Why not do it now?

Happy New Year, internets. I have a lot of things that I’m planning to do this year (with my family, personally, professionally, for our home, and for my art). We’ll get to everything here on the blog eventually. πŸ˜‚

But, for the past few years, when the new year approaches, I find it grounding to get all of my thoughts and ideas for the new year out and onto paper. This year it took a few days of me just jotting things down here and there until I felt I had a true and well-rounded list. One of those ideas I added for 2020 was the novel concept of simply putting things away.

“Every time we leave things out we avoid making decisions. ”
– Dana Byers

This year, and a little bit of the end of last year, I have been and want to continue to focus on putting things in their final “resting place” when I’m done with them. Meaning: not just putting the band aid box in the bathroom on the counter; actually putting it all the way in the drawer where it goes. I know it seems like such a basic concept but for some reason, clutter accumulates at our house and I know that some of it is avoidable.

When I first had this idea I knew I couldn’t have been the first to have it so, of course, I googled “why don’t people put stuff away”. The first thing that popped up was an article by Dana Byers called “The Discipline of Putting Things Away”. The article is a good read and one thing that really stood out to me was when she said “Each time we leave things out we avoid making decisions. ” I feel like that is 1000% true and rings with me and what I think/feel when I avoid putting crap away.

This year I’m vowing to truly make decisions and be decisive. I want to work towards my goals and give my time purpose and one of those goals of mine is to PUT THINGS AWAY. A clean house means I’m less stressed. Less stressed is the life for me. I’m not that person that can lay on the couch and watch TV if my house is messy. It could almost be said that I’m this way to a fault? πŸ€” I’m a clean freak (Rob would totally say that about me). BUT – with this new change/goal I’m hoping that by avoiding the clutter of not putting things away I will be able to spend less time cleaning! Wouldn’t that be the dream?! Even if it’s not the case, I’ll be less stressed!

So here’s to 2020 and putting things away! πŸ₯‚

4th Low Carb Month: Zero Progress

If you haven’t already read my latest blog post you can check it out here. With that all going on I definitely didn’t do that hot this last low carb month. The stressful pregnancy and then my miscarriage was just too much. I only logged for about the first 10 days of the month and then fell off the wagon. All of the Halloween candy was really tempting too. πŸ₯Ί

Instead of losing weight this month the scale went in the wrong direction. I started month 4 down 20lbs and ended down 15lbs πŸ™ˆ. I’m hoping this 5th month I can get back on track and hit 20lbs again and then 25 by Christmas, maybe. We all hit roadblocks but getting back on track is what counts! In times of struggle, I find it best to focus on things I can control. To avoid getting consumed with depression, I’m focusing on Thanksgiving (we’re hosting), my upcoming 2nd craft fair (Nov 30), and getting my low(er) carb lifestyle back on track!

I have a round of healthy groceries set to be picked up today through clicklist and have planned our meals for the next bit. We’ll have twisted chicken chili (my fave chili recipe), pork chops with roasted veggies, burgers with zucchini fries, and spaghetti squash casserole. I’ll share some of the recipes in my next blog!

This last month I did make a super yummy sweet red chili that you should check out in the meantime. Make sure you use all 4lbs of meat! I used angus and it turned out great. I do recommend seasoning the meat a bit more while you cook it (some salt, pepper, & garlic) to give it some more flavor. Also, instead of Navy beans I used two cans of black beans.

We’re all human and acting like this last low month didn’t happen would be a lie. I fell off but am determined to get it together again! More to come ✌️

End of Low Carb Month 2

As the end of the month is wrapping up I’m proud to announce I’ve hit my 15lb goal. The scale creeped this month because I’ve had several “off days” πŸ™ˆπŸ€¦. At some points it totally even moved in the wrong direction 😫. But, as I’ve said before, we’re all human and I’ll get to my goals as long as I keep at it!Β  A few bad days doesn’t have to be the end of my journey!! Some days the scale goes backwards and I eat crappy but, I try not to make it a habit of it or let it happen too many days in a row. Plus, when I eat lots of carbs I feel sick now (bloated + tummy trouble) so that’s another deterrent.

