over the holidays and worked through some confusion of how to eat and train in order to get the kind of body I want.  Its a work in progress and although I have a sneaking suspicion I used it as a coping mechanism this summer, I really do enjoy lifting and have great respect for female lifters.

3.  Run 5 miles a week – that’s 260 miles in a year.  A few years back, I opted to train for races as my goals and did fairly well.  Last year, I didn’t sign up for any races and my running dropped significantly.  This year, I’m trying a new to me tactic that I’ve seen floating around before, which is set a weekly mileage goal.  Its a concrete goal that I can work for, without having something to train for specifically.  I’ve kept my goal fairly small (cough cough: attainable and maintainable cough cough:), because I know my mind’s ability to overwhelm itself when I’m thinking about too stressful of a goal.   And  since I have a hard time admitting that a few miles and not 3-4-5 miles is worth the time, I’m trying to remember that its not how I get to the goal, but that I achieve it.   In preparation for this, I bought myself some fancy new kicks to start it off right.

4.  Put at least 20 miles on the bike a month – that’s 240 miles in a year..  We have bikes.  Mine is my baby.  We have not explored the trails nearly enough to make its purchase worthwhile.  Biking is something my husband and I both truly enjoy, both by ourselves and with friends.  So this year, in an effort to get out on the bikes more, I’ve set a monthly mileage goal.  Anyone who’s hopped on a bike, know that its definitely not a difficult goal to meet and I have big plans of crushing this mileage goal.  But at the very least it’ll get us out for a weekend ride 1-2 times a month and that’s really what is most important.

5.  Incorporate Yoga and Insanity into weekly workouts.   I have a tendency to have tunnel vision when it comes to my “training”.  If I’m weight training, then I absolutely cannot replace a lifting day with a cardio day or yoga day, etc.  I also have a really hard time saying “OK well, Wednesdays are Yoga only”, because whether I’m lifting or running, its hard for me to give up a day of training, period.   But I enjoy yoga, and damn it Insanity was expensive.  So as a tie in to goal number 1 – I’d like to include more flexibility to my fitness routine, which will go a long way for making it a lifestyle habit, rather than a training for a specific goal habit.

So far – its been only a day since yesterday, so I haven’t really gotten a chance to put these resolutions into practice, although I got a head start on a few and lifted at home on Monday and Tuesday, which while not a lot – was better than nothing.  I have plans to get in a workout tonight and am thinking that an easy little run is in order. I’ve got some shiny new Nike Frees and 5 miles to get in by Sunday, eh?

So there you have it, my fitness resolutions (give or take a few).  I tried to keep them concrete and obtainable, which I think is so incredibly important for tracking progress.    I’ve got a hefty list of other resolutions that include personal, foodie and work related ideas, but they can wait for another day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful set of holidays and that they stayed relatively healthy 🙂 and here’s to 2014.








I should’ve made my number 1 new years resolution to be “GET BACK TO WORK”.  Good grief, it has been a chore trying to motivate myself to do anything but window browse online at shoes I cannot afford.  Slowly but surely I’m making my way out of the shopping induced hazes of winter break and back to the land of productivity. 

While that particular resolution may be stalling, I made good on another resolution this past weekend, to work on and complete more DIY projects. Other success stories of the week include making a stuffed pepper that my husband (who claims to hate all stuffed peppers that have ever and will ever be sat before him), DEVOURED.  No joke guys, it was gone before pictures could be had.  I’m a teensy bit proud and a LOT grateful for the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance (see the cookbook here: 

 But, I do have pictures of one my completed DIY projects.  Note to self:  Get away from the cell phone photos.  So a little back story, I’ve had a pair of (cheapy) saddle shoes for what feels like forever now.  Their retro quality was always fun, but for some reason I had the worst time trying to pair them and style them into any of my outfits.   I held onto them, convinced one day I’d be cool enough to wear them.  A little bit ago, I thought that maybe i’d wear them more if I changed them up a bit, something fun.   So that’s what I did.  Something fun…

 The players Taped up



I started with a little bit of painters tape, modge podge and glitter.  My first thought was to just use a black glitter over the black sections of the shoe, but I think my glitter was a little too fine to make any sort of visual impact.  So after a few coats of the black, I added on a layer of goldish glitter to create a bit more sparkle.

tada   Outift This is what I ended up with.  Saddle shoes with a little bit of som’n som’n to catch the eye.  I wasn’t sure if I would think the glitter would be too overpowering, but it turns out the effect is just enough. And fun!  To take them out for a spin today, I opted to keep things neutral and loose, but with bit of shimmer up top and a messy closet in the back.  Oh well. 🙂 

Whattya think?  I have a few more projects lined up for this week/weekend – one that even breaks out that sewing machine! These projects are quick and easy and perfect for breaking out while sitting in front of the TV after work and catching up on all episodes of the Big Bang Theory – bazinga!

