I had started my new job and Craig was less than 24 hours away from starting his.
Sitting in a diner with an old friend and co worker, her husband, and Craig.
She says to me, “Wow, so many new changes. Moving, new house, new jobs. Next thing you know, you’ll be pregnant!”
With a small smile and sideways glance to my husband, I laugh and say, “Yeah, wouldn’t that be something!?”
Craig and I had a secret. I was pregnant.
And then I wasn’t anymore. Three trips to the clinic, more ultrasounds than I can count, ultimately confirmed that, yes, I was pregnant. But, I wasn’t anymore.
And then came the heartbreak. Then came the days of denial. Of anger. Of tears.
Those days have been running parallel to the days I second guess my career change; to the days I’ve made a drive to Madison and not remembered how it was that I actually got there. Days when I sit in a room of people and feel utterly alone.
Parallel to the days that I feel defeated. Exhausted. Confused.
The love and kindness of most has helped distract me from the ugliness of the past weeks. And while there isn’t much they can do to keep me from feeling alone, they’ve done wonders reminding me that I am loved and that they’re waiting patiently for me to realize that I’m not alone – and that I never was.
I know that brighter days are coming. I know that one day I will feel okay.
1. What is your favorite outfit pin?
Before Pinterest gave you the friendly warning that you’d already pinned something, I apparently got this outfit on my Stylin’ board more than once. I’m a big fan of animal print – within reason. Too much and I feel like a jungle animal myself, but I love how this just has a weeee bit.
2. What is your favorite food pin?
The Advocare 24DC has pushed me to find healthier alternatives to my favorites. Since I can’t have chocolate until the challenge is over, I’ve resorted to peanut butter on spoons, but as soon as I am able to, I plan to make these. Yum! Might even give it a go with some almond butter.
3. What is your favorite wedding pin?
Something we did at our wedding reception was the shoe game. It’s becoming increasingly popular. I originally got the idea from Pinterest.
Unfortunately, this pin took me to a page that no longer exists. But, the photographer has her information at the bottom of the photo.
Here is Craig and me playing!
Don’t let Craig’s confident face fool you, I’m pretty sure I won. ;) Our guests loved it.
4. What is your favorite DIY/craft pin?
I used to be all about DIY and crafting – and then I wasn’t anymore. I literally went through my entire board and didn’t find anything that I loved. If this yarn was still available, I’d make this in a heartbeat. So cozy!
March is my birthday month. More than once I’ve tried to do the math to figure out how old I’m going to be. Majority of those times, I’ve failed and just had to ask someone to do it for me. No, I’m no exaggerating. Yes, it’s very sad. Actually, quite pathetic that it’s come to that. I’m not even that old. My instinct is to say that I’ll be 28, but in reality it’ll just be 27. So, that’s nice, I suppose. It’s like I’m giving myself an extra year. Sort of?
In the spirit of my birthday, here are five fabulous finds I surely wouldn’t mind adding to my collection of material things.
I love this bag. When I first saw the Gaiam Everything Fits Gym Bag, I passed it up. When I started looking for it a few weeks ago, I couldn’t find it anywhere. And I was sad. Very sad. BUT IT’S BACK! I might be using some birthday money for this! I’m having a hard time deciding between black and purple, though…
Another blogger posted about this watch - isn’t it so pretty!? And YES, I actually really like the pink! I’m not a huge pink-loving girly-girl, but I think it just works. Because it’s a watch, I think you could get away with wearing it with things that pink might not normally “match” with. Love it. AND it’s on sale!
Advocare everything. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been texting with Kim, coveting all things Advocare. I have treated myself to more of the vitamins and such (arriving today!), but there are some other things that I’m dying to try. But, I have to pace myself financially – it is a tad pricey. The three things I’m still dying to try are the Rehydrate, O2 Gold, and Post Workout Recovery.
An appointment at the salon! I haven’t had a hair cut in like 9 months. Mostly because last March I had to chop it all off after a terrible experience with a Brazilian Blowout. I need a good trim and I want my highlights back! My hair is the typical dirty dishwater blonde and I’m tired of it. I’m really gearing up to get myself back on track physically, so I don’t want to feel frumpy. And frizzy, boring hair, in desperate need of a cut screams frumpy to me. womp womp. My salon of choice gives Deva cuts for those of us gals with naturally curly hair. I’m tellin’ ya – once you go Deva, you never go back! The best cuts I’ve ever had! …the salon also has a spa. So, I think that if I go for a hair treat, I should also treat myself to a massage…don’t you!?
