Tuesday, January 28, 2014

5 things I learned while hiking

Lately, I have been on a mission to be more active. One of the ways I have been doing are small workouts in the mornings. Last week I told you about the Couch to 5K that I started. This week, I replaced one of my workouts with a hike, and I loved it. The scenery was amazing, and I want to go hiking more often. 
I've went to this particular trail before, so I had an idea of what was coming. But nonetheless, here are 5 things I've learned while hiking/jogging. 
It's okay to stop to catch your breath. 
Sometimes we need a break. And It's 100% okay. Allow yourself to take a break. Those hills, or that 5 minute jog are tiring. And you are already doing amazing, need a break take it, we wouldn't want you to get hurt. 
Hiking buddies are amazing
Workout buddies are amazing period. They motivate us, we motivate them. We have a buddy to talk and catch up. So next time you are hiking or jogging or walking or gyming it grab a friend. 
Enjoy the view.
Gahh!!! All of the hiking trails have amazing views. You see nature at it's best. So take a break, stare at the ocean, listen to the birds, see the plants. They are beautiful. We live in fast-pace world, sometimes we forget to see the beauty outside, these trails are the perfect time to do so. 
Life is like a hiking trail.
Sometimes steep, sometimes up hill, sometime downhill. rocky, hard, but at the same time beautiful. 
Don't ever give up!
Whatever you do, don't give up,keep going . Those hills are killer. You might get out of breath on those steep steps. Your feet might hurt, but I promise you when you finish the trail you will feel good, and it will all be worth it. 
What do you love most about hiking, or working out?

You still have time to enter the AD Space Giveaway.
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Broccoli Shells n Cheese {Cooking Time}

Who loves Mac n Cheese?? I know I do!! I found this yummy recipe on my Virtual Recipe Book, aka Pinterest, and I had to try it!! Visit Inspired Dreamer for the original recipe.

Broccoli Shells n Cheese
the recipe called for 8 oz of pasta, I did the whole box so I doubled the recipe, the recipe is doubled in parantheses.

8 oz (16oz.) pasta shells (medium)
1 lg. crown (5 cups of frozen) broccoli
3 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) butter
3 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
2.5 cups (5 cups)  milk
8 oz./2 cups (16 oz/4 cups) sharp cheddar, shredded
to taste salt and pepper


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil (we will be cooking the pasta and broccoli together) and add the pasta. Let the pasta cook for about 8-10 minutes and then add the cut broccoli, until both are tender. Drain them in a colander and put aside.
  • Begin the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a medium heat pan
  • Add the flour to the butter. They will form a paste like mixture, called a "roux." Using a whisk, stir the roux for 1-2 minutes, make sure you don't let it scorch.
  • Add milk and whisk until you dissolve all the flour clumps. Add pepper. Bring the sauce to a slight simmer. As it begins to simmer it will begin to thicken. 
  • Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back the spoon, add the cheese. 
  • Turn the burner off and whisk the cheese until it is melted, and taste for salt and pepper. 
  • Once the sauce is perfect to your tasting, add the pasta and broccoli. Mix and Enjoy

//Extra Tips//
- We added some chicken to our Broccoli Shells n Cheese, and it tasted delish. We cooked 3 chicken breasts, and shredded them when they were done cooking. We added the chicken at the same time  when we added the pasta and broccoli to the cheese sauce. 

What have you been cooking lately?

Don't Forget to enter the Big Ad Space Giveaway!!
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"We Accept the Love We Think We Deserve" {Literary Junkies - January}

Pink Heels Pink Truck

Ahhh I haven't done one of these in a long time, so I'm excited to be back with Taylor and Christine
If you love books and love to read, you must check out this link-up.
1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it.
Right now I'm reading "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephan Chbosky.
via Goodreads
"Charlie is a freshman.

