Thursday, October 17, 2013

a life that's good

My sister sent me an email with this song to download and listen to with the very important instructions "LISTEN TO THE WORDS." All caps. This is serious. So, as I sliced up a banana and made some coffee this morning, I downloaded it on my phone and hit play. I stood at the stove, scooping out almond butter with my banana slices and then, there I was, ugly crying before it was even 8 a.m. 

It could be because my sister sent it to me, or because it has to do with home and dreams, and y'all know I'm a cry-baby when it comes to my roots. I don't know…it was just beautiful and simple and hit me right in the heart.

But really, it was probably because after a year of planning, praying, getting our hopes up and being crushed over and over and over, Kyle and I are finally moving to a new city for new jobs and new adventures. Yay! I believe it was meant for us to be in Knoxville for a season, and then that season ended and we were ready for new things. A fresh start. And after much waiting and many prayers, it's all happening!

Kyle got a new job with a trade magazine for health and fitness companies in Louisville, Kentucky, and his last day at MCG is November 1. That's so soon, so we've been in total moving/finding a new place/pack up everything mode for the last few days.

I'm so excited! Since we got married, it's really been pressing at us to figure out the next step. We want a new place to start our married lives! We have goals and dreams and want to be involved and active! The thing about plans is, God usually has His own, and more often than not, your plans and His aren't exactly the same. This is how my plan/daydream has looked for a while…

I want to move and I want to move right now! I'm going to wake up tomorrow and there will magically be an email about a new job that comes with it's own perfect apartment for us! There will also be free puppies at the corner, where I will promptly pick one up and name her Jackie O or Dorothy Gale! The barista at Starbucks will accidentally make me a venti skinny vanilla latte instead of a tall! I'll win a $2000 gift card to Ikea and go buy new things for our new, perfect home! 

And God was all…

Yeah, you're going to have to wait. Also, you're delusional…but I promise it'll be fine.

Obviously a little exaggerated, but you get the idea.

When you come to a big crossroad in life, that's when you really start to figure out how hard it can be to wait for something to happen. It's difficult to know what you want in your heart, but not know if it's what will actually happen. I've really struggled with really just trusting God and letting it be. This is obviously because I'm a stubborn control-freak. I'm working on it. 

The song my sister sent me says "Sometimes I'm hard on me// When dreams don't come easy." MY. LIFE. 

Just to give you a little idea about this whole situation…

A couple of weeks ago, I was home alone, as usual, while Kyle was at work. I had really been having a hard time with the whole "let it go" thing, and was pacing around the house obsessing about what our next step was going to be and when was something going to happen for us and WHEN GOD WHEN. I'm really awful about reading the Bible, that is to say, I don't…like, couldn't tell you the last time I picked one up and opened it. Yeah, I'm working on that, too. So I guess I was so desperate for answers and so frustrated that nothing was happening that I was like "Well nothing else is working, I guess I should read the Bible!" Yeah, only took me A YEAR to do that. So, I got a glass of water and one of Kyle's Bible (he has two in this house, I have zero…yeah I'm really winning over here), and went to the porch. I started flipping through it, looking for some kind of answer or sign or something. I don't know…I'm out of practice. Then I remembered that Kyle has a Bible app on his phone, so I downloaded that and started looking through the reading plans. I needed somewhere to start and I found one called "Doubt." The first verse for the plan was this…

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord — how long? ---Psalms 6:2-3

…yeah. I might as well have written that myself. He never left me, y'all. He knows how much I was struggling, how out of control I was feeling. He always has a plan. And after that, I could feel it in my bones that something was going to happen.  

A few days later, Kyle started his interview process with Louisville. And now we're moving! Hello, answered prayer. Nice to see you.

Even though we've been ready for a change of pace for so long, it's still a little sad to leave a place. This was our first real place together. This is where we spent our engagement and our first moments of marriage. Despite it being a place with some serious problems, it will still always mean something to me. That's another thing about that song…it reminds me to look around at all that I already have. I'm bad to get caught up in what I don't have and not appreciate what's in front of me. The grass is always greener, you know.

