What’s Making My Life Rich in the New Year

What’s Making My Life Rich in the New Year

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.



 What’s making your life rich so far this year?



  1. January 14, 2014 / 10:40 am

    It’s actually funny because I am Polish and I have never ever heard this “proverb” in my entire life. Neither my husband or my family knows it and apparently I see it all the time recently on Pinterest and Instagram! We just say “Not my problem” in Polish and that’s it…


    • January 14, 2014 / 10:56 am

      I had my doubts about the Polish thing, too, but you and another friend of mine with Polish heritage have pretty much confirmed it. I still like the saying…makes me laugh as well as keeps me out of other people’s circuses.
      I have learned that you can’t trust everything you see on Pinterest!

    • January 14, 2014 / 12:53 pm

      Glad I’m not alone. I even asked on Facebook and no-one knows it, lol! You definitely never should trust Pinterest, although I love getting food inspiration from there. 🙂 X


    • January 14, 2014 / 6:50 pm

      My Mom hadn’t heard of the phrase either, but she LOVED it and I’ll bet she told my aunts & uncles the phrase in Polish too! (my Mom’s first language is Polish). I think the phrase is great, I can’t stand being privy to everyone’s petty little dramas, don’t care. I’ve said the phrase at work a few times, clever me. ha ha ha

    • January 14, 2014 / 9:34 pm

      I would love to hear it in Polish – even though I know zero Polish words. I think it’s so cute your family is passing along the quote. I think every person – Polish or not – could benefit from this message.
      I can’t stand little dramas either – such a waste of time!

  2. January 14, 2014 / 11:01 am

    Sounds like a lovely start to the new year. I can relate on so many levels. Can you share the recipes for the chicken/onions and cauliflower? Or maybe you already have and I missed it? HNY!

    • January 14, 2014 / 11:09 am

      Hi Julie! I was thinking that I might write a post later for this week about my favorite healthy recipes. I have several I’d like to share. I will be sure to include my mom’s recipe and the fauxtatoes, too! Look for it Thursday or Friday.
      Happy New Year!

    • January 15, 2014 / 8:28 am

      Thank you!

  3. January 14, 2014 / 11:01 am

    Great post Adrienne. Well you were actually one of my inspirations for one of my objectives this year. I remember you recommended the book Wheat Belly (some years ago I think). Well I finally bought it and am working my way through it. So far, so good. I have not had any wheat for 10 days now 😉
    Can’t wait to see the new blog. Also doing the same for my website and branding 😉

    • January 14, 2014 / 11:13 am

      That is so great to hear! I liked Wheat Belly. I also like a few blogs dedicated to a flour and sugar free lifestyle. I will post links to them in my next post.
      I hope you’re noticing some positive changes since giving up wheat.
      And I want to hear about your new changes…branding and a new site. We should talk!

  4. January 14, 2014 / 11:41 am

    I did Day 13 of the Plank Challenge today. I listened to Depeche Mode’s ‘Soothe My Soul’ as I did. It was a tough 90 seconds, let me tell you, but Dave Gahan got me through it, ha ha! I just wrote you an email, I’m doing another 30-Day challenge when this one is through. It’s a great way to get going on fitness goals for the new year. Great post! XO, Jill

    • January 14, 2014 / 9:31 pm

      Music is so key when holding a plank. I usually listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers or Beastie Boys when I plank. Tonight’s choice was Van Halen.
      Next month I think I want to keep the plank going – it has done wonders for my back. And add some legs. Squats? Lunges (yuck)? Maybe jumping jacks for some extra cardio?
      I love the 30 day challenges! I like having an end in sight.

    • January 15, 2014 / 6:42 am

      Actually is was “Jamie’s Cryin'” but in my head it was “Adrienne’s Cryin'” 😉

    • January 15, 2014 / 8:03 am

      Right that’s it, I can do 90 mins so I am joining you all late tomorrow!

    • January 15, 2014 / 8:04 am

      probably not 90 minutes….

    • January 16, 2014 / 8:41 am

      90 minutes would really be something to see! I am aiming for two minutes today and am more than a little worried I won’t be able to last beyond 90 seconds. But it will be 90 seconds more than I would normally do without this challenge….so there is that!

