Setting Attainable Goals in January

I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. 365 days is far too long to actually set a goal and stick with it the entire time. I prefer to break my goals down by month. Especially with the wedding now only eight months away (eek!) there is just so much I have to do and I need to stay organized. Lists like this one keep me from pulling out all of my hair, because I need that, you know, to hold up the veil.

Here are some things I’m working on in January. I’ll cross them off as they are accomplished, so please feel free to check back in with this same post later in the month.

It’s all about me here.

-First and and foremost, enjoy the time off before I start my new job. DONE
-Pray for little sis, who will be having surgery February 6th. DONE SHE DID GREAT!
-Read 5 books and make sure to share. Right now I’m reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, written in 1936. Long story, but some of the best business folk I’ve met have followed Carnegie’s principles, and I want their secret. TO BE CONTINUED…
-Visit two museums TO BE CONTINUED…
-Try two new Farmer’s Markets DONE

I’ll be up in the gym just workin’ on my fitness…

-Ride my bike to the beach at least twice a week while I’m not working. DID NOT HAPPEN
-Go to two spin classes a week DID NOT HAPPEN
-Try a yoga class at my gym at least once DID NOT HAPPEN
-Lose about 5 lbs. this month DONE!

I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar is what I need!

-Pinch those pennies before New Opportunity comes! DONE!
-Eat out only twice per week. DONE!
-Organize 2013 Tax Receipts into binder before tax appointment so I have accurate deduction amounts TO BE CONTINUED…

Going to the Chapel…

-Finally formally ask the remaining FIVE bridesmaids to be in our wedding. I have tried as hard as possible to ask each in person and take them out to lunch to do so, but my far away friends will have to settle for my handmade card and gift. Immediate goal? Mail all 5 of these packages by January 10th.
-Make two wedding inspiration boards, one for each of the two color schemes I’m debating between, and send to bridesmaids (once “formally” asked) to beg for help in picking one.
-Provide info to bridesmaids on how and where to order their dress by the due date
-Order and mail Save the Dates DONE, DONE & DONE!
-Get The Fiancé to decide and ask his groomsmen and best man so he won’t be standing up there all alone come Sept. 6th TO BE CONTINUED…
Research honeymoon spots. Book trip. TO BE CONTINUED…
-Renew passport. DONE!

We will review on January 31st to see how I did!

What are some goals you are working on this month, loves?

Oh Yum…Gluten-Free Rocky Road Cookies!

You know what the problem with rocky road ice cream is? Nothing. Nothing at all. I love rocky road ice cream, in fact, when I was in high school, my mom and I could polish off a gallon by ourselves in one sitting. (Don’t tell her I told you that, she might be embarrassed.) My favorite brand is good old Dreyer’s, found at any and every grocery store in America.

 

I know it’s not the healthiest thing on the planet (especially if you’re eating an entire gallon – sheesh!) but I love it all the same. And yet, my shopping repertoire is now more in the vicinity of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and it’s rare I splurge on something so..um..what’s the word I’m looking for…CALORIC…as this.

And yet, it was just Christmas…

 

And Christmas in this kitchen means two things: Booze and Cookies. Booze for me, and cookies for you. Based on my favorite ice cream. And the best part? These cookies are gluten free and aren’t even that bad for you. At. All. Don’t say I never did anything for you, I’m no Grinch!

Gluten-Free Rocky Road Cookies
Makes 18 Large Cookies

Ingredients
1 3/4 C. Chopped Toasted Almonds, 1/4 C. reserved after toasting for topping
4 Organic Egg Whites
3 C. Organic Powdered Sugar
3/4 C. Cocoa Powder
1 Packet Starbucks Via Instant Coffee, Columbia flavor; or 1 tsp. Instant Espresso
1/2 tsp. Fine Grain Sea Salt
1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
2 C. Miniature Marshmallows, 1/4 C. reserved for topping
1 Packet Starbucks Via Instant Coffee, Columbia flavor

Directions

Preheat oven to 350*. Chop whole almonds on a rimmed cookie sheet, and toast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the rest of the batter. Reduce oven to 325*.

