2015 Blogging In Review

Here at Give Me My Crown Already, or maybe I should start using GMMCA, we like to celebrate occasions, all big and small. While I like to think we can start anew on all things good and fresh at any time, there’s something about the end of the year that makes you look back and reflect, as much as there’s something to looking towards a new year that makes you energized.

Having a blog really helps someone take a glance back at the past year!

A lot happened, as it seems to in life, most good, some sad, but they’ve all led me here.

The most popular post of the year was very clearly my open letter to Joy Behar after she blasted nurses for no reason.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/09/19/dear-joy-behar-a-thank-you-from-a-nurses-child/

Though my fame didn’t extend much farther than this post, it was still nice to have a brush of success. A preview of things to come, I hope. Though maybe I turned people off with my casual and totally innocent mocking of a faux-apocalypse scare.

For whatever reason, that I still do not understand, another popular post was the one that I entitled after a song.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/08/20/if-i-showed-you-my-flaws-if-i-couldnt-be-strong/

This is one of the most-searched and most-linked to posts and I don’t even remember what it’s about other than mentioning that song.

We had a lot of fun with recipes this year, something that I hope to do even more of in 2016. Stir fry for example.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/09/01/food-good-good-food-ive-got-it-all/

We also dedicated a lot of time to watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I can firmly tell you, there are no regrets.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/07/21/end-of-an-era-i-think-ive-used-that-joke-before/

Though I will tell you, there was a lot of hesitancy to start a new show so soon.

In the top two exciting things to happen in 2015, my sister and now brother-in law made things official and tied the knot this past June! I, of course, made a spectacular Maid of Honor, lacking only in humility.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/06/28/the-wedding/

What a perfect day it was with the weather, love, happiness, family, and friends!

Another of the top two most exciting things to happen to me, was when I decided to take a chance and make a change when it came to my professional life. Work is a huge part of how we live, love it, hate it, or grudgingly accept it, so we should make it count. I was miserable where I was and I was scared to move forward, but with a lot of support and a moment of blind courageousness, I took a chance. To get to work where I do now, with the people I’m working beside, and feeling as though I have a purpose, that is a blessing.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/07/13/changes/

This all led to a significant moment in my life that has been building for the past four years when I finally woke up and realized I needed to take responsibility for my life and choices. As an early Christmas present, I took and passed the test that marks me a certified Personal Trainer and I am so so excited to finally get started.

http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/12/21/ive-got-news/

2015 was a year with up’s and down’s and I’m very much choosing to reflect on all of the good in this post. I probably haven’t even gotten too deep into what this year offered me, but I’m so happy to have taken the time and opportunity to delve into it a bit so that I can truly leave 2015 feeling as though I lived through it with purpose, pleasure, and effort.

Take a minute of your day to do the same with your’s.

Holidays Make You Feel Things

Happy Thanksgiving Week, friends! Although I still can’t believe we’ve reached the holidays, I’m all about embracing it! Such occasions always stand out and one thing I can be thankful for is where I am in my life right now. I, like everyone, am a work in progress, but I’m finally starting to like where I’m heading, professionally speaking. A year ago, I started a job that wasn’t for me. Now, I’m starting a career of which I am passionate and happy and excited to partake. Celebrate these things!

This weekend, I got things started nice and early on Saturday with a workout before work. My body protested a smidgen when my alarm blasted at 6AM, but once I was up and moving I felt great! I worked through a series of strength moves, working my shoulders, biceps, and core before hopping on the treadmill for a 2.5 mile run. After, it was time for work!

Saturday afternoon was spent studying. There was also time to fit in a nap before I headed out with my friends for the night. My college friends don’t get to see each other a whole lot, but it’s always fun when we do! We met up for dinner at a Mexican restaurant and chatted over chips and salsa. For dinner, I had the blackened salmon salad, which is my favorite salmon ever. I don’t know how they cook it like that, but it’s amazing!

