Looking Forward and Reflecting on the Past

I’ve been working with my clients for the past week on resolutions and goal setting. Not to mention it’s everywhere on social media, but I have not actually sat down and worked on my own list. Will Baum has a great PDF on how to break down your goals into resolutions and I especially like how there is a section to list your previous attitudes and behaviors which have held you back. Let me show you some of the work my IOP clients did for their boards.


I would love to make my own vision board one day…but I get the feeling it would become another half finished mess in my basement.

In general here is how I see the new year and things I would like to do for a positive change:

  • I want to read more. Not just blogs, but actual books. Hopefully an hour every day, but I’d settle for 30 minutes.
  • Be more consistent with my exercise. Not just training, but exercise, including weights.
  • Do mini 30 day challenges for myself. Such as no fast food for a month, drinking only water, or do a random act of kindness.
  • Keep a blogging calendar
  • Allow myself to date without fear of getting hurt

Reflecting on the past year:

  • I need to learn how to walk away or pause relationships. If someone is not helping me grow as a person or is holding me back, the relationship is not a good use of my time. This applies for romance, friends, and even family.
  • Whenever I start to doubt love, I will think of Emme. Think of how much pain and fear she was in during and after the attack. Think of how much easier it would have been for her to close her eyes and let go. She didn’t though. She held on because she wasn’t ready to leave yet. I have to think although she can’t say “I love you”, by holding on and getting better, actions speak louder than words.
  • If I start to doubt myself I will remember what I pulled through this past year. Maybe I tried to use a band-aid when a cast was needed. Or maybe I should be looking at the cause and not the symptoms? Either way, I did it and I will keep moving forward. Baby steps add up, that applies to all areas of life.

I’ve never been good at making 1 list for the whole year. I like to constantly evaluate where I am in life and where I want to be in the future and adjust along the way. On an excellent note…look what I bought myself. Before anyone freaks out, I got a  GREATTTT deal and it is no where NEAR the price you’re thinking. Think of it as my Xmas gift from my grandparents since they give me money. For me it’s a way of saying…no matter what happens, there is always time for treating yourself and being a little “selfish” or “crazy”. I love it…I’ve never owned a purse that belongs under a spotlight before.

Coach Purse

Happy New Year Loves….be safe. Remember: progress not perfection, you are NOT alone, and we may not be there yet – but we’re closer than we were yesterday.



Friday Food : Boston Cream Doughnuts

I was hoping to be back to posting healthier foods, but this lil project received such intense feedback I had to post it ASAP.

Maybe a month ago I stumble upon a recipe for baked doughnuts thanks to Pillsbury’s website. It’s been over a year since I had a doughnut due to the deep-fried part of most recipes. Or the shortening part of the pastry making. When I learned you could make imitation doughnuts using nothing more than butter and biscuits I was all, “You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention”. I made the cinnamon-sugar version for my coworkers and they were gone in a blink of an eye. Some reviews liken them to puffs from Chinese buffets and I wouldn’t argue the comparison. They were a hit and I considered making the same for our holiday breakfast. Then when my sister and I happened upon a sleeve of Bavarian cream down in Amish Country, I knew what HAD to happen!

Boston Cream Doughnuts

Boston Cream Doughnuts

What you will need:

  • 1 can Pillsbury GRANDS biscuits
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 6 oz chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
  • 2 cups cream filling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F
  2. Open canister and separate biscuits. Dip each biscuit into butter, evenly coating both sides. Place on non-greased cookie sheet
  3. Bake for 12-18 minutes. Until biscuits start to turn golden
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  5. Prepare chocolate by melting in a double boiler or using other preferred method of melting
  6. Dip the top of each doughnut into the chocolate. I find you can twist and pull to evenly coat the top
  7. Using a piping bag (or a gloved finger if you really need to get creative) produce a small hole in the biscuit for the filling
  8. Fill each doughnut with 3-4 tablespoons of filling, careful not to over-stuff (or break through on the other side/top/bottom
  9. Enjoy!

Makes 8 doughnuts

Comments & Photos:

As you can see, the doughnuts were a hit with my Mom and sister. My Mom requested hers have cherry filling on top instead of chocolate and my sister decided she needed both! Not pictured is me totally copying her idea.

IMG_2156 IMG_2157
I know some of you (and even myself) are asking. So is it Boston Cream or Bavarian Cream? From my research…which is limited, I found it’s whatever you want to call it. Boston seems to be the custard-like filling with chocolate on top. Bavarian is often the powdered sugar with custard. Or any combination there of…basically, it’s yummy.

There are ways to adapt this and make other versions. I’m not pretending I invented this process.

Likewise I know some of you would prefer to make your own dough or your own cream and if that’s the case….wonderful, but this is IMHO a fun recipe and it’s really easy.

You could probably skip the butter part, or add dipping them in sugar before baking for an even sweeter experience. Personally I found them rich enough without the added sugar.

Did you start any NEW traditions this year? What are some of your favorite holiday dishes?

My Presents Seemed to Have a Theme…

This was a GREAT year for the ROJ Running kitchen!

Back on Black Friday I crept out at all hours of the night (midnight) stalked my prey and emerged triumphant several hours later…

KitchenAid® Professional 600™ Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer

My KitchenAid Professional 600 Stand Mixer from Kohl’s might be the love of my life. If you KNEW the amazing sale/price I snagged this baby for, you would probably be sick.

Next came the grand excitement of working with Unilever and discovering cookie scoops and Silpat. The scoop, Silpat, cooking rack and cookie tray were all a gift.

Silpat silicone matThen on Christmas day the following stepped into my life!

IMG_2196New oven mitts from Martha Stewart collection (red to match my decor)

Cuisinart cookie press. Check it out Sarah, now I don’t have to hire you to make the trees

A mandoline to make my own potato chips…look out ultra runs next year!

A double boiler so I don’t catch my microwave on fire

A lil ceramic bird for my pies

An apple corer…this also goes with the mandoline so I can make dried apple slices

A flour sifter, a spring-form pan, new wooden spoons, a meat tenderizer and a pie server!

Of course two of my FAVORITE gifts have pictures all of their own. My sister bought me a “Plate on a stick” aka a cake stand. Doughnuts not included, recipe to be posted Friday…

Cake stand

And my grandpa made me a spice rack! Don’t worry it’s hanging on the wall now.

Wooden Spice Rack

Over all I had an amazing Christmas. I wanted and needed new toys for my kitchen and I’m ever so pleased to have them now! I also bought myself another Pampered Chef large bar pan stoneware. I won’t lie, my kitchen is probably my favorite room of my house and I love spending time there…except for washing the dishes! Ha-ha.

I look forward to making new creations to share throughout 2013.

What were your best gifts this year? What items would you like to add to your kitchen?