Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ten on Ten :: November 2016

I only took two pictures on November 10, 2016. One was of my #firstredcup in front of the decorated Christmas tree that's already been up at the mall where I work for a few days. I had high hopes for a solid ten pictures throughout the day at that point. 

The other one was this. I posted it on Instagram and Facebook with the following caption:

51 weeks ago, I posted a similar picture bragging about my peers working together to buy over 200 turkeys to help give families in our community turkey for Thanksgiving. So here I am, holding a frozen turkey in front of my face once again. Only this time, it meant a lot more to me. The last two days have been rough. My heart breaks for my fellow Americans who are overcome with fear and who have already been the victim of hate. My heart breaks for those who have reacted to the election results by burning the American flag or have stated the new President Elect is "not my president". Because here's the thing, I'm an American and on January 20, Mr. Trump will be my president. Because of this reality, I want to do everything in my power to show my fellow Americans and the rest of the world that as my president, he does not represent my values. Only I can hold myself accountable for my actions so I will work to bring more love into this world instead. Tonight, I was but one small piece of a group of 18-26 year olds who swarmed the grocery stores of Lafayette and Louisville to provide turkeys for families in need this holiday season. That group included both Clinton voters and Trump voters. The focus was loving and serving our community. That's what I choose to be a part of. If there's one coherent feeling I can actually make sense of this week, it's that I'm out of excuses for choosing not to love and serve. It's more important now than ever, in my opinion. I would urge you who are unhappy with the results to get involved in your communities where you can. Vote in the mid-term elections in 2018. Accept Mr. Trump as your president, but reject the notion that love does not trump hate. Make no mistake, electoral college elected Mr. Trump, but the American people elected Secretary Clinton. Let that be a sliver of hope to you that the majority of Americans did not buy into the racism, sexism, bigotry, and xenophobia. Remember the words of First Lady Obama: "When they go low, we go high." Smile at a stranger. Meet your neighbor. Teach your children to be accepting of everyone. Commit a random act of kindness. Trust in God. 
[Matthew 22:37-39]

November 2010 | November 2012 | November 2013 | November 2014 | November 2015

Monday, November 07, 2016

November 2016 Goals


{Spiritual} Read 1 Proverb per day. Mission: Accomplished. I did this week Luke, but we rarely talked about them afterward and there were a handful of days when I had to play catch up. It wasn't really what I envisioned it being.

{Financial} Spend less money than I did in September. I did! At least $200 less.

{Social} Have at least two dates with Luke. Well, we did technically have 2 dates, but we watched the same movie over those two dates since he fell asleep halfway through Inception the first time. We gotta do better in November. Our list of things to watch is just too long to move at this pace!

{Mental} Start Sudoku again. Ugh.

{Physical} Take 10 classes toward the See Your Strong Challenge. I took 8. I was so busy with everything going on at the studio lately that I wasn't able to take the last 2 days of the month that I worked.

{Personal} Take 10,000 steps per day. I was killing it. I went from September 30th through October 13th with 10,000+ steps. On October 14th, I got home from work, Skyped with Luke for a bit, and then promptly fell asleep around 5:00PM. I woke up after midnight to discover I had only done 6,650 steps that day. I also fell short on October 26th when I only got 7,632 after a long day consisting of 2 meetings that kept me seated for a total of 3 hours. The last weekend of October, I was totally wiped out and had to give myself some grace. I logged 4,448 steps on October 29th and 5,389 steps on October 30th. If I hadn't come up short those other two days, I probably would have tried harder, but I really needed some rest.

{Professional} Finish the Front Desk Manual. I'm THIS close.


{Spiritual} Set up a plan for K2 and put together the necessary materials. We start with our official meetings this month and I need to make sure we actually have structure.

{Financial} Get my credit card's outstanding balance under $1,000. Goodness, how refreshing would it be to see only a triple digit outstanding balance?

{Social} Do something nice for a friend. Whether this is buying coffee or lunch for someone, sending someone a card for no reason other than to say hello, or something else, I just want to do something nice for someone just because I love them.

{Mental} Finish a book. I just need to get back into the habit of reading. Too much Netflix.

{Physical} Finish the See Your Strong Challenge with 25 points. Our challenge ends on November 16th. The goal is to take 20 classes and get the 5 bonus points.

{Personal} Only get Starbucks once a week. It's too easy to run down there for a "quick breakfast" that costs me nearly $10. I have tea and oatmeal at work. I don't need to get Starbucks more than once a week, if that.

