Get It Done.

Hello friends! First of all, I want to wish a very happy 17th birthday to my little sister! She’s a gem. Here’s us skipping around Disney a couple of years ago.

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I am in just about the best mood ever typing this right now. I just had a fantastic Sunday filled with relaxing, working, time with friends, and wine. That makes me super happy. No big St. Patty’s Day partying for this girl; I’m way too lame for that. Tell me what you did though! I love to live vicariously through others that are more adventurous than me Smile with tongue out

As I said before, I’ve been participating in Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Challenge in order to give myself a kick in the butt. So far it’s fantastic. She is super cute and motivational and makes me want to get up and do something with my life. Score. So far she has had participants evaluate goals that you want to accomplish within the next year, tell someone about goals to keep yourself accountable, narrow it down to top 10 goals and one “push” goal, and start making detailed, yet simple, to-do lists. You can learn more about all this by signing up on her website!

Here is just a brief overview of some tips she has for powering through your to-do list:

  • Categorize it into things that need to be done “today,” “this week,” and “soon.”
  • Don’t write it on paper; keep in on a mobile device that you have with you everywhere you go for easy reference.
  • Write your “push goal” at the top of each list (this is basically what motivates you to do everything you do).
  • Anything that pops into your head, write it down.
  • Do 2-3 small tasks each day that move you closer towards your “push goal.”

Most of this is stuff I already know/do, but it’s nice to have a concrete outline to follow and reinforcement that what I’m already doing will pay off sooner or later. I did download a new tasks application on my iPad to get away from my planner that currently holds all my to-do lists. I find myself writing down lists for the week at the beginning of the week on Sundays and then adding in certain tasks to the list on my phone to complete during each day while I’m out. Why write it down twice? I’m wasting time that I can’t afford to lose! Although my Vera Bradley planner is super cute….

You guys, my life has seriously been so much happier and easier this past week since I’ve been consistently practicing yoga. I can’t say enough good things about it. Tara Stiles has really opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and I wish I could thank her in person! I love not only her sense of ease with yoga, but her way of thinking about life as well. She is just so chill and healthy and happy and peaceful; everyone’s goal I think! I am so proud of people who found out their passion in life and went and made it happen. I will make that happen for myself one day. Hopefully this 30 Day Challenge will help a bit with that!

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On a completely different note, let’s talk about food for a second. As I mentioned before, I signed up for Fitfluential’s March DietBet. I’ve already lost 33% of what I needed to lose in order to “win,” so yay for that! I honestly haven’t been dieting at all. I’ve just been simply eating the foods that make me feel good and staying away from the ones I know make me feel like crap. That’s it. Once again, I haven’t been exercising like, at all, lately. So ya know I haven’t been burning calories in that department. It’s all the food! I always knew what you ate played a big role in your weight, but I’m starting to actually believe it now. And I gotta credit yoga and breathing/meditation techniques for allowing me to have the control to say no to those crappy foods. Here’s what I had yesterday (Sunday):

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon, a diced apple, and coconut granola (breakfast)

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  • Strawberry Cheesecake quest bar (snack)

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  • Protein shake (lunch)
  • Popcorn + green apple sucker (snack)
  • Olive Garden minestrone soup, salad, breadsticks, and Cabernet (dinner)

Pretty good for a weekend day if I do say so myself! And you know what? I feel great. Now I just need to remember that this week when I’m tempted with little kid food constantly.

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So here’s my very loose goals for this week:

  1. Practice lots and lots of yoga.
  2. Eat lots and lots of clean, whole foods that make me feel fantastic.
  3. Complete tasks on my to-do list each day and stop putting them off.
  4. Spend some time with friends and stop being such a loner.

Good enough for now!

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And of course, a quote to start off your week in the right way:

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” –Albus Dumbledore

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What was the best thing you did this weekend?

An Awesome Thursday Night

First of all, I just want to let you all know that I’m working with Jenny over at www.peanutbutterjenny.com to make my blog beautiful after becoming self-hosted a couple days ago. So if things are looking a bit funky, it will be all fixed soon! Also, I somehow lost all the blogs I subscribe to, so I would REALLY appreciate it if you took like 5 seconds to just e-mail your blog link to [email protected] so I can put it on my reader and get back to reading about your fabulous lives without having to search for each one individually Smile AND, it’s not letting me comment on some blogs, so I’m in the process of fixing that as well. But trust me, I’m still reading. Moving on….

