What I Made in 2013

I know this is a couple days late, but I’m never one to turn down the opportunity to do a recipe round-up. In fact, if I could get by with making my whole blog a recipe round-up I would be one happy gal. The only problem is that I like making the recipes themselves way too much so you get both!

Here are 15 recipes that I posted on my blog in 2013. They aren’t necessarily the top 15 viewed, just my favorites of the top ones.

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What I made in 2013 (aka… a year-long version of WIAW):

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Breakfast

My favorite meal of the day, so I have a lot of breakfast recipes on here.

1. Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

2. Pan Perfect Pancakes

3. Paleo French Toast Sticks

Bread

Making grain-free breads taste good is quite a challenge, so when I come up with a good one, I make sure to share.

4. Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

5. Banana Bread Bake

6. Grain-Free Cinnamon Roll Bread

Cinnamon Rolls

Can you tell that I like quick and easy recipes? Especially cute, hold-able ones like cinnamon rolls.

7. Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

8. Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls

9. Microwave Cinnamon Rolls

Dessert

My desserts actually resemble all of my other recipes with the same clean ingredients.

10. Apple/Pear Crisp

11. Paleo Tagalongs

12. Pumpkin Pie Bars

Savory

I have a disproportionate amount of sweet to savory recipes on this blog. I don’t believe that is a bad thing. 

13. Grain-Free Pumpkin Calzones

14. Chili, Chips and Cheeze

15. Paleo Moussaka

Along with my top recipes, here is also my annual 2013 report for Eating 4 Balance. It gives all of the statistical details like page views, top commenters, referring sites, etc.

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Looking over all that I did on this blog in 2013, I can’t help but be proud. Still, I know there is a lot of room for improvement. A couple of my goals for Eating 4 Balance in 2014 include:

  • Creating a posting schedule/plan.
  • Improving my photography/photo editing.
  • Commenting on more blogs.
  • Responding to more comments.
  • Going self-hosted.
  • Organizing my recipes.
  • Writing more personal/non-food posts.

Thank you for reading Eating 4 Balance and I hope you enjoy what is to come in the next year!

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Questions for you:

  • What is your favorite recipe/post on your blog in 2013?
  • Do you have more savory or sweet recipes on your blog?
  • What blog goals do you have for 2014?
  • Is there anything that you would like to see on Eating 4 Balance?

New Things in 2013 and My Goal for 2014

Try new things.

That was my New Year’s Resolution for 2013.

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Here was my little preamble for why I chose it:

A resolution is supposed to be a lifestyle change. Normally I am a pretty withdrawn, not very social person. Sometimes this can lead to missed opportunities, or just sheer boredom. That’s not to say that I am going to suddenly change overnight from an introvert to an extrovert, but I am going to make a conscious effort to try new things, and make the most of this new year.

This was the second year of not choosing a specific list-related resolution but just a simple goal, and I really like where it has taken me. The idea that I needed to put myself out there, take chances and try new things was always in the back of my mind. I am pretty proud of all that I participated in during 2013. Could I have done more? Absolutely. Like I said, this wasn’t an overnight change for me and there were plenty of opportunities that I should have taken but didn’t. With 2013 over though, all I can do now is focus on what I did do and how happy pushing myself out of that comfort zone of “normal” made me.

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1. Read a different genre of book: The Search for Meaning

2. Blogged about topics other than food: Books, TV Shows and Movies in particular

3. Took a summer internship in a city 3 hours away: Should I Stay or Should I Go? + Tag: Internship

4. Joined The Recipe Redux and shared several healthy recipes: Paleo Banana BreadEasy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes, and Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

5. Made a fancy birthday cake for my brother: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

6. Started a habit of reading my Bible more: Need to keep working on this

7. Went to my first professional baseball game: Detroit Lions

8. Took a leap of faith and agreed to dorm with five other girls: FIVE

9. Learned to change the oil in my car earlier this year: Instagram Picture

10. Went to my first stargazing: Smile, It’s WIAW

11. Hosted an Allergy-Free round-up for Christmas Recipes: Twelve Days

12. Took my first trip to Greenfield Village: Pictorial Deposit

13. Met several amazing new bloggers: Too many to count…

Normally ending on an odd number, not to mention one as “iffy” as 13, would bother me, but here it feels just right. 13 things for the year 2013. Looking over this list I’ll admit that some may seem to an outsider as stretching the confines of my resolution. Making a cake? Hosting a recipe round-up? Taking an internship? What makes these stand out to me is that each one I debated about for awhile before taking the plunge. I feared failure. I feared disappointment.