{Professional} Be at the desk 30 minutes before every class starts. I've fallen into the bad habit of hanging out in the office and not actually being at the desk when clients start to arrive. I need to set a better example.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies 2.0

One of my favorite fall recipes are the Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies that I've been making since 2013. I originally borrowed the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction with some minor tweaks, but now, three years later, I've made some more tweaks. So here are my favorite Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies 2.0, back and better than ever!

2 cups + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and protein powder together.  Fold in the oats. Set aside.

Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium size bowl.  Whisk in the molasses, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.  Once combined, whisk in the egg.  Add the pumpkin and vanilla and whisk until thick and combined completely. Pour into dry ingredients and gently mix.  The dough will be very thick, heavy, and sticky,  Keep mixing until just combined, no more.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets.  About 2 or 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. Slightly flatten the help the cookies spread in the oven.  Do not flatten completely.  If desired, press a few of chocolate chips onto the top of the cookie dough balls for looks.

Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges, and still appearing soft in the centers.  (My cookies always take 14 minutes.)  Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets. The cookies' flavor is best on day 2. Cookies remain fresh and soft stored in an airtight container for 10 days.

I've always put in more spices into this recipe, so I thought I'd record it. Recently, I've been putting in less sugar and chocolate chips. (I don't like as many chocolate chips because they can be overbearing with the chewy pumpkin cookie goodness! I also added protein powder and you couldn't even tell!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ten on Ten :: October 2016

Fall vibes at the barre this morning. 

And fall vibes at Trader Joe's 

I spent half the morning tracking down the package that had our new sock display after it got delivered to our neighbor on Friday. But it was worth it because I'm kind of obsessed. 

Took the scenic route home because construction traffic is out of control. 

Looking ahead to the week...and even a little to 2017.

Luke and I are reading a Proverb a day this month, so today was Proverbs 10.

One of my goals for the month is to get 10,000+ steps every day this month. I'm on 11 consecutive days and I kind of can't believe it. I used to do alright, but then I got into a rut where I was averaging about 5,000 steps. Yikes. 

A nice October evening. 

After dinner, I decided to light a new fall candle and have some salted caramel apple cider. 

Ending the day with some Harry Potter in my reading nook.

Monday, October 03, 2016

October 2016 Goals


{Spiritual} Prepare to lead a small group. Yes an no. I should be finding out about my small group soon, but I need to do more spiritual preparation, I think.

{Financial} Don't spend on my credit cards at all. Boom, roasted. I actually managed to do this!

{Social} Connect with 5 people I don't really know at the Young Adults Retreat. I'd say mission accomplished! I lead the breakout group for my cabin with seven girls I had never met and spent some quality time with other girls I didn't know very well throughout the weekend, in addition to growing closer with people I already know quite well.

{Mental} Start Sudoku again. Shoot! This is so easy and I didn't even do it once!

{Physical} Take 3 Pure Barre classes and 1 Platform class per week. Not even close. I've just been too busy at work.

{Personal} Don't buy breakfast. It was about halfway through the month, but I finally stocked up on oatmeal again. Then Trader Joe's released Pumpkin O's for the year, so I was pretty set.

{Professional} Finish the Front Desk Manual. Nope, I got too caught up with planning a number of other things.


{Spiritual} Read 1 Proverb per day. Luke and I decided to do this together since there are 31 days in October and 31 Proverbs.

{Financial} Spend less money than I did in September. It wasn't by any means my highest spending month of the year, but it doesn't hurt to try to spend less and save more.

{Social} Have at least two dates with Luke. Since we're long distance, our dates are pretty different than normal. We watch movies together on Skype, but we haven't done that since before he visited a month ago. There are probably some other things we could do, but sometimes it's just nice to plan a block of time to spend together, even if we're just talking.

{Mental} Start Sudoku again. Let's try this again.

{Physical} Take 10 classes toward the See Your Strong Challenge. We're starting a nationwide challenge on October 17th to take 20 classes in 31 days. So by October 31st, I'd like to be halfway through the challenge.

{Personal} Take 10,000 steps per day. Maybe that's physical too, but that's another goal I would really like to stick to this month..

{Professional} Finish the Front Desk Manual. Let's try this again.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ten on Ten :: September 2016

Pre-gaming with sweet potato fries like you do.

Finally wearing my Straight Outta Boulder shirt.

Crossing the river on the way up to the stadium, as always. 

Checking out the new legacy bricks. The 1990's...the glory days. 

Got held up at security for some unknown reason. 

Checking out the new practice facility, which served as the "Buffs Fan Zone" before the game. 

How nice is it that Folsom started selling alcohol again when I was old enough to drink. 

