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New Year's Resolutions PLUS Cherry Tomato, Mushroom, Spinach and Feta Pasta Bake OR as I call it LEFTOVERS!

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I feel like this year, so far, I've been rocking it! 

(minus this weekend as I have been in bed fighting a head cold)

Hot Lunch is set up all the way until April and the BC Winter Games prep is going great too! I am getting super excited for this wonderful event!! We are so lucky to have the games right here in our own backyard!

I've been on a roll making my family healthy meal options. All the laundry has been done accordingly. The bathrooms have had good scrubbing's (even the walls!) The floors have been vacuumed and steamed. I have purged the craft closet, my closet and the girls bedroom! I've cleaned out drawers and even arranged Ninja's closet  :)

This has left me with a good amount of time to spend with SBean one on one. We have been doing new puzzles, playing some new awesome games, her favourite right now is Richard Scarry Busy Town: Eye Found It and the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

Playing Busy Town with Papa! 

I have been able to get in a good Vinyasa stretch each evening and a quick abs routine each afternoon. I have even started a virtual purge!

I have begun figuring out my new MacBook Pro! Ninja got me the new iPhone 6 with a massive memory for Christmas and I've even started to get a handle on that.

So last night when I looked through my last year's New Year's resolutions I felt… Pretty good. For those of you wondering... my 3 bucket list items I crossed off were: 1. Landing in the Grand Canyon 2. Seeing the Spring Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver and 3. I made a delicious omelette, thanks to the Epicure Omelette maker :)  I certainly didn't achieve a 100% meets all goals but out of 10 of them I feel confident that I achieved a good 60%. Hey, Cees get degrees :) 

This year I am sticking to realistic goals and some Resolutions that I feel will help me in the long run.

1. Drink more water. Some days I sit down at the end of the day and I realize I had a cup of coffee in the morning, a glass of wine at dinner and a cup of coffee in the evening... and that's it! That is terrible. My skin is screaming at me to put moisture into my poor dehydrated body. My face actually cracks when I smile lol A healthy woman my age and size should be drinking between 60-70oz a day. I have a water bottle I drink out of daily. It is a 24oz bottle, so I should drink almost 3 of them a day. Wowzers that is much more than I usually do but I am going to try it and see if it makes me feel less tired and see if it makes my skin less dry :) I'll keep you updated! My In-Laws bought me an amazing daily face cream and night cream from Aruba called Aruba Aloe and it is Ah-Mazing! My face feels less cracky and dry already!

2. Grow the blog. I have been at this for just about 3 years. Wow has it been that long already? Yes, on February 1st it will be 3 years. In fact, this will be my 280th post! Yay me! I average between 200-800 readers a post and I have just over 100 Facebook followers. That is a TON but I would love to get paid for doing this lol, I mean, I'm going to write it out anyways, so bringing in some extra money wouldn't hurt :) I have looked it up and I really need at least 1000 Facebook followers!!!!! OMG So please if you laugh... like and share! If you cry... retweet it! If you rage at my opinions...  pass it on! 

On that note, Ninja and I have dabbled in the Podcasting World this past year. It is a riot! Ninja has met some very cool people from all over by connecting with different podcasters #PodernFamily. Perhaps you will see a new Podcast come out this year with Ninja and I as co-hosts!!! Maybe, we'll have to see :) It is kinda like date night lol, we go sit in the garage while the girls sleep (Dad is in the house with them, no calls to any initial government departments please lol) drink a few beers and chat away. Like I said, it is fun. Check out Ninja's Podcast called Our Liner Notes (I came up with that BTW LOL) where him and his Uncle discuss and listen to different albums based on a weekly theme. They have some great guests (I have been on twice hee hee) and every once in while they can be pretty funny ;)

3. Figure out a career. I know this sounds weird coming from a 36 year old woman but it is very true. Next year SBean is in preschool. Only 3 mornings a week but that makes me look further down the road at the following year. All day kindergarten. My heart says SBean deserves to have me home for her first year of school. Volunteering for her class 1-2 times a week, Hotlunch, and picking her up & dropping her off, every day. This is what HBear got so why can't SBean? 

Oh right, because by that time I will have barely spoken to an adult between the hours of 9am-3pm for the past 9 years! Hence... what the fuck am I going to do? I have an Arts Degree. I majored in History and Political Science. I feel like this is a brand new chapter and I can do whatever I want! What do I want? I have no idea. I feel like I am graduating high school again and the councillor is asking me "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" LOL It is very daunting. I have been a Mom and homemaker for so many years now I barely even remember what Kristin is like without a toilet brush in my hand and dinner cooking in the oven. Something to really think about. Eeekkk.