Isn’t it great to just do something totally random and fun in the middle of the week? I had to train a couple of clients yesterday and work at the gym all day, but my day ended much earlier than usual, leaving me time to go grocery shopping (which I love by the way). *Sidenote: A lady in my jazzercise class yesterday morning told me I was an “inspiration” and that I made her feel like “she was dancing at a club.” This made my life basically.”* I got plenty of things that Luke loves in addition to things to make us a delicious dinner. I ran into a friend at the store who convinced me to buy a spaghetti squash. Just wait until you hear about that one.

My younger sister Olivia wanted to come with me to his house to help make dinner, and she actually ended up being a huge help. She started out by making an adorable centerpiece (that you can’t really see in this picture she took…) out of Starburst jellybeans and blow pop suckers (Luke’s favorite).

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Then I put together a salad with red leaf lettuce, tomato, garlic, Caesar croutons, parmesan cheese, a little bit of olive oil, and a ton of balsamic vinegar.

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The rest of the meal consisted of penne noodles and marinara sauce with garlic ciabatta bread,

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and roasted broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and spaghetti squash,

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Luke decided to document me attempting spaghetti squash for the first time.

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I look so focused. That actually looks like a pretty darn good tutorial if I do say so myself!

Luke had a big task. He opened the wine.

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The squash turned out awesome. I was kind of hesitant about it, but I loved every bite of it. It’s ridiculously filling though! No way could I have finished my whole plate, and that’s really rare for me.

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I topped mine with marinara sauce and a bunch of the roasted veggies with some asparagus on the side. Luke got the same thing, but with penne noodles instead of squash.

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Look at our cute little table setting!

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My handsome date:

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We had an awesome time. It was great to share a “fancy” dinner in the middle of the week, where we still got to stay home and wear our sweatpants. That’s my kind of night.

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And in case anyone is interested, my sister decided to show us her Jenna Marbles face. Alex, I hope you enjoy this.

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The rest of today is filled with lots and lots of babysitting for two different families. This weekend is pretty low-key, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.

 

What is the best random thing you have done this week?

The Unhealthiest Dessert I Ever Made

Oops. My bad. I wanted a thin mint pie, so I made it. And it was delicious. And I am happy. The end.

It all started when Luke bought 4 boxes of thin mint cookies from my younger sister. Then we realized he had 4 boxes sitting on the counter, and we should probably do something with them rather than eating them all in 10 minutes. The Pinterest thin mint pie was found, as was a solution to our problem. As you can probably imagine, mine doesn’t look quite like this, but we’ll get to that later.

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Thin Mint No-Bake Pie

The recipe is actually super simple. Here’s all you need:

  • 45 thin mint cookies
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 8 oz. cool whip
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1/3 cup sugar

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Instructions are also really easy:

  • Crush up 24 cookies super tiny and mix with the melted butter. My sister helped me and just used her hands to do this, but I suppose you could use a food processer, too.

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  • Push the mixture into a pie pan to cover the bottom and make a crust.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar together. Stir in the cool whip and remaining crushed cookies (21 of ‘em).
  • Put the filling on top of the crust.

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The end! We froze ours, and I think it was even more delicious. Like a really, really lazy ice cream cake. Since it is girl scout cookie season and all, I’m sure many of you have a plethora of cookies in your house to use up. I bet you could do this with a lot of different combinations:

  • Tagalongs, and add a little peanut butter to the cream cheese
  • Trefoils, and add some almond extract and chopped almond to the filling
  • Samoa’s, and add some shredded coconut and coconut oil to the filling and drizzle the top with caramel

The possibilities are endless!

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Isn’t it beautiful?! Not. I promise, it tastes delicious though.

What I Ate Wednesday….So Far

I’ve never done one of these before. I just don’t think that I eat enough exciting food that you guys would actually want to read about. But I suppose I’ll give it a shot! It’s only 2:00 p.m. when I’m writing this, so you get half a day’s eats. Better than nothing.

My morning started out with that workout, 2x through. Today was going to be a rest day, but I wanted to move a little bit. I’ll tell ya, if you want to tone up your butt, this is a great way to get started. My glutes having been burning all day, especially when I use the stairs. I’ve gotten into this routine of working out in my room in the morning and brewing my coffee while I’m finishing up. It’s so relaxing to have the lights dim and exercise and smell coffee. Am I weird that I think that’s fantastic? Oh well.

 

7:00 a.m.: COFFEE. I drink mine black. What do you put in yours, if anything? I used to be big on those sugary, fancy drinks from Starbucks, but now I can’t even stomach much more than a sip of them.