Waiting for kick off. 

It was 49-0 at half, so basically everyone left. CU won 56-7! 

Kind of in awe of this luscious (and bright green) grass.

September 2010 | September 2011September 2012 | September 2013 | September 2014 | September 2015

Friday, September 09, 2016

September 2016 Goals


{Spiritual} Finish The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating and start a new relationship series. We finished The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating and had a lot of great conversations about it. We decided to go a different route and listed to an old series from Flatirons called Excuses after that. The routine of listening to one podcast and discussing each week has been great though.

{Financial} Use my envelopes 100% of the time. Fail. But I'd love to actually do this for an entire month and see what it feels like. I know it won't be easy but I know it will be worth it.

{Social} Meet with someone from Merge once a week during the hiatus. Unfortunately this just didn't happen. 

{Mental} Finish a book. So close. Dang it!

{Physical} Take 3 Pure Barre classes and 1 Platform class per week. Kind of, but not really.

{Personal} Give up dairyAlmost. I definitely need to be more restrictive with this because I feel better without dairy.

{Professional} Make serious headway with all of our awesome events coming up in the next few monthsSuccess! I'm so excited for the stuff we have in store! The rest of the year is going to be so busy, but so fun!


{Spiritual} Prepare to lead a small group. I'm not quite sure who is going to be in my group, but it's looking like I'm going to be leading a small group through the school year. That's a major step for me and not something I take lightly.

{Financial} Don't spend on my credit cards at all. I mean, self-explanatory, right?

{Social} Connect with 5 people I don't really know at the Young Adults Retreat. Merge is headed up to the mountains this month for a fall retreat and I'd love to come back with a few more friends than I left with.

{Mental} Start Sudoku again. After a reminder of how important it is to stay sharp, I realized how much I miss doing Sudoku all the time. I need to invest in a good book or something.

{Physical} Take 3 Pure Barre classes and 1 Platform class per week. I'd love to get into this habit and actually make it a habit.

{Personal} Don't buy breakfast. It's just cheaper, isn't it? Since I have to be at work so early, I'm in the habit of hitting up Starbucks in the morning. Instead, I should be having something healthier and cheaper at home (or at work). Plus, the return of Pumpkin-O's at Trader Joe's should be upon us soon!

{Professional} Finish the Front Desk Manual. Creating a training manual has been haunting me for ages. Instead, I want to make a more comprehensive Front Desk Manual. I made a lot of headway with it in August, but I need to finish it and somehow convince all the girls to read every last word!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ten on Ten :: August 2016

I've been trying to be better about what I eat and one of the things that includes is trading my (iced) soy chai from Starbucks for English Breakfast tea with a splash of almond milk. Probably saves a few dollars too. 

Had to go to the bank, so I decided to walk since it's so close and I have the best view in the world.

Another thing I've been trying to be better at is snacking! Last week I packaged a bunch of healthy snacks into baggies of one serving size each. I've also been loving this rxbars. The coconut chocolate is my favorite. (So far!) 

No class for me today. Just observing.

Working on some exciting things for the studio, including launching our campus ambassador program 2.0! 

So remember that eating plan? Yeah, then this happened. I mean, at least it's a salad and small fries (that Sam and I split), right?

 Okay, then this happened. But at least it was a mini cup, right?

 When there's nothing left to photograph, just photograph the cat.

Writing down some prayers and some dreams. 

Sam and I went to Target earlier in the evening (between Chick-Fil-A and TCBY) and I picked this up since it's marked down at Target and I've been rereading my original copy for the umpteenth time. I just cannot get over the illustrations!

Monday, August 01, 2016

August 2016 Goals


{Spiritual} Spend 30 minutes of uninterrupted time with God. This turned out to be much more difficult than I expected. I found the hardest part was not interrupting myself. Even if I was intentional about unplugging and finding a quiet space, it was hard to stay focused. I think this is something that will forever be a work in progress.

{Financial} Don't use my credit cards all month. Close, but no cigar. I was really good about not using them, except for when I booked a flight and a hotel with them.

{Social} Be better about checking in with people in my life. There's always room for improvement here, right? But early in the month at a meeting, a friend had to leave because of an emergency with another friend and when I saw her the other day, I asked her about it. The amount of gratitude she expressed to me about my remembering was awesome. I want to recreate that moment all the time!