4. Be more social. Kinda pushing on last year's resolution to gossip less, I would like to try harder on that 1 plus stretch that out and actually be more social. I have a girlfriend that asks me out at least once a month and I have anxiety just thinking about the next time she will even ask.... That's not good. I have to get out of this social rut. I joined PAC to meet people and be social, and next year I will be taking a step back from that so I need to get on my social goals now. 

We have joined a board game group and hopefully after the Winter Games we will make a few game nights! However, I hate asking my in-laws or my Dad to watch the girls. If we go out for game night then we can't go out for a date night just the 2 of us because there are really only 8 nights a month to go out and I can't ask my family to watch the girls 2 out of 8 nights! I already ask my MIL to watch SBean during hot lunch on Fridays and Dad has been watching the girls a few nights a month while we have been at Winter Game meetings. So then I have to weigh the options... be social and meet new people or spend some much needed quality time with Ninja? Damn just thinking about being social is stressing me out! LOL 

5. Follow a quote that I hold dear to my heart. As you know, I love quotes. At some point over time, someone out there has put into words my exact feelings waaaaaay better than I ever could. Beside my bed I have a nightstand. It has a tall cupboard. HBear gives me art that she has made to "decorate" the cupboard :) 

Inside the cupboard I taped a piece of paper... with my phone # on it because really, I never call myself so I need a reminder every once in a while lol On the other side, I taped a piece of paper with a quote from William James, an American philosopher, that really speaks to me,

"Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook" 

Truth! I need to remind myself of this many times a day. Sometimes I catch myself feeling the red. You know in the cartoons when a character is angry and you can see the thermometer inching higher and higher to the red zone until steam starts coming out of his ears? Yeah like that. Over nothing. Well, it's not nothing but in 2 hours or so it will be. My life would be calmer and happier if I just overlooked the small things. Now I just have to be choosy and pick the things that matter to get by panties in a bunch.  

6. Yell less smile more. This goes without saying. Positivity breeds positivity. I mean seriously, when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning I have a shit day. This is a no brainer. I could be completely unrealistic and say in 2016 I won't yell but I will. I guarantee it. HBear moves at a snail's pace, and I  don't mean Turbo! SBean usually makes me yell within 25 minutes of getting up... every day! Again, realistically I know I will still get mad at my maddening children BUT if my smiles outnumber how many times I raise my voice each day, I'll take it!

7. More kisses for Ninja. I kiss the girls ALL THE TIME! I mean seriously, All. The. Time. In fact after I kiss them all up I ask "too many kisses?" and they yell, "NEVER TOO MANY KISSES!" Truth. My parents kissed in front of us all the time. Oddly enough, Ninja and I barely ever kiss. Every morning I give the girls a good morning kiss and lately I give Ninja a kiss too. The girls stare at us and have goofy grins on their face. It made me realize that we need to kiss in front of them more often. I want them to give love freely and not be ashamed of PDA... not toooooo much mind you but affection is an important part of a relationship. Ninja and I still hold hands and when we sit beside each other we touch often. So this year he needs to receive more kisses from me because he deserves them :) 

8. Buy more lottery tickets. I have never been a lottery ticket purchaser. I don't even know how to order a ticket. Is that even how you say it? Anyways, I like other gambling things like Bingo, poker, casinos, scratchy tickets and pull tab cards but I get nothing from buying a lottery ticket. However, this past years I began noticing how may BC residents were winning the lottery. Quite a few new millionaires were made right here in the Valley. Why can't the next one be me? Ummm because I don't buy them. So, I have finally come to the realization, in order to even have a chance of winning, I have to buy a ticket. Seems like a waste of $6 every week but $6 a week seems to let me sleep better all of a sudden. 

