about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    A Look Back.


Am I still allowed to talk about New Year’s resolutions on the 8th of January?  I hope so, because here it comes!  I know resolutions tend to be overhyped and can elicit quite a bit of eye-rolling and groaning, but I think there is something really fresh and motivating about a new year.  And any time we look to better ourselves is a good thing, right? 

Last year my goal was to manage my communication better – to never go to bed with email left over in my inbox.  I failed at this miserably, probably because I never had any sort of plan in place.  I just thought because I said it, it would change.  It didn’t.  And if you emailed me this year, you already know that.

This year feels different.  I think because Cullen has a late fall birthday, the turning of a new year also feels a bit like moving on from our first year of parenting (although technically, it’s been 14 months). 

Last year was all.about.Cullen.  I know that didn’t go unnoticed here.  And I think that’s pretty standard and maybe even expected for a baby’s first year.  Maybe not, who knows.  But we had a lot of learning and growing to do as parents, and while doing that, we slipped a bit individually. 

I know I’ve already written a million posts about how I need more time for myself, want to make changes, yada yada blah.  But this isn’t one of those.  For all of you who have been behind me with pom poms shouting “just DO it” – I’m happy to tell you that I’ve already started.  So these resolutions are mostly things that are already in place, already in motion.  But here are the things I’m going to continue to work on as we set off into 2013…

Make fitness a priority. 

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I’ve made no secret of the fact that exercise took a major back seat this year.  I worked myself up so much about it that it became paralyzing and I ended up not doing very much.  That has changed dramatically in the last month.

Now that I’m done breastfeeding, my energy has come back in a big way.  My metabolism has also slowed down considerably, giving me a boost of extra motivation.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a variety of different things – Barre3 classes, at home DVD’s, NYC Ballet workout videos, and of course – running.  I’m planning to write a whole post about this SOON – probably at the end of the week.  But it feels amazing to be moving again, and to finally have (working) plans in place.  I feel a lot more like me again!

Curb my sugar addiction. 

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I’ve never been one for diets or detoxes – just not my thing.  But my sugar consumption is out of control, and needs to be directly addressed.  I have a lot of friends who are new moms, and I know that excessive sugar consumption seems to go hand in hand with the first few months of motherhood.  I think it has something to do with breastfeeding and the need for quick energy bursts.  Whatever it is, it’s very real.

While breastfeeding, I ate an unbelievable amount of sugar.  We have both the blessing and curse of being surrounded by many amazing vegan bakeries here in Seattle, and we take advantage of them often.  They know our regular orders, and every time we go they comment on how much Cullen has grown.  It’s very nice of them.  It’s also embarrassing.

But the thing is, I’m not a new mom anymore.  I’m out of excuses.  I’m not even breastfeeding.  I just got so used to eating that way that now I’m having trouble breaking the habit.  And I’ll be totally honest – in the height of breastfeeding I could get away with eating as much sugar as I wanted with little effect.  Now?  Not quite the case.  Oh Christmas cookies, how you tempted me.

Obviously I don’t plan to be sugar-free forever.  What fun is that?  But I’m challenging myself to a month without sugar.  Natural sugars like dried fruit are fine (in moderation), but no baked goods, no Theo chocolate bars every night after dinner, and no decadent desserts for a few more weeks.  I need to get it out of my system. 

Master our kombucha brewing.

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I know I’ve mentioned this before, but never in much detail.  We’ve been making our own kombucha this year.  And by we, I mean Casey.  Even though we’ve been doing it for many months, we still keep alternating between good and bad batches.  It’s not consistent, and we still haven’t perfected the system.  I hope by the end of the year, we have some consistent, delicious kombucha a-brewing in our cabinet!

Look good to feel good. 

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Again, this one isn’t really new, but just something I’d like to make a point to continue this year.  After Cullen was first born, I spent many of the first few weeks (errr, months) in sweatpants or pajamas, makeup streaked across my face leftover from several days ago, and generally just a hot mess.  It only took a month or two for me to realize that I felt much much better if I actually dressed and looked like a human being.

