Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Step Up!

hey folks!

sorry I haven't been around much on the blog scene as of late (Either here, or commenting on all your fabulous lives) but I've just been busy LIVING. And honestly, that makes me so happy, that I really can't say that is a genuine apology.

In the past week I have:

*Worked until at least 5pm every night (and in case you were wondering, I go in at 7 everyday)
*Planned and executed the first Beta Induction ever held at the my high school of employment. I'm super happy to have gotten that program active again. You should have seen how excited the kids were to be sworn in all official like!
*Went to a step class (can't wait do that again this week! So fun!)
*Went to 2 spin classes- love that....even if I wasn't sure if I could walk the first morning after. Oh and my arse still hurts....I guess I need some of those stylin' bike shorts with the build in gel ass pads! hottness.
*had a spa day with the Ya's and received my first facial. Which would have been awesome, accept I had a bad reaction to the mask. No permanent harm was done, but my estician was so cute, she goes "Um, so don't EVER get a chemical peel ok?" No worries, the idea of having my skin burned off does not appeal to me at all!

And all that was on top of my normal work duties and meetings, etc. Honestly though I LOVE being busy like this and can't wait to plan my workout schedule for this week. Tomorrow I'm hitting up the Hogtowne Medieval Faire with some friends so this weekend is just flying by. I do have tons of food to share with you guys and a few Orlando restaurant reviews from last week, but they will just have to wait for now.

Since it is the end of the month, here is an update on some of my 2010 goals.

Fitness: going strong with the new gym membership
Charity: I have contributed to Haiti relief in a few different ways this month, so I think that will be my unplanned charitable contribution for January.
Cookbook: I'm still reading the Top Chef cookbook that bestie Jenna got me for Christmas. I am going to try and finish it this week and pick a recipe to make. Stay tuned for that one!

Love to all,
~the busy bee, Jess

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just can't jump on that band wagon...

....so I may be the only person in the blogosphere t0 dislike the famed "oats in a jar" (for those of you who don't read the rest of the "healthy living blogs" you basically make oatmeal and then eat it out of a very nearly empty peanut or almond butter jab to clean out the jar).

I finally tried it last week (sorry no picture, take my word on it) with the end of my beloved crack, aka Peanut Butter and Co's White Chocolate Wonderful and while it made a super convention way to make my breakfast to go, I think I just don't like my oatmeal anyway but traditional.

I've never liked the fussy flavors of oatmeal (you know, the cinnabun variety and what not....all though I did really like this kid oatmeal when I was 5 or so, that came with this jelly stuff to squeeze on top, but I digress). I really just like my oats with some raisons-golden please- and perhaps a little pat of butter and milk.

So, neadless to say, it seemed like a waste of both the oats and the peanut butter to mix them up like that. Oh well, I can say I tried something new.

Love to all,
~the classic oat eater, Jess

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Work in Progess....

So, you know how some artists don't want to you see their project until it's done?

Well, I take a different approach to the "work in progress" issue. I think we are ALWAYS a work in progress....so unless you plan on spending the rest of your life as a hermit, you have to show the world your sketches, your flaws, those eraser marks and color changes. In fact, not only do I try to share my progress with the world, hell, I flaunt it, the ups and downs and in betweens. Because if you wait until the "art piece" is done? Well, that is going to be your coffin lowered into the ground folks. Sorry to be morbid, but it's true.

So shine on all you slightly misshapen pottery pieces, all you garishly colored paint by numbers and runny watercolors. I am a work in progress and PROUD OF IT.

Remember how I was lamenting about eating at home and my food choices verses that of my family? Well, I've just been biting the bullet this week and eating what I want, even if that means ruffling a few feathers.

So, here is a peak at my idea of an amazing dinner, enjoyed by yours truly, in between cramming for my Biology Subject Area Exam (for my professional teaching license) which I am headed out the door to take as soon as I hit "publish."

