Monthly Archives: December 2012

Top 12 for 2012

I am sure that there will be a lot of these 2012 recap posts happening in the blog world. I was going to do my recap going by the month, but I decided to make it even more simple and just list off my Top 12 Moments, Happenings, and Life Lessons for 2012. I learned, changed, and discovered so much this past year!


2012: Top 12 Moments, Happenings, and Life Lessons

1.  I started a blog! A tiny step towards future goals.

2. It’s okay not to always have a plan. Sometimes things turn out better that way!

3. I moved into my very own apartment! This has changed so many aspects of my life-from my relationship with my family, to my confidence in knowing that I can manage and make decisions independently. Not to mention, I am now the proud owner of a beautiful washer and dryer!

4. Laughter makes any situation better. Being able to laugh at my mistakes or problems that I have encountered is the best way to avoid stressing the small stuff!


A little Garfield makes everything better!

5. I really am a teacher. After spending almost the entire school year as a long term substitute teacher, I learned and grew so much. I also started to see myself as a teacher, rather than someone who had simply gone to school for teaching.

6. Everything is better through a child’s eyes. The things that kids say and do will never cease to amaze me. Spending my summer as a nanny was one of the best things that could have happened!

7. I make my own choices, therefore I control my happiness.

8. Everything does happen for a reason. Even though I have been told this a million times growing up, I truly started seeing and believing this.

9. I started running, and didn’t stop once the colder temperatures set in! I also ran the farthest I have ever ran and logged quite a few miles!

10. I visited NYC. Twice! And can’t wait to return again.

The streets of NYC!

The streets of NYC!

11. I started drinking the Paleo kool-aid and completed my first Whole 30.

12. I voted! Even though I have been registered to vote since high school, I have never actually practiced this right!

2012 Election Sticker. Whoop!

2012 Election Sticker. Whoop!

2012 was a year of growth and learning for me. I learned so much about who I am and what I am capable of. Now on to even bigger and better things: 2013!

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

What did you learn in 2012?



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Latest Discoveries

As I said before, I am slowly returning to the real world. I even made a real meal yesterday! Thanks to the mykitchen app. This app is a paleo meal planning app created by The Food Lover’s Kitchen. It has great recipes for breakfast, entrees, appetizers, soups, and even treats! It allows you to keep a collection of your favorite recipes and provides easy to follow steps. I love it! I have been wanting to try a paleo stir fry or chinese recipe, so the beef and broccoli recipe from this app was perfect!

Love that it also includes a photo of the recipe!

Love that it also includes a photo of the recipe!

Tasted just like the real thing (if not better knowing that it was full of nutrition!)

Tasted just like the real thing (if not better knowing that it was full of nutrition!)

Have you started thinking about your goals/resolutions for the New Year? I love having a fresh start and setting goals for myself. The only trouble is, I can’t seem to find my focus for what I’d like to accomplish in 2013. Thanks to Mary, I found this helpful guide for Unraveling the Year Ahead. The best part? It’s a free download! Not to mention, Susannah Conway’s writing is so inspiring!

Now that I have shared my recent discoveries with you, I am off to shovel Mother Nature’s latest gift. Not that I mind-I count it as part of my workout!

Sunshine and Snow!

Sunshine and Snow!

What is your latest discovery?

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Liebster Bog Award

The wonderful Molly from Just Your Average Athlete nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. I let out a squeal of excitement when I finally noticed that I was one of the eleven bloggers that she had chosen to nominate! And now I am finally getting the time to write out the post!


The Liebster Blog Award is for newbie bloggers who are getting started. Liebster is a German word for ‘favorite’ or ‘dearest.’ So yay! Thank you Molly!

The Rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Write 11 random facts about yourself. (Easier than I thought it would be!)
2. Answer the 11 questions posed by the person who nominated you.
3. Create 11 new questions.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers and link/mention them in your post.

My 11 Random Facts:

1. My family picks on me due to the amount of vegetables I consume. Especially those of the squash variety. My Dad swears that my skin has taken on an orange tint. Oops…

My Heaven!

My Heaven!

2. I am insanely close to my family. My Mom and I exchange approximately 56478 texts a day.

Mom and I preparing Thanksgiving dinner

Mom and I preparing Thanksgiving dinner

3. I have trouble saying no. This can be a good quality at times. It’s how I ended up participating in an 8 mile obstacle course trail run. And now I can’t wait for the running season to begin again! It’s also how I managed to become an assistant basketball coach. Did I mention I’ve never played basketball before?

4. I think blind dates are hysterical. Even though there have been some awkward ones-I love having a story to tell!

5. My food obsessions change according to the season. In the fall I want everything pumpkin. For Christmas I wanted everything peppermint. Including marshmallows.

So not Paleo. Or food.

