Friday and Freedoms

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Hello everyone! May I say, Happy Friday & Happy Independence Day!

I am so excited for what the day has in store– red, white, and blue attire, a big cookout, family, and fireworks! Tuesday night I got to see fireworks in Canada for Canada Day with my boyfriend, and tonight I know is going to top the cake in celebration of our country’s freedom. Guess how old the country is?? 238 years old!

The season’s delicious food, warm weather, and special holidays, are reminders of all the good things summer holds.

As some of you may know, I absolutely LOVE to sing and throughout the day I will be belting out the National Anthem and all of our patriotic songs.:D

We in America are so blessed to have the freedoms we do. Compared to many other countries in the world, we have so many rights that allow us to make choices for ourselves. We as Americans are able to speak our minds and share our opinions, and publicly practice our beliefs.

Today, let’s celebrate all that our country does for us and allows for us as individuals to accomplish. I believe that we truly are “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

It is going to be a busy weekend around here with family activities and get-togethers for the next few days, so I will catch you on the flip side with lots to share.

Let’s Talk–

What is your favorite 4th of July activity?

Any fun plans this weekend?

XOXO, Gabi

Posted in Summer 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WIAW {Summer Meals}

Hello there!

The end of last week and weekend got away from me so here is the post you missed if you haven’t been here since last week’s shindig:

This week I am prepared for Wednesday (WIAW). Unlike last week, Wednesday seemed to have sprung up out of nowhere. Can you relate to how those days sometimes are?

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Although summer on my end has been pretty busy, I am starting to finally find a good schedule without being (too) overwhelmed.

One thing I am always on top of is my meal planning. If you do not take care of your body and give it the attention it needs, pushing it will do no good. It is important to focus on the body’s needs–> especially good fuel.

My meals do change depending on the season. So here are some of the summer meals I have been whipping up lately. 🙂 Thanks Jenn, as always for hosting this awesome linkup.

Image[Eggs topped with pepper and a side of watermelon and golden mellon]

Image[Cheerios, milk, walnuts, and fruit]

Image[Salad greens with tomatoes, olives, and chickpeas]

Image[Mango, mango, mango :)]

Image[Salad with chicken, tomatoes, olives, chickpeas, and tuscan bean topping]

Image[Rotisserie chicken with steamed broccoli, olives, tuscan bean salad, and watermelon]

Image[Grilled salmon topped with tomato, pickles, baked beans, and watermelon]

Let’s Talk–

How do you plan healthy meals when you have a busy schedule?

What is your favorite on-the-go snack to take out the door when you are in a rush?

XOXO, Gabi

P.S. Happy almost Friday to my U.S. friends (It is a long weekend because the 4th is this Friday)! My boyfriend and I were able to go up to Canada and celebrate with them for the day :). The fireworks over Niagara Falls were awesome despite the rain that came during the middle of them. 😮

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P.P.S. My boyfriend is back from Cuba and I am so happy to have him home! We went paddle boarding at canal side on Monday.

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Let’s Connect!

Blog: www.gabriellekwalter.com
Twitter: @Just__Gabi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/gabiwalter
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gabiwalter
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Setting Summer Goals 2014

Whew! I think I can finally take a quick breather after running around all week and weekend. But now, how is it Monday already??! Time sure flies when you are having summer fun :). Today I wanted to share with you my summer goals! Yes, I finally sat down and had time to write them out. However when writing, I thought about goals and why people set them— to achieve/ accomplish a hard task, to personally improve oneself, to do something for someone else, to make a change, to stand for an idea, to increase one’s knowledge. There are so many reasons people set goals and are motivated to achieve them.

I think people are reaching their goals each day. They are accomplishing tasks here and there and taking on the unplanned life situations that occur each day. One thing I have truly learned to embrace is that change is constant, and not many of us like change. Being adaptable, trusting one’s abilities, and accepting that change is inevitable is how one can get through the many changes encountered in life.

Think about today and all that you have accomplished! What are some of the short term goals you have for yourself? What about the long term?

Never put limits on you or your abilities because anything is possible.

So here is my list of summer goals, I encourage each of you to make a list yourselves, even if it is only one thing…see what you can accomplish 🙂

1.) READ– I plan on reading ten books this summer, yes 10! I never have time to read during the school year (okay..so yes textbooks, but they don’t count). I am already on book number two and going strong. I love reading for fun and just taking a book outside, sitting in the shade, and getting lost in pages upon pages for hours.

2.) GET CREATIVE– I absolutely adore all of those DIY projects on Pinterest and never have time to test my own creative. Summer means there is no better time to spend a day making any and everything I can think of! I really would like to create my own jewelry and new decorations for my room, especially a cool picture collage. So stay tuned for what is to come of this goal. 🙂

3.) EXPLORE HOME– I really would like to enjoy all of the sites Buffalo has to offer. There are so many parks, events, and places to see thought the city and nearby towns that I would really like to attend all that I can this summer. Just this weekend my family, boyfriend, and I all went to a City of Night event in Silo City. We got to light lanterns, appreciate art, listen to live music, and spend time together in the city we call home. Here are some pictures from the awesome event.

