Goodbye, 2014! Recap and Goals for the New Year

How is today the last day of 2014? New Years Eve always makes me feel weird. There will never be another day in 2014, but I’m always excited to start a new year. I love setting NYE goals, even if I end up having to re-evaluate in June.

2014 was a great year. I loved more, appreciated more, and actually managed to reach some goals! I finally saw my boys (Kings of Leon!), and lost over 20 pounds. Most importantly, I got into the nursing program at IUPUI! I definitely exceeded my goal of reading 24 books ( I lost count some time in June). I am super excited for 2015 and I of course have some goals for next year, but first, I want to take a look at some of my favorites from 2014.

Favorite Songs

Favorite FeistyFrench Blog Post

Healthified Banana Bread (I was so pleased with how this turned out!)

Favorite Blogs

Fairways, Greens, Teas

Simply Taralynn

Sally’s Baking Addiction 

125 

Emily Bites

Your Zen Life

The Body Department

Ana White

Hello Gorgeous

Lauren Conrad

Wellness Mama

Chocolate Covered Katie

Mind Body Green

Blogilates

 

Some of my Favorite Pictures

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Woo! Awesome year. Just going through my bajillion photos made my heart smile. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store!

I want to share with you my goals/resolutions for 2015!

 

2015 Goals/Resolutions

  1. I resolve to love more and be more understanding. This is usually on my list because THE WORLD CAN ALWAYS USE MORE LOVE!
  2. I resolve to take better care of my body. For the first time in forever, I am not putting weight loss on my list! I do however want to exercise more and be more consistent with my healthy and clean eating.
  3. I resolve to survive nursing school. By this, I mean good grades, good friendships, and maintaining a social life with hubs.
  4. I resolve to be a better blogger. I know I am not consistent. In 2015, that will all change!
  5. I resolve to build a better relationship with God. I got hubs a couples devotional for our anniversary last year. I want us to complete it in 2015!
  6. I resolve to experience more. Traveling, concerts, explorations. Hiking. Facing fears. Whatever “more” may mean at any particular moment.

 

I am so psyched for 2015, and I hope you are, too! What are your resolutions for 2015? What do you want to accomplish? Let me know in the comments below! If you have a blog, leave me a link! I’d love to check it out!

Have a safe NYE and day, ya’ll!

 

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Don’t forget to follow me on this blog so I can do an awesome giveaway! 

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Strawberry Lemonade Cake Mix Cookies

COOKIES. ARE. LIFE. Especially cookies that are way easy to make. And are pink. These guys are super moist (thanks to some cream cheese and buttah!) and super flavorful.

Check out my super cute Christmas apron.

Check out my super cute Christmas apron.

Made myself a cup of Yogi to keep me from snacking on the dough. Delicious!

Made myself a cup of Yogi to keep me from snacking on the dough. Delicious!

Obligatory ingredients pic. Seriously just cake mix, lemon flavoring, one egg, half a stick of butter, and a block of cream cheese.

Obligatory ingredients pic. Seriously just cake mix, lemon flavoring, one egg, half a stick of butter, and a block of cream cheese.

Yum. Is there anything better than cookie dough?

Yum. Is there anything better than cookie dough?

Strawberry Lemonade Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of strawberry cake mix
  • 1/4 c. (half a stick) of butter
  • 1-8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon flavoring
  • 1 egg
  • Sugar for rolling

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except sugar.
  3. Scoop out by tablespoon. Roll the dough balls in sugar. I added a little pink food coloring to my rolling sugar for fun.
  4. Lightly press each cookie onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes. I baked mine for about 8 minutes, but every oven is different. Just be sure the edges are lightly brown and nothing is jiggling 🙂
Yum in progress.

Yum in progress.

 

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Don’t forget to follow me on this blog so I can do an awesome giveaway! 

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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Hello friends!

Can you believe Christmas is this week? I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!

Last week I wanted to bake some goodies, so I made oreo balls, a chocolate chip cheesecake, and some strawberry lemonade cake mix cookies. I will post my cheesecake and cookie recipes! First, the cheesecake. Because cheesecake is awesome. Let’s get right to it!

 

Start with my super easy crust recipe.

Start with my super easy crust recipe.

Yum. Sometimes, the crust is the best part. Sometimes.

Yum. Sometimes, the crust is the best part. Sometimes.

