2014. Resolutions and Plans!

It’s 2014! Can you guys believe it?

In 2013 I started this little blog, and I definitely haven’t been as dedicated to it as I planned. During the school year I alternated between dedicated and slack depending on the intensity of the work load. I figured that once I got home for winter break, I would settle in and blog as much as I had been itching to. But…. there was so many activities! Family parties, friends, babysitting {hello exhausting}, and then of course Christmas with the whole family! Right after Christmas, my mom, my brother, and I drove down to Jacksonville, FL {a 15 hour drive}. I was there for a Campus Outreach conference and my brother was there to see his roommate get married! So much excitement!

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^Dessert with friends, and my .siblings!^

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^Christmas in Baltimore.^

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^The littlest elf cousin. Doesn’t that just melt your heart!!^

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^The schedule from my awesome conference!^

^The schedule from my conference. It was busy but amazing!^

So with that, here’s what I’m thinking. 2013 was the start of this little blog. I trucked along and did the best I can. For 2014 I am going to be more accountable. I want to post more, but especially post more of 1- my eats {because that’s what I promised when I started this} and 2- my thoughts, because they are cool too.

So here it is in writing. I’m sure it won’t go 100% as planned, but I’m excited for 2014 and I can’t wait to see what it will bring!

since.

So, since I haven’t been checking in lately, I’ll give you guys some random pictures, plus my Saturday antics!

Life “since”:IMG_3280 IMG_3279

^I took full advantage of the few freezing days we got in Greenville to break out all my winter gear. And of course take some selfies….^

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^watching the boys play soccer….which led to me being captivating by my shadow. It’s the simply things guys.^

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^I am in love with this new Christmas tumbler. It just makes workouts so much more fun!^

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^isn’t he just the cutest? Drinking the beer he brewed himself!^

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^salad with chips, apple, cucumber, lettuce, and hummus.^

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^when in doubt.. add goat cheese. I needed to spice up some frozen kale, and this more than did the trick!^

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^Last dinner with my gorgeous roomie! Mahi Mahi burgers, quinoa, goat cheese, and roasted pearl onions + brussels sprouts. This was amazing. Goat cheese has a special place in my heart.^

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^Healthy dessert one night. Banana, pumpkin, cinnamon, and one hershey’s kiss for a treat!^

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^The last meal before I headed home from school. I went all out with fries, I live a wild life. And a black bean burger under all those vegetables.^

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^Airport salad, not too shabby BWI! Chopped vegetables, with avocado on top.^

Saturday:

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Saturday morning consisted of crafts, baking, and general preparations for all the Christmas gatherings we’ll be having at our house over the next few days. The funny thing is that we won’t even be here for Christmas Eve/Day, but there will be lots of activities before then.

After some work around the house in the morning, I met a friend out to get manicures and do some shopping. My color came out a lot lighter than I thought 😦 but…later I painted over with a gold color I love! I’ll post that tomorrow. Besides– the most important part of the manicure is getting them to clean up your nails, right?!

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^After shopping, we stopped in at a new restaurant, Sweet ‘n’ Savory in Port Jefferson, to try their crepes. We split and Eggplant Crepe and a Berries and Creme Crepe. They were enormous and so so delicious. Anyone in the Long Island area, you HAVE to try these. You will be more than satisfied.^

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^For family dinner, I wasn’t too hunger {did you see those crepes?!}, so I stuck with the vegetable sides. Spaghetti squash, roasted broccoli, and broiled asparagus. Yum!^

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^And to round out the night… a workout. 30 minutes of intervals on the Elliptical, and 20 minutes of Arc intervals. Nice and sweaty, in under an hour!^

Off to the family holiday party!

Any parties tonight?

 

Home + Holidays

Wednesday night {after some layovers and delays!} I arrived home to New York. There is nothing like being home– especially without any school stress or real work to think about!

I spent my first two days home {Thursday and Friday} babysitting with my mom. She watches the most adorable little boy- Chase- on the regular, and I was so excited to get a peek into their little friendship for a couple of days.

They are seriously the cutest together. He gets so excited to see her, it melts my heart! Here’s our routine for the baby days daze.

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^How could you not love this babe^

We arrived around 6:20 {way too early for a college student} and played/read/fed him until about 9:20, when it was time for the little babe’s first nap.

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^While he was sleeping, we chowed down! 6 am-9 am is a long time to go without food, especially when you’re chasing a little babe around. Needless to say, I was starving by this point.^

After Chase woke up from nap #1, we headed to the mall to meet Santa. He loved it! Just kidding…he is not a fan of beards and it was a struggle just to get a non-screaming picture of him. Poor baby boy!

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^Chase liked the puppies much more :)^

After arriving home from the mall, it was time for a quick lunch for Chase, followed by a diaper change and then nap #2.

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^I snacked on a sweet potato as a meager lunch until it was time for us to head home. Little Chase was still sleeping when we left.^

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^Spaghetti squash, Earth Balance vegan Butter, and some parmesan cheese. Obviously the mix of vegan butter and cheese might seem odd, but I just happen to have a tub of Earth Balance and I need to use it up ha!^

I headed over to a local gym after my late lunch/early dinner to see about getting a week pass, before we’re off for Christmas travels. The manager was so nice and actually gave me a week trial pass- sweet deal!

Workout:

I ran 2 miles + another 1.5 miles for a total of 3.5 miles. Half marathon training is coming along nicely. Long runs on the weekend. It was also awesome because I drank out of my lovely Christmas tumbler. It just makes me happy!

