The Purge

Today has been a day.  Everything in this town is shut down thanks to the weather (good for me, I got to work from home), I had one of the WORST conference calls to date, and I may or may not have gone home to cry.  Im so glad I am down to the last few minutes of the day and I will be shutting down EVERYTHING.  UGH!

Lately I have been feeling like I am totally drowning in things and I HATE that feeling.  I feel like out house is a total mess all the time (it is) and things are everywhere.

So I instituted a household purge.  Nothing left untouched.  I will be honest, I am not half way through the house yet but it has been almost freeing!

I have been selling a few things online at prices so low I am surprised people actually take the time to come get what they need.  I figure I have already spent the money (or found the items for free), so it isnt like I am really taking a total hit for what I am charging.

My guest bedroom closet is SO MUCH easier to find things.  All those board games I never play because I have no one to play with, I can reach them finally.  That wedding dress I have yet to have cleaned and do something with, oh it is there out of kitty’s reach.

The kitchen, as you know, is still a frustrating room for me.  We ended up finding this kitchen cart at IKEA and adding this to the room not only added SO MUCH STORAGE, it made the room seem cozier.  I have yet to paint/stain it because I am not sure what I want to do, so I am going to live with it for oh I would say about two years before I do anything (I hope not!).

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The day after buying the cart, I basically removed everything from the cabinets and reorganized.  It was a mess, but freeing.  In my kitchen we have a total of FOUR drawers.  Isnt that crazy?  I searched the all mighty Pinterest and found a few ideas that I tackled and they were SUPER easy.  Go ahead….do them yourself.  Betcha you’ll feel just as free!!

First: I reorganized the spice drawer.  It was pretty much genius moving our spices to the drawer.  So easy to find things.  I made it much easier by buying the small IKEA containers and printing labels on the lids for easy IDing.

20150225_1630022Genius!  It may look cluttered to the untrained eye, but I promise it isnt.

While I was still hot for organizing, I tackled the silverware drawer.  There are so few options for organizing the drawer you probably access daily.  I mean, yeah, you could get a coolish silverware holder, but my experience has just made for a lot of wasted space.  Exhibit A

20150219_1315352So much wasted space in front of the caddy for things to slide around and basically get lost.  The Pinterest Gods showed me a new way to live.  A civilized way.

I happened to have some wood scraps sitting around that was actually PERFECT for this project!  I cut them down and stained them to a color that was pretty darn close to the drawers.  Once I placed them in the drawer, I ended up screwing them to the sides so there was no movement.

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It has been so much easier with the silverware this way.  I dont know how, but it has.  And you trust everything I say!

The last drawer that needs organizing is the utensil drawer (we have another drawer but that is just Ziplocs and trash bags…booorrring).  The utensil drawer is a bit of a puzzle for me, but I may have a layout I like and after donating some unused items, I think it will be less of a headache to deal with.  20150221_081413UPDATE:

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So that was a LONG post about drawers.  Why do you put up with me? Off to binge on a new Netflix series!  Thanks Facebook friends for the suggestions!!

 

Categories: budget, cleaning, Decorating help, DIY | Leave a comment

I am Racing again

Wait, before you get excited, it isn’t that cool.  I would love to be back to a place where I couldn’t get enough running or racing.  That place where I looked forward to doing half marathons.  Right now I am running and not serious running.  Let’s be honest, it is too cold for me to go out and run.  I am a big cold weather baby.  There I said it!

So one of my best friends moved to my favorite place in the entire universe, Charleston, SC.  I will just have to live vicariously through him since that was my dream and all.  A few weeks ago he asked us to come visit, but shocking, my work schedule wont really allow it until I make it through March.  I gave him a weekend and he mentioned he was signing up for the Cooper River Bridge Run that weekend and wanted me to run it with him.

Before we go any further, read this post about that time I ran CRBR in 2012.

I swore I would NEVER EVER run that race again!  It was physically tough and after running out of water, I was disgusted with them.  When my friend asked me to run it with him, I think I snorted and shouted HELL NO!  But I am one of those people that falls under peer pressure when it comes to things like this.  Drugs, alcohol, I am tough.  But when a friend asks me to run a race with them, by golly, I crack like a peanut shell.  (I am fully aware he is much faster than me and I will ultimately be running this alone)

I hemmed and hawed over this decision but signed up a few weeks later.  I instantly regretted it.

My first biggest motivation was found through making the training plan.  We had some excellent January weather and I had some amazing runs.  Two miles, but they were painless.  By the end of Jan, I thought this race was going to be hard, but doable.

Then something happened inside my head and I am not sure how to dig myself out.  I don’t really have words for what is happening, but I can’t get anything I want accomplished.  It feels like a severe case of laziness.  I am trying to fill my downtime with things I enjoy (and things that take my mind off the stress I deal with all day), but I just can’t get up and run, or eat the right thing, or paint the sign that needs to go out, or clean the house.  I have never felt this useless before, so I don’t know how to stop.  I DO think I had a seriously bad work week last week and I am trying to bounce back from that.