"Two arms around me// Heaven to ground me// And a family that always calls me home// Four wheels to get there// Enough love to share// And a sweet, sweet, sweet song."

That's all you need. 

We're going to Louisville this weekend to check out some places to live, and my sweet brother is coming along for the ride. Another perk is that Louisville is closer to Huntington/our people. Yay! We're super excited and thankful to have our fresh start, and we're so grateful for the people who made Knoxville memorable for us. 

Here's to new chapters, new adventures and trying to be better.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wedding: Bridal Shoot

I shattered my iPhone screen this morning, so to make myself feel better, I thought I'd go ahead and share some of the photos from my bridal/boudoir shoot with my fabulous photographer, Jessica

I went through the photos and chose some that weren't too risqué. There aren't really any that are too much, but I'd feel better leaving you with some mystery. Anyway, we took these photos more than a month before the wedding at my cousin's beautiful house. The location was a neutral ground for everyone and my cousin has the most perfect bathroom and private porch, so it was wonderful. 

My dress hadn't been altered yet, so we had to be a little strategic about those photos, and the props I used were either from one of my grandmothers or one of Kyle's, so they were all very nostalgic. Me, nostalgic. Imagine that. 

I made a photobook from Shutterfly with these for Kyle on the wedding day, along with his axe I bought him from Best Made Company. (More on that later.) 

For the boudoir photos, I wore a pair of high-waist, light pink lace underwear from American Apparel with a lace bralette from intimint, as well as a little nighty I've had from Victoria's Secret for years. I liked these because they were so girly and vintage and didn't make me feel too scandalous. I love boudoir photos, but some of them I've seen are just…well…a little scary. To each her own, but I wanted mine to be fun and pretty and a little pin-up-y, and I think Jessica captured that balance perfectly. I felt comfortable with her, and not just because I've known her my whole life, but she really just makes you feel relaxed and excited to have your photo taken. 

When it was time for the bridal portion of the shoot, I put my dress on with my hair clip and did a few poses on the porch where the sun was finally coming out and the lighting was nice. This was such a weird feeling…I had on my wedding dress and was taking photos but it wasn't my wedding yet. I sort of realized all at once, "I'm going to be doing this for real soon." So weird/exciting/wonderful.

After a couple hours, Jessica had taken a zillion photos and we wrapped it up. We all joked during the shoot that I'm the cutest I'm ever going to be, so we really need to document it!

If you're not sure what to get your soon-to-be husband for a wedding gift, I really recommend this. It's special and romantic, and even if you don't want to go the boudoir/photos in your underwear route, you can always just have some pretty photos taken of you in your dress.

Find a photographer who understands what you're going for with the photos and makes you feel comfortable. Jessica and I had a shared secret Pinterest board where we could both pin examples of photos for each other to see, which really helps give your photographer an idea of what you're going for, and will let you see the styles your photographer likes.

Also, Jessica and I are in contact all the time. She is great about texting me with updates on the status of the editing or previews of photos she's really loving. Find someone who is open with you and doesn't disappear after the shoot or event, but also remember that they need time to get all the photos ready and they probably won't be finished the very next day unless they have magical powers (and probably horrible photos), so it's best not to stalk them, either. I haven't had to contact Jessica myself much at all because she is so good at keeping me updated, and because I have seen Jessica's work and love it, I haven't been worried about the photos at all.

She actually texted me this week and told me the wedding photos are in the mail, so of course, I'm obsessively checking the mailbox. I can't wait to get them and eventually share some here.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on boudoir photos, and if you have any questions about my photos or working with Jessica, just let me know! 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

the new dyers

Well. It's over. It happened. I'm married.

That's just a preview shot from my FREAKING AMAZING photographer. Of course, once I have all the photos, I'll post more extensive details, but in short, it was magical. The whole day. Of course everything never goes exactly as planned, but like my aunt Angie said, even if we drove up the day before the wedding and the barn was on fire, we'd still get married, and that's what matters. The barn wasn't on fire, by the way. Unless you count all of us crazies dancing to "Blurred Lines" like it was our job, then yeah, it was on fire. 

