See ya January, it’s been real!

I’ve got some catching up to do. I’ve been up to so much and not telling you guys about it. Forgive me! Here goes:

My new recipe to try in January was roasted beet soup with spinach and squash seed pesto. This recipe came from a cookbook I got for Christmas — The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier of the mouth-watering site Chocolate and Zucchini. This cookbook is lovely. It’s divided into sections by season, which I think is genius, and it’s entirely focused on using fresh, seasonal produce to its highest potential. Even better: all the recipes are vegetarian and many of them are vegan.

This soups take a little while to prepare almost entirely because of the time it takes to roast the beets. Once that’s out of the way though, it’s a snap, and the end product is equal parts delicious, healthy, and beautiful.

Look how pretty my dinner is! I want to decorate a house with these shades of magenta and green.

beet-soup

This pesto is a miracle. Delicious and amazingly easy to whip together in my trusty Magic Bullet. I want to make vats of it and put it on all the sandwiches and pasta I can find.

spinach-pesto

The only change I’d make next time is adjusting the amount of salt. The recipe called for a half teaspoon in the pesto and then another half teaspoon in the soup, but I think a half teaspoon total worked much better. I added the full half teaspoon to my pesto and then realizing how salty it ended up being, skipped adding any salt to the soup. Once I mixed them together the taste was just right. Next time I’ll just split the half teaspoon between the two dishes.

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January was also my month of doing yoga every single day. This “challenge” ended up being surprisingly easy. Now that I work from home full-time, I’ve technically gained an extra hour each day by avoiding the commute. Amazing, free time! So for the month of January I simply replaced my commute time with yoga time. Bonus: at the end of the challenge I was rewarded with (in addition to that whole healthy, zen, feeling-good business) champagne, fun brunch with my fellow yoga challengers (complete with beer-mosas – YUM), and this awesome crown:

yoga-crown

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And lastly, January meant I had to get real with myself about one of the most daunting goals on my list. Read every unread book on my shelf in one year’s time. I spent some time cataloging my books to see just how much work this would be (they’re also alphabetized and organized by genre – go ahead, call me a nerd to my face).

Here’s what it comes down to: 182 books in one year (you can check out my full reading list here). That’s about one book every two days. Yes, I do have a minor book buying problem. Nevertheless, I’m plugging away at this goal, seeing how far I can get. I’m hitting this one hard by taking on all 1,079 pages of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace first thing. Let’s do this!

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Let me introduce myself

Me in an apple tree

Me in an apple tree

My name is Kate and I’ve lived in beautiful, frigid Michigan my whole life. I’m a full-on crazy cat lady and coffee enthusiast. I can’t resist donuts or cheap used books. Yoga keeps me sane. My one desire in life is to see the world. Like, the whole world. All of it. I hate routine, I never want to have kids, and I’m ready to move away from Michigan as soon as possible.

I’ve worked doing communications for a nonprofit organization for the past 2 years, and I’m in the process of figuring out my next career move. The nonprofit I work for just closed its Michigan office — I’m still doing my same job, but today marks my first day of working from home full time. I love it.

I like making goals and lists and I’ve got lots of different interests but I never seem to devote the time I’d like to them. Which is why I started this 101 things project. I’m making plans, holding myself accountable to them (by opening myself up to public internet shame if I don’t complete them — yikes!), and hoping to gain some insight into myself and what I should be doing with my life along the way.

Pleased to meet ya!

Goals, goals, goals!

pen_notepad_hires

Like everyone else in the world, the new year’s got me thinking about all the goals and plans I’ve got brewing in the back of my mind. First and foremost is figuring out what I’m going to be when I grow up. I have a good sense of what I want my life to look like, but trying to figure out what kind of job will get me there has been eating away at my brain for some time now.

I’ve always been a think-before-I-act type of person. I tend to sit and ponder questions like this, thinking in circles until I give myself a headache. I’m still not sure what my next move should be career-wise, but I’m hoping working on the goals in this list will help flex my action muscles and get me out of my own head a bit.

With that in mind, up first on the goals menu is 31 straight days of yoga. The studio I frequent offers up a free month of yoga for anyone who comes in every day for the month of January. Since I have a work trip for three days in the middle of the month I’m not quite eligible for the freebie, but I’m using it as an excuse to get my ass off the couch every single day and move. Today is day 4 – so far so good!