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8:45 a.m.: Breakfast was a packet of low-sugar apple cinnamon Quaker oatmeal with a diced pear and some cinnamon sprinkled on top.

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Looks prettier like that than like this:

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Yes, that’s a Hello Kitty spoon. I bring these oatmeal packets and a piece of fruit from home and make them while I’m nannying a lot of days.

12:00 p.m.: Lunch #1. Two mini slices of pizza I made with the girls yesterday. You can’t tell, but there’s diced tomatoes and a little bit of spinach under than cheese. It’s so easy to make. Just a whole wheat crust with some pre-made pizza sauce on top, then add the veggies and a little bit of low-fat mozzarella cheese. Delicious!

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And because that wasn’t enough cheese, I had a string cheese as well. I’m seriously obsessed with these things.

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I’m about to go have another mini-lunch (hopefully with some veggies incorporated this time Smile with tongue out). No clue what dinner is going to be! Luke and I are figuring something out later, so I’ll be sure to fill you guys in on that tomorrow.

 

I guess my breakfast is kind of cool? The rest is just super boring. I don’t think I’ll be participating in WIAW regularly until I move into my own place where I can actually cook dishes that I enjoy and keep good foods in the house. That’s one of the things I’m most excited for about moving out of my parents house.

 

On a completely different note, my little sister was playing with my hair last night and look what she ended up doing:

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How cute is that?!

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And that! I wish I had the patience to have  my hair actually look good when I need to go out in public.

 

How do you usually do your hair? Mine is typically straight with a little poof in front or curly and pushed back in a headband. Ponytails give me headaches.

Pros and Cons

I have recently realized that I’ve developed this horrible habit of thinking way too much about all the decisions I make. Instead of just doing something, I consider what I should do and what others expect me to do. And then when a circumstance arises where I should consider my options before doing something dumb, I just jump right in and do whatever I want! What on earth.

So here’s a list of some decisions I made today and why or why not they were good ideas. The pros and cons pertain to the first option in each scenario.

Do I use the extra 10 minutes I have at the gym to do some quick cardio or do I sit in my car and read a book before I wait for class to start?

Pros: extra calories burned, productive use of time, catching up on news while running on the TV
Cons: get sweaty before class, I’ve really been pushing myself lately, I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet

I chose to do the cardio and felt awesome after. Good choice Allison.

Do I watch TV and catch up on blogs while the baby is sleeping or do I clean the house?

Pros: catch up on blogs, catch up on shows, relax
Cons: house was a crazy mess, something to show for my efforts

I chose to clean WHILE watching TV. Best of both worlds.

Do I text back the person who sent me a message that I really have nothing to say to, or do I choose to ignore it and be true to myself?

Pros: be nice, get it off my mind
Cons: person is not a positive influence in my life, nothing to say to them, don’t want to be fake

I chose to ignore it. That may have been rude, but I’m sick and tired of being fake to people. I will never be outright rude, but in situations like this I’m going to go with what my gut is telling me.

Do I eat the cupcake sitting on the counter for my sister’s birthday or do I have a healthy snack?

I had the cupcake. No pros and cons necessary. I knew I would be craving it all night if I didn’t. These are the situations when I tend to not think about the consequences of my actions, but I really need to start to.

Do I tip the girls who did my sister’s and my nails really good (like I usually do) or save money and do the typical 15-20%?

Pros: make them feel good, make ME feel good, help out people who work really hard at their jobs
Cons: spending extra money, going over budget

Luke and I have really been trying to save money lately, so I’ve been very frugal the past few weeks. I decided to tip the girls well. They deserved it. I’ll just be more careful this weekend. Plus, look at what an awesome job she did!

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Do I hang out in my room tonight or do I spend time with my little sister?

Pros: catch up on Walking Dead, read blogs, drink wine, organize, relax, plan my weekend
Cons: being very unsocial, being lazy, not setting a good example

One of my resolutions was to work on my relationships, so I really took tonight to utilize that one. It’s Olivia’s birthday and she asked me so nicely to catch up on all our shows tonight and just cuddle. How on earth could I refuse? That would just be terrible of me. I love the kid so much and want to be a good, active big sister to her.

There’s many other choices, but these were just the ones that stuck out in my mind. I’m still trying to play trial and error with when I need to go through the decision-making process and when I can just go with my first thought. Any advice on how to do this?

On a totally unrelated note, we had pancakes for dinner tonight which was fantastic.

How do you make decisions, either simple or difficult?