I maybe should have done this two days ago, but better late than never... :)
I'm wrapping up my 2011 One Little Word
...I thought I'd share my thoughts in how this project worked out for me, the things I'm keeping for this new year, & the things I'm letting go.
I didn't work very hard at allowing my word to change my life in 2011. I discovered here at the end looking back that it informed who I was anyway. I made new friends & developed new relationships - something that is usually very hard for me to do in real life because I am so shy. I embraced who I am just a little bit more, embraced my little quirks & laughed at myself more than I beat myself up. That alone seems amazing to me. Bloom
was about getting healthier, I just didn't realize in the beginning it was about more than the physical act of making my body healthier. It was also about making my internal world healthier, loving who I am a little more, being kinder with myself, facing a fear or two. I love that my word surprised me this year.
I'd also like to talk a moment about my goals
, what worked, what didn't, what I'm carrying over...
Goal #1 was to eat more veggies. Done. This is my new way of life & I love it. I'm not 100% vegetarian, I like to tell people I'm about 95% all veg all the time. But, if I feel like I'm craving something - BBQ wings or crab bisque or turkey for Thanksgiving then I eat what I'm craving & don't beat myself up about it. I also don't make a big stink when I go to someone's house & my option for a veg dinner is coleslaw. Sometimes I can eat all sides & it's totally a meal, other times I eat what's on the menu & move on. I plan to keep this up, & try to think more creatively when I'm in situations where I feel like I don't have a vegetarian option.
Goal #2 was Activity 365. I bombed this a quarter of the way through the year. I feel like maybe I set such a strict ideal for myself I just could not maintain the intensity I thought I should
have. So, I am carrying this over to 2012, but with the caveat that I need to be gentler with myself & my expectations of how I make this part of my life. I don't have to spend an hour on the treadmill for me to feel like it 'counts'. I need to find a way to do this so that it can just be part of who I am & not something I torture myself with in the process of or with the failure of.
Goal #3 was a 5k. This never did work out, even though I still think it would be fun to walk one. I'm not carring this over as a goal but will embrace the opportunity should it come up. I still love the idea of a whole group of my family & friends getting together & supporting each other in this endeavor but as a goal it just is not for me.
Goal #4 was to learn to knit in the round. Which didn't happen. It turned out that my creative learning process had another goal in mind - to learn to knit lace - which totally did happen! So, I'm rewording this goal to be - learn a new creative skill. I definitely plan to do that in 2012. Maybe this will be the year for knitting in the round. Ya never know. :)
I'm excited to share my new word for 2012 with you, but that will come in a nother post. I'm still getting comfortable with it today. What I would love to know though is how you word/goals/life changed over the course of the year. Did you change in unexpected ways too? How was 2011 for you & your family? I'm praying there was more laughter than tears, more blessings than sorrow, & more love in your life.
A post without a photo? What is that?
It's a response.
A response to this challenge
& this amazing post
It's a revelation, an openness, a truth, my
truth for today.
Maybe it will be yours too. What is real right now
is that I am loving the rolling in of cool breezes & falling leaves & the ability to layer & still wear flip flops. I am pulling out blankets & changing the ones on the bed almost every day. I am waking early to a hot cup of tea & time spent in the Word - a new thing for me & something I hope takes deep root.What is real right now
is that I am working at getting focused while feeling I'm in the midst of chaos. Creatively speaking. I need to clean & organized & get myself in a place where I am not overwhelmed by the list & can start working through & checking off.What is real right now
is that sometimes I feel like an alien. Like at the conference last weekend, I was talking to strangers, holding conversation, & thinking 'Who am I?' the whole time. What is real right now
is that I need to find a rythum to my days. I'll be a much more productive, happy person if I can figure that out. What is real right now
is we aren't getting pregnant after 4+ years of trying & there is no medical reason why. I'm on a carousel of faith, belief, doubt, hurt, anger, sorrow, worry, dreams, planning, guilt, disappointment, denial, hope. Somedays it is all I can think about, somedays I want to punch anyone who brings it up. What is real right now
is I totally lost the exersice plan months ago & keep thinking about
how I need to get back to it. I really require some motivation, some action here on my part. Why am I so lacking in the stick-to-it-ive-ness I need? This needs to be part of my rythum. What is real right now is
that our dingy popcorn ceiling is bugging me & I have the urge to take everything we own out on to the lawn & sort it out one thing at a time to really get down to what we need & love & get rid of so much 'stuff'. I thought this was supposed to happen in Spring? Wishing there was a washing machine big enough for entire houses!What is real right now
is that I could hug my family so tight till they can't breathe. There's really nothing quite as perfect as a hug from your mom or your spouse, ya know? Or cuddling a puppy. Yeah. Love that.
