These Girls

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oh, my heart. Watching these two together has become one of my favorite things to do with my eyeballs.

▲▲"Molly, you're a big girl like me!" says big sister. This precious little kid-sized booth was just too much to take. Look at that Molly with her very own smoothie. Oh my.

In an effort to carpe diem before residency, we've been heading to the lake pretty often. Jules loves it (I think Molly does too, but she can't really tell me that yet). She asked us this morning, "can we go back to the lake?" She calls the house "the lake" and the actual lake "the pool." Whatev.

It was a great low-key Memorial Day weekend, just the four of us. Oh, and our fifth wheel, the Whole 30. Cumbersome on trips, yes, but again, nice to not feel bloated and yucky from too much snacking. We ate well, and even enjoyed a dinner at the cabin (including ample-ish back porch conversation) with the Carpenters! So fun. 

Anyway, back to these girls.

I love them. They're just becoming the best little buddies.

▲▲ Looking at the deer in the front yard (which you can't see in this pic, sorry)! I took this one from inside the window (pardon the glare). There was a baby deer who just snoozed in the front yard almost all Sunday afternoon!

The "exciting news" I alluded to earlier is that my sister and I are going to publish an August 2014-August 2015 day planner that will be for sale soon! (I posted a preview on instagram here.) They will be for sale through this blog, hopefully within the next couple of days. Don't you worryI'll let you know when! :)

More / Food

Friday, May 23, 2014

This has really been a big week for me personally that I hope to write about soon. I've started several posts in my drafts folder, but nothing has really come together for me solidly in post-form until now. I am forcing the issue now...meanwhile:

So! I've been posting a few updates on instagram from time to time, but Jonathan and I are on day 20-something (23?) of Whole30. It's been going really wellI feel like we've shifted into an autopilot phase, where I don't really feel like it's any extra effort to make the food choices we're making. It's just the way we eat for now. Our last day is next Thursday, which is the day before Jonathan's graduation. This is working out beautifully to be able to loosen up a bit for celebrations surrounding graduation.

What will we do after the 30 days are over? 

I still have some weight I'd like to lose, so I will likely continue on in this fashion, not sure exactly how yet, for a while longer. I love the way Lesley has been approaching it—eating "clean"/paleo mostly, with one "treat meal" per week. The only thing I'm really itching to go back to is half-and-half in my coffee. Besides that, I love the way I feel, the energy I have, and the restorative sleep I'm getting. We went on a weekend trip to the lake, a situation in which I normally would've snacked my face offwe stuck to our whole30 ways, and I never felt down on myself or crappy all weekend. Despite all the extra prep effort, it was so nice!

A few things we've made:

Almond-crusted chicken fingers with roasted sweet potato chunks (peeled/diced sweet potatoes tossed in herbes de provence, s & p, and olive oil), with a simple salad.

Breakfast has been the most challenging time of the day to feel creative. It's early and I've got to get to work and don't want to do a bunch of chopping or finesse-ing...

Our basic formula is: eggs cooked some way, chicken apple sausage (Costco, compliant), plus a veggie sauteed some way.

At this point I sort of feel like I'm eating breakfast just for fuel's sake. But I guess that's OK. Usually we have some sort of fruit out that we eat alongside this. The kids still love eggs and this sausage too, but we give them other things too like a banana or toast or their cheerios.

I'm excited for the three-day weekend! And I'm excited to reveal something else that's been in the works...

And (finally) ... congrats to MARILYN for winning the Langford Market gift card giveaway!

Cordelia Clothing!

Friday, May 16, 2014

I am soooo excited for my good friend Trisha, who has launched her girls' clothing line, Cordelia!

We had the supreme fortune of a little try-on session with Juliette in some of her "portfolio" of dresses, and let me tell you, they are darling. High-quality, such beautiful craftsmanship. Trisha's skills leave me greeeen with envy. She is TOO GOOD!

Look at my sweet girl:

Jules has lots of opinions about her clothing these days, so it's no small feat for Mommy when she'll slip something on without a fight. She looooves wearing this dress (and those little gold oxfords just slay me in the best way)!

