Monday, January 28, 2013

New Things


I told you a few weeks ago about my New Year’s resolutions. One thing I forgot to add to that list is I’m trying to do one new thing a week. 

There’s a quote/saying/mantra out there that says you should do one thing a day that scares you. I've seen it all over the place, but specifically on my Lululemon bag. That was kind of my inspiration for this resolution.

I'm not doing anything particularly "scary", but I definitely want to try something new, however small, at least once a week this year.

So far this year, I've:

1. Made Spaghetti Squash


You can read all about that adventure here.

2. Tried Mochi

Source
If you've never heard of mochi, no worries. The first time I ever heard of it was at a fro-yo shop, where it was offered as a topping. Those are mini-marshmallow sized and a bit different than the ones pictured. 

Mochi is a Japanese treat made of pressed rice paste and some kind of filling. The flavor I had was Taro (pictured). The best description I can give you is if you think of a marshmallow stuffed with caramel and dusted with a very light coat of powdered sugar, you have an idea of the texture. The flavor is very much specific to itself, I don't really have anything to compare it with. It's not too sweet, but it's sweet enough to know that you're getting a treat.

Overall? Weird, but definitely yummy!

3. Played Kickball

Source
I had never played kickball up until 2 weeks ago. Ever. We didn't have the grade school playground tournaments where I grew up. Our school was completely obsessed with Tetherball. Now that was a great game!

Anywho, I'm playing in the same league I played sand volleyball in, with about half of the same team and a bunch of new people. Man, I love making new friends! So far, our record is the same as it was in volleyball. Last week we went up against the 3-time returning champion team and got demolished! Oh well, we got to see a great team in action and learned a ton of new strategy.

4. Watched Fight Club for the first time

Source
All of my male friends would nearly have a conniption any time I mentioned I had never seen this movie, so this past week, I remedied that.  If you've never seen it, it's pretty good, assuming you can get past a bunch of men punching each other for the "joy" of it. It's definitely a mess-with-your-mind movie, which I love (although I already knew the twist at the end...)

And this week, my new thing will be to go backstage to meet a band!



I won tickets from a radio station here in Houston to go see Eli Young Band at House of Blues this Thursday. On top of that, I won backstage passes to meet the band and entry into a bar-b-q the radio station is throwing for the band and whoever wins these passes.

I've never been backstage at a concert, much less sat down to dinner with a performing artist. I.AM.PUMPED! I'm taking the bestie, and it's going to be a fantastic time!

EYB is playing 2 shows this week at House of Blues here in Houston. If you're interested, you can find info for Thursday's show here or Friday's show here.

What new things have you done this year?

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spaghetti Squash "Spaghetti"

Last week I made my first attempt at spaghetti squash. I've had it several times before, but I'd never actually made it myself.

It turned out that it was actually much easier than I thought and of course, it tastes delicious and is a much healthier alternative to a giant bowl of spaghetti!

Start by setting your oven to 375, then cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise

What they don't tell you (maybe they do and I just didn't pay attention...) is how hard those suckers are!

It literally took me a carving knife, cleaver and about 20 minutes to cut it in half....


Next, scoop out the seeds from the center of each side (just channel your jack'o lantern skills from a few months ago)


Then, place the halves cut-side down on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for an hour.


When they come out, you should see browning around the edges. When they're cool enough, flip them over and let them continue to cool until they're comfortable to touch.



When cool enough, grab a fork and start shredding the flesh of the squash. It should be quite stringy and should come apart without much effort.



Once I did that, I grabbed my toppings,


and scooped some squash in a bowl and mixed it all together along with a drizzle of olive oil.



Doesn't that look amazing?! Let me just tell you, it was :)

There was a ton left over, so I'm looking for additional ways to prepare it. Do you have any spaghetti squash recipes?


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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflection and Resolution

Happy New Year!!!!!

I hope everyone had a fantastic NYE celebration to welcome in 2013. As I was drinking my coffee this morning, I started thinking back over the past year and all that has happened, as well as where I hope this year will go. 

First off, I want to say thank you to all of my readers! :) It still amazes me how many people have stopped by to share in my adventures. Looking back at my stats from last year, these were your favorite posts:

1. IKEA hack      2. Budget Binder      3. Upcycling Wine Corks      4. A True Love Story      5. Happy :)



Now for the future. I've decided that I want to make 2013 all about different types of fitness.

They say that if you put your goals in writing, you're more likely to accomplish them, so here are my goals for this year:

1. Physical (I think this is kind of a given on most people's resolution list, but it's definitely a must!)
  • In 2012, I lost 25+ pounds by making changes in my eating habits as well as my activity level and want to continue that trend
  • My goals for 2013:
    • Continue the weight loss with another 10-15 pounds
    • Increase my activity level to include small changes like taking the stairs, parking farther away, etc. as well as increasing my workouts to include a variety of cardio and weight training (gotta use that gym I pay for every month!) 3+ times a week
    • Continue to make smart choices in the foods I eat, as well as trying to expand my palette to include yucky healthier foods.
2. Fiscal
  • One of the major changes of  my 2012 included the loss of an income, which amounts to me living off of about 1/3 of the total income I was used to.
  • My goals for 2013:
    • Revamp my personal Budget Binder to fit my new situation (and stick to it!)
    • Continue to add to my savings monthly 
    • Make smarter decisions on purchases 
3. Emotional
  • 2012 was an emotionally draining year. Period. End of story. 
  • My goals for 2013:
    • Take more time for myself, and spend more time on myself and with myself
    • Learn my limits. I can't be everywhere, help everyone and/or do everything. It's just not possible.
    • Say yes (and no) more often. You never know what you're missing until you try, but again, I need to learn to keep things in moderation. 
Whew! That's a bit overwhelming, but it's out there, so no hiding from it now!

What are some of your goals/resolutions for the new year?
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