Not All or Nothing

Well hello there, my friends! Happy New Year to you all!

Did everyone ring in 2015 with a bang? Or is it bring in? I never know. Or did you keep things low-key with a quiet evening at home?

I’m not much of one to enjoy the whole bar/crazy busy downtown scene for New Years. It’s just too chaotic, too expensive, and frankly, too late for this old gal. Instead, we enjoyed a very last-minute, quiet, and crazy fun evening with friends, babies, a delicious dinner, and some champagne.

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Because, I mean, you can’t ring in the new year without champagne, right? Winking smile

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I’ll share more details about our New Year’s Eve tomorrow! But for now…

So. 2015. How are you guys feeling about it? Excited? Inspired? Ready to tackle it head on?!

I think it’s really no secret that, come a new year, many of us take this as an opportunity to get back on the healthy bandwagon. Sure enough, we’ve all been indulging a little extra with the holidays (As it should be! And hopefully you’ve been doing so without regret!) and by this point, we’re all feeling the effects just a bit.

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So I know I’ve mentioned this probably a hundred times on this blog, but it’s worth mentioning just one more time. In fact, I’d shout it from the rooftops if I could! With the new year upon us, and inevitable goals of “getting back to normal” are forming, I would tell you all to remember one thing:

Healthy living is not all or nothing.

Hopefully, if you’ve been reading STSL for any length of time now, then you already know how I feel about this. To maintain a healthy lifestyle does not mean you need to be all in, 100%. Personally, I think that looking at things with that perspective is really just bound to set you up for failure. When I hear people say things like, “This year, I’m committing to eating salads every day! Cutting out dessert! Hitting the gym 6 days a week!” I just sort of cringe. Partially because I’m pretty sure I was once guilty of that mindset, and partially because I realize just how unattainable that can be.

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Sure, some of you probably can manage your lives that way, and if that’s for you, then major props. But I think for the majority of us, it’s important to remember that healthy living does not have to be that “all or nothing” mentality. It’s about balance, and setting realistic expectations.

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It’s for these reasons that I’m actually extremely excited to be teaming up with Lean Cuisine for the month of January. When the originally reached out to me a couple of months ago, asking if I’d like to work with them a bit to encourage others to live a balanced life, I was intrigued, but I needed to know more.

After some back and forth conversations, I quickly discovered that we are all totally on the same wavelength when it comes to their new project. Through this project, Lean Cuisine is trying to show consumers that there is a more realistic path to a healthy lifestyle, and they’re having some fun “poking fun” at the “fitspo” and diet trends that many, myself included, just do not find motivational.

But I do find this pretty hilarious.

Throughout the month of January, you’ll be able to see me teaming up with them on social media with some funny pictures, so be sure to join in on the fun, following the hashtag #MMMotivateMeLC! (Plus follow me on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest).

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Lean Cuisine. I am a member of the Lean Cuisine Team and help spread the word about Lean Cuisine. As a team member, I receive product and incentives in exchange for participating in brand related activities and spreading the word about Lean Cuisine.  Thank you all for your continued support of STSL!

2012 In Blogging

Ohhh, 2012. It was such a year. A great year, a challenging year, and most importantly, a life changing year. I’m really looking forward to doing my 2012 review post in the next couple of days, because it gives me the opportunity to look back and reflect on everything that’s happened…and there’s definitely been a LOT that has happened!

2012 was also a pretty fun year for the blog, as it continued to grow (thanks to all of you) and went through some of its own changes here and there. One of the plugins that I use (jetpack, in case fellow bloggers are interested) always sends me a year-end summary, highlighting some key points throughout the year.

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As it turns out…

So much fun to look over all of those stats! Smile

*****

New Year’s Eve

Last night, Jay and I spent the evening ringing in the new year with the Mexico Crew. We ate, we drank (some of us drank sparkling red grape juice), we danced our faces off to our favorite Wii game, and I think the most surprising part was that I kept myself awake until almost 2am. Considering I can’t make it much past 9:30pm these days, that was quite a shock…then again, I guess it helps when you’re with good friends.

This morning, all three four of us spent a little bit of time lounging on the couch, enjoying a leisurely breakfast.

