Wednesday, January 28, 2015

life in January

Do you ever let yourself look back at where you've been and how far you've come?
It's funny to revisit this time last year. Literally one year ago to this day, January 28th, we were deep in the middle of the Polar Vortex and I was dealing with the same mid-winter "what am I doing with my LIFE!?" introspection.

So much has happened since then, so much has changed, and yet so much is still the same.

This time last year I was struggling to balance my full time job with my dreams of turning my Etsy shop into a thriving handmade business. I had no idea that Beachbody was about to drop into my lap and completely change the trajectory of my life. Over the past year I've grown into myself, I have a clear and exciting vision for my future, but my Etsy shop is still always on the poor backburner, haha! But in the meantime I've learned so much about running and marketing a small business, and this year I promise I'm going to make good on my intentions! Although I think I'm still going to view the shop as a passion project on the side instead of pressuring myself to turn it into something too huge to handle.

Anyway, this January has been a month of huge and transformative personal growth. I've struggled and battled to gain clarity on exactly what I want to accomplish this year, and even though most of the time I feel like I'm running as hard as I can just to stay in place, I know I'm also making huge strides and progress in my confidence and vision for my life and career.

When I look back on January 2015, here is what I will remember.

Endless bowls of fancy oats to warm up chilly mornings.

Pushing myself past my mental, emotional, and physical limits every single day with Shaun T's Insanity Max 30 (although I must admit I actually miss my early morning gym adventures! Working out from home while you work from home is awesome, but my hermit tendencies are starting to get to me).

Fueling and nourishing my body with enormous salads and allllllll the veggies.

Finding balance and rewarding myself with my favorite treats! Wine, milk stouts and chocolate porters, mugcakes. I'm happy Ben and I finally checked out the Map Room, it's adorable and brings me back to my grad school days as a geographer!

We joined a church! I started to make pillows, a sewing project I've been putting off for way too long. Ben bought a new car and I discovered the amazing and wonderful Andrea Owen whose blog, podcast, and book are helping me joyfully accept myself for who I am and lay off the internal pressure! 

During the first half of the month I was obsessed with planning, reflecting, goal setting, and organizing. I developed and hosted my first ever coach training workshop for the new members of my  team, I started to create a new vision for my monthly accountability Bootcamps, and I blogged more thanks to this amazing editorial planner from By Regina. I've slowly started to develop monthly and quarterly goals that align with my core desired feelings. This is a hard process and I'm balancing my inner overachiever with my determination to live more intentionally and find joy in life instead of being constantly overwhelmed. I feel like I'm literally bursting with energy and inspiration and I have a desperate desire to write more, share more, and embrace my journey in all its messy glory. 2015 is the year I will grow into myself, and I'm so excited for what's in store!

I've always struggled with insecurity, fear, perfectionism, and feeling like I'll never be "enough," and this was the month I started to recognize and confront all those little voices holding me back.
Every day I'm practicing self compassion and I'm slowly accepting myself for who I am, right now. I'm taking action on things that I've been thinking and journaling about for years, instead of letting my perfectionism overwhelm and paralyze me.

I really love how I've been blogging for almost six years now because it's fun to remember where I've come from and recognize what has always been important to me.
In January 2011 I said "I am trying to project self-confidence, optimism, and excitement towards all the unknowns coming up in my life this year, and not stress out too much."

Yup, I'm still me :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

chicken and white bean chipotle chili

Ben and I have a habit of picking up dinner at Chipotle when we're feeling lazy, but it probably takes just as much time to throw together a healthy homemade meal as it does to get in the car, drive, order, come home, etc. Weeknight recipes like this require little more effort than opening cans and dumping ingredients together, but the end result tastes amazing, almost restaurant quality :)

I love making a big pot of chili or soup to last through the week. This chili is different than any other kind I've ever tried. It's kind of a cross between white chili and traditional chili, and it has an addicting smoky flavor that's balanced by the creaminess of the Greek yogurt. It's like the sassy and spicy cousin to my regular chicken and white bean chili. Healthy comfort food at its finest!

Chicken and White Bean Chipotle Chili
Inspired by Better Homes and Gardens
serves 4-6


  • 2 large chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T chipotles in adobo sauce* 
  • 2 cups (or 1 can) cooked white beans
  • 2 cups (1 can) broth
  • 1 T chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • cilantro
*I freeze the leftovers flattened in a plastic bag and then break off bits to use in future recipes! I do the same with tomato paste--a tip I learned from Iowa Girl Eats.


Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in a large pot coated in cooking spray until browned. Add the onion, saute for 1-2 minutes, then add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, chipotles, beans, broth and chili powder. Simmer for 10-30 minutes, top with Greek yogurt and cilantro, and enjoy! 

[21 Day Fix: 1 green, 1 red, 1/2 yellow]

Sunday, January 25, 2015

weekly meal plan || January 25

Here's what we have on the menu this week! I'm going into week SEVEN (out of eight!) of my Insanity Max 30 program so I'm trying to cut out the extra wine and snacks to maximize my results :)

You can read more about my meal planning strategies here! Ben and I have started a Sunday routine of going grocery shopping right after church since we're already out and about. I love stocking up on all our food in one trip, it makes the rest of the week run a lot more smoothly.

Eggs + Toast + Fruit
Oatmeal + Fruit
Protein Pancakes

Dinner leftovers
Salad with chicken or tuna

Almond butter chicken satay + brown rice and cucumber salad 
Roasted veggies and pork medallions

Apple + nut butter
Veggies and hummus
Hard boiled eggs

What's on your menu this week?

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