april goals: update.

so...things haven't been going too well on the goal front.  at this rate i should have stuck with my march goals and just finessed those a bit longer.  but i'm ambitious & have a tendency to over commit and not always follow through.  please don't judge.

here's the recap:
just start- damn, am i trying.  i finally started a quilt i've been dying to try last sunday & haven't touched it since. yay for committing (sarcasm).  we're eating out way more than we should and our life is getting more and more disorganized by the day.  we talked about this last night and are trying to figure out the best ways to make some healthy changes.

organize posts & blog regularly- ha.  as any of you dear readers know, this might be my worst month yet.  i sure have plenty to say, but because i'm not organizing my pictures or my thoughts, i've had a serious case of writers block.  so instead of adding more stress to this little life, i'm letting the words come organically.  hence the lack of blogging & random posts.  my apologies!

run longer distances- if you call 3 miles a long distance, then i'm doing great.  but to get into half marathon & triathlon shape, i need to start pounding the pavement and get some serious miles under my feet.  oh, and did i mention a. & are are doing our first adventure race on may 5th?  yea.  so. not. prepared.
suspension training- good news to report!  this, i have been doing.  not consistently but at least twice a week.  i love it and am totally hooked.  we set up our basement to act as a mini-gym and have a suspension trainer hung and ready for use at a moments notice.
buying a brush- i should probably explain this a bit since yes, i know it's random.  i haven't owned a brush since high school.  how on earth, you may ask, do i get by?!?  well, i use my fingers as my brush- and it's been working great for some 12+ years!  but i knew i needed to do something so i broke down and bought this...
i know, i know...over the weekend my dear friends broke the news to me as well...this is not a brush.  but it's a huge improvement for me and it works for now!

one photo a day- this hasn't been too shabby either.  i take most of my in the morning or after work since that's when all the action is.  next week i'm looking to participate in ali edwards week in the life.  i say looking because most of my week will be spent in atlanta for a conference- so things will be very busy & at the same time, very cool.  i just hope my boss doesn't mind if i'm taking a ton of pictures throughout the day!
spiritual growth- thanks to my fabulous friend kate, a. and i have found a church that we really enjoy.  while we're still more sunday attendees than anything else it's been nice to have a place to go and connect with a new community.  we're enjoying our new weekly tradition and intend to keep it up.

looking at the recap, i guess things could be worse!  this months not over yet and despite all the travel next week, there's still plenty of time to continue building my goals.


'glamping girlfriends.

i spent this last weekend on a spontaneous girls retreat.  a dear friend of mine is going through some man-troubles and requested a remote get-away with lots of hikes, wine and laughter to help clear her head.  always happy to oblige (and be spontaneous), i eagerly signed up.

it was so nice to get away and just be.  between all the traveling and the mounds of stress from work and life- i needed this little trip.  i needed to not only be there with her to help her mash out the details, but i also needed to be there for myself & for my own reasons.  i'd love to say the weekend helped me to get out of my head- but if anything, i really used the time for reflection and the opportunity to ask my own questions.  which as it turns out, was exactly what i needed.


no knead bread.

lately, i've been on a major bread-making kick.  i'd been dying to learn how to bake it, sans bread machine, and finally decided it was time to just start.  bread making, all said and done, isn't complicated, but it sure is intimidating & you definitely want to make sure you have the time to let it sit, rise and bake.  

after perusing through pinterest, i found a recipe that seemed simple enough and went for it.
adjustments: none.  i figured if i can't bake bread while following a recipe, this might not be the best hobby for me.

review: we LOVED this bread.  gobbled it up in less than a day.  the crust was crunchy and perfect & the center had great flavor and was so soft.  i probably could have let it bake a tad bit longer (i didn't have a thermometer as recommended), but we'll definitely be making this recipe again.  total keeper.


a long easter weekend.

thursday morning my sister and her little man flew out to spend easter with us & it was wonderful.  better than wonderful, in fact.  having her and niko around, totally made my month & easter that much more special.  it has been 4 years since she's visited our little home and i was more than happy to show her around.

