Tag Archives: Everyday Life

Daily | Declutter Update February 11, 2015


When I set the challenge ahead to declutter, I had no real plan to speak of. I was just going to choose a space – a shelf, a cabinet, a storage container – every day and really take a hard look at what we were keeping there.

When I declutter I ask myself a few questions:

1. Do we still use this often enough to justify keeping it?

This is especially helpful with kitchen gadgets, toys, and miscellaneous craft tools. For some items, we only use them once a year (a turkey platter) but it has a particular purpose, and we use it every time we need it. Other items I use 2 or 3 times a year, but it’s not my first choice, or I have other tools that can do the same job.

2. Do I love it? Does it provide beauty?

I am sentimental, so I allow myself to keep some items based on that alone. I still have a stuffed animal that I got for Christmas when I was three. He holds a place of honor on a shelf in my closet. He’s my “velveteen rabbit” of sorts. Well loved and cherished.

3. Does it still fit? Do I (or the owner) still wear it?

No more holding on to outgrown clothes for that day that I might be able to wear them again (never mind that they’ll be years out of date!).

With that in mind, I decluttered the game room last week. It was a chore, but I was able to clear an entire toy storage unit that can now go to charity. This, in turn, clears a wall in my house! Yay for less furniture!

This week I have (so far) cleaned out the medicine cabinet. This is so important! Get rid of your old and expired medicines people! Do it safely by following these instructions, especially with prescription drugs.

I also, removed a bunch of extraneous plastic cups. We hang onto a bunch of Fuzzy’s Taco cups because they discount your drink when you bring your own cup, but we don’t need 50 of them, and we don’t really need all of the other giant plastic souvenir cups…

Next up… craft shelves and kitchen cabinets.


Daily | Whole 30 Wrap-up


We finished our Whole 30 last Friday. Here’s what happened:

When I first suggested this last year Party Boy was not thrilled. The kids even less so. They all only agreed because I kept up the mantra “It’s only 30 days.”

We started on January 4th (a conscious decision that I highly recommend) in order to not set ourselves up for failure over the holidays.

By the end of week one, we had both noticed a difference, just in how we felt. No real cravings. No deprivation. We weren’t walking around starving all the time, which I think was key #1 to making this a success.

At the end of week two, we agreed that this was really working. We liked the food. We felt great. My almost daily headaches were completely gone (I only took Tylenol twice all month – down from a near daily dose of Advil) and he didn’t get sleepy at work in the afternoons. I also kicked my afternoon nap habit.

We were successful in navigating the landmine that is eating out. Most restaurants have something that you can eat. We also discussed and decided that relationships trump food. This way of eating is a choice, not a requirement (no life-threatening allergies), so we eat what is offered and enjoy it, knowing we can start over at the next meal.

We never really felt the effects of “tiger blood,” but that’s okay. Feeling good every day and getting better sleep was good enough for us.

I learned to tolerate coffee that was only “meh.”

I never really panicked about what happens after Whole 30, since we decided halfway through to keep it up.

Going forward:

On weekdays we eat paleo style. This lets us have treats that contain natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. It’s nice though, because I don’t really crave them.

I have added stevia to coffee and tea. I can once again enjoy my beverages. The coffee still gets the coconut milk treatment, now with one packet of stevia. It doesn’t really make the coffee sweet, so much as temper the bitter flavor. It does really sweeten the tea.

On weekends we can eat whatever we want. We can go out and if we want pizza, we have pizza. We plan to fail. That makes it easier to get back on the wagon on Monday. There’s no “poor me eating” here. You know what I mean – I ate a slice of pizza, ruined my diet and now I should go ahead and eat an entire package of oreos. Not allowed. Being free to eat what we want on the weekends also keeps us from developing the newest trend in eating disorder.

The results:

I didn’t take measurements before we started, but I know my clothes fit differently. My skinny jeans are looser, for one thing. I lost a total of 8 pounds. Before you write off those results, you need to understand that I didn’t work out. It wasn’t water weight – I drank more water last month than ever. I lost 8 pounds just by making better food choices. That’s it.

Party Boy lost 5 pounds. Again, no measurements, and no working out. Just better food. But he slimmed down enough to be noticeable. And truthfully, that’s how he loses weight, slowly at first, then in a landslide. He’s started to work out agin now that his schedule is more manageable, so I expect that he’ll be shedding pounds like crazy soon.