Once that is finished digesting, I’m heading down to the basement for a workout. Not quite sure what yet – maybe some walking, maybe a modified version of yesterday’s workout – but I’m ready to do something (even though I did get a pretty good workout between 10pm – 1am last night with our Wii game dancing). Winking smile

Plans for the rest of today include catching up on some blog stuff before it’s back to work tomorrow, finish putting away the Christmas decorations, a little cleaning, and perhaps a little online shopping.

I haven’t taken many pictures over the last 24 hours, so I don’t have all that much to share with you…but I wanted to pop in and wish you all a VERY Happy New Year. I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be an incredible year, and I cannot WAIT to see what else is in store!

Question for the Morning:

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

New Years Eve 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2012!

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…from your classy, resident cheezeball blogger. Winking smile

Our New Year’s Eve began with a couple beverages and great friends.

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Jeff, Sarah, Brian, Mal, Jay, and myself enjoyed a delicious NYE dinner at The Melting Pot.

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Jeff & Sarah had never been, and you may remember that Jay and I went for our first time exactly a year ago with Brian & Mal.

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Since it was NYE and all, we decided to go big and all ordered the Four Course Classic. We came with hungry bellies, so we were ready!

First Course: Cheese

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We all ended up ordering a different cheese, so we had three to choose from.

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I think my favorite out of all three cheese fondues was the Spinach Artichoke, but I will say that the Traditional Swiss was pretty darn fantastic when paired with the apples.

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Second Course: Salad

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I ordered the House Salad with their sweet and tangy dressing on the side. It was pretty simple, but the dressing was great.

Third Course: Meat

A lot of people don’t realize that you actually cook your own meat, which I think is pretty cool.

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We chose to cook ours in vegetable broth (rather than canola oil) and every single option totally blew me away. They were SO full of flavor! I think my favorite may have been the Sesame-Crusted Sushi-Grade Ahi Tuna. Lucky for me, it wasn’t Jay’s favorite. Winking smile

Fourth Course: Chocolate!

By far, my favorite course of the evening.

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Jay and I went with the Flaming Turtle (milk chocolate, caramel and chopped pecans flambéed tableside), which is the same thing we got last time.

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Thankfully, they actually remembered the pecans this time, which were no doubt my favorite part of the fondue.

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I may or may not have been eating the fondue right from the pot with the spoon…

(P.S. – I got such a kick out of comparing the photos from our first visit to last night’s – it’s amazing what a difference this camera makes. I am in LOVE!)

One of the things I love about The Melting Pot is that it’s not just a dinner, it’s more like a total experience. We had dinner reservations at 6:15 and didn’t end up leaving the restaurant until 10:00pm. Plus, since everything is so spread out, I didn’t feel at all stuffed or uncomfortable by the time we left. It was great!

After dinner, we headed over to our friends’ Brook & Andrea’s house and enjoyed a few laughs and a few cocktails.

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My beverage of choice: Mal’s concoction of raspberry vodka, cranberry juice, and champagne. Deeeelicious.

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After that, the camera ended up getting put away, but the fun lasted after the ball dropped and well into the evening. I didn’t end up going to bed until 4am last night and I honestly can’t even tell you guys when the last time was that had happened. Crazy!

Nonetheless, it was a great end to 2011 and I really have SO much to look forward to in 2012. Here’s to making it the best year yet!! Open-mouthed smile

Questions for the Morning:

How did you ring in the New Year?

Speaking of which…do you say “ring in” or “bring in?” I never know!

I Like It All

This morning, I spent some time doing a little bit of housekeeping on the main blog page here, so you may end up noticing a few differences. I also updated my “Featured Recipes,” which include three of my favorites from 2011. After that, I ended up wasting about 10 minutes laughing WAY too hard at funny New Years Eve pictures. Don’t ask me why…I really have no idea.