These days I make a point to put on pants with actual zippers and dry my hair more often than not.  Stretchy pants and quick top-knot buns are fine here and there, but I try not to make it a habit anymore.  The whole stay at home mom thing can really strip away at your identity, but looking like myself makes me feel a lot more like…well, myself!

Create a dedicated work space

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This is still a work in progress.  Our house has a dedicated office up on the third floor, but it’s so far away from everything else that we rarely use it.  One of my biggest pet peeves about our old condo was that our laptops lived on the kitchen counter, and yet somehow I find myself typing these very words from the barstool. 

Between Daily Garnish, Babble, and general life stuff, I find myself jotting down lists and sticky notes all day long.  My thoughts are scattered around various notebooks and pieces of paper, and I’d like to find a more cohesive space to do my writing and planning.  This might even mean just making our current office more usable.  But it’s on my list!  I’m picturing a giant wipe off board somewhere…

Read at least one book each month

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Continuing on the theme of more and individual development, I’d like to spend more time developing my personal interests.  I’d also like to spend less time zoned out in front of the TV or laptop at night.  So this is something I started doing a few weeks ago. 

While I do enjoy reading, I can’t say I’ve ever been someone who just tears through books.  And I’m embarrassed to admit how long it’s been since I read something that was not about breastfeeding or how to treat fevers.  So I set a goal to read at least one new book each month.  Sounds realistic, right? 

I figured I’d start with something fun, and picked The Hunger Games.  Everyone else in the world seems to have already read it, so why not jump on board?  I had already seen the movie, and I ended up reading the whole book in about three days last week.  January – CHECK!  Now I’m onto book #2, as well as Simplicity Parenting, recommended to me by my friend Pamela.  I’ll write about it when I’m finished!

I’ve really been enjoying my reading nights so far. Much more than I ever really enjoy just thumbing through the channels.  I usually stretch out on the sofa with a big mug of tea, while Casey practices guitar and our fire crackles (okay not really, it’s a gas fireplace).  It’s a wonderful way to relax at night. 

Improve my photography.

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This is a big goal for this year.  I consider myself to have one of the world’s cutest photography subjects (unbiased, of course), and I hate that I feel like I’m not capturing him in photos quite as well as I could.  I’m going to spend some of my evening time doing Lightroom tutorials, and forcing myself to learn better photography and editing techniques. 

I have found that photography is something I really, really enjoy, and so it’s also something I’d really like to continue to grow in and improve. 

Aaaaaaaaaaand I think that’s it!  Nothing mind-blowing or unattainable.  Just some goals and things to work on this year.  I’ll probably write more in-depth posts on all of these things soon enough.  Except for the part about dressing better.  I think the internet would implode if I ever attempted a fashion post.

I’m just eight days in but so far so good.  The year still feels fresh, and motivation is high.  Hope it continues to stay that way!

Also — These “resolutions” are more focused on me, but you can read about some of my more parenting-specific goals for the new year over on Babble!

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54 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Simply Life     at 4:23 pm

great goals! I think your photos of Cullen are already incredible- can’t wait to see what you do in the next year!


Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 4:38 pm

I didn’t make any specific resolutions, but I am on my best behavior thanks to everyone’s intentions. Yours seem very realistic, and I can’t wait to read more. I LOVE fitness DVDs — I barely go to the gym anymore and am still in good shape…


Liz     at 4:47 pm

I love that sweater – where did you get it? I agree that it makes a huge difference to spend a little extra time putting yourself together, especially on an around-the-house kind of day. I should call it a resolution for myself as well!


Amber K     at 5:10 pm

Wow, you’re ambitious! I haven’t thought about making any specific resolutions except to get back into my usual healthy mindset and kick myself out of “holiday mode.”


Lauren     at 5:34 pm

Love your goals! I also made the goal for myself ever since leaving my office job, to get dressed every day. It really does make a difference in my productivity levels. A few days a week, I make it a point to work from a coffee shop, to ensure that I follow through with that.


Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 5:46 pm

Great goals! The look good and feel good has taken me some time. There are still days where I wear the same sweatpants a few days in a row and where gym clothes out and about. You really get used to being that hot mess and it is less fuss. I really had to put some effort into it but I feel so much better now!


Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 5:55 pm

Great resolutions! Especially the kombucha-brewing. I’d love to start brewing my own kombucha.