Everyone tells you leading up to this day that it's all a whirlwind and it goes by so fast and you feel like you don't get to talk to anyone or even really eat any of your own food. Well, everyone was right. It's really quite crazy. You plan and plan and plan, then eat nothing and talk to no one. Or at least that's how it feels, because it goes by so quickly, and if you're like us and invite an entire county, there are just too many people to have a meaningful conversation with in one night. Everyone also told us that once you leave, it's the most exhausted you've ever been. Also, correct. 

Kyle and I had a vision for what we wanted our wedding day to be like, but sometimes our ideas sounded crazy, and were never the easiest to accomplish.

"Let's compile a list of songs no one knows and invite members of our families to sing them together, and let's hold practices for them three weeks before the wedding, so they can try to learn the songs, even though everyone has to like, work."

However, everything turned out so incredibly. It was so beautiful. I've never felt so loved in my life, and not just because of Kyle. When people just show up to help decorate and make flower arrangements for the tables without you even having to ask...that's when you feel loved. When your parents bust themselves in the summer heat to build arrow-shaped signs and cut flowers off the side of the road because you actually like those feel loved. When your college-student siblings buy gifts for you they know you'll absolutely love and know you want them for your wedding day and honeymoon...that's love. 

I know this post isn't giving all the real details about the wedding, because really I just wanted to thank everyone. My parents, my siblings, Kyle's family, all my family and friends, our wedding party, everyone who sang and played instruments, the wonderful men who married us, our photographer and caterer and readers and cake-bakers, people who traveled pretty far to be there, people who posted such kind comments on our photos and Facebooks...everyone...thank you. Because of all of you, our day was exactly what we wanted — a day filled with people and love and fun.

Click here for the beautiful video my photographer made with some of the photos in it. So wonderful. I cry every time I watch it.

More details to come!


Saturday, August 17, 2013


Today is the three week mark. Twenty-one days until Kyle and I are married. Eek! It's coming up so quickly, and there are still a million things to do, but I just get more and more excited every day. If I think about me walking down the aisle, I cry. If I think about my sister singing or my brother crying or my best friends being there with us, I cry. I basically cry over everything that is related to that day. It's an emotional time. Give me a break. 

So I've picked up my dress. It's ready to go. I've got all my somethings…old, new, borrowed, blue. Most of the decorations are finished, and I'm working on finishing up some of the gifts for my people. There are still projects to be completed, but they are really good projects. 

Also, Katy Perry's "Roar" is my anthem. My iTunes tells me I've listened to it 67 times within the four days I've had it. Yep. 

I recently had my wedding shower, which Kyle's family threw for me, with the help of a lot of my family, too, of course. It was crazy and hectic, but lovely and fun and we got SO MANY gifts. And like awesome ones, too.

To name a few…

vintage owl set from Finds&Designs from Kelli Barksdale!

the rest of the luggage! we got pieces from my aunt and uncle,
Holly's parents, Holly & Caleb and Kyle's parents.

owl cookie jar from anthro that I've wanted for years!
from Kyle's aunt Janet.

the perfect pie pan from anthro. from Lara & Chris.

my bedspread from anthro! from my parents.

Italian wine glasses from Fishs Eddy
in New York. from my sister.

and I just love this picture. all my pretty friends smiling!

I have such wonderful people in my life, and I'm so glad you people really know me! All the gifts were perfect!

Also, I got my bridal/boudoir photos back from Jessica, and holy moly. I don't want to post any of them here yet, but I will after the wedding. Eek!

Kyle and I have another shower this coming weekend at my cousin's house. Then the next weekend is my bachelorette party. Then the next weekend is the wedding. AHHHHHHHH!

I know everyone is probably so sick of hearing how excited I am, but seriously. So pumped. 


