Currently

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Thinking about: Thirty. I’m not even a year into my thirties, but life is so different. We’re at a stage where more friends are married or engaged than not & some are having babies. You’re more likely to find us at home playing a board game on a Friday night than out at the bar. Don’t get me wrong, we still go out a fair bit, but it’s so different. I find myself needing, & wanting, to prioritize workouts & eating healthy – something that’s always been important to me, but is even more so these days.

Drinking: Bone broth & coffee. I continue to be one of those “but first, coffee” people. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I’ve also been having a cup of bone broth in the mornings from time to time. With the flu making the rounds at work, I figure it really can’t hurt to boost my immune system!

Reading: I read The Cuckoo’s Calling in Mexico & loved it. I’ve always been a fan of mysteries, & this one is full of suspense. I highly recommend it if you haven’t already read it. I’m now reading the second book, The Silkworm & I’m sure I’ll ready the third one afterwards too. Once again, I have NO CLUE who did it, but I love that about mysteries. I’m pretty sure Strike will figure it out before me, but I enjoy coming up with my own theories.

Let me know if you have any other reading suggestions – I’m always looking for new books!

Loving: The weather! We had such a mild winter, & this is one of the first times I can remember it feeling like spring at the beginning of spring. I’m sure we’ll get at least another dump or two of snow in the next couple months, but I’ll take this weather while it lasts.

I’ve had a free trial at Union Fitness this past month & I’ve really enjoyed putting some more variety into my workouts. I’ve tried hot yoga, barre, & some HIIT classes & they’ve all been really fun. I think I’m going to a morning TRX class tomorrow & I’d like to get in a few more yoga classes as well as maybe a spin one. I doubt their spin classes will compare to my beloved YYC Cycle, but they’ve got some combos that intrigue me (Spin + Abs?!).

Watching: A lot of Netflix. I’ve started House of Cards in the hopes that N will watch some while I’m at work next week. I’ve also been really enjoying Full House from time to time. I can’t believe the Danny was thirty in the first season. That just blows my mind! It’s like when I realized the cast of Friends was supposed to be twenty -five in the first season. So bizarre. One other show I’ve really enjoyed is Younger. Have you seen it? It’s such an interesting premise – I highly recommend it! & does anyone still watch Suits? The last season blew my mind!! It sounds a bit like I watch a lot of TV…haha

How about you? What have you been up to? This post was inspired by Sometimes Sweet. Find previous Currently posts here.

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February in Instagram

I almost decided not to post my February insta recap. The month kind of got away from me & I was feeling a little silly posting it so late. I really like reflecting on the month though, so here she is. Better late than never, right?

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  1. We’ve had an incredibly warm winter, so when Container Bar decided to open their patio-only bar & let Dandy Brewing takeover, we grabbed some friends & headed on over.
  2. Dad took me to the Flames game. We grabbed dinner before at National (buck a shuck oyster night!) & had a great time!
  3. N was home for the weekend. We celebrated Valentines Day with a beautiful dinner at a new British restaurant, Whitehall.
  4. Dad turned 60 this month! We celebrated his birthday with a lovely dinner at my parents house. Luckily N was home so we could all be there!
  5. I love giving friends babysitting coupons when they have babies. This little guy was a gem & we’d gladly watch him again any time.
  6. Brad Paisley came to town & put on an incredible show. He’s mine & N’s favourite country artist & is such an amazing performer.
  7. La Manzanilla. I have no words for that view!
  8. Beach days with N. We spent 9 days in what I can only describe as paradise. I got an ok tan.
  9. We were blessed with beautiful nightly sunsets, but I thought this one was particularly gorgeous. We had dinner at a beachside restaurant for a friends’ 30th & watched the sun dip low.

Hope March is treating you well! I’m working on some changes over here & on getting back on the blogging train. I still want to post about our anniversary in Kelowna &, of course, all about our time in Mexico. I’ll get there! haha

 

Home Sweet Home

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I’m no expert on decor or renovations, but I have the distinct advantage of benefiting from the expertise of someone who does know what she’s talking about. My mom is an interior designer. Her influence has given me an appreciation for good design, and the desire to transform our house into a home that is distinctly ours. I started making plans for our little casa the moment we decided to purchase it. We’ve started to make a few changes, but there seems to be a never ending list of things to do. I thought it would be fun to document this process a little bit on here. We’ll treat this as our “before” even though we’ve already done a few things.