    • January 16, 2014 / 2:55 pm

      ha! Jamie’s Cryin’, I forgot about that song, that’s a good one too! Very appropriate for the situation….he he

  5. January 14, 2014 / 12:06 pm

    Congrats on your goals!! Oh geez I’m impressed with the 90 sec plank.. not for sissies… LOVE the polish proverb.. that’s a really great reminder!

    • January 14, 2014 / 9:37 pm

      Hi Hope!
      90 second planks are definitely not for sissies though I do consider myself a sissy in most athletic endeavors. Tomorrow is my last day of 90 seconds – then it’s on to the big league. Two minutes! I am going to treat myself to something – like a glass of champagne or a manicure – if I do it without taking a rest.

  6. January 14, 2014 / 1:44 pm

    That dinner looks amazing!! I was cheating a little too much with all the eating out I was doing during moving and exploring a new city and was limited on my jeans selection as well. I’ve been buckling down and just slipped into a pair of my skinny jeans today that are fitting much more comfortably, but could still use a few pounds : ) The good news is we are on the way! The Polish Proverb is definitely a good lesson, will keep that one in mind…

    • January 14, 2014 / 9:39 pm

      I can’t get through the holidays without some weight gain. But 15 pounds was way too much! I feel so much better now that I am back on track.
      I bet you are having the time of your life! All that great food, entertainment and shopping…sounds heavenly!

  7. January 14, 2014 / 5:04 pm

    Between the holidays and the illness of a close family member, I’ve gained some weight as well, and everything is tight. Started cracking down today. I would love that recipe of your mom’s. Looks amazing.
    Excited to see your new site unveiled, I know it’s a lot of work, and hope in the end it’s all a bit easier for you. I was doing the plank challenge and was up to 90 secs, and then (for various reasons) stopped. Back at it today. Congratulations on your 9 seconds.

    • January 14, 2014 / 9:44 pm

      I will have that recipe up soon – maybe tomorrow if I can get the post written. I love the way I feel when I eat right but it’s so easy to lose sight of that when life gets busy.
      My site is looking so great! I am still working out some kinks. I hope to have it live well before the end of the month but I don’t want to rush it.
      Ninety second planks are SO hard. I did it again today and my arms were shaking like crazy. I am okay with the discomfort because I can already tell my back is better. I have had back pain for years and now – nothing! I feel great.
      Let me know where you are in the plank challenge. I have 90 seconds to do tomorrow, then 2 minutes on Thursday. Oy! xoxo

  8. January 14, 2014 / 6:58 pm

    I did not too badly over the Christmas holidays, which were carb-filled and excessive…..being Slavic, everything was made with white flour, full cream, perogies umpteen times, Ukrainian crepes, cabbage rolls, desserts, etc — all really good…. but I had to be careful not to overdo it. If you noticeably don’t eat as much of it as the others, everyone assumes you must be starving — oh those Slavs! I really missed my green smoothies though and started them up again immediately after we got home from holidays. Went back to our mostly Whole Foods eating.

    Over the past year I have really cut down and/or almost eliminated gluten/sugar/soy/dairy/processed foods consumption, which has made a HUGE difference in my health, and even Hubs is on board as he has noticed positive changes as well. He still loves his white bread and perogies but he eats them in moderation now, maybe a few times a week, if that…..whereas a year ago he wouldn’t go a day without white bread.

    Way to go on the plank challenge!

    • January 15, 2014 / 7:14 am

      All of that good sounds so good! I love perogies…carbolicious. And you’re right – there is an unspoken pressure to join in the family feasting, and it’s fun to celebrate with food. I will continue to do that from time to time, but three months is way, way too long!

      What’s in your green smoothie? I make one too with frozen spinach and strawberries. Sometimes I use frozen kale when I have it.

      My husband gets on board with me as well – which is very helpful when you’re trying not to cave in to temptation.

      Off to do my 90 second plank of the day. Eek!

    • January 15, 2014 / 8:02 am

      We didn’t even have Christmas dinner!
      Oh but perogies are exquisite.

