I Resolve To… ((A Journey of Growing.))

Hello and happy (almost) spring! If you are like me (and many hopeful others), you probably made some sort of resolution for 2015. How are you doing?!?! Are you seeing willful and meaningful changes in your life? Have you been measuring your progress? Have you formed some new and exciting habits?

I hope so!

2015 has been my year to center myself and take control of the person I want to be. It is also, coincidentally, my 25th year – the year my brain finishes its development. Honestly, it’s like I can feel my pre-frontal cortex making its final adjustments for impulse-control, planning, and sequencing consequences…

I’m totally kidding. But in all seriousness, I am really honing in on some skills that I’d like to continue for my next quarter century, and I think that it’s great if you’ve chosen to do the same! For myself, I looked at areas of intellect, adventure, and physical/mental wellbeing. It has been a lot to take on and challenge myself with, but I’ve set up very measurable objectives in order to meet my final goal which is ultimately to be a happier, healthier, more fulfilled person.

Tip: Fall in love in a comfy chair with an ocean view.

Tip: Fall in love in a comfy chair with an ocean view.

Do you have a lost love? When I was a kid, I was a ravenous reader. I starved for books and I engulfed them. Somewhere between high school and college, I lost my hunger. Reading became a chore and I became a couch potato. I decided that one of my primary goals this year was to revive my love of reading by reading 24 books by the end of the year. It’s March, and I am happy to report that I am about halfway through my eighth book. I’ve shifted my goal to reading as many books as possible this year. So, I’ll ask again – do you have a lost love? A forgotten hobby? Pick that shit up and revive it. (You’re welcome!)

Have you been anywhere new lately? Anywhere exciting? Anywhere that made you cry because of its beauty or warm you to your core? This year, I told myself that I was going to visit three new places. On a whim, I bought a plane ticket to Colorado ($120 roundtrip – thanks Spirit Airlines!) – a place I am well acquainted with and has brought me to tears more than once. If you do nothing else in life, surround yourself with mountains and be humbled by how small you are in this big, beautiful world. After hiking the Hanging Lake Trail and Red Rocks, soaking in hot springs, visiting old friends, and laughing (a lot) with one of my best friends, I returned home with a lighter heart and a smiling face.

Tip: Do go chasing waterfalls. (Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs, CO)

Tip: Do go chasing waterfalls. (Hanging Lake, Glenwood Springs, CO)

Shortly after, I visited the Virgin Islands and had my soul warmed by the sun, snorkeling, and the beauty of the Caribbean. I cannot tell you how fulfilling these two journeys were to me, or how incredibly grateful I am to have had these opportunities. I can tell you that I don’t want to stop seeking these adventures and exposing myself to the world that surrounds us – whether that be a two hour drive to a state park or a flight to a continent away. I have found my cure for any ailment that may hinder me just by going outside. Nature is for everyone – go get your slice!

Finally, for the past three months, I have been trying to move past pretending to like exercise to actually liking exercise. This has worked to an extent – I have increased my endurance and I look forward to the proud feeling following my workout, but you will not find me dragging myself out of bed every morning at 6am to get to the gym. Unfortunately, I have not come to detest the taste of ice cream, but I have come to dislike the taste of things that are too sweet and most, if not all, processed desserts – particularly candy bars and anything packaged. Fortunately, I have come to really enjoy well-rounded meals, and incorporate a ton of fresh produce and water in my diet. It’s a lifestyle choice not a diet – I’m creating eating habits that I can maintain for long-term, not a short-term fix for weight loss. Listen to your body and abide by the things it needs – and give it a treat once and a while. I know from experience that it really likes treats.

Overlooking Nazareth Bay, St. Thomas, USVI

Overlooking Nazareth Bay, St. Thomas, USVI

My hope for this post is that you are motivated to get moving – whether that is to a new place, a new experience, or literally just moving your body. Moving on to the person you want to be, the person you have big plans for, and the person that deserves the most you can give them. Surround yourself with positive people that love and support you in environment that will foster and encourage growth and personal development. Adopt an optimistic mindset and refine the skills that make you innately you!

