Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Challenge Recap and Something New!

One of my favorite pictures I've ever taken. Morning sunrise walk at the lake. 

Well y'all, I did it. I happily skipped through four weeks of this Paleo experiment. This last week was a tough one due to the final stages of the move. However, though I imbibed more wine than usual and processed convenience foods did show up here and there, I'm happy to say I stayed about 60% Paleo (and that's low-balling it).

That being said, I chose not to weigh or measure myself this week. I decided that I was happy with the experiment regardless of this final week's results. I also decided this is something I'm going to stick with for a while. Staying 90% Paleo every day, with plenty of fun exceptions because life is meant to be lived. Oh! And I also got in 46 miles this month too. That's four miles shy of my goal, but I still think it's superb considering I only got in 18 miles in March! Snaps for me!

I enjoyed this challenge very much for several reasons. 1. It was something I wanted to do, not that I told myself I had to do. 2. It offered plenty of creative outlets to get the job done, so I didn't feel stuck. 3. It nourished me, both physically and mentally. I didn't feel restricted or bummed that I couldn't have this or that. I found that approaching changes of any kind (especially health-based ones) require a sense of kindness to oneself. An inner-shift in perspective that leans away from "I've been bad today" kinds of mentalities to "How can I nourish myself better?".

Keeping that in mind all month really did help. Did I eat sweet treats? Hell yeah. Did I eat all of them because I felt I "deserved" it. Nope. I deserved health and nutrition and gave myself that as often as I could. Could I have done better/made better choices? Absolutely! I'm not going to feel bad that I ate Rice Dream ice cream bites. I'm not going to feel bad that I had delicious fried chicken either. Or that that new wine I tried was deee-licious (though I admit that sticking to one glass is probably best for me- hello mid-30's wine headaches!).

All in all, I'm thrilled to keep this going for the month of May. Now that the hubs and I are finally moved in and getting organized, my kitchen is once again my sanctuary. I have scores of recipes I want to try and now I have the chance to do it. Yay!

I've also decided that I want to try a fun challenge every month. For May I want to commit to 5 minutes of arm exercises every day. I dream of having Angela Bassett arms, but I'm perfectly happy toning up my little spaghetti noodles for some confident sleevelessness.

May also ushers in my return to regular blog posts. It's been so weird not having this place to go to for random thoughts, philosophies and what-nots. So, you'll be hearing a lot more from me from now on.

Well, What do you think? Wanna try my May challenge with me? I'd love to know!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day, y'all!

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Soooo tired...

More coming this weekend. I promise. Until then...

Night night. 

*The Princess & The Frog & Breakfast at Tiffany's!

Have a truly wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 3 Update!

A picture I took in Apalachicola in August, 2014.

Hey y'all! I'm brighter eyed and bushy-tailed today than I was yesterday, wowsers! We are in the home stretch (no pun intended) of the moving game and I'm loving my new little house. We're trying to make it feel as much like a little beach cabin in The Keys as a little shotgun house from the 1940's in North Florida can feel. It's less than 800 square feet (but feels even smaller somehow). Ha!

Anyway, I wanted to give you guys an update on the progress I've made with my experiment with Paleo and getting into better shape physically and dietetically. Week three had its major challenges for various reasons. One, the moving. My stuff is everywhere and then some. Two, it was a really busy week at work and I got to help my mom with an art show (which was awesome, but busy). Three, going going going and not taking time to just be takes its toll on you. And it did for me last week. But, I digress.

Day 15: I did great all day, had dinner with a friend (which included some yummy potatoes, tofu and wine). I was also a cranky little B so apologies (again) friend for being such a party pooper!

Day 16-18: I did great all day, though I wish I had prepared more meals for myself. I mostly snacked all day throughout the week. The difference being: WINE. Not much, but I had one to two glasses every night. Oh and a small portion of fried chicken because I'm a human being.

Day 19: Tornado watches and severe storms. We ordered a pizza and cinnamon sticks and it was magical. Though my tummy did not agree! However, instead of blowing the whole day like I did the first two weeks I planned a "fun day", I let myself have a little treat every night. I could have done less, but whatevs.

Day 20: I had one beer with dinner and the rest of the day was terrific and easy.

Day 21: I did terrific all day and evening and had a half a beer, but it tasted gross so I gave it to my husband in exchange for my big fluffy bed that was calling my name instead.

So what are the results?