From humble beginnings...

From humble beginnings…

Comes this....

Comes this….

Ohmigosh.

Ohmigosh.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Ingredients for 9 in. Crust:

  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about a sleeve and a half)
  • 1 tsp truvia
  • 1/4 c. (plus or minus) melted butter (I use Kerrygold because it is incredible)

Ingredients for filling:

  • 4-8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened to about room temp (I use the 1/3 less fat)
  • 1/2 c. Truvia baking blend
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • About 1 c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips (You can really use any chocolate chip here. I like the semisweet because this cheesecake is super sweet already. )

Method: Preheat oven to 325.

For the crust:

  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and Truvia in a large bowl.
  2. Gradually incorporate the melted butter into the crumb mixture. It should stick together, but still be a crumbly consistency.
  3. Press the crust mixture into a 9 in. springform pan. Set aside.

For the filling:

  1. With a mixer on medium speed, combine the cream cheese, truvia, and vanilla.
  2. With the mixer still on, add in one egg at a time.
  3. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Poor the mixture into the crust and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top is mostly set and lightly brown.
  5. Let cool completely, then refrigerate at least 4 hours prior to serving.
Can we talk about how delicious this is?

Can we talk about how delicious this is?

This is a delicious and easy cheesecake that is great for “cheesecake beginners!”

Give it a try and let me know how yours turns out!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Don’t forget to follow me on this blog so I can do an awesome giveaway! 

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Easy Peasy Swedish Meatballs

Hello and happy Monday! I know I’ve been MIA for a bit, but I have tons of fabulous recipes coming at ya today!

First, I’ve got a super easy, low-guilt, weeknight meal for ya. I love meatballs. I love gravies. I love noodles. I therefor love Swedish meatballs.

I’m all about shortcuts for weeknight meals, so I used frozen turkey meatballs and some soups to make this recipe delicious, but super simple.

 

It's not the prettiest beginning. Lol.

It’s not the prettiest beginning. Lol.

Jazzing up the meatballs with some sauce and seasonings.

Jazzing up the meatballs with some sauce and seasonings.

Yum. Starting to look delicious!

Yum. Starting to look delicious!

Yum!

Yum!

Easy Peasy Swedish Meatballs

Serves about 4

Ingredients

  • 24 frozen turkey meatballs (You may use beef or homemade if you so desire, you over achiever you. )
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce (eyeballin this, ya’ll)
  • Soy sauce (again with the eyeballin)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used healthy request)
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • Broth (chicken, veggie, whatever!)
  • No Yolk egg noodles

Method

  1. Bake meatballs according to package directions. Remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the ketchup, a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, and salt and pepper.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix the soup, sour cream, a couple more dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Stir in some broth to thin out the sauce to your desire consistency. I chose a slightly less thick gravy like consistency. Vague enough?
  3. Let that get hot, then add in the meatballs. Yum yum yum yum yum.
  4. While those flavors are coming together, cook your egg noodles. I chose No Yolk because they are much better for you!
  5. Serve the noodles with 6 meatballs with gravy over the top. Super delicious and way easy! The longest part of this prep is the meatballs baking!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Don’t forget to follow me on this blog so I can do an awesome giveaway! 

Say hi in the comments! I’d love some interactions 🙂

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Motivational Monday: What You Deserve

Happy Monday!

Not. The Mondays after holidays just plain suck. I was 15 minutes late to work (Gasp! Katie!), and got off late (yay, childcare). I had to stop by Kroger on the way home from work because I’m a ding dong and forgot a couple of things I needed to make dinner tonight. While at work today, I came close to grabbing a pop because “I deserved it.” When I walked through the door of our apartment, I almost made the decision to skip my workout to relax and watch TV because “I deserved it.” So, in the spirit of procrastination (I’m doing the workout as soon as I whip this post out. Sweaty Selfie will be on Instagram for accountability), here is my revelation on what I “deserve.”

After I tried really hard to convince myself not to work out, I had this wonderful revelation. Twice today, I almost made unhealthy choices because I thought I “deserved” it. I probably have that conversation with myself at least once a week. Oh I worked out today, I deserve something loaded in bad fat and empty calories for dinner.