New kitchen counters. Yep. I’m officially an adult. I hate our kitchen counters. They’re granite tile. Pretty to look at – so not practical. Trying to keep that grout clean and sanitized? Impossible. They’re just icky. I’d really like to paint our cabinets white, but Craig firmly tells me ‘no’ each time I bring it up. But, how pretty and classic are these!?
I don’t love the paint color in the second one, but you get the idea
There ya have it. The wishlist of a soon-to-be 27 year old!
One of the very best parts of doing this Advocare 24 Day Challenge, is that it’s forcing me to take the time to try new things. I hate spending a lot of time preparing a meal – especially at lunch time. I don’t know whyyy. I love convenience. And this challenge is showing me that there are plenty of ways to eat clean, healthy foods that are convenient.
When lunch time rolled around (on a day off), I pulled up this recipe and went to town. If you’ve ever prepared quinoa, you know that it’s a pain in the ass to rinse – orrr you’re like me who just skips that step all together. But, I figured that since I’m starting to eat more like a grown up, I should stop cutting corners. I didn’t have a mesh strainer of any kind and was still in my pajamas at 12:30 therefore refused to get it together to go to a store for one so I improvised.
Well, hello, sunshine. The sunnier days have made up for the fact that it’s consistently below zero. Still. In March. Ugh.
ANYway. That’s Viva paper towel in my strainer. In my opinion, Viva is the only acceptable paper towel to use. Ever. But, maybe I’m just a paper towel snob.
So, after patting myself on the back for being such a genius and taking the time to be a grown up and rinse my quinoa, it was time to cook it up. I cooked mine with chicken broth for some extra flava flav.
Despite being a grown up and promising myself I wouldn’t take short cuts, I opted to take a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower out of the freezer and microwave them. I love those steamer bags. So convenient. So, while my quinoa was simmering and veggies were microwavin’, I went ahead and made the super easy, albeit delicious avocado dressing.
All you need is an avocado, olive oil, garlic, lemon, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Head on over to Katie’s blog for the how-to!
When I put it all together, I skipped most of the greens she used. …brussel sprouts aren’t my favorite. One of those things I’d eat if it was served to me, but given the option, I’ll skip it! I also haven’t given kale a try yet. It’s a trending food right now, but with a picky-eating husband, I’m always late to the game on those sorts of things.
I think kale will make its way onto the grocery list for next week.
What are some of your favorite ways to use kale?
Just to be clear – I’m sharing the recipe because I la-la-la-loved it, not because Katie asked me to. I’m just a big fan of her bloggity blog and wanted to share the goodness!
Before Advocare, I never really paid attention to what I eat each day. I might food journal a day here or there, but if I’m honest with myself, I’m usually not very thorough. Meaning: the seven Oreos I may have eaten that day didn’t make the list. But, with the Advocare challenge, I certainly haven’t been eating Oreos and I’m actually proud to photo-journal my eats.
I didn’t have to work on Monday (major perk of new job – despite the salary status, they keep me at 40 hours), so I thought that’d be a great day to share. I had time to prepare three yummy meals. So here we go – my inaugural WIAW post, Advocare Style! Thanks to Jen for hosting!
Rise & shine! Up and at ‘em, I immediately down my Spark (seriously, so good) and Catalyst. After saying good morning to the doggies, it’s time for the fiber drink. Y’all – thank goodness this is only required for 6 days on the challenge. It’s not so great. The taste isn’t awful, but the texture…ohhh the texture. Monday was my last day of that bad boy. I was so set on getting it over with, I totally forgot to take a picture. Off to a smooth start with the photo journeling, eh?
I had to wait a half hour before breakfast, which is where the Whipped Banana Oats came back! Rather than digging into my stash of frozen fruit snacks for the week, I opted to top it off with some of the unfrozen, fresh berries still in the fridge. I also had two Omega Plex vitamins, not pictured.
Because I had the day off, I was able to take advantage of a late morning Zumba class. Honestly, I didn’t love it. My favorite instructor is still the very first one I had – at the podunk gym I went to in Edgerton. Because of the odd timing of the class, I had my “snack” with my lunch. I settled on some rice/quinoa noodles (from TJs!) with marinara and leftover shredded chicken. Not pretty, but pretty tasty! The berries were still mostly frozen in the oj at this point…
Afternoon snack time meant rice cakes and nut butter! I went out on limb and tried some almond butter. Peanut butter, you have some serious competition! Too bad almond butter is substantially more expensive. Okay, you still win peanut butter. But, only because you’re a cheap date.
