The Post I’ve Needed to Write for a While…

If you follow this blog at all, I have clearly been pretty M.I.A. this year. I had a pretty rough first half of 2016 – I tried to continue blogging from time to time, but my creative energy had been pretty zapped by a pretty terrible job situation. For being a generally confident, happy person, I can say that I have never been pulled so low as I was from December of last year through June of this year. I won’t go into details, but by the end of it, I felt stripped pretty bare.

But then I quit. Without a new job lined up, I prayed a LOT, asking God for guidance and if He COULD just MAYBE have me a new job by August 1, that would be wonderful. I had an incredible amount of peace during this time, and amazingly, on August 1, I got the call at 8:03 a.m. with my new job offer. Since then, the rest of the year has gone MUCH smoother. I’m finally feeling more my old self again, confidently working in a fabulous team environment, spending time outside of work with friends, getting back into a workout routine…the second half of the year has been SO much better.

Yet, as you’ve seen, there haven’t really been any posts. I’ve been cooking, decorating, sewing…but I just haven’t had it in me to write as much. Maybe this blogging phase of my life is over. Maybe I’ll revive it down the road. But the experiences of the year have made me care more for my friends, my family, my activities…and a little less about documenting every moment. The only place I post much these days is over in IG (@megstermeter), but I have definitely downsized my overall social media presence. I encourage each of you to really consider what is most important to you, and what is keeping you from loving those important pieces of life. Is there a job you need to quit? A relationship you need to repair? What can you do in 2017 to have your best life? I’m considering these questions for myself as the year ends.

As a “goodbye for now,” I can’t resist sharing some of my favorite pictures (in random order) of the last eight blogging years, as I welcome in this new 2017. I mean, TWENTY-SEVENTEEN, am I right? I remember December 31, 1999, in my friend Laura’s basement, singing “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65…yikes. I am optimistic about 2017 – I hope that both for you and for me, 2017 shares more laugher than tears, more joys than sorrows, and more gratitude than complaining.

 

VACATION

Well, it has been a NUTTY summer…one which will live in infamy, and I will tell you all about in due time. But TODAY, this wonderful day, my hubby and my in-laws and I are on the way to Panama City Beach.

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This photo is actually from our Jamaica trip, but I think you can get the idea.

Y’all know we love to travel, but this will actually be my first time traveling just the four of us. I’m so thrilled! We have a condo booked for four nights, and all I want to do is get a tan, shop, eat fish tacos, and read the Stephen King novel I just picked up at the library. Keep an eye on my instagram for updates, and see you back here sometimes next week! WOOT WOOT.

Betty Rocker Full Body Workout {PC2}

Welcome to Pinterest Challenge #2. Today’s workout is a quick 15-minute full-body via a video from Betty Rocker. I really like her workouts and food posts overall, but I have to say I didn’t love this video. But to be fair, I don’t think I like video workouts in general – there are so many starts and stops and then I just lose all motivation to complete it. But anyway, I think this could be a good quick little something if you just don’t know what else to do!

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Workout includes:

Mountain Climbers
Lunges
Skater Slides
Deadlifts
Pushups

…just to name a few! Try it out and let me know what you think!

Tandoori Roasted Cauliflower

While I was home visiting my family, my mom and I made one of her food-delivery-dinners… You know, those boxes that come with everything you need to make an amazing meal. I happened to love this meal, but it was SO EASY that I felt like I could recreate it at home. And so I did, and now I’m sharing with you. You’re welcome.

Tandoori Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt Sauce and Orange Salad

Ingredients

Cauliflower:

  • 1-2 heads of cauliflower (serves 2-4)
  • tandoori masala seasoning mix
  • olive oil

cauli

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 container plain greek yogurt
  • tandoori masala seasoning mix
  • cilantro

yogurt

Orange Salad:

  • 1-2 large oranges (serves 2-4), pealed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • cilantro
  • olive oil

oranges

Side:

  • Warm naan or couscous makes a good combo with this meal.

