Jan 092017
 

Looking back at my goals for 2016, I’m glad I didn’t shoot for the stars and make unrealistic goals. I did ok…but fell short. Life got in the way and I didn’t quite make it. I did read a lot, I learned my new camera and I tried my best to give the fur babies lots of attention once Logan arrived.

In the spirit of going a little easier on myself I’m making goals I think are realistic and doable.

2017 Goals

1 ) Read 65 books.

I tried to read 80 books last year and didn’t make it to that number. In hindsight I realize now that just wasn’t going to happen with a new baby!

I still read quite a bit, though, and I’m glad you guys enjoyed the book reviews I posted. I’d like to read 65 book this year and I really need to start working through my “To Read” list on Goodreads. It’s ridiculously long–over 1000 books–because I read stuff and get recommendations from people and add them to my list to read and so my list just gets longer and longer. I periodically go through it and delete things I’m no longer interested in, and I DO read a lot of the books on my list, but I somehow seem to collect more titles than I read. 😉

2 ) Lose 20 pounds and get healthy

In my last post I discussed weight loss and how it’s almost time to start getting serious about it. I’m slowly starting to wean off breastfeeding and then it will be time to buckle down and lose weight. I’m not sure yet what method I’m going to try. Michael successfully lost 30 pounds last year doing his diet and I may give it a try. At the very least I’m going to try and cut down on the sugar I eat, limit my liquid calories, and reduce my calories more.

–> I’d like to go back to the Warrior Room. It’s been about 2 years since I was working out there! I loved how STRONG it made me and it helped me so much with my knee and back issues. I took a little break from the Warrior Room after Christmas two years ago with the intention of going back and then started having issues with my back and couldn’t go. Then I got pregnant. 2017 seems like a good time to return!

–> The healthy part: Aside from losing weight, I just want to be better. I was doing REALLY good all year with eating healthy foods and drinking a ton of a water. Flash forward to recently, when we were sick all the time, I fell off the healthy habit wagon and I’d like to get back into eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking MORE WATER!

–> I’d also like to get back into yoga. We’ll see if that happens.

3 ) Run a 5k

I did do a bit of running in 2016, despite just having a baby! But I never did quite get my running legs back in time to run the two 5k’s I signed up for. I was definitely disappointed but it was the right decision to listen to my body and skip the races.

I think this year I will be able to train for one, though! I think I will try the Couch to 5k app again.

4 ) De-clutter my life

This is kind of a vague goal. There are things I want to “fix” in my life and environment. For a few years now I’ve been donating lots of stuff to the Vietnam Veteran’s Charity to declutter my house. I want to continue doing that but get more serious. I need to go through all the clothes I packed up when I got pregnant and get rid of stuff that no longer fits, or probably won’t ever fit again. I’ve been holding on to stuff that I don’t need to and I just feel overwhelmed by it.

Also, I want to try and go on a social media diet. In the past year I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the negativity on social media and in our world. I want to take a break from it, or limit my exposure to that stuff, but like a lot of people these days I’m addicted to the easy access on my phone. So we’ll see.

4 ) Spend quality time with Logan

I’m really excited about this one. After 10 weeks of maternity leave I returned to work last year working in the office for 2 days a week and teleworking the other three. It was the most beneficial thing ever. There is no way on this planet that I was emotionally (or physically) ready to go back to work full time after just 10 weeks. The summer was absolutely amazing. I eased back into work, I spent time with our new baby, I got to heal and rest more and on the two days I was in the office Michael was able to stay home with Logan and bond, too.

In September I started working in the office 3 days a week and have been teleworking 2 days since. Again, it was so helpful! In September when Logan started daycare 3 days a week I had a really hard time with it emotionally and I know that if we had to put him in daycare 5 days a week then I probably would have quit my job. I just was not emotionally ready for that step. I am so grateful that we had these opportunities!

Now that I’ve had this extra time with Logan I do feel ready to go back to work “full time.” Starting in February I will be working 4 days a week, extending my hours a little bit, in order to have 1 day off. Wednesdays are going to be “Logan and Me Time”. One thing teleworking has shown me this past year is that I need more “life work balance” and I think this will help.

My plan is that on Wednesdays Logan and I do fun stuff together (out of the house). I’m already making plans–playdates with friends who have babies his age, meeting new friends with babies, the library has free story time events for babies, we’re going to try swimming lessons and I found a hiking group for people with small kids. When he’s a little bit older I’d like to go back to doing volunteer work and include Logan in that.

I’m going to try this new schedule for 60 days and re-evaluate after that.

So that’s what I’m planning for this new year.

QUESTION: What are your goals for 2017?