So here we are, 38 days out from the race.  I can take on my two miles, but what about the last 4?racecourse2-1024x791

I decided I should come up with some plan.  Some way to tackle this race and avoid a two hour finish.  Aside from that steep incline on the bridge (it is NO JOKE), the race is pretty flat.  I think once this yucky, icy weather passes through, I am going to really focus on getting my two miles down to a certain time and use that to start my race.  Once I hit that bridge around mile 2, I am going to try to run/walk.  No, I am going to have to run/walk.  Last time it was painful to walk up that bridge, running was the only option, but running so freaking hard.

Once I hit the top of the damn bridge, I am going to use the downhill to my advantage.  Last time I ran this, I was training, I was in ok shape.  If you read the post above, once I rolled into Charleston, I was sucking and we still had 2+ miles there.  Not sure how I want to conquer this part other than just finishing.

I’m not going to not do this race.  I feel like it owes me to be a decent race.  I most certainly hope they have figured out the finish line water/food hoarding.  I STILL can’t get over how a race runs out of water at the 1:30 mark!  Hopefully they are policing their vendor locations a little better this year.

Don’t even get me started on food hoarding.

I am pretty pumped about spending a weekend in Charleston and wish it would be for longer.  Who knows, maybe we can convince Matt to move there :)

What happened on one of your worst races that you can’t shake?

Categories: 10k, Charleston, laziness, running | 1 Comment

My Thoughts About Craigslist

Right now I am slllooowwwlly purging my house of all things that I do not need.  The bulk of everything is stuff that we had during apartment living and have no need for now.  Or we replaced it with something nicer/newer/whatever.

While we don’t have THAT much to actually host a yard sale, I plan to have an online sale in the yard sale Facebook group I am part of.  I considered doing the same thing on Craigslist because I have had decent success buying and selling on there, but lately, the patrons of CL have left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Recently I listed some items on CL at a pretty reasonable price (half of what they would sell for at the store).  Of course you get those people that email asking about it and then never hear back from them again.  I had someone want them but realized they weren’t the color she wanted them to be.  Another person emailed me saying they wanted my items but only if I met miles away from my house.  I declined because I have so much going on, it is hard for me to just drop everything and deal with traffic to get there.

But then there was this one inquiry.  The one that really made me dislike those on CL.  I got an email from this person asking if I would take less.  Sure, whatcha got?  Instead of offering a price to me they stated that since they live 50 miles away, I should be compensating them for their gas and time and selling at a certain price.  Otherwise, I should be meeting them at a halfway point (25 miles away)!

First, I am all about meeting in a public place if you would like that.  There was an awful crime here in Georgia related to a purchase on CL, so I get you wouldn’t want to meet at someone’s house.  But to tell me they need to be compensated for their time and gas???  I laughed out loud.  We aren’t talking hundreds of dollars here either.

I noticed in their email they said they didn’t know much about the area, so I responded back letting them know a half way point is out of the question because of the difficulty getting there (plus you want something I have, why should I have to inconvenience my life?).  Since they weren’t familiar with the area, I suggested if they did not want to travel to pick up their items (how can you blame them) they should to keep their searches out of the city and OTP (outside the perimeter).  They live 50 miles away from the city, why would you think anyone would come to you?

I thought my email was pretty nice, short and to the point.  It set this person off and they went into a frenzy and I started reading their mean words and deleted it before I finished it.

End rant.

I’ll tell you this, Im not selling some rare, one of a kind piece that people would travel for or an item that I need to sell to pay the mortgage.  Just some random crap-to-me that I have no need for anymore.

I do understand people are worried about their safety (as am I) when it comes to buying on CL, but this was straight arrogance.

When it comes to buying/selling on CL, I always:

+ Contact via email.  I HATE when people want you to call them.  I have this weird thing about giving out my cell phone number to random people like that.  Plus, I like to keep an email trail in case something does happen.  The only time I will give out my number is when they are coming to pick up or to text when I am on the way.  Then I give out my work number :P

+If I am buying something that is small enough to meet, I make my meeting point convenient for the seller.  Once I even had the seller offer to deliver it to me for a bit higher price.

+If I am buying something from someone at their home, I make sure they email their address and I send it to my mom.  Then I make Matt come with me.  I need lifting power :)

+If I am selling something, I keep everything in email because I assume others are doing the same thing I do above.  I make sure Matt is home with me, but there have been instances when he hasnt or when I havent been home for him.  We are very well protected in our home if something were to happen and we have a big ferocious guard dog.  If you have seen ANY of the pictures on Instagram of him, I will give you a few minutes to laugh at my statement.  He talks a big talk, but I think he would just sit on someone and fart.

