Image copyright JodiWomack.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Some people make promises, some make intentions, and some make a resolution to make no resolution. I like to take this time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished 2011 and what I’m creating as my goals for 2012.
One of my goals in 2011 was to create a website dedicated to food, entertaining, and health. I’m happy to have started Lindsay Ann Loft and I’m proud of where this site has come since my first post in August.
In 2012, I intend to continue writing daily and growing Lindsay Ann Loft in new and exciting ways. If there are any topics, recipes, or how-to’s you’d like to see on the site, please let me know.
I’m also resolving to organize my life, office, and closets, trying new recipes and eating healthfully in the new year. I’m also reading 100 books on Time’s All Time Novel List.
Happy New Year! I’m so happy to have you as a reader and look forward to a fantastic 2012!!!
Posted in Resolution
Image copyright AMagill.
Weight loss is a popular New Year’s Resolution but so is saving money and spending it more cost effectively. If you’re looking to save money in 2012, here’s a how to list of money saving ideas.
- Cook at home – This is a big time and money saver. Ordering a pizza costs $20 but making it at home is about $5. Same goes for making lunch at home instead of going to a deli on your lunch break. You can save money on bread by baking it yourself. Make a monthly menu to help keep you and your family on track and out of a pricey restaurant.
- Make (And Stick To) A Grocery List – I know when I go to the grocery store with a list I avoid impulse buys. If you make your menu and stick to it, you will know exactly what you need when you get to the store. This will save money on items you don’t need and save money on gas when you avoid a second trip for something you’ve forgotten.
- Make Your Own Coffee & Use a Brita Filter – Stopping for coffee on the way to work is about $2.50, if you order a latte it’s even more. Making your own coffee is a major money saver, the costs add up quickly: $2.50 x 5 day/week = $12.50 x 4 weeks/month = $50. $50 a month!!!! This goes the same for bottled water. Use a water filter system, keep a pitcher in the fridge and fill up travel bottles as needed. Water is so good for your body too!
- Make a Yearly Budget – Starting the year off with a budget will help you deal with expectations and create a savings plan for the next vacation, car, home or other purchase. Many websites are dedicated to putting a budget together.
- Trick Yourself into Saving Money – Have your paycheck direct deposited to two accounts, it will automatically add a small portion to a savings account. Before long, you won’t know you’re missing it! That is until you check your savings account months later and find a nice chunk of change.
- Analyze Automatic Charges – Services such as cable, movie accounts, gym memberships will bill your credit card automatically. Take some time to look at statements and decide if the services you’re paying for are worth it, are you using them? Could you change your Netflix account from 3 movies to 1? Do you need to keep paying for a gym you don’t use or are there exercises you could do at home?
- Avoid Banking and ATM Fees – Review your banking and ATM Fees, are you losing money in your saving account because of low balances? Plan ahead and be sure to stop at your bank’s ATM before going out. Fees are like throwing money out the window.
- Cut back on Electric and Heating Bills – Open the curtains to let the sun in during the day, it will heat up your house for free. Be conscience of when you have the heat or air conditioning on. After baking leave the oven open to warm up the house. Keep in mind that appliances still use electricity while switched off, it’s called vampire power. Unplug appliances when not in use, the money adds up. Want to know how much you can save? Check your energy loss here.
- Visit the Library – This is a money and space saver and it’s fun! If you’re a big reader, stop at your local library to borrow a book before buying it. Most people read a book once and then put it on a shelf, so by borrowing it from the local library you’re saving the money for the book and the space on your shelves. Most libraries offer DVD choices too. It’s also a great way to get to know your community.
- Find Free Entertainment – Communities are always having concerts, festivals and events. Look in a local newspaper or website for events.
This list of 10 ideas to save money in the new year is just the beginning. With a little thought you can tighten up the budget and costs in your life. What are your tips for saving money?
Image copyright bayasaa.
If you’re looking to get healthy in 2012, Kathy is sharing her ideas and tips for making a resolution and having it stick.
I hope that everyone had a fabulous Christmas. Our family had and is still having a wonderful time. Our daughters and their husbands/boyfriend are in town and we are enjoying time with them.
As the end of another year comes to a close, New Years resolutions start coming to mind. You probably guessed it, the number one resolution is to lose weight. As a person who has lost a lot of weight, I can tell you that I made that resolution more times than I care to count. Losing weight is a great idea but since so many people break that resolution, I would say you may want to narrow it down. One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get healthier. There are some great things that you can do to make yourself healthier and maintain that resolution all year long.
Make simple changes. Small changes can lead to big results. As I have mentioned in the past, eating more fruits and vegetables is such a great benefit to your overall health and diet. Just swapping out vegetables instead of something like mashed potatoes in a meal can make a big difference. I have found the more vegetables that I eat, the better my weight loss is. You can make vegetables taste great with different seasonings. Try different things on them. That is a change that I have made and continue to enjoy. Spices and seasonings make some boring foods taste great. Roasting cauliflower in the oven with seasonings such as Mrs. Dash, can be a great side dish or even an appetizer. Putting asparagus on the George Forman grill for just a couple of minutes is good too. Sprinkling a little parmesan cheese on it can add flavor without too much fat and calories.
Making the decision to move a little more is also a great benefit. Small changes can make a difference here but I suggest taking at least 15-20 minutes a day to do some exercise where you get your heart rate up. Brisk walking is excellent. It helps with burning calories and strengthening your heart. We can all use that!
Keep in mind that if you break that resolution early on, that is no reason to give up! Like I said, I have made the resolution to lose weight so many years in a row. In 2007, I made that one again. I can tell you that I finally followed through with it beginning on August 13th! Better late than never! Even though I have lost the weight that I carried for a number of years, I still chose to work on new challenges and continue to become healthier. Getting and staying in shape is a continuing process.
A new year is in front of us, leave the past behind and start for a new and healthier you. Making a resolution to make you a priority this year. Make small changes. Just by cutting and/or burning 100 calories a day, you would lose 10 pounds in a year! Imagine the possibilities if you exercise and burn 400-500 a day!
It is within each and every one of us to make changes. We all can do it. In 2007 I started my journey. Make 2012 the year that you start yours!
Kathy has been posting with us every Wednesday and sharing her story and ideas for weight loss and a healthy life. Miss any of the previous posts?
Find them here:
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I made these for Christmas and they were a hit. I think biscotti is a perfect excuse to have cookies for breakfast. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday, do yourself a favor and bake these before new years day and everyone’s resolutions start! Or save them for Valentine’s day. You will love them.
Double Chocolate Biscotti
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 Cup sugar
- 2 Large eggs
- 2 Cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a mixer, cream butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- On a low speed, add the eggs until combined.
- Slowly add the dry mixture, mix on low until combined and then add chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
- With well floured hands, divide the dough in two equal parts. Form each ball into a rectangular log which will be approximately 10 inches by 2 inches.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
- Allow cookie to cool on baking rack, do this carefully to avoid breaking the cookie.
- While the cookie is still slightly warm, cut diagonally with a serrated knife. Use a a firm and direct motion when cutting in order to avoid cracking the cookie. Make each piece approximately 3/4 inch wide.
- Place sliced biscotti on a cookie sheet, this works well if you have a cooling rack placed on the cookie sheet so that both sides can toast.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp.
- Allow biscotti to cool.
- If desired, melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip the cookies in so that half of the biscotti is covered. Allow chocolate to set on a piece of wax paper.