Tuesday, January 22, 2013

.: 2 years of bliss :.

can i just take a moment and gloat about my relationship??? drew and i just celebrated our 2 year anniversary!

as with any anniversary, you reflect on the time that has passed and how you have changed during that time. i can confidently say that i have changed in the past 2 years, for the better.

drew and i have a crazy connection, a relationship full of love, respect and equality. we have similar interests and characteristics. we both have high expectations for ourselves and each other. we are realistic, yet share big aspirations. we are practical, yet fun.

as i mentioned before, we have had a busy few weeks with the holidays, my new job and drew's birthday that we actually forgot to plan something for our anniversary. on saturday, we went to the Timberwolves game with my brother and sister-in-law - SO much fun!!! drew and i don't go out very often for many reasons,the top 2 are money and sleep (we're practical, remember?), but we had a great time with great company - we even managed to stay awake until 2! sunday, our anniversay, we headed to the Mall of America (in sweats) to shoe shop and think about how we wanted to spend our day together. 6 hours, 5 games of bowling, 3 pairs of shoes and 2 beers later, we had the best anniversary either of us could have asked for.

by spending our anniversary in sweats with no stress, we honored our relationship the best way we know how - by being ourselves! we don't need expensive dinners, fancy clothes or extravagant gifts to keep us together, we literally just need quality time. i'm not trying to fool you, we have fought once or twice before, we have our flaws, but through them we have never lost sight of who we are and what we have as a couple. 


i may tell you this close to everyday, but i mean it every time - you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. i couldn't dream up a better partner than you and i am so glad that life brought us together when it did. you make me want to do the best and be the best because you deserve nothing else. the past 2 years have been incredibly easy and successful, i know the next 2 will be just the same! 

(p.s. you can come home from soccer now - i feel like a crazy cat lady when you have late night games). 

our first picture together as a couple:. 

our most recent picture taken :.

please don't comment which one you like better - one is mid summer and one is dead winter, totally not fair! ;)

always striving for more,
dee b.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

.: superhero status :.

what is your definition of a superhero???

someone who can maintain a clean house? someone who makes home cooked meals from scratch every night? someone who keeps themselves in shape and 'manicured'? someone who makes a good living? the best parent? the ideal partner? a combination of all of these?!

i thought of this post yesterday as i was on my hands and knees scrubbing our floors. my last day at UCare was thursday and i start my new job on Monday. i really had intentions to relax most of the day, but after taking another barre class (awesome) followed by a hot yoga class, i got home and couldn't stop cleaning! with pandora rocking, i spent 3 1/2 hours cleaning - it was actually almost embarrassing the things that i cleaned. i legitimately cannot sit still unless the house it put together (drew thinks it's some type of condition).

i find myself trying to do it all from keeping the house clean, to keeping myself healthy and in shape (and i should probably try to look good while doing it), to having a secure, well-paying job and making sure drew and i eat 'whole foods' meals on a regular basis. can it get to be to much??? heck yea!

ok, let's get serious though. there are days when we feel a little under appreciated, right? the feeling when you spend a couple hours cleaning or preparing a meal and you don't get 'enough' acknowledgement for it OR the place is a disaster about an hour after your family gets home? seriously, making my toes curl just thinking about it.

i'll admit, yesterday, there were a few moments of resentment when i thought, 'why should i have to do this on my day off and all alone?!' or 'this place BETTER stay clean for longer than 24 hours!'. then i kept thinking and thought of a book that a friend gave me, 'The Happiness Project' (which i HIGHLY recommend especially to those superhero females trying to do it all, but like you have time to read a book, right?!). well, there is a quote that i think of time and time again when i am feeling overworked and under appreciated:.