Do you buy/sell on Craigslist?  Have you had a crummy experience before?

 

Categories: Home Decor | Leave a comment

The Scary Backyard

Can I be honest?  I have no idea what I am doing in that dang backyard of mine.  No idea!  I have all the ideas in the world to make this yard work for anyone, but I do not know how to execute.

Here is the big scary yard that needs serious taming (from a time when temps were wonderful and everything was green).  I promise I have cleaned this yard up since these pictures were taken!!

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The retaining wall that basically holds my neighbors yard up makes me nervous.  There is erosion in front of it and I see one of the post’s concrete base starting to show.  I have no idea how old that wall is, but my guess is pretty old.  And I have no idea how strong it is.  There is a two foot gap on the top of the wall from the wall to the fence you see.  Behind that fence is our neighbors who are doing nothing to take care of that house/yard and their fence is leaning into their yard (and this wall is holding the fence up with wires).  Not sure who legally owns this wall (I assume us), so not sure what to do with it.

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Our patio is pretty small.  We have rearranged the patio furniture a few times since moving in to see which way works (right now I have the furniture flip flopped from what you see), but I am not thrilled with any of it.  I am considering selling the sofa/chairs just to open up space.

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The dreaded space behind the shed.  My dream for this space is to turn this into a painting/messy project area with a cement floor or throw down a rubber mulch floor and putting a compost bucket back there.  NOTHING will grow over there and it is where all of the dead flower pots ended up.

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It is hard to tell in this picture, but the yard slopes back towards the house.  It is really hard for anyone to walk to this point or back because the ground is so bumpy.  We are in discussions on how to grate and level the yard this spring.

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I am probably going to move those Jasmine vines.  They had the hardest time grabbing onto the fence, so I am going to buy a trellis and move them somewhere they have a better chance

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I plan to make a bed over next to the shed.  I have to use very hearty and tough plants over here because the dang trees next door drop branches (YES, BRANCHES) into our yard all the time.

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It looks so lush in this picture.  Don’t let that fool you…..most of this is just weeds that have been growing.

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Dead space.  Because we are unable to burn (damn city), I was blowing all the leaves over to this side of the house.  I didn’t care because A)nothing grows over there and B) no one goes over there.  Yesterday I really took advantage of the weather and decided that I would do a full leaf purge and see if the neighborhood garden could use my leaves.  When I cleared it out, I was totally inspired.  What about changing this dead space into an outdoor game space/lounge?  It is such a big space over there and it could be out of the way of green space.  Just a thought.  It would have to be leveled, drainage would need to be added, and some surface placed down.

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This desperately needs a bed created.  I may have to break my hostas up this year.  They are so much bigger than what you see.  IMG_7580

Our garden got so big last year.  I am excited to build a few things for the garden this year and plant again.  Maybe we will actually get to keep some tomatoes!

 

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We are talking grass seed vs. sod.  It is so horrible back here with all the mud.

 

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The other side of the house is just as much of a pain in the butt as the rest of the yard.  It floods over here.  All the water collects in front of the gate and creates a lake.  Nothing a drain couldn’t fix, but $$$.  I want to do away with all the grass over here (again, no chance to grow) and make a path from the front to the back and expand the beds on the side.  I have to break those hostas up as well.

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I had a lot of hate for that hill, but I am sort of over it.  Just going to keep adding ground cover to it so it will be a maintenance free green space.  The only one that uses it is the cat.  He has a weird obsession with the tree stump

IMG_7574So now that you have seen the yard in it’s worst state, it makes you want to run for the hills too, huh?  Our conversation right now is how to level out the ground and how we are going to add grass this spring.  Sod is the easiest option since it is already ready to go (for the most part) and that makes dealing with the dog easier, but it can be pretty costly.  And we don’t know how to install.  Seed could be cheaper (depending) but will take longer and we lose the backyard for the dog until grass is ready to be walked on.

Or in his case, sprinted on.

I have a feeling we are going to be spending a lot of time and money out here this year.  Sorry office….yet again!

Categories: DIY, Home Decor, Landscaping, planning, to do list, yardwork | Leave a comment

Black Hole Syndrome

You guys!  I am so happy to say we made it to February.  It was a little shaky there and I had my doubts of surviving the entire month of January.  Now it is time for me to focus on doing the right thing for ME and make some changes in my life.

While I have all the things I want to share with you, I am going to start with projects.  Last month really burned me out, so I am finding it hard to stop myself from going to complete hibernation mode that I went into during the holidays and get motivated.  That is why I have all of you!!  You let me share my crazy ideas without judgement, right?  RIGHT?!

