Progress Not Perfection

Hey guys!

I wanted to write for Amanda’s Thinking out Loud linkup since it is Thursday, but rather than a lot of random thoughts like I normally do, I only have one main one.  It is a topic that I have brought up a number of times before on here, but it’s something that I continually struggle with.  As time goes on I get more comfortable with the idea, but I have learned that life is an ebb and flow and while I may grasp and accept an idea one day, the next I may be struggling with it.

I am a serious perfectionist.  Throughout my life this trait has served as an asset: successful in school, work, etc.  Where it gets me into trouble is in accepting that I am a human being who makes mistakes.



I had a bit of a freak out last week before my birthday.  I started judging myself for all the things that I need to get done this year that aren’t done yet, questioning my career path and whether I should go back to school, my timeline for having kids, etc. All at once I decided that I had made all sorts of mistakes in life and that because of those I was some kind of failure.  I had lost faith that everything I have gone through has happened for a reason and that everything will work out just the way it is supposed to for me.

I have an easier time these days forgiving myself for small mistakes like forgetting to pick something up at the store, but if I were to make a larger mistake, I would very quickly pick up the proverbial bat and have a good swing session with myself.  I want to be able to accept myself as a flawed human being as we all are, but it is difficult.

I used to not like learning things from other people because I felt like it exposed the fact that I didn’t know everything.  I would practice sports by myself until I felt like I was good at them because I didn’t want anyone seeing me in my learning stage.  I didn’t want them to see me make mistakes.  Trying to be perfect also means that I have a difficult time admitting when I am wrong.  I will try to justify and rationalize my words or actions to avoid the acknowledgement that I may not know everything.  Let’s just say it’s made for some drawn out arguments.

The more I demand perfection of myself, the more that I demand it from others and I lose compassion and empathy.  It is unfair to both parties and it takes me away from developing and nurturing successful relationships.  I find when I am more forgiving with myself, I am more forgiving and understanding of others and don’t set incredibly lofty standards that are often impossibly out of reach.

When I live in my perfectionism, I am not living in today.  I am not enjoying the moment because I am obsessing about whether I said the right thing, did the right thing, etc.  All we really have is today, so for this day I will stop setting unrealistic expectations of myself.  I will miss too much of life if I wait to be perfect.

Question of the day: Do you have problems with perfectionism? How do you deal with it?


WIAW: Birthday Edition

Happy Wednesday!

This morning started with my second run of the week: a quick 3 miles around the neighborhood before work.  Tomorrow is going to be my long run instead of Saturday, so I am waking up nice and early to knock out 8 miles.  BAM.

I took a hiatus yesterday to have a birthday lunch with Carly (who is apparently taking over this blog). Today I am back full force with another What I Ate Wednesday.  I wanted to highlight some of the meals from my birthday weekend and reminisce since I am so boring and repetitive throughout the work week. Check out Jenn’s blog to read more about WIAW and even link up yourself!


Are always the same. Scrambled eggs and mushrooms and chocolate blueberry basil smoothie. Actually, on my birthday I made waffles and coated them in Earth Balance and maple syrup.  GLUTEN FTW.



Saturday we had lunch in MD with Neil’s parents at Cafe Nola, which came recommended from a coworker who lives there.  This place was adorable and had multiple things that I would order.  I settled on the portobello burger with BASIL aioli.  I was so happy that the fruit cup they offered on the side contained fruit that I would eat.  Most of the time they throw all sorts of melons in there which I hate.  If you are ever in Frederick, MD, you should definitely check them out. They have food for all areas of the eating spectrum.


I also got a Ninja Turtle latte, which was hazelnut, caramel, and chocolate.  They made their lattes with almond milk (upon request), so I was so happy that I was able to have one!!


Sunday I wanted to go to Panera for lunch for their Strawberry Chicken Poppyseed salad.



Friday night I went to Outback with Neil, my sister, and my dad for dinner.  I got this grilled chicken breast with vegetables and it was wonderfully seasoned (and heart shaped?).