So victory was even sweeter when each of these things ended up so amazing. The cake was a hit with my brother and his friends. The round-up collected so many recipes and is such a great accomplishment for everyone involved. The internship gave me an invaluable experience.

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There were bumps along the way of course. That cake needed a lot more icing than expected due to the insanely dense cookie dough balls. It also invoked some panic during the final stage of putting on those mini chocolate chips. The frosting was melting fast and my mom and I had to stick those babies on one-by-one…. Then there was the recipe round-up. I ended up having to host two days because I couldn’t get enough to participate. I had to post my round-up of leftover recipes late… And with my internship, there were plenty of tears, stressful nights back at my apartment where I never wanted to go back in, and times where I was on the phone with customers wanting to quit. Some people can be downright heartless.

But I stuck through all three of those events and similarly the other ten listed above, and came out on the other side a better person for it. So I am going to close the book on 2013 and now open another one for 2014.

And it shall be called…

Be open minded.

This is somewhat similar to my resolution for last year and gives me the opportunity to keep on trying to new things. However, it also goes beyond that. Being closed minded is in my opinion one of the biggest character flaws to ever exist. So many things can be prevented by opening myself up to the possibility that I could be wrong or in the very least there could be an equally correct alternative.

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Last year I gave a list of examples of new things that I wanted to try. This was helpful in my visualizing my commitment and showing me its tangibility. So, here are a few ways that I could try to be open minded in 2014:

Look for different ways of doing things.

Don’t automatically say “no” to someone. Hear them out.

Even if I think I’m right, listen to all of the other possibilities.

Walk into uncomfortable situations with a willing attitude.

Never judge someone by appearances.

Be ready to be proven wrong.

With this goal at the forefront of my noggin, I am opening my arms wide to the new year and all that it is to come. As always there will be wonderful as well as rocky times. Keep following me in 2014 to read about them all.

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Today’s post was full of tons of thinking out loud, wouldn’t you say? 😉

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Check out Amanda @ Running with Spoon’s link-up Thinking Out Loud for a lot of other thoughts from thoughtful bloggers.

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What new things did you try in 2013?

What is your goal/resolution for 2014?

All About New Years 2013 (Plus NYE WIAW)

Hello WIAW-ers! How is your year going so far?

I’m sure you all have started, or have at least began thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions. Last year I refrained from making a specific list and instead decided upon a simple goal. A goal to be more proactive.

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I don’t really like being confined to specifics, so in 2013 I’m going to follow along the same lines as last year and pick just one generalized resolution:

Try New Things.

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A few “new things” that I want to try include:

Joining a new group at college
Following a Bible devotional
Experimenting with a new-to-me food
Reading a different genre of book
Trying out an exercise class
Blogging about a topic other than food/health

Other than making it a goal; however, I’m not going to set any specific events or get down on myself if I don’t complete tasks by a certain date.

New Year’s Resolutions in the late 1800s were about becoming a better person through doing good works or making an effort to improve your character. Today, someone’s typical New Year’s Resolution is focused on becoming better superficially.According to my trustworthy trusty friend Wikipedia, the typical teenage girl’s resolution focuses on improving her body, hairstyle, makeup and/or clothing.

A resolution is supposed to be a lifestyle change. Normally I am a pretty withdrawn, not very social person. Sometimes this can lead to missed opportunities, or just sheer boredom. That’s not to say that I am going to suddenly change overnight from an introvert to an extrovert, but I am going to make a conscious effort to try new things, and make the most of this new year.