The next four projects we have to tackle in the house (of any substance) are the office (poor, neglected office), a special project in the dining room, the scary backyard, and our kitchen.  I will refer to the kitchen as the “Black Hole.”  Outsiders do not understand.  They tell me things like how pretty this space is.  How they wish their kitchens looked like this.  Oh, the finishes!!

I tried to give my kitchen a chance.  I have left this room nearly untouched for almost two years.  I let the ideas of how to deal with the darkness of the space percolate during that time.

And where am I with my ideas?  No where.

Everything in the kitchen is brand new, so I am a total chicken to make any changes, but it is so stinking dark while the rest of the house is so bright.  The kitchen has french door leading to the scary back yard, but they are located on the north wing of the house, so the light we get in there is minimal.  Here are images I had to shoot at NIGHT because there is no light pouring in during the day!  (And I was cooking dinner when I took these pictures, so dont mind the mess/dishes/dog sitting patiently waiting for his chance to strike when food hits the ground)

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Maybe I just need to suck it up knowing this isn’t our forever home and get what I want in the next house, but the weight of the Black Hole is pretty heavy.  If I WERE to make any changes, they would be simply cosmetic:  paint the cabs, replace the back splash, and add some colorful accessories.  Im not experienced or rich enough for a full on renovation.  We are also going to add a little more storage on the wall that is open.  We plan to have some sort of cabinet system/cart below and then hang pots and pans on the wall.

Of course I have dream kitchens on my Pinterest board that I wont see happen in this house, but here are just a few ideas I have:

DIY Kitchen Updates on a Dime- dark lower cabinets, white upper cabinets, stainless appliances and hardware, glass tile backsplash. What I want my kitchen redo to look like.

Source: Pinterest

I like this because we have a similar back splash, so less changing

love the slate blue and white

Source: Pinterest

Cabinet color! PERFECT

Source: Pinterest

white subway tile with dark cabinets.

Source: Pinterest

Or this last option would be pretty cost effective because I wouldnt be painting anything and just replacing the back splash (says the lady without a tile cutter or experience).

Friends, what would you do?  What would you do if you had a dark black hole sitting in one of the wings of your very open, bright house?

Categories: Decorating help, DIY, Home Decor | 3 Comments

Trying Not to Take It ALL!

I have a mixed bag of feelings right now.  It is already the middle of January, but it is only Thursday.  This was one of those mornings where I woke up and LITERALLY yelled “EFF it is only Thursday!”  Pretty disheartening especially since early this week it felt like Friday to a lot of us.

One of my goals this year was to stay as positive and as focused on myself/family as I could be.  Last year was really hard on my brain with everything going on at work and I am trying my hardest to not let the man get me down (and he is trying soooo hard to do it).

Another goal was to not overwhelm myself with ALLTHETHINGS.  I am failing at that.  I am going to step right up here on my little soapbox and share.  Any advice is welcome.

Work:

I was looking forward to this year (as much as I could) and finally being able to delegate work over to my new coworker.  We have had really bad turnover in this office for various reasons (all the same for each person).  With that turnover means I take the workload over.  So when I start to think I can breathe, someone quits.  It doesnt help that we are an office of four.  After closing a large show this week (hence exhaustion) my new coworker of less than a year put their notice in.  I totally agree and support their reasoning, but I want to be selfish for a second.  When I found out, I saw the figurative shit bucket being loaded up over my head.  That means not only will I be getting more work, I will have to train someone when they EVENTUALLY re-hire AGAIN.  So add that to the news I also found out that people in the know have been trying to get me on other opportunities with the company and they have been blocked because Im too good at my current job equals one annoyed panda.

Home:

I know this is probably not the week to have expectations of getting on any sort of work/home routine in place, but I am a little overwhelmed at home.  Now that my schedule at work is about to explode and Matt is in school until 10pm almost every night during the week, our house is a hot mess.  I know next month things will slow for a minute and I can get my routine back on, but I feel like I am underwater.  Dishes, cooking, laundry, cleaning, animals, soon to be yardwork…yeesh!

Southern Sign Shop:

I ended the year last year pretty well with the amount of orders I had for the few months I was open.  Of course I want to grow the shop for 2015.  I have been doing research on the best looking spreadsheet to create to track expenses and sales, but I havent found anything I like.  Plus, I lost a lot of time with the holidays and work.  Do any of you suggest a place to build without costing money?  I am also planning on some signage to create, but I am on the fence about actually cutting anything out.  I really dont want to add to the sign pile of unsold signs.  Our house is still pretty small, you know?

One cool thing is I will be hosting a giveaway once the Facebook page hits 100 likes!  I am going to be adding a new “line” to the shop and that will be the item I giveaway.  It isnt listed yet because I havent had time to cut (and the weather has been so crappy outside to do anything).  So head over and get your like on!  We are pretty close to 100!