'you have to do the work for yourself. if you do it for other people, you end up wanting them to acknowledge it and to be grateful and to give you credit. if you do it for yourself, you don't expect other people to react in a particular way.'

another confession, 9 times out of 10 we put the work on ourselves, right? we pride ourselves in maintaining all of these things so the ones we love don't have to worry about it, right? we also silently hope for acknowledgement, a prize or reward sometimes, right?

so, to all you self proclaimed, self directed superheroes, i notice you! grab a glass of wine, take a deep breath and acknowledge to yourself all of the great things you accomplish in a day. if you can become satisfied with self recognition, you will notice that all those 'chores' will be fulfilling rather than degrading.

onwards and upwards, my friends!

always striving for more,

dee b.

p.s. a great quote from my friend that you have to laugh at -'boys are blind to dirt'. holy s, too true!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

.: taco chili with quinoa :.

i had intentions to post this shortly after the fried rice quinoa recipe, but in all honesty, last week was FULL of celebrating drew's 27th birthday!!! between celebrating with his family and just us two, the week went by quickly, too quickly to get this sucker up!

this recipe is unbelievably easy and healthy (aside from using canned products versus fresh). i made it while drew and i were under the weather and we were feeling some soup - yea, it's that easy! i think i will definitely be making this again soon.

so, here we go:.

taco chili with quinoa:.

>> 1 lb ground beef or turkey (i used ground beef that was stocked in our freezer)
>> 1 can of tomatoes (diced, stewed, whatevs) - about 15 oz.
>> 2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro (pictured below)
>> 1 package of taco seasoning
>> 1 package of hidden valley ranch dressing - the dry powder stuff
>> 1 can of pinto beans - about 15 oz.
>> 1 can of chili beans or black beans - whatever you prefer! - about 15 oz.
>> 1 can of whole kernel corn
>> 1 cup quinoa,  cooked

1. brown the meat - once brown, add the taco seasoning and hidden valley ranch dressing with about 1/4 cup water.

2. while the meat is browning, combine all the canned ingredients in a big pot - don't drain them first! i only drained the beans because the liquid they sit in freaks me out, but the rest of the juices are great for flavor!

3. once quinoa and meat are cooked, add them to the big pot.

4. let it simmer for about 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally (really it just needs to heat and mix up, so you can skip this or let it simmer for longer depending on your time frame).

5. enjoy!!!

that's it! seriously, so, so good! i ate it for dinner that night, lunch and dinner the next day and then lunch again the day after that!

side note** feel free to add or take away ingredients as you prefer. for instance, i left out a chopped onion, but added extra corn. also, i topped ours with cut up avocado, but sour cream is another option. this recipe is simple and pretty generic, so feel free to make your own!

always striving for more,
dee b.

p.s. aside from the whole new design and revamp (please let me know what you think, i am trying to make it more reader friendly, easier on the eyes, etc.), i am working on a new feature that i am SUPER excited about.....stay tuned!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

.: barre review :.

one of my unspoken resolutions is to try different workouts - change your routine, change your body, right??? this meant that i would have to venture out of my free membership and comfort zone of Corepower Yoga.

with a friend by my side, i decided to try out a Barre class at Sparrow Studios in Eagan. not only do they offer a free week for visitors, but they recently ran a Living Social deal that i purchased. have i mentioned before that Groupon, Crowd Cut and Living Social all run really good deals on fitness classes all over the place?! super awesome for getting out and trying new things on a budget!!!

the atmosphere is very encouraging and welcoming - a receptionist is there to greet you along with an instructor who is happy to show you around. there is only 2 studios, so it isn't overwhelming like a big fitness club.

the instructor i had was wonderful! her name is Angie, i have taken a few classes with her at Corepower, but she really made my experience at Sparrow that much better. she was super sweet and incredibly uplifting from the time you walked into the studio to when you (painfully) walked out. there was a lot of new people in the class that i attended, but Angie led us with great instructions and energy. i really appreciated Angie's leadership from singing in the microphone to telling us repeatedly, "you can do this", "you guys look SO great" - seriously, she was one of those instructors who genuinely felt my pain and the burn, but i didn't want to disappoint her, so i pushed to my edge and beyond (FYI shaking is a GOOD sign in this class).

speaking of pain, holy crapola could you feel the burn during the class! i have been wanting to specifically try Barre since i heard about it a few months ago, but i never really knew what it entailed. let me break it down for you - you are in a studio with a ballet bar, small weights, a yoga mat, strap and a couple medicine balls. throughout class, you do various moves to burn out specific muscle groups whether it is lunges, squats, arm circles, abs, etc. most of this class is done with body weight or very little extra weight.