A little backstory: It took us almost a full year to find our house. I had my heart set on living in the inner city & wasn’t willing to budge on that point. It was the most important piece of the puzzle for me. We looked at a lot of houses & even put in a few offers, but nothing worked out until I saw this one. N happened to be on rotation up North & couldn’t remember his skype login (having recently switched to a samsung, I couldn’t FaceTime him), so I showed him the house over Snapchat. I’m dead serious – it seems so ridiculous, but I sent N a bunch of Snapchat videos showing different rooms. Twelve hours later, she was conditionally ours.

Built in 1981, she’s one of the first two infills on our street. She has a sister next door with many similarities, but she’s different enough to have her own personality. Our block is a great mix of older homes, brand new infills, & renovated character homes. While our house doesn’t boast a giant yard, we’re surrounded by parks to make up for it. This was a big selling feature. I love this neighbourhood. Overall, we think our little casa is pretty great. Enough of that though, let’s take a look at a few of the rooms in our house.

Our living room is right off the entry. A big picture window makes it my favourite spot to hang out on the weekend, with a coffee & a good book. It’s home to our giant couch, a record player, bar cart, & our extensive collection of board games.

We haven’t done a ton with this room yet (I haven’t even removed the ugly valence above the window), but it’s probably the most put together because of the furniture we came into the house with. First order of business was to ditch the Ikea coffee table I’d dragged across the country, & replace it with a simple glass one. We have a lot of darker wood furniture & then lighter hardwood floors, so this seemed like a good choice for the space.

Future plans for this room include painting the wall white (I plan to paint almost everything white), finding a large area rug, hanging shelves, find a unit for the games & record player to live, & replacing the blinds with something that lets in more light. Overall, this is one of my favourite spaces in our house.

The next room of our house is the dining room. This might be the biggest change in our house so far. We originally had four Herman Miller chairs & a round white table here. I was pretty keen to replace the round white table (from Ikea, of course) since it was getting pretty wobbly (ugh Ikea, you kill me) & the surface didn’t look so great after many rounds of beer pong & games nights. I’d fallen for some distressed tables, but they were mostly a bit on the larger side. The space is a bit small for the large tables that are currently trending. One would fit, but it would be a little tight. My mom found our table at the Bay & it’s a great fit. It has an extra leaf that stores underneath, but is big enough for 6 people without it. We also bought two additional Herman Miller chairs, this time in blue with arms. The china cabinet came from my parent’s house. I love having some extra storage & it happens to fit in well with the rest of our furniture.

Future plans for this room are to paint it white like the rest of the house (what’s up with that darker feature wall?) & fix the height on the light fixture. Aside from that it’s pretty much done for now.

Down the hallway is our family room. We’ve had the trunk we’re using as a coffee table for a long time & I really love it. We used to actually use it for storage, but I like it as a coffee table too. The couch was another Bay find. Ideally, I’d have liked something a little larger, but our fireplace was originally wood burning & there’s a tile bench (I don’t know how to describe it!) beside the fireplace that limits the size of our furniture in this room. We probably could have gone a bit bigger, but I’m thinking maybe we’ll find a chair or something to add to the room. The barrel is from my parent’s first house (I think). There’s not a lot to say about this space. I’d like to get some prints done for the wall behind the couch & our TV is on a very small stand that I’d like to replace, but it’s not bad.

Now the kitchen is where I have the biggest plans. It’s currently totally functional, but I’d love to do big reno here some day. I’m talking tear down the walls & start from scratch. For now, it’s pretty workable. The island has some definite quirks (I think they installed the top backwards) & we could definitely make better use of the space, but it’s not bad.

My temporary plans are to remove the valences (a common theme here), hang a pot rack above the island & move the dutch ovens to a drawer, & paint the cupboards & walls white.

Upstairs, we have two bedrooms & two bathrooms. We don’t have a lot of plans for the guest bedroom right now. My parents gave us their old bedroom set, so we’ve got these great drawers in here & our old double bed. It’s actually quite a large bedroom with a huge closet.

