Thursday, January 31, 2013

Product Review: Clairol Shine Happy Hair Glaze and More

It's been a busy week! I'm still attempting to get in shape, and I've been working hard this week. Long workouts that have been leaving me exhausted, and with really no motivation to blog. I've been in the kitchen a lot, but I haven't quite figured out the light in this new house. This leaves me frustrated. My big-girl camera also leaves me frustrated. Photography is hard, people! I'm making muffins today though, so I will be taking another stab at food photography. Hopefully, all these bad pictures will make me a better person :)

In the meantime, I've got a couple of new product reviews:

1. Clairol Shine Happy Hair Glaze-
I love me a good hair glaze. I haven't really tried one since John Frieda's years ago when it first came out. I'm not even sure they make that product anymore, although they should because I always got tons of compliments when I used it. This product also fetches some compliments. Let me be clear, this is not hair dye. It's a clear rinse. It will not add color to your hair. It's super easy- you simply apply it to wet hair, leave it on for 10 minutes, and wash out. The kit also comes with 5 weeks of conditioning treatments to use once a week. The glaze has a nice, fresh scent to it, which I love. After rinsing the glaze out and applying the conditioner, my hair felt so soft (big plus for me!) My hair still felt very soft after blowdrying my hair, and the product definitely brightened up my color. My hair looked like it had just been colored, minus the grow out at the roots :) I picked this up super-cheap on one of my couponing excursions, so in my opinion for the price, I would pick this up again. I've got another box in my stockpile, and I will be pulling it out in another couple of weeks. The verdict? Good price, adds shine, brightens color. I would buy this again.

2. Revlon ColorStay Pressed Powder

I was pleasantly surprised by this product. I love and use Revlon's ColorStay Foundation, so I'm not sure why I was so surprised by this product. I know a lot of people set their foundation with loose powder (most probably), but I've yet to find a drugstore loose powder that provides me the coverage I like. For the last couple of month's I've been setting my foundation with a Shiseido pressed powder that my friend gave me. I was not entirely satisfied with the Shiseido powder as for one, it looked cakey. Number two, the coverage didn't last long at all. I felt like I was constantly touching up. I finally ran out of that product, and moved on to the ColorStay. I'm very satisfied with this product. It provides excellent coverage, which for me in the winter, has to be full. I've also been dealing with some breakouts lately, so the coverage is much needed right now. I also find myself touching up a lot less than I had been with the Shiseido, and not having to touchup as soon. I really have only been doing one touchup a day with the Colorstay, and that I love. The verdict? If you are a full-coverage kind of girl, this is a great powder for the price. I'm glad I bought a couple of these, so I've got some backups. I'll be buying this again.

3. Pantene RootLifter Hair Gel-

I'm forever on the quest for the perfect volumizer. This product falls a little flat in the face of the competition. Pantene even makes better products than this one. I've been using this one the same as all the other volumizers, spritzing the roots before blowdrying. I'm not getting nearly the volume I usually get. I'm also finding my roots greasier the next day than usual. I haven't changed any of my other hair products, so I'm pinning that problem on this product. I prefer Pantene's Volumizing Hair Spray to this product. I've got so many other voumizers in my stockpile, I might not even finish the bottle on this one. For me, that's when you know it really doesn't work! The verdict? Ditch. I won't be buying this again.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Year, New Haircut!

Here's some useless trivia about me for you:

Little known fact #1- I have been growing my hair out since I got engaged i.e. December 2008.

Yes, I've been growing my hair out that long. I must have the slowest growing hair on the planet, because I was only able to get the longest layer down to, well, about where my bra clips together.

Little known fact #2- I have come to terms with the fact that I wasn't meant to have 'Kardashian' or 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' length hair.

Isn't it every girly-girl's dream to have long, thick, shiny hair cascading in sexy curls down your back? Cue the wind-machine as you toss your luxurious hair over your shoulder, immediately causing the envy of everyone around you. Looks like this dream is just not going to happen for me. My hair was so damaged and dry when I chopped it all off. And speaking of chopping it off...