Really, the reasons I’ve made it this far are:

A) that I’m always trying a few new recipes

B) I have found desserts I can eat anytime I want (& sweets are my weakness)

C) I am making healthier choices more often in my everyday life! Little things like skipping the rice at currito or eating my own snacks I brought vs what’s available – it adds up!

Cheers to month 3! πŸ’ͺ I’m excited to hit another milestone and get my next “reward”.

First – not a new recipe but so worth it to talk about it again ➑️ My brownies are a staple. I make them two batches at a time now and freeze one batch. It’s a perfect snack and satisfies my sweet tooth. Plus Rob likes them with Halo Top. I almost always have it with an Atkins peanut butter cup melted on it and some Cool Whip. Sometimes I add a few berries, if we have them. Basically, bake these asap. If you’re less of a carb sinner you’ll eat it with less Cool Whip than me but, since I’m weak, I say f carbs for this dessert. I mean it’s already way lower carbs than a normal brownie so I use like a Β½ cup of Cool Whip πŸ™ˆ. It ends up being around 360 calories and about 17 net carbs. It’s not keto but I’m losing weight and liking em 🀷

For new recipes from this last month I also found a cherry crisp recipe, made some stuffed bell peppers, and tried out zucchini bites (total winner). I haven’t needed to try lots and lots of new recipes still since I’m really starting to find some we like. The stuffed bell peppers were a great way (no idea why I didn’t make these the first time) to spin that Philly Cheese Steak Casserole I hated from last blog.

Cherry Crisp: for this recipe I doubled the “topping” portion since the cherries and milk looked really liquid but, I’m happy I did. It turned out good. This dessert is less of a crisp and more of a soft cobbler. But, with some Cool Whip – it was a perfect little dessert. I even cheated and used cherries canned in water and it worked well.

Stuffed Bell Peppers: for this dinner I didn’t really have a recipe but kinda made it up as I went. First I cut be tops off 4 green bell peppers and then started to brown about a pound of 80/20 ground beef with chopped onions, mushrooms, and a few bits of green pepper (from the tops I trimmed off). I seasoned this with garlic, salt, pepper, and a little chilli powder. Then, as the meat and veggies cooked. I put the peppers upright in a baking dish, with some water in the bottom, and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350Β°. Once the meat was done cooking I took the peppers out and layered them with the meat/veggies mix and pieces of provolone cheese. After all the peppers were filled I put them back in the oven at 400/425 for at least another 35 minutes. I’m a slacker and not 100% sure how long they baked for because I just left them in until Rob got home from class that night. When doing stuffed bell peppers you really cook them for awhile so as to soften the pepper. They were soft to the touch with a fork. They ended up super yummy and – yay for low carbs!

Zucchini Bites: these were the bomb and such a great little side dish. They’d also work as a party appetizer too! I used more cheese and a little less bread crumbs (since that’s all carbs) but they turned out so yummy! They kind scratched the potato itch for me too because of their texture. Tip: I just used my food processor to “shred” (but honestly chop) my zucchini.

I’m hoping that for month #3 I can hit 20lbs lost! I plan to continue trying to log my food when I can and keep using my meal prep recipe workbook. During month two I logged my food all but 6 days. πŸ’ͺ That doesn’t mean I met my caloric/macro nutrient goals for all of the other days it just means that I tracked them. I’d still call the more consistent tracking a success! Let’s see how the next month goes! ❀️ Happy Friday!

Vacation was just what I needed

For the 4th of July Rob and I went down to Orlando for the Guardian Con convention and time with friends + family.

My bestie, K.Bakes, let us use her friends and family discount and stay at an amazing Marriott resort (Marriott Grande Vista) πŸ‘ – I totally recommend it.

Check out the view from our room! The pool was
amazing and the umbrella cluster you see on the left
was the poolside bar/restaurant! ✌

The property is gorgeous and we spent a large chunk of time floating in the pool and enjoying drinks at the poolside bar/restaurant. The weather wasn’t the best everyday (but apparently it was normal for July in FL). Luckily, we did still get some sunshine each day before the rain set in.

Getting to see old friends and family is the best and sometimes, it’s just what you need. My mom’s side of the family has blessed me with several cousins that I’m close with in age and we really always have such a great time when we’re together.

