Paleo progress-day 30

And we're back! Back with a 30 day report. I'll be honest and admit that I wasn't sure that I would make it this far, at least that was my opinion in week one.  So to just know that I actually stuck with this  paleo concept...that's pretty cool to me. 

Let's get to the humiliating pictures, shall we?
Starting on day 10 and ending on 30, you can watch my progress. Taking these photos has been a huge sense of encouragement and motivation. When I'm tempted to eat something bad, I remind myself that I have a picture to take in 3 days. And I like seeing progress, so temptation avoided. 

I would say at this point, I've scratched the surface and have quite a bit more work to do. What needs to be added into the lifestyle change is a more aggressive workout schedule. I need someone to kick me out of the nest on that one!! 

All in all, day 30 is exactly what I envisioned: a semi noticeable change with a passion for staying on track. I will go ahead and put it out there that I am celebrating this milstone tomorrow with a friend with a slice of pizza from my favorite place ever. I've thought it though this whole time and really planned for this, so as much guilt that will come with that meal, I'm gonna treat myself. From what I'm told, I'll probably quickly regret it because my body isn't used to dairy and flour. But I think that will actually help keep me on track. Not that I'm a masochist, but I kinda hope it isn't as enjoyable as it used to be. That way I don't daydream about food that is off limits.

A common question I get is, what if you just don't want to cook and want to get something quickly? This is a challenge, but its totally doable. Aside from planning meals in advance, there are healthy options that make an easy grab and go meal. Take Whole Foods, for example. Go to their salad and hot bar. You already know everything is organic, so you're already doing better than a publix sub! But be careful what you pick. Just because its from Whole Foods, doesn't mean it's actually healthy and clean. So what do you pick?
Go for the stuff with color that looks simple. 

Avoid all the premixed macaroni salads, etc.  Those are loaded with the bad stuff. 

Load up on those fresh veggies like that cucumber and tomato mix you see above. 

Read the labels. If it it's drowned in butter, it doesn't matter how much grass that cow ate, those beef tips don't belong on your plate. 

Remember, your eyes are always bigger than you stomach, so choose wisely and slowly. 

Keep in mind what you have eaten prior to that meal. Maybe you need a bit more protein or perhaps you really need more natural fiber.

And keep in mind, cooking paleo style doesn't mean you have to make elaborate meals. It can be as simple as a bunch of chopped veggies like squash, zucchini, red and green bell peppers- all tossed in a smidge of olive oil, sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper and some freshly minced garlic. Throw these in the oven covered with foil and pull them out about 30 minutes later while they're still crunchy. This is literally five min prep time to do several meals.

I also baked some type of lean meat each night to serve with whatever fruits and veggies I have on hand. The secret I've found is  cooking twice as much  as I plan on eating for dinner. That way, as I'm cleaning up, I pack a plate for lunch the next day. And them  throw whatever meat I plan of cooking the next day straight from the freezer to the fridge. 30 minutes in the kitchen a day for fresh meals. It's that easy! 

A little project

Let me start this post by fully acknowledging I am no artist. I fully appreciate art, but could never claim to be able to make it.

That being said, I should also note that I've been secretly craving a good painting session. There really is something therapeutic about laying out all the paint and brushes and just letting go. 

It started on Sunday afternoon, where I thought I could make a day of it and have a finished product by the end of the day.  But I learned really quickly that wasn't going to be the case. I had to tell myself multiple times to back away and come back later to do some more. 

I came home from work and decided the perfect end to a Monday night would be a glass of wine and adding the finishing touches to this piece, all while watching the dramatic part one ending of The Bachelorette. Yes, I watch that show. That poor girl was slaughtered last night. Been there done that, Des. Worst experience ever!!

And once I was finally finished, I hung the sucker right above my little bar (how fitting).

I should note that I know they need frames. I have no clue what I want at this point. That's something I'm going to need to marinate on.  Also, I'm aware this wall needs something else. Right now I'm thinking a pair on sconces. My top two choices are below. Which one do you like best?
 It's a work in progress, no doubt.I will leave you with a close up. I am quite pleased with the way the colors turned out. I really didn't want anything too bright so I think I found a happy middle ground.


Sunday Fun Day

Is it wrong to call it a Sunday fun day if there is no booze involved? I guess that just goes to show how getting old will shift your mindset.

I had brunch with one of my best friends of many many years yesterday morning. It's like an act of congress to get together with girlfriends these days so I wanted to make a strong effort in relishing every moment.

 As I was getting dressed, I noticed Hudson watching me the way a little girl watches her momma get ready for a fancy event. I swear this dog appreciates style more than most people do. 