Hope your week has started off well and maybe even a little more productive than mine!



January 2, 2013

A little bleary eyed this morning, sipping on cup #2 (back to decaf, scandalous!).  

Its been a deliciously awesome 1.5 weeks of family, late nights, coffee in my pjs, a few movies, college football, WAY too much food, friends and some fun DIY projects (mostly crocheting). 

Our Christmas was as crazy as it always is and we spent New Years Eve in our (now traditional) favorite way, with our friends by a bonfire and a big dinner.  I was sad to see Christmas go, but by the time NYE rolled around, I was ready to keep moving on.  2012 was an interesting year – it had some major ups and major downs:

I lost a job that I needed, but hated BUT I found a new job that I needed and love. 

I trained for and successfully ran a half marathon and a handful of other races, but didn’t really keep up with it during the summer and subsequent months. 

I shifted from a pretty (self-imposed) limited vegetarian diet to embracing and exploring a whole new set of food options and turned Vegan in the process!

I experienced what was probably one of the happiest days of my life and married a good guy who does a lot for me (despite my snarking) – I am lucky.

I got to watch a TON of baseball, including a Playoff game for the O’s.

I got serious about my cc debt and got my finances in order and have kept them in order.

And now the obligatory “look back”- I made a few resolutions last year and its time to see how well I did, especially before I figure out how well I need to do for 2013 😉

Looking back on how I felt about 2012 and comparing that to how I wanted 2012 to go, I’m really happy with how I’ve surprisingly grew as a person.  I can also look back and giggle a bit about how there are somethings that are clearly hard to change:

Its really funny for me to see my resolution for balance.  I can remember being so unhappy at that point in my life, especially with work.  My constant struggle to find “balance” finally ended when I left and started a new job.  I still put in long hard days at work, but I come home and do things that I want to do project wise.  I think balance is still an important thing to strive and work for, but I truly believe that a lot of that comes naturally when you’re in a good place.

With last year’s relative success, its time to turn forward to 2013.  I’m honestly pretty excited about the potential this year has.  I have a blank slate on the horizon, which leaves room for new goals.  Last year, most of our time and efforts were dedicated to planning, paying for and experiencing our wedding, finding a new job and getting my finances in order.  This year, those three things have (mostly) been taken care of.  So now what do we work for?  Here goes!

1.  Save save save! I am really starting to enjoy seeing the accrual of money each month in my checking account.  It took me forever to get where I’m at today, but I feel so much more like an adult for having gone through what I did to get there. I really want to take a serious look at my spending in the future and try to save money when and where I can.

2.  House!  We’re to the point now, where we’re a little sick of living above or below someone.  A lot of the money saving this year will be directed towards looking for our first house.

3.  Books:  I am firmly resolving to not buy any more books until I’ve finished the (near million or so) that I already have.  This will be a near Herculean task, as I have a slight obsession with books.  But I’m determined to make it through at least January.

4.  Projects – My sewing machine still has yet to see the light of day in Baltimore.  So shameful.

I have so many other thoughts swirling around in my head about what I want to work on, get better at, do more of, do less of.  But I think I’ve set some really good goals for myself for 2013.   All day yesterday and NYE, I had this feeling of anticipation and excitement for this upcoming year.  I hope it turns out to be a good sign!

Sorry for the book of a post – but these types are mandatory every now and again, no?  🙂

Raising a virtual (and day late) toast to everyone to wish them a wonderful new year!


A list, revisited

January 31, 2012

Eeek! How did it get to be Jan 31st already?  Then again, how is it only Jan 31st?  Its 60 some degrees here today and this warmer weather has me wishing for spring to come FAST. But with all of this day dreaming of what’s coming, I thought I’d take the time to check out what all has happened this month instead.

The beginning of January is synonymous with new years resolutions and goals.