We may or may not have been above bribing her to do this little photo-shoot with that blue lollipop. I don't know why in the world she has this expression, but BAH! Ha ha ha. Serious about a blue sucker, that kid.

(We have so much work to do in this flower bed, but gah, that climatis, right!!! Gorgeous.)

A million thanks to my girl Trisha for this dress. Consider me a long-time customer! I can't wait to see what else you come up with! If you're lucky enough to be a girl-mom with a child between the ages of 2-6, be sure to check out Trisha's site and make your order. :)

Whole 30 - Day 16

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sorry for the radio silence. I don't know if it's my hormones adjusting from our whole 30, or just the life & times, but last week was r.o.u.g.h. I was a ball of emotions all week, and was still dealing with sluggish energy and a few bad headaches (when I hadn't eaten enough protein the meal before!). That's what's sort of cool about this diet—your body really tells you what you need to eat (but uncool feeling terrible if you goofed up).

Today is day 16 and I'm feeling good! Getting energy back and sleeping really well (not that I usually sleep poorly...but this is a pretty good, deep sleep). I feel lighter in general, and my pants might fit a little better, but I'm still resisting the scale, as they recommend doing, so I don't have any measurable results yet. I think they call these #nonscalevictories on instagram (ha). Crazy we're over halfway through!

We navigated our first "holiday" on Sunday/Mother's Day eating this way, and it went pretty well (with some planning). My sister and I took lunch over to our parents' house, so it was helpful planning the meal with her. We made meatballs for us (Martha brought noodles for the rest of the lunchers), and Martha made some yummy (compliant) green beans and salad (they added cheese after J and I served our plates) and I made a simple vinaigrette to go on top.

It was a sweet Mother's Day...I woke up to a sweet card/gift card and happy faces, and we were able to spend time with each of our mothers. I am so thankful for both of my children's grandmothers and the incredible blessing it is that my girls are growing up surrounded by grandparents!

Here are a few things we've made:

▲▲ A great snack! Strawberries with almond butter drizzled on top (Maranatha brand from Costco), chia seeds, and shredded coconut. Yummy. They don't recommend snacking (they want you to get full enough on each meal to make it to the next one), but some nights I just need something after dinner.

▲▲ DELICIOUS salmon Jonathan made on our panini press, of all things. Don't have the link handy, but he just found it by googling "whole30 salmon" I believe. So good, the girls devoured it. Served with homemade sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli (the girls had some fresh berries with theirs too). (Also, I couldn't crop out that sweet little hand.)

▲▲ This was a wonderful salad I posted on instagram from Saturday. Start with a bed of spinach leaves (I always like to tear mine into pieces). Then mix shredded chicken (just boiled and then shredded in KitchenAid mixer--so easy!) with some paleo mayo and yellow mustard, garlic salt, halved grapes, crushed almonds, and cilantro (if we'd had any celery, I would've thrown it in there too!). Then I just halved some grape tomatoes and drizzled some balsamic vinegar and EVOO on top. SO GOOD! This is a pretty large portion too, the goal is to get full!

These are just a few things we've been eating. Lots of inspiration from instagram and the ole google. Slow-cooker chicken tiki masala is on tap for tonight! We love Indian food, so I'm excited to throw in a little variety of taste (though I'll definitely be missing the rice/naan side of things, no doubt). It's worth it for how great I'm feeling though!


Mother's Day stuffs

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I have been in a funk so far this week and it's just felt long. First of all, I had a dream I was in actual labor last night. With the pains and everything. Like part of my dream was that my epidural wasn't working. Wha? (Btw, NOT pregnant.)

Anyway. Every blogger this side of the Mississippi (and the other side too, obv) are submitting little gift guides for Mother's Day, so here's mine. Let me be clear, I will be perfectly happy getting zero of these items, as all I would like is maybe a thoughtful card and some extra TLC like time for a nap or something. Here we go though, four things I've been eyeing:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

How cute is that bike? It's from freaking Walmart and $129. I can't get over it. My gals at Whoa, wait. Walmart? posted it earlier this week. It would be so fun to cruise around the neighborhood in (or the Greenline behind our house!). I need another pair of Saltwater sandals like I need a hole in the head, but I got Juliette this color/style this summer (along with red, of course), and now I want to match her. :)  I just love that pretty style for a family tree. So lovely. Aaaaaand make fun of me if you want (Jonathan is) but I've dipped my toe in the water of essential oils and would love to get a diffuser to try out.

