Ever notice that no matter the size of your kitchen, that’s where everyone seems to gather? Well, I didn’t want everyone to gather in our kitchen because I really wasn’t a fan of the green floors we had. They were really cramping my style. (Excuse the dirty house–this was the night before construction).
My husband and I had been talking about replacing them for a while but just kept putting it off. Finally, we decided there was no better time than now, so we got to work. We felt this was a job that needed to be done by a professional, so we bought all the materials and let the tile man go to work.
We settled on a 12×24 silver porcelain tile. After looking all over Madison County, low and behold, we found the tile of our choice from Lowes. You can find it, here.
After we bought the materials (tile, thin set, grout, backer board, screws, etc.) we let the tile man get to work. He made pretty amazing progress on day one! Shout out to Robert’s Custom Tile!
I don’t think the floor registers had been replaced since the house was built so we bought new ones that you can find here. We are BIG Amazon Prime shoppers when it comes to house hold items such as light fixtures and other miscellaneous things!
Needless to say, this was a long overdue project, and we are so glad we got this one knocked out in time for Memorial Day Weekend! Slowly but surely, we are putting our kitchen back together. We are excited to have friends and family over to gather in our kitchen!
I had this vision when we moved into our new (old) home, that I would become this trendy blogger, blogging about all things DIY and updates we made to our house along the way. Clearly, I have failed miserably. But hey, it’s never too late!
My other goal was to blog solely so I had the opportunity to write. I was once told that I was good writer… ok, maybe not so much a good writer but that I was relatable. I hope that I can relate to you all in my blog posts. Not every post will be about our home. After all, I am no Chip and Joanna Gains although I tell my husband he reminds me of Chip ALL the time.
Anyways, moving on.
Let’s talk about living rooms. My living room has changed 100 times since moving in. Let me note, that I have a super patient husband who puts up with my constant change of things so thank you, P! I’ve probably changed my curtains out 3 times, my rug out 3-4 times, and for some reason I just can’t make up my mind. I have this weird style, you see. I love the farmhouse style, but for some reason can never seem to capture it in my home. Anybody feel me on this? I’ve come to just accept my living room as is, and I’m moving on to other projects.
Unfortunately, these pictures do not show the entirety of my living room, but we are in the process of building a table for the back wall. I’ll blog about that under the wood working section of my blog once it’s complete so stay tuned!
We are FINALLY getting new kitchen floors! I am hopeful they will be done by the weekend! Day one of moving into this house I said, “Those floors have got to go.” I’m so anxious!
I am so excited to share this blog with all of you!
It all started when I began blogging my Whole30 journey back in March. When that was over, I wanted to continue writing because I had such great feedback from my blog posts and I genuinely enjoyed writing them. Let’s be honest, my Whole30 blog was fun, but healthy eating is not something I am super great at and definitely not something I could blog about all the time. I felt like it was a good time to transition my blog into something I really enjoyed…all things DIY.
A few years ago in our first home on Maddie Ridge, I kept telling Preston that I wanted a farmhouse table for my dining room. After checking out Pottery Barn and other furniture stores, we realized that the prices were outrageous and there was no way we could have one unless we built it ourselves. We immediately began searching for plans and found the perfect one from Ana White. Click here for the plans.
In just a month, my husband who had never built anything like this before, built the most beautiful table. THIS is where it all started. He began woodworking and building other things like coffee and end tables, a kitchen island for his mom, benches, nightstands, bookshelves, etc.
This is where the obsession started.
While this blog is just in the beginning stages, I hope that you will follow along as I share some of our favorite projects that we have done, as well as some very anticipated projects we hope to begin in our next home. We are currently in the process of purchasing our next house, and have LOTS of projects lined up for it! If all goes as planned, we will be settling in next month into our “farmhouse in the city” as I like to call it. It is a great house and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
In the meantime, watch for blog posts on previously done projects, and hopefully next month I will be able to share some new, bigger and more challenging ones! 🙂
I am back with a better attitude and lots to share! Preston and I are on DAY 22 of our Whole 30. It’s crazy to think that next week this thing will be D O N E. I can tell you that my pants fit like a dream, and most of them are actually too big now. I’m feeling lighter, happier, and more comfortable and confident in myself. At this point, I am thinking forward to next week, and what and how I am going to balance my eating and social life after Whole 30. I will touch on more of that later.
