Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

31 December 2014

Well, it's about that time for a cliche year end wrap up post!  2014 had a rough start with a major, scary surgery and leaving the security of full time employment, but I'm really proud to say that it turned around and really turned out to be full of exciting adventures, connecting with friends and family, and lots of beautifully perfect moments.  There was some heartbreak in there as well, but overall - it was exactly the kind thriving life I intended it to be.

Here are my highlights of 2014:

  • + Left a job that was draining me.   
  • + Had brain surgery and recovered with a lot of support from my amazing husband and friends. 
  • + Took an amazing trip to Thailand by myself and learn a lot about strength and independence while visiting an elephant sanctuary, falling in love with night markets, cuddling full grown tigers, learning to cook Thai cuisine, snorkeling the Adaman Sea, celebrating Songkran, & so much more!
  • + Found an great new job and got to travel to NYC twice and train and connect with amazing coworkers.  Helped open a brand new office.
  • + Completed the 100 Happy Days challenge
  • + Co-hosted a bridal shower & got to stand beside a beautiful couple as they said their vows.
  • + Took in two foster kittens, 2 foster puppies, and one adult foster dog. 
  • + Spent 4th of July at the Oregon Coast with on of my best friends and her beautiful family.  
  • + Spent a night in a sweet airstream trailer on a goat cheese farm and finally got to see Crater Lake.  
  • + Did a lot of wine tastings in beautiful locations.  
  • + Saw Joan Jett at the Oregon State Fair with good friends.  
  • + Harvested food and made lovely meals from my garden. 
  • + Lost someone who was near and dear to my heart and learned new ways to mourn.  
  • + Visited my parent's in their new home in North Carolina and connected with my extended family. 
  • +Went bungee jumping.  

This New Year's Eve finds me at a 180 from where I was one year ago.  I'm less afraid of the future and I am feeling more in control of my life than ever before.  I'm deeply aware that life is always going to be a series of highs and lows and perfection is a myth.  I'm staying optimistic about the new year and I can't wait to make it my own.

I'm setting intentions for 2015 to be a year of adventure and love.

In 2015 hope to...
Keep working towards growth - set tangible goals for home buying, learn new things, and say yes to adventures
Take more time to appreciate my life as it is - send more letters, show gratitude for the people I love, and take time to enjoy the present moments
Do things that scare me - try new recipes, go on adventures, and redefine my comfort zone.

What are you looking back on or looking forward to today?

Happy Holidays!

25 December 2014

Hope you all are having a wonderful day & celebrating the season in your own way!  From my home to yours, I'm wishing you a very happy holiday season!

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Egg Nog Frosting

16 December 2014


Who doesn't love baking around the holidays?!  Cold days warmed by a hot oven and the smell of treats wafting through the house - that is my kind of day.  These cupcakes are a lovely burst of all my favorite flavors of the holidays - moist, spiced cupcake with creamy, rich eggnog short -perfection.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Egg Nog Frosting
makes about 12 full sized cupcakes or 24 minis

Gingerbread Cupcakes:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup softened butter 
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  With an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, molasses and eggs on medium speed.  Slowly stir in flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, the allspice.  Finally, mix in the water to thin the batter a bit. Spoon the cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Egg Nog Frosting:
1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Whisk butter in an electric mixer and add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until full combined.  Keep whisking while adding egg nog and spices.

gingerbread cupcakes with egg nog frostingServe the cupcakes with a little sprinkle of nutmeg and a whole lot of holiday cheer!

Bungee Jumping!

07 December 2014

It's been awhile since I've posted on this blog.  I always start to want to work on it and then I psych myself out a little by just feeling guilty about not blogging.  I'm going to try a new approach with no guilt.  I am not a perfect blogger.  This blog is important and has taught me a lot about myself and allowed me to share stories and meet so many wonderful people.  I love blogging and I have no intention to stop doing it, but I am just going to accept that I have a full time job and a lot of excuses that might get in the way sometimes.

This year has been a rollercoaster - brain surgery, trip of a lifetime, new job, family reunions, and so many special little moments.  I'm about to turn 31 on Monday, so I am closing 30 with a bang.   This year has been about doing this that scare me and this weekend fit that theme to a T.

This weekend, I went bungee jumping!

It was a beautiful hour long drive up to Amboy, WA.  We parked in a lot in the middle of the woods and followed the signs through a lovely path before arriving at the bungee bridge.  It overlooked a breathtaking scene of trees and rolling river below.

I walked up, signed some terrifying paperwork that may or may not have jokingly asked if I was an organ donor and if I would prefer cremation or traditional burial...but still, I had my eye on the prize!  I was doin it!  

There was a quick safety run down to teach us what not to do and then we suited up with our harnesses.

I watched a few people go first and I tried to ease my nerves and just stay calm.  When it was my turn, the team helped get me set up, reminded me of the safety details, and told me that I need to be sure I commit and just get over that ledge and do it without any hesitation.

I stepped over the ledge and I just did it!

It was terrifying.  I definitely panicked in the first few seconds of the free fall, but then I hit the bounce and I realized I was still ok and I breathed out.

It was a really quick jump, but it was amazing.  I am so glad I did something so scary that I've always wanted to do!  It's a perfectly exciting way to end my 30th year.

What do you think?  Would you go bungee jumping?
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