Little known fact #3- I chopped 7 inches off my hair!

When I went in to get my hair cut, I had no idea that's how much hair I had. Of course, I saw it on the floor when we were done, and I was shocked. That was a lot of hair! I'm ok with this because unfortunately the longer my hair got, the flatter it got. It needed to go.

So it's 2013. There's no better time to make a fresh start than January. And by the by? I think you can totally rock a shorter bob, and make it sexy :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weight Watcher's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Well, it's that time of year again. The start of birthday season for my family. Mom's is this month (in 2 days actually! Happy Birthday Mom!), my brother's is in April, and my dad's is in May. So begins that time of year when I get to bake lots of cookies, and ship them off to Oregon.

My mom is a life-long Weight Watcher's kind of girl, so I searched high and low for a Weight Watcher's recipe that would be low cal but still delicious. It may be January, but I like to throw convention to the wind. Who cares if you are only supposed to make pumpkin items in the fall? I say, do it in the winter! Another point I might make is that we were homeless in the fall, and I had nowhere to make tons of pumpkin treats. One could say I'm just making up for that special time of year I lost.

Anyhoo, I'm loving these pumpkin bars. Not that I've ate that many, I mean I am shipping them off to Oregon (sorry Mom!). There isn't a ton of sugar in them, but you don't miss it. There is just enough to sweeten the pumpkin. They are also surprisingly moist, and chocolate-y for the amount of chocolate that's in them. The best part is they are only 84 calories in a bar, and 2 points! Low cal and low guilt :)


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
(1) 15 oz- can of pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp mini-chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 15-by-11 inch pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours through salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs through vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
4. Pour flour mixture into egg mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in regular chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into the prepared pan evenly. Sprinkle mini-chocolate chips over the top.
6. Bake in oven for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan before cutting into bars.

Recipe adapted from Heart Healthy Online

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Get Mad! Playlist

Gizmo gets mad!
All right, so it's mid to late January, and it's freezing and dreary outside. The high was 28 degrees today. I'm having a tough time remembering why I need to be working out. Because, of course, eventually it will be June and swimsuit season. Bikini bodies are earned in the winter. A little motivating quote gleaned from, where else? Pinterest :)

I was having an especially hard time motivating myself this morning. I was moving from playlist to playlist, just not inspired by anything I was listening to. The bouncy pop music wasn't cuttin' it. I wanted to quit.

I should have been more naturally motivated. The hubby and I enjoyed his Sunday night off from work with a bottle of wine. It was definitely a cheat day on calories. I woke up Monday morning, feeling sorry for myself that I let myself indulge. I shouldn't have, but I just had to step on the scale. I was prepared for the worst, but when I finally peeked down at the number, I was down 3 lbs! I was shocked. And happy! I was excited to keep it rolling. Until it actually came time to clamber on the ol' elliptical. Pinterest on the couch sounded so much better.

After numerous song skips and some under the breath cursing, I came to "This Means War" by Nickelback. I was pumped! I felt like I'd finally got my legs out of quicksand. 30 minutes flew by. Whilst taking a my water break, I pounded out a quick playlist of my fave angry, kick-some-ass type songs.

If you are in the midst of a late January slump, trying mixing up your playlist! Another trick I like to do is listening to a playlist I haven't listened to in a while (it's like new music!), or even playing all songs by a favorite artist. I've got 55 Nickelback songs on my iPod, so I regularly just play Nickelback songs for my workouts.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Salted Caramel Cookies

The hubby had the whole week off from work, and requested I bake him some cookies. No problem, I said. The problem? What to make!

My Pinterest addiction makes it very hard to pick something to bake, because every time I get on that darn website, I want to bake everything! After surfing for awhile, I quickly realize how impossible it would be to bake every cookie at one time. It also dawns on me that there would be no one to eat all those delectable bake goods. Thus begins the difficult task of narrowing down a list of 20 to 1.