Sunday, July 28, 2013


So I'm sitting in the floor on my yoga mat, drinking coffee and listening to Coldplay. This is the first time in weeks that I've even had a minute to think about writing a blog, and as the theme has become in the last few months, I blame the wedding. There's SO MUCH GOING ON, and this morning on the way to church, Kyle said "Forty-one days." That's all he had to say and I had a little heart attack. That is NOT A LOT OF DAYS. That's almost just one month. ONE! Ahhh! I'm leaving Tennessee on Friday to go to West Virginia for the rest of the time until the wedding, because there's just too much that's going to be going on for me not to be there. There will be two showers, my bachelorette party/Color Run, endless projects that need to be completed, dress fittings, hair/makeup run-throughs, trying to get a good tan without looking crazy or having tan lines, meetings with caterer/DJ/preacher/singers, the rehearsal dinner/decorating and doing ALL the workouts.


BUT...on top of all this stress and fear that things will fall apart and it will pour the rain on my handmade veil that hasn't even been made yet, I have never been more excited in my life. So excited that I cry. Makes sense, right?

My sister and I were texting yesterday morning about music ideas and such, and she said...

Yeah. Me too, sister. I had my bridal photo shoot with my amaaaaazzzingg photographer, Jessica Hutchinson, at my cousin's house last week, and I wore my dress for some of the photos...and my sister choked up on me. Very briefly and then she got it under control, but yeah, basically we're all going to be a mess. Heaven help us...and my makeup.

Also, people are starting to get their invitations so I feel like it's ok to post this.

Stole this from Jodi. Thanks, Jodi for instagramming this! :)

Eeeek! They turned out so great. Letterpress is where it's at, ya'll. If you can get it for your invitations, I promise it's worth it. And even though searching for vintage stamps wasn't easy, they look SO freaking awesome. Thanks, Kyle, for being a crazy-creative genius husband-to-be. 

I know things are going to just keep getting crazier until the wedding, so I'm just going to write if I can, and if not, I'll have SO much to write about when it's all said and done. I'm learning to not beat myself up over not writing as much. This is my wedding season! I do want to post some of the DIY projects we've done with my family for the wedding and show that you can make cool stuff yourself without spending a fortune. Yes, it's been pretty expensive, but not nearly as much as it could have been if we hadn't done a lot of it ourselves, and I really think it's going to be wonderful. 

It's really easy to get wrapped up in all the stuff we have to do...I do it every single day...but like so many of my family members have told me, the best part is when it's all over and it's just the two of us and we get to just BE married. Kyle is already wonderful, so I know having him as a husband will be even better. I mean, he walked back home in the pouring rain from the diner down the road, got the car and drove back to pick me up. So yeah, pretty excited to marry this guy.

So. Forty-one days. Actually now it's more like forty. That's forty days of crazy, forty days of excitement and forty days of me listening to our wedding songs over and over to remind myself that it's all going to be fine, it's all going to be worth it, and it's all going to lead me to the same thing...a happy marriage.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

nearly here

We are quickly approaching the TWO MONTH mark for the wedding. How in the hell did that happen? So much has been going on and my house in a constant state of "unbearably messy," but there's just no time (or energy) to deal with it right now. Lately, my days look something like this…

Get up. Make breakfast. Pack lunches. Squeeze in a very quick workout, if I'm lucky. Get ready for work. Go to work/put my makeup on in the car (Kyle drives). Work all day long. Pick up Kyle. Make dinner. Scarf down food. Do something wedding-related. Go to bed. 

It's basically like that every single day. Granted, we did just get back from vacation and it always takes a few days to get back into the swing of things, plus Kyle has a sinus infection, but still. You get my point. 

There is just so much to freaking do for the wedding. I know we'll get it all finished, and I know that it will be fine, blah blah blah. But when you're smack in the middle of it and people keep telling you how excited they are for the big day, you start to feel a little pressure. 

However, I really do think it will be wonderful.

My cousin, Jessica, took some wonderful photos for us at the beach last week, just for funsies. Here are some faves.