So, what is real right now in your life, sweet readers? Blog your heart, or tell me about it right here. I'm all ears(eyes). :)
Have you heard of the cookbook Eat What You Love
I hadn't until 2 weeks ago.
The hubby's grandfather had had surgery & a lecture about taking care of himself & being careful with his diabetes. I was trying to think of something to buy or make to send to him when he went home from the hospital & decided that I would bake him up some diabetic friendly treats. Of course I then needed to find recipes & I called the one person I always call when I need food advice & help - my mom!
She'd heard about the Eat What You Love
cookbook on QVC
& said it sounded like just what we needed to get started. We found our copy at Barnes & Noble
& met for lunch to talk about what recipes we should try. We ended up with an entire day of baking planned & six recipes earmarked to shop for! Why make one batch of muffins when you can make two? And some breakfast bars...and chocolate cherry bars...and...yeah. You get the idea. :)
The first thing we baked up were some bran muffins with craisins. Neither of us are super fans of the bran muffin, but we decided that these were actually pretty good. Our biggest fear for these recipes was that the sugar substitute would make everything taste odd or off. Happily, it didn't!
Recipe #2 was the Chocolate Cherry Bars. I loved this one! The sugar-free cherry pie filling did have a bit of that sugar-free flavor, but the chocolate cake-like bottom was so very yummy! I'd definately make these again. I would even use the chocolate base for some healthy cake brownies. Yum!
Speaking of cherries, we also whipped up these little Cherry Berry Pie Cups. This is so crazy easy! 1 can of sugar-free cherry pie filling + 1 pint of fresh raspberries + 1 package piecrust = The most adorable little cherry pies ever! We didn't actually eat one of these because it looked odd when we went to package them up to have one missing. But I think I'll use a varitaion of this recipe next time I'm in charge of dessert for family dinner. So freakin' cute!
Recipe #4 were some delightful Carrot Cupcakes. These were super tasty! And I'm not just saying that because I love carrot cake! They were moist & cinnamon-y delicious. Although, I would have loved some cream cheese frosting on mine - & will add that when I make them again for my family. :)
The one thing we made that I neglected to get photos of were the pumpkin oatmeal Breakfast Bars. They were pretty good as well. A little dense, but maybe that's how breakfast bars are supposed to be? They had good flavor from the pumpkin & cinnamon & would be pretty good for a quick snack on the run.
The last thing we made was a couple batches of the Nuts & Bolts Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix. This was our least favorite of everything we tried, & the one thing we both said we probably wouldn't make again. The first batch - following the recipe - ended with a pile of burnt snack mix. The second batch we took out 10 minutes before we were supposed to & came out looking much better. However, the egg whites used made it so we had to break apart the mix, & we found the cajun seasoning used to be a little too spicy for our liking. I guess we could have just used less seasoning & maybe it would've worked out just fine. But, my mom already makes a really yummy snack mix that we know & love. So what we actually took away from this Eat What You Love
recipe was a way to make her original snack mix lower in sodium & tweak it to make it more healthy. It's never a total loss when you try something new - you always learn something!
Our next challenge is to delve into the abundance of entree recipes offered up in Eat What You Love
& see what other healthy choices we might like. Really, what could be better than eating what you love if it isn't to eat the best possible version of it?