Personal:

On top of EVERYTHING above, I am also going to be training again.  I have done a really good job with getting my food choices on track and I am still loving paleo, but it’s time to get physical.  We have P90x at home, so I am going to start training with that so I can avoid a gym membership and I cannot afford Crossfit.  My friend has also asked me to run a race with him that I have in the past (and hated due to their huge mess ups).  I have to decide today if I am going to do the race, but I am going to train again like I am running it.  I miss running.  My biggest thing is to keep my toes tapped and find a knee brace.  Maybe that will help with my pain?  Any knee brace suggestions?

I also never realized just how lost I am without a monthly planner.  I ordered the Passion Planner back in November and due to issues out of her control, I still have not received my planner.  I feel lost people!  Supposedly this planner is life changing, so I am remaining patient and just printing calenders off my computer.

I keep reminding myself things will be easier hopefully next month and to just take it one day at a time.  I just need to get through the two shows I have this month.

Sometimes it is easier said than done!!

Categories: exercise, planning, to do list | Leave a comment

2014: A Year in Review

And yet another year goes by and I am shocked how quickly it went.  I swear it was JUST summer time.  Sigh.  This is what happens with you get old.

(In case you want to see other years in review, check them out 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)  In looking back, this year was not as exciting as last year, but a good one.

January: The first month of the year is always the busiest and most stressful, so nothing really exciting happens out of sheer burn out.  I hate that I have to sacrifice my holiday season to busy season.  This January we suffered from not ONE, but TWO ice storms.  The city shut down.  People laughed at us.  We were the butt of all the jokes.  Whatever.  Let me see you drive on thick ice.  Mmmkay.  I was pretty angry though that we were required to go to work.  My car slid all over the place.  It was very dangerous.

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February: Running.  I did that once.  This month I was back into the swing of things and getting ready to get my train on.  I wanted to badly to run a marathon this year.  I was getting so excited about the thought.  Even had a training plan.  We built phase one of our backyard garden.  It was a total pain in the butt, but it produced a lot of yummy veggies.  We also headed to NC for some skiing.  Epic fail.  Fun, but fail!

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March: I joined a local running group that would push me through 5k and 10k for those coming off injury.  I loved the group, but probably wont do it again.  We worked on getting the bedroom painted and gussied up.

April: I ran my first 5k of the year and it went swimmingly well.  I was so empowered!  I said that it was the first time I ran a 5k non stop and while that might be true for a 5k race, I am most positive I have run 3 miles without stopping in longer races. I also started redecorating our guest room.

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May: Ran the Stash Dash with friends and our running group.  This was more of a social race, so whatever. hahah  We traveled to Chicago for my cousin’s wedding at the Sears Tower and it SNOWED!  People, this is exactly why I wont move back there.  High taxes and crappy weather.  We also hit up Milwaukee to visit my bestest friend.  Also ran a race with my dad and little sister (who kicked serious butt at her first race!!)

June: June was an interesting month.  I felt both sides of emotions.  I was offered a new job with a new company.  It was more money (but a crappy commute) and was a promotion from what I was doing.  We were so happy.  I accepted the job and put my MONTH notice into my current job.  Of course, after I put my notice in something very bad happened with the other job and while I am glad I am not working for such an unprofessional group, I was so upset that I had to crawl back and ask for my old job back.  Things have not been well here and there are no plans for them to change.  I tell every single person that complains about being here that only you control your own happiness and destiny, so if you do not like it, change it.  I am starting to actually listen to myself.  On the other hand, my dad and sister came to town and we had so much fun together.  We hit up the animal safari and rode EVERY SINGLE roller coaster at Six Flags….front row!

July: So I turned 30 (and just realized I never recapped my party).  July is yet another very busy month for us and with me having to ask for my job back, I made sure to ditch my personal life almost completely.  I tried my hardest to create a better work/life balance, but I failed. I also ran the Peachtree again this year.  I really love that race.  It is hot, it is miserable, but the atmosphere is truly amazing.  SO MUCH FUN!

August: ANOTHER stressful month at work.  I tell ya….I was able to finish our guest room and have a room that was pretty much done!

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September: I had to travel to Vegas for a work trip and it was flipping hot!  I mean, you soaked your underwear with sweat hot.  Nothing worse than wet underwear.  But it was fun to be with good people.  The minute I got home from Vegas, we turned around and flew to St. Thomas for our best friend’s wedding.  It was a quick weekend away and I was fried with a sunburn at the end of the trip.  (Im actually still trying to pay that trip off UGH)  But the most exciting part of the month (to me) was opening my Etsy shop, Southern Sign Shop.  For only being open for a few months, things have been ok.  I have a bunch of ideas for next year, so stay tuned.  Check the shop out here and place an order!!

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October: It was nice to get another project done around the house, especially one that is the most visible.  I finished (well almost) the dining room and LOVE how it turned out.  But fear not, we may have ONE LAST PROJECT in there with some of the wood we took from a knocked down house.  YOU’LL SEE!