whether you are just embarking on a new journey of working out or are advanced, this class works for you! it is low impact (i was hardly sweating), but you are working your butt off (literally) and are working muscles you probably haven't felt in awhile, or ever....

while i was thinking about writing this review, i was trying to think of anything that i would have enjoyed more of or wished was different and to be honest, i am still thinking....seriously, this class was super awesome for any level of fitness experience, age and body conditions - even my bad knees didn't get ticked off. i wore my heart rate monitor simply out of curiosity - not a ton of calories burned in a hour, but look at that percentage of time in the fat burning zone! i always find the majority of my work out in the 'fitness range' (improving cardio, but not focusing on fat burning) - it was really interesting to feel a work out that was mostly in the fat burn range.

it goes without saying, but i would highly, HIGHLY recommend anyone and everyone to try out a free week at Sparrow Studios! i know a few of the other instructors personally and i know they would be just as great as Angie - Sparrow Studios has rock stars as instructors! i am excited to continue classes during my free week and with the package i bought (BUTI fitness is next).

side housekeeping notes :. you do have 'purchase the free week' - you don't have to put in a card number or anything, you just need to have an account to sign up for classes in advance on their website (http://sparrowmn.com). check out their website for more information regarding classes, schedules and even videos of what you are getting yourself into!

Sparrow Studios, thank you for your dedication to uplifting others to reach their personal and fitness goals! i am so very excited to continue practicing with you!

always striving for more,

dee b.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

fried rice quinoa:.

well friends, i am off to a strong start and no, i don't mean with blogging more (although, i am doing quite well at that too).

i'm referring to my resolutions and please don't remind me that it is only January 8th....

a few days ago, i hit 2 birds with 1 stone (as they say). not only did i decide to stay home from the gym, yet again, because i wasn't feeling 100% (helping my immune system), but i also tried a new recipe - fried rice quinoa. there actually isn't any rice in this recipe, but how else are you going to know what it is???

i completely improvised this recipe with odds and ends that we had around the house. i'll admit, it's simple and definitely not earth shattering, but it made for a fun side to our sesame ginger pork chops.

fried rice quinoa:.


-1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/2 can of bean sprouts (approximately 7 oz)
- 1/4 cup of pea (i used frozen)
- 1/4 cup of carrots
- soy sauce (to taste)
- 2 eggs

cook the quinoa in one pot and peas and carrots in another pot. when they are close to being done, scramble the eggs in a big pan (i prefer a wok). once they are cooked, combine everything in the big pan including the bean sprouts. let it all heat up and mix together! add soy sauce to taste.

other options to add include chicken, beef, broccoli, corn, sesame seed oil, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, pretty much anything you can think off!

play around with it - this is a good recipe to try substituting quinoa for brown rice.


always striving for more,

dee b.

Monday, January 7, 2013

.:not a big deal:.

although i titled this, 'not a big deal', this is a big deal to me!!!

with being sick off and on along with dropping a weight on my head (i should probably fill you guys in on that one), i haven't been able to workout as consistently as i normally do or as intense. while my diet hasn't changed, i still feel like the composition of my body has changed over the past few months (my Dr. even mentioned that i gained 4 lbs when i was in for a follow up on friday, thanks Doc - ouch!).

anyway, tonight i hit the gym with drew and his little sister, lizzie, and it felt SO good regardless of the fact that i felt like my heart was going to fail. the feeling of being back at it, sweaty with sore muscles was something i have been long awaiting - seriously! to avoid setting myself back further, i have really been focusing on getting myself completely better before starting the journey of getting back into shape. i even bailed last week on a gym date with drew because i wasn't feeling totally par and that never happens!

i'm not stressing out about losing the 4 lbs or getting myself back into shape because i know i will get there as quickly as my health allows. helping my immune system is one of my New Year's resolutions, not losing weight or working out more....sigh.

well, the house is clean and my lunch is made, so i should probably get to bed in order to get my 8 hours of sleep. thanks for sharing my work out excitement with me!

always striving for more,
dee b.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

.:money makeover:.

while the topic is hot, i thought it would be appropriate to address a popular resolution, budgeting!

whether it's living within a limit, trying to get rid of debt or making sure you have enough to save/invest, we all have an imaginary budget that we would like to keep.

here are some simple budgeting techniques that i use and i think anyone can apply no matter their income:.

