Tag Archives: resolutions

"What's New, Cupcake?" book cover

6 Food and Cooking Resolutions I’m Sticking to in 2012

"What's New, Cupcake?" book cover

Adding a few food-related books to your library--and actually reading them--makes for a good, measurable resolution in 2012.

Like many, Michelle Ryan has difficulty keeping New Year’s resolutions. But she’s going to give it a go (again) with these six in 2012.

Raise your hand if you make New Year’s resolutions. Now keep them up if you stick to them. (It’s OK, this is a judgment-free zone.)

I make tons of resolutions, it seems, like exercise more, eat better, learn new things. And usually by today, Jan. 3, I’m still trying to get going on them. Before too long, it seems like I give up or lose enthusiasm for missing a day of the new routine.

Part of my problem is the extended college football bowl season (which this year stretches to Jan. 9), and part is my resolutions have no measurable focus.

So this year, at least where it comes to food and cooking, I’m going to try to change that with these six resolutions.

1. Expand my taste buds. This could be a hard one, especially for a reforming picky eater like me. But I fell in love with zucchini last year, and the least I can do for myself is see what else I could be missing out on at the dinner table.

2. Eat in more often. I get in a hurry–or get lazy–and opt for picking up lunch or dinner or “cooking” a frozen “meal.” It gets the job done, sure, but it doesn’t hold the same satisfaction–or health benefits–that a home-cooked meal does.

3. Use my kitchen gadgets. I’ve got plenty of time-savers and gizmos that promise efficiency, yet ironically, I get too in a hurry to use them. Now that I’ve resolved to cook more often, I can put these gadgets to the test to see which ones I should keep around.

4. Exercise my creativity. Too often I get boxed in by following recipes or decorating instructions to the letter. And when I do step out of the box, like with a recent attempt at making Sweet Potato Cupcakes, I’m pleasantly surprised by the risk.

5. Read more–about food. To my book collection I’ve been adding cookbooks, baking books, decorating and flavor books and so on. I read plenty of food magazines, but I’m thinking it’s time I curled up with a good book about cooking every now and then too.

6. Learn more–about food. I’ve already got plans penciled in to accomplish this one in 2012. There are three more cake decorating courses covering flowers and fondant on my 2012 schedule, along with some local cooking classes that I’ve committed to take.

All You magazine's January 20, 2012, issue

New Year’s Resolutions: It’s That Time of Year

All You magazine's January 20, 2012, issue

All You magazine's January 20, 2012, issue has tips for spending less money in the new year--whether it's a resolution or not.

After a rough 2011, blogger Summer Huggins is taking a different approach to New Year’s resolutions this year.

I’ve made an executive decision about setting New Year’s resolutions this year. I’m not gonna do it. Instead I’m going to keep things simple. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink, so quitting those are out already.

I’m not one of those people who wallows in self-pity, but it’s been a rough 13 to 14 months for me. I lost my dad, a cousin and a dog, and my mom is in a rehab facility recovering from a stroke. Those events have shifted my priorities. So instead of setting lofty goals for myself by making one of any of the most popular resolutions, I simply want to continue to live well.

Instead of resolving to exercise more, I simply want to live life outdoors more, taking more photo walks, spending time playing fetch with the dogs and volunteering in my community.

Instead of resolving to lose weight, I plan to just make the healthiest decisions possible. When faced with fried chicken and mashed potatoes or a plate of locally grown fresh grilled vegetables, I want to choose the healthier option. That’d be the vegetables.

Instead of resolving to save more money, I will simply spend less and let the saving happen naturally.

If you’re making New Year’s resolutions, I wish you all the best sticking with them and making them work for you. If you’re like me and bucking the trend, I wish you a happy and healthy year.

Girls' Life magazine's December 2011 issue

10 Tips to Help Girls (and Anyone, Really) Relax in the New Year

Girls' Life magazine's December 2011 issue

Girls' Life magazine's December 2011 issue

For the new year, Girls’ Life magazine is giving kids the tools to unplug and de-stress. Parents could learn a thing or two as well.

Being a teen is never easy, but today’s kids are under even more scrutiny. The insecurity of pubescence is only magnified with the added pressures of social media. The December/January issue of Girls’ Life is offering simple ways to make life in a plugged-in world a bit less complicated. And none of them has to do with retail therapy or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Here’s how teens can up their “happy” in 2012.

1. Get a hobby. Instead of following the crowd, find out what you love to do. It doesn’t have to involve a sport or a school activity to deliver some major fun and relaxation. If you find some other people who enjoy the same activity, well, then the more the merrier.

2. Take on more responsibility. Taking some more control over your life can bring a sense of calm. Ask for more responsibility at home or at school.

3. Take a hike. The effects of exercise on mood have been proven time and time again. Fresh air and sunshine will also increase vitamin D, which is proven to release serotonin, a powerful, mood-altering brain hormone.

4. Eat happy. Eat regular snacks to control blood sugar, but avoid sugar. Whole grains, protein, and a little healthy fat will keep you focused, energized, and therefore happy throughout the day.

5. Hug it out. In the e-world, it’s easy to miss out on human interaction. So, get in some real face-time with friends and family. And when you’re going in for a hug, give it at least six seconds–long enough for the brain to release more of those mood-altering chemicals.

6. Happiness is contagious. Surround yourself with a support network of people who are generally happy.

7. Just. Say. No. While it’s great to take on responsibility, too much of it can create utter chaos in the lives of even the best task-masters. Learn to speak your opinion too, instead of just going along with what everyone else wants. If your friends can’t respect your choice in pizza toppings, well, are they really friends at all?

8. Do something. The holidays can create a little extra cash flow, but instead of blowing it all at the mall, why not spend it on making some memories? Go bowling with friends, or go see the latest “Twilight” movie. The flick might be awful, but you can always bond over a mutual love for Team Edward.

9. Face your issues. Don’t run from conflict. It’s better to face it head on than to let a bad situation fester.

10. Relax. Sometimes the best way to get rid of stress is to just be. Take some time to chill out reading or listening to music.