Real Talk: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars

Helloooo! Happy Tuesday y’all!

Can we talk about snacks today?! I am stopping in today with a quick review for Manitoba Harvest. They recently came out with a new product, their hemp heart bars, and I was lucky enough to get to sample two of the flavors!

*Full Disclosure-Manitoba Harvest provided me with product for review purposes through my relationship with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. Per usual, all opinions are my own.*

I was excited to test these out as I am a big fan of hemp seeds as a plant-based protein and am always game for trying new snacks.

There are many days when I get caught up at work and do not have time to sit down and eat a real lunch, so I try to keep relatively healthy and filling snacks around. These definitely fit the bill!

I was sent the apple cinnamon and the chocolate to try. While both were good, the chocolate was definitely the winner in my book. I will be on the lookout for the vanilla so I can try all three!

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Side note: I know this probably doesn’t matter to most people, but I really like the packaging for these… it’s nice and simple, just like the ingredients.  

Speaking of the ingredients, I can pronounce all of them, which if you know me, is very important! You can also see pretty much everything listed!

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A quick run down of the bars from the Manitoba Harvest Website:

“Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart bars are crafted with the goodness of hemp and other tasty ingredients too. We’ve whipped up three different delicious flavours to choose from: vanilla, chocolate and apple cinnamon. Each 45 gram bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas, so whether you grab one for a pre-workout snack or nutrition on the go, these convenient bars are sure to get you through even your busiest day!”

10 grams of protein! I was super thankful to have one of these in my purse the other day… Once again, I hadn’t had time for a real lunch and I needed a quick snack before heading out to meet a friend for a run! It didn’t bother my stomach and kept me satiated through my workout and up until dinner! Winning!

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Overall, I would absolutely buy these again. However, I would definitely recommend the chocolate over the apple cinnamon. It’s just…I personally would rather eat an actual apple…but that’s just me…don’t let that rain on your apple cinnamon loving parade!

In other exciting news, Manitoba Harvest is running a wicked cool photo contest! You can find the full details here.

Here are some quick details if you’d like to play along: 

  • Tag @manitobaharvest #hempheartbar #fuelledbyhemp #sweatpink @fitapproach for a chance to win a box of your favorite flavor of Hemp Heart Bars!
  • A winner will be chosen each month!
  • Eligibility: open to US and Canada residents.

AND if you’d like to order your own hemp heart bars, Manitoba Harvest is generously offering 15% off your purchase. You can buy them here.

  • The discount code hhbarlaunch1015 will get you 15% off! Expires 3/31/2016 

A big thank you to Manitoba Harvest and Fit Approach for allowing me to sample out another awesome product!

Lets’ chat: Hemp Hearts-yes or no? Favorite pre-run (or other workout) snack? Chocolate or Apple Cinnamon? 

 

 


What’s Been On My Plate? #HempHearts Review & Giveaway

Hi Friends!

Happy Weekend! Any big plans? Farmer Ben and I are spending our weekend at our district’s ministry retreat.

Today I want to talk about Hemp Hearts!

Have you had these tasty little seeds before? Farmer Ben and I love them! Confession: We put them in everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!

Hemp Hearts are actually the center of the hemp seed (basically, it’s what remains after the seed is de-shelled). They are also super good for you. In one 30 gram serving, Hemp Hearts contain 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of Omegas. They also have more protein and omegas and less carbs than the same serving of chia or flax (AND don’t get stuck in your teeth!). Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts are also Non-GMO Project verified. This is something super important to Ben and me.

I love them because they have a nutty flavor that goes with anything. Seriously, Ben and I use them as a topping for yogurt and salads, a stir-in for smoothies or eggs, filling in meatballs (yes, I’m serious) and muffins. Sweet or savory, these will work! Click the link or the picture below for the muffin recipe. I made these a while back and actually just use all hemp seeds now.

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One of my favorite ways we’ve used the hemp hearts is in a veggie packed pasta sauce. We started with Farmer Ben’s homemade marinara sauce, added a splash of wine, threw in some vegan sausage, swiss chard, spinach and mushrooms and let those cook down, then right before we served it, we stirred in some hemp hearts for a little added crunch and flavor (then, to certify our hippie status, we topped it with nutritional yeast and served with whole wheat pasta)

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Another way that we love to eat hemp hearts is with plain yogurt and some fresh berries. As you probably know, siggi’s is my go to!

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So, long story short, we are huge fans. These little seeds are a staple in our house.

AND! Good News, Manitoba Harvest is generously offering one of you lucky readers the chance to win a package of Manitoba Hemp Hearts to try.

