Week 10: March 5 – 11

Daily Goals:

Write in a Gratitude Journal: Completed

Highlights of the things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. LAUREN IS HOME!
  2. Delicious steak
  3. Spring weather
Drink Tea: Completed

Weekly Goals:

Make Plans With Friends: Completed

This week Lauren got back from her month-long trip to New Zealand. A bunch of us met her and her husband at home right after they got back. It was so nice to see them again, I’m so glad they’re home.

Allen and I also went on a double date with my friend Elle and her boyfriend for Ethiopian food. It was really good and it was nice to catch up with Elle before she goes on her trip to the Philippines.

Do Yoga: Completed

This week I went to the Hot Hatha Core class again. I’m still not a huge fan of the instructor but it was nice to challenge myself again. I was pretty sore from it, so clearly I haven’t been going enough. I also went to my weekly work class again.

One New Recipe: Completed

What I Made: Chia Seed Peanut Butter Superfood Cookies

How I Made it: 
Do you ever get an urge to try baking or cooking certain things? It happens to me all the time. I get an idea about making something and the urge doesn’t go away until I actually make it.

This week I really wanted to make cookies. I wanted them to be at least somewhat healthy, with lots of hearty ingredients. I ended up going with the Chia Seed Peanut Butter Superfood Cookies. I changed half of the flour to whole wheat instead of all-purpose, and added about a tbsp of hemp hearts to the cookies. The only problem with these was that I only had natural peanut butter in the house. The brand I have right now is extra oily, and therefore pretty thin. The cookies were pretty oily before baking and wouldn’t even hold the whole amount of chocolate chips. Also, I’d say the recipe makes closer to 18 cookies than 12 (or 12 BIG cookies).

The Verdict:
Despite the minor mishap with the oily peanut butter the cookies turned out pretty well. They were nice and hearty and healthy, too. They were good as a breakfast replacement or as a filling afternoon snack. Would make them again (with different peanut butter next time).

Listen to an Album I Haven’t Heard: Completed

Allen and I have tickets to the Against Me! concert at the end of the month. I was really into a few of their songs in high school but hadn’t listened to them much since, so I asked Allen for one of their albums to listen to this week. He instead gave me the CD of their lead singers solo project, which apparently sounds pretty similar to what I would expect from the concert anyways.

Tom Gabel - Heart Burns
Tom Gabel – Heart Burns

The album is definitely not what I’m used to listening to. However, after just a few listens that songs were rather catchy and grew on me more and more with time. I think it will be a fun concert, and it’s always good to expand what I’m listening to.

Get Rid of 10 Things: Completed

This week I continued to go through some of my old clothes. I got rid of a ton of undershirts (M undershirts do not fit well under XS/S clothing), a few shirts, etc.

Blog Update: Completed

I’m not going to lie, this is starting to become the part of the challenge that I’m worst at. It takes a decent chunk of time to fill this all out, but that’s not really a valid excuse. I will try not to be so late with this next week.

Overall Progress:

Anyways! Here are some other things I have accomplished this week:

  • Started this months art project
  • Ate a new type of food
  • Instagram Challenge (10/11)

Week 9: February 26 – March 4

This post is embarrassingly late, and even now I’m righting it hastily on my way out the door (Edit: I actually am now sitting down for the third time to try and finish this post). I don’t really have an excuse, other than life is mostly busy and when it’s not busy I just want to curl up in a ball and become a blob of nothingness because I’m so exhausted. But alas, here is the post! Better late than never..

Daily Goals:

Write in a Gratitude Journal: Completed

Highlights of the things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. Date night with Allen❤
  2. Disney Movies
  3. Free Oilers Tickets.
Drink Tea: Completed

Weekly Goals:

Make Plans With Friends: Completed

I feel like I may have cheated on this a little bit this week. I did hang out with some of Allen’s friends (who I guess are kind of my friends now too?) and I went to a hockey game with a coworker (who is also kind of my friend, but we don’t normally hang out outside of work).

I’m going to go ahead and count it. I don’t think I should be discriminatory about who gets to be considered my friends based off of how I met them. I’m just too tough on myself with some of these goals.