Last but not least – dinner time! Craig was out of town a couple nights, so I made stuffed peppers (he haaaates bell peppers). I used the recipe I found on Advocare Runner’s blog and they were so tasty! I have plenty to take as leftovers for the rest of the week. So, despite the fact I am working out of town a couple days this week, I was a good girl and packed a lunch! I also had a small salad (not pictured) and some steamed veggies topped with Acai Berry Balsamic Vinegar (a gift from Kim!). Dinnertime also meant two more Omega Plex vitamins.
Something else I found on Advocare Runner’s blog was this interesting ACV concoction. My face has been flippin’ out (thanks to the cleanse? working out? my body resorting to being 13 again? I don’t know), and she said that it has helped with he complexion. So, I tried it.
The verdict? Definitely…interesting? It took me a hot minute to get it down, but I did. And it wasn’t so god awful that I wouldn’t do it again. I’m going to stick with it for a bit to see if I can notice any difference in my skin.
There you have it! A lengthly, picture-filled post of a days worth of delicious, Advocare-friendly eats!
Who wants a super delicious, easy breakfast or snack to whip up? Me, me, me!
I discovered Whipped Banana Oats months ago. They are so flippin’ delicious. I’m not even a huge fan of bananas – but I love banana bread and other treats with them incorporated. You can find Kath’s original recipe here and that is how I prepare them every time. Except. Except now I have found an awesome way to amp them up.
One of my snacks since starting the Advocare Challenge is this:
Add about 1/4 cup of your fruit mixture to individual baggies and add a splash of Orange Juice (Simply Orange is my fave!) and freeze.
It’s the perfect morning snack. I usually snack around 9 or 9:30 at work – and by the time I get to it, it’s thawed perfectly and still nice and chilly. Yum.
And then I thought – why not add some of this goodness to my favorite whipped oats!? So I broke off a small piece of frozen-berry-oj-goodness, threw them into my bowl of prepared Whipped Banana Oats and it was a match made in heaven!
It slowly melts adding some yummy umpf to the oats. Not to mention the icy goodness helps cool the oats so I don’t burn my mouth – as I have the tendency to inhale all the goodness.
The one note I’ll make about Kath’s recipe is that she doesn’t mention when to add the chia seeds. Add it in with the rest of the goods (the oats, milk, water, banana). The chia seeds are optional, too. I like them because they add some nice texture and they take on the flavor of what they’re in. I can literally have these made in 5 minutes – so for a girl with little-to-no patience, that is a major win.
Sometimes life just takes ya out at the knees, doesn’t it? Whew. I’ve had a thing or two going on and it’s likely that I’ll share. But, that draft is currently sitting in my kid sister’s inbox awaiting a response to the question, “Is this too deep?” If you end up seeing it, it’s because she thinks y’all can handle it! I’m officially resurfacing after a little hiatus to get myself back on track.
In desperate need of something to focus on, I decided to try the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. I’m hesitant about these things, because they can be kind of gimicky. But, I know someone in real life that has had real results. Day one of Advocare was an epic fail. I was hangry from like 10am until I went to bed. I even cheated and had some cookies (sugarrrr) and they didn’t satisfy me at all. Hello, guilty conscience. The fact that they didn’t satisfy me set me up for better success on day two. And since then, it’s been so much better!
Day two on the challenge also meant a training session at the gym. Craig and I are going to do some training together and our trainer, David, is thebomb.com. I know he is going to kick my ass, but I’m excited. I’m hoping to lose what Craig is hoping to gain (weight-wise), so it will be an interesting journey.
As of today, I’m 10 days into my Advocare challenge and wanted to share some progress. I’ve refused to weigh myself in the past 10 days, because I know the number isn’t everything, just as my dear friend Kim shared last week. Love that post. Seriously.
The 10 day results are in and thus far I’m down just 2 pounds, but more importantly, 3.25 inches. Honestly, not the results I was hoping for (based on others I know…in real life), but it’s a start. And – I really wasn’t supposed to do weight or measurements until tomorrow (after day 10), but I had it in my head Monday, Monday, Monday. So, I’ll likely redo everything tomorrow…maybe miracles can happen in 24 hours.
I’m pretty excited for this week because I have a killer meal plan set. I’ll admit I wasn’t super prepared for last week. I limited myself to salads, fruit, rice cakes and peanut butter. I need to remind myself that Advocare isn’t that limiting (it requires clean eating, but that’s pretty darn easy to do if you set yourself up for success)! Kim introduced me to a great blog called Advocare Runner and this week’s meal plan is based of a number of her suggestions. I’m excited for a more “interesting” week on the food front.
With everything that’s been going on, it’s been really, really nice to focus on healthy eating habits and getting fit. It’s also kept me much busier – which is good – my idle mind can take me places I don’t want to go. Busy is better, for me at least.