We stopped at a bar after for drinks, but it wasn’t a late night because we all wake up early now and are old and tired. Back at my house, we did curl up on the couch with tea and talking. Always nice to do!

As a good chef, I will admit when things don’t always run smoothly in the kitchen. For instance, I decided to make my specialty egg breakfast on Sunday morning for my friends. It’s not even a complicated dish. Just spinach, red pepper, marinara, eggs, and mozzarella all baked together into simmering goodness. Well, I don’t think I set the oven on high enough because those eggs would just not cook! What should have taken between 20-30 minutes was more like 40-50 and that was AFTER I already removed it from the oven because the eggs were hard, and then still drippy in a not so good way once I looked closer.

Still, I was determined and I think it turned out alright in the end. Not my best, especially of this dish, but still tasty.

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I met my friend Nouha at the gym for a workout later on in the afternoon. Technically, it was my scheduled rest day, but I hadn’t seen Nouha in awhile, so I decided to join. We had a fun time working through a tough triceps, legs, and core workout and chatting as we went.

That night, my sister and her husband came over for dinner. You’d think I’d be better about taking pictures, but I’ve been a bad blogger as of late. Sorry! We enjoyed chicken supreme with brown spinach rice and asparagus. So good! For dessert, my mom made her legitimately famous whoopie pies, which taste like Heaven on Earth.

That takes us back to reality to Monday morning- of a holiday week though!- and this breakfast I assembled to my liking. An egg and egg-white omelet with cheese, waffles, and berries. This time, I did snap a picture for you fine folks.

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I was talking with my friends this weekend and we decided to try and be healthier. I’ve got exercise covered and my meals are mostly good, but I also have a wicked sweet tooth that needs to be reigned in. It’s all about how I haven’t been feeling quite as healthy and fresh as usual, so even though Thanksgiving is coming and I will be indulging, that doesn’t mean I’m going to go buck wild in every other way. When in doubt, just try your best and do things that feel good and right.

Apocalypse Scares and Food Photos: Just Another Tuesday

It was only a few weeks ago that I was thinking to myself how nice it was that we haven’t had any apocalypse scares as of late. My uncle would ruin this on Friday night when he told me that people were now focusing on September 23 as the end of the world. I will say that he himself did not believe it, but that all of the eery coincidences were curious, as they always are, that leave you with at least a speck of ack-what-if!?

It’s not that I’m actually scared of the apocalypse or that I believe any of the “facts” that go into it, but no doubt, whenever that date people zone in on comes to pass, there is a nagging fear in the back of my mind. It’s embarrassing. I happen to be a sucker for conspiracy theories. Again, not because I believe them, but because it makes for an intriguing story. Usually I just stick to reading Dan Brown books for my fix.

The reason I thought of a pending apocalypse in the first place was because I was watching Buffy and for a second I thought, well this isn’t that bad, but then I remembered that Buffy doesn’t actually exist and I’m not certain I trust any human enough to save the world as I would Buffy. And even though I adore Sarah Michelle Gellar, I do have the ability to separate character from actor and I don’t think she would be up for the task, at least alone. Unless of course she or someone else have already been doing that for years without us knowing, in which case, thanks bud!

So maybe there is an apocalypse scheduled for tomorrow, but probably not. There’s nothing any of us can really do at this point, so we might as well just go on living per usual until we can’t. That does mean that you can have extra ice cream tonight (or your treat of choice) just in case. At the very least, we have a few things that we can be thankful for to ease our minds as we continue onto our potentially fiery deaths.

  1. I’ve experienced mild celebrity with my blogging
  2. Donald Trump could not be made president
  3. I will not have made it to 26 and will therefore not have to come off my parents’ health insurance
  4. Chris Evans won’t have married anyone else
  5. No more snow to shovel
  6. I am finally blonde
  7. No more reality TV
  8. Since we’ll all go out together, Heaven will be way more fun
  9. There should be unlimited free wifi in Heaven (right!?)
  10. No more damn apocalypse scares

It is possible that my priorities are different than yours and that’s fine too. In all seriousness, I suspect that tomorrow will come and go and we will (mostly) all be fine, unless something personal happens to you or me, in which case, I’m sorry.

