adventure 2 of 30: sailing san diego bay.

where we went: san diego bay

the details: over the past couple weeks, i've been lucky enough to go sailing a couple times in the san diego bay.  i adore sailing.  it's probably one of my favorite things to do.  when a. & i were dating, we'd go sailing quite frequently and more often than not, would encounter a few adventures along the way.  

while sailing isn't a new adventure for me, it's something we haven't done together in over 8 years.  crazy.  so getting back into a boat, getting in sync with the ropes, the rules of the bay, & just overall sailing required a bit of a refresher.  but like riding a bike, it came back quickly.  

in true san diego spirit, we had awesome weather for both of our sails.  one day was a bit colder & the other had a little less wind, but either way, the sun was shining & the san diego bay looked nothing less than glorious.
in an effort to spend more time doing what i love, i'm attempting to go on 30 different adventures over the course of 2013.

if you'd like to join me or interested to know more, you can follow my progress here.

this is adventure 2 of 30


a checkered knit blanket.

i'm new to knitting blankets.  actually, i'm still relatively new to knitting so this is officially knitted project number 3 (here's 1 and 2) since i picked up this hobby late last year.  i chose to knit this blanket for my niece and unlike my first knit blanket, i wanted to attempt the checkerboard knit.

much like the first blanket, i used the garter stitch and didn't have a specific color pattern, i just knit each color randomly and once i started on the last two rows, finally began paying attention to color placement so no two colors would be side by side.  while i love the randomness, i'm certain if i started with a pattern, i would have saved myself a lot of frustration near the end of the project.
i began knitting this blanket shortly before christmas, got really excited how it was turning out, then started getting nervous about how i would ultimately pull the blanket together, lost motivation to finish, and finally, regained the determination to pull through and wrap up this bright blanket.  as you can tell, it was quite the process.
and while i didn't enjoy knitting the blanket as much as i did the first one, i actually loved bringing it together.  ironically, sewing the sides of each piece together turned out to be my favorite part.  & honestly, i just love how this turned out.  so much in fact that i'll be making one for a. & i to enjoy as well.



currently, life is good.
currently, we're sleeping on an air mattress with no furniture except a couple folding tables, chairs and recently purchased lamps.
currently, we're loving it.
currently, we've set up a tent in our room for movie watching and to otherwise entertain our nephew.
currently, we're exploring san diego by air & sea.  both sights completely rock.
currently, i'm catching up with old friends and it's as though our time apart never was.  friendship is awesome.  i love it, and them.
currently, we're waking up with the sun.  ready to take on the day and our new jobs.  
currently, we're loving the gloomy weather & rainy days.  it's making our hearts sing.
currently, we're eating in.  every night.  and while we only have one pot and pan to our name, we're enjoying the process and the creativity that limited supplies bring.
currently, i've begun project life.  it's taken me a while to get into this process- but i know now it's something i'm going to love.
currently, the final touches on the last of the road trip blankets have begun.  this one has taken far too long to finish, but i think it's beautiful nonetheless.
currently, we're living minimally and happily with very little to complain about.  again, life is good.



a. & i are taking a lot of steps forward.  we moved to san diego, are living close to family, found a new place to call home, and are completely overwhelmed with all the happiness this change has brought us.  however, there's one avenue of my life that's not only stagnant but is seemingly moving backward, my career.

it's not that i want a fantastic, high-powered job.  i'd be happy with anything thought-provoking and challenging within the event industry.  a job that i could use the skills i've worked so hard to acquire and build over the last 8 years.  

i'm well aware this is just a stage, and i'm slowly coming to terms with it.  & as i network through the job i have currently, i'm certain i'll look back on this time as a humbling growth opportunity.  but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.  so for right now, i'm doing my best to swallow my pride and just enjoy having a job

while i can't but help feeling as though i'm stepping backwards, i have to remember i am moving forward...slowly sure, but forward all the same.  i'm putting myself out into this new, tough job market and doing my best to make a new name & new reputation for myself.  i'm sure in time, the path i'm forging now will lead me to an career opportunity i'm nothing less than passionate about.

ps. photo is by yours truly & i found the quote via pinterest.  i couldn't find a source, so if you happen to know who said this, please let me know so i can be sure to credit them!  


january goals// update.

earlier this month i chose to make january a month of growing consistent.  a month of routine & a month of baby steps.  and it's working for me.