I've been thinking about Corey a lot more than usual lately…probably because along with my wedding day, the one year mark is also quickly approaching. I can't believe he won't be there. This is a really weird memory, but it's just another example of how easily he creeps into my mind…I remember him telling Kelsey once that she had to scrub her face in the shower and not just move the soap around. I'm sure he was just giving her a hard time and I have no idea why we were talking about hygiene practices, but every single time I wash my face in the shower, I think of that. Isn't that odd? 


I really can't believe how little I've written this year. I definitely blame the wedding planning, but I'm hoping once it's here and all over and I have a new name (eek), then I'll write more. Surely I'll have way more to talk about, too. I'd love to have some posts about wedding details we did ourselves, etc. Because God knows I haven't kept anyone updated throughout like I said I would. 

I guess I could give you a quick list of things we DO have…
my dress
his suit
his shoes
save the dates/invitations
decorations (kinda…)
the place
the cake (meeting with Candice this weekend!)
the DJ (meeting with Jimmy and Allison this weekend, too!)
the photographer
the food (hoping to see Pat when I see Candice. haha!)
the preacher
the wedding party
the flowers (thanks, mom!)
the entertainment
the honeymoon (can't freaking wait)

Still need…
everything else

If I list the things I still need on here, I might have some kind of attack. So just use your imagination. 

Even though I'm stressed with everything we have to do, I'm becoming more and more aware of how excited I am to marry Kyle. Like, really freaking excited. And very happy. 


Saturday, May 11, 2013


I'm currently sitting in my favorite Starbucks, the one in Huntington at Pullman Square. I have a lot of good memories here, so that's why it's my favorite. There are a ton of people out today because of graduation, so the air is filled with excitement and possibility. What better atmosphere to write about this? 

I've been having this conversation with myself over the past week or so, and I'm still debating whether or not I am making the right move here. We'll see.

You've heard me write about Paleo and TurboFire and all that jazz several times, but I wanted to share with you my progress and where I am at this point and talk more about what's going on overall instead of just what I'm doing to progress. I'm still not finished, but I'm getting there, and my mindset has completely changed, even after I had lost a lot of weight in the beginning and changed my way of living.

I posted about this once before HERE, and that was over a year ago. It doesn't seem like that long, really, but that makes me realize how much farther I've come from that point.

I feel compelled to write about this for a few reasons, but lately the main reason is because I get people commenting and asking about my routine or a recipe, etc., mostly from people I know, but even some from people I don't know but who found my photos or blog. It's encouraging and inspiring, so I feel like sharing a little more. Also, I have noticed that I get more readership on my blog if the post is about fitness. I highly doubt this is because people think I am some expert, because obviously I am not, but it is interesting. Maybe it's because people are just curious, but I like to think that I'm actually helping someone, or motivating them somehow. I've always wanted to inspire people, I even wrote that on my portfolio website in college, and I think talking about fitness and health might be a good way for me to do that at this point in my life. I also hope that I could drive people to change their mindsets about healthy living, and the only reason I say that is because I had to figure out how to change mine for myself along the way, and that made it so much easier. I'm still learning, but I'm in a much better place than I was before. And it makes me wonder, what did these graduates in this Starbucks right now write about in their portfolios? What did they say they wanted to do? When I graduated, I knew what I wanted but didn't know how to make it happen, and I'm still not sure how, but if this is one outlet I can make that happen, then why not try?

Anyway, so here's where I am right now...

I was really at a standstill for about 8 months. I just stopped losing any more weight and I wasn't dropping inches and I wasn't getting stronger, no matter what I did. Then I started Paleo in February, and I'm down 13 more pounds and I'm toning up, slowly but surely. That's the gist of the physical state I'm in right now. As for mentally, I'm shifting.  