Do Yoga: Completed

I took Allen to his first yoga class, and it was well…. weird. I wanted to pick something aimed towards beginners so that it wouldn’t scare him off. I ended up choosing a restorative yoga class – thinking it would probably somewhere between a yin and a hatha class – but maybe more relaxing? I was wrong. It was just 3 or 4 poses which were basically just laying around relaxing. Not quite the good intro I was hoping for – but it was really relaxing at least. I also went to my weekly work class. I’m hoping to get in a more difficult classes this weekend.

One New Recipe: Completed

What I Made: Oven “Fried” Chicken Drumsticks

How I Made it: 
I love Pinterest. Like straight up the website is an amazing idea and a useful resource to keep track of ideas. That being said, sometimes ideas get lost amongst all the other ideas, this recipe was almost one of them.

I had been wanting to try it ever since I pinned it back in the fall. A healthier alternative to fried chicken? Yes please. I found this recipe on the blog A Second on the Lips, a blog about weight loss friendly food that doesn’t sacrifice flavour. The only thing about the recipe that I changed was use 9 drumsticks instead of 8 (they were just packaged like that) and I added a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper to the mixture.

The Verdict:
So. Damn. Good. The recipe was super easy and it turned out great. Not quite fried chicken but the crispy outer later was amazing. I served it with sweet potato fries and veggies with hummus. So delicious. I actually think next time I’ll double or triple the batch then keep the extra (the stuff that raw chicken hasn’t been rolled in!) in a container for next time. The drumsticks were good leftover too. I forgot how delicious cold drumsticks were, double yum!

Listen to an Album I Haven’t Heard: Completed

Turns out Young the Giant is coming to Edmonton! Out of all the albums I’ve listened to this year, Mind Over Matter was probably my favourite. This week I decided to listen to their first, self titled album to see if I liked it just as much as the first.

Young the Giant (self titled)
Young the Giant (self titled)

This album was also really good. It’s interesting, I felt like I hadn’t listen to much of their music but once I turned the album on I realized that I recognized most of first half of the songs. They were familiar but good, with some extra ones added in. I think I’ll try and get one of my friends to go to the concert with me, it would be really good!

Get Rid of 10 Things: Completed

Last year I lost around 40 lbs. It was a strange, unusual process. I never really thought I looked bad before, maybe a little chubby but still cute, you know? Until I saw some pictures from a work function and I realized that maybe I wasn’t okay with the way that I looked, and maybe I should change it. I started initially planning to lose around 20 lbs but for the first bit (especially that initial water weight once I started eating healthier and drinking more water) flew off, and I quickly realized 20 lbs was too easy.

Anyway, the reason I’m talking about all of this is because the thing about losing that much weight is that pretty much none of your clothes fit you anymore (I think I have one or two stretchy cotton dresses that are still okay, but that’s about it. While replacing your wardrobe may sound like fun, it’s really expensive and can get kind of depressing. Imagine never being able to wear any of your favourite articles of clothing anymore. Dress clothing, formal dresses, those pieces you “invested” in are no longer worth anything to you. It’s hard to get rid of it all, it’s hard to let go of those pieces. So this week I got rid of a few of the items I’ve been holding onto – I’ve still got a ways to go but it’s a start. I got rid of a some dress shirts/blouses, my old very very favourite skirt and a few dresses. Out with the old, and in with the new.

Blog Update: Completed

Overall Progress:

Anyways! Here are some other things I have accomplished this week:

  • I ran once last week. I need to get better. This is getting bad.
  • I hung up some art! There is now art in both my closet and my kitchen. Now just my bedroom and living room to go.
  • Instagram Challenge (3/4 so far – I just couldn’t think of anything for “something borrowed”

February: A Month in Review

Alright, so this is a few days late. February is the shortest month of the year and it seemed to simply fly by. I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked to have done on some of my goals, however I feel like I still put in a pretty good effort overall.