> > list all your debt from small to big. this includes everything from credit card debt, car loan, student loans, etc. by listing your debt from small to big, it gives you a visual of what you can knock out first (while still paying the minimum on the rest of your bills). after you knock out the first thing, take that amount of money and apply to the next bill and watch it disintegrate twice as fast.

> > credit cards are a fuzzy topic :. some people use them religiously, while others use them only for emergencies and then, there those who wished they wouldn't have used them for 'emergencies' (think impulse emergencies, most likely at a mall). to be honest, i fall somewhere in between the last 2. i decided to open up a credit card about my sophomore/junior year in college when paychecks weren't stretching as far as they needed to and the thought of transferring money from my savings account caused ulcers (slightly dramatized). then there were a few moments after college when i was working REALLY hard full time, but didn't have any extra money for 'fun'. a sense of entitlement due to my hard work created perfect rationalization to check out lululemon's recent colors or buy a new outfit for a special occasion instead of digging deeper in my closet. i'll be honest again, i didn't let this get too out of control, but i have been carrying a balance that i am not comfortable with for too long, so i am focusing my intentions on getting rid of the balance.

> > are your 'emergencies' comparable to the lululemon's latest and greatest merchandise? or you've had your current purse for SO LONG??? when i say this, i am mean it with the utmost respect and sincere concern, wake up you shallow soul! your bank account does not care how great your butt looks! a rule of thumb that i use before buying something is forcing myself to think, "is this item worth the stress that may come in a few days or weeks when i am trying to buy groceries, fill up my car or avoid the $50 late fee on my loan?" (yes, i do seriously think all of that before i make a purchase - i've gotten so quick at it, my eyes don't even glaze over anymore). i will admit, sometimes the answer is yes, but most of the time the answer is no - have you had that feeling of driving home from the store/mall NOT feeling the stress of calculating the damage you've done to your account/credit??? if you haven't, i truly feel bad for you - it's a feeling worth getting used to! if you are having issues deciphering what is an emergency and what isn't, try this - hide your credit card, put it in a place that will force you to think about getting it out. just by making yourself having to consciously grab it may help you think twice about your 'emergency'. still need more discipline??? CANCEL your credit card, report it lost, cut it up! your bank will you send a replacement card, DO NOT ACTIVATE IT! i keep building credit by paying off my card, but without having an active card, i make due with my paychecks, not plastic money. it's sad i had to take it that far, but it is what helped me turn the corner. i continue to get notices about activating my card or 'congratulations, your limit has increased', neither of which has motivated me to use my credit card.

> > there are things that we can control and things that we can't control when it comes to spending. we can't control the gas prices and the fact that our cars need gas to run, we have to buy groceries to live and we have to pay our bills. by controlling the things that we can, we set ourselves up to stay on budget and less stressed. for instance, how much money we spend on groceries. drew and i have started to think ahead before we leave for the grocery store. we make a list (sometimes we create a list as the week goes on) and we think about our schedule for the week. what should we eat this night? how many nights will we need something more quick and easy? do we have plans with friends/family where we won't eat at home? by creating a rough (very rough) meal plan, it helps us plan how much we can expect to pay and also, eliminates waste. i absolutely DESPISE the feeling of tossing how food - all i can think about is that i am literally throwing my $$$ in the garbage. gross. also, going out for dinner or with friends can really add up. i'm not a prude, i enjoy going out, but there are just some times where it is totally ok to say NO! budgeting can be a private, but everyone does it or wishes they did it. your friends and family will understand if you can't do dinner or better yet, offer a cheaper alternative (i.e. make dinner at home, do a potluck style get together). it's amazing how creative people are when they are forced to be!