for the past 3 weeks i've actively tried to stay as consistent as possible.  i'm waking up and moving.  i'm getting into the habit of blogging a few posts at once- not once a day- and that has kept this space consistent as well.  i'm consciously making an effort to consistently stay connected with friends and family near and far.  all and all, it's been wonderful.

not having a place to call our own for most of this month made staying consistent much more challenging than i would have hoped.  but regardless, i committed to the routine and made it work.  now that we have a place to call our own (more on this later), it's been so easy.  i'm feeling inspired and creative.  ready to take on each day and dreaming up & designing of our new little home.

also, in regard to my secondary goals, here's how things are summing up:

  1. simplify our life- definitely not as hard as it sounds.  we've moved into a place much smaller than the one we had and will have to pair down our life significantly.  but while we're waiting for our stuff to arrive- we're living as we did before.  with the bare minimum & a lot of creativity.
  2. stretch daily- i'm doing this more often than not (either through yoga or stretching before (or after) a workout).  i love it & on days i forget to stretch, i notice a huge difference.
  3. read one book- almost done with this one!  i joined a book club, so the pressure of finishing & having an enjoyable book to read, has made this rather easy.
  4. organize all blog components-  my favorite thus far.  i'm organizing all my old photos and getting them onto a hard drive.  i'm getting rid of many of the pictures i'll never use (or thought i'd blog but didn't), making sure posts have all their pictures and as mentioned above- organizing blog posts weeks at a time instead of days.
  5. volunteer- last one on my list.  i'm looking into a few volunteer opportunities here & plan to participate in something over the weekend.
with a week left, i'm feeling really good about my commitments for the month.  i'm excited to end on a high note and continue this enthusiasm into february.


30 days of no sugar: week 3.

finally, my body's adjusted to the lack of sugar in my diet.  my cravings aren't nearly as strong as they were when i first began this challenge & while every now and again i have a craving for something sweet, i can usually derail it with a piece of fruit.  usually.

only once did i go off the deep end this week.  luckily i have a good excuse (at least in my opinion).  yesterday was my mom's birthday.  within my family, each of us have a different cake that we request for our special day.  my mom's go-to is a decadent, homemade, chocolate cherry cake.  since a. & i have been away and have missed most birthday celebrations for the past 8 years, we fully participated in all the birthday cake traditions.  so yes, i had a big 'ol piece of chocolate cake...oh, and ice cream too...

while i'm happy to announce the cravings have subsided, i'm definitely realizing a sugar-free existence isn't a permanent lifestyle change for me.  and that's okay.  i'm still learning a lot about my cravings, what i can do to keep them at bay & most importantly, how to enjoy sugar in moderation.

it's great stuff to learn.  and i'm hoping i'll have a few more eureka moments over these next few days.


our new home.

guess what?!?  finally, after 3 months of living in limbo, a. & i have a place to call home!  we are so excited about settling in, getting our stuff (this could take about 2 weeks since it's coming from the boston area), and making this little space ours. it's such a cool space & i'm already envisioning our stuff scattered around this new home. i can't wait to share this new space with family and friends...can't wait!!

we're so excited.  it's time to make san diego our town.


attempting the oil cleansing method.

for the better part of last week, i've been cleaning my face with oil.  yep, you heard it correctly- oil.

my younger sister is dealing with oh-so-wonderful teenage acne & my mom was contemplating getting her on something a bit stronger to help keep it at bay.  having gone through the very same thing when i was a teen- and knowing she'll most likely outgrow it soon, i asked my mom to hold off while i did some research for a more natural solution.

those of you that know me know i do my best to keep things as natural as possible in our food, home and life- and i'm usually not too taken aback by some of the more holistic remedies.  thanks to pinterest & a few of the blogs i follow, i'd heard of people cleaning their face with oil before and to be honest, was definitely guarded to this rather odd solution.  cleaning oil with oil?  it didn't make sense.

but, instead of scoffing once again, i googled everything i could about the oil cleansing method (or ocm).  much to my surprise, there's a lot more information out there than i thought & while the theory behind it made sense, i couldn't for the life of me wrap my head around it.  so i did what any normal person would do- decided my sister and i had to try it for ourselves.

despite my better attempts, finding castor oil was quite the feat.  after visiting a couple grocery and drug stores, i finally found small bottles at cvs.  i picked up two in addition to the grapeseed oil and tea tree oil i purchased at the grocery store.  following this method, i blended the oils and essential oils into small bowls.  i figured after a few weeks, i'd upgrade to a pretty soap dispenser or something if i liked it.

