Archive of ‘New Years Resolutions’ category

Weekly weigh-in: Week 11

Years ago (before doing a low carb diet), I had some success with Weight Watchers. I remember they always gave you a “free pass” every so often where you didn’t have to weigh in, but could still attend the meeting. This week, I am going to cash in my imaginary “free pass.”

Last week was my birthday and this week I am in a wedding, so I have been pretty busy celebrating! I am logging my stats below, but don’t really have any additional comments, but I still wanted to document this week (so when I look back over the year I can identify my strengths and weaknesses). I am reflecting on my progress (or lack there of) over the first quarter of 2015 and thinking about what I want to change going forward (more on that later!).

Week 10 weigh-in (March 24, 2015): 

Pounds lost (since last week): 0

Total pounds lost (since January 5 start date): 7.5

Total number of workouts: 0

Total number of weekend hikes: 0

Click here to check out my previous weigh-in’s.

Weekly weigh-in: Week 10

Last week was spring break at work and I was lucky enough to spend the week in Chicago with a great group of students. While I had a great time on the trip (and was pretty active hiking around the city), I was definitely unfocused regarding my diet. This week happens to include my birthday (which I seem to be celebrating all week long!) so this week isn’t off to the best start either. I am trying to make good food decisions as much as I can, but also cutting myself a break when I enjoy a treat.

Scenic Trail - Sunflower Paperie Blog

McDowell Regional Park – Scenic Trail

Week 10 weigh-in (March 17, 2015): 

Pounds lost (since last week): 0

Total pounds lost (since January 5 start date): 7.5

Total number of workouts: 0

Total number of weekend hikes: 2+ 

I am counting my time in Chicago as 1+ hikes! 🙂 We also did a 4.5 mile hike on Friday after we picked Hank up from being boarded. We returned to McDowell Mountain Regional Park and hiked the “Scenic Trail.” The trail was appropriately named, because after a brief elevation change, the view was amazing! Plus, since it was a weekday, we had the trail to ourselves.

Sunflower Paperie blog - Scenic Trail

McDowell Regional Park – Scenic Trail

Other health-related items to celebrate in the past week: Thanks to being in Chicago, I logged lots of steps each day, resisted soda and drank lots of water.

Areas of improvement: Getting more activity in – going to the gym after work. Focusing on low carb eating, especially during the work week (make my breakfasts and lunches ahead of time).

Click here to check out my previous weigh-in’s.

Weekly weigh-in: Week 9

Hello! My weekly weigh-in is late this week, because I have been away from my scale! I was fortunate to travel to Chicago for spring break with some students from work and I just returned to AZ today. Instead of my typical Tuesday weigh-in, I will be going with the weight I logged on the Sunday before I left for vacation. 

Week 9 weigh-in (March 8, 2015): 

Pounds lost (since last week): 0

Total pounds lost (since January 5 start date): 7.5

Total number of workouts: 0

Total number of weekend hikes: 0

Other health-related items to celebrate in the past week: Over 2 full months without soda! Had omelette cups for breakfast each day of the week and brewed my own tea (instead of purchasing tea on my way into work).

Areas of improvement: Getting more activity in – going to the gym after work and hiking on the weekends. I also need to stop eating sweets. I acknowledge that it isn’t always the best to completely cut specific food groups out of ones diet, however, I have been reflecting on how I cut soda out of my diet and I feel like this same attitude / outlook could be helpful with sugar in general.

Click here to check out my previous weigh-in’s.

Weekly weigh-in: Week 8

Hello friends! If only the number of times I thought about blogging (and blog topics) translated into blog posts, you would have a lot more reading material! Ha! 🙂 I definitely have a new found respect for all of those full-time bloggers I have followed over the years.

McDowell Mtn. Regional Park - Lousley Hill

All that being said, I am back for my weekly weigh-in and pleased to report a loss this week. When I review my results so far, I am pleased with averaging a pound lost each week, but I also know I can do better. Last week was a relatively good one regarding my eating and this week is off to an even stronger start. My birthday is around the corner, so my current mini goal is to be down a total of 11 pounds by then.

Week 8 weigh-in (March 3, 2015): 

Pounds lost (since last week): 1.5

Total pounds lost (since January 5 start date): 7.5

Total number of workouts: 0

Total number of weekend hikes: 1 – Lousley Hill Trail @ McDowell Mountain Regional Park. All of the photos in this post are from our weekend hike! The weather in AZ has been unseasonably cool and it was overcast all weekend which made for great hiking. It takes us about 45 minutes to get out to the McDowell Mtn. Regional Park, but it is worth the drive! The trails aren’t nearly as trafficked and the views are great.  