while in town, we took them to their first hockey game and road-tripped to michigan to spend the weekend with our extended family.  to break up the 8-hour road trip, we stopped in buffalo to meet up with one of my sister's old roommates for coffee and spent the rest of the afternoon exploring niagara falls.  it was a beautiful day- so we really lucked out- & lindz got some awesome shots (although the below pic is courtesy of niko).
after an remaining five hour ride, we finally arrived in michigan.  my other sister had arrived that evening as well, so it was a full house.  we spent the rest of the weekend catching up with one another and the family, playing cards, games, hiking in my grandparents backyard, exploring ann arbor (of all weekends we had to visit, it was hash bash) and celebrating easter- complete with a brunch & an egg and beer hunt.
the ride home wasn't too bad, but the weekend went much faster than i would have hoped.  i had so much fun sending time with everyone & loved the all the company.  especially that of the little man who can belt out jason aldean's dirt road anthem, asks "why?" after everything you say, and starts each sentence with "an jen."  melts my heart.
it was a totally awesome easter & we had such a great time.  this is the second year i've trekked it to michigan to spend the holiday with our grandparents and family & i hope to keep this tradition alive for more years to come.


memorable march moments.

despite my lack of blogging, i sure took a ton of pictures this past march.  here are a few of my favorite moments.
after this image came together, it's definitely one of my favorite pieces.  i love the collaboration of the various moments & the collection of images creates the perfect finale.


motivational monday // just start.

*back by popular demand...motivational mondays!  i hope these posts continue to bring encouragement & motivation to your everyday.

generally, i love to make lists.  big, long, to-do lists.  when i turned twenty nine i was 90% certain i would make a thirty things to do before thirty list.  but with my monthly goals and all the craziness that's in store for this year, i knew i had to be practical.  this january i choose one word to help me better, empower, and improve myself: commitment.  by taking on a large list, i would completely negate the challenge i set for myself earlier this year.

so i knew i needed to do something else.  i considered a project challenge and a photo challenge and a workout challenge- but then when i thought about it, these were all things i did anyway.  or at least things i wanted to do.  & that's when i decided i needed a mantra.
this mantra is so simple.  just.  start.  it's easy to remember and the perfect motto for where i am in life.  i feel like i'm ready to take on the world, but most times, i'm so overwhelmed with where to start.

if you're anything like me, you're in the exact same boat.  you have a garden that needs tending or a button that needs sewing.  you might have massive projects that you've been dying to take on and are too intimidated to start or you're still sitting on those 10-20 additional pounds that won't seem to budge. then this is for you.  

just start.  close the computer and pull out your knitting needles or print those pictures you've been dying to scrapbook.  if you're at work, make a list of one manageable thing you can do tonight.  walk for 15 minutes?  perfect!  cut fabric strips for your quilt?  just start!  you'll never regret starting a project or endeavor & if you're heart is truly in it, somehow you'll find the time to make this a priority.  

be sure to remember that while you may want to do it all (now & today!) its important to step back and remember that baby steps are key.  you didn't build those pinterest boards or put on the weight overnight.  set small, weekly goals  and revel in the little accomplishments (having little milestones not only makes things less daunting, but a ton more fun).  it's also important that you don't spend your precious time comparing yourself to anyone.  been there, done that- and trust me...your time can be much better spent!

so do yourself a favor & commit to just start one thing this week.  just one.  i guarantee after you do, you'll feel so excited and suddenly, your list will feel that much more manageable. 

I first saw this slogan on Elise's shop  


this april.

where on earth did march go?  it's always a whirlwind of celebrations & springtime fever, but this month went exceptionally fast.  awesomely fast nonetheless.  

i was pretty consistent with my march goals and took rather well to eating whole foods and taking a photo a day.  my spontaneity caused other avenues in my life to slightly suffer (ahem, this blog perhaps?), so this april, consistency is key.  

i have high hopes for april.  lot's of travel, my sister's coming to visit (!), we're celebrating one of my favorite holidays & i have a ton of projects lined up.  it's bound to be a spectacular month.  & i can't wait!  happy april!