For the record, apocalypse is a difficult word to type and I feel like my fingers got in a nice workout.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll continue onto our regularly scheduled blogging. Yesterday’s workout consisted of a dumbbell strength circuit, a body strength circuit, and a swim. I was pleased to find that I wasn’t experiencing any pain after my long run, but the swim was a good antidote to easing sore muscles anyways.

Dinner was homemade chicken parm, whole wheat penne, and sautéed spinach.

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I’ve decided my next read would be Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I read it in high school and loved it, so I’m curious to see how I feel 8 years later. I cracked the book open as I dug into this plate of magnificent peanut butter pancakes this morning, leaving both my mind and tummy happy.

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Check back in again tomorrow for more adventures, probably.

Weekend Recap

I am not much of an artist. When I’m drawing or painting, I always envision this magnificent masterpiece, but the final product always flops. No matter how many times this has happened, I start off with the hope and am left hopeless. The one thing I am kinda good at drawing is a cat, more of the animated variety. When I was teaching kindergarten, there was quite a frenzy for those cats.

My lack of artistic ability presents itself especially around Easter. Though dyeing eggs takes time and dedication, knowing how long to leave them in the dye to create the perfect hue, it is really the pre-dyeing process that is difficult. Crayons have always been difficult to draw with- colored pencils allow far more accuracy- no matter when used on a rounded surface. This past Friday, I began with the same hopeless optimism.

My first endeavor was to draw an egg with my name on it, which I have mastered over the years, then to drop the egg into pink dye for a long time.

The second egg was in honor of my cousin Erin who was away for the weekend and whose presence needed to be felt in egg form. It was a masterpiece truly.

My third egg, I decided to create Louise from Bob’s Burgers. Let me tell you, it was pretty fantastic. You know I’m not lying because I started the post off mentioning how awful I am at drawing and art. But damn, on the mediocre scale, it was high up there. I was so proud of myself that I set out to snap a picture of it before peeling the egg for my breakfast in the morning. It’s gone.

Now, there were quite a few people at my house during the egg dyeing and they could have easily taken it with innocent intentions, but I was careful to keep an eye on that egg and make sure it was still in my possession. If you were at my house that night and you took eggs, check them before you eat them for the egg that says and has Louise on it. And PLEASE snap a picture for me. I’m devastated.

Moving on, Easter weekend was a nice and relaxing one. Friday night was spent dyeing eggs, enjoying a good meal, a good drink, fun games, and lots of laughter. It’s been a tradition for years in my family to dye these eggs and I’m glad we’ve continued it on into our adulthood. By the time I curled into bed, I had been awake for 22.5 hours. Totally worth it.

I slept in nice and late on Saturday morning and it was glorious. Not having to wake up to an alarm is a precious rarity. When I did get up, I cooked up my favorite peanut butter pancakes. I had forgotten to take an allergy pill the night before, so taking it during the day made me a little sleepy.

Outside, the day was fairly warm and sunny, but quite windy. I still had to wear a hood to protect my sensitive ears, but when the wind wasn’t blowing, the sun felt great. It’s just so nice to be outside again and not seeing a sea of white grimy, dirty snow.For lunch, I threw a quick and delicious salad together with a piece of toast. It was nice and filling and kept me energized through my run later on in the day.

I finally got to run outside again. There is not quite a feeling like running outside in the sun. I threw on a hat, light jacket, and some pants and flew away. I’m in need of a new fanny pack because the band overstretched itself and was falling down. I ended up having to wrap it around my waist twice, which was tight but not uncomfortable. It was a true feat that I didn’t have to stop running as this happened. I ran 3.1, despite the wind blowing even more resistance at me as I was running up hills. For the next two miles, I alternated between running and walking. My knee wasn’t hurting during the workout, but is feeling a little sore now. Something to keep an eye on! I finished up my workout by doing a little stretching and Yoga, which was relaxing and rejuvenating.