I've always liked to feel independent. Even as a little girl, I didn't want to ask for help for things, and I didn't even want hugs sometimes because it felt like I was being babied, and at 6 years old, I was a grown-up, dammit. Now, I love hugs, thank God, and I am still learning to ask for help, but because of this, I've had a hard time wanting to connect to a "fitness community," or any community for that matter. I'm working on that, too. I wanted to be alone in my journey. I don't need any help! Um, not cool. Kyle can attest to this. When he was trying very patiently to get me to start working out three years ago, I would get seriously defensive and shut down, probably because I knew I needed to and I wanted to decide to do it on my own, or maybe because I was in denial. I always felt like I looked ok, but now looking back, I can see that I wasn't ok. I wasn't healthy, and I don't just mean in a physical way. Kyle didn't want me to work out because he didn't think I was beautiful, because he did and he does, but he just wanted us to be healthy together, and I was not ready to face that. When it finally clicked for me, I was beyond ready to get started and felt like I had made the decision on my own, and now, I can't imagine the two of us not living a healthy life together. Of course we indulge from time to time, but we are always on the same page about this.

When I started this whole thing, it was pre-Instagram, if you can even imagine what that was like. Actually, it may have existed, but it wasn't what it is now. SIDEBAR: Just so everyone knows, I really was the FIRST of my friends to use it. I started using it because I wanted to edit pictures for this very blog, so yeah, there's a random fact for the day. Anyway, so there wasn't this world of pictures with filters and hashtags to match it and there was not a million bazillion people to follow who solely post fitness inspiration. Now, these are endless, and I am just now accepting the fact that I might enjoy reading about and following these people. I'm not sure why I take forever to give into these things, but now that I'm in, I'm all in, and I'm not afraid to ask for help. I don't know why I'm so resistant to join something, but now that I've set aside my pride or whateverthehell has been holding me back, I'm a lot happier and I'm enjoying this part of my life a lot more.

Throughout this process, I've really put a lot of effort into learning and educating myself. I've always been someone who likes to find out more information about things that interest me. Like when I saw 127 Hours, I researched everything I could find about Aron Ralston and wanted to know the whole story and talked to my sister on the phone while we read articles online about him. I like details and information. I mean, I did go to journalism school, so that makes sense. With this part of my life, it's no different. Kyle bought me a fitbit for Christmas, and I'm obsessed with what it can tell me…my steps, my calories, my sleep, everything. Same thing with Paleo. When I decided to try it out, I bought three books on my Kindle app for the iPad and read them all. I started following Paleo blogs and found all the information I could find about it. I am currently reading The Paleo Coach, and use Paleo cookbooks and blogs for recipes all the time. I love knowledge and learning, and it feels amazing when someone asks me a question about Paleo or work outs and I can immediately give an answer. Again, not an expert over here, but I have done my homework.

I'm learning what works for me as far as workouts go, and I'm learning to be happy with where I am now, even though that doesn't mean I'm going to stop. I've still got a long way to go. The 90 Day TurboFire Challenge is almost over, and I've stuck with it as much as possible with my sister, but throughout the last couple of months, I've found that I need something else to push myself, probably because I've been doing TurboFire for a long time. I added in more strength training in the last few weeks and I've started to feel like I'm progressing again, and I'm learning to listen to my body. I make sure that I do something active at least 5 days a week, even if it's not exactly what the TurboFire schedule says, and I'm not beating myself up over that anymore. If I don't have time for a 55 minute workout, I'll fit in a 30 minute one. If I'm so sore that I can't do a squat, I take a rest from squats and do something else, or rest. I'm trying to learn to rest more when I feel like I need it.

The thing is, I STILL don't realize how far I've come. There are still things I want to work on, and probably always will, but it isn't until I see photos of myself from two or three years ago that I see the difference, or when people see me who haven't seen me in a long time and can't believe it's me. That feels nice.

I mean…


Granted, this is also before and after my breast reduction surgery (if you didn't know about that, yeah I had one), so it makes the comparison even more drastic. But yeah! Like, is that really me? In the picture in the left, I always felt like I looked more of what I look like now, the picture on the right. Then I'd see photos of myself and be shocked. I'd have a moment, click "untag" and move on. I don't know why it took me so long to change things when that's how I felt. Also, it feels weird posting these pictures of myself here, side by side, for total comparison. It feels weird because it's almost embarrassing, but at the same time, it motivates me to keep going.