Beat egg whites in mixer until slightly bubbly, about 2 minutes. Sift in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, instant coffee and sea salt. Add vanilla.

Beat until smooth and creamy, with the consistency of melted ice cream.

Fold in by hand 1 3/4 C. toasted almonds and 1 3/4 C. mini marshmallows.

Using an ice cream scoop, spoon mixture onto parchment paper coated cookie sheet, only 6 cookies per tray. (They will spread out a lot.) By hand, place 3 chopped almonds and 3 mini marshmallows on top of each spoonful of cookie dough, pressing down slightly on the batter.

Bake for 12 minutes, at 325* until tops crack and look shiny.

Immediately remove parchment from hot cookie tray and place on cool counter top. After 5 minutes, use a clean spatula to remove from parchment paper. Be careful, cookies are very delicate. Place on a flat tray or plate and allow to set until fully cooled before serving.

 

Hope your post-holiday dieting is off to a good start. I know mine is (not)!

Xoxo,

Julie’s Baby Shower!

I know it’s been a while. What’s new. Really, should that last sentence have ended with a question mark? Or should I say Happy Labor Day, Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day? In all honesty, I’m as busy as always. There’s an ebb and flow to the crazy fashion business I’m in, and now just happens to be a flow. And while waiting for an ebb to arrive (cough…Chinese New Year…cough) is still a few weeks away…I’m turning over a new leaf and have lots of posts lined up for you! If the 52 drafts I have saved in my Blogger dashboard aren’t proof enough…here’s the first of many new posts that have a little something special to offer.

Because I don’t think for the last few months you would have liked hearing about working from 7am to 7pm, fighting in foreign languages over silly things like thread colors and sample due dates, or eating Chinese take out (what else would you expect?) and not cooking much more than Trader Joe’s microwave steel cut oatmeal in the mornings, I’m your girl…if not, well, then you’ll understand why for the last few months I’ve had almost nothing to share. That is soon to change!

AND! DUE DATES!!! Speaking of which…

One of my best friends in the whole world is having a baby!Julie and I went to high school together a million years ago and for the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to have her living here in L.A., mere minutes away from the new Live and Love L.A. apartment shared with The Boyfriend (it’s going spectacular by the way, thank you so much for asking!)

Anywho…Julie and I have been friends forever. And I just love her and her hubby James, and when she told me last summer she was expecting, the first words out of my mouth were, “I’m throwing you a shower!” I spent the weeks before her shower ordering decorations and games online (Amazon.com saves the day again!) from my hotel rooms in China and New York, and anxiously awaiting the packages when I returned home.

I can’t believe the day came and went already! We showered her with love, gifts, and lots of pink, purple and green (the colors I chose for the shower, natch!) And she was amazed at all of the love showered her way. I’m so excited to share the pictures with you!

This One’s Gonna Make You Cry

Thank you for every Saturday morning for the last two years. Thank you for walking with me when my knee gave out during my first double-digit run, thank you for being the one who told me I could keep going. Thank you for not judging me when it took me 5 half-marathons before I could run a full-marathon. Thank you for not running with me and having Starbucks and over-priced bagels instead. Thank you for letting me cry, pout and whine. Thank you for running with me before the sun came up and running with me after the sun went down. Thank you for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with me.

Thank you for agreeing with me that people shouldn’t make their dogs run next to them while they ride a bike. Thank you for agreeing that babies always need hats and socks and sunscreen. Thank you for talking to me candidly about boys and sports bras and life. Thanks for being the best running buddy I ever could have asked for.

Thanks for the adventures in far away places. Thanks for the wine and the expensive champagne. Thanks for the hugs and the McDonald’s coffees and for loving the Farmer’s Market as much as I do. Thanks for letting me listen. Thanks for listening to me.

Thanks for always coming shopping with me when you knew I was doing research for work, and thanks for being a fan of Anthropologie and agreeing with me that everything in that store is worth every penny. Thanks for turning me on to drunken goat and to Sauv Blanc and to wine tasting.

