ETC: Getting Closer

Hi friends,

I hope all is well! We are getting closer and closer to baby’s due date! We’ve had quite a busy month again but are feeling more prepared for baby girl as the days pass. Take a look at the past month with me and look ahead to my last 8 (ish) weeks!!


At the beginning of the month we had our first baby shower! It was storybook themed and so adorable! We had food that went along with the theme so “Green Eggs and Ham” and cupcakes for “If You Give A Cat A Cupcake”, etc. Friends and family from Wisconsin were there to celebrate this little girl! We left with a full car and full hearts, realizing how loved we are and so is she!! 

We also toured the hospital this week and saw the labor and delivery, as well as the postpartum rooms. The staff was very friendly and I’m excited to be delivering Naomi at Swedish Covenant. 

The next weekend, we went to the auto show! Te and I had never been to an auto show so we figured, why not? Chicago apparently has one of the largest shows! It was awesome to see all of the new cars, the expensive Lamborghini and Rolls Royce’s and of course, my dream car, the mustang! Of all the cars I could have taken a picture in front of, I couldn’t resist my mustang! 

Fun side note: right after this picture a man prayed over my belly; for us as a family and to bless the baby. It was a super sweet random act of kindness and perfect timing. God is so amazing!

This was also the week that we finished up our 10 week baby class. I’m very glad we took the class. It taught us about all things labor, birth and postpartum with a focus on the Bradley method of natural child birth. The coolest part was on the day of our last class, one couple wasn’t there because they had their baby! 

As one class was ending, another was starting up! My first small group meeting was this week. I love that my church offers small groups every semester. It’s such a great way to connect with people from the church throughout the week!

It’s still February in this photo! Don’t let the sleeveless dress fool you!!  This week was Te & I’s one year wedding anniversary! We got married at Barcocina so it was only fitting we took our photo there! Unfortunately, on our wedding day it was not 60° like it was in this photo, however, we had the most epic wedding and I wouldn’t change a thing. I cannot believe it’s already been a year! Seems like time has flown by but I could not be happier!

To celebrate, we pampered ourselves with a mani/pedi day and then went to dinner at Barcocina. We also are planning on going to a breadmaking class (because I’ve been anxiously awaiting a cooking class date!!!!!) and our first Blackhawks game! We also got pizza the night of our actual wedding anniversary (which fell on a Tuesday) because it’s our tradition. Since we barely ate any food at our actual wedding on the way home we stopped for pizza, and so this year, we followed suite. 🙂

Happy anniversary babe! I love you!

Oh baby!! Naomi is so loved!! Our wonderful friends-turned-family in Chicago came out to celebrate baby girl at another baby shower! We had the shower at George’s ice cream shop which is just absolutely delicious!! Friends from all of my chicago communities came together and it was so great to see everyone!! Te and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone’s generosity – Naomi was spoiled once again with love & gifts. We’re even more prepared now! Just a few more “essentials” on our list and then, we’re set! 

So here I am, 32 weeks pregnant, which is 8 months pregnant.. which is crazy!!! This pregnancy has truly gone by so fast! I feel like just yesterday we were telling people our news and now we’re expecting our little bundle in the next couple months! 

Everyone always wants to know how I’m feeling. Well, to sum up the past couple of weeks I would say that the third trimester tiredness has definitely hit me. I still love getting a workout in 3-5 days per week and I’m trying to keep running so I stay up on my 365 miles in 365 days challenge. My body doesn’t feel too sore (yet) but some nights restless leg syndrome kicks in, which is terrible. Heartburn comes and goes, but when it comes, it comes full force. I basically feel like a fire-breathing dragon or nothing at all. I love feeling her kick and move! The other night she rolled over or something – it was the strangest most amazing feeling ever! So many new feelings as I begin to prepare to meet my little girl! 

February was a busy month filled with love; baby shower love & wedding anniversary love. March should be a bit slower (hopefully) as we wind down and really prepare for our newest addition to make her arrival. We’ve got roughly 8 more weeks and we couldn’t be more excited! 
Stay tuned for future updates!

Until next time..

ETC: A 4 Week Nutrition Journey – Part 4

Hi friends! How is your week going? I hope it’s great! Today is a big day, we are finishing up our 4 week series!!

