The first day of the rest of my life

October 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Last night’s dinner was some thrown together chicken curry.

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This is one of my easy go-to meals and the boys love it. I just mix about 1/2 cup of coconut milk (the kind in the can, NOT light) with a couple of tablespoons of Thai red curry paste, a splash of fish sauce, a splash of lime juice, and seasonings (salt/pepper/garlic powder) together. Then I just dump that on top some sautéed veggies and chopped up grilled chicken. I made the boys a little rice to go with it.

This morning was the first day after my most recent whole30! I was feeling pretty celebratory about it. I’m still basically eating the same way for now, but I’m going to slowly reintroduce a little dairy. I celebrated today with heavy whipping cream in my coffee.

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It was so good. So much better than coconut cream, I have to say. I was asked about half & half versus heavy cream on the Facebook page this morning, and my response was:

According to me, a total unqualified non-professional, whipping cream is actually healthier, but the nutritionals are not that different between half & half and heavy whipping cream. The higher the fat content, the less lactose and carbs. HC has a higher fat content than half & half. Sugar, even lactose, can cause an inflammatory reaction in some people, making weight loss more difficult and also leading to cravings for more sugars/carbs. Heavy cream and butter are more considered oils rather than “dairy” because the fat content is so high and the milk solids portion is relatively so low. Lots of people also put unsalted (organic) butter in their coffee. I haven’t tried that, but I won’t knock it until I try it. Again, this is all my unprofessional opinion based on my own research. I am always open to hearing other well-reasoned and researched opinions.

Mack and Chewie and I walked to school this morning.

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Today’s breakfast:

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I spent part of the day doing laundry. I have often blogged about the riveting topic of laundry and I know everyone loves it, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to do a tour of the laundry room in our new house. It is just off of the family room (or den as we sometimes call it) which is adjacent to and below the kitchen. There is a step-down (3 steps) from the kitchen to the den.

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The pocket  door to the laundry room is there between the television and the staircase. The laundry room, which is also a mud room, is not very attractive so we usually keep that pocket door closed. There is a door to the outside so when the kids come in from swimming they come in through that side door to take all of their wet stuff off.

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There is also a (very) small powder room off of the laundry room/mud room.

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Maybe I could have straightened that rug?

The laundry room and the powder room are both completely wood-paneled. It’s kind of claustrophobic.

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The door with the towels hanging on it in the photo above has a small storage room under the stairs. We call it our “Harry Potter” room.

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It’s a mess. All the odds and ends got thrown in there when we moved in. I really need to take everything out of this room and organize it.

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So that’s the laundry room. It’s kind of cramped and awkward and ugly, but I’m grateful to have it!

Back to the important topic of laundry. Often I make the boys fold their own laundry, but if I’m in the groove while they are at school I will fold it and just put their individual stacks on the stairs for them to take up to their bedrooms.

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This little area of the house that transitions from the family room to the kitchen is what I refer to as “malfunction junction” in our house.

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There is a bottleneck right at the bottom of these stairs…

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due to the fairly narrow passageway right here:

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Those bannisters (all 4,000 of them) are not really our style. We’d love to replace them with wrought iron some day. Some day. The bannister on the upper left of that photo is behind the breakfast bar and is not very secure. It’s pretty wobbly and I always feel like we’re one party away from somebody crashing down to the den while leaning on it. We’ll see! Maybe that will be the impetus to replace all the bannisters.

I also ran a few errands today. I went back to Artpool to pick something up.


Then I went by Fresh Market to get a few things.

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I’m trying out this new-to-me brand of kraut.

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I got the classic caraway. They were out of the beet kraut variety, but I definitely want to try that some time.

When I got home I made lunch.

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That’s lettuce, spinach, roasted golden beet, tomato, sweet pepper, an egg, a pre-cooked chicken breast from Trader Joe’s, and homemade ranch dressing. The ranch dressing recipe is from Melissa Joulwan’s The Clothes Make the Girl. The recipe is:

Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup homemade mayo
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried chives
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and black pepper, to taste

I used up the last of my roasted beets in the salad so I stuck some more in the oven.

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I love golden beets because they are so much less messy than purple beets. I think they taste about the same.

That’s it so far for today.  I picked Mack up from school and now I need to go pick up Cal from Robotics Club which was after school.

Don’t forget to join in the Tampa Bay Bloggers’ Octogram challenge on Instagram!

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Goodbye September and Whole30

September 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Today is the 30th day of my Whole30! The last day! Woohoo! I did it. As far as I know I was totally compliant the whole time. Well, still have half of today to go, but whatever. I did not weigh myself at the beginning of this whole30 so I don’t know how much weight I lost. However, I am very happy because all of my fat clothes, which were tight when I started, are now loose. Don’t you hate when your fat clothes are tight? That’s the worst. I feel great and very detoxed.

My plan is to forge ahead tomorrow with a basic NSNG (no sugar, no grains) approach. Naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit and dairy are fine. I will, however, be mindful not to overindulge in either. And I think I’ll be fine with that. I don’t eat or crave that much fruit anyway. I’m going to start by reintroducing dairy slowly and see how I do with that. I’m starting with heavy whipping cream in my coffee in the morning. If I feel like it’s making me crave sugar then I’ll re-evaluate. I think it will be fine, though. I’m staying optimistic that I can reincorporate dairy in a moderate way and be ok. I’m not always so good with “moderate” though, so we’ll see.