> > write it down!!! keep a visual of what bills you need to pay and when you need to pay them. have a big event such as a loved one's birthday or Christmas coming up??? write it down - it NEEDS to be included in your budget. when i was really pinching pennies, i planned out about 5 paychecks at a time, i'm not kidding! i wrote down what date i would be getting the paycheck, approximately how much it would be and what bills i have due during that pay period. i kept the list handy and revisited it often, especially if it needed readjusting. every dollar had it's place and most of the time, i paid my bills or put money into my savings the morning i got my paycheck so it was out of my hands and i didn't have a choice but to budget the next 2 weeks. was it stressful??? uhm, yea. to be an open book with you guys, there were some weeks were i had $200 left from my paycheck at NOON on payday. it's amazing what you can make work when you really want to and have to!

> > lastly, start small. don't overwhelm yourself with a big financial push right away - you will only set yourself back, i promise! for instance, try putting $50 away in your savings AS SOON AS YOU GET YOUR PAYCHECK. see what it feels like to go without the extra $50 that paycheck - chances are with discipline, you will adjust and survive. if you are trying to hack away at your credit, add $50 or $75 to your monthly payment. again, you may need adjust in other areas of your life, but you can make it work! give yourself a break - you got yourself in this mess and you will get yourself out of it with time, patience and discipline (if you aren't in a financial mess, congratulations, but you're probably not perfect either).

failing to prepare is preparing to fail - this applies to SO many things in life and budget is one of them. i'll be the first one to admit, living on a budget can be lame, but reaching a sense of financial freedom, whether big or small, is completely worth it!

i wish you all the best of luck on your New Year's resolutions, especially if it includes a budget. change is a personal decision and takes discipline.

a few quotes from the current book i am reading by Rob Ketterling (Change Before You Have To):.

.: the only path to something different includes change. don't be a casualty of the change you refuse to make

.:you can either change before you have to, or change because you have to

this book is a great reference for ANY type of change you are trying to make - i highly recommend it and hope to do a book review once i am done reading it. another great resource for budgeting is Dave Ramsey's, Total Money Makeover. it puts spending into perspective and gives a lot of great and realistic advice for taking control of your finances.

always striving for more,
dee b.

p.s. by writing this post i am not claiming to be a finance or budgeting expert, i simply wanted to share a few simple tactics that have worked for me - good luck!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

.:quinoa - friend or foe?:.

Brown Rice Vs. Quinoawhether you're trying to pronounce it or cook it, quinoa can be intidating, right?

if you're anything like me, you dream of being a connoisseur of quinoa because of all the awesome recipes you see on Pinterest, plus you heard somewhere that it's healthy for you, right? one issue, you just don't know how to get it from the crazy bulk grain container at the grocery store to your stove (do you put it on the stove? who knows!)

well, let me break it down for you - quinoa is great for you :: give yourself 3 tries cooking it and you will be a pro, i promise!!!

buying quinoa:. it is cheaper to buy quinoa out of the bulk section in the grocery store, but you can also buy it in a fancy plastic zip bag found in either the pasta or baking items aisle.

preparing quinoa:. since i buy quinoa out of the bulk dispenser, i soak it for about 15 minutes in lukewarm water before cooking. this can help take off the bitter coating called saponin (i am also a slight germaphobe, so it makes me feel better). don't have 15 minutes??? soak it for 5 minutes or simply give it a quick rinse through a mesh strainer (hand mesh strainer, approx $3 at Target) or just skip this all together. you will be ok, deep breath.

cooking quinoa:. i swear, the first 5 times i cooked quinoa i 'Googled' how to do it JUST to make sure i was OK. the ratio i like to use is 1 cup quinoa, 1 1/2 cups of cold water and a dash of salt - you may want to play around with this ratio depending on how 'soft' or 'firm' you decide you like your quinoa (relax, Goldilocks).

anyway, put the quinoa, water and salt in a pot, cover it and let it come to boil. turn the heat down to low-medium (there should still be a slow boil) and let it work it's magic for about 15 minutes, until the quinoa absorbed most of the water - occasionally, you can fluff with a fork.

voila! that's it - not that hard, right? like i said, you can play around with the quinoa::water ratio depending on your preference. i made quinoa for the 6th time last night and i didn't even double check Google.