My tastebuds were feeling indecisive Saturday night when it came time for dinner. I started with a bowl of raisin bran with half a banana chopped on top. Sweet and satisfying. A little later on, I grilled up a hotdog on a piece of whole wheat toast. With a little ketchup and mustard, it was delicious! On the side, I had a few potato chips, carrots, and celery.

Sunday started off with a breakfast feast. Poached eggs on toast with a sausage, bacon, fruit, and a bite of cinnamon roll. I also dug into the candy that the Easter Bunny left behind. Reese’s eggs are the best, no question.

For easter lunch, we went over to my aunt and uncle’s house for a great meal of ham, potatoes, fresh veggies, and way too many yummy cookies on my part. I remember many Easters being able to sit outside in the warm sun, wearing dresses, and enjoying the spring day, but it was once again windy, which made it cold! I’m going to just go with the fact that Easter is a tad early this year, which is why the weather isn’t cooperating.

Before calling it in for the night, I made my lunch and breakfast for the morning and went on a final walk. Not too warm, not too cold.

Thank You For Reading (Please Don’t Leave Me)

Another day in snowy paradise. You know, maybe I’d let up on the snow a little if I thought this was a sign that Global Warming didn’t exist and that the world will be just fine, but Snowmaggedon is just another example of just how bad things are. Before we get too political, I’m just going to change the subject.

I realized I confused myself a little bit with postings these past few days. I want to remind you (and by you, I mean me) that when I recap my meals and workouts, I’m actually talking about the day before because I schedule my posts to go live in the mornings. Does that even make sense? Do you even care? I’m just going to keep on typing and if you chose to read, then I am forever grateful.

Oh! About that! Readership has gone WAY up this past month and I’d like to think it has a lot to do with what I consider to be way more interesting writing and perhaps insights, but actually I think it might be due to all the snow keeping people locked inside, bored, and then turning to me for some entertainment. I don’t care about your motivations but keep it up people because it makes this girl ver-ry happy! Note: My grandmother will always be my biggest fan. Even when I get to the stalker-level type fans.

But regardless, THANK YOU FOR READING please stay, don’t leave me I am humbled don’t even care if you like what you’re reading.

Sunday was an odd sort of collection of meals. I woke up indecisive and overwhelmed by the fact that I had a third day in which to carefully decide and deliver the breakfast of which I was about to devour. My tastebuds were torn and my mind indecisive, so I went with a combination platter. Starting with a crunchy apple I munched on as I played War of the Breakfasts, I toasted up two pieces of toast, smeared one of them with a tablespoon of Teddie peanut butter and the other with a little butter and a poached egg. Best of both worlds= a happy tummy! A little raspberry-blueberry sweetness rounded out my meal.

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Lunch came in two parts. The first, after grocery shopping, I went with a cheesestick and a couple of whole wheat crackers I just picked up for myself. It was light, but filling, and fueled me through the workout I already talked about. Whoopsie. The next part was post-workout and included a pear that wasn’t quite ready to be eaten as it still had too much crunch and not enough of the juicy goodness I enjoyed last week. I also toasted up a quick slice of toast and put a little almond butter on top.

I found some DE-LISH-OUSSS chicken meatballs in the grocery store today. They were teriyaki ginger and I threw them into a stir fry filled with tons of veggies, rice, and a little thai peanut sauce mix. It was such a great, healthy meal that satisfied these tastebuds. That’s all you can ask for!

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I haven’t had much time for cooking lately, so it was great to throw this together, even though it didn’t take much creative energy at all. The rest of my Monday was all about chopping up veggies and putting together healthy foods to make the rest of my week fun, delicious, and organized. Staying in control when you can, ahead of time, makes it easier to maintain some sense of control when things get hectic and your crazed mind wants to make that stop at a fast food restaurant. Unless, of course, fast food is your choice indulgence. Mine’s ice cream and that desire does not stop when there’s SEVEN FEET + OF SNOW ON THE GROUND AND ALL AROUND. Is it a sickness? Maybe, but it’s damn delicious.