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November: I realize my posts are less and less as the year progresses.  Not sure what that is all about, but hopefully that changes next year.  I guess things just got really busy.  So while I was on a roll with the dining room, my mom and I did a quick flip of the laundry room.  I love this room almost the most in the house because of how it turned out.  I also had to travel to Houston for work very last minute (team player here) and my household started doing Paleo.  I should probably write an updated post on that.  I probably should do a lot of things.  Have you seen my to do list?

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December: Not much has happened.  It has been a busy work month because you guessed it, January is going to be hell.  Sigh.

Categories: New Years | Leave a comment

The Paleo Update

It has been a month since we started eating Paleo in our house and I thought I’d share what the first month was like.  Here is a post on the first week.  After the first week, I felt like a total rockstar.  I never felt so good about myself.  It was like I was a different person.  Since the first two weeks, we made a few adjustments.

Matt is following a more gluten-free diet than paleo and I am doing paleo but I am eating cheese and I drink diet pop every so often.  I also eat dark chocolate.

When I first started doing this, I was getting full quickly and for longer.  Now I am finding myself wanting that 10am and 3pm snack again.  Im stuck on if that is a whatever thing or if I am doing something wrong.

Here is what a typical my style Paleo day looks like (I have little variation, which could be the problem)

Breakfast: 2 eggs (scrambled (with almond milk) or cooked over medium) and two sausage links.  Twice I have had to grab something quick from McDonalds, so I get the #2 sandwich (sausage/egg) and I dont eat the english muffin.

10am snack (if I choose):  1/2 tsp almond butter or a square of dark chocolate…or both if I am feeling frisky.

Lunch: 9 times out of 10 it is leftover dinner from the night before.  Im not big on eating out at lunch because it is really expensive, but if I do, I have no problem finding something.  The other day I splurged and got the grilled chicken nuggets from Chick-fila…..not a fan.  Maybe my subconscious wanted the regular, but I wasn’t a fan of the flavor.

3pm snack (usually happens): Usually whatever is in my desk (if anything).  Nuts or fruit.

Dinner: Dinners have been so awesome eating this way.  We rely heavily on veggies and sweet taters.  We almost always have a meat.

Dessert:  This isn’t a very common thing but it usually consists of nuts and dark chocolate.  Or this week we cheated a little and had Weight Watchers Ice cream.

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This is our steak and cauliflower mash dinner.  Matt mans the grill and making the mash was super easy.  I cant remember which recipe I followed, but it is as simple as blending some cauliflower, evoo, coconut milk, garlic, salt and pepper together.  Simple and yummy!IMG_20141212_183024

Asian food is near the very top of my favorite food list and sadly it really isnt Paleo friendly if we went out.  At least where we go.  This is my throw it together version of Asian Paleo.  I just browned ground beef, seasoned and soy sauced it and created fried “rice.”  I grated cauliflower and browned it with onion, salt and pepper, garlic, soy sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, carrots, bok choy, and scallions.  I threw some sesame seeds on top and it was a pretty yummy dish.  I do wish I had added some egg to the “rice” though.  I was caught up in the moment and forgot.  hah

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Friends, I was addicted to pasta.  It was my lazy, default food.  Easy and filling.  But I felt so bad afterwards.  Not as bad as Matt did, but that disgusting full.  Now when we crave Italian, it is so simple as cooking pasta.  We have two “pasta” options.  One is roasting a spaghetti squash and scraping out the insides and the other is using that super awesome zucchini spiral slicer that slices zucchini into noodles.  Pretty yummy stuff!  I am not much of a red sauce eater, so I usually use a pesto on my “noodles” but Matt makes a pretty awesome red sauce from scratch.  This way, we control all the things.  Seriously, I dont miss pasta after this meal.

It really is easy to stay on track, but we do allow ourselves some indulgences.  Thanksgiving I stuck close to paleo by eating sweet potatoes, turkey, and veggies, BUT I just had to have a small scoop of stuffing and mashed potatoes.  And I did provide the dessert, so I was entitled to a small sliver (literally a sliver).

Last weekend we had Mexican dinner (which I filled up on damn chips) and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  OMG Fatty fat.  BUT we did give the remainder of our KKs to a homeless man.  He was grateful.

So far I have only lost three pounds.  I did all that the first two weeks and have maintained since.  Sort of a let down but I am not as obsessive with how horrible I look/felt.  Matt has actually lost eight pounds since we started doing this and his tummy thanks him.  I couldn’t imagine not being able to eat gluten……oh wait…..I guess we are sort of doing that.

Since Christmas is coming and I have a lot of baking/cooking to do, I am going to try to be as strict as I can be.  No cheat days allowed so I can eat small portions from our menu.  I think the day after Christmas, I am going to look for a juice/shake I can have to sort of cleanse everything out.