So what has happened in my fascinating life since I last overshared…last Thursday?

That day I met with the awesome ladies behind Molly and the Hoola Monsters, a new kids’ DVD soon to be released starring MY friend Molly. Here’s a little preview:

They are having a FREE premiere screening at Sunken Gardens on Sunday, October 20th. They will also have hooping demonstrations, treats, and all of the cast of characters will be there. Click HERE to RSVP and get more information (or let me know if I need to send you an invite…but it’s open to the public!). We’ll be there to cheer Molly and her friends on!

Later that afternoon I had great parking karma at Publix.

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I ended up having a late lunch and wasn’t very hungry Friday night so this was my dinner:

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Chewie knows when fruits and vegetables are being prepared that he is going to get a bite.

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Friday morning Mack, Chewie, and I walked to school.

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Friday breakfast:

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Friday afternoon, lots of decorative gourds at Fresh Market.

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Also Applegate Farms organic hot dogs on sale until October 8th.

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Interestingly I posted that picture on Facebook and about half of the comments were, “Whoa, that’s crazy expensive” and half were, “Wow, that’s a great deal.” I guess it’s all relative. Apparently even the regular price on these at Fresh Market is less than at Publix (and about the same as Target).

Friday night I made Cocoa Toasted Cauliflower.

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You can find the recipe here on Melissa Joulwan’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.

It may sound strange, but it was really delicious.

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The boys loved it and Chad said it was the best cauliflower he had ever had (and I make cauliflower fairly frequently).

Saturday breakfast:

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The star fruit is from a tree in my friend Debbie’s yard. She is my Annie’s Organics coordinator. She also has a big Florida avocado tree in her yard. We get bonuses in our shares from her yard!

I did some food prep on Saturday.

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Saturday dinner:

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Sunday breakfast:

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Sunday morning the boys and I met my friend Ali and her daughter Molly (of Hoola Monster fame) at Artpool for an indie market.

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There were lots of Etsy sellers there.

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All kinds of handmade cuteness.

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I loved these tote bags, all made out of livestock feed bags.

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The craftsman told me that most of the bags come from feeding their own animals, but friends also save bags for them.

One of these catfish feed bags came home with me (I can’t resist a good aqua color).

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They were only $7 and I wish I had bought another one as a gift. I have to say that they do sort of still smell like animal feed inside. I can live with it.

I also loved all this found-object art:

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Bicycle chain bracelets!

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In the bicycle theme, I could not resist buying this adorable bunting for a friend (and she may be reading this and is guessing it’s for her and she’s right):

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This artist/craftsman (em lee) had so many adorable applique objects…

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This little pillow of hers also came home with me.

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Cal REALLY wanted this beat up suede trench coat…

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but it was out of his price range so we had a discussion about delayed gratification. I hope I learned something from that discussion.

Mack and Molly both found something to buy:

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I also let both boys buy a novelty pack of gum.

Cal chose:

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Mack chose:

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Which is not true and is almost ironic since the only “bands” he’s seen in concert are The Wiggles, Hi-Five, Jack Hartmann, and Flo Rida at the Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Pete Half Marathon. And I may be old but I DID get to see all the cool bands. Or at least a bunch of them.

After shopping at the crafty fest we went up Central Ave. to Beak’s Old Florida for lunch.

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It pays to check in on Yelp at Beak’s. There is a BOGO first drink check-in offer on there. I had already used it the last time I was there because I am The Duchess!


I got a burger with a house salad (no cheese) on the side with oil and vinegar. Then I removed the burger from the bun and plopped it on top of my salad.

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It was pretty tasty.

Dinner Sunday night:

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Chad roasted some salmon and on my piece he used the last of the Moroccan dipping sauce as a marinade (from the “Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat” recipe here). I used that sauce at about half a dozen meals. It’s a great recipe.

This morning Mack, Chewie, and I walked to school.

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When I got home I was in a hurry to get ready to go back to school to volunteer, so my LAST whole30 breakfast (for this time at least) was a quickie.

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OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

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This top is from Gwynnie Bee, the “Netflix” for women’s clothing size 10 and up. Dang, that is dizzy-ing.

At school I put together the homework packets, as usual, among other things.

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School pictures!

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I sat with Mack in the courtyard while he ate lunch.

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Then I went home and had my lunch.

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That’s two Applegate Farms organic hot dogs, sour kraut, and a chopped salad with lettuce, spinach, tomato, golden beets, grilled chicken thighs, bell pepper, avocado and a homemade mayo-based dressing. Kind of a mess, I know.

This afternoon has been mostly picking up and dropping off boys. They are at karate now. I need to go make my LAST whole30 dinner.

Don’t forget about the October Instagram Challenge that I’m co-hosting with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, sponsored by Parkesdale Farm Market starting tomorrow!

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Be sure to follow @parkesdale on Instagram and post a photo every day based on the daily photo prompts listed above. Use the hashtags #Octogram and #Parkesdale, and link up at the end of this post. You could be one of 12 winners of a $65 gift box from Parkesdale!

Disclaimer: This Instagram #Octogram #Parkesdale photo challenge is a sponsored collaborative effort between the Tampa Bay Bloggers and Parkesdale Farm Market.  Other than prizes to be awarded as giveaways for the Instagram photo challenge, the Tampa Bay Bloggers did not receive any compensation for this campaign.