I mentioned SNL40 in my post yesterday, but I don’t think I took enough time to talk about how friggin epic it was to see Amy, Tina, and Jane Curtin on the news desk together. They are three clever, sassy, brilliantly funny women who inspire me. Actually, I’m pretty lucky because I have a bunch of clever, sassy, brilliantly funny women AND men in my life who inspire me, but unfortunately, they’re not on TV so they’re useless to me I love them despite this flaw.

One final note, I was told (giving you fierce side-eye right now TWITTER) that the Backstreet Boys AND NSYNC were going to be making an appearance. I relayed this information to my sister who might be BSB’s biggest fan and she watched all 3.5 hours and then they didn’t show, thus prompting THIS exchange.

photoAre you happy Twitter? You were my FRIEND. I trusted you. And I am her MOH and I kind of lied. This could be worse than the time I ACCIDENTALLY spoiled the end of Sex and the City for her. We’ll get through it, but this probably means five more Backstreet Boys concerts in my lifetime.

What Does A New Year Really Mean?

How convenient that the first day of the New Year would fall on Thoughtful Thursday! I have a lot to be thankful for in December as well as in 2014. The year, as they always seem to do, passed by in a frenzied blur of emotion and momentous events, big and small.

In December specifically, I spent a lot of time with my family, which is my favorite thing in the world. From shopping for the perfect presents, eating meals, decorating the Christmas tree and donning “beautiful” sweaters, to standing around singing, talking, eating, and wining on Christmas Eve, and playing silly, fun games on Christmas, while remembering just why we celebrate, I can claim many memories from just this month.

I’m pleased that I have been able to make early morning workouts as part of my routine without much fuss because finding time in busy days to exercise is increasingly difficult, the more responsibilities that lie on your shoulders. There’s also no better, more powerful, or energized way to start my day and get me going.

I’ve read some enjoyable books, watched and finished some fun shows, and been to a couple of films that have entertained me and made me think. The best videos I’ve watched were the old home videos that showed me people that I miss and moments I don’t remember from being so young.

Since New Years Resolutions tend to be so temporary, I try not to instate my personal goals with such labels, but I also want to join in on the fun, so I came up with some. I would like to refer to 2015 as the Year of Good Vibrations. 2014 was a big learning year for me, which of course, should always be the case because we should never stop learning, I was busy finishing up my Master’s degree, finding a job, and fitting everything else in however I could. In 2015, I want to try and develop more routines, try new things, and go on different adventures. Here’s what I’ve thought of so far.

Year of Good Vibrations-
1. Meditate
2. Stretch
3. Yoga
4. Reflect
5. Forgive
6. Listen
7. Be Patient
8. Show Kindness
9. Try New Things
10. Have Confidence

The first three have to do with the body, mind, and soul connection. Truth be told, I am lacking on the patience. It’s the whole instant gratification thing. Even when I workout, I prefer to do something fast-paced and heart-racing to the slow-pace of something like Yoga because my attention span prefers it. When I’m eating by myself, it’s hard to just enjoy the food and the experience because it’s more interesting to sidle up to the table with a book or sit in front of the television. Even when I’m watching a show or a movie, I find myself grabbing my phone or the computer and browsing, not even really watching. The only entertainment I can focus entirely on is a book, a movie if I’m in the theater, or a musical or play. I have to be better at the whole relaxing thing. I think meditation will calm my mind, stretching will help soothe my body, and Yoga will do both.

When I say reflect, I mostly mean to journal more, but reflect sounded better with the theme. When I do fit in journaling, I love it and I find it to be healing and relaxing, but there are only so many hours in the day and sitting down to consume, rather than create, seems far easier. It’s all about motivation and self-disciple for so many of these goals.