To enter pick any or all options below and leave a comment letting me know that you did it! (1 entry for each)

  • Follow @ManitobaHarvest on Twitter
  • Follow @ManitobaHarvest on Instagram
  • Tweet about the giveaway using @ManitobaHarvest #hemphearts @FitApproach #sweatpink
  • Follow @NoellesNotebook on Twitter
  • Follow @NoellesNotebook on Instagram
  • Leave a comment telling me your favorite way to enjoy Hemp Hearts

The Fine Print: 

  • Open to US and Canada residents
  • One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Manitoba Harvest through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner. 

****Giveaway ends Wednesday, November 11.

Ever had Hemp Hearts? What’s your favorite way to eat them? 

*Full disclosure: As a Sweat Pink ambassador,  I was provided a free sample of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. *  Thank you Manitoba Harvest! 


Confessions; Life, Lately (Mostly Food).

Happy Saturday Friends!

Any exciting weekend plans? Farmer Ben and I are having some friends over for an evening of good food and games. I’m really looking forward to it!

Other than that, my back-to-school game is in full swing! Not gonna lie, I’ll be happy once my orientation class is over so I don’t have to log in every day. I probably still will… but I won’t be obligated to. That makes all the difference!

In other news, have you guys heard of EBATES? It’s stupidly easy. You sign up, download their button, and when you are on a site that gives cash back, it turns red. Once activated, you get money back! If you don’t want to download the button, you can go to the EBATES’ site and find what you’re looking for that way. I’ve gotten money back on a book for school, protein powder and a baby shower gift.

(Full Disclosure, if you sign up via the link above and make a purchase, I get $5. Thank you in advance!). 

I signed up about a month ago and I’ve already gotten $8.05 back from online purchases. My sister, on the other hand, got $26 back (I think she does more online shopping than I do). It doesn’t seem like it’s that much, but those few dollars here and there add up! You’ll either receive a check in the mail or you can have it go to your PayPal account.

Confession time… (Mostly Food)

  • Farmer Ben and I had pizza for dinner three times this week (Unless you count Sunday as last week, then it’s technically only 2 times). One of said pizzas was a “nacho pizza.” Yes, it was ridiculously good and I think I gained approximately 5 pounds.

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  • I am officially over summer squash and zucchini…we’ve been eating it SO MUCH and people keep giving us more! I’ve gotten creative, making a zucchini “lasagna,” and just eating it raw, dipped in hummus or dressing…and a few other ways… but there are only so many things you can do to squash. Sometime next week, we’ll have zucchini fritters and the elusive zucchini pizza crust (because clearly, we never get sick of pizza). Gulp…wish us luck!
  • I made these cupcakes with a few modifications, to use more zucchini up (and then my mom gave us 3 more). They were good but only required a cup… I may need to quadruple the recipe and freeze them!  Any suggestions for what else we should make?
  • I am really into snack plates (Always with radishes and cucumbers)… I think it’s becoming a problem…this was a recent work meeting.

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  • Farmer Ben and I have a problem with making everything boozey. The cupcakes I talked about earlier? I put Kahlua in them… And Farmer Ben? He made this…

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I can’t even.

  • I’ve been alternating between three pairs of running capris. I have other bottoms to wear, but they just aren’t as comfortable! I’ve been doing a lot of laundry the last few weeks.
  • Speaking of running… I’ve been eyeing different GPS Watches/Heart Rate Monitors… I’ve even gone as far as putting some in my online shopping cart… but I can’t convince myself to spend the money on them. Any suggestions on brand? I’m bouncing back and forth between Garmin and TomTom. Are they worth all the hype?
  • And sports bras. It’s time to cough up some cash for some new sports bras. Why is having boobs so darn expensive?!
  • Looking back over my last month of posts, I realize that I haven’t blogged about so many things…look for some major photo/catching up posts in the next week or two!

That’s all for today, Friends! Any confessions on your end? Let me know in the comments! 


Happy Independence Day

Hello!

Just stopping in to say “Happy Independence Day!”

Last night, Farmer Ben and I practiced our right to grill and had a pretty delicious meal of chicken hot dogs, vegan beer brats (I’ve been really digging Tofurky brand sausages lately-Ben thinks I’m such a weirdo!), zucchini, radishes, scallions and hot sauce-dipped pineapple.

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Everything was delicious… but we probably went a bit overboard for two people (We also had cheese and baguette).

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Luckily, I have lots of leftovers to eat while Farmer Ben is feeding the masses today. I may have eaten some for breakfast, paired with some iced mango-black tea I found at Trader Joe’s earlier this week.