Amanda     at 6:01 pm

I don’t think it is too late to post new years resolutions! I loved reading yours! I think I relate to most of your resolutions besides the part about being a mommy, and I should probably follow your “look good to feel good” resolution!


Lisa     at 6:17 pm

Can you let me know how you like Lightroom? I have a great camera I never use, the Iphone is too easy. I need a tutorial.


Amy     at 6:31 pm

Nice! Looking forward to your kombucha details. I’ve been brewing it too but seem to have more flops than successes so far — it usually turns into vinegar before I have a chance to drink it!


Elise     at 6:34 pm

Your resolutions are great! I really want to try brewing kombucha because it is so expensive to buy in the store! I also agree about reading. I enjoy watching TV when there’s something to watch, but there is something to relaxing about sitting in a quiet room at night with a good book.


nicki     at 6:57 pm

I love your welly boots! Please please please do an updated house tour! I LOVE YOUR DECOR and your house layout :)sounds like a good post ;)


Red Deception     at 8:52 pm

Great goal. Besides going vegan for good (FINALLY!), I am trying to lower my white sugar consumption as well. I am already in sugar withdrawal and it’s only day 2! Sugar has a stronghold on me. Oh, how I miss you mint chocolate…


Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 9:11 pm

I’m really glad you wrote this because a lot of your resolutions coincide with my goals for the new year. I’m training for my first 5k because I’ve always wanted to be a runner and just never thought I could do it. I love proving myself wrong and your running page has been very helpful! I also just got a DSLR for Christmas and have yet to open it (to be fair, I was in the hospital so it wasn’t a priority) but I’m really looking forward to making photography a bigger part of my blog. And finally, I set a goal to read 100 books this year–um, yeah, we’ll see how that goes, although I’ve already read 2 and about to finish my third! This is to make up for last year when I had a thesis to write and reading for pleasure was out of the question. :) I think 2013 will be a great year


Carley     at 9:58 pm

Get it!! I think we all go through seasons, it makes us appreciate the little things more when we have them back. A new year is like a new page, thank goodness!!


Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 1:48 am

Some great resolutions. Sugar free banana bread is the way to go, lots of cinnamon, and chlorella is really good for balancing blood sugar and curbing cravings! :) I need to make an effort to get properly dressed more often, working at home more often than not ends up with me living in workout gear!


Brittnie (A Joy Renewed)     at 4:22 am

These are great goals, Emily!

You said “It only took a month or two for me to realize that I felt much much better if I actually dressed and looked like a human being.” SO TRUE. I felt the same way. And I agree with you – the first year of motherhood is all about survival, learning and growing in ways we did not know possible. I am only 8 mo into the first year but man it has been a rocky (but amazing!!) road.

I think the sleep deprivation also plays a part in the sugar cravings while breastfeeding. Sadly, I have eaten way more sugar post partum than I ever did during pregnancy!!


Christine     at 4:31 am

Sounds like we have some very similar goals this year. I’m looking forward to hearing how its going and getting some great inspiration from you!


Sneakers2Sandals     at 5:00 am

I love your resolutions! They are right up my ally. I also want to spend time doing light room tutorials at night. I love photography and I’m slowly making it one of my hobbies (even though I’m am ameature). Will you just look for tutorials on Youtube?


Katy @ MonsterProof     at 5:18 am

Sounds…so…familiar. Pretty much on board with most of those. Good luck!


Katie     at 5:42 am

I love all of your resolutions! I have quite a few of the same… can’t wait to hear how they go and maybe hearing about how well you are doing it will keep me on task as well ;) I think your pictures of Cullen rock!!!


fittingbackin     at 5:48 am

Wonderful goals! I need to get on board with your photography goal, especially with our baby girl on the way! I’m going to go back and read your breastfeeding posts – I plan to start that as soon as she arrives – the more I read from real people the more confident I feel!


Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 5:54 am

I’m a big fan of New Years Resolutions. I think it shows a person is working each year to improve themselves and that’s a positive thing. All your resolutions look really attainable and, as you mentioned, some are already in the works. Here’s to a fabulous and productive 2013!