I’m shocked, honestly. If you had asked me a few months ago if I thought that my “healthy choices” were making me fat, I’d have laughed. I really was trying to eat right. Low fat, etc. And the weight just kept piling on. And I felt gross. And hungry.

Now? I eat what feels like more food. I’m almost never hungry between meals, and I lost weight. It’s crazy.

If you’ve ever considered a Whole 30 I’d encourage you to try it. It’s only 30 days, right?

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What I Did on my Winter Vacation…

I know it’s a little trite, but hey, what better way to tell all of you what I’ve been up to?

For starters, we celebrated New Year’s in style in Phoenix. And, as is usually the case when we vacation, the temperatures were unseasonably cold. Cold in a desert. You call me if you need temperatures lowered for you. I like to fly first class and stay in 5-star resorts while my presence lowers the temperatures in your area.


Anyway, we saw lots of desert, and just really enjoyed being out and about. When we weren’t out running around I had quality time to work on Project Life – finished 2012. That’s 2 years of Project Life that’s complete. 2 whole years. Wow. I won’t share the layouts here, since I was way back at week 36 or something when I dropped off and I don’t want to bore anyone with the minutia of my life for that many weeks to catch up.


I also started work on my Project Life 2013 album. Got the cover page done. As usual I mixed it up a little bit to keep the albums looking unique. I’ll share that cover on Monday and any new ideas I have for Project Life. I’ll also get my 2012 pages put up on the album page and I’ll post that link soon too. Just in case you really want to see the whole album.


Next week I will also be sharing my One Little Word for 2013. And probably doing a blog redesign to go with it. Like usual. Only a little late. I like having the One Little Word hanging around reminding me what I want to focus on. I feel like “Create” was a good word for 2012. I certainly did a LOT of creating.


I did lots of thinking too. And planning. We started back to schoolwork this week, and we started a new way of eating, called Paleo/Primal. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy, giving up grains and sugar. But, it hasn’t been as hard as it has been in the past. Maybe my goals have changed, maybe I’ve changed. Whatever it is, I hope to keep it up for a month, then we’ll see. I’ll probably try the grain again and see how I feel. We don’t have to be gluten-free, but if I feel better being gluten-free? I will totally stay that way.

I hope your 2013 is off to a great start! Here’s to another year on the blog, more photos, more life…captured.

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Treading Water

It’s the last day of the month in which I made a goal to post every day. I posted 6 times counting today. Were there only 6 days in October, because that’s how it feels!

Or maybe it’s that I spent the other days driving endlessly all over the metroplex.

The good news is that the house is so close to being done. We thought we might get to move in this weekend, but no… it will be later next week. It seems like that is what I hear most these days. “Just a few more days.”

Anyway, they were in working on the floors today and should have the bulk of that finished by Friday. I say should because everytime we get a promise of done by Friday it takes a couple of extra days. Isn’t this fun? Those of you playing along at home – if you took first full week in November in the betting pool – you may actually win this thing!


In other news, Captain Chaos seems to think that I have punked his Daddy. We were driving around yesterday (surprised?) when we had the following conversation:

CC: I am going to get married when I get big.

Me: Oh really?

CC: Yes. And then after I get married we will have kids someday.

Me: Mmmmmhmmmmm.

CC: But I won’t work.

Me: Huh? How’s that work?

CC: Oh, my wife will have a job. She will work. I’ll just drive the kids around all day.

Let me tell you that we got a good laugh at that one. Well, Party Boy did. I giggled, but wasn’t nearly as amused at the implications.


No Pain, No Gain

Worked out today. I hurt.

My shoulders hurt. My back hurts. My abs hurt.

And I hate jump rope. It’s like a horrific flashback to elementary school. Ugh. It was also an integral part of my workout today.

And yes. I did throw daggers of hate from eyes in the general direction of my trainer.


Speaking of Habits

Caramel Frap + Double Chocolaty Chip Frap. Yummy!


There I was. Driving down the road, all innocent-like. I looked at the clock and realized that I had 90 minutes between me and the start of swim practice and only a 20 minute drive left. So, I did what any self-respecting Mom would do in my position.

I pulled into Starbucks.

And then I realized that this was our second visit this week. After a visit a week for the last 3 weeks. I think we have surpassed the 21 days to an established habit.

In my defense the Salted Caramel Mocha Frappachino is the best thing ever. And they have free wifi.

And the other sane alternative was Target, but they have a $100 cover charge. So I saved a ton of money just by going to Starbucks.

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