Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bucket-Listed

Okay, so I said yesterday that I was going to blog about last year today. As you all know, 2012 was quite eventful for me. It hit me the other night that I accomplished quite a few things on my bucket list over the span of a year. Let me just share with you a few pictures from 2012. The ones with BL next to them are things I actually bucket-listed! The others are fun highlights!

Civil Wars Concert with my Josiah and two great friends. It was the best concert I've ever been to! 

Climbed a mountain (BL)! Got to visit my friend Jamie in Montana for a few days! 

Josiah graduated from college!  We enjoyed pre-graduation coffee at Jude's, our favorite coffee shop. Nathanael and Benjamin graduated from high school! So proud of my wonderful brothers!




Went to camp for the first time in my life (BL)! Very much enjoyed my job as health officer! 
Moved to New York! And ate authentic NY pizza, of course!







Got to spend several weekends with my beautiful friend Colleen who lives in Brooklyn! 
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Been on my bucket list for years! 
      I'm looking forward to a new year full of lots of new adventures! 



Saturday, January 5, 2013

Granola Day

      Happy Saturday! I am in the process of settling back in to my humble apartment after the lovely visit with my family.  Although I was bummed about only being home for a little over a week, I had a perfect time. I feel incredibly blessed to have a mother and two brothers who enjoy coffee as much as I do (Dad and Nate aren't keen on coffee). We drank at least 20 pots of coffee in the 10 days I spent with them, which was fabulous! The grocery store where my mom works sells the yummiest coffee! 
      I had lofty plans for my visit, most of which I succeeded in attaining, although I didn't quite accomplish everything I intended. I had coffee dates with three friends, a lunch date with another, visited the place I used to work to say hi to my old coworkers, and attended my friend Roxanne's New Year's Eve party in the new home she and her husband recently purchased. Quite a lot to squeeze into such a short time, since I wanted mostly to hang out with the fam! Most of the time I felt quite lazy, lounging around sipping coffee and watching TV with my three brothers, but it was glorious! I miss them lots already, but felt ready to come back to New York, which is a good sign that I'm finally adapting to my new place of residence! 
      Last night, I spent about two hours grocery shopping to replenish my empty fridge and pantry.  I came back with lots and lots of yummies. One of my goals for this year is to return to a healthy way of life, which includes eating mostly whole foods. I've also decided to try going vegan (I've attempted 2 times in the past and failed) but am trying vegetarian first to ease into it. All other substitutes for skim milk in my coffee have failed, so I gave coconut milk a go this morning - I actually like it! Next time I'm going to get unsweetened, though - not a huge fan of sweet coffee. I found a recipe for raw cookie dough bites, which I whipped up this afternoon, thanks to the food processor that my brother Ben gave me for Christmas! I cannot tell you how excited I was to grind up nuts in that thing! It works like a dream! I also made a batch of homemade granola - my mother will be proud. After years of eating her homemade granola, I decided I don't like the store-bought kind and would much rather make my own. I couldn't find the recipe I like this morning, so I made one up: 5 cups oats, 1/2 cup olive oil, about 1/2 cup pecans (I just dumped in the rest of an open package), 1/4 cup agave nectar, cinnamon, and salt. It's definitely not the tastiest granola I've ever made, but it will do this time. I also bought quinoa for the first time, which I cooked up to store in the fridge and add to salads and other recipes this week. I feel so adventurous and healthy! I'll keep you updated!
      As I was cooking up a storm, I began reflecting on last year. Yes I know, it's already 5 days into January, but sometimes it takes me a while to reflect on things. I realized a few things that I hadn't thought about before, which will be the topic of tomorrow's post, since today's is already getting longish! The sun is shining, which means today is a beautiful day and I have a huge smile on my face! Enjoy your Saturday, friends!