Dec 162016
 

Snow Day!!!

fullsizerender-2

On Wednesday we left work early because daycare was closing early–which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We picked up the baby and got home in no time at all and I was able to work from home for a few hours. Unfortunately, a lot of people I know, and some coworkers, didn’t get as lucky. Lots of people’s commutes were 2-4 hours!! Lots of cars got stuck, crashed, people abandoned their cars and walked, some people took cabs and got gouged for outrages rates, a school bus with kids inside slid down an icy hill and crashed (everyone was ok). It was chaos! For only a few inches!

To be fair, it doesn’t snow often in Portland–usually we get hit with ice and that’s worse. But not many of us local PNW-ers are experienced driving in snow AND it’s so hilly that roads get icy and treacherous, and so the city pretty much shuts down.

Thursday work was closed and so I did a little bit of work on my laptop (when I had some, which wasn’t much) but basically I had a snow day too! YAY!

fullsizerender-4

Logan let us sleep in a bit, which was a nice bonus, and Michael made breakfast burritos. Then I worked out in my living room.

img_4705

img_4704

Snowed In Workout

Warm-up with resistance bands

Push-ups: 2 sets of 10

Bicep curls with resistance band: 3 sets of 10

Chest press with 2 15 pound dumbbells: 3 sets of 10

Overhead Triceps with 2 15 pound dumbbells: 3 sets of 10

Mountain Climbers: 4 sets of 20

Kettlebell Swing with 20 pound KB: 4 sets of 10

Squats: 3 sets of 10

Plank Jacks: 4 sets of 15

Abs:

V-ups: 3 sets of 15

Toe touches with 8lb ball: 3 sets of 20

Bird Dogs: 3 sets of 10 each side

Cobra: 4 sets of 10

Glute Bridge: 4 sets of 12

Plank: 30 second hold twice

Finished up with PT exercises for back and stretching.

img_4703

Logan’s playmate works great as a workout matt, too! 😉

I’m super happy with my home workout! Even though I was snowed in and couldn’t get to the gym–I was able to get some fitness in. I immediately felt better after working out. And trust me, it’s been a rough month and a half of being sick and my fitness being super spotty. So it was an extra bonus to work out consistently this week (despite the weather!).

Later, Michael braved the weather and picked up some groceries. He got some tomato bisque and made us grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it.

fullsizerender-2

It really hit the spot!

The rest of the afternoon I did some work, took a nap (I wasn’t feeling great still) and Logan took a nap and then I made us dinner.

img_4719

I was a vegetarian for about 10 years a long time ago. I’ve talked about it before, and how I was a terrible vegetarian. And while I’m no longer a vegetarian, I do tend to lean more towards vegetarian meals when I have to cook for myself. Thankfully I’m a little better at it these days and don’t just eat crap AND there are much better options out there for vegetarians than when I was one.

I really love Angela’s recipes at Oh She Glows. Not only is her website gorgeous, the recipes I’ve tried have been really good–even if they ARE vegan/vegetarian.

I’ve had this particular recipe for a few months now and finally made it. The snowy, cold weather just seemed fitting for a hearty soup.

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 7 cups

Calories per serving: 282 calories

Note from author: I tried a version using light canned coconut milk and one using full-fat canned coconut milk, and I greatly prefer the full-fat coconut milk version (shocker, I know). I recommend following suit, but if all you have on hand is light canned coconut milk that’ll work in a pinch—it just won't be as rich and creamy.

From: http://ohsheglows.com/2016/04/03/glowing-spiced-lentil-soup/

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (280 grams) diced onion (1 medium/large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 3/4 cup (140 grams) uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (for a kick of heat!)
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51207

The recipe was REALLY easy. Like seriously. You can easily make this on a work night when you don’t have a lot of time. I prepped stuff (chopped onion, garlic, got all the ingredients out) and that took about 10 minutes and then I played with Logan and when it was time to really start cooking Michael took the baby and got him ready for bed.

img_4721

I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth because neither of us are vegetarian and I kinda wanted a little more flavor in it. Other than that, I followed the recipe completely. She said you could add chard, kale or spinach. I used kale and baby spinach.

img_4720

I opened a bottle of wine and toasted some asiago bread, topping it with the garlic Irish butter.

img_4723

It was so good! It was the perfect dinner for a snowed-in day.

img_4722

It was hearty and filling and completely satisfying. I really enjoyed the dinner. (Even though I was congested from yet another cold.) Michael said it would be better with some sausage in it–maybe so. Like I said above, I am usually cool with vegetarian meals. So I don’t necessarily feel like the dish was lacking because it didn’t have meat. But you can easily add something to this and I think it would still work.

I think our dinners were about a serving and a half. I have about 3 or 4 servings of leftovers and I think it will taste even better after sitting overnight.

After dinner we watched a few episodes of WestWorld. 🙂