May’s Eight Great Goals

It’s here. May. The month I’ve been waiting for to really show what I’m made of, kick the summer off right and to get down to business.

Last month’s goals were difficult to achieve with all of the craziness that came at me with work, so you’ll find that this month’s goals are a bit more aligned with taking care of myself, making plain times into fun times and appreciating some of the simpler things in life that otherwise could go overlooked in the shadows.

I know that this month will be even busier – so while I’m getting my grind on at work – I think it’s important to focus on me, my Daniel and my friendships.

Thanks for sticking around with me through the good times and bad times – it’s been a wild ride!

May’s Eight Great Goals

1. Be Spontaneous.

Too often my day, outfit, meals, workouts and spare time is planned out to the minute. I’d love to throw caution to the wind this month and let my hair down when the opportunity comes my way.

2. Spend more quality time with my Daniel.

This means knocking out writing my blogs ahead of time, inviting him for runs with me, paying attention to all of the things that prevent stress-free time together today and promote more happy times together tomorrow.

3. Run more during the week.

I graphed it – and close to 70% of my miles this year have fallen on weekends. That means that weekday life is out of hand and I need to get back to lacing up to decompress after a hard day’s work.

4. Sleep in on the weekend. 

Getting more runs in the week will lead into less pressure to wake up early on the weekend. Dan and I bicker with each other every Saturday & Sunday morning when I have an alarm set for 7am to beat the morning rush and get a peaceful neighborhood run in. “groan-sleep-murmur-grrr” While that’s just my style, it’s important to me to spend those mornings with my man as well.

5. Hydrate.

I have this goal on this list almost every month and it keeps coming back because I’m pretty spotty about meeting my daily water quota. 64+ ounces per day, no excuses – and maybe even more as the temperatures begin to rise.

6. Photography.

I have a great camera that takes beautiful photos and I can’t remember the last time I posted something on here that wasn’t from iPhone / instagram. It may be because editing/posting takes a lot of extra time, but I should take photos for more than just the purpose of this blog.

7. Pamper Myself.

More than just my monthly massage, I’m going to get my nails done, schedule a hair appointment and take care of my skin. I deserve it.

8. Leave work NO later than 6pm.

This is the maximum – I’ve made it a point to leave before 5pm both days so far this week and all of my co-workers are shocked. I think it’s a trend that I like and can make a point of keeping.

Wish me the best of luck this time around – these seem like more realistic goals than what I set for myself in April.

What are your goals for the month? Can you borrow a few of mine?

heart JE

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Throwback Thursday: Desk Love

Happy Thursday! We’re one day closer to the weekend, the sun is rising early and yesterday was the start of sunsets occurring 8pm and later. #happygirl

I’ve been fielding the same few questions lately at work and feel that they are worth sharing in this space since you’re probably wondering the same things:

  • “What time did you get here?”
  • “What time are you leaving today?”
  • “Have you stepped outside yet?”
  • “Do you stay the night here?”
  • “Do you have outfits / shower products at the gym for when you’re here early/late?”
  • “You were here before me and you’re staying after me – are you okay?”
  • “How do you fit everything in?”
  • “Why do you think about work things outside of work?”

I think you can get the point. I’m at my desk ALL day long, headphones on, smile on my face. When I’m not standing at my desk (cheers for a high desk!) you can find me strutting to the printer, sharing, collaborating, microwaving my lunch, refilling my water and doing everything I can to make an impact on the world that I live in.

Of course I’d love to be running around to meetings, working out at lunchtime and catching up with old friends over long lunches – but not now. The more work I’m getting involved in, the more I’m learning, the more people are noticing the work being done by my team and the more my ego gets a nudge from the positive feedback coming my way.

Like I said last week, it’s like a runner’s high.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a young lady who experienced love at first sight with this very thoughtful Christmas gift:

heart JE

Sweet Potato + Quinoa Stir Fry

Today I’m sharing a new favorite recipe with you – by request of some facebook followers!

Sunday was a marathon of food prep and I was so thankful to have Dan by my side chopping, stirring, opening, grilling and sampling storing the foods we were making. This was a new one on our list and was born out of some inspiration from the internet over the past month: Brooke / Pinterest. It was also put together due to the fact that we had some vegetables that needed to be used or thrown out and I was having a productive weekend with more energy in store to prep.  

Feast your eyes on the mix that had me wishing for more and waiting in anticipation for today’s identical lunch.

Sweet Potato + Quinoa Stir Fry

3 cups quinoa {cooked}

2 cans black beans {drained}

5 sweet potatoes {peeled + chopped}

2 jalapenos

1/2 white onion

2 tbsp olive oil

pepper to sprinkle

Preparation:

  • Cook 1 cup of dry quinoa (1 cup seeds + 2 cups water) = 3 cups cooked
  • Peel/chop sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces
  • Dice onion + jalapenos into small pieces for flavor in every bite
  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Place your chopped sweet potatoes into a baking pan with 2 tbsp olive oil drizzle, bake for 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes – Stir your potatoes and bake for 10 more minutes
  • Open 2 cans of black beans, drain
  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients {jalapenos + onion + beans + quinoa + finished sweet potatoes} and sprinkle with pepper
  • Sample it, add protein to it, put it in a large container and have this for days!

