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Nutella Hot Chocolate

7 Jan

Happy Monday!

The chilly day calls for a cup of something steamy. Why not stray from the typical hot apple cider or coffee and try some Nutella hot chocolate?

I know I’m certainly not the first to stir in the creamy chocolate mixture into a cup of hot water, but I was surprised how much different it tasted from normal hot chocolate – but in a good way. I made mine with a couple of heaping spoonfuls of Nutella, and a splash of cold milk.

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I discovered Nutella only a few months ago, but since then have tried to incorporate it into just about anything I can. For the more adventurous and well-experienced users of Nutella, I would love any advice on how you make your Nutella hot chocolate – or Nutella anything! I enjoy dipping strawberries in it. And, I confess I sometimes scoop it out and eat it with my fingers if a spoon is not readily available. I know I’m not the only one ;)

Until next time,

LoveByrd

 

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Resolutions. Goals. And other hopeful things.

1 Jan

Dear friend,

I mentioned setting goals in the previous post, but I’d like to share a few of mine at the onset of this year. Some seem a bit cliché, but all reflect important parts of what happened last year.

goal1

Goal 1 is not exactly earth-shattering. After all, we all know that making homemade meals can be healthier (and cheaper!) than eating out all the time. But after reading “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan, I realize more than ever that it’s time we take control of what we eat. Cooking at home doesn’t always guarantee a healthy meal (hello, cardboard pizza!) but I’ve read you’re much less likely to a) overeat and b) ingest ingredients you know are terrible for your health.

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Goal 2 is simply goal 1 expounded. Eating at home is more focused at saving money and being more conscious about what I eat. Goal 2 is to encourage me to eat BETTER. Shop at the farmers market or in the organic produce at the store. Don’t buy packaged/processed food. Cut out refined sugar from my diet. Primarily eat vegetables.

goal3

Goal 3 is more of a homecoming – a small idea within a really big revelation about something I should have already known. I began my college career with a very different major at a very different university. When I transferred and changed majors, I thought I was done with the past – my dreams of entering the fashion world or pursuing a restaurant, like I had been wanting to do all through high school. Well, while a lot of things have changed in the past 4 years, I can’t seem to get rid of that creative bug inside of me. How I’ll end up combining my journalism degree into the competitive world of food and fashion, I have no clue. Is this what I think I’ll end up doing in the long run? Most definitely yes. And it starts with what I can do right now – and that’s getting good at what I know.

goal4

Goal 4 is a reflection of my summer journalism internship in Oregon. I traveled there, not knowing anyone in Oregon or anything about Oregon (other than it rained. A lot). Long story very short, traveling there and meeting some pretty amazing people turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. And I can’t wait until my next adventure – anywhere. I’m not too picky, as long as I’m out of my comfort zone and can marinate in a very different atmosphere.

goal5

Goal 5 is pretty self-explanatory. The date is set, the photographer has been paid, and the dress search is on. It’s officially official, and I can’t wait!

goal6

Goal 6 may sound a bit strange. But let me explain. I’m one of those crazy people who will study and study and STUDY for a test, ace it, and then magically not be able to remember half of what I studied a week later. I’ve done this for 3 and a half years in college, and I’m ready to stop studying. I want to learn – I want to jump into my classes with a desire to know, not simply for a test but for practical application in life. And this mindset is more than just school – it’s with anything you’re trying to do. Rather than going through the motions and checking off a list of “accomplishments,” I think it’s much more savory accomplishing a little less but understanding a lot more. If that makes any sense.

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Goal 7 is about my once-upon-a-time sewing skills. Love to do it, never make time for it. I’m hoping to set aside more time to expand what I can make, but my current specialty is purses. I love selecting fabric – preferably scraps from my mom, so things aren’t wasted, but I also love shopping for it in the sale section of fabric stores. I’ve also tried my hand at embroidery, and it’s fun as well. So my hopes are that I will not only start creating again, but expanding what I can create.

goal8

Goal 8 scares me more than all my goals combined. I love doing new things after the fact – looking back on how much fun something was is OK; deciding to step out and do something really new can be scary. But, that’s what my life is heading toward these days – an upcoming new job, new hometown, new home, new church, new life, new everything, in just a few months.

goal9

And goal 9 reminds me to keep smiling, even when I’m not liking the new. It’s too easy to get focused on everything that’s wrong or bad, either in my personal life or in the world at large. The issues have to be dealt with, but I’ll go crazy if I can’t stay positive and smile. Plus it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown – maybe fewer wrinkles in the future if I stay joyful? :)

goal10

Goal 10 is almost comical for me to make, because it’s so difficult to do. Presently, I’m unemployed, I live hours away from my fiance and life can be pretty nasty some days. This past year was probably one of the most difficult, with lots of trials and transitions and other icky things I’d honestly love to forget ever happened. And the future? Well, that’s always uncertain, but even more so with unemployment so high and student loans looming over me. But goal 10 is also a reminder that I’m not in control – that’s God’s job. I have a loving, healthy family. I have great friends, I attend a great school. And even the difficult times teach us to be stronger, and to appreciate and search for and nurture the good things in this world.

So here’s to 2012 – what a year of blessings. Because God has taken what could have been many failures and turned them into great lessons to prepare me for this year: the year of much change.

And many thanks to you, friend, for following along on this journey.

Until next time,

LoveByrd