    • January 16, 2014 / 3:07 pm

      For the smoothies, I blend a handful or two of organic greens with 1/2 quart of water (I’ll usually do a kale & spinach mix or kale/spinach/chard mix, sometimes only spinach or kale, change it up), then add frozen berries (usually the 3 berry mix from Costco – usually a cup or just over), a banana, and I’ll add a little Oasis Antioxia fruit juice for more fruit flavour, though I try not to use a lot since the sugar content is a little high. During spring/summer, I’ll use different fruits that are in season. I’ll definitely be experimenting with tropical smoothies then!

  9. January 14, 2014 / 7:56 pm

    Your posts are always inspiring and this one is no different!! I always feel so positive after reading your blog! And that proverb – so very true 🙂

  10. January 14, 2014 / 8:11 pm

    Happy New Year my blog Momma! I feel like it’s been years since i commented on here as i’ve been reading quietly in the background. I certainly want to make my life richer this year and i too will be starting with my health. I definitely need to join you on the next 30 day challenge. But for now, i’ll start halfway with the plank challenge 🙂

    Will you be posting a recipe of the slow cooked chicken and faux potatoes?

    xo Stephanie

    • January 16, 2014 / 8:43 am

      Hello, my dear one! Wherever have you been? Studying still? Or are you done with that for now?
      Start the plank challenge wherever you want – I had a friend begin yesterday with 20 seconds.
      I will be posting the chicken and fauxtatoes recipe tomorrow – Friday – on the blog along with some other healthy favorites!
      So great to hear from you!
      Your blog momma, xoxo

  11. January 14, 2014 / 8:53 pm

    Great post Adrienne!

    We are all about eating healthy around here right now…my hubby’s recent lab work showed his LDL went up again, yet we eat less meat and dairy than we ever have. Frustrated, I checked out a book from the library titled The Great Cholesterol Myth. It says that saturated fat does not play a part as much as carbs do. Even though my cupboard is full of healthy grains and cereals, Tony does have a thing for chips and cookies and we eat the occasional nutrition bar. Or he will sit and munch on cereal/granola for dessert. And then he confessed he was making himself a burrito once a week at his dad’s restaurant. Carbs, carbs, carbs! So he agreed to cut way back and I will substitute some healthier options (nuts and veggies/fruit) for his “snack attacks” and we will see how his re check comes out in 3 months. No statins for him. 🙁

    My skin was looking pretty good and like you, I started breaking out right after Christmas. I know it’s from the crap I was eating that I do not normally put in my mouth.

    Love the plank challenge, I was doing two sets for a minute but then I sprained (or broke?) my big toe a few months ago. I tried doing them again about a month ago but my foot hurt after wards. I’ll have to give it another try and see if I can work my way up to 5 minutes. That sounds really hard, I must admit. Keep us posted on your progress!


    • January 16, 2014 / 8:49 am


      SO interesting about the cholesterol and carb relationship. I must say, it makes sense to me. That is very funny that Tony was sneaking burritos. Bill has a sandwich shop he likes to visit when he’s at work for salami sandwiches on sourdough. He and the sandwich maker know each other by name (which really says something because he rarely remembers names). She always makes him an extra big sandwich whenever he comes in. He won’t tell me that he’s gone there unless I ask him directly.
      You definitely don’t want to be planking with a hurt foot. Ouch!
      I am going to try 2 minutes today. If I can get to three, I think 5 actually might be possible. Hard but possible.
      xo, A

  12. January 14, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    Good luck with your plank challenge! I exercise daily with pretty high intensity and I used to be able to hold a plank for 1+ with no problems. Now 45 seconds and I am dying. My friends and I use FB all the time to motivate each other.


    • January 16, 2014 / 8:51 am

      I know you are such a good exerciser! I bet you could ease right back in to the 45 second plank with your fitness level.
      Facebook is so great for group accountability. I love it for that purpose!

  13. January 15, 2014 / 6:06 am

    I adore that proverb, and am going to rely on it heavily this year! I love your healthy goals, and am excited to see you new site soon. You’re such a positive person, A, and a delight to read!

    • January 16, 2014 / 8:53 am

      I am so, so, so excited to show off my new site! It will look pretty similar but it will have lots more bells and whistles. And hopefully it will be a cinch to use both for me and readers.
      Thank you for saying that I am a positive person. It’s not something I was born with, or even raised with. I had to work at it – still do, everyday!