Here is a summary of what I achieved this month:
  • Completed all of my daily and weekly goals
  • Sadly, I had a few big purchases this month that stopped me from saving too much extra, hopefully next month will be better!
  • I have gained back a few pounds but am still under 130 (my weight does tend to fluctuate a lot anyway). I’m going to be a bit more strict in what I’m eating and try not to eat out as much.
  • I’ve started running again, 1-2 times per week. I’m slowly but surely making some progress to getting back to where I was last year. Hopefully the snow and ice will be melted off the ground soon and I can run outside again soon.
Make Something: Complete

This month was a pretty simple project. My friend Elle was wanting to learn how to sew heating packs – one of my favourite things to make, so I helped her out (and let her borrow my machine).

Rice bags are one of my favourite things ever – they’re super cheap, quick and easy to make. They also making living in Edmonton much more tolerable (for real, I even bring mine in my car with me when it gets really cold).

I decided since Elle was making one anyway, I should make one for Allen too. It turned out a little bit lopsided because I ran out of the rice I was using. He still seemed to like it though!

febcraft

Instagram Challenge: Complete

I did really well for the first few weeks of the challenge but ended up missing a few days near the end. I believe I came in around 25/28.

Some Highlights:

febinst3 febinst2 febinst1

New Food/Cuisine: Complete

I have a hard time getting my head around this challenge. I have a hard time qualifying to myself what counts as “New Foods”. I mean, if I’ve had similar things before does that count?

Therefore this month I have a few different things (to help convince myself that I really did try new things…).

  1. Japanese Spinach Salad (Gomae) – I had a bite of Maddy’s when we went out to dinner. It tasted pretty good but had too much sauce for my liking – maybe just the way that specific restaurant made it.
  2. Salad roll with crispy Tofu inside – I’ve had salad rolls quite a few times but never with tofu. The crunch, crispy way in which the tofu was done added an interesting level of texture to the food. Would eat again
  3. I experimented with a few different types of oatmeal this month. I’ve always wanted to like oatmeal – a nice hearty warm breakfast that’s easy to make quickly? Yes please! However I’ve always had a really hard time getting over the flavour and sometimes rather slimy constancy. This month I tried baked oatmeal (which is in one of my earlier posts, and was rather delicious), but that wouldn’t be the best choice for a quick daily breakfast. I also tried Quaker Warm & Crunchy Granola. I’m not going to lie, this is the first time an oatmeal has really won me over. I did change it up a bit by adding chia seeds, hemp hearts and a bit of cinnamon before throwing it in the microwave (for 40 seconds rather than 25..) then topping it with pecans and dried cranberries before eating. It’s super comforting, hearty and filling and makes for a great start to the day. Definitely recommend.
$25 to Charity: Complete

This month I had a hard time picking what charity to go with. I surveyed some of my friends on Facebook and a lot of them suggested charities for pets. I decided this was probably the best way to go. I love my cat a lot, and want to try and do my part to make sure that all the other animals get a chance to find a happy and healthy home too. So this month I chose the Edmonton Humane Society for my donation.

Week 8: February 19 – 25

Sadly, this week was back to not so good crazy. On top of my busy extracurricular/social schedule, work decided to amp itself up (way too much). That combined with a few doctors appointments, not feeling very well and needing to get caught up on so many other things made it really hard to keep up with my goals this week. I managed to skim through, but I really felt like I did the bare minimum, which wasn’t great. Even this post is a little late (I’ve been up until midnight every night this week reviewing work stuff at home – so needless to say I’m a little run down). I promise next week will be better!

Daily Goals:

Write in a Gratitude Journal: Completed

I need to be totally honest, I kind of cheat on this one a little sometimes. I have an entry in the Journal for every day, but I technically haven’t written in it every day. A lot of times I get distracted and stay up late and don’t write in the Journal until the next day (or in the case of this week – 2 days later). I do still try and reflect on what I did for the day that I missed and find things that I was grateful for happening then. It’s still super beneficial, especially when you’re busy and overwhelmed, to find the little things in your life that make you happy.