the first week has been nothing short of interesting.  the castor oil is way more drying than i anticipated- so i'm still experimenting with my perfect blend.  i have to say however, i love the process.  i love the soothing method of massaging the oil onto my face after a busy day and better yet, placing a steaming towel over my entire face until it begins to cool.  it's such a great end of the day routine.  and while this adds an additional 3-5 minutes to my nightly routine, it's now 3-5 minutes that i really look forward to.

according to crunchy betty, it will take 2, possibly 3 weeks for my skin to adjust to this method.  luckily, so far (with the exception of a gnarly pimple on my chin) so good.  i'll continue to document this process as my skin changes (or doesn't) over the next couple weeks to keep you updated on this seemingly nutty approach.


adventure 1 of 30: blue sky reserve

last week, i mentioned i'm challenging myself with 30 different adventures throughout the year & figured, while i have the time, should take advantage of these beautiful, chilly san diego days.  with so much going on for both myself and a., i ended up embarking on this adventure solo (well radley came with me).

where i went: blue sky reserve

the details: blue sky has something like 700 acres of protected land and miles of trails.  despite the barren and dry nature of san diego, along the lower trail, there's usually a small stream and somewhere cool to enjoy a snack or lunch.  i chose to hike from the trailhead to ramona damn, 4.8 miles roundtrip.

the first mile and a half of the hike was easy and very enjoyable.  once i left the tree line and made my way for the damn, i was on an unprotected (from the sun) trail with a steady incline for the remainder of the walk.  radley and i stopped for pictures and water a few times as we walked up to the damn and at the base of the damn, we reached a steep grade as we made our way to the top.

at the top, the panoramic views are beautiful.  radley & i stayed only for a few minutes before making our way back down to the trailhead.  the quiet of the canyons and sounds of the birds was exactly what i needed to clear my head from the confusion of the week.  getting out and spending time in nature is so rejuvenating for me; i always feel like a new woman when i return from hikes.
in an effort to spend more time doing what i love, i'm attempting to go on 30 different adventures over the course of 2013.

if you'd like to join me or interested to know more, you can follow my progress here.

this is adventure 1 of 30


30 days of no sugar, week 2.

going sugar free, is way harder than it sounds.  for the most part, i've been consistent & really proud of myself.  i'm often saying no to many of the yummy goodies offered to me & am finding myself naturally reaching for fruit when i need an afternoon pick-me-up or have a hankering for something sweet.

despite all my efforts to be good, i've fallen off the wagon a few times this week.  one instance was unintentional- but the other, was just poor, poor decision making during a tempting moment.  one night last week, my family & i drove down to ucsd to watch my sister's waterpolo game.  on the way, we stopped at starbucks to pick up warm beverages to enjoy during the game.  as a new lover to cappuccino, i figured i'd mix it up and try something new.  without asking what the beverage was made with, i ordered a seemingly innocent decaf mocha.  much to my surprise, it tasted like a coffee-y hot chocolate.  hmmmm.... any guesses as to why?!  call it a brain fart, or a subliminal mind slip, but i ordered a wonderful, chocolate infused coffee drink.  i had paid good money for it, so i drank half before my tummy graced me with an unappreciative stomach ache.

on saturday it was a different story.  my mom and i drove down to the little italy farmers market (which, if you live in san diego & enjoy a good market, you must make time for this on a saturday morning).  we started our day with a yummy and healthy, fresh pressed green juice.  as we walked and explored the different vendors, we passed a man with quiches and pastries.  i'm a sucker for quiche, so we stopped, ordered & as we were checking out, were offered some of the other decadent pastries to take home.  my mom and i love macaroons so we ordered a couple & continued on our way.  it wasn't until we were finished with the market and in the car heading home, that i lost my will.  tempted by the macaroon, i gave in and took a bite.  then another and another.  luckily i was sharing with my mom, so after consuming half- i was obligated to hand it over.

yep, stuff happens.  after my slip ups, i hopped right back on the wagon.  i want to succeed in this challenge but am happy to admit that i'm also very human.  there are times i give into temptation- but for the most part, have strongly held my ground and said no to sugar.  it's a process and i'm doing my best to enjoy it.  besides, i still have 2 more weeks to go!


a new 'do.

