Friday, February 27, 2015

Book Report: February 2015

Hi Friends!

Oh my gosh, I read so many amazing books in February!  I plowed through 8 books this month--mostly because they were all SO GOOD--you are going to love this month's list!  There's a nice mixture of genres this month--a little something for everyone!

Redeployment, Phil Klay (3 1/2 stars). Phil Klay's short stories confirmed what I already knew:  I wouldn't make a good soldier.  His stories are filled with heavy, deep, and real situations--situations I can't even imagine being part of.  I've said it before, but it bares repeating:  thank God there are people who are brave enough to do the things they need to do in order to keep our country safe.
Yes, Please, Amy Poehler (3 1/2 stars).  Amy Poehler has to be the coolest woman on the planet.  I picked this book up because I have a complete girl crush on Leslie Knope (the character Amy Poehler plays on Parks and Recreation).  I was so happy to see that Amy is every bit as delightful as the character she plays.  Hooray for funny, strong, real women.
The Wives of Los Alamos, Tarashea Nesbit (3 1/2 stars).  I love historical fiction, especially well-written historical fiction.  The Wives of Los Alamos is definitely well-written historical fiction. Nesbit writes the story of the wives and families of the scientists who created the atomic bomb in such a way that it feels like she gives the reader every possible perspective on what happened.  
Bird Box, Josh Malerman (4 stars).  Oh my gosh!  I think I held my breath through this entire book. I don't read a whole bunch of scary books, but this one is awesome.  The tension is unbelievable.  I literally couldn't put this book down.
The Magician's Lie, Greer Macallister (4 stars).  This is such a magical, delightful story.  I loved the way Macallister wove her way through this tale.  You're going to love this book!
The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins (3 stars).  This book is being touted as the new "Gone Girl," so I was eager to pick it up.  There were a million holds at the library, so I ended up buying it.  I ended up thinking this book was good, but not amazing.  The main character, Rachel, is not super likable. She makes some pretty bad decisions which lead to her to get involved in trying to solve a murder mystery.
Unspeakable, Meghan Daum (4 stars).  There is nothing I love more than a well-written personal essay--one that challenges the way I think.  Meghan Daum's Unspeakable is filled with amazing essays.  Each essay made me think.  Each essay challenged me to examine myself.  Meghan Daum is a Writer with a capital W.  I loved this book.
The Children Act, Ian McEwan (3 stars).  I was pretty darn excited when my friend, Denise, sent me a text and told me she just finished this book and liked it.  I liked it, too, but not as much as Atonement or Saturday.  I LOVED both of those Ian McEwan books.  I will keep picking up everything Ian McEwan writes, because two of his books are on my all-time favorites list.  Keep writing, Ian McEwan!

Read anything good lately?  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Happy Reading!

XO,
Vicki

PS My rankings are out of 4 stars.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sisters Are Forever

Every time Christy and I got in a fight when we were growing up, my mom would say, "Remember girls, sisters are forever!"  It was a phrase she picked up from a mug her sister had sent her that said, "Sisters are Forever!  I'm so Glad You're Mine!" Every time she said it, Christy and I would roll our eyes.
The phrase literally made me cringe.  Part of that was probably due to the timing of the phrase and the sing-song way my mom said it.  I only remember her saying it when I was really angry at Christy. It got to the point when we would say it to each other when it suited our needs.  I'd whip it out when I wanted to borrow something or make her do something I didn't want to do.  "Christy, can I borrow your black penny loafers today?  Remember, sisters are forever!"

The years rolled by and life went on, and Christy and I left for separate colleges.  By the time we left for college, we were already friends.  The college years taught us how to be friends who didn't live together in the same small room.  We learned to treasure our weekends together, and we talked on the phone a lot.  After grad school, I got married and had kids. I moved around the country.  Christy grew up, began her career, moved into a two flat, and adopted a Greyhound. Friends and lovers came into our lives and left, but one thing remained: my friendship with Christy.
Christy has been one of the few constants in my life.  She has seen me at my very best, and she has helped put me back together when I was at my worst.  She has traveled all over the country to cheer me on during bike races and triathlons. She has supported every cockamamie idea I have ever had (and there have been many).  She rocked each of my babies to sleep.  She nursed me back to health after foot surgeries. There have been many times when she has understood me better than I understood myself.  Christy is my favorite sounding board and the person I go to when I need a reality check. She makes me feel funny.  She makes me feel wise.  She believes in me.

I feel like I am the best version of myself when we are together.

Christy, I can't imagine my life without you.  I am so, so blessed to have you as my sister and my friend.

