My Whole 30 Strategies

1. Eat things I think are delicious.

For whatever reason, I am SUCH a moody food person.  This always makes meal planning harder for me, because if I plan on chili on Wednesday night and then I don’t feel like eating chili on Wednesday night, forget it. I can’t make myself eat it.  Anyway, for whatever reason, right now I could not be less in the mood for stews and hash and big globs of slow cooked meat.  Just not feeling it. However, I am dying to eat a bunch of fresh, clean, bright flavors, so I am thinking that for me Whole 30 is going to be all about veggies and seafood.  Some rare ahi over a salad drizzled with something sour sounds like just about the best thing ever to me right now, so I’m going with that.  I don;t normally let myself buy a $17 piece of tuna at Costco, but if not now, then when, right?

2. Snacking, snacking, snacking.

I’ve gotten myself into a terrible TV hour/snacking habit. Somehow it sort of gets me through the day to think of my evening quiet hour – just me, Mr. E, Homeland, and half a chocolate orange.  I really need to knock this off, but I know that it’s also just a thing I do and that I will probably do for the rest of my life – I’m an evening grazer especially in the winter. My strategy for this is to have lots of things planned ahead of time that I can snack on. I’m thinking 1. delicious fancy tea I don’t normally let myself buy 2. lemon water with tons of ice and  a straw because this somehow automatically makes it a treat in the world I live in and 3. fruit.  It’s all about the fruit.

3. Tea.  I believe we have discussed the tea, but let me reiterate. I have all the tea. (decaf, because I am just that much of a party animal.) And if tea is not Whole 30, seriously, don’t tell me. I’ll just do Whole 29 and a Half. You will pry my tea from my cold dead hands.

4. I’m also going to make a really concerted effort to shop for good veggies.  I’ll buy my meat at Costco and they do have a decent vegetable selection, but it can get a little pedestrian. If I’m going to eat nothing but vegetables and meat for a month, I want to find the FUN vegetables. (Did I just type that? Wow.) Anyway, between my Farmer’s Market, Whole Foods, the sketchy grocery store right by my house with the strange asian vegetables, Trader Joe’s, and the Co-Op, I think I have this covered, but I need to make myself get out there and do it. To break it down, I’ll buy meat, fish, and stuff like spinach at Costco, frozen vegetables and nuts at Trader Joe’s because they have the best selection of both of those things, and fun vegetables like fava beans (EXCEPT NO! THEY ARE BEANS! BOO!) and pink turnips at the Farmer’s Market or the Co-Op or Whole Foods, and then the rest of it at the grocery store by my house.  I also have a whole garden box full of kale and lettuce, so that helps.

5. Tubs of Veggies – I need to keep lots of tupperware full of prepped veggies, cooked and raw.  This afternoon I’m taking a trip to Target to get more Tupperware since the glass pyrex stuff I have isn’t really the right size for this.

6. Keep lots of fruit around. I mean, I can’t have chips, so talking myself out of the $4 raspberries isn’t going to happen this month.

7. Fizzy water. I need to replace my fizzy water cartridge, but after that I am looking forward to concocting ridiculous drinks involving fizzy water and boring things like oranges.  With a straw, because that basically makes up for the lack of vodka, right? Sob.

8. Chipotle. I can tell you right now that there’s no way I am going to make it 30 days without ever paying someone to cook something for me.  I have children, and one of them stilldoesn’t sleep through the night.  I am tired.

Anyway, my strategies are 1. sashimi 2. the Chipotle burrito bowl with no rice or cheese or sour cream and 3. the Pita Pit salad. If yo have other ideas, please let me know. (Mr. Pickles is very sad I am doing Whole 30.)

9. The List. I have a big Google Doc with all the allowed foods, a grocery list, and lots of meal ideas. I need to print it out and stick it to my refrigerator so I don’t end up eating nothing but baby carrots and salsa for 30 days. FYI. I do not really understand why macadamia nuts (hork) are “good” and almonds are “occasional” but to understand, I’d have to read the book, and I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy double peeling fava beans over here. (NOT SO FAST, SMARTY PANTS.)

10. The first week will be the worst. I am just going to tell myself that if I can get through the first week, things will improve. I am fairly certain I can take the dairy thing just fine since I don’t even eat dairy, mostly, but the no sugar is going to kick my ass. I am slightly terrified, but I think it gets better after about a week in, from what I recall.

