Exciting news!

step forwardExcuse my absence everyone! I have a number of excuses why, including being busy, lacking motivation, and getting sucked into murder mystery novels. I’m all about Kay Scarpetta right now. I feel as though she is my spirit animal.

I have exciting news! My awesome friend John reminded me that he has a lot of knowledge about building websites and offered to help me with mine! So this week he has been working on a new website home for me. It already looks so great. I will be posting the new home link in the next week or so! So keep an eye out!

This new blog will be a great start for me. A start of a blog that might offer my family some financial freedom. I know that there are a lot of bloggers out there who make money blogging. I would like to be one of them. I truly hope to be able to stay home with my children. None yet, but in the future my husband and I hoped to be blessed with a few (the jury is still out on how many!). I truly appreciate everyone’s comments and support as I go through crafts, organize my life, move into a healthy lifestyle, growing in my relationship with God, and living my life with joy!

Much love, Anne

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And we’re back folks.

Posting goals on my blog has introduced a whole new aspect to my life. Accountability. Turns out writing about my goals to all of you lovely people is really making me think about my goals and how I plan to accomplish them. For instance, I felt ashamed writing that I failed my Whole30 from this post. What wonderful plans I had. I even made it two weeks in and then fell into the arms of “not so good for me” food when I visited my parents. It all tasted great, but man did I feel the effects.

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My motivational calendar. Complete with gold stars for each day finished.

Now I’m back. Back with a vengeance, well a little weak vengeance. I did have a couple of days of eating ALL the food before starting and now I am regretting it. I’ve got quite the headache and I am in a mood today. Nothing a bunch of water and some headache medicine can’t cure! Or at least help with!timeline-header

Last night’s meal included beautifully seasoned burgers cooked by my wonderful husband. I also roasted some white potatoes to a delicious golden brown in the oven. Next on the list, spicy tuna cakes for my breakfasts. They are currently my favorite grab and go food. I make a double batch so I have plenty to keep me going.

And guess what?! I got my Whole30 book in the mail! I already had It Starts with Food, and I’m kind of loving the new addition. It breaks down the program a little less scientifically(since I had a hard time following all the science), but very clear. I haven’t searched through all of the recipes yet or the how-to cook section. I am excited to get to those. I’d love to try one to two new recipes a week so I don’t get bored. And really focus on a prep day since I get sick of prepping food and going to the grocery store. I’ll just limit myself to once a week and then it’ll all be done!

So here’s to Day 3 of Whole30! And to Day 4 and 5 where I feel like killing all the things. Anyone else in the early stages? Or have any wisdom to share?

The Great Closet Clean Out of 2015.

Guys, I did it! Sort of.

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In my travels through the great world of Pinterest I stumbled upon this concept called a “wardrobe capsule.” I read a blog about it from a lovely lady named Denaye on Dallas Mom’s Blog, who learned her wisdom from a blog called Unfancy. Both blogs just really hit home with my goals. Including saving money as well as getting rid of some clutter in my life. Maybe even take a step toward a minimalist lifestyle. ::GASP::

The whole premise includes paring down your wardrobe to 37 pieces of clothing. 15 tops, 9 bottoms, 9 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses, and 2 jackets. All of these things should be things you love to wear. From those 37 items you can mix and match and create all kinds of cool outfits. I loved this idea!

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ALL of the dresses

8:30pm. A glass of wine on my dresser and a movie in the background (Hot Fuzz, in case you were wondering). Here I go! I started with the bottoms. I broke out all of the pants and shorts in my bottom drawer and quickly narrowed down to 9 items. So easy! This is going great! Quite a few pairs of pants were too small or old. I was glad to get rid of them.

Next on the list? Dresses. All of the dresses. I started going through my small closet and began pulling dress after dress out. Where did all of these come from?! I had no idea! Not only had I forgotten about the dresses, but I bought even more in the spring because the husband has a sweet discount at the store he manages! The grand total? 29 dresses. That is out of control. The other problem? I love almost all of them! There were probably 5 that I was willing to part with. Just 5 of 29. Did I mention that I was supposed to narrow it down to 2 dresses. TWO DRESSES?! I said that same phrase over and over as I was staring at all of them. I did lay out all of them down my hallway so I could start narrowing it down, which helped. I was only able to narrow it down to 11 dresses. I think that shows progress, right?