Happy Birthday, favorite lady.  I hope the year ahead is magical in every way.  I hope it's filled with love and laughter and all kinds of good memories.

Sisters are forever, and I'm so glad you're mine!

I love you big bunches,

XO,
Vicki

PS When Maddie was born I was beyond thrilled because I knew I gave my girls the best gift in the whole, wide world:  a sister.




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Around Here: Kid Edition

Emily
She is halfway through her second semester at UW Madison.
She made the Dean's List first semester.
She is so happy to be able to eat peanut butter again.
She just got hired to be a UW Rec Sports Brand Ambassador 
She is busy debating internships and study abroad options and whether or not to do a certificate.
She is working out in the weight room.
She is getting ready to head to England.
She is sad that Parks and Recreation ended.
She is feeling a bit overwhelmed by this semester's homework load.
She made homemade Valentines for all of her friends.
Maddie
She is halfway through the second semester of Junior year.
She has her first college visit on Friday.
She was just asked to be the Editor and Chief of the school newspaper for next year.
She loves her new queen sized bed.
She is putting together her wardrobe for her France trip.
She is picking up hours at Pickard and working at a lot of concerts.
She is sad that Parks and Recreation is ending.
She is diving to Madison to visit Emily for the weekend.
She loves her French teacher and thinks Pre-Calc is easy.
She has a bunch of before school meetings every week.
She is absolutely obsessed with Corgis.
Jack
He is halfway through the second semester of 8th grade.
He loves playing Minecraft more than pretty much anything else in the whole world.
He thanks me every day for making his lunch.
He is starting rehearsals for the spring musical this week.
He does not like getting out of bed in the morning.
He would eat pizza and ice cream every day if I let him.
He asks me the most ridiculous questions on the way home from school every day.
He is taller than me.
He loves lounge pants.
He falls asleep on the way to his bass lesson every Tuesday night.

I love my fabulous kiddos.

XO,

Vicki

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

UKCC 2015--Indian Tomato-Cilantro Chicken 7/52

Hi Friends!

I'm seven weeks into my 2015 cooking challenge, and I'm still having fun with it!  The best part of this challenge is that it's pushing me a little out of my comfort zone.  This week's recipe, Indian Tomato-Cilantro Chicken was full of flavors.  Everyone ended up liking it--which is a good thing, since I had to buy a couple new spices to make it (I have lots of turmeric and cardamom if anyone wants to try out this recipe) so I'm definitely going to be making it again.  John actually spent a few weeks in India in December, so he was the "expert" taste tester on this recipe.   He told me he ate a whole bunch of food that looked similar to this in India, but he said he doesn't remember any of it containing Cilantro (which I associate with Mexican food).  This recipe definitely has a kick to it, but the brown sugar and coconut milk also add a hint of sweetness.

Indian Tomato-Cilantro Chicken

Chicken Marinade:
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBL lemon juice
2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks

Tomato-Cilantro Sauce:
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, bottom two inches of stems removed
4 cloves of garlic
3 Serrano chilies, seeds and membranes removed
1/8 C lemon juice
1 TBL water
3 TBL olive oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin seeds, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
2 TBL brown sugar
1 TBL minced ginger root
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/3 C canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 C water

Combine the chili powder, salt, lemon juice, and chicken breast pieces in a medium bowl.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Meanwhile, place cilantro, garlic, Serrano chilies, 1/2 tsp. cumin, lemon juice, and 1 TBL water in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Process 20-30 seconds or until the mixture forms a paste.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the black pepper and red pepper flakes and let cook in the oil for 1 minute.  Add 1/2 tsp. cumin, onion, and brown sugar to the pan and toss to coat the onions in the spices.  Let cook for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are nicely browned.

Add chicken to the pan.  Toss to coat it in the onions and spices.  Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken pieces have turned white on all sides.

Reduce the heat to medium and then add in the ginger, tomatoes, turmeric, and cardamom and give it a good stir.  Add in the contents of the food processor or blender, stir, and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk and water and let the contents of the pan slowly come to a boil over medium heat.  Once it has reached a boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.   Simmer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, taste the sauce.  If it is too spicy, add more brown sugar.  Add salt and black pepper as needed.  I did not add any more brown sugar--we like spicy.

Serve over Jasmine rice and ENJOY!

As always, I'd love to know what you think if you end up trying out this recipe.

Happy cooking!

XO,

Vicki


Recipe adapted from The Wanderlust Kitchen

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Uncle Ken Cooking Challenge 2015: Mardi Gras Crab Cakes, 6/52



Hi Friends!