The last room on this tour is our bedroom. I’m really excited about it. We have a brand new bed & bedding & are using the bedside tables that go with the drawers from the guest bedroom.

When we moved in, the windows all had pleather curtains. Those were the first things to go. I’ve left the one on the closet door for now, but we plan to hang a door there. We’ve also removed the mount for the TV since I don’t want one in the bedroom & the valences above the windows (so many 80s valences!). We’ve got a light grey upholstered headboard for the bed & are planning to paint the room a very light blue (surprise, surprise, almost white!). I think it will really brighten up the room & make everything feel a lot fresher.

Our bedroom is definitely the first one on my list to complete. We’ve looked at some doors for the closets & I’ve been playing with different paint colours. I think the change will be pretty awesome & relatively easy to complete. Painting isn’t my favourite task, but it’s by far the easiest way to update a space, so it’s the first one on my list.

Whew! That was a bit long winded. First houses are so exciting. I’m definitely the type of person who loves the idea of really personalizing a space. This house has so much potential.

Have you ever done a big reno? How do you begin making your space feel like a home?

A Couple of Couples

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This week has been crazy! I have a couple posts almost ready to go but haven’t had time to actually sit down & fully edit them.  It always seems to be that way leading up to vacation, as I try to wrap up loose ends. But this week has been especially bad, with N flying back & forth between Calgary & Northern Alberta. The final countdown is on though, as we board a plane for La Manzanilla, Mexico tomorrow morning. Most things are wrapped up at work & we’re seeing Brad Paisley tonight with friends. Vacation brain is on in full force.

A couple weeks ago, we went for dinner at Parc Bistro with Jenna & Mike from A Couple of Couples. If you haven’t checked out their blog, I highly recommend it. It’s such a great idea! Our post is online this week, so I wanted to share it with all of you.

If you haven’t already heard, they’ve also got their hand in some board game-related meet-ups around town. We’re avid board-gamers, so we’ve been going to the monthly Thursday one (we’ll be away this month, sadly!). It’s been so successful that they’ve launched a meet-up at a coffee shop & another restaurant. I think it’s brilliant! It’s a great opportunity to meet new people & try out new games. David has the largest collection I’ve ever seen, so there’s something for everyone.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Just a quick little post to point you in the direction of some cool happenings around town. I clearly think you should join us for some board games, or my other obsession: Wednesday Night Adult Gymnastics (sounds intimidating, but I swear it’s the best. Do it!).

January in Instagram

February is finally here! I know that’s a bit of an odd thing to be excited for, but we booked a trip to Mexico for this month & have been waiting almost a year for it to arrive. So yeah, I’m pretty excited that it’s finally February.

January was an odd mix of stuff. With N working up north, I tend to spend the weeks he’s away working out & chilling at home (aka watching a lot of netflix). Then we cram a million things into the week he’s home. It definitely makes the time pass a lot slower while he’s gone & fly by while he’s here, but I think that’s inevitable. Anyway, here’s what we go up to in January according to Instagram:

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  1. Happy New Year! We rang in the New Year at H&Z’s house. It was a late night, followed by a very lazy to start to 2016.
  2. Have you heard of the Music Mile? 9th ave SE is home to some incredible music venues, & has even more in the works. Check out the website for events & venue information. Our friend, Brent Tyler put on a great show at the Nash Offcut Bar. Great venue, great music, & great company. I highly recommend checking it out!
  3. I’ve been getting in a weekly workout at YYC Cycle (sometimes two) & I can feel myself improving every time I get on the bike. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. I have so many favourite instructors (Andrew, Alex, Neil, Mark…) at the studio, but if you’re a first timer – check out one of Mark’s. You’ll have a blast!
  4. Selfies at Crossroads. By far my favourite market in Calgary, I’m never disappointed with the selection (or the snacks I always find myself picking up from Eats of Asia.)
  5. I hosted my sister in law’s birthday at our house. We made a day of it & it was so much fun: morning spin, OEB brunch, drinks in the hot tub, pre-party at our house, & then Wurst to end the night. (We may have made a stop at Clive on the way home too.) Happy Birthday, little sis!
  6. I’m so happy with how well my handstands are progressing. Now I’m working on landing a front handspring on flat ground. My goal is to be able to do it before our trip, but we’ll see whether that pans out. I’m SO close!! KSG runs an adult drop-in every Wednesday from 8-9:30 pm. It’s the most fun workout I’ve ever done & I definitely think you should all come down sometime!
  7. We’ve been having the most gorgeous winter. I’m sure it has something to do with global warming, but it makes my commute really lovely, so I’m not really going to complain.
  8. Our really good friend joined the military this month. I was lucky to be able to attend his swearing in ceremony. I’m so proud of him for going after his dream.
  9. It was this same friends 29th birthday this month as well. N & I hosted his Goodbye Birthday Party at our house. It was a potluck & everyone really stepped up their game. His pork belly contribution was the highlight for me, but there was so much incredible food! Well done, everyone! (& I miss you already, Alty!)