A "scramble" containing 1 egg and a healthy glug of egg whites, sauteed onion, green pepper, mushroom and one link of organic, free range chicken apple sausage. Oh so good!

Topped with Cholula and ketchup plus a 100 calorie whole grain english muffin (which are suprisingly good! I don't usually go for "reduced cal" stuff, but I wanted the wholegrain variety and this was all my little grocery store offered!) and 1/2 a pickle.

Did I mention this was good? So nice too cook my own food!

And now I'm off like a herd of turtles to take my exam in Gville and then down to Otown for some SeaWorld (free teacher pass! Whoot!)/Eola Wine Bar/Brunch time with my loves.

Love to all,
~an unveiled work in progress, Jess

PS. don't you just love the plate? Mom got me two plates and two cute polka dot bowls for Christmas, since all my fun dishes are in storage.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Super Massive Black Hole

So, while it is apparent I have been grooving to Muse on Grooveshark at work, I do feel like the internet and the blogosphere are my personal super massive black hole. I end up spending too much time reading everyone else's posts that by the time I start to consider writing one of my own I'm done.

I've been questioning why I am caring on with this blog. Part of it was that I've had What's Normal, Anyways? for going on 6 years now (it started on xanga and I moved it last spring). It has taken some twists and turns and of course some hiatus, which is a lose term, since I'm not the most regular of bloggers....you know, in case you hadn't noticed.

I had some pretty sweet posts from when I worked at the CDC and had lots of free time. I had lots of thought time that summer too, which was great. I guess that is part of the reason why I keep a blog at all, a place to get my thoughts out and hey, if someone else likes them too, the more the merrier!

I think I get frustrated reading the success of some the other bloggers out their because they have such a following, but on the other hand they probably deserve it because they actually post regularly, have some set theme and well, are just more devoted than I am.

They don't call me Jess the Mess for any ol reason (and not just because that is my name too!), I kind of am a mess, in the most lovable way of course. But honestly, my interests are all over the place, from dance to horseback riding, yoga to biking, this stupid desire of mine to be a runner in spite of inability to run a mile, still! I love to read, I actually love to write (not that you get any great samples here) and oh, how I love to cook. I still have to urge to go to culinary school one day, but I don't think that is going to fit in with the whole, I'm a teacher gig. Oh and did I mention I'm a work a holic? And now I've lost my train of thought, not that I really had one going in the first place.

But in spite of some quandaries about where I am going with this "blog-thing" as my Mum calls it, life is well in the House of Jess. I actually got to the gym this week, although not tonight, since it has been storming all, freaking, day and NIGHT....it's been the longest "short" week at work, but by my own doings, since I'm up to my ears in Beta stuff, managing three different classes plus a teacher aid (who while sweet isn't the most ambitious gal in the world) I have a teaching test on Saturday, which I am a little freaked out about and really having a hard time "studying" for, because a-I have never been a studier and b-how the heck do you study for a standardized test you have never seen before? oy. Says the teacher. And what fun, I get to do it again next month too. (ps. that was all said in a crazy, manic kind of way.....I'm not being snarky, I'm just sleep deprived!)

And I think this this post just hit an all time low, I'll sign off.

Good night, John-Boy.

Love to all,
~The I really, REALLY need more hours in the day, Jess

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh, Hi there!

Hello there my darlings, I hope you hadn't given up on me. I've kind of been in a winter funk the last few weeks and thus haven't felt much like writing.

Well, that and I decided that writing about eating well and exercising isn't the same as actually eating well and exercising. So I took advantage of this long weekend to get my rumpus in gear. I signed up for a 2 year gym membership at Gville Heath and Fitness Center. I like this plan for a few reasons. One is it includes ALL classes and use of all THREE locations in town, 2ndly (that's science geek for secondly) I hate wasting money and therefore I will be wasting 50 dollars a month for 20 months and then 30 bucks a month after that if I don't go and lastly I like that this is a 2 year program because I'm not being a crazy January gym rat, I am making a change to my lifestyle.