How has your nutrition journey been going thus far? Have you been shopping at Aldi to find more affordable groceries? How about meal prepping, does that help? Have any of my tips inspired new habits of your own? My goal with this mini series was to get you thinking about your health and help you realize that healthy doesn’t have to be difficult.

We’ve already touched on some of the ‘essential’ ingredients you should stock in your kitchen. It’s those ingredients, plus a few others, that will help make your food extra tasty in a healthy way. 

Now, almost everyone knows you can add salt to everything and ‘voila!’ flavor. But, I recommend you try to avoid salt as a main spice and only use it sparingly. Sodium can sneak in to so many things (cheese, meats, etc) that we probably don’t need any more sprinkled on our food.

A few of my favorite spices and sauces to make food even tastier:

Spices

  • Garlic: fresh garlic is the best! If you don’t have a garlic press, I recommend you get one! Otherwise, you can purchase pre-chopped garlic in most every store. Garlic goes wel on any meat and any veggies. Warm up a little coconut oil in a pan and sautée your garlic for about a minute or two, then add your meat and/or veggies then continue to cook until they are done. (If you don’t have fresh garlic, use garlic powder or garlic salt; be weary of garlic salt because it is, after all, salt.)
  • Cumin: Taco Tuesday anyone? Cumin adds a delicious ‘Mexican’ spice to your food. It’s great to sprinkle on chicken for tacos, even steak or shrimp can become the perfect meat options for tacos with a bit of cumin!
  • Chili Powder: Chili powder gives food a hint of spice without making you sweat. It’s one of those spices that adds the beloved “blackened” flavor to your foods. Mix chili powder and cumin for a DIY taco seasoning! 
  • Fresh Crushed Black Pepper: Pepper is so underrated. Especially fresh crushed pepper! You don’t have a pepper grinder? I highly suggest you invest! You can buy them as a one-time use sort of thing (once the peppercorns run out, you toss it) for about $1.50 or a reusable one anywhere from $4-$25+. Crank your pepper grinder a few times over everything you cook, meat, veggies, soups, salads, chili and eggs. It’s a delicious way to add a little spice and it goes great on pretty much everything!
  • Parsley: The fresh stuff is always best, but if you have the spice in your cabinet it will still do the trick! I like to add parsley to steaks and chicken in addition to garlic and a squeeze of lemon. It’s a delicate spice but one that makes your food pretty and helps it taste great!
  • Lemon/Lime: Speaking of lemons and limes, they are a great way to jazz up your food! Remember those tacos we were talking about before? Squeeze some lime over the meat for your tacos and you’re ready for a zesty fiesta! Lemon is great with basically every fish! I squeeze it on my salmon (if I’m not making a glaze) and it’s the perfect addition!

Sauces

  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is delicious and a quick way to add flavor to a meal! I recommend using a low sodium variety, otherwise you can get an overload on salt very quickly. I use soy sauce on tofu as well as to make a honey soy glaze for fish (google it, it’s amazing).
  • Sriracha: Contrary to popular belief, I think there is a time and a place for sriracha and that is on Asian cuisine or Mac and Cheese. That’s about it for me. Most people put it on everything, (which is fine!) but you’re missing out on a few other sauces I’d highly recommend..
  • Valentina: My personal favorite. I put this on everything from tacos to eggs to steak. You can typically find it in the Mexican food aisle of your grocery store. Try it! It’s amazing! 
  • Cholula: ok, so I like hot sauce! No list on “how to make food tasty” is complete without Cholula. A close second to my beloved Valentina, if you haven’t tried it.. Do it! 
  • Salsa: Be weary of your salsas! Many are packed with salt and sugar and unnecessary ingredients! Read the labels! One of my favorite brands is La Victoria. Salsa can be added to many meals (chicken, eggs, fish, etc) to add some flavor without adding too many calories.

As you can see, there are many ways you can jazz up food to make it tastier without just adding salt. 

I hope, through this nutrition journey, you were able to find at least a few of my tips and tricks helpful!

