Happy New Year!!! 2016

New Year + Me = Endless Possibilities.

Greetings everyone! I hope your holiday festivities were delightful. ūüôā

2015 was a huge huge year for me. I reached a healthy weight and moved on to striving to live life fully every day finishing my Golden Year Project in the process. During this time I have really come to appreciate how life is truly a journey and is always moving forwards. As such, I intend to continue striving to be the best version of myself, including taking better care of my health.

One of the foundations of good health is a good diet which is supported by cooking skills. Historically speaking, cooking and I have rarely seen eye-to-eye. My juvenile culinary attempts long¬†resulted in burned water, salty cookies, dusty gingerbread, scrambled pancakes, and, the one my siblings won’t let me forget, the puke-tastic peanut butter balls. (How was I to know that substituting half¬†the ingredients would result in tragedy???)

But as a sign of the times, there have been changes which give me cause to update my perception¬†of my abilities.¬†Over the past six months I have surprised myself by¬†showing an aptitude for preparing edible food, meals even, for the consumption of others. My most recent successes have merited accolades from formerly skeptical family members. Which leads me to my main resolution for 2016…

I am going¬†Paleo. ūüôā

I wish you all a wonderful 2016.

Thanks for reading!



10 Miles

Today I assisted in taking our boy scout troop on a 10 mile bike ride. It doesn’t sound like much, but the preparation for this trip was astronomical.¬†

When I went to see the Tridge in Midland back in the spring, I had hung out with the scout leaders after the Eagle ceremony and discussed the possibility of helping my brothers and other scouts in the troop earn their cycling badges because there weren’t any adult volunteers able to do so. They needed to complete 100 miles of biking over six trips; two 10 mile rides, two 15 mile rides, and then two 25 mile rides. Being on the hunt for new ways of completing my Golden Year Project, I was game. Just need a bike¬†and make time to meet up with some scouts. Right?

Wrong.¬†To help out required that I first officially join the troop as an adult leader.¬†I submitted¬†my troop application to the council and purchased my bicycle gear in April. When the application was approved in May, I was sent a link to complete the online BSA Youth Protection Training, then had to wait to attend the Protecting God’s Children training session in June which is a requirement of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Once completed I figured that the scouts and I would be working toward the 100 mile goal right away… Came to find out that scouts were out for the summer, and meetings wouldn’t start again until the last week of September. Yeah…

Keeping positive, my brothers and I went on some bike rides to get in shape for all the miles we were going to be putting in. Unfortunately, not long after this, I fell off my bike while jumping a curb at the end of June resulting in a slow healing¬†wrist injury. ūüė¶

When my brothers and I went to do a test run at the Metropark in July, the bike rack I had borrowed failed on the express way and we nearly lost our bikes! The metal base had bent and it was dangling the bicycles mere millimeters above the asphalt when I pulled off the road. Thankfully my mom was home and was able to transport them back home for us. A new bike rack was quickly procured to prevent a repeat occurance.

In mid-September my mom, brothers, and I had our official 6 mile test run which went pretty well. The most difficult part was loading and unloading the bikes on the new rack. We took extra precautions to make sure they were well secured.

Today we had seven¬†scouts meet up for our event. Leadership had everyone carpool and the bikes were spread across several vehicles. Loading, unloading, checking their bicycles and coordinating all the scouts was quite a chore. Thankfully I didn’t have to do it alone!


It¬†was sunny, however once we reached the park it was super cold and quite windy. I don’t know what I would’ve done without the gloves my mom gave me! The ride proved to be¬†the longest ten miles ever, but at the end we were all smiling. ūüôā


We came, we did, and we conquered!

In conclusion, things don’t always happen when or how we expect it to, and encountering numerous obstacles doesn’t necessarily means its time for you to give up. It may be an opportunity to overcome, and achieve more than you set out for. I know I have. ūüôā

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San‚ô•

Adult leader requirements

  • Application with references
  • Get added to the troop roster
  • Child protection online class
  • Protecting God’s Children Class (requirement of the diocese)
  • BSA shirt

Cycling Gear Needed

  • Bicycle with gears
  • Water bottle holder
  • Helmet
  • Odometer
  • Bike rack
  • Bike lock

Scout Requirements

  • Location
  • Date and time
  • Permission Slips
  • Debriefing
  • Safety checks on scout bicycles
  • Helmets
  • Carpooling/Bicycle transport
  • First aid kit
  • Water bottles

Golden Year Project: Complete!
Check out some of the nifty things I did down below!


Plan Ahead

“What would I do if my car was¬†totaled?”

This question came up earlier this week and really concerned me. Going through 5 vehicles in the past 11 years due to mechanical failure, I’m no stranger to vehicle loss – yet I couldn’t think of a single back up plan. “Am I really that unprepared?” I asked myself.

When I opened my eyes the next morning, the question was still there. I was musing about it while I nibbled on my Kashi and yet again while packing my lunch bag. Since trying to be direct about answering the question wasn’t getting me anywhere, I decided to admit the truth of the situation. “If my car was totaled right now, I wouldn’t have the money to replace it and that would really suck because I still have to pay off my auto loan-” Lightbulb!

It was then I realized that I do have a back up plan – Full Coverage. Instant relief!¬†But this got me thinking – I’m basically prepared for car-pocalypse¬†but am I financially prepared for other¬†emergency situations? >:x Yeah… no.

There are also many things I want to do, to achieve, to have… but my income isn’t limitless so how can I achieve them? I sat down, took a long hard look at my accounts and started asking myself some pointed questions. What are my most important goals? When do I want to achieve them by? What is my monthly savings goal? What sacrifices am I willing to make? How can I change my habits to stretch my dollar more?

Slowly but surely plans have been formulating as I’ve talked out my finances, and momentum has been building as I have been using up the undesirable miscellaneous foodstuffs left over from previous shoppings, resisting sale notices, and not buying anything while I’m at work.

What I am realizing:

  • I don’t need everything RIGHT NOW
  • I can MAKE DO
  • Reclaim, repurpose, reuse and recycle¬†BEFORE replacing
  • Buying something doesn’t necessarily fix a problem

Some things that are going to be changing: Grocery shopping list is going to be simplified and I’m going to start shopping at stores that actually have sales and lower prices. I do not: need every supplement under the sun, have to¬†try every pricey organic smoothie drink¬†or have an expensive gym membership to be healthy. Also my Golden Year Project isn’t going to be as flashy as I originally hoped – but it will still be formative which is the whole point. ūüôā

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been thinking about this week. How about you?

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San‚ô•