People tend to set out with a positive mindset and are looking for some change.  I can say from experience, that these goals tend to fall by the wayside as the year progresses.   So to hold myself accountable, I’m going to try and look back at the end of each month and see how I’ve been doing personally with my new years resolutions.  Are they reasonable? Achievable?  Have I been loyal to them?

Lets take a look:

  1.  Drink more water – a lofty and appropriate goal for me.  I tend to chug my coffee in the morning and then get busy and forget to pound the water afterwards.  The evenings are a little better, but unless I’m eating something salty, I really tend to forget to have a swallow or even FINISH a glass of water.  Yikes! I’m pretty good about “water weekdays” (no alcohol during the week), but if I’m honest, looking back there are more than a few days that my water consumption was too low.  So in honor of renewing this goal.  I’m writing this post and drinking more water.  I took water to the gym with me this morning too.  Small steps, but good steps!
  2. Balance – I started off strong with this one, I think.  But lately, I’ve been missing that drive or purpose I think is so important for conquering this goal.  I had a solid chat with myself, a mentor and a friend.  I have thoughts in my head that need to become actions at work.  But that’s a good first step, right?  Realizing what you need to move away from and change in order to get closer to what you’re looking for.  No major life revelations, but a maturation of mindset 🙂  I’ll take that.  Maybe I haven’t been doing so bad with that balance thing after all 😉
  3. Projects – Man oh man, have I taken the bull by the horns with THIS one.  Tying my goal of balance into this resolution, last year I think I put too MANY things on my list, which effectively overwhelmed me and things rarely got accomplished.  For January, I opted for taking on a project or two a week/weekend.  This has worked out so well for me and I have successfully and PROUDLY crossed things off my list, such as:
    1. Conquering those darn crochet hooks
    2. Making two separate earring holders (girls, you know how this can be…)
    3. Using decorative knobs to hang my necklaces
    4. Finally made my first set of Apple Bitters!
    5.   I’m also trying to get better at mixing drinks, classic cocktails and learning what flavors taste good together.  We’re not big drinkers, but I wouldn’t mind being known how to whip up a decent drink 🙂

Of course, the other part of this goal, was to put a greater emphasis on the blog, etc.  More pictures,  I think I have done better with that goal, but am constantly searching for ways to increase the substance of the blog.  I have some ideas for general lay out etc., but am always looking for topics to discuss, write about and hear about 😀

  1. Read more – I love reading.  I can definitely tell a difference between the days that I’m able to put even just 5 minutes of time into flipping a few pages and the days that I don’t.  To help me out with this goal, I took the advice of Candice Peak and joined Good reads.  It’s a fun way to keep track of the books you want to read vs. have read.  The recommendations are helpful and I love to read the reviews.  I love that you can set a goal for how many books you want to read for the year.  Happily I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading and have enjoyed the company of several good books so far this month.
  2. Recycle More – Man, what an important goal to have these days.  Our apartment complex doesn’t necessarily make recycling easy, but I didn’t give Brandon a choice about this one. We recycle what we can, when we can.  I do my best to not use the plastic straws when out at restaurants and I always opt for bringing a reusable water bottle along with me on the weekends wherever I go, rather than nabbing a bottle when I’m out.  I’m also trying to tie this in with my goal of more projects and repurpose things that would otherwise be tossed away.
  3. The Healthy Stuff – This is a heavy one, no?  So many levels of what healthy really is.
    1. Physically – I’m doing alright with this one, I think vacation was a tough thing to snap out of (and truthfully, I still feel bits of it lingering), but my new goal of a half marathon, I’ve really gotten back into training mode.  I’m trying to feed my body healthy, nourishing foods and have been experimenting with my new cookbooks!   I can’t wait to share a few of the things I’m pretty proud of later this week!
    2.  Emotionally – I definitely hit a few funky low points this month, helloooo cranky.  I think I’m starting to snap back out of it and as much as I smile already, smiling more is always an option.
    3. Materialistically?  Girls, you can attest to this – seasonal wardrobe blaaaaaaaahs.  But again, tying back into my goal of more projects/recycling – I’m trying to figure out different ways to jazz up the outfits, without putting a major dent in my wallet.  There’s so much inspiration out there also for different takes on outfits and pairings, that it really is hard to not find different ways to feel good about walking out that door!

