Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Year's Resolutions & Keeping Them

I really do not like New Year's Resolutions. This is usually because everyone I know, myself included, has good intentions with starting the new year off right with losing weight, quiting something, exercising, etc. What I've found is that really these resolutions should be called affirmations. One of my A.P. high school English teachers said if you put your statements or resolutions into statements such as "I will" or an affirmation, you are more likely to commit to your affirmation versus your resolution. Since my sophomore year of high school, I've done this and believe Mrs. Moberg is totally right. She was also very wise in stating that you must keep your list small and logical. I find myself tyring to "affirm" to a lengthy list all the time. What overachiever doesn't? We are always trying to achieve perfection. Perfection is somewhat of a problem too. Really, aren't we as humans always looking for zen or balance? Therefore, I tried to put my so called "New Year's Resolutions" into a very tight perspective the last two years. I've realized I will not be perfect. No one is and the more you try to paint a perfect picture or idolize perfect people you only begin to see more shortfalls or the less perfect picture.

So what are Sara Nickel's New Year's Affirmations you ask? Well, that is somewhat complex. They are really on a week to week basis as I am starting very small. My first affirmation this week was to work out at least two times this week. My Wii Fit is holding me very accountable to this! I was commenting to one of the fifth grade students today about how much I love my Wii Fit game. He said, "I hate that stupid thing! I wasn't on it for a month. That was Christmas. Of course I was eating good stuff all month. Next thing I know, I got on it and it told me I was fat!" We both laughed really hard because I told him my Wii told me the same thing. Not that I fear technology or anything, but the little Wii Fit board is holding me accountable for doing something small everyday. Good news is, my affirmation held true. I've now worked out and stepped on that Wii four days this week. I will probably set my goal for three days of physical activity next week:)

I know this blog post might be a little deep; however, maybe it will help someone if they change their thinking. I know I had to change mine.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy MLK Weekend!

Don't you love three day weekends? I know not all of you get MLK Day off from work. Really, it is kind of a random celebration; but, many thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for all of your contributions. Not to mention, the day off from work in your honor.

So, I had started freaking out a little bit after graduation about what to do with all of this new time on my hands. School was always my out to forget or let go of things because at the end of a work day, I had to be a student. In some ways it was a stress relief. So far so good, though. Life has found ways to fill the time gap. For example, our house is a lot tidier, I've actually done some decorating, and I've actually been working out and enjoying it again. The Wii Fit is amazing. It's like P.E. class back in elementary school when it used to be fun in the comfort of your own home. Food blogs have turned into another interest and inspiration. I love to cook healthfully, but eat well. We try to eat our five servings of fruits and veggies a day without having to be granola crunchers. It's really cool that there are so many other people in the world with this mission. Have you noticed the ever growing list of new blogs on my list? Check them out. Some are a little extreme in the health department, but offer really good information. Others have some great recipes with all of the "how to" instructions.

Finally, has anyone seen the clip of the little kids Jersey Shore? Freakin' hilarious people. You can check it out at

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Real Men of Public Works

As if the Real Housewives or Orange County didn't get enough attention, Justin's co-workers have decided to call themselves the Real Men of Public Works. Why you ask? Look at all those beards! For the past two years, Justin has grown a beard between Thanksgiving through February. This was long before that dude in The Hangover premiered his gnarly nape; but, trust me. It only supported Justin's style! Apparently, it has become quite the fashion trend. So much so, that many of the guys with whom Justin works decided to sport beards this winter. Nice facial hair guys!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finally a Snow Day!

We were supposed to start school with kiddos today. We've had two days sans kiddos with professional development. I don't usually blog about work because of ethical issues; however, a snow day equals personal day to me as we typically do not get them down here. If anyone of you remembers or knows me, I call Johnson County, KS (aka, Overland Park, Shawnee, Olathe, DeSoto, or anywhere else in the immediate Johnson County, Kansas area) the Orange County of the Midwest. Why? Well, this is because we have a very high income area for the metro Kansas City area. This includes both the Missouri and Kansas areas. For me it is very much replicated from a time when I moved from Creston, Iowa to West Des Moines, Iowa only times ten. Thus, the lawns and streets are typically very well manicured and when it actually does snow down here, the roads are maintained. The shopping is awesome and I often feel unkempt as I do not have my nails done in the awesome French manicure gel or solar style which is haute right now. Due to the bad economy; however, snow maintenance has been somewhat of an issue. Thus, a snow day. Let it freakin' snow! Snow days are missed as we do not get much snow down in this area. Another reason I call Kansas City the Orange County of the Midwest. Last year at this time I had started my awesome jogging plan. We actually have grilled out for the last six years on New Years Eve and Day since we have moved down here because it has been in the mid 40's or 60's. Really, you can't complain. But, it is a relief to finally get some interesting weather other than tornadoes down here. No one put the mail carrier has to complain.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bad Economy = Short Sleeves??

With record low temperatures and snow all across the Midwest, one might want to wear more than a skimpy tank. This thought comes about after my post-holiday shopping excursions. Everywhere from Target to J Crew has these dang tissue T's and stupid glittery tanktops. Actually, I wouldn't think them as "stupid" IF IT WEREN'T FOR IT BEING THE MIDDLE OF WINTER!! I mean come on people. You and I and the rest of the world have no desire to be prancing around in Uggs and a freakin' tanktop when it's 4 below zero outside. My second thought was that this look might be appealing for the younger crowd; however, if I had a teenage or twenty something college daughter, she sure as heck would not be allowed out of the house dressed like she lives in the Keys. She'd be dressed in a parka and chastity belt thank you very much. It's kind of sad that I'm referring to the "younger crowd" as I am still enjoying my twenties myself. Finally, my other fashion rant pertains to skinny jeans. I call my "skinny jeans" the jeans that make my behind look great or jeans that I can fit into when I'm having a "skinny day." Skinny jeans should not be jeans with legs that really should fit around my wrist. Let alone the fact that the people who are sporting skinny jeans are not skinny. They were popular in the eighties and should remain that way. Is it the bad economy and fashion vendors trying to save some cash on fabric?? What gives? Really, this all equates to myself not wanting to spend my holiday cash or giftcards and bad clothing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Winter Woods

So, we thought Iowa had a lot of snow. Then we came home Wednesday afternoon to a winter wonderland. Our driveway had 8+ inches of snow layered with ice underneath that Justin thought he could plunge through. He only got the mighty Escape stuck in the middle of the driveway. Ha! It was pretty stinkin' hilarious! We then shoveled the Escape out, and I went off to Home Depot for salt and another shovel. After an hour and a half we had the driveway cleared and salted. We make a good team:) The pictures are of the front and back yard. We have a great hill in our backyard that we are contemplating making into a snow luge for some raw sledding adventures. With two more days of winter vacay, this may become a reality! Wahoo!

In other Nickel news, we had a classic Christmas and a rockin' New Year. Last night we rang in the New Year with our Scovill friends. We ate a great meal at Barley's Brewhause, listened to some live music, and then came back to our place for the annual Dick Clark extravaganza. I must commend Ryan Seacrest as it would be no easy feat to replace Dick Clark. It was kind of sad to see Dick in his later years; however, I am amazed at how good looking and tan he still remains. Regardless of my ramblings, it was a great time! Happy New Year to you all!