2014 – You Were Pretty Rad.

Can you believe it? Today is the last day of 2014. How did this happen? This year flew by in the blink of an eye – I’m not ok with it. I’ve always heard that as you get older the years fly by faster, which is totally messed up. As soon as you’re able to appreciate your years they begin to blow past you without warning. Youth is wasted on the young, I tell ya.

Yesterday I started thinking about my 2014 in review – What did I accomplish? What would I like to change in 2015? You know, the usual.

2014 was my year of  “do.” I told myself I wanted to do things that scared me; make time to do more in terms of movies, trips, nice dinners out, yoga workshops, etc.; and do a pull-up.

Well, I am happy to report I’ve done nearly all of these things. Except a pull-up, which wasn’t for a lack of effort. Turns out I’m just a pansy, but I’m working on that. Maybe 2015 will be the year of the pull up?

In 2014 I started a blog. Scared the dickens out of me to press “publish” the first time. I have loved being able to share recipes with my friends and family, and document our lives. This has been one of the most rewarding things I did with my 2014.

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Speaking of the blog – do you want to know what you guys decided was my top post of 2014? Guide to Green Smoothies!

I also began yoga teacher training. This was a HUGE and frightening decision. Read about it here. Looking back, I can’t imagine NOT going to yoga school. Those training days have been some of the best weeks of my year!

First day of yoga school.

First day of yoga school.

I ran 10 consecutive miles…on more than 1 occasion. I’ve never been a runner. In high school I would cry if you made me run 1 mile, I’m not kidding. In 2013, I signed up for my first 5K. In 2014, I just kept running. I’m only a novice, but I really enjoy lacing up my shoes and getting outside. Maybe I’ll run a half marathon in 2015? Don’t take that as a resolution – I can’t handle that kind of pressure.

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I began teaching yoga. What started as being a sub, has turned into teaching 5 classes a week! I know my teaching style has changed so much over the last year, but I still don’t think I’ve found my niche’. It’ll come, I’m sure of it. Right?

L to R: Kelly, Me, Amber, Ericka.

L to R: Kelly, Me, Amber, Ericka.

I took time for myself. I went to a yoga workshop in Wichita with Kathryn Budig, took relaxing trips to Echo Canyon and The Canebrake, went to a fitness conference, traveled to a yoga festival, went to Portland with my best girls, made more trips to Benvenuti’s than usual, and became a regular in The Warren director’s suite! I’ll take it.

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I did a handstand! …for more than .34897 seconds. I can now hold them for about 30 seconds (on a good day). Big accomplishment! I’ve been working on a handstand since the beginning of 2013.

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We remodeled the kitchen! That’s been on my list since 2010.  Still have a few small things to finish, but for the most part – it’s done! 2014 – the year of the kitchen. Ahhh. That feels good to say.

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The biggest thing I let go of in 2014 was cakes. I’ve identified with being a “sugar artist” for the last 5 years, but with the addition of the all the classes I teach, I just couldn’t do it anymore. Sad day, but it took a HUGE weight off my shoulders. I’m a much more sane person now that I don’t have cake on my plate too.

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And, that’s a wrap! I feel pretty great about my annual review.

Now, for 2015. I hate saying my goals out loud or putting them on paper. Every article you read about goal setting will tell you, “Tell your friends! You’ll be more likely to keep them if you have to stay accountable.” I think that’s nonsense. I feel like I’m a pretty motivated individual without the risk of embarrassment if something doesn’t go the way I planned. It’s silly, I know. I guess I’ll take the risk and share my plans with you for 2015:

  1. Be a better friend. As of late, I’m not a very good friend. It’s true. 2014 was “make time for yourself”, 2015 will be “make time for your friends.”
  2. Re-work the blog. I feel at this point my modest little blog has gained enough traffic to justify spending money to have someone customize it. Look for the blog to get a makeover in 2015!
  3. Take a big trip! The Carnivore and I have been saving our pennies to go to Italy for some time now. We talk about it constantly, but can’t seem to find the time. This year, we will make the time.
  4. Do a pull-up. Yep. It’s back.

What are your plans for 2015?

Cheers to 2014! Ciao’ 2015!

Cassie

 

A Southwestern Christmas

I feel terrible I didn’t get a Christmas card out this year. I realized around December 12 that I never placed my order – Oops! So how about this…

We don’t have kids, we didn’t go to Europe, we don’t a have a pet, and we look almost exactly the same as last year. Merry Christmas from The Bridgforths!

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It kinda works, right? I guess it works if you’re in to super awkward Christmas cards. (Inspiration from Emily McDowell)

My mountain man is from New Mexico, so we had a Southwestern Christmas this year.

We loaded up his big, blue truck early Tuesday morning with presents, clothes and enough snacks to last a week – I might forget my toothbrush, but snacks? I’m always prepared.

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The drive is flat, treeless, and WINDY.

As soon as we arrived in Lovington, we headed over to The Carnivore’s aunt and uncle’s house for dinner and Christmas games. This year’s Christmas is especially crazy! Nearly all the cousins are in town from Albuquerque to South Dakota to Oklahoma – it’s quite a crowd!

