“A List for the New Year,” an(other) Update.

Oh hey! It’s October 18, 2013.  I figured I owe you all a second update on how my 2013 To-Do list is going.

So, here you are! Enjoy!

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

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

Not gonna lie, STILL haven’t done this… however, I have gotten some ambassadorships that are pretty awesome and feel like I’m moving in the right direction. (you guys get 25% with my code for Energy Bits!)

I also finally broke down and got Twitter and Instagram… not that I know how to use them very well, but it’s all about networking, right? (usernames for both are NoellesNotebook if you’d like to give a follow!)

I’d love to know what you, readers, would like to see content wise…I realize that this space has morphed into a different animal from what I originally intended it to be… but I’m okay with that… however, I want to keep it interesting for all of you…so I’d love your feedback!

2. Excel in my job.

Confession: I struggle with this one.

I feel like my “promotion” has transformed into something else… my time is filled up with special projects that seem to take over what I’m actually supposed to be doing. And honestly, I have days (or months) where I just wonder how I am supposed to get everything done…  Does anyone else have this problem?

My boss tells me I’m doing well, but some days, I really have trouble believing that….but I just keep on going and I’m hoping that counts for something.

To be completely honest, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this particular aspect of my life, what’s to come of it, and what not.

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

I’m killing this one.

  • Strides for James was amazing–we had over 200 participants and raised over $5,000 after expenses. We were able to reach our scholarship goal in less than a year and someone in our community is already benefitting from our group’s hard work.
  • Farmer Ben won tickets to a Red Sox game. We went and loved it.
  • The Hubby and I were in the bridal party/catered our friends’ wedding. Not gonna lie, it was exhausting but worth it.
  • We got to do some hiking this summer! I cannot tell you how happy this made me!
  • Just starting a new online class today.
  • Farmer Ben and I just returned from a kick-ass road-trip and are craving more adventures. We drove to St. Simons Island, Georgia, then headed up to Charleston, South Carolina. I am ready to move there!
  • On our road-trip, we ate Barbecue for 3 days. I’m not even a little ashamed.
  • Ben finally got to meet my good friend Natasha who lives in DC and we visited (and by visited, I mean had a couple of drinks and crashed on her floor before getting up ridiculously early and hitting the road again) Liz–FINALLY! I even got to show him my old apartment.
  • Also on our trip, we spent the night on a sail boat-a first for me!
  • I also ran my first marathon.
  • Spent more time with family
Catamount Mountain, August 2013

Catamount Mountain, August 2013

I think those are all of the big ones, but honestly, I feel so blessed this year with all of the adventures we’ve had and I am wondering what’s next!

As far as spending less time on my phone, I’ve absolutely cut down on this. I deactivated my Facebook account and haven’t looked back. I may re-activate it when I get back into the heart of planning Strides for James 2014… but for now, I am content to be in the dark about what that girl who was in my gen ed class, freshman year is doing. I’m learning to appreciate those around me and treasuring the time with people I don’t see every day.

Any suggestions to continue my “Yes” Year?!

5. Take more time to read.

Yes. Doing this.

I won’t bore with the entire list, but these are my favorites I’ve read this year (Not gonna lie, it looks almost exactly like the list in my last update):

  • My Bible
  • all three Hunger Games Books (twice)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • Garlic and Sapphires
  • The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Born to Run
  • Eat & Run
  • The Dirty Life
  • The Beautiful & Damned

Any other reading suggestions?

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

Half Marathon-I’ve run the distance but haven’t raced it. Can we call this one even? I may look for a race in the next month or two… just to check it off the list, but I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t get that race in.

Marathon-Done. One of the most difficult and worthwhile things I have ever accomplished… and I’m already planning to do another!

I did it!

I did it!

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

I’m getting closer.

9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.

I still haven’t been working on my burpees.

10. Do more food-ing.

Absolutely!

I definitely went on a vegan recipe kick after reading Eat & Run. I’ve also been experimenting more with using different ingredients, especially when I was training for the marathon, I had to get creative with pre/during race foods because of some digestion issues.

We’ve also made an effort to eat at home more this year…and when we traveling, we try to eat at a local restaurant.

Roasted beets, cukes, lettuce, beet greens, tomatoes, carrots and homemade horseradish avocado dressing.

Roasted beets, cukes, lettuce, beet greens, tomatoes, carrots and homemade horseradish avocado dressing.

So, there you have it. I’d say for the most part, I’m doing pretty well…I definitely see areas where I can improve, but I am happy for now.

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! 

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Biting the Bullet

Well, I guess it’s official….

marathon

Don’t mind my awesome paint skills…

I’m doing THIS RACE!

Training starts now!!!

Happy Running!


Life (mostly Food) Update In Photos…

Hi there!

I know… I have so much to catch up on in the blogging aspect of things. This weekend was Strides for James and it was so much fun! I’ll be doing a post that details a little bit of everything… but I honestly haven’t had a moment to sit and collect my thoughts. So, to keep you until then, it was awesome. Our first year was a success.

So, I’ve been taking a lot of random pictures on my phone lately. Mostly of food and some other things…but mostly food.

So here’s a look at what I’ve been eating and doing lately. 

I have a serious weakness for scallops…and margaritas.

Cinco de Mayo Seafood Paella...totally not local, but so good. I have a serious weakness for scallops...and margaritas.

Cinco de Mayo Seafood Paella…totally not local, but so good.

I’m seeing a food theme here…

I'm seeing a food theme here...crockpot Mexican chicken over rice with avocados, sour cream and NY Cheddar.. Yum.

Crock-pot Mexican chicken over rice with avocados, sour cream and NY Cheddar.. Yum.

This is what happens when you are planning a fun run and go to the grocery store at 6:00 am…you leave with two cases of free bananas and one discounted case.