There’s always so much laughter when we get together and we love to play a bunch of table games while we talk and visit. This trip was primarily dominated by Dutch Blitz. Thanks Nicole & Jon for starting that game with the fam on a trip to PA! 😘 Can’t wait to get everyone together again in July 2020 with the rest of our family for our trip to North Carolina.

One of the things I needed the most from this vacation was the real conversations that we had. Everyone is so level headed and down to Earth and just has the best advice. I love hearing about the career moves some of them are making, the tips and tricks we all have for stacking money, the awesome vacations everyone has planned and the healthier eating advice (kudos to Erin on losing nearly 90lbs so far β€πŸ‘Œ). It was just what I needed to get me back on track and, for that, I’m so blessed. I wasn’t lying on IG when I said this vacation was rejuvenating. I truly think I was able to level-set and find my priorities again.

The first thing I need to buckle down on: eating healthier. I want to give the low carb lifestyle a real chance and, since being on the way home now for a few hours, I’ve taken steps to starting that tomorrow. So, for the first step, I’ve ordered our click-list grocery order of all Keto/Low-Carb foods and completely planned our upcoming week’s worth of meal prepping.

I know it’s a baby step but, it’s a step and that’s what matters. I found lots of great recipes online and Erin sent me a few too. I’ll share more recipes and blogs on how our low carb life goes. I made a workbook where I can create a tab for each week’s menu and save links to recipes that we use. (I’m a spreadsheet nerd).

Rob agreed to try it for a month with me and see what we think. I have tried to eat less carbs in the past (less than 100 net carbs) and it worked well for me. I know that is no where near a Keto level of carbs but that’s still okay for me. On a good day, when counting calories, I’d still eat so many carbs while staying under my calorie goal. Toast, cereal, fruit, bananas, chips/crackers, pretzels, pasta, jelly, fiber one bars, nutri-grain bars, frozen lean cuisines – so many of the foods I eat have lots of carbs and just working to cut back I noticed a big change. I think, for now, we’re going to first try and cook more “keto” or “low carb” recipes and see what we think.

This is really the first and biggest priority I came away from the trip wanting to focus on. Once I get this mastered I can add more to the list but this is where the list ends for now. Shorter list = more manageable. It’s all about baby steps. Focusing on my health seems like a logical top priority to start with 😊

So, for anyone who has done the low carb life, what are your favorite recipes? What are some snacks that you love (besides the nuts, jerky, cheese guys)? I’ll share any recipes we try this week that turn out well! So excited to recommit to eating healthier and feeling stronger πŸ’ͺ

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had an amazing new year’s and had fun celebrating (safely)! We had a small group of friends over, played games and ate yummy food, and watched the ball drop! Waking up this morning (thankfully not hungover) left me in the spirit of thinking of my wishes for the new year. Of course there’s obligatory health goals but, outside of those, 2019 has a lot in store for us.

  • We’re going to sell our house in GA
  • Rob will get a new car (that’s a 4 door!)
  • Fingers crossed we get pregnant with baby #2
  • Add in a dash of home renovation (master bathroom? New shed? Backyard landscaping?)
  • Travel/try to go on 3 vacations
  • Continue to set aside time for me to read, blog, craft, and play games each week
  • Continue working to make healthier decisions! (Try to eat out less and cook at home more, use my elliptical at home 4ish days a week, and log my food more often on my LoseIt! app)

It sounds like a lot to try and do but really, is it? This morning Rob went on and on about how new year’s goals are dumb and that people shouldn’t wait till the new year to start them. I agree but I also disagree.

The holidays are a hectic time and a lot of the things we want to do get pushed to the back burner to make room for the holiday festivities. I feel like viewing January as a reset is logical to me. Yes, of course, I should have been working on the majority of my “goals” already but, due to lack of free time, some were deprioritized and that makes me human. The craziness has died down now and it’s a new year. I’m ready to shift my priorities a bit and welcome the new year! In my mind it isn’t that “2019 is going to be my best year ever” it’s more that “2019 is going to be another good year and here’s why…”

What are you looking forward to for 2019?