Friday, January 21, 2011

Can it all fit in one year?

This year is going to be great!  I've just had one of the best weeks ever!

I know I've mentioned my resolutions for this year, but I have some SUPER exciting activities happening as well!

May 2009 - Borough Market - London
Not only do I plan to GET BACK IN SHAPE (which is going well, btw), this year I will:
  • Visit two new countries!  (I should probably start studying languages)
  • Spend an amazing Spa weekend with my college roomies :)
  • GET MARRIED!!  And all of the fun planning stuff that goes with that!
  • Honeymoon in Hawaii (Thanks Oprah!)
Other things I'm hoping to do:
  • Get a new job
  • Learn a new language (see #1 above)
  • Finally flush out my Bucket List (which includes several of the above)
Making this weeks one of the best ever, we booked our tickets to aforementioned new countries (I'll get into that soon), I think I'm finally happy with where the wedding planning is going, and I've been really steady in my workout goal for the year.... soon I'll be able to fit in all my clothes again!
How was your week?  Any exciting plans for this year?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little behind

I know I'm a little behind on my weekly update post from last week, but I'm OK with that!  Glad you are, too :)

Last week was a great START.  I'm all about easing into new ambitions... especially when a long-term change is the goal.  

So here's the breakdown:
  • I made it to Jazzercise (my exercise of choice) twice last week.  Which is only halfway up to speed, but my goal is an AVERAGE of 4 times a week, so I figure I'll more than make up for it.... the plan this week is 5-6 times :) 
  • Healthy eating & meal planning went well.  However, I was out of town for the weekend, and definitely indulged....
  • I reconnected with my immediate family, had some AMAZING dinner conversations with my brother, fiancee, and folks, and really enjoyed spending time with one of my BFFs.
  • My main progress was in wedding planning!  We've been engaged since April 15, 2010, and had an original plan, but that ended up falling through.  I started a blog (Ben & Dorothy Nearlyweds), but I hadn't made any progress there or elsewhere.  Aside from tagging ideas that I liked, nothing much was happening.  Last week we met with a planner, we went to a bridal expo, scouted another location, I've researched wedding dresses, and tonight mom & I will meet with a second planner.  I still have a LONG way to go, but progress is happening!
Overall, I'd say, good week!  It has certainly revved me up for another (even better) week and I haven't burned out from overwhelming myself with too much change & structure.  YAY!
I've also been creating meal plans & weekly to do lists to keep myself on track.  Meals for this week include:
Breakfasts & Snacks:  Ginger-Pear Smoothies, Chocolate Oatmeal & Blueberry Yogurt, Clementine Sunflower Twist, Peppery Pear Crunch 

This is one of my favorite pictures from one of my favorite food & photography blogs:  The Edible Perspective

Lunches & Dinners:  Tuna Pecan Pasta,  Chicken Ginger Stir Fry, Black Bean Tacos, Soup & Salad of Ben's choice, a couple nights out.

All the recipes are from Cinch!  which was featured in Shape magazine this month.  The book is written by a Shape editor, Cynthia Sass, the same woman who wrote the Flat Belly Diet.  I'm not too familiar with her first book, but I checked out Cinch! from the library and am currently reading and deciding how in depth I'd like to go into the program.  It's interesting, the food/combinations are delicious, it seems like something that could be maintained over the long term, and I'm already feeling great while eating the more natural foods! 

Song/Artist I can't get enough of right now:  Ida Maria

What new songs or artists are you listening to right now?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Yeah Buddy!

I made the Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque as planned tonight.  It was...hmmm.  Well, it needed something (or had a little too much).  I guess that's what I get for quick, easy & healthy meals.  Ha.  I should stick to 2 out of those 3 :)
I'll still have it for lunches, I think I'll need to cut it down with some more water.  If I made this again, I'd probably add 1/2 the amount of peanut butter. Oh well.

Otherwise it's been a successful Pre-NYE week!  I made it to workout twice (which is still only halfway to the four times a week I'm going for, but I've got to ease in... right?  RIGHT?!)

Ok, ok.  So I have some work to do, BUT I did have one extreme success!  I finished a project I started on several weeks (months?) ago!  
 Oh yeah!  I bought a frame at Salvation Army, took the picture out, sanded & primed the frame.... and that's as far as I made it before stopping.
So Friday (since I only worked a half day), Ben & I finished it up!  We added the hooks along the bottom for necklaces, painted the whole thing (with the cool spray paint gun Ben bought me), then added the screen to hang earrings!
I love it.... though I've realized that I either need to buy more earrings, or find the ones I own.
Regardless, now I have a place to put all my jewelery!  I'd say that's a success at finishing something I've started :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Meal Planning is for Nerds

Well, maybe meal planning isn't really for nerds... not sure how you could over-generalize the population of people who take on the task of meal planning.  Regardless, this is something I'd like to get into more in the coming year.  Along with tackling my aforementioned goals of 2011, I'd really like to be better organized in the kitchen.  
In the Fall of 2010, I took on a huge task.  Along with my regular full-time job (which I'll get into later), I thought I should try my hand at teaching.  I taught two Interior Design classes at Scott Community College.  While I really loved it, it was way too much to do on top of another job, I had no time to get anything else in my life in order, and I basically felt in complete disarray throughout the end of summer and fall.  I chalk it up to an excellent lesson.  I learned that I really enjoy teaching, and will keep it in my arsenal for future endeavors, but tackling something so huge really wears on my overall health & sanity.
My fiancee and I love to cook together.  In fact, I think I fell in love with him in the kitchen.  I guess.  I don't know... I do know that I miss spending time with him in the kitch.  Also, I've been tagging millions of recipes that I want to try.  Get to it already!  My main focus is to make sure I have lunches ready in advance that are healthy, balanced, and aren't pre-packaged messes!  But I also want to tackle some dinner recipes I've been eying as well, perhaps with a Ben & Dorothy amp-up.  I mean, how good does this from Fork Spoon Knife look?!

OMG for realz!
So to get started, I'm tackling this thing one week at a time.  I've organized some recipes & meals for the week of January 3 - 9.  Though we'll be out of town this weekend, so it's a short-planning week (definitely a good one to start on).

Breakfast options:  Green Monster Smoothie, Oatmeal, Curreal & Fruit... always with a cup of coffee on the side

Lunch options:
Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque:  Eating Well
  • Egg Salad - I have a bunch of eggs that need to be used, so this will be a great option for several days.  I think I'll have this on top of some salad greens, alongside a grapefruit, with 1/2 a whole wheat english muffin?
  • Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque - I love hot meals, and soup is perfect!  I can make a big pot on Sunday or Monday (for dinner) and eat throughout the week for lunch!  I'll eat this alongside a salad with vinagerette as the recipe suggests.  Love it!
So you may notice that both of these are from Eating Well.  That was the website that really spurred the desire to get back to meal planning, we'll likely be seeing lots more from them in the coming weeks (assuming these two recipes are winners)!

  • Monday can be Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque  I'll probably serve this along side some type of protein for the Man's sake.
  • Tuesday I have a haircut appointment which happens to be right next door to my favorite falafel place ;)
  • Wednesday we go out to dinner with my folks.
  • Thursday - fridge scavenge.  Update to come
  • Friday - Sunday we'll be out of town! 
That was easy, heh.  But like I said, I want to make sure I'll have lunches ready to go & well thought out (stop grabbing a package of Ramen... have you looked at the sodium... yes).  
Awesome.  I'll update with the results of the meal plan week! :)