Monday, May 21, 2018

Our Current Favorite Low-Carb/Keto Meals

M and I have been on a low-carb/keto (pronounced like key-toe) journey for a little over a month now. So far, we are really liking this lifestyle and think it could be pretty sustainable moving forward.

I have many thoughts and comments (and rebuttals) on the keto diet and can combine them all in a "why we chose to do keto" post if anyone is interested. However, for now, I'll just stick with the food. (duh!)

Even if you aren't following keto strictly (or as I like to call what we do "lazy keto") these meals might appeal to you!

-Steak with a veggie (broccoli, cauliflower mac & cheese, green beans, brussels sprouts)
-Taco/burrito bowls (all the fixings in tacos without the shell)
-Beef Stroganoff
-Taco Soup
-Fathead Pizza
-Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
-Breakfast for dinner (sausage or bacon, scrambled eggs w/cheese)
-Mozzarella-stuffed meatballs w/sauce (we use Rao's marinara

Do you have any favorite low-carb meals you enjoy? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

8 Things I Don't Wear

Primer. I don't typically wear any sort of face or makeup primer. I think most of them are a waste of time and money. :) So I forgo them completely!

White clothing. In general I cannot be trusted to wear white (or really even light colored) clothing. It's literally a matter of hours until it is covered in stains.

Bracelets. I wish I could, because I always see pretty ones. However I have very freckly, fleshy forearms and I feel all bracelets just look weird.

Watches. For the same reasons above. Plus they always kind of hurt my wrist bone.

Sleeveless shirts or dresses. With the exception of poolside or beachside, you won't catch me with bare arms.

Peasant shirts. This style has never worked for me. So, I just avoid it.

Dangly earrings. I just love a good, large stud. :) Plus dangly earrings always get caught in my hair and make noise when I move.

Sunscreenless skin. Okay, okay I kind of cheated here. But seriously, you'll never catch me without any sunscreen on. NEVER!

Post idea from Life According to Steph

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The First

Oddly enough the hullabaloo of Mother's Day hasn't brought on the shedding of tears and sadness that I anticipated. I realize that the actual day is nothing more than a "Hallmark Holiday" designed to make people spend money proving their relationships to other people. The sadness doesn't come with the buying of gifts or the Mother's Day commercials like I thought it might.


There is an ache deep down that I know is probably grief. I grieve that at 32 years old, I had to watch my mother slowly deteriorate to the point that she was unable to use her arms or legs. I grieve for the months of mental anguish my mother had when she thought everyone was ignoring her and forgetting about her. (This wasn't the case the but the disease had started to rob her of her short-term memory and logical reasoning abilities.) I grieve for the trips my mother told me about longing to take as she lay in her hospital bed and let me feed her. I grieve for my future birthdays and Christmases and phone calls for advice that will never again be had with her.

I regret that we didn't spend more time celebrating the now. We had no idea that she'd die less than a year from her diagnosis. We had no idea that we didn't have more time with her. I would have done so many things differently. I would have focused more on the "now" and making good memories rather than always focusing on the future and when she would be over this cancer scare. I regret that I felt relieved after she passed away even though I know it's normal after an ordeal like the last few weeks of her life. I regret that I didn't do more.

I hate the disease that whittled a half-marathoner in the prime of her life down to someone who was completely reliant upon others for even the most mundane of tasks like scratching her nose or drinking. I hate the "treatments" that big Pharma recommends and the false hope they bring. I hate dealing with medical insurance people and healthcare financial people. I really freaking hate cancer.

It's therapeutic for me to write these words and I apologize if they are hard for you to read. I've been seeing a grief counselor since after she passed away and have been dealing with some of these things. However, some of these things take more than just counseling to get over. Some take time. Some take prayer. Some take all three.

One of the last lucid conversations I had with my mom was when she was talking to me about working hard all her life to save money so she could travel one day. That one day never came. She worked hard to save money for nothing. I've made this my resolve. I will continue to work hard but I will also take time NOW, while I am healthy, to travel. To see the places she wanted to see. To do the things she wanted to do. To make sure that some of her last words of advice to me won't fall on deaf ears.

All of this to say...if your mothers are still on Earth call them. Send them a card. Text them. Hug them if you can. If you can talk to your mother this Mother's Day, consider yourself blessed. And to all of you who are mothers, Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Updates and a Square Living Room

This is a photo heavy you've been warned. I feel good with the progress we've made in our house in the 5 weeks or so we've been there. I'm still struggling a bit with the living room. More on that below. First, I'll show you the dining room area as it is now.

We want to add two chairs with arms to the ends of the dining table and a rug under it. But I haven't found the perfect one yet. Also, I will replace the rectangle mirror above the server with a round or oval one...but again, haven't found the perfect mirror yet.

I like this area even though we haven't really used it yet. :) I know that will come as we get closer to the holidays and start to do more entertaining.

And now for the problem child. (and I say that most lovingly) Our living room is off the kitchen (which we love) but it's one big square. The left side of the square is a bar into the kitchen. So it's virtually unusable from a furniture perspective. We will eventually put backed bar stools there but for now we don't have anything. The most logical place for our two couches and two accents chairs are on the walls and corners. It provides the maximum space free, tv visibility and best placement for traffic flow. Unfortunately, it also feels little sterile because we haven't figured out the coffee table/ottoman situation yet.

Let's think about these like a square. Bottom side of the square is the first couch with the gray and gold art. The right side of the square is the other couch with the art shelf above it. The top of the square is the fireplace/window/tv wall with the accent chairs. And the left side is the bar and kitchen entrance. You can get an idea of that area a little in this picture:

M and I tried moving our couches in a number of different configurations including away from the walls, flanking the fireplace, etc. and each way it inhibits traffic flow. It's important to us to have maximum seating (at least 8) in our living room for we don't want to just get rid of a couch.

So this is where you...both of my dedicated readers...can help. Any suggestions? Ideas? Pins that you think might give me ideas? I'm all ears!