And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up"  - from Goodreads

I think I've been wanting to read this book since high school. But when the movie came out a couple years ago, I definitely went up in my TBR list. I absolutely loved the movie, it has become one of my favorite movies. And right now about half way through the book, I'm really liking it. 

My Favorite quote from the book:
"We accept the love we think we deserve." 

Via Official Divergent Website
2. Out of the 16 books that will be turned into a movie adaptation, which one are you most looking forward to seeing this year? (Article Link)

So many good books turning into movies this year. I didn't know how many there were. I think I'm most excited to see Divergent, I cannot wait for it to be March. , and although I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars I'm pretty excited to see it in the theatres.  And OMG, The Giver. I remember reading as required reading during middle school, and I couldn't put it down, I didn't know a movie was going to come out!! Can it be August already??  Wild and Gone Girl are the other two of my favorite. 

3. What was the worst book you've ever read?

I don't know if I have a worst book experience. But I do have a couple of books that I didn't finish. But I don't think it was because they were bad, but because I just couldn't get into them. For example, I've been reading The Time Traveler's Wife for about a year and a half, and I still have not completed. I think the plot is great, and I loved the movie, I just can't get into the book, and I'm not sure why. 

4. What foods or beverages have you spilled on a book while reading? Anything good?

I try to be very careful around books, but honestly, sometimes I've left marks on them. A couple of my books have red, hot cheetos fingerprints. eeek. oops. For beverages, I think I've only spilled some water a couple times. 

5. Do you picture characters as popular film or tv actors? Or do you create a whole new person in your head?

oooooh this is a good question. I think it would depend on the character and the book. But I think I like picturing my own characters in my head. What is crazy is, when books turn into movies, and the casting gets the perfect cast, the people who I create in my head are there on the screen, that's cool. 

6. Out of all the authors you've read books by, who's brain would you want to pick the most? 

oooooh. Another great question. I think my brother would be proud of me after this one. I think I would love to pick at George R Martin's head, and just see how he created Westeros and the world of A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones). That series is crazy. 

What are your answers? Have you read any good books lately?

Don't Forget to enter the Big Ad Space Giveaway!!

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Ad Space Giveaway {Winner Takes All}

I have a big announcement today!!!!! I'm so excited!!!
Are you ready for this? 
I don't think you are...

I've joined with Jacky from Keep Calm and Blog On and 18 other amazing bloggers for this amazing opportunity. It's Jacky's blogiversary!!! YAY, congrats Jacky!!!  And she's giving away free ad space, not only over at Keep Calm and Blog On, but on 20 total blogs!!! How amazing is that. One winner will take it all, and will be hanging out at our sidebar for the whole month of February!! So go go go, visit these amazing bloggers!!!

In honor of Keep Calm Blog On's First Blogiversary, I've gathered TWENTY of my favorite blogging ladies to host the giveaway of a lifetime. All blogs have to get their start somewhere and connecting with other bloggers is a great way to get some more exposure.  The winner of this giveaway will get ad space on the sidebar of all 20 blogs for the month of February! This means that your ad could reach a potential of 30,000 followers (including our blog and social media followers).  Oh. Hot. Damn. This is an awesome opportunity for a new blogger, small business or a blogger who wants to get some more exposure (really, what blogger doesn't??).  Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below and visit all of the fabulous ladies participating in the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why I love HB!!

About a year or two ago, I read an article written about Hannah Brencher. I'm not sure where I read it, but I do remember feeling goosebumps when I read the story about her movement. I stalked her on her website moreloveletters.com and then on her blog. After reading some of her articles I fell in love with her, her story, her movement and her writing. 

I don't know, there is something about her writing, that  makes me think "wow, are you a mind reader?" and "this is how exactly how I feel" and "oh my gosh, I just goosebumps." 

