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I Am Not Available; Goals for 2018 Part 1

Friday, December 29, 2017

Life is a lot more simple when you avoid social media where only the best of people's lives are promoted. I enjoy my achievements in silence.

Just like everyone else I am currently mulling over the last year in my head and thinking toward the next. How can I make 2018 better? 2017 was meh at best. That is not acceptable. Or is it? Does every year have to be the best year ever? We all start out thinking that is how it's going to be right? That's the plan anyway. 

As I have been thinking about the last year a recurring theme keeps showing up. I am not all that available. I made a bunch of lists in my planner at the beginning of 2017 of things I wanted to do, places to visit, activities to try, bars/restaurants to check out. As I looked over the lists I started to think that all of these things were totally doable and some I did, but a lot I did not. Didn't even attempt. So the big question is why. And the answer is... time... I am very busy. I know that has become a joke phrase but it has some truth to it for all of us.

I had a conversation with this guy I've been hanging out with for the last 2 months the other day. He also plays tennis and enjoys it but he told me one of his thoughts for 2018 is to play a little less. I was like ... why??? It's good for you, it's social, gets you outside, something you can do with me, the list could go on but I stopped there. His answer was a little bit of a light bulb moment for me. Why would you do less of something that you love doing? Because it would make time for other things, new things, things that you might love just as much or even more that would add dimension and richness to your life. That's not exactly the way he said it but that is my answer to myself. I know this is not an earth shattering idea but I never really thought about the option of just partially eliminating something that I enjoy. I enjoy tennis but to play on multiple teams is very time consuming. Are there other things on those lists from last year that I might enjoy more? I need to free up some time to really explore that.

So that is going to be a big goal for me this year. Not trying to find more time but realigning what I am currently doing with the 24/7/365 that I already have. I am constantly declining invitations because I say I don't have time. I try to schedule dates with guys and when I look at my planner there are usually 1 or 2 free nights out of every 7. And men will always respond with skepticism and say "are you sure you even have time to date/develop a relationship" to which I always say "yes of course I do" but no... I really don't and I have proven that fact. But I could if I make some changes. I could if I really put the effort into being more honest about the things that bring me joy in my life. If I am really honest with myself I am kind of just bored with some parts of my life. I feel like I have outgrown a lot of it but I just keep doing it because it's what I do. But there are all of these other things I want to do too. So it's time to streamline a bit and see what new and exciting things can happen.

Did any of that even make sense? Cause I was just really thinking out loud. 

Re Cap -

A goal of mine for 2018 is to examine more closely the way my current activities make me feel. Am I excited about them or have they become just something that I do more or less like a habit?

If the latter is the case I think it may be time to change something. Wow I spent a whole post writing about 1 goal. I guess I'll try for a Part 2 at a later date. 

Whole30 Round 4: Ten Things You Need to Know

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

So it's that time of year again for me and billions of others to embark on the annual January Whole30 journey. Ok, maybe not billions but a lot anyway. Even if it's not Whole30 I would hazard a guess that scores of other folks are going to be taking on some sort of fresh, new health challenge come January 1, 2018. And I also know that it's a bit cliche and many will fail, fall off the wagon, abandon their new lifestyles or what have you, but I still think making the attempt is something to be applauded. So be supportive of anyone you know who says "hey I am starting this great new thing on January 1 to attempt to improve my health", at least they are trying!

I will be kicking off the new year with my fourth, yes how has this happened, round of Whole30. I did my very first one in 2015 and it was a smashing success. I lost 20 lbs. and 11 inches. Read all about it here. I was in a pretty miserable place in my life. I got laid off right before the holidays and binged on food and alcohol right up until Jan. 1. It was the perfect time for me to do something that required a lot of control (when I couldn't control much else) and that was just for me and about me. There are so many things I could share about the Whole30 experience and I do hope to get back to some more regular blog posts in January because this is something I love to write about, but today I thought I would focus on a few things I think you should know before you start. If you are going to do this with me in 4 days you need to get it in gear now.

1. Get a copy of one of the books and read it. I splurged and purchased this new Whole30 Day By Day version so I can journal every day and have something to refer back to. I am a documentarian of my life in general so this is a no brainer. It also has the complete program rules in it so if you are a newb you'll be golden. Don't argue, you need to read the program and rules before you start so you understand the whys.