McDowell Mtn. Regional Park - cairn

Other health-related items to celebrate in the past week: Exactly 2 full months without soda! I enjoy omelette cups for breakfast (recipe coming soon) and I made a big batch on Sunday to get me through the week. I have also been brewing my own tea at home.

Areas of improvement: I have got to get back into the habit of going to the gym after work!

You know how much I love the start of a new month (so much potential!)! What goals are you focusing or re-focusing on in March?! 

McDowell Mtn. Regional Park - Kate and Hank

Click here to check out my previous weigh-in’s.

Weekly weigh-in: Week 2

How has one full week passed since I last posted?! While I am sorry for the radio silence, I think it will be worth your wait, because I have some exciting things planned on the blog this week (hint, hint, you should definitely check back in tomorrow!)! But first, I must weigh-in. I will be honest, if I hadn’t made a declaration about checking in with you each week, I probably would have skipped this weigh in, because I am feeling a bit down.

Sunflower Paperie blog - Week 2 weigh-in (Saguaro Lake Hike 3)

Saguaro Lake, Arizona


Week 2 weigh-in (January 20, 2015):

Pounds lost (since last week): 0.5

Total pounds lost (since January 5 start date): 4.5

Total number of workouts: 2 (elliptical & arm weights x 2 days)

Total number of weekend hikes: 1 (Saguaro Lake – see photos below!)

Other health-related items to celebrate in the past week: No soda since January 3, pretty healthy low carb eating (good variety of veggies and proteins).

Areas of improvement: Stick with “induction like” low carb eating (no nuts or starchy veggies). Drink more water. Be conscious of portions. Be aware of “hidden carbs,” specifically in soups and sauces.

I am feeling a little disappointed, because in the past when I have focused on low carb eating, the pounds have come off quicker. I have been looking back at what I have been eating and I think my portion size and flexibility with items like nuts might be creating some of the issues. Additionally, I have basically substituted black tea (unsweetened) for soda, so I know I need to focus on drinking more water. I also keep reminding myself “I didn’t put the weight on overnight, and I won’t lose it overnight.”

Sunflower Paperie blog - Week 2 weigh-in (Saguaro Lake Hike 2)

Hank & I – I am also considering this a good “before” weight loss pic!


A big highlight of the past week, was a hike with my boyfriend and our dog Hank at Saguaro Lake. It was a little busy (because of the holiday), but it was BEAUTIFUL – we will definitely be going back!

Sunflower Paperie blog - Week 2 weigh-in (Saguaro Lake Hike Hank)

Hank – The happiest hiking partner ever!


If you have a weight loss goal for this year, how is it going?! 

Click here for my Week 1 weigh-in! 

Weekly Weigh-in: Week 1

Confession time… I weigh myself everyday. To some this may seem unhealthy, but for me it is an accountability and motivational tool. In the past, when I have stopped weighing myself regularly, I have consistently gained weight. I track it daily in the “MyFitnessPal” app, so I can see progress over weeks and months. All that being said, my goal (once I have lost weight) is to have a healthy balance of food and activity, so that I don’t even need to have a scale around.

Sunflower Paperie blog - Weekly Weigh-in Week 1

This blurry photo of brussel sprouts, right before they took a bath in bacon grease and mustard, is the only photographic evidence I have of my healthy eating efforts! 🙂


I have been thinking a lot about losing weight recently and debating whether or not I should share specifics in this space. Ultimately I decided that I would, because one of my goals for this blog is to build a community and I feel like 95% of the people I know have struggled with their weight at some point in their lives. Each week I plan to share a snapshot of my wellness journey and I would love for you to share your successes too!

Week 1 weigh-in (January 14, 2015):

Pounds lost (since start date January 5): 4

Total pounds lost: 4 

Total number of workouts: 3 (Step class, elliptical, Body Sculpt class)

Total number of weekend hikes: 2

Other health-related items to celebrate in the past week: No soda since January 3, pretty healthy low carb eating (good variety of veggies and proteins), extremely limited sweets (1 handful of dark chocolate covered almonds and some peanut butter).

Areas of improvement: I need more sleep! My goal is to be in bed (ready for sleep) at 10 p.m. and up at 6:15 a.m. Drink more water. Be conscious of portions.

