My One Word for 2014: Now

Guess what?! I woke up at 9:30 AM this morning! After sleeping in until noon for the past week, I decided to try to get my act together so that I won’t be kicking myself in the behind once school rolls around (which is Thursday….mehh). I know 9:30 AM is like lunchtime for some of you early risers, but that was bright and early for me today! 


I took my sweet time reading through some bloggers’ last posts of 2013 while I ate a yummy breakfast. I cracked open a new jar of TJs sunflower seed butter (isn’t that just a great feeling?) and smeared some of that on a piece of nut and seed toast from The Kneaded Bread. I had another mini slice with some cherry butter toffee peanut butter. Greek yogurt with half a banana on the side!

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I could just swim in it.



My mom recently bought some pre-made Phillip’s crab cakes from Costco and she warmed them up in the oven as part of her lunch, so I tried half of one. They’re tasty, but nothing could ever compare to the amazingness of freshly made crab cakes.

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I also just finished cooking up my favorite veggie:


I like ’em dark and steamy.

My mom and I love pan roasting brussels sprouts in coconut oil and then tossing them in sea salt and pepper at the end! Delicious.

My One Word

I recently read posts by Cori, Emily, and Lindsay about their one word for the New Year, which is basically a single word that encompasses your goals and aspirations for the coming year. I love that the idea is so simple, yet can be made so profound as you live your life. You can check the My One Word website for further details!

The one word of some other bloggers include:

  • Fearless  (Cori)
  • Nourish  (Emily)
  • Open (Lindsay)

These are all wonderful words that I also hope to live by in the coming year. But I have a word in mind that I believe applies perfectly to what I need in my life at this moment:

now 2014

Now is what I have chosen to be my word for 2014. I have realized in this past year especially that I am often focusing a great deal of my energy on worries from the past or events in the future. Not only do I over-think those things, but I even put pressure on myself to make those things as perfect as possible. God has taught me through blogging, insomnia, the slow down challenge, and my loved ones that I need to stop holding onto things that I cannot control and that perfection doesn’t exist.

I’m tired of becoming anxious. And although it’s not going to be easy to just let my anxiety go at times, I’m going to try to appreciate now. God will take me every step of the way.

So here’s to 2014! A year in which I hope to notice the little, simple joys in every day life, cherish every moment with my loved ones, smile more, and find the silver lining in every situation.

I hope you all have a great last day of 2013, and a healthy, happy New Year!

So tell me:

Do you have one word for the new year?

Don’t you love opening a new jar of nut/seed butter?

How do you prepare your brussels sprouts?



TRX Arms and Core Workout

Another day waking up super late, another lunch at 4:30 PM. Oops. I was really going to try waking up earlier to try to get back on schedule, but I might as well sleep while I can, right? I also didn’t set my alarm, so that didn’t help.


Upon rising at the crack of noon, I was in the mood for a filling, nut-buttery breakfast. Gina’s cookie dough cereal was the choice du jour!


Plus a clementine.


Then it was time for biology homework and learning about caterpillars that pretend to be snakes as a defense mechanism. Reason #458 to not like bugs.


Let’s talk about TRX bands! They’re one of my favorite pieces of fitness equipment right now since my gym recently installed a large turf space that includes a TRX frame. It’s like my new jungle gym!

I love that the TRX bands can take bodyweight exercises to a whole new level because of the balancing aspect. Some of my favorite moves to do with them are pistol squats, rows, and pikes!


I was intensely awkward trying to take this photo without anyone noticing.

Yesterday’s workout was 25 minutes on the elliptical followed by an arm circuit centered around the TRX bands.

trx arm and core workout

Those TRX tricep extensions owned me. I can definitely feel it today!

Some of the exercises:

For today’s workout I did 20 minutes on the arc trainer and 10 minutes on the stair master before doing Julie’s 8 minute ab tabata and more TRX ab exercises (this flattering frog kick move and pikes). I wasn’t going to go on the stair master, but honestly, I wanted to keep watching Giada on Food Network, which I had started doing on the arc trainer already. It was her breakfast episode— can you blame me??

I’m still being careful not to over-exert myself in any of these workouts. I can definitely tell that my stamina is going downhill, but that is a-okay with me right now. It’ll be interesting when I have to run the mile at school though. 😉


My mom and dad went out for lunch while I was still sleeping, and they brought back delicious leftovers! I finished my mom’s spicy pasta dish that had sausage and ricotta cheese. Added on top of spinach as “dressing.”


And half a raisin scone they picked up from The Kneaded Bread that was calling my name from the depths of its box.