Highlights of the things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. An organized kitchen
  2. New running shoes
  3. Marcy’s pie
Drink Tea: Completed

Weekly Goals:

Make Plans With Friends: Completed

Despite how busy this week was I actually managed to follow through with this one quite well. I had long-standing plans with a group of girls that I’ve  been friends with since the very start of university. I can’t speak for them, but I definitely feel like my friendships with them was what really helped me push through that especially excruciating first year of school (and a lot of the subsequent years as well). Unfortunately one of them couldn’t make it, but it was still nice to see the others since I don’t get to as much as I would like to. We ate delicious food (and Marcy’s infamous apple pie – mmmmmm), played cards and caught up with each other. It was so nice to see them again, and hopefully I’ll get to see them again on my birthday (which is coming up quickly!)

I also made plans with my friend Elle to do some sewing. She wanted to make a heating pad but didn’t have a sewing machine and hadn’t really don’t much sewing before ever. We made a quick project (which I’ll talk more about in February’s post) then had long talks about life and love and family and boys. It’s so nice to have a friend that you can push back and forth philosophical ideas about life with.

Do Yoga: Completed

After last weeks pretty eventful schedule of yoga I must admit that this week failed to live up to the excitement of the last. I did manage to go to my weekly class at work, however I didn’t have the time, energy or enthusiasm to participate in any other classes. I need to stop making excuses and get my butt into a studio (any studio! I just need to practice!).

One New Recipe: Completed

What I Made: Stove-top pork and brown rice from The Runner’s World Cookbook (as mentioned in one of my previous posts)

How I Made it:  On Sunday Allen & I skimmed through a few of my cookbooks and chose our top pick for dinner. It’s been freezing cold here (again? still? always?), so we wanted something that was sort of stewy or soupy. We found this recipe and it seemed simple enough so we went out and bought all the ingredients – plus all of our other groceries for the week. By the time we got back to his place I was exhausted and not feeling very well. We had a nap, but I felt even worse after. I wasn’t really feeling up to cooking so Allen offered to make me some chicken noodle soup instead. Am I lucky, or what?

Anyway, the recipe got postponed for a few days and I ended up making it last night. The recipe called for Pork Tenderloin, but it was really expensive at the store we were at and regular pork loin chops were on sale. In retrospect that probably wasn’t the greatest decision – but $6 versus $20+ is kind of a no brainer in my books.

The Verdict:

The recipe was pretty easy to follow, but I maybe should’ve set a timer for the time intervals. When it says “brown for 5 minutes” or “simmer for 5 minutes” I figure they’re kind of loose intervals – especially if followed for “simmer on low for 30”. All approximate, right? Maybe not..

The overall taste of the recipe was good. I liked the pairing of red-wine with the tomatoes. It was really warm and hearty. That being said, the meat was super dry and overcooked. We still went back for seconds, so it couldn’t have been that bad.

Listen to an Album I Haven’t Heard: Completed

This week felt a bit like cheating since I did exact what I said I was going to do last week – listen to the second The Head and the Heart Album.

The Head and the Heart - Let's Be Still
The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still

Maybe it was just the rushed pace of this week, but for some reason I wasn’t quite as into this album. It was still really good, I enjoyed it overall. It just wasn’t really speaking to me. That being said, I might still try to get some tickets to their concert this spring.

Get Rid of 10 Things: Completed

I got a new roommate at the end of this week. It meant a lot of cleaning and sorting through things to make extra room in the cupboards for her. This was probably another reason I was so busy all week. I sort of got rid of things gradually throughout the week, but it did seem like a lot more than 10 at the time.

  1. Electric Frying Pan – I’m a huge fan of kitchen appliances, but this was the only one that I had that I never actually used. I ended up giving it to Allen since he doesn’t have a ton of kitchen stuff, but it’s nice to free up some space in the cupboards.
  2. Souvenirs – I got rid of 3 souvenirs that I’ve gotten from various relatives going to Holland (where my mom is from). It was super nice of them to think of me, but I don’t really need the mug, tin or pen.
  3. Magic Bullet cup “rings” – the coloured rings you put around the rim of your cup to mark the glass is yours. I literally NEVER used these, they were just taking up space.
  4. Light up bookmark (I just use a lamp, it’s easier..)
  5. Electronics Boxes
  6. Really, really old cat carrier. I had a newer, smaller, better one given to me by a friend but for some reason had been keeping both of them for a while, letting the old one take up space.
  7. Old food in the freezer that had been there since I made some major changes in my diet last year. I knew I wasn’t going to eat it, so there was no point in just letting it get more freezer burnt.
  8. A whole bunch of expired condiments, salad dressing and other various things that lived in the back of my fridge.
Blog Update: Completed