I finally kicked my own butt out of the mopey, I live too far away from civilization, rut I've been in since about October once I came to the realization that this is probably the best time I will ever have to focus on myself. Aside from my all consuming job as a teacher, which I have a feeling will not change anytime in the next 5-10 years (or I hope so!), I have no other responsibilities- no boyfriend, obviously no children, no family obligations and heck, while I continue to live with M&D until the Abarnment is done- hopefully April!- I don't even have to cook most of the time or even feed the dog. I am lucky and now is the time more than ever to focus on myself. So I am.

I am also toying with signing up for the Disney Royal Family 5k with my co worker Elena which is the same weekend as the Princess Half, since I was already thinking about volunteering at. I think that would be a weekend well spent, no? I'm going to keep thinking about it this week. But I did my mile in 12.5 minutes today, so I know that I won't have to suffer the shame of being picked up by the golf cart (if you are less than a 16 min mile they pick you up and you DNF at this race). I'll keep you posted.

And about the eating. With the exception of some portion control weaknesses (oh and my HUGE love of beer) I'd been pretty content with my eating habits for the last year or so. But living at home again has been both a blessing and a curse. Since August I've been able to come home to a meal on the table pretty much 5 nights a week. But my parents don't cook or eat the way I do. I have been eating less and less meat over the past nearly year and 1/2, but here at the homefront beef or pork is what's for dinner. All the time. Occasionally chicken. Bleh.

To make matters worse I finally got the opportunity to see Food, Inc. last week. I didn't think I would be shocked since I had watched every trailer out there and read dozens of reviews, both by other bloggers and professional documentary critics but I really wasn't prepared for the the conditions of the slaughter houses and how the animals are treated. While I will never be able to label myself as a vegetarian or pescetarian, since I do enjoy a good turkey burger, the perfect roast chicken and of course my well known love of nearly all varieties of sausage I am greatly disturbed by the conditions under which most of our animals are "grown". I will be striving from now on to ensure that when I eat meat it is organic and free range.

Sadly my parents did not take this approach after watching the film with me and this is causing some tension in our house right now. Even though I am an adult and obvioulsy can cook my own meals, we are Irish/Italian and feelings get hurt when our lovingly prepared meals don't get eaten. Does anyone else have a split household on this issue? What do you do to smooth the tension?

In more "exciting" news, I finally transferred all my files over to Harvey, and reset both my ipod and external hard-drive to play nice with the Mac Platforms. Only took me 2.5 months to get around to this....honestly I was chicken, but it all went so smoothly and I was able to joyfully pack up "ol Shitty" my not so beloved desktop that has chugged along with me for over 5 years and actually have a semi-functional desk again.

Check it out:


From a cutter zone of wires and 2 computers to a neat and cute workstation....so happy.

And now I'm off to finish grading papers, writing study guides and oh, planning my workout schedule. :)

Love to all,
~A gym membership toting, Jess

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm a Blogger? Nope, I'm a teacher!

Hi all,

Sorry for the absence on the blog scene this week. It's amazing how well organized and on top of your game a first year teacher can feel until the term starts again! Whooops. Not that my work has fallen behind, just everything else in my life. You know, like calling friends, reading and writing my blog, reading any material besides student essays and lecture notes (oh and the dreaded FCAT material!) and certainly not working out. So upset I missed my last class on my "new student" pass to the Sanctuary. I'll try again next week? Oy.

Just a quick hello to let you know (all 8 of you! I love you, no really I do!) that I have not fallen off the face of the earth, I just had to re-prioritize a bit this week. Also, my little Brownie has recovered from her stay at the camera hospital and will be back in my anxious hands Monday evening. Regularly (who am I kidding, you know I don't do "regular" posting), so more frequent posting should, could?, resume next week. In the meantime,I'm off to go finish hanging the ceiling drywall (3 panels to go people! But they are tricky ones, going around light fixtures and beams and such- oh and we bought my shower/bathtub today! Whoot)!

