2014 Goals and Aspirations

2014-goals

Life has a way of just flying by. A recent quote made it ever so clear…

Days may drag on but months and years, they fly by.

When I look at how busy I (and everyone else in the world is), I think how I need to slow down and actually think about what I want in 2014, strategize if you will. But more importantly, what do I want this year? So I crafted a list of 2014 goals and aspirations. I want to document them here for all to see. I will most definitely need your help with some of these. I will, in turn, help with anything I can in your life!

With work, freelancing, a new business, and getting married, 2014 is going to be crazy! And having some focus on what I want to accomplish is important to me. Here is my ‘bucket list’ for 2014!

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Some of my hopes…

  • Enjoy a relaxing wedding day and reception
  • Continue to travel as much as possible

  • Do more of what I like, less of what I don’t like
  • Document my bucket list on my blog
  • Purchase a kick-ass house
  • Host a Cards Against Humanity party
  • Run another 5k
  • Buy a new car, preferably a Subaru with AWD (All Wheel Drive)

Stay tuned for more about the ongoing results of my 2014 goals.

What are you do you want to accomplish this year?

Printable Goal Worksheet: How I Document My Goals

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Update: I have reorganized the worksheet for easier filling out process! Re-download now!

One of the things I love most about starting a new year is creating goals. Last year, at an all staff meeting our CEO asked us to write down three things that we would do in 2013 if we had 50/50 chance of dying in the next 5 years. That’s a pretty amazing question to think about for the year ahead. What would you do if you had limited time left on this earth? I’m guessing losing weight or quitting smoking wouldn’t be on it, right? Mine didn’t either. Last year on my list I wrote…

  • Get married
  • Go back to France
  • Write my book

While I didn’t actually do those things, I am getting married this year (May 17, 2014), I did go back to Europe (London…where I got engaged), and I wrote out the characters for my book. I realized though, that health is important to me so here’s my bucket list this year…

  • Get married (didn’t change)
  • Get healthy
  • Travel and spend quality time with loved ones

I’m sure some of you are saying, “But Amanda, those aren’t specific enough…how will you accomplish them?”

Luckily, I have made and FAILED many goals. I have learned from various goal techniques what it takes to make goals happen and documenting them in a way where you won’t forget them over the year is key! So I am going to help you learn from my mistakes.

Here is a downloadable + free goal worksheet that will help you plan your resolutions so this year they’re fail-proof. Of course, you’re going to need to throw in some determination in there, but I can’t do that for you! I will be posting my resolution worksheet tomorrow on the blog so you can see what I have come up with. Yay!

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Download the Resolution Worksheet

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DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET

What are your goals for 2014?

Ninja Ultima Blender Review

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One of my favorite post-workout traditions is making a protein shake. I usually use a shaker bottle and add in some protein mix and milk plus maybe some peanut butter. Pretty much without fail though the peanut butter gets stuck in a lump in the shaker. But then I was offered the chance to take a look at the Ninja Ultima to see what all the ‘hub hub’ is about. I’m so glad I gave this blender a chance.

Short & Sweet

While I haven’t used a Vitamix, I’ve heard amazing things. After having a discussion with my coworker Erin from Sweet Sweat Life, my opinion of Ninja has been solidified. The two sound similar enough to me. If you are looking for a powerful, all-in-one blender this is the perfect one for you.

Full Review

You know those blenders they have at Panera and Jamba Juice to mix you up your favorite smoothie or shake? Yeah those hard core looking ones. Well I would say that the Ninja is that for the home. It’s got what they call a “dual blending stage,” where two separate blades (with separate motors) chop the crap out of the stuff you put in. For example, I had a bunch of whole frozen strawberries and within 5 seconds it was pureed!

While the Ninja isn’t a juicer per say, it did a great job with all of my smoothies, even the chunky peanut butter protein ones. The upgraded version of the kitchen system has a food processing cup and tools too! While I haven’t tried it, it looks promising.

When I was taking the blender out of the box, I was so excited to have actual speeds. I have had a blender for so long that just had “chop,” “puree,” and “dice.” Now I had setting and a book that told me depending on what I was making (smoothie, etc) what I would need to use to get the perfect blend. So I grabbed my frozen fruit, yogurt, and almond milk from the fridge and added to the blender. I was super surprised at the noise that came from the blender. This isn’t like my other blenders from the past. It actually blended my smoothie in about 20 seconds.

Generally when I get products like a blender, it’s not used very often but with these single serve cups, it’s easier to grab and go. I love it.

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Pros

  • Affordable. If you are looking for a top-of-the-line blender but don’t have $400 to get the Vitamix, I would recommend looking at the ninja.
  • Two part blending. This blender doesn’t have just one blade like other blenders, it has two, making sure your food and smoothies are adequately chopped. It does this with very VERY quickly.
  • Single serve. I must say that the best part of this blender, in my opinion, is the single serve option. The model I got had two single serve cups that I use most regularly. It keeps cleaning easy and the ability to take my smoothie out and about.

Cons

As far as cons go, I haven’t really been able to find many (HONESTLY) so I went to amazon to see reviews. Mostly people just mention that their blender stops working and they give up. No one mentioned calling support to get help or a replacement sent, though.

I will keep you updated in this post if I have any issues but from what I can see is that if you clean it and use it correctly, you will have a life lasting love for this blender!

Overall Feelings

If you are looking for a top-notch, full featured blender this holiday season, the Ninja Ultima is for you (Don’t I sound like the sales guy from a cheesy commercial…maybe but the above statement is true). In fact, I was at Costco today and found that the ninja was being added to carts left and right!  It is a great present for the kitchen gadget nerd on your list.

Smoothie Recipes to Try

2013 Gift Guides: Home Decorator

Being in love with your home is a great thing! For the home decorator on your list, consider buying a comforting throw, unique word art specific to your city/town, or a fun artful piece that has both form and function, like the mirror or nespresso maker! Happy shopping!

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  1. Enchanted Mirror
  2. London Poster Art
  3. Accent Side Table
  4. Softest Throws
  5. Fox Ornament
  6. Nespresso Pure Orange
  7. Marquee Word Love
  8. Industrial Task Desk
  9. Armless Accent Chair

Not into home decor? Try one of the other gift guides:

Big Sur + Our Engagement Photos

To wrap up our San Francisco vacation, we ended in Big Sur. We knew when we got there that it was too far a drive for our families and decided that then we were just going to enjoy our surroundings and relax. We had been moving non-stop to each location and walking beaches so we did our engagement photos at Pieffer Beach and then returned to the Big Sur River Inn to sit in the river and enjoy the cool river beneath our feet. It was nice to finally relax. Without further adieu, here are our last vacation photos!

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Our Engagement Photos

To do our engagement photos in California for free meant setting up a tripod. So these are selfie engagement photos but I think they turned out perfectly!

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