I weighed myself this morning and I will weigh myself again on February 1st.  And I will try to blog a week’s worth of recipes after I’ve made them, assuming they are edible.  Except that carrots and salsa recipe. I think you’ve got that, right?

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What I Wore This Week: All My Christmas Presents

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{Gap T Shirt, Gap scarf, AE High Rise Super Skinny Jeans, Ugg Tall Brooks Boot}

Here I am wearing basically all my favorite things in the world, so I don’t know why I am making a face that says “Something smells.” Maybe because these jeans are too big but all the smaller sizes are sold out online so I might have to go to…the mall.  That does smell. It smells terrible.

However, I literally cannot say enough good things about these boots. There are not enough words in the world to describe how much I love them. They are warm and comfortable and go over skinny jeans and look cute and are the perfect color and they are so comfortable and waterproof and GOD THEY ARE SO WONDERFUL.

 

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{Gap dress, Charlotte Russe Leggings, Old Navy scarf, Ugg Brooks Boots}

This felt “woah” dressed up for a very sit around the house kind of day, but I still have a deficiency of “dresses that feel like pajamas that I can just throw over my head” so I was desperate.

 

 

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{North Face Vest, J. Crew tissue tee, AE High Rise Super Skinnys, Ugg Brooks Boots, Target scarf}

And my vest! I love it. I love love love it. It took me a long long long time to triumph over the sad sad sad “my husbands paint covered hoodie under my husbands too big down vest over too small Old Navy bootcut jeans bunched up on top of fake American Eagle Uggs” debacle I had going on, but I did it. I did it, and I am thrilled.

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{Target sweater dress, Old Navy Leggings, You Already Know All About the Boots of Wonderfulness}

This is my other Target sweater dress. It’s pretty great. Maybe needs a belt, in the future. But super duper comfy, regardless.

Hope everyone else had a fabulous Christmas!

My 2013 Goals

I’m not going to call these Resolutions because I think 35 things is too many things to RESOLVE. I don’t know. Just go with it. But here’s what I’d like to get done this year:

1. Move my blog and redesign it so it doesn’t look so sad and abandoned.

2. Visit our nation’s capital. (March)

3. Drink rum drinks with 59 of my favorite people, sitting on a beach.

4. Do Whole 30 for January, and if I like it, do it again.

5. Do a No Shopping month.

6. Throw a killer Super Hero Birthday party. Edited To: Decide not to throw a killer Super Hero party, and instead throw a super easy gymnastics party. 

7. Throw a killer Hello Kitty Birthday party.

8. Have a neighborhood movie night.

9. Learn to use my new sewing machine. I sewed something with it and I threaded it twice! Go me!

10. Get a certain two year old weaned off bottles, potty trained, and into a big girl bed.

11. Finally finally finally get a new front door.

12. Spend more time outside.

13. Finish my living room to my satisfaction.

14. Finish all the little crap all over the house that needs to get done if we ever want to move.

15. Give a Gift a Month. (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec)

16. Figure out where to find $50 in my budget so I can get all the good TV channels so I can watch Girls, Homeland, and Mad Men.  They’re the only TV shows I actually like, why am I not watching them?

Edited to Add: Although it is an excellent suggestion, you can’t order new episodes of Girls or Homeland from Amazon or Itunes like you can with Mad Men. However, it’s turns out it’s only $7 a month for Showtime and $8 a month for HBO, so we just added those channels.  I am very excited about this.

You can’t add just AMC though, you have to add that entire cable tier, so it costs some ridiculous amount to do that, and you CAN buy episodes of Mad Men on Amazon, so we’ll just buy a season pass for $18 instead of paying $35 just to get AMC.

17. Repaint and finish the kids room.

18. Start taking walks again.

19. Get a hair cut.

20. Learn to drive somewhere scary and make it not scary to drive there.

21. Figure out the stupid Iphone thing, bore you with my Instagram pictures.

22. Learn to roast a chicken as well as my mom.

23. Re read all my favorite YAF novels and make an Ultimate Top Ten List.

24. Go through the kids clothes and save a few things and give the rest away.

25. Rip the garage down the studs and start over.

26. Have a tomato party.

27. Figure out how to store way too many pairs of shoes in my closet.

28. Either figure out the wireless printer or beat it to a pile of rubble in an open field.

29. Start a monthly favorites column.

30. Go to Napa with my husband, or my girlfriends, or basically anyone that wants to sit around with me with a bottle of wine and no damn children.