Saturday night was spent at the farm, so I helped myself to a plate of the pot luck dinner: some kind of pulled pork/beef?, bean salad, and some blueberries.


I was saving room for my mom’s cake.


Sunday night we went to Chipotle and it was heavenly.  I forget how good Chipotle is until I sit down and inhale my bowl in a manner of minutes.


After dinner, we went to see Transformers in IMAX 3D and I promptly inhaled a box of Milk Duds before the movie started.  I haven’t had Milk Duds in years and they brought back lots of movie memories since that was really the only place I used to eat them.


I’ve been thinking about Chipotle since Sunday, so I think I need to get some more of that in my life again soon.

Question of the day: What have you been eating lately?

30th Birthday Weekend

Hello all! Today is the first day that I am writing to you as an official 30 year old. Oh. My.

I may have had a minor 1/3 life crisis last week involving thinking of everything that I have yet to do this year, everything that I have ever wanted to do for a career and am not doing right now, fixating on the one white hair I have, etc. You get the idea.  I think I am doing better this week.  Hey, at least I didn’t buy a new sports car. Wait, that doesn’t sound too bad.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Here was mine (plus some days):


As I mentioned last week, Thursday was mine and Neil’s one year wedding anniversary.  We went to eat at the same restaurant we did following our low key courthouse ceremony.


We started off with a duck quesadilla because it sounded fancy.  Notice Neil’s strategic ring placement.


I had the atomic crab cake which was full of all sorts of creamy dairy, but oh well, YOLO.  It was delicious.


Neil had some kind of espresso marinated hen which was also delicious.



Work decided to celebrate my birthday on Friday, so I came in to find balloons tied to my chair and lots of cake.  Since I am not a huge fan of cake, my boss got me a separate flourless chocolate cupcake that I am always raving about from Cupcakes Actually.  So sweet! (I still had bites of cake anyway).


Notice that delicious almond butter in the background.  I had brought that, cashew butter, and maple spiced pecan butter in the day before.  Now people want to buy those too!


Saturday started off with a 7 am 7 mile run with Carly.  I feel like I may be turning into a morning person which freaks me out because when I used to have to wake up for high school I felt like it was the most severe form of punishment imaginable.


We stopped to help a turtle cross the trail. It didn’t want to hang out with us.



After our run, Carly surprised me with a blueberry, almond, and BASIL pie. She even made gluten free crust for me!  She also mentioned that she put about 10 times the amount of basil that was required, but I would have it no other way. I loved it.


After our run, we drove to MD to have a birthday lunch with Neil’s parents.  We ate in Frederick at a cafe that was recommended by a coworker who lives there.  I’m saving all the deliciousness for Wednesday’s post.

After lunch, we headed back to VA to meet up with my mom and sister. My sweet sister gave me this card:


And this sweet sweatshirt:


We drove about 30 min to get to my friend’s dad’s farm, where they were having an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of a Civil War battle that was fought there.  They had a bluegrass band, pick your own vegetables, and a potluck dinner.  My friend’s birthday is the same as mine, so my mom made us a joint cake.



Unfortunately, it was sprinkling the whole time.  We all still had a good time and stayed until the end.


We went back to our place and watched a new-to-me home video that my mom had uncovered.  It was priceless.

I also came home to flowers from my dad:



Sunday was pretty low key. I wanted to spend time on this blog working on some top secret things, so Neil helped me out because I am not as tech savvy as he is.  We made waffles and then went to the pool for about an hour and a half.  Carly met us there and she gave me ANOTHER present: tape for my knee!  It’s nice to have PT friends.


That night Neil and I went to see Transformers 4 in IMAX and 3D.  We decided to go crazy and eat all the sugar, so I ate an entire box of Milk Duds before it even started.  Neil got some Sour Patch Kids and was super excited.



All in all I had a great birthday weekend, but it’s still hard to believe that I am 30!!

Question of the day: What did you do this weekend? 



Flavoring With Lemon Instead of Salt: Lemon Pepper Salmon and Spiced Sriracha Asparagus

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Sunkist lemons. All delicious recipes and opinions are my own.

