I Don’t Remember the Last Time I Slept In

The problem with being a go getter is that I’m always going and getting : )  And this was definitely a month year of on the go!

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This morning was no exception.  Since the BOY declared last night that his car was stuck in the drive way and that we would both be working from home today, I set my alarm extra early.  Note: I don’t have the type of job where one can ‘work from home’.   I awoke not knowing what to expect and when I peaked out the window, I saw my neighbors car stuck half in the road and the other half in the driveway.  I really wanted to get in a run this morning because A) I have not been doing much running and B) We honeymoon next month.

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Sure enough…I got the BOY’s car stuck in the slush when it was WAY darker than the picture above and thankfully our neighbor came by to assist in getting me unstuck.  We then got my car out in 1 1/2 tries and I was free to zoom off to the gym.  I did a 35 minute interval workout on the treadmill followed by abs.

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It was totally worth the extra work (see sweaty tomato faced smile above for proof!).  With just a few days left in 2015, there will definitely be time dedicated to wrapping up the year, but for now, let’s focus on the month behind and the month ahead…

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December Goals

Keep running (and sign up for a spring race)- I didn’t run as much as I wanted this month due to a sinus infection and colder, darker weather.  I did have a beautiful Christmas morning run though.  I am all signed up for a 10k in April and a possible half marathon in early May.

Stay healthy– Major Fail!  I came home from Thanksgiving with a cough and spent about 2 weeks with a sinus infection. Boo!

Get bikini ready…honeymoon here we come!- Strength and yoga have been on pointe, but my nutrition was on more of a holiday schedule.

Slow down, stay grounded, and appreciate the last month of 2015- Ahh! Although work was crazy busy, I can say that I made sure to have me time and family time…and Ahhh time!

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January Goals – Honeymoon Here We Come…

Exercise Often

Keep my Eating On Pointe

Get Organized (for our trip and 2016)

Create and Appreciate Expected and Unexpected Adventures

 

How are you wrapping up the year?

Long Holiday Weekend {In Review}

It’s Monday…And another short week!

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Can I get a woot woot?!

How was your holiday?  Mine was FANTASTIC!

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I started Christmas day with a calm and peaceful outdoor 5 mile run.  I know that I’m supposed to be sad, but I love being able to run outside without looking like an Eskimo in December.  I will be sad when it gets much colder this week!

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The cool part of my morning was seeing two deer snacking next to the path.  #GoodMorningDeers

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I showered and packed up my presents and at 10am, my parents came to pick us up for our annual Christmas trip to Champaign, IL.  We had so much stuff, there was barely any space left in the car.

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When we arrived, everyone caught up quickly and then gathered around the table for a gorgeous Christmas dinner!

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The rest of the weekend was festive and fun!

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We got stuck in a HUGE thunderstorm while trying to walk for coffee…

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Opened presents, cuddled with pups, and enjoyed winey Mary’s and TONS of food!

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Sunday we decided that it was another successful Christmas weekend and after one last meal, we drove back home.  Cooper was waiting for us and ready to cuddle!

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We had Sunday night birthday plans for Hibachi with my close girl friends and their hubbies.

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We had a great time catching up and chowing down.  After an exciting weekend, I crashed early last night.  This morning, it was back to the usual Monday routine…gym, grocery, laundry, etc.

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However, the weather was a disaster!  It was sleeting in all directions and the roads were slippery.  I prioritized my stops, including a trip to Costco, as I got ready for the next big holiday ahead…New Years!

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It took a TON of trips through the slush to get my car unpacked, each more miserable than the one before.  I was more than happy to settle back in to watch the Yule Log and bake up a loaf of banana bread this afternoon.

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And make Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps in the crockpot for tonight’s dinner. 

I’m thinking I’ll call it another early one…Cooper’s already upstairs waiting : )

 

How was your Christmas Weekend? Share the Highlights!

Pre-Holiday Happenings

Hello!  Happy Short Week!

We have much to catch up on…

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Starting with the Weekend

I taught a kids yoga class.

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Then ran a few errands before driving down into the city with the BOY.  We had drinks and delicious, fancy dinner with my brother and SIL.

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We slept in Sunday before going for a long walk on the unseasonably warm December day.