I love sharing snippets of my life on Instagram. If this is your jam, follow along @whoalansi for even more updates (& selfies…probably too many selfies).

Quick Mayo

Homemade mayo. It’s become a bit of a staple in our house. I know not everyone loves mayonnaise, but I swear homemade is a game changer. It takes about 2 minutes to make & tastes significantly better than most store bought versions. & then you can quickly throw together a delicious crab salad or some spicy mayo dip. Trust me on this one – it’s really simple.

For this non-recipe, you’ll need an immersion blender & a tall mason jar. The jar should only just fit your blender, without a lot of extra space around it. Assemble the following ingredients in the mason jar to start. To make a little under a cup of mayo, you’ll need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of oil

I generally eyeball the ingredients & it turns out great, so don’t worry too much about exact measurements. If anything you want a little more oil than less. Use any mild-tasting oil for this. I generally use light olive oil because I find regular olive oil has too strong a flavour. Many people like avocado or macadamia nut oil too. Experiment & figure out what you like best (or just use the light olive oil – it’s great!).

Mayo Ingredients

Throw all your ingredients into your mason jar & put your immersion blender to the very bottom of the jar.

Fire up your blender! Keep it at the very bottom to start, & slowly raise it as it starts to emulsify. If it doesn’t seem to thicken to the right consistency (think thick, but spreadable), add more oil & repeat the process with the blender & the mason jar.

Halfway Mayo

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Fifteen seconds in, it should look like the photo above. You can still see a little bit of oil at the top, so you can slowly start to raise the blender so that it mixes with the rest.

Our finished product is always a little more on the yellow side because we use those Omega 3 eggs. It tastes delicious though. Add it to crab meat with a little hot sauce, celery, & dried seaweed for some quick midweek lettuce wraps – that’s my favourite use for this stuff!

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Experiment with different oils – each will add a bit of a different flavour, so you may have to play a little to find the one you like the best. There’s some debate about how long this mayo keeps for. I usually keep mine a little over a week, since I make it in smaller batches as I need it, but I’ve also heard it’s good until the date on the egg you used.

I like it a lot better than most mayo’s I find in the stores (with one pricey exception I sometimes give in to) & it’s easy & cheap to make with ingredients you’re likely already buying. Have you ever made your own mayo? Is it something you’d try?

A year of Bullet Journaling

Moleskin Bullet

Around this time last year, I blogged about my plan to try the Bullet Journal.  Since then, I’ve used this style of day timer meets journal meets to-do list to keep track of tasks & daily life. As they always tend to surge in popularity this time of year, I thought I’d do a little update on where I am today with it.

I started out following the Bullet Journal website pretty closely at first. I’d set up a Monthly log with a calendar page & a task page, followed by my daily logs & category pages.I kept this up until April, when I noticed I’d logged a singular task for the entire month. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t love this page. I cut it out going forward & just logged things as I went. Organized? Probably not overly, but it seems to work for me.

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BVJ Meal Plans & my August calendar

I took a look around the Bullet Journal website this week, & there are some new changes that I think I’d like to implement to my own log. The Future Log seems like a great idea for me as I sometimes made a plan for the following month & didn’t know where to log it. I’d usually put an asterisk beside the bullet & add it to that month’s calendar when it came up, but it had a high potential for getting lost. The website was a good reminder of how to log events probably too. I moved to logging both events & tasks with a check box, which isn’t logical. I plan to get back to using the open circle for those. I think it will help to differentiate things a little more for me.