Thanks for putting up with the ice and limes in my beer, thanks for supporting my vegetarianism. Thanks for being my e-mail buddy, my shopping buddy, and above all, my running buddy and friend.

Thanks for the sweaty hugs and the tears. Thanks for dealing with my over-enthusiasm at mile 22. Thanks for buying (and wearing) matching sweatshirts with me.

Thank you for understanding my bad tummy and for being such a trooper with your bad tummy. Thank you for understanding my bathroom breaks and for having Imodium for me. Thanks for hating my guts as much as I do. Thank you for bonding with me from the beginning. Thank you for not ever running more than a 10-minute mile. I could never keep up if you ran any faster. Thanks for the 3-hour half marathons and the 6-hour marathon. I was never out to break any records anyways.

Thank you for hosting the best ugly Christmas sweater party ever. And for running with me on Super Bowl Sunday.

Promise me you will live it up in New York. Promise you will do what your heart desires and promise you will fight for what’s worth fighting for. Promise you’ll drink good wine and listen to good music and read good books. Promise me you’ll find more than one good farmer’s market. Promise you’ll call me and e-mail me and promise you’ll come back here and we can go wine tasting again and run on the beach like we used to and talk about our lives. Promise me if I buy you a Bluetooth you’ll run with me remotely. Promise me you’ll never replace me.

Because you, Running Buddy Selena, are irreplaceable.

Promise me you know I’ll always be here for you, and that I’m always just a bbm away. Promise me you know how proud I am of you, and that your new job and new life in New York are going to be amazing. I have every once of faith in my heart in you and in your future.

Promise I’ll never forget the thousands of miles we spent running together, even though starting tomorrow we will be thousands of miles apart.

Promise I’ll love you forever…thank you for everything. I’d run every mile over again with you in a heartbeat.

XOXO,

Unemployed

I’m out of work for the next 13 days until I start my exciting new job.


What will I be doing?

Today, I went and got a haircut (unfortunately, not bangs–I decided I needed a more grown-up looking cut to go with my big-girl job, especially since twice lately I’ve been asked “How old are you?” and when I responded, “27,” the people gasped. “Really, I thought you were waaaay younger than that.”) and then I went to the Social Security office to get a new card, as I lost mine. If you need a lesson in patience, head to the Social Security office on Santa Monica and Vine in Hollywood. My my, the people in that place! All ages, all backgrounds. THE WAITING IN LINE. There was me, and then there was a guy with a tattooed face, even his nose was tattooed. But I don’t judge. Then there was the guy yelling, “You think I have time to WAIT for you to send me my money!?!?!” Yikes.

Then this afternoon I baked cookies (speaking of cookies, did you know one of my bloggie BFF’s Elizabeth is having a Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar Cookbook GIVEAWAY?!?! GO ENTER NOW!) and then I sat around in my cozy pants watching Tivo’ed episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and stuffing my face. I figure I’ll lose weight with all the traveling I’ll be doing with my new job, right?

Tonight, The Boyfriend and I are going to our friend Jill’s comedy show (Isn’t that cool I have a friend who is a stand-up comedienne? I could NEVER do that! And she’s newly engaged! Lucky girl!) and then tomorrow I’m headed to the beach for a one day vacation. I’m bringing beach towels, trashy magazines and my Ipod loaded with great beach music. I’m going to pretend that I’m in a tropical paradise, even though Weather.com tells me it’s only going to be 64 tomorrow. Oh well. I’ll bring a hoodie too.

Then, on Friday, I have a dentist appointment to fix a chipped tooth (stupid tooth grinding!) and then I’m having a lunch and shopping date with my girlfriend! I’m so excited. Being unemployed can be so much fun!

And Saturday, I’m heading out East to visit family! My grandpa has been very sick this winter, and I haven’t seen him or my grandma or my other family out East for years. I’ve been a bad granddaughter. So I’m heading out now, before I get too busy with my new job and can’t make it back for a while.

I know it’s all going to go by so fast. Too fast.