I lost major inches this week! Mind you, I walked/jogged every day (even the days I was working the art show, I still got some miles in) and it rained all weekend too (still did it! Proud of myself for that).
I lost two inches off my belly and a quarter inch of my arms as well as a half inch from my legs. I gained a half a pound, but I'm not worried about that. Hormones, plus a little more wine than usual and a half pound gain is a fair price to pay.

I'm thrilled to be in the fourth week of the challenge.

My goals:
Walk/job 17 miles (that will put me at 50 miles for the month!!).
Get back to my nightly yoga (I did zero yoga this week and I can feel it. It's probably another reason I've been feeling like I need to sleep all the time).
Make at least two meals for us this week. I made this (with no coconut flour) last week because of chocolate cravings and they were better than delicious. YUM!

Any goals for yourself for this week, guys? I'd love to know! I truly hope you have a wonderful day!!


It's Wednesday and I actually do have an update about this awesome Paleo experiment. I'm still loving it and having some great results... however, I'm also in the final (harrowing and hustling) days of moving and sort of living in between both places at the same time. I know I will be rereading my time management series again very soon!

I promise the update will happen either sometime today or tomorrow morning bright and early!

Be well, friends! I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Happies!

Oh Kitty. How we miss you!

Y'all. This week. This friggin' week.

It's all good, but y'all. I need a vacation and I know there's no way to get one until June. But here is everything I could give y'all considering I didn't have internet until nearly 10 pm last night. Sigh.

Anyone up for Midnight Margaritas? 

Here we go!

*Check out this info-graphic about how houses have changed over the past 40 years! 

*Miss your old decoder ring? Here's how to access the secret hidden menus on your phone!

*How good is your eyesight? Take this (slightly freaky but cool) test!

*Strong is the new pretty. YES!! Those little girls are something else!

*I'm not usually into the celebrity culture minus a mild interest. But I thought this was kind of motivating!

*A hat. And a hat. Oh! And a hat. 

*ACK! This was so sweet it made me tear up! Okay, I'll be real- big fat tears.

*This couple "retired" in their 30's and travel the world...with their baby. Read their awesome (and wise money management) here!

*Want! Me want! Okay...sorry...use your words, Lulu. Ahem...I would really like this pleaseandthankyou!

*I enjoy Rebel Wilson. A lot.

*I like this tenacious little Irish girl. When her parents laughed at her performance of Frozen, she put them in their place. You can't understand a bloody word, but the tone is unmistakeable!

*This littler girl's papa is an astronaut. She wanted to leave him a message he could see from space, and Hyundai was happy to help. Together they also broke a Guinness Work Record. 

Have a wonderful weekend y'all!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Checkin' in!

Early morning at the lake!

Hey y'all! How's your week going? Mine has been eventful (tummy bug- ew and still moving). Today's all about the updates, baby and here we go!

Day 8: I did pretty great considering it was my B's birthday and we all went out to dinner. I had a yummy salad with grilled chicken on top (though it had a marinated that I'm sure had sugar in it), everything else I did was on target!

Day 9: Sorta kinda did okay except I had the longest day at work (open to close) and resisted the first offering of a glass of wine. Upon the second offering, I gave in. I had two glasses of wine and ended up with the worst headache in the morning (aw, I'm growing up!). Still was totally worth it in the moment.

Day 10: I gave in a little for dinner. I did great up until the offer for homemade Chicken Parm came rolling in and it was lovely! I nixed the extra cheese and didn't eat the pasta (so I didn't go totally nuts). I even skipped dessert.

Day 11: Being so busy and exhausted this week prepping for inventory, I really didn't nourish myself very well. I packed healthy snacks, but failed to really make any quality meals the whole week. Therefore, by the end of a very busy day I was spent and basically just drank water and fell asleep.

Day 12: non-Paleo day was so fun but I learned a lot. First things first, I had such an INSANE craving for chicken and waffles one may have thought I was knocked up (I'm not). So, I planned a brunch with friends and proceeded to devour said chicken and waffles and mimosas and it was all I could have asked for. The problem came when the hubs and I also went out to eat again and had a couple beers (again, amazing). By the end of the night however, my body was like "Um, excuse done being an idiot yet? Nope? Let's see about this!"

Day 13: I get a stomach bug that I feel fairly confident in saying I would not have gotten it if the hubs and I had dialed it back a bit. We had eaten fried food, bread, dairy, sugar, and booze! I know the sudden influx of all that shocked my body and the bug that was going around work last week found me. Barf. Literally.

