Starting a Resolution….

Happy New Year, everyone! As promised from yesterday, I have finally thought of my resolutions for 2016. I’ve had a lot of time to think about them and really tried to give myself some attainable goals. I never make more than 4-6 each year, because I have some smaller short term goals that fill in the gaps. So, without further ado, here are my big goals for 2016.

  1. Be Happy. Now, this one is going to be seem a little vague and very broad, but I really need to work on this. I think that being happy, in most cases, is a choice. I haven’t spent a lot of time being happy in recent years because I was trying to get a good job or trying to look too perfect or keeping up appearances for others. All of that stress led me to a downward spiral in mood in 2013 and 2014 and kept me in a more numb state in 2015. I want to work on having a more positive mindset while maintaining my realism. I plan on supplementing this with meditation and continuing therapy for now, as well as using some of my other goals and strategies below.
  2. Work on my health. Now, losing a bit of weight and getting into shape is a part of this, but it’s not the whole thing. I was recently diagnosed with Hypertension (very high blood pressure, in case you didn’t know) and I want to get back down into normal levels. I am 26 with a medical issue that should not be taken lightly or allowed to get worse. If it does get worse, I’m at a high risk for heart attack or stroke…and I’m not about that right now. To curb that, one of the best things I can do is exercise and eat right (less sodium rich food). A sub goal for getting healthy is that I would like to participate in 5 active events; be it 5k runs or a cycling challenge. I think having these goals within my overall health goal for the year will help me accomplish more and stay on task with my health.
  3. Spending more quality time with my husband. I know we’re getting into the big, vague, cliche resolutions here, but hear me out. My husband and I absolutely do love each other. However, we are both very career driven and spend a lot of time with work-related items and agendas. A huge goal for us is to have more quality dates. While a movie and dinner is not a bad date, it doesn’t allow for much interaction between the two of us. Nor does it allow us to really blow off any steam from all of our work stresses. We have both made this goal for 2016 in order to reconnect. Every month we will come up with some date ideas and look for a good time to try it out. This month, we’ve come up with a date to kick off the new year by going to the Tiger Creek Big Cat Refuge (which I will review over the weekend) on the 2nd to check out the tigers and learn more about endangered species conservation efforts. After that, we will be going out to shoot skeet on a friend’s property. We are making for a date that includes something I like (tigers) and something he likes (guns…but he also likes tigers, so no big game shooters here). It’s a win win and something that we are looking forward to upholding this year.
  4. Cooking more at home. I actually do love to cook, however, we have been spoiled by the accessibility to many restaurants and their convenience. The bad part is, those places end up costing us quite a lot throughout the year. So, we are looking at a way to cut costs AND be able to control how and what we eat. It will help us be healthy and save a little extra cash as well. I would like to try one new big recipe a week and also become an expert lunch packer from home.
  5. Finally, document my life better. Now, I don’t mean that I think I should plaster all of what I do on social media. I mean, I would like to have maybe some more pictures, or write daily in my personal journal. I want to have memories to look back on physically as well as what I have saved on my mental hard drive. This also goes for my blogging and trying to get more consistent with my posts.

So, as this is Feel Good Friday as well, I wanted to share quickly that I have had a wonderful day spent with my husband and dog. I was also glad to find out that my wonderful Dallas Stars hockey team is on top of the NHL again. And I have an adorable quote to share from Kung Fu Panda, that always makes me feel good and it always makes sense:

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift…that is why it is called ‘present’.” 

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my post. I appreciate your support, even if there aren’t very many of you yet. ‘Til next time, y’all!

 

**Update**

I am quite under the weather today and didn’t think it very smart to go out in the cold to see the tigers. That date will be rescheduled and I can’t wait to let you guys know about how it went. Sorry for anyone expecting the review.

Thanks!

 

 

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Cooking Season is Coming!

Hello!

I am so sorry about my absence lately, I have been very busy with work and having computer troubles at home. I am glad to be back and to tell you guys about some of the things I have coming up that, to me, are fabulous! Now, Thanksgiving is coming up just next week and I will be travelling for the holiday this year to Oklahoma. I will have a special post regarding my Thanksgiving holiday when I return, but until then, I have a couple of shopping events and community events I plan on attending. First up: shopping!

If you are living in the Tyler area and you love to cook, you’re in for a great deal. Two of our specialty shops for kitchen items and gourmet goods will be having special sales events this Thursday. I know, they are both having a special the same day…you know what they say about having a health competition. At any rate, the two stores in question are: The Sweet Gourmet (located in the French Quarter shopping center on Broadway) and The Kitchen Drawer (located on Old Jacksonville Highway in the shopping centre next to Jul’s). My Mom and I will be hitting up both shops to check out their deals. Both of us enjoy holiday cooking and if we can get quality gadgets, bakeware and ingredients for a good price, we’re definitely in!

The Sweet Gourmet will be our first spot, since they will close at 6:00pm cst. They are promising deep discounts (up to 30%) on major brands such as Wustoff, OXO and, my favourite, Le Creuset. They will have representatives from these major companies doing demonstrations of their products as well. There was also a holiday cooking class going on the same night, but I missed out on the registration (we were informed that the class filled up in less than 2 days!). I have been shopping at The Sweet Gourmet since I moved to Tyler in 2007 and I absolutely love going in there. They have really tasty homemade fudge and truffles for your sweet tooth, gourmet roasted coffees and several ingredients, spices and sauces found no where else in sight. They also offer some really great cooking classes every so often that offer great tips for entertaining and making a first class meal at home. The shop is open Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12:30 – 5:00pm. You can visit their website for more information, regarding their products and cooking classes at: http://www.sweetgourmetonline.com/ If you do visit their site or their actual store, I highly recommend getting on their e-mailing list. They do not spam or send out your information to 3rd parties, and that is the best way to find out about events.

Our second event for the same evening will take place at The Kitchen Drawer. It’s very similar to The Sweet Gourmet, but has more gadgets than gourmet goodies. They also hold special events and cooking classes. We want to check this one out because this isn’t a store that we frequent and we’re always willing to find new kitchen shops. The Open House event will be from 5:00pm – 8:00pm and will have food, prizes and special discounts on exclusive items. The Kitchen Drawer also holds cooking classes every so often and I have heard great things about them. We also missed the class for this month, but hope we can get into one soon to see how it compares to Sweet Gourmet’s class. The Kitchen Drawer also has a website and their hours of operation are a little more geared toward the “stay-at-home” crowd, closing at 5:30pm on weekdays, open from 10:00am til 4:00pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. For more information, you can visit their website at: http://www.thekitchendrawertyler.com/ .

Last but not least, my favourite event to look forward to: International Thanksgiving. I work for the local Junior College in Tyler in their Administrative Services building and many of our student workers are from outside the country. Every year, right before we let out for Thanksgiving break, our BSM (Baptist Student Ministry) helps put together the International Thanksgiving. Each of the students look forward to this event as an opportunity to come together with other students and share their culture through food. I have had the honour of being invited this year and will be bringing the most American thing I can think of: Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie. I would have brought apple pies, but our apple crop that’s come to Texas has not been desirable. I will be going to this event next Monday, November 23 at 6:30pm. After this event, I hope to actually have pictures to include with my post to finally add some more excitement. I am so thankful to be able to work with such intelligent and upstanding students and for them to be so kind to include me in their lives. This will, hopefully, be a wonderful cultural experience to cherish for the rest of my life. I’m sure it will be a wonderful time.

I think I will go ahead and close this post for today and get ready for the days ahead. I’m looking forward to a lot of fun in between all my work scheduling and getting ready for the holidays with everyone I like and love.

‘Til next time, Y’all!