Welcome 2013!

Happy 2013 everyone!

I hope everyone had a fun time celebrating…and not TOO much fun 😉

Jon and I started the year off with fun and friends. There were no parties going on and we didn’t want to brave downtown so we decided to just stay in. Our neighbor and friend, Ashley, joined us!


Hey, we figured we could still dress up even though we were staying in!

Jon and I made some yummy appetizers for us to snack on throughout the night.


Stuffed mushrooms, Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip, spinach artichoke dip and ramaki (bacon wrapped water chestnuts).

The drink of the night was pomegranate prosseco cocktails. Basically prosseco with a little fresh pomegranate juice and pom seeds for garnish. Delish!


It may have been this cocktail that inspired our ’90s dance party…it started with Ashley wanting to do the Macarena. Then I played Spice Girl’s Wannabe. From there we were yelling out nostalgic songs faster than our fingers could type into the YouTube search bar. Christina Aquilera, Backstreet Boys, Blink 182, Everclear, Natalie Imbruglia, New Found Glory, Aqua, Ace of Bass…it was all played!

As midnight drew nearer we decided to go downtown to see the fireworks. We parked by the Dali museum and had a perfect view.


Happy New Year!

After sleeping in the next day, we headed over to my friend Lora’s. She was having a get together in her complex’s courtyard, where they were there was a live band playing.


Collared greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread for a lucky and prosperous new year!

As the sun started to set Jon and I headed to the dog park with Maddie. And we took a nice stroll along the waterfront.


Picked up Taco Bus on the way home and watched Looper, which was really good!

It was the perfect first day of the new year!

Now, on to what my plans are for 2013…

I still want to keep last years goals in mind, but this year I want to get more specific in some of my goals in an attempt to actually achieve them. I also want to carry with me certain thoughts and attitudes throughout the next year (overall goals).

Overall Goals

Be Positive

I feel like I’m already a pretty positive person, but it never hurts to be more positive, right? I do consider myself a realist, but at the same time I always try to see the silver lining in bad situations. This year I hope to keep and enhance this mindset, as well as spread my positivity onto others as well.

Be Healthy

Obviously I love CrossFit and want to continue with that. I have a feeling I’ll be accomplishing a lot of fitness goals as I continue on with CrossFit! And obviously I want to continue eating healthy, which to me is “everything in moderation” and making sure I get my fruits and veggies in.

Be Happy

There are some areas in my life that still get me down. I need to find ways to fix them. Life is too short to be unhappy! I want to live a happy life and stress less (don’t we all?)

Be Successful

I want to continue making opportunities for myself. I want to continue to educate and train myself for a successful career.

Read More

I go in phases where I’ll read one book after another and then suddenly I’ll stop reading for months. I love reading and I love books so I hope to start going to bed an hour earlier so I can get my reading in. Also, I need to start reading the news every day to keep up with what’s going on in the world.

Love More

Love me more. Love Jon more. Love my mom more. Love my friends more. Love people more. By this I mean showing my love more and loving more by understanding more.

Specific Goals

Make a Savings Plan

I don’t know what is holding me back on this…I’ve been meaning to get a savings account for over a year and just haven’t done it yet. I also really, really need to start a 401k or some sort of retirement savings.

Enhance My Blog

I plan to make the switch to self-hosting soon! And from there I hope to give the blog an uplift. Also, I want to comment more on my fellow blogger’s blogs, read some new blogs and participate more in the local blogger community.

Start Volunteering at a Soup Kitchen

This is something Jon and I have talked about doing together. I volunteer through Junior League and with other organizations, but I want to do something more and have a direct impact. This seems like something we can easily fit into our weekly schedule.

Start a Journal

I have a friend who writes in a journal every morning and I’ve been wanting to do this for so long. I want to free write each morning in hopes of discovering more about myself.

De-clutter Each Month

Clutter seems to create itself constantly. I’d like to set up a weekend each month where we go through the house and get rid of unneeded items.

Cook Once a Week

Jon has been taking over the kitchen lately, but I’d still like to get in there and keep up my cooking skills each week.

Start Recycling

Another thing that we’ve been meaning to start doing, but haven’t yet. St. Pete doesn’t recycle, but there is a recycling center just down the street from us so it would be easy to drop our items off there. No excuses!