Scones are my faveeee.

I hope you have a nice evening, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you like using TRX bands?

What is your favorite TRX move?

Does television or music ever keep you going on a cardio machine?

Burger Noshing and Room Organizing {MIMM #17}

Good morning!

I hope you all had a splendid last weekend of December! My weekend was a lovely mix of relaxing and productive, which is the best kind of weekend in my opinion. It was marvelous!


Check out Katie’s weekly partayyy!

The Relaxing

Sleeping in until nearly lunch time. Hey look, I’m a normal teenager! Before Christmas break, 9 AM would already make me feel like my half of the day had slipped away. So lame. I now realize that sleep is never a waste of my day. The only downside is that I’ve turned into a night owl (I’m typing this at 2 AM), and school is gonna be ROUGH.

Researching all things blogging. Ever since changing up the look of my blog on Saturday night, I’ve been reading up on html,, blog designers, and a bunch of things that help expand a blog. However, as much as I feel excited to jump into the whole blogging deal, I have to remember that I’m a) not even an adult yet, b) not in college yet, and c) not ready to make blogging a business of any sort yet. I love blogging for what it is, and I’m happy with where Daily Moves and Grooves is at right now. We can take things a step further later 🙂

Burgers. BareBurgers to be exact. It’s more of an upscale burger restaurant with some fancy meats and gourmet combinations. They use organic, locally-raised, humanely-raised, GMO-free EVERYTHING. The quality (and the receipt) totally put greasy fast food to shame. I tried the Roadhouse Burger (avocado, apple grilled onions, pepperjack, and smoked paprika mayo) with bison meat— my first time trying bison!

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I didn’t get lockjaw.

My mom ordered ostrich, dad had elk, and Ben had wild boar. None of them tasted really different from beef, but we raved about them all nonetheless. I loved mine! It was insanely filling though, so half of it was saved for Sunday’s dinner.

We also ordered some obligatory sweet potato sides— sweet potato fries and sweet potato “croqs,” which were basically more airy hushpuppies stuffed with cheddar cheese. These also came with FIVE different dipping sauces. The curry ketchup was my favorite!

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The menu told us how many calories everything had but….. guatever. It was all so darn delicious.

The Productive

A complete room organization project. The first one in eight years! I’ve lived in this house for eight years. 😉

I don’t spend that much time in my room, so the clutter never bothered me SO much, but I finally cracked and just did it last night. I cleared and stored the clutter, threw away unused things, wiped away the dust bunnies, and re-organized. It feels ten times better to be in my room now!

Here was probably the biggest mess hub:

(Note-My walls are pink because they were painted that way originally when we bought the house. I do not approve of the color. We’re just too lazy to change it.)





Haaaaalelujah. I threw out/recycled/stored about 50% of the things in my room. I also found out that I was a minor hoarder of rubber bracelets, stuffed seals, and stuffed penguins. And some hidden gems:


It’s not real. But what the heck?




Now the hard part will be keeping my room this nice. My innate tendency toward entropy is real.

I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!

So tell me:

How was your weekend?

What is the most unusual burger meat you’ve ever tried?

How often do you organize/de-clutter your room? 

Spill It Sunday #5: Best of 2013

You may have noticed that Daily Moves and Grooves got a little cosmetic work done! I changed the theme of my blog to be a little more clean and simple. The header also has a new mascot drawn on the computer by yours truly 😉

Yes, year in review posts are probably plaguing your reader right now, and I might just be another addition to that. But please don’t leave me! At least stay for the new jumping mascot?

For this look-back on 2013, I’m highlighting the best experiences by category. I was contemplating doing top 13 of several categories, but that would have been total overload, and you would have surely exited out of my blog. So instead, here’s a more concise version of all the wonderful things that have happened in 2013!

The Big Man's World
Linking up with the awesomeness that is Arman.

Best Travel: Florida

My family and I road tripped down to central Florida and just basically relaxed at our vacation home for about two weeks. The weather was beautiful and I got to make and eat delicious food like these fish tacos.


Best Food: ALL the Breakfasts

You could say I’m obsessed with breakfast (and peanut butter + banana).

breakfasts collage

Best New Endeavor: Blogging!

I started Daily Moves and Grooves as a spur of the moment thing this summer, and I am amazed at how many people I’ve “met” through it. Blogging is something that I’ve grown to love, and I’m even considering writing possibilities in college now because of it! Not only is blogging an outlet for my thoughts and emotions, but it’s also a source of new connections, ideas, and ways of thinking for me. Thank you all so much for your readership, “blend”ship (blogger + friend), and constant support. I still do a little dance in my head every time I get a comment (In my head: “People read my blog!!!”).