Love to all,
~Bob the Builder, I mean, Jess

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Camp is wonderful....

....but makes for strange eats.

So, I was down at Boggy Creek (please, just for your and mine entertainment go back and read that to the tune of "down at Fraggle Rock! Oh wash your cares away...down at Fraggle Rock!") for their 13th BPOE, Best Party on Earth that is! Once a year Camp Boggy Creek invites all it's families for a 5 hour event full of games, food, fun and a crap ton of prizes! Serioulsy, the kids were rolling out with board-games galore, books, NASCAR bobble heads, stuffed animals, even rollerblades! Plus all the art projects they created (especially the sweet hemp jewelry I was in charge of!). And if seeing really happy kids wasn't enough of a draw us camp staffers get to visit with our past coworkers and attend a sweet staff holiday party after the massive clean up. So, without further ado or lead in I give you 48 hours of camp craziness, aka, did I really eat that?

Christine and I set off for Eustis, FLA after I rushed to her house on Friday (in December mind you) after work in attempts to beat the Gville traffic. We were not successful. After a few wrong turns, two ridiculously messy Publix subs (ohhh Publix Deli, I LOVE thee!) that I could not photograph in the car to save my life and a new found use for console cup holders:

[Yes, my loves that is 2, count them, 2! Once you Pop the Fun Don't Stop, Pringles cans. Different flavors, of course.]

We arrived at camp! Oh beloved CBC, how I had missed you. After painting the banner, walking cabin row about 5 miles worth and then a long heartfelt chat on the campfire benches about how camp has changed us and how we have changed since camp ('Stiner and I were co-counselors in the summer of '06. That's nearly 4 years ago, holy shit!) we collapsed into bed and slept like the dead, a truly deep slumber that can only be reached at camp.

After being awakened at 7:15am by the blaring of the 1812 Overture down cabin row we stumbled into warm clothes and the dinning hall for a surprisingly decent (but unphotographed) meal of scrambled eggs, grits and biscuits. Plus hot tea, for me!

Actually, other than this picture of C and I trying to look excited after breakfast (we were, no worries....the dark circles just didn't look to convincing) I didn't take any more pictures because the hemp table was BUSY fo sho!

And by the time we had finished breaking down all the tables, booths, games, miles of lights and holly garland and other Christmas decorations including full size reindeer and a seriously oversided rocking horse all I could think about was hot food and a shower. Now before you think Boggy starves it's volunteers, I did manage to eat 1/2 a hot dog (ugh!) before a kid knocked it out of my hand with a very overzealous braiding action and 2 amazing chocolate chip cookies that prevented me from totally crashing, but needless to say by 6:45pm I was ready to chew my own hand off, or perhaps a few fratboy's heads off...which ever came first.

So off in Bonnie (C's car) we flew to Sanford to our beloved Moe's! This is funny because we either ate Moe's or Publix Subs nearly every night off from camp, so we got both covered in about 27 hours.

One Instant Friend Quesadilla with pinto beans and all the amazing dipping options, plus a shared cup of queso, I mean crack, later I was happy and ready for my next goal, a shower!
Back at Camp and now both full, showered and looking pretty damn attractive by camp standards with White Elephant gifts in hand we walked to the host's house to relax in rocking chairs by the fire pit with old friends and amazing White Russians in hand.

Seriously folks, does life get much better than this? I thought not.

It can get a bit more entertaining I suppose as the White Elephant Gift Exchange (like the Yankee Exchange, if you are familiar with that) began. Here are a few of us "floor dwellers" repping '06!

Afterwards, Joe and Christine wanted to light their matching 1 dollar (fugly) Santa Candles. In the bonfire. Yes, it is hot.