TMI time!  Hey, you want to know the real things about Paleo, right?  So while Matt’s tummy has been on the upswing, mine is still wondering what is going on.  I do not have a gluten allergy and the only time I am really bothered by food is when I eat too much or too much sugar.  I think because I am eating so much fiber now and natural sugar, my stomach is still processing and gives me some serious pain.  It isn’t everyday, I can usually count on the worst being Sunday.  I tend to call Sunday morning “Sunday, shitty Sunday.”  HAHA  Sorry.  I am hoping that passes soon.  We really are eating more fiber than ever and like I said, it isnt everyday.

I think with a few adjustments, I am going to feel even more comfortable doing this.  I seriously cant get over how easy it has been.  Im not tracking, Im not stressing.  I really love it and I am so excited to be doing it. I guess saying that, I shouldn’t be so worried about the scale, but I really want to be back down to my normal pant size.

Categories: Food, Weight | 1 Comment

Does this stress anyone else out?

I just looked at my calendar and realized Christmas is pretty much next week.  CRAP!  I love some Christmas.  I love decorating, I love baking, I love listening to the music.  What I am starting to not love is gift giving.  Please don’t get me wrong, but I stress the heck out when it comes to getting gifts.  It is one of the reasons when holidays and birthdays come up I specifically say DO NOT GIVE ME A GIFT.  I dont want you to stress about it like I do and I (selfishly) do not want to feel obligated to get you something in return.

That sounds horrible.  But unless you like handmade gifts where I can let my creativity run or you give me a specific list, I lose a lot of sleep over this.  And how many of my family members and friends really want handmade gifts from a 30 year old?  Not many (unless I am refinishing furniture for them).  #macaronitiesforeveryone

So here we are a week before the big day and I have done well this year.  I bought something for everyone except three people.  One wants a gift card, so that is what they are getting when I go out this weekend.  One is a secret Santa that was just assigned to me.  I have ONE idea, but very limited time, so Im a little stumped.  The other is just difficult to shop for.  I actually had the BEST idea for a gift and it sold out in 10 seconds.  Literally 10 seconds!

I personally LOVE receiving/giving gift cards to buy what I need or what I may need when it comes up, but I understand not everyone is like that.  I also love the idea of making a personalized gift basket, but again, a lot of people think that is too generic/unthoughful.  (I think I tend to stick to themed gifts, so that is why these are up my alley).

 

Things were so easy back in the day when we were all hosting parties all the time, moving into our first apartments, our first homes, adopting all the pets, but now that most of my friends and all of my family has settled, what to get?

With that being said, this year I did come through with Mr.’s gift.  And for the record, I am not good at getting him gifts either.  He actually called me out on it (hence the stress).  He has always gotten me great gifts (DSLR camera, IPAD, etc), so I had to STEP UP this year.  If you are my friend on Instagram, you saw one of the major gifts I am going to try to get him.  I say try because it is not available until next year and fully depends on his schedule.  Now if he decides gift A is just too much on his school schedule, then gift B comes out and it is still pretty freaking awesome.  He is anti-social media, so I do not really fear him seeing what I have posted on my account.

Please tell me you suffer from this weirdo anxiety!  I hope I don’t sound selfish.  I have had many years of giving boring gifts to people so every year it gets harder and harder when I am gifted something, it is amazing.

Categories: Christmas | Leave a comment

My Take on Paleo

High fives for short weeks!  I have been spoiled the last three weeks with short weeks, but I had to take the last of my days off for the year and this is how they ended up.  The first week of December is going to be frustrating being a full week.

I am going to be pretty honest here today.  Ready?

I am miserable.  Miserable with the way I feel and look.  Honestly, it is my own stinking fault.  I am a human vacuum when it comes to food and I have no pause button.  I am always hungry and never making the right choices.  What irritates me the most is I KNOW BETTER.  I know while I am shoving ice cream in my mouth that I probably should have chosen something that isnt ALL THE CALORIES.  When I go out to eat, I find myself choosing even worse.

Thus bringing on misery.  Im not running anymore because something in my body just wont agree.  I haven’t lost my love for it, I just need a time out from it and the pressure I felt to do it.  Im not biking at the moment because we moved offices that are much further out.  The gym I WAS a member of was nothing but ridiculousness and I am in search of a new, closer place.  But all this over time started infesting my head and I was constantly putting myself down.  I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror and poking/prodding at what I did.  This is the biggest I have ever been in recorded history.  I hated it and I hated myself for letting it happen.

A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to take charge of this and get back to feeling normal again, but how?  I toyed with joining Weight Watchers again, but after I started reading experiences on doing the WW system (and my own successful and failed attempts), I started thinking it wasn’t right for me at this point in my life.  I dont want to track things and I dont want to be on a system that charges your a lot of points to use olive oil (the only oil we cook with).  I felt frustrated.