I was pleased with this choice. They are a soft, chewy sugar cookie with caramel drizzled on top, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Yum! As I was baking these, the hubby defiantly told me he hated sugar cookies. I laughed, and said he was thinking of the harder, crunchier sugar cookies. He proceeded to pout until I gave him a bite of warm sugar cookie straight out of the oven. A sugar cookie hater has been converted to a sugar cookie lover :)

I must say, the small amount of sea salt added to these cookies makes the cookies. I love getting a taste of sea salt every other bite, and the explosion of flavor you get from one teeny, tiny speck of salt. Don't make these cookies without the salt!


1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 sticks of butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

14 pieces caramel candy
1-2 tbsp half-n-half
Sea salt

1. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix completely.
2. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In 3 additions, add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Chill dough in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while dough is chilling. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, and set aside.
4. Once dough is chilled, roll about 2 tbsp of dough into a ball, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake in oven 10-12 minutes. For best results, do not over-bake. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before topping cookies.
5. Melt caramel candies in a bowl placed over a small saucer of boiling water. Add half-n-half to caramel. Whisk constantly until caramels are melted, and mixture is has a good consistency for drizzling.
6. With a spoon, drizzle caramel over cookies. While still hot, lightly sprinkle cookies with sea salt. Let cookies cool completely.

Sugar cookie recipe by Ice Cream Before Dinner.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Doggie Days

How are the dogs adjusting to the new house? Well, Haloti loves it. He rolls all over the place, all day long. He runs up and down the hallways. He's got several windows where he has set up his watch post, and he regularly moves from window to window. In short, Haloti loves the new house. Gizmo? Well, Gizmo is another story. Gizmo, I'm pretty sure, is OCD. Every time he goes outside, he tries to run to the neighbor's house. He follows me around the house all day long, looking very insecure. For some reason, whenever I'm cooking in the kitchen, he hides underneath a chair. Giz is just taking some time, I'm confident he'll get used to being here eventually. He has to, right? :) As always, I've snapped many pictures of the boys in their new home:

Gizmo has come up with an entirely new pose for eating carrots :)

A monkey addict getting his fix

A wintery snow day in December. Haloti loves the snow.

Our yard looks so much better covered in snow.

I love that you can't see the mud surrounding the house with the snow blanketing the ground.

The view is much prettier as well.

Where Haloti watches me make dinner every night. It's the closest he can get to the food.

Gizmo and his bone.

The dogs at one of their new watch posts.

Guarding the house.
Happy Wednesday everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Orange Scented Muffins with Creamy Orange Glaze

I've had 3 lonely oranges in the fridge, practically since the day the hubby and I moved into the house. I had no idea what to do with them, but I knew I wanted them out of the fridge. I was also out of breakfast muffins, and needing another fix. I was set to make Cinnamon Roll Muffins, but since I've been doing so well watching what I'm eating... I decided to put those off to another day. They still sound delicious though...

Moving on.

Orange muffins, I thought, trying to get the idea of ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls out of my mind. The first recipe I came across for Orange Muffins, while sounding ferociously yummy, also called for a stick of butter. Better not, I finally concluded. So I came across this recipe which was much, much healthier.


It's hard being good. That being said, these muffins are a great healthy alternative. Do they taste like cake? No, but there is only half a cup of sugar in them. I put an orange glaze on them to give them even more of an orange-y taste. The outside turned out nice and crispy (I almost thought I over-baked them!), but the inside is soft and fluffy. So good! So if you are looking for a healthy breakfast muffin, I recommend giving these muffins a whirl.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp fat-free vanilla creamer
1 tbsp orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine flour through salt. Whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine orange juice through vanilla. Whisk to combine.
4. Add juice mixture to flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let muffins cool completely.
6. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar through orange zest. Add more liquid a little at a time until you reach a desired texture for drizzling. Divide the glaze among the muffins, and let set for 5-10 minutes, or until glaze has hardened.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Getting In Shape- Week 2

It's Week 2 of getting fit again!