Co-workers were sniffing and oogling over what I was bringing back from the microwave – you’d have thought these were Laughing Planet leftovers!

What’s your favorite way to use sweet potatoes?

heart JE

April’s Eight Great Goals

If you were anywhere near Portland this weekend you already know how great I’m going to say my Easter weekend was. So that’s a story I’ll save for a different day – Tomorrow if you’re lucky

Today our focus here is on April and looking forward to what it may bring.

First of all, it definitely will bring a lot of smoothies.

The trick? Toss any fresh fruits or veggies into a blender, add protein, sample, pour and watch that smile on your face grow! Some pinspiration for other smoothie drinkers here.

More pressure will be on us at work, coming upon the end of the fiscal year in 60 days and needed to be on my A game non-stop. This hustle at work will make the days go by faster and clearly will make the weekends more valuable. I plan on spending a lot of time doing what I enjoy and making certain that Dan and I are having fun together when he’s not out teeing it up on the weekends and whenever the sun decides to poke out from behind the clouds.

Eight Great Goals

1. Always have fresh flowers in the house and at my desk. There’s beautiful daffodils in my backyard that I’ve been clipping and looking at in my home – so I want to make sure that I am always changing it up, keeping it fresh, and getting signs of spring everyday of the month.

2. Keep a food diary where I write down every last crumb that I consume – I’ve heard that can help to keep you more aware of what you’re putting into your body and ultimately help you to make better choices in dire moments of snacking and hunger.

3. It is a little sad that we have anxiety about setting this goal and it might sound like too many for you – but Dan and I like stopping for latte’s in the morning on the way to work… really like. This month we are only going to have seven latte’s each and hopefully can save a little money in the process.

4. Landscaping fun at our house to get everything beautiful and groomed for the summer. There’s old plants to uproot, weeding to be done, raking of leaves that have fallen and plenty to keep us busy.

5. After dinner in the evening if the weather is dry Dan and I are going to put our walking shoes on and go count puppies in the neighborhood rather than watch re-runs or the 5th inning from our reclining chairs.

6. For the 6th goal, I’d like to run at least six times in the morning before work. Pack my outfit and lay out my clothes the night before, get up early, drive to work, run, shower, and be well prepared for my day. This should be easy to do next week especially as Dan won’t be carpooling with me due to his 9 day vacation – so that’s why the goal goes above and beyond what I can accomplish in one week alone. I also need to go to six NTC sessions this month – it’s been a few weeks since I’ve attended.

7. Dan’s birthday is coming up this month and I’d like to make his 28 on the 28th a special one. He will be representing his golf league on that day thanks to his victory last year so I’ll have to find ways to work around it. However, I don’t think he can imagine a better way to spend his day on the course hitting the links!

8. Oops – Dan chiming in here… “Your last goal should be to hit a golf ball 50 yards (in the air)”. Looks like we’re going to the driving range!

April is normally one of my favorite days of the year to get my prank on, so we will see what I get into with my family, my co-workers and of course – Dan! I expect to see several “fake” engagements on my facebook feed so just know that I’m ready for you!

Thanks for hanging around another month – look forward to hearing about the sunny weekend tomorrow!

heart JE

March Summary

You guys have been on a wild ride with me this past month and I’m a little bummed to say goodbye to it.

If we look back to March’s Eight Great Goals here’s how I opened up my eyes to the month:

Ah, March – what do you plan to bring?

More responsibility, more puppy fun, more photos, more love, more smiles, more silliness, more laughter, more improvement, more sleep? I honestly hope all of the above!

And seriously – ALL of the above were fulfilled and exceeded.

  • I realized what I am made of with the new responsibilities and weight on my shoulders at work
  • Matt was home – that’s never a bad thing. Proof here & here.
  • The food around this joint was un-believable. Take a look for yourself!

Breakfast – Brownies – SteakSoupCakeSpaghetti Squash

  • I accepted a blogging award – thanks! And Dan received an Employee of the Quarter Award! 
  • Dan treated me to a Blazers game and we splurged on a Shamrock Shake!!
  • I met little miss Olive and more importantly was able to catch up with her beautiful mom, Tanna!
  • I’m pretty sure that Dan and I didn’t eat out more than 5 times – but I sort of definitely lost track! Twice we may have eaten popcorn at Cinetopia for a meal – I haven’t decided if that counts? Not Accountable
  • As of today, Friday morning – I’m still leading my NCAA bracket
  • I’m constantly reminded of how wonderful my boyfriend is
  • I got some time on this inspiring girl’s website sharing my food prep with her followers – she’s studying to become a registered dietitian

The last 29 days haven’t been perfect, but I feel like things are looking up and they will only get better from here.

And once again as we leave the month, I’d like to repeat that I thank you for all of the well wishes, thoughts, notes and letters wishing us well after the loss of a wonderful woman. We miss you Granny!

heart JE

Recipe Share

I’m one of those people who hates trying new recipes because I can’t stand going back and forth between instructions, ingredients, steps, measurements, photos (DSLR + iPhone) and managing my pandora playlist. #firstworldproblems.