As a sort of closure from 2012 and lee-way into today’s WIAW post, I want to give the top 5 WIAW posts on Eating 4 Balance. I’ve said before that I want to be transparent, so I’m also going to give you all a link to my blog’s Annual Report with my stats.

Best of WIAW from 2012:

  1. WIAW- Randomness, Workouts and Recipes (62 comments) October 2012
  2. Jammed Packed Weekend, Recipes and WIAW (39 comments) September 2012
  3. Wiaw While Packing for College (Pumpkin recipe) (20 comments) August 2012
  4. WIAW + Fun Foods Survey (59 comments) November 2012
  5. What I Ate/Watched Wednesday (44 comments) October 2012

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Now for this week’s WIAW- What I Ate on New Year’s Eve While I Babysat.

Right before I left for babysitting, I made some carrot juice to drink, and I prepared my supper in some thermoses.

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When I got to the kid’s house at 3:00 PM they showed me their Christmas presents and then we watched some Disney Channel.

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After that the girl and I made some colorful snowflakes and decorated their kitchen.

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Then it was time for supper. For them I made homemade macaroni and cheese:

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For myself I had some homemade soup with zucchini noodles, beef, beef broth and sea salt:

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After that we played Parcheesi and watched Despicable Me while we colored and drew pictures (sadly I forgot to take pictures of our drawings! I drew a Bird of Paradise and one of the minions from Despicable Me). Here’s a goofy photo of me instead:

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At 10:00 PM their parents came home from a night of The Hobbit and a texas roadhouse to eat. The snow near the roads had started to drift and the family all got in their big truck (the kids still in their pajamas) to follow me home and make sure I arrived safe. So nice!

When I got home my brother and his friends were playing video games and my parents were upstairs watching a movie. Immediately I went to the kitchen to heat up another large mug of soup, this time with kabocha squash!

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I read some blogs in our office and after some texts wishing a Happy New Years at midnight I went to bed. My brother and his friends had a much more exciting start to 2013 with carbonated juice in fancy wine glasses, and confetti poppers (of which some remnants are still strewned across our driveway).

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This morning I woke up to the good news that the Senate, and this afternoon the House passed the legislation to prevent our country from going over the fiscal cliff… *Whew* That was a  close one. Happy New Year indeed!

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Have you made a New Year’s Resolution yet? It’s not too late!

What did you do on New Year’s Eve? Did you see the ball drop?

Do you ever make fresh juice? What’s your favorite kind?

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

*UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE RESULTS OF MY BUCKET LIST*

Do you ever just look back at your old blog posts and think… I don’t even remember writing that?

That’s basically how I felt yesterday when looking at these two posts. Nothing special really, but I noticed how I seemed much more interested in what I was writing about compared to my posts lately. Right now I’m kind of just feeling the end-of-year blues. I don’t really want to get out and do much of anything. I can definitely tell that it’s time for a break, and a long one at that.

I think that I just hit a brick wall in the middle of November. Okay, maybe a “soft” metaphorical brick wall, but still. All that I can think about is just that it’s “that time of year.” Aren’t we supposed to feel a little drained and ready for it to be over?

Ya. I don’t buy that. I believe that it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation to feel good all year round no matter what the season.

So, here’s what I’m going to do about it. A December goal list.

*Audience rolls eyes*

A lot of bloggers make them, I know! And I used to roll my eyes too. But lately I feel like I need a way to just give myself that extra push to do something. Anything!

What I need to do is acknowledge that the world is going to end on December 21, 2012, and  with just under two weeks left until my life is over, I have a lot that I want to get done. Thus, I’ve created my:

13 Things to Do in the 13 Days Before the World Ends Bucket List.

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1. Watch The Hobbit midnight premiere. Do I want to? No. Should I? Yes, especially if it means socializing with my friends… Who are going to have to accept the fact that after two exams that day I’m going to fall asleep. DEAL.

DONE. I didn’t watch it at the midnight premiere, but the following Saturday with some friends from High School.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

2. Look into summer internships and/or summer jobs and apply for at least two. Hey! If my life’s going to end I might as well know that I accomplished something.