Overall Progress:

Anyways! Here are some other things I have accomplished this week:

  • Ran twice again this week. I managed to go for 17 minutes without stopping on the treadmill – which may actually be a record for me (I’ve run way longer outside, but not on a treadmill)
  • I’ve officially passed the 2/3 mark on the Instagram Challenge (24/28)
  • Made something (but more about that in a few days..)

Week 7: February 12-18

This week was another very busy week. For some reason it felt like more of a “good busy” than a “crazy busy”, which is good. I think maybe part of the reason for that is I really emerged myself in some of my goals, especially the fitness and cooking related ones. Sadly, this caused a few other goals to get pushed aside, hopefully I will be able to focus on them these coming weeks (since February is almost over – eek!)

Daily Goals:

Write in a Gratitude Journal: Completed

Highlights of the things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. Pushing through a run when it hurts.
  2. Having a wonderful guy to spend Valentine’s Day with.
  3. Snowboarding.
Drink Tea: Completed

Weekly Goals:

Make Plans With Friends: Completed

I definitely slacked off on this again. Thankfully, I already have multiple plans for next week. This week I kept it pretty simple, I managed to squeeze in a quick bubble tea with Kevin tonight, which is always wonderful – both the bubble tea and the company!

Do Yoga: Completed

After last Saturday’s Hot Core class is became pretty apparent to me that I wasn’t happy with my current yoga studio. While I love improving my physical strength in a challenging class, I find it equally important to find a sense of relaxation and mental release through my practice. The classes I was going to were providing me with the former, but not enough of the latter.

This week I decided to try a few different classes to get a sense of what I’m looking for. I tried an Adventures in Core class at a local studio that I have a bunch of drop in passes for. The class was challenging and the instructor was very, very helpful. I really enjoyed the class overall, but I missed the hot room that I’ve come to love over the past year. I’ll likely try to incorporate doing drop in classes at this studio, but I don’t see this as being the replacement for my weekly class.

The second class I tried was at another hot yoga studio that’s part way between my work and home. There was an online auction this week and one of the items to bit on was 6 months of unlimited yoga at the studio, so I figured I would try it and if I liked it I would bid on the yoga package. They offered the first class for free so dropped in on Family Day Monday for their morning class. The studio was packed (almost too full for my liking), but the energy of the studio was really awesome. The room was nice and sweaty and the instructor was very good. I bid on the passes and was the winner (it closed this afternoon). I’m excited to start going regularly (possibly even more than once a week?), I think the studio will be a really good fit.

One New Recipe: Completed

I went a little recipe crazy this week. I made dairy free cupcakes with dairy free icing for valentine’s day, peanut chicken lettuce wraps, baked chocolate oatmeal, honey lime fajitas and dessert hummus. It was really fun experimenting with new recipes/flavours as well as adapting a few good old standbys. I’ll only post a few of them for now.

What I Made: Salted Brownie Baked Oatmeal

How I Made it: I’ve been trying to experiment with different types of oatmeal to find one that I like. I enjoy the idea of having something hearty and warm in the morning (especially during our long, cold winters), but the texture of regular packaged oatmeal has always bothered me. The Oatmeal Artist has lots of great ideas for making oatmeal different ways. Plus, anything with the word “brownie” in it that I can eat for breakfast is obviously a good thing. For this recipe I used unsweetened applesauce since Allen isn’t supposed to eat Bananas. I think if you were using really ripe bananas the level of sweetness might be a bit better. I did add one package of Stevia, however it still could have been a bit sweeter.

IMG_0189

The Verdict:

I made these in my adorable little heart Ramekins and they turned out looking super, super cute. They were pretty good, but I thought they needed way more sweetener. I put in one package of stevia for two bowls, when really 4 packages would’ve probably been ideal (or a few tbsp of maple syrup or honey). But I like my chocolate pretty sweet, so maybe I’m biased.

