weekend recap.

Thursday night I spent some time and made a new recipe, finally being able to use the butternut squash I bought at the farmers market a few weeks ago.  It was a lovely mixture of quinoa, kale, butternut squash, fat free feta cheese and craisins.  It was a delicious Fall/Winter salad and very filling.  I now had 4 portions to eat over the next week or so.  It’s always good to have healthy meals portioned out and ready to be eaten at a moments notice just in case planned meals don’t work out.  I had it for the first time for lunch on Friday and then again for dinner on Saturday.  Pretty excited about the 2 portions I still have left!  Check out the recipe here, I tweaked a little to fit my preferences getting rid of the nuts and use feta cheese.  This and the sweet potato burgers have become my go to recipes this season to make several servings and keep them on hand.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 1.26.01 PMAnother sign of personal progress on Friday was I went back to Weight Watchers and not only weighed in (not terrible, but not good either) but also stayed for the meeting.  I’m glad I did.  I look at it almost like Overeaters Anonymous.  I have an addiction to eating poorly and I need the support of a weekly meeting to help change my habits and stay accountable to my progress.  I have learned that if I have a bad week I don’t go to WW I wait and think I can make it up the next week and then go back but that isn’t how reality works.  If I don’t go every week it doesn’t work.  I was really good Friday and Saturday mostly with my eating.  Once my plans changed Saturday night that’s when it went downhill, per usual.  When my plans change that’s when I get off track.  I am starting to get better but still have a ways to go.  I will go back and weigh in Friday and we will see how it goes.

Now on to the fun parts of the weekend!

Saturday I went to an ugly sweater party which I haven’t every done before but it was a lot of fun just to dust off my glue gun and create an awesomely tacky sweater.  I got to hang out with my friend K and make a couple new friends that night.  I was able to get home around 1am which was earlyish but late enough that waking up Sunday morning was a struggle.

As I was enduring the struggle bus bright and early Sunday morning I got to be a part of my sorority chartering a new chapter at a near by college.  As an alum it was a nostalgic experience standing through a ceremony I have seen many times while an active sister but so much more since it was conducted by a sister from National and was for an entire chapter of new sisters not just a new class.  It brought me back and reminded me of all the values I vowed myself to when I became a sister so many years ago.  It’s always humbling and a nice reminder to always be your best self.

Finally, the last fun adventure I had over the weekend was going to a Christmas festival with M.  We both love the holidays and we definitely felt the holiday cheer walking around a small town that had an ice skating rink, carolers, Christmas trees, horse carriages, and the Grinch (we obviously met him and got a picture).  We even indulged in some funnel cake!

Overall it was a wonderful fun filled weekend of new experiences.  I can’t express enough how doing new things whether alone or with another person, getting out of your comfort zone, will provide new perspectives, new knowledge, and new friends.  Get out and do something new! You won’t regret it.

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the holiday season is a time to reflect and be grateful.

I apologize for such a long break since my last post.  The holiday season always gets so busy, it’s amazing how quickly the month of December flies by.  So here’s a quick recap of what I have been up to over the last week.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, even though it was my first one away from home.  When I first found out I wasn’t going to make it back up North for the holiday I started searching for things to do to ensure I wouldn’t be sitting at home by myself on a holiday that’s all about family.  A few months ago I signed up to help serve food at the Rescue Mission during lunch time on Thanksgiving.  I’m so glad I did it.  I ended up going by myself and it was a humbling and wonderful experience.  I ended up being assigned to the ticket table by myself.  This particular Rescue Mission had around a hundred residents and while sitting at the table I got to meet about 10 of them and have conversations and learn about their struggles with addiction and how this Thanksgiving they are just grateful to be clean and sober and getting their lives on track.  Meeting new people and taking the time to listen to their stories always helps put your own life into perspective.

After the Rescue Mission one of my best friends M had invited me over to her mom’s house to celebrate the holiday with their family.  27 people all sitting around a table enjoying conversation and delicious food!  I’m so very happy I was able to be absorbed into a family for a day while so dearly missing my own family.

Since then it’s been a whirlwind of Christmas shopping, working both at my job and doing some freelance work, and trying to stay active by going on a hike and getting back to my Jazzercise classes.  I even finally got to see  Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 last night! (It’s amazing, if you haven’t seen it yet go!)

My biggest advice for this season is to make sure that amongst all the craziness make sure to carve out some time to yourself and remember the wonder that is this time of a year.  I’m an optimist during the holidays and believe in the magic of Christmas that brings out the best in people!

The weekend is for you.

I’ve had a nice productive weekend this weekend staying busy and almost got to all the things I wanted to do!  I didn’t go out and drink this weekend, but sometimes that’s for the best, maybe I’m getting old haha.

Saturday, I woke up early and went to the Farmers Market. I have wanted to go for a few weeks now, but this week it finally worked out. It was a little chilly but sunny and bright.  I got to the little town where the market is a little early so I walked to local coffee shop to get a nice warm latte to offset the cold.  I was in such a good mood just being outside in the sun and watching all the vendors setting up.  Once 9am hit I started walking around just taking it all in.  Here are some highlights:

  1. I got a butternut squash and I’m really excited to try a new recipe this week with it!  I haven’t had it before, but I have heard it’s a wonderful Fall veggie.
  2. It was breakfast time so I obviously needed something delicious to go with my coffee so I stopped at a bakery vendor and got an almond croissant and a sweet potato biscuit, oh my they were so delicious, I will definitely be going back for more.
  3. There was a young boys baseball team trying to sell calendars as a fundraiser to travel to Cooperstown to visit the Hall of Fame.  The little boy was just so adorable I talked to him for a minute and let him give me his sales pitch.  I ended up buying one and left with a big smile on my face.