Recently it was this article that made me have goosebumps: 
"I know close to nothing. But I believe in these things" 
I have to know where I am going. I have to know what will happen next. I have to know the direction. The 5-year plan. The next left-hand turn. The Big What’s Next. 
I’m 25. I know close to nothing. But I believe in these things. - Hannah Brencher

When Hannah was in college she suffered through depression, one of the things that she looked forward in her darkest times where the hand written letters from her mom. After moving to New York she decided to write love letters and leave them throughout the city, at coffee shops, in the subway, anywhere, so that I stranger can find it and hoping that her letters would help them. Later her movement grew, thousands of love letters are left for strangers on a daily basis. Read more about More Love Letters at moreloveletters.com

How cool right? How awesome would it be to find one of these letters at the library, or the bus, or the coffee shop, and read the words of a stranger that would touch you to the bottom of your soul? In my last year of college I wrote a couple of love letters, and left them throughout campus. Writing those few lines of encouragement felt good. 

 Anyways back to Hannah. I love her for her amazing writing talent. I love that she is brave enough to write whatever she has in her heart. I love that her stories are somehow my, and everyone's stories. I love that she had a dream and she made it happen. I just love her. lol. 

Read Hannah's blog!
Some of my many faves: 
You really should stay thick with wanting to change the world. Because you’re golden that way.

Oh, not a day goes by where she does not think of you first.

When 60 days could change your life.

Your daddy is no Rumpelstiltskin and I’ve not got the Bones of Betsy Ross.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

#giveit100 {Day 1}

So I'm pretty sure most of you have stumbled, read, and saw all about this inspiring woman, LaKeisha, who challenged herself to change her lifestyle and lose some weight. If you haven't watch her video, watch below.

And read her story here. She gave it 100 days, she went to the gym 100 days and she lost weight, and 2 dress sizes. . By challenging herself, she lost the pounds she wanted to, but she gained so much more happiness and confidence. Her demeanor changed, and at the end of the video we see a much happier LaKeisha. You are an inspiration to me LaKeisha!

I know I've mentioned it before on the blog, how I've struggled with my weight since I was young. But seeing LaKeisha's inspiring journey, I wanted and needed to try it  something. 

So for the next 100 days (150 days to Vegas Trip in June) I want to get out of the 200 club (in Lakeisha's words). That is a 50 pound loss!! 2-3 pounds a week. Morning jogs, Night workouts. No chips or fast food! No soda. Lots of water and Healthier meals. I know it's going to be hard, and there are probably going to be times where I might want to give up, but I can't give up!!

Reminder to myself
Day 1: 
Today I did a 30 minute walking and jogging workout from Couch to 5K. Gahh it was hard, I wanted to give up.
Then 30 minute walking laps around the park and the walk home.
Visit giveit100.com from more inspiring stories. 

Other inspiring women from the blogger sphere:
Ashley from Downsizing
Renee from Getting Fit & Fab

I would love your support!! :) And if you are giving it (anything) 100, we can do it together. 

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Garlic Chicken and Potatoes {Cooking Time}

A couple days ago I joined Brittany over at Life Changes for her Do Something New monthly link-up. This month I challenged myself (and my mom) to try cooking some healthy recipes. :) 
So here is the first recipe I found. I found it on the Food Network website. Please excuse my lack of pictures, I think I was too excited to eat it and how amazing our kitchen smelled. 

Garlic Chicken and Potatoes
photo courtesy of the Food Network 
2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 lemon (1/2 juiced, 1/2 cut into wedges)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

  • Cut the potatoes in small slices or quartered depending on the potatoes' size
  • Position the oven rack on the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degree F.
  • Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil,  3/4 tablespoon salt and pepper to taste. Spread them over a large baking dish and put them to roast in the oven until potatoes begin to brown (~ 20-25 mins)
  • While potatoes are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and add the finely chopped garlic, stirring occasionally until nice and golden. 
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, half a 1/2 juice and red pepper flakes. 
  • When potatoes finish roasting, remove the baking dish from the oven and push the potatoes to the sides. Add the chicken breasts on the middle of the dish. Season the chicken with salt and drizzle with the garlic mixture. 
  • Return the dish to the oven until the chicken is cooked, and the potatoes are nice and tender. (~ 30-35 mins) 
  • When the chicken is finished, slice it and serve with some potatoes!! Enjoy!!!!

