thanksgiving + goals for the week of 12/1

happy thanksgiving

Happy December, friends! How was your Thanksgiving? I wanted to take a moment to say how thankful I am for all of YOU. Thank you for your kind comments and emails and “likes” and for taking the time to visit my little corner of the blogosphere. It is a privilege and joy to be part of your lives!

Thanksgiving in the Woodburn household was chaotic and wonderful. A bunch of my brother’s friends from business school came home with him for Thanksgiving dinner, so my mom and I made a TON of food to make sure all those boys got their fill. My favorite Thanksgiving dishes are always the sides: sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries … yum! And don’t forget about the pumpkin pie {leftovers of which I have been eating for breakfast the past few days, not gonna lie!} Everyone was so grateful and complimentary and they all definitely left our house with happy bellies. The house feels quiet now without them, and Mr. Mur-dog is exhausted from all the excitement.

murray exhausted 

Yesterday I headed over to my cousin Amanda‘s new apartment to watch the USC football game. I brought “lucky” rice krispies treats decorated with USC cardinal-and-gold M&Ms … but unfortunately they weren’t so lucky, as our Trojans lost big-time to rival UCLA. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all! And I still had a lovely catch-up visit with my cousins.


Today has been a relaxing Sunday. I had brunch with Erica and her boyfriend and sister … we made pecan cinnamon bun pancakes = aaaamazing! Now I’m planning to curl up on the couch with Jennifer Close’s Girls in White Dresses. But first, goals!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from two weeks ago:
write 15 pages of new material
submit fellowship application
– exercise at least twice
– finish reading Happier Endings: a meditation on life and death
connect with two friends

Here are my goals for the week of 12/1:
– write 15 pages of new material
– prepare for Steinbeck Center reading on Wedsnesday
– exercise at least twice
– finish reading Girls in White Dresses
– order holiday cards
– publicize Winter Writing Camp
– connect with two friends

Questions for the afternoon:

  • How was your Thanksgiving?
  • What are you thankful for in your life?
  • What are your goals for this upcoming week?

goals + meal plan for the week of 10/27

Happy Sunday, friends! How has your weekend been? I have been soaking up so much wonderful girl-time with Celine. We went to the pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds {easy + delicious recipe coming soon!}, curled up on the couch and watched a movie in our PJs, and just talk-talk-talked. I hadn’t seen her in more than two years, so we had a lot of catching up to do! Ahhh, I love this girl SO. DANG. MUCH.

me and celine

celine pumpkin patch

carved pumpkins

It was also a boatload of fun to see our friend Jessica shine onstage as Ulla in The Producers! She did so fantastic and we were super proud of her. Here’s a shot we snapped with the beautiful starlet after the show:

jess's show

All in all, a wonderful weekend that went by way too fast! I can’t believe we are into the last week of October. Highlights of this upcoming week for me include dinner out with my aunt and cousin, a meeting with the other Steinbeck fellows, my mama’s birthday on October 30th, and of course Halloween!

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from last week:
– write 20 pages of new material {15 pages … close!}
respond to story for workshop
submit one fellowship application
– submit Ph.D. application
exercise at least three times
mail Halloween cards

Here are my goals for the week of 10/27:
– write 20 pages of new material
– submit Ph.D. application
– exercise at least three times
– phone dates with two friends

And here are some recipes I’m hoping to try out this week:
pumpkin, chocolate & brie grilled cheese sandwich via Two Peas & Their Pod
cranberry whole wheat muffins via The Lean Green Bean
jamaican jerk tempeh via The Real-Life RD
hashbrown-crusted quiche via
mediterranean feta dip via The Pajama Chef

Questions of the evening:

  • What was your highlight of the weekend?
  • What are your goals and/or meal plans for the week?

goals + meal-plan for the week of 8/11

Happy Sunday! I can’t believe how quickly this week flew by. I got to enjoy a lot of friend & family time this week, catching up with some old friends I haven’t seen in a while and grabbing brunch with my Gramps … nothing makes me feel loved and happy like nice long conversations with the people I love! Yesterday I taught a successful College & Scholarship Applications Seminar, which was a lot of fun.

On Friday night, my parents and I went to happy hour at an amazing local Japanese restaurant and then we saw the new Woody Allen movie “Blue Jasmine” … it is intense but very good! I thought Cate Blanchet’s performance was absolutely stunning. The only annoying thing was that the person sitting behind my mom kept tapping his foot throughout the entire movie to the jazz score … it  was so distracting! Have you ever had an annoying experience at a movie theater?

Cute doggy photo of the week:
murray on my bed

Here’s how I did on my goals from this past week:
– finish rough edits on first half of YA manuscript draft {this got pushed back a little due to preparation for my College & Scholarship Application Seminar}
complete the #yearofkindness challenge
– promote my College & Scholarship Application Prep Seminar & teach a successful class on Saturday
volunteer at the Food Pantry
work-out/do yoga at least three times

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:
– finish rough edits on first half of YA manuscript draft
– complete the #yearofkindness challenge
– get together with two friends
– create a flyer advertising my tutoring services
– clean out my email inbox
– volunteer at the Food Pantry
– work-out/do yoga at least three times {including my Weds. zumba date with Emily!}

Finally, here are some recipes I’m hoping to try this week:
– asian lettuce wraps via The Lean Green Bean
– quinoa black bean burritos w/southwest sauce via The Pajama Chef
– heirloom tomato pesto galette via Two Peas & Their Pod
– s’mores peanut butter bars via Chew Out Loud
gluten-free chocolate oatmeal cookies

What are your goals & meal plans for the week?

This post is linked up with Menu-Plan Monday!

meal plan & goals for the week of 7/7

Happy Sunday, friends! How has your weekend been?

We’ve been enjoying beautiful sunshine and I’ve been soaking up time with my family. We went out for Happy Hour margaritas, rented some movies, grabbed fro yo, and went out to dinner to celebrate my dad’s “streakiversary”: 10 years of running at least 3 miles! {You can read more about it on his website — so proud of you, Pops!} I also ran errands with my mom, organized a pile of random papers that has been chillin’ in my room for weeks, and read read read a ton! Lazy weekend reading is my favorite way to relax! 🙂

On Saturday morning we were thrilled to watch on TV as Mike & Bob Bryan won the Wimbledon Mens Doubles Title! If that isn’t exciting enough, the win also means they’ve secured a historic “Gold Slam”: all in a row they won the Gold Medal at the Olympics, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, the French Open, and now Wimbledon. The Bryan Bros grew up in Camarillo and are dear friends of our family, and we could not be prouder of them! Not only are they world-class athletes, they are also amazingly kind and generous people. Congrats, Bros!!

bros wimbledon

I decided that I want to bring back my Sunday posts about goals + meal plans for the week … I kind of got away from doing them with the craziness of my thesis deadline, graduating from my Master’s program, and moving back home, and I was just thinking about how I miss doing these weekly goal posts. It’s a great way to gear up for the week and keep myself motivated.

So here are my goals for the week of 7/7:
– write 2 chapters of my YA manuscript
– complete the #yearofkindness challenge
– prepare for my Summer Writing Camp
– read first 100 pages of 1984
– volunteer at the Food Pantry
– update my website

And here are some recipes I’m planning to make this week:
veggie pasta bake with spinach basil pesto
turkey enchiladas
– gluten-free oatmeal cookies {recipe coming soon!}
lemon bars for my Gramps

What are you goals for this week? What’s on your menu plan?

This post is linked up with Menu-Plan Monday!