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After my workout, I headed home and snacked on some yogurt and peanut butter. I wasn’t dying of hunger but I wanted to refuel my muscles a little. Then it was a chat with the boy, and off to bed for another early morning!

I’m so glad it’s Saturday now, and my brother {twin!} is home. Plus, my sister will be here tomorrow woo!!!

Questions:

Any fun plans for the holidays?

What family members are you most excited to be reunited with?

Christmas Classics

Do you guys have any special Christmas Classics//Holiday Season favorites? Living in New York the past 10 years {+ the fact that my mama grew up here} has turned me into a NYC Christmas addict. I am a firm believer that there is nothing like New York City at Christmas time…it’s simply magical. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend that you get into NYC– even just to walk around, window shop, and take in the spirit of the season!

Last week, my best friend Krista, her mom, my mom, and I headed into Manhattan together. It’s about a mile from my house to the train, so it’s easy for us to hop on and zone out for the trip! It’s almost a 2 hour train ride but we always have too much catching up to notice.

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^Good ol’ Empire State Building^

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^Macy’s decorates pretty well :)^

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^We ate at John’s Pizzeria— super touristy! But it used to be a church, which is really cool. Also see above ^^ we tried to take about 1000 pictures but… we only got one where we were both looking at the same camera.^

After lunch, it was time for the main event– the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!! Featuring our New York City Rockettes. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do during the holiday season. It has lots of numbers– from the Reindeer, to the Santas, to the famous Tin Solider number, and finally– it ends with a gorgeous nativity scene. Nothing like it to put you in the Christmas spirit. And there is a live orchestra to boot!

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^Holiday ready^

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^Nativity Scene… breathtaking.^

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^oh yea… it snowed inside!^

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^The Rockettes!^

After the show, we wandered around the city for a bit longer before realizing there was a train in 20 minutes… so we sprinted to the station and make it there 30 seconds before the doors closed. I was pretty sleepy on the train ride home.. but that just meant snuggle time with the best friend.

The perfect start to the holiday season!

Do you have any holiday traditions?

Anything that makes you feel like it’s really time for the holiday season?

roadtrippin’- day 1.

Yesterday was the first day of roadtrip 2013- Livi and Madre take to the road. The drive down to my school is only 14 hours {is that an oxymoron?}. The morning started with making sure everything was squared away.

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^not going to lie….I have a lot of stuff. Clothes is one thing, but I’m also moving into an apartment for the first time {with 3 other lovely ladies} so my mom and I have been collecting pots/pans/furniture/anything you could ever need EVER and…let me tell you, it all adds up! above is my leeeeeetle car packed to capacity. it’s like a really boring game of tetris.^

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^and yes…my mom’s car too. oops. told you we have a lot. She was already planning to drive her car down though, so thankfully it wasn’t a problem!^

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^we caravanned across the way, with me basically following her lead. It was painful at times. My mom is a great driver, but her preferred speed is at or 5-10 BELOW the speed limit…mine’s the opposite, aka 10-15 above. Don’t judge, we all do it. When you’re driving 50 miles on the same road….you can’t make me believe you stick to the speed limit the whole time…^

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source.

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^After driving for about an hour, we started to come up to the midtown tunnel, one of the ways to get off my beloved island. Then suddenly…it hit me. The route we had chosen was taking us right through Manhattan {traffic vs. distance was in our favor because of the time/day. Weekdays in the city…that’s another story}. I’ve never driven through Manhattan! And taxi drivers are scary man! I almost started freaking out but I just slapped myself on the leg {literally} and gave some positive self talk. I’m not going to lie…driving through Manhattan was definitely a stressful experience. At one point a lane ended right with no warning, and I had to merge right in front of one of those dreaded taxi drivers. A minute later a HUGE bus tried to edge me out of my lane. Hey bus, I may be small but I’m fierce.

Anyway, I made it. And managed to snap this cool picture while stuck in traffic!^

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^a little while later, we hit traffic in New Jersey, and I started to get antsy. I broke out my veggies, and started blasting some tunes. Diana Ross and the Supremes were excellent company :)^

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^traffic pics? why not.^

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^driving through the countryside of Pennsylvania was amazing.^

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^a quick lunch stop- yum berries!^

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^and then we made it! To stop numero 1…. the National Christmas Center. YES. There is a National Christmas Center, in Paradise Pennsylvania. It’s pretty perfect. I definitely recommend this to anyone and EVERYONE! It’s awesome for children, but I didn’t feel out of place either. You can learn all about the different Christmas traditions around the world, and see amazing artifacts from Christmas pasts. The property is ~20,000 square feet, and it is all filled with Christmas joy 🙂 The last 1/4 of the exhibit {it wraps around in a self guided tour manner} is dedicated to the real Christmas story. Oh. my. gosh. All the nativities were so beautiful, I wanted them. I loved that the tour ended with an emphasis on Jesus and the true importance and joy of Christmas.^

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^A giant train track from inside, wrapping around an entire room! Children’s dreams come true here! Long story short- go visit! You won’t regret it.^

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^by the time we arrived at our hotel for the night, we were both pretty wiped, so dinner consisted of some random car snacks we brought. Carrots, apple, and chickpeas for me {these are LEGIT delicious!}^

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^Followed by a quick 4 miler on the hotel treadmill. Ugh, my legs were definitely stiff after driving all day so it felt good + bad to stretch them!^

happy monday! I’ll be back with another update ASAP!