Every time I go home, my dad has some new kinds of alcohol that we’re going to rope someone into helping us have a taste test with. And every time, without fail, my dad picks the scotch, and I pick the whiskey. Well, this year at Christmas, I tried possibly the best whiskey I’ve ever had. Now, I haven’t had that many kinds of whiskey, but after trying this, I don’t really care to try any more.

Tullamore D.E.W. is the best whiskey I’ve tasted. It’s flavorful, but with zero burn. And no, they aren’t paying me for this, but if they want to pay in whiskey, my flasks are pretty dry ;)

Anyways, I realize that not everyone likes their liquor neat, so, here are some of the recipes on their website. If you like what you see, go HERE to find the full recipe, and enjoy!

 

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It’s Monday, January 5, 2015, and do you know what? I have broken some of my resolutions (but my resolution to floss is still holding strong! Mom should be proud). I didn’t work out on the 1st; in fact, I barely even left my bed. So, that whole, “Attack the day” resolution: not happening. Also, I ate four gobstoppers, two Twizzlers, and a handful of potato chips, so, that whole “strict diet” thing is done with.

Psych!

I’m here to tell you that even if you’ve broken one or all of your resolutions, it’s okay! The idea that we can suddenly wake up one morning as a superior version of the person we were at 11:59pm 12/31/14 is silly! Give yourself some grace, and understand it’s a process. The point is to learn the process, and eventually it will become ingrained in your life.

And to show you real numbers about how NOT alone you are in achieving your goal, here’s a study done last January by University of Scranton, and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology:

chart

 

As you can see, you are FAR from alone in breaking your resolutions! But as the chart says, people who at least made them are more likely to achieve their goals than people who didn’t. So, you’re already getting a head start, even if you did just eat an entire tub of peppermint ice cream because it’s seasonal and I can’t have it until next year!

You still have 360 days to make this the best year of your life!

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I have been fortunate enough to call Los Angeles my home since 2010, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I don’t care about the smog (maybe that’s because I grew up in Riverside county), or the traffic. I just love everything this city has to offer.

So, this year, I’m trying to do some things I haven’t done, and really didn’t even know existed. Like, did you know you can kayak in the LA River (did you even know there was a non-disgusting part of the LA River?!)? And who knew that all of those days I was driving home, I was passing the largest section of the Berlin Wall on the west coast. Oh, and West Hollywood’s park has a rooftop tennis court (because everything is more fabulous in WeHo than anywhere else, and that’s a fact).

This made me think about how everyone has different opinions on what the best parts of this city are, so I put together a list of what different people think you should see in LA, so you can make your own decision. For example, you may not be interested in visiting Escondido Falls (treacherous, but worth it. Just bring the right shoes), but maybe you’re interested in trying a Mai Tai from the place it was invented (Tiki Ti’s, in case you’re wondering, and I highly recommend it!).

And if you’re not from LA, I encourage you to see what your own city has to offer! People constantly seem to think that another city has more to offer them than their own, but have they really explored it? I know I haven’t.

Your LA bucket list

EYE ON L.A.: BUCKET LIST FEATURES UNIQUE ADVENTURES

 L.A.’s ultimate bucket list: Long Beach author pens ‘100 Things to Do in Los Angeles Before You Die’

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I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a happy new year! I know, this is cliché, but so what! I truly wish you the happiest of new years!

Imagine if with each passing 365 days, we were happier than the ones before that. We’d all continually be the happiest versions of ourselves!

Sure, life throws us all curve balls, and we often have to wake up every day and choose to be happy, but that’s my wish for you. I wish you the strength to choose happiness in 2015, no matter the circumstances. It is possible, and I know that you can do it. Believe in yourself and the strength you have.

I know my big resolution for 2015 is to have more self-discipline, whether that means not eating a cupcake, making it to the gym no matter how tired I am, or finishing everything on my to-do list before going to bed.

I wish you luck with all of your resolutions and goals as we all bravely enter a new year!

 

I love apples! Not just during the fall and winter, but all year long, apples are my favorite fruit. So, naturally, I love applesauce, but I do not love what applesauce does to my waistline, thanks to all of the sugar.

Well, one day I was looking around some blogs and found a great recipe for skinny-ish applesauce!

I made it while staying with my parents, and I had my dad try it. His first question was, “how much sugar did you add?” I was happy to report NONE… sort of.

All of the sugar comes from the honey and the dried fruits. This also makes it extremely affordable to make, and it’s easy too!

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SKINNY APPLESAUCE

(adapted recipe from HERE)

What You Need:

3 apples (peeled, chopped)

honey

cinnamon

raisins, or whatever dried fruit you have

What You Do:

Preheat the over to 350 degrees

Add chopped apples to a glass baking pan

Lightly coat them in a sprinkling of cinnamon (use your judgement based on how much you like cinnamon)

Add your dried fruit

Drizzle honey all over it

Cover with foil, and bake for 35-45 minutes, or longer if you like your apples softer. Mix them up every 15 minutes or so while they’re cooking.

Mush with a fork and enjoy!

applesauce 1

 



applesauce 3

 

Messiness – Surprisingly, this isn’t that messy. I made it on my lunch break while I was working and the cook time gives you the opportunity to clean off all of the tools you used.

Simplicity – This may be the easiest recipe for applesauce I’ve found, in addition to being one of the healthiest.

Budget – All of these ingredients can be found at the 99cent store, and if not, they’re still pretty cheap. In fact, my parents happened to have everything I needed, which was why this was a perfect chance to try it.

Delicious Factor - 5/5. Easy! And while I’m not a big fan of ice cream, I can see that making this even better. Who doesn’t want a warm dessert fresh out of the over to go with some ice cream?!

You ever have those days where you bit off  a little — okay, a lot! — more than you can chew? Welcome to my Wednesday!

And I know I’m not alone out there, so how could I recommend ONE drink for all of us? You’re right, I couldn’t. The good news is that I found this gem of a graphic. Or you can always go with a shot of whiskey too.

So, cheers, my friends! Let me know which one you tried in the comments :)

 

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Before I even start, let me say that I understand how horribly cliche this all is, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

Lately in my life, the theme of love has come up a lot lately. Whether it’s the incredible amount of love and support I’ve received from my novel, or the love I’ve given to people, even when it was difficult. I’ve had some hurtful things said to me recently, and dealt with some rough issues, but through it all I’ve realized something: I can either choose to love the people who are mean to me, or just avoid them, but I’ve been given so much grace and love it doesn’t seem right to do the latter.

And of course, it all starts with how we feel about ourselves. We’re all flawed. We have to accept that and get over it. Once we can learn to love ourselves and our purpose in life, it makes it easier to pour out the love to others.

If I ever come across someone who makes me mad, I’ve been challenging myself to, instead of getting angry and stewing over it, remind myself that we don’t know what’s going on in another person’s life, and maybe that person just needs some compassion. I recently heard a story of an employee who was rude to someone, but instead of reacting, the woman showed compassion. Later, the employee contacted the woman to thank her for her kind words, explaining that her daughter had died and she’d been mad at everyone.

It’s amazing what a kind response, even to people who we may not think deserve it, can do.

I hope this wasn’t too heavy for a Monday, because love is actually an amazingly happy thing, and I wish lots of love for all of you! So much love that you can’t help but spread it to everyone you meet!

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