But, ahh, the sweet smell of success (and slightly singed knuckle hair):

3/4 of Y12 made it to the party! Love you girls. Summer of '06 love.

And speaking of Summer of '06 lovers, check out this motley crew! Not a bad showing for "old" staff members!
The party began dissolving shortly after this photo was snapped, so we wobbled, I mean wandered back to our cabin for bedtime. ("Christine, why are you sitting on the floor?" "I'm not sure.")

The next morning we said our goodbyes jumped back in the car homeward bound with only one really thought in mind: Dunkin Donuts.

Well, I have mentioned that camp isn't really that close to civilization? That Moe's was 25 mins away, and in the opposite direction from which we were traveling. So, back to trusty Publix it was.

Donuts. yum.

Protein Juice. Yetch. (in my defense, I didn't not realize this was a "protein shake" when I bought it. I was drawn to the mango on the label and clearly did not read the 30g of protein.) If you like to eat straight protein powder you might like this....otherwise stay clear.

Luckily I had this lovely little darling to wash away the icky protein-ness.

Yes, I like fussy water sometimes. Deal with it, people!

And so, concludes my recap of camp, from nearly 3 weeks ago. Some healthy food blogger I am.

In the words of wonderful Nate, "I'll try to do better next time."

Love to all,
~A camp makes me come a live kind of girl, Jess

Monday, January 4, 2010

Holiday Workout Recap and an Abarnment Update!

Hi all,

I'm back at work (sniff-sniff) today, but since we are easing back into the swing of things with a teacher workday, which means only days with the brats, I mean my wonderful students all is well. (PS. You guys know I'm kidding right? I really do love most of my students!).

You may recall that I vowed to exercise everyday of my 2 week long break. So, let's see how I did, shall we? (yipes, this could be scary!)

12/19- 1.1 mile run/walk
12/20- 1.1 mile run/walk
12/21- rest day- my knee was bothering me this day
12/22-1.1 mile run/walk
12/23- Yin and Vinesya Yoga Class
12/24-Christmas Eve, Yep, I just ate a lot, no exercise today! Merry Christmas
12/25- 1.2 run/walk
12/26- Detox Yoga Flow Class
12/27- Dancing the night away at the drag show....details to come on this one!
12/28- hiking around SeaWorld? Yeah, I'm stretching it a bit here.
12/29- Gentle Yoga Class
01/02- 1 mile brisk walk (literally brisk, both in temperature and speed) plus "strength workout" hanging drywall at the abarnment
01/03- 1 mile brisk walk x 2 (once this morning, once after dinner tonight), plus "strength workout" hanging drywall at the abarnment

Ok, so I was doing pretty good until the 30th, huh? I'm figuring I probably did the usual family 1 mile walk on the 30th-1st but I really don't recall. Well, honesty is the best policy I suppose and once again I'm going to try to get into a schedule with a running schedule/workout days now that I will be back in the work routine again...we shall see, we shall see.

In the meantime, how about that abarnment update I've been promising you?

Tada! Isn't my new home just the nicest thing you've ever seen?

Hahah, just kidding. This is the storage unit that we had to build first, to move all the stuff that my family used to store out of the 2nd story of the barn, so that we can convert that loft into my new home!

First step was to run pearlings along the length (30 ft, North to South) of the roof. These provide support for the insulation and a the structure the dry wall is being screwed into (what we are working on as of late!).
Dad getting his gear on, with the "naked rafters" above

The 1"x6"14' pearlings waiting to be installed

Aren't I cute in my safety goggles? NOT! :)

Next up was ceiling insulation. Ohhh this was an itchy and tedious job, but it will help with my heating and cooling costs so it was worth it.
Here you can see the pearlings (the beams running horizontal with your screen) plus all the insulation installed.

We also laid a second layer of particle board over the existing plywood floor creating what is known as the underlayment. My finished lament floor will go over this, but that will be one of the last steps!Sorry for the weird picture, it's hard to get a good shot of a floor!