Once I changed my attitude after Day 15, things immediately got better. I ran to Costco after work and stocked up on some of my staple items such as eggs, La Croix, Almond Butter, Chicken Breasts and Cashews. Costco is seriously so great when it comes to this diet. Be prepared to drop some $$$, but know it is totally worth it.
That night, I kept it simple and had chicken with some sauteed mushrooms. I LOVE mushrooms. I used a little bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, and some red wine vinegar to give them some flavor.
Saturday morning we had some sweet friends give us some fresh eggs from their chickens. They were SO GOOD. Totally different than your store bought eggs! 🙂
Saturday night, I got a mean craving for some Mexican. I browned some ground turkey and seasoned it with chili powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper to give it that taco-y taste. I put the ground beef over a bed of lettuce, and topped it with some salsa, guac, and jalapenos. It hit the spot for sure.
As usual, my breakfast still consists of 2 eggs and some fruit and turkey bacon.
Last night, we celebrated a birthday over at Preston’s parents house. Half of the guests had Tellini’s Italian, while Preston, Dave (his dad) and myself enjoyed a nice big steak with a side of green beans and squash and zucchini. No birthday cake here! Trust me, it smelled amazing. I could have buried my face in that cake and probably eaten it until it made me sick. Sweets are my downfall. I LOVE everything about them. But, we resisted the urge because we know how good we feel. BUT, doesn’t this look delish?
Tonight we are trying out some Whole 30 approved meatballs with marinara over a bed of spaghetti squash. I’ll be sure to share that recipe on the next blog!
I keep thinking about when this thing is over, what am I going to do? In the past, I have unfortunately fallen back into old habits. I am really, really going to try and not let that happen this go round. I have made SO much progress, why would I want to throw that all away? Because, pizza Whitney! Freaking, delicious, pizza, that’s why!
But in all seriousness, right now my game plan is to eat clean 6 days, and have 1 day where I eat absolutely whatever I want. I also don’t want to exclude going out to eat on those 6 days. My hope is to just make a better decision when I do go out. I hate to miss out on things, especially when Preston and I have a chance to go out and do something fun, or try a new restaurant.
I have never been great at working out, so my other goal is to get in 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days a week, and start lifting some free weights to tone up!
BIG goals? Probably. I know I’m not going to be perfect, but for me it’s about finding that healthy balance. If I am going to make this a lifestyle change, I have to figure out what works best for me in my day to day. I have some crazy days at work, and sometimes I just want to come home and have a glass of wine, and so that’s what I’m going to do.
I would love your suggestions or recommendations on how you balance your social life/ healthy eating. It’s always been a struggle for me. It’s crazy that I can discipline myself enough for 30 days to eat like this, but can’t seem to keep it up once it’s over. But this time, I am really, really going to try!
Thanks for reading! Next time, we will be close to finishing and then after that, I will share my results! 🙂
I’m going to be honest. Today, I am kind of over it. That doesn’t mean that I am going to quit, but, I am just over it.
I woke up this morning and didn’t have any eggs in the fridge, so I had some turkey bacon and fruit for breakfast. STRIKE ONE.
I went to work and got asked to attend an event tomorrow night at the Davidson Center with TWO free drink tickets… Man oh man what I’d give for a glass of wine. STRIKE TWO.
And honestly, I really didn’t feel like cooking dinner tonight. I wasn’t in the mood for anything so I made a pork tenderloin and didn’t even make any veggies to go with it. I took a few bites and chugged some water. Not feeling it today. STRIKE THREE.
I’ve been in a slump the last couple of days, but I am know tomorrow will be better. By the way, if you do this program, be sure to follow the Whole 30 timeline found here. Read this little snippet from the timeline below because this is totally where I am right now:
“All joking aside, though, this phase gets really intense and for some people, this is the part of the program where our minds try to drive us back to the comfort of the foods we used to know. Our food relationships are deeply rooted and strongly reinforced throughout the course of our lives and breaking through them is really big deal. Journaling can be especially enlightening and helpful during this phase, and helpful for reflection later. Take some time to jot down what you’re craving, how you’re feeling and what tools you’re using to work through the cravings. – See more at: http://whole30.com/2013/08/revised-timeline/#sthash.v7IhF0Ls.dpuf”
Honestly, I think this whole time change has just really screwed me up this week. I’m tired. I’ve had a hard time waking up in the morning. I’ve been crazy busy at work juggling task after task. I’m hoping for good rest tonight, and a better mindset tomorrow. I know I have been so positive in my last few blogs, but I think it’s only fair that when I’m in a slump, I am honest about it. It would be so easy to quit right now, but being half way through, there’s just no way I would do it. I’m not where I want to be, and I’m not quitting until I reach my goal. I know I am going to be better in the long run. Summer is almost here, and if that isn’t motivation enough I don’t know what is. Onward!
