Thursday, January 12, 2023

Mid-Month & Cruising Along

Somehow it's almost mid-January already. As even my 9-year old has said, time sure does fly by the older you get (he's a bit of an old man in many ways). Busy days with several trips coming up to look forward to: Kansas (quiet the mass jealousy), Boston (dorking it out at the Boston Run Show), and a ski trip with friends (which will involve very little actual skiing by yours truly - coordination is NOT a skill I have ever mastered). But good stuff to look forward to, which is especially important in January, often considered the darkest, longest, most boring month of the year. So if you don't already have something on the calendar to look forward to - even something as simple as a coffee date with an old friend, get on it! My committment to cooking more wholesome dinners with fresh ingredients is pretty strong still. I live and die by my wok - if you don't have one, drop everything and go out and buy one NOW. Or just one-click shop on Amazon :). But woks are fantastic because: 1) throw a little oil in it, 2) let that oil heat up a bit, 3) throw literally ANY ingredients you want (veges, meat, tofu, noodles, rice, etc.) in, and 4) enjoy a nice hot meal in a few minutes.
I've also made a bit of a committment to myself to up my marketing game this year - hopefully without breaking the bank. I definitely need some help on my website (annnnnyyy takers? *crickets*), and I've created some new flyers, etc. to help spread the word. Because 2023 is the year it gets real, people!

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Low-Key But Chugging Along

This weekend has been fairly uneventful. If you know me, you know that it's VERY tough for me to sit still for any length of time. My brain is constantly working - not necessarily working WELL, but it's constantly doing something. I've hatched more than my fair share of hairbrained schemes, some of which have - modesty aside - worked out quite well - and others of which have...not. But I did take some time to truly unwind this weekend, partially because I was just done. Physically tired, mentally taxed, and ready to read a good book, watch a good movie, and (try to) take a nap. But I kept up with my commitment to cook healthier foods and try to cut down on my coffee consumption. The former isn't a big ask, but the latter...well, I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke cigarettes, so ALL of my vices are focused on coffee in its many forms.
Still, looking forward to a busy but exciting week, with lots of great projects in the works and a few trips looming (in a good way). Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Feeling Good with Spring in January!

If you're reading this from the Washington, DC area, you are probably enjoying the unseasonably warm weather (as long as you don't spend too much time pondering the "why" of this weather). I'm sure the temps will plunge again soon enough, but for now, it's a great opportunity to get outside for anything and everything. It's also the perfect time to take stock of your resolutions, if you made any. Or, if you didn't set specific NY resolutions, it's still a great time to assess your progress toward your healthy living goals. 

So how am I doing? I have definite issues with grocery shopping. Even when I don't go to the store hungry (cardinal rule of grocery shopping #1: go to the store full), I am definitely an impulse buyer. And the impulse buying is compounded exponentially when I break cardinal rule of grocery shopping #2: don't bring your kids shopping with you. :) Not all of my impulse buying involves unhealthy snack foods - I'm just as likely to throw a new vegetable in my cart, or to buy a different nut mix just because it's on sale. But regardless, I am working this year on buying LESS food but doing MORE with what I have. Part of making that happen is better meal-planning, and part of it is going to the store with a very specific list. Because a little impulse shopping is ok, but it should reasonably account for less than 10% (or even 5%) of your cart.

In any event, this week I made a homemade tomato sauce for pasta. Not the best sauce ever made, but it tasted fresher than the jar sauce, and slightly charred tomatoes are delicious with some fresh parmesan. 

A little home-cooking goes a long way.

In other news, the first edition of the 2023 Runner's World magazine came out, and my humble mention was included. On pretty much the last page of the magazine and at the bottom of that page, but I'll take my 5 seconds of fame! Really trying to show my kids that it's possible to make your dreams happen if you just TRY. Cheesy, cliched, and totally falling on deaf ears. Or is it? ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Day 2: So Long to Winter Short Sleeves

Doing the hard labor.
 On the kids' last day of winter break, the day dawned clear and warm. Sun and warmth are both like catnip to me, so I was determined to keep them off screens as much as humanely possible while actually enjoying outdoor activities (as opposed to grudging acceptance that mom was yet again forcing them outside). Truthfully, they are pretty game for outside time, though they would never EVER admit it to me. Pippa has gotten really into horseback riding recently, a development that both warms my little heart and terrifies my wallet. Angus got to play football, his #1 activity, with some friends, and the older kids were in various forms of transit that also involved some outdoor strolling. 

Pippa and the ever-stubborn but very sweet Mocha.

I decided - for some unknown reason - to try my hand at Yorkshire pudding, a dish I haven't made in probably a decade. As a vegetarian, I made them without the fat droppings, which worked....ok. They tasted decent even if not Top Chef material, and the day ended with me feeling pretty good about our healthy activities. 

Two days down, only a few to go, right?

The offending puddings. 

New Year's Day: Ground Zero

 I find New Year's Day a bit absurd - it's simultaneously the supposed day for launching those healthy resolutions and a day rife with hangovers from too much food and alcohol and too little sleep. I don't drink, but getting to bed at 2am last night made for a rougher morning. Still, my run this morning felt good in a cleansing way, and though I am on a fast track to nap time right now, I'm still excited about pushing forward with MY healthy changes for this year. So what are those changes? A few to note: less added sugar consumption, more home-cooked meals, less screen time overall, and more time outside as a family. How will this all go? Only time will tell, but I'm not-so-quietly confident :). How are YOU feeling about your healthy lifestyle goals?

My 6-year old LOVES broccoli and Brussels - what veges will your kids eat?

Ingredients for a healthy soup - soup is a great way to fill up in a healthy way without a lot of calories.

Mid-Month & Cruising Along

Somehow it's almost mid-January already. As even my 9-year old has said, time sure does fly by the older you get (he's a bit of an o...