happy monday!  as you can tell, things are looking different around here.  i'm attempting to update the blog, but since i know so little about html and css, it's going to have to be done in baby steps.  i hope that's okay with ya!

over the next couple months, i'll be making changes to this space: some not-so-noticeable, and others that will likely be major adjustments.  first, i have to thank you in advance for your patience.  i'm certain some of the pictures are going to be wonky (i love big photos in blogs, but not as big as mine were- so i'm doing some overall resizing) and there's a high probability some links may not work.  i'm going to do my best to make major changes all at once, but life has that annoying tendency of getting in the way.

i'm still mapping out what i'd ultimately like to do with my header (i'm thinking bright colors and way more photos) and as i better organize my posts, will add more links via pictures to the sidebars.  i love a simple layout so i'm not planning to add anything too fancy, but as i continue to learn and experiment with graphics and other components, i might just surprise myself.

in addition to a visual change, i'm hoping to continue to find my voice through blogging.  looking back on my first few posts, i really struggled.  then, the more i wrote, the more i thought i found my footing.  now, i feel as though my style ebbs and flows with my mood.  maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's not- but regardless of the emotions i'm trying to portray, i'd like my writing to stay consistent.

i have a lot of work ahead of me to make the changes i would like to see happen.  i'm sure i'll change my mind a million times and once again, i can't thank you enough for baring with me during this transition.

right now i'm moving in baby steps.  as my grandpa used to say, anyone can eat an elephant one bite at a time.  & that's exactly what i intend to do.


around here.

around here things have been ironic.  very calm & at the same time, extremely stressful.  right now, i'm in the doldrums of house hunting and interviewing but also, enjoying the process of thank you notes and daily stretching.  in a deliberate effort to find balance, despite being busy, i'm working to chisel out me time and walks on the beach, farmers markets, and long hikes are my current go to.

the good news is, there's light at the end of the tunnel.  a. is in the process of accepting a job and we're hoping to move into our new home in the next couple weeks.  eventually, we'll be back to normal.  living our everyday life, cooking our everyday food and decorating with our everyday things.  & know what...i can't wait!  i can't wait for normal.  there's lots and lots of good stuff to come in these next couple weeks.  get excited!


30 adventures.

you guys are going to think i'm crazy.  like lost my rocker, crazy.  it seems, this january, i've jumped off the deep end and just might, be committing to way too much for the year.

a few months into the bake 20 challenge, i started giving some thought as to what to do next.  i considered baking bread, i considered trying different vegetarian recipes, and i even considered making different flavors of ice cream.  they all sounded good.  but at the same time, they revolved around the kitchen.  and as much as i love to eat (oh, do i love my food), i wouldn't say i need much help consuming bread and other goodies.  and for the most part, i'm a relatively adventurous cook when i have the time.  so, i said no to another kitchen challenge.

instead, i've been pondering this book we received a while back.  a. & i are total outdoor enthusiasts and our idea of a good time often involves a camel back, hiking shoes and a map.  yep, mr. & mrs. adventuruss.  as i sat down the last week of december to look at what i hoped 2013 would entail for me & us as a couple, i saw a trend around both time & adventure.  we love spending time together.  in fact, that's one of our shared love languages.  of course, we also love adventure.

so, to incorporate the two, i'm (we'll he's kinda joining me by default) embarking on a 30 adventure challenge.  over the course of the year, we're going to take on 30 different adventures, some new and some old.  some that involve things we're used to doing (like hiking and camping and kayaking) and some that are new or we don't do as often as we'd like (like rock climbing, sky diving, and backpacking).  also, since we're both on the verge of starting new jobs, i'm counting day hikes and solo adventures (for me) as long as they take place in new locations.

i figure, if anything, this will be a great opportunity to get out, stretch our legs and explore our new home.  it's not intended to be stressful & it's definitely not intended to be strict.  obviously, i'm not counting a walk around our neighborhood, but maybe a walk on a new beach or a bike ride in a park.  as long as we deem it adventure-worthy, it'll count.  i'm excited to embrace this new challenge & can't wait to share all the sights and some stories along the way.


a handmade cowl.