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Our first stop was Lululemon followed by donuts, gingerbread chai lattes, and empanadas.

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It was totally worth the walk. We lost track of time and showed up late to our yearly Hanukkah party.  Oops!  We tried to blame it on this guy…

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There was still plenty of time for us to hang out and catch up with our friends throughout Sunday afternoon.

Monday Morning

I slept in and then met my trainer for a sweat session…I’m still sore!

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Then ran a bunch more errands and finished up some holiday shopping.  When I came home, I made a million (or at least it felt like it) pretzel candies.

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And Oreo balls.  Including a tasty Gingerbread Oreo version with white chocolate and nutmeg…Mmm!

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Monday Afternoon

I really wanted to bake a bunch of cookies for the holidays, but had to settle for an afternoon of no-baking.

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And a quick shower before the BOY and I rushed out to the movies.

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Just one guess on what we saw…yea, we’ve had tickets for months : )

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Monday night, I finished laundry and packed up all my goodies for my coworkers before finally crashing in bed.

Tuesday Morning

I didn’t sleep well and hit snooze instead of going for a run.  I think it was too much sugar from eating all those chocolate treats!  I taught a 90 minute kids yoga workshop with the most amazing group of kiddos. 

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It was a super fun way to start the work week, which then proceeded on as a (short) typical work week. 

Wednesday Night

Thankfully, tomorrow is only a half day and the BOY and I are laughing our asses off to the latest Big Bang Theory right now.

Birthday sex: Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler finally got intimate on Thursday's Star Wars-themed episode of The Big Bang Theory

Ok…I think we’re all caught up!

What have you been doing this pre-holiday week???

Training for Tahiti

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I’m almost afraid to share our exciting news because it doesn’t seem real, but the BOY and I booked our honeymoon in January to Tahiti!

I know…exciting, right?!  Ever since we met, we’ve talked about going to Tahiti, but I never thought it would actually happen.  But here we are 5 weeks away from a 10 day trip to paradise!

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After talking to a bunch of people and enlisting the help of a travel expert, we booked our honeymoon to 3 islands including Bora Bora.  Like I said…it still sounds surreal!  In prep for the big trip, we have been hitting the gym with enthusiasm.

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Sometimes together and sometimes alone!  My routine has included A TON of yoga and strength training.

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With plenty of early morning post work out selfies!  I’m usually a huge cardio queen, so it was funny when my trainer mentioned that I needed to up my cardio/running this winter.

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I love to run!  But winter weather and later sun rises make it more difficulty this time of year.  Plus, this most recent sinus infection has made walking and light weights my only possible exercise.

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Overall, my goal is to exercise 5x each week with a mix of cardio and strength in order to make me strong and confident sporting my bathing suit on the beaches of Tahiti!

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A little throw back to our 2008 cruise

And I signed up for a spring 10k (and have my eye on a half marathon too) to keep me in good shape even after our trip.  The most fun part about this has been exercising with my husband.

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Every Saturday morning, we have been at the gym at 7am sacrificing our usual Friday night fun for a good sweat session.  And we’ve been going to the park district gym one other morning together before work.  Tahiti should be pretty memorable, but I have to say so is the training!

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

This week’s meal plan was tough because I just wasn’t craving much of anything…with the exception of dark chocolate.  But I knew that I needed to have some food in the house (besides chocolate) while I binge watched TV on my sick day and powered through the rest of my work week. 

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I didn’t have a lot of energy, so I kept it simple.  Monday, we had premade chicken burgers and Tuesday, I went to my crockpot.  This is the kind of meal that you can throw in the crockpot and then sit around and watch trashy TV all day.  My kind of meal…right?!

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The BOY was very pleased with Tuesday night’s dinner and I’m sure it will make it’s way into our crockpot rotation!

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I was back at work today, so we kept it even easier with turkey tacos.  I’m off to bed early again tonight due to the rhino sitting on my face!  G’night!

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

From emeals

Ingredients

  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 organic red or green bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can BPA-free fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp dried basil (or use 2 Tbsp chopped fresh)

Directions

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Top with onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, broth and basil. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours.

NOTE: My chicken cooked quickly so it took way less time.