One thing I really loved over the course of the year was using the category pages for travel planning. Before our trip to BC this summer, I printed off a couple maps & made a list of the wineries I wanted to try. This kind of thing is totally my jam, & I can see myself using it even more in the future. I also enjoyed jotting down notes or blog ideas or thoughts about particular events. Not only does this come in handy when I want to write a blog post (I’m notoriously bad for writing about our trips months after the fact), but it also satisfies my need to journal. I didn’t do this nearly enough in the beginning so I’m going to make an effort to really do it for the second half of this journal.

Okinawan Winery Category

Okanagan Wineries Category Pages

Bullet Journal Details

Slowly adding more “journaling”

I’ve found myself using a couple different signifiers as well. With N away so much in the past year, I really wanted a visual representation for myself. I added a blue dot next to the dates on my calendar page to show when he’s home. It’s a really small thing, but that visual definitely keeps me organized (& helps with the countdowns to his return!). This month, I’ve added a Journal Key to keep me on track with the different symbols that I find useful. Mine are a slight variation from the standard suggestions, but in keeping with the theme.

Journal Key

My Journal Key

January bullet journal

Blue Dots in action

Normally, I’d have bought a whole new journal to start the new year fresh, but that feels so wasteful to me. This one is still perfectly good (I’m about halfway through) & my categories are still relevant so I’m going to stick with it until it’s full.

So, there you go. That’s how I Bullet Journal. Now you know the secret behind how I write all those blog posts months after the fact. If you like journaling or day timers, I highly recommend this style – it’s so adaptable, making it easier to continue using than other journals & day timers. There’s also the added advantage of it being pretty cheap! While the Bullet Journal website now sells their own journal with index & page numbers, I prefer my trusty moleskin. I use the hardcover version with graph paper & I love it. I store stamps & cheques & random notes in the flap at the back & find the graph paper is perfect for making my little task boxes. The beauty of the Bullet Journal is that you can choose your favourite notebook though, & make it whatever you want!

Moleskin Pocket

Stamp storage, notes, & workout post-its

Have you tried Bullet Journaling? What’s your favourite way to keep track of daily life?

Christmas 2015

DSC01975.JPGChristmas is all about traditions. I love learning of all the different ways families choose to celebrate. & I love my own family’s traditions.

Since getting married, we’ve spent one Christmas with my family followed by one with N’s. While we both enjoy spending the holidays with each other’s families, I think we’d both admit that our own traditions still rank the highest. It’s always a bit of a challenge when you both come from families that celebrate, but I think I’ve come to appreciate both more now that we each year is different.

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Sleepy Lucky

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That said, it’s hard to complain about either option. We get pretty spoiled by both sides! This year, we stayed in Calgary to celebrate Christmas Eve & Day with N’s side. We headed over to his parent’s house after I got off work in the afternoon & spent the next 24 hours eating (seafood chowder, lobster, turkey, & everything in between!), drinking, playing games, skating, & enjoying each other’s company.

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Boy & his dog

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Christmas Morning

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Bailey’s & Hot Chocolate

On Boxing Day, we woke up (a little later than we’d planned) & headed out to BC to visit with my family. We skied a half day at Panorama before heading out to my parents place near Fairmont Hot Springs.

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N & I all bundled up!

 

 

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Darth Brother & I

The next few days were filled with more food, more drinks, more games… Dad & I went for a short run, but for the most part, we relaxed & enjoyed the slower lake pace. I love getting out to the mountains this time of year – it feels especially festive. We even managed to fit in a quick visit with a girlfriend in Invermere before making our way back to the city.

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Dad & I being goofs

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Penguin Races

Our holiday traditions differ from year to year right now, but one thing remains constant – the love that surrounds us. I hope that remains the focal point for many years to come, whether we celebrate with our individual families or create our own new hybrid traditions.

