Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Accomplishments

So as a result of my 2012 goals, I am going to do a recap of each month of things that I've checked off my list, plus additional accomplishments. Meghan, Lori, Meghan, and Whitney are hosting a link-up every month for us to share our progress for the year, and I was happy to join in!

  • Be happy. I read The Happiness Project, and I worked on focusing on what truly makes me happy and actively acknowledging and enjoying simple moments.
  • Relax more. I chose not to do dishes every single day, and instead I would sit on the couch and read.
  • Write. I submitted another story to Chicken Soup, which also crosses off  part of #23 from my 24 Before 24 list.
  • Read at least one book a month. I read 4: The Happiness Project, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mocking Jay
  • Cook a new recipe once a month. (Quinoa and Peas, Turkey Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Amanda's Farfalle)
  • Save money. I put away a portion of my paycheck that I would have spent on clothes/home stuff. I also started the "$5 Savings Jar."
  • No shop months. Didn't shop for all of January! Even when our coffee maker broke...
  • Give once a month. I sent in the rest of my change to The Shine Project. I also donated $5 when I registered for one of my running races.
Extra Accomplishments for the Month:
  • Ran my first race of the year - Joe Kleinerman 10k
  • Started half marathon training
  • Finally went to a doctor about my knee and hip pain
  • Did the entire month of the De-Clutter Calendar for January
  • Spent an entire day writing (crossed off #1 from 24 Before 24 list)
  • Ate more fruits and veggies
  • Booked my flight to Nashville for the Rock 'n' Roll Country Half!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Where did the weekend go?

As I went to bed last night, I couldn't help but wonder how quickly the weekend seemed to fly by. Like how did that happen? And after this morning's boot camp, I'm struggling to keep my eyes open. Coffee do your work!

From that point in my post, I have re-written three times. My mind is all over the place it seems, so I'm leaving you all with a little inspiration for your Monday.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Things I Love about M

I haven't done this in a while, so I'm linking up with my fellow Connecticut resident, Kat, from Living like the Kings. I've decided to share five things that I love about M.

1. I love the way he loves me, which includes when I catch him (or a camera catches him) looking at me.
NYC - December 2010
2. I love that he would do anything for me, including letting me get up on his shoulders so I can see the St. Patrick's Day parade better.
Boston, MA - March 2011
3. I love how he makes me laugh and laugh and laugh, even in moments when the last thing I want to do is laugh.
NYC - July 2011 (One of the many faces that makes me laugh.)
4. I love that he'll take pictures with me, even when I know he doesn't always want to.
NYE 2012 - Connecticut
5. I love the way he's supportive of me, my dreams and goals, which makes me want to be a better person for him.
NYC - June 2011
What are five things that you love about someone? Hope everyone has a wonderful and happy weekend! I know I will since I'll be reunited with this stud.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's OK 'cuz it's almost Friday

Good morning lovelies! Let's just say I'm floating on cloud nine right now, and I think it's mostly because this week has flown by (along with other exciting, happy things). I'm linking up with Neely and Amber for "It's OK Thursdays."

It's OK...

...that I'm counting down the hours until M gets here tomorrow.

...that I'm head over heels in love with him and feel so grateful to have him in my life.

...that I've won THREE blog giveaways this month. (Thanks Aly, Amy, and Grace!)

...that I've got a new favorite product/tool to get my stick-straight hair to curl under (and stay curled under without using any hairspray).

...that I'm on hold with running for at least a month, according to doctor's orders. (But I still plan on running the two short races in February.)

...that I'm craving Skinnygirl Sangria because I'm longing for summertime. Who says you can't have a summer drink even when there's snow on the ground?

...that I adore my blog friends, like woah.

What are you saying it's ok to today? Link up with the lovely ladies!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pinterests Me, Lately

So yeah, I neglected Michelle's link-up last week, and now I have a back log of things that I want to share with all of you. Here's a few things that I'm loving and wanting, so I'm linking up for "Oh How Pinteresting" Wednesday.

Still wanting some leopard flats...
Source: Nine West via Pinterest
And I fell in love with this painting for the house...
Source: Etsy via Pinterest
This would be great for a date night!
Source: ModCloth via Pinterest
As our door mat, for the baseball lovers in both of us. (Note: that there isn't a team specified.)
Source: Uncommon Goods via Pinterest
I made a version of this recipe on Monday night.
Source: Eating Clean Recipes via Pinterest
And I want to make this recipe soon, maybe on Friday for when M gets here!
Source: The Hungry Mouse via Pinterest
 And some words of wisdom for your day:
Source: Search Quotes via Pinterest
What are you loving on Pinterest? You can follow me at pinterest.com/aromaniello!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Q&A times 11

The gorgeous Janna from Perception is Everything tagged me in another one of these posts, and so did my favorite Elizabeth from Life with Elizabeth, but instead of going through the process of tagging others again, I thought that I would just answer their questions. Ready?