This is what happens when you are planning a fun run and go to the grocery store at 6:00 am...you leave with two cases of free bananas and one discounted case. Winning!

Winning!

After the race…we had a lot of leftover bananas…so I’ve baking a ton of banana bread (gluten-free–recipes coming!) and making things like this (sorry the picture isn’t great)…

Banana Split Ice Cream Cake!

Banana Split Ice Cream Cake!

Speaking of baking banana bread, I was checking to see if one of the loaves was done…and stupidly burnt the tip of my finger, through a towel. Only me…

I’m also happy to report, after taking home about a half case of bananas, we are down to seven. Farmer Ben and I are a great team in the kitchen!

A mid-week run past a neighbor’s house… somehow we came home with two dozen eggs!

What?! It's warm enough to wear shorts?!

What?! It’s warm enough to wear shorts?! And we got free eggs?!

Another sunny day was spent out working in the garden (a week later, it went down to 28 at night… gah!)

Tomato cages are serious business

Tomato cages are serious business

And this last piece… just made me chuckle.

saw this on Facebook...

saw this on Facebook…

Happy Wednesday!

What have you been up to lately? 

Eaten anything exciting?! 


Life Update?

You guys! Oh man, you guys! I have so many things to tell you.

First, my online class starts soon and I am beyond excited!

It’s March 21 and the ground is covered in snow. What is this crap? The joys of upstate NY living.

I have made a decision about the marathon.

I’m getting excited for racing this year.

Race planning has officially taken over my life. I admit it.

I am okay with that because I know it’s all for a great cause. And I know if James were here, he’d be so happy.

That being said… I’m still behind on blogging, so I decided to call in reinforcements. I’ve got some guest posters lined up that you are going to love. These people inspire me in so many ways and I cannot wait to introduce them to you!

My current food obsessions are as follows:

Mashed avocado with black pepper, parsley, scallions and lime juice

Popcorn (always)

Pickles (always)

Giant salads with sprouts and hard-boiled eggs

Thin mints

Bagels. Everything bagels.

While planning a race (I’m sorry… I can’t help it), I’m learning a lot about people:

They can be incredibly kind, helpful and giving. Some days I am just overwhelmed by all the help, donations and kind gestures the race committee has received.

I’ve also found that people can be very…funny. They can be conniving, evasive and sometimes, downright rude!

But for the most part, people are good. And our group has been very blessed.

Speaking of which, we’re going to have some amazing prizes for the race. I am so excited.

Also, I love Farmer Ben. He is pretty great.

In the last month, I have been to two baby showers. That is more baby showers than I’ve been to…. ever… maybe.

I also have a wedding this weekend (and a mini college reunion!).

And a bridal shower next weekend.

When did I get so old?! And furthermore, how is it that so many of my friends have children?! I mean… I know how…. but, aren’t I still 18 years old?

Food for thought from Noelle’s Notebook.

Word.

Happy weekend!


“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.

image

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

Yes!

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! 


What the What?!

Have you ever had one of those weeks months where you have absolutely no idea what will happen next? Or, for that matter, you’re not sure how you got to where you are? I am currently there.

I don’t know if it’s daylight savings time, being super busy or…something else, but I feel like I just got off the zipper and am waiting for my head to stop spinning.

The past few weeks have been a blur…consisting of getting up, rushing to work and then rushing to job number two…followed by driving home, cooking random foods and entertaining my husband with my ability to make a giant mess in less than 5 minutes…with a little life organizing, mini trips,  connexion groups, date nights, church, sporadically exercising, pretending to get enough sleep and trying to keep in touch with family and friends mixed in….topped off with some total randomness.

Like I said, not sure how it is already March 14. There is so much going on.

First, some good news! After being married for almost seven months, Ben and I FINALLY mailed out the very last of our long overdue thank you notes. Better late than never I suppose. I am embarrassed to admit this, but we wrote and mailed out the first half about two months ago… and then just never found a spare moment to finish the other half…until a few nights ago…so if you were included in this second batch, I’m really sorry for the hubs and I dropping the ball.

Second, Ben finally let me try the pickles he made this summer-both varieties! AMAZING. I ate so many that I gave myself a stomach-ache. Typical.

Third, we have a mini vacation planned for next week and it cannot come soon enough! Granted, we are only driving six hours south…but it will be a nice escape… and five days off. I love road trips..even if they are short. I also love days off…especially when they are consecutive.  I am so excited to see my family and to get out of town…and to spend an entire five days with my hubby!

The hubs and I may have some changes on the horizon, so keep us in your prayers! Nothing serious, just some things to take care of/decide on.

It’s been beautiful in the North Country as of late, temperatures have been in the 50’s and the sun has been shining. Not too shabby for March. If I could change the fact that my driveway is a giant mud pit then all would be perfect. Some day it will dry… sigh…

The weather has really helped my running…meaning that I’ve actually been running. I’m still not too great at the whole getting out of bed early thing..but I’m trying!  Mondays and Wednesday are the glorious days when I can run after work and thanks to daylight savings time,  I can now finish before dark! I’m looking forward to hitting the pavement tonight. This is my latest motivation: Ragnar Relay … This race looks AMAZING!

We’ve been experimenting with some new recipes, including some homemade energy/granola bars. This means glorious bulk items from our co-op including nuts and coconut. I love it.

It’s almost garden season. Ben is already making big plans for our yard. I cannot wait. I also cannot wait to break in our solar food dehydrator. Hello sun-dried tomatoes!

Jalapeno of Yesteryear...

Green Tomatoes of the past...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can’t tell from the pictures, I am ready for garden fresh veggies!

In other news, I have a couple of restaurant reviews to post…along with a recipe or two. There is even talk of that Ben guy doing a guest post!

Stay tuned and have a great rest of the day!