Have any of you made resolutions or goals to lose weight or get in shape this year? How are your goals going so far?! 

If it Makes you Crafty

“It can’t be that baaaaad…” I figured since this is the last in the unintentionally lyrical 2015 goal posts, “crafty” was an o.k. substitute for “happy,” right?! 🙂

Let me tell you a little secret. When you open an Etsy shop, everyone automatically assumes that you are super creative and / or very crafty. As a History / Higher Education Administration degree earner, I can tell you that this isn’t always the case (sadly!).

While I LOVE making paper party items and could spend hours looking at paper supplies at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, my creative talents are somewhat limited to paper crafting. I want 2015 to be the year that this changes!

Sunflower Paperie blog - Becoming More Creative

Mini goals for becoming more creative:

Create a digital line of products for my Etsy shop. See also: Taking Care of (My) Business post. My super scary (because I have a lot to do before then) goal – list my first digital product in my shop by February 1 (of this year!)! Eeek! I have no formal design training, but I would like to use the Adobe Creative Cloud to make these items, so I have a lot of learning to do.

Learn how to use my sewing machine. My sweet Mom (Hi Mom!) is a talented seamstress and graciously gave me a new machine several years ago. It is still in its box (so sad!). I want to learn how to use my sewing machine and create something useful.

Learn how to sew paper. I think paper garlands that are sewn are simply darling. I want to make lots of them.

Learn calligraphy / hand lettering. Again, I have all the supplies, I just need to sit down and practice. Think of how pretty all those letters I am going to mail will be then! 🙂

Now that all of my goals have been written out for the world to see, I am going to continue working on them! As I work on projects and finish them, I will post updates. I also plan to post a more comprehensive check-in each quarter of 2015, so stay tuned! 

I Get by with a Little Help From my Friends (and Family)!

Happy weekend, friend! Today I am sharing the 4th installment of my 2015 Goal series. Re-connecting with family and friends is something I have been thinking about a lot recently.

For almost my entire life I lived in Kansas – 18+ years in my hometown in western KS and then 10+ years in the northeastern part of the state. I moved to the northeastern part of the state (Topeka) when I started college at Washburn University (go Ichabods!). After college I stayed in Topeka and following a brief stint in banking, I returned to Washburn as a professional staff member. I mention this timeline because it was during and after college that I really established a wonderful network of friends. Additionally, I was only about 5 hours away from my hometown, so it was relatively easy to travel home or meet my family half way on the weekends.

In the summer of 2013, my boyfriend and I moved to Arizona. I am extremely thankful for my co-workers and friends in Arizona, they have truly made this new place feel like home. However, I have proceeded to get really bad at keeping in touch with my friends and family back home (and those who have moved away from KS!). In some ways I feel connected through social media and I am fairly good at texting, but when it comes to actually calling or writing friends and family, I am not doing so well.

Sunflower Paperie blog - Re-connecting with Family and Friends

Each time I do chat with a friend on the phone, I feel SO much more connected to them and their lives (not to mention how happy it makes me!). I also love sending snail mail, BUT I seem to always be a week (or more!) behind! It may seem silly to write about these kind of goals here, but it is very helpful for me to quantify what I have been thinking about and again, the accountability of others knowing what I am working on this year is invaluable. 🙂

Without further ado (sorry this post got so LONG!), my mini goals for re-connecting with family and friends this year: 

Send 1 written letter per week. I actually love writing letters and used to have regular pen pals when I was younger. I also have a small obsession with stationery, so this one should be fun (and hopefully achievable).

Purchase & mail special occasion cards (or gifts) 1 week in advance of their special day. My sweet grandma actually mentioned a great idea to me regarding this goal. She said that at the beginning of each year (when she gets out her new calendar), she adds all special days to the year and writes “mail (fill in loved one’s name) birthday card” 1 week before their special day. This habit is BRILLIANT to me! I have always had my loved ones special days on my calendar / in my planner, but by the time their big day comes around it is too late to get anything to them on time – see “always sending things late” issue above! I am implementing my grandma’s technique this year! 

Call my Mom (hi Mom!) and Dad every week. I used to be much better about chatting with my folks regularly. I love them dearly, so this is a priority for me this year.

Call 1 friend each week. Y’all better pick up the phone! 😉

Alright, hopefully these goals don’t sound too much like a “to do list” that I simply want to check off each week, but more like a reminder to invest some time each week towards building my relationships with those I love the most. 