Today's recipe is in honor of Mardi Gras and all things French Quarter, New Orleans.  Maddie signed up to bring crab cakes for today's French Club Mardi Gras feast.  She picked out this recipe and then whipped up a double batch last night.  I'm going to fry up the patties this afternoon and deliver them to the school for everyone to enjoy.   I went ahead and fried up two of them this morning to test them out, and boy are they flavorful!  I have my own go-to crab cake recipe which has a dill base. This one tastes completely different--and it's absolutely fabulous.  Pair these crab cakes with the zesty Lemon Rémoulade sauce, and you won't be disappointed.  


Mardi Gras Crab Cakes

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup saltine cracker crumbs (finely crushed)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Garnishes: mixed baby greens, lemon wedges, parsley sprigs



1. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add bell pepper and onion, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in cracker crumbs and next 6 ingredients. Gently stir in crab meat. Shape mixture into 8 patties; cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
2. Melt 1/2 Tbsp. butter with 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 4 crab cakes 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Repeat procedure with remaining 1/2 Tbsp. butter, 1/2 Tbsp. oil, and crab cakes. Serve with Lemon Rémoulade; garnish, if desired.
**We doubled this recipe. 

Lemon Rémoulade:
  
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Creole mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Whisk together all ingredients until blended. Cover and chill 30 minutes or up to 3 days.


Are you celebrating Fat Tuesday tonight?  What fun things are you going to eat?

Enjoy!

XO,

Vicki

adapted from this recipe

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Currently

(photo found here)
TIME: 8:36 am
LOCATION : family room
FEELING: excited, nervous, hopeful, ready
LOVING : today's sunshine
READING : The Wives of Los Alamos 
DRINKING : water, go-juice, club soda, and the occasional Diet Coke
ANTICIPATING : Saturday night's Valentine's dinner at Amy's
LISTENING TO : Pandora, ESPN radio
WATCHING : Better Call Saul, Blacklist, Parks and Recreation, and Game of Thrones on DVD 
PLANNING : my summer season
LOOKING FORWARD TO : picking up Emily in Madison later today
CREATING :  my Paris scrapbook (finally!)
NEED TO FINISH : writing thank yous.  I am behind.
WISHING : that I could wiggle my nose and the house would be spotless.
MAIN GOAL : today-clear out Maddie's stuff from Emily's room so she will have a place to sleep tonight.

What are you "CURRENTLY" doing? 
XO,
Vicki

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Project Life: February 2-8

 Hi Friends!

I am totally on a roll with my Project Life!  It's hard to believe that things that happened on Sunday are already documented (high five!).  I'm giving myself bonus points for getting 3 pictures of people into this week's spread!  The group picture at the top was taken after getting pedicures with a few of my favorite swimmers.  It was such a treat!
The picture of Jack was from our rock painting session.  I have had a giant Ziplock bag of rocks sitting in my office for months.  It was fun to paint on a few of them!  Jack won't admit it, but he had a lot of fun, too. : )
The picture on the bottom right is of a couple more of my swimmers.  They are both powerlifters in the off season.  It was amazing so see them lift some super-heavy weights!

And with that--I am completely caught up!

Hooray!

XO,

Vicki

Uncle Ken Cooking Challenge 2015: Company Quiche 5/52


Hi Friends!

Here's a recipe that I first made last year when I was hosting a bridal shower.  Today I pulled it out and tweaked it a bit, so I'm counting it as a new recipe for my challenge.  I added a handful of caramelized onions and a dash of cayenne pepper.  The results were fantastic!  This amazing recipe is definitely company-worthy, but most of the time I just make it for us.  My entire family gives this quiche the thumbs up! 



Company Quiche

6 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ C heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 TBL butter
2 C chopped fresh baby spinach
1 lb. bacon, cooked, crumbled, and cooled
1 ½ C shredded Swiss cheese
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted to a 9-in glass pie plate

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown the onions in the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat for at least 15 to 20 minutes (maybe longer), stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Toss the onions, bacon, spinach, and cheese together in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle this mixture over the prepared pie crust. 

Whip the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and cayenne together in a small bowl. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and bake it for about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown. (The quiche will still seem slightly loose, but will continue to set once removed from the oven.)

Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting with a sharp serrated knife.

Enjoy!!

As always, I’d love to know what you think if you try this recipe!

XO, 

Vicki



Monday, February 9, 2015

Project Life: January 26-February 1

 Hi Friends!

