January Simplicity

New-Year-Eve-1I find this time of year so refreshing. The non-stop activity of the holidays is winding down and everything shifts back to routines, simplicity, and quiet. Well, as quiet as it can be with a nearly 4-year-old who thinks she’s a werewolf puppy.

We’ve taken down our decorations and have shifted our focus to the new year. While I don’t necessarily create resolutions, I do love setting goals. So here are a few I’m pouring most of my energy into this coming year-

  • Focus on nutrient density. I’m seriously the worst with this. I never get enough protein or veggies. (I KNOW.) The last few weeks have been eye-opening, to say the least. I’ve been tracking my food by nutrient and I’m horrified. Not only do I want to be as healthy as I can be for me, I want to set a stellar example for Emme. This naturally ties into my next goal.
  • Focus on physical activity. I’ve already started this goal and am seeing some pretty amazing results. I’ve been working with a coach and doing the Master’s Hammer and Chisel Program. Warning- this is a TOUGH workout. One month in and I’m still sore most days. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I’m so glad I made the decision to try. I’m loving the variety and strength work. I’ve also learned something valuable emotionally- just do it. Yeah, I know. Seems simple. Just press play. Even if you’re going slow and half assing the moves, you’re still putting in the effort and reinforcing your commitment to yourself.
  • Organize My Businesses. I’ve really let these slide since Emme’s birth. We’re finally at the age we can be independent. I need/want more to my life than just being a mom and she needs more than just me all day, every day.
  • Less Technology, More Play. I struggle with this daily. I’m addicted to my phone and all it can do for me. This year I’m doing my best to treat it like it’s only a phone and not a tiny computer keeping me up to date on every move everyone else makes. If I want to check email, I need to sit my ass down at my computer.

I hope reflecting on this past year has been beneficial and the new year brings you love, joy, and happiness!

December Goals & Chickpea Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

theveganfarmer.com chickpea cookiesHello, December!  My favorite time of the year is here! I’m so excited for Christmas not only because it’s my favorite, but because Emme has a full grasp this year on what it means. There is lots to do and see, but first, let’s review November and set some December goals.

I’m happy to report I completed every goal last month.  This month I’m keeping the big to do’s short.  Actually, there’s only one.  I’m making everyone give up added sugar until Christmas Eve.  I know.  I’m completely insane. BUT, the sugar has been out of control.  I feel we need to reset out palate’s and learn to appreciate real food again.  I’ll be making lots of tasty no sugar added treats to get us through.  Up first, no sugar added chickpea chocolate peanut butter cookies.  Here’s what you’ll need-

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 C natural chunky peanut butter, plus some for topping

2.5 TBSP cocoa

1/4 C date caramel- 4 dates, soaked and pitted. puree with 2 tbsp soaking water, 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

splash vanilla extract

2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk

1 TSP baking powder

pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease cookie sheets and set aside.  Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use a small scoop to drop dough balls onto the cookie sheets.  Press them fairly flat and top with a bit of peanut butter.  Bake until crispy, about 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy!

November Goals

nov1It’s the beginning of another month and time to set new goals.  First, let’s see how we did with last month’s list.

1. Read more- I managed to read two books- Getting Things Done by David Allen and  Goodnight, Beautiful by Dorothy Koomson.  Both good reads.

2. Finish living room- this is still a work in progress.  I added a few pieces to the walls.  I have a vision of what I want.  I’m having a hard time applying the vision. When this happens, I tend to jump to another project.  Like my very tiny, VERY ugly bathroom.

3. Letters for pantry donations- These went out and we’ve scheduled a few pick ups this month.

4. Gym schedule-  Our schedules work better with spontaneous workouts like hikes.  And dance parties.  I consider this a win even though we’ve not been in the gym.  The goal was really to move more and we are doing that.

5. Potty training- We were spot on until we all came down with what seemed like a super bug.  No one’s got time for potty training when they can barely breathe.  I’m making this priority #1 for this month.

Here are November’s goals-

1. Potty train the nearly three year old.  THREE!  This is happening too fast.

2. Finish decorating the living room AND very tiny, still rather ugly bathroom.  I’ve ripped out the seriously dated, gold shower doors and hung a shower curtain.  I’d post pictures of this project, but I’m afraid I’d blind you with the hideousness.  Seriously.  Think press on floors, weirdly textured walls, and gold and wood fixtures.  There are plans to tile the floor and find a pretty new light fixture.

3. Finalize holiday gift lists.

4. Create a drying station in the basement.  It’s tropical island hot down there during the winter.  I may as well use that heat to dry my clothes instead of spending money on running my dryer.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

5. Finalize a vegan menu for Thanksgiving.

Overall, I did very well balancing Emme’s social calendar and tackling my goals for October.  Hopefully I can keep this up with the upcoming holidays.  What are your goals for November?

October Goals

theveganfarmer.com cheerI’m working on this accountability thing.  I have massive goals and to do lists that, instead of motivating me, end up overwhelming me. I have implemented a few tricks to keep me more on track- my bestie and I check in with each other once a month and I’ve created a bullet journal. Now, I’m putting it out to all of you.  Here are my top goals for October-

1- Read more.  I’ve subscribed to Oyster and while I went all crazy with setting up a reading list, I’ve read very few of those I’ve bookmarked.  My goal is to watch less mindless television after Emme goes to sleep and do more reading of the words.

2- Finish decorating my living room.  It’s sad and bare and in need of personality.  While I’d LOVE to get new furniture, it’s just not feasible with a toddler and approximately one million cats.  This doesn’t mean I can’t have pretty walls and pretty things on said walls.

3- Finalize and mail letters for pantry donations.  Have I mentioned my family runs a small food pantry?  We run completely on the kindness and generosity of others.  As well as donations from chain stores during the holidays.  While we give out baskets weekly, the holidays are always rough.  We try to supply full meals for at least 20 families for each holiday.  We have a lofty goal of doubling that this season.

4- Get back into a regular gym schedule. It’s all too easy for me to make this a non priority when really, it should be my first priority.  I’ll accomplish nothing if I don’t keep myself healthy.

5- Potty train Emme.  I can’t express how done I am with diapers.

6- Keep my damn sanity.  This month is packed so tight with activities I’m going to have to remind myself to breathe on the daily.

What are your goals for the month?  Do you have any tips or tricks for staying on task? And more importantly, for completing those tasks?