Like I said, I'm still working hard and trying to progress. My wedding is in less than four months (EEK!) and I'm so excited to marry Kyle and feel awesome in my dress. I am so glad I started getting healthy when I did, because it's taken me so long to get to where I am now, and I would never want to feel anything but confident for my wedding day. Of course I still have insecurities and issues, but who doesn't? I'm just learning to love being healthy and learning to love myself for where I am right now. My life feels out of control sometimes, but one thing I can be in control of is my health, and that is probably the most important thing I can do for myself.

I'd love to hear from you and know if you like posts like this, or if you have questions, or if you want to know more, or if you hate this. Seriously. Tell me! I'm excited for what's to come.


Monday, April 8, 2013


Citrusy colors remind me of spring and the upcoming summer. There are few things I love more than drinking a lime margarita on the beach while wearing something bright. So here are a few things I've been eyeing and wanting to try, all citrusy and warm-weather approved.

4. lemon lime protein balls from feeding ger sasser...I made these and they were delicious.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

reap what you sow

I receive hundreds of emails a day, most of which are retail stores trying to get me to buy everything, but I also get several emails from blogs I like, which are a lot cheaper anyway.

Today I got one with a link to this post and it is just one of the many posts I've read about people experiencing incredible changes from just changing the way they eat. Not just the "I lost 100 pounds" variety, either, but real, life-altering things.

This woman tells the story of how changing her family to a Paleo way of living saved them. You can read it here.

Really. Read it now. It's inspiring and amazing how changing her son's food changed his life.

I hope I'm not annoying everyone with all the Paleo talk (I probably am), but don't knock it until you try it.

That's all I've got today. Kyle and I are heading to West Virginia tonight for Easter/Casey's birthday weekend. I hope everyone has a nice weekend and gets something fun in their baskets! :)


Monday, March 25, 2013

getting caught up

I haven't been writing much lately, and I hate myself for it. It's just that there's really not much else going on except a lot of wedding planning and concentrating on eating healthy and working out a lot for said wedding.

Kyle and I sent out little invitations to people we want to be in the bridal party and participate in the wedding. 

They looked like this. 

stole this photo from Becca's instagram

stole this photo from my sister's instagram
They were tiny little matchboxes with a bag of David's Tea in the flavor "glitter & gold," which has little gold, shimmering sugar balls in it. Perfect for the wedding! The little cards fit right into the boxes. All Kyle's idea of course. We sent jelly beans in the matchboxes for the little kids we want in the wedding, because what kid drinks tea?! I think everyone is excited, which makes me even more excited. And nervous. Eek!

Kyle and I also found our venue, which is a huge relief, and also makes me more excited. Everything is slowly but surely falling into place. The next thing will be all the crafts we're planning to do for decorations and such. Any volunteers???

And as for the crazy lady fitness lately, I'm still going strong, and I'm sorry if no one cares about hearing about my food/workout shenanigans. Like I said, there's not much else going on! Unless you want to know a running list of sad movies Kyle's been making me watch lately. 


Yeah, looking real sweaty up there. It's about day 33 for the TurboFire Challenge, and I am feeling better all the time. I had a rest day yesterday, and I mean I REALLY rested. Like, I slept until 11:22, which almost never happens anymore. Oops. It felt nice, so I must have needed it, and then today's workout went really well. I felt energetic! What?! I was jumping when I was supposed to, and not just doing the modified versions. I started TurboFire over a year ago, and even after I had done it religiously for months, I was still not able to really jump, but for whatever reason, I can now. It's very possible I'll be crazy sore tomorrow, but oh well. I did get sort of discouraged when I had to send in my Day 30 progress photos, because I didn't really see THAT much of a difference, but 6 pounds is nothing to shake your head at, and when Kyle told me I looked thinner, that made me feel pretty good. Even though he chose to tell me that as I was shoveling mounds of sweet potato into my mouth. Whatevs. 

Even if I wasn't getting married, I'd still be working this hard. I'm going to the beach for god's sake! The holidays really messed me up, and I was eager to start up again, and that plus trying to eat as Paleo as possible has definitely helped me get back on track.