Starting the weekend with something just for myself sets it up for success.  I was in a great mood all day by starting it off right.

Check out the Fall produce goodies I was able get.

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I had a full Saturday, after the market I went to the first meeting of my sororities Alumnae Association meeting in city2. I met a bunch of new women and am excited for what is to come of this new organization.  I plan to run for a position on the e-board and help organize social and philanthropy events.  It’s definitely something to look forward to!  After the meeting I went to a large show full of Christmas crafts and gifts.  I went with my friend K and am so very glad we were able to.  I got a head start on my Christmas list and am now officially in the Christmas spirit!

Yesterday was all about my mental health and happiness. Today is about my physical health and business productivity.  Unfortunately it was raining this morning, so my planned hike was out, but that didn’t stop me.  I did weights and a video workout in my apartment. Now for the rest of the day I will be working on a new website for freelance work.

Weekends are the best time to indulge in some me time, taking time to reflect and do something just for you.

Here’s some background…

Firstly, I introduced just about everything over on the “About” page, but here is my initial post.  I am here to hold myself accountable and go on a new adventure to self enlightenment and acceptance.  I’m going to post a lot of things about a lot of topics spanning food, activities, TV shows, books, maybe even some sports.  Bear with me as I get my footing in this unknown world of blogging and self-reflection.

“Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you have been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you want to be, the person you are.”

Since graduating college I first moved to, we will say, city1 and I was completely alone knowing not one person in the city.  Granted I was only about an hour from my college town and 3 hours from home, but that seemed like 1000 miles when you are living alone for the first time in your life.  (I always had roommates in college).  The first 3 months were the worst, not having friends and not having a social life.  My mom makes fun of me now for all the Friday nights I called her crying about I was such a loser sitting at home on a Friday night.  Then I got a cat and things started getting better… okay I know what you’re thinking but wait and hear me out I’m not a crazy cat lady.  Having another living thing to come home to and not have the deafening silence on the nights and weekends made me feel much less alone in this new city.  I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I am a very introverted and shy person.  There’s a whole lot of back-story that I have no desire to go into unless something later comes up and I need to vent, but for now just know it’s hard for me to have the confidence to walk up to a new person and just become friends with them.  3 months into city1 I sent an email to a co-worker who I knew was approximately the same age as me, super awkwardly, saying something like “hey, I don’t really have any friends here maybe we can hang out sometime” I sent an EMAIL…. he worked 2 desks away!  So ridiculous looking back on it, and now he’s actually one of me best friends and will still bring up that email (he of course saved it) just to make fun of me and the circle of friends laughs… ha ha ha.  I got very lucky after that and was almost immediately absorbed into this very large “friend group” as we call ourselves.  I lived in city1 for 2 years and have some wonderful memories that I will always cherish but it was never a place I wanted to settle.

On to the next chapter…. 3 months ago I moved to city2 a whole 12 hours from home.  Easily the farthest I have ever been from home and everything I have known my entire life, but also the place I have always wanted to be.  This time I only knew 2 people moving here, 2 more than city1 but these 2 are a couple meaning the only people I knew and could hang out with were the other 2 prongs to my third wheel. M is my best friend and I have known her for several years and we are very close so I knew it would be okay even if I didn’t see her often.  I started a job that I really enjoy, but surprise surprise I’m the only girl on my team of all men.  Welcome to the technology world and the life of being a woman developer.  That part doesn’t bother me one bit I actually like it that way, I have always gotten along with the easy-going straight-forward nature of men then the high-strung high-maintenance nature of women.  And my sarcasm can hold it’s own against the worst kind of assholes.  Unfortunately though all the people I work with are older and are married, have kids or both.  This provides very little common ground. Unlike city1 I was going to have to venture outside of the workplace for friends.  I was very adamant this time around that I wasn’t going to wait around being a lonely miserable mess for 3 months before putting myself out there. Within the first few weeks I had joined a Meetup group for women in their 20’s and 30’s looking to just get together and have fun after work and on weekends.  At my very first meetup I met a couple women who I now get together with usually around once a week.  I learned from my first relocation and am doing it better this time.

These past few months I stepped out of my comfort zone to go to a Meetup by myself to meet with a group of strangers in hopes of making friends, which I did.  I have also stopped worrying about doing things by myself.  I wanted to see a movie so I went.  I wanted to check out a new hiking trial so I did.  I have done a few different things by myself just because I wanted to.  I didn’t wait for a friend or man to do them with me, and let me tell you it is liberating.  Living alone for 3 years now has given me a lot of insight on independence and how to handle my needs.  Now I’m taking it further to start doing things I want and knowing it’s okay to be alone and still be happy.

Sorry for the long winded essay, hopefully in the future things won’t be as long as this first post, but I felt it necessary to put some background into the purpose of this blog.