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The end result.

At this point, I’m feeling the stress big time. So many items of clothing! Things I really like too that I really don’t want to part with. I poured myself another glass of wine, and took on the shirts. Part of this was easy. I have a drawer of plain old t-shirts. Some I took out for my t-shirt quilt. The rest that I kept are for sleeping and didn’t go into my final count. Then I took on the medium nice shirts. Also, sort of easy. Some shirts were worn out, others had been living in the bottom of my drawer for forever so out they went! The nice shirts that were hanging were a little harder. I have a bunch of favorites. At this point I had about 6 medium nice shirts and I needed to stick to just 15! I ended up at 18. So pretty darn close.

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The closet after clean out!

Here my online friends is my new and improved closet. I posted the before photo on my other social media outlets. It doesn’t look dramatically better in the photo though. But I can really tell! So many less hangers and it is so much less cramped. Also, my dresser drawers look so empty!

I have learned a couple of things through this process. I spend a lot of money on clothes. I buy clothes thinking I will wear them and then I don’t. I actually looked at shirts with tags on them was kind of depressed that I could have used that money on something else. I wear pretty much the same outfits each week, which is why I had almost a whole drawer of shirts that I hadn’t worn in probably a year. If I wear the same outfits but slightly mix them up then the Capsule Wardrobe is the way to go!

I am so glad I did this. I felt super overwhelmed for 2 and half hours of my evening but everything feels organized. Organized Anne=Happy Anne.

Have you done something like this? How did it go?

pulling myself together.

There once was a time that I made myself a list that was entitled “Get Your Crap Together Anne! List.” It was incredibly effective. Why did I create this list you may ask? Well, from time to time, I get rather lazy/unmotivated/lethargic/etc. Then I have, what some may call, a “come to Jesus moment” with myself. I use strong words, make faces like the one below, and think enough is enough! Stop doing that! Whatever that may be. In this case, eating well. But Anne, you wrote a blog post about this the other week. I know! I’m bad. Visiting my parents and then Memorial Day weekend have been my downfall. So now I have goals. And a bunch of them. Here they are in list format, because why not?

pull it together1. Eat Whole30 six days a week.

2. Have only one cheat day per week that is planned ahead of time, to fight against any emotional eating that I feel I HAVE to do.

3. Practice yoga 5 times a week. This one is going to be interesting. I have fallen in love with a yoga studio. Like madly in love. I love the classes, the people, and man! do I feel cool when I’m there. The only problem, good golly is it expensive! So this 5 times a week thing is from home. A little harder if I’m not feeling motivated.

4. Start sending cards for people’s birthday’s, graduation, holidays, and more! Bonus. Send my own homemade cards. How fancy would that be?

5. Earn some money from home so the husband and I can pay down some debt. I’ve used this website for ideas about where to start. I’ll be writing a blog post about it later letting you all know if it actually pays.

6. De-clutter the apartment. This is a big one. Sometimes I get really sentimental and don’t want to get rid of things. Then other times I am all about paring things down. This will take a while and I will definitely post about it. We just have too much stuff for the amount of storage space we have. Especially if we ever want to fit people into our spare bedroom ever.

7. Learn some handy dandy crafts! I’ve started my cross stitch, that is going rather slowly (I was really into a book and just finished it yesterday so now I’ll be a cross stitching fiend!). After I finish that I’m taking a trip into watercolors. Then calligraphy. Then a t-shirt quilt. My rule for myself for this one: Finish a project then go to the next one. That way I won’t start 5 things and then not finish any of them. What do you think?

8. Remember that money I want to earn? I want to buy (and maybe sell) essential oils, so the only way I am going to let myself buy oils is if I earn the money through surveys.

9. And gosh darn it! I will lose enough weight to get my money back from the Diet Bet!

All of these are legitimately achievable. So no sweat people! Let’s go!

Oh, cooking.