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4.) MAKE MYSELF WHOLE AGAIN– This is probably one of my biggest goals this summer. I am looking to understand who I am and what I truly want in life. Senior year of college is coming up and I have so many options of where to go from here, and honestly…I have no clue. The other day on Twitter someone posted that freedom of choice creates the greatest anxiety, and guess what?? I completely agree!

Right now I am focusing on better understanding myself and my abilities by connecting my body and mind though Yoga and Pilates. I am really working on gaining not only physical, but mental strength. Yes, I am still running for the stress release and freedom it gives me, simply grabbing my shoes and going :).

I am not broken by any means, but my interests, strengths, and ideas are choppy. I am looking for more of a complete understanding of myself.

I came across this goal in one of my yoga classes. I am really trying to ground myself and understand who I am before rising through life’s challenges.

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So I ask you again, what goals are you setting? What are you looking for in life? The answer may just be right inside of you. Happy Monday!

XOXO, Gabi

Posted in Summer 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WIAW {Weekly Grocery List}

Hello, hello!

If you haven’t visited the blog in a while, here are some posts you have missed:

Just popping in for a quick bit to participate in WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) and share some pictures of what I’ve been eating this week! It’s been a crazy busy week and I trying not to overwhelm myself with everything I am doing. With that said I have been skimping out on taking pictures of my meals.

To make it up to all of you, I have included my weekly shopping list. I get asked periodically what I buy each week to create the meals I make and honestly, it varies depending on my cravings. However, there are many grocery items I get week after week.

I believe that life should be in balance. Right now I myself, am trying to find balance in my schedule.

Along with that, so too should eating be in balance. You will see from this list how I strike a balance with all sorts of foods (proteins/carbs/fats) each week. I think you will be able to tell how much I love my fruit!! 🙂

Produce
-strawberries
-watermelon
-blueberries
-raspberries
-blackberries
-bananas
fruit wild card (this switches up week to week- I get something out of the ordinary. Maybe mangos, kiwi, grapes, a cantaloupe)
-sweet potatoes
-carrots
-broccoli
-cucumber
-tomatoes
-sugar snap peas
-red leaf lettuce
-spinach
Meat/Dairy
-chicken breast
-honey roasted turkey from the deli (for sandwiches)
-light swiss cheese from the deli (sliced thin for sandwiches)
– ground turkey breast
-crab in a can
-tuna in a can
-veggie burgers
-frozen salmon
-almond milk
-eggs
– greek yogurts (vanilla and plain)
– laughing cow cheese spread triangles
Other
-pickles
-olives
-chickpeas
-croutons
-balsamic vinaigrette
-protein bars
-walnuts
-loaf of bread for the week
-box of Cheerios
-box of Chex cereal
-couscous
-quinoa
-trail-mix (usually includes an assortment of nuts, raisins, & chocolate and peanut butter chips)
-ice cream sandwiches (the best summer dessert!)

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Here are the meals I remembered to capture. Thanks Jenn for being a wonderful host!

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[My weekly trail mix- on the grocery list]

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[Momma’s homemade healthy goulash]

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[Egg scramble and Bosc pear (my wild fruit card of the week)]

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[Chicken salad with olives, pickles, croutons, and balsamic vinaigrette]

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[Salmon with grilled strawberries]

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[Chicken kabob with sweet potato and thai peanut sauce]

Let’s Talk–

What foods do you have each week on your grocery list?

Want to find out more? Head to Peas and Crayons to check out how others are celebrating this What I Ate Wednesday!

As always you can click the WIAW Category on the right hand sidebar to explore some of my previous WIAW posts!

XOXO, Gabi

Let’s Connect!

Blog: www.gabriellekwalter.com
Twitter: @Just__Gabi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/gabiwalter
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gabiwalter
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5K Race Recap

Hey there! I can finally say…It’s Summer! Happy Summer!

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[Celebrating summer at the waterfront]

This is one of my favorite times of the year with the nice weather coupled with a summer schedule filled with fun things. Does anyone else create a summer to-do list? I still need to write mine and create a list of summer goals. Click here to see what I accomplished last summer :).

Well the weekend has been great so far. I literally began the weekend by running off into summer. Friday night was my parish’s annual 5K great race and the weather was perfect. Every year it is beautiful, but sometimes it can be extremely humid and other times not so much.

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Compared to my half marathon last month I knew this was going to be easy. However, I have not been running as much as I used to since my half because my legs just haven’t felt as strong. The farthest I have probably gone since then is 4.5/5 miles. I’ve been focusing a lot on strength training (mentally and physically) and stability with Pilates and Yoga. I decided to run the race for the fun of it! I just wanted to do well for me rather than focus on a time I was to beat.

Like a usual race I had my iPone with a running playlist (super short this time) and my Garmin. I also bought a new pair of shoes and the race was my first time running in them. I was unsure at first about my decision, but I knew I was not running too far and a good three miles would not hurt my feet.