EPIC FAIL.

3. Order my books for next semester. ALL OF THEM. Yes, the world’s over, but again, there is a .009% chance that it’s not and I want to be prepared for my first class come Monday January 7. 10:30 AM Management Information Systems. Woo!

HALF DONE. I ordered all of the books that I could find on Amazon, but I still have to order two from Half.com and a few from my school’s bookstore online.

4. Make a craft with my mom. We’ve been talking about this forever, and have been pinning like crazy, but nothing ever gets made.

SORT OF. My mom and I have been doing a lot of stuff together like shopping and various things, but we have yet to make a craft!

Skittles, candy, candy wrapper, pouch, candy wrapper pouch, Sweet tooth pouch, Punkin Patterns

5. When my Christmas break starts, my mom and brother will still have one week before theirs begins. This will give my dad and I plenty of time to shop for my mom. I also want to do something fun with him, like maybe watch a matinee movie!

DONE. My dad and I went to a huge mall about an hour away just to walk around. We actually left without buying anything, but it was really fun!

Red Dawn

6. Pay my bill for the upcoming Semester. This actually needs to be accomplished by December 15… So ya. Definitely before the world ends. I want to die a college student, not a college drop-out.

DONE, and a day ahead of schedule.

7. Do something fun with my brother. I promised him ice cream when he first got his Driver’s License, so it’s time to fulfill my promise and take him to Cold Stone.  Plus, we can maybe do a little Christmas shopping for our parents while we’re out.

DONE. No ice cream, but last night my brother and I made a late-night drive into the Dollar Store and Wal-Mart after his open gym practice to buy presents for our parents.

8. Speaking of Christmas, I also need to pick out the perfect present for my brother. He is the hardest person to buy for (besides candy, which will be included, but doesn’t really count), and I really just want to buy him the greatest gift ever. Within budget of course.

DONE. And that’s all I’m going to say just in case he is reading.

9. Hang out with my friends from High School at least once a week. Times two weeks, that is two separate occasions. My friend Rachel wants me to learn to ice-skate… Frightening! (I asked if we could just roller-skate instead. She laughed.)

DONE. I watched The Hobbit with my friends and also went to a breakfast gathering. I also have two more planned get-togethers before break ends.

10. Host my first blog giveaway. I mentioned it a couple WIAW posts back, but on December 20, I will be hosting my first blog giveaway ever. Please enter and make me the happiest person ever! I’ll be your friend until the end of the world! (Haha. Ha. Ha.)

DONE. You can still enter if you haven’t already!

11. Stay in contact with my friends from college over break. Even if it is just one text per person I’ll feel better when I die if I know that I connected to them somehow.

DONE. Multiple times. We discussed The Hobbit and the awesomeness of Morgan Free and Orlando Bloom. Multiple times.

12. Figure out what is going on with my stomach. Whether this be visiting a  new gastroenterologist  seeing my naturopath, going to a holistic chiropractor, or just experimenting myself, if the world ends, I want to at least know what has been ailing me the past year.

DONE. I’m going on the GAPS protocol, and I’ll do a post on that soon.

13. Make. And. Eat. Soup. Seriously? How long have I been talking about making some?

DONE. You can few my lovely microwave soup recipe in my last WIAW post.

Normally I would just try to keep these things in mind, though lately I’ve been procrastinating.

By posting these 13 goals on here, I hope to become more accountable. I’m not sure if monthly goal lists will become a regular thing on Eating 4 Balance, but the idea that you all will know if I fail… Well, let’s just say it’s pretty good motivation.

Now, I’m off to procrastinate some more in regard to my final exams! I’ll try to study for them a little bit tonight, but really, I have all week as both of them aren’t until Thursday.

Oh, and I just realized that 13 is supposed to be the most unlucky number ever… I guess this post is fitting then!

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Do you ever go back and read your old blog posts?

Are you starting to feel the effects of the winter blues?

What things would be on your end-of-world bucket list?