Thanks for reading!
Elizabeth

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It’s a Winter Wonderland!

Winter is almost upon us and that means more time spent in doors…what a drag right?  Well it doesn’t have to be!  There are plenty of activities to do inside and events to go to keep you occupied when it’s way too cold to spend any time outside.  Don’t care if it’s too cold outside?  I have activities for the outdoors too!

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Every winter my number one thing to do is to go ice-skating.  The past couple years I haven’t, but I’m determined to make it one of the first things I do this winter.  Hit your local indoor or outdoor rink this year.  Don’t forget to check if you can rent skates.  I’ve gone to rinks where I had to have my own and didn’t know until I was there.  Afterwords, grab some hot chocolate!

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Go to hockey games!  Seriously.  The games don’t take nearly as long as football games and I think they’re way more exciting to watch.  It is a little chilly, so don’t forget your scarf and mittens.

pa0711_cin_rolls1.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeBake something gooey and delicious.  I suggest cinnamon rolls.  I don’t know about any of you, but anytime I eat one I end up getting frosting or yummy cinnamon gooey sauce on my face, so now I only eat this treat at home.  Oh and don’t forget the apple cider!  This treat can get sweet.

Not much of a baker?  Slice up some apples and have a caramel apple bar.  Melt some caramel and grab some of your favorite candy pieces and dip away! IMG_3411

Build a fort.  Some of you might be thinking that we’re all too old to do this, but I think not!  Build your very own couch cushion igloo with out freezing your butt off.

Go to concerts.  They can sometimes be expensive, so check out some local bands.  There can be some really great talent right in your home town.  They’re much less expensive and sometimes even free!Justice_in_concert

Check out a wine tasting or go to a brewery.  The Leinenkugls Brewery isn’t far from me and is definitely something that I’ve always wanted to go to.  Getting free samples is always awesome!

Host a movie night.  I don’t suggest watching anything scary.  You and your guests will be freaked out for a week!  You could even have every lay in your couch cushion igloo that you built earlier:)

Make decorations for the upcoming holidays.  Here are some really cute and easy ideas!

Check out what is going on in the surrounding towns.  They’re could be an awesome mustard museum you’re missing out on.   A mini road trip will be a nice break if you’re getting cabin fever.

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By now cabin fever has set in and you’re probably scratching at the windows to get outside.

Before you set out on your adventure outside layer up!  Because the first thing you’re going to do is build  a snowman and make a snow angel.  Having a friend with you makes it more fun and easier to do  these activities.  Building a snowman takes some muscle and you don’t want a hand print in your snow angel.  Remember to bring accessories for your snowman.  You want yours to be unique and stand out!a-christmas-story

After you finished building and accessorizing you’re snowman get all your friends together because you’re going to have a snowball fight.  If you need any tips watch Elf.  Buddy can make the perfect snow balls and has the perfect throwing technique.download

The next day go sledding!  I always used a saucer when I went sledding and hitting the jumps was always fun.  If you don’t like to go sledding anymore grab your snowboard or skis because you’re hitting the slopes!  And when you’re done go in the lodge and warm up in front of the fire.

Try snowshoeing.  I’ve only ever done it once when I was in grade school at a school field trip, but from what I can remember it was fun!  We played duck, duck, goose while wearing them and I remember trying to run and I fell.  I don’t suggest running in them unless you want a face full of snow.

See if there is any parks near you that the town decorates. In the town next to me they decorate a park full of lights, there are trees that are adorned with ornaments, little ginger bread houses, it’s so beautiful and magical.  My friends and I loved it when we went!

Decorate your house with twinkle lights, wreaths and any other fun Christmas decorations. (When it’s a little closer to Christmas).  It will get you in the holiday spirit.  Don’t forget to crank the Christmas music and have chocolate chip cookies and tea ready when you’re finished.ChristmasLights

Go to the Christmas parade.  Everyone puts so much work into the floats and every year I’m always surprised by people’s creativity.

I hope you have fun days in and keep warm on your days out!

What activities do you like to do in the winter?  Comment below!  We’re always looking for new things to try!

-Gabby