Some of them are not exactly appropriate to share (there are some ca-raaaaazy peeps out there!) but some of them were rather amusing. This card in particular totally has my name written all over it…

I feel like we (as in Jay and I) are always such last minute planners. Not necessarily when it comes to bigger events like NYE, but definitely for a typical Friday night. We’ll spend a good hour just trying to decide what to do for dinner and then spend another hour figuring out if we want to make it ourselves or go out. Oy vey. Perhaps a resolution of mine for 2012? ;)

Some other funny ones I came across…

That someecards site totally cracks me right up! :)

Lunch

This morning when I was putting together my lunch, I was *this close* to making myself some sort of yogurt mess. It sounded good, but not as appealing as it usually does. But then as I was grabbing something else out of the fridge, I spotted all of my leftover spaghetti squash from Tuesday’s dinner.

How in the world could I have forgotten about (let alone missed) the two huge containers of it staring right back at me from my top fridge shelf? Sometimes I wonder…

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I portioned out a big ‘ol serving of spaghetti squash and topped it with some shredded carrot (random?), steamed spinach (almost half of a bag!), some shriveling grape tomatoes, marinara sauce, and a wedge of The Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese.

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Once it was heated in the microwave and the cheese got all super-creamy on me, this meal turned out to be one big ‘ol bowl of awesome. I also ended up snacking on an orange and some Pretzel Crisps.

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I still can’t believe that Jay and I already have our dinner plans figured out for tonight (homemade pizza). Now I’ve just got to decide on a Redbox movie. I’m going back and forth between 3 different ones…all of which are total opposites:

Yeah, what can I say…I like it all. ;)

Has anyone seen any of the above movies? What would you recommend??

Lots Of Celebrating Coming up

I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited about it being Friday.

…and because tomorrow is New Years Eve,

…and because today is exactly one month until my birthday,

…AND because there is a VERY special day coming up right around the corner!

So much excitement & celebrating coming up!

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Dinner

Last night, Jay and I were invited over to my in-laws house for dinner and, as always, we had lots of delicious food. They prepared a Top Round Beef Roast, which was actually cooked with cloves of garlic inserted right inside of it. The meat had so much flavor going in, it was crazy. (Not sure exactly which recipe they used, but it sounds like it might be similar to this one.) So, so good!

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We also had some side salads which had some of the tastiest tomatoes I’ve had in months. I love me some tomatoes. Smile

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After dinner, we all somehow got talking about how they thought that they had an old meat slicer somewhere in the house. After only a few minutes of searching, the slicer was found so, of course, they had to try it out on the leftovers…

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You would have thought it was Christmas morning by the excitement on Jay’s face the entire time.

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But you know, I’m not gonna lie. I kinda want one of my own now. I know it’s totally not conventional or necessary, but the way that thing worked really impressed me!

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And hey, if I got one, maybe I’d finally be able to cut my homemade bread in even slices? Winking smile

After dinner, I enjoyed a nice hot cup of chamomile tea and a little dessert.

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Would you believe that last night was my first time ever having sponge cake? I’ve definitely had my fair share of angel food cake, but sponge cake was a new experience. It’s pretty tasty!

Especially when it’s served with strawberries and homemade whipped cream.

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YUM. Smile

*****

Workout

I am definitely feeling yesterday’s workout this morning. I was actually planning on doing some yoga, but my couple practice downdogs were not pretty, nor comfortable in any way whatsoever. So I nixed the yoga and decided on some cardio instead…maybe I’ll give the yoga a go later this afternoon?

Today’s Cardio of Choice: My 30 Minute Cardio Blast (with speeds upped to 6.5mph & 8.0mph). It covered just a little over 3 miles- and 3 sweaty ones at that. Whew!

Breakfast…

Really hit the spot today!

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Coffeeeeee

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Toasted English muffin with almond butter, banana slices, and chia seeds.

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Exactly what I needed this morning. Smile

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I can’t lie…I’m already daydreaming about coming home tonight, getting into my cozies, making some homemade pizza and watching a Redbox movie. A quiet Friday night in is definitely in order this evening…especially since we’ll be out partying it up tomorrow night for New Years Eve! (We have dinner plans and a party after with awesome friends.) Can’t wait!!

Question for the Morning:

WOULD YOU RATHER…(New Years Eve Edition!)

  • Celebrate New Years Eve out on the town –OR- stay in and have a quiet New Years Eve?
  • Given the opportunity, watch the ball drop from the middle of Times Square –OR- pass and watch from the comfort of your living room?
  • Celebrate with champagne at midnight –OR- a different beverage?