Speaking of Challenges…

It’s Friday.  The Friday of a very long week. A long week, but a good week.

I’ve been feeling very accomplished this week, sticking to my challenges and taking on new ones as I go. For real, I could take over the world today!

  • As far as my MFP 50 day challenge goes, I have lost a little over 2 pounds so far. Not too shabby! I also got in a run with Farmer Ben last night and have been doing well at watching what I eat. I’ve been completing the mini-challenges within the group-so much motivation!
  • My clean eating challenge? I ate out last night at one of my local favorites, but it was a belated birthday dinner… other than that, I haven’t even gotten a coffee this week! So big!
  • I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and decision-making. And prayer (or circle-making). Big things on the horizon. I can feel it!
  • 30 days of gratitude is making me count my blessings. I am overflowing with joy when I realize how blessed I am.

On another note, I got a call from a friend yesterday asking me to fill in at a performance his theatre class is doing. It’s tomorrow. I got the script this afternoon. I haven’t been on stage (in a theatre production) in about 6 years. To say I am a little nervous is an understatement. EEEK!

I also made a deal with one of my MFP Buddies to attend a spin class next week. Something new. Totally new!

But I’ll be okay. I’m just looking at both of these opportunities as another little challenge…that I will win. Or learn from…or at least get a laugh out of.

So, in the spirit of spontaneity and taking on challenges, I am asking you to branch out this weekend. Do something unexpected and out of the ordinary! Big or small, just try something new!

Then, tell me about it!!! I’ll feature your obstacles, your successes and maybe failures growth opportunities in a post sometime next week. 

I want to know what you are doing and how you are taking on the world…or yourself!

You can either send me an email at noellesnotebook (@)gmail.com or leave a comment below. Please get me your stories by Tuesday, November 13.

So fill me in!

Happy weekend!


A Quarter Century??? Almost.

That sounds so…. official.

Today is my last day as a 24-year-old.

Tomorrow I turn a quarter century old.

Can you say “major freak-out?”

I know that age is just a number, but I have this vision in my head of what 25 is supposed to look like… and it’s a lot more put together than my 24 and 364 days old self.

I feel like I am supposed to know what I want to be when I grow up…and should be doing that already! I also feel that I should know how to tame my cowlick, not spill things all over myself and know exactly what direction my life is heading in. But I don’t.  And frankly, all of those things freak me out, just a little. Okay, maybe a lot, depending on the day.

Everything happens for a reason…I know that. If I had followed a strict plan, I certainly would not be anywhere close to where I am today. I may be making more money, or living in a city somewhere, I may have a more expensive wardrobe to spill things all over…but I’d be miserable.  And stressed out. And did I mention miserable?

I have to admit, that although I’m uncertain where I’m headed at this point in time, I am ridiculously happy. I have a wonderful husband and great family and friends. I laugh every day and I’m healthy.

So, today I am going to take a deep (calming) breath and just relish the unknown. I’ll take comfort in the fact that, although I won’t ever be that well-put-together-25-year-old-who-knows-exactly-what’s-going-on-and-where-things-are-headed, that I’m still pretty okay. I’m a lot more interesting than that perfectly put together image. And the last (almost) 25 years have been very good to me. I’ll continue to count my blessings.

Here’s to 24 and 364 days old. And cowlicks.

Do you have a big birthday coming up? Do certain years freak you out more than others?

To Plan, or Not to Plan?

I had a major garden score today. Completely unplanned! I took my empty coffee bag to Starbucks so they could recycle it (and so I could get my free cup of coffee for doing so!) and noticed that they didn’t have any of the small bags of used coffee grounds. So, I asked if they had any on hand. I ended up leaving with a garbage bag full of coffee grounds! Pretty exciting stuff…Farmer Ben is going to be ecstatic…and my car is going to smell like burnt coffee. I can’t decide if this is a positive or a negative.

Sidenote: I’ve realized that I am more awkward now than I was at sixteen. Scary.

In other news, big shout-out to Steph for sending me this very cool site/blog: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ 

I highly recommend checking it out. In short, it’s a blog that chronicles a family’s journey of cutting out processed foods, then going further and doing so on a budget. It also has a lot of great recipes, resources, guidelines and best practices.

I’ve said before, you have to read those labels, buy local, in season, and grow your own food, etc., etc., etc.! It’s definitely for your health!

Anyway, check this out if you are interested in making the change and wondering where to start. Thanks again, Steph!

Another cool health plan is The Daniel Plan. Here is the website: http://danielplan.com/ 

It’s a similar concept with a biblical base and more of a community/group-based site. It also focuses on fitness and scripture. Again, give them a visit to check them out. 

Neither of these are your typical “diets.” They are more of a lifestyle change, focusing on real food and health- NOT the next big weight-loss craze.  

I believe that anyone doing this will discover that real food just tastes better. No question.

I’m also still an avid myfitnesspal user-Find me (username: nre820)!-but if any of you are interested in having a partner/support group on a food-based journey, I am totally down! I also happen to be married to a guy with a pretty  awesome wealth of knowledge on the topic of food! And gardening! And eating local! You can also check out my list of “current web obsessions” for some pretty awesome food blogs that focus on real ingredients (namely, 101cookbooks).

Alright, time to step off the soapbox. 

I just witnessed a torrential downpour. Literally 63.5 seconds ago. Now, the sun is shining. Oh April, you kill me.

Lastly, mad shout-out to Liz for being awesome and making some major tracks on the Couch to 5k program.  And to Kristy for killing the Plattsburgh Half-Marathon. And to James for his awesome job on the Chattahoochee Half Iron Tri.

The end. More coming soon.