I decided to change things up a bit and whip out the old leggings (no worries they're really thick and are actually pants) and went for the all black look. Somewhere along the way, I looked in the mirror and realized I looked like the grim reaper, so I added in a few colorful accessories including a lightweight paisley scarf and a bright berry colored lip stain. 
The brunch was delicious and left me feeling crafty for some strange reason. Maybe it was the hipster scarf? Who knows. 

I've had a project in mid of several weeks, just haven't actually gotten around to it. After a good 30 minutes in Michaels, I came home with a few goodies. 

After I set everything up, I put on some Mumford at a level that will most likely get me a noise complaint notice. I started with my main project which took much more time than I had anticipated.

Now this may look easy but I can assure you it took a bit of time. There was a lot of measuring, re-doing the font and spacing over and over and layering several coats of gold paint before this sucker was done.

Yeh it's random, but I promise there's a story behind this.  A month or so ago, I went a bit overboard and decided to clean out the white frame inventory at ikea. With dreams of a gallery wall like the Petersik's, I may have bought a lot of frames that I have nothing to put in. They're all scattered around, all empty. So I really stared to think about what I wanted to put in them. This isn't  as easy as you would think. I knew I wanted something simple. And I knew I wanted something inspirational. So I started combing my Pinterest boards but everything was was too long or came from a website full of inspirational quotes. So after writing out what seemed to be 300 short phrases, I gave up. And then shortly after that, one of my absolute favorite songs came on. I knew it right then and there that I wanted a visual reminder of this in my house for everyone to see.

I'm rather fortunate that my church is home to the most incredible Christian artists (Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Kristian Stanfill,  Christy Nockels) with occasional surprise visits from Matt Redman as well. Any given Sunday, one of them will lead worship, of not all of them. It is incredible to say the least. 

10,000 Reasons
Matt Redman

Bless the Lord, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Sappy but necessary

Lets get real here for just a moment. You know those friends that you call immediately when something bad happens and all you want to do is cry it out? They sit there and listen and insist you meet for brunch the next day or demand you get out of your house and come over to talk at 9pm? Those are the ones you hold onto. You fight for those friendships because they are raw and quite frankly, they're rare. Well that was me yesterday. I sounded the SOS (for something that really didn't merit the dramatic effect), but I did it anyway. And the troops rallied and wrapped me in love and insisted that I not sell myself short.
One friend insisted that all my fears are just that and assured me that I won't end up with 16 hairless cats and a collection of afghans (is that how you spell it?). And if I do, who cares, because I'm going to style those afghans like nobody's styled them before. There won't be any Mrs. Havershham for this girl because she has too much to do to just sit around and wallow in the past.

Another friend took me and her mini-horse (dog) for a car ride while she waited on her pizza to be ready.

He chased motorcycles in his head and she demanded we only talk about me (something I'm not good at doing). She stood in my corner and fought for me and said "you are much too amazing to think this of yourself." 
We came back home to the rule that this convo isn't over and I got baby holding rights only if I agreed to that. So there we sat at the kitchen table with baby boy's 10 pm feeding and she poured it all out. She opened my eyes to the puzzle pieces I had overlooked. She gave me the recipe for how to get on track... all in a peplum top, skinny jeans and heels. 

I can't help but be grateful for these two friends, each so different but both pouring out love on me when I needed it. We all have these friends. It's hard to link up schedules with our hectic lives, but you better believe, they'll invite you into their routine in a heartbeat when you need it.

In other news, I found a new to me magazine. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this already, but from what I saw while flipping though it, imagine a magazine created by the same folks at Garden and Gun. Except this one is all about truly southern food. Not just 2456 casserole recipes, but the heritage of making pickles and picking muscadines from your gradparents' back yard. That's what I'm talking about!


And on a final note, I think I have to have these bookends. Your thoughts?


Weekend updates

Well well well....we actually made it to the weekend! It was a good week for me.  I'm FINALLY starting to get my mojo back with my new job, stumbled across a few new makeup obsessions and continued with the paleo progress.
Yesterday I sat in traffic for a ridiculous amount of time (welcome to Atlanta where the playas play)...determined to get that pedicure I've needed desperately for quite some time now. The color is the perfect summer Barbie pink (Essie's Boom Boom Room). With a name like that, I knew it was fate.

A girl in my office always has brightly colored lips but I noticed that there wasn't any shine to them, which I really liked. Clearly I embarrassed myself by begging for her secret while in the ladies' room. "Hey, I'm Rachel and I have to say I love your lip color! Is that weird? Anyway, what do you use?" After a very awkward 3 seconds, she laughed nervously and told me the secret to a bright lip color is a lip stain. This allows you to wear those bright pinks, reds and corals during the day without looking like you're for hire. I picked up the revlon just bitten lip stain in a bright berry color and I have to say I am infatuated with it. Truth be told, the first day wearing it into the office, I had to give myself a pep talk.  But it was worth it. If you're feeling daring, I highly suggest this!

