goals + recipes for the week of 12/14

Hi there, everyone! As soon as I hit “publish” on this blog post, I’m heading off to church bright and early… I’m Worship Associate today, so I have lots of little duties to perform to get ready for the first service at 9:30. Today the children’s choir is performing a special concert as part of the service, which I am very excited about! The kids are way too cute ūüôā

It’s been a good weekend so far. Yesterday I taught my rambunctious group of kiddos; it was our final class! I’ll be starting up again with a new class in January, and¬†I hope that some of them¬†will come back and sign up for the new quarter. We shall see!

Allyn is in the midst of his final residency for the semester — he’s such a champ, powering through the long days with a smile on his face — and tonight his school is having a dance party in San Francisco. I went to the one held at the end of last semester and it was super fun! I’m looking forward to going tonight and celebrating the end of the semester. My sweetheart has worked incredibly hard the past four months and I’m really proud of him.

On the topic of working hard… time for goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from the past couple¬†weeks:¬†
write a new chapter of my memoir
finish holiday cards
–¬†finish student evaluations
finish reading short story collection
–¬†go to two yoga classes
connect with two friends
Woo hoo! It was a successful week around here! ūüôā

Here are my goals for this upcoming week:
Рwrite a new essay for Chicken Soup for the Soul
–¬†compile tutoring worksheets
Рfinish reading three New Yorkers from my stash
–¬†go to two yoga classes
– connect with two friends

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
chocolate pb chip oat bars {vegan + gf} via the real-life rd
peppermint pattie brownies via Two Peas and Their Pod
chocolate-dipped toffee shortbread via Two Peas and Their Pod
green salad w/apples, cranberries & pepitas via Cookie + Kate
gingerbread muffins via The Pajama Chef
Рmy own white chocolate m&m pretzels

Questions of the day:

  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over this week?

MPM-Winter
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

goals + recipes for the week of 5/18

Hi friends! Hope you are having a lovely weekend! Mine has been busy with loads of good things! Yesterday I taught four writing and public speaking classes of energetic elementary schoolers, then took Bart into the city to attend an event with Allyn as part of his MBA program. I was super inspired by the smarts and passion of these graduate students, plus it was fun to spend time with my sweetheart and meet more of his friends.

This morning, I’m headed off to church, then taking my beautiful cousin Arianna out to brunch to celebrate an academic achievement award she received at school, and then hopefully squeezing in a coffee date with my friend Emy whose birthday was last week and who I haven’t seen in far too long! Later this afternoon my Grandpap is singing in a choir concert, and I’m excited to go support him along with my grandma, Aunt Mary, and cousins Bianca & Makena. Grandpap looooves to sing and it always warms my heart to see him up onstage, doing what he loves best! And then tonight I’m going to a dance party in the city with Allyn. Should be a blast!

Told you it was going to be a busy weekend around here! Before I skedaddle, it’s time for goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
–¬†write ten pages {didn’t quite make it to ten, but did finish a short story!}
–¬†send out three query letters/submissions
–¬†finish midterm evals¬†of students
Рread up to page 400 in Wolf Hall {but I did get sucked into & finish The Gospel of Winter}
–¬†go to two yoga classes
–¬†connect with two friends

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
–¬†write ten pages
–¬†send out three query letters/submissions
– send acceptances for new young writers project
Рread up to page 400 in Wolf Hall
–¬†go to two yoga classes
–¬†connect with two friends

And here are some recipes I’m drooling over this week:
–¬†sweet potato & black bean mexican salad¬†via Two Peas & Their Pod
–¬†spring vegetable stir fry w/lemon ginger sauce¬†via Two Peas & Their Pod
–¬†black bean mango quinoa salad w/cilantro lime vinaigrette¬†via the real-life rd
curried butternut squash soup w/kale & chicken¬†via Peanut Butter Fingers {similar to this recipe and this recipe I’ve made before}
–¬†homemade jello¬†via¬†It’s Progression
my own tilapia w/pineapple salsa

tilapia

Questions of the day:

  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?
  • What recipes are you drooling over lately?

MPM-Spring
This post is featured on Menu Plan Monday!

my first time doing zumba!

zumba!

On Wednesday, I went to my first-ever zumba class after my friend Emily invited me to join her at a local dance studio. I had never tried zumba before, though I had heard plenty of great things about it. All I knew was that it was supposed to be fast-paced, fun, and involved dancing.

I was a little nervous {and a lot intimidated} because while I enjoy dancing with groups of friends, I’ve never had much rhythm. Pretty much the only dancing I do on a regular basis is morning pajama dancing with Mr. Mur-dog:

dancing murray

Have any of you done zumba before? Any zumba novices like me out there? Here are some questions I had before my first zumba class, followed by answers based on my experience:

What is zumba?
Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music and fun, heart-pumping dance steps to form a ‚Äúfitness-party.‚ÄĚ The website of the local zumba center I attended has a great breakdown of the different types of zumba:¬†http://venturazumba.com/ventura-zumba-about/

What should I wear to do zumba?
I wore capri yoga pants, a sports bra and t-shirt, and running shoes. Wearing some sort of athletic shoes is a must, and I would also advise you wear clothes that you feel comfortable in! You will get HOT and sweat a lot! Some other participants were wearing shorts and one woman wore a loose-fitting skirt.

What if I don’t know any of the dance moves?
Many of the dance moves were super easy to catch on to. You can also look up zumba videos on youtube if you want to do a little research before you go! The inevitable times in class when I felt a little lost, I just danced in place myself. The important thing is to keep moving, keep smiling, and keep having fun! After class, Emily and I asked the instructor for clarification on a couple moves we were confused about. She sweetly showed us, and she said that the easiest way to learn all the moves is to keep coming to class — you get better and more comfortable each week.

What if I feel self-conscious about dancing?
This was what I was most worried about — I’m a little bit¬†a lot awkward on the dance floor, and I was worried that I would totally embarrass myself {not to mention my friend Emily!} and feel self-conscious the whole time. I pictured myself turning the wrong way and bumping into people. But once the class started, I didn’t feel self-conscious at all. Everyone is so focused on their own moves and on the instructor that nobody is paying attention to your dance moves. I tried to copy what the instructor was doing, and in my own pretty little head I was busting moves like Beyonce!

Is zumba a good workout?
YES! Your heart is pumping, your muscles are working, you are sweating like crazy! In the class I went to, we did a ton of squats as well as dance moves that worked our arms and shoulders. I woke up and was so sore the next morning! Definitely a sign of a good workout. Plus, the time flew by — it was the most fun I’ve had working out in a long time.

zumba

If you try a zumba class and aren’t thrilled, my advice would be to try again with a different instructor. {Actually, that would be my advice for any type of exercise class you try out!} I felt comfortable with our instructor immediately — she was funny, high-energy, and very encouraging. She also created a very welcoming space for beginners so it was the perfect class for me. Emily has done zumba before, and she said some of the other instructors are more fast-paced or less explanatory; every instructor has their own style. I feel like I lucked out on the ideal instructor for me.

Em and I have set a weekly zumba date for Wednesday mornings. I’m already looking forward to next week!

Happy Friday, everyone! Be kind to yourself and do something fun today!