If you are striving to send more snail mail, I have the PERFECT giveaway happening right now! Click here to enter for a chance at winning a darling box card set of greeting cards from illustrator Madison Lytle.

How do you stay connected with friends and family? I would love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments! 

If You’re Happy & You Know it… Keep Doing it!

Why these post titles have taken on a lyrical theme, we may never know, but what I do know is that I sure am enjoying sharing my 2015 goals with you! Thanks for sticking with me (goofy titles and all!)! A quick recap… Monday I shared my business goals, while on Tuesday I focused on health and self-care.

Today’s goal is going to focus on having fun and doing more things that make me happy! This may sound like a complete no brainer to some, but I often find myself enjoying something and thinking “I should do this more often!”

Sunflower Paperie blog - Having more fun!

Read from a book DAILY. Alright, I love reading, always have and hopefully always will. However, I always start out the year with grandiose plans of “reading 26 52 books a year!” And then I pick long books, get busy at work and with my Etsy business and before I know it, I am terribly behind. This year, I am going to be more realistic and focus instead on making sure I read from a book everyday. Some days it may be several chapters and some days it may only be several pages – and I am o.k. with that.

See more live music. I love music and I love concerts! I am lucky to live in a metro area with tons of concert venues. The trick is keeping up with who is coming to town.

Travel more. Again, I am super lucky to have a manfriend that enjoys traveling (and more importantly trip planning!). In 2014, we actually averaged 1 trip per month (we didn’t realize this until we were chatting on New Year’s Day!). A lot of our trips are simply long weekends out of town or built around a professional conference in a fun location, so I definitely want to continue these types of trips.

Watch more movies. I love going to the movies, but am notoriously bad at watching movies at home. This year, I want to catch up on some titles that interested me when they came out, but I missed in the theater. This goal also includes supporting our local (really nice) $3 theater.

I am sure this list is incomplete, so I will add to it as the year goes on! I am also a little behind on my daily posts, so I will be sharing my last two 2015 Goal posts over the weekend. Until then, don’t forget to check out my interview with illustrator Madison Lytle and enter to win a set of her darling cards! 

Working on my (health) and Fitness

Getting healthy and taking care of myself is my second big goal for 2015. I know this is a popular resolution that everyone approaches differently, so I want to share some of the specific steps I will be taking this year to improve my health. But first, a little context! 

I have dieted on and off for years and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my weight and wish I was thinner. My story is similar to many others in that I have always been on the heavier side (when compared to my peers) and after being very active in high school and relatively active in college, a sedentary lifestyle post-graduation, led to quite a bit of weight gain. Fast forward through my twenties and I am finally to a point where I am committed to losing weight (for good) for the sake of my health and longevity! There are also a couple of health related items I have simply been putting off (for no good reason), so those have made their way into my mini goals as well.

Sunflower Paperie blog - 2015 Health Goals!

Mini health and self-care goals:

Follow a low carb diet, with the goal of losing weight. Nothing crazy or extreme here, low carb foods (meat, veggies, etc.) are what I prefer, so this tends to be the best route for me regarding my eating.

Exercise a minimum of 3 times a week. A good friend of mine (hi Liz!) and I got a jump start on this in December by joining a gym and starting to attend fitness classes. This goal is a reminder to make consistent exercise a priority.

Hike a minimum of once a week.

Quit drinking soda. What is it with Diet Coke?! Seriously. It is a all or nothing relationship for me! Either I am drinking too much or I have to stop all together, this year I am choosing the later. I stopped drinking it daily on Dec. 29 (and outside of shared drink at a football game and a movie) haven’t had one since.

Schedule all of my yearly appointments! Believe it or not, this is the health goal I am most embarrassed about! I actually enjoy going to the dentist and have never minded the eye doctor, but since moving to Arizona 18 months ago I just haven’t gotten around to finding new doctors. Time to remedy this!

Is this too much personal information for, what, my 10th blog post? 🙂 As you read yesterday, one of my goals is building a community in this space and I figure there is no better way to build community than to share my thoughts, struggles and experience! Plus, I know from past experience that I am most successful when I have accountability buddies. I would love to hear about any health or wellness goals you have made for the new year!

Disclaimer: It should go without saying, but I am not a doctor (or any sort of health professional), so all of the views shared on this blog are my own personal opinions and experience. Talk with your doctor if you are considering a change to your diet or exercise routine! 

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