Now for our final recipe! Well, at least for this journey! 🙂

Tofu Rice Bowl


Ingredients:

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • I head of broccoli
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peas
  • 1/2 bag of frozen corn
  • 2 cups of rice 
  • Soy sauce
  • Sriracha

Directions

  1. Start by cooking your rice. 2 cups of rice + 4 cups of water, bring to a boil and once it starts to boil cover and turn down very low
  2. Prepare to cook the tofu. I typically put it on a pan and squeeze it between paper towels to drain the water from the tofu.
  3. Heat coconut oil (or sesame oil) in a pan. Cut tofu into chunks and pour 2 tbsp soy sauce over tofu. Cook tofu in oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until the edges are crisp.
  4. Bring 1 large pot of water to a boil. Trim your broccoli into small florets and add to the boiling water. Let boil for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cool water or submerge into cool water to prevent it from continuously cooking.
  5. Bring another pot of water to a boil and add the peas and corn. Boil for 5-7 minutes. Drain. 
  6. Check your rice, it should be close to done 🙂
  7. Prepare your bowl! Add 1/2 cup of rice to the bottom of a bowl, top with tofu, broccoli, peas and corn. Drizzle sriracha over the top of the bowl. Enjoy! 

Lastly, if you have it in your heart and wallet, please consider donating to Girls on the Run! An amazing organization that helps young girls gain the confidence and skills in themselves to run a 5k and build a healthy, positive community! You can learn more about Girls on the Run and donate here: Leah’s Chicago Marathon Fundraising Page

Thank you in advance friends! 

Until next time..

ETC: A 4 Week Nutrition Journey – Part 3

Hi friends! I hope your weeks have been going well! It’s finally feeling like summertime in Chicago with the sunshine, warm temperatures and the return of a classic summertime staple in the grocery stores, Watermelon!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last followed up on our nutrition journey. How has your journey been going? I hope some of the tips I’ve given have helped save you money and time when it comes to feeding your family. I’d love to hear your success stories (or any questions you might have) in the comments below!

Today, we are going to talk kitchen fundamentals. This post is for those of you truly do not like to cook. If you do not enjoy cooking, it can be due to many things; you might not be great at it, you might not know where to start or you might just think it’s too complicated. No matter what stage of disliking cooking you’re in, have no fear! With a few simple tips, you can get started cooking in no time!

Let’s set the playing field before we get in to it. No one is born a great cook. Everyone has to learn how to cook and in that process, burn something 7 times, but still try an 8th time. I cook often and I believe that I cook pretty well. However, I did not grow up in a kitchen or in a family where we cooked together every night, allowing me to learn cooking skills. Nope. In fact, I pretty much taught myself to cook through the power of google, food magazines and the food network. So let my story be your example if you feel like you’ll never learn to cook. If you have a desire to provide healthy meals to your family by cooking meals, you definitely can do exactly that!

To make cooking something you enjoy, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. Have you ever found a recipe online that sounds delicious but when you go look in your pantry, none of the ingredients are to be found? Here are a few items I suggest you stock in your kitchen that will allow you to make a wide variety of recipes:

Essential Tools:

  • Knives: you’ll want a good set of kitchen knives so your cutting and chopping will be quick and easy. You can get a decent chef knife at almost any store. Heck, go to Target! There are plenty of options that range from $17.99 up to $59.99. Just get yourself a few good knives.
  • Cutting board: I would recommend at least 2 cutting boards, one for meat and one for veggies and fruit. Again, these can be found at Target. I use both wood and plastic, wood for meat, plastic for veggies and fruits, but you can choose your preference.
  • Pots and pans: I bought myself the Rachael Ray 15 piece set on Black Friday about a year ago for $89.99 and so far it’s been pretty great. Since we have a few months to go until Black Friday, I would suggest you get at least one pan and at least one large pot. This will give you options to cook meats and saute veggies in the pan as well as boil eggs and veggies in the pot. You can find pots and pans anywhere! Here’s a link to Target’s Rachael Ray Porcelain 12 piece set.
  • Mixing Bowls: You’ll want bowls to mix things in, whether it’s fruit salad or brownies, get yourself a big bowl.
  • Kitchen Utensil Set: Bed, Bath and Beyond has a 7-piece Kitchen Utensil Set for $8. You’ll need these things, go splurge.
    • While you’re there, a non essential, but very handy gadget to have is a Garlic Press. I used to chop garlic piece by piece, but since getting my garlic press, my quality of life has improved.

Essential Pantry Items:

Now that you’ve got the tools to make you a successful cook, I suggest stocking your pantry with a few items that you’ll need for most recipes. Also, some spices can be used on just about anything, whether it’s Mexican or Italian food, these are the must haves in your pantry.

