The Rich Life in Wine Country · Jan 14, 2014

What's Making My Life Rich in the New Year...and Savvy Sleepers Winners Announced

It's already two weeks into the new year. When I see holiday lights still hanging on the eaves of a few homes around here and get the occasional late Christmas card in the post, I suddenly remember that the holidays weren’t all that long ago.

With our sunny, 70-degree picnicking weather, it’s hard to believe it was just a few weeks ago that I was swilling hot mulled wine and chewing the heads off gingerbread people.

My New Year’s resolutions are in full-swing, which I guess is really not that impressive since we aren’t even through the first month of year, but I am still proud nonetheless.

While building my career and getting healthy are my primary endeavors this year, my overall goal is to always live a rich life. Some of the things that make my life rich change from year to year, month to month and sometimes week to week.

Today, I thought I would share with you what's making my life richer right now, in this new year:

A Richer Spirit:

I keep my eyes on my goals and remember this (alleged) Polish proverb:

It has become my mantra for when I catch myself devoting valuable time and energy to other people’s issues. It’s surprising to me how often I find myself engaged in something that I don’t need to be engaged in. Remembering this quote makes me feel somehow liberated and less burdened and certainly more focused on my own little circus.

A Richer Creative Side:

My Instagram friend, Anne-maree of the popular blog, The House that A - M Built recently spent a few weeks in Europe, skiing in the Alps and running around Paris with her darling family.

Thankfully, Anne-maree loves to take fantastic photos and post them to Instagram. I absolutely adore every one of her travel pictures. If you love Paris and/or Switzerland, check out her photos. It will make you want to hop on the next plane to Europe.

Anne-maree discovered an app that takes a photo and turns it into an image resembling a watercolor. It's called Waterlogue and I simply had to have it the moment I saw it.

To a true artist, this isn't really being creative. But for someone with no artistic talent like me, this app is a real joy to play with.

Daisy, doing what she does best.
Richer Health:

Dear reader, I have a confession. I have gained 15 pounds since I went off my healthy eating regimen back in early October. For three solid months, I allowed myself to eat all the things my fat cells adore: sugar, flour, and practically any starch within arms' reach.

It had gotten to the point where I had one pair of jeans that fit me - snuggly at that - and I couldn’t button up my favorite coat. If that weren't troubling enough, my skin decided to show how disappointed it was in me and broke out for weeks. I decided on December 26th that it was high time to get back on track.

Now I am eating satisfying meals made with lots of whole foods and though I have only lost a few pounds, I feel great and I can already see a slimmer me with better skin in the mirror.

I rely heavily on salads and my beloved Vitamix to make creamy soups, smoothies and cauliflower fauxtatoes.

Last night I made a fantastic dinner: my mom’s recipe for slow baked chicken breasts and onions over a bed of green cauliflower fauxtatoes. It was absolutely delicious. I am going to make it again later this week and probably next week, too.

Of course, the other part of being healthy is exercise. While I'm walking and hiking more and using my recumbent bike, I am also working on back and abdominal strength.

Today, I am on day 15 of a 30 day planking challenge I found on Pinterest. And the best part is, I have a partner. A friend from college who lives in Southern California is doing it with me. We check in with each other every day on Facebook with our planking progress.

Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I held a plank for 90 seconds. Very bad curse words were flying out of my mouth during those last 15 seconds and I am sure I made new wrinkles on my face, what with all the pained faces I made. But I did it. And I am going to do it again today.

I highly recommend taking a 30-day fitness challenge of your own and partnering with someone for accountability. I will be starting a new one up on the 31st of January. Next time it may be lunges, squats or pushups – maybe all three! Care to join me?

A Richer (and refreshed) Blog:

This is news I have been itching to tell you for weeks! The Rich Life (on a budget) has been building a new little blog home behind the scenes. It should be finished by the end of this month, if not sooner.

The web address will stay the same but the look will be a little different - better, I hope.

In a later post I will tell you the many reasons why I made the switch to a self-hosted site and how I did it (with lots of help!).

Until that time, those of you who follow my posts on Google Friend Connect won't be able to anymore. I can’t take it with me because it is connected to Blogger, my current and soon-to-be former blogging platform.

Farewell, GFC!

What I can take with me is Bloglovin’, my personal favorite reader and my email subscription. If you would like to stay connected, please use one or both of those soon. The switch may be happening sooner if I can get my act together.

Before I conclude, I want to announce the Savvy Sleepers winners.

Rafflecopter selected:
Krystal S. and Tracy B.!
Congratulations, you two!
An email has been sent to you both so please check your inbox for details on how to get your Savvy Sleepers!

Don’t forget that there is still time to use your 15% discount code at Savvy Sleepers. Just enter “Rich Life” at checkout. The code is good through January 31st, 2014.

What’s making your life rich so far this year?
One more thing: Please stop by Catherine's blog, Not Dressed as Lamb to read a wonderful article about why it's so superbly wonderful to be a 40 fashion blogger. Catherine was kind enough to include me, along with several stylish and well-established bloggers that you are likely familiar with. It's a fun and interesting post!
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