December in Instagram

Ok, this has to be the latest I’ve ever posted an Instagram recap. I think I’m still playing catchup from the holidays. We’re back to reality now & N is back at work up North. I’m getting back into the swing of the whole part-time long distance thing. We’re in for a longer stint this time, I think. But enough of that, here’s how we rounded out 2016, according to Instagram.

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1. I loved our real Christmas tree. We named him Carlos for no reason whatsoever. I turned the lights on at every opportunity & loved sitting in that front room, enjoying the glow from his lights.

2. My company Christmas party is always a good time & this year was no  exception. We ended the night in our typical fashion, on the dancefloor.

3. Had a girls afternoon at Market Collective. Festive Christmas drinks, a little shopping, & some girl time. I really need to make a point of getting to MC more often.

4. Sarah & I kicking off the family traditions with my parent’s annual cocktail party.

5. Annual Ski Trip group photo. N’s friends have been doing this trip since University days & it’s always full of shenanigans & fun. This year we did a Yankee Gift Exchange, which was a fun addition I’d like carry forward.

6. We did another Locked Room with our gymnastics coach & a few of her friends. We made it out of the video game themed room, but it’s such a blast whether you escape or not!

7. Enjoying a Christmas morning coffee in our onesies! This year, we spent Christmas Eve & Day with N’s family in Calgary.

8. On Boxing Day, we headed out to the lake for the weekend with my family. My parents got me a selfie stick, so I put it to use right away, of course!

9. One of the best parts of Christmas is catching up with Gaux. We had a little get together at our house the Monday after Christmas – a few drinks & catching up with everyone for the last time in 2015!

Hope your December was fantastic. I’ll be over here writing 2015 on everything for the next two months! Follow me on instagram for even more updates!

 

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since I did in of these. I didn’t even really realize that I skipped 2015. This past year is full of great memories, but in a lot of ways I think I got off track too. I’ve always been a planner, but I let that go a bit. In some ways, I think it was good for me, but in others I don’t.

While I think of myself as very goal-oriented, I’ve also mentioned my hesitancy to post my New Year’s resolutions. I still prefer to make changes & set goals throughout the year, as I see fit, but I’d also like to take this opportunity to reflect on the past year & make a plan for the coming one.

1. Make our house our home. We’ve started this a little bit with some new furniture & hanging photos, but there is so much I want to do to make our house ours. I think it has a lot of potential & we can do a lot with the spaces. I want to start by painting our bedroom & adding a door to the walk in closet. There are a lot of 80s-style valances everywhere, so I’d also like to remove those & then paint the main floor walls white. I think both those things will go a long way to making it feel more like ours.

2. Recommit to eating 80% paleo. We still eat paleo most of the time, but we’ve fallen a bit further away from it over the last year & ate out more than I’d like. N is heading up North so he won’t have a lot of choice about what he eats, but I plan to make it a priority for myself at home.

3. Run at least 3x a week. I’ve been running at lunch lately with a coworker & I can already feel an improvement. I’m registered for the Seawheeze Half Marathon in August. Getting into the running habit early never hurts! We started last month & it’s been great to have someone to get me out there when I may not be feeling it.

4. Work on mobility twice a week. I am not flexible at all, which makes some gymnastics skills pretty difficult. I’d love to improve my back flexibility so I can one day do walkovers & my shoulders are pretty tight from years of swimming & sitting at a desk all day.

5. Blog every week. I am so hit or miss with blogging. I always have good intentions, but I also have a pretty busy schedule & a full time job. I try not to be too hard on myself, but I think one post a week is pretty reasonable. I can do this!

6. Choose Happiness. I said this in 2014 too, but I think it’s a good one (& something I still need to work on). It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative, over-react to a situation, or just feel down about life in general. There are so many external factors that I have no control over, so here’s to focusing on the one that I can control: how I react. & I’m going to try to choose to be happy.

I find the key to my success usually lies in consistency. Everything comes a lot easier if you’re consistently striving for it. Suddenly, it just becomes part of your everyday. So while that’s a pretty vague “resolution”, I also want to keep that in mind. It goes both ways so while it’s easy to slip back into bad habits, it’s also easy to create good ones.

Do you like making New Year’s resolutions? What are you working on this year?