I find that I’m often at my worst when driving because I become overly aggressive, but from my perspective, I’m not really someone who holds grudges. Forgiveness is more of for myself to realize faults, accept them and the fact that I’m human, and to learn from them in a positive way. Maintaining a positive attitude is a far greater perspective to hold, but I know for a fact it’s not easy. It’s also difficult to forgive people for their humanness because we can’t see into their minds and understand their actions. I think a little forgiveness from and for everybody would do a great deal of good. Forgiveness and acceptance if not understanding and compassion.

Again, there’s just so much to see and do in this world, that I find myself constantly distracted. People have so many things to share and say and I don’t sit down and listen well enough. Many times people, myself included, have so much on their minds that they just blurt it out and leave no time to listen to what people have to say. Perhaps that forgiveness, acceptance, understanding, and compassion could start to stem from simply listening.

Patience is quite a theme. In some ways, I have a lot of patience, which I’ve learned from my teaching experience and good breeding. It’s also something I lack when I’m waiting for something exciting or anxiety-ridden. Often times the things I stress over are just because I’m not in the moment doing it. Once I get working on it, I realize everything is fine. This goal also could be referred to as, stop being do anxious and just breathe and take everything in. But that was a mouthful.

Kindness, again, seems such a simple concept that everyone should show and yet, we can’t quite perfect it. As humans, we get caught up in our own heads, emotions, and actions, and we worry so much about what other people do being against our own that we blame them for it. Shared experiences are wonderful, but so are ones that we play no part in, but can learn from and understand if only we have patience, listen, and forgive ourselves and everyone for our humanness. As we have learned from all my thoughts and from life, I can’t control how everyone acts, but I can be kinder.

Trying new things can be difficult for me because I am so shy when I first meet someone. It takes awhile for me to build up comfort with a person or a new thing and then I sort of just explode all over it and people probably wish I was quieter and less intrusive. When I like something, I tend to throw my entire self into, which can be good and overwhelming. I just get very excited, which should be an attribute that lends to trying new things, and yet that anxiety that bubbles and creeps kicks in and I’m left indecisive and afraid. As I grow older, I’ve grown better at not allowing anxiety to hold me back, knowing that sometimes I need to take a deep breath and be brave, but it can still be stifling every so often. I don’t think it’s something that will ever go away, but it can be controlled.

Having confidence goes along with this. As I’ve mentioned before while discussing my weight loss journey, once I realized that I can’t spend my life hiding and worrying about what others think, I was able to lose the weight. Confidence is something I’ve gained more of, and increases as I feel comfortable with something, as it always does, but it’s still a matter I struggle with. It helps when I remind myself that I’m 25 now, an adult, and that most times, the anticipation of something is worse than it actually is, so again, I just take a deep breath, be brave, and do it.

Resolutions are made to be broken because I think we over-examine ourselves and only see the flaws or where we want to be in life, not what we have. From what I’ve written above as my goals, I don’t expect to fix in 2015 or ever. I laid these out because they are parts of myself that I want to work on, learn from, and grow. By facing our weaknesses or matters upon which we wish to improve, we gain a better understanding of ourselves.

Throughout 2014, I learned a lot about myself. Now that we are in 2015, I am looking back on all of that and trying to figure out how to learn even more. Let’s start with remembering our humanness, our imperfections, and our tendency to rely on temporary fixes on things that do not always result in physical products.

I’ve got a lot to look forward to that I know of and a lot that I don’t this year. Happy 2015!

To All Who Celebrate and Those Who Don’t

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Many Blessings, or simply Well Wishes. I love my family and I am so happy to be blessed to share with them once again these memories. That, to me, is the most important part of Christmas- that doesn’t have to do with religious purposes.

I hope you all are just as lucky, but I won’t pretend there is not painful strife and suffering in this world. It’s all the more reason to love, be grateful, but attentive to this world and all that it offers, good and bad.

Enjoy, indulge, but don’t forget.

Merry Christmas!