Start Buying Produce at Local Markets

Yet another thing Jon and I have talked about, but haven’t done yet. Publix is just so convenient, but we’re constantly disappointed by the quality of produce. Any local market suggestions?

What are your goals for 2013?

Starting A New

Happy New Year!

The start to the new year has already been a good one. This weekend was filled with food, family, friends and fun!

New Year’s Eve

We sent new Years in Cape Coral. New Year’s Eve day started with The Chef’s homemade pancakes and bacon. I must say now (if I haven’t said it before) that I only eat Jon’s pancakes. I can’t have them out at a restaurant…they make my tummy feel funny. But I can’t get enough of his pancakes. They are always perfectly fluffy and very tasty 🙂

Traces of Christmas at Jon’s sisters 🙂

Kind of sad decorations have to go down soon. We didn’t decorate ourselves this year (too busy!), but I love seeing decorations in other people’s homes. Makes you feel so festive!

Most of the day was spent deciding on what to do. It was a gorgeous day out and a perfect temperature so we wanted to spend it outside. By the time we finally decided to go canoeing we only had an hour left of sunlight. But it was a fun hour! And a great way to get in a semi-workout 😉 We had fun waving at everyone sitting outside on their porches and wishing them a Happy New Year.

Then the night festivities…

Each year Jon’s family does a buffet of hors d’oeuvres in leu of dinner on New Years Eve. We got fancied up and headed to his folk’s house for quite the feast…




On the table: Cheese, Dill Dip in a Pumpernickel Bread Bowl, Kielbasa, Gelottis, Marinated Grilled Shrimp, Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Artichoke Dip, Rumaki, Crudite, Spinach Dip and Chili Cheese Dip.

A feast indeed.

After our bellies were full we headed out to a friend’s party. As soon as midnight struck about six houses surrounding us lit off fireworks. Very cool to see! We departed soon after the ball dropped. The next few hours were spent playing a most hilarious game of Pictionary.

New Years Day

This was the laziest day of my life. No joke. We literally woke up. Had a wonderfully filling breakfast of french toast, bacon and fresh fruit.


Then laid around all day watching movies and napping. Lazy to the max.

We arose when dinner needed to be made 🙂

Pork roast with homemade gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and black eyed peas (for luck!).

And a champagne toast to the year ahead.

Pineapple turnovers…

…and some pug shenanigans before we hit the road back to St. Pete.


I had today off from work so I promptly slept in until about 9:30 a.m., which was glorious.

My signature breakfast lately has been a toasted english muffin with Smart butter with egg whites. To my eggs I like to sprinkle low fat cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of salt, pepper, paprika and herbs de provence. Glass of OJ to top it off.

After getting sucked into the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous I finally got ready to head to the mall. The only thing on my agenda was to get new work pants. Temps are going down to the 50s this week and I need more than two pairs of pants!

After the mall I headed to local coffee shop, Kahwa for a meeting.


Green tea and vegan banana nut bread. The crust had cinnamon laced in it and it was delicious!

After my meeting I headed to the store to get some things for dinner. Since The Chef had to work today I said I’d handle dinner 🙂

We’ve had a block of tempeh sitting in our fridge and we really wanted a healthy dinner after all the feasting from the weekend. So I turned to Mama Pea and decided to follow her Orange Sesame Tempeh Stir Fry. Instead of broccoli slaw I used actual broccoli. I also added baby portabella mushrooms (they were on sale at Publix). I used maple syrup as our sweetner since we buy the good stuff 🙂 And white rice instead of brown since we have a huge bag in our pantry that needs to get used up. Also added some Five Star spice. I forgot to add salt to the rice (a.k.a. I didn’t know you added salt when cooking rice until Jon told me you do). Hey, I’m still learning here people! The Chef also stepped in at the end to taste test and some more soy sauce since it seemed to need more liquid.

(Sorry for the tilted photo but WordPress wasn’t saving my edit!)

The citrus and ginger flavor came through but I wish it was more pungent. Overall it was a great recipe, but I think I’d add in some things next time for more flavor. After a few bites we ended up going back to the kitchen to add siracha and hoisin sauce. Maybe we’re just used to those add ins since we eat so much Vietnamese 🙂

Hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the New Year!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? 

Are you a meat eater, but like to cook vegetarian dishes every now and then? The Chef and I are love our meat but I pick tempeh and other veg goodies every now and then to change things up.