i'd like to introduce you to my new favorite knitting project, the cowl.  to get ready for our trip across the country i decided to teach myself to knit, never knowing it would turn into one of my favorite hobbies.  as i worked through a baby blanket and knit & lost motivation on another blanket, i decided to take a break and focus on smaller projects.  something super-simple and super-gratifying.
enter the cowl.  i have a major obsession with scarfs, but at the same time, i'm exceptionally picky about the quality of yarn.  for this cowl, i chose two skeins of lion's brand wool from hobby lobby and size 11 circular needles.  i cast on about 100 stitches and once i was ready to knit, knit a pattern of 3 garter stitches followed by 3 purl stitches all the way around.  my sister taught me how to purl, and i'm so glad she did.  i love the variety of stitches in the finished project.  plus all the counting and focus was a bit more entertaining for me.

this took me about 3 days to pull together.  my first attempts at joining the ends were rather embarrassing  so i had to pull this project apart a couple times.  then, once i figured it out, i realized my cowl was twisted, so about half way in, i ripped it apart to start once again.  oh well, i'm looking at it as great practice.
i loved how quick and easy(ish) this project was to complete.  after i finish finalizing the last blanket i've been working on (i finally have the motivation again!), i'm going to begin knitting a few more of these.  one in a chocolate brown- and a few others in a multitude of colors for my girlfriends who are braving the syracuse winters.

note: basically, i've taught myself to knit thanks to this youtube subscription.  she does an excellent job explaining each of the steps and provides some great problem-solving techniques as well.  


30 days of no sugar, week one.

since the first of the month, in addition to my one little word and my list of goals, i decided to give up sugar.  as i dove into figuring out my monthly intentions, i realized, sometimes it's not only what you add, but also what you take away that can make the biggest differences.

personally, sugar is a ridiculous vice of mine.  i have an insane sweet tooth and can never stop at just one.  so, to prove to myself i have the power to choose, i decided to embark on this 30 day, no sugar challenge.  and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.  after the onslaught of my holiday gluttony, i was feeling lethargic & unhealthy.  my self discipline disappeared during the holiday celebrations, and as a result, so did my self esteem.  determined to make major changes in 2013, sugar was the first thing to go.

i'm one week into this challenge, and it has definitely been difficult.  actually, the first couple days weren't too bad- but by day four, i seriously had delirium tremens.  which makes me realize, i have a legit dependency to sugar.  the idea of being dependent to something does not bode well for me- so i know now more than i did seven days ago, cutting sugar was the right thing to do

don't get me wrong.  there's no way i'm going to forever lead a sugar-free lifestyle.  in fact, i gave up sugar for lent a few years back, rocked it, and told myself i would be happy avoiding sugar for the rest of my life.  that was of course, until the birthday cakes and irresistible goodies welcomed their way back into my life.  as of right now, it's just a test.  a test to see how much sugar i actually eat and how i can use naturally derived sugar to combat my sweet urges.

so here's what i'm doing.  i have given up all sugars with the exception of those that come from fruits & vegetables.  that means no honey or maple for the time being.  as we all know, sugar is everywhere.  so i've not only given up the obvious baked goods and beverages, but i've also removed any products with sugar in the label.  this means no chocolate peanut butter cliff bars, salad dressings, and in some cases, alcohol (i say some cases because we have a few birthdays to celebrate this month and i'm allowing myself to enjoy a glass of red wine on these special occasions).

now, while i still have cravings, i'm leaning on fruit to combat my sweet tooth.  right now, cuties are my favorite.  some days have been much easier than expected and others have been very tough.  i'm expecting this roller coaster of cravings to last the entire month & am looking forward to sharing this adventure with you.

ps. consider yourself warned: if i come across grumpy on any posts in the next month, you now know why. :)


thoughts on bake 20.

since the end of july, i've been on a mission to bake 20 items by the end of the year.  when i first pulled this together, i knew i'd have a hard time finishing this challenge since not only do i not enjoy baking, but we were also moving across the country in october.

in the beginning, i loved this challenge.  i enjoyed looking for different items to bake, making each recipe, and taking photos of the successes and failures.  and yes, there were plenty of failures (since this challenge was about baking, i included the unsuccessful attempts in my count since i've heard, all great bakers have many great failures).  once we moved, this challenge was my nemesis.  finding recipes was the easy part- baking them felt like a chore.  i was working out of two kitchens most of the time (my parents & my in-laws) and in doing so, felt so overwhelmed about not only having the right ingredients, but also having the time to bake, clean up, and take a decent photo.  sometimes, after a recipe was baked, i'd stage a little photo shoot in hopes of getting a decent picture.  sometimes this worked, most of the time however, it didn't.