What I Made: Chocolate Chip “Cookie Dough” Dessert Hummus

How I Made it: I stumbled across this recipe on Culinary Adventures in the Kitchen. As you might be able to tell from my previous recipes, I really like chickpeas. I also really like my food processor. On top of that, I freaking love cookie dough (like, used to eat packages of pre-made cookie dough straight from the tube). This recipe was obviously perfect for me. I used slightly less than 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used splenda brown sugar, because that’s what I had on hand), plus a little drop of maple syrup. I probably used more milk than needed but after popping it in the freezer for a few minutes it was perfect. I used dairy free chocolate chips and unsweetened vanilla almond milk – making it an Allen safe recipe.

The Verdict: So. Freaking. Good. Seriously, this stuff is dangerous. I like to think it’s still pretty healthy though (yay for chickpeas!), so it’s okay to indulge a little.

Listen to an Album I Haven’t Heard: Completed

You know when you keep hearing about a band but don’t actually listen to them at all until like almost a year later? The Head and the Heart was one of those bands for me. Their name kept popping up in conversations and on festival lineups but I always forgot about them when it came time to download music. As they recently sold out a local venue and have created a second event at a larger venue, I figured they’d be worth a listen to see if I should check them out in person.

The Head and the Heart (self titled)
The Head and the Heart (self titled)

This album was really great. It was pretty folky, but in more of an indie-rock way than a country way. Definitely my preference. I’m going to be checking out their newer album this coming week and if I like it just as much I will try to snag some of their concert tickets. Hurray for more concerts!

Get Rid of 10 Things: Completed

My roommate got a transfer to Vancouver and therefore had to move out this week. It’s sad to see her go, but hopefully a new start will be good for both of us. So, while technically I also got rid of all of her stuff, I’ll try to be fair, here’s this week’s ten things.

  1. My Roommate (who I will miss)
  2. The insanely large fork she had (which I won’t miss)
  3. Two of my old phones that have been sitting in a box for 3+ years and don’t even work anymore
  4. 6 phone cases that are old, broken and worn out for my old iPhone (I’ll probably see if my mom wants any of the ones that aren’t too beat up).
Blog Update: Completed

Overall Progress:

Anyways! Here are some other things I have accomplished this week:

  • Ran twice this week. Starting to feel a lot more confident and excited about reaching my running goals. I just can’t wait to get off the treadmill and make it outside though (I want to wait until the sidewalks aren’t icy).
  • Have only missed one day of the Instagram Challenge so far this month (18/28)
  • Got a pass for 6 months of unlimited hot yoga (yay for making my weekly goal easier!)

Week 6: February 5 – 11

Daily Goals:

Write in a Gratitude Journal: Completed

Highlights of the things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. New Hair Cuts
  2. Allen and I’s first movie date.
  3. New Lululemon clothes.
Drink Tea: Completed

Weekly Goals:

Make Plans With Friends: Completed

Sometimes when life gets busy it’s easy to just stick to a routine. Yoga, cleaning, cooking and hanging out with Allen can end up taking up my whole week and I’ll feel perfectly content. The issue with this is that it ends up happening every week and I don’t spend enough time with my friends. Eventually this leaves me feeling lonely and disconnected (because I really, truly love my friends to pieces). The reason I chose this as one of my challenges is it makes me pause and think every week “Who haven’t I seen in a while? Who can I make plans with?” – and it’s been super effective so far. This week I got half way through the week and realized that I hadn’t made plans with anyone yet – and for a second I had the urge to just ignore it for this week. I’m really glad I didn’t, I need to remember why this is so important for me.

Tonight (Tuesday) I went out for dinner with my friend Maddy to celebrate her getting a promotion at her work. Maddy was one of my first friends in Edmonton and one of the few that I still keep in touch with. We’ve been hanging out a lot more lately and I’m so, so glad. She conveniently lives in my building so it’s super easy to hang out but we still weren’t doing it enough – but this challenge has definitely encouraged me to keep in closer touch with her and I’m so glad I have! I also ate way too much sushi. Yummmm.