Best Fitness Feat: Arm Balances and Burpees

Although I’m doing more arm balances than burpees right now, I still love ’em both! This year was the year I really took both of them head on. Accomplishing arm balances (as pathetic as they are right now) and 100 burpees in under 9 minutes has helped me believe that I have more strength than I ever thought I had. I just have to persist and dig it out from deep inside of me.

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Fun fact: I think my I Like Burpees post is my most popular post ever!

Best Lessons Learned/Reiterated:

1. Never, ever take advantage of what God has given you. This is easier said than done.

2. We’ll all float on alright. Don’t try to hold onto things that are out of your control.

3. Humans forget that other humans go through trials too. Be considerate and compassionate. Never assume.


Best News: Pope Francis

I believe that God sent Pope Francis specifically because he knows how to approach today’s society with the Church teachings. Also, contrary to what the media always insists, he is NOT changing any Church doctrines or statutes. He is just making the faith more accessible and comprehensive, which is what our world needs.

Pope Francis[source]

Well, that’s  wrap! Unlike other years, I can actually see myself getting used to 2014 quite quickly. It doesn’t seem as WHOA as other years…ya know what I mean? I’m praying that we all have a blessed year filled with experiences just as fantastic as those of 2013!

So tell me:

What are some of your “bests” of 2013? Travels, food, events, endeavors, achievements, etc.?

Are you finding it hard to believe that it’s almost 2014?

Saturday Morning Defensive Driving Course

My family and I just got back home from a 6 hour defensive driving course. And I surviiiiiiived.

I’m so overdramatic. Actually, it wasn’t terrible at all, and the instructor was informative, funny, and engaging. The lecture was basically a more fast-paced version of the drivers’ education classes I took just earlier this year. But, uh…why were we doing this on a Saturday morning? I was asking (more like groaning) the same question this morning.

My parents have been taking the course every two or three years because it gives them 10% off their auto insurance premiums for each car. Ben and I don’t own a car, so the insurance reduction doesn’t apply to us, but it was still a good refresher for how to drive safely (especially after our mini catastrophe last week).


What is defensive driving? 

According to the handy dandy booklet we received:

“Defensive driving is driving to save lives, time, and money in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others. Defensive driving protects us from what is happening around us.”


I took the little “How Do You Drive?” quiz in the booklet and my results told me that I am an average driver. Merp. There are two levels above that— safe driver and defensive driver— so I guess I need to get my stuff together! There were also some surprising and scary facts that I learned from the course that I think you guys might find interesting as well:

  • Collision is 23 times more likely when the driver is texting
  • Taking your eyes off the road for 1 out of 3 seconds doubles collision risk
  • Eating is the #1 distraction when driving (….we can vouch for that)
  • Peripheral vision minimizes when you’re talking on the phone, handheld OR hands-free
  • The most dangerous place to speed is a parking lots
  • The highest death rates while driving are in young people ages 16-25
  • 25% of drivers have fallen asleep at least once while driving (<— This one is scary! Apparently the common times include around 3-4 PM, which is siesta time in other countries. I think Americans should have siestas. Who’s with me?!)
  • Leaving early can decrease aggressive driving behavior (and stress)

Despite my butt being numb from sitting down for such a long time, the course was definitely eye-opening and ultimately beneficial as I now have some defensive driving skills up my sleeve!


Before heading off to the course this morning, I ate a quick and simple breakfast:


Finished off a tub of plain Chobani with a small banana and salted almond butter


Along with a nut and fruit bar

It did a good job of keeping me focused during the first couple hours of the lecture!


We had our first break during the course at around 11:30, and I was already hungry by then, so I had half of a panini that my mom packed. It was grilled chicken, cheese, whole grain mustard, and spinach between potato rosemary bread (from our new favorite bakery).

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Mom is the bomb. That sandwich was delicious. I’m sure it beats all of the food court options that were right outside (the course was in some tiny back room of a mall).

I’ve also been snacking on a huge orange, peanuts, and edamame to hold me over until dinner, which will be at a new burger place in town! It serves more exotic meats (think elk, ostrich, and bison), as well as vegan burgers! This will be our first time trying it out, so I’m pretty excited.

Off to Mass first! Hope you all have a lovely evening 🙂

So tell me:

Do you think you practice defensive driving?

What do you think of America adopting the siesta tradition?

How else have you been moving and grooving today?