There's so much baggage potential with Mother's Day (written about it before). I'm aiming (as always) to be sensitive to those experiencing conflicting feelings this year, enjoy my babes, and celebrate our own mommies/grandmothers and how much we love them.

Whole 30 - day one (getting personal)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

I suppose most girls could write a novel about their historical relationship with food or body image. I am no different. Always on the taller side, but solidly built, I was never what you would call a "beanpole" kid. Healthy and active but never just plain thin. And always with a good appetite! I remember this very clearly--it was Thanksgiving of 8th grade when the turning point happened. We were in Ohio visiting family, and I remember being down in their basement with my siblings and cousins, eating Domino's pizza (likely delicious), and watching To Gillian on her 37th Birthday (a random 90s movie that I haven't seen since). Claire Danes played the teenage daughter, I think. I just remember sitting in that basement, watching her on-screen and feeling so yuck after eating all this pizza and thinking to myself, I'm going to change this. So we went home and I did. I started eating low-fat everything (the 90s!) and less of it, and it worked. I started losing weight. (Mind you, I wasn't overweight. Just a little chubby. And a growing 8th grader. I'm actually the same height now (5'8") that I was grew to be that year.) The summer after 8th grade, I decided to start eating less and less, and lost more weight. When I got to school the first day of 9th grade, I looked pretty different. My parents were concerned, school people were concerned, so I started eating more again so everyone would leave me alone (I guess that speaks more to my fear of confrontation than anything). Though I settled back into a more normal weight, but the body image issues plagued me for most of high school and into college.

I don't imagine that this is a unique story. Through the grace of God, I'm happy to report that as I've settled into adulthood, I've grown less and less consumed with this mindset/obsession/whatever you want to call it (analyzing/criticizing myself and my weight). I allowed pregnancy to beat up my body pretty good (too many salty carbs in the name of morning sickness) but have managed to hold all the "damage" at arm's length, mentally. I love good food and am a person always thinking about the next meal (my husband is not this way at all and I'm mostly jealous of it).

I saw something about the Whole 30 on the internet about a year ago while nursing Molly late one night. I was super interested and fell down the research rabbit-hole. Ordered the book, It Starts with Food. What drew me in more than anything was the philosophy that this is not a diet plan. It's a plan that helps re-calibrate your body and re-calibrate your mind and your relationship with food.

The basic premise is that you give yourself 30 days to completely avoid any type of grains, sugars (real or artificial), dairy, legumes, or alcohol. Absolutely no cheats or you're supposed to start over. So the bulk of your diet is vegetables, lean meats, eggs, and some fruit and nuts. Sounds easy enough on paper, right? Returning to work full-time after maternity leave and being concerned for milk supply, I didn't really consider it as an option for nursing reasons and also time reasons (lots of prep required!).

We've made a lot of changes in the kinds of groceries we buy over the past 9 or so months. But I'm ready to kick it up a notch!

I put the book on Jonathan's night stand a few months ago and managed to get him interested in it (I'm really thankful he's into good health practices, which makes sense since he's a doctor and that's probably part of the job description). Anyway, he's got some time off in May before graduation, so he'll be able to shoulder more of the meal prep responsibilities than normal, which is making it possible for us to go all in for the month of May!

I am so excited about the potential of this month! As I mentioned on instagram yesterday, more than anything, I'm excited about the potential for righting my relationship with food, as well as possibly having increased energy and clarity of mind (though I'm not feeling that today, in day 2 fogginess!).

I'll keep yall updated as we slog through this tough first week... :)

p.s. I am no expert (at anything, turns out). There is lots of science behind this shoddy interpretation, so please check out the book if you want more legit info.
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