31. Buy a new pair of underwear a month, throw out an old pair. Aren’t you excited that I ended this on that note? Old Underwear!

(Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec.)

32. Put every single appointment, outing, event, etc on the calendar by the front door so everyone knows what’s going on at all times.

33. Go out to dinner with my husband once a month. (Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec)

34. Start a family game night.

35. Call my brother and sister more often.

Woo Hoo! Let’s do this thing.

What I Wore This Week: The Biggest Scarf In the World

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{Gap Bowery Super Soft Crew T-Shirt, Nordstrom Infinity Scarf, Gap skirt, Old Navy Leggings, Frye Campus Boots}

I love how these chunky infinity scarves look on other people, and I’ve wanted one for a long time, but they kind of overwhelm me when I actually wear them. There’s just so much scarf there, especially at the back of the neck. I don’t know. I kept this one because I really liked it and I need more scarves but I have to stop myself from being sort of stressed out over it and how much of it there is. I felt better after I took pictures of it though because I don’t think it looks weird in pictures.

This skirt is too big now, but I wore it anyway. It also needs to be ironed. I think I will probably have it taken in this summer, because I love it, but for now I just rolled it. I still can’t decide if I actually carried off the “summer skirt into winter” thing here or not. Meh.

 

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{Target Cowl Neck Sweater Dress, Old Navy Leggings, Frye Boots}

For some reason I had come down on the anti side of the sweater dress divide, but after being roundly castigated by NGS, I decided that owning one or two maybe couldn’t hurt. I think I thought they were going to be tight and unflattering.  I didn’t want that look of just a fitted long sweater over leggings.  I tried one on at the Gap and it was cute but the sleeves were too long and it didn’t come in a Petite, and Amy was with me and said something like “Listen, dumb ass, don’t be paying $70 for a sweater dress at the Gap, get one at Target like a normal person.” My Target didn’t have any cute ones in the store but I ordered six online (and returned all but two). And I really really really like this one. It’s super easy to wear and it’s comfy. It was cheap and it’s very flattering. My goal is to have ten dresses in my closet I can rotate all winter long, and I think this puts me at 9. So, win!

 

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{Nordstrom scarf, Lands’ End wrap dress, Old Navy leggings, Frye campus boots}

Wow, my Frye boots are the new J. Crew wedges.  Wearin’ those bad boys alot. This makes me very happy, though, as they languished in my closet for years, and now I wear them. Go me!

I did buy this dress in another color (purple), but I didn’t like it. Something about the purple tipped it towards “weird junior high choir director lady trying to look cool” for me. So I returned it.

 

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{Talbots Coat, Nordstrom scarf, Frye boots}
This is just what I wore over it. I adore this coat, (and this is where I am going to tell you to spend money on things like boots and coats). I have owned this coat since high school. It was expensive, but it is classic, but I will be able to wear it FOREVER and it always looks good. It has not pilled, it has not gone out of style, it looks great every time I put it on, I have never regretted the purchase, although it helps that I believe my mother bought it for me. Anyway. This coat was probably in the $200-$300 range, the boots were $300, the scarf was $20.  So you can see in action what a good idea it is to spend your clothing money on classic well made things when it comes to outerwear and shoes. But I would never ever spend more than $20 on a scarf.  Words to live by, there you go.

 

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{Kohls dress (no longer available online even though I just bought it), Loft leggings, Bandolino boots}

This is a cute dress! It’s a shade short but I think you can get away with short if 1. you are short and 2. in the winter when you are wearing it over something and you basically just want to cover your derriere so no one thinks you are trying to wear leggings as pants. If you are built like me, I think it’s very flattering how this goes in at the waist and then out quickly, but fyi, I can’t really bend over when I wear this.  I also think this needs a scarf or something in this picture but at the time I just wasn’t in the mood to accessorize so there you go.

 

 

What I Wore Last Week: It’s This or the Closet

I was writing this post on Friday when the world shifted under me, and you, and everyone in it.

I thought for awhile that maybe I’d never publish it, like how I was eating ribbon candy when my parents told me they were getting divorced and I’ve never eaten ribbon candy again.

I have written a different post in my head about a thousand times, but it’s always about things I am doing to make myself feel better, and I am not at all certain that making myself feel better is the point. I don’t really think I should feel better. I don’t really think I am the point here.

