Fitness Goals and Meal Planning….The End of a Great Year!

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL few weeks celebrating the Holidays and hopefully you all had a little time like me to take a break from the computer and spend some quality time with family and friends. We stayed in Washington and since we don’t have any family nearby it was a very quiet Christmas (well not exactly quiet as 3 kids are the complete opposite of quiet) but really a great one. Seeing the kids’ faces light up at everything from baking for Santa to donating their old toys, made this one extra special. We sure did miss our family though!

Here is my belated Christmas card to all of you!

Merry Christmas

Can you believe that 2013 is almost here!?

Where to start a new year of blogging? I think my break was much needed but maybe too long for me! I have so many recipes floating in my head that I’d like to try out, photograph and share here. I am also thinking about my 2013 fitness goals and wanted to share them with you and encourage you to take a few minutes to think about what you’d like to accomplish in the new year. Here are a few of my goals!

Speaking of setting goals, you know what is getting me organized as the year comes to an end? My amazing new planner from Erin Condren. I bought it for myself as a birthday treat earlier in the month.

It took me awhile but I finally figured out why I constantly felt disorganized and scatterbrained over the last year. Yes, we just moved to a new state (after just being in Missouri for a year) but there was something else. In 2012 I did not order a new planner and instead just used my iphone for notes and plugging in appointments into the calendar. The problem I encountered was that once the date passed it would eventually erase the data so if I wanted to see when the last time I went to the dentist (was it 4 or 5 months ago?) it vanished from the calendar. So I realized it was this lack of keeping a planner/calendar for the past year that really screwed me up. I mean big time.

My new planner is gorgeous! It is laminated and I chose this cover with one of our family photos from Hawaii. I love the size of the calendar- plenty of room to write things to do and a little section on the side for the month’s goals. I love that it’s got me thinking of monthly goals!

Erin Condren Planner

I also love the beautiful quotes on each month. It comes with fun stickers to use for remembering events such as games, birthdays, date nights, play dates, etc. You also have the option to pay a little extra to personalize some stickers with your own photos. I made some for each family member so that I can stick them on certain appointments/events.

There is something about paper and pen that just works for me. Visually I like to look back at the months and see what was going on in our life. Also, making a “to do” list in pen & paper is just more effective for me because if they are stored in the notes section of my iphone I just tend to ignore them. I also love crossing things off.

Starting 2013 I can’t wait to wake up every morning to this beautiful planner. How about you? Are you a pen & paper type of planner or do you prefer technology?

Before I talk food, I want to recap my most memorable moments from 2012! It really was a great year!

  • flew home to Texas solo with the 3 kids (the baby was 5 months and it actually wasn’t too bad!) while the hubs stayed in Missouri and worked
  • bought my first BRAND new car (a Odyssey mini-van)
  • moved from small town Missouri to Washington state and took a week road trip doing it- Visited 7 states, Yellowstone Park, a working ranch in Oregon and found our new home
  • had our 2nd Hawaiian family reunion and had baby R baptized there
  • surprised myself by not crying when my “baby” started kindergarten
  • took a 2 week vacation in San Diego- took the kids to Disneyland, California Adventure Park, Sea World and drove 20+ hours to get home through rain, sleet and snow
  • had family visit over Thanksgiving in Washington- such a treat
  • attended my first blogging conference in Seattle
  • completed my recertification (for my Dietitian credentials) which has to be completed every 5 year

I am sure I am forgetting something great things that happened, but those are the things that pop in mind. I will save my goals for 2013 (I call them goals not resolutions) for another post.


Since I don’t have a new recipe to share with you, I thought I’d link up some of my favorite healthy recipes on the blog. In the meantime, take a look around in case there is something you may have missed.

I love this asian slaw. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner, a snack…it holds up well for leftovers too.


I created this simple hummus & avocado veggie sandwich when I experimented with a vegan diet. I ate it all the time. So simple yet tasty.  Don’t omit the pickled jalapenos though…well unless you just don’t like them. 😉

My 7 layer hummus dip was a popular one from 2 years ago. So easy and DELICIOUS. This would make a great New Year’s party dip.


and if it’s cold where you are, you will want to eat this daily. My recipe for simple chicken tortilla soup. It doesn’t get much easier and is so so good.

Ok so meal planning this week will hopefully be testing out some new blog recipes.  We are hosting a small New Year’s party here for my husband’s team at work which should result in some leftovers as well.

Chicken & Sausage in White Beans (new recipe), Salad

New Year’s Party: Smoked Brisket, Coleslaw, Beans, Potato Salad


Lettuce Wraps (a new recipe)

Veggie Stir Fry with Tofu and Brown Rice 

 Spinach & Garlic Pizza


Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!


What are your fitness goals for 2013?

What are you meal planning this week?

Do you prefer keeping track of life on a planner or on the computer/phone?

How will you be ringing in the New Year?

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  1. says

    What a beautiful Christmas card! We stayed home for the first time, too… it was a nice change to have the holiday as just our family.
    I’m glad you recapped some favorite recipes, I need to try that hummus dip!
    Jill and I host a menu plan link up on Sundays, feel free to add yours. :)
    Oh, and awesome that you’re going for your 3rd marathon this year! My second is in two weeks. I’ll be cheering you on!

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      Thanks Laura! You will do amazing on your marathon (I can tell by your dedication in training). Happy New Year!

  2. Dana M. says

    My goal is the complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon this year & complete my 4th 1/2 marathon.

    I prefer to use my phone to organize my life because it is synced with my husbands. We can both see & add things to the calendar & lists.

    Happy New Year!!

  3. Gretchen says

    Thanks for reminding us of some of your great recipe. To answer your questions…
    1. For fitness goals I would love to finish a full marathon and I am thinking of doing a tough mudder
    2. Our meal plan…
    Sun- pancakes
    Mon- chicken tacos and the fixings ( I will fill mine with black beans)
    Tues- hoping Jon, corn bread, and sautéed greens
    Thurs-homemade pasta with my kids
    Fri- pizza or leftovers
    Sat- smoothies and homemade bread with jam
    3. I do my schedule on my phone/ iPad. I do have a dry erase weekly schedule that I write or week with Greg’s travel schedule and menu for the week.
    4. Our New Years plans are simple we are getting together with Greg’s family tonight, and tomorrow we will hang at home ( doing some home renovation stuff). We are going to start a tradition of sitting down and discussing the highlights of 2012. We are also going to start a jar for 2013 where we jot down high list during the year and read them together at the end of the year. We will see how faithful we are.

    Have a great new year!

  4. says

    Hi Melanie,

    Beautiful family photo! By the way, since you’re looking to take a dance class, have you considered salsa? It’s a great work out and there are so many levels you can reach that it will keep you busy for years if you want it to.

  5. EA-The Spicy RD says

    What a wonderful year you have had Melanie, and I hope 2013 is just as exciting! Love your colorful planner too-I am trying to get my life organized this year, and find that a dual system (scheduling events and my main “to do’s” ) on my I pad/Mac ALONG with writing by hand a daily “FOCUS” list is keeping me on track (so far :-). Now it’s off to meal plan!! Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

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