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2. Day 1 is probably going to blow. If you are anything like me you might be a tad bit hungover from NYE shenanny's and guess what? You don't get to soothe yourself with nachos and icy cold beers. Sorry. Day 1 is a bit of a shocker so get mentally prepared for that now. You will find yourself reaching for things and planning to eat things absentmindedly that are not Whole30. And then you will catch yourself and remember..oh shit... it's Day 1.

3. Plan your first week of food. You don't have to figure out the next 30 days before you start but you do need to take as much thought out of the first week in advance as possible. Take it from me. I did this little exercise yesterday. See... I know what I am going to be craving on New Years Day so I have built Whole30 Nachos right in. Side note... I absolutely love the Knock Knock Pads like this What To Eat version for writing your shiz down. Plan for it, write it down and refer back to it. You can always edit but if you start with a plan I promise you will succeed and it will be a little less painful.

4. You must follow the rules. I cringe when I hear people say "I am doing a Whole30 but with creamer in my coffee cause I can't give that up" or "I am doing a Whole30 but I am still going to weigh myself every day because I have to". Then NO, you are not doing a Whole30. You are not. I didn't make the rules so don't get mad at me but you can't half ass it. There are rules for a reason. It's science, it's chemical, it's emotional, it's about relationships and patterns of behavior. Trust the process and do this one thing for yourself 100%. You CAN. I promise.

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5. People will say you are doing something that is unhealthy and can't be sustained for the long haul. It is in fact extremely healthy and it can be sustained. Proven fact. Don't argue with them just keep it movin.

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6. Meal prepping is HUGE. Do this. Program it into your week. I like Sundays but I play winter tennis on Sunday afternoon so I know I have to be completely ready to meal prep when I get home or do it on Saturday. When ever you do it just do it. If you work out in the world every day invest in some containers so you have on the go lunches already done on Monday for the entire week. I like these.

7. You might feel sorry for yourself at some point. It's normal. There will be occasions you may skip altogether, like a gathering at your favorite sports bar where there will be a nacho mountain in your face. ( I feel like there is a theme here...) I haven't had birthday cake with my oldest child in 4 years because I don't eat sugar on January 7th. It kind of sucks in the moment but just deal with it. It will pass.

8. Follow all of the IG accounts and turn on post notifications. Whole30, Whole30recipes and Whole30approved are my favorites. Plus they do about a million product giveaways during January Whole30 so you could win some free goodies. Feel free to tag me in all of your entries so we can win together! There is a huge community out there and it is full of people, products and just general support. If you ever have questions just go there and ask away. Or DM me, happy to help.

9. If you must eat out you can do it and stay Whole30. I personally try to avoid it because you have to ask a lot of questions and be really diligent and I am just lazy like that. But it can be done so don't feel like you have to turn down every invitation or tell your boss you can't take that mandatory work trip and risk getting the ax. Go online and read menus first so you know exactly what you are ordering in advance. I always travel with a small cooler even if I am driving all over Atlanta for work in a day. Keep some basic things handy like LaCroix water, Chomps Sticks, Lara Bars, Rx Bars, fresh fruits and veggies or cut up pre-cooked proteins.

10. It will be over before you know it and you will most likely feel better than you have in a long, long time. Just think about how fast a month goes in your life. This one will be no different. Read up on the day to day timeline so you know what to expect. It's very helpful! Many have gone before you and come out unscathed but profoundly changed.

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I could go on and on about this topic and I very probably will for the next month so I'll say sorry right now. Not really sorry but... Good luck to anyone jumping into this with me. Do reach out and let's keep each other honest.


Three Things Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2017
via @maikonagao on Instagram
Because all the cool kids are doing it...

3 favorite holiday treats...

  • Home made Baklava
  • Prime Rib
  • All the cookies

3 things I love about Christmas

  • the general feeling of happiness that people have
  • parties every weekend
  • not feeling guilty about taking time off, excessive amounts of time

3 things I don't love about Christmas

  • spending ridiculous amounts of money
  • that people now think there is something wrong with saying Merry Christmas 
  • the mess that is all over my house

3 favorite Christmas cocktails...