Some nights I have trouble falling asleep. Since I have been buying $6 tickets, on those sleepless nights, I picture how I would spend a $1 million. If I still can't sleep because I am so excited about the European vacation I just planned in my head, I pretend I won $50 million! Works like a charm I'm asleep in minutes, because really I can't imagine spending that much money. I kind of run out of things after a vacation, taking care of my whole family's debts, a house and a car. Oh and a boat. A boat for my MIL :) 

9. Take my yoga up a notch. Last year I did super well at my Resolution to do more Yoga. I stuck with it all year! If anyone would like to start but you are too afraid of doing it in front of people or can't afford classes, go online! YouTube has an amazing channel called Yoga with Adrienne. She does a 30 day challenge that is a WONDERFUL for beginners practice :) 

This year I want to take it a step further. I love yoga. I do it every night at 9pm. I have been doing it for a while so I know the basics. Now, I just stretch until it feels good. My MBesty does 30 Minute Hit and 1 time she said "yay I can touch my toes again!" And I said "yay I can touch my nose to my knees!" She didn't believe me lol but I can. I am very bendy. I am actually more bendy now than I was when I was a teenager LOL. The biggest problem is space. I have the space the size of my yoga mat. So, I am too afraid to try any kind of headstand, handstand, or balance pose. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and then incorporate the few moves that I don't know how to do into my practice. But, to take it up a notch I enrolled in a Vinyasa class with Sabrina. I am heartbroken that it was cancelled due to a lack of participants. That seems to be a theme in this town. Many kid's programs get cancelled too :( I will keep my eyes open for a future class that is a good fit for me though. To make up for the class I am joining my MBesty at 30 Minute Hit this week. Ugh! I hope I don't break a nail! BAHAHA

10. READ. Last year I started my own Book club. I read 7 books and called it a year. Boooooooo. That sucks. 

Big Little Lies was good. It is about 3 Mothers and the schoolyard scandal that leads to a death and exposes some pretty complex secrets. It is funny and at times quite witty. It is being made into a new HBO show being cast right now. So far they have Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley. It is being directed by David E. Kelley (like Ally McBeal David E. Kelley!) I'm pretty excited! I liked the book. I just wanted more from the writing. I think it will play well on TV! It had a GREAT story, that is what kept me reading but I think the characters could have been better developed considering it was a character driven book.

Burned was awesome! That series is like my guilty pleasure :) It is about a young woman that goes to Ireland to find out who killed her sister. She ends up finding out she can see into another world of Fae. Burned was #7 in the series. This year she is putting out #8... actually, tomorrow! I am so excited!

The 50 Shades & Grey were exactly what I expected. They were super easy reads. I liked the perspective. We never knew what he was thinking. That is unusual for me or at least it stood out to me. I could picture all the looks... the breathing... the silences. I haven't watched the movie but for 4 easy read books, they satisfied me.

The Lost Symbol has been sitting on my shelf for a LONG time. I just never got around to reading it. I liked it just as much as I liked all his other books. This is a Robert Langdon book that takes place after The DaVinci Code but still focuses on Freemasons and symbolism. He is consistent. It was a good read but it didn't make me excited. 

This year I found this challenge, Modern Mrs. Darcy's Book Challenge.

I am super stoked! I "plan" on doing 1 a month, this month I am reading, 

A book you own but haven't read: Think Like a Chef by Tom Colicchio! 

I got it a while ago from my Mom. I have been meaning to read it. I love Top Chef and I love recipe books. I used to get at least 4 food magazines a month. I would read them front to back and then scrapbook the recipes. Since Pinterest I never buy magazines any more. I think this is going to be a great read! I will try to give an update once a month. February will be,

A book published this year: Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning.

This year the girl's made some resolutions and recorded some of their favourite memories from the past year.


She has been practicing her Yoga already! :)


They make me happy :)


I still haven't put a post out of our Christmas dinner but I will be soon(ish). After Xmas I had leftover stuff in the fridge. Cherry tomatoes, spinach, feta, mushrooms, garlic and parsley. Some of it was fresh and some of it had already been cooked (stuffed Brie mushrooms and garlic feta tomatoes). What do you do with a fridge of leftovers?

Make a pasta of course :) This was super tasty and freed up a ton of space in my fridge. Feel free to add whatever veggies, pasta and cheese you have on hand and make your own Leftover Bake any day of the week!

Cherry Tomato, Garlic and Feta Pasta Bake (Leftover Pasta Bake)

1 box rigatoni
12.5 oz cherry tomatoes
2 cups spinach (½ bag)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons oil
1 jar marinara 
9 oz Feta cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cook pasta according to box. Strain.

Grease the oven dish and add the strained pasta.

Add spinach and mushrooms.

Add the tomatoes. Squeeze them as they go in to release their juice. Add marinara. 

Add Feta, the garlic and chilli flakes.

Drizzle with oil and toss gently and season well with salt and pepper.

Top with the grated cheddar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden in places.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


The Fabulous Journey January 23, 2016 at 6:35 AM  

I love your list! I especially agree with your commitment to be more social. It can be easy to hermit away when you're a blogger. Thank you for adding your post to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!


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