Janna's Questions:
{1} Where were you born?
Greenwich, CT (the same as my Dad)

{2} Who influenced you the most as a child?
My mom and dad, hands down. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

{3} Is there any significance to your name?
My grandmother, Mima, helped pick it. She passed away when I was four, but I still have fond memories of her. Amanda means loving and lovable, which definitely fits my personality.

{4} What's your pet-peeve?
Um, I have multiple. Cracking things (knuckles, necks, etc.), chewing/talking with your mouth open, being late, just to name a few.

{5} What is your favorite color?

{6} What song inspires you the most?
I don't know if I have a song that inspires me. 

{7} What is your favorite book?  
The Secret, God Never Blinks, The Happiness Project, and anything by Roald Dahl.

{8} What is your best piece of advice about blogging?
Be you. 

{9} Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Happy. And hopefully married with babies and writing full-time. 

{10} What makes you, you?
Not trying to be anyone else, but Amanda. I've learned that I have character traits I'm very proud of and some I'm not, but in the end, those characteristics are what make me me, and I am happy with that. M's a constant reminder that he loves me just as I am, which has really helped me to embrace my true colors, even if other people don't always seem to like them. 

{11} Do you like me?
Is this even a question? YES! Of course, I like you! 

Elizabeth's Questions:
1. What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?
With M. Usually having a low key date night with good food and wine, then going out to spend time with friends. Definitely, insert some couch time and naps too.

2. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Right now, I want to go some place warm, like the Bahamas or Mexico, since I've never been to either place.

3. Are you a warm weather person or a cold weather person?
Definitely warm weather, since I'm always freezing. 

4. If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would it be?
Wherever M is. But I like New England the best.

5. What is your guilty pleasure?
I guess watching trashy TV or eating things I know are not good for me.

6. Who is your favorite character from a book and why?
I don't think I can pick just one. Probably Winnie the Pooh.

7. Where is your favorite place to shop?
A thrift store.

8. If you could go on a date with any celebrity, who would it be?
Robert Downey, Jr. or Hugh Jackman. 

9. What has been your favorite vacation?
I don't know... I don't think I can pick just one.

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Please see above.

11. What is your favorite article of clothing? 
My Lulu Lemon yoga pants are the go-to item right now.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Insta-Happy Weekend

Anybody watch the football this weekend? Good, me too! Although, I have to admit that I miss watching all "the sports" with M. (We follow different teams. You'll see our football preferences in the cookies below. And yes, I'm very curious to see how this whole both our teams are going to the Superbowl turns out. I highly doubt we'll be watching together to say the least.) I miss M a lot though. Good thing I get to see him on Friday! I'm linking up with Ashley from a {little} dash of ash for Instagram Monday.

Friday breakfast...
New eyelash curler doing wonders on me.
Quality time with this pretty gal.
Fun Fact: B calls M by saying M, even though she knows him IRL and knows his real name.
Rematch 2012... GO GIANTS!
Wintry scene in Connecticut.
Homemade chili. Shay, I'm going to get the recipe for you.
A very sleepy kitty. 
How was your weekend? Hang out with good friends? Enjoy good food? Play in the snow? Watch some football?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Feelings and Stuff

I'm learning a lot about myself lately. And something that has come to the forefront is my failure to cope with disappointment. No matter how big or small something is that disappoints me, somehow I end up in tears. Help! How do I fix this? (I'm not asking for advice, just talking out loud.)

So lately, I've come to find that if I go play this game, it helps me. Yesterday, I played. At first, it seemed to have nothing to do with me being disappointed, but I still liked what I read.

Whatever you choose for You is right! You cannot get it wrong. If you have chosen something for You, it is right! You cannot fail. It is impossible for you to fail, because how can you fail at being You? You are perfection of You, because nobody else can be You. You have got You down pat! Do you appreciate that you are an outstanding and total success at being You, right where you are now?

Then, I realized something. I had one of those ah-ha moments. You know, where the light bulb goes off in your head? I am me! Someone who cries a lot and gets disappointed. But I have a choice when it comes to being disappointed. I can try to push the feelings of disappointment back down inside of me, or I can welcome those feelings, embrace and feel them, and then simply let them go.