Honestly, I can’t complain about this day one bit… it started with delicious food and some quiet time before doing some work. That feels like a total win!

Anyway, remember to take a moment to thank those who serve and protect our freedom today!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

What are you doing to celebrate the 4th? 


#elf4health & #holidaysweat Week 4 Recap

Hi Friends! Happy Monday! And happy-almost-Christmas!

Yesterday was the last week of the #elf4health challenge and another week of #holidaysweat. Overall, I did pretty well! Let’s take a look!

Big thanks to Elle & Lindsay for organizing the #elf4health challenge again.

#elf4health:

Monday-Read, Write or Meditate: My small group is going through The Purpose Driven Life and with the chapter-a-day approach, this was the perfect book to read today. It’s very timely for Farmer Ben and I and so far I’m enjoying it (even though only reading a small chunk at a time is a challenge in and of itself).  

Tuesday-Push-Up Challenge: I really meant to do this, but I failed.

Wednesday-Share your expertise: I didn’t do this but I did share a few recipes last week… let’s call it even!

Thursday-Veggies with breakfast: I had a smoothie with Skoop and spinach, paired with a carrot pear muffin.

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Friday-What You Love About You: I didn’t do this, but I did share some life updates and discussed some recent acceptance of life happening. Again, let’s call it even.

Saturday-New Fitness Goal: I shared my 2015 fitness goals in my last post. Check it out here.

Sunday-Make a donation: Hmm… On Saturday, I volunteered to help with our youth Christmas party at church… this included making a RIDICULOUS amount of mac and cheese and hanging out with the some teenagers. Boom. Done!

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#holidaysweat:

You know how last week I said I was starting to feel better? Well, I lied. I’m still sick. Therefore it was more walking, some stretching and not much else.

BUT, I’m still on my freggie and H20 a-game, so that’s something!

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Let’s chat: How is your December eating/fitness? Favorite kind of Christmas cookie?


Real Talk: Skoop B-Strong Review

Hi Friends!

As promised, I am back to tell you a little bit about Skoop.

I was contacted about three weeks ago to see if I’d be interested in trying this product. After checking out their website and ingredient list, I decided to give it a shot.

Full Disclosure: I was sent a bag of Skoop B Strong in exchange for a review. Per usual, all opinions are my own. I was not compensated for my time.

Let me start off by saying, I prefer to get all of my vitamins and minerals from real food. I’ve never been one to take multi-vitamins or a pill or, for that matter, drink a protein shake. I know that there are people out there who need that something extra, but I personally prefer to eat my nutrients and typically am able to do so without any troubles (and to be honest, I’m not good at REMEMBERING to take a daily vitamin).

But…there are times I can’t eat as well or as much I want to…. Like when my husband opens a restaurant.

Confession: Since the restaurant opened, I’ve been struggling to eat enough high quality food. Most of my meals are eaten in a hurry, either while I’m driving to work in the morning, hovering over a counter while trying to do six other things at once, or scarfed down on my lunch hour while trying to take care of other items on my to-do list that I no longer have time for after work.

I’ve eaten more late night slices of pizza in the last four months than I care to admit… and my body has not been happy about it.

Don’t get me wrong, pizza is delicious and portable…but it’s not something I like to eat every day…or even every week for that matter.

I’d prefer to eat a salad every day… but when you’re running on 4 or 5 hours of sleep and trying to do everything in a hurry, salads are a lot of work. And take a lot of concentration to eat.

If you know me personally, you know that I am not someone who can go without eating. If I do, I become an absolutely miserable you-know-what. I’m also not someone who likes to drink their calories…because that never actually keeps you full.

Naturally, when I was contacted to check out this product, I was skeptical… but I figured it would be worth it to at least see what they had to offer.

So what is Skoop (From their website)?

B-STRONG is a plant-based protein blend. It contains prebiotics, mediterranean fruits, fatty acids, and higher carbs to make sure your body is properly using all the nutrients it can. Plant-based protein is more easily broken down and absorbed than protein from a steak, so your body can direct more energy toward healing and extra energy.”

Another plus? They use ingredients I can pronounce. It’s protein powder, but made from REAL foods.

“B-STRONG contains a well-rounded profile of nutrients, which every meal requires. Single plants generally don’t contain all the essential amino acids necessary to create a complete protein, so we used plants that complement each other. B-STRONG gives you all the essential amino acids your body needs to prevent muscle breakdown and loss. Use B-STRONG to help build muscle, recover faster, or just as a strength-building snack during the day.”

I also really like their business model and that they give back to the community. From the Skoop Website:

“That’s why we partnered with The Chef Ann Foundation, a non-profit that provides real, fresh fruits and veggies to public school lunch programs all over the country – programs that currently need to classify french fries, tomato sauce, and ketchup as vegetables in order to meet FDA standards.