I'm still on track with my New Year's resolutions. My goal last week was to work out 4 days, for 30 minutes, and I did just that. I took Sunday off from working out, and probably drank too much wine in the process, but what are you going to do? Monday I got back on track. The goal this week is to work out for at least 4 days, maybe 5, doing 30 minutes of cardio, along with ab work. I pushed it really hard on Monday and Tuesday, and I'm feeling really, really sore today. I decided to make today a recovery day, and am therefore trying to keep my calories low.

Another goal I want to accomplish this year is drinking more water. As a person who prefers wine to water very much, it's hard for me to make myself drink water. I whipped up a nice little detox drink, Lemon Lime Green Tea, to help me drink more of that H2O:

It's super yummy, and very low cal. Green tea and lemon are proven to be beneficial to speeding up the metabolism. Just what I need right now :) It was easy to make, and I made a big batch to store in the fridge. All you need is water, green tea bags, a couple of fresh lemons and limes, a sweetener of choice, and ice. Having it already made is key for me, because I always have the excuse that I don't feel like making it. To make it, I brought 32 oz of water to boil on the stove. I then removed it from the heat, and put 4 green tea bags in the pot. While I was letting the tea steep, I added the juice from 2 lemons and 2 limes to the pan, as well as 4 packets of Sweet-N-Low. I let the tea cool on the stove, and then poured into an ice-filled pitcher with sliced lemons and limes. Voila! A ready-made water and green tea vehicle, right in my fridge.

I was getting a little bored with my playlists, which is never good for my motivation. Can you see where this is going? Yep, new playlist.

Oh yes, new music always put pep in my step!

I hope everyone is having a happy and healthy week :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

The First Haul of 2013: 1/6/13

Red Gold diced tomatoes, Kashi Go Lean cereal, Finish dishwashing gel pacs, Barilla Whole Grain Pasta, All laundry detergent, Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner, Good-N-Natural protein bars, Nivea lip balm, Nivea body lotion, Lysol toilet bowl cleaners.
This is actually my first big haul since September of last year! It's crazy to think that I was out of the game for so long. I must say though, the deals just weren't there at the end of last year, and coupons (especially good ones!) were few and far between. I cleaned out my binders after New Year's, and I feel like I shipped out 75% of what was in them! I was feeling very, very coupon deprived until the new inserts came out yesterday. There were 5 inserts in each paper, and I got 5 papers! That's 25 inserts! So many coupons came out yesterday, my head is spinning. Definitely dreading cutting those babies up. Anyways, we had a very good haul yesterday, and so much healthy food! Kashi cereal, protein bars, whole grain pasta, Greek yogurt, etc. Whoever tells you you can't buy healthy food with coupons, don't even listen to them. You absolutely can. Here's the breakdown for yesterday's haul:
~Everything I bought at CVS was part of their "Spend $30 on Selected Products, Get $10 in ECB's Back"~
Finish Dishwashing Gelpacs, 2 for $8
-used (2) $2.15 off Finish Dishwashing Gelpacs coupons
All Laundry Detergent, 2 for $8
-used (2) $2 off 2 All products coupon
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner, 2 for $6
-used a $0.50 off 2 Lysol Cleaners coupon

-used $9.50 in ECB's from last week, paid $11.70 out of pocket, and received $10 in ECB's for next week.

Rite Aid-
Nivea Lip Balm, 2 for $5 (Spend $15 on Nivea products, Receive $8 in UP rewards)
-used (2) $3 off 2 Nivea Lip Balm products coupon
Nivea Body Lotion, $5.99
-used a $2 off any Nivea Body Lotion coupon

-used $8 in UP's from last week, paid $1.99 out of pocket, and received $8 in UP rewards for next week.

Barilla Pasta, 4 for $5
-used (1) $1 off 3 Barilla pastas coupon
Kashi Cereal, $1.99
Yoplait Greek Yogurt, $1
-used (2) $1 off 2 Yoplait Greek yogurt coupons
Good-N-Natural Bars, $1
-used (5) free Good-N-Natural bar coupons
Red Gold diced tomatoes, $0.59
Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner, $1.74
-used (3) $1 off 1 Herbal Essence product coupons

-paid $18.84 out of pocket.