All in all, I think I’ve done a good job with taking steps for my goals, but taking the time to look back at the month and being critical also lets me know where I can improve.   I’m excited to see though, that this year I think I’ve made some truly attainable goals and am pretty excited about the idea of being that much better of a person at the end of the year, one month at a time 🙂

Tell me – do you ever check back to see how you’re doing resolutions wise??  What about this year?

xo and just because…

for serious - could you resist those eyes?


January 3, 2012

All good vacations have to come to an end and we’re all back and settling ourselves in again.  All of the festivities got me thinking about starting the new year and what resolutions I want to try to accomplish this year.  I wanted to come up with goals that emphasized improvement, rather than quitting or giving things up.  Here’s what I came up with this year:

1.  Drink More Water

When it comes to my training.  I’m always complaining about being just a little too tired, a little too achy and constantly fighting those darn side cramps.  One of the best ways to combat this is to drink more water, I think.  Not only is it a healthy habit to keep up with, but I think it’ll definitely do me some good.


No, not the stand on one leg and touch my nose, kind of balance.  But getting better at  balancing work and home life.  Work hard and effectively at work, so that I can come home and enjoy my evening doing OTHER things.

3.  Projects:

Tons of DIY I’m looking forward to this year – with an inspiration book to boot and an ever increasing interest in pinterest.  I have crochet hooks, that I clearly need to practice with.  I have a knitting loom (knifty knitters!) that I want to get better at and learn to read patterns.  My retro sewing machine has been cleaned up and gone over and is now officially back in my possession. Yay! Time to teach myself to sew!  Hopefully in time for some awesome skirts/dresses for spring/summer?  I’d also like to work on better posts for ya’ll, include more and better pictures, etc etc (any suggestions?).   But biggest of all, I have officially become OBSESSED with the idea of making my own bitters.  The Salt and pepper of cocktails.  Not only would these make for some pretty great gift ideas, its an awesome way to be creative, have fun, be able to enjoy the benefits (hello Classic Cocktails?) and how cool would a retro style bar be??

4.   Read More.

The “have read” to “must read” ratio on my bookshelf is shameful.  ‘nuff said

5.  Recycle more.

We have the ability to recycle here at the apartment complex, but we don’t do it nearly as much as we should.  My goal is to be more environmentally friendly this year.

6.  The Healthy Stuff:

And what are any new years resolutions without some healthy goals for the upcoming months?  Healthy is so much more than physical though.  Its mental and emotional too.  I truly believe that the goal’s I’ve mentioned above will really help me to be a healthier and happier person, emotionally and mentally.  To add on to that, I’m a pretty positive person, but I could definitely work on smiling some more, laying down a random compliment and focusing on the more positive side of things.  I also want to make more of a point of learning.  Sure, I’m out of school, but how awesome are those “wow, did NOT know that…” moments?  Time to start looking up when I say “I wonder why…”

On a more materialistic note, I want to feel good about how I look when I walk out the door.  My wardrobe is feeling pretty blah these days – so I want to start experimenting more colors, with hair, makeup and jewelry.  Ok. Girly moment over.

Physically, I feel pretty happy with what I’ve started.  Truthfully, when I think about when I started to run,  it feels like its been so much longer than October.  In just a few short months, I’ve managed to significantly improve my pace and distance.  I’ve accomplished a LOT already, but I know I can do more.  Time to get re-serious about running again, but keeping it fun.  I have my startings of a home gym and want to stay dedicated to lifting.

I’d also like to branch out again with my working out routine and think about getting back into Yoga.  This would require some allotment of funds and finding a studio I like, but I love the relaxing feeling I get after yoga and it seems like a perfect weekly activity.

That’s a heck of a list!  But I think it’s a good one and I think I can do it.  I feel like I’ve grown up so much in the past year as a person, I cannot wait to find out what this next year has in store!   I’m off to a good start so far, I’ve managed to get a lot done on my to – do list (note to self: learn to not write so much stuff on the To Do list…).  I’ve gone grocery shopping and filled my fridge with fresh produce again and am unreasonably excited about my salad for lunch tomorrow.  My menu for the week is stellar and I’m already looking forward to eating lite and fresh foods.  And despite my busy day, I snuck in some lifting, but compromised – instead of a whole lifting set, I focused on the upper body and will try to fit in lower body tomorrow or Thursday.  It felt good to accomplish something that I knew I wanted to, but not feel guilty about doing an abbreviated circuit.  So now that I’ve shared – your turn!!  Does anyone else have any resolutions/goals for the new year?