For every serving of Skoop sold, we donate one serving of free, fresh fruits and veggies to a school lunch program. You buy a serving, you give a serving. And everyone can feel good about that. Literally”

So I decided to give it a shot.  What did I have to lose? If I hated it, I wouldn’t have wasted any money trying it out.

First things first, can I just say, I was absolutely floored when I got the package from Skoop? I was expecting a couple of sample packs … they sent me a whole bag!!! They also sent me five days’ worth of their A-game and a cute little shaker bottle! Wow!

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I immediately tried the powder with some water to see how it blended. The result? Minimal clumping, no weird chalky aftertaste and a lightly sweet vanilla flavor. I liked the flavor but I could tell right away that it would taste even better with milk.

Since then, I’ve been mixing it up with milk (cow, almond or coconut) and if I’m feeling fancy, some cold coffee. I’ve also added it to smoothies (with almond butter, almond milk, banana, spinach or kale and some cacao).

My favorite way to drink Skoop is with coconut water, almond milk, cacoa and maca powders. The cacoa gives it a nice chocolate flavor and the maca adds some nuttiness. I also really loved adding the A-Game to my morning smoothie for a double-whammy of nutrients.

My next plan is to make some energy bites or some peanut butter cookies with it.

So is this worth buying?

After having it almost daily for the last few weeks, I would say yes! Definitely!

I’ve been drinking Skoop for a quick breakfast or as a snack before going in to work at the bistro and I’ve been full. I feel energized and haven’t had any stomach issues (This is HUGE because, if you’re waiting tables, you don’t have time to run to the bathroom).

For a plant based protein, it doesn’t have any weird after-tastes and doesn’t cause any digestion/gas issues (I know you know what I’m talking about).

I also love the ingredient list and all of the micro-nutrients. Seriously, look at this!

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HealthySkoop.com

For all of that, a 30 serving bag is $67.

Skoop was generous enough to give me a discount code to share with you. Use the code “NOTEBOOK10” at checkout for 10% off your entire purchase.

Sidenote: My husband purchased a raw protein/meal replacement around the same time with an equally impressive ingredient list and though I like that one as well, I do notice, I wasn’t as full and had some of the previously mentioned protein farts (sorry, TMI).

Huge thank you to Skoop for sending me this product!

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Happy Wednesday, friends!

 


Siggi’s Culture Club & a giveaway{closed}!

Update: because I am late, I chose two winners! Inspired Spoons and Jennie J, you each are getting some siggi’s certificates! Email me at NoellesNotebook @gmail.com and let me know where to send!

You may or may not know this about me…but I am kind of a weirdo when it comes to yogurt. Plain yogurt is my jam. 

I do NOT like flavored yogurt. I can eat plain with fruit mixed into it, but I can’t eat the fruit-flavored stuff. It doesn’t make any sense.

Flavored yogurt makes me gag.

My stomach just doesn’t do well with pre-flavored yogurt. For my taste, there is usually WAY too much sugar/sweetener in it and I usually end up with an upset stomach and a headache.

But one day, this changed for me…on a whim, I tried siggi’s vanilla skyr (Icelandic-style, strained yogurt) . And then siggi’s orange ginger…and it didn’t make me gag! I actually liked it…And the ingredients were REAL and all things I could pronounce/possibly have in my kitchen (like real vanilla bean!)!

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The flavor that rocked my world

To be honest, I didn’t really know how to react to this earth-shattering revelation. I had identified myself as a flavored-yogurt hater for so long, I was having a crisis of epic proportions! What was I supposed to do now?! What would Farmer Ben think?!

Obviously, after this yogurt turned my world upside down, I had to find out more about the company behind the goodness. And I was very pleased with what I found.

siggi’s is a truly great brand! Their motto is “simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar.” If you check out the nutrition/ingredient label, you can see that they stick to this motto.

 I also love that the company was started by one man in his own kitchen, and has expanded. Talk about motivation!

They  are a NY company and use NY dairy. Their yogurt is made with dairy from cows that are grass-fed, and hormone-free and there are no artificial ingredients!

I realized that this was a company I could get behind.  So I did what any former flavored-yogurt hater would do… I applied to be a part of their Culture Club! I did it on a whim and honestly, I didn’t know if I’d be accepted or not (I actually told them I wasn’t big on flavored yogurt… over share!)…but 4-5 weeks later I received a magical email.

I was in the club!

A couple weeks later I received my culture club welcome kit.

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siggi's hookup

I’ve been using the bag every day.