  14. January 15, 2014 / 8:01 am

    I looked at that plank challenge with Kathy, I can do a minute and a half but who on earth can do 5 minutes? Aargh – possibly you in 30 days, I bow.
    I have gained 4 lbs, I’m like you, weight will always be a constant battle, one day I will throw in the towel and pack on my 45lbs again but not yet. Why didn’t we get the skinny genes?

    • January 16, 2014 / 9:03 am


      When I first saw the 5 minute goal on the plank challenge, I thought there would be no way I could ever do that. And there may not be. But I think if one can get to three minutes, then 5 is within reach. Of course this is coming from someone who hasn’t even done 2 minutes yet, so what do I know?
      You know I think I had the skinny gene but I think I damaged it to the point of mutation in college with late night extra large pizzas, beer bongs and vodka and ice cream shakes. Now I have to watch every crumb of low carb bread that passes my lips. It’s a non-stop job. I, too, will throw in the towel someday…but not quite yet. A woman I visit every week who is 101 – years, not pounds – still watches her diet and won’t eat white flour or sugar. I guess the quest never really ends until the end.

  15. January 15, 2014 / 8:55 am

    I am doing a modified plank that really rips up my core; the traditional plank actually hurts my back. 🙁 We must have been spiritually connected with cauliflower because I ate faux potatoes, too! Mine were mixed with broccoli and topped with sautéed pork sausage and slow-cooked shallots. People who turn their noses up at cauliflower have really got to try the recipe!

    • January 16, 2014 / 9:05 am

      Yes, that plank business really works. Tori told me my butt looked perkier yesterday, I was practically clapping my hands with joy. “Perky” and “butt” have not been used in the same sentence when describing me since….well, ever!
      Your fauxtato dish sounds tasty. Slow-cooked shallots…will have to try them.

  16. January 16, 2014 / 1:37 pm

    SO HAPPY to read you will be posting your recipes! I think many of us want to clean up some habits!


    • January 16, 2014 / 8:57 pm

      Yeah…I was bad habit queen this holiday season. I did it all and deserve my extra pounds. Now it’s time to get serious! xo

  17. January 16, 2014 / 4:40 pm

    Love this post. Good stuff and much to look forward to. Loving my Saavy Sleeper. Just got mine last night and I swear I woke up without my usual big crease on my right side!! I had to look in the mirror a bunch to make sure. I have to share about how great they are too.

    Looking forward to your new site. I also got fat during the break and am eating healthier now. SO hard not to indulge during the holidays.

    xx Kim

    • January 16, 2014 / 8:58 pm

      Thanks, Kim!
      Isn’t the Savvy Sleeper the best? I love that it’s not slippery like most satin pillows. No creases, no bad hair mornings, they are great! We need to remember to bring ours when we go away again this year. I think all hotels should have them for their guests.
      I wish we lived closer to each other so we could for hikes while your kids are in class. It would be so fun! xo

  18. January 16, 2014 / 6:24 pm

    Great post full of lots of inspiration. I put on 15 pounds too, but I’m much shorter than you, so I’m sure it looks much worse on me. I’m so impressed with your plank!! I tried and was good for 15 seconds :-O. I’m looking forward to seeing your beautiful new site!

    • January 16, 2014 / 9:05 pm

      I do have an advantage with my height that it takes a lot more to really see a weight gain. But other people do notice it in my face. It seems to be the tipping point. When my face gets fuller, that’s when it’s time to get worried!
      Planks are HARD! I skipped mine today because I had low energy and was sore from a long plank the day before. Tomorrow I am attempting two minutes. I will be screaming in agony, I just know it! Eek! 15 seconds is a start. You will be so surprised how quickly you can increase your stamina. But I know you have been sick with the flu so don’t overdo it, okay?

  19. January 17, 2014 / 6:41 pm

    Hi! I’m Courtney from The Brown Girl with Long Hair blog. (http://www.thebrowngirlwithlonghair.com), and I’m stopping in by way of the Bloggy Moms hop. OMG, Adrienne, you had me at your home page! I love your site. I love that you are healthy (I eat chia seeds,too! LOL I love the dog on your About page wearing specs…and I am now doing the plank challenge, thanks to you. (I need to do something, what with being four months postpartum…) Anyhow, on my lifestyle blog, I blog about motherhood, fashion, organization, health, and being an NFL wife. I’d love for you to stop by! Have a great weekend.

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