This may not seem profound to you, and a little deep for a Friday post, but it was one of those things that I was compelled to write down in order to help move forward.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hey! It's Ok

Hellooooooooo Thursday! Can you tell I'm in another fantabulous mood? No? Well, if you had seen me 3 hours ago, you would not be seeing this happy camper. What turned my mood around? After my 5:30AM boot camp, I came home and went back to bed. Booya! So now I'm linking up with Neely and Amber for "It's OK Thursday."

It's OK...

...to eat a salad for dinner last night and feel full, but then two hours later munch on multiple 100-calorie snack packs. (The Keebler cookie kind, if you're wondering...)

...to be so excited that my Sperry's from M have finally arrived!

...that I painted my nails last night, and majorly smudged my thumb, but didn't re-do the nail.

...to be counting down the days until I see M. It's 8, if you were wondering.

...to be so grateful that my parent's are buying us a new coffeemaker. (I'm adhering to "no shop January," so I've been going to my parents' on the weekends to get a fresh cup of coffee.)

...to be jealous that J is going to Florida for a long weekend.

...to have worn high heels every day this week. This is a rare thing for me, and I'm really liking feeling girly.

...to be a morning person, even if a lot of people around me aren't.

What are you saying it's ok to?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So What, I'm Happy!

I'm linking up with Shannon from Life After I "Dew" for SO WHAT! Wednesday, and I'm excited about it. I realized I haven't participated in this since....October!?! So here goes nothin'.

So what...

...if I'm happy, and I know it!

...if I'm counting down the days until I'm back in M's arms again.

...if I ate about 7 (or more) snicker doodles last night. They are bite size!

...if I took yesterday off from running and exercising and enjoyed dinner with my parents instead.

...if I've been watching a lot of trashy TV lately.

...if Valentine's Day is in less than a month, and I already have a great idea for M's gift!

...if reading your blogs and getting comments makes my days! Love ya ladies!

What are you saying so what about? Go link up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Amanda's Turkey Meatballs

Well, I cooked up my first new recipe of the year, except I didn't exactly follow either recipe. I got most of the ingredients and inspiration from Williams-Sonoma's Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe. And then instead of frying the meatballs, I baked them! Ready for my version?

1/3 cup milk
1 and 2/3 cups of Panko
1 egg
3/4 cup Parmesan
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 lb ground turkey
Canola oil cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine milk and only 1/3 cup of Panko in a bowl. Let sit, while chopping onion.
3. Combine remaining ingredients, except for Panko.
4. Add in remaining Panko.
5. Form into balls.
6. Place on baking sheet, then spray tops of meatballs with Canola oil cooking spray.
7. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown or when you cut into one and it's cooked all the way through.
8. Enjoy!

I ended up eating the meatballs with my leftover quinoa and peas.
It was super filling, but really delicious!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Instagram is the shhhh...

Here's what's been going on with me via Instagram photos recently. I'm linking up with Ashley for her weekly link-up!

I cooked my first new recipe of the year: turkey meatballs.

Then I met up with my old co-workers for drinks, and I discovered that a certain restaurant makes some extremely generous pours... All my wine-o's should appreciate this.

I enjoyed a childhood favorite of mine, compliments of my dad.

I dog sat for these two crazy pups on Saturday night.

I enjoyed some beers while watching some great football this weekend.

And I stayed warm in the 18 degree weather.

How was everyone's past week and weekend? Anybody else off of work today?

P.S. I'm selling these sweet shoes on eBay.

Friday, January 13, 2012

NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10k 2012

Hey, remember that time I ran a 10k last Saturday and didn't tell you guys? Oh yeah, I ran it. I guess I didn't share with you all that I was going to run because 1. I'm in terrible running shape; and 2. I wasn't running this race to race. Anyways, here's a little recap of an early Saturday run with one of my favorite spectators in the crowd: my dad.
          We got up early and took a 5AM train into Manhattan before hopping on the Subway to pick up my race number. It was unseasonably warm, so we walked from NYRR to the Central Park start. Unfortunately, I have no pictures for this recap because none of the Brightroom photographers got any of me. Yes, I'm bummed about this. I purposely didn't take off my second layer despite sweating profusely because I wanted some photos... Oh well!
           We started on time and off we went. I started running at a pace that felt comfortable to me, and shockingly, my first mile was a little over 8:30. What? How was I running this fast? The most I've ran is 4 miles since Thanksgiving day. I let go of the questioning and kept chugging along. The next mile bumped up to 8:46 then down to 8:30 again. But when mile 4 hit, I slowed way down. There was a hill that felt never ending, and all I kept thinking was "don't walk! don't walk!"
            We passed mile five and I picked up the pace again a little bit. I was so excited when I saw mile 6 that I thought maybe I'll sprint, but as I continued on, I couldn't see the finish! We finally turned the corner, and I finished strong. I felt great!
             Even though this was my slowest time yet, I am really proud of myself. Normally, my paces jump around a lot! So to run more consistently (minus the mile 4 blip) was a huge accomplishment for me. Overall, I'm glad I did the race, and that checks off race one of nine for the year.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