January 26-February 1st are in the book!  It is so fun to be on track again.  Probably the biggest news from that week was that we found Maddie's prom dress--on the first day we seriously looked!  It is (of course) amazingly gorgeous, and she looks completely fabulous in it.  FYI:  it is not any of the dresses shown in the picture above.  You'll have to wait until Prom night to see pictures of the dress.  I made sure to clip the receipt from her dress to the picture.  I love looking at old receipts to see how much things cost.
 I realized I went another whole week without taking any pictures of my people.  Ugh!  And when I went to print out last week's pictures this morning, I realized I didn't do much better.  I did get one shot of Jack (hooray!).
 Have you seen American Sniper?  It's a pretty incredible story.  I highly recommend going to see it.  It's pretty surreal to think that as I'm sitting here typing, there are American men and women who are fighting and helping with recovery programs on the other side of the globe.

This week's photography goal:  more people, less food!  Emily is coming home this weekend, so I'll be sure to take my camera out!

XO,

Vicki

Friday, February 6, 2015

Five for Friday!

Hi Friends!

It's Friday again!  Yahoooo!  I am pretty giddy about this weekend!  I can't wait to get it started! Here's a few things that caught my eye this week:

1.  The photo above makes me see hearts.  For real.  I have started getting back into shooting in manual mode on my camera.  Once I collect 8 worthy-of-framing-in-a-fabulous-grouping-like-the-one-above photos, I want to make my own wall collage.  That picture definitely makes me want to go out and take tons of pictures.  Elsie took all of those pictures on her phone (what???).

2.  Working my way through the Minimalist Challenge.  I thought Day 1 would be impossible (staying offline), but it turned out to be more annoying than impossible.  I didn't realize how often I jump online to find something out until I couldn't do it.  The hardest part was when Maddie would see something online and not tell me because she considered that "cheating."  I didn't miss checking my email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  I did miss reading my daily list of blogs.  It was a bonus to get to read 2 days worth of blogs the next day.

3.  I just finished reading this book.  It was so, so good.  Fans of Amy's work on Parks and Recreation with love it.  Fair warning:  Amy is not Leslie.

4.  I love these Cheesy Hubby Valentines.  The stud muffin one is my favorite.

5.  This confetti bubblegum cake is adorable.  It would look so fun sitting on a dessert table.

Have a great weekend!

XO,
Vicki

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Uncle Ken Cooking Challenge 2015: Spicy Sriracha Ramen Noodle Soup 4/52

(Photo Credit: Ashley at Baker By Nature)

Hi Friends!

Little known secret:  John is currently engaging in a full-blown love affair with Sriracha sauce.  It's a real thing, people. The man loves his Sriracha sauce.  He adds it to pretty much everything.  He loves it so much that Maddie bought him a Sriracha cookbook for Christmas.  For real.  This recipe, however, is not from the cookbook, it's from Ashley over at Baker By Nature.  Once you get all the chopping and mincing done, this recipe is a snap to put together.  Be ready for some flavor, friends. This recipe is not for the feint of heart;  it is packed with flavor goodness, and it smells fantastic when it's cooking. 
Because of some weird scheduling issues, I needed to make the broth ahead of time and then add the noodles separately.  Ashley's trick worked perfectly.  I made sure to add a big bunch of cilantro (my favorite) to my bowl before I ate it.  I loved this soup and so did my Sriracha-loving husband.  Win-win!

Ready to make some for yourself?  Hop right over here for the recipe.

XO,
Vicki

Daily Reminders


Hi Friends,

I decided to wear my goals every day in 2015.  It's really hard to claim you lost your way when the reminder is right there on your finger.  I think it's a bit like tying a red string on your finger...except way cuter and more permanent.  And I don't have to remember what the red string was for in the first place.

I had these rings made by the completely fabulous Lisa Leonard.  There was a sale, and I had a coupon, and I went for it. And then I ran to the mailbox every day to see if they were there.  Last week they arrived.  I love them.  They are each handmade, unique, and perfect in their imperfection.   As I slipped them on my finger, I knew they would help remind me what I want to accomplish this year.  I don't have to be perfect, but I have to make progress.  Every day.

The 70x7 ring is a reminder of this Bible verse.  It is important to me to try to be the best kind of Christian I can be every day.  Some days I'm better at it than others.  Some days it's easy to forgive, and some days it seems impossible.  I am a big feeler and a people-pleaser.  My heart gets squished a lot.  Because I'm bad at setting limits on what I will do for people, I often get taken advantage of. When this happens, I need to forgive.  I'm working on this.  This verse reminds me that forgiveness is a constant thing--forgiving someone 270 times is a whole lot, but I'm going to try.