Hello Friday!


I want to share with you a dinner that Neil and I made the other night. I was challenged by Sunkist lemons to remove some (or in our case all) of the salt that is so prevalent in cooking these days.  Americans, on average, consume twice the recommended amount of sodium. By using lemons, this amount can be significantly decreased.


Now I love salt as much as the next person, but I was willing to give this a try.  According to the recommendations, you don’t have to completely remove the salt, but I do everything to the extreme, so the salt was off the table (oh man I’m funny).

What I found interesting was that they advised using lemon zest before cooking and saving the lemon juice for after. Adding the juice after cooking allows for more flavor, more vibrant colors on vegetables, and it helps to protect the texture of meats.  I don’t have a zester, so I used a fine grater.  I don’t think it’s quite the same, but it did the job.


We picked salmon because it’s pretty salty on it’s own (is that cheating?).  Neil came up with an interesting coating for the asparagus that actually turned out really well.  All the food was delicious and I didn’t miss the salt (too much).  I am pretty basic with my flavorings on food though and usually eat salads without dressing, so that may be why I thought this was so good.  Try it out and let me know how you like it!

Lemon Pepper Salmon

  • 2 6 oz salmon filets
  • pepper to taste
  • lemon zest to taste
  • juice of half a lemon
  1. Sprinkle pepper and lemon zest onto one side of the filet.
  2. Grill for about 5 minutes.
  3. Once removed from the grill, squeeze half a lemon over the filets (or more or less to taste).






Lemon Spiced Sriracha Asparagus

  • asparagus spears
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • few sprigs of dried rosemary
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sriracha
  1. Grill (or roast) asparagus until tender.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Sriracha together.
  3. Once removed from heat, brush the lemon mixture over the asparagus.


We also cooked up some quinoa to go along with dinner. Feel free to omit or use any other grain you’d like such as pasta or rice.  Happy eating!!

For more information on the research behind using lemons to replace salt, recipes you can make at home, and Sunkist lemons in general, please visit their site here.

Question(s) of the day: Do you eat a lot of salt? What other foods would be good with lemons instead of salt?

Year One

Today is mine and Neil’s one year wedding anniversary!


If you came in late to this blog, we actually have two.  Before we got married, I hadn’t had health insurance in 4 years.  I wasn’t able to go to the dentist or just get regular annual exams because the cost was too prohibitive.  To be honest, I also wasn’t making my health as big of a priority, so the years went by without any medical care.

Once I got into recovery and started making an amends to my body for the way I had treated (or mistreated) it, I realized that I wanted to get my basic exams out of the way so that I could make sure that I had a clean bill of health.  Right before I lost my job and my health insurance, I had gotten some questionable results and never followed up on them, so now my overactive and often irrational imagination made up all sorts of deadly plagues that now afflicted me. (Don’t worry, I was fine).

Neil and I were already engaged by this point, but our wedding was being planned for the end of October.  We decided that since we were going to get married anyway, we would just make it official in July and I could get health insurance.  I went through all kinds of emotions because we were doing things in a nontraditional way and I was worried about what other people would think.  You can read about how I got over that in this post if you are interested.

We went to the courthouse, had some vows, then had some delicious food.  Everything worked out really well because our ceremony and reception in October had about 300 people and this was a way for just the two of us to take the time to commit to each other in a simple way.  Our relationship is the two of us and that’s what we wanted when we actually made it official.  Today is actually our dating anniversary as well, so it all worked out quite nicely.

The past year has been filled with ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change any of it.  Since we lived together for 2 years before getting married, I didn’t expect the first year of marriage to be any different.  It does seem to be true what they say though, that the first year of marriage is the toughest.  (Well I can’t attest to future years, but you know what I mean).  I can’t tell you why and I don’t know what changes when you marry someone, but there have been challenges to work through that weren’t there before.  Today I am happy for challenges, though, because they help us grow as a couple and as individuals.  If you can talk about everything, you can get through anything.


Tonight we are going to have dinner at the same restaurant as last year and make it a thing. I hope everyone has a great day!!