I was on a work trip two weeks ago and started talking to one of my coworkers who did Paleo.  We toyed with trying a Paleo lifestyle (note lifestyle and not diet) but had no idea where to start.  I started doing some research and pinning and decided it probably wasn’t as hard as I made it out to be.  We decided to try it for two weeks and see how we and our bodies liked it (and we couldn’t give up Thanksgiving).  I knew it would be something that Matt would like since he is intolerant to gluten.

Here we are after week one and here are my thoughts:

  • I did menu planning for the first week and gave Matt the reins for week two.  I hate menu planning.  It is a lot of work and I felt somewhat annoyed, so by the end of the week we were freestyling.  I know Matt did well keeping track and I think I did a really good job.  I was fairly strick week one.  On Sunday I did drink 25% of a Coke Zero, but that was it.
  • I tried to cook for most of the week on Sunday and that was a lot of work I never want to do again.  I was worried breakfast was going to be so hard because cereal is my go to, so I figured I would prep as much as I could then.  I think it is better to prep things like potatoes early on for breakfast and reheat versus making the entire breakfast.  There is something about reheated eggs…..
  • Lunches and dinners were pretty easy (esp lunches since I made enough dinner for leftovers).  We ventured into unchartered territories by making cauliflower rice instead of rice or pasta.  We also found ourselves liking spaghetti squash.
  • Our sweet tooth was more mellow this week, but it was still there.  Dark chocolate is not something I prefer, but it does get the job done.
  • Nuts.  We had a huge variety of nuts and seeds in our house and I felt like that helped a lot with snacking.

Physically and mentally there were changes:

  • I find myself not hungry all the time.  I can skip my allotted 10am and 3pm snack times and not stress about it.  10am is a lot easier to skip though.
  • I find myself getting fuller faster.  This makes for more leftovers at lunch.
  • Not a single day this week did I once hate a thing about myself.  I felt better.  Honestly, I felt like I had lost 10 pounds.  I only lost two, but I LOST.  I FEEL slimmer.

The not so pretty things:

  • I dont know if my body is just trying to adjust, or if it truly needs certain things that I am missing out on, but my tummy has been acting the same way Matt’s does after he eats gluten.  I don’t feel this way after every meal, but towards the end of the week I was sucking.  Maybe I overdid it with too many proteins at one meal or maybe my body is in shock, but I was using the bathroom a lot this weekend.  TMI

Here are some of the dishes we made this week and the link to where I found them:  (hooray for crappy cell phone pics)20141116_083512

Simple eggs, avocado, and apple slices.  This surprisingly left me feeling full through lunch.  20141116_120518The recipe for this is a Tuna wrap, but I do not like fish, so I used chicken instead.  Here is the recipe TUNA AVOCADO LETTUCE WRAP

20141116_134302BREAKFAST SWEET POTATO HASH.  Pretty easy to make and pretty darn good.  I made enough for four days and they were nice sized portions. 20141116_192022Roasted chicken legs, CAULIFLOWER RICE, and ROASTED ASPARAGUS AND RADISHES.  I wasn’t a fan of this version of cauliflower rice, but I did make it later in the week with an Asian flavor and liked it much better.20141117_190731This one was my favorite.  It was BACON, AVOCADO, ARUGULA FLATBREAD.  First, the flatbread is so simple to make Paleo if you have the right ingredients.  We added prosciutto and a few drops of balsamic vinegar to this recipe and it was hands down one of the best tasting dishes I have made in a long time.

Snacks have been semi simple:  Nuts, hardboiled eggs, dried and fresh fruit, veggies, and seeds.  We have also enjoyed drinking almond milk in the regular, chocolate, and vanilla flavors.

How we are going to tackle week two:

  • Well it is Thanksgiving.  I am going to limit the amount of gluten I eat, but not restrict myself.  Especially not on dessert….I’m baking after all!!
  • Just to see how my tummy reacts this week we have introduced limited dairy and some  starches.  Yesterday my tummy was acting fierce so I let myself have some corn tortilla chips and pop for the bubbles.
  • The dairy will remain cheese only and in small amounts.  I never had the intention of doing this super strict so I do not want to limit myself from things I love, only reduce my intake.
  • Potatoes.  I am sort of on the fence on why you are not allowed to have them, so I am going to keep them in my diet on a healthy scale.  Im not going to run out and get french fries everyday, but if I feel like I need to eat some roasted taters that aren’t sweet, I am going to eat them.

My go to website through all this is Paleo Grubs.  There are TONS of recipes listed on the site and they are all super simple to make.  I may try to bake something this week with the almond flour we have.

Here is to week two!!

Categories: Food, Healthy eating | 2 Comments