This weekend I tried to challenge myself by making a special trip to the grocery store for ingredients to make a few recipe’s I’ve been eyeing lately.

#1 Kale & White Bean Soup <-recipe

Saturday’s weather was beautiful in Portland and probably the last thing on my mind during the day was making soup that night. Once the sun fell over the residential horizon I felt the wind chill kick in and was reminded that we won’t truly put our trust in that summer air until July. Get used to it PDX!

Marisa at Uproot From Oregon always has great recipes to share and this one is full credit to her:

#2 Protein Shamrock Shake <–recipe

Something that Saturday afternoon did bring to mind was the Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s for a limited time only. It’s definitely been a guilty pleasure of Dan and I’s and we’ve shown a lot of self restraint to avoid that drive-thru this March. When I saw Taralynn share a protein-shake version of the same creation I knew I would have to try it and especially have Dan be the master taste tester.

In the end I think I used too many mint leaves, but was happy with myself rather than caving for the McDonald’s version. Plus nobody ever complained about whipped cream topping and sprinkles!

#3 Tempeh + Lentil Salad

This one is a home creation and I always get rave reviews from people who see, smell and want to taste what I’m bringing back to my desk around noon.

Pack the lettuce separately from the other three ingredients so that you don’t heat the lettuce. Pop the tempeh, lentils and sriracha into the microwave for 45-60 seconds until you can hear it steaming, then dump it onto the bed of lettuce. Ta-dah! There’s a tasty and clean meal in front of you waiting to be devoured.

Sometimes I even add an avocado and pepper – live life on the wild side, my friends.

Go on, what recipes do you have to share with me?

heart JE

March’s Eight Great Goals

Ah, March – what do you plan to bring?

More responsibility, more puppy fun, more photos, more love, more smiles, more silliness, more laughter, more improvement, more sleep? I honestly hope all of the above!

Daylight Saving time will have an amazing impact on my outlook. Look at the Sunrise/Sunset times for Portland! With the sun out later in the evening it means that I won’t be as grumpy leaving work late, won’t have the urge to hibernate, will want to run longer and will be able to take more photos with the beloved natural light! If this isn’t reason to celebrate then I have my priorities all wrong.

What are my priorities you ask? That’s a great segue into March’s Eight Great Goals – see, easy month already!

Eight Great Goals

1. When laundry is done, fold it immediately. When dishes are dirty, scrub them and put them in the dishwasher. When mail is in the mailbox, bring it in, sort it and find a home for it. When something is deemed ‘recyclable’ – put it in the recycling area out of sight. You get the picture. The goal is to not allow things to pile up around the house. It only causes me undue stress and won’t be good for the added stress I’ll see at work over the next three months.

2. Create a blogging calendar and follow it. Keep drafts of posts, start collecting pictures, all of the things that I scramble to do the night before I publish a post can be taken care of days in advance and I should really force myself to get on that schedule. I know that I had a similar goal last month and failed miserably at it, but if I set my mind to it I will find myself enjoying the evening and getting to bed on time rather than always telling Dan, “sorry, I still have to write, edit photos, schedule, draft, etc”. I feel like a broken record.

3. Eat at restaurants only five times. The entire month! Dan and I are going to Mo’s for Chowder tonight in Newport to kick off the beach weekend with my family, so after that we had better plan wisely. We made it to Subway several times for Februany and we should really focus on eating the food we’ve bought from the grocery store and that we’ve prepped.

4. Can you believe that I still haven’t met little miss Olive who is now four months old? Her mama and I have been in touch but haven’t been able to make it happen yet. This month there is no excuse that can stop me from seeing Tanna & Olive (hopefully Greg too!)

5. Do. Not. Drop. My. iPhone. I have a terrible reputation for dropping my phone often and unfortunately Dan is the main witness of this awful mistake. Butterfingers? Unaware? Careless? Hands full of groceries and bags? I’m not sure what the reason is but this month and forever forward I will pay special attention to the way I’m carrying my phone.

6. Make my desk area at work a happy place. I’ve brought in my coffee maker and have a cute tray that holds all coffee supplies…  but what I really need are some photos, fresh flowers, personal touches and a space that brings me light in the darkest of times.

7. Allow myself to say ‘no’. I have always been one to say ‘yes’ to show my commitment, my great attitude, my enthusiasm and my desire to make an impact. There will be times in my personal life and my career where I need to be comfortable with saying ‘no’.

8. Drink 48 ounces of water every day before noon. This is a no brainer – if you drink water, your skin will look better, you won’t overeat out of a disconnect between your stomach and your brain, and you’ll flush out the bad toxins that plague your body without warning. If I get 48 ounces in before noon, it will set me up for success for the rest of the day.

I know that setting eight goals may seem like a lot, but each of these in their own way will bring me happiness, organization, preparation, and escape that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to pinpoint and hone in on. It’s a learning experience!

What are your goals? Do you set goals for yourself daily, weekly, monthly? How do you keep track of your accomplishments?

❤ JE