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 Normally I am a pretty withdrawn, not very social person.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?

Marvelous Is… A Lot of Things (WIR)

Marvelous is…

An Accounting teacher who accidentally sends you the solutions to your take home quiz via e-mail.

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My dear mother who decided that we were going to get festive and bake an entire turkey today for the fun of it.

The same dear mother who helped me package it all up to take to school with me for the week.

That my “week” only really consists of two days, Monday and Tuesday, and then I’m off for Thanksgiving Break!

Watching Catching Fire with my best friend.

Getting teary-eyed and goosebumps during my favorite parts of the book being reenacted in the movie.

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The super deep conversations that I had with said friend on the 30 minute drives to/from the movie theater.

More thought-provoking conversations had later on with my dad over creationism and evolution.

Perhaps finding a new doctor to go see. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t take months to get in.

Christmas movies on the television.

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Television. It’s kind of refreshing to watch TV shows on an actual TV vs. my laptop.

My dad finally turning the heat on in the house.

Adding even more puppy chow recipes to my ever-growing Pinterest board.

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Strawberry Cupcake Puppy Chow

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Apple Cinnamon Puppy Chow

Helping to set up the Christmas decorations at church today.

My aunt’s amazing care packages that she sends me at school (I’m planning on doing a vlog about these sometime soon!).

Hearing about my brother’s slam dunks in his recent basketball scrimmage.

My new Elf For Health partner Divya at Eat Teach Blog.

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The #Elf4Health challenge that I joined! There are a ton of fun challenges to participate in starting tomorrow! I will NOT be participating in Day 1 because as you know I basically subsist on meat and vegetables so going MEATLESS would be a terrible terrible idea. But Day 2 is perfect for me and my inboxes stuffed with thousands of emails…

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So…. Tell me! What is Marvelous about your Monday?

Linking up to Health Diva Eat’s MIMM

And what did YOU do over your weekend?

Also linking up to Clean Eats Fast Feet’s WIR (Week in Review)

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Pictorial Deposit (Foodless WIAW)

AKA Photo dump. But pictorial deposit sounds like a lot more work was involved, doesn’t it? 🙂

Here are a bunch of pictures from a recent weekend that my family and I spent in Michigan:

And I’m linking up to WIAW just because 😉

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The weekend started with my brother and I going to a Detroit Lions baseball game.

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It was my first time ever at a professional baseball game and it was much more exciting than I predicted!

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I got the tickets free from work along with some “Fun Money” which my brother spent on food along with some souvenirs.

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Before the game was over I convinced him to take a picture of me in front of the stadium. 🙂

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And of course I returned the favor 😉

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The Lions ended up winning the game and after it was over they had very long and beautiful fireworks show.

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We didn’t end up getting back until very late that night but nonetheless Saturday morning we all got up bright and early, made breakfast, and headed out to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

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The home of the late Henry Ford.

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The first part of the village had a lot of historical cars and memorabilia of the famous Ford.

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Including one of his first cars pictured below!

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Besides the Ford cars we also saw one of his tractors.

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Along with the tractor there was also a windmill and an enclosed area that housed sheep.

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There were also a lot of things about Thomas Edison who apparently acted as a sort of mentor to Ford.

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We got to tour Edison’s laboratory where he performed some of his experiments and also where one of his inventions, the galvanometer, was showcased.

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Then we were off to a few other famous homes including the Sarah Jordan boarding house.

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The bicycle shop of the Wright Brothers.

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Near the bicycle shop was their home from Kitty Hawk.

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And one of the highlights of the trip for me- the home of Noah Webster, the creator of Webster’s Dictionary.

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Look at all of those books!

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This is only about half of the places that we visited in Greenfield Village so far. Be forewarned- many more pictures ahead!

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My mom was the person who was really pushing for us to visit Greenfield Village so we had to make sure to stop by the craftworks district, which was where she wanted to visit most, and which ended up being everyone’s favorite part!

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There was glassblowing.

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As well as Pottery.

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Tin.

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And weaving.

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Then came the real fun of the day- getting to watch my brother operate a printing press 🙂

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Success.

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The printing press was towards the end of our trip to Greenfield Village so of course before we left we had to make sure that we captured all of the necessary photo opportunities.

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All in all it was a great weekend and look out for the rest of my recap on Friday!

Just in case the thought of another “pictorial deposit” doesn’t excite you, there’s also the recipe for this to look forward to:

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Grain-free. Nut-free. Vegan. And oh so yummy 😀

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Questions for you:

What did you do this past weekend? I went to a bridal shower and went thrift store shopping with my mom (more on that later!).

Have you gone any trips with your family/friends recently? Yep. The entire post above 😉

What is your favorite type of vacation? I like vacations where there is a little bit of everything. Relaxation. Fun. Learning.

What I Want Wednesday

What I really want right now is for a fully charged phone…

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Eh, so I may or may not have accidentally left my cellphone charger plugged into my computer at work today when I was reading The Moon and More during my lunch break.

And since I currently have 8% left on my battery I figured to be on the safe side I would turn it off for now.

That means that I don’t have any pictures right now. I actually have my full WIAW post written up… but no beautiful imagery to go along with it.

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This will just serve as a placeholder until later tomorrow (Wednesday) when I can get my charger!

P.S. It just so happens that the planned title of my post fits in perfectly with this unfortunate mistake as well… So, what did I ACTUALLY want this Wednesday? Well, you’ll just have to wait to find out! 😉

10:00 PM and time to take a cue from these furry buddies. Ready to recharge! 😉

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I finally got my charger! Edited to add my post:

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Yo I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want

I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha) I wanna, (ha)

I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah

If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends

(Gotta get with my friends)

Make it last forever, friendship never ends

If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give

(You’ve got to give)

Taking is too easy, but that’s the way it is

Now for those of you who literally cringed as you read those lyrics, my sincerest apologies. Really. I understand how just the thought of hearing this Spice Girl song again may be enough to make you bang your head against your desk (but please don’t bang your head against your desk, you still have this entire post to read! 😉 ).