is it really healthy for you?!

think of it as a superhero version of brown rice. quinoa has all the essential amino acids making it a complete protein. along with it being a complete protein, quinoa is gluten free, has more protein (8 g) and fiber (5 g) AND less carbs than brown rice - need i say more???

brown rice and quinoa can be used interchangeably - play around with it as a plain side dish, in a casserole or soup, pilaf or stir fry!

i have a few recipes that i will share shortly - enjoy!

always striving for more,
dee b.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

.:2013 - a clean slate:.

during our dinner on New Year's, drew and i were trying to brainstorm resolutions. truth be told, my attention has been focused on 2 things lately, my new job and my health, and i forgot to even think about resolutions ahead of time.

i thought it would be fun to review my resolutions that i made for 2012 to help me get the process going.....here they are:.

>become more organized and with this SIMPLIFY! do i really ALL those clothes, shoes and junk that causes more stress then anything? regardless of what my mother may think, i do not enjoy coming home to a messy room or driving around in a messy car, it makes me feel uneasy and stressed. my goal is to only have to spot clean every once in awhile vs. having to spend an entire evening cleaning a week's worth of mess!

organization has been kind of an uphill battle simply because of the move - it was a process for drew and i to compile our things. we had to take about 10 steps back in order to simplify (read: get rid of a ton of shit) and then move ahead with organization. luckily, we are now winning the battle and have fell into routine to help each other and our place stay (semi) clean. as far as my car, i always force myself to bring everything from the day in the house. this has been life-changing, it always stays relatively clean!
>take better care of my teeth:. i'll admit, i fell into bad habits of not taking care of my teeth while in college. don't get me wrong, i brush my teeth twice a day (most days), but i have white strips i would like to start using and floss that NEEDS to be used.

i have picked up flossing! i regularly buy those flossing sticks, or whatever they're called, and keep them in my purse or cube so they are always handy after i eat or when i'm bored.

>eat less carbs....i know, i know, what a lame GIRL resolution, but seriously, it can be a bit excessive.

my diet significantly improved this year, so i am going to consider this one a win.

>train for SOMETHING:. with my recent knee surgery, i may not be able to train for a marathon (yet), but there are a lot of other events i could should be training for! first on my list, Alexandria's Sprint Tri. going along with this, i would like to create a leaner body type. i consider myself to be 'bulky' (thanks to years of playing soccer and basketball) and i think it is time to get rid of that! i am hoping that by leaning myself out, my knees won't have as much pressure on them, resulting in being able to run long distances again (read train for marathon) !!!!
  i trained for my biggest and last 1/2 marathon, the Lululemon Seawheeze!

> make the next step in my career planning/pathway, i'm on a 3-5 year plan (more on this later....)

i have taken the next and biggest step in my career path!!!!!!! i recently accepted a Wellness Coordinator position which is an absolutely amazing opportunity for me - it hasn't really hit me yet, actually! this means so much for me both. personally and professionally - i may be able to save money by not having to go back to school, again!!!! also, i feel like i can finally start my 'adult' life. ever since graduation, i have been planning the 'next step' whether it's taking more classes, applying for grad school, looking at what requirements i need for a job that i want, but that can all be put to rest. i put in my notice at UCare and will start my new adventure on January 21st!!!!! 

>save more money:. luckily, my mf and i are both on a budget diet with the help of some expense tracker apps, but i'm beginning to realize the more money i have in my savings account, the more i seem at ease and the more risks i can take...
managing finances as a new grad is a rollercoaster. you get ahead and then you somehow fall behind. well, as of this last friday, i hit my goal for my savings account and have almost all of my bad debt paid off (school and car loans don't count here, yet). 

so, what should i resolve to do in 2013???  i have a couple ideas:.