I’m keeping this post short tonight because I’ve been such a negative Nancy. Hopefully, I will be on the downhill slope tomorrow, and will knock out these next 2 weeks with no problem. And, I promise, more recipes to come in the next blog!
Well, here I am ALMOST half way through the Whole 30. I must say it has not been terrible. I forget how amazing this program is. Here I am, 12 days in, and my pants fit like a dream. Some of my pants are even too big. How can that be possible after 12 days??
My pants fit better
I’ve lost at least 6 – 7 lbs since I started (3-4 just in the last week)
I’m sleeping much better
My energy level is up
I’ve been very productive at work
I’ve just about kicked my dairy craving (cheese, cheese, cheese)!
I feel way more comfortable in my clothes
I feel like I have de-bloated a lot
But I also…
Had killer headaches every day
Lost my appetite a little
Really wished I could have birthday cake (from the 2 birthdays we celebrated at work)
The pros are definitely outweighing the cons which is my motivation to press on. I know you aren’t technically supposed to weigh on this program, but whatever. It helps keep me motivated. I also don’t weigh every day. I weigh about once a week just to see the progress (even though I don’t need to see it on the scale because I feel it in my clothes).
This week, a lot of our meals were pretty simple. We had chicken salad and tuna salad, which I totally forgot to take a picture of.
We also had shrimp and zoodles (see below)
One night, I had chicken and green beans. That was all I was craving. And the night after that, I had breakfast for dinner! This weeks meals were pretty basic. I didn’t get too creative because I really wasn’t hungry for just one thing. I could definitely tell I wasn’t getting as hungry as often. I am normally a 11:30am lunch eater, and one day this week I didn’t eat until around 1:30 which is not normal for me.
I’m still snacking on fruits and nuts (pistachios, or as Preston calls them, “The crab meat of nuts”). They are a little pricey. 🙂
I’m enjoying my one a day La Croix Berry sparkling water that I usually have around lunch. It’s refreshing after drinking water all the time. I also have one cup of black coffee in the morning.
We have still managed to stay away from white potatoes, and are eating A LOT of chicken. PS- Publix had BOGO Greenwise chicken breasts this morning. You’re welcome!
I’ve got a tomato-y chicken soup in the crock pot for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. We are heading out to Lucky 7 (the farm) tomorrow to practice shooting our guns we got for Christmas so I will be sure to pack lots of snacks to hold us over.
I am SO excited to shop for spring/work clothes but am trying to make myself be patient until this W30 is over. I’m hopeful another 5lbs or so will fall off. I feel confident they will. 🙂 But all these pretty floral patterns and cute dresses have me drooling. I need all of them!!!
I’m really not even far off from my overall goal… another 10lbs and I’ll be good to go. Whole 30 is JUST what I needed to jump start getting to my goal weight. There’s no magic pill, or drink, or shake. Just clean up your diet, and watch the magic happen.
What a BEAUTIFUL weekend! I am just now winding down to catch you all up on the last few days! Our dryer went out, so went spent most of our Sunday picking out a new one and bringing that baby home! I never knew I could be so excited about washing and DRYING laundry! Anyway, onto the food…
Day 3 – 5
I was a little worried about my chicken salsa but it turned out SO good. I really didn’t care to eat it with anything else either…just a little avocado and I was set. Of course, you could throw this over a bed of lettuce and add your favorite W30 approved toppings, too. 🙂
On Friday night, I kept it easy and threw together some almond crusted chicken tenders. This is hands down one of the easiest meals to make.
I dipped my chicken tenders in one egg (whipped) and then dipped the chicken tenders in some crushed almonds. I crushed these with my Cuisine Art hand mixer. I baked them on 425 for about 20 minutes and they were done!
Saturday night, Preston was able to take off a half shift so I put him to work on the grill, while I sautéed some asparagus! Simple and easy.
On to the fun! Below you will find my grocery haul for the week! I was in a little bit of a hurry today while shopping, so I will most likely be making another trip back to the store. The first time I did this program, I was concerned about how much it would cost…healthy food IS expensive. I will share with you about what we spend a week on groceries. Keep in mind, I am feeding (2) of us and in the long run, we are really saving money because we have eliminated eating out. Preston and I do NOT eat out on the Whole 30 except for Chipotle… and even then, it’s maybe once or twice throughout the 30 days.
