- drink more water: I've succeeded in making this a part of my daily lifestyle, and on those rare days when I don't get the usual amount (days spent traveling, mostly) I feel it. (bloated and sausage fingers, anyone?)
- read at least 2 books per month: I only got around to reading one book this month, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I got this book after DJ recommend it on her blog. It's not one I would rush out to read, but still a good book I would recommend.
- make three vegetarian meals per week, one of them being carb-free: We did well overall, but weren't being as consistent as we once were. Especially around the holidays we slacked off a bit. I would say we did two meals consistently, but not always three a week.
- try a new recipe once a week:
- The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls: If you haven't made this famous version of cinnamon rolls, what are you waiting for? I don't know why I waited so long, but after talking about them with Brooke I finally decided to try them out. I try to make baked goods for my co-workers around the holidays so I figured this would be a great recipe to try since it makes so many rolls. They were a huge hit. Next time I would like to change up the recipe a little - by either adding in some nuts (more along the lines of sticky buns?) or a different glaze.
- Gingerbread Speculoos & Dark Chocolate Cake: If you like gingerbread, you'll like this cake. It's is quite heavy and dense, but I really enjoyed it. However I forgot that Russ is more of a fan of snicker doodle and not gingerbread...so that left a lot of cake for me, which isn't a good thing.
- Chicken & Wild Rice Soup: Perfect for all the cold weather we are having right now - it's hearty, good for you and tasty, too!
- Heavenly Mint Brownie Dessert: Go and make this now. Like, right now. If you like chocolate and mint, this is the perfect dessert for you. It's SO freaking good! I made it for our holiday party at work and there wasn't even a crumb left on the plate! My Mom introduced me to this recipe and it's one I will go back to around the holidays - it's so rich and definitely tastes more sinful than heavenly ;)
- Pot Roast: A good, easy recipe which resulted in a delicious roast!
- practice yoga at least once every other week: I've unfortunately fallen off the yoga routine. I hate that it's happened, because I enjoy it so much. I could only make two of the classes offered at my gym and one is always completely full because it starts at 5:30PM (and it's always a rush for me to make it on time with getting out of work at 5) and with the other class I just wasn't enjoying the teacher who lead the class. Nothing against her, I just didn't gel with her. So all that to say I haven't been enjoying yoga. A new schedule is coming out in the next week at the gym, here's hoping I can make one of the options!
- become more patient: I personally feel that over the course of the last year I have made great strides with what used to be a big fault of mine. Am I self-cured and completely, 100%, patient, all of the time? Heck no! I have learned, however, how to check myself before I react. My impatience was never an issue for anyone other than myself. I would never "freak out" on anyone, but rather build things up internally to a point where I would be so emotionally distraught and stressed that it would result in breakdowns. Who wants that?! Not me, and definitely not my husband, who would oftentimes be the only person around when said breakdowns would occur. This past year I have focused a lot on self-reflection, and focusing on things I can control - and working hard to let go of the things I cannot. It's hard work. Being patient in finding out the solution to the problem is still hard for me, but I'm in a much better mental state now that I have found a way to 'process' it all.
- become more comfortable with letting things go I cannot control: This tied in a lot with the patient-topic above in a way, but is still something completely different as well. I'm a very emotional person. I take things that are said (or not said!) to heart. I sometimes expect more out of people than I should, but in the very least I expect to be treated with the same amount of love and respect I show you. When that doesn't happen, I take it way too personally which results in me mulling over and over what I could have done differently. It's an unhealthy and vicious cycle and doesn't work. Sometimes things just aren't going to work out! Learning how to accept and move on from that is hard. I'm still working on it. 2013 has been somewhat of a "cleanse" year for me. Friendships fizzled, I put more of my love and efforts into my family, Russ, and close friends. With those changes, a lot of the issues I was dealing with disappeared on their own.
For our House:
- paint all the trim white: We're continuing to move forward with this project. I get too fed up and tired of trim. We'll paint a room and then quit for several months then finally pick up the paintbrush and paint another room...quit. So needless to say we're closing 2013 not having crossed this project off our list.
- paint the kitchen cabinets: Done!
- finish painting the doors: We have 2 doors left - we were so close!
- finish the laundry room: This didn't get completed.
- install new shelving in the laundry room: This didn't get completed.
Year End Conclusions:
While I maybe didn't read enough books or eat exactly the way I had intended, I feel I made big strides in other areas that perhaps can be considered more important (to me personally, that is). Russ and I have continued on creating a much healthier life for ourselves - not only with what we are feeding our bodies and making sure we clock time at the gym, but with other aspects of life, too; family, friends, faith, and self-awareness have become bigger priorities than ever before. We aren't perfect at juggling all of the pieces yet, and I doubt we ever will be, but we're always trying our best.
For Our House:
We didn't get even close to completing the goals I had hoped we would complete finished this year. We had many projects creep up that took priority - projects that you can't even see now, took priority (as they should!). We did all of these projects ourselves (with the help of amazing family members - seriously, we couldn't have done it without them!) which on one hand saved us a TON of money, but on the other took up a majority of our free time. I think we are almost to a place where we can begin to refocus on the projects listed above, but even if they don't get completed, it's ok! A house is A LOT of work. Constantly, always and forever. Especially when you own an older home.
August, September & October 2013