Sickness Needs Soup

It’s no secret that I love soups and chilis and this blog is full of recipes for them.  I eat soup year round but like to make it almost every week in the winter time.  This December has been odd (50 degrees and rain), and my soup/chili make has been a little less frequent.  However, when I came down with a full on sinus infection this weekend, I knew I needed some soup.

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And I knew I wanted to make it in my brand new Dutch oven!!!

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It had to be a flavorful one since my taste is a bit off from congestion.  I found a recipe chock full of veggies and nutrients on the Goop website, so I had to give it a try.

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I knew right away that the BOY was not going to eat it, which gave me freedom to add in whatever I wanted!

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My big substitute was taking out the farro and throwing in some chicken sausage that I had in the fridge.

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I had soup made before lunch time with more than enough for the week ahead.

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The BOY made plans to come home a little earlier, so I had dinner (and dessert) made and picked up the new Mission Impossible movie at the Redbox for us.  We ate an early dinner and then settled in for a quiet night with plans to get back into our normal routine tomorrow.

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What do you make when you are sick?

 

Winter Minestrone Soup

Slightly Adapted from GOOP

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely-diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 precooked chicken sausages, diced

2 teaspoons rosemary, finely-chopped (I used dried)

1 teaspoon thyme, finely-chopped (I used dried)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

2 cups packed chopped kale

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 large zucchini, diced

salt and pepper

 

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a pot of dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and a large pinch of salt and sauté 5 minutes.

2. Add sausage, rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, and another generous pinch of salt and cook 2 more minutes.

3. Add chicken stock and water, bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add kale, beans, and another pinch of salt and return to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer another 10 minutes.

6. Add diced zucchini, turn off the heat, and let zucchini cook in the warm broth for 1 minute.

7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

8. Serve hot garnished with crushed red chili flakes and pesto, if desired.

So, Let Me Fill You In…

It has been a hectic week, to say the least!

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The BOY and I are working on a few adult tasks (ie insurance) that are a massive headache.  And then on Wednesday, I met a few friends for Mexican after work. On my way home, I hit a pothole and blew out my front passenger tire. I should be embarrassed to admit that I have no idea how to change a tire.  My first step was to get my car off the main road at 10pm.  I thought about You Tubing the tire change or calling a tow truck.  I didn’t like either option.  When I looked up from my phone,  saw that I was in front of a fire station.  I ran up to the door and rang the doorbell and was beyond lucky to have a nice fireman come out and change my tire.

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The BOY and I were able to switch cars this week and by Friday, my cough from last week was turning into more of a sinus infection.   Saturday morning, I was back on my mat for a kids yoga class.  I had a super busy day but the BOY took my tire in for me and discovered that my tire was fine, but the rim was a whole another story!  Begin the not so easy search to find a tire rim for under $400…

On Sunday, my mom and I were supposed to spend the day baking cookies (and I was planning to have lots of recipes to share with you).  Instead, we spent the day shopping.  It was exhausting but necessary to get all of our holiday gifts done.  The malls were busy as expected and it was fun to bump into one of my best friends and her family at Whole Foods on the way home.  This morning, I made about a million phone calls and  then drove to the train station in a rainstorm to pick up the muddy tire from my trunk.  I think that perhaps I have found a tire rim, but had to figure out which one I needed.  The only joy was the HUGE rainbow spanning most of town!

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Then, I met my dad for lunch before I had a doctor’s appointment.  I had this scheduled for a few shots, which worked out quite well since I also needed some Augmentin to attack my throbbing sinuses.  Now I have a stuffed head and a sore arm : )

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I planned ahead and bought these guys yesterday…

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And then took my first dose with some yogurt today.

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Before curling up on my couch to binge watch Scandal.

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Luckily, I have a skilled nurse, who will be hanging with me again tomorrow when I take a sick day to let my antibiotics kick in and do their job!  I’m hoping to get my life a bit more organized and a few cookie recipes out to you soon.  And I’ll probably be binge watching my DVR too!  And that’s the latest update from me…

Too Tired to Come Up with a Title

I seriously had a difficult time getting myself out of my warm cozy bed this morning!  And I think the BOY was struggling as well.  We had a really fun weekend!  Saturday morning, I was back on my mat with my last session of kids yoga this year.  It is a unique group because my younger class is all at the top end of the age range and have been doing yoga with me for a bit, so we were able to try some new stuff.  They stuck with it all and did great!