However. I just want to say this.

This is the first school shooting that has occurred when I have had a child in school. A child very very close in age to the children who were murdered. And my first instinct was to go get my child. My first instinct was never to return him to school. My first instinct was to keep him right under my mama wing where I could grab his little chin and tell him how much I loved him a thousand times a day, where no one could hurt him, where I could keep him as safe as I knew how, where if anything ever happened to him, he’d hear my voice last of anything in this world.

What struck me the  most of everything I’ve read, though, is something A’Dell wrote over the weekend.  I can be brave for my children, I can send them out into a world where anyone who REALLY wanted to could harm them irreparably, where there’s nothing I can do to stop this, I can trust in his teachers and a God I barely believe in, or I can sit in a closet with rations.  Those are awful choices, but they are the only ones I can figure out.

And so for my children, I choose not fear. I choose brave.  I marched into that school with a smile on my face this morning and I did stop an extra beat when I hugged Eli goodbye and when I grabbed his little chin and stared into his face and memorized it again for the millionth time and when I said “I love you so so so much”, but I did not cry. I will not live in fear. I will not turn school into a scary place for my child, not when he’s five year old, not when he doesn’t know that there’s something to be afraid of, just being in school. I won’t do that. I won’t let anyone do that to him.

And so, here’s some unimportant words about my pants, not because it’s going to make anyone feel better, but because it’s this, or the closet, and I have to be honest with you, our rations are really nothing to write home about around here.  And so, we live life, as bravely as we can.

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{Gap Outlet Sweater, Old Navy scarf, Loft Curvy Super Skinny Corduroys, Bandolino Boots}

The search for the perfect pair of orangey red skinny cords has ended! You can breathe a sigh of relief. I tried a pair from Target but they weren’t great, and I am now forcing myself to search for great instead of settling for meh.  I tried a pair at the Gap but they were oddly sized (so tiny!) and they felt really cheap and thin.  These from Loft are GREAT.  Not that weird thick corduroy, just super soft, they fit me perfectly, they are actually skinny AND the petites are the perfect length on me.  (These are a size 12P and I am almost 5′ 2″.)  And they are SO comfortable. Plus I love that they are a little more red than orange because it means I can wear black with them. Black plus orange is on my no fly list.  I am seriously thinking of switching my pants allegiance from the Gap to Loft despite their exorbitant shipping fees. We’ll see how these pants wear.

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{Target jacket, Gap Bowery Super Soft Crew, Old Navy Scarf, AE High Rise Super Skinny Jeans, Bandolino boots}

This was my favorite thing I wore all week.  I had been eyeing this jacket for months and then it went on 30% clearance, and I tried to wait until it went on 50% clearance, but they are sized SUPER small and this was the only XL left so I bought it. I seriously could not love this outfit more.  It makes me feel like a million bucks whenever I wear it.

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{Kohls Ponte sheath dress, Old Navy scarf, Old Navy leggings, Frye boots}

I finally found a crew necked black stretchy sheath dress I can throw on at a moment’s notice! This dress was a suggestion over on my Style Lush blog post seeking black dresses, and although I am normally somewhat skeptical of Kohl’s, I had a coupon and I was desperate. This dress looks great, the quality maybe isn’t the best, but it does what it does.  I really think it’s very flattering and tremendously useful because the stuff you can pair with it is endless,  basically.

I do need to get some more scarves and some more boots into the line up, but they’re all under the Christmas tree.

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{Gap coat, Old Navy leggings, Kohls dress, Old Navy scarf, Frye boots}

This is just what I wore over the dress above.

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{Ralph Lauren sweater, American Eagle High Rise Super Skinny Jeans, Bandolino boots, Gap Crew Neck Tee}

I have always loved a good military style sweater, and I always will.

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{Banana Republic Sweater, Blogger Cliche Necklace, AE High Rise Super Skinny Jeans, Bandolino boots}

There are a very few things left on the “need for winter list”…black riding boots, an ivory sweater, a sweater dress, a few dresses.  A stripey sweater was one of the last things left on the list, so cross that off!

I will say, they may not be pushing fashion boundaries over there, but Banana Republic can really make a sweater. I have BR sweaters I have owned for going on ten years now that look practically new, and I am hard on my clothes.  I’d recommend one BR sweater over two sweaters from Old Navy any day of the week.  But wait for a 40% off coupon, whatever you do.