Day 14: I did well, though my appetite wasn't really back yet. I've been depending on my trail mix a lot (unsweetened coconut and unsweetened cranberries with almonds, pepitas and sunflower seeds) and carrots because that's kind of all I can keep down and it keeps my blood sugar more stable than other snacks seem to. However, I made the time to make sure meals are prepped in advance for next week so I can better nourish my body instead of just getting by (which is really what it felt like this week- surviving).

All in all, I lost an inch (accidentally wrote a pound! ACK! No thank you!) from my bust and no weight. That's okay though, last week's results were pretty damn amazing and I did get a little loosey goosey this week. I managed to walk 1.8 miles every day regardless of all incidences of which I am so incredibly proud, I can hardly stand it! An increase of over 4 miles from the week before!!

My daily yoga sessions (online) got a little derailed but I made it 4.5 days out of 7 and will exceed that heartily this week. Anyway, my measurements say I haven't budged an inch, but my workout pants and leggings kept falling down yesterday which makes me think my body is just lava-lamping. You know, moving the curves around to new places...I'm totally cool with that. I'm a sexy lava lamp lady!

I'm still feeling so motivated and happy and inspired that I can't wait to see next week's results!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Happies, the Expanded Edition

A beautiful pink morning. 

Whew lawdy! What a week, y'all. I've been trucking along at work, celebrated a birthday, worked some more, and have been all the while trying to get moved into the new apartment (slow and steady wins the race). This weekend its...well, it's more of the same but I'm going to try to throw some brunch in there somewhere too.

Since I was a loon last week and didn't post our Friday Happies, I've compiled a big, fat, juicy list for today. Here we go!!

*I'm intrigued by gal (Caroline) who has been helping write A Cup of Jo over the past few months. Check out her apartment, it makes me feel a wee bit ashamed that I'm around the same age and have done far less with my apartment (or career) while also being simultaneously inspired to do even more to the new place we're moving into!

*This 40 second video has already saved the lives of 36 babies! Woah.

*I don't have a functioning fireplace, but if I did... I would have this.

*Ten tips for a more mindful home! I'm seriously in need of some more mindfulness these days (what with all the self-inflicted chaos).

*This made me giggle.

*I really like this house. A lot!

*I think this is the prettiest little necklace, and I've always wanted to have something with a moonstone on it.

*Heck yeah! Golden Girls legos?! Vote here!

*While we're on the subject of dynamic women...there's a chance to vote to put a woman on the $20 bill in honor of the passing of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. I vote Tubman or Killman! LET'S VOTE!

*A little organization porn for you guys..."How I simplified & organized my house, room by room".

*In that same vein, this book sounds pretty rad too! I want it so bad, I have a feeling I've already linked to it here at some point.

*Did y'all see this? A woman found 50 pearls in an oyster!

*I thought this was so sweet. A letter to the Trader Joe's Employee Who Noticed My Family.

*Every time I mention meditation to someone they say "I could never do that, I can't sit still or my mind always wanders"...well duh. That's why you should meditate, dude! Here's a practical guide to start meditating every day!

*I just want to spend a day going through this blog.

*A 1,000 year old medical remedy was transcribed detailing a possible cure for MRSA. Wow!! MRSA is so scary!

*I adore this whimsical Easter/Spring table from Lonny. It's so...Seussical!

*I squealed when I found this. I don't know how it avoided my radar for so long. Elvis Costello and the Beastie Boys perform Radio Radio. So rad!

*I love that this weather forecaster handled her online bullies on air! And you know what they were bullying her about? Being pregnant. Good for you, Kristi!

*I don't know if y'all are addicted to the sorta soap opera-y show Nashivlle...but I am. I just love when Gunnar and Scarlett sing and this week's episode did not disappoint.  Check it out, so ethereal and kinetic!

Have a great weekend y'all!!! I'll be back on Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Spring sunrise at the lake by my house.

Hey friends! Today is my 200th post on P&PPS! That's so bananas, because it feels like just yesterday I was writing the first, then the 100th! I'm so grateful to y'all out there who read this and have been hanging out with me on my pursuit of balance, peace and positivity! A big kiss on the forehead to all y'all!