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Once the gun went off I discovered there was a glitch with my Garmin. Earlier last week when I was running with it I must have hit a button towards the end of my run because it all of a sudden stopped recording distance. Well as the race started and I saw the timer on my Garmin increase, the screen for distance was blank. “This is not an issue I told myself,” but really I like to glance at my Garmin periodically to record how fast my legs are going. Now I had no idea my average distance or the total distance, just the time. “It’s only three and a tenth of a mile, don’t worry.”

Don’t worry was the message of Thursday’s yoga class and I knew now more than ever was the test to truly practice that. I focused on my stride and listened to my body, and advanced ahead of people where I could. Mile 1- the guy on the sidelines yelled 7:15 as I ran by. “Just keep going,” I told myself.

Mile two was steady and mile three was literally mile one backwards. Once I hit the mile two mark (now just 1.1 miles left) I knew I was almost there! I kept my pace and tried to push myself where I could. Once I turned the corner and could see the finish it was the typical “so close, but so far moment.” I did not let myself slow down and finally, crossed the finish.

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I grabbed some water from a cute little volunteer and had to walk it off as my lungs ached while sucking in air (still have that cold). My dad walked with me to cool down and chat about how I felt. I told him about my Garmin and my new shoes. Garmin- bad, new shoes- good. Throughout the whole run, I can happily say I did not let myself worry. 🙂

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After the race the night was filled with fun entertainment including bounce houses, jugglers, a rock climbing wall, and even a band to dance the night away. My sister and I had a lot of fun playing dress up and getting our photos taken in the photo booth :).

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The next day I was able to look at my time and to my surprise, I won second in my age group- A time of 23.58 and Average pace of 7.44/M! I am still soo ecstatic over that. It is my best race recorded 5K time yet. 🙂

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Let’s Talk–

How are you kicking off the summer?

XOXO, Gabi

Posted in Summer 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Cards We Are Dealt

Happy Friday, friends! I saw it!! I finally saw The Fault In Our Stars after reading the book this past weekend. I met up with my friends and sister last night to take my emotions on quite the whirlwind. Tissues are a wonderful creation in life. I don’t want to spoil anything if you have not seen it, but that movie gives you a whole new perspective on life. After watching it, I feel inspired, changed, and like I can understand certain individuals a bit more.

Tonight I have my first race since my half marathon last month! It’s just a 5k, but since taking a good break from running long distances, it is bound to still be a challenge. You’ll be getting the recap this weekend. 🙂

In life we cannot choose the cards we are dealt. We cannot control what family we are born into, the qualities we have (tall, short, etc..), the talents we will foster, the people we encounter, our level of health, or the journey we will find ourselves on. Sometimes it can be frustrating because we my feel that we are at a disadvantage or feel like we got the short end of the stick. In regards to health, people can only do so much, hoping that exercising and eating right will keep them healthy. However, what about when someone become sick and in the case of the movie, with cancer? How are they going to handle the cards they are dealt?

What about in our lives, what do we do when a storm comes our way? A loved one dying, a job lost, a breakup, how do we handle it?

All we can control in life is how we play the hand with the cards we are dealt. It is important to make the best of each situation. There is light at the end of every tunnel :). I believe that everything ends on a good note, so if it’s bad…know it’s not over.

For those of us who are in a good place in our lives and see our cards as blessings at the moment, count your blessings.

Be love.

Be silly.

Be creative.

Be thankful.

Be adventurous.

Be the good in life.

Be supportive to those in need.

Be a light for others.

Be inquisitive.

Be hopeful.

Be humble.

Be happy.

Be Yourself

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XOXO, Gabi

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A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words

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[Source]

Memories- we all have them and it’s to photos we go to help recollect those memories.

Ever heard the phrase “A pictures worth a thousand words?” Well how many words can we sum up from the hundreds to thousands of photos we have? A LOT. Just think of all the photos we put up on social media or are tagged in. Each photo expresses to the viewer who we are (in many ways).

But what if we had a photo that captured a bad memory and wanted it erased? Is it as simple as a delete on the keyboard or throwing it away in the trash?

Technically having a photo legitimizes the event’s existence, it happened.

Now…what about the memories the camera does not capture? The ones that our minds call recall?

What does that picture look like in your head when you look back to it? Can you come up with 1,000 words?

I’m talking about the snapshots we take in our lives where we choose to not pick up the camera and post it all over social media to legitimize its existence.

Instead we took in the memory for its own worth through our senses–> how it looked, tasted, how we felt who we were with..simply enjoying the here and now. Shouldn’t our private experience with it be enough?

Life is not all about experiencing it through a lens, and I think sometimes we forget that because today’s society is so focused on documenting it all. Life is about experiencing it with our own eyes and allowing ourselves to change perspective (shift our lens) to better understand the world around us.

Let’s Talk–

What do you decipher as a memory that’s worth capturing vs. one that is worth living?

Does it depend on the moment?

XOXO, Gabi

 

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