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My older class is a mix of abilities and new and experienced kids.  It is a huge learning experience for me to try to teach to everybody while making sure all of the kids feel successful and comfortable.  The morning flew by, and I left work feeling grateful to have the opportunity to share my passion for yoga with this amazing group of kids.

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I spent the rest of Saturday running around and luckily had some downtime on Sunday.  Then we went to my parents house to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. 

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After dinner, the BOY and I went to Bed Bath for our registry completion event.  We bought a few big things for the kitchen including a gorgeous knife set and this…

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I am still drooling over it!

After the weekend, it’s no wonder when our alarm went off this morning, we were more than happy to stay in bed.   And Cooper was more than happy to join us!  While the BOY drove off to the train, I met my trainer for a strength session.

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Then stopped by the grocery store on the way home.  When I was in NY I had the simplest and tastiest Maple latte so I decided to recreate one while I unpacked groceries and took a little downtime to catch up on emails and make my list for the day ahead.  Big things on today’s list included an oil change, holiday cards, and setting up our Hanukkah décor.

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On top of that, I baked two loaves of Cinnamon Delight Bread and two dozen 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies.

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Since I was making Thai Peanut Butter Chicken, I figured it would be easy to use my extra homemade peanut butter for cookies.  And I love that I always have ingredients to make this recipe in my pantry.

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Do you love my Hanukkah spatula???

After running around ALL day, I was absolutely exhausted!  And stuffed with leftover potato pancakes and cookies.  I made an easy dinner of turkey burgers before cleaning everything up and sinking into my couch.  Good Night!

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Meal Planning 12/07/15

Monday: Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers

Tuesday: Clean Peanutty Thai Chicken

Wednesday: Tilapia

Thursday: TBD

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3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

From Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients

    • 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy…I used homemade)

    • 1 cup sugar (plus extra for dipping if desired)

    • 1 egg

        Directions

        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

        Using an electric mixer or a strong spoon, mix together the peanut butter, white sugar and egg until smooth.

        Form dough into round tablespoon-fulls. Then roll in an extra bowl of sugar, if desired, to coat the outside of the dough ball. Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart, and then use a fork to flatten and form a cross pattern.

        Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cookies are just slightly browned on the bottom, being careful not to over-bake. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

        Into and Out of It

        Hey all!  Sorry I’ve been gone a bit. 

        The truth is that sometimes I’m a little more into blogging than others.   True for a lot of things, right?!

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        Plus, the BOY and I just spent the most wonderful Thanksgiving in New York with my family!

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        And we’ve been busy getting back into work and life since we got back.  On top of that, I’ve also been a bit out of it. I returned from NY with a terrible cough and although I feel okay, I had little to no voice and was exhausted from all the coughing.  We’ve gotten back into our life groove and so now it’s time to get back into my blogging groove.  Can you believe, there is only one month of goals left in 2015?  No pressure!

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        November Goals

        1. Figure out a fall/winter workout schedule.

        I’m working on the details.  It is so tough for me to move my cardio indoors, but the BOY and I have been able to get to the gym together Tuesday mornings (we initially tried Thursdays = not so good).  I’ve also been able to get to some AM yoga classes, which has been AWESOME!

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        2. Cook, Bake, and Explore New Recipes

        I think you probably noticed more recipes this month (especially compared with the last few).  A few favorites include Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies, Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken, and Cheesey Stuffed Sourdough Loaf.

        3. Clean/Organize our house.

        We spent Halloween weekend doing a massive clean.  Our kitchen and office benefitted the most.  Although we still have some work to do in the garage, our house looks and feels better already.

        4. Reconnect – I feel like I’ve been very wedding-centric recently, so I look forward to spending that time hanging with friends and family.

        The best part of life!  It was a fun month getting together with friends and celebrating Thanksgiving with our family!

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        December Goals

        Keep running (and sign up for a spring race)

        Stay healthy

        Get bikini ready…honeymoon here we come!

        Slow down, stay grounded, and appreciate the last month of 2015

         

        What are you goals?

        What are you into and out of this month?