  • Garlic [Powder/Salt]: I actually keep all three stocked in my pantry! Fresh garlic is great to put with chicken or steaks! Garlic powder is my savior when I don’t feel like using the garlic press. I sparingly use garlic salt because I don’t like to use salt much, but if I do, it works great when I’m sauteing veggies or roasting sweet potato fries.
  • Black Pepper: I love my black pepper grinder. I put tons of black pepper on everything, always freshly cracked. Get yourself a nice grinder and some black peppercorns, your taste buds will thank you!
  • Olive Oil: I don’t use this as much now, because I usually use coconut oil. But olive oil is great to have on hand for a variety of recipes.
  • Coconut Oil: I use this to fry up veggies and meat. I always buy the organic, unrefined coconut oil and am not shy with my scoops.
  • Cinnamon: I think this is an essential because I eat oats a few mornings each week and cinnamon is such a great topper for oats!
  • Chili Powder: Everything is better with a kick! I add chili powder to most of my recipes because I enjoy the spice. It has such a great flavor with a mild kick, I’d recommend having it around!

Once you have your kitchen in order with a few of the above listed essentials, you’re still probably thinking, ‘but I still hate cooking, so how will these help?’

A couple of ways the above lists will help you learn to love cooking are:

  1. You’ll now be prepared. You might not be prepared to make every recipe you find, but you can prepare a lot of basic recipes with the above tools.
  2. You’ll have the opportunity to buy tools that you like. If you don’t like cooking because you are using that old pan from your grandma’s kitchen, toss it out and get a pan in your favorite color. Pick kitchen utensils that you enjoy using and that make your cooking process enjoyable (ex: a good knife) and it will really help change your perspective.

If you’re still skeptical because you fear you’ll burn things or you just don’t know what to do when you get in the kitchen, here are a few beginner tips to get you through:

  1. Do not be afraid of ‘ruining’ something. You might burn it, that is OK. You must not let the fear of messing things up prevent you from trying! This rule is rule #1 because it’s most important. Burn something 7 times, you better try for 8! 🙂
  2. Cook things at a lower temp for a bit longer. A prime example is chicken. Warm up your coconut oil in a pan over low-medium heat, place your chicken in the pan and add some seasoning (pepper, garlic, chili powder) then cover. Allow the chicken to cook slowly on the one side for several minutes, uncover, flip the chicken to the other side and recover. By cooking your chicken on a lower temperature, you’re allowing it to cook thoroughly and retain the juiciness! Also, all of the flavors of your spices will surround the chicken by keeping the lid on it. Give it a whirl!
  3. Find simple recipes. You don’t need to make a masterpiece to eat healthy. If salads are all you can handle, start with salads. Perfect the salad then move on to adding chicken breast or steak. Start simple and once you’ve mastered a few meals, start looking for a new challenge.
  4. Get creative! There are plenty of recipes out there that call for a million ingredients. See if you can tweak them and work with what you have. There are plenty of times I’ll mostly follow a recipe but omit a few ingredients because they are either very small parts of the recipe and I don’t have the ingredient or I’ll only plan to use that ingredient for this one recipe so I don’t see use in buying it. When that happens, use the recipe as inspiration; you don’t need to go out and full bottles/jars of spices for one recipe if you don’t plan to use them again. Try to get creative with what you’ve already got and you might surprise yourself!
  5. Have fun! Cooking should be fun. You might not be ‘the best’ cook, but you can learn to enjoy it. Cooking opens up many doors to being healthy. Once you learn to enjoy cooking, you become in control of what your family eats instead of giving that power to Betty Crocker. You’ll pick the ingredients that fuel your body and your family and that is such a positively powerful thing!

In honor of tradition, I’ve added a delicious recipe below that anyone should enjoy cooking because it’s a Brownie recipe!! You’re thinking ‘What? Aren’t we talking about nutrition here? How are you going to give us a brownie recipe?’ Well my friends, this recipe only calls for 3 ingredients, all of which can be purchased and used in other common recipes. Also, these brownies are quick, healthy and delicious. I hope you enjoy!!