  • Bourbon and Egg Nog
  • Hot Cocoa and Peppermint Schnapps
  • Christmas morning mimosa's, they just seem better than any other time of year

3 Christmas songs I listen to most

  • Merry Christmas Darling - The Carpenters
  • Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid
  • O Holy Night - By absolutely anyone

3 things I plan to do over break with zero fucks given

  • Binge watch Transparent, Stranger Things and Ozark
  • Sleep in every day
  • Drink a lot of really good bourbon

3 favorite Christmas Movies

  • White Christmas - my all time favorite
  • It's A Wonderful Life
  • Christmas vacation

3 Favorite Christmas traditions

  • Christmas Eve dinner
  • Opening all the gifts on Christmas morning
  • Staying home

3 things I will do before the end of 2017 because I want to

  • Use my off days to do what I want and only what I want
  • Finish a couple of books
  • Gear up for Whole30 round 4

3 words for the year for 2018

  • Discipline
  • Progress
  • Goals


Currently: December

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Seen by KIXX. Gloves "To protect and impress" #gloves #garden #tuinhandschoenen

Woohooo!!! It's finally Christmas time and I am excited this year mostly because I don't really stress over any of it anymore. I mean shit, I only have one of my trees up so far and I don't even care lol. I am finally at a place in my life where I know that no matter how much you worry about everything being perfect it all turns out fine either way. That has pretty much been my December attitude the last few years and it is 100% accurate and liberating. So don't stress, don't kill yourself to find the unattainable gift, make 1000 cookies, freak out about an outfit for a party or accept every invitation that comes your way because you feel obliged. Just enjoy, and make sure you have Amazon Prime... that helps tremendously.

Linking up with Anne and Catherine for Currently...


Well let's go with the literal sense here. Since my next immediate goal over the holidays is to strip my kitchen wallpaper and repaint I am going to need a new light fixture over my kitchen table. I am thinking something like this one from West Elm.. I have always loved the Capiz shell chandeliers and I want to trade up to a rectangular table and ditch my old round so this would be perfection. They have crazy good sales too so I am sure I snag it at a good discount!

Large Rectangle Hanging Capiz Chandelier - White


Money on myself. In many ways I have had a really good year. Aaaand.... December has 3 paydays... is anyone else irrationally excited about that? I know, it's not such a big deal but around the holidays it's kinda nice. So I splurged a little and got some black Friday thangs just for me like these  Moto Faux Leather Leggings from Spanx. Pricey but omg... they fit like a glove and suck in all the right stuff.

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To do something different this year. In the past I have always looked at December as sort of a food and drink free for all because by the end of the year I am pretty off the rails and lacking focus anyway. Except this year I had sort of a come to Jesus moment in November... various reasons but the kind that makes you stop and think ...holy crap, life is fleeting. So I thought let's not do that this year, let's plan to be mindful say 85% of the time and enjoy reasonably at holiday parties etc. So I am doing keto with a few carb days until the January Whole30 starts on the first. I am into my second week and I feel great. Down 3 lbs. too. Yay yayyyy! What is it? Basically looks like this if you track your macros...

What is Keto? The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and very low-carbohydrate diet which transitions (forces) your body to use fat as your primary source of fuel. Ketosis is a state the body enters when it breaks down fat for energy.  The body can effectively use the ketones produced from fats as fuel in place of glucose.   The …


Homemade goodies to my family in Michigan and they don't even know it yet. I didn't bake much last year and I don't know that I am even doing a lot this year but I am making Serbian Nut Roll to send home. My Grandmother and all of her sisters used to make it every year so it was a staple on our Christmas dessert table. They are pretty much all gone now and I think I am the only one that has carried on the tradition. It takes a good half a day so it is a labor of love, that I love. I'll save it for my carb days and Christmas morning with coffee.

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All the time. Music is always on in my house and TV a lot less often. If you need  to buy someone a really good small speaker that will fill your house with music I recommend the JBL Pulse. The sound is great, it stays charged for hours and the light show has tons of super cool options. There is even an app so you can control it with your phone. If you have more than one you can sync them up for twice the speaker power. Highly recommend, music is life.

Cheers to a fabulous December to remember.