As a long overdue way to celebrate my initiation into the culture club, I’m going to give away 5 coupons for free siggi’s yogurt to one lucky reader in the US!

The only requirement: leave a comment telling me what your favorite flavor of yogurt is.  

 I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, May 6.

Full disclaimer: As a siggi’s brand ambassador, I received coupons (and may get product on occasion) in exchange for spreading their message of “simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar,” however all opinions are my own.

Happy Friday!


Scenes from a weekend: Breakfast, Beer & Cigar Box Guitars

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you all had a great weekend, I certainly did!

I snuck away to visit the family in Horseheads, NY and let me say, it was so fun (even though Farmer Ben was missing)!

Anyway, here is a brief peek inside my trip… I was a terrible blogger and didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.
I did manage to remember to take pictures at the Horseheads Brewing Co., great beers, great staff. If you are in the area, try the ” hot chocolate,” a mix of their jalapeño ale and chocolate porter!

That’s all for today! Enjoy!

Photos:
Dinner and dessert, my brother-in-law’s latest craft-cigar box guitars!, Horseheads brewing company randoms and more eats.

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Scenes from a Mini-Getaway: Burlington!

First, sorry if you follow me by email… I prematurely hit the publish button… I don’t know why I have so many problems with this lately! Haha!

Anyway, I mentioned that Farmer Ben whisked me off to Burlington last weekend. We haven’t ventured across the lake in a few months, so we were long overdue…

Even though we were only there for a few hours, it was AMAZING! Sometimes that’s all you need to feel ready to take on the new week!

We headed out mid-morning and decided to hop on the ferry….

He's actually thrilled to have his photo taken.

He’s actually thrilled to have his photo taken.

It was a beautiful day!!!

Again...thrilled...

Again…thrilled…

Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain

Once we got to Burlington, we knew that there was one place we had to go.

Our favorite place, obviously.

Our favorite place, obviously.

The Farmhouse Tap & Grill–Shocker… I know…

My favorite brunch date

My favorite brunch date

Here’s where the food came from:

Love this

Love this

Here’s what we ate:

Cider and Spicy Blood Mary with assorted pickled veggies (have I mentioned how much I love a good Bloody Mary?!)

His & Hers

His & Hers

House Eggs Benedict with local ham and braised kale, served with a side of greens and a hash brown.

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House Made Hash and Eggs with dressed greens (OHMIGAWD THIS WAS GOOD!)

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Per usual, brunch was amazing. We left feeling good and full…but not grossly full.

After brunch, we roamed around Church Street and did some window shopping… And got some hot chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolate….

I got mint chocolate and Ben got a spicy Aztec cocoa… his was REALLY good… not that mine wasn’t…but I liked his better! haha!

So good.

So good.

After meandering around, we headed to Healthy Living to pick up more delicious things…and then headed home.

We had a really great Sunday…

Let’s chat: How was your weekend? Favorite brunch item? Hot chocolate, yes or no?


“A List for Last Year,” A FINAL Update on 2013.

Oh hey! It’s officially 2014… I won’t get used to writing/typing 2014 until June…but it’s fine…

Anyway, I figured I should give you all one last look at how my 2013 goals were accomplished. I’ll keep it short and sweet, I promise!

Enjoy!

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

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

Fail. That’s all.

2. Excel in my job.

I think for the most part, I do my job pretty darn well, but I’m still learning a lot… so I’ll call this one about 85%…..

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

Yes. I killed this one.

5. Take more time to read.

Again, killed it.

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

Half Marathon-I still haven’t raced it…but I’ve run it.

Marathon-Done.  So we’ll call this even.

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

Didn’t happen… 2013 was the year of random things that come up and shot our budget to Hades AND realizing that we really need an emergency fund.

2014 will be the year of actually having an emergency fund (We’re 75% of the way to our EF goal!) and being able to handle those budget killers.

On the plus side, I upped my 401k contribution and Farmer Ben started his retirement fund at work in 2013…so it wasn’t all bad!

9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.

Nope…. I can probably do about 30 without stopping…maybe 40 if I am feeling like a boss.

10. Do more food-ing.

Absolutely! Done.

Told you that it would be short and sweet… I’d say I did well… granted, I failed miserably at two of my goals…but I definitely learned something from most of these challenges. And of the few that I didn’t accomplish, we are better prepared for them this year.

2013 was a good year, but 2014 will be better… I’ve got big plans for this year and can’t wait to fill you in along the way!

Now it’s your turn! How did you do with your goals for 2013? Anything you’re still struggling with? OR, do you have any advice for 2014?! Let me know!