Hiatus, Complete.

December 28, 2011

Long time no see guys!!  After a bit of a hiatus, I am back from Christmas holidays and sludging my way through a short week of work to make it to the long weekend for New Years Eve.  Pitiful? Yup.

The holidays were so busy this year for us.  Christmas Eve is my brother’s birthday, so there’s no rest for this gal!  But, with all of the running around and holiday food, I did my best to stay healthy and managed to chalk a few up in the win column.  One of the dangers (as I have found) with being so busy, is that you forget to take the time to do something healthy for yourself.  I told you guys I packed my workout gear with the intention of running because I wanted to, but that I’ve never actually worked out over a holiday break when I intended to.  This year, I changed that 🙂  With my newfound desire to run for running and not for losing weight or burning off the calories before I eat them, I found myself gearing up for a quick run during one of those brief stints of nothing to do.  It was a shorter run (3 miles, outside) but with a lot of hills.  My legs were pretty tired from the hill-a-thon I pushed through before leaving for home, so with that in mind and the time crunch, I was pretty happy with the run J  Besides, half of the accomplishment is just getting out there and doing it right?

As for the rest of the holidays, there was!  My brother’s birthday dinner is the same every year.  Ham and Mac&Cheese (homemade).  Christmas dinner is the same (turkey, and the fixings).  Christmas evening is the same (cold cuts, shrimp cocktail, chicken salad).  Are we sensing a pattern here?  Welcome to Lancaster County, a very meat centric group of people.  I don’t expect anyone to cater to my dietary preferences (vegetarian), so a lot of times, I tend to eat less healthy than desired.  Happily, this year, my family was extremely accommodating.  You should’ve seen my plate for Christmas dinner:  Brussel sprouts, stuffing (with veggie stock!), roasted tomatoes, corn pudding, mashed sweet potatoes, mashed regular potatoes, roasted broccoli, cauliflower and garlic.   YUM.  I was stuffed by the end, but not overly full that I felt sick.   So I definitely didn’t go hungry this weekend, but I wasn’t always eating either, which was really nice.  My only worry is that I didn’t get enough protein.  I can’t wait until all the leftovers are taken care of for this short week (short = no grocery shopping) and the holiday goodies are finally cooked and eaten and I can try out a few of the recipes I’ve already starting marking in the new cookbooks I got for Christmas this year.   But for now, I’ll settle for some thawed out veggie soup (leeks! Zucchini! Squash! Corn! Peas! Carrots! Tomatoes! Yum yum yum yum yum!!!!!)

I haven’t made it out for another run since my Christmas Eve jaunt, but I did manage to nab some fitness goodies with some Christmas money, which include a few reflector items for running outside and finishing up my current desires for a home gym.  Someday, when I’m not living in a complex that has a gym included, I’d like to get a treadmill, but until then – I’ve settled for adding to my collection of weights! I’ve rounded out my set of 15 lbs (lifting with one 15 lb weight is awkward).  So now, I have a set of 5s, 10s, 15s, and 20s PLUS, my new baby 🙂 🙂 🙂  a 30 lb kettle bell!!! This thing has me going “ooof” every time I pick it up and swing it around, but I cannot wait to see its results on my core (note to self: look up kettel bell workouts…!)  I could hardly wait to test them all out and knew I was in for a workout, when yesterday morning I woke up and was pretty sore, JUST FROM CARRYING THEM UP THE STEPS the night before. Oops.  Time to get back to the gym, Hebs 🙂 It was a nice lifting workout, hitting the biceps, triceps, delts, and lats, and all the major leg muscles, plus my abs.  Happily I wasn’t as sore this morning, but my muscles are definitely tired.   Hoping to fit in a nice run tonight (at the gym, boooo) and get myself back on track for the new year.  Speaking off – is everyone working on their goals and resolutions for the year?  I’ve been thinking hard about mine and am excited that this year, I can use the word “maintain” rather than “start” when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.  That leaves me room to focus on some other things that are just as important, I think.  I can’t wait to share my goals with ya’ll and hear about yours!!

Until then, have some mid-week smiles and power through! 🙂