I am a few days behind, thanks to some things that happened that kept me away from my computer, as well as my blog breaking thanks to a theme update! But I am back! Instead of doing each post individually, I am going to condense days 7-10 into one post, just to make it easier on me. Hope you don’t mind!
December 7: Leaving on a Jetplane
Did you take a particularly amazing vacation this year? Where did you go? What did you see? How did you get there? How did you document it? And if you didn’t travel anywhere spectacular, describe your dream vacation.
Unfortunately, Mr. Fox and I didn’t get to go on any vacations this year, other than a somewhat spontaneous trip to Indiana to visit my parents for their anniversary. We had planned on traveling to Phoenix for a few days in October, but alas, funds were not expendable enough to warrant that vacation sadly. I’ve been really looking forward to going back to Phoenix and visiting, since my last trip in March of 2011. We had also planned on going down to Orlando to visit Mr. Fox’s cousin Lou and his wife and kids, and maybe head over to St. Augustine to visit my brother and go to his restaurant Meehan’s on Matanzas. But obviously, that didn’t happen either.
As of right now, we don’t have any trips set in stone for 2013. We do have time off in March during spring break, during which I have no idea what we’re doing yet. Maybe Phoenix, maybe Williamsburg. I am also hoping to get to Portland next June for Fitbloggin’ 13, and possibly get to finally meet Lisa (who lives that way) from 110 Pounds. If I get to Fitbloggin, I might even get to see Emmie from Skinny Emmie and Ms. Fab from Diary of a Fab Girl, both of whom I haven’t seen since last October when we all walked in Indy at for the Walk from Obesity. It also helps that I’ve never been to Oregon before, and I would be able to cross it off my list of places I haven’t been to before!
Aside from that, my dream vacation won’t be happening any time soon. Mr. Fox and I are planning on doing a trip to Europe in 2014 for our 5-year anniversary. England, France and Italy (so far). Lot’s of time to plan for that one though
December 8: Practice Makes Perfect
Some things get better over time. Maybe you started something like Couch to 5K in the beginning of the year, and now you’ve run your first marathon. Perhaps you couldn’t boil water, and now you’re a gourmand in the kitchen. What is something you started in the beginning of 2012 that you can now do better at the end? How was the journey along the way?
There are many things that I wish I would have started this year that I continued, in order to bring them into 2013.
One thing that I did start this year that I can bring into 2013 is meal planning, specifically more for clean eating.
There was once a time that Mr. Fox and I would go to the grocery store and just throw stuff into the cart. We would shop for 2 weeks at a time, and I would very rarely buy any fresh produce, since it would likely go bad before we’d eat it. Shortly before we moved away from Indiana, we started buying on a weekly basis instead, which essentially raised our food budget a little, but things weren’t going to waste as much as they were before.
This past May, thanks to 100 Days of Real Food, I discovered The Fresh 20, which is a meal planning service of 5 meals a week, using 20 ingredients. It was really good…at first. Until Mr. Fox decided he didn’t much care for the recipes. Then I was and out of the hospital because of my asthma (which sucks because I felt so much better after being on real food), and I was just plain tired. My complaint with TF20 was that there was a lot of prep work involved that sometimes, I just didn’t feel like doing. So I set out to find another meal planning service that cut out the prep time by a lot, and came upon The Six O’Clock Scramble. It boasted recipes that took 30 minutes start to finish, and unlike TF20, you got 7 meal plans instead of 5 a week. Additionally, you had access to the entire archive, and could mix and match and change accordingly. Unfortunately for me however, this meant that I started seeking out the tastier, more unhealthy recipes. Which had obviously defeated the original purpose. I gave up The Scramble (though I still follow Aviva on Twitter because she’s super nice!) in favor of eMeals, because I came across a Groupon for a year subscription, plus the weekly lunch plan, for super cheap. Also, the great thing about eMeals is that you can switch plans once a month, so say you start on the Paleo plan, and then decide it’s not for you, so you can try out the clean eating plan (which is the one we’re currently using) the next month.
That all being said, I have become annoyed with it all. I wanted to try Paleo, but I am allergic to most seafood, so I’d pretty much be eating just beef, chicken and pork, since I don’t eat lamb or veal. So now we’re on the clean-eating plan, and there seem to be 3 seafood recipes a week. I don’t necessarily *mind* making fish for Mr. Fox and something else for me, but that incurs more expense and it’s more of a pain in the ass when I have to cook two separate meals.
I’ve decided to give Plan to Eat a try. Instead of giving you meal plans, you input your own recipes and it makes your grocery lists and everything. Plus, it’s mobile friendly, which is hugely important since I like to keep my shopping list on my phone. With P2E, you can have your list right on your phone and check it off within the site. Since I’ve missed gathering recipes from Pinterest, this screams awesome to me! Also, I have eMeals until next October and I don’t have to pay for it until then, so I can combine some eMeals recipes with ones I already have. Though I really need to clean out my cooking bookmarks. I have a folder totally devoted to mac and cheese. I think I have some issues.
So yeah, if I have to pick something that I’ve practiced and mastered in 2012, it’s meal-planning. Sure, it may be difficult when you’re constantly switching meal planning services, but I’ve got the basic gist. Now I just need to get our budget sorted, and stick to it! Maybe it’s time to start couponing…
December 9: Happy Days
Sometimes, there is just one day out of 365 that is just so amazing, that you’re just blissfully *happy*, even when things don’t go your way. Has there been a day this year that sticks out in your mind, where you’ve just been so happy that you had to shout it from the rooftops? What happened? What made that day better than any other day in 2012?
If I had to pick a day that I was blissfully happy, I think it would have to be a toss up between a couple days.