I should note that I really stick to the concealer and bronzer routine, but I kept seeing ads for this foundation stick and secretly wanted to try it for myself. I have to say its rather easy to apply and it stays put all day. I started noticing that the concealer and bronzer look didn't last past 3pm. This guy has fixed that problem. I highly recommend this budget friendly product!

Have I shared this yet? I updated the desk a few weeks ago. Those magazine boxes are the perfect shade of mint and can be found at ikea. Also, if you love the lucite look (who doesn't?), that lamp is a target steal...under $20!! I love putting little bowls in the middle for an added punch.

Updates to my kitchen island. I'm really into the pink, white and blue look these days.

Ummmmmmm...these were game changers! How I have just discovered these, I don't know. I especially love the fruit flavored options. 100% paleo friendly and I am in love.


And p.s., this is the jam! Seriously better than any ice cream or gelato I've ever had. Added bonus: Paleo friendly. An evening treat that doesn't bring tummy aches...pure genius!!

6 Cheery Pics

By th time the weekend gets here, I'm usually exhausted.  This week is no exception. I do like the promise of two days spent leisurely on my near horizon. In effort to jump start the weekend, I've brought you guys a few bright cheery photos that ought to help you welcome in the weekend with a big ole smile.
I need those barstools. The hunt for something similar yet affordable will begin very soon!

Yes yes and more yes! If this doesn't scream, SUMMER, I don't know what does.

The use of neutrals and bold prints here really make me want to do something similar in my place.

If this is what I came home to every day, I would die a happy person.

Everyone loves the funfetti cake. I can't have it but I may just look for a paleo alternative this weekend.

Pull out your mason jars and fancy straws and invite some friends over for sunset drinks. Sounds like a good Saturday evening to me!

In the kitchen with anthro

Every visit I make to Anthropologie, I clearly browse the clothes and usually make a few purchases. But I don't stop with that. No trip is complete without some time spent in the home section. And with good reason, for that matter. There is just something about all their vintage and quirky decor items that instantly transforms me into that classic 50's housewife, at least the idea of a perfectly run home. Just the kitchen and dining section alone makes me want to reach for my Sunday dresses and pearls. Have a peek at some of the items on my radar right now.





Wednesday wish list

Can we just start by saying that I cold only dream of being this gorgeous, much less a day after having a baby?? 
I don't know about you, but I've been anxiously waiting on Royal baby watch. I literally woke up every morning and checked my celebrity news sites just to be sure I didn't miss the big news. This was routine for several weeks! I can't seem the peel myself away from all the media surrounding this little family.

Also, I found this picture recently and asked myself, what percentage of women have three inches between their thighs? I would kill for a figure like this! And the outfit too.

I have a new obsession. This precious bucket is too good! It's from the container store and under $25, I believe. This would make a fabulous addition to any laundry room or a great gift filled with goodies. 

It may be summer (although we beg to differ here in Atlanta- it's been rainy and never over 90 all season), but my house is always kept cool. Why? Because I love nothing more than snuggling on the sofa with my pups under a big soft blanket and relaxing with a good show or movie. The moment I laid eyes on this blanket, I had to have it. Either I need to learn to knit, or I have a research project on my hand to track this sucker down.

But still, summer is here. And that means an over abundance of fresh fruits and veggies that are so yummy. Watermelon is ranked highly in my book. My mom loves it so much, she probably could have been convinced to trade a child for several of these guys.

This just makes me want to entertain and have an impromptu dinner party. Who wants to join me?

A few randoms

It seems as though my blog posts are getting more random each day. That's no surprise to me, my mind is so unpredictable! 
I love the idea of his table mat. Especially for random Tuesday dinners and not just Thanksgiving. Focusing on what I'm thankful for really does give my life a much brighter imposition.


The just about sums up my idea of summer. Clothing that's loose and casual, delicate gold jewelry lathered for an added touch, relaxed and simple hair. 

This is such an easy yet chic bud vase. Added bonus: enjoy the jam first (unless you are paleo, in which case you may be out of luck).
Lusting over all these jewels. I especially would like these for a casual chambray and shorts kind of day.
The idea of getting lost in streets like this just really gets me going. Am I right or am I right?

And finally, my fall cravings are starting to kick in. The sight of this outfit was the official kickoff of my fall countdown.

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