//Extra Tips//
Our chicken was not browning like in the picture. 
So we left the chicken in the oven a little longer and it came out a little dry. 
I read on the recipe reviews that they cooked the chicken on a skillet for a bit before putting it in the oven.
 I think that is a great idea. We will try it next time. :) 
Also we think our chicken breasts were a bit bigger than in the ingredient list, so I think they needed more of the garlic mixture.
Other than that I think it was delish, definitely something different. 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I wish for.. Confidence {The Girl Between The Lines}

Girl Between the Lines Link up
Check out this amazing link-up!! 

This week: Tell us about a trait you look up to or admire in someone in your life and why!

I'm surrounded by so many strong, amazing women in my life. One of the things that they have in common and one of the many reasons why I admire them is because they radiate CONFIDENCE

Confidence - myfairytaleeverafter

I thought about showcasing one of them, but I just couldn't pick. I look up to my mom, my grandmothers, my cousins, my friends, because they are determined, they are passionate, and they are confident in themselves, their life, their jobs, their families, and their passions in life. 

 Although they might have their off days, and sometimes things don't go the wall they planned to, but I could just tell that they will always get through it. I'm so proud of every single of them, and I admire them because they never give it. I admire because they believe in themselves, and they make things happen.  I admire them because when someone says they can't do it, they prove them wrong. I admire them because they make their dreams come true, no matter the bumpy roads. I admire them because they choose to shine. I admire them because they are confident in what they wear, in the skin they are in, in the choices they make, and in who they have become
Choose to Shine - soitsbeensaid.tumblr

I hope that by being surrounded by these amazing women, some of their confidence sprinkles on to me. I love you ladies, thank you for allowing me to see what confidence looks like!! Please never let anyone bring down your confidence or your dreams. 

What do you admire most about your loved ones?
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 {Updates}

First day of Bout of Books is done!!! And I think I did a pretty good job. I will be posting all my updates  about all my progress from the day before on this post. :)
Today is the last day to sign-up!!! So go on over to the Bout of Books blog and get to reading. :) 

See my goals here.


What I've read today: "Every Day" by David Levithan
Total number of pages read today:  216
Total number of books completed: none 
total number of pages read:  216
Read-a-thon thoughts: I read a little over 4 hours!! Yay!!! And about 100 pages left to finish the book!!! I'm liking the book so far, the first half of the book was very interesting, the book is about a person named A, who wakes up in a different body Every Day. But the further I read, the more annoying the boy got about falling in love with the girl he met while in someone else's body. Hopefully the books picks up again.  I loved participating in the mini challenge and pretending I had $100 to spend on books!! Can that be for real, please? :) 
Favorite Quote:
"In my experience, desire is desire, love is love. I have never fallen in love with a gender. I have fallen in love for individuals. I know this is hard for people to do , but I don't understand why it's so hard, when it's so obvious"- Every Day page 142
Mini Challenges:  1 out of 2 - 
The ladies over at Bookish Comforts hosted one of the first mini challenges of the week. They had us pretend we had $100 to go on a Book Buying Spree. These were the books that I would choose to buy. It was hard, so many books, not enough money. lol. 

What books would you buy if you had $100 to spend?