Do Yoga: Completed

I made it to Saturday’s Hot Core Flow again this week. I’m really thinking that I need to find a different class soon. The new instructor just doesn’t jive with my yoga practice in the way that I need. Conversely, My weekly work class gets better every week. I find it’s not as physically challenging but it’s also so amazing how I walk into the room feeling stressed and distracted and walk out feeling calm and collected. Yoga does so much for me on both a physical and emotional level – I love it more every time I practice.

One New Recipe: Completed

What I Made: Turkey-Cranberry Fried Rice

How I Made it:

In case you haven’t noticed – I have a bit of an obsession with getting new cookbooks. The issue being that a lot of times I buy them, look through it a few times and then never cook any of the recipes. A perfect example of this is The Ultimate Low-Calorie Book by Better Homes and Gardens. The cookbook itself has super simple instructions as well as nutritional information and pictures for each recipe. It’s a really good recipe book – and I’ve looked through it a number of times and tagged interesting recipes – but have never cooked from it.

This week I decided to give Allen free rein on the recipe. I let him look through my books and pick out any recipe he would like. This was good because I always seem to choose pretty similar things when I go through cookbooks, and he chose something I probably wouldn’t have.

The recipe itself was super simple, had very basic ingredients (most of which I actually already had) and was really quick to make! Will definitely try it again in the future.

The Verdict:

This wasn’t my favourite recipe ever, but it was still really good. Allen described it as “Christmas Dinner in a pan” – which I feel is pretty accurate. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a simple weeknight dinner. I definitely recommend making some sort of vegetable side with it too though (we just used salad, which worked fine).

Listen to an Album I Haven’t Heard: Completed

I’m starting to sense a theme for this week as I continue to write this – but this week’s album was chosen by Allen as well. I really need to expand my music collection so I don’t get bored with the stuff I already have. It’s always great to get good music suggestions from friends, so this week I got Allen to lend me one of his CD’s to listen to.

Chuck Ragan - Gold Country
Chuck Ragan – Gold Country

Overall I liked the album. It was nice to have something sort of different to listen to. That being said, I’m not really used to listening to music that’s quite so country of folky. I’m not sure if I’m super into it at this point – but I’m willing to give it more of a chance. I think it will likely be one of those situations that I like it more and more as I listen to more of it.

Get Rid of 10 Things: Completed

This week was the kitchen edition. It always feels like my kitchen is way over crowded so I thought this would be easier to get rid of ten things from it. I was wrong, it was still tough. As I mentioned last week this challenge is getting more and more difficult. I’m going to keep going with it as long I still can – but there is an undeniable reality that I may actually run out of things that I’m willing to give away. I think we’re still at least a few months away from that, though.

  1. Spice Rack (the rack itself, not the spices. The spices are now stored in plastic drawers which makes them much more accessible)
  2. Microwave Omelette Maker – Since I can’t eat eggs by themselves anymore this one seemed pretty pointless
  3. Soup Thermos
  4. Water Purifying Jug (that’s attachment doesn’t fit on my sink, making it useless)
  5. Tea Steeper (Because I have 3 other ones that I like more)
  6. Cork Screw (Because I have a set that I like better)
  7. Ice cube tray that came with my fridge
  8. Protein Shaker bottle – I never use these and yet somehow have two…
  9. Halloween themed icing (Sorry mom, it really was cute, I just never used it)
  10. Really old nestle chocolate syrup – that I won’t (and shouldn’t) use.
Blog Update: Completed

Overall Progress:

I’ve decided to change-up the format of this a little. From now on I will casually note which of my big goals I have completed, but will save the descriptions of the monthly goals for the end of the month. Each “big” goal worth noting will get its own separate post (i.e. I will post when I run my half marathon – but maybe not write a whole post about finding a doctor).

Anyways! Here are some other things I have accomplished this week:

  • Started running again (for the second time?). I plan on going again tomorrow, hopefully sticking to a pace of 1-2 times a week until I’m able to run outside again.
  • Posted every day on the Instagram Challenge so far this month! (11/28)
  • I tried a new food today at dinner – but I’ll tell you about it later..