what i learned: despite my better attempts, i'm still not a baker.  i did find however, that when i put my mind to it & took my time when baking, i'm actually pretty good at it.  and to my surprise, i didn't mind doing it.  now, baking pies and bread are my favorite & these will certainly become regulars in our house from time to time.  also, i learned i love having my own kitchen.  it makes baking so much more enjoyable for me & when i had a kitchen of my own, it was much easier for me to be spontaneous and bake when i had a hankering for a specific good.  i'm certain this had something to do with my disdain for baking during the second half of this challenge.

moving forward: i'm still on the quest to conquer a few great bread recipes and to improve my skills with biscuits, muffins, and cakes.  as i continue to grow over the course of this year, i intend to add upon the knowledge i obtained during this relatively successful challenge.  as much as i didn't enjoy the second half, i'm so glad i took on this commitment & stuck with it.  discovering my inner baker (or not discovering) made, if not for anything else, an interesting experiment.


january: grow consistent.

over the last couple days, i've actively pondered how to best use my one little word.  per ali's prompt in her one little word class, i sat down and wrote out every way that i'd like to grow.  and trust me, the list was ridiculously long.  but instead of getting frustrated or overwhelmed, i decided on this: much like last year, i'm going to commit to a few things a month.  but unlike last year, these will be centered not only around grow, but also a few key components from zig ziglar's wheel of life.

i first heard about this wheel of life as a. and i were driving across the country.  as we drive, we love listening to books on tape & podcasts.  for us, it's a great way to learn and grow when we're on the go.  and if you've been following this blog, you know how much we love our trips.  as i was listening to john maxwell's the 15 invaluable laws of growth, he mentioned the wheel of life.  intrigued by the message and always on the pursuit of balance, i decided to incorporate it into my 2013 resolutions.

instead of focusing on seven different components all at once, i'm breaking the wheel down to five a month, so i can actively spend more time on each category.  some months i'll be heavily focused on the family or social piece of my life whereas others i might be more physically and spiritually focused.  as with everything, it's all about balance.

for january, my main focus is to grow consistently.  lately it seems everything i start, i have a hard time finishing.  i feel as though i'm losing focus on the important things and my life is getting rather chaotic.  i'm sure this has a lot to do with the fact that we're still living out of suitcases and are still in transition.  so to get back on track & centered, i'm going to do everything in my power to stay consistent.

as i focus on consistency, my secondary goals are these:

  1. simplify our life
  2. stretch daily
  3. read one book
  4. organize all blog components
  5. volunteer
these are all relatively easy tasks, but things i feel as though i need to start doing consistently.  incorporating these components into my life will undoubtedly tie in other habits i'm hoping to grow.  for example, reading a book means watching less tv and organizing this blog will lead to consistent posts that hopefully take half the time to create.

for me, january is all about baby steps & hoping these little changes bring about huge opportunities to grow.

ps. interested to know more about one little word?  start here.  want to know how to get involved with this community?  join us here.  follow my voyage here.


a new year in big bear.

to ring in the new year, a., myself & my family took a mini-getaway to big bear mountain.  my parents got their hands on a cute little condo right at the base of snow summit so we packed up, made the two and a half hour drive, and spent three, very comfortable and very snowy days in the mountains.

it was perfect.  we filled our days with snow play and took advantage of a sled a.'s folks have held onto since his childhood.  we were rather bummed all our winter and snow sport gear is in storage in boston- but still took advantage of the snow...even if only in running shoes.

not only was it wonderful to spend time in the mountains and the snow (man, do we miss the snow), but it was the perfect excuse to spend time with the family.  we played a ton of board games, attempted to build snowmen, played pool, ping pong & of course, watched the ball drop at midnight.  it was so great to catch up & ring in the new year together and as we sat around the table on new year's day enjoying breakfast, i loved sharing our favorite memories from 2012 and goals for 2013.  i'm hoping we can make these little new year's getaways habits, but if not- this new year was definitely one for the books!


grow, my one little word.

here we go.  a new year, a new word.  as mentioned in yesterday's post, this year i'm ditching the idea of mega resolutions.  to me, they seem rather lofty & unfortunately, i'm the type that when i fall off the wagon, it could take me days or even weeks to get back on track.  and this year, in hopes of being consistent, i'm going to try and avoid that.  so instead, i'm starting the year off with a mantra; one little word to help me focus, stay on track and guide my life goals.