Directions

This is SO EASY. Get ready.

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Mix together your orange pieces, shallot (to taste), a few pinches of cilantro, and about a tablespoon of olive oil. I also add a little salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Mix together yogurt, 1 tablespoon tandoori seasoning, and another few pinches of cilantro. Set aside.
  4. Remove stem and leaves of cauliflower, and cut each head into 8ths. Drizzle olive oil, 2-3 tablespoons tandoori, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. Lay pieces on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet (I recommend spraying it), and bake for about 20 minutes, until roasted.
  5. Serve cauliflower with yogurt sauce, and with orange salad on the side.

WODs {PC1}

Welcome to Pinterest Challenge #1! As I shared in a post the other day, I am challenging myself to work through my “fit and fab” pinterest board. Two to three times a week, I am going to complete the next workout on the list and give a quick review to you! Let me know if you decide to do a pinterest challenge, no matter what pinterest board it is you might want to work through…

PC1: WOD Workouts

The first workout on my board happens to be a list of 24 crossfit wods that don’t require equipment! So I used a random number generator to select workout #6 for my challenge:

3 rounds AMRAP for 3 minutes each, with two minute breaks in-between:
15 lunges (per leg)
15 sit-ups

Results:

Round 1 – Completed lunges, sit-ups, lunges
Round 2 – Completed sit-ups, lunges, sit-ups, 1/2 lunges
Round 3 – Completed 1/2 lunges, sit-ups, lunges, sit-ups

Afterward…death to my legs! This was actually so so awesome for my quads, and I admit I was sore a couple days. This makes me want to try this whole list, so I’m definitely going to save it somewhere to refer to in the future. Happy WOD-ing!

A Fitness Pinterest Challenge

Raise your hand if you regularly post things on pinterest, but never (or rarely) visit your boards to find that recipe, workout, or craft. (If you aren’t raising your hand, you are a liar and we can’t be friends.) I realized the other day that my pinterest boards are blackholes of projects that I’ve never revisited. So I’ve decided to do a little challenge…

One of my biggest boards is called “Fit and Fab.” It’s mostly filled with workouts, spattered with a few cute workout clothing items I’d love to buy someday. So for the next several weeks, I’m going to start at the top and try each workout I’ve pinned. I’ll probably use these 2-3 times per week, scattered in with my other workouts, and report back.

Do you have a pinterest board that you nevvvvver really visit? Do your own challenge with me and let me know how it goes!

fitfab

Grandma Betty

This weekend, my family and I are preparing to celebrate my grandma’s life. After over ten years of struggling with Alzheimer’s, she is finally at peace.

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At my cousin’s wedding a few years back.

My cousin asked me to give her one word to describe grandma. My word: playful. My grandpa never loved playing games, and neither did my mom, so that usually meant it was me and grandma playing Rummy 500 (or sometimes 1000…or 1500…), The Game of Life, Tiddlywinks, or even working on a puzzle together. This is how I will always remember her, happy and teasing.

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After my last Original Cast performance, senior year of college.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. I remember when it was just starting, and she knew she was forgetting things. It was heart breaking. Later though, it became a blessing that she didn’t know it anymore. She was happy, even if she didn’t know who you were. She said “I love you, too” no matter what. And she played solitaire and did word search puzzles religiously to “stay sharp,” she would say. I admire her incredible life and 69-year marriage to my grandfather. We may not have been a huge family, but she raised to amazing girls (my mom included), had five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. I still love this super-90’s family photo we took – I’m the youngest, down in front, along with my four cousins. (Sorry for the fuzzies…it was a screenshot.)

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Family photo circa 1997ish maybe?

Words just can’t express how much we will all miss her. The truth is though, I’ve missed her for a really long time. At least now I know she’s with Jesus, who she loved and taught us to love. So grateful to have had 30 whole years with you, grandma. Be at peace!

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On their wedding day in 1946.