Tonight, we are having lettuce wrapped burgers with sweet potato fries. I also whipped up some chicken salad today that I will share in my next post. On the menu for tomorrow night, Shrimp with Zoodles! (Zucchini noodles)
Things I am LOVING on this W30
So when we first did this thing 3 years ago, there were a lot of things you couldn’t have then, that you can have now, and it’s life changing.
I am loving La Croix sparkling waters. I limit myself to one a day and drink water the rest of the day but man are they refreshing!
Did you know you can have white potatoes?? Since we are old school and white potatoes weren’t allowed the first time we did it, we decided to leave them out and stick to sweet potatoes only! But, more power to everyone else!!!
Mayo that you can buy in the store…WHOA! SO this was also not allowed. For 2 years, I whipped up my own batches of mayo, but now there are options like this one from Primal Kitchen. Total time saver when making chicken salad or for your burgers!
I was getting ready for work yesterday morning and I started thinking about what people’s perception is of the Whole 30. I think we have this idea in our heads that all of our meals should look like this:
And, those are beautiful and the light is perfect and it’s even on a nice, clean, white plate. But, if you have any kind of life, you’ll see that it isn’t about taking the perfect picture of your perfectly prepared meal. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Your meals are NOT going to look like this- and that’s okay (but if they are, GO YOU). It’s about doing the best you can, with what you have, and the time you have to do it.
So Let’s Be Real…
This was my breakfast Wednesday morning (in all its glory). Yes, it is on a paper plate to prevent me from having to do even more dishes later. And no, it isn’t pretty, but it was good and it served it’s purpose. It gave me the fuel I needed to get through the morning.
Annnddddd this was my lunch.
It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t matter. It’s much better than the Atlanta Bread soup and sandwich I would have grabbed (I love Atlanta Bread).
Today is Day 3, and I SWEAR I can already feel a little bit of a difference. Not huge, but my pants definitely felt better this morning. How is that possible? I have no idea, but it is.
I’m going to keep this blog post short, and start sharing every 2-3 days vs. every day. My hope is to pack more information into those blogs, share more recipes, grocery lists, meal prep and so on.
Until then, I want to share something that motivates me when I start thinking about how easy it would be to quit. I LOVE seeing and reading other people’s success stories. It’s incredibly inspiring. I love seeing other men/women who lead such busy lives (much busier than mine) who have 1, 2, 3 kids, and still take on a challenge like the Whole 30. I realize that I have NO excuses and I’m inspired even more to press forward. Try it!
Day one is in the books, and it wasn’t horrible! I want to share some of my meal prep from last night. Keep in mind, that I don’t buy all of my veggies organic. On the Whole 30, you are supposed to, but I only buy all of my meat organic (I did that before anyway). Organic veggies and fruits are just TOO expensive. That may be the only Whole 30 rule I break!
Tip: Anytime I can buy something already sliced/diced/cut, I do. This is a HUGE time saver! Same with rotisserie chickens. They are already cooked and all you have to do is pull the meat! <– Huge time saver for making chicken salad and so on.
What’s in my Fridge?
It looks empty, but it’s not! I always keep the following items in my fridge:
Eggs (cage free, range free)
Fruit from Publix (already cut)
Ground beef (Greenwise brand)
Chicken breasts (Greenwise brand)
Peppers (already cut)
La Croix waters
Aidell’s chicken apple sausage
Pantry Staple Items
Chili powder, minced garlic, other spices for seasoning (read your labels)
Late Night Meal Prep
Last night (AFTER I watched that crazy episode of The Bachelor) I prepped a couple of things for lunch and dinner for today, and hopefully leftovers tomorrow! See below!
I keep it simple- two scrambled eggs and some fruit. I somehow NEVER get tired of eggs. I love eggs. Sometimes I mix it up and do an omelette or add some peppers in for flavor, but I am totally fine just eating scrambled eggs. They are quick and easy. I did miss having cheese in my eggs this morning, but I know that will change after a week or so.
Today, I brought an apple and some unsalted cashews to work with me. I also brought a La Croix water to eat with my lunch. BTW- La Croix was NOT allowed the first time I did a Whole 30 so this was a real treat.
When I got home from work, I was hungry! I grabbed some raw carrots from the refrigerator and munched on those, and then had my sweet potato chili for dinner (which was amazing).