Week 5: January 29 – February 4

My life has been crazy lately. I’m talking plans every day, need to do laundry from 2 weeks ago, barely have time to breathe, busy. While I enjoy being busy I also find it’s very hard to get anything done when there is so much going on (this blog post included).  I’m really hoping that things slow down a bit these next few weeks so that I have a chance to catch up and get a handle on things, and also so I can start working towards my long-term goals.

Daily Goals:

Write in a Gratitude Journal: Completed

Highlights of the things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. Hockey Games! And the Oilers winning.
  2. Crocheting, scarves, wool
  3. That I’m brave enough to sign up for a half marathon (and that I got a spot!)
Drink Tea: Completed

Weekly Goals:

Make Plans With Friends: Completed

This friday my lovely friend Lauren had a bunch of people over for dinner. She’s going on a late honeymoon to New Zealand and has a few people looking after her dog while she’s away – Allen being one of them. She hosted a dinner to give us some instructions on what to do, and just for fun. We had more wine than we probably should have and it pretty much took me out of commission for most of the day Saturday. Still a really fun night though!

On Monday I got to meet up with my close from Dominique who lives about 5 hours away, and I hardly ever get to see. It was so nice to catch up on life, work, family, etc. Always a treat to see old friends.

Do Yoga: Completed

As mentioned above, I was kind of out of commission on Saturday. This meant that I wasn’t able to go to my hot core class, but I did manage to make the weekly class at work.

One New Recipe: Completed

What I Made: Pork Tenderloin with Winter Vegetables.

How I Made it:

I recently bought The Runner’s World Cookbook, hoping it would be full of meal ideas for while I’m training for my races this year. It’s a beautiful book full of pictures, healthy recipes, and tips and information about which foods are good to eat pre and post run. It’s got a wide variety of recipes, both in terms of food types and recipe difficulty. It’s got some very simple recipes, but it also have some that I can’t help but feel like I would mess up completely.

I have a bit of a confession to make – I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to trying to cook new things. I picked this challenge for a number of reasons – to make sure I’m making at least one home cooked item per week, to try to incorporate new items into my regular rotation of meals, but also (and possibly most importantly) to try to get myself to step outside of my own comfort zone in terms of things I’m willing to try cooking myself.

I started with one of the most basic recipes in the book – but I had never cooked pork tenderloin before so I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out. I was actually impressed by how easy the recipe was, it only had pretty basic ingredients and didn’t take long to put together or cook. Maybe next time I use this book I’ll try to be even more brave!

The Verdict:

The pork turned out really good. I liked that the flavouring was simple and not overpowering. The only thing I would experiment with was the size of the vegetables, as the potatoes were slightly undercooked and the sweet potatoes were slightly overcooked. Still really delicious though, and enough to have a few days of left overs too! Definitely recommend this cookbook to anyone.

Listen to an Album I Haven’t Heard: Completed

You know how there are some songs that every time they come on the radio you can’t help but turn it up? Do I Wanna Know by the Arctic Monkeys is definitely one of those songs for me. The rest of the album didn’t disappoint either,  definitely a good listen.

Arctic Monkeys - AM
Arctic Monkeys – AM

While I didn’t love the rest of the album quite as much as I love Do I Wanna Know, I still think it will be another album that makes it way into my regular rotation.

Get Rid of 10 Things: Completed

I’m not going to lie, I got to the end of the week right before going to bed and went “Oh crap! I still need to get rid of 10 things!”, so this week was a bit of a cop-out. I decided the fastest and easiest way to cut ten things out of my life is to get rid of all of those extra underwear that I avoid every time I go into my underwear drawer.

I’m starting to realize that I may run out of stuff before I get to 520 items… Oh well, 50 down so far, only 470 to go!

Blog Update: Completed

Overall Progress:

I few notes on my overall progress towards my goals:

  • Completed all of my weekly and daily goals
  • I finished all of my monthly goals for January
  • So far I have completed each day of February’s instagram challenge
  • I signed up for my first half marathon!!!

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