11:11, Make a Wish

So my fabulous friend, Lauren, who's originally from Connecticut, but now is out West, tagged me in the 11 things blog series. And then the lovely Morgan tagged me too!  So here I am to share 11 random facts about myself, and then answer Lauren and Morgan's questions. Make sure to read to the end because you might be tagged as one of my 11 peeps. Ready, steady, go!

The Rules
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post,
and then create 11 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

11 Fun Facts:
1. I'm double-jointed, which makes me highly flexible, but also caused me to severely injure myself in the past.
2. My dream SUV is a Range Rover. That's what I want my mom car to be.
3. I'm slightly OCD. My biggest pet peeve is open drawers. And I have a tendency to close drawers, even when I walk into random places or stores.
4. I used to over-analyze everything, but I've greatly improved this trait.
5. I make my bed every day. Yes, every day.
6. I don't like doing laundry because of the folding and putting away the clothes.
7. I carry a Nathan water bottle with me everywhere. One of my co-workers teases me that it's like a security blanket.
8. Eight is my absolute favorite number.
9. Sometimes I wish I could just cut off from the world for 24 hours: no TV, no phone, no Internet. Maybe that should be a goal for 2012.
10. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth and have been known to eat candy at 6AM.
11. Yes, when it hits 11:11, and when I notice it, I make a wish.

Questions from Lauren:
1. If you could travel to one place in the world, where would it be?
You all know this one, where M is, but preferably Africa or Australia with him. Those are at the top of my trip lists right now.

2. What is your "specialty" in the kitchen?
Some would say quesadillas (cough, cough, Anne), but I feel like my spicy pasta dishes are the best.

3. What do you think your "12 year old self" would say about the life you have now?
I think she would wonder why I'm not an actress nor why I'm not living in New York City, but she would also know that I'm the happiest I've ever been and that's all that really matters in life.

4. What is one goal you have for 2012?
Be happy. 

5. What is your favorite blog you are reading at the moment?
I have to pick one?! Read the ladies that I tagged at the end to find out who I'm loving lately.

6. What is your favorite "guilty pleasure" TV show?
The Bachelor/Bachelorette. 

7. What would your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?
Laying on the couch with M watching some sort of sport and falling asleep on him for a nap.

8. What is one electronic you could not live without?
Shame on me, but my iPhone.

9. Who inspires you?

10.  How long have you known your best friend?
I'm lucky and have 2 best girl friends. One I've known for 6 years and one for 12 years.

11. *N Sync or BSB?
BSB. That shouldn't even be a question!

Questions from Morgan:
1. Where should I go for my birthday vacation? Charleston, Myrtle Beach, or Savannah? And do any of y'all wanna come with?
Yes, I want to go! And I vote Savannah.

2. What's your favorite picture of yourself? Post it.
You've seen this one before, but it's my favorite because that smile is my real smile, and I'm with the man I love.

3. What's your favorite holiday?
Christmas eve! (Then my birthday.)

4. What's in your fridge right now?
So much beer! Among other things. Wanna help me drink it?

5. Favorite candle sent?
Birthday cake or frosting.

6. How many key chains are on your set of keys?
2: a heart and sunglasses.

7. Favorite hobby?
Running, if that can be considered a hobby.

8. I know most of you are young, when do you feel like the best time to start a family is?
When I feel ready and financially secure.

9. A dream come true..?
Falling in love with my perfect person, M.

10. Advise to a younger girl?
Do what makes you happy, always.

11. What would you like to see on my blog in the future?
More pictures of you!

Tag, You're it!
Christy @ 25 Before 25
Sherri Lynn @ the life of a wife

My Questions for You! 
1. What's your middle name or initial?
2. Where do you want be in your life when you're 60?
3. If you could only have one type of dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
4. What do you love most about blogging?
5. Flats or heels?
6. Are you superstitious?
7. Would you rather work in an office or at home?
8. What's your lucky number?
9. Do you tweet? If not, why?
10. Do you remember your dreams at night?
11. Are you momma's girl or daddy's girl?