Some of the blogs I follow take the most beautiful pictures of their food. Like, I’d like to jump through the screen and eat that food good. It makes me wonder. Did they take a class in food photography? Do they have an intense camera and lighting equipment? In some cases I’m sure that is true. But I have faith I can reproduce the effect one day! My plan? Use Pinterest because it has everything!

freshMy job is kind of awesome because we have a committee focused solely on wellness. They offer Pilates classes during lunch hour twice a month, purchased ball chairs for us to use, under desk bike, jump rope challenges, etc. We recently had a healthy recipe share lunch. Everyone brings a healthy recipe and we get to try everyone’s stuff for our lunch. Pretty neat right? Well, I decided I would make (not so) Spicy Tuna Cakes from nom nom paleo. I wasn’t feeling well the night before so I decided to make the cakes in the morning. So I could have tried to take some super fancy photos last night but not in the morning. I don’t think I’ve cooked so fast in my whole life. I was whipping those things up. I was chuckling about these photos. Kind of excited to show the reality of how I cook. I’m not very clean. I just throw everything together. This time was definitely worse. I am getting better in the evening though. I try to clean up as I cook. I’m sure it’ll get better with time. Right?

Let me tell you. These tuna cakes are delicious. If you are doing Whole30 you should definitely make these. Super easy and good for breakfast. Especially since I just cannot do eggs in the morning for breakfast. The last Whole30 I did I ate all the eggs and I have ruined them for myself. Oh well. It just gets me to branch out.

tuna cakes 2            tuna cakes

On another note, I am having a hard time staying motivated. All I want to do is eat all the things. My body is not following that timeline they posted here on the Whole30 website. My last Whole30 didn’t really follow along either and I’m okay with it. I’ve just been getting really frustrated. I either don’t want to cook at all or I am annoyed with my options. So over the weekend I took some time to really pray about it. Our sermon at church was something I really needed to hear. Very much a God thing. The sermon was about the book of Daniel and being tested. One of the messages was about willpower. How we all try to drive ourselves to work harder, be better, exercise more, eat good food, or whatever it may be. Willpower will get you started quickly and get you going for a while, but we need God to make consistent and lasting change. I love knowing that the Lord is with us to help us. He wraps us in His love so what we have hope and peace in Him.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5: 1-2

Thanks for hanging with me through this rather rambling post. You all are the best.

-Anne

The repercussions.

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Oh man. No really, oh man. My stomach hurts. I have a headache. I feel crummy. Why you may ask? Well let’s go back to Thursday.

This past Thursday I boarded an airplane to go visit my parents!!! It was amazing! I found a really cheap airline (in price, not quality) and surprised my mom with a visit for Mother’s Day weekend. It was just so wonderful to relax with my parents and enjoy each other’s company. It truly was “doing what I love.” We spent a morning traveling over to Brunswicktown, a pre-civil war town and eventually a fort for the Confederacy. Despite Tropical Storm Ana, we had quite a bit of sun. This made for the perfect weather for pictures, which is another thing I love. I love being inspired by the nature and beauty around me and capturing it. History also has a special place in my heart, especially when it is right in front of me. Archaeologists had uncovered all kinds of artifacts and foundations of homes in the town. St. Phillip’s Church is found there, now it is just the outside walls and graves. So cool. And it makes for some nice shots.

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Another important thing to know is that our family loves to eat. We love to gather for meals and eat wonderful food before, during, and after dinner. With that being said, it was no different for this trip. My parents are both watching what they ate so the trip was not bad at all. I did indulge in some local favorites, because damn it, I never get to go home and I wanted a crab cake sandwich and a calzone. They were both so delicious. I mean really delicious. I also had homemade strawberry cool whip pie, steak, salad, waffles, eggs, and wine. I was in heaven.

But, I was betrayed. Betrayed by my stomach. Being on Whole30 gets you used to not eating certain types of food. And my stomach was loving it. I honestly didn’t realize how much. I thought I was just plugging along the same as usual and just noticing less bloating. That was until I went off plan. Oh man. Stomachache. Headache. General fog. Bloating. And a couple of other unpleasant things. I didn’t let it ruin my time at home by any means but, man, I noticed what my body was telling me.

Brunswicktown 10The point of this story. I have learned my lesson. I have seen the promised land and it was great. My eyes were only opened after I ventured into food that was not kosher with the Whole30. So, here I am, writing about all this after eating a meal of steak and vegetables. Feeling a little better and crossing my fingers that my stomach will feel better tomorrow. Resetting my countdown clock for the Whole30 for a month from today. Here’s to health and happiness!

What’s next: A blog post about my cross-stitch (I’m sure you are dying with anticipation) and a new bible study.