Tomorrow for lunch, we will have leftover sweet potato chili. Before I leave for work in the morning, I am going to throw some chicken and salsa in the crockpot to cook on low all day tomorrow. This is called “shredded chicken salsa.” I plan to throw this on some lettuce with some guac, salsa, tomato’s, etc. for dinner tomorrow night and then leftovers for Thursday! As you can see, I use my crock pot as MUCH as possible. It is a huge time saver and I always have enough leftover. 🙂
Confession: I woke up this morning, threw on my dress pants, and sighed. They were snug, and I felt miserable, BUT, I know that feeling is only temporary. Thirty days from now, those same pants will be too big! I will feel better, sleep better, and will gain back the confidence I’ve been lacking over the last few months! Today was day 1, and it only goes up from here!
I hope this gives you some insight into how I plan my meals. Throughout the process, you will learn the things you like, what makes you full, and how to work this program around your life/schedule. It’s challenging, but it’s worth it!
I’m excited about this blog and about sharing my Whole 30 journey with you all! I get a lot of questions about this program, so I am happy to share some tips and tricks I have learned along the way. Please note, that I am not claiming to be a fitness guru. I stumbled upon this program a few years ago and it really taught me a lot about how big of an impact food has on the way we think and feel. Sounds crazy, right? Again, I don’t make the best decisions about what I fuel my body with on a day to day basis. When I tell you that I LOVE pizza, and all things carbs, I am not lying. Mexican food and baskets upon baskets of chips? Sign me up! I LOVE food, but I also reach a point where my body (and my jeans) are telling me, “Whitney, you know you are miserable and you need to make a change.” That’s when I know it’s time to tackle another Whole 30.
What is the Whole 30?
The Whole 30 is a program meant to change the way you feel about food and for 30 days, you give up certain foods in order to change your tastes/cravings, etc. Simply put, it’s a detox for your body. I don’t want to get too much into detail. Instead, I encourage you all to read everything you can about the Whole 30, because there is seriously too much information for me to cover. Take some time to read about the Whole 30 and learn about ALL of the great benefits this program offers. It will provide you with a grocery list, all the do’s and don’ts and a ton of other resources. My goal here is hopefully to offer a Survival Guide for all of you who have asked about it. It’s NOT easy, but it’s mind over matter. You can do ANYTHING you put your mind too- especially for 30 days.
So, for 30 days…
No legumes (beans)
Are ya’ll still with me? Good! Let’s move on. So what can you eat? Meat, veggies, fruit, some nuts, and water (sounds pretty bland, huh)? Sound like PALEO? Well, it is, except you aren’t supposed to go “re-creating” foods like “paleo pancakes” or “paleo pizza.” The idea is to get you away from craving those foods. Again, that’s where you need to read more into the program- it will explain all of this to you! 🙂
I Just Know I am Going to Cheat…
Well, yeah, if you go into it with that mindset then you are definitely going to fail! The rule of the Whole 30 is, if you cheat, you have to start completely over. Not joking- you have to start over. Completely, over. Sooo, don’t do it! Prepare yourself mentally for this program. Again, it’s not easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things I have ever done, but let me tell you- I have never learned so much DISCIPLINE in my LIFE! If you can do this, I swear you can do anything. It will make any other “diet” you do a cake walk.
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
I’m going to be 100% honest with you- you are going to be living in your kitchen for the next 30 days. You literally have to cook EVERY single meal. There are days when you come home and all you want to do is Netflix and chill. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can do that, but first, you gotta prep your meals. You have to be prepared with meals, snacks, and more snacks for when you get HANGRY. You never want to be in a situation where you weren’t prepared and have to resort to cheating.
So, What is the Benefit?
So far, everything I have said sounds pretty negative. Oops! I think it’s me trying to be brutally honest about the program because it is tough, but, it is also very rewarding. Not only will you experience weight loss, but you will feel better overall. Like, tiger blood good! Each time I have completed the program, I have lost anywhere from 10-12 lbs. By day 10, my pants were seriously too big! I was sleeping better, had better/more energy, and just felt GOOD!
It is also known to improve or cure other health issues such as high blood pressure, heartburn, sinus infections…the list goes on.
If you can talk a friend, husband, sibling, whoever into doing this with you, do it! It is so much easier when you have an accountability partner. There is no way I would be able to do this without my husband. P.S.- he is also joining me on the 3rd round (he did the 1st and 2nd with me too)! 🙂
Resources: Grocery List, Program Rules, Dining Guide, Etc.