The Christmas game they play is unlike any other. I think that’s due to the fact that cousin Heath makes up the rules as we go…

When playing this game, a couple of rules you need to know: 1)Bring a gift. 2)Wear comfortable clothes, you will be doing physical activity. 3)Keep all personal secrets to yourself or they WILL get exposed when things get heated. I learn more about the family during this game than any other time of the year.

My husband thinks he’s so funny. The gift he contributed is this T-shirt that looks like it came from the Big Cabin truck stop.  Please notice the little miniature Uncle Stephen holding his baby elk underneath the big elk. Nobody wanted to take it home, but everyone got a good laugh.

IMG_6297Erica ended up with my gift. A white ceramic coffee cup from Starbucks. Could it have been more perfect?!

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I feel like I should also note, everyone was healthy that evening.

Christmas Eve started in the Lovington gym. The boys played basketball, while I led a baby yoga class. Brooklynn had been asking to yoga since the minute I arrived. As soon as I got to the gym she said “Cassie, I wore my yoga pants today.” They were so much fun!

IMG_6232 IMG_6249 IMG_6255We ate a barbecue Christmas Eve dinner together before we all headed in our separate directions.

Christmas Eve – 1 person down with the flu.

On Christmas Day everyone started at their own house with gifts from Santa and a gift exchange with the immediate family.

The Carnivore with his new GoPro!

The Carnivore with his new GoPro!

Then everyone packed up and headed to Noni’s house for a HUGE Christmas morning breakfast – biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, eggs, bacon, and copious amounts of coffee are consumed. This is before we sit down in our carb induced coma and open gifts.

Lauren and Brooklynn

Lauren and Brooklynn

With so many kids this year, it was super fun watching them get excited over all the gifts. They’re crazy. This picture isn’t the best quality, but it perfectly sums up the craziness of them all together:

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Deacon had just fallen into the tree. When he fell he caused the circled ornament to bounce off the tree, and it’s .2327 seconds from landing on his head. Kinley looks like Dr. Dre. Jackson is B-boying to “Shake it Off”, and you might as well call Brooklynn “Cinnamon,” girl’s got moves for days.  They’re hysterical!

Christmas morning – 1 throwing up. 

Then we go home, play with our new goods, and take a nap before Christmas dinner. I can’t wait to get home and play with my new dutch oven!

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Christmas Evening – 1 more throwing up.

It’s now the day after Christmas and we are quarantined to my in-laws’ house.

We are up to 3 with the flu, 3 throwing up, 1 with a sore throat, and 1 not feeling well. Thankfully these germs haven’t hit us yet.

To battle cabin fever, I took my new Brooks Ghost running shoes on their inaugural run around Lovington. Santa gets me. He really gets me.

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This flat lander cannot handle elevation. 4.5 miles has never hurt so bad. My lungs are on fire.

We are spending the day watching movies, taking naps, and doing our best to avoid the germs that are being passed around this Christmas.

Hope you all had a happy and healthy Christmas!! Pray for us…and send Tamiflu.


 

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The Forgotten Cookie

Let’s follow up a staying healthy at Christmas post with a cookie post, shall we? It seems appropriate.

When I think of my grandma, I think of this cookie – and some epic living room forts, but that’s another story for another day. This is the first cookie I ever learned to make on my own. I made them every year for my elementary school teachers and any other excuse I could come up with.

DSC_9477Rewind to Christmas time circa 1992-1993.

My cousins and I always had matching dresses for Christmas and Easter. We look like Christmas cotton balls...

My cousins and I always had matching dresses for Christmas and Easter. We look like Christmas cotton balls…

I was spending the day at my grandparents’ house making Christmas cookies and candies. Right before we went to bed, my grandma put a tray of cookies in the oven and said “They’ll be done in the morning.” I thought she was crazy, you don’t bake cookies overnight!? This is when I was introduced to a “Forgotten” or “Forget Me Not” cookie.

DSC_9462This is the easiest cookie you will ever make. Fact. It requires no flour, no butter, no baking powder; just egg whites, sugar, and vanilla. So easy a 7 year-old Cassie can make them.

Forget Me Not Cookies

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)
  • 1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites on high until foamy.

IMG_6188Gradually add sugar and beat until the whites form stiff peaks.

IMG_6189Fold in the vanilla, chocolate chips, pecans (optional). Spoon onto prepared baking sheets.

FullSizeRender_1Place the cookies in the preheated oven, and then immediately turn it off. Leave the cookies in the oven for at least 8 hours to overnight.

DSC_9457Don’t worry if you actually “forget” about your cookies. They’ll be just fine.

DSC_9475The first bite might surprise you. They look like soft, pillowy mounds of sugary goodness, but actually they’re light and crunchy. You can eat 37 and not even realize it, not that I would know or anything…

Ok, I might know.

Feel free to add whatever you’d like to this cookie. Use peppermint chips instead of chocolate chips for the holidays, add peppermint extract in place of vanilla; add M&Ms, butterscotch, or Heath Bar for a fun twist. My favorite is the way Grandma always made them – chocolate chips and pecans, they don’t get any better.


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