Erik, Don’t Read This: What’s In Our Stockings This Year

No, really, don’t read this, lovely husband of mine, unless you want to know everything that Santa is bringing you this year.

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What I Wore This Week: Bonus Edition, Tights and Leggings

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine. No nonsense tights and leggings can be found at food and drug stores as well as mass retail stores.

300 words about tights and leggings? Let’s do this. Ha ha ha.

Anyway.  The whole point of The Uniform, when I started it, was because I am bad at matching things and figuring out what goes with what. I have about four colors I can pair together and the rest confounds me. I still am not sure what you wear with brown pants, so I don’t buy brown pants anymore. Ever.

However, when I went to transition from the summer uniform to the winter uniform so that I would no longer 1. be wearing sweat pants with Uggs all winter or 2. be wearing strange mashups of summer skirts and tights, it meant that I had to push myself outside my comfort zone to see if at least some of my summer clothes could successfully be worn as winter clothes. I know exactly what to wear with a navy striped dress in August (wedges, and an orange sweater if I go somewhere air conditioned) but I was really confused about to wear it with in December.

This is where leggings and tights come in. I’m still very much in the figuring out phase of these things, but a few things have helped me figure it out:

1. Gray leggings go with almost everything. I think it’s a little weird to match navy leggings with a navy dress, and navy varies so much from store to store that it’s hard to get it right if you try to match navies, but gray turns into a neutral somehow when you pair it with brown boots and a navy dress.

2. If you’re feeling confused, you can always match your tights to your dress OR to your shoes.

3. It’s ok to try to stuff out and see how something works. Just because you had an idea and it looks stupid on doesn’t mean you have to wear it out of the house.  A lot of my favorite clothing combinations come from just fooling around with what I’ve got to see how it works together, and most of the stuff I plan in my head looks awful, but it’s a learning process, and trying it all out is how you learn.

4. I also think it’s really helpful to search Pinterest for specific ideas if you’re having a hard time making them work. Navy dress + leggings or something like that. It can’t hurt to see what comes up and how other people are solving your problem.  I get a lot of good ideas that way.

5. I really really really try not to buy anything unless I know ahead of time how I’m going to wear it. If I can’t figure out what I’d wear with a dress, including shoes, jewelry, and what I’m going to wear underneath and over it, I don’t buy it. Yes, I can figure out other ways to wear it after I buy it, but if I can’t figure out at least one way to wear it with what I already have, it’s probably not going to work for me.

Anyway. Blah blah blah, the lovely people at Clever Girl Collective teamed up with No nonsense and sent me some No nonsense tights and leggings. Here’s how that went down.

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{Target sweater, Lands’ End Canvas dress, Target belt, No nonsense leggings, Bandolino boots}

I was so proud of myself for turning this very summery dress into something I can wear all winter long.  These gray leggings have an almost corduroy texture to them, which means they’re super warm and almost more pants like than tights like. This doesn’t mean you can wear them as pants. Don’t do that.  Mine ran super big though, so size down. Or up. Or whatever it is when you buy them a size smaller than you normally would.

This dress goes in at the waist but then goes very poofy very quickly, so pairing it with most sweaters made it look tentlike.  The belt plus the cropped sweater was perfect for cutting down on the tent vibe.

Please excuse that ridiculous face I am making. This is what happens when I try to smile.

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{Target cardigan, Target skirt, Target booties, No nonsense tights}

Purple tights! I love love love these tights.  I don’t know if you can tell but they have a subtle almost fish net pattern to them, which I thought was super fun without actually wearing fishnet tights, which might be a little much for kindergarten drop off.

It took me a while to figure out what to wear these with, I will admit they were outside  my comfort zone. At first I thought I’d match them with a purple sweater and my denim skirt, but the purples weren’t the same so it looked strange.  Then I figured out that for me, brightly colored tights should be the most “shazam” part of the outfit or I feel weird. So I threw on all my black clothing plus the purple tights and then I just loved this outfit.  I loved it. AND these tights did not do that “I am going to get snags and runs as you are putting me on” thing that other random cheap tights (cough Target cough) usually do. I am a fan.

ALSO as we were leaving Kindergarten, a woman made a loud exclamation noise, and then said “You guys always look like…like you just stepped out of a magazine ad!” SO, WIN.

Find your pair of affordable No nonsense tights and leggings here. I was sponsored by No nonsense for this opportunity. All opinions are my own.