Five Ways to Jumpstart 2017

I’m not really a resolutions kind of girl. I’d like to say I’m a goals person, but sometimes things take a long time for me, and sometimes I get scared. What I really think I am is a wakeup call person. I like to act on wakeup calls. At the end of 2016, I felt less healthy than I should. I felt older and less fit. I felt like I could and should be doing more to be all-around healthier.

When I was a teenager, I went on a life-changing trip through Canada and upstate New York. It was my first time away from home for nearly two weeks, and it was also my first time discovering so many cities and towns, nestled in another country. I was battling some demons during those days, as one sometimes does during those tumultuous teen years, and I wound up better and stronger for doing so while on the road. The world never looked the same for me. Colors got brighter, music got louder and more meaningful, and relationships got stronger. I got happier. That doesn’t mean I’ve honored everything I learned along the way as much as I should have as an adult, but I loved the experience of growing and exploring the world.

Around the same time, I saw a trailer for one of M. Night Shyamalan’s first movies – Wide Awake. I know too well that feeling of suddenly feeling “wide awake”, as if you’ve been sleeping or not paying attention for a long time. For me, 2017 is a time of wakeup calls to be answered. I’m not a resolutions girl, but I’m a wakeup call girl and I want 2017 to reflect change.

One thing I’m doing is re-focusing on myself and feeling inspired in the new year. That requires me to carve out some “me time” and to also focus on new ideas with cooking, cleaning, parenting, health, fitness, relaxation, and overall goals.

I’m jumping into the new year with hope and love. I had SO much fun creating this video – which shows you the five ways I jumpstart my day, and my year – and feel my absolute best. I hope you have as much fun watching it as I did making it!

To summarize, that’s drinking plenty of water, having a wholesome breakfast, taking time to rest and relax, finding time to snuggle up with loved ones – even pets – and being active. For #4, I love this recipe using my favorite Grape Nuts:


Crunchy Berry Stuffed French Toast

Crunchy Berry Stuffed French Toast


  • 1 medium loaf of brioche or other soft, thick bread. I used maple oatmeal
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, ricotta cheese, or marscapone
  • Butter and maple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh berries and bananas (optional)
  • 1 cup or so of Post Grape Nuts


  1. Slice the bread
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy and then add milk, cream, salt, vanilla, and sugar, and whisk to blend
  3. Pour into a sheet pan with sides - I used 13x9 baking pan
  4. Let the bread soak in a single layer in the mixture
  5. Heat butter until foamy in a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat
  6. Working in 2-3 batches, cook the soaked bread until lightly brown (3 minutes)
  7. Lay slices of cream cheese/ricotta/marscapone on top of the bread
  8. Place berries and Grape Nuts on top of the cheese
  9. Place another slice of bread on top of the soaked one - to make "sandwiches"
  10. Press firmly with back of spatula
  11. Rotate the "sandwiches" and brown the other side for another three minutes
  12. Serve with butter and syrup of choice

I’m a big fan of texture, so when you get the sweet and eggy French Toast, then pair it with fresh and tart berries, use some form of spreadable cheese for flavor and stick factor, and then add in the crunch of Post Grape Nuts? Awesomeness.

In the great theme of trying for and being what we want, isn’t it amazing that cereal can be eaten at all times of the day, and for various occasions? Whether it’s on or with French Toast for breakfast or brunch, whether it’s snack time, or whether you want a good bowl of cereal at any time of the day or night, it’s always welcoming, comforting and delicious.

And so, what would you make with your Grape Nuts?

Head here to download a coupon for your favorite Post cereals today!

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  1. I haven’t thought of Grape Nuts for awhile. They were so popular when I was younger… I like the idea of cooking with them because they absorb all of the moisture. I know this post is about mornings, but I’d eat that for dinner:)

    1. Oh, totally! I think breakfast for dinner is an important meal. We used to have “brunch for lunch” at school. Grape Nuts rock all the live long day!

  2. I am more of a goals gal than a resolution gal, but am all about self-improvement, especially this time of year. Great tips – I try to do all of those things. I do not think I have ever had Grape Nuts, but they look good. Cool to hear your actual voice!!

  3. OK, I loved hearing and seeing you today as that was a real treat for me, my friend. Definitely loved your advice and like you though I am not a resolutions type girl either for the most part. Plus, now I have an awesome new French Toast recipe to try, I even have strawberries on hand from a recipe I made and will be sharing on my blog tomorrow now, too!! 🙂

    1. Mm.. I have strawberries too! We have to try to keep them year-round because of Scarlet’s love for them. We had so much fun having local ones in Florida!!!

  4. Love your video and great tips. I’ve never had grape nuts and am going to give them a try.
    The tip that resonated the most for me – being active – it is key for my well-being. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Third person to say that now! They’re awesome. They’re GMO-free and full of protein and fiber. Personally I like mine with whole milk or a little cream.. and some fruit.

  5. I’m not into resolutions myself either and haven’t made any for this year but I did set a few goals that I’m hoping to meet. BTW I haven’t had Grape Nuts in forever, I don’t recall seeing it recently either. BTW great video and great advice.

  6. I recently listened to a meditation practice that talked about resolutions vs. intentions that really resonated me with me. Essentially resolutions get broken and that we feel like we’ve failed and give up, whereas intentions are a mindset that we are working toward something with the understanding that there may be set backs (or something along those lines). I am not a resolutions person either, but I am a goal-setter, and I like the idea of having intentions. Basically all of my intentions encompass the things you talked about — like drinking enough water! — and much more (decided to embark on a happiness project after reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin). Things that will help me toward my overall well-being 🙂

    1. Ah, I like that!!! Thank you for sharing that.
      I think we’re probably pretty similar with the goals and intentions. I’ve been meaning to read “Happier at Home”!

  7. How cute is that video of you! You are rady to be a YouTube star 🙂 Resolutions are not my thing either. I just find it’s easier to make mini goals all year long that help me deal with the current situation and be the best I can be.

    1. My voice is always lower than people expect so I tried to raise it just a tad! And Juniper totally stole the show. I just know she did.
      Mini goals for the seasons – that’s my style.

  8. Yay for a Tamera video!!! oops. Tamara. That was great. I like to make BIG goals and not stick to them. Does that not sound appealing???? Kidding….sort of…. Also, I love your counter tops. 🙂

    1. Nice self-correcting!
      I love that about making big goals and not keeping them.
      Ok, the counter tops do rock, right? The kitchen was updated about a year before we bought the house, so I can’t take credit for picking them up!

  9. Oh you are so adorable!! And BEAUTIFUL! (I already knew that, but I think this is the first time I actually saw you LIVE! Those are really great tips… I’m going to try to stick to them toooooooo! 🙂

    1. I look awful on videos, though, so go with the first time you see me IN PERSON! But thank you. I cringe when I see that!!
      Now if you’re going to stick to my tips, it’s time to go sledding!

  10. OMG, here I go again looking at food photos at 3am. Haha! Makes me so hungry. I should really start thinking of my wholesome breakfast and how to incorporate that in my daily routine. I’m also trying to drink lots of water than usual and lessen my soda intake.

    Love the video! And Scarlet playing too! Makes me think of how it feels to do just that!

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