So not Paleo. Or food.

6. My cupboards are dedicated to coconut. Shredded coconut, coconut flakes, coconut oil, coconut aminos, coconut flour, and let’s not forget the 3 jars of Nikki’s coconut butter.

The day we had to try them all...

The day we had to try them all…

7. I have my Master’s degree in Literacy and am a certified teacher, but thanks to the politics of New York State, I am in my second year of substituting for local school districts. Frustrating much?

8. I love each and every holiday. I started talking about Valentine’s Day the other day. Whoa! I am not the only one though-my grocery store had their candy display set up already! All I want are some cute heart decorations!

9. I have a habit of asking people what their favorite food, movie, book, song, restaurant, etc is… I try to only practice this annoying habit on my family members, but it can be a great trick for those times when you have no idea what to talk about! Ironically, I have a hard time picking my favorite things…

10. I get overly excited for everything. Kristen Bell says it perfectly here.

Life is better with sprinkles!

Life is better with sprinkles!

11. I never thought I would be a teacher when I was younger. My dream occupations ranged from a neonatal nurse to a veterinarian to a civil engineer, and then finally an elementary teacher!

Molly’s Questions:

1. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
The ability to have everyone experience the endorphin rush of a good run, workout, walk, hike etc. I think our world would be a much happier place if movement was mandatory!

2. What is the strangest talent you have?
Is writing thank you notes a talent? I always write thank you notes after receiving a gift. It is something that my Mom made me do when I was little, and now I have to do it-it feels wrong not to!

3. What is your dream vacation?
Any place warm and under populated! My family has been going to Maine for a summer vacation since I was in elementary school, so I am partial to Maine. But I would also like to visit a white sandy beach some day! Hawaii is my daydream when I am stressing!
View From the Top: Hiking in Maine

View From the Top: Hiking in Maine

4. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?
Does having my wisdom teeth taken out count? Thankfully I have never had any serious injury. One of my greatest fears is not being able to run, lift, etc. due to an injury! Three days of being a couch potato and eating nothing but liquids was enough for me!

5. What do you hope to be doing 5 years from now?
In five years I will be almost thirty. Yikes. I would like to have a career. Either teaching or in some type of fitness related field as a personal trainer etc. Or doing both! Unfortunately, due to New York State’s finances, my teaching career hasn’t taken off the way I had planned. So I have been doing a lot of substitute teaching. Although I keep telling myself that it will all work out in the end, it is a bit frustrating at times. I also really want to be more involved with fitness and society. It is my passion!

6. Who taught you to drive?
My Mom was the first to take me to a parking lot where I drove around in circles. I figured out pretty quickly though that my Dad was a better passenger.  (Sorry Mama!) My Mom made me nervous! So after the initial first driving experience, my Dad took me out on many parallel parking adventures. I am sure my Mom was secretly relieved! Ick. So stressful!

7. What is your favorite genre of music?
Hmm…I listen to country a lot, but also like pop, dance, type music that is popular now. Rock and classical rock are also frequent flyers. I told you I have trouble making decisions! Anything that makes me want to dance is good! And currently my Pandora has been stuck on Christmas tunes-’tis the season!

8. What are you most afraid of?
Moths. Completely irrational I know. Absolutely terrified? Yes. Let’s not talk about it.

9. Do you speak any other languages besides English?
Nope. However, I did take three years of American Sign Language, so I know a tiny bit of sign. Not enough to be even slightly proficient though. I took Latin in high school when I thought that I wanted to be a veterinarian. I now wish that I had taken Spanish-it would have been much more useful!

10. Are you lefty or a righty?

11. If you could have one last meal, what would it be?
Ugh! This is a tough one! I love food. I really love the food that my Mom makes-a little cliche perhaps? I love grilled chicken/steak and veggies on the grill during the summer. Add some sweet potato fries with ketchup (because I eat fries for the ketchup) and corn on the cob and we are set! End with dutch apple pie topped with ice cream and I would say that it would be a pretty perfect meal!
One of my first dinners in my apartment

One of my first dinners in my apartment

My Eleven Questions:
1. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
2. What is your most memorable kitchen disaster?
3. How many siblings do you have?
4. What is your most memorable vacation as a child?
5. Have you attended any concerts?
6. What are 3 new things that you have tried lately?
7. Favorite online site to shop?
8. What is your favorite kind of work out?
9. How do you use social media to your advantage?
10. What is one piece of workout gear/equipment that you could not live without?
11. What is your favorite meal to prepare?
And Now for the Nominations!
Natalie at Free Range Human
Wayne at Fitness Wayne
Alisa at Paleo in PDX
To the nominees: if this isn’t your thing or maybe you have more than 200 followers (go you!), no worries-just participate if you’d like!
Tell Me a Random Fact From Your week!

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