Do any of you have some Advocare-friendly recipes to share? I’d love to see the links!
We had snow. We had rain. We had sunshine. Clouds. Freezing rain. Thunder snow. Thunder rain. Wind. Oh, so much wind.
And I’m flipping tired of it!
Saturday was sunny and mild. Mild being 20 degrees. Which is mild when you consider that just a couple weeks ago it was literally 50 degrees colder. Craig and I took advantage of it and got a nice little walk in. Sadly, the pups had to stay at home – between the ice and salt, their poor little paws would have been torn to shreds. I won’t take the chance on Myles who has been known to plop his butt down, like a half mile from home, and refuse to walk any further.
My grandma, in sunny Arizona, sent me some super cute cartoons that I thought some of you might enjoy!
Craig can relate:
Can I get an amen!?:
Road rage? Try snow rage!:
Here’s to hoping for a warmer, less bi polar weather week!
Yesterday was quite the educational experience. Here are two of the things I learned:
Snow is okay, but only in moderation. Y’all might remember me going on and on about how I liked winter and all that BS. Well, I’m rescinding that and replacing it with, “I like winter when my husband is home to shovel my happy ass out of the driveway.” He was out of town for a couple days (he’s back now, creepers) and I was left to shovel my self back into the driveway. Yes, back INTO the driveway. I had a commute to Madison yesterday. It was about an hour and a half on the way there and two and a half on the way home. What is normally 6 lane interstate was only 2 lanes for a good portion of the drive. I half-assed the shovel job, the whole while, cursing my husband for not just buying a damn snow blower. I shoveled just enough for me to fit my car through in the morning. I did not take into consideration: I don’t drive well in ‘drive,’ much less ‘reverse,’ so getting through my ‘tunnel’ shall be an interesting task in the morning. …if it’s still there. The tunnel that is. Son of a B, it’s still snowing. (…I’m writing this Monday night)
Craig, you are never, ever allowed to leave me home alone during the months of November through April until there is a snow blower living in our garage.
I learned that the scary neon yellow substance I found under my car (in the snow) isn’t necessarily anything to freak out about. …because I did freak out and send a gajillion pictures to my husband who was meeting with a potential new client. Sorry hunny, I thought my car was going to explode. Apparently, when the salty snow makes contact with a hot exhaust pipe, the resulting melting liquid is that color and leaves people with the impression that their car is going to burst into flames (I am not dramatic. At all.)Hope everyone is staying safe. I know this crazy weather isn’t just impacting Wisconsin!
In the midst of all of the things going on in my life, Craig and I managed to make it to the local gym to get a membership. Ohhh, about 25 pounds overdue. Meh, can’t dwell on where I’ve been, just on where I’m going, right!?
In addition to that, with the encouragement of my buddy Kim, I’m also gearing up to try the 24 Day Challenge by Advocare. I’ve heard really great things about it – and like Kim, I was super hesitant until I found someone “in real life” that had success with it. Kim is about half way done with her challenge (go girl!) and her motivation and results was the last push I needed to give it a go!
Starting next weekend – I haven’t decided on Saturday or Sunday – I’ll start my challenge! That means I will be done on March 17th or 18th – and that means I’ll still be able to enjoy my birthday on the 19th! Timing is everything, folks!
Yesterday, while grocery shopping, I tried my darndest to stick the perimeter. It’s all those isles in the middle that tend to get me into trouble. Lots of fresh produce made its way into my cart. I’m starting some healthier habits this week, so when it’s time to “get serious” come next weekend, I’ll have a week of transition under my belt! Setting myself up for success as much as I can!
In the spirit of that, for dinner last night I pulled out a spaghetti squash. I love these buggers. So easy to prepare and so good!
Prepare your squash. You can do it ala microwave in 8 minutes or wait your entire life (about 45 minutes at 375) to do it in the oven. I choose microwave. Every time. After cooking/baking your squash, let it sit for a couple minutes before scraping out the goods.
Brown your butter.
Once browned, mix in the herbs.
Add spaghetti squash and heat for an additional couple minutes.
Use tongs to move your delicious meal back into the skin of the squash (fun little bowl, hey!) and enjoy!
Yes, I realize that 2 tablespoons of of butter isn’t really the definition of “healthy,” but it’s a serious improvement over the meals I’ve been eating on the regular thanks to being out of town for work.
Speaking of which, I have the pleasure of driving to and from Madison, Monday through Thursday this week. Oh AND they’re calling for 4-6 inches of snow today. How does that commute sound? How much do you think it will add to my hour-forty-five commute each way? I’m guessing…about an hour? Son of a…