We have also put in 4 upright 4x4 support beams which start the framing work for both closets, the bathroom and the kitchen. I don't have a picture of this, or all the drywall work we have done- we have 1/2 the ceiling hung already- but as soon as I get my camera back I'll get those pictures up too!

Love to all,
~a working, even if I'm not working out, Jess

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January, like whoa!

So, I'm still in shock that it's January 2010 (the 3rd to be exact! Woozers!) and today is the last day of my winter break- sniff, sniff!

No really, it's been a good break, much better than I was anticipating actually, since I was having a rough time getting into the holidays this year, but once I just stopped trying to be a control freak (me? be a control freak? no way, right? haha) and just went with it I had a great holiday and really enjoyed reconnecting with my childhood family friends. I wish we all lived a bit closer, but seeings how I have vowed to travel more often this year, I should be able to see them more than once a year! Yipes.

So, in my brain, heart and soul I'm still celebrating Christmas and the Ringing in of the New Year, so in that vein of thought, here is a variation on the classic greens for good luck.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, it is tradition on either NYE or NYD to eat black eyed peas and greens here in the south for good luck in the upcoming year. My family and I actually had a fabulous meal of BEPs (black eyed peas), rice and collard greens with biscuits on the 1st, but seeings how I am currently cameraless, I am sharing this Kale recipe instead.

First off I browned 1lb of bulk hot pork sausage. I don't have a picture of this step as I got a little delete happy on my camera's memory card the other day, but I'm sure you all can visualize what a large skillet of browned and drained sausage looks like!

At the same time, peel and cube a one medium to large butternut squash (discarding the seeds and membrane of course) and steam the cubes. I use the throw in a microwave safe pan, add about 1 inch of water, cover with plastic wrap and steam in the microwave for ~10 minutes method.
The cubes should be fork tender and look somewhat like above when you are finished.

Back to the skillet. Once your sausage is browned and drained (unless you enjoy greasy food, I don't!) add about 3/4 lbs of kale leaves.
Then dump in your steamed butternut squash cubes and toss the whole mess together with some pepper, nutmeg and a tiny sprinkle of salt.Continued to heat, covered, over low heat for a few more minutes until the kale lightly wilts.

Serve up with your holiday favorites, or eat as a meal in itself. This makes great leftovers and is also great with a drizzle of ketchup and hot sauce if you like to roll that way. I do sometimes!
I hope you all give this recipe a whirl. It's fun and easy and very satisfying on cold winter's night!

Love to all,
~a kaletastic, Jess

Friday, January 1, 2010

Blogger Bowl!

Hi all,

It's New Year's Day (or night now, if we are being honest, and of course I am!) and you know what that means...a whole day's worth of college football bowl games! So, in the celebratory mood that all this rough and tumble play puts me in here are some "bowls" I've recently enjoyed!

The "oh so amazing Chicken and Cheese Ravioli with Cauliflower and Newman's Own Sauce" Bowl
The "well, at least you tried to make a peanut sauce beef and veggie stir-fry" bowl

The "holy crap, Jess ate cold cereal for the first time in 6 months" bowl. (and now I have to finish the rest of this box some how too....oy!)

The "man I love breakfast in a bowl" bowl (this consisted of my usual scrambled egg/egg white mixture topped with Ch0lula Sauce and ketchup and then smothered in grits.)

What is your favorite "bowl" food? The best bowl game you watched this season? Or perhaps did you go bowling? hehe!

Love to all,
~a bowled over, Jess

Ring it in......2010!

Hello all and Happy New Year to you!

2010 hasn't even been with us for 12 hours yet and I already know it's going to be a great one, in-spite of the gloomy, rainy and cold (for Florida!) weather outside.

