Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 New Years Resolutions

I feel that writing them down makes a big difference because it makes it more concrete and it's something I can look back at to hold myself accountable to make sure I'm still on track.  I just completed a workshop on Vision Board planning so I’m finally ready to write down my goals.

1. Lose 25 lbs by April. I lost 15 lbs last year and my pants are fitting loser. My plan is to continue to meal plan and be consistent with healthy eating habits. A bunch of my girlfriends are doing Dry January where you abstain from alcohol for the month so I finally decided to get on board this year when I refused previous years due to my birthday falling in January. I think the lack of those extra calories on the weekend will help jump start my weight loss efforts. I can report now that I've successfully completed Dry January and lost 8 lbs this month!

2. Push the pace at Orangetheory. I've taken 190 OTF classes as paying for their expensive classes has been my motivation to never miss a class. I want to challenge myself to increase my base rate to 6mph and run longer at that rate. I’ve stayed stagnant running at 5.5mph for 10 years. My goal is to burn at least 500 calories each workout and increase my splat points. Continue to commit to morning workouts because I love having my evenings free.

3. Have a tranquil home. I'm naturally a messy person, so I've read both of Marie Kondo's books on decluttering but still need help keeping consistent with it as it's a habit you need to nurture. I took a workshop on the Kondo method as a refresher for myself.  I would like my home to be light and airy, comfortable and welcoming, and most importantly not overflowing. I want to be able to find what I'm looking for and have my home always be company ready. I think this will help me live a calmer more productive life.

I’ve started working on is emptying my closet because I have so many clothes I need to toss that I don't wear anymore. I also put in place a spending freeze on clothes and I’ve been selling clothes on Tradesy. It's a super easy, and way less stressful then selling on ebay.  Tradesy's commission rate is 14.9% and you can use your funds to buy stuff from their website or withdraw it from your paypal account for a 2.9% transfer fee. You have the option of using Tradesy's shipping kit for $10 which the seller pays for. After your sale is confirmed, Tradesy mails you a polybag and a pre-printed mailing label with tracking. Listing is free and your listing remains up indefinitely.

5. Last year one of my resolutions was to organically increasing my followers on instagram by working on the aesthetic of my pictures, using more hashtags and engaging more with others. I'm happy to report that I have enhanced my photography and doubled my followers! I plan to continue to work on this as a goal for this year. And adding the goal of working on my posing and styling a  beautiful, curated feed. Here's screenshots from my feed of my Christmas series, the Fall series, and the Night series. 

6. I want to read more this year, somehow I haven’t had much time to read lately, probably because I spend too much time on instagram. Last year I only read 25 books, when in 2016 I read 46 books and in 2015 I read 66 books. I started using audible again and hope that will help me listen to more personal development books . I averaged more than one book a month last year, although sometimes none for a couple weeks, but surprisingly almost an even split of personal development, fiction, memoir, and mystery.

7. Drink green smoothies on a regular basis. I get on a kick here and there but am never consistent with it. This helps me to eat more fruit.  I just learned that I can freeze the green smoothie recipe I make, so now I can make large batches and fill my freezer with it.

8. Take more Spanish classes. I started taking classes last fall to refresh my Spanish and the new semester starts next week!

9. Finish my 2017 photobook by the end of January. I create printed photobooks of my vacations but decided to do one of just my entire year minus my vacation. It's 100 pages of my year in review that will be a thin 8x8 coffee table book.

10. Get a new job.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Get On Your Feet!

I went to opening night of Get On Your Feet  which is Gloria Estefan's Broadway musical about her life story. After playing in New York for two years, it's now on tour playing in DC for the month of January then traveling around the country. You'll be dancing in your seat, smiling and singing along to all the songs. The vibrant show is pure joy and my favorite musical to date! It was nominated for a Tony award for Best Choreography. Expect to hear all her classic songs like Rhythm is Going to Get You, 1-2-3, Dr. Beat, Conga, Get On Your Feet, Turn the Beat Around.

At the Kennedy Center honors a couple weeks the honorees were LL Cool J, Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen de Lavallade. It’s an award given to people who have achieved artist excellence. For Gloria’s segment the cast of her Broadway musical sang a medley of her songs, you can see the clip here.

 I recently read an interesting article titled Why So Many D.C. Plays End Up On Broadway.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Sugar Free Cranberry Orange Loaf

I haven't baked a cake in awhile and wanted something low cal for dessert. With it being winter I'm not in the mood to eat my usual low cal treat of Halo Top ice cream. It's cranberry season so I baked this delicious moist cake with a mixture of erythritol and monkfruit instead of sugar. Monkfruit is a small melon grown in Asia. Previously I had always used stevia as my sugar replacement which tastes bitter raw, but monkfruit tastes sweet just like sugar and is zero calories! I used Earth Balance which is a plant based buttery spread but you can use regular butter or for even less calories just cooking spray.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup Classic Monkfruit (or the entire 8.29 oz bag if you like it sweeter) 
  •  tsp baking powder
  •  tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • juice of 1 orange squeezed
  • grated peel of 1 orange
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 TB original Earth Balance (optional)
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 8 oz sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with Earth Balance.
  2. In one bowl mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl beat the eggs. Then add the orange, nuts, sour cream and vanilla.
  4. Slowly combine the two bowls and gently fold in the cranberries. Then pour mixture into the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for one hour or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis 
Makes  8 servings,  166 cal, 8g carbs, 4g protein, 14g fat, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 

vs 1 slice of Starbucks Banana Nut Bread

420 calories, 52g carbs, 6g protein, 22g fat, 2g fiber, 30g sugar

Related Posts:
Healthy Apple Walnut Bread
Sugar Free Pumpkin Bread
Sugar free chocolate muffins

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Top Songs of 2017

Here are my top favorite songs from the year that I had on repeat for a long time. I don't follow Kylie Jenner, but like all the men the Kardashians date, they elevate their fame. Kylie put Travis Scott on my radar and now I love his music. Sky Walker was my favorite song of the year, hands down! When I had my first computer a long time ago I changed the start up music so that it played Foxy Brown - Gotta Get Me Home every time I turned on my computer. When I heard The Game sampled from that song, I fell in love with his song! Chris Brown did a reggae remix that was good. And when I was in Cuba I heard the song Despacito everywhere that I'm sick of it now! lol But Camila  Cabello - Havana song is warming up on me but hasn't made the list yet.

Huncho Jack, Travis Scott, & Quavo - Black & Chinese
Miguel - Sky Walker (feat Travis Scott)
Travis Scott - Butterfly Effect
The Game - Oh I
Leo Islo - Lush Life

G-Eazy - No Limit
Remy Ma - Wake Me Up
DJ Khalid - Wild Thoughts
French Montana - Unforgettable
Future - You the Baddass
Wiz Khalifa - Something New

Dancehall Reggae or reggae remixes
Vybz Kartel - Wine to the Top
Collie Buddz - Control
Chris Brown - Questions
Zara Larsson - I Would Like

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