last year, i chose one little word as well.  while i did my best to use the word to enhance my life, i often found, without consistent reminders and constant recognition of how this word was affecting me, it got lost in the shuffle.  and sometime between late summer and up until a week ago, i rarely referenced it.  so this year, again, to make sure i stay on track and allow my word to help me grow, i joined ali edwards one little word workshop.  basically, i'll be receiving monthly reminders and prompts as to how my word is bringing change to everything i do throughout 2013.  also, i'll be keeping up a monthly journal with images, notes, quotes & anything else i feel represents my challenge to grow.

although i rarely referenced my one little word (commitment) the second half of last year, it played a significant role in my goal setting during the first half.  for me, these words are so important and bring so much good to my life.  this year for example, grow found me.  i had originally settled on another word & was working on ways to incorporate it into my life.  working should have been the first clue the word wasn't right for me.  then, while reading the happiness project, i read (& re-read) this quote: "...then I thought of a line from William Butler Yeats.  'Happiness,' wrote Yeats, 'is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth.  We are happy when we are growing.'  Contemporary researchers make the same argument: that it isn't goal attainment but the process of striving after goals- that is, growth- that brings happiness."

and it stuck.  grow.  my one little word.  i knew then and there for me 2013 would be focused on growth.  and to be honest, it couldn't be more appropriate.  in a few weeks we'll grow into a new home and i, a new job.  as we become settled in our home i'll grow into a new city, new friendships & grow the relationships i'm already so fortunate to have.  i'll grow into a new life, new skill sets, new hobbies, better health, a revamped blog and a whole new set of goals.  if i embrace it (like really embrace it), so much growth can happen over the next 365 days.  so while grow is currently in it's infant stage & i'm certain it will evolve over the year, i'm setting off with zero limitations & no boundaries.  if there's one thing i've learned in my few years of gardening it's this: plants always grow to the size of the container they're planted in.  and so- with limitless boundaries, there's no doubt 2013 will be great.


bake 20: coffee cake

recipe: ridiculously easy coffee cake

adjustments: this was a total crap shoot.  we didn't have eggs, sugar, sour cream or canned fruit.  so i guess, i used the recipe for the bisquick to milk ratio.  here's what i did instead: i added two cups of bisquick, one individual peach greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of milk with another 1/4 cup of orange juice.  then, just because it was the last recipe, i added about two tbs of cream cheese.  i mixed everything together, put it in a baking dish and baked it in a toaster oven for about 40 minutes.  

reviews: nothing like cutting this challenge down to the wire!  so here's the thing, technically, i guess you could consider this recipe cheating.  first of all, it goes completely against my eating philosophy since the main ingredient is bisquick.  secondly, well...it's made with bisquick.  but know what?  this was my challenge, so i say it counts :).  originally i had much loftier plans for my last bake 20 experiment, but a. & i decided to head up to the mountains for an impromptu new year's weekend with the family and surprisingly, i totally forgot everything i needed for a legit recipe.  thanks to some major motivation from my sisters, i experimented with what we had on hand and lo and behold, this recipe was devised.  on a good note, everyone loved it- so before i had a chance to take a decent photo, it was gobbled up...

this was #20 of the bake 20 challenge...i made it!

over the next five months i'm going to try my hand at 20 different baked goods.  there's no specific order and no plan.  just making things that look good and hopefully in the process, finding a new appreciation of baking.  feel free to join me in the Bake 20 Challenge.

hello, 2013.

it's so good to see you.  i have so many plans for this year, so many new challenges & one little word to  guide me through the next 365 days.  after giving it some thought, i've ditched the idea of making long-term resolutions.  i really enjoyed making small, monthly goals like i did (for the most part) last year & plan to use my one little word, grow- to guide me through my personal goal-making process.

i'm super excited about 2013.  i have a feeling, much like 2012- there's so much good stuff in our future.  i'm excited to grow personally, professionally, spiritually, & physically.  i'm sure my word will evolve & the meaning will change.  i'm excited for that as well.  so with much joy, let's give 2013 a huge high five and 2012 a big 'ol hug goodbye!

i signed up for ali edwards one little word 2013 big picture class.  currently, i'm planning to document my one little word monthly & will share it here.  it'd be so much fun if you joined us.  i'd love to know you're little word & see how it changes you over the course of the year as well!