Do what you love.

do what you love

I’m loving this motto. It totally goes with my blog focus. I want to renew my relaxed and happy nature. Go back to time when I wasn’t taking medicine for depression and anxiety. Take time to focus and really thank the Lord for all of the blessings that I have in my life. A wonderful husband, an awesome family, a great job, and time to spend doing what I love.

So I’m challenging myself to do what I love, and I want to extend that challenge to you all as well. Really take time to do what makes you happy. This weekend, in an effort to do what I love, I am traveling to see my wonderful parents. It was even a spur of the moment purchase, I’m kind of proud of myself. I cannot tell you how excited I am. It was a surprise gift for my mom for Mother’s Day. Just a quick visit, Thursday to Sunday. Yay! Combining two things I love, my parents and traveling!

Now, onto Whole30. You know what I did two days ago. I ate bad almond butter. I got sick at the grocery store and had awful stomach pains the rest of the night and the next day. No fun. I’d have to say if something is going to try to get you off track, it’s getting sick. I definitely did not want to eat anything healthy Tuesday. My awesome husband offered to make me something and what did I chose?! A grilled cheese. Man it was good. So please don’t hate me okay? I’m totally fessing up so you guys can call me out (in a nice way please). Once I cheat on one thing, it is so much easier to chose unhealthy food after that. So I am struggling. I WILL stick to this diet and succeed in my goal to be healthy. Yes I will.

Oh, the lessons we learn.

Oh this weekend. A great weekend for all the fun things, like napping, and hanging out with the husband all day Sunday. Plus beautiful weather, how could you go wrong?

My one pitfall as I progress through the first week is slowly losing my excitement to cook good food. I just want something quick and easy. That preferably I don’t have to cut up or use the stove/oven for. Or really prep in any way. It didn’t help that I miscalculated by a lot how much food I would need to eat over the weekend. See, I had the dregs of what was left from what I bought for the week. You know. The random stuff. So Saturday morning, I slept in and woke up so very hungry. Like shaky, hurry up and feed me hungry. Guess who hates to cook when she’s at that stage? This girl. So I resorted to quickly cooking some sausage and a microwaved sweet potato. The sweet potato didn’t even turn out that good. It filled me up though. That was the important part. About an hour after that I took a nap. Now a nap wouldn’t be a big deal but somehow I managed to sleep for 4 hours. Two of those hours included me pushing snooze every 10 minutes on my phone. Don’t ask me how I achieve this, because I just don’t know. So after this epic nap I am so very hungry again. Like shaky, hurry up and feed me hungry. Do you know what I do? I get distracted and start straightening up the house. I ended up eating an apple to help and then made dinner for me and the husband when he got home. Which included Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage, a spinach and arugula salad with guacamole. Delish.

All in all. A very traumatic food day. I didn’t have the motivation to cook for myself and paid the price. What have I learned, you may be wondering? Plan food for the weekend! I still eat on the weekends!

Side note. I am learning to love salads at restaurants. They are usually really good at editing the ingredients so you canhave them. This weekend the husband and I traveled down to Bakersfield after church and ate a seriously wonderful salad.

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Motivation. 

 The last two days have been interesting. I have been in quite a state. Now, I normally have a fairly consistent level of a headache. Which I’ve had checked out and it was deemed a tension headache. Some days it is worse than others, but the last two days have been especially enjoyable. And by enjoyable, I mean awful. I usually feel it behind my eyes and it feels like a sinus headache. It makes me feel tired. Like I just want to close my eyes. This has been going on for a while so most days I don’t even notice, but the past two days. No fun.

Another new development for the last few days. No motivation. None at all. I of course do my best at work because I am too much of a perfectionist to let myself slack or seem too grumpy. Then I get home. All I would like to do at home is sit and read, or take a nap, or a bath, or eat all the food. Only I can’t eat all the food and that makes me unhappy. Angry if you will. This nonexistent motivation is really bad when it comes to anything outside of work. Hanging out with friends, volunteering, and in general being outside of my house. I feel like I’m a bit of a ghost and also a bad friend. Hopefully no one else is thinking that. And of course this feeds into my depression and anxiety. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of mental health issues you know how hard that can be. Feeling bad about not attending a meeting but simultaneously having no motivation to go. I did that this week and begged forgiveness, but they don’t really understand. Man it was nice to get home on time though and, as I’m typing that part I think about how I feel guilty about it. Ugh. Oh well.