Total Spent- $32.53 on $121.55 worth of product. Savings of 73%.

What a good start to the year, and a good start to my coupon savings account :) Have a happy week everyone!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Product Review: Blistex Moisture Melt and More

It's been awhile since I reviewed some beauty products. It's taking some time to delve back into blog-mode after taking such a long break. However, the house is mostly unpacked, cleaning is under control, and I've gotten a handle on cooking here. Therefore, I have more time to blog :) Let's dive right in, shall we?

1. Blistex Moisture Melt
It's unusual for me to find chap sticks that work for me. I always, always have the Chapstick brand chap stick( the blue kind) on my person, because that's what works all the time. What's a girl with a love of new products to do? I just keep trying them anyway. And this one works. It's got shea butter in it, and it never dries out my lips. And I put chap stick on like, 50 times a day. A regular addict, I am. This formula has little blue beads of moisture in it, which I will admit, made me nervous at first. No worries though, the little blue beads disappear as soon as they hit your lips. This product leaves my lips look soft, shiny, and a tiny bit glossy. I hate wearing lipstick in the winter, because it always seems to look cakey on my dry, wintery lips. I've been wearing this all by itself. It's definitely a more natural, nude look, and I like that sometimes. The verdict? A new must-have for me, and it's super affordable. You can get it at the drugstore for under $2 when it goes on sale. I will be buying this again.

2. Revlon PhotoReady Powder
I wanted to like this powder, I really did. I got it back in the summer with Revlon's $5 off 1 face product coupon, so I got it super cheap. I like Revlon's face products, I regularly use Revlon's ColorStay Foundation, and I love Revlon's PhotoReady Primer. Whatever the reason, I'm not overly fond of this powder. A couple of reasons- 1. It looks cakey on my skin. I apply it with a soft powder brush and gently swirl it onto my skin, but as soon as I get close to the mirror, you can see it caked on my skin. Yuck. Not a good look for natural light. 2. It does not control shine. My shininess seems to show through in about an hour. I can usually get a couple of hours before I need to retouch my makeup with my normal powder, which is L'Oreal True Match powder. 3. It doesn't even out my complexion as nicely as the L'Oreal powder. After application, my skin didn't look as even as normal. Maybe it's the winter weather, but this powder is not working for me. The verdict? I will not be repurchasing this.

3. CoverGirl Lash Exact Mascara
This mascara is very well-received online. I read tons of reviews that said this was the best mascara that CoverGirl makes. In my opinion, this just doesn't bode well for CoverGirl mascaras (none of which have ever been my favorite). I scored a sweet deal on this mascara, so I decided to give it a try. I bought the waterproof formula (no surprise there, right?) in Very Black. Overall, this product was better than other CoverGirl mascaras I've tried. The formula was not clumpy, and the little bristles on the brush did make it easy to coat hard-to-reach lashes. It also darkens my lashes accordingly. My one complaint, and the reason I won't be buying this again? The formula flakes. A couple of hours after I put this on, I inevitably look in the mirror and have little black flakes under my eyes. Not cool. Or pretty. It happens every time. The verdict? I'm sticking with Maybelline mascaras, I will not be repurchasing this one.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Dad's Famous Chili

One thing the hubby and I really missed during our house hiatus? My dad's chili. Honestly, we make a batch once every couple of months, freeze a couple of bags of it, and eat it once a month. We love this chili.

Being from the West Coast, tomato-based chili is not normal to me. Or maybe just growing up with a dad who grew up in the Midwest, means tomato-based chili is not normal. Whatever the reason, I hate it. Hate it. Strong words, but I speak honestly.

I'm picky about my chili.