Jackie     at 6:10 am

I would love to hear about the workout DVDs and videos that work for you. I always feel like spending $10-15 per workout class is a significant investment, and if I could find some DVDs that give me a great workout, that would be a smarter investment of money. But there are so many and it’s hard to find ones I’ll want to keep using!


Julie Reply:

Jackie, I’ve found that I love Jari Love’s “Get Ripped” videos. Especially the Get Ripped 1000 because it combines strength with aerobic intervals. When I’m super energized I’ll do the whole video, but when I have less time or want to focus on specific body parts, I just do certain segments. I like that Jari goes through how to do each exercise, is very positive, but doesn’t just babble on about strange things like some instructors do. I got the entire set of 4 videos used on Amazon and I’ve had them for 6 years now. Not tired of them yet!


Jackie Reply:

Thanks for the recommendation, Julie! I’ll definitely look into those.


Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction     at 6:11 am

Great goals Emily! we have a lot of the same resolutions (except the ones that pertain to motherhood). By the way your photos are lovely. Of course there is always room for improvement, but you are doing a great job as is! :)


Mary Beth     at 6:16 am

Simplicity Parenting is my absolute favorite book on parenting… and I’ve read a lot! I read it when my kids were 8, 6, and 5 but wish I’d read it when they were Cullen’s age.


Lee     at 6:30 am

The dress better one is my sole resolution this year. I work in a casual office and it’s all too tempting to come into work wearing a t-shirt, jeans and toms. A lot of my co-workers wear jeans but manage to look put-together. I wear jeans and manage to look like a slob. (I type this as I’m wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, jeans and toms).

I know you’d mentioned some readers having issues with your site in Firefox. I’m having issues with it in Chrome. It just started yesterday. Anyone else?


Whitney Reply:

haha Lee my office is the same. We can basically wear whatever so I am major casual but my coworkers are casual but put together. TOMS are an everyday thing! My husband often asks in the morning, “are you really wearing that to work?” LOL


Katie     at 7:11 am

I think your photography is great! I’m so jealous that you have such great shots of Cullen, he always seems so happy!


Sara     at 8:08 am

I can’t imagine your photography being any better than it already is. Can’t wait to see what you learn!


Lauren Jamison @ The Barn     at 8:37 am

I’m on my second batch of home-brewed kombucha and I feel the same way. Definitely have to find a solid technique for the perfect brew!


Jessica     at 8:55 am

OMG, Cullen’s belly in the first pic is awesome.
Sounds like some great goals! I have breastfed three kids and I always felt like a new person after weaning each time.


Sara     at 9:18 am

Wonderful goals! With a 16 month old, I really agree with everything you’ve said. I too am going 30 days without processed sugar (and grain! EEP!) and so far on day 4 I feel freaking fantastic so, good luck to you! These past few months I have also been telling myself, “Nooooo, do not put on those yoga pants and t-shirt.” I have so many pants and blouses and now that we’re over the spit up, gross stuff all over me, possible boob leaking stage I think it’s about time I wear something better than old t-shirts that are stained with paint or bleach or have holes in them! I think my husband is appreciating this change. :)


Heathe F     at 9:21 am

The great news is there are 2 more books in the hunger game series!! Both just as good as the first one! Good luck sticking to your resolutions!


Cailin     at 10:53 am

Great resolutions! So glad to hear I am not alone on the sugar cravings with breast feeding, My daughter is 9 weeks old and I can’t stop eating sugary foods! With my first two babies I had the same experience and the weight still came off easily by 4 months pp despite eating so much. The third time around seems to be different (and my older age) so I think I am going to try and get that under control.
Your photography is awesome – Cullen has the cutest smile ever!
As for getting dressed in real clothes – I make that a priority. Shower and dress before the husband leaves for work so I can feel human. With the third, you don’t get much opportunity to revolve around the baby. The baby revolves around the older kids! Good luck!


Kelly     at 11:51 am

Love barre3! And the one near me has childcare, which is a major bonus. Just need to work it into the budget :) good luck on your goals!


Mary     at 11:53 am

I’m TOTALLY with you on kicking the sugar habit! I got a little out of control this holiday season. I think you’re doing a GREAT job at all of these things already! But, of course, keep us posted!


