Happy Things

I’m in an incredibly good mood today. Why?

The sun is shining.

It’s turning out to be a pretty nice day.



In my ceramic travel mug. Love.

I finished last night’s run before it was completely dark out. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Spring is coming!


Okay… it looks pitch black here, but it really wasn’t!

Spinach Soup for lunch. This stuff is so good and so good for you! I used Joy the Baker’s recipe, with a few tweaks (white potatoes, veggie stock and chili powder to start).


Green Monster soup.

The hubby is at home,  on his day off, cooking and baking bread. I cannot wait to go home and try everything!


Basil Bread (L) and Whole Wheat Mini Boules with Brown Butter, Sage and Flax… all in a day’s work. I know…I’m spoiled!


Meyer Lemon Chicken Stock

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

We’ve decided to do a dairy CSA Share. Hello fresh milk in glass bottles! Homemade butter and cheese are going to happen!!! I’m super excited. I’ll give you details in a separate post.

I signed up for a couple more (free!) online classes, it’s definitely going to be year of learning! If you haven’t checked Coursera out, do it now!

I got an awesome pair of compression socks (the kind that go up to your knees!) as a gift last night…. perfect timing. I was pumped.


Compression socks are sexy.

I also got these beauties.


Love the color!

Both are made in the USA and made with sustainable products. Love this. Here is the website for more info.

I also got an awesome print of a photograph taken by my super talented aunt…which I didn’t take a picture of. Can’t wait to hang it up!

Anyway, like I said. I’m feeling pretty blessed today. Life is good and I am happy for so many reasons.

What brings a smile to your face? Tell me about it! 

“A List for the New Year,” an Update.

Oh hey! It’s March 4, 2013. Where has the time gone?! I figured I owe you all an update on how my 2013 To-Do list is going.

So, here you are! Enjoy!

Noelle’s (Updated) List of Things to do before December 31, 2013:

1. Create a logo for the blog and go self-hosted.

I haven’t given this much thought….I can’t even pretend.  Shame.

2. Excel in my new position.

I’m still learning a lot of new information. Every day.

Just when I finally think I have something down, something happens and I realize I am just scratching the surface…. Whether I am excelling or not, I don’t feel that I am, yet…. but I am definitely enjoying the learning process.

I’ll check back in another month or so.

3. Make 2013 a “Yes!” year/7. Be more present.

I think I’m doing pretty well with this one.

  • The hubby and I did a Valentine’s Day Wine Tour. Wine and Chocolate. Perfection.
  • I attended a farm and food event and got to chat with some local farmers and producers.
  • I signed up for some fitness challenges
  • I volunteered to make favors for a bridal shower (super excited about this…even though I’m not very crafty)
  • Expanded my cooking/recipe arsenal.
  • I am working on the perfect dessert for the wedding of two friends. It’s not cake!
  • I’m also signed up to take two online nutrition courses. I cannot wait!

With everything else,  planning Strides for James (a charity run) has gotten me out to meet a ton of new people as a direct result. Getting sponsors and taking the lead on this has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.


Terrible picture, but here is an initial race flyer design. I love it!


As far as spending less time on my phone, it depends on the day. Race planning has taken up a lot of my time the last couple of months and because I get emails, texts and check our Facebook page on my phone, some days I spend a lot more time doing these things than I should… it’s a work in progress.

Any suggestions to continue my “Yes” Year?!

5. Take more time to read.

I’m killing this one! So far I’ve read a lot of books and have expanded my blog reading (some blogs have been added to the current web obsessions page)…

Books include my Bible,  all three Hunger Games Books, A book of stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald (which, surprisingly, I hadn’t read before), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, Garlic and Sapphires and I just started The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest… that’s been in the last month.

I’ll be re-reading the Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice… just because, I need to.

Any other reading suggestions?

4. Run a half marathon/6. Run 26.2 miles.

As you know, I started marathon training. However, winter running is not going as well as I had hoped….between being sick, silly injuries (falling down a flight of stairs and shin splints) and my body not wanting to cooperate, I’ve had a tough time.

Initially, I planned on doing a May race but given some setbacks, I am starting to have second thoughts. I realize that a few bumps in the road are part of the training process, but I worry that I won’t be ready.

So, I am tossing around the idea of doing a fall marathon and checking off the half marathon in the spring. I haven’t made any decisions yet. And I won’t for another couple of weeks.

I’ll keep you posted. And don’t worry, the GBN posts will be starting up again soon!