I'm daydreaming of flowers around here. Bright, happy, summery blooms. Wishing I could cover the table with little glass bottles of them, cover the garden in giant flowering shrubs.
Soon. Oh. so. soon.
I was wishing for these same sights in January when I picked my One Little Word
& set my goals
. I was dreaming of blooming in my world & in myself.
Since it has been a few months I thought I'd check-in, take stock, & revisit where I was, where I am, & where I'm headed...
I started the year all ready to change my life & work really hard at it.
Some of that I am still feeling, some of that (if I'm being totally honest) I'm not.
My goals for this year were:1. More vegetables. Less meat, less sugar. (because I am not 'dieting' but striving to make better, more healthful food choices)
I'm getting better at this all the time. I've decided not to just eat less meat, but not to eat meat at all. Yep, going vegetarian
! So far, I'm feeling really good about this. I haven't been missing the meat, & I already feel lighter in my skin & my pants. It is taking me some time to figure out how to cook with my new menu, but as I love to cook anyway, learning new recipes
is a big plus for me.2. Activity 365. (whether it's the Couch Potato to 5K Workout Plan I'm doing, a hike, or a long walk with the dogs - do something active everyday)
Well, I rocked at this the whole month of January...& then I took a day off...& that led to more days off...& now I'm just getting around to it sometimes. This is the area that most bums me out. I fell back into my old routine so easily. I still plan to work at it, try to do more, try to do something I can maintain. Really, any movement is better than no movement & any improvement on where I started...on the couch. If you are inclined to pray - this is my area of greatest need towards getting healthy. Going vegetarian is fairly easy since I LOVE veggies - but I definately DO NOT love working out. I so wish I did!3. Walk/Run a 5K.
I have amended this one a lot! Especially since the time in which I had planned to make this a reality is now right smack in the middle of a roadtrip to California I'm taking with my mom. That doesn't mean I won't look into it for later in the year, or that I've given up on it all together. I've also found a route that I could do unofficially that wiould still be the 5k distance. I might just do that - with a bunch of family who would also like to walk it. And, yes, I would be walking it. I definitely discovered I am not a runner. Sad as that makes me feel, I get no joy from jogging or running. I basically spent every jog interval of my abandoned 5k plan praying to finish just so I could walk again. So, any 5k in this girl's future will be a walked 5k. Even though it does make me a little sad that I have to let go of that dream I had of hitting the trail in my cute running skirt, ponytail bouncing, & just hitting my stride at mile 3. OK, maybe I don't have to totally give it up...my stride is just gonna be a little slower than I had planned.4. Learn to knit in the round.
Oh, yes, I'm getting closer to this one. I now have in my possession a set of double pointed needles & two circular needles! I have large flat-knit projects on them at the moment, but as soon as I get those finished & get reasy to start another project I'm casting on. I'm thinking about a pair of yoga socks...
There you have it.
This is me right now.
Thank you so much, sweet readers, for hanging in there with me. For coming back to read my blather about crafts, food, places, things, & all of this - my life.
I'm so glad you're there!
So, where are you in your 2011 goals? Are you hanging in? Changing it up? Abandoning it for new horizons? I'd love to know!
Well, I've gone & done it now, y'all!
Decided to change the way we eat around here!
I'm going vegetarian & flirting with being a vegan.
Over the past month I've drastically cut down on the amount of meat I eat at home & made lots of vegetarian choices when I've been out. Now, as I am preparing my new grocery list I'm just saying no to meat & stocking the pantry with lots of grains & beans. In the bulk section of our grocery store I can find tons of things to round out our meals on the cheap. The problem came when I got home with all the thin little bags (instead of boxes & packages) of various staples. I needed a way to store it all.
Since I started making my own yogurt
I've been saving jars to store it in. I could have gone out and bought new mason jars, but when I bring in perfectly good reusable jars everytime we grocery shop why spend the money? Between the spaghetti sauce, pickles, & jelly jars I certainly can find enough storage, even if it takes me a little while to accumulate it all. I pulled a couple of my yogurt jars & repurposed them for grain storage last night.
