I am sure I am not the only blogger out there that plan ahead posts, especially one like the first post of a new year. I had all these ideas of linking back and making a photo collage of everything I’ve done in 2016, from being a culinary judge at Kendall College, from quitting my job, to my trip to Austin to help my brother’s family move in March, to taking the leap and working my butt off at farmers markets (I will forever be grateful whenever I go to farmers markets from now on to all the people who put up their tents, pull out all their product, etc. – it’s hard work!) to finding my dream job at The Chopping Block, only to realize that it wasn’t a career I could actually live off of, to coming full circle back to working at a law firm.

It was an interesting year for sure, but an unsettling one at the same time. While I know I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, there was so much uncertainty. Each and every week was different, and while that’s sometimes isn’t a bad thing, I’ve realized that having structure in my life is calming. Knowing what my pay check is going to be, budgeting, etc. And I have to say that I am loving my day job. One of the things I hated about my old job is that most of my day was spent cleaning the office, making coffee, doing lunch runs and occasionally doing some actual legal work. My new job keeps me on my toes all day and I love that feeling. If you give me two jobs I’d probably only do only one right, but give me 15 things and they all work out perfectly.

So my motto for 2017 is #LiveFully. It’s not coincidental that this is Weight Watchers mantra as well. We all know I’ve been on Weight Watchers on and off over the years. My sister and I lost 70 pounds in 1999 – it took us about 15 months to do that. We lived in a two flat together at the same time, so having a buddy that was so close was very helpful. However, my sister and I could equally “suggest” to the other to “why not just order pizza?!” But when I think back to that time, it was consistency, not perfection. In 2013, the year I did 100 days of Insanity, it was the same thing. No matter what was going on in my day, I made time for Insanity and knew that not doing it was not an option.

My friend SuziCate always takes time to reflect on gratitude, joy, awareness and creativeness in each day. I love that idea because it makes you focus on today. Not what could have been yesterday or what tomorrow will bring. I hope to incorporate that mindset in 2017. I also find strength in positive quotes. Here are a few I’ve found around Instagram and Facebook in just the last few days:

“Life is going to push down on you. That is inevitable. . . you can let the weight crush you, or you can decide to push back!”

“Don’t ever pray for a life free from adversity, pray for the strength to handle any adversity.”

“Be more loyal to your dreams than your fears.”

“Stop waiting for the perfect moment.”

That last one really stuck with me when I read it the day after Christmas. Like most people, I decided I was going to get “back on” plan January 1. But I read that and thought “why not today?” And guess what? By drinking water instead of wine, sticking within my points (except for Christmas Eve) I ended my last WI of 2016 with a loss of 3.8. Had I waited until January 1 I probably would have eaten and drank myself through the week and gained another pound or two.

The kadults and I have also decided to do our own meal plans. So I meal planned for myself, asked Hannah and Jacob if they wanted to partake in any of these dinners, they chose two, and they will figure out the rest of their week themselves. Perfect! I spent $52 at the grocery store yesterday, am relying on a few things in my pantry and freezer, and have meal planned out the whole week. Um, chicken may have been on sale for $1.69 this week, so lots of chicken dishes!



  • freezer leftover lasagna soup
  • leftover Thai meatball wraps
  • leftover chicken tikka masala
  • spaghetti squash pasta with Italian sausage
  • Friday – anything leftover that needs to be eaten up!


  • chicken wings with celery, carrots and fruit
  • jerk chicken with black beans and rice
  • Thai meatball lettuce cups
  • chicken stir fry with soba noodles
  • most likely Party Pizza Friday

I am keeping the meal plan quite simple. Being a food blogger I always wanted to come up with like three new recipes a week, well, we all know that hasn’t happened in a while, so I am going to go with one a week – this week the Thai lettuce cups, and if the week allows more, that’s great.

Gratitude: Having a warm house and the comfiest couch evah.

Joy: Spending the holidays with family and concentrating the people around me vs. what’s under the tree.

Awareness: Standing outside with a piping hot cup of coffee in my hand while letting the dogs out and appreciating all the tall trees around me.

I’d love to hear what you are either grateful, joyful or aware of today – even if things are not going the way you may have planned, are having a tough time, I know if you dig deep, you can find something positive about your day.