3 Ingredient Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 3 Overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or any nut butter – I used creamy sunflower butter)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (the more cocoa powder you use, the richer the brownies will be)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Blend until banana chunks are mostly smooth, like brownie batter
  • Pour batter into a greased 8×8 cake pan and back for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow your brownies to cool completely before cutting.
  • I topped my brownies with powdered sugar (a very small sprinkle) but additional toppings could include nut butter (as a frosting) nuts or dried fruit!

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I hope today’s tips will help you appreciate cooking! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. I am looking forward to next week, the last week of our journey, where we get into more detail about how to make food tasty!

Lastly, if you have it in your hearts and your wallets, I’m still on my journey training for the Chicago Marathon and fundraising $1,000 for Girls on the Run as I go! Here is my fundraising link. I would love if you could donate today! http://bit.ly/25PECj1

Stay well this week my friends!

Until next time..

ETC: 2016 Resolutions

Can you believe that it’s (basically) 2016 already? Where did this year go?? It’s true, the older you get, the faster they go!

Inevitably, a new year means new goals. I’d like to briefly reflect on the goals I made in 2015 and then lay out some new goals for this year, 2016.

First things first, how did I do in 2015?
My 2015 resolutions were: 
1. Read 10 books –> 2 or more books must be in Spanish.
I ended up reading 4 total books, I started 1 in Spanish and I recently started reading my ASCM personal trainer book. I didn’t quite hit my goal of 10 so I’ll have to keep working on my reading habits!

2. Practice Spanish 3 times per week for an hour or more (includes meetup events, reading, watching novelas/news in Spanish, Duolingo app, talk with a friend, blog practice homework activities, reviewing old notes and flashcards)
Eeek! I did not do well at this AT ALL. I practice here and there in my head but about midway through the year I fell off using Duolingo or any at home practice. I really need to work on this so I don’t forget all the progress I’ve already made!

3. Get involved with a Serving team at church – 1 time per month or more.
Check! Mark this one in the books. I’m a regular refreshments team server at church and it’s such a wonderful blessing.

4. 1 time per month have a friend date – coffee, lunch, dinner, movie, etc.
I lost track of exact friend dates per month, but I’m confident I’ve done a great job at this! Between brunch dates, sushi dates, workout classes and traveling across the country with my sissy to see my other sissy, I know this goal was achieved and I must say, it feels so great!

5. Travel/Explore –> 3 new states and/or 6 new Chicago experiences.
Another one in the books. I passed this goal early on in the year with the 6 new Chicago experiences. Although I only visited 2 new states this year, it was an exciting year of travel and experiences!

As for 2016, I feel as though I need to categorize my goals, because I have so many.. Let’s see how this goes!

2016 Resolutions: Explore
1. Explore 20 new things (cities, states, restaurants, fitness classes, recipes, etc).

2016 Resolutions: Thank
1. Continue serving at church as needed & attending small groups when offered
2. Read my Bible
–> At least once per week, but more than that is so necessary!

2016 Resolutions: Create
1. Continue posting 1 or more blog posts per week
2. DIY as much wedding stuff as possible to save some dinero 🙂

2016 Resolutions: Wellness
1. Run 15 or more miles each week
–>  I plan to run a marathon, if not this year then next. This will be a good place to start.
2. Practice yoga 2 times per week
–> It’s great for the body, mind and spirit and I need to learn to love relaxing.
3. Become Personal Trainer Certified
–> The sooner, the better.
4. Be less stressed out/anxious – Trust God more
 –> I’ll need to learn how to put this in to practice, but it’s a necessity for not only 2016, but my entire life. “Worry cannot add a single hour to your life..”

2016 Resolutions: Community
1. Have a friend date once per month
2. Get married to my best friend in front of some of our closest friends & family 

2016 Resolutions: Follow Up
1. Practice Spanish 3 times per week for 1 hour each
2. Read 10 books (2 of which in Spanish)

Wow, I have a lot of ongoing goals for this year! I’ll definitely need to stay determined and focused amidst wedding planning, crafting, work and the hustle and bustle of life in general. Each of these goals will help me become a better person and I am so excited to work towards each one!

With a list like this, it’s easiest for me to write out each goal and put it somewhere; in my phone, in my planner, on my wall, at my desk, etc. That way, I can constantly be reminded about what I’m working towards.

Do you remember your resolutions from 2015? How did you do? What do you plan to accomplish in 2016?