Graciela     at 11:55 am

Hi! A good friend of mine recommended your blog to me and I have been reading and enjoying your recipes for the past few months. I’m really enjoying your blog!

As a “new” mom (she’ll be 4 in Feb), I can totally relate. I started writing down resolutions last year and it completely helped. I find it interesting that some of yours are similar to mine. They are great ones to start out with! (totally agree on the sugar and breastfeeding connection – strange)

Just a note on reading – I found that a kindle (just a straight up b/w kindle) really pushed my accomplishing my reading goal to a whole new level. You got 1 free minute of free time – pick it up and read a page, anywhere, anytime.

Best of luck!


Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 12:23 pm

Love it! Kombucha brewing is definitely on my list too! You’ll do great, just remember small changes, or incremental changes, can be more effective than diving right in sometimes. Don’t let yourself get down when the enthusiasm wears down, just make keep making small changes!!


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 12:48 pm

Good luck on all your goals! One of my goals for 2012 was to read a book a month. Epic failure! I think I got 4? This year I’m being easier on myself and only shooting for 6. I just picked up my first one today. Starting it tonight!


Lindsay @ prettylittleparadise     at 1:06 pm

I personally love the top knot! It’s a lazy way of looking sophisticated, I think, and I wear them often too!!! Love your blog- I think you’re an excellent writer!!


Sarah     at 5:40 pm

I’m with you on cutting out sugar for awhile. I could eat “anything” and burn it off when I was breastfeeding a very active baby, but now that he’s a little older (and running around!), it’s starting to catch up to me.


katy     at 9:01 pm

i’ve also focused more time on reading recently instead of just vegging out in front of the tv…so many great books and such little time!


Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls     at 5:59 am

I didn’t know sugar cravings were a part of breastfeeding. It all makes sense now! It’s not unusual for me to down a box of cookies in a day. I should be inspired by your resolution but since I’m still nursing I’m just going to take the excuse for now. It’s not my fault :)


Alysa     at 7:20 am

I love your photography especially of Cullen! Ive been wondering what camera and lens you use? Ive promised myself that if i can improve my composition, i can get a new camera :)


Melanie     at 6:53 am

You should make your office into an office/playroom. I’m working on that now and that way you can be in there with Cullen playing right next to you while you’re getting stuff done. There are a ton of cute ideas on how to do this on Pinterest and Houzz.


Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 1:52 pm

You definitely can post your new year’s resolutions a week late; I did mine late too. I loved your resolutions. I do feel there is value in trying to improve ourselves each year.

I’ve cut out all dessert and sugary foods for three weeks now. I know a lot of people feel better when they cut out sugar, but I honestly couldn’t say I feel any different. However, I have been able to lose some weight, which is one of my goals. (I am trying to cut weight for the Boston Marathon.)

I love your Hunter boots and sweater. Where is the sweater from? I am always on the hunter for warmer clothes since I am *always* cold up here in Alaska.


Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » A Week of Workouts.     at 8:07 pm

[...] Resolutions [...]

Megan     at 6:20 am

Hi Emily!

I love your resolutions!! A couple of things that maybe would help you too – I LOVE the Kelley Coffey-Meyer workout DVDs. 30 minutes but effective strength training. :)

Also, Clickin Moms (clickinmoms.com) is a great photography forum where I learned SO much! There is a fee to be a member but so definitely worth it. Especially if you have kids. You should check it out.

Hope this helps! :) Good luck!


Brittany     at 7:51 am

Ha! Your list sounds just like my list! I had my third (and final) baby last march and between the three kids, trying to get fit and stay healthy, and keep up with blogging…AH! But I love every minute! Also, I started following you on Twitter-love the cute pics of your little man! I usually only tweet pics of food, but maybe I should branch out! :)


Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » (Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread.     at 9:04 pm

[...] December 31st, I made a resolution that I’d go sugar-free for the month of January.  I am 24 days in, and I am very aware of all 24 of those.  [...]

Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » Resolution Recap.     at 3:00 pm

[...] year, for the first time in a long time, I made some New Year’s Resolutions.  Nothing huge or unattainable – just a list of hopes and small changes to achieve in the [...]

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