Well, you know me - I couldn't just fill em up & leave em be! So, I got to label making while watching Criminal Minds. Break out the scrapbook supplies! I discovered my large circle punch & some cute scrap paper was just right for top of the lid labels. Something I definately need since all of these are stored on a bottom shelf. And, I cut some squares out of other scrap paper to stick on the sides of the jars to remind me of all the water to grain ratios since every one of them seemd to be different!
They may not be as beautiful as all new same sized mason jars woud be but I'm sure enjoying my own little recycling project in saving the jars. OK, the labeling is pretty fun too! I still ahve some jars to gather for lots of other things...Quinoa, various kinds of dried beans, Arborio rice, etc. I didn't want to use up all the jars I saved for yogurt afterall.
I so love needing something & then discovering a solution right at hand. Doyou have any great storage ideas to share?
Or how about a great vegetarian recipe? I've discovered that many of the things I make can be easily modified by removing meat & adding lots more veggies - things like lasagne & coconut curry were simple converts to my new diet. Other things - like beef stew & burgers - are much more difficult since the hubs is mortal enemies with mushrooms which would be one of the things I would use to replace some meaty flavor & texture. So, if you've got a favorite thing you like to make I'd love to hear it! I might try some chickpea burgers tonight, going falafel style. :)
One of my favorite things is finding something new in a place I had been taking for granted.
We took the kids out for a walk this week.
A normal kind of thing, in the same place we almost always take them to walk - the natural area by our house. The only difference was that this time I took my camera, & this time I decided to keep track of my activity.
There was beauty to be found - & captured with the camera - even in winter.
My little family & I having a time out just for us. Holding hands, stopping to watch the ducks & a hawk soar, chuckling at the funny antics of the dogs, Tromping in snow, squishing in mud, sliding on ice, cleaning our shoes in the dead grass...every step was a gift.
When we got home I mapped it just out of curiosity, only to discover we'd gone 2 miles!
Our little walk was a healthy little victory.
I picked my word
& now it's time to set a few goals for the new year...
It has taken me a few days to come up with things not so specific that they really aren't yearly goals, & not so broad that I won't know if at the end of the year if I've done anything to work towards them.
Here is what I came up with, in no particular order...
1. More vegetables. Less meat, less sugar. (because I am not 'dieting' but striving to make better, more healthful food choices)
2. Activity 365. (whether it's the Couch Potato to 5K Workout Plan
I'm doing, a hike, or a long walk with the dogs - do something active everyday)
3. Walk/Run a 5K.
4. Learn to knit in the round.
I could include several more crafty type goals here...about quilting, about knitting, about embroidery, or sales, or cooking, or painting...but I chose my goals more for lifestyle changes than for craft style changes.
Because craft stuff is easy for me & I feel like my goals should be a challenge to be met. And, I know from personal experience when I tell myself a crafty something I *have to* do I automatically do not want to do it. I'm just wierd like that.
I did include the knitting in the round because it is a step up in my current knitting process & intimidates me a little. And, not to say that I won't be learning just tons of new crafty things throughout the year, but it's nice to have a learning goal for myself.
Do you set yearly goals?
This is actually my first time really writing out some goals & really working towards them. I'm pretty excited about it...of course it is only Day 5 - so I am praying my excitement can be sustained longer than a week! :)
A friend of mine introduced my to the One Little Word concept last year. And, while I didn't participate last year I've been thinking about how to incorporate it in into my 2011. Here
is a post to give you the inside scoop if you are interested. Basically you pick a word you want to inform your year, a word to speak to you, a word to focus on, a word to challenge you, a word to inspire you.
For 2011 my word is Bloom.
Well, I knew my overall goal for 2011 was to be working towards healthy. But, healthy just didn't quite capture the true meaning of what I want to strive for. I want to feel alive inside, I want to feel proud of myself, I want to work towards the me I was created to be....I want to Bloom!~a flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, etc
~a glow or flush on the cheek indicative of youth and health
~to flourish or thrive
Have you thought about picking a word for the New Year? What might yours be?