Always remember ‘If you fail to plan, plan to fail.’ Write down your goals and make them tangible then go achieve the heck out of them.

I saw a quote today I fell in love with ‘Fail harder.’ Set your standards HIGH and shoot for the moon. If you fail, you’ll learn something and become #betterforit.

One last thing – thank you all so much for reading! I really do enjoy the ability to write and express my thoughts about a variety of topics. Each blog post allows me to tell a new story which clearly, I love to do! So thank you again and I hope you continue to follow my journey in 2016! You can also follow me on instagram & twitter @leahbeutler 🙂

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year! Be safe this holiday!

Until next year..

Thank: Back On Track

Since being engaged (all of 2 weeks) my mind has shifted from the goals I posted about mere weeks ago to planning a wedding. Instantly, my focus is narrow and clear, ‘we need a venue’. We have been searching high and low for an affordable venue that fits our style. It’s actually quite a difficult feat if you’re on a tight budget.

All of this worry and constant searching threw me so far off track. I lost sight of many of my other short term and long term goals. Thankfully, I was able to reroute by seeking God and community for comfort and patience during this exciting time of our lives.

God has a plan; it’s all His plan. When worry and fear and anxiety set in it’s so easy to let those emotions take over. We can fall so easily when facing the unknown, we forget that God is working on it and we need not worry.

Some of my favorite prayers are verses I know I’ve shared with you before, but they constantly ring true when I’m in a state of anxiety over petty things.

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25-34 NIV

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I already feel so refreshed after reading those through another time. To know that I don’t have to worry because God’s got it is an amazing relief.

Psalm 56:3 ERV

3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.

I am still planning away, but now with a sense of calmness. I feel back on track; there is balance to planning and living. There is peace knowing God will provide.

I’m so thankful God brought Te and I together. I’m so thankful for all that He’s given us. I’m so thankful that soon, we will be married. And I am so thankful that God forgives me when I am fearing worldly things instead of fearing God.

What has been knocking you off of your tracks this week? Do you have a solid recovery plan for when that happens? When the going gets tough, remember that you don’t have to worry, God has a plan. It’s amazing what God can do for us if we die to ourselves and remember to live for Him.

Until Next Time..

ETC: Abandoned

I did it again.

I abandoned my blog. Again. Dang it!

When life gets in the way, ETC tends to be the first thing on my To-Do list that gets shoved on to the back burner. Not because I don’t enjoy writing just as much as I enjoy cooking, but I need to cook so I can eat and survive. if I don’t write a blog post, I am usually pretty safe.

No excuses though. Change is coming.

Remember those resolutions I’ve been writing about here and there? I am adding a new one right now: Post at least once a week. Let’s plan for Wednesday’s since we’re starting off on a Wednesday.

I started this blog journey so I could share my thoughts and experiences with you. I am excited to continue sharing my experiences and I hope you continue to read and participate as I move forward. I thank you so much for your constant support, even when my posts are few and far between.

Are there things on your ‘Super(wo)man’ To-Do List’ that you push off when time escapes you? What ends up getting ‘abandoned’? How do you prioritize?

Or are you one of those humans who can survive on 3-4 hours of sleep? I know that I absolutely am not. Thus, I will need to use some of your tips and tricks to prioritize my blog and make even better use of my waking hours!

Another question that always comes to mind when I’m focusing on my ‘online identity’ is: How do you remind yourself that although your online/social media posts are very important to you, it’s personal relationships and first-hand experiences that help shape your entire life? I love social media and being involved with entire process, but sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s ok to not post everyday as long as I’m making time for productive relationships and learning experiences.

Since the abandonment, I’ve explored so many new restaurants and experiences in the city. I’ve felt so thankful for this journey that God has laid out for me. I’ve created some delicious recipes that are extra healthy, too. I am looking forward to sharing all of my news with you on a weekly basis.

Moving forward, I plan to keep Explore. Thank. Create. pretty much the same as it is now. Maybe a little bit less story telling and a little bit more critic/reviewing of the things I try. I hope to become a resource for you to rely on when deciding on which brunch place to attend or which workout class is a good fit for you.

I am really excited to re-vamp this journey, and I hope that you’ll join me. I’d love to hear about your experiences with abandoning certain priorities and how you learned to prioritize more effectively in the comments below!

Until Next Time..