Side note:  last year I bought a little necklace with "commit" on it.  I wore it once and then I lost it.  I think it was a sign.  I already feel like "progress" is a better fit than "commit" ever was.  : )

XO,
Vicki

Uncle Ken Cooking Challenge 2015--Chicken Carbonara 3/52

(Edited:  I'm not sure what happened here, but somehow I deleted the original post for this recipe.  Sorry that it's showing up in your inbox again!  On the plus side--this is a really good recipe, so having it show up again might be a sign that you need to try it!!)


Hi Friends!

This week I tried my hand at an Italian classic:  Chicken Carbonara.  I found this recipe on the Food Channel—it’s from Giada De Laurentiis, so I knew it would be good.  It’s actually a pretty simple recipe and everybody (especially Jack!) enjoyed it.  I would encourage you to go ahead and do the garnish—the lemon peel and walnuts really added to the deliciousness of this recipe.  Ready for the recipe?  Here you go:



Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt
1 pound spaghetti
4 cups coarsely shredded chicken (from 1 roasted chicken)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel

Directions:

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and garlic and saute until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, and parsley to blend.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook until it is just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Add the chicken to the pan with the pancetta and stir to combine. Next, add the spaghetti and the cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is heated through and the sauce coats the spaghetti thickly, about 4 minutes (do not boil or you might end up scrambling the eggs). Season the pasta, to taste, with pepper and salt if needed (the pancetta will likely add all the salt you need). Transfer the pasta to a large wide serving bowl. Sprinkle the walnuts and lemon zest over, and serve.

As always—please let me know what you think if you try it!  I am loving this challenge so far! Hooray for trying new things!

XO,
Vicki

Recipe from The Food Channel.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Progress Report: January 2015 OLW


Hi Friends!

I can't even tell you how excited I was when I discovered the secret bonus of having "Progress" as my One Little Word in 2015:  Yup! I get to name my monthly check-ins "Progress Reports"!  How cute is that?!?  (Yes, this is the kind of stuff I geek out over on a daily basis).  

Anyway.

As I mentioned in this post, I am hoping to see a lot of progress in 2015.  Who doesn't like to see progress when they are working toward a goal?  I think that's why I love ironing and vacuuming--I can immediately see progress when I'm doing those chores.  Something was a wrinkly mess, and now it's smooth.  The floor was covered in Buster hair, now it is not.  Doing those kinds of chores are deeply satisfying to me.  

Two of my "progress" goals are health related.  Because this isn't my first time at the rodeo, I know that getting back in shape is a long process.  I know it doesn't happen overnight, as much as I wish it would.  It involves a stick-to-it attitude.  Some days I see progress, some days I don't.  When I don't, it makes me want to quit.  I don't want to do that in 2015, so I decided to use Elise's charts to track my progress.  It is remarkably satisfying to color in those little circles each night.  My charts don't look like much yet, but I know over the course of a year, they will look amazing.  More importantly, they will show me the progress I made toward accomplishing my 2015 goals.

Goal #1:  More than 100 Ab Mat sit ups every day:

I missed 2 days in January, and I'm kind of bummed about that, but I'm taking Elise's advice and letting it go.  When I picked this goal, I knew I wanted something that could be done at home every day--no excuses.  I toyed with the idea of making it "work out every day" or "go to the Y every day", but in the end, I knew that this goal was the right fit.  I do my sit ups right on the living room floor every day, and every day Buster gets excited when I get down on the floor to do them.  He has learned to give me plenty of space, though, after getting bonked more than once.  By putting "more than" into my goal, I've given myself a little bit of flexibility.  At the beginning, doing 101 sit ups was not fun. Now it's easier.  In February, I will add more each day.

Goal #2:  No Sugar:
This chart is definitely not as full, but in every way, this is the hardest of my three goals.  I feel better when I don't eat sugar.  I know this.  However, I like to eat sugar.  This chart makes me think about whether or not the sugar is worth it.  There is a definite every-other-day pattern going on up there.  Also--last week was not that great, but it's progress, for sure.

Goal #3:  Write Something Every Day:
This is definitely the most fun of my three goals, but no less important to my overall well-being.  The simple fact is that I'm just happier when I'm writing.  Writing has always been a positive outlet for me.  I know that's why blogging has stuck over the years.  Last year I got away from daily writing. This year, I'm making progress.  I include when I blog, but also if I write a card or journal entry.

So that's month one.

Progress was made.

Hooray.

XO,

Vicki

PS  I am starting my Minimalism Challenge tomorrow.  Lots of people are doing it with me, and some have chosen to skip around on the days.  I think I will be more successful if I just go in order. Tomorrow's challenge is staying offline all day (eek!), which means no blogging (or checking email, Twitter, Instagram...).  I will post this week's Uncle Ken Cooking Challenge recipe on Wednesday--it looks like a good one--be sure to stop by and check it out!