8. Pay off at least one big bill–Get better about saving money.

Not gonna lie, I’ve had some setbacks with this one, some out of my control… but it appears that I am back on track.

I’m working on practicing an incredible amount of self-restraint to get me even closer…. we’ll see how I do.

9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.

Not gonna lie, I haven’t been working on my burpees. Fail.

10. Do more food-ing.

As I mentioned above, I’ve expanded my food-blog reading in the last few months, I also signed up to take some nutrition classes online…done some wine-tasting and gone to a farm/food expo.

I’m working on expanding my cooking knowledge… I feel like I do pretty well, but being married to a chef, a lot of times I just let him take care of our meals. Not anymore. I’ve tried a few new recipes, nothing crazy difficult, but still tasty and have been dabbling with vegan and gluten-free cooking/baking.

I also have been doing some food research. With friends, for other people and through other people. Food research is a great conversation starter!

Farmer Ben has been diligently planning his garden and I am pretty pumped. I hope to improve my growing skills and help him out a lot more than I have in previous years.

Oh! And we are looking into a CSA. Meat, Dairy and Eggs. So excited about this!

So, there you have it. I’d say for the most part, I’m doing pretty well…

Don’t forget to sign up for Strides for James!!!! (Sorry…shameless plug… I know!)

Now it’s your turn! How are you doing with your goals? Anything you’re struggling with? OR, do you have any advice to help me out?! Let me know! 

An Explanation…and Other Stuff

Alright, the “worst blogger ever” award goes to…Me.  I have no excuse for my long absence other than…well, I’ve just had a lot going on. And…I haven’t really been moved to write much of anything lately.

An example? I spent the better part of last weekend with one of the worst stomach bugs I’ve ever had. Six pounds in a weekend–NOT the best way to lose weight! Ugh! Obviously an over-share….sorry.

While we’re on this unpleasant topic, thank you to Farmer Ben for being the best hubs. Period.

Anyway, besides being sick….again (seriously, I have been sick more in the last four months than I have in the last four years!), life has been a bit crazy. The routine I’ve desperately tried to (re) establish is still eluding me… but it’s getting closer.

Winter has definitely gotten the best of me, but I am working my way out of this little funk I’ve been in as best I can. It’s been a slow process.

For whatever reason, this time of year is always a bit of a struggle and even though there are things I know that I should be doing, sometimes it’s just easier to put on my favorite pair of sweatpants, curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and lose myself in a good book instead of facing the real world…which is exactly what I’ve been doing most days the last few weeks, instead of…almost anything else.

Honestly, I’ve felt like a zombie for the last couple of months… and I’ve been dragging my feet and being stubborn about some things I need to do.

I’ve got some stuff, for lack of a better word, I need to work out and some decisions to make in regard to goals I’ve set for myself. Luckily I have Farmer Ben here to help me out and give me a push when I start procrastinating.

In other news…

This weekend I attended an event called “Food from the Farm.” It was basically a big information expo: Lots of local farmers, wineries, cheese-makers, orchards and the like in  one room, tasty food made with local products and tons of other great info. Obviously, I loved it!

I didn’t take any pictures because that would have been a great idea… but I got a lot of great information on CSA options from area farms and got to meet and catch up with some amazing people from the area.

As you probably know, the hubs and I grow a ton of veggies in the summer, so we don’t really need to buy vegetables in those months… or even in the winter for that matter. (I did pick up some information on vegetable CSA shares for friends, and if you live in the Plattsburgh area and are interested, I can pass it along to you as well.)

But, we are dying to get a meat CSA.

We very rarely buy mass-produced meat, we’d rather get our meat from a local and known source…

So, we’ve discussed it and decided the best solution would be to get a CSA share. We could also go the “buy a half cow” route, but that’s an awful lot of meat for two people.  There are also options to buy an egg and dairy share. Dream come true. Seriously!

Surprisingly, there are quite a few options in our area,  from a traditional CSA to more of a “Farm Bucks” program (the amount you pay gives you a credit to the farm, you select what you’ll need for the week and the total is deducted off of your balance.) Again, if you are in the Plattsburgh area and are interested in meat CSAs, I can send you information.

Let’s be real, I’m just happy that we have options and that this local food thing is FINALLY catching on up here. Thank you, Lord!

Anyway, we’ve got some options!


Here is a sneak peak at dinner lately:


Spinach soup a la Joy the Baker


Homemade stuffed shells and sauce

Happy Monday!