What the heck kind of logic is that? Good job working out today, self. You go right ahead and eat that candy bar. Huh? To me, this is (for lack of better analogy) settling for that dirt bag significant other because you think you deserve it. Don’t get me wrong–I probably have one pop a month, and I occasionally indulge in desserts that are less than stellar health-wise. I’m not saying you should never eat or drink anything “bad.” Change your mindset like I just did!

You deserve to take care of yourself. You deserve to sweat it out and be sore the next day. You deserve to choose a salad with grilled chicken (dressing on the side) over a greasy burger. Why? Because you have this ONE body. This ONE body that only YOU can take care of. Your body does amazing things. You can run, do cartwheels, fight off illness, create new life. So don’t you think your amazing body and the soul that inhabits it deserves some healthy habits?

Again, I would like to reiterate that I am not saying “shame on you” for having a burger and pop every once in a while. All I’m saying is that you and your body deserve for most of your choices to be healthier choices!

 

With that being said, I’m off to get my rear end kicked by Cassey Ho from Pop Pilates! (Youtube sensation. You really oughta check her out here!)

Literally never thought I would sincerely say that I deserve to get my butt kicked.

What do you think?? Let me know in the comments below!

And don’t forget to help me get to 100 followers! I’m excited about this giveaway 🙂 When I get to 75, I will reveal what it will be!

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Spicy Peanut Shirataki Noodles

So, shirataki noodles are awesome. They don’t really taste like anything. They kind of absorb whatever flavors they’re cooked in. They’re tofu noodles, and there is really nothing to them. Super low calorie (about 20) and low carb. I found a spicy peanut recipe here, and decided to adapt the recipe to suit my preferences.

Ahhh garlic.

Ahhh garlic.

Broccoli slaw is a great way to add some crunch and color!

Broccoli slaw is a great way to add some crunch and color!

Shirataki noodles.

Shirataki noodles.

Yum. I love the combo of peanut and sriracha.

Yum. I love the combo of peanut and sriracha.

Finished product! Easy, healthy, and delicious.

Finished product! Easy, healthy, and delicious.

Spicy Peanut Shirataki Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs of Shirataki tofu noodles, rinsed and drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c. or so of broccoli slaw
  • 1 tsp olive oil (or any other cooking oil)
  • 4 tbsp PB2
  • 2 tsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp or so of sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ginger

Method:

  1. In a medium to large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic clove and broccoli slaw. Continue to cook until tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine vegetable broth, PB2, peanut butter, sriracha, soy sauce, honey, and ginger. Whisk gently until smooth.
  3. Add to a sauce pan. Heat to a low boil.
  4. Add in rinsed and drained noodles. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. To serve, divide the noddle mixture among two bowls. Top with the sauteed garlic broccoli slaw.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Don’t forget to follow me on this blog so I can do an awesome giveaway! 

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Healthified Banana Bread

I am the banana bread queen. My mom had some super ripe (perfect for bread!) bananas, so I decided to make banana bread. I have my go-to recipe, but it has loads of shortening, sugar, and white flour. While it is delicious, I wanted to sub in some “better-for-you” ingredients to make it almost guilt-free. It turned out AWESOME! If you like banana bread, give it a try! You won’t regret it.

 

Healthified Banana Bread

I love my stand mixer.

I love my stand mixer.

I never said this was a pretty process!

I never said this was a pretty process!

Cinnamon makes this bread warm and cozy! (Can bread be warm and cozy??)

Cinnamon makes this bread warm and cozy! (Can bread be warm and cozy??)

Ta-da! Beautiful, beautiful  bread.

Ta-da! Beautiful, beautiful bread.

Let’s get down to it!

Healthified Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. plain, unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp margarine or butter, softened
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 c. Truvia baking blend
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • cinnamon to your liking (I really like cinnamon)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan. I used cooking spray, but you can use butter.
  2. With a hand or stand mixer, blend the applesauce and margarine or butter. Add in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Add Truvia; mix well.
  4. Add in bananas. You can pre mash these, but I am lazy and never do that. 🙂
  5. Add in soda and salt.
  6. Add in flour 1/4 c. at a time. Add in cinnamon. I’m not sure how much I used here, but use as much as you’d like!
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Mine baked for about 34 minutes!

What’s your favorite bread? What’s your favorite healthy swap? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t forget, when this blog reaches 100 followers, I am going to have a sweet giveaway to celebrate!

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