>> eat less sugar:. in the nutrition class i recently took, i learned A LOT of truths and myths about the food we eat - maybe more than what is good for me (and drew). one thing that i took away is that too much sugar can really wreak havoc on our body. did you know that carbs turn into sugar once it's put it in our body??? neither did i!!! i could go on and on about how sugar causes inflammation in our body and it can screw up our hormones and the release of insulin, but i won't. let's just say i want to cut down sugar this year from ice cream to breads and pastas to yes, chocolate!
>> quit biting/picking at my nails and cuticles. i have improved this horrible habit signifcantly in the past year, but there are still days when stress takes over and i find myself mindlessly mutilating my nails. i am an adult with a new career and will need to make good impressions on a daily basis. even though i cringe at the thought, i am willing to spend money on shellac manicures in order to hold myself accountable for this one.

>> continue helping my immune system stay strong and improve. you know that feeling when you get sick and overload on Emergen-C, tea, Lysol and humidifiers to help kick your immune system into overdrive and then when you start to feel better, you promise yourself you will continue all of these immune boosting practices on a regular basis??? well, i have been forced to be consistant with all of these practices the past few months, but i should really continue it on into the next year and beyond! i meet with an immunologist on Friday about why i have been sick so much lately, but i think it wouldn't hurt to help out my immune system daily.

>> be carefree!!! like i stated above, ever since graduating from college, i have spent hours plotting a route to where i want to be, different options within that route and what would happen if i were to succeed or fail. i have hit my big break and i am going to enjoy it - i am finally going to live in the moment and quit worrying about tomorrow. while this resolution may not display concrete results, this is the one that i am most excited about!!!!

>> spend more time in the kitchen:. i really enjoy cooking and baking, it's kind of therapeutic for me and now that i am going to be spending less energy mapping out my life and all the "what ifs", i would like to put that energy into trying new recipes. on a regular basis, drew and i eat a lot of the same things (i'm not complaining) because it is safe, healthy (for the most part) and pretty mindless. there are so many tastes and flavors out there that i really would like to explore this next year!

as i mentioned before, i didn't spend much time thinking about resolutions before last night, so these are all that i could come up with.

i have a feeling that 2013 is going to be BIG year for me!!!

always striving for more,
dee b.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

.:welcoming 2013 with open arms:.

happy 2013!!!!!

i hope you all had a safe and happy New Year celebration!

drew and i decided to stay in this year since i have been battling, yet another bout of a chest cold (not even to mention 2 black eyes), but i wouldn't have wanted it any other way! drew picked up 4 lbs of king crab while i got champagne. we spent the evening reflecting on 2012 and what we hope to see in 2013.

when we first started dating, we started a tradition on New Year's Eve. we write down all the major events of the year on an ornament for our tree - it was neat to pull out last year's ornament and remember last year's memories. unfortunately, with me being sick off and on the past couple months, we took the Christmas tree down early and replaced it with an extra large humidifier. this also meant that we forgot to get an ornament to carry on our tradition. of course, drew was 2 steps ahead of me and wrote it all down on a card which he gave to me during dinner last night (he  truly is the most thoughtful person i have ever met, sigh).

some things listed are big, others are little, a few are negative, while many are positive.

a few negatives include having to put my family dog, Maggie, down and losing Zeus, drew's little sister's Savannah monitor. we also lost drew's most prized possession, his Macbook Pro (don't worry, it was quickly replaced with a new car). others include drew breaking his nose playing soccer while i dropped a dumbbell on my forehead giving myself 2 black eyes, running my last race and being sick several times.

on the positive side, career wise drew and i have both had success. he passed his series 7 and 63 exams and moved departments. i hit my big break and was offered a Wellness Coordinator position which made me so happy, i cried (alone, at home, but pulled myself together before drew got home from work). we took our first trip together to Vancouver, saw great friends get married, got another kitten and most importantly, we moved in together!

we have endless small memories that make us who we are as a couple:. numerous bike rides, countless inside jokes, late nite bonfires for two, road trips to NDSU for soccer games, voting, admittedly spending hours watching 8 seasons of Criminal Minds and visited a bed and breakfast.

while i am SO ready to say good bye to 2012 and see what 2013 has for me and us, i am glad drew was able to remind me of what the year has blessed us with. our lives are abundant with simple happiness, memories and opportunities.

thanks for following me on this crazy journey - cheers to health, wealth and happiness!

always striving for more,

dee b.

p.s. don't worry, i didn't forget resolutions - stay tuned!