Things have been pretty hectic on my end with a wedding, Easter, work stuff and moving into a new house. However, I'm here to post an update on the "Paleo" experiment (and apologize for no Friday post last week, after I teased it and everything! Mea culpa mea culpa!). I promise to have one whiz-bang doozy of a Friday Happies this week to make it up to ya.

To the update!

I thought last week was going to be more challenging than it was, I really did. The first three days were the easiest. The challenges came in trying to eat out or grabbing something quick from a store when my blood sugar plummeted while moving. I did okay, but it sure seems like EVERYTHING has added sugar in it these days. Geesh.

I made Pineapple Pulled Pork in the crock pot earlier in the week and it really was a lifesaver. The hubs ate it on bread and I devoured it as is for my lunches at work. I also made this Enchilada Stew which satiated both our appetites and was completely on track to boot! Daily smoothies and non-dairy, crustless mini quiches kept me going in the early parts of the day as did having an avocado or banana with honey for snacks in that weird between time before dinner. Carrots (being my favorite snack) and a Paleo'd version of these Pumpkin "Cookies" were my go-to for sweet treats, which surprisingly really did the trick!

The 4th was my cousin's wedding and I stayed true all day until the dinner reception in which there was nary a Paleo option to be found. It wasn't one of the days I had planned on loosening the reigns, but it was okay. Flexibility and a positive outlook are super important in a life change such as this. I had a champagne toast, a couple beers and a Southern-style dinner topped off with one bite of each wedding cake. All in all, not too bad (and zero guilt).

The 5th was Easter and was my total fun day. I stayed on point until I got to my Mom's (which was my plan), and the meal they had planned was like 80% on my track anyway (handy for me!), so other than deviled eggs, wine and dessert, that day was nailed and thoroughly enjoyed.

Then the 6th day came. I had no trouble with sugar or cold beer cravings until this day. I guess because the sugar was still in my system, my body went into HEROIN mode. The wigged out cells in my body kept telling my brain that I wanted- nay, NEEDED sugar when I really didn't. I found myself craving the weirdest, sugariest stuff that I haven't had in years! I didn't give in (though the cravings were intense, needless to say) because inside I knew it wasn't real. However, that really made me pay attention to the shock my body goes through whenever I eat/imbibe processed foods/sugars.

Yesterday was the 7th day and other than having had to fast for a blood test, my cravings were pretty much silent again. I did make the mistake of going to the grocery store hungry and without meaning too, my eyes grew wide at the sight of fried chicken; but I'm Southern. My eyes always do that because I was brought up right.

All of this is to say friends (and drum roll please)...I lost five and a half pounds in the first week, a half inch off my thighs and bum!!! Now, I'm no dummy. I've also been walking 20 minutes every morning and taking a 30-day yoga challenge every evening. But it's all added up to a pretty stupendous-feeling success!

I'm geared up for week number two! Care to join me?! I'd love to know!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day! Also, a HAPPY 54th BIRTHDAY to my B! I love you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Swamped? Great time for an experiment!

Hey friends! Happy first day of April (I hope you said "rabbit rabbit" this morning)! As y'all know, I've had a little bit going on lately. So, naturally I thought now would be a great time to start a few experiments. One of which will be trying to eat "Paleo" for a month.

Now, let me be frank- I detest "diets", "plans" and anything you have to read a book about in regard to food restrictions yadda yadda. I also have the rule where I have to hear about something three times from three credible sources before I pay attention to it. Sometime a week or two ago, I'd heard about it again so I started doing research. Turns out, I pretty much eat that way already (when not having a Mardi Gras + Vacation + St. Patrick's Day funsplosion, and I thought it would be a good experiment to try and see if life without cheese is actually worth living (just kidding, sort of).

Anywho, I'm choosing the month of April to do so. No sugar, dairy, grains, booze, or processed foods of any kind. I also get three days this month that I can do whatever the hell I want because life is worth living and I will not be denied that gorgeous liberty.

Ahem. I think this will be a great way to pay a little gratitude to my body. As I walked around the lake a few mornings ago I started saying aloud how grateful I am for my healthy body and that I want to take better care of her (she's the only one I have!). I also thought this may help reset my body after a Winter of comfort food and general laziness and merriment.

I will post a weekly update about it (with recipes) this month in addition to the Friday Happies (because we all love those Happies!).

I'm excited to see how my body reacts and what becomes of it. Any thoughts, questions, suggestions or tips? I'd love to know!

I hope you have  a truly wonderful day!