January 6, 2012
On January 6, Mr. Fox and I set off on our new adventure, moving from Indianapolis to Philadelphia. Why would this make me happy, you ask? Well, for one, by the time we left Indy, I hated it so much. Not necessarily the people in it, because I did have some great friends, but just living there in general was awful. So many bad things happening in the 3 years I was there, and I was happy to leave it all behind that cold January morning. I know I’ve talked a lot about the move on the bloggy blog, but honestly, it was the best decision I ever made, so why wouldn’t I want to scream it from the rooftops?
December 4, 2012
December 4 was Mr. Fox’s and my 3 year wedding anniversary. This is pretty significant actually, because of my past track record. You see, for those who don’t know, this is actually my third marriage since 2005. And before you say something snarky, I realize I wasn’t in the best place in my life the first two times. I was young, and made a lot of snap decisions without thinking them through, and that contributed to my marriage problems. However, the saying of “third time’s a charm” rang true this time around. Mr. Fox is truly my soulmate, and I am so glad that we met when we did, because had we met anytime before then, I don’t think we’d be together now. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. We both needed to mature, both mentally and emotionally, and if we had met years ago, it just wouldn’t have worked. But I am glad that it worked *now*. We’ve been together since April of 2008, so April 2013 will be 5 years together, and then December 2013 will be 4 years married. We are going to renew our vows though in 2014, and have the ceremony/reception that we didn’t get to have when we got married. Then it’s off to Europe! I love you babe, forever and evers.
December 10: Ten Words
Rather than picking just one word to describe 2012, what are 10 words that you can use to describe 2012? Why did you choose these words, and how do they make you feel? If you can’t pick 10, pick as many as you can come up with. Are there any words for 2012 that you don’t want to see in 2013? Additionally, are there any words you wanted to use for 2012 but didn’t?
Hmm, even though I wrote this prompt, I always have a hard time coming up with a response for this type of prompt!
- Change: starting with our move in January, this year has been all about change. Change of scenery, change of job, change of diet. Apartment rent to home ownership. Our move gave us a clean slate for change, and for that I am grateful.
- Love: even with all the stress this year, I think that Mr. Fox and I became even closer, and that made our marriage even stronger than ever before. We may have our ups and downs, but I can safely say that we have love on our side, and that’s extremely important to me.
- Family: when Mr. Fox and I moved, we left my parents in Indy, which was really hard for me because I am extremely close to my mom. But we survived the 8 months apart until they got here to Philly, and now I don’t feel so alone anymore.
- Asthma: gah, this one is one I don’t want in 2013! My asthma really started bothering me big time this year! I have been in the hospital 6 times this year as a result, and I just want it to go away! Back in 2010, when I was a bit of a gym rat, I had no asthma issues! I just want to go back to that. As a result, I started going to the Asthma Center and found out what I’m allergic to, but I am discontinuing the allergy shots I’ve been getting because they seem to be exacerbating the problem. Go to hell, asthma!
- Food: for the longest time, I’ve been apprehensive about trying new foods. However, in 2012, I would like to think I branched out pretty good as a result of our diet change. I tried hummus and chick peas for the first time and loved them. I tried avocados, and extended that to guacamole and fell in love. I also tried black beans, and love them as well. And kale, don’t even get me started on sautéed kale! I am still warming up to goat cheese, but I am not too sure about that one. In addition to trying new things in the kitchen, Mr, Fox and I also tried a great many new restaurants. We live in a very food-diverse town, and try and frequent as many local flavors as possible. I think I can count on one hand, the number of chain restaurants we’ve been to since we’ve lived here. My favorite local place so far has been Lucky’s Last Chance.
- Health: because I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time in the ER, I’ve had pretty much every test under the sun, in addition to tests I have at my various doctor’s offices. I’ve been slowly and steadily getting my health in order, and it gives me all the feels. It’s just a jumping off point for healthy living in 2013!
- Faith: this is one of the words I would have liked to use for 2012 but didn’t get a chance to. When we knew we were going to move here, I researched synagogues in the area, because I really wanted to get back in touch with my faith (Judaism). But alas, we never got a chance to join one. The farthest we got was joining the Jewish Community Center, and even then we don’t even go. The closest I get is to buying a Jewish Exponent when I go to the deli every week. So this is definitely something I would like to work on in 2013. Mr. Fox and I plan to send whatever children we have to Hebrew school, and I feel like I need to learn more about the religion I was born into, for my own enrichment, and preferably before we have children.
- WordPress: I realize that this is a pretty weird word to pick for 2012. But I have a reason! It took me a while to realize that I had found a niche, or creative outlet if you will, for myself. Thanks to Dr. Greg for giving me the subtle push in that direction, I wouldn’t have decided to start taking other clients for WordPress design. I have so much fun creating sites for people, because I love to see their reactions when I show them the finished product, and I love to visit their site and see my signature in the footer. This also gives me all the feels, and I hope that 2013 brings me some more wonderful clients!
- Friendship: I would like to think that I’ve done a pretty good job of making new friends in 2012, as well as maintaining current friendships and rekindling past ones. Although, there were a couple times in which I could say that I was a pretty bad friend. But that is something I am going to work on for next year. I want to keep existing friendships, even if they’re far away, because everyone makes an impact on my life, no matter where they are.
- Breathe: I need to stop and breathe sometimes. I often put a lot on my plate, and don’t leave time to do anything for myself. The only breaks I seem to get are on days after a holiday, in which I take a mini-break to do whatever I want. But then I always find a way back to the work I’ve put off. I am hoping that I can teach myself some time management skills in 2013, because I can definitely use it, without a doubt. Lord knows, my knitting has fallen by the wayside, as I haven’t completed an actual project in months. I need to finish what I start!
So, that’s my extremely long catch up for prompts 7-10. I realize I said I wanted to post this yesterday, but I got sidetracked. Look for Day 11 in it’s own post.