Friday, June 27, 2014


Back in January 2013, I wrote a post talking about my "Unfinished Knits of Years Past" (which you can read here). At that time I had 11 UFO's on the list. Today there are 14, as witnessed here in a screenshot of my Ravelry (angelny29) project list:
So are any of the original 11 still on this list? Yes, 11 to be exact. I know.

During the past year and a half, there have been some finished projects. I completed four Honey Cowls and one pair of vanilla socks. All were Christmas gifts.
Honey Cowl #1 - For my niece Ashley.
Honey Cowl #2 - For my sister MB.
Honey Cowl #3 - For my niece Kaitlin.
Honey Cowl #4 - For my sister Kathy.
Vanilla Socks - For my nephew Jeremy.

Back in the day (yes, I talk like it was 20 years ago instead of just six or seven) I was a knitting machine. In 2007, I had 21 FO's. In 2008, there were 47 FO's (my all time high). I was still going strong in 2009 with 23 FO's. Then it went drastically downhill from there for one reason or another.

While I am not necessarily looking to rock that many FO's in a year anymore, I am wanting to complete more projects than I have during the past couple of years.

So here I am setting some goals. I work well with goals. Goals help keep me going and motivated. I love being able to tick the completed section of each goal one by one. I'm a goal junkie.

Goal #1 and #2: Finish "Deborah's Honey Cowl" and "Iced Eucalyptus Beret" pronto. Both of these items are mere inches from being finished and sadly could of been done during the Polar Vortex so I could of enjoyed them.

Goal #3: "Bacon Socks" - I seriously need to finish sock number two so I can have the leftover yarn for my "Sock Yarn Blankie".

Goal #4: The "Boneyard Shawl" will be the next item to complete. I know it is also almost at the completion point. I believe I stopped because I was trying to figure out how many more repeats I could do and still have enough yarn left for bind off.

Goal #5: "Some Cloudy Day" legwarmers - One legwarmer complete, the other halfway done. Enough said.

Ongoing Goal: Complete at least 5-6 squares on my "Sock Yarn Blankie" each week. I have been working on this blanket since 2010 and know that this is a long term project. I would really like to finish it before I am in my rocking chair so hopefully this will help put a dent in it.

For right now, these are my top knitting goals. Once I check some of these off the list, I will update and revise accordingly.

To hold myself accountable, because really I want to finish so I can start new, I have decided I will dedicate at least one post a week to knitting. I honestly miss talking about and sharing my knitting. So I am going to change things up and get a little something of what started this blog in 2007 back. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Did I Succeed?

Before the month of June is over, I thought it was high time I revisited those fitness goals I set for myself in May!

As a refresher, here is what I stated as my goals and the actual post on them is here:
So how did I do?

The HIIT workouts and weight training were nonexistent during the month and still have yet to make a reappearance in my life. I blame this on the lack of space we had in the basement apartment. As we got closer to moving out, the little bit of floor space I had completely disappeared. I know that once things get really settled in the new apartment, I will be working this back into my routine.

My weekly meal plan/prep received a little kick in the behind in May. I didn't give it the dedication as I have in the past (as seen here, here and here), but I did make sure to think about what I wanted to have for my lunches during the work week and made it happen. So what if it was the same meal everyday for five days? The variety will come back to me now that I have the time and space to prepare.

H2O, H2O, H2O, I drank so much H2O I could of floated away!

Lose 4 pounds - Didn't happen. I did lose 1.5 pounds though and I know that if I had added those extra workouts in, I would of knocked this goal out of the park. I am seriously not stressing over it. I have since lost an additional 1 pound and my pants have gotten considerably looser. I am heading in the right direction and that's all that matters.

Run the entire month of May (#31daysofrunning)...

If you follow me on Instagram (angelny29), or friends with me on Facebook, you already know the outcome of this huge goal.

I did write a post recapping the first 8 days, but then life got all kinds of crazy and things took a backseat, with blogging being one of them.

However, I did CRUSH this goal!!! I posted faithfully every day to my social media accounts with a snapshot of my running watch to hold me accountable. When all was said and done, I ended up running a total of 33 days straight. I ran the last 2 days of April and didn't stop chugging along until June.

I am still amazed at myself whenever I take a look at this:
Each of those blue entries mean I ran that day!

I ran 119.7 miles for a total of 21 hours, 5 minutes and 19 seconds and burned a total of 11,286 calories in the month of May.