My best friend Jenna got engaged last night so I know this will be a year filled with wedding plans and my very first bridesmaid dress! I am beyond excited about this, not only because I love both Jenna and her fiance, Jesse (yes, she fell in love with the "male version" of me...haha, inside joke, sorry!) but also because who doesn't love helping to plan the biggest and best (hopefully!) party of your best friend's life!

But what about this Jessi? I always look forward to "new years" be it the actual January 1, the start of a new school year or my birthday (since I treat all three of them as the start of something new and fresh, since well, they ARE the start of something new and fresh). So if you are wondering what my "resolutions" are this year, well I don't have any.

Before you yell, "What? Jess is crazy, I'm unsubscribing" (please don't, fyi! I love all of you, my precious 8 readers!) let me explain.

I don't actually like the idea of a resolution, which according to what good ol' Marriam-Webster basically says, if I took the liberty to paraphrase, which I am: a decision to change one's ways.

Well, I am actually pretty happy with myself and my life right now, but one can always improve one's self and I'm certainly no exception. So without further ado, here are my GOALS for 2010 and beyond! (please go back and read that in the Buzz Lightyear Voice if you didn't the first time, ok? Thanks!)
  • Be more charitable: I vow to give to a charity each month or at least make a purchase that contributes towards a charity. For example: Charity: Water where a 20 dollar donation will give an individual in a developing county clean water for 20 years! I'll be telling you about the charity I give to each month....my goal to to give to at least 12 different causes this year.
  • Practice more yoga!: As in a lot more yoga....I'm aiming for one to two classes a week and then 1 to 2 nights of home practice as week as well (these can be self led, podcasts or sequences from Yoga Journal, etc). I'm also aiming to read a lot more yoga literature, starting with finishing Light on Yoga by Iyengar (I'm read some passages, but I want to finish it and read Light on Life this year too!) I also want to enroll in a Yoga Teacher Training program, but I'm not sure if this will be in 2010 or not, as it depends on my primary teaching obligations and the advancement of my own practice. If any of you have done or are current enrolled in a yoga teacher program I'd love to hear from you!
  • Get a passport and use it!: Duh. I'm thinking somewhere in South America? Although I do have a friend in Scotland....so that would be fun!
  • Run a 5k and a 10k: these are pretty self explanatory, right? I'm thinking the 5k in the late spring and the 10k in the fall. Help keep me on track ok? Feel free to ask me how my training is going!
  • Read a new cookbook each month: I used to read cookbooks like I read my smutt novels (which is frequently!) but I've stopped for whatever reason. My goal is to really read some of the classic books, and improve my technique. I'll be trying to give you a review that each month also. I'm currently reading the Top Chef cookbook, that Jenna gave me for Christmas.
  • Volunteer more: Enough said...but more specifically at Camp (Camp Boggy Creek-my 2nd home, of which I've been far too absent from the past 2ish years), at races and any other local events. I'm thinking about taking advantage of some of the Disney Volunteer days too!
  • Go riding more often: both on my bike (and I'm contemplating getting a road bike this year...but I need to "earn" it first) and on horseback. Little known fact on this blog, but I used to ride hunter-jumper all though high school (and no, I don't have my own horse), but now that I live in my hometown again I'm not far from the stable I took lessons at. I need more hours in the day...with sunlight please!
  • Take better care of my hands and nails: Yes, this is random. But last year I vowed to wear sunscreen daily, actually wash my face twice a day (yes, I know, I know....I used to only wash my face in the shower and if I didn't shower that day, well, I didn't wash my face. Gross, I know.) and use day and night time moisturizers and it really has made my skin glow, not to mention I feel better about my aging and skin cancer chances! But I've still been neglecting my poor hands...so from this point on I'm going to do a better job with them! Besides, who doesn't want to have a goal that includes getting more manicures! hehe.
So, there you have it, my new goals to work towards for 2010 and always. What do you think? Crazy, random, on target? Do any of your goals mirror mine? I'd love to hear about it!

Enjoy your first day of January!

Love to all,
~A goal oriented gal, Jess