What I've read today: "Every Day" by David Levithan (106 pages); "Amy & Roger's Epic Detour" by Morgan Matson (90 pages); "Leaving Glorytown" by Eduardo F. Calcines (10 pages)
Total number of pages read today:  206
Total number of books completed: 1: "Every Day" my goodreads mini review 
total number of pages read:  422
Read-a-thon thoughts:
I accomplished my daily reading time goal for today yay!! I was running errands all day, so I'm glad that I was able to spend some time reading. :) 
I finished Every Day!! Yay one book down!! I enjoyed the book as a whole, the book was about this boy named "A" who since the day he was born he wakes up in a different body every day. I found it frustrating, sad and really eye opening, just realizing what every person goes through in their daily lives. I know the lives David Levithan wrote are fictional, but I can picture every single person. I'm hoping that A and Rhiannon (the girl he falls deeply in love with) find their happy ending.

I started reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. I always wanted to go on a road trip, and so far the book has taught me that I'm young, these are the times when I can go on a road trip and explore our nation. So I'm definitely adding that to my bucket list. 

Began reading Leaving Glorytown with my middle school student that I tutor, and I loved it. I think I want to go check it out from the library. 
Favorite Quote:
"Love means never having to lose your limbs" - Every Day pg. 222 
"About going out  and just driving, and how you can only do it when you're young. For the first time, it struck me that this trip could be something worth recording..." - Amy & Roger's Epic Detour pg. 36
 Mini Challenges: 1 out 2
Sarah at Sarah Reads had us confessing  our Reading Tactics by answering: 
How do you fit in as much reading as possible during Bout of Books? How do you squeeze in those extra pages?
My answer:
 I love reading so I try to read everywhere and anytime I get. Lucky for me I have been on a work break these last two times of Bout of Books, but still I find little time to read, lol. But I try to wake up a lil early then usual to read in the morning, and I try to read even more before bed. I also limit my time watching TV but when I do I even read during commercials.. lol.. I thought I would never say this, but sometimes I get tired of reading, so I’ll get online or watch a show and then get back to reading, like interval times. :)

What are your reading tactics?


What I've read today: "Amy and Roger's Epic Detour" by Morgan Matson
Total number of pages read today:  133
Total number of books completed:  1
total number of pages read:  555
Read-a-thon thoughts:  So it wasn't the best Bout of Books day today. I was barely able to squeeze in my goal-reading time, and I wasn't able to participated in the only mini challenge that was scheduled for today. I was a total bum today, and not the good-let's-stay-in-bed-and-read-all-day-kind, but rather let's-do-nothing-productive-today-kind. 

The good thing is that I accomplished my goal of reading 500 pages!!! Yay. Let's see if I can read 500 more by the end of Sunday. Another good thing, I'm absolutely loving "Amy and Roger's Epic Detour" book. The times that I picked up the book, I just couldn't put it down. It's a fun read, and so interesting. Can't wait to learn if they do end up together. Excited!!! Now I really want to go on a road trip!!
Favorite Quote:
"I mean, you have to leave where you've come from. You have to go and see stuff. And that doesn't mean that I don't know where my home is." - Amy and Roger's Epic Detour pg. 175
Mini Challenges: 0 out 1 


What I've read today: "Amy and Roger's Epic Detour" by Morgan Matson
Total number of pages read today:  129
Total number of books completed: 2; "Amy and Roger's Epic Detour" my goodreads mini review
total number of pages read:  684
Read-a-thon thoughts: So another not very productive day, reading wise. I spent most of the day online applying to some job positions. I'm crossing my finger that something works out. :) 

As for my reading progress. I finished my second book. And let me tell you, I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour. It was a fun read, it was a story of loss, happiness, adventure, freedom, and finding ones self. What I'm taking out from this book is the sense of adventure. You need to get out there, see new places, learn new things. I officially want to go on a roadtrip!!! Someone come with me!! 
Favorite Quote:
"The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren't looking for them."  - "Amy and Roger's Epic Detour" pg. 337
Mini Challenges: 2 out 2
Lori at Writing My Own Fairytale hosted a Double Date challenge. She wanted us to pair two books together, to recommend to someone to read them together. I choose "Water for Elephants" and "The Night Circus". Can you guess what my theme is? :) 
I love the circus. I read “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen a while back and a couple of months I read “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. And fell in love with circuses that much more. I think that there’s this enchanting, magical thing behind a circus and these two books portray that enchanting thing that I think Circuses have. I think they could go together quite perfectly.
Deb at Pen in Her Hands hosted the Found Poem Challenge. What she had us do it to pick any book, to choose a number between 1 and 10, and flip to a random page. Using the number we chose, we were to count the lines from the top and then counting to the word. We were to do this 14 times so that we had 14 words. Then we could replace two words with any words we wanted, and then come up with a poem. Although it might not make a lot of sense, I think this poem fit perfectly with the book. 