I never, ever thought I would be able to run that many days straight.

Were there days I didn't want to lace up my shoes and go for a run? Absolutely. What got me through those days was knowing that I only had to run 1 mile that day if I wanted. That's 10 minutes or less of running for me. I can do that.

Did I learn anything from this experience or see any benefits from running every day? Absolutely. I learned that my body is quite capable of running every day without having to take a rest day. I just needed to remember that when I felt tired or sluggish, I need to run slower or keep it short.
I also learned that I can actually have an awesome long run despite not taking any rest days. Some of my best runs during the month were my long trail runs. The weeks my total mileage was in the 30's, I knew I needed to cut back a bit the following week. My speed also returned to me a lot quicker than if I had run only 4-5 times a week.

Would I do it again? Sure would! I always fancied the thought of extending the challenge to running 100 days straight, but right now I am in no hurry to jump on that bandwagon.

So talk to me. Tell me what kind of goals you've set, or would like to set, for yourself. Just remember, anything really is possible!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer's Here!

I spent some time on the first day of summer going through a couple of my favorite cookbooks and recipe files. Now that I have a much bigger kitchen, I am super excited to start cooking up some of my favorites!

While getting back into my weekly meal planning for work, I decided this week I would pick one of my summer favorites.

Veggie Wheat Berry Salad

 Lots of chopping ensued...

 Green Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Red Onion, Celery and Tomatoes all looking pretty in the bowl...
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus soaking and marinating time
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

1 cup wheat berries, preferably the soft wheat variety
1 lb tomatoes, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, cut lengthwise into thirds and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
Several dashes hot red pepper sauce

1. Soak wheat berries in a big bowl of cool water for at least 8 hours (up to 16 hours max). Drain them in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Pour wheat berries into a large saucepan, fill it about two-thirds of the way with water, and bring to a boil over high-heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until grains are tender with some chew still left, about 1 hour. Drain, then run under cool water to bring wheat berries to room temperature. Drain thoroughly.

2. Put cooked wheat berries in a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

I will generally take 1 cup of wheat berries and soak them in water overnight in a covered dish in the refrigerator. Cooking time has taken anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, but I add 2 tablespoons. I also opt to leave out the hot red pepper sauce. Finally, I do not leave out to marinate at room temperature. I immediately put mine in the refrigerator.

Bon appetite!

Friday, June 6, 2014

#GoVoxBox Say What?

About a month ago I decided to join Influenster after hearing about it all over YouTube and Instagram.

It's completely free to join. You can select badges you want to become an "expert" on by simply completing certain tasks, which include leaving reviews on products you use, answering questions and taking really short quick surveys. Not difficult at all and really only takes a few minutes each time you want to log on to the site. Your profile is assigned a value as to what Influenster thinks your influence would be. Of course higher the number, the more influential you potentially are.

One perk of being on Influenster is that you can potentially qualify to receive a box of complimentary goodies for testing purposes. They have all different types of boxes and depending on what badges you select, will determine what kind of box you could receive.

I was extremely surprised that within a week of being on Influenster, I received one of the highly coveted emails saying that I pre-qualified for receiving a #GoVoxBox. I simply had to complete the attached survey and wait to see if I was going to be one of the lucky 5,000 recipients of the box. Within a week, I was told I would be receiving one of the boxes.

So here's a quick look at what my box included:
The box was centered all around wellness and living an active lifestyle! Why yes, I do believe that is me!

The product brands included were Playtex Sport and Gentle Glide, The Vitamin Shoppe, Blue Diamond Almonds, Profoot Care, Aqua Spa Bath and Muller Quaker.

I have already tried a few of the items and will be writing a follow-up post with my honest thoughts and personal opinions of what I tried and tested.

Thanks @Influenster for giving me this opportunity to explore these brands!

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Popping By

I just wanted to pop by to say hello to everyone! Life has been a serious whirlwind these past couple of weeks. When things settle down over the next week or so, I want to come back and give a proper update on everything.

Quickly though, I did want to say that I CRUSHED one of my May Fitness Goals (will dedicate a future post on this one), my honey and I FINALLY moved into our new apartment this past Sunday (even though we aren't 100% done or 100% moved in) and there are some EXCITING vacation plans in our future!

So much to talk about and not enough time (at this moment)!

I promise I will be back soon! xoxo