As you can tell by that intro, I’m going to tell you what I really really want. No worries– not in line what the original lyrics had in mind AT ALL. What I really want is to share with you what I’ve been up to this past week. And as the second part of the lyrics suggest, “[I] have got to give” as well! So in reward for reading my recap, there is a surprise at the bottom! (Which I am sure most of you have now stopped reading to go see what it is… Okay, are you back now?)

Some may call this a mini photo dump, so I’ll keep the words to a minimum.

The past two weekends I’ve taken the long (3+ hour) trek home to go to two of my high school friends graduation parties. Here are the cute favors that I got at the one:

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I totally want to have another graduation party after seeing all of the fun decorations that these girls had. The first that I went to held the party at her aunt’s. The tables were super colorful with polka dot balloons, and they had their in-ground pool open with a waterslide for the kids. The second party was Minnie Mouse-themed with a super cute cake! Pink everywhere. I was in heaven.

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Courtesy of the mom’s facebook page!

Whenever I come home for the weekend I usually arrive at the house around 10:00 or 11:00 to my family sprawled out on the couches and chairs of our living room. Fast asleep.

I can always count on my dog Lilly though to come running up to me and wag around like the little rodent she is (said in the most loving way possible!). Every time I have to set down all of my bags, sit down on the ground, and immediately she jumps up on my lap to give me a gazillion kisses. Then for the rest of the weekend she is basically attached to my hip.

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Such a lap baby.

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Usually I also get a nice welcome back from Scout. A little scratch of her back and she’s got her fill of me.

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(So this post is much more word-heavy than I had planned, but I’m just going with it!)

Besides my family, friends and pets, I also really look forward to getting to lay out on our deck. As long as it’s warm I go out there a few times every weekend to eat my meals or read.

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When I’m home I of course always cook at least one meal for my parents. Usually breakfast!

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This time it was pancakes on both Saturday and Sunday morning. On Saturday I used a recipe that I found online from Civilized Caveman Cooking. It received a thumbs up from me for being super easy! My parents thought they were okay and said they’d eat them again.

These are the pancakes that I made on Sunday from a recipe of my own creation.

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*Hint Hint* — *This may or may not be the surprise at the bottom!*

On my way back Sunday evenings I have been listening to not my radio (still messed up), but either my Pitch Perfect CD or audio books. I made it through the first four CDs of a Lord of the Rings Radio Dramatization (really good!).

Now I’m giving those a break to listen to Bossypants by Tina Fey.

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My trips back usually involve some banana eating as well. This picture is for you Meghan. Is a traffic jam in the middle of the highway public enough to qualify for some #publicbanana goodness? (Check out Allie’s post for some more #publicbanana fun if you haven’t already. Totally jealous!).

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Then when I get back to my apartment I run around putting everything away. It takes about 10 minutes and I do it before anything else (including making my supper) because otherwise it will never get done and I’ll still have full bags at the end of the week.

And what happens when a self-declared klutz runs around like a maniac with a hungry belly?

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Yep. She cuts herself on who knows what.

But she doesn’t let that stop her. Hence the blood, making it look ten times worse than it actually was.

After I had put everything away I cleaned it up and put on a Scooby Doo Band-aid…. What? You don’t have a box of those in your cupboard? I also have neon bandages but I thought Scooby was more appropriate because I was going to be watching him later on Netflix.

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So while I ate supper, bandaged up with Scooby, I also enjoyed watching Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated on my laptop. Quite the interesting series displaying the characters in High School. At least check out the first episode if you haven’t already!

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Now that I have thoroughly exhausted all interesting photos on my phone, I think it’s time to fulfill my promise of a surprise. I mentioned above that I made pancakes over the weekend. One from this girl, but the second time I made the recipe all by myself. Stuffed with blueberries and drizzled with honey, these are the favorite of about the twenty Paleo pancakes that I have made my parents so far. They said that they were the “real deal.” (Not their exact words, but basically. I’m not sure any parents who would really say “real deal”).

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Unbelievably Grain-Free Berry Pancakes

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly, Nut/Dairy-Free Option

Makes two batches of three pancakes

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Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (I used full-fat cow’s – Can use dairy-free kind too)
  • 1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond flour (or other nut/seed flour)
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • frozen/fresh blueberries

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Directions:

  1. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees (or a pan to about medium heat). Coat with coconut oil, ghee, or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  2. Put all of the wet ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Then add the dry ingredients and combine again.
  4. Using a 1/3 cup measuring spoon scoop portion out the batter onto your griddle in medium-sized circles, spreading with the back of the measuring cup if too small.
  5. Cook for approximately 3 minutes, then place a few (5 or so) blueberries on each pancake. Cook for another minute until the side facing up is bubbly. Flip and cook for approximately four more minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and serve!

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Now go whip up some pancakes! (maybe for your Dad this coming Sunday??)

Thank you for standing by this morning when I had my technical difficulties with this post!

Recipe shared at Real Food Forager.

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Have you ever had any setbacks when getting a post ready for your blog?

What do you want this Wednesday? And what are you going to do to make it happen?! 🙂

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Edited to add: I’m also going to link this post up with Meghan at Clean Eats Fast Feets for her Week in Review. I forgot to do this when I first published and Meghan’s post bright and early this Monday morning reminded me… 🙂

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