Chili always reminds me of my childhood. My dad made a batch every Halloween. Halloween in Oregon is a freezing cold, rain-soaked day about, oh, 99% of the time. A bowl of chili before heading out into the frigid night air to commandeer candy tasted so good. He always served chili with a crusty french bread straight from the oven that I would slather with butter. Chili and french bread are synonymous to me now. Perfect chili for me also requires shredded Cheddar cheese and onions. Another childhood memory of mine is of throwing a temper tantrum because my dad served us chili with no cheese in the house. Proud memory there.

Hey, who said kids are rational 100% of the time?

Now that I'm adult, I still eat chili the exact same way. Served over elbow macaroni, topped with cheese and onions, with a side of warm French bread and butter. Except now, I enjoy my chili with a nice, cold beer :)


2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (plus more for serving)
1 lb ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef stock
2 cups beer (I usually use a lager)
2 cans pinto beans
3 tbsp coarse ground corn meal (polenta)
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp regular chili powder, divided
1 tbsp ancho chili powder


Cooked elbow macaroni
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped onions


1. Heat olive oil in a large pan with high sides. Once oil is heated, add onions to the pan and saute until tender. Add ground beef to pan, stir to crumble. Cook until beef is browned, then add the garlic and 1 tbsp of the regular chili powder to the pan.
2. Add the beef broth, beer, and beans to the pan. Bring mixture to a boil.

3. As mixture is coming up to a boil, mix corn meal with 2-3 tbsp's cold water in a separate small bowl. Just as the mixture is coming to a boil, add the corn meal mixture to the pan while stirring. Turn down the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Add the cumin, oregano, remaining chili powder, and ancho chili powder to the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

5. Serve immediately over the cooked macaroni, and top with cheese and onions. For maximum satisfaction, enjoy with warm french bread and a cold beer.

You can visit my dad's recipe here, where you will find an undeniably wittier post than mine :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

21 Days

Photo courtesy of
I must confess, I'm one of those people who loves making New Year's resolutions. I love the idea of making a fresh start and having a clean slate. January 1st is one of those days when I feel like I can do anything, while December 31st feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I know many people hate making New Year's resolutions because they never keep them. I'm pretty good at keeping up my resolutions for a while. But you know what? "A while" is worth it. They say it only takes 21 days to make a habit. Well, bring on 21 days! Here's what I'm looking to accomplish in 2013:

1. Get Back In Shape

2012 was a tough year. The hubby and I didn't have our own home for 6 months. Whilst this is no excuse to have fallen off the wagon as bad as I did, it happened. I was doing fabulously until October, working out 4-5 days a week. Then I left to go to Oregon for a month, and I went into vacation mode. When I returned from Oregon, I was still in vacation mode, plus I was eating pretty bad food. At the beginning of December, the hubby and I moved into our house and pretty much all my free time was spent unpacking and organizing. No more excuses. Time to whip this flabby, 30-year old butt into shape :) My goal for Week 1 is 30 minutes of cardio, 4 times this week. 

2. Keep A Food Diary-

I kept a food diary for a couple of months last year, and it was an excellent way to hold myself accountable for what I was eating. Needless to say, I've gained a couple lb's from my lifestyle at the end of 2012, so I'm going to need to keep track of calories to get back where I was.

3. Finally Learn How-To Roast a Chicken-

Those damn birds. I'll get a victory in 2013, watch me!

4. Improve My Photography-

After reading the Pioneer Woman's series on photography, I'm bound and determined to learn how to use my digital camera and in turn, create better pictures for my blog. I'm also going to be spending some time with Photoshop, and figure out how to improve the food images that I use.

5. Save More Money-

Last year, I had $3300 in my couponing account before the hubby and I used that money as a down payment on our new appliances. What a difference having that down payment made! We'll have our appliances payed off in 10 months, rather than doubling that amount of time. My goal for the year is $3500, which I think is a do-able goal.

There's 2013 in a nutshell for year. All my goals make sense for my lifestyle and the way I live, so I don't think I will have a problem accomplishing any of them this year. Well, the chicken is the only thing that keeps besting me...

But I'll get it :)