I used “Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour” by Morgan Matson
I used  the #5.
My words were: tell, thinking, said, we’d, of, again, into, Quiet, Stars, that, for, was, really, us

Replaced: “tell” with “staring” and “said” with “sat”

My found poem:
Staring again into Stars,
We’d sat thinking of Quiet,
for that was really us.

What two books would you pair together?


What I've read today: " The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" by Ayana Mathis
Total number of pages read today:  53 
Total number of books completed:  2
total number of pages read:  737
Read-a-thon thoughts: Horrible day for reading. And I couldn't quite get into the book.
Favorite Quote:
"Hattie understood them as extensios of herself and loved them becuse they were hers and because they were defenseless and because they needed her." - The Twelve Tribes of Hattie  pg. 9
Mini Challenges: 0 out 2


What I've read today: " The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" by Ayana Mathis
Total number of pages read today:  66
Total number of books completed: 2
total number of pages read:  803
Read-a-thon thoughts: Another bad day of reading. Today was supposed to be the day I finished The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, but only got half way. Hopefully I finish it tomorrow. The book is picking up, although it is not my absolute favorite as of right now. 
Favorite Quote:
"She put all th blame on August. She never for one minute stopped thinking he was the cause of every bad thing that ever was, and he never stopped hoping that one morning he would wake up and prove her wrong." - The Twelve Tribes of Hattie pg. 90
Mini Challenges: 0 out 1


What I've read today: "
Total number of pages read today:  
Total number of books completed: 
total number of pages read:  
Read-a-thon thoughts:
Favorite Quote:
Mini Challenges:

Are you participating in Bout of Books, how has it been so far? 
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Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year.. {Ten Favorite Things}

It's been a while since I made one of these. But I'm excited because it's the first one of the year. Head over to Brianna's amazing blog to check out what Ten Favorite Things is all about. :) 

This month's theme is Ten Favorite Things about the New Year. Here are my favorite things about this year. 

change. I love the beginning of a New Year because it comes with change. Yes it is unknown change and sometimes it sounds scary, and sometimes it might be bad, but I see change as something good. 

with change, comes a new haircut/hair color. I like to change my hair every year, even if it is just a trim. What a better way bring in a new year than with a new hair do. I haven't done mine yet, but I do have a hair appointment later this week. :) 

new memories. I'm excited to see what new memories I make with the people that I love. 

resolutions. although I don't like making resolutions because somehow I never end up following through, this year I decided that my theme for this year is to put myself out there a bit more. Explore the world, don't be afraid to take risks, meet new people. 

big birthday. I am turning 25 this year!! So I'm pretty stoked about that, and anxious because I feel the need to accomplish something before my quarter life year.

new places. I would like to go more this year to places that I haven't been to. A road trip, a new restaurant, a new bar, a new vacay. 

nieces and nephews. Another year with the kiddies, and seeing them grow up.
new plans. New opportunities to make plans to accomplish the goals that I want to accomplish in life and re-route my life path. 

new chances, to make things better. A new chance to shed a few pounds that I might've gained in the holidays. A new chance to make my friendships stronger. A new chance to increase our family memories and fun. A new chance to pick up the goals I "failed" at last year and make them better

new music, new books, new words, new inspiration, new motivation 

What are your favorite things about a New Year?
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