{Mental} Read before bed instead of watch Netflix. I've done it! Well, at least made progress. It used to be that every single night of the month I would fall asleep with Netflix on my laptop, which would sit open on my bed all night. In July, I only had 13 nights like that, most of which were at the beginning. Most recently, I don't even remember one second of the episode of Friends I started playing before I fell asleep, so really all it's doing is running my computer needlessly. Although I also invested (by that, I mean spent $17) on a laptop tray to keep it off my mattress and blankets since I did just buy a brand new battery. So anyway, that's better than the previous six months. Victory!

{Physical} Go hiking at least once a week. Nope. 

{Personal} Be better about thinking before I speak. This is another one that will always be a work in progress. And to be honest, I'm not sure I even made any progress this last month. Something has been bothering me that I said and immediately wished I could take back. That is not a great feeling, especially a lingering feeling.

{Professional} Finally put together a training manual. Nope. And the clock is ticking since I'm training two new girls in August!


{Spiritual} Finish The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating and start a new relationship seriesI feel like more often than not, pastors preach about marriage, parenting, etc. I enjoy those sermons, but more in a way where I think, "Okay, great, I'll file that away for way down the road." I really enjoy a good series on dating and Andy Stanley's Love, Sex, and Dating has been recommended to me more than once. Next on the list: probably Steven Furtick's Meant to Be or even Rewired from Flatirons.

{Financial} Use my envelopes 100% of the timeThat's the point, right? Too often I fall into using my card intermittently, even though I've carefully budgeted for each section of spending. That's not a good habit to have!

{Social} Meet with someone from Merge once a week during the hiatusMerge is on summer break until the fall semester. It's always nice to have a break from routine, but I always feel more connected to the community when I continue to hang out with people throughout the breaks.

{Mental} Finish a bookI started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone again. I used to reread the whole series every summer and I could usually knock out the first three books in a weekend. I kid you not. I just got the new illustrated version and I'm already ten chapters in. Should be a piece of cake. Baby steps, right?

{Physical} Take 3 Pure Barre classes and 1 Platform class per weekMy boss, Shalisa, recommended this routine to me as part of my eating plan. She made a valid point. I'm here five days a week already, so why not?

{Personal} Give up dairyI just want to try it and see what happens.

{Professional} Make serious headway with all of our awesome events coming up in the next few months. We're planning some cool events through the end of the year, starting with the Pure Barre Olympics this month. That one was kind of last minute, but the others have been in the works for ages already and I'm really excited to see them through!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ten on Ten :: July 2016

I actually did fun and exciting things for once, but I was too busy living in the moment to remember to take quality pictures. Or to even take a tenth picture.

July 2010July 2011 | July 2012 | July 2013 | July 2014 | July 2015

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

July 2016 Goals


{Spiritual} Start my new prayer journal. Check! And I love it!

{Financial} Change my IRA account. Just need to sign a couple more documents, but then I'm good to go.

{Social} Try to adjust my attitude about some things that are bothering me in my social circle. I think this shift was able to take place and I'm feeling much better about things now.

{Mental} Read before bed instead of watch Netflix. Nope.

{Physical} Go to kickboxing at least once a week. Well, I went once. I wanted to make it a Monday night habit, but I just couldn't get into it.

{Personal} Spend less time on social media. I still have Twitter off my phone and I think I've been spending less time on Instagram and Facebook. At least, I've been less concerned with catching up to where I left off on Instagram in particular, but I'm spending more time on Snapchat than I ever have before.

{Professional} Start reviewing the front desk girls. I started this process! I had each of them fill out a self-evaluation. I just need to go over it with them.


{Spiritual} Spend 30 minutes of uninterrupted time with GodAt the last leader meeting with Merge, we talked about what small steps we could take to be better fulfilled by God. I'm pretty good about reading the Bible and journaling daily, but not without distractions.

{Financial} Don't use my credit cards all monthHow can I eliminate my debt if I keep acquiring more?

{Social} Be better about checking in with people in my life. When I talk to my friends and family about what's going on with them, I want to to be better about following up about whatever we talked about. Whether that be wishing someone luck on an interview or at a new job or just following up with them about whatever they told me was going on with them.

{Mental} Read before bed instead of watch NetflixI'll give this another shot because I REALLY need to break this habit.

{Physical} Go hiking at least once a weekI'm already on track for that, I just need to keep it up. I've hiked in Boulder the last two weeks, so it seems like a pretty reasonable expectation.

{Personal} Be better about thinking before I speakI have a tendency to say things and immediately regret them, whether it be because of what I said, how I said it, or who I said it to. I need to reel it in a bit and consider how what I'm about to say might effect me or who I'm saying it to.

{Professional} Finally put together a training manualThis will make my life so much easier when I have to hire new girls for the front desk and it's something I've been putting off for basically the entire year I've been at my position.