I'm planning to incorporate running into my week again soon. I actually had planned to do that this week, but then a March blizzard showed up and I just don't know if I can get up at 6:30 and run in the snow. I can only do so much. Really though, I'm just trying to keep up with one of my besties Jennifer Wood, because that girl runs every single effing day. I know because the Map My Run app tells me so! Go, pretty lady, go!

One last thing, Justin Timberlake is BACK and I've never been happier.

I hope everyone is staying warm during this not-so-springlike week. Like really, what is up with the snow, Mother Nature? I'll probably wear leggings and boots on Easter. Cool.


Sunday, March 10, 2013


So apparently, this Paleo thing really works, and I thought I'd tell you all about what I'm experiencing so far.

I've lost 4 pounds since starting it, which doesn't sound like much, but the scale literally hadn't budged an ounce since Christmas, no matter what I ate or how much I exercised. So that's something! Just to be totally clear, I haven't gone 100% Paleo. I eat hummus sometimes, and we've been drinking beer with dinner for the past week, because, well, it's in the fridge, and I still use coffee creamer, because I just can't give that up. I'd say about 90% of what we've been eating is Paleo approved, and all but a few things have been delicious and things I would love to eat again. There have been a couple of way-too-spicy recipes I've made that Kyle would rather not revisit, but those can be saved with a few changes.

After eating pretty strictly all last week, I planned for us to have a treat meal at our favorite BBQ place that serves BBQ NACHOS. Yes. So exciting, right?! Well, I thought it was at first. We ate and it was delicious until about halfway through, but then I started feeling like total crap. It felt like there was a brick in my stomach. Real cute, I know. 

So I ate great all week, felt good all week, only to reward myself with a delicious meal of misery. Makes total sense.

I don't know that the nachos will be our treat meal next time. 

I've also noticed just how hard it can be to eat this way without some serious planning. On Friday, we were running low on food, so I just packed Kyle the last of the leftovers for his lunch and I planned to just get something at the store on my break from work. I went to Fresh Market, which you would think would be filled with options. Nope. Not really. I got some soup and some blood oranges. The soup was fine, but not what I really wanted, and it didn't fill me up like some of the previous lunches I'd been having. It just didn't really cut it. 

I've often fallen victim to trying new things based on what others say, only to be disappointed in the end…like that really expensive face cream I bought that everyone was raving about and said it would brighten my skin overnight. But with this, I have yet to be disappointed, and my skin is looking better all the time, and not because of the face cream because I accidentally left it in West Virginia. Usually when I wake up, my skin is red and sort of looking like someone has slapped me, but today I woke up to this. 

Whaa? Yes, I look sort of sleepy (damn you, daylight savings), but my skin isn't red. Or splotchy. Or uneven. I totally think it has to do with what I've been eating (and not eating). And just to be clear, I was not eating candy or McDonald's or potato chips before starting Paleo. I was just eating what I thought was healthy and easy. Frozen Healthy Choice meals, granola, low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers. These things don't sound that bad, but apparently, something about them wasn't working well with my body, and now that they're gone, I feel better and my skin is evening out. I don't think that's a coincidence, and if something can make that happen for me, I will love it with my whole heart. 

Also I feel like I should say this…these things might totally work for some of you, but they stopped working for me. 

When my dad first started getting interested in Paleo, and he and I were talking to our family about it, I said "Don't eat bread, dairy, beans or processed foods," and my sister said "Well, what do we eat, then?!" 

Good question. 

Here are a few recipes I've made so far that were delicious. 

This was the recipe that almost killed Kyle because it was so spicy. Take note of the amount of heat you like if you decide to follow this recipe.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

These also were pretty spicy because of the cayenne pepper. Again, take note.

I'm planning on making a Paleo-ized version of my mom's meatloaf this week, too. 

So there are some ideas. The links to those recipes are from the three main blogs I've been reading and getting ideas from. Here they are again, just in case.

I'm entering into my fourth week of Paleo, and I'm weirdly excited. Here's to more adventurous cooking and better health.